Nova Mob, Nov 2: Ian Mond on the best books of 2022

Mondiale – Ian Mond’s best books not packaged as genre

One of the pleasures of the Nova Mob is Ian’s annual talk on the year’s best SF, fantasy, and horror books, selected from those that aren’t marketed as genre but instead typically have the words “A Novel” somewhere on the cover for the discerning book shop browser to be absolutely certain as to what it is they are buying. We welcome Ian again this year, and he has selected 10 books for your reading delight. Hear about them, and why #10 is good and his #1 pick is better, at our meeting on 2 November. As usual with Nova Mob talks there’s lively discussion, so attendance in person is recommended, however the Zoom option is available, it’s part of how we do things now.

Face to face

You are invited to an in-person Nova Mob meeting:
Wednesday 2 November
8.00pm – 9.15 pm or so, first floor Conference Room

Kensington Town Hall, 30 – 34 Bellair St

Kensington Melbourne VIC 3031

By Zoom – simulcast

For those who prefer not to travel or are unable to attend face-to-face. This’ll be close to a webcast or radiocast in style, emitted electronically from the Kensington Town Hall. Questions or comments typed into the Zoom chat will be passed through to Ian as the opportunity permits.

Wednesday 2 November

8.00pm – 9.30 pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney time / 7.30pm – 9.00pm Adelaide time
Join Zoom Meeting

Passcode: nova

Meeting ID: 417 758 3193

About Ian Mond

Last year’s list of recommended reading is attached.

Ian writes for Locus as well as being a Nova Mob member and enthusiastic viewer of Dr Who (and occasional writer of Whovian fiction), so I’ll quote from Locus by way of bio and an example of his work:

“Ian Mond loves to talk about books. For eight years he co-hosted a book podcast, The Writer and the Critic, with Kirstyn McDermott. Recently he has revived his blog, The Hysterical Hamster, and is again posting mostly vulgar reviews on an eclectic range of literary and genre novels. You can also follow Ian on Twitter (@Mondyboy) or contact him at

Hard Places, Kirstyn McDermott (Trepidatio 978-1-68510-057-5, $22.95, 312pp, tp) July 2022.

“The year was 1994 and I was attending the monthly meeting of the Melbourne Horror Society at the Māori Chief Hotel in South Melbourne. Issue #3 of Bloodsongs – Australia’s first professional horror fiction magazine – had just been released, and the members, which in­cluded the periodical’s two editors, were poring over copies and discussing the content.

Sitting across from me at one of the tables was a new member, a young woman around my age dressed mostly in black. Before I had a chance to intro­duce myself, she asked me what I thought of “And the Moon Yelps”, one of the stories featured in the issue. I told her that I loved it, that I thought it was one of the best, if not the strongest piece, in the magazine. “I’m glad you thought so,” she said, “because I wrote it.” This is how I met Kirstyn McDermott. Twenty-eight years later and we remain close friends; we even host a podcast together (it’s called The Writer and the Critic; I may have mentioned it a few hundred times in this column). I’ve never really given much thought to what might have happened if I’d told Kirstyn that I didn’t like “And the Moon Yelps”. But then, I can’t imagine a possible universe where I didn’t love that story or the horror and dark fantasy she has written since. Now, with the publication of Hard Places, a curated collection of her short fiction, I have the pleasure of revisiting her work.”

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Pre-Mob dining – at the Doutta Galla Hotel 

November 2. Booking made. Hats and fascinators optional.

The usual booking has been made at the Doutta Galla for those who enjoy good pub fare. Usual story – arrive when you like and as a Mob member there’s a seat for you and any friends you bring along. Most folk arrive about 6.30p.m.

339 Racecourse Rd, Flemington. Corner of Eastwood St, next to the railway bridge immediately south of Newmarket Station.

Booking on: Wednesday, 2nd of November (2/11/22)
Area: Dining
Time: 6:00pm onward

I’m not aware of any alternative dining locations or groups being arranged. Cheap eats in Melbourne are a confusing picture at the moment. 

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Nova Mob Calendar

November 2 – Ian Mond “Mondiale – best books of 2022”. In person and Zoom.

December 7 – Chris Flynn “Here Be Leviathans”. In person and Zoom.

December 14 – end of year celebration event. In person only. Post Office Hotel, Coburg, 6.00pm until late (pub closes at 11.00pm)

1st February 2023 – First meeting of the new year. Topic to be finalised, as well as suggestions for the 2023 program.

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Shelley Parker-Chan wins Astounding Award

We rather like how the publicity was handled in Australia

“Hugo Award for Best New Writer” said the news release. 

Parker-Chan wins Hugo Award for Best New Writer

9 September 2022 

“Australian writer Shelley Parker-Chan has won the Best New Writer category at the Hugo Awards for science fiction.

“Parker-Chan’s debut She Who Became the Sun was first published in the US by Tor Books in 2021 before being published by Pan Macmillan Australia. The novel is a genderqueer reimagining of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang’s rise to power in 14th-century China. Zhu, a peasant assigned female at birth, assumes their deceased brother’s identity as they begin their path to unifying China under native rule and becoming the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

She Who Became the Sun was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel, which was won by Arkady Martine for A Desolation Called Peace (Tor).”