Nova Mob events…

Dec 1 Nova Mob – Iain McIntyre – Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985 by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre.

Dec 5 – Wrong Turns on the Wallaby Track: Australian Science Fiction Fandom to Aussiecon – Part 1, 1936 to 1960, a Zoom call with Leigh Edmonds and Perry Middlemiss.

Dec 18 Nova Mob – end of year Nova Mob lunch face to face. Details to be confirmed.

Feb 2 2022 Nova Mob –  first meeting of 2022. Topic to be confirmed. Topics for 2022, please bring yours!

Mar 2 2022 Nova Mob – Perry Middlemiss on Short SF in 1965.

Australian SF Fandom 1936 to 1960, with Leigh Edmonds

Wrong Turns on the Wallaby Track:: Australian Science Fiction Fandom to Aussiecon – Part 1, 1936 to 1960

A Zoom videoconference with Leigh Edmonds and Perry Middlemiss. FANAC Zoom series, 10:30am Dec 5th, Adelaide time.

From the 1930s to the 1950s sf fandom in Australia was active and buoyant. Centred mainly around the city of Sydney their activities included fanzine production, club meetings and feuding. Yet by the beginning of the 1960s it had nearly all withered away. How did this vibrant community survive the Second World War and yet somehow fail to make it through peacetime? This, and many other questions, will be addressed by Dr Leigh Edmonds, sf fan and professional historian, in his FANAC talk.

To RSVP, or find out more about the series, please send a note to

December 4 (US) and December 5 (Australia), 2021 – 7PM Dec 4 EST, 4PM Dec 4 PST, 11AM Dec 5 Melbourne AU

Critical mass: dinner on December 8th

As usual, we’re meeting for dinner in early December, rather than a regular meeting. We’ll decide the venue at the November meeting, so if you have a suggestion for a good place to eat, let us know! Also let us know if you’re coming along, as we’ll have to book a venue.
Current list of possibilities: King’s Head (King William), Naaz Persian (Pulteney St), Madre Pizza (Gilbert St), Eros Greek (Rundle St).

The muslimness of Dune

One of Dune’s overarching concerns is to locate and explore a “Muslimness in time.”  The novels fixate on change across time and space: How does a tradition adapt, or not, across centuries, environments, and societies? The novels interrogate this question through a range of Muslim approaches to it. They look to Muslim scholarly traditions, historical interpretations, and experiences as they shift from place to place and generation to generation. The saga finds answers in Muslim beliefs in the sanctity of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings; in Muslim practices of mysticism and experience as a response to legalism and scientism, or to the (orientalist) binary of reason against unthinking following; in a respect for other traditions that nevertheless preserves a unique commitment to the bespoke quality of Islam; and in Muslim narratives of political succession and revolutionary power.

Haris Durrani, writing on Dune in “The Muslimness of Dune: A Close Reading of “Appendix II: The Religion of Dune“,

Another story bundle…

The Magic and Mystery Bundle, curated by the Melissa Snark:

“A great fantasy story is, to my mind, about endless possibilities. If every author penned their tale according to a rigid set of guidelines, the genre would have all the flavor of stale saltines. A fantastical saga, a magical realm, a raven’s flight, a god of chaos sparks a fire in your imagination.

Magic and Mystery is a collection of ten books that touch on fantasy fiction’s stunning breadth and diversity, from cat assassins to faerie kings. A New Orleans haunted mansion and a talking cockroach—we have that, too. Our stories will seize and sweep you away.

Our featured charity for this bundle is the The Salish Sea School, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting local marine ecosystems and the education of future student leaders in marine conservation.”

Bundle available until 11th November at

News from The Nova Mob

Murray included some notes which may be of interest:

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Australian Science Fiction Fandom 1936 to 1960, with Leigh Edmonds

Wrong Turns on the Wallaby Track:: Australian Science Fiction Fandom to Aussiecon – Part 1, 1936 to 1960

A Zoom videoconference with Leigh Edmonds and Perry Middlemiss. FANAC Zoom series. No link as yet. To be provided.

December 4 (US) and December 5 (Australia), 2021 – 7PM Dec 4 EST, 4PM Dec 4 PST, 11AM Dec 5 Melbourne AU

Perry says, “Leigh is doing the talking, I’m just there to steer things along.”

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The White Library by Paul Voermans

Paul Voermans enjoyed his October Nova Mob discussion on The White Library so much that he later provided an article which I’ll circulate real soon now. 

We recommend you contact your local library for them to buy the Gollancz hardcover. After all, the novel is set in Melbourne’s State Library and the narrative includes librarians. And it’s fun.

Here’s the link to the very reasonably-priced eBook:

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Fourteen fantasy novels for A$25 

Speaking of e-books, may I make an exception to the “no advertisements” guideline for these emails? This e-book bundle is for a short time only, it originates from the SFWA, and there’s some interesting writing:

The books in the bundle…

Received from Matthew Hughes, Canada’s version of Terry Dowling’s Jack Vance aspect.

“The professional association of science fiction and fantasy authors of America (SFWA) has launched a new StoryBundle – Magic and Mayhem – offering fourteen carefully chosen fantasy novels (one of them mine), that span the sub-genres of fantasy while showcasing magic-induced mayhem, from the hilarious to the horrible and everything in between.
“If you haven’t encountered StoryBundle before, it’s a cool way to snag a passel of great genre reading at a bargain price.  And you’ll almost certainly discover some authors new to you that you’ll want to read more of.
The basic deal is US$5 for FOUR NOVELS in any ebook format you like, to read on your laptop, tablet, e-reader, or smartphone.
“But wait, there’s more!  Boost your spending to US$15 and you get TEN MORE books.  That’s FOURTEEN full-length novels for basically a buck a book.  Each title in the Magic and Mayhem bundle has been curated by SFWA’s pros out of a slew of books that came in after a call for submissions.
“Some of the titles they particularly liked:
• Darkmage – ML Spencer’s award-winning debut novel filled with epic battles, flawed heroes, and a brutal struggle

• Playing with Fire – R.J. Blain’s snarky romantic comedy with a body count, featuring a fire-breathing unicorn on a mission of destruction

• Phaethon – Rachel Sharp’s tech fantasy that weaves computer hackers, faeries, and corporate greed into a twisted tale

• Ragnarok Unwound – Kristin Jacques’s story of a young woman tangled up in a prophecy that sets her off to save the world with the help of a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself

• Cutie and the Beast – E.J. Russell’s novel pairing a former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court with a cheeky yet adorable human temp worker, as they prove, once again, that when fae consort with humans, it never ends well

•And my own 9 Tales of Raffalon – Matthew Hughes’s intriguing mosaic novel combining nine stories of an enterprising thief as he grapples with crooked guild masters, ghosts, spies, ogres, and a talented amateur assassin
“All the books are DRM-free.  You can email them to your friends.  And you can give Magic and Mayhem as a gift to that guy who’s always asking you, “What’s so great about fantasy?”
“And you’ll be doing some good, supporting indie authors like me, plus part of the proceeds will go to the good works SFWA does, like helping out writers in need of health care and other worthwhile causes.
“It’s a limited time offer (ends around Nov 3rd), so better not wait to check it out:

Truth, Justice and…

DC Comics is changing what Superman stands for.
The company released a new mission statement for the 83-year-old icon who famously fought for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

Now Clark Kent’s Man of Steel is about “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”
“To better reflect the storylines that we are telling across DC and to honor Superman’s incredible legacy of over 80 years of building a better world, Superman’s motto is evolving,” announced DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee at the company’s DC FanDome fan event on Saturday. “Superman has long been a symbol of hope who inspires people, and it is that optimism and hope that powers him forward with this new mission statement.”

“I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy. ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’ — it’s not enough anymore. The world’s too small. Too connected.”

Superman, In the 900th issue of Action Comics, when he renounced his U.S. citizenship (2011)

Nova Mob 10th Nov: Ian Mond on the best books of 2021

Murray writes:

Mondiale – world’s best SF reading, 2021

Ian Mond’s best books of genre not packaged as genre

Face to face meeting, simulcast in Zoom

This year Ian has selected 14 books for your reading delight. By way of suspense, one is a Nova Mob repeat, and one author appears twice. Ian’s list is well worth centring your year’s reading around.

Kensington Town Hall, 8.00pm, Wednesday 10 November, address below. Note that the event is now a week later.

We’d love to see you there, although there are restrictions as you’d expect:

–         If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19, please stay at home and use the Zoom simulcast instead.

–         If you are not fully vaccinated, in other words 2 jabs, please do not attend in person.

–         If you don’t want to provide your proof of full vaccination along with your contact details for COVID contact tracing purposes, please do not attend in person.

  • If you plan to attend in person, please acquire a ticket via Eventbrite, as numbers are limited to 18.

Our Nova Mob COVID-19 Plan is being revised to fulfil Kensington Town Hall requirements under the new State Government arrangements, and for entry you will be required to provide your proof of vaccination status. 

Face to face 

You are invited to an in-person Nova Mob meeting at: 

Wednesday 10th November

8.00pm – 9.30 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, broadcast from the Kensington Town Hall. Questions or comments typed into the Zoom chat will be passed through to Ian as the opportunity permits.

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Wednesday 10 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

We apologise in advance for any IT issues. Our knowledge is sufficient to know there will be something, but is not deep enough to pinpoint what it’ll be this time.

Oct 27 Critical Mass: online SF magazines

As discussed at the August meeting last week, Critical Mass will be having a look at online SF mags
We invite members to have a look at two of the four magazines nominated for each month: please peruse two months worth of “issues” before the relevant meeting

October 27th, 6:30 Adelaide time, 7pm Melbourne




Please advise Roman (websmith[at] which magazines you’ll be looking at.

A reminder that, covid conditions allowing, we will also be meeting at Kappy’s each month from 6:15pm
for a joint in-person/Zoom meeting.

Topic: Online SF Magazines
Time: Oct 27, 2021 6:30 pm Adelaide, 7.00pm Melbourne/Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 821 6779 6217
Passcode: 784499

Frankenstein Burlesque Deferred until next year

We were to host a breakout room on zoom after the ASFF awards ceremony (Oct 29th) to stage a reading of the 1863 The Burlesque of Frankenstein. Unfortunately, the ASFF has reorganised their event and now won’t have space for the reading.

After some discussion, we decided to defer the event until early next year, so there’s still a chance for you to catch the event.
If you’re interested in taking part, have a look at the Notes and text of the Burlesque, and let Roman know which part you are interested in.