Comet in the sky, 1340. Wellcome Collection
Science fiction has been around for centuries.
Writing is an act of imagination - but when it comes to imagining other people’s lives, it pays to do your research.
Writing based on observation and empathy is one thing; but interviewing the people whose experiences you aim to depict - and showing them your work - is quite another.
A graffiti portrait of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.
A lack of respect for history, a population conditioned to consume goods at breakneck pace, and pacification of individuals via an entertainment culture: parts of Huxley's novel strikingly resemble our own world.
Author Michelle de Kretser with her Miles Franklin prize-winning novel, The Life To Come.
Courtesy Perpetual/Copyright Agency/Martin Ollman.
Every character in The Life To Come is complex, frustratingly unfulfilled, marked by kindness, selfishness, or dumb selflessness. But they are always, entirely, convincing.
The socially and ethnically diverse working classes are not being heard. A recent project aims to change that.
A memorial in Kukenarup to the massacre that took place in the area, in which 30-40 Aboriginal men, women, and children were killed.
Kim Scott, whose novel Taboo is shortlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin award, circles around colonial violence in his work.
The Miles Franklin authors with their novels, clockwise from top left: Felicity Castagna, Eva Hornung, Kim Scott, Michelle de Kretser, Catherine McKinnon and Gerald Murnane.
Courtesy Perpetual/ Copyright Agency/ Martin Ollman/Timothy Hillier. Eva Hornung image: Noni Martin.
For many years, the Miles Franklin award was a bastion of monoculture. But this year's stories are a diverse reflection of Australia.
SAT reading scores in 2016 were the lowest they’ve ever been.
In 1980, 60 percent of 12th graders said they read a book, newspaper or magazine every day for pleasure. By 2016, only 16 percent did.
The State Library in Victoria illustrates that libraries are so much more than just places that contain books.
In the digital age, libraries got creative about how to translate services they've always offered into new formats. And they've transformed their spaces to have a variety of community uses.
Behrouz Boochani photographed on Manus Island.
Jason Garman/Amnesty International via AAP
Behrouz Boochani wrote his memoir of incarceration on Manus Island one text message at a time. Translating this work of 'horrific surrealism' from Farsi to English was a profoundly philosophical experience.
Gregory Peck and Harper Lee on the set of To Kill a Mockingbird.
To Kill a Mockingbird is no sermon. Its lessons are presented in effortless style, tackling the complexity of race issues with startling clarity and a strong sense of reality.
Mad, bad or dangerous – the gripping true crime story of Grace Marks, who caused a sensation in the 19th century and still holds fascination today.
Sir Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights.
Wuthering Heights is anything but a straightforward love story.
In this 1999 photo, author Michael Ondaatje poses at Coach House Press in Toronto. In addition to receiving a coveted spot on the 2018 Man Booker longlist for ‘Warlight,’ Michael Ondaatje recently won the Golden Man Booker prize for his critically acclaimed novel ‘The English Patient.’
(CP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer)
The meanings of Ondaatje's Golden Man Booker win is complicated and demonstrates the contradictions of literary value. Literary prizes permit us to imagine that literature is more than a commodity.
An illustration by Tosa Mitsuoki of The Tale of Genji, late 17th century.
Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, served in the Japanese imperial court. She transformed her experiences into an intricate narrative fusing fiction, history, and poetry.
Is the belief in art’s healing power just wishful thinking, or is there something to it?
William Faulkner’s novel depicts a poor rural family from Mississippi struggling to find their place in the modernising society of the 1930s.
US Library of Congress
William Faulkner began writing As I Lay Dying the day after the 1929 Wall Street crash. It documents, through the voices of 15 characters, the emergence of a poor white family into the modern world.
Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently.
Australia's rich tradition of crime fiction is little known – early tales told of bushrangers and convicts, one hero was a mining engineer turned amateur detective – but it reveals a range of national myths and fantasies.
Slums like this one in Rio de Janeiro embody the problems Paul Ehrlich warned of in ‘The Population Bomb.’
Fifty years ago biologist Paul Ehrlich published 'The Population Bomb,' an apocalyptic warning that overcrowding would lead to wars and famine. Here's what the book got right and wrong.
Australian book clubs are overwhelmingly white, middle-aged, middle-class and female.
Most book clubs are white and middle-class. Even today, books and reading can presume a divide between Indigenous oral story-telling and non-Indigenous literacy.