Postcards from the Future: Behind the Scenes at Wondrous Strange #notenoughscifi

Imagine letting your community dream wildly of the world to come.

Imagine collaborating on a future history spanning millennia.

Imagine turning public space into something that was wondrous and strange.

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As part of our time-travel themed festival of weirdness, storytelling, art and science at Ann Arbor District Library, we asked visitors to write postcards from the future.

We collected over 80 tales stretching from 2018 to the year 5000.

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Wiradjuri Language in Parkes

History Parkes

Painting

This week is National Reconciliation Week (NRW), Let’s Take the Next Steps (17 May – 3 June 2017). NRW runs annually and marks two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision.

To recognise the reconciliation journey Parkes Library would like to share with you a recording from the Library’s “Recording and Retelling Local Wiradjuri Stories, An Oral Cultural and Historical” project.

Learning Parkes’ local indigenous language, Wiradjuri, is part of daily school life in the Shire. In this excerpt from one of the project’s oral history recordings, teachers Kerry Gilbert, Ron Wardrup, and Geoff Anderson describe how the Wiradjuri language came to Parkes.

The “Recording and Retelling Local Wiradjuri Stories” project produced twelve oral histories that have been transcribed and can be access at Parkes Libary.

ABC Open’s Suzi Taylor produced a film and story that also shares the Parkes Wiradjuri language story – ABC…

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Peace for the Immortal Sock Monkey

My friend Stevie made the sock monkey – a placid purple chap with chubby limbs and buttons for eyes. He seemed pretty satisfied with existence, but his deeper woes had gone unseen.

Two Student Occupational Therapists from Griffith University pose with their client, an immortal sock monkey

It turned out that the sock monkey was cursed to live forever, and as the centuries rolled by, he was succumbing to despair. Two students from the Occupational Therapy course at Australia’s Griffith University decided to help, using their professional skills to explore ways of reconciling him to a happier immortality.

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Marvellous, Electrical returns

My newsletter Marvellous, Electrical kicks off its second season this weekend.

Last year, the newsletter took us from the fairytale coasts of Portugal to an ibis-themed burlesque show; we met bakers and boxers and bassists and acrobats, spent time with cleaners and inner-city drug counsellors, and even investigated a family history of murder.

In 2017, Marvellous, Electrical will appear once a month so I can fit in a few more projects on the side.

Sign up for Marvellous, Electrical here.

Tabletop Superheroes Revisited

Here’s a blast from the past – the all-ages Tabletop Superheroes game devised during my Reader-in-Residence placement at Parkes Shire in New South Wales.

The game is Creative Commons licensed and adapted from the work of Cory Doctorow – so please feel free to remix it as per the terms of a CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Our version needs dice, Lego bricks, and a tape measure – plus our print-and-cut-out paper figures and somewhere to play the game (back in Parkes, we took it down the pub).

The paper figures and rules for the Tabletop Superheroes game can be downloaded as a PDF here.

SWITCH 2016, New South Wales

I’m in the coastal town of Ulladulla to talk libraries with people from across the state of New South Wales at the SWITCH 2016 conference.

You can catch up with my keynote “Science Fiction Double Feature” from lunchtime (AEDT) Wednesday – try the #switch2016 hashtag on Twitter – and read the keynote paper on the SWITCH website (PDF download).

The paper will be up on the SWITCH website shortly after the event.