Digest

All the latest from Ligature and the world of electronic publishing.

Eleanor Nilsson’s classic The House Guest

The House Guest Front CoverWe are delighted to be reissuing Eleanor Nilsson’s beloved young adult novel The House Guest. This is a love story and a ghost story, blending the 1980s suburban adventures of a Spielberg film with the most haunting elements of an MR James, Henry James or Shirley Jackson thriller, and drawing in literary threads from Ursula K Le Guin to the Old Norse author of Njal’s Saga.

When Gunno breaks into the quiet house with the big garden, he has no idea how it will change his life. Something about the place keeps drawing him back: its daytime silence, its solitude, and the mysterious upstairs bedroom that belongs—or belonged—to a boy very much like Gunno.

As he unravels the mysteries of the house and the family that seems to half-live there, Gunno becomes less certain of his own place in the world—until his destiny is revealed in a chilling and transcendent conclusion.

When it was first released in 1991, The House Guest swept the young adult literary awards, winning the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the SA Festival Award for Literature in its category. Screen rights have recently been optioned by one of Australia’s most successful screenwriting teams.

Our new edition of The House Guest is now available as a DRM-free e-book and paperback from the Ligature bookshop or all the usual places.

The Earth Below by Katy Barnett

Earth Below CoverWe’re delighted to announce the publication of another Ligature First: Katy Barnett’s thrilling young adult dystopia The Earth Below.

Almost a century after the Catastrophe, a group of survivors have built a new society, deep in the safety of the underground network of tunnels and caverns left behind by the previous civilisation, now governed by strict rules that intrude into every part of their lives.

Marri knows the rules are there to keep their population healthy and growing, but they don’t leave much room for attraction—let alone love. She knows her duty, and knows it’s no match for her desire. Now her life is in danger, and so is her oldest friend Felix. Can they escape the world below—and what will they find if they do?

The Earth Below is a dystopia, an adventure and a love story that introduces a thrilling new voice in young adult fiction. It was commended for the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2016 and it’s been our great pleasure to work with Katy to bring it to you.

It’s now available as a DRM-free e-book as well as a paperback from all the usual outlets and the Ligature Bookshop.

Catch up on Garry Disher’s first four Wyatt books

WyattsGarry Disher’s latest book in his best-selling and critically-acclaimed Wyatt series, Kill Shot, is out now from the excellent people at Text. This is the ninth outing for the hard-boiled, hard-bitten and frequently hard-up criminal—the last one, The Heat, was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award in 2017, and Garry himself won the prestigious Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement award for his crime fiction in August 2018.

The first four Wyatt novels—Kickback, Paydirt, Deathdeal and Crosskill—are available in electronic editions from Ligature. They are among our best-selling books and have tons of five-star reviews between them. 

The series hits the ground running, and the first four books see Wyatt entangled in hits and heists from a noirish Melbourne to a rural South Australian outpost and on to a seedy Brisbane and Gold Coast as the jobs get bigger and more dangerous and Wyatt’s enemies grow more powerful and numerous. Each of the books builds on the last while standing on its own as a perfectly constructed crime thriller. 

If you’ve read the recent Wyatts, or you’re about to—and you really should—then go back to where it all began with these classics of Australian crime writing.

‘Look up “hard-boiled” in the dictionary and you may well see a photo of everyone’s favourite master thief: Wyatt, Garry Disher’s taut, repressed old-style villain… Kill Shot is just as classy and enjoyable as Wyatts one through eight, propelled by Disher’s impeccable plotting and brilliant narrative drive, characterisation and pace.’ — The Saturday Paper

‘For the connoisseur of crime the Wyatt series represents Disher at his stylish best… wicked and wonderful. Welcome back, Wyatt.’  — Sydney Morning Herald

‘Writing of the highest calibre, neatly crafted and strongly evocative.’ — Sunday Mail

‘Garry Disher is one of Australia’s most exceptional crime writers… The spare and sparse language, particularly in the way Disher frames the landscape, makes lines leap from the page.’ — Good Reading

Gillian Rubinstein’s Space Demons trilogy

Space Demons Trilogy 3D StackWe’re over the moon to be publishing new editions of Gillian Rubinstein’s classic young adult trilogy Space Demons in paperback and electronic formats. 

First published in 1986, Space Demons was Gillian’s first novel. Set firmly in the 8-bit era and centred around an addictive computer game that dissolves the border between virtual and reality, it prefigured many of the themes that would be explored in books and films all the way up to Ready Player One. It was a best-seller in Australia and won many prizes including Honour Book in the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award for Older Readers (1987) and the inaugural Children’s Peace Literature Award (1987). 

Three years later, Skymaze took the series to another level with an even more complex and captivating game that expands to colonise the real world with life-or-death consequences for its young players. It was an instant hit and was shortlisted for the CBC Book of the Year Award for Older Readers (1990), the SA Festival Award for Literature (1990) and the Young Australians Best Book Award (1991–1992).

Finally, in 1996 Shinkei tackled the emergence of the internet and artificial intelligence as it united the players with the author of the games in Japan. Described by one reviewer as “one of the best intertwinings of the personal with the political that I have ever encountered”, it completed an extraordinary series that kept pace with the technological developments of a critical decade and remains thrilling today.

The Space Demons trilogy entranced a generation and inspired many of today’s young adult and science-fiction writers. It’s now available direct from the Ligature bookshop and the usual online bookshops. Ask for it at your local bookshop—if they don’t have it they can order it! 

Our first book launch

Helen Dale’s Kingdom of the Wicked · Book One · Rules will be launched at 6:00 for 6:30pm on Monday 9 October 2017 at the wonderful Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe in Sydney.

This is the first book that we’ve edited and published for the first time, though we’ve built on the work of some other fine editors and had help from Wilkinson Publishing to get the book into paperback and into bookshops.

Helen’s old boss Senator David Leyonhjelm will be doing the honours and we’d love you to come. You can book here.

The Knowledge Wars by Nobel laureate Peter Doherty

Knowledge Wars CoverWe’re thrilled to publish Peter Doherty’s The Knowledge Wars internationally for the first time. Peter was joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 for his work on the immune system and was named Australian of the Year in 1997.

The Knowledge Wars is his appeal for evidence and reason in a world where my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge and where research is overwhelmed by vested interests and magical thinking. It’s e=mc² vs ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

The Knowledge Wars traces a path through these battles and finds a way forward—encouraging an open mind but testing every claim. It’s now available outside Australia and New Zealand as a DRM-free e-book from the Kindle Store, the iBookstore, the Kobo store and affiliates and direct from the Ligature Bookshop.

Don’t go into the comments section without it. 

Two more Tim Winton plays

Shrine CoverA treat for our non-Antipodean friends: we have released two more recent plays by Tim Winton in e-book form. Following on from Rising Water (2012) we now have Signs of Life (2013) and Shrine (2014). The new plays show a deepening and a broadening of Tim’s theatrical technique while continuing to explore the ways that great expanses of time and geography can be compressed into an hour or so on a single stage.  

Signs of Life finds Georgie Jutland, the heroine of Tim’s novel Dirt Music, alone on a farmhouse veranda in the wheat belt — a widow on her husband’s land. Two strangers arrive, a brother and sister. They say they’re in trouble but they won’t say what kind — and they won’t leave. Almost as if they own the place… As they circle each other, the play unravels ideas of connection and belonging and the hold of the past on the present. 

Shrine digs deeper into the abiding influence of the past, centring on a roadside shrine that marks the tragedy that has shattered the Mansfield family — the death of their son — but hints at an even darker secret. With another visitor from the past and a reckoning for unpaid debts, this is an exquisite conclusion to a loose trilogy. All three plays weave together memory and forgetting, reflection and humour, landscape and language, and are at much at home on the page as on the stage.

Fans from Tim’s homeland and its shaky neighbour can still get Rising Water from us and the other plays from their favourite e-store courtesy of Penguin — and keep an out for local productions of these terrific Australian plays. The rest of the world can purchase all three plays from Ligature or the usual outlets.

 

   

Garry Disher’s first four Wyatt novels

WyattsGarry Disher’s latest book in his best-selling and critically-acclaimed Wyatt series, The Heat, is out now from the excellent people at Text. This is the eighth outing for the hard-boiled, hard-bitten and frequently hard-up criminal—the last one, Wyatt, won the Ned Kelly award for Best Novel in 2010. And the first four Wyatt novels—Kickback, Paydirt, Deathdeal and Crosskill—are now available in new electronic editions from Ligature.  

The series hits the ground running, and the first four books see Wyatt entangled in hits and heists from a noirish Melbourne to a rural South Australian outpost and on to a seedy Brisbane and Gold Coast as the jobs get bigger and more dangerous and Wyatt’s enemies grow more powerful and numerous. Each of the books builds on the last while standing on its own as a perfectly constructed crime thriller. 

If you’ve read the recent Wyatts, or you’re about to—and you really should—then go back to where it all began with these classics of Australian crime writing.

‘For the connoisseur of crime the Wyatt series represents Disher at his stylish best… wicked and wonderful. Welcome back, Wyatt.’  — Sydney Morning Herald

‘Writing of the highest calibre, neatly crafted and strongly evocative.’ — Sunday Mail

‘Garry Disher is one of Australia’s most exceptional crime writers… The spare and sparse language, particularly in the way Disher frames the landscape, makes lines leap from the page.’ — Good Reading


Bernard Cohen wins the Russell Prize for Humour Writing

BernardWe were delighted (but hardly surprised) to hear last week that Bernard Cohen had won the inaugural Russell Prize for Humour Writing for The Antibiography of Robert F Menzies against a very strong field.

Bernard donated his prize to two organisations close to his heart and ours — the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Save the Children’s work for children in immigration detention on Nauru.

All of Bernard’s work is deeply funny and profoundly serious — much like Bernard — and we are thrilled to publish electronic editions of his pre-antibiographical novels, featuring covers painted by Bernard himself and beginning with the multi-award-winning post-modern mystery The Blindman’s Hat and his first novel Tourism, which firmly established Bernard’s propensity to defy and define genres and forms. Both are available worldwide and DRM-free from the Ligature bookshop or your favourite e-book retailer, with the fractured road story Hardy Beach Weather and the post-apocalyptic Snowdome still to come. 

Einstein’s Heroes: Imagining the World through the Language of Mathematics

Einstein s Heroes Cover NewThis month we take a fascinating diversion into science non-fiction with Robyn Arianrhod’s first book, Einstein’s Heroes: Imagining the World through the Language of Mathematicswhich explores the language of mathematics and the laws of electromagnetism through the lives of Albert Einstein’s three heroes: Sir Isaac Newton (1643–1727), James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) and Michael Faraday (1791–1867). Einstein’s Heroes was first published in 2003 in Australia and later in the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France and Turkey. It was shortlisted for the 2004 Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the 2004 Victorian Premier’s Prize for a First Book of History.  

Robyn is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University and has since written Seduced by Logic: Émilie Du Châtelet, Mary Somerville and the Newtonian Revolution—about two self-taught mathematicians who became world authorities on Newtonian mechanics a century apart—and Young Einstein: and the story of E=mc², which has become one of the best-selling Kindle Singles in the science category. Einstein’s Heroes established Robyn as a masterful writer and researcher who effortlessly weaves history and personality with scientific theory and practice. It combines diagrams and poetry, formulas and anecdotes, and a deep understanding of both mathematics and storytelling. 

A tantalising précis of Einstein’s Heroes appears in Robyn’s recent article for The Conversation, “Let there be light! Celebrating the theory of electromagnetism”, which marks January 2015 as the 150th anniversary of the theory of electromagnetism. You can also listen to Robyn’s recent conversation with Richard Fidler for the ABC, and watch her twilight lecture on “Mathematical Love Stories: Writing popular scientific biography and history” for the Melbourne University graduate union. 

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