By Greg Growden
Jack Fingleton is one of Australian cricket's most important and intriguing characters. In John Arlott's words: 'He is himself?and a diverse himself it is.'Fingleton was an outstanding opening batsman with a reputation for fearlessness against the most hostile and dangerous opening attacks. He faced up to England's feared 'Bodyline' bowlers, and became the first batsman in history to score four successive Test centuries.Later he gained a reputation as possibly Australia's greatest cricket writer, with his work syndicated throughout Australia and overseas. He also moved in the corridors of power as a political journalist, and was on intimate terms with several prime ministers. He was the author of a number of authoritative books, including Cricket Crisis and Brightly Fades the Don.Fingleton led a varied and at times turbulent life. Married to the daughter of noted feminist Jessie Street, over several decades he was involved in an on-again, off-again feud with one-time teammate Sir Donald Bradman. Greg Growden's access to previously unpublished correspondence has helped him shed new light on their relationship, and on the rich life of a witty, evocative, complex and altogether unforgettable Australian.
James Blaylock SF Gateway Omnibus
By James P. Blaylock
From the vaults of The SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to two-time World Fantasy Award-winner, James P. Blaylock, one of modern fantasy's most unique voices. Mentored by Philip K. Dick, James P. Blaylock is best known for his Langdon St Ives sequence - one of which, Homunculus, won the Philip K. Dick Award - and, along with contemporaries Tim Powers and K.W. Jeter, is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Steampunk. All three of the novels collected in this omnibus were shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. The Last Coin: Two thousand years after silver coins pass from the hands of Judas Iscariot, they continue to hold magical powers, changing the luck of those who posses them, and possibly even providing immortality.The Paper Grail: Curator Howard Barton goes to Mendocino, California, to get a 19th-century woodcut sketch for his museum back home. But other, rather strange, people want the sketch for their own dubious purposes. Now Howard's caught in the middle of a secret war that somehow involves a piece of paper that is much more than it seems. All the Bells on Earth: Walt runs a small catalog business out of his garage, and he has no notion of a demonic presence in his town until a package is mistakenly delivered to him. The contents are not the inexpensive Chinese toys and novelties he deals in. The nasty-looking pickled bluebird of happiness ("Best thing come to you. Speak any wish.") piques Walt's interest, and he keeps it when he rewraps the box and passes it on to the addressee: the one person in the world Walt loathes, his former friend Robert Argyle. But Walt's keeping back the bluebird of happiness is the best thing that could have happened to Argyle--and the worst thing that could happen to Walt. What price happiness? If you have to ask ...