I HAVE THE BOOK IN MY HANDS IT’S A REAL THING!

Dear The Internet,

In late February 2016 I finally convinced my editors at Allen & Unwin that I should absolutely write a follow up to The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott, on the grounds that a) things were clearly getting very interesting and weird in federal Australian politics, and b) this seemed like a lot more fun than the book I was actually working on.

There ain't no feeling like here's-that-book-you-wrote feeling.

There ain’t no feeling like here’s-that-book-you-wrote feeling.

“More fun” is, of course, a relative term because – at the risk of ruining the tantalising romance of writing – trying to research and write a book on politics, as it’s happening, while also holding down a five day a week column is whatever the opposite of “fun” is.

Still, five months of frantic, occasionally painful effort later, I’m now gazing at my new 90-something-thousand word baby and thinking “OK, when do we start on the next one?”

Yes, it was a close run thing since The Curious Story of Malcolm Turnbull: the Incredible Shrinking Man in the Top Hat goes onto shelves on Monday, but now I have my own copy and feel genuinely relieved that I don’t have to photocopy a bunch of them for the launch.

Which, incidentally, is WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER at Newtown’s Better Read Than Dead – it’s free, but you’ll need to register here and I’ll be signing whatever anyone wants me to sign: my books, other people’s books, small animals, slow moving vehicles, whatever. Please note that there will also be wine.

Said launch will be hosted by my friend and fellow Double Disillusionist Dom Knight – and, speaking of the podcast, we did a new one just the other day with the amazing, entertaining and wonderfully gossipy Alice Workman, BuzzFeed’s Canberra-based politics wrangler.

I really hope you enjoy the book. I’m genuinely proud of it.

Hopefully see you at some book-related thing soon, friends.

Yours ever,

APS

PS: Why not read a little excerpt from the book all about the plebiscite?

Advertisements

Election time – and some book/podcast news!

Dear the Internet,

Sure, this page’s less-then-stellar update schedule makes things look like they’ve been quieter than they’ve been. But there’s some stuff to talk about! Honest! No, really!

Podcasts! They're the future (of talking things).

Podcasts! They’re the future (of talking things).

To start with: if you’ve been thinking “I could really do with hearing APS rant straight into my ears” then be advised that m’self and Chaser/ABC radio alumnus Dom Knight have just begun The Double Disillusionists, a weekly election podcast that’s better than all those other weekly election podcasts from less caffeinated people.*

It’s at Soundcloud right now, at PocketCast, and will be up at iTunes shortly!

Also, that Australian music book that got mentioned a little while ago has been gently put aside for a little while in order to focus on a completely new book. Oh, Australian politics: I keep trying to get out, and you just keep sucking me back in.

Yes, there’s going to be a sequel to The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott, focussing on the Turnbull epoch and taking us up to the election, because I am a sucker for punishment.

And while that’s being written at a rate of knots, View from the Street is still happening five days a week at the Sydney Morning Herald, of course.

It’s going to be a busy election campaign, basically, and I’m going to spend it neck deep in federal politics. What the hell have I signed up for?

Yours ever,

APS

*Probably.

…and we’re back for 2016!

Dear The Internet,

IMG_3181

A very rugged up APS beside Crick and Watson’s model of the DNA double helix at the British Science Museum, for which they were to win the Nobel Prize. Not shown: both men stealing Rosalind Franklin’s data in order to do so.

We are back!

Sorry for the extended silence. I was taking one of those “break” things that people used to take back in the days when our then-strong unions went “what, work all the time until we die in order that others may profit from our labour? Nah.” I recommend such things, as it turns out that not-working for a bit is pretty awesome and inspiring.

This break was not only wonderful, but also incorporated m’delayed honeymoon which involved Europe and seeing all sorts of incredible pieces of art about which I’d read since I was a kid, getting teary in front of the actual fossils that Mary Anning dug from the cliffs at Lyme Regis over two centuries ago, riding many trains, seeing lovely friends and family, getting colder than I’d ever been (cheers, Berlin!), and drinking in some superb bars. And I got to hang out with my wife for three uninterrupted weeks, which was the actual best.

And now we are back in Australia, feeling refreshed and ready to do stuff again – as perhaps indicated by this Daily Life piece I wrote pretty much upon touching down, regarding Australia’s mighty blindspot regarding non-English speaking visitors – but that is not even remotely all!

First up, View from the Street is back for 2016, providing all your lefty ranty column-sized needs at the Sydney Morning Herald and the rest of the Fairfax family (and it is a family) Sunday-Thursday at as close to 5pm as I can manage.

Here are the first two of the year: a bit of a catch up on the dumbest things that happened over the break, and how Eric Abetz confirmed that the government have no intention of respecting the idiotic plebiscite on same-sex marriage, regardless of the result.

Secondly, with The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott selling out of its first print run – I’m as surprised as you, frankly, but utterly delighted – it’s possibly not a huge shock that I’m now working on another book for Allen & Unwin.

This one’s about my other great love – music, specifically Australian music, and even more specifically some of the weirder things about Australian music that haven’t been given their due. I’ll give more details as things develop, but suffice to say it’s going to be nice to dig deep into something that doesn’t involve legislative breaches of human rights agreements quite so much.

So the ground has been hit running, friends. And if this is the sort of pace that will characterise the rest of the year, maybe another break is in order. Hopefully involving spending even more time at the Science Museum…

Yours ever,

APS