Title: Matilda at the Speed of Light
Editor: Damien Broderick
# of pages: 263
Date read: 1/7/2010
Rating: 3*/5 = good
"'Waltzing Matilda' has always been an Australian catch-cry. Now Matilda is no longer waltzing. She's rushing into tomorrow, and so are we, breaking all the boundaries of Australian time and space and voyaging fast into a hall-of-mirrors future where even the past can be reexamined . . .to make the present itself scarcely credible! Indeed the landscapes of Matilda at the Speed of Light are familiar only until we enter them. Once we are inside, the 'science of fiction' turns into the 'fiction of science', and time and space never stand still.
So a traditional Aussie bush yarn, transformed with nostalgia for the twentieth century, tells of a life after the gene wars; a delightful feminist romp ends up where no man dares to tread any longer; an eerie high adventure describes Dreamtime-like mythical spirits and uncanny powers; a time-travel fable leads to a sepia-toned excursion into the life and times of Oscar Wilde;and a chance discovery gives rise to an outrageous reworking of Australia's political history. . .all this imbued with characteristic Antipodean tang and irony, often light-hearted, sometime venomous.
Certainly Matilda is waltzing no longer. Matilda is rushing into tomorrow, and we with her, at the speed of light. -- from the back cover
I liked this collection of Australian science fiction stories. I especially liked David Lake's "Creator" (with an interesting look at how worlds are created) and George Turner's "Not in Front of the Children" (a world in which death is definitely not talked about in certain social circles).