Friday, December 13, 2013

Title spotlight - "Trucksong" by Andrew Macrae

My great attraction for post-apocalyptic stories, be them written or filmed, started with the Mad Max series of movies. I can’t recall a time before seeing these three films when I was connected to this sub-genre, but I do know for certain that my love for it only grew shortly after with the Fallout games. Ever since then I hungrily devoured almost everything with post-apocalyptic elements. So, when wastelands, unlikely survivors and heroes and societies brought to their knees and returned to the starting point are mentioned I am eager to jump to the occasion and see what else post-apocalyptic genre has to offer. And since I cherish Mad Max movies with something close to religious fervor when post-apocalyptic Australian landscape is part of the setting I am all ears. There is no surprise then that Andrew Macrae’s novel, “Trucksong”, grabbed my full attention the instant I set my eyes on its presentation, “In a post-apocalyptic Australian landscape…” Although Andrew Macrae’s short stories have been published in Aurealis, Orb, Agog! Ripping Reads and Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane, “Trucksong” is his debut novel and it would be my first encounter with his works. But I am ready to join this ride, not only because of my already mentioned love for post-apocalyptic fiction, but also because of the name of the publisher, Twelfth Planet Press. For me Twelfth Planet Press is a guarantee of quality and it cannot be otherwise since my experience with the titles read from this wonderful independent press, Kaaron Warren’s “Through Splintered Walls”, Deborah Biancotti’s “Bad Power” & “A Book of Endings”, Margo Lanagan’s “Cracklescape” and Kirstyn McDermott’s “Caution: Contains Small Parts”, has been nothing but the best. Therefore, for me, one book to be read by the end of 2013 must be Andrew Macrae’s “Trucksong”.

In a post-apocalyptic Australian landscape dominated by free-wheeling cyborgs, a young man goes in search of his lost lover who has been kidnapped by a rogue AI truck – the Brumby King. Along the way, he teams with Sinnerman, an independent truck with its own reasons for hating the Brumby King. Before his final confrontation with the brumbies, he must learn more about the broken-down world and his own place in it, and face his worst fears.

The strange and playful voice of the first-person narrator keeps the story kicking along as he comes to his final realisation that the only meaning to be found in a world in slow decay is that which you make for yourself.

This genre-bending work of literary biopunk mixes the mad fun of Mad Max II with the idiosyncratic testimony of works like Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang or Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting.

About Andrew Macrae

Andrew Macrae lives behind a secret door on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. He is a typewriter fetishist, a collector of plastic robots and a finder of lost dogs. He works full-time in his own freelance writing and editing business called Magic Typewriter. He plays in an instrumental rock band called The Television Sky, wherein he dowses for harmonic distortion and melodic flux with swamp ash and rosewood.

His short fiction has appeared in AurealisOrb, Agog! Ripping Reads and Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane. He attended the inaugural Clarion South writers workshop in 2004. Trucksong is his first novel, and sprang from a childhood spent listening to the mournful sounds of semi-trailers as they crawled up and down the Great Dividing Range.

Find out what he's up to on twitter:
See his latest obsessions: and his Trucksong board at Pinterest

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