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This All Come Back Now

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The first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction – written, curated, edited and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas. In these stories, ‘this all come back’: all those things that have been taken from us, that we collectively mourn the loss of, or attempt to recover and revive, as well as those that we thought The first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction – written, curated, edited and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas. In these stories, ‘this all come back’: all those things that have been taken from us, that we collectively mourn the loss of, or attempt to recover and revive, as well as those that we thought we’d gotten rid of, that are always returning to haunt and hound us. Some writers summon ancestral spirits from the past, while others look straight down the barrel of potential futures, which always end up curving back around to hold us from behind. Dazzling, imaginative and unsettling, This All Come Back Now centres and celebrates communities and culture. It’s a love letter to kin and country, to memory and future-thinking.


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The first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction – written, curated, edited and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas. In these stories, ‘this all come back’: all those things that have been taken from us, that we collectively mourn the loss of, or attempt to recover and revive, as well as those that we thought The first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction – written, curated, edited and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas. In these stories, ‘this all come back’: all those things that have been taken from us, that we collectively mourn the loss of, or attempt to recover and revive, as well as those that we thought we’d gotten rid of, that are always returning to haunt and hound us. Some writers summon ancestral spirits from the past, while others look straight down the barrel of potential futures, which always end up curving back around to hold us from behind. Dazzling, imaginative and unsettling, This All Come Back Now centres and celebrates communities and culture. It’s a love letter to kin and country, to memory and future-thinking.

30 review for This All Come Back Now

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    This was a quite brilliant collection of speculative fiction (mostly short stories but some excerpts from novels) by indigenous Australian writers. There was a variety of themes and styles, some science fiction, some ghost or spirit stories, some horror, and some much harder to classify, for the most part extremely enjoyable (as with all anthologies there’s always a story or two that doesn’t hit the mark, with this reader anyway, and there were couple I didn’t really understand or didn’t get wha This was a quite brilliant collection of speculative fiction (mostly short stories but some excerpts from novels) by indigenous Australian writers. There was a variety of themes and styles, some science fiction, some ghost or spirit stories, some horror, and some much harder to classify, for the most part extremely enjoyable (as with all anthologies there’s always a story or two that doesn’t hit the mark, with this reader anyway, and there were couple I didn’t really understand or didn’t get what the author was trying to say). My favourite stories were ‘Snake of Light’ by Loki Liddle, ‘Your Own Aborigine’ by Adam Thompson, ‘Myth This!’ By Lisa Fuller and ‘When From’, a brilliant time travel story by Merryana Salem. An excellent read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins

    I was thrilled to see that This All Come Back Now included work from some of my favourite local writers – including Evelyn Araluen and Alison Whittaker – as well as a bunch of new-to-me names. I was truly captivated by Ellen Van Neerven’s Water, and I found Adam Thompson’s Your Own Aboriginie brilliantly unsettling in the lead-up to the federal election. As with so many of the stories in this collection, it wasn’t far enough beyond the pale for comfort. My full review of This All Come Back Now is I was thrilled to see that This All Come Back Now included work from some of my favourite local writers – including Evelyn Araluen and Alison Whittaker – as well as a bunch of new-to-me names. I was truly captivated by Ellen Van Neerven’s Water, and I found Adam Thompson’s Your Own Aboriginie brilliantly unsettling in the lead-up to the federal election. As with so many of the stories in this collection, it wasn’t far enough beyond the pale for comfort. My full review of This All Come Back Now is available via Keeping Up With The Penguins.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kobi

    This collection gave a stunning voice to the land, and all the beauty in the cultures that are so deeply connected to it. Each of these stories had so much heart, even in the varying genres that made up this collection. Mykaela Saunders explains in the overture that they pieced together this collection much like one would piece together a mixtape or playlist: there’s a clear beginning, middle, and ending. The writers chosen to make a contribution to this anthology of First Nations speculative fi This collection gave a stunning voice to the land, and all the beauty in the cultures that are so deeply connected to it. Each of these stories had so much heart, even in the varying genres that made up this collection. Mykaela Saunders explains in the overture that they pieced together this collection much like one would piece together a mixtape or playlist: there’s a clear beginning, middle, and ending. The writers chosen to make a contribution to this anthology of First Nations speculative fiction were each talented in their own right, and each explored similar themes of family, connection to land and culture, love, horror and all of the things have been, will be, and could have been in this country. Particular stories that stand out are those by Loki Liddle, Adam Thompson, John Morrisey, Merryana Salem and Ellen van Neerven, almost all of whom have a backlog of writing that I will undoubtedly be reading from. This was such a gorgeous collection I was given the privilege to read from, and I will recommend this to anyone willing to expand their reading tastes!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Declan Fry

    When it was first released in 1986, Don Featherstone’s satirical documentary Babakiueria (say it aloud) offered a portrait of everyday life in 1980s Australia, prodded and poked at like some unusually baffling anthropological exhibit. The presenter, Michelle Torres, observes the obscure customs and rituals – TV dinners, Kellogg’s breakfasts – of a white suburban middle-class family. “I’ve always been fascinated by white people,” Torres deadpans to the camera. “The evidence of their culture is al When it was first released in 1986, Don Featherstone’s satirical documentary Babakiueria (say it aloud) offered a portrait of everyday life in 1980s Australia, prodded and poked at like some unusually baffling anthropological exhibit. The presenter, Michelle Torres, observes the obscure customs and rituals – TV dinners, Kellogg’s breakfasts – of a white suburban middle-class family. “I’ve always been fascinated by white people,” Torres deadpans to the camera. “The evidence of their culture is all around us.” This inversion of the familiar – alienating the taken-for-granted aspects of that which is “all around us” – constitutes a major aspect of speculative fiction’s raison d’être. The term itself is a catch-all for various forms of writing: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, utopias, dystopias, alternative histories. The approach it offers is well suited to some Indigenous writers, for whom almost every taken-for-granted already feels like an inversion of the familiar: land theft euphemised as “settlement”, justice denied as a utopian pipe-dream. Speculative fiction occupies a precarious place in Australia’s literary landscape. Many of This All Come Back Now’s selections first appeared in mainstream literary journals, or in books marketed as “literary”, rather than anything explicitly billed as speculative. It’s worth remembering that even Gerald Murnane’s novels The Plains and Landscape with Landscape – books rarely considered as examples of sci-fi or speculative fiction – were initially published by Norstrilia Press, a sci-fi and fantasy publisher. (They were part of their “Slipstream” series, whose name, a play on “mainstream”, featured works that incorporated sci-fi elements without slavishly hewing to “genre” conventions.) Read on: https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Book My Imagination

    This is the first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction. And it is quite a fascinating collection of stories. If, like me, you have had only a small introduction to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander history and their fascinating story telling then I cannot emphasise enough the value of this book. A beautifully put together snippet of First Nations writing combining ancestral spirits, futuristic tellings, and a history rich in it's beauty and belief. The intro This is the first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction. And it is quite a fascinating collection of stories. If, like me, you have had only a small introduction to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander history and their fascinating story telling then I cannot emphasise enough the value of this book. A beautifully put together snippet of First Nations writing combining ancestral spirits, futuristic tellings, and a history rich in it's beauty and belief. The introduction by Mykaela sets out to explain the importance of this collection. A mixed tape of historical and current significance that will continue to educate me and which has given me more amazing Australian authors to look out for. A big thankyou ❤ to @betterreadingau and @uqpbooks for gifting me this beautiful book. Published 2022.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Previewing this anthology was an absolute privilege. It is a weird and wonderful, thought-provoking collection of a fascinating range of stories, featuring both ancient lore and futuristic technology in scenarios designed to make us wonder “what if?” And I sure DID wonder – many times! Several of the featured authors deal evocatively, yet sensitively with the deep and continued effects of colonisation on both the land and its traditional owners. My personal favourite was “Water” by Ellen van Nee Previewing this anthology was an absolute privilege. It is a weird and wonderful, thought-provoking collection of a fascinating range of stories, featuring both ancient lore and futuristic technology in scenarios designed to make us wonder “what if?” And I sure DID wonder – many times! Several of the featured authors deal evocatively, yet sensitively with the deep and continued effects of colonisation on both the land and its traditional owners. My personal favourite was “Water” by Ellen van Neerven, a sensual exploration of an inter-species relationship. I have since discovered that this is an abridged version of a previously published novella, so am looking out for that now. Highly recommended for anyone looking for something more meaningful than escapist “popcorn for the brain”. Thank you, Better Reading, for the preview copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Chaffer

    I've decided that speculative fiction does not suit my personality. Found this book a huge struggle to read and finish I've decided that speculative fiction does not suit my personality. Found this book a huge struggle to read and finish

  8. 4 out of 5

    Iwasaplatypus

    This All Come Back Now is an anthology of First Nations speculative fiction. It says so on the wonderful cover. A cover I can’t stop gazing into. Each time I look I see a new figure, or a new planet. It’s mesmerising. As are the stories themselves. I’ve never heard the genre “Speculative Fiction” before, and assumed it would be the “what ifs” style of story. And it is, but also the “what is and always has been”. There are recurring themes of time, land and family. There are ghost stories, fantas This All Come Back Now is an anthology of First Nations speculative fiction. It says so on the wonderful cover. A cover I can’t stop gazing into. Each time I look I see a new figure, or a new planet. It’s mesmerising. As are the stories themselves. I’ve never heard the genre “Speculative Fiction” before, and assumed it would be the “what ifs” style of story. And it is, but also the “what is and always has been”. There are recurring themes of time, land and family. There are ghost stories, fantasy, surrealism, magical realism and good old Sci Fi, with aliens. Something for everyone. Each tale has sprung from the heart of Australia, a place that has been creating stories forever. 5 stars for me. Thanks to Better reading for the copy of This All Come Back Now, for review. This All Come Back Now is published by UQP.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nik

    This All Come Back Now An Anthology of First Nations Speculative Fiction Edited by Mykaela Saunders I enjoyed reading this beautiful book celebrating First Nations culture and communities and shall share it with friends. A wonderful anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. A collection of short stories and novellas covering a variety of genres. Thank you to Better Reading for the opportunity to preview this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Iwasaplatypus

    This All Come Back Now is an anthology of First Nations speculative fiction. It says so on the wonderful cover. A cover I can’t stop gazing into. Each time I look I see a new figure, or a new planet. It’s mesmerising. As are the stories themselves. I’ve never heard the genre “Speculative Fiction” before, and assumed it would be the “what ifs” style of story. And it is, but also the “what is and always has been”. There are recurring themes of time, land and family. There are ghost stories, fantas This All Come Back Now is an anthology of First Nations speculative fiction. It says so on the wonderful cover. A cover I can’t stop gazing into. Each time I look I see a new figure, or a new planet. It’s mesmerising. As are the stories themselves. I’ve never heard the genre “Speculative Fiction” before, and assumed it would be the “what ifs” style of story. And it is, but also the “what is and always has been”. There are recurring themes of time, land and family. There are ghost stories, fantasy, surrealism, magical realism and good old Sci Fi, with aliens. Something for everyone. Each tale has sprung from the heart of Australia, a place that has been creating stories forever. 5 stars for me. Thanks to Better reading for the copy of This All Come Back Now, for review. This All Come Back Now is published by UQP.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Oboza

    This collection feels like an urgent, genre-widening addition to the growing world of spec fic and it is absolutely a definitive anthology of Indigenous works therein. Spend some time understanding the importance of some of the contributions and you'll realise you're holding a collection of the best - from the world's very first Indigenous spec fic writings right up to critical new additions. This anthology has gems throughout it, but it's so meticulous and grand in its scope. Favourites include This collection feels like an urgent, genre-widening addition to the growing world of spec fic and it is absolutely a definitive anthology of Indigenous works therein. Spend some time understanding the importance of some of the contributions and you'll realise you're holding a collection of the best - from the world's very first Indigenous spec fic writings right up to critical new additions. This anthology has gems throughout it, but it's so meticulous and grand in its scope. Favourites include John Morrissey's dark, hilarious tale, Ellen van Neerven's rich sci fi world and Saunders' own beautifully written, gently future-tinged contribution. This work will stand the test of time, and both spec fic and Indigenous fiction worlds benefit greatly from its existence.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Surprised at how much I enjoyed it overall Some stories I skimmed, others I ended with 😱😱😱 and a few in between Favourites were - In His Fathers Footsteps - Myth This! - Your Own Aborigine - When From - Water Some I thought it was clear it was “written … by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas.” as I could grasp the meaning or symbolism etc and it read like it assumed you had an existing lived cultural knowledge. Never thought I’d enjoy short stories or speculative fiction but I’d definite Surprised at how much I enjoyed it overall Some stories I skimmed, others I ended with 😱😱😱 and a few in between Favourites were - In His Fathers Footsteps - Myth This! - Your Own Aborigine - When From - Water Some I thought it was clear it was “written … by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas.” as I could grasp the meaning or symbolism etc and it read like it assumed you had an existing lived cultural knowledge. Never thought I’d enjoy short stories or speculative fiction but I’d definitely give both genres another go!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Haider

    I’d never read speculative fiction before so struggled at times to understand what was going on with a few of the stories. My imagination is definitely not as vivid as these brilliant authors. There were a few stories that sparked deep consideration about our future on this planet. Decimated fields through overcrowded built environments; starting afresh with land and country; forced exile from Australia for holding liberal beliefs. Such epic topics presented in a way that continuously piqued my I’d never read speculative fiction before so struggled at times to understand what was going on with a few of the stories. My imagination is definitely not as vivid as these brilliant authors. There were a few stories that sparked deep consideration about our future on this planet. Decimated fields through overcrowded built environments; starting afresh with land and country; forced exile from Australia for holding liberal beliefs. Such epic topics presented in a way that continuously piqued my curiosity

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth De

    Such an interesting collection. As is often the way with anthologies I loved many of the stories but was left perplexed by some.There is much here about belonging and healing, powerfully evoked. Some fit comfortably into the realm of spec fiction while I felt others were more magical realism. For me these were the more impactful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    R Smith

    3.5 Like all collections - some good some bad.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fitzgerald

    Review forthcoming.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristy (sometimes_i_read_books)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rafaela

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Rose

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anya

  22. 4 out of 5

    Isabel Richards

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matt Trilsbeck

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin Reads The World

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Nelson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becc

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 4 out of 5

    lou garciadolnik

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