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Monday, 31 July 2017

Introducing my 'Not Your Usual' series.

I have been a life-long scribbler, and I have been publishing books since 1971, at a rate of better than one a year. During that time, publishers have weathered many storms, imagined or real, and changed their attitudes many times.

Along the way, I have kept on writing about what interested me, and gathering material for future books that I might or might not write, but several years ago, I realised I was approaching advanced middle age, and I set out to get the rest of my back-burner material out there.

Originally, it was all going to appear as e-books, and I gave them all titles that began with Not Your Usual... 

Two of them struck me as being better offered in print, and Five Mile Press took them up. They were duly published, and Not Your Usual Bushrangers emerged on its own, and also in a slip case with Not Your Usual Gold Stories.  That volume, in my estimation, the more important of the two for the fresh look it took an a rather hackneyed Australian history, seems never to have emerged from the publishers' warehouse.

Perhaps if a few people bothered them, they might do something about it: as far as I can work out, the hold-up relates to some sort of internecine political scrabble within the publisher.

My main points in Gold Stories: a lot of people knew there was gold in Australia, and Hargraves never "discovered gold" as he claimed. Rather, he engaged in a conspiracy to force the NSW government to let the gold rush begin. By that time, there had been an aborted gold rush in Victoria, and there had been a gold mine in South Australia for five years: neither of those is mentioned in the school books!

When I get around to it, I shall arrange for an e-book version of the printed book, but I am still (a) finishing off a number of print books and (b) sorting out the Kindle book series which is partly listed below (I'm still working on a number of them).

Freebie for Australian schools!!!

Note that if you are an Australian school library, I have prepared a set of totally free PDF versions, which schools can have on request, containing all of the necessary permissions you will need. You will have to find my email address (which isn't hard), and request the titles below. That doesn't apply to #1 or #2 (Gold and Bushrangers, above) at this stage, but that may change one day.

Now here are the e-books:

Not Your Usual Villains

This is number 3 in the series. It covers Australian rule breakers and represents different Australian history, and there is a sample here. It is available on Kindle, and you can get full details and even a sample look here.

Some of the villains were hardly villainous as we would see it, like the shocking ladies who wore trousers, but there is also a cannibal, and there are a few failed assassins. Few if any of them will be widely known.

Regrettably, it appears that this book has been pirated. By villains!

Not Your Usual Treatments

This is number 4 in the series. It is a history of eccentric and peculiar medicine, strange surgery, weird theories, and out and out quackery.

Here is a pre-taste, and here is Robert Boyle's recipe for convulsions in children:
"Take Earth-Worms, wash them well in White-wine to cleanse them, but so as they may not die in the Wine. Then upon hollow Tiles, or between them, dry the Worms with a moderate heat, and no further than that they may be conveniently reduc'd to Powder; to one Ounce of which add a pretty number of Grains of Ambergrise, both to perfume the Powder (whose scent of itself is rank) and to make the Medicine more efficacious."

Not Your Usual Australian Tales

This is number 5 in the series. It is an Australian social history, covering the period from the white invasion in 1788 and federation in 1901, in 48 essays of around 5000 words each.

In the age of Fake News and Alternative Facts, this book gives you the original sources, mostly as hot-links, so you can ask the important questions:
* what happened before that?
* do you really expect us to believe that? and

* what happened next?

Not Your Usual Sources

This is number 6 in the series, an epigraph mine/dictionary of quotations/verse collection. It is a massive collection of quotations: more than 1800 poems in full, the equivalent of a large paperback of science quotations, and some salient Australian historical comments,

The collection was assembled for my own use as a writer, and these include many of the epigraphs that I have used over the years: now they can be yours. The next three volumes are the three separate sections of this omnibus volume.

Not Your Usual Anthology of Verse

This is number 7 in the series. It is the first portion of #6, and when you look at the pricing, you will see that there is a considerable discount for buying an all-in-one. If you want any TWO, buying #6 will be cheaper!

There are around 1800 poems from the past six centuries, covering 270+ poets, with brief notes.

Not Your Usual Science Quotations

This is number 8 in the series. It is the second portion of #6, and when you look at the pricing, you will see that there is a considerable discount for buying an all-in-one. If you want any TWO, buying #6 will be cheaper! 

This one contains around 1700 pithy and amusing science quotations adding up to about 115,000 words, across all of the sciences and mathematics. In my time, I have mainly written about science, mathematics or Australia, and the intersections of those topics.

Not Your Usual Australian Vignettes

This is number 9 in the series. It is the third portion of #6, and when you look at the pricing, you will see that there is a considerable discount for buying an all-in-one. If you want any TWO, buying #6 will be cheaper! 

This is all good source material, although there is a considerable overlap with #11: anything which is here is probably there in #11 in a more complete form. It contains about 530 short excerpts from Australian historical sources.

Not Your Usual Clever Ideas

This is number 10 in the series. It covers eccentric schemes and began as a look at crazy inventions, but over the years that I was researching it, in between writing other books, I realised that many weird inventions must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Not Your Usual Australian Voices

This is number 11 in the series. It is a truly massive collection of selected, edited and curated original source material.

This should be in every school, which is why it is available for free.

If you like to make a token donation to the compiler, buy the Kindle version, but you don't have to.

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