The Momentum Blog

Give a TV lover a book!

Posted January 14, 2016 by Sophie Overett

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Do you have someone in your life who is difficult to buy gifts for? Is it your dad? Regardless, all you need to know is their favourite TV show, and we’ve got the rest covered. Here’s some book tips for the TV lover!

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Watching: The Walking Dead
Give them: A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley

The Walking Dead is basically a cultural phenomenon at this point. The series about a man waking up from a coma to find himself in the throes of the zombie apocalypse captured imaginations around the world. Odds are someone in your life is a diehard fan of the series – whether it’s your teenage sister or straight laced hubby. This holiday season, grab them A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley, a terrific dystopian series set in the outskirts of Alice Springs with a small community left to fight off hoards of the undead.

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Watching: Grey’s Anatomy
Give them: Life Support by Nicki Edwards

Medical dramas are a dime a dozen, but few have had the longevity of Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, a series that really taps into the heart (pun!) of the genre. Stop wondering about the difference between McDreamy and McSteamy and instead settle your giftee with Nicki Edwards’ Life Support, a story about a small town nurse who finds herself balancing her career, the death of her husband and a mysterious new beau.

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Watching: Homeland
Give them: Standoff by David Rollins

The combination of crime, character study and national security proved the trifecta for multi-award-winning drama, Homeland. Standoff by David Rollins takes a different approach, but is similarly thrilling as the story of an OSI Special Agent investigating an airport massacre only to find a survivor left crawling out of the Texan desert.

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Watching: Reign
Give them: The Young Royals Series by S.A. Gordon

Who doesn’t like to see hot young royals caught between lovers and station? Reign might take you back to the days of Mary, Queen of Scots, but that doesn’t mean the monarch drama needs to stay in the 1500s. S.A. Gordon’s Young Royals Series takes an All-American girl and drops her into the life of luxury after she captures the eye of Prince David. Fraught relationships and torn commitments ensue!

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Watching: The Jinx: the life and deaths of Robert Durst
Give them: Chopper Unchopped

Thanks to the Serial Podcast, true crime seems to be a hot water-cooler topic these days. Everyone listened with eager ears as Sarah Koenig opened up the long closed case of Adnan Syed and scrambled to answer the question of whether he really did kill his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. With the podcast between seasons, a lot of listeners turned their attention to HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, a six-part miniseries exploring the strange connection between a string of unsolved crime and a real estate tycoon. Give your criminally-curious pal the insidelook at one of Australia’s most notorious criminals, Mark ‘Chopper’ Brandon, in Chopper Unchopped.

Is the show you have in mind not featured here? Tell us in the comments and we’ll let you know what to get!

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Six Dystopian Novels to Get You Ready for the End of the World

Posted November 26, 2015 by Sophie Overett

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With the final installment of The Hunger Games coming out this week, it could almost be the end of an era. Sure, we still have The Maze Runner and Divergent sequels to look forward to, but the mainstream popularisation of the dystopian seems to be winding down. Don’t worry if you were a late adopter to the trope though – the good thing about it having been so popular means you have a straight up library of books to see you through until the next genre boom.

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Any list of dystopian novels not including Margaret Atwood’s formative story feels lacking. Atwood’s story of a closed-ranks society subjugating it’s women as child-bearers or prostitutes, famously only uses examples of both that have really happened. By combining them all, Atwood not only harnesses our collective fear of conformity, isolation and lack of control, but also proves that one man’s utopia is a lot of people’s dystopia.

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Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Even mentioning a zombie outbreak can be met with eyerolls these days, but it doesn’t change the fact that a good zombie story can be something remarkable. Colson Whitehead’s story of a society rebuilt after the apocalypse goes the places you’d expect it to (nothing’s at peace forever after all), but there’s some terrific twists and characters along the way.


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A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley
Parts of Australia lend themselves pretty generously to the apocalypse (we have Mad Max as testimony to that), but rarely is it approached as organically and generously as it is in Justin Woolley’s A Town Called Dust. The story finds an emotional centre in two kids, Squid and Lynn, fighting against the restrictions placed on them by their society and the ones they place on themselves.

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Blindness by Jose Saramago
When it comes to dystopian fiction, a lot seems to be focused on the hows and whys when really what you care about is what happens next. Blindness has that in spades – not zombies or nuclear war, it’s a story that starts simply enough – with one person going blind. And then another. Then another. It’s not just a dystopian, but a plague story about what happens when the threat isn’t outside, but in.

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Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
Brian K. Vaughan’s latest comic book series, Saga, has redefined the space opera to such a degree that it’s almost possible to forget that one of his earlier series, Y: The Last Man did the same for the dystopian. All men on Earth drop dead except one, and a world of women are left scrambling to hold together a species on the brink of extinction in this funny and heartbreaking series.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know, I know, this is a double hitter of ol’ Suzanne, but there’s a reason this series swept up the world’s collective imagination. Tightly told, excellently paced with characters you’ll love (and cry over when Collins inevitably kills them), The Hunger Games is an intense and emphatic tale about a teenage girl’s efforts to save her little sister which suddenly, somehow, turns her into the face of a rebellion.

What was the last great dystopian novel you read?

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Environmental Impacts on the Zombie Hordes.

Posted November 13, 2014 by Stephen Jones

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If you are reading this, congratulations! You have not died in the first stages of the zombie apocalypse and are ready to begin creating a new world out of the ashes of the old.

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You, probably.

Now, before you break your arm patting yourself on the back – look out the window and check to see where you are. I know that the headlong fleeing from a former civilisation can leave you disorientated so take your time. Where are you? What’s the weather like?

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Here’s a helpful chart.

These may seem like stupid questions. “The weather?!?” you’re shouting, “The weather is cloudy with a chance of zombie!” Quiet, you fool! Noise attracts them!

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Loose lips and all that.

There, this manual has already saved your life. You’re welcome. The following is why the weather is so important and try not to interrupt me again, or you will die.

Why the Weather is so Important.

Look at it this way – The rate of decomposition of a human body used to be measured using Casper’s Law or Ratio (it is now unknown if that refers to The Friendly Ghost).

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I measure the rate of decomposition!

Basically, the body will decompose faster the more oxygen it receives post-mortem, allowing for temperature variations. So in a warm, wet climate a body will decompose faster than in a cool dry climate even if both bodies are completely exposed to these elements.

So…if you’re still following and haven’t been eaten because you were reading when you should have been paying attention, here are some examples of climates and whether they are ‘good’ for zombies.

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Tropics

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The tropics are a terrible place to be a zombie, which obviously means it’s a good place to be alive. Not only will the warm climate and consistent rainfall rot a dead body faster, the biosphere is filled with all sorts of insects that just love a corpse. Not romantic love either.

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Added Bonus: The warm climate means clothing is optional. You wanna repopulate the earth right?

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…of societal collapse. 

Temperate Forest/Woods

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Smells like rotten.

There is a reason training videos in the Pre-Times were all set in woods or forests, this is the perfect place for zombies to…Survive? Live? Exists? Continue to Be?

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English – it’s still a test.

The training videos from the Romero School, up to and including Season 17 of The Walking Dead, all featured wooded areas. With a temperate to cool climate and not as many flesh devouring insects as the Tropics a healthy zombie can continue to be for many years.

 

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This? No, I’m fine. Hi-five?

Added Bonus: There is clearly no added bonus, get out of the Temperate zones.

Mountains and Tundras

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Cold preserves, ask your oldest relative about the ol’ timey device we called a fridge. You want to deal with Ice Zombies, the by all means surround yourself with snow and subzero temperatures and all that malarkey.

 

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Dress yourself in jumpers and such. I’ll be in my shorts in the Tropics.

Idiot.

Added Bonus: Really?!?

Desert

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Just the absolute worst. It’s a dry heat, with no real insect life, which will allow your zombie neighbours to hang around for millennia. You want to have to deal with zombie neighbours for millennia? Be my guest. Whatever, I’ve just re-invented the Pina Colada so I’m all set here on my warm wet beach.

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Of course, it’s in a plastic cup. Civilisation DID end.

Added Bonus: You’re in the desert, attracting the undead horde, which makes me even safer.  So thanks for that.

TOWNDUST

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Cover Reveal: A Town Called Dust by Justin Woolley

Posted September 8, 2014 by Momentum

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Stranded in the desert, the last of mankind is kept safe by a large border fence… Until the fence falls.

Squid is a young orphan living under the oppressive rule of his uncle in the outskirts of the Territory. Lynn is a headstrong girl with an influential father who has spent her entire life within the walled city of Alice.

 When the border fence is breached, the Territory is invaded by the largest horde of undead ghouls seen in two hundred years. Squid is soon conscripted into the Diggers—the armed forces of the Territory. And after Lynn finds herself at odds with the Territory’s powerful church, she too escapes to join the Diggers.

 Together Squid and Lynn form an unlikely friendship as they march to battle against the ghouls. Their journey will take them further than they ever imagined, leading them closer to discovering secrets about themselves, their world, and a conspiracy that may spell the end of the Territory as they know it.

A Town Called Dust goes on sale 13th November 2014, and is available for preorder now.

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