These are the people in my neighbourhood…

Those readers who are familiar with the primary and secondary school systems in Australia may be aware of the ICAS (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) testing that kids/schools may opt in for. Regularly my kids tell me they are doing one or more of these tests, I pony up the relevant entrance fee, and think little more of it until participation and/or merit certificates come home.

This year, the question books have come home as well, and in a fit of obsessive ‘look it has words!’ I’ve been reading through some of them.

Cue ‘English Paper D’, which I’m cheerfully glancing through, and see a photograph that makes me think “my, he looks like Sean Williams”. A quick double take later, and I read the caption to find out that not only is he Sean Williams, but that I should have recognised the guy standing next to him – Garth Nix.

What is presented in the ‘English Paper D’ is the first three questions from a Q & A listed as having been published in The Independent Bookseller’s Autumn Reading Guide 2011, and the photograph is credited to Scott Westerfeld*. The original publication appears to be no longer available, but a pdf of the full Q & A was retrieved via Google from a hidden section of the Australian Independent Booksellers site.

Given that at this point in time the original text is still available on line, we won’t reproduce it here. However, should it become unavailable, leave us a line here, and we’ll make sure that it is still possible for readers of the future to enjoy this brief glimpse of the collaborative methodology of two of Australia’s première SF authors.

* No, this is not a typo. It does indeed say Westerfeld.

by Anna Hepworth

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