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Issue Three & Reviews

A Review of Anthony O’Neill’s ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’.

Reviewed by Oscar O’Neill-Pugh.

“If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek”.

As I went to start working on my first book review, I found myself looking towards my bookshelf. An old paperback copy of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ stared back and I nodded at it in approval. I opened the newly arrived proof of ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ and started a journey I had no idea I’d needed. In a decade seemingly obsessed with reboots, reunions, remakes and sequels, very few make the return trip worth traveling. What so many of these rehashes fail at delivering is validity. A remake or reboot should feel warranted. Ideally, it would pay homage to the original mythos, engage it in a new and thought provoking way, make it seem perfectly in-line with that property and all the while be well executed. Anthony O’Neill’s ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ excels on all these fronts. It is a journey that needs to be travelled.

Set seven years after ‘disappearance’ of Dr. Henry Jekyll and the death of Edward Hyde, ‘Dr. Jekyll’ & Mr. Seek’ follows Gabriel Utterson –  the good doctor’s faithful friend, lawyer and ultimately, confidant. Set to take possession of Jekyll’s estate, Utterson is thrown into disarray when a charming gentleman swoops in, claiming to be none other than Jekyll. Of course, this must be the work of an imposter as both the reader and Utterson know that Jekyll was Hyde. However, himself being Jekyll’s sole confidant, Utterson can only look on in horror as this imposter goes about convincing old friends that Jekyll has returned. When mysterious ‘accidents’ start killing off potential doubters and challengers, Utterson is thrown into a frenzy to prove the truth, while not discrediting Jekyll’s name and memory. The reader follows Utterson as he finds his friends turning against him, begins to fear for his life and ultimately, question his own sanity.

Originally, I aimed to write notes and take the book a few chapters at a time, but O’Neill’s masterful use of paranoia, suspense and mystery made me forget my pen and paper even existed. What was supposed to be the first few chapters soon became a full read through. Once I began, I simply couldn’t stop. Anthony O’Neill creates a wonderful narrative that constantly keeps a reader engaged; doubting, questioning and guessing at every turn. The title, taken from a quote from Utterson in the original, illustrates the story a reader is taken on. Even for those who have limited knowledge of, or haven’t read the original, this is a book for you. Without feeling intrusive, O’Neill perfectly blends in recaps, throwbacks and memories from the original story, aiding a new reader without stepping on the coattails of those familiar. As an avid reader, I can say that Anthony O’Neill has written a marvellous story with a fantastic use of language that makes the novel feel authentic to its time period. As a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original, I can also say that ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ serves as a true sequel to the original, and a near perfect one at that. It is well worth your penny dreadful.

Issue Three & Poetry

On a wing and a prayer – by Anne Casey

Tiny star twinkling in the mid-morning sun

Minute emissary

Expelled from clustered time

Set adrift to witness the callistemon calyx

Wither and die

So close to fertile ground

 

Parachuting past the brush turkeys

Scruffling and scrounging

Irresistible instinct pressing them

Into early spring service

Beneath the branches where a

Gaggle of galahs cackle and gorge

 

Indifferent to their albino cousin’s difference

His anaemic peculiarity obscured

By whatever kinship lies within

Drifting in the neverspace

Solitary voyager

Cast out of cosy consort

 

Past the pair of kookaburras

Silently surveying their domain

Resolutely unperturbed by the

Noisy miners with their bombing raids

Archly arrowed

Determined to harangue

 

Yearning for the warm earth

To be swallowed up shallowly

Thirsting for the bright, soft rain

To swell and burst you

Into a new magnificence

To rise in glorious reflection

 

And adorn the morning

With your golden crown

Tiny star

Floating on a spring breeze

Aching to arrive

To be reborn

 

Adrift alone

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Fiction & Issue Three

Ubiquitous

By Ed Carmine

 

 The crunch of her palette cleansing salad was a detestably audible as well as visual experience. Her incisors ground the spines of her lightly dressed spinach leaves into a flecky green resin with mechanic precision. My salmon arrived, midway through her bouts of frontal lobe rattling chews and nauseating small talk, drenched in its own juices and lifeless in its bowl.

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Past Contributors

Ed Carmine

Ed Carmine is a Creative Writing and Literature student at Swinburne University who thoroughly enjoys the process of character building. His day to day public transport trips provide priceless inspiration for his short stories. He may never bother getting his drivers license

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Fiction & Issue Three

Avatar

By Evie Kendal

 

‘She’s gifted!’

‘Cursed you mean! Are you sure? How did this happen?’

Lady Maria Wetherford stared at the small creature smiling up at her from the crib. She cooed quietly, sucking on her tiny thumb and giggling periodically – all the while tracking her mother’s movements with unnatural closeness.

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Past Contributors

Evie Kendal

Evie Kendal is a feminist bioethicist and literary critic from Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include representations of reproductive biotechnology in science fiction, legal and ethical issues for end-of-life care, and feminist issues in young adult literature and film.

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27 sec 
Fiction & Issue Three

Skin

By Charlotte Duff

 

Oscar must be outside. Normally he’s at her by now, nuzzling at whatever part of her body happens to be protruding from the edge of the bed. A cold nose or a nibble on her big toe isn’t the nicest way to wake up, but there it is. And then those brown doggie eyes looking up at her. So she’ll get herself out of bed, bare feet on cold linoleum, to drop some more biscuits in his bowl.

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Issue Three

Dear Drought

By Sarah Giles

Dear Drought,

A long time ago I wrote to you. I wrote to you and I begged you for rain.

Your parched sky and dusty red ground with deep cracks that seemed to grow wider with each passing day. Long black fractures in the chalky clay. The grass was crumbling into dust and blowing away in the wind, leaving the sheep that usually wandered around the paddock out the front, with nothing.

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31 sec 
Past Contributors

Ron Barton

Ron Barton is an English teacher who has twice been published by Ginninderra Press (If God is a Poet, 2012; Unremarkable, 2014) and Tincture Journal (2013) and, more recently, he has had poems displayed at the Sydney Fringe Festival and the University of Western Australia. In 2014 he had poetry appear in Windmills (published through Deakin University) and self-published a collection of short stories, Paved With Words, that is geared at a YA audience. In addition to his own writing Ron has also coordinated a Young Writers’ Festival held in the Rockingham district in an effort to support WA’s creative youth.

Past Contributors

Allan Lake

Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Perth  (WA), Tasmania, Sicily and at present Melbourne.  His collection, SandintheSole(2014)waslaunchedattheTasmanianPoetryFestival.

In 2015 Lake won the Elwood Poetry Prize. During 2016 his poems appeared in Australian journals Meniscus, Plumwood Mountain Journal, Poetica Christi anthology and Poetry Matters.

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Fiction & Issue Three

Memories

By Brendan Leigh

The bike bucked as it went over the little bump in the driveway, and I bucked with it. The drain pump would have to be cleaned again this weekend, the refuse that builds up over time been forced out by sheer force of water. Dad had told me that water always followed the path of least resistance, but that when enough force builds up, you’d better move out of the way right quick.

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Past Contributors

Bill Cotter

Bill Cotter has been writing short stories and poetry for forty years, He has won a number of literary awards, including the poetry prize for the International Library of Poetry, the Maryborough Golden Wattle Festival poetry prize and the Melbourne Shakespeare Society sonnet prize.His work has appeared in journals throughout Australia.  Ginninderra Press has published eight books of his poetry, a collection of short stories and a short play for voices.

Past Contributors

Lyn Chatham

 Lyn Chatham lives in Geelong. She works as a teacher of adult literacy. She has had work published in the genres of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her story, ‘Mars Bars and Lawson,’ was included in the anthology Tales of the Blackboard. In 2005, her book, Martino’s Story, the memoir of an Italian migrant, was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and she has written media analyses for the magazines Australian Screen Education and Metro. Her poetry has been published in Australian print and online literary journals, including Blue Dog, blast and e:foam.

Editorial Team

Rebecca Jane

Rebecca Jane is a student from the Yarra Valley currently studying writing and film in Bachelor of Arts. Her stories have been published twice in a Queensland Magazine, which has also shown one of her illustrations.  She enjoys books and films of all genres, and has devoted the other half of her soul to music and bands. While working multiple hospitality and retail jobs, and working on her first novel, Rebecca is also exploring moving into drawings and professional illustrations as an option for her future.

Many of her works and commissions can be found here: http://fhyeah1.deviantart.com/

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Contributors

Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is a Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal. Currently studying her final year of Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne University. She loves reading novels as it allows her to get lost in different fantastical worlds, experience the lives of many characters, and indulge in diverse and enthralling writing styles. Her favourite way to enjoy this pastime is to curl up on a couch with a blanket, tea, chocolate, and her kindle.  Nicole hopes to one day work at a book publishing company, so she can be surrounded by talented authors, new and alluring stories, and basically work in the heart of her passion.