Author Spotlight
Ian's Books
The Package on the Tram By Ian B G Burns
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A fantasy adventure set in Melbourne, the main characters being two young girls. They experience something amazing, puzzling, life-threatening, and meet the world's largest dog - well, they more... More > than meet him! A terrible decision has to be taken by one of the girls.< Less
Thomas Bulford's English Companion By Ian Burns
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An extraordinary book, giving seminal insights into such diverse matters as Amazons and aardvarks, and the mythical or legendary Eve (of Eden), Helen (of Troy), and Joan (of Arc ). Of great... More > importance is the clever Table of Contents – located conveniently for Americans near the beginning of the book – setting out the subjects of the book’s twenty-seven categories, together with the page numbers that each of these categories begins on. As an additional aid the publishers have included an Index at the end of the book, listing, in very sensible alphabetical order, the countless selected words or phrases which are defined (1,654 times, or perhaps more), clarified, or otherwise articulated in the preceding pages, although not in the Table of Contents. Saying anything else, at this stage, would be entirely superfluous, and probably an insult.< Less
Ranga Plays Australia - a cricket dream By Ian Burns
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It’s only four years after the end of WW2, when there were no great cricket matches. But now things are getting back to normal: the Australians have thrashed the Poms in England, India has... More > played its first Test series in Australia, and ‘the Don’ has retired. In a small Bangalore village young Ranganathan Rao is musing about life in general and cricket in particular. The weather’s been hot and dry for ever – everyone’s eyes are skywards, looking for the monsoon. Except for Ranga’s, whose spinning fingers begin to itch. Kumar, Ranga’s English/Geography/History teacher, as part of a discourse on the strangeness of the English language, introduces his pupils to an especially strange word - that he heard an Australian say during the war – and invites them to try to pronounce it and identify its meaning. After many unsuccessful attempts Kumar reveals both the word’s pronunciation and meaning, and suggests that everyone might remember this, as one day they might go to Australia. This starts Ranga thinking.< Less
The Day and Night Machine By Ian Burns
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It’s Jess’s thirteenth birthday. She’s been in bed for nearly a year, the result of a car accident that killed her father. Surprisingly, she finds a birthday present from her... More > father, an unusual gift for a girl and one which she, her grandfather, and her mother, puzzle over. In the course of playing with it she discovers that it has some highly-unexpected properties. But then, purely by accident, she discovers its most amazing feature. She wonders how she can use this for the benefit of the world, but a villainous redhead steals the ‘machine’and captures and imprisons Jess. But Jess is able to circumvent her difficulties and come up with a particularly appropriate counter strategy, aided by a phlegmatic police sergeant and his retinue of puppies. Miss Sturzen is arrested and taken away, but escapes and returns to wreak mortal revenge on Jess, using a day and night machine. Unfortunately for her, however, things don’t quite go to plan. And then we discover the real reason for Jess’s father’s gift.< Less
Scratcher By Ian Burns
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Have you ever wondered why clocks have hours, and minutes, and seconds…but not firsts? You will not find the answer to this question in this book, but Scratcher will tell you what happens... More > if your dog goes wild in a butcher’s shop, or if an eel gets up your trouser leg when you’re standing in the middle of the creek in the rain, or if you fall in love with your teacher. And he’ll tell you about the McPhees, and his friends, and about the cat whose feet never touch the floor, and what happened when a swan’s EGG learnt to fly, and about the world’s only fat butter of a dog, and… and… and, well about one or two other things as well…< Less
The Search for Quong By Ian Burns
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Quong was a creature of the olden olden days, even before grandmother. He was a short fellow, or, at least, that’s what they said, with long, thin legs and an even longer, thinner tail. His... More > face was fat and wrinkly, and big bushy eyebrows kept out the sun and flies. At least that’s what I think he looked like, though no–one has actually seen him that I’d believe. Which, of course, was the trouble. Some people say that there are no such things as quongs, that it’s a stupid name, and that if there were any there’d be pink elephants, too. But those people don’t think Father Christmas comes every year, either. Of course this is all nonsense. There must be quongs and we must find them. And, if this story’s any good, we will. So let’s begin the search!< Less
Thomas Bulford's Essays on Life, Language & Love By Ian Burns
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Readers may be aware that Thomas Bulford died recently (though not as recently as before), and that I had what I then regarded as the onerous honour of editing his lexicographical work. Following... More > this, his son presented the Publisher with a box of scribblings that he said were his ‘distinguished’ father’s. My impression was that they were, indeed, Thomas Bulford’s (the senior). Firstly, they bore a striking resemblance to the ‘essays’ that the Publisher insisted on being incorporated in the English Companion as introductions to the various definitional categories. Secondly, and I say this with as much grace as I can, they, whilst being somewhat idiosyncratic in construction and questionable in logic, contained a number of insights into the human condition that were also occasionally present in the earlier volume. Accordingly, with less reluctance than before, I agreed to edit this material, and offer it to readers for their judgement. Editor< Less
Possum and Python By Ian Burns
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CHILDREN 9-12 Possum and Python is a story from the rain forest, of birth and love and companionship - of a most unusual (but splendid) kind. You can also find out more about Ian's books at... More > http://iansbestchildrensbooks.googlepages.com and http://www.thegreathallofdreams.com< Less
The Alone Man By Ian Burns
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ADULTS The Alone Man is a simple story full of understated insights that will have deep emotional resonance with readers all over the world. It tells of a pioneering man's life, and his love for his... More > land, his wife, his children. You can find out more about Ian's books at http://imaginalworks.googlepages.com.< Less
LISSIE PENDLE Some Funny Things Happen to a Country Kid on the Way to Growing Up By Ian B G Burns
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CHILDREN 8-13. Lissie Pendle is, to a degree, about trouble. She lives in a small outback town, where drought and dust are normal, and the boys aren't (at least in her opinion), though that doesn't... More > stop her.< Less