The solitaire ghost

Kelso, Sylvia (2011) The solitaire ghost. [Creative Work]

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In Australia, barrister Dorian Wild enters the elevator to go to her office at Lewis and Cotton when she sees the ghost coming through the floor. She drops the lunch bags she holds when the spirit places a miner’s panning dish on her head as if she is a post. The ghost vanishes while the junior partner receives solace and doubts from her friends at a nearby bar.

Soon after her first paranormal encounter, Dorian’s boyfriend Chris the geologist with a mathematical formula to expedite the location of mining sites dies in a questionable car accident. She inherits his model and learns of a hostile takeover of the company. Not one to sit idly by, Dorian investigates the ties between the Solitaire mine and late nineteenth century reporter Jimmy Keenighan, who covered the gold rush as he somehow travels to her time where they meet and are attracted to one another.

Book One of the Blackston Gold paranormal romantic suspense saga is a delightful tale that introduces a fully developed cast especially the heroine who holds the plot together. The story line is fun to follow as the life portrait of Dorian Wild that she laid out turns upside down. Although The Solitaire Ghost spends a lot of time setting the tone especially the golden link between the 1880s and 2011, which limits the plot even the time traveling romance, fans will enjoy this opening suspenseful act.

Research Statement

Research Background What constitutes an Australian (settler) narrative is a major topic in Australian literary criticism. Overall views such as Graeme Turner's or specific studies of areas like the evolution of mateship in the 1900s Sydney Bulletin abound. Creative Writing MA and the ensuing article ,“Geeks and Battlers: Intersections of Generic Specificity and National Narrative in Writing Australian Science Fiction” (2004), inflected the topic to SF, where the generic tropes are well-discussed, but rarely related to nationality. The Solitaire Ghost shifted genres to ask, What, apart from author-origin, makes a specifically Australian fantasy? I had considered some of my own high fantasy in a paper, “Re(a)d Centre: Spirituality and Aridity in Non-Realist Australian Fiction” (2001). This novel explored the question in a contemporary (Australian-set) fantasy.
Research Contribution The Novel absorbed elements of thrillers, the time-travel sub-genre, such as Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and (supernatural) female romance. All these worked in a local setting, and easily incorporated the “battler narrative” distinguished by Turner as specifically Australian. The time-travel element ennabled a non-didactic juxtaposition of 19th and 21st Century views on hot-points such as racism, while reader reactions demonstrated the attitude to violence was also specifically Australian.
Research Significance The novel contributes to the critical debate on modern fantasy's escapism, which Samuel Delany resolved as, “[It's] a document of our times, thank you very much!” The Solitaire Ghost proved so, voicing current Australian views on gender, race and ecological issues. A Mississippi librarian's query about sequels indicates it reached an international audience.
Item ID: 36914
Item Type: Creative Work (Original Work - Textual Work - NTRO)
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2532-4
Keywords: suspense; time romance; heroic; villains; Australian author; North Queensland author
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Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 23:44
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 100%
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