Arms Race & Other Stories

Arms Race & Other Stories

4.05 (63 ratings by Goodreads)
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Data theft, internet memes, advertising, terrorism, indigenous sovereignty, drone warfare, opium addiction, syphilis, the moon landing, mining, oil slicks, climate change, giant octopuses: nothing is spared in this collection. Nic Low's stories go beyond satire, aiming for the dark heart of our collective obsession with technology, power and image.

Set variously in London, an Indian village, remote Mongolia, the West Australian outback and mountainous New Zealand, these are prescient visions of the future and outlandish reimaginings of the past. Arms Race is an arresting debut from a fierce, playful new voice in Australian writing.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 250 pages
  • 135 x 210 x 17mm | 274g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 1922147982
  • 9781922147981
  • 637,446

Review quote

`Nic Low's stories are like controlled detonations. Arms Race is machete-sharp, politically engaged and thematically fearless. Australian short fiction just got lobbed into the twenty-first century.' -- Maxine Beneba Clarke, author of Foreign Soil 'Outrageous, clever, passionate: a must read. These stories delight on so many levels and are written with a singular energy and skill.' -- Eva Hornung '[Low's] writing is fierce and uncompromising, bringing contemporary anxieties to the surface...This collection fights and grapples with language, counter-culture and consumerism, the characters inhabiting a plastic-elastic world being reshaped in the mould of whoever gets to the gold first...Seductive and frightening.' * Weekend Australian * '[Nic Low's] voice is natural and bitterly compelling. He never attempts to soothe us with easy answers, but instead enjoys posing difficult questions. If some of these tales might darken your mood, most of them will excite your imagination and alter your perception of the world.' * Thousands * 'Tales that explore the dark psyche of human nature in an often playful and hilarious fashion. This debut collection is one of those that rewards being dipped into, with fine writing and arresting images on a diverse and fascinating range of subjects.' -- Hoopla 'There's a bristling, playful energy to Nic Low's writing. The sentences in his stories are short and punchy - as though he can't wait to get them out. Hence the narrative fairly pulses along at a cracking pace with unexpected detours.' * Sydney Morning Herald * 'There's a bristling, playful energy to Nic Low's writing...the narrative fairly pulses along at a cracking pace with unexpected detours.' * Sunday Age * 'Each of these [stories] is offered to us in incisive text and dialogue and challenges comfort zones. Such a challenge is worthy of consideration.' * Otago Daily Times * 'Low moves seamlessly between his host of characters and their individual voices, as much as he does between countries and events. More broadly, he paints a dark-sometimes funny-picture of our future...If Arms Race is anything to go by, we can expect more from this emerging writer.' * Weekly Times * `I would not be surprised to rediscover these stories thirty, twenty, even ten years from now, and remark at their prescience.' * Readings * `In addition to cleverly executed ideas and Low's pitch perfect balance of humour and humanity, core to the appeal and success of these alternate histories/realities are their strong links to the here and now, their plausibility. Rare is it that I feel compelled to give special mention to more than half of the stories within a short story collection - clear indication of the exceptionally high quality of Nic Low's Arms Race, and Other Stories. Highly recommended to those new to short fiction.' * Book Lover Book Reviews *
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About Nic Low

Nic Low is an author and artist of Ngai Tahu and European descent. Born in Christchurch, he now divides his time between Melbourne and a bush retreat near Castlemaine. Nic's fiction, essays and criticism have appeared in the Big Issue, Monthly, Griffith REVIEW, Lifted Brow, Art Monthly and Australian Book Review, and until recently he ran Asialink's international writing program. His second book, a literary exploration of New Zealand's Southern Alps, will be published by Text in 2016.
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Rating details

63 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 25% (16)
4 57% (36)
3 14% (9)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

Arms Race is a book of twelve short stories by New Zealand-born author and artist, Nic Low. The settings are as varied as the subject matter, although a few of the stories have common elements or themes that draw tenuous links between them. Octopus, the first story, is set in New Zealand and feels like the first chapter of a longer work. Making It proposes an interesting link between syphilis and art, and its mix of humour and the yuk factor will cause readers to laugh and squirm simultaneously. Photocopy Planet is a hilarious look at a well-known travel guide. Rush is irreverent, funny and delightfully satirical. There is a post-apocalyptic feel to Data Furnace and How Much Courage; Slick looks at the power of advertising in a unique way; Facebook Redux is a cautionary tale that explores information sharing and data mining; Arms Race takes the idea of drone warfare to an unexpected extreme; The Culler is an amusing look at the First Moon Landing that will leave the reader wondering. In this little bag of literary gems from Nic Low there are some real diamonds for readers: The Culler, Photocopy Planet, Scar and Rush. It is no surprise that Rush was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and runner-up for the 2013 Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize. Low treats the reader to tales that are sharp, funny and thought-provoking. An amazing more
by Marianne Vincent
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