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Review of Paperclip by Seb Doubinsky: cool prose, serene mind, impish wit.

Review by Dominique Hecq

Cool prose, serene mind, impish wit.

In Paperclip – Seb Doubinsky’s new installment in his internationally renowned city-states cycle of novels takes the reader into a fantastical, yet convincing world to explore our darkest secrets and inner conflicts. Set in New Babylon, the book details the sometimes tortuous nature of desire and power, and reveals a quasi-sexual attitude to violence with impish wit.

Kurt Wagner, CEO of the Western alliance of the city-states dreams of ‘a squeaky-clean war’ for building a space station that will save humankind, but faces dramatic challenges. These range from the cartography of the human heart to occult arts and geopolitics involving quirky personages. What makes a film director, a bodyguard, a driver and a talking bird tick? And why do they distrust, and perhaps dislike, the charismatic Wagner?

With all its trials and tribulations, longings, aversions and pervasions, Paperclip delves into fears and excitements in a series of exquisitely paced tableaux vivants. 

This is an unflinching and clearsighted novel, in which our most intimate concerns are explored and addressed head on, in charged, beautifully wrought prose. There doesn’t seem to be a smoking gun, just questions and irony…

Seb Doubinsky

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About the Book

PAPERCLIP by Seb Doubinsky

GENRE: Dystopian / Noir / Speculative Fiction

In New Babylon, leader of the Western alliance of the city-states, armament mogul Kurt Wagner has a secret dream: to build a space station to save mankind. Little does he know that he is the target of competing plots involving geopolitics and black magic. In the background, a film director with a political conscience, a bodyguard with a secret mission, a driver with an occult hobby and a talking bird are trying to make sense of their world, hoping to see their wishes come true—which they will, but not in the way they expected.


BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the Reviewer

Dominique Hecq

Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. Her works include a novel, three collections of stories and ten books of poetry. Hecq’s poems and stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals. Often experimental, her work explores love, loss, exile and the possibilities of language. Kaosmos and Tracks (2020) are her latest books. Among other awards such as the Melbourne Fringe Festival Award, the Woorilla Prize for fiction, the Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry, and the New England Poetry Prize, Hecq is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize.


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