author, historian & phd candidate

Author: Tara Calaby Page 2 of 6

2018 in Review

Every year, I compile a list of the various forms of media I’ve consumed, along with a few other important details about the year in review. Previously, I’ve published this on Dreamwidth/Livejournal, but one thing I’ve come to realise this year is that those types of blogging are now firmly in my past. So here’s my 2018 in review: WordPress-style.

The Bomb Chaser

I’m very pleased to announce that my short story “The Bomb Chaser” has recently been published by Daily Science Fiction. DSF is a fantastic source for great speculative fiction AND it’s completely free to read, so you can check out my piece and hundreds of others online.


You can read “The Bomb Chaser” here.

Ashes to Ashes

breath and shadow logo

My piece “Ashes to Ashes” has just come out as part of the winter edition of Breath and Shadow. “Ashes to Ashes” is quite unusual for me, as it is set firmly in Gippsland, where I lived for many years but which only rarely intrudes on the creative part of my mind.

It’s quite short, and completely free to read, so please check it out and perhaps even let me know what you think!

“Ashes to Ashes” at Breath and Shadow

Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1890-1899, Ararat Asylum

will eventually have more varied content here, I promise! At the moment, though, I am still neck deep in asylum records and I am always fascinated by the things they list as being the cause of a patient’s mental health problems. This batch is from Ararat Asylum in the 1890s.

The full list of causes can be found under the cut.


Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1884-1889, Ararat Asylum

Apologies for such a long break between entries. Due to moving house, we’ve not had home internet for a long time, and it’s hard to squeeze everything in on my days with access to uni wifi or my mother’s internet. I intend to have more varied content here eventually, but in the meantime, here’s another post about supposed causes of insanity.

This group of causes was given on female records at Ararat Asylum between August 1884 and the end of 1889. During this period, causes are often labelled as being “predisposing” or “exciting”.



The full list of supposed causes for this period can be found under the cut.

Ashes to Ashes

I received the good news earlier this week that my literary fantasy short “Ashes to Ashes” will be published in Breath and Shadow sometime around December this year. It’s the first of my pieces to be strongly set in Gippsland, and I’m very pleased that it’s found a good home.

Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1900-1910 Yarra Bend

Rounding out my posts about the causes of lunacy listed in the female case books from Yarra Bend Asylum in Melbourne, the following were causes given between the years of 1900 and 1910:



A definite movement from can be seen during the period of 1880 to 1910, from a focus on moral or experiential causes towards a far greater emphasis on physiological ‘reasons’. This reflects the growing medicalisation of insanity that led, in the early 20th century, to Victoria’s asylums being re-titled as Hospitals for the Insane.

The full list of causes can be read under the cut. It is worth noting that some causes, such as ‘alcohol’ or ‘old age’, were cited many times.


Love. Bite.

My short play Love. Bite. was produced as part of the recent Short Works season at La Trobe university and my director, Amelia Latham, and actors, Susu Najjarin & Erin Miller did a great job with the piece.

Melissa Viola took some great photographs of the play and was kind enough to let me post one here.

Love. Bite. at La Trobe Short Works
Erin Miller as Joanne (left) and Susu Najjarin as Amy
(click on image for the full size photo)

Knee-Deep in Grit

On Monday, I learned that Grimdark Magazine will be putting out a print collection of all the short stories from their first two years of existence, which means that my piece “Ashes” will be included.

The cover looks fantastic, and it’s going to be available in places that most of my publications aren’t (like the Book Depository!) so I’m really looking forward to see the final product.


Supposed Causes of Lunacy: 1890s Yarra Bend

Following on from my post about the causes of lunacy given in the 1880s at Yarra Bend, here is a collection of causes from the 1890s.

1890s lunacy causes

The full list is under the cut.

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