#Review Unmaking Atoms by Magdalena Ball

Unmaking Atoms by Magdalena Ball   (2017)Unmaking Atoms


ISBN-13: 978-1760412821

Ginninderra Press

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?_encoding=UTF8&field-keywords=Unmaking+Atoms&node=341677031

You know me, I am to poetry as a banana is to a wheelbarrow. However, sometimes a tome lands in – or is that on – my lap that makes me sit up and admire the way words can be arranged, re-arranged, and a magic wand applied to give added fictive value.

I’ve admired the poetry of Magdalena Ball for many years and I was honoured to include some of her science fiction  poetry in Escape Velocity magazine. This collection is a wondrous mix of passion, and emotion crafted in such a way only a poet with an understanding of science can do. I could as easily say as only a scientist with an understanding of poetry can do because you don’t need to be a scientist to appreciate these verses, nor need to be a poet to bathe in their prosody and richness.

For example: Charitable Crumb – ‘after so many years of entanglement’…’whatever means / we could find to keep / the conversation going. … typing words breathlessly against the rising steam of time.’

All of us can take something from this verse. Communication, time, the dual meaning of entanglement is clever.

Another sample from The No Times Times:

‘Oh entropy / here you are, right on cue / Nothing regains order/ without work’

Reminds me of my first teenage graffiti “Entropy wins.” The principal asked me to explain it but as I started to the science lecturer told him it was good science and so I was let off with a caution. This poem though is more than entropy as it is about time and its scorched expansive past saying the present can be the future if seen from elsewhen. And from ‘Walking Into Eternity’ we see that entropy is that elegant word for chaos, disorder, decay. Nicely put.

One of my favourites – I knew the facts but it’s the way they’re distributed in poetry…

Reflecting Sphere

‘All the riches of periodic table hotpot

the scale of atoms and molecules

forged 14 billion years ago

exploded into space

carbon, oxygen, nitrogen

define you.

– – – –

You are, chemically

already a star.’


In my science fiction novel, Exit, Pursued by a Bee, I use QM Time decoherence as a theme, so it sent a shiver up my neck to see Decoherence through the window

‘Sometimes it’s all about the window.

… (more verse)

Until the moment you open it

probability waves

a fluttering hand

the tightly packed microscopic

pixels remain unlimited

possibilities surrounding you

multifoliate, like energy.’

Wonderful. Of course I’ve yet to absorb every poem, it is a collection I’ll return to time and again until I have none. I could say In no part did I stop to complain. After all that is from Unchanging unceasing murmur: a line from James Joyce Dubliners, which inspired Magdalena Ball’s

Unchanging unceasing murmur

‘In no part did I stop

to complain, warm, rewind

this path of nowhere’


Other verses have been inspired by such luminaries as Emily Dickinson, Grace Cossington Smith, an ekphrastic poem by Vincent Van Gogh, and Francois Rabelais.


Highly recommended.

Nelder News

In December Solstice Publishing released my short story, The Chaos of Mokii as an ebook. It’s the first short for which I had to write a blurb, acknowledgments and select a cover art. Previously, I’d done all that for novels of over 80,000 words rather than a tale of only 3,400 words. The blurb? Mokii is a city existing only in the consciousness of its inhabitants. Olga is sitting in a train while her minds negotiates past Mokii’s bouncer and relaxes into the entertainments and infrastructure of the mind-city. She discovers a thief about to usurp the city in order to take its lucrative telepathic advertising. Does she thwart him? Yours for 99 pence or a dollar 22 cents to find out!chaosofmokii

Grab it on Kindle http://mybook.to/ChaosOM

Links to buy ARIA and other of my books are on my Amazon author pagehttp://author.to/Amazonauthorpage

ARIA: Left Luggage is only 99p give or take a few pence at the moment on Kindle so grab it at smarturl.it/1fexhs

Or via other formats http://geoffnelder.com/project/left-luggage-arial-trilogy-part-1/

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder

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