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Born in England in 1946, I moved to New Zealand with my parents and older brother at the age of four and, apart from five years in my late twenties spent traveling the globe, have lived here ever since. After a fairly rudimentary education, I found work as an Architectural Designer and this became a life-long occupation. I started writing late in 2006.
The books I write are intended in the first instance to tell a good story and secondly " once the tale is told " to leave the reader with something to ponder. To this end, all my stories attempt to provide an original take on some commonly held belief, be it cultural, social or scientific.
Being a fan of both science fiction and classic murder mysteries, these tend to be common themes, with elements of both often combined in a single story.
As a person who likes to read a book in a single sitting, I limit each work to around forty-five or fifty thousand words. Unfashionable I know, but it's what I prefer.
Two of my books were shortlisted for the 2009 Sir Julius Vogel Awards - Best Adult Novel for both Mindset & Antithesis, plus Best New Talent.
If you'd like to know more, please visit my website.
on March 18, 2012 :
Intelligent science fiction - there's a novelty. No hyperspace, no big robots, no time travel, just a well thought out story about ants.
Well, there's a fair bit more than ants going on, although, as Whitaker clearly enjoys his research you will learn a lot about the creature that makes up possibly one fifth of all the biomass on Earth.
One of the book's strengths is the sense of location - Whitaker really makes Namibia come alive, and brings a sense of history and how that has affected and continues to affect local communities.
If the book has a fault, then the main character is perhaps too good (at her profession, morally, socially) and a touching subplot about a local girl is resolved a little too quickly.
The ants are the stars of the story, Whitaker keeps it tight and efficient - much like the insects themselves.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Feb. 26, 2010 :
I enjoyed Anthithesis. I felt the premise was very interesting (I love stories about ants) although I did think that the main character was a bit flat. The only other criticism I had with the book is that I didn't think the author spent enough time resolving the main plot thread. It was kind of like watching one of those television shows that spends 40 minutes building and 5 minutes resolving.
Despite all criticism, though, antithesis is a good story with a valuable theme. There is a nice side-plot that is just as dramatically interesting as the main plot. The story flows nicely and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, like me, who likes stories about ants.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)