'Brisbane writers and writing are increasingly represented as important to the city's identity as a site of urban cool, at least in marketing and public relations paradigms. It is therefore remarkable that recent Brisbane fiction clings strongly to a particular relationship to the climatic and built environment that is often located in the past and which seemingly turns away, or at least elides, the 'new' technologically-driven Brisbane. Literary Brisbane is often depicted in the context of nostalgia for the Brisbane that once was—a tropical, timbered, luxuriant city in which sex is associated with heat, and, in particular, sweat. In this writing sweat can produced by adrenaline or heat, but in particular, in Brisbane novels, it is the sweat of sex that characterises the literary city. Given that Brisbane is in fact a subtropical city, it is interesting that metaphors of a tropical climate and vegetation occur so frequently in Brisbane stories (and narratives set in other parts of the state) that writer Thea Astley was prompted at one point to remark that Queensland writing was in danger of developing into a tropical cliché.' Susan Carson.