Mud and Glass

Life is fairly workaday for Dr Celeste Carlucci, a professor at Krasnia’s finest university, until her best friend and colleague Pace involves Celeste in her research.

Before long, Celeste is being shot at from a hovering helicopter, attacked on a moonlit mountain path, and followed by shadowy minions – on the trail of the Littoral Codex, an ancient and indecipherable book.

The race is on to figure out its secrets. On one side are Celeste and her colleagues, armed with nothing but enthusiasm, brilliant minds, and the principles of geography. Against them are the repressive university governors and their jackbooted campus security guards; the rich and power-hungry Praxicopolis family; and a renegade group of researchers, the Littoral League.

Will this ragtag bunch outwit their foes before it’s too late?

“High-jinks in the groves of academe! Concerning matters of tenure, footnotes and postgrad research, along with a secret underground society of librarians, a mysterious Codex in need of a key and an evil Board of Governors seeking total domination of (first) the university and (then) the universe. Shades of Tom Sharpe! A barrel-load of fun!” —  Richard Harland, award-winning author of Worldshaker and The Black Crusade

Mud and Glass is a glorious comedic romp, scything through the sententiousness of the academic world while showcasing modesty, courage and cleverness as virtues. Storytelling rules aren’t so much ignored as imprisoned, beaten up and twisted into outrageous new shapes. Our hero finds love in the arms of a lecturer in the Dramatic Arts – of course she does – but, more importantly, learns to love herself. And through it all Goodin captures perfectly, and with affection, the absurdity of academic life. I’ve not read comedy this clever since Jasper Fforde.” — Russell Kirkpatrick, author of the acclaimed science-fiction trilogies Fire of Heaven and Husk

“Mud and Glass is a glorious screwball comedy that propels readers headlong through college classrooms, mysterious underground passages, and the halls of a retirement home with insouciant abandon. Along the way we meet a charming cast of heroes and rogues all chasing after a lost manuscript, which may either be a McGuffin or the font of all knowledge. A motley cast of wacky academics, rogue librarians, ninja students, insubordinate security guards and clueless bureaucrats is presided over by the winsome geographer Celeste, a protagonist who puts the luck in pluck. Join her for romance and intrigue, purloined theses and homemade cookies in Laura E. Goodin’s hilarious new novel.” — James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards

American-born writer Laura E. Goodin decided at seven years old to be a writer.  Over the decades, she’s worked as a reporter, editor, technical writer, media manager, web-content developer, writing teacher, and freelance writer, but it was only as she entered her 40s that she determined to return to her childhood dream of writing stories that would amaze and entertain.  She was transmuted in the crucible of the 2007 Clarion South Workshop, and went on to gain a PhD in creative writing from the University of Western Australia.  Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Michael Moorcock’s New WorldsAndromeda Spaceways Inflight MagazineReview of Australian FictionAdbustersWet InkThe Lifted Brow, and Daily Science Fiction, among others, and in several anthologies.  Her plays and libretti have been performed on three continents, and her poetry has been performed internationally, both as spoken word and as texts for new musical compositions. She currently teaches writing at various tertiary institutions.  She lives in Melbourne with her husband, composer Houston Dunleavy, and spends what little spare time she has in trying to be as much like Xena, Warrior Princess as possible.


Book Details

ISBN: 978-1-922200-86-03 (pbk) | 978-1-922200-87-7 (ebook)

Category: Adventure

Trade paperback: 306 pages

Publication Date: 5 April 2017

RRP: AU $23.95 (pbk) | $5.99 (ebook)

Author website:

Where to Buy

Order from the Odyssey Books store


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