Ponies, ponies, ponies


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Rory Barnes (1946 - ) was born in England, moved to Rhodesia, and then when he was 10 to Australia, where he’s mostly been ever since. School was a battle: he was dyslexic, but he still managed a university career. During this, he wrote a couple of novels, neither of which was published. When he was on a fellowship at Stanford University, California, Damien Broderick read his novel of politically active school teachers in the sixties and told him the novel would work fine if only it were set in a different time and a different planet. You do it then, said Barnes, and Valencies was the result. They co-authored other novels, and since then Barnes has written whatever he can be paid to write. His subjects include epigenetic cancer, blue-green algae, and an off-the-wall children’s series about Spud, the Horsehead Boy.

Finding the books: available in Kindle format in 2013.

Sources and links

Rory Barnes’ website


Rory Barnes

Horsehead Boy

HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia, 1998, 170 pp.

Despite the title, not actually horsey as such: horses (sort of) appear later. This is the first in the
trilogy, and introduces Spud, the hero. He has a very nasty accident, and is whizzed off to a
futuristic laboratory where he is about to become a wheelie-bin with attachments and
bio-feedback mechanisms. It does not quite work out like that, however.

Bibliography - pony books only

Horsehead Man

HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia 1999, 164 pp.

Spud Wilson is now a 16 year old brain in Bluey Doig′s adult body. Bluey’s body (and of course
Spud’s brain) is kidnapped by his mates. They realise what they’ve got, and are delighted. Their
original plan was to get Spud′s brain from Snood′s lab, put it in a racehorse called Staxa Fun and
win, win, win. With the help of the two young neurosurgeons, Rachel and Gazza, they can still do it.

Horsehead Soup

HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia 2000, 199 pp.

Previously.... Spud and the horse fell into a tank of liquid nitrogen and were frozen solid for years
and years. Now they’re awake. They find out it’s the future, and they’re exhibits in a Year 2000
theme park