June 2021 – Pelsaert wins international award
Pelsaert’s Nightmare won a Gold Medal in the 25th annual Independent Publisher Book Awards in the USA. Known as the IPPYs and including two non-North American categories, Pelsaert’s Nightmare was awarded the medal for Best Regional Fiction in the Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Rim. Silver went to Janice Tremayne for Haunting in Huntley and Bronze to Nicki Chen’s When in Vanuatu.
In the IPPYs’ European division for Best Regional Fiction, Gold went to Ethel Rohan for In the Event of Contact, Silver to Guglielmo D’Izzia for The Transaction, and Bronze to Douglas Stuart’s Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain.
May 2021 – Pelsaert docks with Mary Martin at Southbank and Port Melbourne
Established in 1945, one of Melbourne’s go-to independent booksellers is Mary Martin Bookshop in Port Melbourne and at Southbank. These stores are now stocking Pelsaert’s Nightmare.
April 2021 – Pelsaert sails to Van Diemen’s Land
Readers of Pelsaert’s Nightmare will know that I construe a corporate rivalry between Antonio Van Diemen and Francisco Pelsaert. Van Diemen wins, Pelsaert dies. Not to be denied his ghostly presence, however, among the Dutch place names that endure in this part of the world, I travelled to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) with copies of the novel. While Hobart may be a long way from Geraldton and the Abrolhos nightmare of 1629, I’m pleased to announce that, nearly four centuries later, Pelsaert has come ashore in the wake of another Dutch encounter with Australia’s pre-colonial topography. Pelsaert’s Nightmare is available at the Hobart Bookshop (visit https://www.hobartbookshop.com.au/) and Fullers Bookshop (see https://www.fullersbookshop.com.au/).
December 2020 – Pelsaert sails the Great Ocean Road
With the easing of lockdown restrictions in Victoria and an opportunity to travel along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, Pelsaert’s Nightmare has found a home with Lorne Beach Books, the Bookworm Gallery at Koroit, and the Ironbird Bookshop and Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy. Blarney Books also showcases top-notch artists, and the fascinating Biblio Art Prize (in which exhibitors are given a random book title by an Australian author to interpret) is an annual must.
November 2020 – As COVID now eases, Pelsaert takes a stroll down the Avenue
With the further easing of COVID-lockdown restrictions, the Avenue Bookstore in Albert Park, Melbourne, is stocking copies of ‘Pelsaert’s Nightmare’. Not only is the Avenue a significant purveyor of fine reading, it – along with the nearby Coventry Bookstore in South Melbourne – is my local go-to bookshop. There’s always something for yourself, gifts for others, and you can easily spend an hour browsing the shelves of this classy and well-run store.
Avenue Bookstore in South Melbourne (Tel 61-3 9690 227;
Recipient of the Australian Book Industry’s 2015 Independent Bookseller of the Year, the Avenue also has stores in Richmond and Elsternwick. Check out the Avenue Bookstore at https://avenuebookstore.com.au/
July 2020 – Pelsaert travels to regional Victoria; now available in Ballarat
One of Victoria’s most historic regional centres has picked up Pelsaert’s Nightmare.
Collins Booksellers in Lydiard Street, Ballarat, is now stocking the novel (Tel 61-3 5331 7411;
We look forward to engaging with readers in Ballarat, and thank Collins Booksellers for its support.
June 2020 – Good news for Pelsaert's bookstore availability
Despite the current restrictions occasioned by COVID-19, the bookshop availability of Pelsaert’s Nightmare become is becoming more prevalent.
Copies can now be purchased through;
The Hill of Content Bookshop in Melbourne (Tel 61-3 9662 9472;
Paperback Bookshop in Melbourne (Tel 61-3 96621396;
Thesaurus Books in Brighton (Tel 61 3 9591 0811;
The Coventry Bookstore in South Melbourne (Tel 61 3 9686 8200;
Support your local booksellers and stay tuned for additional bookstore information.
May 2020 – Chanticleer Book Review by Skip Ferderber (Washington State, USA)
“We are taken deep into Pelsaert’s story who is dying as the book opens. We get to know him as a Company man, no less dedicated to commerce than any globe-traveling corporate soldier of our own times. But as the story of the Batavia unfolds, we also see the politics of the era, an understanding of the competing political forces in the 1600s ransacking the world for treasure and spices—the Dutch, Spanish, and English—entities no less complicated but far more vicious and venal than today’s international trade warriors. The truth be told, these times were hellish. Deaths, almost unimaginable tortures, and barbarism were rampant in this era, and the novel spares the reader few details of them.
“Even as Pelsaert provides us with a detailed accounting of the Batavia disaster, written in graphic and often profane language, he also stares deeply into his own complex past, jumping in time from past to present and back again. We see how a road warrior of those times thought and acted, as unsparing of himself as he is of his contemporaries. You may not ultimately like the Company man, but he will treat you to a reading experience of a world both far removed from our own and yet sadly familiar.”
Read the full review.