One dictionary definition is a collection of creative works. In addition to his books, Val is an essayist, poet and playwrite. Most of his essays have been published in Australian Quarterly the journal of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. One of his poems was used to set the theme for his novel White Bird Black Bird. His play The Heresy Hunt is based on an incident in his father's story as related in Val's non-fiction work No Ribbons or Medals: the story of 'Hereward' an Australian counter espionage officer.