Aurora Australis: An Awards Bonanza! (And a Few Novels, Too)

Welcome to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand!

Last month in Australia and New Zealand we saw a round of resignations and at least one cringe-worthy interview on the political front, but it’s not all bad because a scientist in Queensland used the bin chicken (properly known as a white ibis) and other birds to help understand the gait of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. In the literary world, though, it’s an awards bonanza!

Let me tell you about some of our exciting news. Firstly, chronologically, there was the Locus Recommended Reading List—which I know isn’t an award but it kinda feels like it. Six Australians had novels on different parts of the list: Jane Rawson, Foz Meadows, Angela Slatter, James Bradley, Garth Nix, and Cat Sparks. The collections included Jack Dann and Angela Slatter, while anthologies had two from Jonathan Strahan. ...

Aurora Australis: An Awards Bonanza! (And a Few Novels, Too)

Welcome to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand!

Last month in Australia and New Zealand we saw a round of resignations and at least one cringe-worthy interview on the political front, but it’s not all bad because a scientist in Queensland used the bin chicken (properly known as a white ibis) and other birds to help understand the gait of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. In the literary world, though, it’s an awards bonanza!

Let me tell you about some of our exciting news. Firstly, chronologically, there was the Locus Recommended Reading List—which I know isn’t an award but it kinda feels like it. Six Australians had novels on different parts of the list: Jane Rawson, Foz Meadows, Angela Slatter, James Bradley, Garth Nix, and Cat Sparks. The collections included Jack Dann and Angela Slatter, while anthologies had two from Jonathan Strahan. ...

The Thrill of Hearing “Once Upon a Time”

Amongst the sweetest phrases I’ve ever heard from my mother’s lips are “I love you,” “I’ve made lemon meringue pie” (those two meaning, essentially, the same thing), and “Once upon a time.” All three still fill me with roughly the same degree of happiness, but I don’t hear that last one anymore. It’s not for lack of trying; I do keep asking.

“Tell me a story?”

“You’re forty-eight years old.”

“And you’re seventy-one, so tell me a story before you forget how!”

So far no luck. Come to think of it, the lemon meringues have been a bit thin on the ground, too. Hmmm.

Nevertheless, the thrill of “Once upon a time” never leaves me, never dims. It’s the story addict’s equivalent of a ringing bell and the response is equally Pavlovian. I know, when I hear those words, that I will be transported. That the ...

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7 Curiouser and Curiouser Retellings of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland retellings Alice in Sunderland Bryan Talbot

Snacks that make you shrink (or grow gigantic), mad tea parties, murderous croquet: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a bonkers enough story on its own that it’s impressive to see the ways in which so many authors have been able to retell it.

In these thrillers and pastiches and history lessons, Alice Liddell is a princess on the run, a mad inmate, or only a tangential part of the story; some retellings focus on other citizens of Wonderland, from the maligned White Rabbit to the misunderstood Queen of Hearts. No matter which of the many ways into Wonderland these writers choose, the stories are as enticing as a bottle that says DRINK ME.

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer invents a back story for Wonderland’s primary antagonist: Catherine, who would rather create otherworldly confections in her dream bakery than accept the King of Hearts’ proposal. While ...

Aurora Australis: Superheroes, Merfolk, and Corporate Insects

Welcome to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! In Australia, there’s been controversy over which national politicians are actual dual citizens or not (thus invalidating their election as members of parliament), and we voted yes in the optional-postal-survey on marriage equality; we’re now waiting for our politicians to make it law. You would think that a poll about the Australian bird of the year would be less controversial, but that’s before you factor in an obsession with the bin chicken (aka Australian White Ibis) and how seriously some people take getting swooped by magpies.

Anyway, onto the publishing news!

Author James Bradley and artist Melanie Cook have teamed up to create The Death of Neutrino Man. It’s a brief comic taking a look at the life and experiences of one B-list superhero, Neutrino Man, from gaining powers to the world changing ...

Aurora Australis: Sci-Fi Thrillers and Murder Mysteries

Welcome to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! This month, Alex is back writing after an extended holiday (long service leave is a wonderful thing).

In other news, one of Australia’s most endangered birds has the first confirmed chick in three decades, the Socceroos still have hopes of making it to the soccer World Cup, and New Zealand is about to get a new Prime Minister in Jacinda Ardern. Also, there’s new books—both published and announced—and a variety of other exciting things happening…

New books! From Jonathan Strahan comes Infinity Wars, which continues the Infinity series and features Elizabeth Bear, Indrapramit Das, Aliette de Bodard, Carrie Vaughn, An Owomoyela… and many others. The stories in the anthology deal with the question of who will be fighting the wars of tomorrow? It’s taking futuristic military science fiction to its “furthest extremes....

Corpselight

< p class="frontmatter">Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council—after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use—it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing—but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help… until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful…

Corpselight is the sequel to Vigil and the second book in the ...

Aurora Australis: Riddles, Promises, and Threads

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Southern Australia has just taken a turn towards winter, it’s nearly time for the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Continuum, in Melbourne), and—despite not being in Europe—Australia did okay in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. And we have books! And covers! And TV! And awards! A few new books this month… like Rachel Nightingale’s fantasy novel Harlequin’s Riddle is coming soon from Odyssey Books. It’s about the Commedia dell’Arte, in the vein of Erin Morgernstern’s The Night Circus. Mina has a missing older brother and, it transpires, a gift for storytelling—she can call visions into being with her stories. She joins a troupe of Travelling Players and, of course, mysterious things unfold… Then there’s Paula Weston’s The Undercurrent, coming from Text Publishing in July. Julianne De Marchi has an electrical undercurrent ...

Aurora Australis: Riddles, Promises, and Threads

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Southern Australia has just taken a turn towards winter, it’s nearly time for the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Continuum, in Melbourne), and—despite not being in Europe—Australia did okay in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. And we have books! And covers! And TV! And awards! A few new books this month… like Rachel Nightingale’s fantasy novel Harlequin’s Riddle is coming soon from Odyssey Books. It’s about the Commedia dell’Arte, in the vein of Erin Morgernstern’s The Night Circus. Mina has a missing older brother and, it transpires, a gift for storytelling—she can call visions into being with her stories. She joins a troupe of Travelling Players and, of course, mysterious things unfold… Then there’s Paula Weston’s The Undercurrent, coming from Text Publishing in July. Julianne De Marchi has an electrical undercurrent ...

Science Fiction and Fantasy’s Best Moms (Who Aren’t Dead or Evil)

It’s a common trope in SFF literature and film that moms (and sometimes both parents) are either deceased or evil. But in honor of Mother’s Day we want to celebrate the moms who are neither fridged nor villains—the ones will nurture, support, and kick ass to protect their kids… and sometimes save the planet and/or the future in the process.  

Joyce Byers, Stranger Things

It’s easy to laugh at Joyce Byers’ over-the-top terror in Stranger Things, and it’s easy to get hung up on the nostalgia stunt casting of having ‘90s icon Winona Ryder playing a suburban mom. But those reaction miss the depth of both the character and the actor playing her. She could have been an object of ridicule: the poor trailer trash mom who was always just at the edge of crazy, and finally topple right over with her screaming and Christmas light. Instead, she ...
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Aurora Australis: New Releases, Upcoming Anthologies, and Awards Season!

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! There’s been unexpected snow in some parts of the country while others are on track for their driest April ever; arguments over what “Australian values” are; and anticipation of the federal government’s budget (due in May). Meanwhile we’ve got new books, books turning into television and film, and awards galore… Ticonderoga Publications has announced the table of contents for their next anthology, Ecopunk! Edited by Liz Grzyb and Cat Sparks, featuring writers Jane Rawson, Jason Nahrung, Rivqa Rafael, and Matthew Chrulew, among others. It’s described as “19 optimistic tales, selected by two award-winning editors, showing how humanity can survive and flourish, despite the looming uncertainty from climate change”—which sounds like something very appropriate for the times. Ben Peek has a new novella coming out, set before the events of The Godless. ...

2017 Ditmar Awards Preliminary Ballot Announced

Continuum 13 Australian NatCon The Australian National Science Fiction Convention (or NatCon) has released the preliminary ballot for the 2017 Ditmar Awards. Fans and members of Australian NatCon nominated professional and fan works published in 2016, with the ballot compiled by an elected subcommittee. The preliminary ballot is open to comments and potential corrections, after which point the final ballot will be released. We’re especially thrilled to see Angela Slatter’s novelette “Finnegan’s Field” among the nominees! The Ditmar Awards will be presented at Continuum 13, Melbourne’s annual fan-run speculative fiction and pop culture convention, June 9-12. The Guest of Honor is Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.  

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia
  • The Lyre Thief, Jennifer Fallon, HarperCollins
  • Squid’s Grief, D.K. Mok, D.K. Mok
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter, Jo Fletcher Books
  • The Wizardry of Jewish Women, Gillian Polack, Satalyte Publishing

Best Novella or Novelette

  • ...

Aurora Australis: Mixing Genres and Outrunning Robots

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! There’s been a cyclone off the Queensland coast causing floods on the east coast. Daylight savings is about to end in the eastern states. To either joy or consternation, it’s nearly men’s Australian Rules football season again; we just had the inaugural women’s national season. And of course, there’s new books to talk in the speculative fiction scene… Hachette is publishing Victoria Carless’ debut YA novel The Dream Walker in June, and it’s intriguing not least because the genre isn’t entirely clear from the blurb. But “Lucy’s nightlife… is filled with dreams that just don’t seem to belong to her at all… [and] when the fish stop biting, like they did when her mum was still around, Lucy realises she isn’t the only one with a secret” sounds entirely enchanting. Also coming ...

Revealing Dave McKean’s Cover and the Table of Contents for New Anthology Mad Hatters and March Hares

Mad Hatters and March Hares cover Ellen Datlow has a brand new anthology on the way, inspired by a strange and magical place that fantasy fans know quite well…. Check below for details! Here is what you can expect from Mad Hatters and March Hares: “An all original anthology of stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. ‘Alice’ has been read, enjoyed, and savored by generations of children and adults since its publication. It’s hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative and full of wordplay, mathematical puzzles, and political and social satire.” Mad Hatters and March Hares will features stories that are inspired by the strange events and characters that appear in Wonderland.

Table of Contents

  • “A Comfort, One Way” by Genevieve Valentine
  • “Alis” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “All the King’s Men” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “Conjoined” by Jane Yolen
  • “Eating the Alice Cake” by Kaaron Warren
  • “Gentle Alice” by Kris ...

Revealing Dave McKean’s Cover and the Table of Contents for New Anthology Mad Hatters and March Hares

Mad Hatters and March Hares cover Ellen Datlow has a brand new anthology on the way, inspired by a strange and magical place that fantasy fans know quite well…. Check below for details! Here is what you can expect from Mad Hatters and March Hares: “An all original anthology of stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. ‘Alice’ has been read, enjoyed, and savored by generations of children and adults since its publication. It’s hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative and full of wordplay, mathematical puzzles, and political and social satire.” Mad Hatters and March Hares will features stories that are inspired by the strange events and characters that appear in Wonderland.

Table of Contents

  • “A Comfort, One Way” by Genevieve Valentine
  • “Alis” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “All the King’s Men” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “Conjoined” by Jane Yolen
  • “Eating the Alice Cake” by Kaaron Warren
  • “Gentle Alice” by Kris ...

Revealing Dave McKean’s Cover and the Table of Contents for New Anthology Mad Hatters and March Hares

Mad Hatters and March Hares cover Ellen Datlow has a brand new anthology on the way, inspired by a strange and magical place that fantasy fans know quite well…. Check below for details! Here is what you can expect from Mad Hatters and March Hares: “An all original anthology of stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. ‘Alice’ has been read, enjoyed, and savored by generations of children and adults since its publication. It’s hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative and full of wordplay, mathematical puzzles, and political and social satire.” Mad Hatters and March Hares will features stories that are inspired by the strange events and characters that appear in Wonderland.

Table of Contents

  • “A Comfort, One Way” by Genevieve Valentine
  • “Alis” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “All the King’s Men” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “Conjoined” by Jane Yolen
  • “Eating the Alice Cake” by Kaaron Warren
  • “Gentle Alice” by Kris ...

Aurora Australis: Stories of Witches, Leeches, and More

Art by Kathleen Jennings

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand!

Read on to find out about new art, new stories, new collections, and awards shortlists…

9781760295134There’s a new Margo Lanagan collection in town, and the cover has just been released and we are all very excited. The collection contains ten reprints and three new stories; it’s due in May.

Christopher Rowe may not be Australian but Kathleen Jennings is, which means that this cover reveal for Telling the Map (seen above) definitely counts as interesting news! (I’m sure the book will be great too.)

Angela Slatter is very, very busy. She now has a page on Patreon, where there’s lots of different levels at which to support the writing of this award-winning author, so consider throwing some money her way. The launch of her second novel Corpselight is due for ...

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Announcing the 2016 Aurealis Award Finalists

Aurealis Awards finalists nominees shortlist The Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF) has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Aurealis Awards, which recognize the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and children’s fiction writers. Winners of the 2016 Aurealis Awards and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony on April 14, as part of the SwanCon convention at the Metro Hotel in Perth, Western Australia. The complete list of finalists for the 2016 Aurealis Awards: Best Fantasy Novel
  • Nevernight, Jay Kristoff (Harper Voyager)
  • Fall of the Dagger, Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)
  • Den of Wolves, Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Road to Winter, Mark Smith (Text Publishing)
  • Sisters of the Fire, Kim Wilkins (Harlequin Australia)
Best Fantasy Novella
  • “Raven’s First Flight,” Alan Baxter (SNAFU: Black Ops, Cohesion Press)
  • “By the Laws of Crab ...

Aurora Australis: Some Darkness, and Some Hope

Art by Dominic Harman Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! As the new year arrives with a thud, we’re serving up some new books filled with vampires and apocalypse and monsters—but there’s some hope and happiness in there too, honest. We’ve also got some new covers, and calls for submissions, and it’s time to start thinking about award nominations again… There’s a new online speculative fiction magazine in town, Gamut. For their first issue they’ve taken the very sensible course of including two Australians: Michelle Goldsmith’s original “Love Story, An Exorcism,” and an Angela Slatter reprint. Those are very good reasons to go check it out since the editors clearly have good taste. Some time back, ClanDestine Press ran a crowdfunding campaign for And Then… which is now ready for your consumption. It’s not all speculative, but some of it is, and ...
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Free Ebook Giveaway of Some of the Best of Tor.com 2016 Edition

torbestof2016_final We are very excited to offer a free download of the 2016 edition of Some of the Best from Tor.com, an anthology of 25 of our favorite short stories and novelettes from the last year. Readers worldwide can download the ebook for free by signing up for the Tor.com Publishing newsletter from midnight EST on January 10th until 11:59 P.M. EST on January 17th. Of course, you can always enjoy all of our free weekly short stories by visiting Tor.com’s fiction index. These stories were acquired and edited for Tor.com by Ellen Datlow, Ann VanderMeer, Carl Engle-Laird, Liz Gorinsky, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Justin Landon, Diana Pho, and Miriam Weinberg. Each story is accompanied by an original illustration. See the cover and table of contents below, along with download instructions for the giveaway!  

Some of the Best of Tor.com, 2016 — Table ...