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: 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 ...

Aurora Australis: Sampling Every Sub-Genre

Art by Sebastian Ciaffaglione Welcome back to Aurora Australis! This month we’re talking about climate change, superheroes, new novels, and some awards news. It’s the middle of the year and Australia and New Zealand are doing interesting things in speculative fiction as always. Despite what our government seems to think, many Australians are aware of and concerned about the effects of climate change. One of the people writing about that is Cat Sparks, writer, editor and publisher. She’s currently undertaking a PhD on climate change fiction, and her debut novel will focus on those issues. She’s over here at SFF World talking about climate change fiction (I won’t use cli-fi, I won’t I won’t), while her novel Lotus Blue, published by Talos, is available for pre-order and will be out in early 2017. Not content with that, Sparks is also teaming up with editor Liz Grzyb and publisher Ticonderoga to present an anthology ...

Aurora Australis: There’s More to Life Than Anthologies

Art by Emma Weakley This month we are overjoyed by anthologies, glum about waiting for books to arrive (but excited that they exist), and mildly anticipatory about the 2016 awards season. All but the last is pretty standard… one of these days I’m going to chart emotions over the year based on awards shortlists/announcements… But first up, a plethora of anthologies! Firstly, Fablecroft’s Pozible campaign (the Australian version of Kickstarter) got off to a great start in January, being fully funded within just twelve hours. At the time of writing it was funded to three times its initial target, meaning that authors will be getting more than initially assigned. In mid-January, they announced a preliminary table of contents, including reprints from Paul Haines (“Wives” is one of the most horrific stories I’ve ever read, so it’s perfect for this anthology) and Angela Slatter, as well as original fictions from Tansy Rayner Roberts, Dirk ...

Aurora Australis: Awards, Novels, and Podcasts

Aurora Australis from Goats Bluff, Tasmania (Photo: James Garlick)

Apparently there have been some excellent aurora australis in the skies recently, but winter where I live obscures them behind grey, grey skies. At least good things are happening in the NZ and Australian SFF scene, so that’s some compensation.

blue-elephantThe World Fantasy Awards ballot came out, with Kaaron Warren appearing in the Short Fiction category for her “Death’s Door Café” (from Shadows and Tall Trees 2014) while the Collection category features two Australians: Angela Slatter for The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (from Tartarus Press), and Janeen Webb for Death at the Blue Elephant (from Ticonderoga).

Additionally, it was remiss of me not to mention, in the last column, that Amal El-Mohtar’s “The Truth About Owls” won the Locus Award for Best Short Story. While El-Mohtar is not Australian, the story appeared in Twelfth Planet Press’ Kaleidoscope, so there’s a connection of a sort….

While we’re on ...

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