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 ...

Fairy Tales and Trauma: Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl

No story was just a story, though. It was a suitcase stuffed with secrets.

One of the more enigmatic figures in the history of fairy tales is Dortchen Wild, the woman who told Wilhelm Grimm many of the most brutal tales he collected in Household Tales, and who later—much later—married him. In her novel The Wild Girl, Kate Forsyth pulls from history and fairy tale to try to reconstruct Dorchen’s life. Most of the novel is told in a lengthy flashback, explaining exactly how lovers Dortchen and Wilhelm found themselves desperately in love but unable to be together as the novel started, in 1814—right after her father’s death, and shortly after Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm had published their first, scholarly edition of Household Tales. Forsyth’s answer can be more or less summed up by “money” and “trauma,” though, as in so many fairy tales, the answer is more complicated ...

Aurora Australis: Reprints, Retellings, and Recolonisations

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Australia and New Zealand have had their respective national science fiction conventions; the Cadbury chocolate factory in Tasmania got hit by a ransomware attack; and the Australian 2016 census data is being analysed, resulting in this video about Australia as 100 people. Oh, also we have new books—actual and promised—and more awards news. Claire G Coleman’s debut is coming out in August from Hachette; it was written during her black&write! 2016 fellowship. It’s called Terra Nullius—which, for the non-Australians reading, is a loaded term for Australians, since that was part of the claim made by the British when they arrived here: that the land was owned by no one. It’s a wonderfully chosen title, since in the book Coleman imagines a near future Australia that is about to be colonised ...

Alphabetical Aurora Australis

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Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! This month let’s recapping the news alphabetically, from the Aurealis Awards to some publishing news from Tansy Rayner Roberts!

Aurealis Awards were awarded on Good Friday at Contact, this year’s Australian national convention. That link includes a picture of the very pretty trophies as well as all the info you need about who won what – like Deborah Kalin, Garth Nix, and Trent Jamieson each snagging two of the pretties (Jamieson for the same book!).

toaster-on-marsDarrell Pitt: Text Publishing is bringing Pitt’s YA novel A Toaster on Mars out in late May. Described as being for fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, it follows special agent Blake Carter at the Planetary Bureau of Investigation whose life is going from bad to worse and then his daughter gets kidnapped.

Ditmars: ...

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Aurora Australis: A Bite of Tucker and a Beer

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The sun burns hotly thro’ the gums
As down the road old Rogan comes—
The hatter from the lonely hut
Beside the track to Woollybutt.
He likes to spend his Christmas with us here. He says a man gets sort of strange
Living alone without a change,
Gets sort of settled in his way;
And so he comes each Christmas day
To share a bite of tucker and a beer. –CJ Dennis, “A Bush Christmas” (originally published 1934)

While this poem doesn’t reflect Christmas for all Australians (after all, not all of us celebrate Christmas, and most of us don’t live in the bush), the weather at least is a sight closer to reality for most of us than “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Anyway, it’s the start of a new calendar year, and there’s plenty happening in the publishing world. Something I missed a bit earlier in ...

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