Aurora Australis: Monsters, Reporters, and Knaves

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

Australians have been thrashing the English in cricket, while New Zealanders have been treating their guests from the West Indies likewise. Cricket’s a long-term game; even those of us who love it also have time for reading…

Obsidio, the final volume in the Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, will be out from Allen & Unwin in March of 2018! Which is a horribly long time away but at least we have a cover! It looks like it follows a new set of characters, again facing similar corporate issues as in the first two books. Given the quality of the first two, and the wonderful range of ‘found’ material to tell the story, this is sure to be a wild ride to end on.

Subterranean Press have picked up a ...

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: December’s Deep Breath Before the Plunge

convergence-crop Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Things are slowing down a bit in the Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction scene, as we wind down for the year (well, some of us anyway) and take a deep breath before plunging into 2017. But we’ve still got some news to share—some new novels, some awards news, those sorts of things. The usual. Not that any of the stories mentioned are usual, oh no… horrific fairy stories and musketeers on space stations and paranormal romance and… Tansy news! Tansy Rayner Roberts, that is. Last year Roberts created a magnificent web series mash-up of The Three Musketeers and space opera, called Musketeer Space. You can get it as an ebook now, if you didn’t read it at the time. And if you like that, there’s also a prequel novella which she’s ...
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Aurora Australis: Cleverman, Crowdfunding, and Kudos

From ABC's upcoming series CLEVERMAN This month we’re mostly on about crowdfunding, trilogies, and awards shortlists. There’s some other stuff too, because you just can’t stop the anthologies. Or Cleverman. Who is Cleverman? A few weeks ago I couldn’t have answered. But then there was this incredibly exciting announcement: that Cleverman is coming to the ABC (the Australian national broadcaster)—but only after it debuts at the Berlin International Film Festival. It’s also been picked up by the Sundance Channel (I have no idea how widespread that is…). Why is this so exciting? Because Cleverman is an Indigenous Australian superhero. As someone connected to the project has pointed out, “Australia has no real experience of genre TV, so the fact that the ABC Indigenous Department embraced this is pretty radical for free-to-air.” And in case you need big names as an extra drawcard, Cleverman’s got Iain Glen—you might know him from Game of Thrones...
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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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Aurora Australis: Awards, Movies, Books, and Peace

Art by Arantza Sestayo

In which awards are awarded and award nominations are closing, books get turned into movies and magazines get turned into books, and a few new books get published. Also, did you know that New Zealand nearly became part of Australia, and Western Australia nearly decided not to?

Dr-Angela-SlatterFirstly let me add to the chorus of congratulations surrounding Angela Slatter, for winning Best Collection at the World Fantasy Awards in early November for The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, published by Tartarus Press (tying with Helen Marshall and Gifts for the One Who Comes After, from ChiZine). There’s not too many Australians who have won this award, and this year there were three Australian women in the running! So, congratulations Slatter; this means that you have to keep writing awesome stories for many more years.

On the topic of awards: the deadline for entering works for Australia’s juried awards, ...

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Aurora Australis: Scaring the World, Surviving Apocalypses

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Ticonderoga Press

In which Aussies and Kiwis are amongst the best in the world at speculative fiction–we win at surviving the apocalypse–there are new books and a new magazine AND Australians are contributing to the Gollancz Festival. Don’t say we don’t contribute our fair share!

Here’s what’s coming up next month in the world of Australian (and New Zealand) spec fic.

New Anthologies!

Ticonderoga Press recently announced their 2014 anthology, continuing their best Australian (and NZ) fantasy and horror series. The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2014 includes work from Kaaron Warren, Alan Baxter, Janeen Webb, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Angela Slatter, Cat Sparks… it’s just generally an awesome line-up. Additionally, Fablecroft has also recently released their table of contents for Focus 2014: Highlights of Australian Short Fiction with work from Dirk Flinthart, Deborah Biancotti and Thoraiya Dyer (i.e. another excellent line-up).

Other Australians appearing in Year’s Bests: Lisa ...

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