Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: Awards, Movies, Books, and Peace

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, the Aurealis Awards, is December 7 (works must be received by December 31). If you’re an Australian who has published work in 2015, or you’re an editor or publisher with Australian content, be sure to send it along!

illuminae-coverThe book is always better than the movie, of course, but that doesn’t stop excitement at books being turned into movies. A few months ago I mentioned the imminent arrival of Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Well, not only did it debut on the New York Times Young Adult Hardcover Bestseller list, it’s also been snaffled by Brad Pitt’s production company to be made into a film. The book is pitched as “Battlestar Galactica meets 10 Things I Hate About You, so I’m basically throwing money at the nearest cinema as I type to reserve my seat.

Speaking of transfiguration, magazines get turned into books sometimes, which is very convenient for those of us who blink and suddenly two months have passed and we’ve missed an issue or two… coeur de lion publishing has released its 2015 collection recently, featuring stories from Dimension6 over the year from authors like Jessica May Lin, David McDonald, Bren MacDibble and Jason Fisher. Additionally, IFWG Publishing Australia, who publish SQ Mag, will be publishing SQ Mag’s Best of 2014 as Star Quake 3. It will include works from such authors as Kaaron Warren, Lee Murray, Sean Williams, and Dan Rabarts, as well as non-Australians like Ken Liu.

shortcuts-track-1And while not strictly a magazine, Paper Road Press’ Shortcuts novellas have been collected as one anthology, combining Lee Murray and Piper Meija, Grant Stone, Octavia Cade, and three other disturbing stories in one place, in case you missed them earlier in the year.

And then there’s the books! In October, Satalyte Pubisher released Gillian Polack’s The Time of the Ghosts. Polack has described it as an “old women as superheros novel … set in a magic (and dark) Canberra;” this is a world where “it takes four women, one cup of tea at a time, to deal with Canberra’s haunting.”

Paper Road Press will be publishing Paul Mannering’s sequel to Engines of Empathy, to be called Pisces of Fate, by Christmas. It’s set in a “quasi-Pacific archipelago” and this time follows Charlotte Pudding’s brother—but the retired god of the first book is back, causing trouble.

tower-thorns-coverJuliet Marillier’s second novel in the Blackthorn & Grim series, Tower of Thorns, came out last month, to much rejoicing. The healer Blackthorn was hoping to settle back down after the events in Dreamer’s Pool but—as always makes the best stories—“trouble has a way of seeking these two out.” And how lovely is that cover!

Mentioned in an earlier column, but it’s always nice to acknowledge Real Proper Launches: Lisa L Hannett’s Lament for the Afterlife (ChiZine) was feted at Brisbane’s GenreCon at the end of October. Hannett also has a short story in the latest issue of The Dark, called “The Canary.”

Finally, let me end on a not-necessarily-genre note. Tiny Owl Workshop (who has awesome projects in shared-world spaces) has proposed a project called The Peace Letters. The intention is for the book to be “filled with letters, and hopefully some illustrations, from across the globe,” all celebrating the “creative, caring, thinking, humane, funny, empathic and resilient side of humanity.” Contributions will be donated and any proceeds from the project will go to the UNHCR. If you’re interested in contributing, there are further details over here.

As always, if you’ve got New Zealand or Australian news to share, drop me a line.

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian. She can be found at her website, and on the Galactic Suburbia podcast.

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