Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! This month I’m 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!).
Darrell 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: Also at Contact, the Ditmars (popularly nominated and voted on) were awarded on Easter Sunday to Australian works from 2015. It was quite a different shortlist and outcome compared to the Aurealis Awards, which just means more books on the to-be-read pile!
Fablecroft: The Aussie publishing house released a new book, Kate Forsyth’s The Rebirth of Rapunzel. Forsyth published Bitter Greens, a novel exploring the Rapunzel story, a few years ago; this volume presents her research into the myth and promises to be “not your usual reference work, but a complex and engaging exploration of the subject matter.”
Garth Nix: Nix has announced the new title in his Old Kingdom series via this rather cute little video. (It’s Goldenhand, if you don’t want to click through.) It’s set after the events of Abhorsen, which came out in 2006. The cover for the US version has been released, too, and it fits in very nicely with the more recent covers for what-used-to-be-a-trilogy-but-I-am-not-complaining. In other Garth Nix news, it’s not an Old Kingdom story, but Picadilly Press has acquired Nix’s Frogkisser. The middle-grade novel, as the name suggests, is a take on princesses kissing frogs, “with magic and humour along the way.”
Jonathan Strahan: The venerated editor has released the table of contents for his next anthology, Drowned Worlds, coming from Solaris in June. Alongside Australian Sean Williams are Nina Allan, Ken Liu, Catherynne M Valente, some other awesome people…
Kickstarter: Paper Road Press is running a Kickstarter campaign (ends 19 April) to extend the print-run of their anthology At the Edge, edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray. It features work from authors such as Octavia Cade, AJ Fitzwater, Martin Livings, and Joanne Anderton. The book will be launched at AuContraire in June.
Mentors: The New Zealand Society of Authors offers a mentorship programme, which I think is an excellent idea, and they recently announced the 14 recipients for 2016. It covers a range of genres, including literary fiction, YA, poetry and graphic novels.
Raymond Harris: The author has recently published the first volume of a proposed trilogy, Paradise Reclaimed. It’s set across two time periods, both near future and two hundred years into the future; it’s about interstellar colonisation and its consequences. It’s available through Amazon.
Rjurik Davidson: The author has a new short fiction collection coming out from Twelfth Planet Press. Dark Tides is due out in July 2017, and spans science fiction, fantasy, surrealism and magic realism.
Sir Julius Vogel Award: The nominations are in! The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are fan-voted, and recognize excellence in genre works by New Zealanders. Voting ends June 1 (or June 5 if you’ll be at AuContraire). Nominees this year include self-published works and work from NZ publishers; Jean Gilbert, Darian Smith, and JC Hart obviously all had very good years, given their nominations.
Tansy Rayner Roberts: The brand new Mocklore Omnibus from Fablecroft collects the first two adventures of Kassa Daggersharp—pirate, a witch, and general menace to public safety. Roberts came on the Australian fantasy scene a number of years ago (1998!) with Splashdance Silver, and its follow-up Liquid Gold. Fablecroft recently acquired the rights and have now republished the omnibus in both print and e-format. (Fablecroft already had the rights to the third Mocklore novel, Ink Black Magic.)
That’s it for this month! Got any NZ or Australian speculative fiction news I should know about? Let me know!
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.