Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: A Quiet Spring

It was a quiet April for speculative fiction in Australia and New Zealand. I can only think that the exhaustion of the Aurealis Awards and Ditmars and all of the exciting news from March has sent a bunch of authors and publishers scurrying into their (invasive, feral) rabbitholes to recuperate. Nonetheless, a few brave souls were still making some waves…

The Australian Shadows Awards were announced via Facebook on the Australian Horror Writers’ Association page. Winners included Rob Hood for Best Collected Work, Kaaron Warren for Best Short Story, and Alan Baxter received the Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction.

David McDonald finally got to sharecastaways-cover some exciting news: that his new book is a Guardians of the Galaxy one! In Castaways, McDonald writes that the Guardians have become just that and consequently go their separate ways, but then need to reunite to save the planet. McDonald also says that there is more news in the offing, which is exciting but also rather frustrating while we wait to hear (and possibly frustrating to hold inside, for him, but at least he KNOWS what the news is).

Fantastica SciFi reports that their next book will be Fire Boy, by Sami Shah. You can read or listen to an extract over here: the opening says that “These stories always happen to someone’s cousin’s brother’s nephew. Muzammil Bangash was, unfortunately for him, just that.”

isbn9780733635168-detailLian Hearn’s new series, the Tale of Shikanoko (set 300 years before Tales of the Otori), has books 3 and 4 out now. Lord of the Darkwood continues a series complete with “wild forest, elegant court and savage battlefield.” (Books 1 and 2 were Emperor of the Eight Islands.)

From Random House comes Watershed, by Jane Abbott. The description sounds all-too-uncomfortably familiar for a lot of Australians: “Devoid of rain, the earth has shrunk to dust and salt, hemmed by a swollen sea….” This is Abbott’s debut and it’s a dark dystopia: telling friend from foe is difficult, figuring out how to survive in the new world is harder.

DD_cover_ebook-640x1024Cover reveal: Twelfth Planet Press’ Defying Doomsday has a cover, and it’s pretty awesome. The ebook has been sent to those who helped fund their Kickstarter campaign, and will be officially released on May 30.

More crowdfunding: Clan Destine Press is using IndieGogo to organise pre-orders for their new bumper anthology, And Then…. It’s going to be published in June, but going through their campaign gets you 25% off the RRP as well as the chance at other perks. The table of contents includes people like Lucy Sussex, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Jason Nahrung, Jack Dann and Peter M Ball.

crowshine-webAnd finally, Ticonderoga Press has announced that they will be publishing Alan Baxter’s first collection, Crow Shine. It’s due out in September and will consist of 19 stories – three of which have never been published before, including the titular “Crow Shine” (which inspired the totally creepy cover, one presumes).

Got Australian or NZ news to share? Pass it on!

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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