Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: Sampling Every Sub-Genre

Welcome back to Aurora Australis! This month we’re talking about climate change, superheroes, new novels, and some awards news. It’s the middle of the year and Australia and New Zealand are doing interesting things in speculative fiction as always.

Despite what our government seems to think, many Australians are aware of and concerned about the effects of climate change. One of the people writing about that is Cat Sparks, writer, editor and publisher. She’s currently undertaking a PhD on climate change fiction, and her debut novel will focus on those issues. She’s over here at SFF World talking about climate change fiction (I won’t use cli-fi, I won’t I won’t), while her novel Lotus Blue, published by Talos, is available for pre-order and will be out in early 2017. Not content with that, Sparks is also teaming up with editor Liz Grzyb and publisher Ticonderoga to present an anthology called Ecopunk. Submissions are open now until 31 August; they’re looking for stories “of confidence in our ability to meet the challenges the future will bring us”.

The start of this year saw the Pozible campaign for Fablecroft’s In Your Face anthology, looking to publish original and preprint stories that deal with provocative themes. In Your Face has now been launched, and if you want to order the book and see some terrifying pictures of authors with their copies, head on over to Fablecroft’s website.

Vigil-v4-2-194x300In other launch news, Angela Slatter’s novel Vigil—her debut novel!—is officially being launched on 19 July in Brisbane, which is very exciting indeed. More information about ordering it at Hachette. Slatter’s novel grew out of a short story for Twelfth Planet Press’ anthology Sprawl. It’s set in Brisbane, in the modern day, and features Weyrd creatures and a half-Weyrd, half-human, totally-cranky Verity Fassbinder who gets dragged into sorting out things that cross over from Weyrd to human.

Tansy Rayner Roberts’ new short story, Kid Dark Against the Machine, from The Book Smugglers, takes place in the same world as her “Cookie Cutter Superhero” story, which was in Twelfth Planet Press’ Kaleidoscope. When that anthology came out there were a number of “mooooore!” comments about Roberts’ story, so… here it is.

When I started compiling this column a fortnight ago, I wrote: In Watch This Space news, Tamara Moss is now represented by agent Molly Ker Hawn. So we will hopefully be hearing more news from this sector at some stage! (No pressure, of course….) However, not much later came the news that there was, indeed, news: Moss’ debut Lintang and the Pirate Queen has been sold to Penguin Random House for publication next year. THAT’S QUICK WORK RIGHT THERE. And it’s a two-book deal!

Goldenhand_300pxAThe Australian edition of Garth Nix’s Goldenhand, which continues his Old Kingdom series (AT LAST), has a cover! And it’s exciting! And features a golden hand! This can’t come out soon enough for me.

Cohesion Press has a few new titles coming out in the near future. Patrick Freivald’s Jade Gods is part of the Matt Rowley series, in a world ‘fray[ing] into occultism and terror’; Matt confronts ‘the line between reality and madness’ in this volume. There’s also a new addition to the SNAFU series, this time called Unnatural Selection. It features stories of military-bio-horror that aim to take the reader ‘back to those classic days’ of bio-horror films of the 70s and 80s. The authors include Lee Murray, Tim Lebbon and Chritopher Golden, and Dave Benyon. Finally, Hank Schwaeble’s The Angel of the Abyss is a Jake Hatcher novel, with Hatcher facing off against the angel of the abyss himself (itself?).

A number of authors with on-going series(eses) have new additions at the moment. Mike Reeves-McMillan has released the second Auckland Allies story, Ghost Bridge. It features necromancers and Victorian ghosts and a magical manuscript. Amanda Pillar has self-published a new novella in her Graced series, called Survivor, all about vampires and revenge and cooperation. And publishers Allen&Unwin are re-publishing Michael Adams’ series The Last Girl, The Last Place, and The Last Shot. It’s a post-apocalyptic series where the apocalypse takes the form of everyone being able to hear what everyone else is thinking, which may not sound that bad until you think about the sorts of things you think about all the time. At which point you will run screaming from this idea. Danby, though, can hear other people… but no one else can hear her.

TiptreeConvention news: next year’s Australian National Convention, to be held in Melbourne in June, will feature Seanan McGuire as the Guest of Honour! And so will the New Zealand National Convention!

Award news: the British Fantasy Society has shortlisted Letters to Tiptree (ed. Alexandra Pierce (yes, me) and Alisa Krasnostein) for the Non-fiction category of their awards. It also recently took out the Locus Award for non-fiction.

And looking forward to next year, the Aurealis Awards are now open to submissions. These juried awards are for work by Australians over the year, so if you published work by an Aussie, make sure you enter it!

Got Australian or NZ speculative fiction news? 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.


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