Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! This month I’m once again recapping the news alphabetically—from a few award-winners and -nominees, to a trio of wonderful authors whose last names begin with W!
A is for Awards, of course! Actually there’s not a whole lot to report at the moment: the podcast Verity!, which includes Australian Tansy Rayner Roberts waxing lyrical about Doctor Who, is a finalist in the 2016 Parsec Awards (Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (specific)); Australian publisher Fabelcroft has a story in the WSFA Small Press Awards finalists (Stephanie Burgis’ “The Art of Deception,” from Insert Title Here); and Letters to Tiptree was awarded an Alfie by George RR Martin at WorldCon.
But A is also for Keri Arthur, whose Winter Halo, which is coming from Hachette in December. It involves humanoid supersoldiers who have nearly been wiped out, and what to do if you know your people are being targeted. Clearly the answer has to be “do something about it” … and that won’t be easy.
C is for Chan—Kylie Chan—although perhaps this should go under T for Teaser because she’s writing a three-book ‘space fantasy’ (Dragons in Space!). She’s announced on her Facebook page as being picked up by HarperCollins Australia, but that’s all the information I can find!
F is for SC Flynn, whose YA post-apocalyptic novel Children of the Different is set to publish on September 10. It’s set nineteen years after a brain disease has wiped out large swathes of the world’s population, and now the children of the next generation are experiencing something weird…
G is for Amanda Greenslade, whose second novel in the Astor Chronicles, Tanza, is coming out very soon. An epic fantasy adventure, it follows on from Talon, Greenslade’s debut novel.
K is for Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff whose sequel to Illuminae, called Gemina, is due out in November and there was MUCH REJOICING. Written in a found-footage style, Illuminae was very popular and has been optioned for a film. The sequel looks to be focussing on new characters but still connecting to the sinister events of the first book.
K is also for Kim Kane: her When the Lyrebird Calls, for 10-13 year olds, is a time-travelling story that reminds me of two of my Australian childhood favourites (Playing Beatie Bow and Riddle of the Trumpalar). Madeleine goes back in time courtesy of a pair of shoes and a lyrebird, and is therefore witness to some of the early political struggles of the new nation of Australia.
M is for Mike Reeves-McMillan, whose novella Hand of the Trickster is now available and includes two bonus short stories. This one is a sword & sorcery story of a thief who steals from other gods’ temples in the service of the Trickster God.
M is also for Jessica Miller. Her middle-grade adventure Elizabeth and Zenobia will make all Zenobias pleased that there is now an accessible story with their name in it, especially since Zenobia gets to be unusual and fearless. The two friends have to cope with a house called Witheringe House that seems straight out of the best gothic novel.
P is for Gillian Polack, whose new book The Wizardry of Jewish Women is coming from Satalyte Publishing in September. In it, “sometimes, suburban Australia is chancy and troubling. Even without those mystery boxes from the great-grandmother no-one talks about. Even without the Angel of Death and Zoë’s pink tutu.”
S is for Sparks, because Cat Sparks has shared the cover of her novel Lotus Blue and it is really cool!! But it’s not out until February next year, from Talos Press, so that’s really Sad!
S is also for Angela Slatter, whose new set of stories is coming from Prime Books in October HOORAY. Called A Feast of Sorrows, it’s Slatter’s first US collection and is largely reprints but with two new novellas. This can only be a good thing.
S is also also for Kimberley Starr, whose The Book of Whispers won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing last year. A medieval adventure spanning Tuscany and Cappadocia, two adolescents have dreams that appear to predict the future and mean they need to unite “to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.”
S is also also also for Zena Shapter, whose new novel Towards White has just been picked up IFWG Publishing. It’s due out next year and the announcement page features an intriguing blurb: Becky doens’t care that “scientists have discovered what happens to us after we die”—she’s only interested in getting her brother back.
W is for Kaaron Warren: her book The Grief Hole from IFWG Publishing has just been launched as part of the Canberra Writers’ Festival, as of writing. Trade paperbacks are coming by the end of September. As well as Warren’s trademark horror, the book features six illustrations from Australian artist Keely Van Order.
W is also for Kim Wilkins, because Harlequin is publishing her new novel Sisters of the Fire and there’s a lot of excitement for it. It features Bluebell—a battle-scarred warrior princess—and her sisters, all with different destinies and different gifts, as they navigate betrayal and family and love. It’s the second book in the Blood and Gold series.
W is also also for EG Wilson, whose Voiceless duology was picked up recently by Atthis. They’re running a Kickstarter at the moment to cover publication costs, so head on over and throw some money to support it.
If you’ve got things to share of a New Zealand or Australian flavour, 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.