Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: Anthologies, Novels, and Adaptations

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand! Stories are being sold, stories are being added to series(es), stories are turning into films, gender diverse pronouns are being used, funds are sought… publishing in Australia and New Zealand is always exciting.

The NZ magazine Capricious is currently crowd-funding for an issue specifically devoted to stories using only gender diverse pronouns. The aim is for a double-length issue, meaning about eight stories plus author interviews, scheduled for publication in late 2017, and paying US professional author rates. Submissions are open until late February, so check out the full guidelines here. Go! Support! Consider story ideas!

at-the-edgeRolling Ridges, a New Zealand film production company, is running a crowd-funding campaign to bring author EG Wilson’s short story “12-36” to life. Published earlier this year in the anthology At the Edge, “12-36” tells the story of a shuttle drifting out of control through space, inhabited only by the captain, Tsione, and a young girl

New books! Sam Hawke has exciting news: a two-book deal with Tor, starting with her fantasy City of Lies. Siblings Jovan and Kalina both lead secret lives, where outward appearances conceal deadly truths. Of course, you just know that things are going to come crashing down. It’s the first in The Poison Wars series, and we have to wait til the first half of 2018 to read it BOO.

songshiftingAlready available, Chris Bell has a new novel out, called Songshifting. It’s described as “a simple, elegiac story, fierce and uncompromising.” Set in an alternative or future London, it uses the idea of state-sponsored music to flesh out a dystopia involving state manipulation of mood and memory. Musicians have the usual artistic disagreements but they’re more sinister in this context, and there may also be time travel involved…

Also already available, Darian Smith’s new book Kalanon’s Rising is set to be the first in the Agents of Kalanon series. “Solve the murder. Stop the war. Save the world”—easy! Or maybe not, since the murder is of the king’s cousin and the allies Brannon Kesh gathers don’t exactly inspire confidence. Kalanon’s Rising won the SpecFicNZ Novel Competition.

sleepers-danceShorter but not lesser: Mouse Diver-Dudfield has a new novella out, called The Sleeper’s Dance. The premise is straightforward: “1874—In search of an Incan city, renowned British explorer Rupert Mendenhall unwittingly releases a long dormant zombie plague on the unsuspecting occupants of the Cotahuasi Valley, Peru.” Lee Murray describes it as “a must-read for horror fans.”

Nix Whittaker’s second book in the Wyvern series is The Mechanicals (the first was Blazing Blunderbuss, from early in 2016). It continues the story of Hara and Gideon, this time involving helping the Emperor in a small domestic matter—rescuing his wife’s niece. Failure could mean civil war, so no pressure then.

Also continuing a series is Mike Reeves-McMillan, whose Auckland Allies gets its third instalment in Unsafe Harbour. In which Isaac Newton’s lost manuscripts hold the key to magic which might save Auckland from Nazi sorcerers… talk about mashing up historical figures!

aurora-decimaNow into its sixth book, Amanda Bridgeman’s Aurora series contines with Aurora: Decima. Carries Welles is still working with Harris and the Aurora team, and “vowing to raise her children and fight as the soldier-mother she was destined to be.” Of course there’s another serious problem to face—in this case, an impending invasion, as well as integrating new members into the team. As if one of those by themselves wouldn’t be hard enough.

I mentioned Kimberley Starr’s The Book of Whispers a couple of columns ago—it won the Text Prize for YA and Children’s Writing in 2015. Well, it’s now out!

yearsbest-yaTwelfth Planet Press has the 2015 edition of their Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction out now. Their goal is to “uncover the best young adult short fiction of the year” and put it all together in an accessible place. The anthology includes stories from Genevieve Valentine, Sean Williams, Sarah Pinsker, and a whole bunch of other exciting people.

Not entirely speculative fiction, but nonetheless awesome and inspiring: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has put out their nomination list for 2017. There are 226 candidates from 60 countries, including seven from Australia.

Got any Australian or New Zealand news? Send it my way!

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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