Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: The Year’s Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand!

Things are slowing down a bit in the Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction scene, as we wind down for the year (well, some of us anyway) and take a deep breath before plunging into 2017. But we’ve still got some news to share—some new novels, some awards news, those sorts of things. The usual. Not that any of the stories mentioned are usual, oh no… horrific fairy stories and musketeers on space stations and paranormal romance and…

Tansy news! Tansy Rayner Roberts, that is. Last year Roberts created a magnificent web series mash-up of The Three Musketeers and space opera, called Musketeer Space. You can get it as an ebook now, if you didn’t read it at the time. And if you like that, there’s also a prequel novella which she’s just released—and, appropriately, it’s a Christmas special, called Joyeux. if that’s not enough Tansy, Book Smugglers have just announced that they will be publishing her superhero novella called Girl Reporter next year. She’s been busy!

convergence2Speaking of Book Smugglers, I realised I have been remiss in not shouting about Octavia Cade’s novella, The Convergence of Fairy Tales, which is a horror story mash-up of five different fairy tale princesses all being facets of the same person. There’s revenge and deep unpleasantness, appropriately, and a truly awesome cover image.

Jean Gilbert moved to New Zealand in 2005 and is now a resident of the Shire (Waikato Valley). With William Dresden she has a new YA fantasy novel out, Light in My Dark, published by Rogue House. One character longing for adventure, another longing for love, and a new boy in town—a recipe for adventure. It’s the first in the Beyond the Wall series.

Mike Reeves-McMillan has a new story in his Hand of the Trickster series: Trickster’s Nab, in which a thief discovers that a group of people even more immoral than him have created an interrogation drug that basically steals memories. And this is going to be problematic for said thief since it’s going to implicate his family. Cue desperate intervention efforts…

isbn9781473217553-detailHave you been keeping up with Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling novels? Allegiance of Honour is the fifteenth title, so if you’re looking for an epic set of novels to keep you amused over your summer (southerners) or winter (northerners), this might be for you! Obviously if you haven’t read any of the other stories then telling you what’s happening here won’t make sense… but Publisher’s Weekly has called the series “Paranormal romance at its best”…

I’m claiming Tom Toner as an honorary Australian, since he lived here for a while—and, importantly, wrote here. So here’s some enthralling news: his debut novel, out from Gollancz, called The Promise of the Child. It’s described as “An extraordinarily inventive and hugely original SF novel that charts a compelling vision of a future and spins an hypnotic narrative around it”.

Awards announcements are slowing down, as we all take a deep breath before the frenzy of nomination for next year. But wait! There was World Fantasy since I last wrote here! And the winner of the World Fantasy Awards: Novel category was Anna Smaill, for The Chimes (from Sceptre Press). And Anna Smaill is a New Zealander, which is terribly exciting!

Another very exciting piece of awards news—and an award many will never have heard of—is that the Australian Writer’s Guild 2016 John Hinde Award for Science Fiction has gone to Michael Miller, one of the screenwriters of Cleverman, the TV show broadcast on our ABC (the national broadcaster) and steeped in Aboriginal mythology. Miller won for episode five… and won $10,000. The other category, for an unproduced script, went to Graeme Burfoot and his screenplay Red to Blue.

single-stoneAND Australia’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards came out recently, with Meg McKinlay’s A Single Stone winning Best YA Novel (beating out Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae, amongst others). It’s about “an isolated society rocked by the consequences of a tiny discovery” made by a young girl, Jena, who just wanted to be the best at what she can do… .

Additionally and finally, it’s important to note that the submission period for the Aurealis Awards closes on December 7, so if you know of any Australians who’ve had stories published somewhere, YOU’RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME to make sure they’re submitted! And nominations for the Convenors’ Award for Excellence—basically, Australian speculative fiction stuff that doesn’t fit into the established Aurealis Award categories—close on December 31.

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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