Welcome back to Aurora Australis, a monthly round-up of publishing news and highlights from Australia and New Zealand!
As the new year arrives with a thud, we’re serving up some new books filled with vampires and apocalypse and monsters—but there’s some hope and happiness in there too, honest. We’ve also got some new covers, and calls for submissions, and it’s time to start thinking about award nominations again…
There’s a new online speculative fiction magazine in town, Gamut. For their first issue they’ve taken the very sensible course of including two Australians: Michelle Goldsmith’s original “Love Story, An Exorcism,” and an Angela Slatter reprint. Those are very good reasons to go check it out since the editors clearly have good taste.
Some time back, ClanDestine Press ran a crowdfunding campaign for And Then… which is now ready for your consumption. It’s not all speculative, but some of it is, and it promises to be “boundary-defying, adrenaline-charged stories of intrigue, bravery, mystery and peril.” Authors in the first volume include Tansy Rayner Roberts, Jason Nahrung, Dan Rabarts, and Lucy Sussex.
Also out now: Amanda Pillar’s Bitten, the second novel in her Graced series. And there’s a novella out, too, in case you missed that—Survivor. Don’t know the series? “In the city of Pinton, there are some basic truths: the king is a vampire, humans are present throughout society, and shape-shifters are few and far between. But there is a secret subset of humans, with powers that range from telepathy to empathy to telekinesis.”
Third in the Inlari sagas and now out is Armistice. The Inlari stories are set in a world where only Australia and New Zealand survive an alien invasion. They’re written by Woelf Dietrich, M.J. Kelley, Dana Leipold, and Elaine Chao and continue to fill in the post-apocalyptic gaps.
James Bradley has revealed the cover for his new YA novel, The Silent Invasion, and it looks awesome. It’s coming in April from Pan Macmillan, and is the first in the Change trilogy. Opening in 2027, it’s a world where the human race is dying thanks to spores from space infecting living things and making them part of an alien intelligence. (I’ll be honest, I want this now.)
Another cover reveal is courtesy of Jonathan Strahan, whose eleventh volume of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year will be out in the next couple of months. The cover art is by Dominic Harman; the list of authors makes this promise to be a magnificent volume.
Recently announced as coming soon, and also with a cover reveal, is the next book from Cohesion Press: Primordial. Co-written by David Wood and Alan Baxter, the cover gives a pretty good suggestion of what the plot will involve. It’s due out at the end of February.
Once you’ve read that, and for something completely different, you can go on to David Vann’s Bright Air Black (he lives in New Zealand for half the year so he totally counts). This is a retelling of Medea’s story, told through the eyes of Medea herself; the blurb promises it to be “the most intimate and corporal version of Medea’s story ever told.”
Writing rather than reading? Call for submissions! Cohesion Press’ next SNAFU anthology is looking for stories that deal with judgement day—although no zombies, because “that’s already taken care of.” You’ll find all the details over on their web page; submissions opened on 1 February and close on 30 April.
Also open for submissions, now that they’re past the halfway mark of their crowdfunding goal, is the anthology Problem Daughters from FutureFire.net Publishing. (It’s being co-edited by Australian Rivqa Rafael so we’re totally claiming it.) It aims to be “an anthology of speculative fiction by and about marginalized women”—click on the link to throw them some money and maybe get a crocheted doll while you’re at it.
And finally, awards! The start of the year means it’s time to start nominating last year’s works. Hugo nominations are open, and so are nominations for New Zealand’s fan-voted Sir Julius Vogel Awards. You can find the nominating form and guidelines at their website.