Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: Mixing Genres and Outrunning Robots

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

There’s been a cyclone off the Queensland coast causing floods on the east coast. Daylight savings is about to end in the eastern states. To either joy or consternation, it’s nearly men’s Australian Rules football season again; we just had the inaugural women’s national season. And of course, there’s new books to talk in the speculative fiction scene…

Hachette is publishing Victoria Carless’ debut YA novel The Dream Walker in June, and it’s intriguing not least because the genre isn’t entirely clear from the blurb. But “Lucy’s nightlife… is filled with dreams that just don’t seem to belong to her at all… [and] when the fish stop biting, like they did when her mum was still around, Lucy realises she isn’t the only one with a secret” sounds entirely enchanting. Also coming from Hachette in June is Ian Irvine’s The Fatal Gate; it’s the second book in the Gates of Good and Evil series.

Angela Slatter, busy bee that she is, has a new book out in July: Corpselight, sequel to last year’s very well received Vigil. And the cover has been revealed, and it’s… a bit freaky and a bit awesome.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has been experimenting with spoken-word books at her podcast Sheep Might Fly. The novella “Glass Slipper Scandal” first appeared there and is now available as an ebook if you prefer reading over listening to Roberts’ mellifluous tones.

No table of contents yet, but Jonathan Strahan has just submitted the manuscript of Infinity Wars to the publisher. (That’s his 73rd book!)

Something that does have a table of contents is StarQuake 4: SQ Mag’s Best of 2015. Said table of contents include Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Angela Slatter and Lee Battersby. By the time you’re reading this article, the electronic and print versions should be available.

Alan Baxter has a new novella coming out from PS Publishing, which he talks about over on the PS Publishing site—in particular about mashing genres.

Twelfth Planet Press is publishing a book in honour of Octavia Butler this year, which I’m editing along with Mimi Mondal. The official title has been announcedLuminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. Associated with that, Twelfth Planet is running a book club on the first Sunday of each month (Australian time; hosted by me), looking at some of Butler’s books; join in if you can!

Cat Sparks’ novel Lotus Blue is now out, and she’s been attending a bunch of conventions in the US. Her report from SXSW is well worth reading, as she reflects on the technological developments and nearly gets run down by a robot.

We have some conventions of our own coming up! Swancon, in Perth, happens over Easter; Joyce Chng was recently added to the line-up of guests, along with Sean Williams, Alan Baxter, Michael Troughton, and Traci Harding. And there’s also Conflux, in Canberra, who have recently announced that their international guest of honour is Ellen Datlow, joining Angela Slatter.

Seriously heading into awards territory now. Firstly, the Tiptree Award and Honor and Long Lists were announced. Foz Meadows’ An Accident of Stars and Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things both got mentions in the long list, which is tremendous. And then there’s the Gemmell Awards long list, too, with Helen Lowe, Ian Irvine, Jay Kristoff, Ben Peek, Foz Meadows and Glenda Larke all getting a look-in on the Legend list.

From the Australian scene, the Australian Shadows Awards shortlist has been announced, with awards for short and long fiction, novels, and collected works. Lee Murray, Alan Baxter, Kaaron Warren and Greg Chapman all feature a few times, as well as other names both established and new. Check it out if you’re interested in the Australian/NZ horror scene.

Got something to tell me about New Zealand or Australian news? Bring it on!

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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