Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: On TV, in Print, in Your Ears!

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

Tehani Croft in the driver’s seat again for the column, while Alex wanders around the world some more, this time with Katharine by her side for a bit of it! In a month when all Aussies are starting to wonder “Maybe I too have citizenship in another country…” and the threat of a non-binding plebiscite on marriage equality caused a massive rush of people checking their voter registration details, some other stuff went on that was not insane Australian politics…

In massive screen news, Dan O’Malley’s The Rook is being turned into a TV show. Lionsgate and Liberty Global are partnering to produce, with Stephenie Meyer and Stephen Garrett executive producing.

Elsewhere in TV-land, well-known Aussie comics writer Tom Taylor, head writer of the children’s television series The Deep (based on the acclaimed graphic novel series of the same name), was excited to announce that the series won an AWGIE for Children’s Television—‘C’ classification (Children’s—5–14 years) for the episode “‘Beware the Sentinels” (written by Thomas Duncan-Watt). The Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Awards are given by writers to writers, judged solely on the written script. The AWGIEs have long celebrated the nation’s best storytellers, those performance writers judged to have written the best scripts in the past year. Season 2 of The Deep also premiered worldwide in August—get it in your eyeballs! And related to this, an interesting article by Siobhan Lyons at The Conversation about Aussie SF TV, mentioning Cleverman, Glitch and forthcoming shows like Tidelands and development of a CS McMullen series, Awake.

Even though it seems half the spec fic population of Australia and New Zealand went off to Helsinki, our Aussies on the ballot sadly didn’t nab any Hugo Awards this year, but we offer a huge congratulations to the winners, regardless, and well done to the AU/NZ contingent on the longlists!

On the topic of Worldcon though, Donna Hanson, recipient of the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund (GUFF) to attend this year’s Worldcon, has been providing extensive trip updates, with some great photos from both Worldcon and her journey. GUFF exists to provide funds to enable well-known fans from Australasia and Europe to visit each other’s conventions and get to know each other’s fandoms better. Nothing like living vicariously through those people who got to head off to Europe this year! And our own photographer extraordinaire Cat Sparks has also shared a bunch of fantastic Worldcon 75 photos on her Flickr site—highly recommended!

In more localish news, spec fic fronts up with the literary giants in September, when Tansy Rayner Roberts and Lian Hearn join an amazing lineup of authors at the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival in Hobart, Tasmania, on September 14-17.

In other event-related happenings, to celebrate Angela Slatter’s guest of honour gig at Conflux this year, FableCroft Publishing is releasing a limited edition boutique gift book, The Tallow-Wife. This delicate hardcover collection showcases Angela’s dark fantasy world of the dreaming streets of the cathedral-city of Lodellan in her novella “The Tallow-Wife”, combined with special exclusive extras and gorgeous artwork by Kathleen Jennings. Limited orders are available for international purchase—this book will not be available for general release so if you want it, you have to get in early!

Also at Conflux, the cli-fi anthology Ecopunk!, edited by Cat Sparks and Liz Grzyb, will be released by Ticonderoga Publications. The table of contents and spectacular cover is available here. And another anthology out later this year is Pacific Monsters, from Fox Spirit Books, which has just launched the table of contents and is due in November.

Some exciting new titles coming out this month. New Zealand’s hugely popular paranormal romance writer, Nalini Singh, has a new Guild Hunter novel coming out this month! Don’t miss Archangel’s Viper, from Berkley and Gollancz on September 26. Coming out in the same field in September is Aussie Keri Arthur’s new book Ashes Reborn (Souls of Fire #4)—another great series not to miss from Berkley and Piatkus! If you like your fantasy a bit more grimdark, Jay Kristoff’s new Nevernight instalment, Godsgrave, launches in Sydney September 7 and Melbourne September 8.

In fantasy of a different type, Sean Williams’ The Change series has been rereleased from from Xoum. And speaking of Sean, there has been a cover reveal for new middle grade Garth Nix and Sean Williams collaboration from Allen & Unwin, Have Sword, Will Travel (due out in November).

Also hitting our shelves in August was Terra Nullius (Hachette) by indigenous Australian debut author Claire G Coleman, who gives us a retelling of Australia’s colonial settlement told from both native and settler perspectives, and weaving past and fantastical futuristic elements. For younger readers, Lintang and the Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss hit the shelves at the end of July and in New Zealand, AJ Ponder released the middle-grade mosaic novel The Frankie Files

We missed this news when it was released in late June, but Lee Battersby’s multi-award nominated dark children’s novel, Magrit, was recently released in audiobook. The wonderful illustrations of the print version will be missed, but Kate Rawson’s delightful narration will add an extra layer of wonder.

It’s not every day a small press announces a new imprint, but in August, Twelfth Planet Press broke the news about its new children’s imprint, Titania. Titania’s books will be aimed at children between the ages of three and thirteen with an aim to reflect diversity of sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity and religion within larger stories. The first project for Titania will be a children’s book by award-winning writer and scholar Nike Sulway.

Want to get on the good side of editors? Aussie editors talk tips in Improbable Press’s Spark newsletter. And what about the publishers? Allison Tate rounds up chats with eight publishers from her So You Want To Be A Writer podcast.

And finally, to end on a bit of fun, if you’re not reading Natalie Bochenski’s hilarious Raven On Recaps of Game of Thrones, you should be! Now is a perfect time to revisit the season that was…

And that’s it for the month!

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