The legends and the legacies of King Arthur

Original by Évrard d'Espinques

In honour of John Steinbeck’s birthday (27/02/1902-20/12/1962), today’s post is about the ongoing legacy of the Arthurian stories, as well as the men and women who have reimagined and retold Arthurian legends. Steinback’s own retelling was published posthumously in the 1976 novel ‘The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights‘.

-The top ten films about King Arthur

-The BBC discusses the history of the legends and where its past and future lie

The ten historical and archaeological sites that hint at Arthur’s very real past

-A serialisation of The Once and Future King, performed by well known writer and presenter Brian Sibley, and produced by the BBC

A posthumous look back at Mary Stewart’s illustrious career including the Merlin Trilogy


Chinese New Year special

This week, we bring you a post inspired by Chinese New Year – recommendations for some of the best Asian-inspired fantasy and science fiction around. Some we suspect will be familiar, some will be brand new, and some will take you by surprise. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

-Reviews along with a list of some Wuxia and Oriental fantasy

Asian inspired (not necessarily set in Asia) fantasy novels

-A discussion by The Guardian of three of the best recent Asian fantasy series

-An exhaustive list of fantasy titles from all over the world, sorted by culture or nation

Wall Street Journal interviews Cixin Liu, author of China’s newest best-selling science fiction book ‘The Three-Body Problem’


Bonus fact: Did you know Chinese New Year festivities actually last for 15 days?

Extraterrestrial Culture

Today’s theme was heralded by the arrival of Extraterrestrial Culture Day last week. While the day itself is native to New Mexico, USA, it does give us a chance to talk – or wonder – about what extraterrestrial culture might be like.

-In an attempt to learn more about alien culture: the 7 longest messages sent into space.

-In counterpoint to the above, a discussion of whether we might be shooting ourselves in the foot by transmitting messages.

-Speaking of alien culture, the last wishes of deceased author of the Culture series, Iain M Banks, were recently released: that the series be continued by his friend Ken MacLeod.

-A summary of some interesting and well-realised aliens and their cultures from the last 70 years.

Aurealis #77 is out!

The first issue in Aurealis’ 25th year, Aurealis #77 is a feast of the eerie, the unsettling and the other side of ordinary. ‘Like a Boojum’ by Simon Petrie takes us to a world where the exotic is familiar and the familiar is not to be trusted.

‘The Death of Glinda, the Good Witch’ by Rebecca-Anne C Do Rozario probes and questions until reality itself is in question.

Lachlan Walter’s exploration of the often troubling amalgamation of SF movies and Western movies is illuminating and fun, while our regular roll-out of reviews has some important pointers to good SpecFic reading.

Aurealis – not to be missed.


Wish us a Happy 25th Birthday!

Win if you’ve already subscribed to Aurealis for 2015 or by subscribing to Aurealis for 2015 now!

Aurealis 77 Cover 290 x 440The first issue for our birthday year is about to be published and everyone can win!

Chimaera Publications / Aurealis books has just published new trade paperback and hardcover editions of Dirk Strasser’s acclaimed Books of Ascension trilogy: Zenith, Equinox and Eclipse.

We have two full hardcover sets to give away.

Everyone who subscribes to Aurealis by 5 February 2015 will be in the running for one of the three hardcover books from the first set.

And everyone who has already subscribed to Aurealis before this newsletter comes out will be in the running for one of the three hardcover books from the second set.

Yes, that’s right. As well as offering incentives to subscribe in 2015, we’re going to be rewarding our existing subscribers with freebies all year!

It’s our birthday, and our subscribers will be getting the presents. Please tweet, blog, socially mediate and tell you friends about the offer. It’s open to anyone who wants to take out a 2015 Aurealis subscription. The deadline is midnight 5 February 2015 (AEDT) and there won’t be any extensions.

Praise for the Books of Ascension

“The rich imagination that flows from the pages is nothing short of astounding, and the world Strasser creates completely envelopes you from the moment you begin to read.”

Lynsey James

“Strasser worked his magic and I was left one happy reader indeed.”

Reviewed the Book

Kate Forsyth takes home American Libraries award

Five-time Aurealis Award-winning author and fairy tale-telling extraordinaire Kate Forsyth has been honoured by the American Library Association, taking out the Best Historical Novel award for her 2014 release Bitter Greens.

Forsyth joined international bestseller Lauren Beukes on the ALA’s 2015 reading list, beating out novels from Amy Belding Brown, Nicola Griffith, James Lee Burke and Ariel Lawhon in the same category.

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