In Australia in 1990, Bob Hawke was elected as Australia’s Prime Minister for the fourth time, the Toyota Land Cruiser was launched, the State Bank of Victoria was sold to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the domestic aviation market was deregulated, Fairfax Media was placed in receivership, John McEnroe was thrown out of the Australian Open Tennis Championships, Collingwood defeated Essendon to win the 94th VFL/AFL premiership, and Liam Hemsworth was born.
Also in Australia in 1990, Aurealis (the Australian Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction) was launched. Now, thirty years later, you have issue #127 in front of you. What has gone before is one hundred and twenty-six issues of quality Fantasy/SF fiction and non-fiction, thanks to the tireless work of many, many people.
Are we celebrating? Quietly, with a sense of real achievement, and we’re the ones who are going to be giving presents, starting with our first ever serialised novel. Conquist, from Aurealis co-publisher Dirk Strasser, is a gripping, masterly exploration of otherworldliness and obsession, and will keep you rivetted all year.
Here’s to the next thirty years!
All the best from the cloud.
From Sly GhostsGeraldine Briony Hunt
The island only moved at night, and not every night—just those when the high tide lapped over the southern edge of the seawall. Moonless nights, where all you could see were stars, and the black sea, and the dark, looming hulk on the horizon.
Not that anyone believed her—scary Mary, rattles from all those pills she’s taking. But she wasn’t taking her pills anymore, at least not nearly as often, and on those moonless nights when nobody else was paying attention, the island was coming closer.
From HatecarsWilliam Broom
Don’t reckon I ever heard of somebody being taken away by a hatecar before. Smashed to bits on the road, sure. Crushed through the walls of their house while they were eating their dinner. Chased up a tree and circled for days until they died of thirst. All that happened. But not picked up and put inside.
There’s a first time for everything, though.
From Healer’s TrialEmily Randall
Little Rialor, ‘home to a thousand wonders’, was not living up to its reputation. Smog, factories, and humans abounded, but wonders? In five hours of wandering, Ystara had yet to see any.
She tucked her wings farther under her pack, ignoring the ache in her flight muscles, and glanced around the darkening street. The temple had to be around here somewhere, didn’t it? Even if the hasty directions she’d received from the guard were missing a few details, she couldn’t be too far away.
From CONQUIST Part 1: At Sun’s GateDirk Strasser
This novel is based on the first English translation of a diary that came to light in an archive in the Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú in Lima. The extracts are included with the kind permission of the translator. Cristóbal de Varga was a distant cousin of both Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro who, unlike Pizarro and many of the other conquistadors of his time, was highly literate. This very facility with words has lent credence to those that claim his journal comprised merely the fevered imaginings of a man frustrated by his own lack of success in an age where others were making their fortunes. A recent spectral analysis of the cover of the diary, however, has shown that what was thought to be solidified droplets of gold may, in fact, be a previously unknown chemical element.
From Marginalisation and the Future of HorrorClaire Fitzpatrick
After experimental success in the 1970s, a commercial push in the 1980s, an underground existence in the 1990s, and a contemporary revival in the 2000s, the contemporary horror film industry has demonstrated a consistent rise and growth over the past several decades.
From Classifying CatastropheKris Ashton
Since the advent of streaming services, I almost never watch free-to-air television, unless it’s to fall asleep to the white noise of some banal renovation show. But a while ago I turned on the TV and happened to catch a few minutes of an apocalypse movie called The 5th Wave (2016). It is to end-is-nigh films what Twilight was to vampire films, and every bit as dismal as that description suggests, but even watching it with almost no volume I began to see some clear tropes—and it occurred to me that disaster and apocalypse movies have been continuous blockbuster staples for 25 years.
From Chilling Out with Lian HearnEugen Bacon
This interview is a special farewell to one of Australia’s most internationally successful writers, Lian Hearn, who’s never had to pitch anything about herself or her books. Her work is so striking, she simply wrote a novel and sent it to a publisher. Her beginnings were under the name Gillian Rubinstein, with the bestselling and award-winning children’s book Space Demons.
Isabel Cabrera created and supplied this wondrous graphic. She says:
‘With the recent success of Annihilation and Ad Astra, science fiction films are proving to be as popular as ever.
And most of the great science fiction films of the past three decades were actually based on epic science fiction books, including The Martian and Blade Runner (based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep).
To help celebrate National Science Fiction Day held on January 2 each year, Global English Editing rounded up the best sci-fi novels that deserve a spot on your bookshelf.
From Dune and its intergalactic messiah, to the earth’s final survivor in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to the iconic Frankenstein, this list features the best science fiction books from the past 200 years.
Over this time, science fiction has created some of the most profound, compelling and popular novels ever written.
The key theme connecting the best of these books is how emotional and primal humans fare in the face of the powerful scientific advances they create. So, although sci-fi delves into the unknown, the stories aren’t pure fantasy: they exist in settings in some way connected to our own human experience.’
Are you a New Zealander? Have you published or self-published a science fiction, fantasy or horror book in the last year?
Aurealis would like to consider your book for review in its all-New Zealand issue to be published at CoNZealand. Send eBooks only in both epub and mobi format to email@example.com with the subject line: Ebook for NZ special issue by 31 March 2020 at the latest.
Now that the last issue of Aurealis for 2019 has been published, here’s the Big List of all this year’s stories: The Moonstone in the Dust by Carolyn Hine The Excuses We Make For Our Children by Rebecca Fung In the Mountain Valley by Gordon Grice Of Roses and Electric Shock by Joshua Caleb Wilson Tales of the Flame by Dirk Strasser Getting Home by P.K. Torrens Renascent by Pauline Yates Leisure Culture by Maddison Stoff Drink with the Dead by Craig Blane Marked for Life by J.R. Schuyler The Moth Tapes by Joseph Ashley-Smith Ogali by Nuzo Onoh Abomination by Michelle Birkette To Hell and Back by Michael Pryor The Stranger of Morden by Mike Adamson Serine by Shane Drury Wreck Diving by Joanne Anderton Nie among the Tree People by Emma Mann The Witch who Wove Dreams by Mike Adamson Cradle by Stephen Higgins She Sells Sea-Hells by the C Door by Eric Del Carlo Dog Nebula by Subo Wijeyeratne Fracture Line by Chris Walker Timbuktu by Gerri Brightwell Club Fiends by Paul Alex Gray Tigers of Mars by Conor DiViesti Big Heart by Lynn Wohlwend Inheritance by James Rowland Data by Laurence Barratt-Manning Flesh of the Other by Eric Del Carlo
We’ve published stories from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, UK, Canada and USA and it’s been an abundance of riches. You can still get all 2019 issues by subscribing at aurealis.com.au.
And stay tuned! 2020 is going to be bigger and better than ever in the Aurealis universe!