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Aurealis #79, old news or great news?

Aurealis #79

Why not both?

While most of you readers are probably  already aware, Aurealis #79 has been available for around a month by now. Due to a change-up in staff, we dropped the ball on letting you know about this one – sorry! Aurealis #80 will be following hot on the heels of this issue. Look out for it imminently!

Issue #79 features the likes of established writer and environmentalist Melanie Rees with the poignant piece ‘The Monster Under the Bed’, and Lachlan Huddy’s outback yarn, ‘The Whore and the Healer’.

Terry Wood concludes his future-gazing in part two of his History of the Flying Car, and Chris Large interviews Shane Abbess, writer/director of recently released Australian sci-fi flick Infini. #79 follows up with a good swag of reviews.

Pick it up here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535645

Week in reverse #1

Source: http://bit.ly/1ciqsiA
Source: ChaoyanXu; http://bit.ly/1ciqsiA

In this new linklog series, we’ll be bringing some of the week’s more interesting speculative fiction news to you. No promises on an exhaustive list, we’ll just try our best to pick out some of the more engaging and relevant pieces. Stay tuned for it on Sundays.

Emily St. John Mandel wins Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science-fiction

Alternate history comes to the screen with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Brave New World to be adapted into a mini-series

Growing divergence between books and series disappoints Game of Thrones’ editor, Jane Johnson

10 Science Fiction Writers Predict How Our World Will Change In The Next 10 Years

Paladins and politicians

The new, fancy-looking Parliament House of Georgia
The new, fancy-looking Parliament House of Georgia

Today marks the anniversary of three landmark historical events in Australia’s history: the date that we opened our first parliament, in Melbourne (1901); the date that the Australian Parliament first convened in Canberra (1927); and the date that the new Parliament House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II (1988). As such, we’ve compiled a series of links about governments, politics and parliaments.

tor.com discusses politics and message fiction in the context of sci-fi and fantasy

i09 runs through 12 futuristic forms of government

Five of the best parliament buildings from architecture.com – including, apparently, our own futurist parliament house!

-A fairly extensive list for writers to consult when thinking about what kind of government might suit their worlds

-A writer’s walk-through of world-building, considering economics, politics and history

-Juliet McKenna argues “contemporary fantasy becomes a platform to debate key, current social and political challenges”

-Stephen King thinks that “it’s tiring to see the world look more and more like George Orwell’s vision”

A fantastic essay by Overland about the relationship between politics and literature

Governments are actually planning for these five apocalyptic scenarios

-Bonus: the story behind Georgia’s futuristic parliament building

Perhaps instead of government, you'd rather just be lead by an eagle-god. Source: http://bit.ly/1dRvCDi
Perhaps instead of government, you’d rather just be lead by an eagle-god. Source: http://bit.ly/1dRvCDi

War and words

war2

 

 

This week’s post was vaguely inspired by last weekend’s commemoration of ANZAC Day. We’ve served up a variety of links about writing, warfare, and writers in wartime.

George R. R. Martin talks engagingly about writing tips, including how to write medieval warfare well.

-A more general piece with tips about writing large battle scenes, particularly in fantasy settings.

-An exhaustively researched resource, which provides fascinating insight into First World War experiences of some of the best-known science fiction and fantasy writers.

A BBC feature article discussing the influence of the First World War on The Lord of the Rings.

-A short alternate history of what might have happened if the ANZAC’s had won the battles at Gallipoli.

The stunningly animated short from Russian CG enthusiast Dima, which imagines the remains of a post-apocalyptic world-war.

 

Station Eleven crows a victory

post apocLast week saw the announcement of the winner of the Tournament of Books: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. In honour of this title, here are a collection of links about Mandel’s book, which has caused waves in the ever-widening pool of post-apocalyptic literature over the last year or so.

Bustle interviews Emily St. John Mandel, who explains how Shakespeare crosses over into post-apocalyptic sci-fi

i09 asks Mandel and four other authors why their stories are set beyond the point of mass annihilation

Mandel explains her vision of the protracted moment of apocalypse to the BBC

The New York Times review of Station Eleven (slight spoilers)

-A fascination article by The New Yorker about the evolving relationship between genre and literary fiction, with reference to Station Eleven

-An upcoming unique (albeit unrelated) project by a pair of Australian editors to publish an “anthology of apocalypse survival fiction featuring characters with disability and chronic illness”. Sounds interesting!

Titan: Soupy, frozen, exotic

A speculative view from Titan's surface
A speculative view from Titan’s surface

This week saw the 360th anniversary of Christiaan Huygens’ discovery of Saturn’s moon Titan. Titan is the second-largest moon in the solar system and the only known natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere. As a result, Titan has long captured the imaginations of writers, film-makers, readers, and of course scientists.

Is water really necessary for life to form? Cosmos Magazine writes on the possibility of life evolving in Titan’s hydrocarbon seas

Space.com shines light on the conflicting reports of Titan’s mysterious, soupy atmosphere

Titan’s methane-rich nature comes up in io9’s discussion of the logistics of terraforming

-Along with Titan’s hydrocarbon lakes, the geography is also dominated by giant sand dunes that have an enigmatic origin

-In this video, NASA asks: why are there no waves on Titan’s lakes and seas?

-The History Channel explores what a day on Titan’s surface would be like

Lockdown

Photograph of a crumbling prison
Photograph by Marcin Haszczu

Today is the anniversary of the closing of Alcatraz, one of the most infamous prisons of all time. So we’ve put together a short post about prisons, freedom, and their representation in sci-fi and fantasy.

io9 covers 10 of the greatest prison breaks in sci-fi and fantasy

An impressive review of 14 of the ‘freakiest’ prisons

Bitch Magazine explores the concepts of retribution, punishment and freedom in the context of sci-fi prisons

-Robert Heinlein’s penal sci-fi classic ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress‘ will be adapted to film by X-Men director Brian Singer

Wired writes on the new sci-fi prison comic series ‘Bitch Planet’

Finally, the amazingly gory and hilarious Adult Swim show ‘Superjail’

Michael Pryor on why everyone should GET HARD

by Michael Pryor

Hard SF can be a hard sell. Of all the multifarious and diverse aspects of Science Fiction, Hard Science Fiction is the one most likely to get non-readers recoiling in horror. It’s the SF sub-genre most parodied, most vilified and most misunderstood.

Which is a shame because, as with most things, the best of it is superb. Hard SF discusses, foregrounds and takes seriously an aspect of modern life that is shamefully neglected in literary fiction: science and technology. If these feature in literary fiction today, it’s superficially or with, at best, a jaundiced eye. Continue reading

Gibson and the cyberpunks

A man in a leather coat with intrusive augmentations

May 2015 Update: A fascinating (and in-depth) article from the New York Review of Books about Gibson’s works and life

This week saw the anniversary of William Gibson’s birth. Gibson is one of the canonical writers of early cyberpunk fiction, and his book Neuromancer was the first to win all three of the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards. Today’s post hits up some of the interviews that shed light on Gibson, as well as a few nicks and nacks.

The Paris Review provides an excellent precis of Gibson’s literary life along with an in-depth interview

An audio interview between the BBC World Service and Gibson (49 minutes)

-Bruce Bethke, whose eponymous story gave name to the subculture, writes on the etymology of ‘cyberpunk’

The Guardian speaks with Gibson in the wake of the release of his latest book The Peripheral

-In contrast, an interview with Gibson back from 1985, which includes a prescient prediction about Michael Jackson

6 cyberpunk books to introduce you to the cyberpunk literary genre

The trajectory of cyberpunk is traced by the Guardian

-A video from the Chicago Humanities Festival, where Gibson speaks on the decline of ‘Cyberspace’

-For a laugh, here’s Lorem Gibson – a website that provides filler text, ala Lorem Ipsum, based on Gibson’s work

Aurealis wants YOU!

Aurealis, Australia’s most successful Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine, is looking for an Editor-in-Chief to oversee the direction and management of the Aurealis digital platforms – including the Aurealis.com.au Blog and social media accounts.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A desire to make a mark on the Fantasy and Science Fiction landscape
  • Experience writing for online publication – whether that’s blogs or digital magazines
  • An understanding of social media best practices and execution
  • The ability to manage a small group of contributors
  • Impeccable time-management skills
  • An interest in genre stories and storytelling

If you feel as though you meet the above criteria, and are interested in joining Australia’s foremost F+SF magazine, send an email to Dan at the below address with your relevant experience and your reasons for wanting to take over Aurealis Digital’s top gig.

We look forward to hearing from you.

CONTACT NAME – Dan Allan
CONTACT EMAIL – dan.aurealis@gmail.com
WEBSITE – https://www.aurealis.com.au
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/AurealisFSF
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/AurealisMag, https://twitter.com/AurealisBlog