Aurealis #167


The first issue for the year! Aurealis #167 has a ton of great fiction, fantastic articles and our famous reviews and art.

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From the Cloud
Stephen Higgins

Welcome to another Year of Aurealis.
Ten more issues of quality Science Fiction, Fantasy and a smattering of the paranormal every so often. More stories from local and international authors as well as lots of interesting and provocative non-fiction articles from a range of views and perspectives. And, of course, more reviews. Hopefully we will be able to guide you toward some of the more off beat releases during the year. I know many people use our review section to plan their reading. We will also be bringing you more artwork to adorn the stories that feature each month and I know that this is a particularly prized aspect of our magazine. Authors often contact us to tell us of their delight when they see the artwork that accompanies their stories.
Whilst there will be some slight personnel changes behind the scenes we intend to keep striving to present the best fiction that is around from February to November. If you have been with us for any period of time you will realise that we take turns to sit in the editor’s chair and I have the pleasure of steering the ship for the first three issues this year.
It is always a thrill to kick off the year in Aurealis and this year is no exception. If you have just joined us please make sure you have a look at our website at where you will be able to read excerpts from each issue, as well as being able to access our shop and archives. You should also follow us on Facebook, look for us on the social media previously known as Twitter, and also on whatever social media you use. Just search for Aurealis and you will find us. Obviously, many of the individuals here at Aurealis also have accounts so feel free to look for us as well.
Each issue of Aurealis contains three works of fiction, two or three non-fiction articles, reviews and artwork. That’s a lot of material for just $2.99 per issue, or $19.99 for a whole year’s subscription. We hope you enjoy the ride.

All the best from the cloud!

Stephen Higgins

From Changeling by Michael Gardner

About Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner is a writer of horror who masquerades as an economist by day. His work has appeared in Writers of the Future Volume 36, Aurealis, Bourbon Penn and Interzone Digital. He’s also a three-time finalist for the Aurealis Awards. You can find out more about Michael and his work at

They walk a little further in silence. Riley starts to feel guilty about snapping at Jez. He was probably just trying to be nice asking about Trent. He sighs. ‘Yeah, Trent’s still a pain. I liked it better when he first moved in and just ignored me. But lately, I don’t know, he’s always around. He’s too interested in me, you know?’ Jez doesn’t say anything straight away and Riley wonders if he does know. He wishes he had better words to describe what’s wrong. Trent has always given Riley the creeps. But since Thomas came along, Trent seems to have decided to spend more time with Riley. He’s always about, watching, with a smile that’s not really a smile.

From The Combat Pilot’s Dictionary by Arden Baker

About Arden Baker

Born in Melbourne, Arden Baker is a lapsed translator and emerging writer of short science fiction and fantasy. After spending time living and working in China, he returned to his home city where he now works as a consultant and a language teacher. In his spare time he drinks overpriced gin, plays tabletop RPGs, and runs a small speculative fiction writing collective – Meridian Australis

Rookie pilot. See also – nugget.
You called us ‘boots’ when we turned up to the flight deck that first morning I laid eyes on you.
The halogen lighting shone down onto the makeshift parade ground with a harsh insistence matched only by your loud drill calls.
You looked the part. Milspec features matched with an impeccably pressed grey uniform. Hair shorn close to the scalp to fit the vacuum helmet that you wore in combat. Broad shoulders and piercing eyes. Tall and built like a true Martian. Rust in your blood.

From Feeding the Trolls by Christopher Yusko

About Christopher Yusko

Christopher Yusko attained a Master’s Degree in English from York University, but upon graduating discovered that Canada’s once-booming language factories were shuttered and closed. He now poses as a librarian somewhere in the frozen wastes of the North, where he lives with his wife, his two daughters, and a cat named Dave Waller.

‘Remember that game Bioshock?’ Lauren doesn’t typically care for shooters, but you both played that one, because she liked the setting. ‘That’s the kind of society Libertarians would wind up with.’
‘Aquatic pleasure domes?’
‘No, dick. A world that collapses because it’s built on selfishness and exploitation. There was this town here in Colorado that elected a Libertarian mayor, and it went to hell pretty quickly. One sec.’ She looks up the name on her phone. ‘Colorado Springs.’ Lauren narrows her eyes at you. ‘You’re not falling for that garbage, are you?’