Aurealis #147


Aurealis #147 is the first issue for 2022. It continues the long tradition of great fiction, provocative non fiction and fantastic art. There is a bumper review section to direct you to some of the best new speculative fiction being published today. All in all, a fantastic way to start the year!

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This is how I started this editorial a few weeks ago…
Welcome back to a new year of fantastic fiction from Aurealis. After the dystopic tendencies of the last couple of years it will be nice to have an uninterrupted year free of infection, lockdowns, masks and all the other accoutrements of the pandemic. I have to admit that I am little bit glass half empty when it comes to this topic. I feel there are still some twists in the tale as it were. I hope I am wrong.
In the short time since I wrote this beginning, we have had the Omicron strain of COVID, plus vaccination for children under 12 being approved and, here in Melbourne, we have had demonstrations and protests. It is almost like disruption has become the norm. I mean, let’s face it, if two years ago I had predicted all of this strife in 2020/21 people would have said I have been reading too much science fiction. It isn’t as if I am even any good at predicting the future. My predictive powers have been 100 percent totally wrong so far. I am a high school teacher. I have so far predicted; no school closures, shorter school closures (they were extended), no interruption to the football season, no second lockdown, no third lockdown, etc etc. It got to the point where my year ten students told me to shut up whenever I was about to predict what would happen.
It has seemed like a long year. Last year I took over the editing chair at Aurealis for the first three issues, just like this year. I was recovering from a knee replacement and it was good to have something to occupy my mind while I was pretty much immobilised. I have read a lot of new SF and have even branched out into other genres as well. The lockdowns and my recovery were useful in that regard. I hope that we are over the lockdowns generated by COVID. I fear that there might still be some more hurdles to jump but we shall see.
I tend to always enjoy the start of a new year of Aurealis. Lots of new stories, new authors and new people joining the team that brings you this magazine each month. Plus it has been some time since I last got stuck into all of the software/publication processes that actually allow you to read these words and I always worry that I will have forgotten some important aspect of the process and I will break the magazine.
I am also writing this editorial early as I will probably be having another knee replacement. So that means it is all looking a bit like the start to 2021. But I am sure that the similarity will end with my knee surgery. I can confidently predict that we won’t have any COVID nonsense in 2022. Sorry about that.

All the best from the cloud!

Stephen Higgins

From The Meeting of Two Riders by James Rowland

About James Rowland

James Rowland is a New Zealand-based, British-born writer. His work has previously appeared in publications like Aurealis, Compelling Science Fiction, and Prairie Fire. When he's not moonlighting as a writer of magical, strange or futuristic stories, he works as an intellectual property lawyer. You can find more of his work at his website

The storms of Somati tell stories to each other. Out in the Bay, where we cannot hear, the Tufani trade tales through the intricacies of thunder and the subtleties of lightning. There are tragedies and there are comedies, or what passes for these things for great storm clouds. They have as many stories as we have words, for they have seen so much more.

From The Body by Greg Foyster

About Greg Foyster

Greg Foyster is a writer, illustrator and author of the memoir Changing Gears (Affirm Press). He lives in Geelong on Wadawurring land. His fiction has appeared in The Big Issue, Aurealis, Overland, AntiSF, Page Seventeen and Verandah. His non-fiction and cartoons have appeared in The Age, The Saturday Paper, ABC, Meanjin, Eureka Street and others.

Max hates every part of the Body except the legs. When he looks down, fat purple toes poke above the horizon of his stretched T-shirt. The toenails are jagged, some blackened, like shards of rock pushed into putty. It’s been ages since he could reach down to clip them. But between his swollen ankles and his ugly knees is an area that looks almost normal. His calves and shins haven’t packed on kilos like the rest of him. It’s as if wax has been poured over his head, settling on the face, neck, arms and torso, while only a trickle has flowed down to reach his lower limbs.

From The Allocution of Bob Hayward by Floris M Kleijne

About Floris M Kleijne

Floris M Kleijne writes speculative stories, some of them award-winning, in the interstices between his family, his career, and his insatiable craving for Netflix binges. His stories have appeared in the Writers of the Future anthologies, Daily Science Fiction, Little Blue Marble, Reckoning, and Galaxy's Edge. Read more about his writing, including numerous free stories, on

What you have to understand, Your Honour, is that Shane is no wizard. He isn’t even a magician. Hell, he can’t do card tricks to save his life. When we used to play poker inside, for smokes, he’d always let me shuffle, because he would make such a mess of it. No, Shane isn’t any kind of wizard.
Neither am I.
I think.
But Shane was a mean piece of work, he was, and maybe the magic just flocked to that mean streak of his. Or maybe I’m plain crazy for believing what I think I saw.