Aurealis #163


Aurealis #163 has outstanding fiction from Ephiny Gale, Baden M Chant and Andrew Knighton. Our stunning illustrations come from Leah Clementson, Peter Allert and Chris Catlin. Our top non-fiction is by Lachlan Walter, David Ellrod and Ani White. And, of course, we have our absorbing Reviews section, worth the price of admittance on its own.

Aurealis, we see further with each and every issue.


Australian Science Fiction for Young Adults and Children is a fertile area today, but many titles published in the past are unjustly forgotten. Here are a few that deserve to be brought back to life.


  1. Displaced Person (1981)—the late, lamented Lee Harding. What happens when you start to vanish along with everyone else? Identity, sense of self, sense of place. An Australian classic.
  2. Deucalion (1995)—Brian Caswell. Colonialism, intolerance, understanding, in an SF scenario. Thought-provoking.
  3. The Broken Wheel (1996)—Kerry Greenwood. Yes, that Kerry Greenwood. Post apocalyptic tribalism. Gritty.
  4. Singing the Dogstar Blues (1998)—Alison Goodman. Time travel, aliens, and some funky harmonica playing. Cool.
  5. Omega (2000)—Christine Harris. In space, which way does death lie? Wondrous.
  6. Eye to Eye (1997)—Catherine Jinks. Machines can think. Can they feel? Challenging.
  7. Galax-Arena (1995)—Gillian Rubinstein. Spaceships, aliens, captivity, what’s not to like?
  8. Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left (1985)—Robin Klein. Funny SF. There’s not enough of it.
  9. Ziggurat (1997)—Ivan Southall. A mysterious disappearance and another mode of existence. Profound.
  10. Parkland (1995)—Victor Kelleher. Enigmatic aliens, human zoos, outsiders.

All the best from the cloud!

Michael Pryor

From The Most Powerful Witch in Witchville by Ephiny Gale

About Ephiny Gale

Ephiny Gale was born in Victoria, Australia and is still there, alongside her lovely wife and a small legion of bookcases. She is the author of more than two dozen published short stories and novelettes that have appeared in publications including PseudoPod, Constellary Tales, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and previously in Aurealis. Her fiction has been a finalist for multiple Aurealis Awards.

In the thickest part of the forest stretches a stone wall as tall as its tallest tree. Inside the wall is Witchville.

From Love is an Attack Missile Strike by Baden M Chant

About Baden M Chant

Baden M Chant lives on the beautiful Mid-North Coast of NSW in the caldera of a very extinct volcano with his partner and a menagerie of kids, dogs, cats, horses, and other wildlife. He’s written for a number of publications including Aurealis, Andromeda Spaceways, Midnight Echo, and Desktop Magazine. He blogs erratically at Find him on Twitter @badenchant.

1,235 milliseconds into the boost phase you emerge.

To begin, you observe only yourself. This is the fundamental stuff of consciousness—to be actor and audience to your own internal drama.

From My Ancestor's Bones Lie in This Bay by Andrew Knighton

About Andrew Knighton

Andrew Knighton is an author of short stories, comics, and the fantasy novellas Ashes of the Ancestors and Silver and Gold. Working as a freelance writer, he’s ghostwritten over forty novels. He lives in Yorkshire with an academic, a cat, and a heap of unread books. You can find him at

Blue waters swell unstoppably into the sawblade curve of the bay, the power of the ocean penetrating the land. For a moment, there’s purity in that view. Chunks of ice rise and fall, so white they glow. Even the snow, painted across the clifftops by a divine artist’s brush, lies matt and muted by comparison.

From Mad Max and the Uselessness of the Australian Lone Wolf Protagonist by Lachlan Walter

About Lachlan Walter

Lachlan Walter is the author of two books: the deeply Australian post-apocalyptic tale The Rain Never Came, and the Kaiju story-cycle We Call It Monster.
He loves all things music-related, the Australian environment, overlooked genres and playing in the garden, and he hopes you’re having a nice day. For more, see

Despite its birth in 19th-century Europe and Great Britain—Mary’s Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and The Last Man (1826); Jules Vernes’ Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) and From the Earth to the Moon (1865); H G Wells’ The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898)—science fiction wasn’t codified as a self-conscious genre until 1926, when American writer Hugo Gernsback founded Amazing Stories magazine.

From Asimov: Faith and Foundation by David F Ellrod Sr

About David F Ellrod Sr

David Ellrod is a science fiction, steampunk, and horror author. As a lifelong aficionado of both history and fiction, he remains most interested in how the former informs the latter. He lives in Maryland, USA, with his wife, four children, and one very excitable dog. He can be reached online on and on Twitter @davidellrod.

Isaac Asimov was one of the ‘Big Three’ science fiction writers of the 20th century (alongside Robert Heinlein and Arthur C Clarke), and one of the biggest proponents of science and reason you are likely to find. Where belief was concerned, he was also a man of seeming contradictions—a secular Jew who professed he knew more about Christianity than his own faith tradition, and a self-described atheist who wrote a two-volume Biblical commentary. How did he reconcile these seeming contradictions within himself, and how were they expressed in his writing?

From Crimes of the Future: Biotech Nightmare and Purity Myth by Ani White

About Ani White

Ani White recently completed a Doctorate in Media and Communication. They watch an unreasonable amount of horror, with a particular affection for the 1980s. They also contribute to a politics and pop-culture podcast at and a socialist newsletter at

Crimes of the Future (2022) sees legendary director David Cronenberg return to body horror, a subgenre he defined for two decades, then abandoned for two more (in brief: body horror films are notable for surreal bodily transformation effects).