Aurealis #2


With stories by:

  • Stephen Dedman
  • Damien Broderick
  • Simon Brown
  • Stephen Higgins
  • Rosaleen Love

And lots more!

Cover art by Shaun Tan

SKU: A2 Category:
  • Editorial – Dirk Strasser
  • But Smile No More - Stephen Dedman
  • The Tree - Jody Kewley
  • The Sea's Nearest Shore - Damien Broderick
  • One Day Soon - Paul Collins
  • Infernal Hallucinations - Pauline Ranscombe
  • Vignette - Stephen Higgins
  • Rain from the New God - Simon Brown
  • The Hunt - Peter Trueman
  • Hovering Rock - Rosaleen Love
  • The Science Fiction Hall Of Fame: E. Freeport Rickenbacker
  • Cover illustration - Shaun Tan

Aurealis is a showcase for the best in Australian science fiction and fantasy. Our only criterion is excellence. In our short time in the field, we have already published stories which span many of the great themes of speculative writing: time travel, space flight, alien environments, dystopias, technological change, sentient machines, genetic manipulation, mythical beasts, night creatures and alternative realities. Already our list of authors has spanned the continent — all six states and the ACT have been represented, giving Aurealis a truly national flavour.

As most of our readers have probably realised, Aurealis is about fiction. We will publish the occasional article — like the George Turner interview in issue one — but we will be concentrating on short stories. We want to publish as many Australian writers as possible, as often as possible, and we want to get their stories read by as wide an audience as possible.

In the following pages you will journey from the pure fantasy of Peter Trueman's "The Hunt" to the stark realism of Stephen Higgins' "Vignette", from Stephen Dedman's chilling scenario in "But Smile No More" to Jodie Kewley's whimsical fantasy "The Tree". You will travel from Pauline Ranscombe's humour to the brutal logic of Simon Brown's tale, from the poetic elegance of Rosaleen Love's "Hovering Rock" to the hard-edged story-telling of Paul Collins.

The Damien Broderick story featured in this issue has had a complicated genesis. Broderick's first ever sale was a novella entitled The Sea's Furthest End, written when he was 18. British editor, John Carnell — founder of New Worlds magazine — published it in 1964 as the major story in his first volume of New Writings in SF. Looking back recently at this fledgling effort, Broderick felt it cried out to be brutally edited, given a thoroughly developed background, and extended to novel length. Like the original, it is unashamedly romantic, over-the-top space opera. The Sea's Nearest Shore is a self-contained section, entirely new, from the opening of that novel.

In the following pages there are nine glimpses into the world of Australian fantasy and science fiction — enjoy!

Dirk Strasser

But Smile No MoreStephen Dedman

I'm a bartender, not a biochemist, so I've never really understood why booze gets people drunk, or happy, or maudlin; I just make a living out of it…

The TreeJodie Kewley

A tree destroyed our parents' marriage. A Patagonian flowering cherry. The tree, as we children thought of it. That tree, our mother called it with the same disdain with which she spoke of unreliable tradesmen, of tax evaders and of the butcher around the corner who charged forty cents for a gristly slice of veal. It was one of the few things our father felt truly passionate about. Obstinately passionate. It, and his sculptures — a veritable, if somewhat grotesque, collection of which he housed in his study… 

The Sea's Nearest ShoreDamien Broderick

…The Tyrant showed her white teeth. Perhaps it was just the smile of a mother for a daughter.

"You are our finest creation, Adriel. Did you think we gifted you with your wonderful prowess so that you might enchant besotted serving-lads and random biochemists?"…

One Day SoonPaul Collins

Jack Menzies looked up from a scanner. The LED readout put the intruder right at his door.

"I've been expecting you," Menzies said. He sounded like a school teacher addressing a student.

The assassin, immediately wary of the other's complacency, wasted a vital second before aiming his micralite…

Infernal HallucinationsPauline Ranscombe

It was a hot, sulky Monday morning when the Devil manifested himself on earth last. It proved to be one of his most exasperating experiences, although at first he was highly delighted to find himself inside a computer…

Vignette Stephen Higgins

…Jim just stood and stared at me … as if he were trying to talk to me with his eyes. With hindsight I realise that this is exactly what he was trying to do. His mind wanted to communicate something, but his implant still had enough control to stop him. I hustled him behind one of the boxes. "Stop it. Go away!" He still just looked at me. "What do you want?" I said. "Why are you picking on me?"

With an obvious effort Jim said, "Because you are different."…

Rain From the New GodSimon Brown

Five hundred angels applauded as Abraham sacrificed to God his eldest son, Isaac. The boy's death, if not clean, was at least swift. Father Pearce could not help wincing as blood sprayed over his cassock, but he managed to present a conferring smile on Abraham, who seemed absurdly pleased with his efforts…

The HuntPeter Trueman

…"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hunt a dragon? Such is the stuff of the legends of this world. Men have not hunted dragons for many centuries. Come with me tomorrow, and you can be the first to do so again."…

Hovering RockRosaleen Love

What if, instead of two rocks one on top of the other, this place marked the entrance to another world? So many possibilities — a chink in space and time through which travel is possible, the pathway to parallel worlds which exist alongside our own, which spin off at each moment when paths diverge, or the gate through which ghosts and ghouls pass from the other world…