The short lists are in for the 2009 Aurealis Awards, recognising Australia’s best Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. It’s been another strong year for Australian SF & Fantasy and the number of new authors in this year’s list is good news for the future. The Winners will be announced on the 23rd January.
NZ born author Juliet Marillier has achieved a huge international audience with her elegant historical fantasy novels. Like some of her previous series, Heart’s Blood takes inspiration from a traditional fairy tale. In this case it’s Beauty and the Beast – and no, you can forget that saccharine sweet Disney version, this is a story with a lot more guts to it.
Fantasy writing is flourishing in Australia these days. Led by established authors such as Garth Nix, Kate Forsythe and Isobel Carmody, the quality of Aussie fantasy just keeps getting better and better. With so much good local fantasy available, I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the best recent releases.
40 years in the future, a plague has destroyed human’s ability to conceive females. In the Australian desert the roving bands of outstationers have cut ties with the Colony government, living out a merciless, womanless future in the outback.
Chimanda Ngozi Adichie opened the 2009 SWF by urging us to foster, wherever possible, a multiplicity of stories and a voices to guard against the silencing effects of poverty and political domination. As SWF Chair, Sandra Yates, observed, Richard Flanagan’s closing speech was the perfect compliment to Adichie’s caution against the ‘single story’.
Where Adichie spoke broadly about the cultural and political importance of a diverse and representative library of international voices, Flanagan asserted the vital role Australian literature has played in forging our own cultural identity and voice. But, at precisely the time when Australia is one of the most productive and exciting centres of publishing in the world, we risk dismantling the very platform that allowed our writers and publishers to finally escape the colonial shadow of Britain and stand alone on the international stage.
The Sydney Writer’s Festival was officially launched last night by Nigerian star-on-the-rise, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie burst onto the international literary scene with her first novel Purple Hibiscus before winning the Orange Prize for her second book, Half of a Yellow Sun. Her latest work, That Thing Around Your Neck, is a collection of short… Read More ›
Nam Le was awarded the 2008 Book of the Year on Monday night for his short story collection The Boat. He also picked up a rare double, netting the the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing. In presenting the award, Premier Rees said: “Nam Le’s The Boat, is a collection of stories that cross… Read More ›
The 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize was awarded this weekend at the Auckland Writers’ Festival. Christos Tsiolkas won the overall Best Book for his fourth novel, The Slap, while Pakistan author Mohammed Hanif won the prize for best first novel with his satirical look at dictatorship, A Case of Exploding Mangoes.