Aurealis #49 (April 2012) – review

Issue #49 is the latest issue of the Aurealis magazine, a monthly magazine showcasing excellent Australian speculative fiction. With an emphasis on Australian content and news, I’m finding Aurealis is rapidly becoming one of my key barometers for what is happening in the Australian speculative fiction landscape.

The First Boat by Sean McMullen was an interesting take on how quickly Australia might collapse if some of our basic utilities (in this case electricity) were taken from us. The choice of the main point of view character was good, a young perspective mirroring the confusion of the time. McMullen’s characters are taking action when the rest of us would just be faffing around, and the twist at the end will resonate with Australian readers.

I am a big and growing fan of Jason Fischer‘s work, and Rolling for Fetch did not disappoint. Fischer describes a dystopian world of energy shortages and reverted transportation where some gangs have their feet replaced with wheels and perform couriering services. It is an excellent dissection of a transient subculture and the impact of what is essentially a fad where radical surgery is an option (and you thought you might regret that tattoo you got at university – at least you didn’t replace your feet with wheels!). The good news – Mr Fischer has a new short story collection coming out from Ticonderoga Publications called Everything is a Graveyard. The bad news – it isn’t due out until October 2013!

As always Carissa’s Weblog providing a round up of some of the more interesting articles around on the web in the area of Australian speculative fiction. I’d particularly recommend watching the video of Neil Gaimen’s recent event at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne (mentioned in a previous new article on this site).

This issue also contained a very interesting interview of Greig Beck by Crisetta MacLeod, titled E-publishing: An Hour with Greig Beck. I do the bulk of my reading electronically these days, and as one of the inaugural authors picked up by the new Pan Macmillan all-digital imprint Momentum Mr Beck has some interesting insight into that rapidly evolving scene.

Michael Pryor’s short editorial talks about the importance of getting young people into science fiction, although I wish it had been just a slightly longer piece that talked about how we could achieve that worthy goal!

The What do you Think? section of the magazine contains a link to my review of issue #48. They are also running another online survey to get feedback on this month’s issue.


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This work by Mark Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.

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