Is there such a thing as Australian science fiction – when you’re dealing with other worlds, does the nationality of the writer (and the setting) matter? Are there any questions or issues that Australian science fiction is uniquely positioned to address? And what’s so good about science fiction, anyway?
Doug Hendrie will talk to Jane Rawson, Lucy Sussex, Andrew Macrae and Max Barry about why they read and write in the genre, and what it means to be an Australian sci-fi writer.
Jane Rawson wrote the novel A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, published by Transit Lounge and shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for science fiction. Ed Wright at the Australian said the book had ‘taken risks with plausibility and triumphed’ while the Adelaide Advertiser’s Patrick Allington said it was ‘one of the stranger debut novels I have read … a wacky mediation on loss and grief, on creativity, on treating the planet badly and making the best of things’.
Andrew Macrae grew up in Toowoomba in regional Queensland, raised on the sound of prime movers grinding up and down the Great Dividing Range at night. He had a thing for the 1970s trucking movies that seemed to be on the black and white TV every Friday and Saturday night, and his first novel Trucksong grew out of these cultural memories, along with a healthy dose of Mad Max 2.
Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand, and her writerly interests include science fiction, women’s writing, Australiana, crime fiction and horror. Her fiction has appeared widely, and been translated into various languages, including Polish and Japanese. She has edited four anthologies, including She’s Fantastical (1995), which was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award.
A freelance foreign correspondent, magazine writer and lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Doug’s interest is in the unusual – subcultures, personalities, histories.
Max Barry is the author of the novels Syrup (an LA Times Best Book of the Year), Jennifer Government (a New York Times Notable Book), and Company (a New York Times bestseller), and the web serial Machine Man.