Issue #50 is the latest issue of the Aurealis magazine, a monthly magazine showcasing Australian speculative fiction and with an emphasis on Australian content and news.
Abode by Patty Jansen kicks off this edition. A science fiction piece, Abode is set in a future where it seems humanity has begun to colonise asteroids and other small bodies through the solar system. It tells the story of Kee, a young woman attempting to build a habitat on an asteroid as well as convince her to-be fiancé's well off family that they should give away their son's hand in marriage to her. The world building hinted at in this short piece was very interesting, I'd love to see it explored more in a longer piece. A matriarchal society dominated by clans whose fortunes are linked to the resources they can command. Very interesting piece.
Remembering the Mimi by Jonathan Robb is the second story in this month's edition and Mr Robb's first publication. It tells the story of Michael, an emergency ward nurse who is faced with the earthly manifestation of a dying Aboriginal spirit (a mimi) in one of the hospital beds he is looking after. The writing is tight and Mr Robb was able to sketch the feeling of working in an emergency ward with remarkable brevity and an authentic feel. I enjoy stories that explore Aboriginal mythology and this was a good example of such a story handled quite appropriately. I look forward to reading more of Mr Robb's work.
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 listening to the interview with Margo Lanagan that she links to - very interesting.
This issue also contained an interview with author Steve Wheeler by Crisetta MacLeod as well as reviews of several recently released books and TV. There is also a rant about the lack of spaceships in science fiction television by Robert N Stephenson. Couldn't agree more.
Michael Pryor's short editorial continues the discussion on young readers in speculative fiction. He makes the point that when you look at sales figures for teenage readers, speculative fiction is the largest part of the fiction pie. Perhaps the war for young readers has already been won?
Another very satisfying read, and my inbox tells me I've finished this review just in time to start reading issue #51.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)