Issue #51 is the June 2012 issue of the Aurealis magazine, a monthly magazine showcasing Australian speculative fiction and with an emphasis on Australian content and news. I'm quite behind on my short fiction reading (issues 52 and 53 are looking sternly at me from my iPad as we speak).
The first story in this edition was At the Crossroads by Daniel Baker. This was an interesting story with some great concepts, but I must admit I found it a little confusing to follow. This probably says more about me than the quality of the story. It follows the adventures of William as he transverses worlds through a mechanism known as the Crossroads as he chases his desire to be a Cartographer (one who maps worlds). Some of the imagery in the story is quite strong and I liked some of the descriptive text, but I wasn't quite captured by it.
Next was The Pesky Dead by Richard Harland. This was a fun story! The lead character had a strong and very distinctive voice (even though he himself wasn't very likeable). I enjoy stories set in an Australian context, and this one didn't disappoint. It hinted at a system of rules for dealing with the spirits of the dead, and did it in such an entertaining way. A great piece.
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, mostly in the form of interviews and video. Reviews abound, with more books than is worth mentioning.
There is an extensive interview with Garth Nix, which gives some interesting insights into his writing as well as some of his latest works (including A Confusion of Princes which I reviewed recently).
Michael Pryor's editorial puts the fiction back into science fiction by shining a light on the concept some people hold that science fiction should predict the future. Given how woeful science fiction authors tend to be at it, it probably comes as a relief that Pryor takes the line that science fiction should be about exploring the effects of possible futures, rather than trying to guess which ones will actually happen.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)