January 7th, 2010

Summary: Aurealis, 2009

Summary: Aurealis, 2009

Aurealis is a long-established Australian magazine. I saw just two issues, #41 and #42, in 2009, though the copyright pages said 2008. (This is an ongoing, if rather trivial, issue with Aurealis. I assume the issues may be prepared well in advance of their actual printing.) The editor is Stuart Mayne.

There were a bit more than 75,000 words of fiction in the two issues. 3 novelettes and 12 short stories.

I thought it was quite a good year overall for the magazine. From #41 I particularly liked RJ Astruc's "A Hat Full of Leaves", a Zeem story in which the djinn is commandeered, sort of, by a colourful witch named Trinket, to resolve the issues caused by the appearance of a wild sort of creature in the park she uses for her rituals. Also, "Aleph, Mem, Tav", by Miranda Siemienowicz, in which a Queen, unhappy with her arranged marriage, magically creates a sort of demon, who offers a form of escape. From #42, "for want of a jesusman", by Jason Fischer, very strange dark stuff about a violent man who finds a calling, in a weird way, to hunt "witches" -- what drives the interest of the story is the strange world they inhabit, apparently tenuously connected to something like our world. I also liked "Muleskinner Blues", by Brendan Duffy, again mostly for its world, a wild and busy amalgam of AI run amok, people retreating to virtual reality, and fractally replicating suburbs. Other nice work came from Lucy Sussex, Geoffrey Maloney, Sue Isle, and Helen Patrice.

8 of 15 were by women (53%), and 5 of 15 were SF (33%).