Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction

Overview

Australia has long been thought of by Europeans as an exotic and mysterious land. During the nineteenth century, it was envisioned much as the moon and Mars are today: a distant and uncharted place with hidden possibilities for explorations and adventures. The continent captured the imagination of European writers in the 1800s, and with its settlement, Australia became the setting for tales of lost worlds and ancient civilizations. Australia has since developed a rich national literature, and perhaps because of ...

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Overview

Australia has long been thought of by Europeans as an exotic and mysterious land. During the nineteenth century, it was envisioned much as the moon and Mars are today: a distant and uncharted place with hidden possibilities for explorations and adventures. The continent captured the imagination of European writers in the 1800s, and with its settlement, Australia became the setting for tales of lost worlds and ancient civilizations. Australia has since developed a rich national literature, and perhaps because of its novelty and wilderness, it has inspired numerous science fiction writers. This book provides a critical survey of the history of Australian science fiction from its nineteenth century origins to the present.

The volume proceeds chronologically, with an introductory section on the origins of Australian science fiction before 1925. It then turns to the rise of traditional science fiction in Australia from 1926 to 1959, with discussions of such writers as James Morgan Walsh, Norma Hemming, and Wynne Whiteford. A section on the period from 1960 to 1974 examines the growing national recognition given to such Australian science fiction writers as David Rome and Jack Wodhams, while a section on science fiction between 1975 and 1984 reviews the rise of small presses and the growth of literary criticism of the genre in Australia. A final section addresses the maturation of Australian science fiction from 1985 to 1998 with attention to Aussiecon Two. Extensive bibliographic information concludes the volume.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A study of Australian science fiction in printed form, focusing on definition, authorial profiles, and bibliographic scope. Begins with discussion of lost race romances, utopian novels, and futuristic thrillers of the period up to 1925, then covers the rise of traditional science fiction in Australia until 1959, international recognition and the New Wave during the period 1960-74, small presses during 1975-84, and serious recognition during 1985-98. Authors profiled include Wayne Whiteford, George Turner, and Greg Egan. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

RUSSELL BLACKFORD is a legal consultant and freelance writer.

VAN IKIN is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Western Australia.

SEAN MCMULLEN is the author of several works of science fiction including Call to the Edge (1992), Voices in the Light (1994), Mirrorsun Rising (1995), and The Centurion's Empire (1998).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
I Australian Science Fiction to 1925
1 Early Romances 3
2 Utopian and Dystopian Works 19
3 Novels of Racial Invasion 36
II 1926-59: The Rise of Traditional Science Fiction in Australia
4 1926-39: Forerunners of Modern Australian Science Fiction 49
5 1940-59: Local Expansion 56
6 A. Bertram Chandler 81
7 Wynne Whiteford 90
III 1960-74: International Recognition and the New Wave
8 The 1960s 99
9 The Early 1970s 120
IV 1975-84: Small Presses and Growing Reputations
10 Aussiecon and After 125
11 Writers of the 1970s 131
12 George Turner 145
13 Damien Broderick 152
14 The Early 1980s 160
V 1985-98: Serious Recognition
15 Aussiecon 2 and After 173
16 Greg Egan 190
17 Writers of the 1990s 201
Conclusion: Into the Unknown 215
Selected Bibliography 221
Index 237
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