Episode 203: Alisa Krasnostein, Sean Williams and the State of Australian SF

Sure that we were on to something, we decided to follow up last week’s discussion of the State of British SF with Paul Kincaid and Nina Allan with a discussion about the State of Australian SF with editor/publisher Alisa Krasnostein of Twelfth Planet Press and bestselling Australian SF writer Sean Williams.

While there is always more that could be said about trends, particular publishers, or individual writers, a fairly-wide-reaching conversation did manage to cover a lot in a little over an hour.  The podcast also includes some recommendations for books we think you should check out if you’re interested in current Australian SF.

As always, we would like to thank our guests Alisa and Sean for making the time to be on the podcast, and hope that you enjoy the episode. See you next week!

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4 Comments

  1. Great Podcast – even better than usual as it had a clear focus as well as articulate and entertaining guests. Unfortunately I now really want to read the Kim Westwood but it is only available digitally in Aus and I cannot seem to find a second hand copy available anywhere.

    It seems stupid that an award winning, highly lauded book only 2-3 years old could be completely unavailable in the age of POD and digital editions. It also looks like it would be a great pick (were there a US/UK digital edition) for some of the Goodreads book clubs I am active with.

    What would need to be done to get a wider digital release? Would it be Harpercollins Aus or the author?

  2. Interesting episode.

    One thing you did not cover is the role of agents. From reading some of the histories of the field it appears that agents have been as important as editors. I wonder if writers like Lucy SUSSEX and Rosaleen LOVE had agents to nurture them and to do the ground work as intermediaries with editors and publishers may have would have made a difference?

    I have wondered about the lack of interest in SF by Australian publishers and readers. I have usually come down on the side that it is no better or worse than it is in the US or UK. There does seem to be a strong prejudice amongst Australian gatekeepers against the Fantastic and a strong preference for realism . There are of course exceptions (Peter Carey, Gerald Murnane and James Bradley come to mind) but even they are accepted because their fantastic elements are viewed through the prism of magic realism and metaphysics. I did read somewhere recently, and I cannot remember who wrote it but the writer compared the Australian experience of exploration and colonisation to the US experience. Our landscape has been viewed as alien and inhospitable so our focus has been on the coast, our cities and realism because if you start getting airs or da dreams you’ll end up dead.

    One Aboriginal Science Fiction/Fantasy novel I can think of, as I reviewed it for Galaxy Bookshop way back, is Archie WELLER’s Land of the Golden Clouds.

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