Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Australian Science Fiction

Hi all,

I thought about how to do my comparison of Australian Science Fiction that I had read to that of the rest of the worlds. A list that ranked them all would be a bit too complicated so I have started with a ranking of the novels and anthologies by Australian authors. In the list below I highly recommend 1-6.

1) The Sea and the Summer, George Turner, Grafton Books, 1989. Probably the best science-fiction novel I have read. It takes place in a Melbourne ravaged by global warming.
2) Genetic Soldier, George Turner, Avon Books,1994. Aborigines fight off a second invasion.
3) The Dark Between the Stars, Damien Broderick, Mandarin Australia, 1991. The best one author speculative fiction anthology I have read. Most of the stories are memorable.
4) Quarantine, Greg Egan, Legend Books, 1992. Once I got into the jargon it was a great read.
5) Souls in the Great Machine, Sean McMullen, Tor, 1999. Fantasy/science-fiction. Set around the area I live. Why can't he get published in Australia? It's the first book in a series which I hope to eventually finish reading.
6) The Sea's Furtherest End, Damien Broderick, Aphelion Publications 1993. My favourite Broderick novel as God plays games with humanity.
7) Echoes of Earth, Sean Williams and Shane Dix, Ace, 2002. I loved the technology involved in this story.
8) The Destiny Makers, George Turner, Avon Books, 1993. I know I enjoyed reading it but it's not the most memorable of Turner's books.
9) The Year of the Angry Rabbit, Russell Braddon, Wm Hienman, 1964. A very funny satire.
10) Blue Silence, Michelle Marquardt, Bantam, 2002. A bit Babylon-fiveish.
11) The Zeitgeist Machine, Ed by Damien Broderick, Angus and Robertson, 1977. Peter Carey's story Conversations with Unicorns was a standout.
12) Year's Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, Volume 1, Ed Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt, Mirror Dance Books, 2005, an especially memorable opening story Singing my Sister Down by Margo Lanagan.
13) Worlds Apart, Chuck McKenzie, Hybrid Publishers, 1999. I tend to avoid reading science fiction humour, but this was amusing.
14) The Deep Field, James Bradley, Hodder Headline Australia, 1999. It is set in the near future, but I don't know whether it really fits into the science fiction category. I liked his speculations on the near future, not so much the story.
15) Victor Kelleher, Parkland, Viking,1994. Why were all the bad guys male?
16) Sapphire Road, Wynne Whiteford, Ace, 1986. Australia and India involved in a space race? I think that this was the first Science Fiction book by an Australian writer that I read.
17) The Judas Mandala, Damien Broderick, Mandarin Australia, 1990. I can remember being disappointed with this novel.
18) Year's Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, Volume 3, Ed Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt, Mirror Dance Books, 2007. Too much fantasy.
19) Paul Voermans, And Disregards the Rest, Victor Gallancz, 1993. A nothing climax let the story down.
20) The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vol 2, Ed by Jonathan Strahan and Jeremy G Byrne, Voyager, 1998. I remember enjoying it, but none of the stories rushed out at me when I read the table of contents.
21) Matilda at the Speed of Light, Ed by Damien Broderick, Angus and Robertson, 1988. A bit of a disappointment from memory.
22) Zones, Damien Broderick and Rory Barnes, HarperCollins, 1997. Too preachy.
23) Pacific Book of Australian SF, Ed John Baxter, Angus and Roberston Ltd, 1968. Most of the stories were fantasy, saved by the multiple character and idea novella, There was a Crooked Man, by Jack Wodhams.
24) The Dreaming Dragons, Damien Broderick, Norstrilla Press, 1980. The last quarter of the book was one long info dump.
25) Time Future, Maxine McArthur, Bantam Books, 1999. I had worked out what was going on halfway through this novel. I found the main character too much of a martyr.
26) Salt, Gabrielle Lord, McPhee Gribble, 1990. All the male characters were morons.

There's one collection of four novellas that I wished I had kept because of its last story where the disabled are used to pilot single person tanks in a war. I don't know who wrote it.

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