Book Giveaway Competition: Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio

Last week I received the advance print copies of Worlds Next Door (and it looks beautiful!). This week, I finalised the lineup for Australis Imaginarium and am delighted to announce it!

“Once a Month, on a Sunday” by Ian McHugh
“Night Heron’s Curse” by Thoraiya Dyer
“Hunter of Darkness, Hunter of Light” by Michael Pryor
“A Pig’s Whisper” by Margo Lanagan
“Stealing Free” by Deborah Biancotti
“Suffer the Little Children” by  Rowena Cory Daniells
“Virgin Jackson” by Marianne de Pierres
“The Claws of Native Ghosts” by Lee Battersby
“The Jacaranda Wife” by Angela Slatter
“The Dark Under the Skin” by Dirk Strasser
“Red Ochre” by Lucy Sussex
“Passing the Bone” by Sean Williams

I’m sure you’ll agree it’s an intriguing and totally awesome lineup 🙂

To celebrate Australis Imaginarium being (almost) ready to go to print, we’re giving away another book!

This time, it’s an original anthology of imaginative short fiction edited by bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio – Stories is pretty to look at and packed with awesome authors and their work.

Publisher’s Weekly says: “This collection of 27 never-before published stories from an impressive cast — Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stuart O’Nan, among others — sets out to shift genre paradigms. The overarching theme is fantastic fiction, or fiction of the imagination, with fantasy being used in the most broad-sweeping sense rather than signaling the familiar commercial staples of elves, ghouls, and robots.”

Interested? Want a chance to win? Here’s how! We’re celebrating Australian stories in Australis Imaginarium, so in the comments here, simply tell me your favourite Australian novel or short story (or both!) and why you love it. It doesn’t have to be speculative fiction, simply Australian in some way. And yes, it is somewhat ironic that I’m celebrating Australian fiction with the reward of a non-Australian book – I can if I wanna! 🙂

Open to all (happy to post internationally if needs be), winner to be chosen at random from eligible entries. Entries close Sunday July 18, 2010.


15 thoughts on “Book Giveaway Competition: Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio

  1. My favourite Australian novels are definitely Mudrooroo’s “Master of the Ghost Dreaming” sequence (Master of the Ghost Dreaming, The Undying, Underground and The Promised Land). They combine all that is good and all that is bad about Australia’s colonisation, told from an aboriginal perspective. They bring magic realism to the harsh landscape of 19th Century Australia, pitting traditional beliefs against western superstition, and throw them all together with a mix of historical and fictional characters. To sum up the series: English Vampires vs The Dreamtime, and you can’t get much better than that!

  2. Call me biased, but I’d probably tilt towards Ian McHugh’s ‘Once a Month, on a Sunday’ as favourite Australian story – although Geoff Maloney’s ‘Requiem for the General’ is a contender also. Favourite novel, at this point, is probably Randolph Stow’s ‘Midnite’, which I read a couple of times as a kid.

  3. I think my favourite Australian novels come from my reading as a kid – My Sister Sif, by Ruth Park, made a huge impression on me, for its characters and its (very early!) environmental message; much of Victor Kelleher’s work also grabbed me, again for his characters and portrayals of society. More recently there’s Garth Nix’s books, which I also love, because they’re awesome adventures.

    I have a love-hate relationship with Haines’ “Wives” because it is awful and fearsome and worthy of loathe… and yet so very, frighteningly, well-written.

  4. a fortunate life, it made me grateful for what I had and desperate for a drop down loo so my old ladys bottom could be pecked by a broody chook as well

  5. I think my favourite has to be Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody. I read it in high school, shortly after moving to Australia, and it gave me a vision of the Australian landscape in a science-fictional context, and put the entire country into my imagination much more effectively than high-school studies of colonial history and art ever could.

  6. Wow, there’s so many of them but the one that really struck me was Sean William’s Books of the Change. I guess because I’d just returned from living in the outback (and the Kimberley) when I read them and the landscape really called to me. I found myself getting homesick for a land that I’d loved but wasn’t really mine. Wonderful.

  7. “It Could be You” by Frank Roberts, which first appeared in F&SF in the mid-60s, but which I read in a collection called “Science Fiction For Boys” I received for my 9th birthdays (Hey, it was the 70s, okay?). It details a society-wide TV show that gradually narrows down the population for some unnamed purpose (“It could be you, Mister Jones. But don’t worry, because today’s candidiate doesn’t wear glasses!”) until there are only two men left, the ‘hero’ of the story and his best friend. Then the true purpose of the show is revealed, and it is *not* pretty. It out-Reality TV’s Reality TV forty years before it became so all-pervasing, and blew my nine yar old mind away: it was the story that made me decide I wanted to be more than just a reader of fiction, that I wanted to create as well. I’ve spent much of my artistic life trying to create that one, single “Oh My God!” moment I had when reading that story.

    And I still have the book 🙂

  8. “The Nargun and the Stars” by Patricia Wrightson.

    Runners up are “Dirt Music” by Tim Winton, “Unreliable Memoirs” by Clive James, “Remembering Babylon,” by David Malouf, “Heart’s Blood” by Juliet Marillier and “The Etched City” by KJ Bishop.

    I have an Aussie-only bookshelf and it is jam-packed. So I’m glad you’re giving away a different book, I got loads of room on my Gaiman shelf 😀


  9. My favourite Australian book is from my childhood, it lingers in my heart with such warmth and joy even now re-reading is like being six, seven and eight again. Elyne Mitchell’s “The Silver Brumby” gave me a vision of the Australian inland mountains, of grass and trees, hidden valleys and kingdoms of horses with little appearance by humans. I loved the characterisation of the horses and the journeys they went on, their growing up and growing older as the series progressed.

  10. I have a lot of Australian favourite books!

    Tender Morsels, the Gracie Faltrain series (not spec fic), several books by Maureen McCarthy (not spec fic either), Power and Majesty…

    Though the Aussie story that last hit me over the head witha brick was “Singing my sister down” by Margo Lanagan, so I think I’ll have to say that.

  11. I’m going to go with Merry-Go-Round In the Sea, Randolph Stow.

    It was on of the first books that resonated with me, because I new the locations so well.

  12. Norah of Billabong (Mary Grant Bruce) for its unrelenting, ‘English’ Australia, cheerful and resourceful characters, and its exploration of an era long gone.

  13. Wow, there are so many good Australian books.

    The one that sticks in my mind the most, and had a profound impact when I studied it in high school was Peter Cary’s ‘Bliss.’

    As a naive teenage girl living in the sticks, this book expanded my mind in, oh so many ways. I love the complexity of the characters and the bizarre relationships they form.

  14. Despite having been forced to study it in school, and also despite the fact that I’ve never liked any of his other work, Tim Winton’s ‘Cloudstreet’ is high up my list of awesome Australian novels. The writing style, the touch of fantasy, the history and excellent characterisation all justify its status as a classic. And I mean, if even high school English can’t ruin a book, then it’s probably pretty damn good.

  15. Congratulations Nicole! Random number generator says you win a copy of the Neil Gaiman edited anthology “Stories”! Great choice of Aussie books too 🙂

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