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.[A]n excellent and useful book....This is one of the best titles Greenwood has published, and ...it's worth adding to your reference library. Science Fiction ChronicleBlackford, Ikin and McMullen, noted editors and authors in their own right, have produced a long needed critical overview of Australian SF - a genre much neglected in the official literary histories. University LibrarianStrange Constellations inspires reflections on the nature of what it means to speak out of a place, and the multiple relationships to nation, history, and racial and gender identities. Paradoxastrange Constellations is also invaluable. CriticismThese bibliographies alone make the book a must purchase for any library with serious holdings in either science fiction or Australian literature....Readers interested in nineteenth -century fantastic literature will find Strange Constellations particularly valuable....Strange Constellations is as good a work of literary history as one could wish for....[C]oncise, judicious in its appraisal of the writers under consideration...clearly written. Science Fiction StudiesAustralia captured the imagination of European writers in the nineteenth century, and with the beginning of settlement, Australia became the setting for various "lost world" stories. Australia has since developed a rich national literature, and perhaps because of its exotic and ancient nature, the continent has inspired numerous science fiction writers. This book surveys the history of Australian science fiction from its nineteenth century origins to the close of the twentieth century. Included are discussions of Australian writers who have been substantially engaged with science fiction as a genre. The volume proceeds chronologically, with sections devoted to Australian science fiction before 1925, the rise of traditional science fiction from 1926 through 1959, the international recognition of Australian science fiction from 1960 to 1974, and the serious acclaim given to Australian science fiction writers in the last 25 years.Surveys the history of Australian science fiction from the nineteenth century to the close of the twentieth.
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