Australian Fantasy (was Re: Obernewtyn (was recommended books))

Sally Odgers sodgers at tassie.net.au
Sun Jun 23 10:56:47 EDT 2002


> But how much Australian fantasy is there out there anyway?  Is there
> enough to generalize?

I would say so.

> Besides whom you've mentioned, let's see...
> - Patricia Wrightson ("The Nargun and the Stars" etc)
> - Who wrote "The Magic Pudding"?

Norman Lindsay.


>
> If you count SF as well
> - John Marsden (his SF is definitely postapocalyptic)
> - is Louise Lawrence Australian?

No.


> But as for feeling hot, well, it *is* hot here -- except in Tasmania.

Yeah, yeah...

The Australian fantasy writers whose work I know include the following;

Jackie French, Patricia Bernard, Brian Caswell, Nan Chauncy, Margaret Clark,
Gary Crew, Sally Rogers-Davidson, Joan Flanagan, Helen Frances, Deborah
Lisson, Barbara Giles (unless she's a Kiwi), Sue Gough, Anne Grocott, Penny
Hall, Lee Harding, Libby Hathorn, Nette Hilton, Nan Hunt, Shannah Jay, Paul
Jennings, Catherine Jinks, Victor Kelleher, Patricia Kennedy, Robin Klein,
Beverley Paine, John Larkin, Dave Lucket, David McRobbie, Sophie Masson,
Emily Rodda, Garth Nix, John O'Brien, Anne Spencer Parry, Jenny Pausacker,
Robert Hood, Paul Collins, Joan Phipson, John Pinkney, Mavis Scott, Moya
Simons, Lucy Sussex, Colin Thiele, S. A. Wakefield, Janeen Webb, Valerie
Weldrick, Edel Wignell, Patricia Wrightson, Bob Rich, Martin Middleton, Keri
Arthur, Goldie Alexander, Cory Daniells, Libby Gleeson, Kim Wilkins.

Mind you -- I couldn't swear that every one of these is Australian, but
certainly most of them are.

What we do lack in Australia (from what I see in my own library) are many
writers with sustained fantasy series. From my own experience, Australian
publishers are not keen on these.  Not only in fantasy either.  There are
quite a few writers, such as Kerry Greenwood, (come to think of it she
writes fantasy too) who start strongly with a series and then just peter
out. It happens too often to be an accident. The first few books will be
well-publicised, well reviewed, and well stocked by libraries and shops, but
later entries will come out so quietly that many would be readers will never
know they exist.  This results in lower sales and the attrition of the
series.

I'm thinking here particularly of Greenwood's "Phryne Fisher" series. The
first four were in the local shops, but the later ones were almost
impossible to find without going out of my way to order them.

I do think that this comparative lack of sustained fantasy series is the
reason many people cannot name many Australian fantasy writers.

Sallyo


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