Australian Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Sun Jun 23 22:25:30 EDT 2002

--- Kathryn Andersen <kat_lists at> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 24, 2002 at 12:56:47AM +1000, Sally
> Odgers wrote:
> > > But how much Australian fantasy is there out
> there anyway?  Is there
> > > enough to generalize?
> > 
> > I would say so.
> And what generalization would *you* make about
> Australian fantasy,
> then?
> > 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.
> (!)  I must admit that many of these, I've never
> heard of, and of the
> ones I've heard of, I haven't read all that many of
> them, or I didn't
> know they wrote fantasy.  Colin Thiele, for example,
> I had to read one
> of his novels for English in school, but it wasn't a
> fantasy, I don't
> think.  Others I've seen in stores, but the blurb
> wasn't enough to get
> me interested, as could happen with any random
> author.
> Oh, Anne Spencer Parry!  Golly that brings back
> memories! The "Land
> Behind the World" series.  Very hard to find, even
> in libraries.
> > 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) 
For Australian fantasy writers I would add Robert
Hood, Debra oswald, Lee Harding, Geoffrey McSwimming,
Joanne Horniman, Libby Gleeson, Bill Scott and perhaps
Caroline Macdonald. Sara Douglass (who can turn out a
decent trilogy IMHO) and Ian Irving have been
mentioned, but there is now Celia (?) Dart-Thornton
and hasn't Sean Williams started writing fantasy? I
know Ivan Southall wrote a few sf books in his Simon
Black series, but what fantasy did Colin Thiele write.
Oh and I think Alan Marshall wrote a fantasy or two as
well. I think perhaps the first Aussie fantasy for
readers a bit older than the magic Pudding/ Blinke
Bill/ May Gibbs type story was a book called "Children
of the dark people" by Frank Dalby Davidson and dating
from the 1930s. When I started reading fantasy the
only Australian writer in the genre was patricia
Wrightson (and perhaps Colin Thiele?), while SF wasn't
much better served - anyone ever read Russell
Braddon's "Year of the angry rabbit"?

Jon Noble
(and I'm sure I can find some more if I spend more
time looking)

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