I’m very pleased to announce that my short story ‘The Lighthouse at Cape Defeat’ will appear in Aurealis #89, the April 2016 issue of Australia’s Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Getting a story into Aurealis has been one of my dream writing goals since I started taking fiction writing seriously again in 2012. Back in the very early 1990’s, I meandered through an undergraduate degree in science and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. (I was pretty sure at that point that a science career was off the table).
Aurealis came along just as I was getting to the point in my studies when I couldn’t put off a decision for much longer. Those early issues gave me a small glimpse on a path I had always wanted but never thought was a viable option – writing speculative fiction from an Australian perspective. I never suspected that there were outlets for Australians to tell stories about dragons and spaceships, much less ones you could buy at a news agency.
I’d like to claim that I was inspired to claim my place in the mildly strained choir of Oz storytellers. In fact I don’t think I ever submitted anything back then. Oh, I’m sure I wrote stories, but I doubt I had the courage to bundle one up in an envelope and ask a stranger to judge its worth.
I wish I had. One of the first things I’ll be doing once I get access to a time machine or a wish-bearing genie is to go back and tell me-in-my-twenties to swallow his fear, toughen up a bit and send one of his stories in to Aurealis.
(I’d also tell him not to be so stubborn about rewriting, to hug his cat more and to get a better haircut).
I never did it. I talked myself out of being serious about fiction for a long time.
Being able to say that I’ve been published in Aurealis isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I might live up to those early daydreams. But it feels like the milestone marking the point of no return.