Earlier this year, in preparation for a panel at the Austalian National Convention I did a lot of searching around the internet and created a spreadsheet tracking the output of Australia and New Zealand’s published fantasy writers.
Well, most of them. Since I did have a book to write, I kept to writers published by big to middling sized publishers. I also stuck to writers of what I call ‘alternate world’ fantasy – fantasy set mainly in an alternative world to our own – to avoid the complications of deciding where to draw the line between fantasy and urban fantasy/horror/alt history. Then when it came to young adult books, I only included those authors that had published books that had clearly made a mark in the adult market.
My research revealed that, currently, two thirds of Australian fantasy writers are women. This wasn’t a surprise to us Aussies, nor to anyone who has looked at the genre Down Under. I’ve long been asked what is is about my homeland that produces such great female fantasy writers.
But we don’t just produce great female writers, we have some damn fine male ones, too. At World Fantasy Con a few weeks ago I was asked to recommend some Australian writers. While I already have a page of recommendations in the menu above, I keep it to ten so I don’t overwhelm readers with too many choices, and because I don’t recommend books I haven’t read and I simply don’t have the time to read even one book by all the Australian and New Zealand fantasy writers out there.
I figure the list of authors is a great resource to post here for anyone curious to now we Aussie and Kiwi fantasy writers have to offer. I’ve linked to each author’s Goodreads page so you can hop over to see what sort of fantasy they write. I doubt it’s a complete list, and I admit it’s a little fuzzy around the edges of the alternative world fantasy category, and there are always new authors arriving on the scene, so feel free to make more suggestions in the comments.
K J Bishop
Rowena Cory Daniells
Karen Miller/ K E Mills
Tansy Rayner Roberts
Jane Routley/Rebecca Locksley
K J Taylor