Lucy Sussex

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Lucy Sussex in 2013.

Lucy Sussex (born in New Zealand in 1957) is a fantasy and science fiction author, editor, academic and teacher currently residing in Melbourne, Australia.

She is often associated with feminist science fiction.

Personal life[edit]

Lucy Sussex was born in 1957 in Christchurch, New Zealand. She has lived in New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom and Australia, where she settled in 1971, and has spent the majority of her time since. She has a degree in English and an MA in Librarianship from Monash University, and also a Ph.D from the University of Wales.[1]

She has been writing since the age of eleven. In 1979 she attended a Sydney based Science Fiction Writers' Workshop, conducted by Terry Carr and George Turner and soon after published her first short stories locally and overseas.[2]


Lucy Sussex's fiction has spanned a range of genres, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Crime and Detective fiction and been aimed at the children's, young adult and adult fiction markets. She has published six novels - the first appearing in 1995 - and over 30 short stories, which have been collected across three anthologies. Her first story to gain notice might be 1985's The Lipton Village Society, which involved the creation of an alternate world.

Style and Themes[edit]

Non Fiction, Academic and Editorial Work[edit]

Sussex works as a freelance editor and researcher and has published literary criticism and journalism. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia

She writes reviews for the West Australian and The Age newspapers on a weekly basis, which involves reading 5-6 books per week and cites this as her primary professional occupation.[3]

She has edited several anthologies, including She's Fantastical, the first collection of Australian women's speculative fiction, magical realism and fantasy to be published in that country.[4] The volume was short listed for the prestigious World Fantasy Award in 1996.

She has also described herself as a 'literary archaeologist' having rediscovered and republished the work of nineteenth-century Australian crime writers Mary Fortune and Ellen Davitt, the former of whose identity was uncovered through Sussex's scholarship, having been previously only known by pseudonyms for many decades.[5] Her Ph.D thesis also focused on early women crime writers.

Contribution to Science Fiction and Fantasy Culture[edit]

Sussex has participated in numerous conventions and conferences, either as guest or panelist.

She has for many years maintained an active interest in encouraging emerging writers in the speculative fiction field, conducting a number of workshops, including at Aussiecon III, the 1999 World SF Convention in Melbourne. She was a teacher at Clarion West, in Seattle in 2001 and at Clarion South in 2004. She has regularly conducted workshops in her home city of Melbourne, of varying lengths and themes, most recently facilitating a Science Fiction Novel writing challenge across 2008.

In 2003 Sussex was awarded the A Bertram Chandler award for "Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction", which recognised the scope of her achievements in the Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy fields as practitioner, academic and teacher.[6]


In 1989 she won her first Ditmar Award for short story "My Lady Tongue" about a lesbian feminist community. She won three further Ditmars, for her novel The Scarlet Rider (1997), novella "La Sentinelle" (2004), and short story "Absolute Uncertainty". "Merlusine" won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 1998, and "La Sentinelle" won an Aurealis Award in 2003. In 2008 her short story "Mist and Murder" won a Sir Julius Vogel Award.[7]

She was a judge for the international James Tiptree, Jr. Award award in 1995.[8]



  • The Peace Garden (Oxford University Press, 1989)
  • Deersnake (Hodder and Stoughton, 1994)
  • The Scarlet Rider (Forge, 1996)
  • The Penguin Friend (Omnibus Books, 1997)
  • Black Ice, (Hodder Headline Australia, 1997)
  • The Revognase (Lothian, 2003)

Short story collections[edit]

  • My Lady Tongue and Other Tales, (Heinemann, 1990)
  • A Tour Guide in Utopia, (MirrorDanse, 2005)
  • Absolute Uncertainty, (Aqueduct Press, 2006)
  • Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies: The Essential Lucy Sussex, (Ticonderoga Publications, forthcoming June 2011)


  • The Fortunes of Mary Fortune (Penguin, 1989)
  • The Lottery: Nine Science Fiction Stories (Omnibus Books, 1994)
  • The Patternmaker: Nine Science Fiction Stories (Omnibus Books, 1994)
  • Shadow Alley: Nine Crime Stories (Omnibus Books, 1995)
  • She's Fantastical (Sybylla Press, 1995)




  1. ^, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  2. ^, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  3. ^, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  4. ^ 'An Eidolon Interview with the Editors of She's Fantastical' conducted by Justine Larbalestier,, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  5. ^ A Woman of Mystery: Mary Fortune, Lucy Sussex,, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  6. ^, retrieved on 24 January 2009
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]