Keith Stevenson (writer)
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Keith Stevenson is an Australian speculative fiction writer, editor, reviewer, publisher and podcaster. Born in Scotland, he emigrated to Australia in 1990. From 1999 he was submissions manager for Aurealis Magazine – Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction and later became editor of the magazine from 2001 to the end of 2004. During that time he was also organising convenor of the Aurealis Awards for several years and has since served as a judge on a number of occasions. In 2005 he formed coeur de lion publishing with fellow Melbourne-based writer Andrew Macrae. In 2007 he became science fiction and horror reviewer for Aurealis Magazine. In 2008 he commenced the Terra Incognita Australian Speculative Fiction Podcast. In 2014 he launched Dimension6 magazine and became a speculative fiction reviewer for the Newtown Review of Books. His debut novel Horizon an SF thriller was published by Voyager Impulse (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). He lives in Sydney with his partner.
Stevenson's debut novel Horizon was published by Voyager Impulse (an imprint of HarperCollins publishers) on 1 November 2014. Stevenson blogs about the ideas and issues behind his novel at horizonbook.com.au. Marketing information and images for Horizon are updated on the Horizon page of his blog.
The following speculative fiction short stories by Stevenson have been published:
- 'To That Which Kills' – Aurealis Magazine # 27/28 (Chimaera Publications 2001)
- '... They First Make Mad' – Agog! Fantastic Fiction (Agog! Press 2002)
- 'To That Which Kills' (reprint) – Oceans of the Mind (2003)
- 'A Mirror, Darkly' – Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #51 (ASIM 2011)
Stevenson was editor of Aurealis Magazine for issues No. 29 to #33–35 released between April 2002 and December 2004. His editorials for all issues are archived on his website.
In 2006, coeur de lion published c0ck – adventures in masculinity an anthology of all new speculative fiction stories that interrogated masculinity and included the 2006 Ditmar Award winning novella 'The Devil in Mr Pussy' by Paul Haines. c0ck also included Geoffrey Maloney's 'My Beautiful Wife' which received an honourable mention in Datlow's Year's Best Fantasy and Science Fiction.
c0ck received a number of favourable reviews:
'The first title from a new Australian small press is an exploration of masculinity through the speculative fiction short story. There is some impressive work here. This is the kind of project which can only be done by the small press, and which makes the small press essential.' Aurealis Magazine
‘c0ck is … sometimes playful, sometimes insecure, sometimes fatalistic. It is a diverse approach to a question that, in many ways, drives our society.’ Horrorscope
'this slim volume features 11 disturbing, humiliating, gratifying, annoying and mind-blasting stories ... A brilliant debut collection.' Orb Magazine
In 2007, coeur de lion published Rynemonn by Terry Dowling. Rynemonn was the final collection of Tom Rynosseros stories, concluding this popular saga begun in Rynosseros (first published by Aphelion Publications, an independent Australian publisher, in 1990, and reprinted by Mirrodanse Books in 2003) and continued in Blue Tyson (Aphelion Publications 1992), and Twilight Beach (Aphelion Publications 1993). Rynemonn contained a number of stories published previously in magazines and the final triptych of Tom stories which first appeared in the Forever Shores collection edited by Peter McNamara and Margret Winch (Wakefield Press 2003). Rynemonn also contained four previously unpublished Tom stories, the linking narrative 'Doing the Line' and 'Swordplay', 'Tesserina and The Target Man' and 'The Bull of September'.
Reviews for Rynemonn included: 'Noted Australian wordsmith Dowling brings a close to the adventures of Tom Rynosseros in this collection of 11 stories, three original, with extensive bridging material. "This is the conclusion to the best and most ambitious Australian SF series ever written, and one of the best, ever – period." ' Locus and Australian SF Reader
Terry Dowling received the Peter McNamara award at the 2007 Aurealis Awards for excellence in speculative fiction in part due to the publication of Rynemonn.
In 2009, coeur de lion published X6 – a novellanthology featuring six all new novellas from six Australian speculative fiction authors: Margo Lanagan, Terry Dowling, Paul Haines, Louise Katz, Cat Sparks and Trent Jamieson. X6 was a finalist in the 2009 Aurealis Awards in the anthology/ collection category. Paul Haines's X6 novella 'Wives' won the 2009 Aurealis Awards for best horror short fiction and went on to win the 2009 Ditmar for best novella, the 2009 Sir Julius Vogel (NZ) Award for best novella, and made the James Tiptree Jr Literary Award honour list. Margo Lanagan's X6 novella 'Sea-Hearts' won the 2010 World Fantasy Award for best novella. X6 appeared on the Locus Magazine 2009 Recommended Reads list.
The Aurealis Award Anthology and Collection judges said of X6, 'The strengths of the novella, a much-neglected genre of fiction, are shown to fine effect here in Keith Stevenson's un-themed anthology of six stories by some of Australia's most prominent speculative fiction writers. Fully using the capacity of a novella for deeper exploration of themes and characterisation, all six stories in this anthology are memorable, immersive and finely crafted. This is definitely speculative fiction on the literary side, ranging from sweetly poignant to darkly chilling.' Anthology and Collection Judges' Report Speaking about Paul Haines's X6 story 'Wives', the Aurealis Horror judges said it was, 'a cleverly crafted to force the reader to adjust from known parameters to the story's world, starting with a very simple image of a man in love with a girl in a country town, then, with hints and whispers, revealing that this world is not our own. The story is of a boy's coming of age as he tries desperately to assimilate his upbringing and his mother's values – that women are not simply property – within a society where property is everything. The real danger of the Australian values of mateship and mates before dates is shown in stark reality. The dialect and language are appropriate to the scene and set the distance between today's Australia and a future where we are more isolated and "countrified". It is a story of isolationism and the ease with which those who are cut off learn hate for "the other". It comments on the brutality of mutilation and the reaction of our protagonist when he discovers he has no pity or empathy, just bitter resentment for his own loss. It is a story of despair – a mother's despair and the despair of giving up hope when lovefails. This bleak story is haunting, and the 'realness' of this unreality is truly horrifying.' Horror Judges' Report The Australian Bookseller and Publisher magazine (November 2009) described X6 as 'a solid collection that will appeal to fans of Dreaming Down-Under and other recent anthologies.'
Anywhere but Earth (2011)
In 2011, coeur de lion published Anywhere but Earth an anthology of all new science fiction stories focusing on humanity's adventures out there, anywhere but Earth. Robert Stephenson's short story 'The Rains of La Strange' from the anthology won the Aurealis Award for science fiction short story.
ifbook:Australia 24 Hour Book Project (2012)
On 11–12 June, Stevenson was lead editor in the ifbook:Australia 24 Hour Book project.
2012 also saw the publication of coeur de lion's first novel, Pyrotechnicon by Adam Browne, a picaresque outer space adventure penned by the almost legendary Cyrano De Bergerac.
Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction author Greg Bear called Pyrotechnicon ‘A rich dessert of a novel, filled with finely crafted wit and adventure — Adam Browne has resurrected Cyrano in fine form. Delightful!’, while Jeff Vandermeer described it as, ‘a literary cabinet of curiosities filled with lush imagery and exotic notions. A delicious concoction of swashbucklery and delight. Highly recommended.’ Pyrotechnicon was launched officially at the Conflux 8 convention in Canberra.
Dimension6 speculative fiction magazine (2014)
Dimension6 was officially launched in April 2014 as a free and DRM-free Australian speculative fiction magazine distributed in epub an mobi (for Kindle) formats.
Dimension6 was developed as a freely accessible platform to continue Stevenson's work of bringing outstanding original Australian speculative fiction to as broad an audience as possible. While essentially an Australian publication, D6 welcomes submissions from overseas authors as well.
D6 is published three times a year and an omnibus edition, featuring all stories printed that year is available each November for $0.99.
Speculative Fiction Reviews
Stevenson's science fiction and horror reviews appeared in Aurealis Magazine #40 to #44. Reviews are also on the Aurealis website. In addition, Stevenson broadcast short reviews of Australian speculative fiction works as part of the Terra Incognita Australian Speculative Fiction monthly podcast from November 2008 to May 2011.
Stevenson now reviews speculative fiction for the Newtown Review of Books.
In November 2008, Stevenson began producing and presenting the Terra Incognita Australian Speculative Fiction podcast which broadcasts stories written and read by the authors who created them. The show is podcast monthly from the TISF website and is also available on iTunes. The TISF podcast was shortlisted in the 2010 Parsec Awards in the Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast category. TISF finished its run in May 2011, but all shows are still available at the website.