2020 Snapshot: Keith Stevenson

Keith Stevenson is a speculative fiction writer, magazine editor and publisher born in Scotland and now living in Wollongong NSW.

He is probably best known for being editor of Aurealis – Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine from 2001 to 2004 and publisher with multi-award winning Australian independent press coeur de lion publishing from 2006 onwards. He also hosted 30 episodes of the Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction (TISF) Podcast from 2008 to 2011. Keith edits and produces the free and DRM-free Dimension6 speculative fiction electronic magazine three times a year.

His long fiction includes Horizon, a deep space exploration political and ecological thriller/ murder mystery, which was published by Voyager Impulse in November 2014, and the three book Lenticular series, a galaxy-spanning space opera of species slaughter, subjugation and treachery, which is currently in development.

  1. Tell us about your recent publications / projects?

It’s been a busy year already! 2020 marks the final year of Dimension6 the free (and DRM free) electronic magazine of Australian Speculative Fiction. I set up D6 as a way to promote Australian speculative fiction talent and get stories out to readers in an easily accessible form with no paywall. It seemed the best way to remove all possible barriers between writer and readers and I think overall it’s been a success with a lot of established and emerging Australian writers publishing stories with us. The nice thing about the whole project is that each magazine is still free and easily accessible on the coeur de lion website, so if you’ve never heard of Dimension6 and you love Australian speculative fiction, you have a treat in store!

But all good things must come to an end. I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but something will come up.

In the meantime, I’ve finally drafted the third book in my galaxy-spanning space opera The Lenticular Series. I’ve been writing this saga off and on for more years than I care to admit to, but it’s finally come together and by the end of 2020 I expect to have all three books ready to tout to agents. So I’m really excited about that, particularly as there were times I wasn’t sure I could pull it all together.

  1. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

That would have to be developing and publishing the X6 anthology in 2009. It was really exciting to come up with an idea and to have such amazing authors as Terry Dowling, Margo Lanagan, Trent Jamieson, Cat Sparks, Paul Haines and Louise Katz agree to take part in the book. I look at those stories today and they still stand up among the best contemporary Australian speculative fiction around. The fact the contents won an Aurealis, Ditmar, Julius Vogel and World Fantasy Award between them is a testament to that.

But more recently I’ve really enjoyed the whole Dimension6 experiment, finding and giving a platform to some truly wonderful Australian authors as well as overseas writers.

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

There is so much out there and of such a high calibre, it’s hard to choose. But if I look at very recent publications, I’d have to recommend James Bradley’s Ghost Species, and I’m also looking forward to reading J Ashley Smith’s new horror novel The Attic Tragedy. We published one of his stories in Dimension6 a couple of years back and he has another one – ‘The Black Massive’ – coming out in our final issue in October. Australian horror has a really distinctive sensibility, and for all he’s originally from England, J Ashley Smith really gets it – just as well as another non-Australian, Kiwi author Paul Haines did. He’s definitely one to look out for.

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