So, what is this?

Speculative Australia is a student-driven blog engaging with all manner of speculative fiction from Australia: from fantasy fiction to gothic tales. It aims to provide academic insights into the genre while maintaining accessibility to readers outside the literary field – to achieve this goal, the editors, Bettina Burger, David Kern and Lucas Mattila, curate the blog posts both in terms of their academic rigor and their general readability. They have been assisted in their research by their research assistants Jill Bommans, Tiana Matanovic, and David Mocken. Going forth, research assistant Anika Klose and voluntary editors Melissa Teschen and Samantha Saur will help with editing individual posts.

The blog collects the most interesting and well-written blog posts from the course(s) in relation to the project, but it is also open to submissions from previous participants in our courses as well as other HHU students with a fascination for Australian speculative fiction. If this is something of interest to you, please contact us at:

What are we talking about?

The blog strives to cover the field in all its variety and potential. In the course of our research, we have looked at ‘traditional’ fantasy novels (such as Sarah Douglass’ BattleAxe (1995), one of the first Australian fantasy novels on the international literary market) and discovered that even the most medievalist fantasy may still contain kernels of ‘Australianness’. But we are also engaged with more unusual works in the field of speculative fiction, inviting blog posts on films, comics, television shows, youtube content and experimental forms, as well as lesser known short stories and novels – an independent  short film used in the courses, “Waterborne”, even contains a Zombie Kangaroo, so there is certainly a lot to choose from! 

What do we hope to achieve?

We are hoping that this blog will spark a broader interest in Australian speculative fiction from casual readers and researchers alike. To this end, the blog will contain reviews on Australian horror novels, science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, utopian and dystopian stories as well as visual narratives and more. In addition, we also welcome posts that delve deeper into individual concepts and raise questions with regards to Australian speculative fiction writing. While we will likely never find a definitive answer, we hope to approach the question of what makes Australian speculative fiction writing ‘Australian’, but we also deal with narrower yet equally interesting issues. Why are there so many Australian female writers of fantasy? How do Australian works uniquely engage with latent, historical presences and how can they model new forms of transcultural entanglement? How do Indigenous authors influence the speculative fiction genre? How are gender and sexuality portrayed in select Australian novels? Which visual cues are used in graphic novels and comics to denote Australianness, if any? How do the various cultural backgrounds of contemporary Australia influence its speculative fiction? How does landscape feature in various Australian speculative narratives? 

Join us in our speculative journey into a wide and exciting field of writing – be it as a reader or contributor!