The Australian Science Fiction Publisher

Aphelion Publications rose out of Aussiecon 2, the 1985 Worldcon in Melbourne. Two chance events set it running. The first was a conversation between Peter McNamara and US writer Jack Chalker, in which Jack recounted the many pleasures he had gained from his days in small press publishing. The second--a challenge thrown down by a friend--occurred a few hours later when Peter McNamara was bemoaning what he saw as the moribund state of Australian SF publishing to OZ-fan-legend-to-be Dianne DeBellis. Her answer was a pointed "Well, why don't you do something about it?"

Aphelion's Book Catalogue

Aphelion's International Distributors

Aphelion Magazine

And so Aphelion Science Fiction Magazine was born. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Issue 1 appeared in the summer of 1985/86, and issue 5--the final--was Summer 1986/87. It took only that long for the economies of Newsstand distribution to become apparent. There had to be a better way.

That way was found in 1989. Aphelion returned with its trade paperback line, and national distribution to bookshops. Peter and Mariann McNamara (Mariann was by now equally entangled in the enterprise) launched the first two books in the line, George Turner's A Pursuit of Miracles and Terry Dowling's Rynosseros, at the 1990 Natcon in Melbourne. (Dowling's book, still at the printers, was launched with enthusiasm in the absence of hard copy.) Since 1990, Aphelion has gone on to publish 13 books, and is currently preparing its 14th title, Sean Williams and Shane Dix's The Dying Light.

The highlight for Peter McNamara over these past seven years was the work with Margaret Winch on the compilation of the massive anthology Alien Shores. One of the most exciting avenues for the future is the alliance with the Ascendency Gaming Group, and the ongoing production of the Cogal series. During this period, Aphelion has expanded its distribution network to include the USA, UK and Canada. Independent distributors are now listed for each of these countries--for a number of years Mark Ziesing carried the international Aphelion banner alone out of California, and for his efforts he has a special place in Aphelion history.

Aphelion Publications remains one of Australia's most prominent 5-9 presses. It provides Peter and Mariann McNamara with an active outlet for their shared interest in literature, in particular the literature of where the world around us might be headed--the literature of new ideas. Australian Science Fiction is said to be in a Golden Age, and Aphelion is proud to be part of it.

You can read detailed information about Aphelion's catalogue--which includes pictures of all the book covers--find out about our international distributors or, if you have any specific queries, you can contact us by e-mail.

Copyright © 1996 Aphelion Publications
Published online by Eidolon Publications