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Norstrilia Press

Entry updated 2 October 2023. Tagged: Publisher.

Small Press publisher established by Bruce Gillespie, Carey Handfield and Rob Gerrand in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to publish science fiction, fantasy, or Slipstream critical volumes, novels, short story collections, Poetry or autobiography, that were unlikely to be accepted by mainstream Australian publishers. Named in honour of Cordwainer Smith's works (some set on the planet Norstrilia), it published thirteen books from 1975 to 1985. Carey Handfield was the chief organizer of the firm, arranging loans from Australian fans to underwrite early publications. Bruce Gillespie was typesetter and text editor for the firm, subsidizing the firm by offering typesetting services for other small press publishers.

The first publication was Philip K. Dick: Electric Shepherd (anth 1975) edited by Gillespie, a collection of essays about the works of Philip K Dick; contributors include Gillespie, Stanisław Lem, George Turner and Roger Zelazny (introduction). It was followed by The Altered I (coll 1976) edited by Lee Harding and comprising stories written during the 1975 Melbourne writers' workshop associated with that year's Australian Worldcon, plus essays by the authors and workshop leader Ursula K Le Guin.

Fiction included Greg Egan's first novel An Unusual Angle (1983) and an original anthology, Dreamworks: Strange New Stories (Norstrilia Press, 1983; fiction, hb; cover: Stephen Campbell), edited by David King including the first published short fiction by Egan, Gerald Murnane and Lucy Sussex. Norstrilia also published Murnane's Slipstream works The Plains (1982) and Landscape with Landscape (coll 1985), and sf by Keith Antill and Damien Broderick. Other books included George Turner's autobiography In the Heart or in the Head: An Essay in Time Travel (1984) and Roger Zelazny's poetry collection Where Pussywillows Last in the Catyard Bloomed and Other Poems (coll 1980 chap).

Norstrilia Press was revived in 2022 by Rob Gerrand solo (with the blessing of his former partners), initially publishing non-sf titles and a genre collection by Stephen Dedman: Charm, Strangeness, Mass and Spin (coll 2022). [BG/DRL]


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