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Rubinstein, Gillian

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1942-    ) UK-born author in Australia from 1973, initially of Young Adult sf under her own name, as well as tales for younger children; in the twenty-first century she has perhaps become best known for fantasies as by Lian Hearn. The Space Demons sequence comprising Space Demons (1986) and Skymaze (1989) deals with AI in interactive Computer games (see Games and Sports) in which players enter a Virtual Reality. Space Demons: The Play (1993) was an adaptation for the Theatre by Richard Tulloch, first produced in 1989. Beyond the Labyrinth (1988) shows teenagers developing a relationship with an Alien anthropologist; the Joella, Peter and Liane sequence comprising Galax-Arena (1992) and Terra-Farma (2001) continues the theme in a story whose human protagonists are captured by aliens. A singleton, Beyond the Labyrinth (1988), confronts its young protagonist with an Alien anthropologist studying a disappeared Aboriginal tribe in Australia. If there is sometimes a sense of unidiomatic use of sf in Rubinstein's work, this may be caused by a moderately overt use of sf devices as metaphors for exploring and resolving adolescents' painful personal relationships. At Ardilla (1991), not sf, is a rite-of-passage book about a growing girl. Her anthologies include After Dark: Seven Tales to Read at Night (anth 1988) and Before Dawn: More Tales to Read At Night (anth 1988).

As Lian Hearn, Rubinstein attained considerable success with the Tales of the Otori sequence beginning with Across the Nightingale Floor (2002) [for vts and further titles see Checklist], set in an intense rendering of the Japan of fable. [JW/JC]

see also: Australia.

Gillian Margaret Hanson Rubinstein

born Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire: 29 August 1942

works (selected)

Most books for younger children, like the Jake and Pete sequence, are not listed.


Space Demons

  • Space Demons (Adelaide, South Australia: Penguin Books/Omnibus Books, 1986) [Space Demons: pb/Knarelle Beard]
    • Space Demons: The Play (Strawberry Hills, New South Wales: Currency Press, 1993) as adapted by Richard Tulloch [play: chap: dramatization of the above: first produced 1989: pb/]
  • Skymaze (Adelaide, South Australia: Penguin Books/Omnibus Books, 1989) [Space Demons: pb/Vivienne Goodman]
  • Shinkei (Adelaide, South Australia: Penguin Books/Omnibus, 1995) [Space Demons: hb/Belinda Knell]
    • Space Demons: The Trilogy (Norwood, South Australia: Omnibus/Scholastic, 2005) [omni of the above three: Space Demons: pb/Greg Holfeld]

Joella, Peter and Liane

  • Galax-Arena (South Yarra, Victoria: Hyland House, 1992) [Joella, Peter and Liane: hb/David Wong]
  • Terra-Farma (Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin Books Australia/Viking, 2001) [Joella, Peter and Liane: pb/Tim de Neefe and Tony Stone]

Tales of the Otori

Tales of the Otori: Children of the Otori

The Tale of Shikanoko

individual titles


works as editor


previous versions of this entry

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