When it comes to epic wars, remarkable lives, tragic loves and heroic deaths, fantasy fiction has it covered. But can it guide us through our real-life struggles? Garth Nix (The Left-Handed Booksellers of London), Alicia Jasinska (The Dark Tide) and Kathryn Barker (Waking Romeo) discuss how fantasy and science fiction can help us explore the great complexities of our lives in worlds so far from our own. With Youth Curator Munira Tabassum Ahmed.

Garth Nix (Australian)

Garth Nix

Garth Nix has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has worked in many parts of the publishing industry. His books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, Newt’s Emerald, A Confusion of Princes and the Keys to the Kingdom series. More than 5 million copies of his books have been sold around the world. Garth’s work has appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today, and has been translated into 42 languages. His most recent book is The Left-Handed Booksellers of London.

Alicia Jasinska (Australian)

Alicia Jasinska

Alicia Jasinska is a queer fantasy writer hailing from Sydney, Australia. A library technician by day, she spends her nights writing and hanging upside-down from the trapeze and aerial hoop. The Dark Tide is her debut novel.

Kathryn Barker (Australian)

Kathryn Barker

Kathryn Barker was born in Canberra, started primary school in Tokyo and finished high school in the woods outside Olympia, Washington State. In the years that followed she went to university, became a lawyer, completed her master's in film production and worked in television. She currently lives in Sydney with her family. Kathryn’s first novel, In the Skin of a Monster, was published to high acclaim and won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel, was shortlisted for two Davitt Awards and was a CBCA Notable Book. Waking Romeo is her second novel.

Munira Tabassum Ahmed (Australian)

Munira Tabassum Ahmed

Munira Tabassum Ahmed is a 16-year-old writer and performer. Her work is featured in The Lifted Brow, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Emerging Writers Festival, Runway Journal and elsewhere. As a performer, she has been recognised by Bankstown Poetry Slam and Westside, and was also a state runner up in the Australian Poetry Slam. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Hyades Magazine.