Eta Carinae focuses on the activities of an Australian bureaucrat, ironically named James Cook. He’s sent to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) to sort out what seems to be a labour dispute. The National Park there and the local airport have been shut down by the aboriginal community. While there James is aided tremendously by a young female anthropologist, Pam, who introduces him to a local elder, Billy. The three of them go on a walkabout to Kata Djuta and finally back to Uluru, the main purpose of which seems to be to prepare James to understand an unusual celestial event taking place. The star, Eta Carinae, has suddenly begun to brighten. Most astronomers think it’s a supernova. The elders think it’s something even more. The story ends with the not unwelcome suspicion that everything they’ve ever known is about to change forever.
Brian d'Eon, fiction writer: whose work modulates between speculative, historical and magical realism.