Despite the healthy homegrown scene, success for writers depends on getting on the global stage. Ben Peek says: "There's a solid indie press lot, but if you want to reach an audience, the best choice is actually to get out of the country.
"Part of it, from what I understand, is the distribution scheme. Once you're published by, say, HarperCollins in Australia, the UK division will be reluctant to take you on because you've already been part of their 'market'. In addition, for a first book the print runs by a mainstream press are about three to five thousand – roughly what a good indie press out of the States will do."
Rjurik Davidson adds: "I do think the SF scene is relatively healthy, particularly with its indie presses. There are quite a few really fine writers – Angela Slatter, Kaaron Warren, Kirstyn McDermott, etc – published by them here. Having said that, the aim of every SF writer is to be published in the UK or the US, as the size of the market here is just too small."
Cheryl Morgan agrees. "Many of the big multinationals have SF&f imprints, and there are some very interesting small presses, most notably Alisa Krasnostein's Twelfth Planet Press. However, to make a living as a science fiction writer, you probably need international sales."
Most of the hard lifting and quoting here is done by others, so I get to sit there and look pretty.