Changing Yesterday

The future was saved, but the future keeps trying to ruin itself.

With the help of some teenagers from 1901, two cadets from the future managed to prevent the bombing of the first Australian parliament, thus preventing a century of war. All seems well until Barry the Bag decides to try to make some easy money by stealing and selling the super-weapon that Fox and Liore brought with them from the future.

This results in a chase. Not the frantic car chase of today's action movies, but a slow chase between ocean liners travelling from Australia and Britain. What Barry does not realise is that the stolen weapon has an anti-theft device that could flatten a large city. The exceedingly dangerous Liore is on a faster ship, however, and she is closing in on Barry.

The weapon is not the only act of theft that has taken place. Fox, the other cadet from the future, has stolen the heart of Daniel's girlfriend Muriel, and they have run off to Paris to become artists. Daniel is running away to Paris too, hoping to win her back. His love for Muriel is tested severely when he finds himself on a ship full of eligible young women being sent to Britain in search of rich husbands.

All the while, Liore is aware of one very confronting fact. If she really succeeds in destroying her stolen weapon and prevents the Century War from happening, she and Fox will cease to exist.


"¼ open style and clever insight into the interests of the average adolescent, the attitudes of Victorian families, and other historical details ¼" Viewpoint

"I loved the fact that McMullen has vert successfully combined steampunk with Australian history in an action packed story. I believe that this series is one that should be on every library shelf." ReadPlus

"Highly recommended for young adults, especially those who enjoy the 'steam punk' genre."
"An entertaining, thought provoking novel"  Magpies

"...  original and interesting premise, humour and action. It will be enjoyed by strong readers of both sexes who enjoy speculative fiction." Fiction Focus





Changing yesterday


Before the Storm

From a nightmare British Empire of the future they came to 1901, two elite cadets from the Imperial Army. Fox and BC had betrayed their academy, their country and their empire, but they did it to save the world.

They were young, handsome, well-mannered ... and deadly. Their mission was to save the opening ceremony of Australia's first parliament from being bombed. If they failed, thousands would die, and there would be a century of total war.

At first they were alone, in a strange city, alien culture, and half-forgotten time. Their chance to change the destiny of the world was slipping away, but then they met Emily and Daniel.

The Australian teenagers had never even touched a gun, but they knew and understood their place and time. Slowly BC began to build a battle squad from a British Empire a century in the future.

"... non-stop action from first page to last."; "Before the Storm is highly readable, eminently enjoyable and thoroughly recommended." Good Reading

"... action packed adventure, with some lovely characters." ASIF

"... unlikely marriage between The Terminator and the Bronte sisters." Buzzwords

"... an enthralling and thoroughly engaging novel ... begging for a sequel." Buzzwords

"... lively characters and humour ..." Magpies.

Set against the birth of Australia as a nation, when Melbourne was the Paris of the southern hemisphere, Before the Storm combines real history with action, adventure, and teenage romance.

LINK to teachers' notes.


Before the Storm



'... like a Storm Constantine plot performed by Monty Python.' Publisher's Weekly, starred review, February 2004.

'... a brilliantly inventive, marvellously plotted fantasy that both mocks and surpasses genre expectations...' Kirkus Review, 1 November 2002.

The Moonworlds novels are set on Verral, a world bathed in radiation and energy fields that the inhabitants can control and use as magic. Some characters are a little strange, like Laron, who is 14, but has been a vampire for 700 years and is quite sick of being a thin, spotty teenager. Wensomer is the most powerful soreceress south of the equator, but lists her profession as belly dancing and her hobby as sorcery - just to annoy people who take magic too seriously. Then there are the dangerous ones, especially Warsovran, who has destroyed an entire continent by accident with an ancient ether weapon then tried again because he thought he understood the instructions better.

The TIme Engine (Book 4) completes the Moonworlds series. Published in 2008, it takes Inspector Danolarian and the long-suffering Wallas into the future of thier magical world, then plunges them into the distant past, Here Danolarian learns the truth behind the series of catastrophes that have afflicted his world, and helps to break the power of those who have been using his world as a toy.
Cover art Julie Bell

"McMullen's skillful blend of fantasy and sf, leavened with his idiosyncratically arch humour, makes this one of the better cross-genre series in speculative fiction." Booklist, 2008

Voidfarer (Book 3) was released by Tor in February 2006. Wayfarer inspector Danolarian is disappointed in love just as giant cylinders begin to fall out of the sky. The Lupanians are invading, and even entire armies and the mighty glass dragons are powerless to stop them. Danolarian's allies are only a student revolutionary, a talking cat, the girl who jilted him, and some morris dancers, but then the wayfarers are nothing if not resourceful.
- Cover art Todd Lockwood
- Nominee, Aurealis Award, 2007

"A vibrant, thoughtful, spectacular action-drama ..." Kirkus (starred review)

Glass Dragons (Book 2) was released by Tor in April 2004, and is the second of the Moonworlds books. It follows the sailor Andry as he tries to learn to be a gentleman and the fugitive courtier Wallas as he desperately strives to learn to be common, while those around them battle the renegade Glass Dragons and their sorcerer allies.
- Cover art Todd Lockwood
- Locus Recommended Reading List 2004
- Locus Readers Poll 2004, #16

"... like a Storm Constantine plot performed by Monty Python." Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Voyage of the Shadowmoon (Book1) Tor, 2002 was released in October 2002. The first of the Moonworlds fantasy series, it is the story of how the crew of a wooden, wind-powered submarine save their world from an uncontrollable doomsday weapon.
- Hardback cover by Doug Beekman
- Paperback cover by Todd Lockwood
- Locus Recommended Reading List 2003
- Locus Readers Poll 2003, #12
- Nominee, Aurealis Award 2004






Eyes of the Calculor (Book3: Greatwinter) (Tor, 2001)
- Locus Recommended Reading, 2002
- Cover by John Harris
- Nominee, Australian Science Fiction Award and Aurealis Award

'A captivating conclusion to a brilliant series.'
Booklist, (starred Review)



The Miocene Arrow (Book 2: Greatwinter) (Tor, 2000)
- Winner Aurealis Award 2001
- Locus Recommended Reading, 2001
- Locus Readers Poll, 23rd
- Cover by John Harris

"... immense momentum. ... a classic 'good read'..." Analog, Feb 2001; Tom Easton




Souls in the Great Machine (Book 1: Greatwinter) (Tor, 1999)
- A rewritten combination of Voices in the Light and Mirrorsun Rising.
- Barnes & Noble Best of the Year list 1999
- Locus Recommended Reading, 2000
- Trade paperback available May 2000
- Locus Reader's Poll equal 20th
- Equal 10th 2000 Hugo nominations
- Cover by John Harris

"A stunning idea -- the Calculor's as real as if McMullen had built it in his backyard -- with an utterly convincing setting, breathtaking developments, and a captivating narrative." Kirkus

The Centurion's Empire (Tor, 1998)
- Winner, Aurealis Award 1999
- Eidolon Best of the Year list, 1998
- Locus New and Recommended, June 1998
- Nominee, Australian SF Award 1999
- Aurealis "5 Best Australian Genre Publications of 1998"
- Hardback cover by Michael Koelsch
- Paperback Cover by Julie Bell


"The Centurion's Empire is a must-read: it has history and the future, action and speculation." David Enterprise Chapter from Tor Science Fiction and Fantasy titles

Dragonlinks (Penguin, August 2002) by Paul Collins,
from a concept by Sean McMullen.
Sean uses a simpler version of the enchanted mailshirt from Voyage of the Shadowmoon in this young adult fantasy novel.


Mirrorsun Rising (Aphelion, 1995)
Later published as the second half of SOULS IN THE GREAT MACHINE.
- Winner, Australian SF Award, 1996
- The Australian Best of the Year list, 1995
- Aurealis Award nominee, 1995
- Locus Recommended Reading List, 1996
- Cover by GG Graphics

Voices in the Light (Aphelion, 1994)
Later published as the first half of SOULS IN THE GREAT MACHINE.
Launched by William Gibson and Peter Nicholls at 1994 Australian National SF Convention
- The Australian Best of the Year list, 1994
- Locus Recommended Reading List, 1995
- Eidolon Recommended Reading list, 1995
- Australian SF Award runner-up, 1995
- Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, by John Clute (1995): Notable Works for 1994
- Cover by GG Graphics

Call to the Edge (Aphelion, 1992)
- The Australian Best of the Year list, 1992
- Locus Recommended Reading List
- Eidolon Recommended Reading List
- Australian SF Award Nominee, 1993
- Cover by Nick Stathopoulos

The Ancient Hero
Sean's contribution to the Quentaris shared-world series, and his first Young Adult novel.
- "Fast paced, sharp, and edged with wit ..." Viewpoint
-"Full of suspense." Canberra Times

Strange Constellations: A critical history of Australian SF
by Dr Russell Blackford, Dr Van Ikin, Sean McMullen (Greenwood, June 1999)The first history of Australian science fiction, from its origins in the mid-Nineteenth Century to 1998. "Russell Blackford persuaded me to participate in this book during a party in January 1998. That taught me to keep better track of how much I drink at parties."

- Tied Winner, William Atheling Award, Dec 2000
- Aurealis Nominee, 2000
- Locus Recommended Reading, February 2000
- Locus Readers' Poll: Best Related Book: 8th






Time Engine








Glass Dragons




Voyage of the Shadowmoon





Eyes of the Calculor


Miocene Arrow


Souls in the Great Machine






Centurian's Empire





Mirrorsun Rising


Voices in the light