2013 Aurealis Awards finalists announced

caution contains small parts by kirstyn mcdermottJust got back from Heathcote — oh, bliss — to the list of finalists in the Aurealis Awards for the best Aussie spec fic published last year. There is Snoopy dancing here in Ballaratia, for Kirstyn has landed nominations for her novella ‘The Home for Broken Dolls’ and the collection in which it appears, Caution: Contains Small Parts. The full finalists list is below (lifted from the press release). Interesting to see the genre blurring with some nominations for the same piece in multiple categories, although YA is an umbrella term in its own right, so that’s not so unusual. Plus a few self-published titles, showing someone’s taken time and effort to do the business. Winners will be announced a right royal good time in Canberra on April 5, a real highlight of the year. Tickets are on sale now.

aurealis awards logoDISCLAIMER: I was a judge in the awards this year, of SF short stories. Nothing written here should be taken as anything other than an announcement of the finalists.

In other awards news, nominations are open [edit: Ditmars open on Feb 23] in both the Ditmars and the Chronos, being publicly voted national and Victorian awards respectively. Winners of both will be announced at Continuum in June.

Aurealis Awards 2013 Finalists

BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK OR GRAPHIC NOVEL
Savage Bitch by Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr (Scar Studios)
Mr Unpronounceable Adventures by Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)
Burger Force by Jackie Ryan (self-published)
Peaceful Tomorrows Volume Two by Shane W Smith (Zetabella Publishing)
The Deep Vol. 2: The Vanishing Island by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer (Gestalt Publishing)

BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK
Kingdom of the Lost, book 2: Cloud Road by Isobelle Carmody (Penguin Group Australia)
Refuge by Jackie French (Harper Collins)
Song for a Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin)
The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty Murray (Allen & Unwin)
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
Ice Breaker: The Hidden 1 by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT FICTION
‘Mah Song’ by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
‘By Bone-light; by Juliet Marillier (Prickle Moon, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Morning Star’ by D.K. Mok (One Small Step, an anthology of discoveries, FableCroft Publishing)
‘The Year of Ancient Ghosts’ by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
The Big Dry by Tony Davies (Harper Collins)
Hunting by Andrea Host (self-published)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)
The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (University of Queensland Press)

BEST HORROR SHORT FICTION
‘Fencelines’ by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
‘The Sleepover’ by Terry Dowling (Exotic Gothic 5, PS Publishing)
‘The Home for Broken Dolls’ by Kirstyn McDermott (Caution: Contains Small Parts, Twelfth Planet Press)
‘The Human Moth’ by Kaaron Warren (The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Miskatonic Press)
‘The Year of Ancient Ghosts’ by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST HORROR NOVEL
The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby (Angry Robot Books)
The First Bird by Greig Beck (Momentum)
Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart (FableCroft Publishing)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)

BEST FANTASY SHORT FICTION
‘The Last Stormdancer’ by Jay Kristoff (Thomas Dunne Books)
‘The Touch of the Taniwha’ by Tracie McBride (Fish, Dagan Books)
‘Cold, Cold War’ by Ian McHugh (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Scott H Andrews)
‘Short Circuit’ by Kirstie Olley (Oomph: a little super goes a long way, Crossed Genres)
‘The Year of Ancient Ghosts’ by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL
Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette Australia)
A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan (self-published)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (Jill Grinberg Literary Management)
Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT FICTION
‘The Last Tiger’ by Joanne Anderton (Daily Science Fiction)
‘Mah Song’ by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
‘Seven Days in Paris’ by Thoraiya Dyer (Asymmetry, Twelfth Planet Press)
‘Version 4.3.0.1′ by Lucy Stone (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #57)
‘Air, Water and the Grove’ by Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette)
Trucksong by Andrew Macrae (Twelfth Planet Press)
A Wrong Turn At The Office Of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge)
True Path by Graham Storrs (Momentum)
Rupetta by Nike Sulway (Tartarus Press)

BEST ANTHOLOGY
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Eds), (Ticonderoga Publications)
One Small Step, an anthology Of discoveries by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)
Dreaming Of Djinn by Liz Grzyb (Ed) (Ticonderoga Publications)
The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year: Volume Seven by Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Night Shade Books)
Focus 2012: Highlights Of Australian Short Fiction by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST COLLECTION
The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton (FableCroft Publishing)
Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press)
Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott (Twelfth Planet Press)
The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications)
The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins (Ticonderoga Publications)

And in other news … NIN hitting the road!

I should go offline more often. Good things happen. I don’t get to hear about them for weeks, but there you go. Trent Reznor resurrecting Nine Inch Nails. Live. This is my happy face. Forgive me for being late to the party.

I like the note of caution, that it’s reinvention. Not much point trying to be the angry young man when you’re not. Only five gigs on the tour calendar, so fingers crossed they make it Down Under.

So that’s my latest update from last month. As you were.

Speculative fiction fest in Sydney

The New South Wales Writers Centre has released the program for its one-day festival of speculative fiction, curated by Kate Forsyth, and it’s a doozy.

The guest list includes Garth Nix, Marianne de Pierres, John Flanagan, Ian Irvine, Sophie Masson, Kim Wilkins … and more! Russell B Farr is launching a new collection by Juliet Marillier. There are publishers (Random House, Momentum, Ticonderoga and Chimaera, to name a few) talking about getting published, and publishing yourself. That’s a hell of a lot of industry muscle for $80 (non-members).

And yes, a few of us are talking about weird and dark fiction, too.

The festival is on March 16, starting at 10am, with drinks on the verandah at 5pm to wind down. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it!

Queensland flood appeal

So, pretty much every place I’ve lived in Queensland is flood-affected at the moment, to some degree, and a whole bunch of friends and family are facing different challenges as the storm plays out and damage is assessed. My old neighbour, dear Bundaberg, and surrounds have been hit hard. Donations are being accepted by the Red Cross to help the hundreds of people who have lost homes to tornadoes and floodwaters. You can give here. The storm cell is affecting northern NSW as well … only two years after the state was hammered by cyclones and flooding, they’ve been hit again.

2013: we have lift off, with a little help from Tycho Brahe

Welcome to 2013! To get in the mood, here’s a shiny new clip from Brisbane band Tycho Brahe, courtesy of cool Lego clip maker Forlorn Creature:


Now I’m sure there’s a little Depeche Mode in there …


In other recent-ish news:

  • Talie Helene as produced possibly the most memorable quote of the Next Big Thing blog posts: ‘I heard the harpsichord DIE.’
  • NBT the second: Glenda Larke re-releases her debut novel, Havenstar, in digital format! One for my Australian Women Writers review challenge!
  • NBT the third: Charlotte Nash has (non-spec fic) debut Ryders Ridge on the way. First draft written in three weeks. You’d like to hate her, but … that’s just freaking awesome!
  • Graeme Hague has been giving away tunes with his ebooks — what a generous man!
  • Three new Aussie anthologies are showing off their tables of contents: Dreaming of Djinn, Next and A Killer Among Demons. [Make that four: this just popped out of my inbox: Nicole Murphy's In Fabula-Divino]
  • And huzzah, a new review of Salvage (this one by voracious bookworm Tsana)! I love the way most reviewers have been able to get the idea across without going for the reveal.
  • Way to kick off a new year or what?!

    Catching up with the cool kids: 12 for Christmas

    Wow. December already. It’s been all hands on deck here at Chez Hectic, but outside the wheels have been turning. Some happenings of interest, 12 in fact, because that’s suitably Christmassy:

  • Ian Irvine talks oceanic pollution, climate change and his writing with Mary-Lou at ABC Sunshine Coast radio (and doesn’t Aunty need as many local word warriors as it can get). Mary-Lou has a trove of interviews for your listening pleasure, including Kimberley Freeman, Kate Morton, Gary Crew, Helene Young and many more.
  • So cool to see Traci Harding’s new Chinese-set series The Timekeepers heading towards the shelves. I interviewed her back in May last year and she was so excited about this series, sparked in part by a news item about a wristwatch found in an ancient Chinese tomb.
  • The Rabbit Hole, an intensive weekend of writing, has provided the content for an issue of Review of Australian Fiction — sadly, hosted on that most irritating of book platforms, Booki.sh. Of particular interest to this former Queenslander is Jodi Cleghorn’s novelette ‘Elyora’ — hitting the right tone of outback weirdness — and the touching, non-speculative ‘The Slow Death of Plastic Stars’ by fellow Brisbanite Kate Zahnleiter. It’s worth noting that Jodi’s publishing house, eMergent, has a Christmas collection out. More Rabbit Holes are scheduled for 2013, the first on January 11-13.
  • Writers Digest has listed its most popular posts about writing.
  • Robert Hood has unveiled a new book, Fragments of a Broken Land!
  • Have snaffled tix for Emilie Autumn’s tour in March. Can’t wait to see the new show, based on her sumptuous book of asylum life.
  • On Goodreads the Australian Speculative Fiction Authors Challenge has been announced, riffing off this year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge (which is set to happen again next year). Still haven’t decided whether to give it a go … hey, still haven’t joined Goodreads!
    Update 24/12: have signed up for AWW2013.
  • Poet a.rawlings, this year’s Queensland poet in residence, has unveiled Gibber, a project she conducted during her residency. Some gorgeous material here (so many birds!)!
  • Canberra’s Donna Maree Hanson has brought outer space to Harlequin’s Escape imprint with her Rayessa and the Space Pirates, due out in January.
  • Matt Rubinstein has an interesting essay at ABR about the digital book era including this quote:

    People who love books don’t steal books. But, you know, they might lend or borrow books, they might sample books and only pay for the ones they do love, they might torrent a book they have already bought in hard copy, they might pay what they think they can afford. They will do these things whether we like it or not. And it’s probably not in our interests to treat every illegal download as an act of aggression. As an empirical matter, it may turn out that that download has led to a handful of legitimate sales. Or it might not. We just don’t know. We can be pretty sure that insisting that book-lovers are our enemies will be self-fulfilling and soon self-defeating

  • Peter M Ball has, a while back now, offered sage advice for those considering indie publishing.
  • And I did mention my wife’s new book is now available as an ebook, didn’t I? And, ahem, so is mine.