Aurealis Awards: catching up with the tribe

We are home from Sydney, having feted our peers in the speculative fiction community at last night’s Aurealis Awards. Once again, organisers SpecFaction NSW put on a smooth show with plenty of time to mingle at Rydges North Sydney before and after, with a gettogether at the nearby gorgeous awards venue The Independent theatre as well.

I recognised writers and publishers from all states and the ACT in the crowd that pretty much filled the theatre with a veritable who’s who, which once again demonstrated the generosity and openness of the community.

The audience saw a virtual passing of the torch from HarperVoyager stalwart editor Stephanie Smith to the new top ed in the hot seat, the much respected Deonie Fiford.

The late Sara Douglass and Paul Haines were in our thoughts, and it was wonderful to see Haines’s rivetting story ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’ score a win. His widows, Jules, sent a lovely acceptance message read by Cat Sparks which addressed the importance of writing to Paul and the value he placed on the spec fic community.

Sean the Bookonaut provides a storified rundown of the awards

Scott Westerfeld, Kim Westwood and — by iPhone, via Alan Baxter — Robert N Stephenson provided some of the other memorable speeches, and Kate Forsyth was the most delightful host one could ask for.

I think it was a tie between Sean Williams and Marty Young for having the shirt most people wanted to own… but that might just have been at our breakfast table. Robert Hood should be in the running for a Ditmar next year for ‘best use of a cow in a science fiction slideshow’.

I believe the awards will be held in Sydney for a third year next year — bring it on!

Pictures of the night by Cat Sparks

AUREALIS AWARD WINNERS FOR WORKS PUBLISHED IN 2011

Children’s fiction told primarily through words: City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)
Children’s fiction told primarily through pictures: Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)
Young Adult Short Story: ‘Nation of the Night’ by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)
Young Adult Novel: Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)
Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel: TIE Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator) (Black Pepper)
The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)
Collection: Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
Anthology: Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)
Horror Short Story: TIE ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’ by Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press)
‘The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds’ by Lisa L Hannett (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
Horror Novel: No winner or shortlist.
Fantasy Short Story: ‘Fruit of the Pipal Tree’ by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)
Fantasy Novel: Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
Science Fiction Short Story: ‘Rains of la Strange’ by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Coeur de Lion)
Science Fiction Novel: The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award: Galactic Suburbia podcast –- Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Andrew Finch (producer)
Kris Hembury Encouragement Award: Emily Craven of Adelaide

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