Continuum, Chronos … shiny!

chronos awards for salvage and mornington ride

Home again, and happy to say, there is new, somewhat unexpected shiny on the shelf. Salvage won for best novel and ‘Mornington Ride’, from Epilogue, won best short story – the first time one of my shorts has been nominated for an award. Bonus: the actual trophy is very neat, complete with kind of fun typos for those who care to look closely.

Click here for the full Chronos finalists and winners list

Awards aside, Continuum came along at just the right time — the sun’s been hard to find over Wendouree Tor for a few days now, but there was plenty of warmth at Con9.

It was a very busy con, lucky to have knowledgable and personable guests of honour in NK Jemisin (her excellent, challenging guest of honour speech is here) and Paul Collins, and it reminded me yet again just what a sharing, caring, passionate community we have here in spec fic-dom. Good friends are hard to find, the saying goes, but obviously not harking from someone who’s been to a con.

Next year’s Continuum is June 6-9, with Jim C Hines and Ambelin Kwaymullina as guests of honour. I’ve already bought my membership.

Anon, my friends, anon.

Aurealis Award winners for 2012

perfections by kirstyn mcdermottThere is new shiny on the bookshelf: Kirstyn snared the Aurealis Award for best horror novel with Perfections. The novel previously won the Shadows, too. Yup, pipped me (and others) again, she did, and rightly so. Perfections is one of those novels where every word is in its place, every concept beautifully revealed, and the story lingers long after the cover is closed.

If you run an eye down this list of winners, announced in Sydney on Saturday night, you’ll see Margo Lanagan is still riding the wave with her novel Sea Hearts (psst: Coeur de Lion is working on releasing a digital version of X6, in which the original novella from which the novel sprang first appeared, along with the remarkable ‘Wives’ by Paul Haines), and also kicking goals with her most excellent Cracklescape collection.

Cat Sparks pictures from the night are here

Kaaron Warren‘s ‘Sky’, from her Through Splintered Walls collection, is again in the winner’s circle. Here’s a heads up: Kirstyn’s collection in the same Twelve Planets series is to be launched at Continuum next month.

The awards are always a great event, with lots of catching up, and meeting new people, too. Highly recommended if you want a peep at what’s happening in the Australian spec fic scene: the finalists make a damn fine reading list.

In accepting the Peter Mac for her awesome contribution to Australian writing through roles in such events and organisations as the Queensland Writers Centre (and now Brisbane Writers Festival), Fantastic Queensland and Clarion South, Kate Eltham spoke about the tribe that is the spec fic community and it supports and nurtures its own. The awards are the perfect example of inclusivity, respect and support. Next year they’re in Canberra, probably around March. Looking forward to it already!

Aurealis Awards winners 2012

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH WORDS)
Brotherband: The Hunters (Random House) by John Flanagan

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION (TOLD PRIMARILY THROUGH PICTURES)
Little Elephants (Penguin) by Graeme Base

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
‘The Wisdom of the Ants’ (Clarkesworld) by Thoraiya Dyer

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
(Joint winners)
Dead, Actually (Allen and Unwin) by Kaz Delaney
Sea Hearts (Allen and Unwin) by Margo Lanagan

BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL
Blue (Giramondo) by Pat Grant

BEST COLLECTION
That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote (self-published) by KJ Bishop

BEST ANTHOLOGY
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six (Night Shade Books) edited by Jonathan Strahan

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY
‘Sky’ (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press) by Kaaron Warren

BEST HORROR NOVEL
Perfections (Xoum) by Kirstyn McDermott

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY
‘Bajazzle’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL
Sea Hearts (Allen and Unwin) by Margo Lanagan

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
‘Significant Dust’ (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press) by Margo Lanagan

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
The Rook (HarperCollins) by Daniel O’Malley

PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Kate Eltham
KRIS HEMBURY ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD
Laura Goodin

Aurealis Awards head to Canberra

aurealis awards logoThe organising committee of Canberra’s annual Conflux convention will be running the Aurealis Awards in 2014 and 2015. The awards have gained such stature as a standalone event on the Australian speculative fiction calendar, it’s great to see a group as proficient as Conflux taking up the reins.

This year’s awards are to be announced at a gala event in Sydney on May 18 — everyone’s welcome to join the celebration. Sydney’s SpecFaction have done a stirling job over the past three years; they’ve earned a rest.

The awards are also calling for judges for this year. It’s a great way to get a finger on the pulse of Aussie spec fic and be involved in the community.

Canberra to Clunes: books,books,books

booktown in clunes 2013Clunes, a mere 20 minutes outside of Ballarat, has turned on its Booktown charm this weekend. Book shops and stalls are replete with all manner of reading material, from $2 paperbacks to rather more expensive collectibles. Newspapers of yore, magazines, a couple of volumes listing Irish coppers by name and year … all manner of quirk and taste was on offer.

It was elbow room only in some book shops when we visited yesterday. There were comments such as, ‘this one’s cheaper here’, or, ‘it’s rare, but it doesn’t have the slipcase’.

We didn’t catch any of the talks, but were content to browse and sup coffee and score tucker from the food vans.

What a cute town; what a lot of books!

Indeed, it has been a week of books, for only last weekend we were in Canberra for Conflux (various reports on the con are here), the national spec fic convention.

It was a hoot, with much catching up and some doozy panels too.

Angry Robot honcho Marc Gascoigne was a guest, and it was a little sad to hear him, and others, say that stories could be *too* Australian for the international market. Look forward to further US hegemony or more universal voices? Let’s hope not. Marc also painted a picture of Angry Robot that had many of us lining up with our CVs — their building has CAVES!

And how good was it to see the marvellous Nalo Hopkinson back in Australia? Very bloody good!

Great to see Russell B Farr land the A Bertram Chandler award for his career in publishing to date, awarded at one of the best Ditmar award presentations ever, overseen by Deborah Biancotti and ably supported by Lego and a cock-block clock (of which I am now the proud recipient due to lottery, and hope becomes an institution for future awards). Kirstyn won an award for her Writer and the Critic podcast with Ian Mond, which was a lovely nod, and as expected, Margo Lanagan’s wonderful Sea Hearts took out the best novel award. The full list of winners can be found here.

the bride price by cat sparksAnd there were book launches … so many book launches! One standout — and an alliterative one, too! — was that for Cat Sparks, rolling out her collection The Bride Price with Ticonderoga — it sold out! Before I got a copy! But there are many more, and you should check them out, too.

In between Canberra and Clunes, there was mileage: about 2500km worth, which included selling off a portion of my comic collection in Maitland, my first visit to Echuca and picking up some Campbells wines (home of Empire Port) in Rutherglen. Ah, road trips … gotta love’em. Especially when you get home with wine and books!

Chronos awards nominations … nom, nom, nom! (nom!)

Salvage by Jason NahrungNice, to have three Chronos awards nominations. Very nice indeed: for Salvage, ‘Mornington Ride’ (from Epilogue, from which Steve Cameron‘s story has also been nominated) in short fiction, and for ‘best fan writer’ (there are six of us, all pals, including Mr Cameron again!).

Salvage is nominated for ‘best long fiction’, a funny old field, all horror stories (!), that includes my novella, a collection (by Felicity Dowker), a novel (by Narelle Harris) and an anthology (Ticonderoga’s Year’s Best).

And adding to those is the nomination of the Snapshot interview series, in which I played a part, for ‘best fan achievement’.

See the full Chronos Awards finalists for 2012

It’s always warming to have one’s work recognised, and the Chronos comes from fandom, so: readers, as well as writers, making it doubly sweet.

The field might be smaller than last year but it’s packing some punch. Voting is underway, and winners will be announced at Continuum in June. The convention is looking like being quite a hoot.

  • Speaking of awards, the NSW organisers of the Aurealis Awards have announced this year’s ceremony will be the end of their involvement. SpecFaction have done a brilliant job of organising the awards and holding the ceremony. It can only be hoped another group of hardy volunteers will arise to take on the challenge, and make no mistake, it is challenging: not just running the actual awards, but trying to find sponsors and venues for the ceremony as well. The awards are one of my favourite events of the year, a grand, relaxed catch-up as well as a chance to see some brilliantly talented pals recognised and discover new talent, too. This year’s ceremony is on May 18, with Scott Westerfeld as MC. Come join the party!
  • A skull for Kirstyn!

    perfections by kirstyn mcdermottThe Australian Shadows awards were announced last night, and Kirstyn is bringing home a skull trophy for best novel — Perfections! Huzzah!

    The full winners’ list — note the double to Kaaron Warren!

    NOVEL: Kirstyn McDermott, Perfections (Xoum)
    LONG FICTION: Kaaron Warren, ‘Sky’ (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
    SHORT FICTION: Martin Livings, ‘Birthday Suit’ (Living with the Dead, Dark Prints Press)
    COLLECTION: Kaaron Warren, Through Splintered Walls (Twelfth Planet Press)
    EDITED PUBLICATION: Surviving the End, ed Craig Bezant (Dark Prints Press)

    Salvage nominated in the Ditmar Awards

    Salvage by Jason NahrungVery pleased to see Salvage among the six nominations for best novel of 2012 in the Ditmar Awards. The awards are popularly nominated and voted upon, so perhaps can be seen more as a measure of awareness within fandom, which makes the listing very cool.

    Salvage and Blood and Dust are both finalists for best horror novel in the Aurealis Awards, and Blood and Dust is up for best novel in the Australian Shadows, so the Ditmar nom balances the books nicely!

    There was a little confusion with Salvage, due its word count being precariously balanced on the cut-off 40,000-word mark between novella and novel. My fault, really: I should’ve got a final-version count from the publisher rather than going off an earlier version. We’re talking a difference of one or two sentences, but enough to tip it over into novel territory.

    Also up for the Ditmar is a star-studded field, including Kirstyn’s Perfections — also a finalist in Aurealis and Shadows.

    The awards will be announced at Conflux in Canberra in April. (Edit: I originally said the awards would be presented at Continuum in June; sorry Conflux!)

    Once again, the Ditmars show the stature of podcasts and the internet in the realm of fan publications, and strong fields elsewhere. Here’s the full list:

    Ditmar Finalists 2012

    Best Novel

  • Sea Hearts, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth (Random House Australia)
  • Suited (The Veiled Worlds 2), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
  • Salvage, Jason Nahrung (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Perfections, Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)
  • The Corpse-Rat King, Lee Battersby (Angry Robot)
  • Best Novella or Novelette

  • ‘Flight 404’, Simon Petrie, in Flight 404/The Hunt for Red Leicester (Peggy Bright Books)
  • ‘Significant Dust’, Margo Lanagan, in Cracklescape (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • ‘Sky’, Kaaron Warren, in Through Splintered Walls (Twelfth Planet Press)


    Best Short Story

  • ‘Sanaa’s Army’, Joanne Anderton, in Bloodstones (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘The Wisdom of Ants’, Thoraiya Dyer, in Clarkesworld 75
  • ‘The Bone Chime Song’, Joanne Anderton, in Light Touch Paper Stand Clear (Peggy Bright Books)
  • ‘Oracle’s Tower’, Faith Mudge, in To Spin a Darker Stair (FableCroft Publishing)


    Best Collected Work

  • Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Epilogue, edited by Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Light Touch Paper Stand Clear, edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)
  • Midnight and Moonshine by Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter, edited by Russell B. Farr (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011, edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)


    Best Artwork

  • Cover art, Nick Stathopoulos, for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56 (ASIM Collective)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for Midnight and Moonshine (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Illustrations, Adam Browne, for Pyrotechnicon (Coeur de Lion Publishing)
  • Cover art and illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, for To Spin a Darker Stair (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Cover art, Les Petersen, for Light Touch Paper Stand Clear (Peggy Bright Books)

    Best Fan Writer

  • Alex Pierce, for body of work including reviews in Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth
  • Grant Watson, for body of work including the ‘Who50’ series in The Angriest
  • Sean Wright, for body of work including reviews in Adventures of a Bookonaut


    Best Fan Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work including The Dalek Game and The Tamsyn Webb Sketchbook


    Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce
  • Antipodean SF, Ion Newcombe
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Snapshot 2012, Alisa Krasnostein, Kathryn Linge, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Ian Mond, Jason Nahrung et. al.
  • Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus, Alisa Krasnostein, Tehani Wessely, et. al.
  • Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Sean Wright

  • Best New Talent

  • David McDonald
  • Faith Mudge
  • Steve Cameron
  • Stacey Larner
  • William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Alisa Krasnostein, Kathryn Linge, David McDonald, and Tehani Wessely, for review of Mira Grant’s Newsflesh, in ASIF
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for ‘Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That.’, in tor.com
  • David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely, for the ‘New Who in Conversation’ series
  • Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for ‘The Year in Review’, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011
  • Rjurik Davidson, for ‘An Illusion in the Game for Survival’, a review of Reamde by Neal Stephenson, in The Age