Geoff Lemon on Dutton, evil and self-immolation

Omid: Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald.

Omid: Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald.

He is only evil in its most banal iteration, one of the interchangeable head-nodders with a stubborn pride in taking instruction, the ones for whom thinking is a moral failing curtly avoided.

That’s Geoff Lemon on Peter Dutton, the latest in a line of politicians who are failing this country for their own self-interest. Read his When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire. It’s a wonderfully erudite appraisal of the situation concerning our offshore detention camps.

Seriously, how many more lives are going to be ruined, how much longer is this country’s soul going to be stained, by these “headkickers, happy to bully people towards death rather than risk a perceived electoral advantage”?

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has called for the immediate transfer of refugees and asylum seekers out of the Australian-run detention camps on both Manus Island and Nauru. It’s time to end this, because this is not Australia.

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

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)

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)

‘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)

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)

‘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)

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)

‘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)

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)

‘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’ by Lucy Stone (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #57)
‘Air, Water and the Grove’ by Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium Press)

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)

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)

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.