A quick post from the wonderful Guardian, still one of my favourite book sites, in which Neil Gaiman weighs in anew on the Lit/Genre divide, and a commentator finds much to recommend in eastern fantasy, Aussie style, thanks to Lian Hearn and Alison Goodman. Great stuff on a cool day.
I’ve been away from the keyboard for the past 10 days — more on that later, once I’ve caught up — and in my splendid offline absence, folks have been busy doing stuff:
While on the road, I managed to catch up with:
So the Ditmar nominations have been announced. How Alison Goodman’s Aurealis-winning Two Pearls of Wisdom failed to garner a best novel nomination is beyond me. Well, not really. Clearly, she needs more voting blocs in her corner.
Here’s the list posted by the committee (with, I hope, the original typos and misspellings corrected; apologies if I’ve missed any) that will be voted on by members of the natcon in Adelaide next month (with members of last year’s also eligible). I’ve got a bunch of pals on this list. I hope they do well.
Fivefold, Nathan Burrage
Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, Simon Haynes
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan
How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalestier
Daughters of Moab, Kim Westwood
Earth Ascendant, Sean Williams
Soft Viscosity, David Conyers
Night Heron’s Curse, Thoraiya Dyer
Angel Rising, Dirk Flinthart
Creeping in Reptile Flesh, Robert Hood
Painlessness, Kirstyn McDermott
Best Short Story
Pale Dark Soldier, Deb Biancotti
This Is Not My Story, Dirk Flinthart
The Goosle, Margo Lanagan
Her Collection of Intimacy, Paul Haines
Moments of Dying, Rob Hood
Sammarynda Deep, Cat Sparks
Ass-Hat Magic Spider, Scott Westerfeld
Best Collected Work
Dreaming Again, edited Jack Dann
Canterbury 2100, edited Dirk Flinthart
2012, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Ben Payne
Midnight Echo, edited by Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine, edited Angela Challis
Creeping In Reptile Flesh, Robert Hood
The Starry Rift, edited Jonathan Strahan
Aurealis #40 cover, Adam Duncan
The Last Realm, Book 1 – Dragonscarpe, Michael Dutkiewics
gallery in Black Box, Andrew McKiernan
Creeping In Reptile Flesh cover, Cat Sparks
Cover of 2012, Cat Sparks
Tales from Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan
Best Fan Writer
Craig Bezant for Horrorscope
Edwina Harvey for Australian Science Fiction Bullsheet
Rob Hood for Undead Backbrain
Chuck McKenzie for Horrorscope
Mark Smith-Briggs for Horrorscope
Brenton Tonlinson, Horrorscope
Best Fan Artist
Rachel Holkner, for Gumble Soft toy and other works
Nancy Lorenz for body of work
Andrew McKiernan for body of work
Tansy Rayner Roberts for Daleks are a girl’s best friend
David Schembri for body of work
Cat Sparks for Scary Food Cookbook
Anna Tambour, Box of Noses and other works
Best Fan Publication
Horrorscope, Brimstone Press
Scary Food Cookbook, edited by Cat Sparks
Asif! (Australian Speculative Fiction In Focus)
Australian SF Bullsheet
William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
Dark Suspense: The End of the Line by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (in
Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine #3)
George A. Romero: Master of the Living Dead by Robert Hood (in Black:
Australian Dark Culture Magazine #2)
Bad Film Diaries – Sometimes the Brand Burns: Tim Burton and the
Planet of the Apes, Grant Watson (in Borderlands #10)
“Popular genres and the Australian literary community: the case of
fantasy fiction,” Journal of Australian Studies, Kim Wilkins
Angela Challis for Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine and Brimstone Press.
Marty Young and the AHWA Committe for promoting horror through the
Australian Horror Writers Association
Talie Helene for her work as AHWA News Editor
Steve Clark for Tasmaniac Productions
Damien Broderick for fiction editing in Cosmos Magazine
James Doig for preserving colonial Australian horror fiction and his
anthologies Australian Gothic and Australian Nightmares.
The Gunny Project: A tribute to Ian Gunn 1959-1998, Jocko and K’Rin,
Best New Talent
Peter M. Ball
What, I hear your cyberbrains muse, do those three things have in common? No, wait, that’s not you at all, it’s the rickety desk fan making that peg-leg rattle because it’s set on 2 and the little pin that stops it from rotating isn’t working quite right. But it’s a fair question, just the same.
Thursday. Another dull day at the sausage factory. Cut, paste, upload. Repeat. And then Sean Williams, bless his love of 80s electronic music, sent me this. It is essentially a trailer for Tron, set to one of my favourite Depeche Mode songs, Suffer Well. And done very nicely, too.
And where does the comedian Fox Klein fit in? Well, nowhere, except that he, and the two Coronas I had with dinner, were the highlight of the evening at the Sit Down Comedy Club. A charismatic comedian, offering a storyline or at least a consistent theme with moments of absolute cleverness, and lots of relationship/sex talk without resorting to smut.
Which goes to show how music, fantasy and a sense of humour will overcome 🙂
Meanwhile, check out this download from ABC Radio’s Book Show, featuring Aurealis Award winners Jonathan Strahan, Alison Goodman and KA Bedford talking about the importance of the awards, speculative fiction’s ability to compete for attention in the wider market place, and other stuff.
It was a big night for Perth’s Adrian Bedford at the Aurealis Awards in Brisbane last night.
Bedford, writing as KA Bedford, has had all four of his novels published by Edge in Canada make the finalist lists of the awards, and last night he scored his second win: for best science fiction novel, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait. The novel is also a finalist for the Philip K Dick award.
The awards, recognising excellence in Australian speculative fiction, were presented in a sold-out Judith Wright Centre, with Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley in the audience.
Other winners were:
Illustrated work/picture book: Richard Harland and illustrator Laura Peterson, The Wolf Kingdom series
Novel: Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo
Illustrated book/graphic novel: Shaun Tan, Tales from Outer Suburbia
Short story: Trent Jamieson, “Cracks”, Shiny #2
Novel: Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock
Collection: Sean Williams and Russell B Farr (ed), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams
Anthology: Jonathan Strahan (ed), The Starry Rift
Short story: Kirstyn McDermott, “Painlessness”, Greatest Uncommon Denominator #2
Novel: John Harwood, The Seance
Short story: Cat Sparks, “Sammarynda Deep”, Paper Cities
Novel: Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom
Short story: Simon Brown, “The Empire”, Dreaming Again
Novel: KA Bedford, Time
Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
Peter McNamara Convenors Award: this special award was presented to Jack Dann for his incredible lifetime of achievement in the genre.
This was the first year that prizes were awarded for best collection, anthology and illustrated book/graphic novel.
Fantastic Queensland chairman Damon Cavalchini announced that 2010 would be the last year that FQ would host the awards as their contract with awards founders Chimaera Publications will expire, and a new team to organise the awards for 2011 and onwards is needed.
The Aurealis Awards’ list of finalists have been announced and it’s very exciting. Some highlights include seeing Sean Williams in four categories and Trent Jamieson in three, and a bunch of stories from Dreaming Again — and the anthology itself — being nominated.
I was a judge on the horror division so can’t say too much, except I feel the finalists’ list, from what I know of the stories involved, is a very strong one. The ceremony on January 24 coincides with the running of the Clarion South writers workshop; having some of the tutors and the Clarion young guns at the ceremony should add some extra energy to the night.
I’m glad I wasn’t on the fantasy novel panel. Trying to decide on a winner when the field includes Two Pearls of Wisdom and Tender Morsels would’ve been way too hard! (Read my review of Tender Morsels and Two Pearls.)
I’d encourage anyone interested in Australian spec fic to attend the awards. There’ll be plenty of writers from around the country there, and no doubt some agents and publishers as well.