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.

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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!
  • Writerly round-up: a new book, an award, a farewell

    It’s the afternoon after the four days that came before, and what a grand four days Continuum 8 offered. Held at Rydges in Carlton, where the bartenders were, as usual, outgunned by demand, the convention pulled together writers, publishers, readers and knitters (!) from around the country for the celebration of all things fantastical.

    Twelfth Planet Press launched new titles by Kaaron Warren — a printing error has meant a recall for those who have already snaffled the enticing collection — and Margo Lanagan (officially hitting the shelves in August) and my novella Salvage (yay!). Keep an ear out for a podcast recorded at the beautifully laid out Embiggen Books(timber shelves! ladders! SECRET DOOR!) about the Twelve Planets series of collections. [update: the podcast is now available here]

    Twelve Planets podcast

    Twelve Planets podcast at Embiggen Books

    There were panels on vampires, e-books, Australian writing and many other things; launches; parties; costumes; crafts; dinners on Lygon St; the nearest Japanese restaurant would’ve seen a pleasing surge in income. And there were awards, with Paul Haines and Sara Douglass both receiving posthumous accolades. A further highlight of the Ditmars was the squeaking octopii, given out as stand-ins when the actual awards failed to arrive in time.

    Also awarded were the Chronos awards, recognising achievements by Victorian writers, artists and fans, and how pleasing it was to receive one for ‘best fan writer’. A lovely acknowledgement of my new address! And Kirstyn and co-host Ian Mond landed Ditmar and Chronos awards for their podcast, The Writer and the Critic. The awards lists are below.

    Convention pictures by Cat Sparks*

    More pix from yours truly

    So amidst the catching up, the memorials and general frivolity, a bittersweet announcement has been made: my wonderful boss, Kate Eltham, is leaving the Queensland Writers Centre to take the reins at next year’s Brisbane Writers Festival. Kate is a dynamic woman and talented writer who has made the QWC such an active organisation, reaching out across the state and the nation and overseas through various programs all aimed at not just keeping writers of all ilks in the loop but helping them to be part of the loops. It’ll be interesting to see what new ideas she brings to the BWF. This is great news for Kate and a real shift of gears, but I confess that I will sure miss her. Good luck with it, mate!

    Kirstyn McDermott, Ian Mond host Continuum awards ceremony

    Kirstyn and Ian host the awards ceremony

    Ditmar Award winners:

    Peter McNamara Award: Bill Congreve

    A. Bertram Chandler Award:Richard Harland

    Norma K Hemming Award, TIE: Anita (AA) Bell for Hindsight; Sara Douglass for The Devil’s Diadem

    And a new award, the Infinity:Merv Binns

    Best Novel

    • WINNER: The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
    • Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
    • Burn Bright, Marianne de Pierres (Random House Australia)
    • The Shattered City (Creature Court 2), Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperCollins)
    • Mistification, Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)

    Best Novella or Novelette

    • WINNER: ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’, Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali Yuga)
    • ‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’, Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar)
    • ‘Above’, Stephanie Campisi (Above/Below)
    • ‘Below’, Ben Peek (Above/Below)
    • ‘Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary’, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk)
    • ‘The Sleeping and the Dead’, Cat Sparks (Ishtar)

    Best Short Story

    • WINNER: ‘The Patrician’, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk)
    • ‘Bad Power’, Deborah Biancotti (Bad Power)
    • ‘Breaking the Ice’, Thoraiya Dyer (Cosmos 37)
    • ‘The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker’, Martin Livings & Talie Helene (More Scary Kisses)
    • ‘Alchemy’, Lucy Sussex (Thief of Lives)
    • ‘All You Can Do Is Breathe’, Kaaron Warren (Blood and Other Cravings)

    Best Collected Work

    • WINNER: The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Paul Haines (Brimstone)
    • Bad Power, Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet)
    • Nightsiders, Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet)
    • Ishtar, Amanda Pillar & KV Taylor, eds. (Gilgamesh)
    • Love and Romanpunk, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet)

    Best Artwork

    • WINNER: ‘Finishing School’, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Candlewick)
    • Cover art for The Freedom Maze (Small Beer), Kathleen Jennings

    Best Fan Writer

    • WINNER: Robin Pen, for The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar’
    • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work including The Golden Age of Fanzines is Now’, and SF Commentary 81 & 82
    • Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus, Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth, and Randomly Yours, Alex
    • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus, and Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth
    • Sean Wright, for body of work including ‘Authors and Social Media’ series in Adventures of a Bookonaut

    Best Fan Artist

    • WINNER: Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry, including ‘The Dalek Game’
    • Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
    • Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine Time, SF Commentary, and Scratchpad
    • Lisa Rye, for Steampunk Portal series
    • Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Program Book

    Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

    • WINNER: The Writer and the Critic podcast, Kirstyn McDermott & Ian Mond
    • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie, ed.
    • Galactic Chat podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts & Sean Wright
    • Galactic Suburbia podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayer Roberts, & Alex Pierce
    • The Coode Street podcast, Gary K. Wolfe & Jonathan Strahan

    Best New Talent

    • WINNER: Joanne Anderton
    • Alan Baxter
    • Steve Cameron

    William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review

    • WINNER: Alexandra Pierce & Tehani Wessely, for reviews of The Vorkosigan Saga, in Randomly Yours, Alex
    • Russell Blackford, for ‘Currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke’, in Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
    • Damien Broderick & Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature
    • Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene, for ‘2010: The Year in Review’, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010
    • David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts & Tehani Wessely, for ‘Reviewing New Who’ series, in A Conversational Life

     

    Chronos Awards

    Best Long Fiction: The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)


    Best Short Fiction: ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’, Paul Haines (in The Last Days of Kali Yuga)


    Best Fan Writer: Jason Nahrung


    Best Fan Artist: Rachel Holkner


    Best Fan Written Work: ‘Tiptree, and a collection of her short stories’, Alexandra Pierce (in Randomly Yours, Alex)

    Best Fan Artwork: Blue Locks, Rebecca Ing (Scape 2)

    Best Fan Publication: The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

    Best Achievement: Conquilt, Rachel Holkner and Jeanette Holkner (Continuum 7)


     
    * It’s possible there might be a photo of me with a bottle of wine and a glass: I was pouring for other people. Honest.

    A Chronos nomination!

    I guess I’m officially a Victorian now …

    I’ve only just caught up with the nominations for the 2011 Chronos awards, which recognise achievement within Victoria’s speculative fiction community. It’s a popularly nominated award, voted upon by members of the year’s national convention. Voting rights can also be bought for $5 for non-convention members. This year’s natcon is Continuum 8, in June, in Melbourne, and it’s going to be a hoot with Kelly Link and Alison Goodman as writer guests of honour.

    Anyhow, a look at the shortlists shows I’ve been nominated as a fan writer, which is very cool. But allow me to be partisan for a moment and say just how happy I am to see the late Paul Haines on the list for both his collection, The Last Days of Kali Yuga, and his absolutely unforgettable story ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’. Fuck but he’s missed, and when you read these yarns, you realise just what a talent we’ve lost.

    Chronos finalists

    Best Long Fiction
    Black Glass, Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
    Mole Hunt, Paul Collins (Ford Street Publishing)
    The Key to Starveldt, Foz Meadows (Ford Street Publishing)
    The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)
    Scape e-zine, edited by Peta Freestone
    Changing Yesterday, Sean McMullen (Ford Street Publishing)
    Thief of Lives, Lucy Sussex (Twelfth Planet Press)
    No Award


    Best Short Fiction
    Neverspring, Peta Freestone (in M-BRANE SF #25)
    The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt, Paul Haines (in The Last Days of Kali Yuga)
    Gamer’s Challenge, George Ivanoff (by Ford Street Publishing)
    One Last Interruption Before We Begin, Stephanie Lai (in Steampowered II: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories)
    So Sad, the Lighthouse Keeper, Steve Cameron (in Anywhere But Earth)
    No Award


    Best Fan Writer
    Jason Nahrung
    Alexandra Pierce
    Peta Freestone
    No Award


    Best Fan Artist
    Nalini Haynes
    Marta Tesoro
    Rebecca Ing
    Rachel Holkner
    No Award


    Best Fan Written Work
    Dear Space Diary, Sam Mellor (Blog – Fiction)
    Tiptree, and a collection of her short stories, Alexandra Pierce (in Randomly Yours, Alex)
    Interview with Meg Mundell, Nalini Haynes (in Dark Matter 3)
    No Award


    Best Fan Artwork
    Girl Torque, Nalini Haynes (Cover for Dark Matter 3)
    Dangerous Penguins, Marta Tesoro
    Blue Locks, Rebecca Ing (Scape 2)
    No Award


    Best Fan Publication
    The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
    Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alexandra Pierce
    Bad Film Diaries, Grant Watson
    Dark Matter, edited by Nalini Haynes
    No Award


    Best Achievement
    Trailer for Gamer’s Challenge, Henry Gibbens (Ford Street Publishing)
    Continuum 7 Opening Ceremony Video, Rachel Holkner (Continuum 7)
    Conquilt, Rachel Holkner and Jeanette Holkner (Continuum 7)

    No award is to be presented for Best Artwork due to insufficient nominations being received.

  • More information about the Chronos awards and voting procedure can be found here.
  • Aurealis Awards tickets on sale, Chronos nominations open

    aurealis awards logoJust in case you hadn’t noticed, tickets for this year’s Aurealis Awards ceremony are now on sale. The ceremony will be held at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney on Saturday May 12. Last year’s awards, organised by the same organisation, SpecFaction NSW, and held in the same venue, were enormous fun. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends from across the country, rub shoulders with some damn fine writers, maybe meet some editors, agents and publishers … The staff at the nearby Rydges, which became the default ‘con hotel’, were wonderfully accommodating when it came to the post-awards ceremony. They might have a few more bar staff rostered on this year. Heh.

    WHILE we’re on awards, the Chronos Awards are calling for nominations. The awards recognise excellence in speculative fiction arising from Victorian residents. A fairly comprehensive list of eligible works is available, and welcomes additions. I take my hat off to the person/s who assembled this list! (I note that Paul Haines’s The Last Days of Kali Yuga and his short story from that collection, ‘The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt’, is absent, and I’ve let the organisers know that my listed story ‘Mending the Fences’ isn’t in fact eligible — it’s publication has been delayed till next month.) Nominations are due by March 18 and will be voted on by members of Continuum 8, the national science fiction convention being held in Melbourne in June.

    Chronos Award voting opens

    Victoria’s popular-vote awards for locals, the Chronos Awards, have opened. Details at this LJ site. The awards are to be presented at Continuum 7, in Melbourne at June. Continuum members are eligible to vote, and voting memberships are available for $5 if you aren’t attending the con.

    It’s worth noting that the con is appealing for panellists if you’d like to get involved.

    Continuum, Slights from Angry Robots, and some vampires

    So I’m in post-convention funk, short on sleep and strong on caffeine, a day back at work and wondering where the weekend went. The receipts tell some of the story: cabs, airlines, two dinners at a Chinese restaurant with lots and lots of chilli and an amazing capacity for seating and feeding 17 people at the drop of a hat, Japanese, innumerable coffees at the Lindt cafe and the State Library and that excellent sandwich bar in the Queen Victoria Building and other places besides…

    Cat Sparks’ (as always) fun photo diary helps fill in some blanks, too.

    So, the event was Continuum 5, held in the basement of the sprawling Mercure hotel complex in Melbourne, with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro as international guest of honour. She was rather grand, too. I enjoyed my vampire panel with her, and taking a new novel in the making for a walk during a reading session on the Sunday. I enjoyed meeting up with a bunch of folks from around the country, seeing Deb Biancotti launch her first anthology and Richard Harland steaming on with Worldshaker … and Kirstyn McDermott landed an award trifecta with her short story “Painlessness”, which had already won an Aurealis and a Ditmar before taking a brand new Chronos.

    Next year there will be another Continuum, in February, and in September there will be a grandaddy of conventions, the Worldcon aka Aussiecon 4, also in Melbourne. If you are in Australia and write any kind of spec fic, you really owe it to yourself to be at the Worldcon.

    Slights by Kaaron Warren

    Slights by Kaaron Warren

    On the flight home from Melbourne, I finished Kaaron Warren’s debut novel, Slights. It’s one of the first books to be released under HarperCollins’ new spec fic imprint, Angry Robot. It’s a weird title for an imprint, especially given that Kaaron’s book doesn’t have robots in it, nor any science fiction at all. The SF component of two of the other first four books also seems non-existent. No matter. What matters is that Aussie writer Kaaron’s book is a real gem. Sure, I had a little rant about the number of literal errors — you can’t get away from them these days — but don’t let that distract you. This is a compelling read, even though it’s not exactly express train pace. It’s a steam train of personality and character, wit and dread; such fully realised characters just don’t pop up that often, especially when they’re digging up family secrets in the backyard, pissing off their brother, tormenting all and insundry — and paying a heavy price. I can’t say Stevie is likeable, but her honesty is refreshing, her barbed one-liners engaging, her relationship with and indeed morbid curiosity about death intriguing and just a tad spooky. She namechecks Aussie writers Richard Harland and Robert Hood, too. Cool.

    Kaaron has two more books signed to Angry Robot. So what’s to be angry about, huh? You tell me, robot.

    Despite the previously mentioned funk, there is no rest for the wicked. I’m up to my jugular in vampires, and will be till Saturday when I present a wee talk at the Logan library’s SF month about the evolution of the vampire, from Byron to, ahem, Twilight.