Aurealis Awards finalists announced

The Aurealis Awards are the premiere award for Aussie speculative fiction. They will be awarded in Sydney on May 12 — tickets for the glam ceremony are on sale. Last year’s ceremony absolutely rocked, a wonderful coming together of all spectra of the spec fic community. Here are the finalists, announced tonight — congratulations all*:

FANTASY NOVEL
The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon (HarperVoyager)
Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
Debris by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)

FANTASY SHORT STORY
‘Fruit of the Pipal Tree’ by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)
‘The Proving of Smollett Standforth’ by Margo Lanagan (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperVoyager)
‘Into the Clouds on High’ by Margo Lanagan (Yellowcake, Allen & Unwin)
‘Reading Coffee’ by Anthony Panegyres (Overland #204)
‘The Dark Night of Anton Weiss’ by DC White (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe Publications)
Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (HarperVoyager)
The Waterboys by Peter Docker (Fremantle Press)
Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)

SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
‘Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden’ by Joanne Anderton (Hope, Kayelle Press)
‘Desert Madonna’ by Robert Hood (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
‘SIBO’ by Penelope Love (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
‘Dead Low’ by Cat Sparks (Midnight Echo #6)
‘Rains of la Strange’ by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)

HORROR NOVEL
NO SHORTLIST OR WINNING NOVEL – TWO HONOURABLE MENTIONS AWARDED TO:
The Broken Ones by Stephen M Irwin (Hachette)
The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)

HORROR SHORT STORY
‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’ by Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar, Gilgamesh Press)
‘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)
‘Mulberry Boys’ by Margo Lanagan (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
‘The Coffin Maker’s Daughter’ by Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Quercus)

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)
Secrets of Carrick: Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith (black dog books)
The Shattering by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin)
Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)

YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
‘Nation of the Night’ by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)
‘Finishing School’ by Kathleen Jennings (Steampunk! An anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories, Candlewick Press)
‘Seventy-Two Derwents’ by Cate Kennedy (The Wicked Wood – Tales from the Tower Volume 2, Allen and Unwin)
‘One Window’ by Martine Murray (The Wilful Eye: Tales from the Tower Volume 1, Allen and Unwin)
‘The Patrician’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)
The Outcasts by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)
‘It Began with a Tingle’ by Thalia Kalkapsakis (Headspinners, Allen & Unwin)
The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)
The Ghost of Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey (author and illustrator) (Penguin/ Viking Books)
Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)
The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen (author) and James Foley (illustrator) (Fremantle Press)
The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)
Vampyre by Margaret Wild (author) and Andrew Yeo (illustrator) (Walker Books)

ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL
Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator ) (Black Pepper)
Torn by Andrew Constant (author) and Joh James (illustrator ), additional illustrators Nicola Scott, Emily Smith (Gestalt Publishing)
Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops (author and illustrator) (Pecksniff Press)
The Eldritch Kid: Whiskey and Hate by Christian Read (author) and Michael Maier (illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)
The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)

ANTHOLOGY
Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)
Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
Ishtar edited by Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 5 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan (Viking)

COLLECTION
Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)
Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

* I was a judge in this year’s awards so no commentary from me, and nothing here should be seen as anything other than my personal opinion.

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Andrew McGahan’s White Earth chosen for Our Story

white earth by andrew mcgahan

As part of the National Year of Reading, the Our Story program set out to select one text from each state and territory to fly the flag for a reading campaign. Six titles were shortlisted for each; the winners were announced earlier today.

Queensland’s book is The White Earth, by Andrew McGahan, and it’s a cracker story. It riffs off the Mabo land rights decision and the incredible fear and uncertainty in rural Australia about the right to continue to live on and work land that had, in some instances, been in the same family for several generations. A lot of terra nullius talk, a lot of right wing clap trap, some very real concerns.

McGahan draws on his childhood in setting the piece on the Darling Downs, where a young boy and his widowed mother come to live on their grandfather’s property, there to see the politics of the era played out and to uncover some unsettling family truths harking back to the days of white occupation and settlement.

The other finalists in the Queensland selection were:

  • Affection, by Ian Townsend (Townsville, 1900, the plague, a social scandal)
  • Brisbane, by Matthew Condon (one in a series of capital city ‘biographies’)
  • House on the Hill, by Estelle Pinney (romance in the west)
  • Journey to the Stone Country, by Alex Miller (a collision of colonial past and the impact in the present present)
  • The Tall Man, by Chloe Hooper (Doomadgee and Palm Island under the microscope, with a wider view).
  • Awards news

    Good news on two fronts today regarding excellence in Australian fiction.

    Firstly, several Australians have made the finalists list for a Hugo, to be awarded at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne in September:

    Jonathan Strahan (best editor, short form), Shaun Tan (best pro artist), Helen Merrick (best related work) and Lezli Robyn (best newcomer, though it’s not strictly a Hugo, the John Campbell is run as an adjunct). See the full list of Hugo finalists here.

    Secondly, the Australian Shadows awards have been announced. This year, the award was split across three categories and the finalists presented a solid slice of Aussie horror writing.

    The winners were:

    Slights by Kaaron Warren (Long Fiction); Grants Pass, ed. Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar (Edited Publication); “Six Suicides” by Deborah Biancotti (Short Fiction). The judges’ reports are available here.