Tasty cover for Kirstyn’s Madigan Mine thanks to Piper, who is publishing the German edition — and keeping an English title. Not quite as poetic as the Aussie version, perhaps, but you get the gist straight up! The edition is due out … later.
I’m home again after a flying visit to Sydney where the spec fic clan gathered at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney for the 2010 Aurealis Awards, recognising excellence in Aussie spec fic published last year.
There were some extremely strong fields with some diverse entries — on the home front, the good news is that Kirstyn’s Madigan Mine brought home the very attractive trophy for Best Horror Novel. The full list of winners is below. Other highlights included the special awards — the Peter McNamara Convenors Award to Helen Merrick and the (non-AA, Fantastic Queensland-sponsored) Kris Hembury encouragement award to Jodi Cleghorn (the driving force behind 100 Stories for Brisbane) — and a breakthrough SF Novel award for Marianne de Pierres. Rob Hood provided some wonderfully Pythonesque animations to introduce the sections and Garth Nix was a superbly dry-witted and engaging Master of Ceremonies.
Cat Sparks has put her photos from the night up onFlickr
There were several elements that really came together on the night. The first was that Rydges North Sydney, which served pretty much as the awards hotel, was on the same block as the theatre. The second was that the theatre was the right size for the crowd, who dressed up to make the occasion LOOK like an occasion, and that the bonhomie was fostered with a generous cocktail reception I believe largely thanks to sponsor HarperVoyager, who also provided novels in the awards bag. The third was the after party, first with another round of free drinks at the theatre, and then discounted basics at Rydges. The fourth was Rydges itself, where the staff were very accommodating indeed. The buffet breakfast went down a treat this morning, with a few of us lingering till the harried staff really DID have to change over for the lunch crowd. The awards themselves were handled efficiently and respectfully, and the organisers appreciated the fact that folks had come from across the country for this, so the chance to socialise was high on the agenda.
So, as 2 o’clock rolled around last night, the bar having been shut since midnight and the staff preparing the breakfast tables, we closed the curtains on a great night of meeting old friends and making new ones, which often entailed a Facebook face or Twitter name finally resolving in the flesh.
Great venue, deserving winners, awesome company. Well done, Sydney. Book me in for next year!
THE AUREALIS AWARD WINNERS FOR 2010
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)
• The Keepers, Lian Tanner, Allen & nwin
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)
• The Boy and the Toy, Sonya Hartnett (writer) & Lucia Masciullo (illustrator), Penguin Viking
YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
• A Thousand Flowers, Margo Lanagan, Zombies and Unicorns, Allen & Unwin
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
• Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey, Allen & Unwin
BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK/ GRAPHIC NOVEL
• Changing Ways Book 1, Justin Randall, Gestalt Publishing
• The Girl With No Hands, Angela Slatter, Ticonderoga Publications
• Wings of Fire, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Marianne S. Jablon, Night Shade Books
HORROR SHORT STORY
• The Fear, Richard Harland, Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears,
• Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott, Pan Macmillan
FANTASY SHORT STORY (joint winners)
• The February Dragon, LL Hannett & Angela Slatter, Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications
• Yowie, Thoraiya Dyer, Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press
• Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts, HarperVoyager (HarperCollins) [Tansy notably won a Ditmar with this novel earlier this year! I reviewed it here.]
SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
• The Heart of a Mouse, K.J. Bishop, Subterranean Online (Winter 2010)
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
• Transformation Space, Marianne de Pierres, Orbit (Hachette)
PETER MCNAMARA AWARD
• Helen Merrick
Kirstyn and I will be at Brisbane’s Pulp Fiction in Edward St from noon on Wednesday (Sept 15) where she will be signing Madigan Mine. She also has stories in the anthologies Macabre and Scenes from the Second Storey, both launched at this month’s Aussiecon4 (the World Science Fiction Convention). Please do pop in to say hello if you are able 🙂
Madigan Mine has been officially launched! A most excellent crowd attended at Melbourne’s Carlton Library (three cheers for the brilliant staff) to see a metaphoric bottle of bubbles broken over the bow of Kirstyn McDermott’s debut novel. Lucy Sussex (who has her own launch coming up) did the honours, fitting the Melbourne-set thriller into the wider context of Australian Gothic and saying some very nice things about Kirstyn’s prose.
It was grand to see such support for a local writer, with publisher Pan Macmillan sending representatives, including the artist who designed the superb cover.
Something old, something new, something cool …
Neuromancer, by William Gibson, blew my socks off when I first read it. It came out in 1984, helped forge the cyberpunk movement and threw a few words into our technical lexicon. It still rocks. A sweet moment: reading this masterpiece of cyber intrigue and corporate shenanigans with Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk album drowning out the worst of the commuting interference. I love Gibson’s style, his flawed characters, his requirement that the reader keep up, his depictions of cyberspace and razorgirls, the plot twists and stinging conclusion — all of it, really.
Today I rolled another yarn, putting that commute to good use: a brand new story from Chris Bongers, a Brisbane writer who’s in the zone with her first book getting attention from the Children’s Book Council, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Henry Hoey Hobson does too. Chris sent it down as a nod, one I was proud to receive — it seems my penchant for using a coffin as an ice box at our Halloween parties has made an impression! In the Twilight age, it might be easy to think the Fright Night-style cover indicates yet another slipstreaming YA love-in-the-dark affair, but thankfully, it ain’t so. Chris grew up in the central west of Queensland and that dry, larrikin humour is tickling under the surface of this book, an affecting tale of a young fellah and his mum trying to cut it in the big smoke. It’s a yarn about family and fitting in and acceptance, the voice is spot-on, and the Addams Family elements made my day. The details of the Brisbane launch are here.
Which leads me to the other big news: Lucy Sussex (who has her own book launch coming up soon as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival — details TBC) is to launch Kirstyn McDermott’s Madigan Mine at the Carlton Library on August 2 at 7pm. The book is now officially out. Do come along if you can and help make a night of it. More details here.
The Melbourne Science Fiction Club is having its annual mini-convention on May 22, and yours truly will be a joint guest of honour, sharing the stage with Kirstyn McDermott. I’ll be giving a wee talk on the evolution of the vampire (from Dracula to, um, Edward et al). And Kirstyn will, I believe, be giving her first reading from her forthcoming debut novel, Madigan Mine (spoiler: there is no vampire per se in the novel, but it’s good and dark and there will be blood…)! The mini-con is a gathering of the fan clans, with support from some key purveyors of SF and fantasy goodness. Sounds tasty!