Eona: a soaring sequel

eona aka necklace of the gods by alison goodman

It has been three years since Eon, aka Two Pearls of Wisdom, set alight the fantasy firmament with its faux-Chinese setting, gender blending and superb story-telling. The story involved a young girl who has to masquerade as a boy to have her shot at being a Dragoneye — one of a chosen few who link with a pantheon of celestial dragon spirits in order to tame the weather and bring prosperity to the nation, as well as garner significant powers. I reviewed it here.

And now we have the sequel, Eona, aka The Necklace of the Gods, and it’s been well worth the wait. It’s wonderful that Alison Goodman was able to get off the factory processing floor that dominates so much of fantasy publishing these days, trust that her readership would stick by her, and deliver such a quality read. Sadly, the economics of full-time (genre) writing don’t seem to be engineered that way — the focus remains on quantity, not quality, although one doesn’t necessarily negate the other!

I review Eona (Necklace of the Gods is such a more romantic title, isn’t it? The UK cover is delicious!) over at Asif, and highly recommend it as both a stunning sequel and a valuable case study for writers looking to roll out a series.

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Ditmars announced

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.

Best Novel
———-
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

Best Novella
———–
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

Best Artwork
————
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

Best Achievement
—————-
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,
presented MSFC

Best New Talent
—————
Peter M. Ball
Felicity Dowker
Jason Fischer
Gary Kemble
Amanda Pillar