SwanCon36 was a wonderful convention and merriment was had by all. I was on a lot of panels and even managed to sit in the audience for quite a few that I wasn’t involved with — which doesn’t always happen, depending on how busy I am catching up with people and how good the bar is (and it was a very good bar). My program highlights were seeing Kaaron Warren interview Ellen Datlow — it was more of a friendly conversation — as well as being on a very lively discussion panel with Kaaron, Ellen and Paul Haines called “Darkness Beyond Borders”. Heaps of fantastic audience involvement and fascinating debate about horror and dark fiction, where the genre fits and how it bleeds into the mainstream. The live Galactic Suburbia podcast was also a lot of fun to watch and there were quite a few enthusiastic discussions over the weekend — on and off the program — concerning eBooks and social media. Much food for thought!
Speaking of podcasts, Jonathan Strahan from Coode Street, Helen Merrick from Pangalactic Interwebs, Alex Pierce from Galactic Suburbia and my own good self got together to record a live SwanCon MegaPodcast on the Friday afternoon. You can download or stream it from The Writer and the Critic, and the others will no doubt have their own links floating about the place in due course. It was a blast and gave me a welcome practice run for recording W&C with Ian live at Continuum 7 in June.
On Sunday afternoon Ticonderoga Publications threw a 15th Birthday celebration and launched their two newest anthologies, More Scary Kisses and Dead Red Heart. There were yummy cupcakes and fine wine and some heart-fluttery readings — I read an extract from “Frostbitten”, the story I have in More Scary Kisses, although I had to make a last minute switch when I saw there were kids in the room! Ticonderoga has been releasing some remarkable books in the last few years, with more exciting titles to come. I’m particularly looking forward to Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L. Hannett, due for release later this year.
Because SwanCon36 was also the 50th National Science Fiction Convention, the Ditmar Awards were presented on the Sunday night. I’m extremely proud to report that “She Said” (my piece from Scenes from the Second Storey) tied for Best Short Story with “All the Love in the World” by Cat Sparks. Cat’s story is brilliant and Sprawl, the Twelfth Planet Press anthology in which it was published, also won Best Collected Work. Twelfth Planet did extremely well at the awards overall which just goes to show what a powerhouse it has truly become in SpecFic publishing. It’s worth pointing out that TTP doesn’t just publish traditional print books, but is also heavily involved in new media production, with Galactic Suburbia and the ASiF review website being well represented in the awards:
- Best Novel: Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)
- Best Novella or Novelette: “The Company Articles of Edward Teach”, Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press)
- Best Short Story (tie): “All the Love in the World”, Cat Sparks (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press) & “She Said”, Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes From the Second Storey, Morrigan Books)
- Best Collected Work: Sprawl, Alisa Krasnostein, ed. (Twelfth Planet Press)
- Best Artwork: “The Lost Thing” short film (Passion Pictures) Andrew Ruhemann & Shaun Tan
- Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus (Twelfth Planet Press)
- Best Fan Artist: Amanda Rainey, for Swancon 36 logo
- Best Fan Publication in Any Medium: Galactic Suburbia podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayer Roberts, & Alex Pierce (Twelfth Planet Press)
- Best Achievement: Alisa Krasnostein, Kathryn Linge, Rachel Holkner, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, & Tehani Wessely, Snapshot 2010
- Best New Talent: Thoraiya Dyer
- William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review: Tansy Rayner Roberts, for “A Modern Woman’s Guide to Classic Who”
Locus has published the full list of Ditmar nominees and winners, as well as the results of the Tin Ducks and the other awards presented at SwanCon over here. Congratulations to everyone!
Now I’m back home and very tired, but also very much looking forward to the next time I get to hang out with the fine folks that make up the Australian speculative fiction community. Enthusiasm! Creativity! Gin and tonic! What more can you ask from a long weekend?