Aurealis Awards Shortlists

The Dark, Issue 10, November 2015The shortlists for the 2015 Aurealis Awards have been announced and I’m delighted to see that a story of mine has been included in the Best Horror Short Story category. “Self, Contained” was published in The Dark last year and you can read it online here.

The awards will be announced on Friday, 25 March 2016, during a ceremony at the Hotel Jen, Brisbane. More information can be found at the Aurealis website. I’ll be there, attending Contact 2016, so please say hello if you run into me either at the ceremony itself or during the rest of the convention. Hot tip: I’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the bar.

The shortlists as a whole make a might fine — if ambitious, considering the number of titles! — reading list. I will just say that I’m more than a little sad, and somewhat perplexed, about the lack of a shortlist for Best Horror Novel. The judges report for that category will make for interesting reading, methinks.


BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • A Week Without Tuesday, Angelica Banks (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Cut-Out, Jack Heath (Allen & Unwin)
  • A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)
  • Bella and the Wandering House, Meg McKinlay (Fremantle Press)
  • The Mapmaker Chronicles: Prisoner of the Black Hawk, A.L. Tait (Hachette Australia)


BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • The Undertaker Morton Stone Vol.1, Gary Chaloner, Ben Templesmith, and Ashley Wood (Gestalt)
  • The Diemenois, Jamie Clennett (Hunter Publishers)
  • Unmasked Vol.1: Going Straight is No Way to Die, Christian Read (Gestalt)
  • The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Fly the Colour Fantastica, various authors (Veriko Operative)


BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “In Sheep’s Clothing”, Kimberly Gaal (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #61)
  • “The Nexus Tree”, Kimberly Gaal (The Never Never Land, CSFG)
  • “The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Heart of the Labyrinth”, DK Mok (In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett, Sorin Suciu)
  • “Blueblood”, Faith Mudge (Hear Me Roar, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Welcome to Orphancorp, Marlee Jane Ward (Seizure)


BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “Bullets”, Joanne Anderton (In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep, AHWA)
  • “Consorting with Filth”, Lisa L Hannett (Blurring the Line, Cohesion Press)
  • “Heirloom Pieces”, Lisa L Hannett (Apex Magazine, Apex Publications)
  • “The Briskwater Mare”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Breaking Windows”, Tracie McBride (Aurealis #84)
  • “Self, Contained”, Kirstyn McDermott (The Dark, TDM Press)


BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • “Night Shift”, Dirk Flinthart (Striking Fire, FableCroft Publishing)
  • “The Cherry Crow Children of Haverny Wood”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Wages of Honey”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Sleepless”, Jay Kristoff (Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, Penguin)
  • “Ripper”, Angela Slatter (Horrorology, Jo Fletcher Books)


BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “The Giant’s Lady”, Rowena Cory Daniells (Legends 2, Newcon Press)
  • “The Jellyfish Collector”, Michelle Goldsmith (Review of Australian Fiction Vol. 13 Issue 6)
  • “A Shot of Salt Water”, Lisa L Hannett (The Dark, TDM Press)
  • “Almost Days”, DK Mok (Insert Title Here, FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Blueblood”, Faith Mudge (Hear Me Roar, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Husk and Sheaf”, Suzanne Willis (SQ Mag 22, IFWG Publishing Australia)


BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • “Lodloc and The Bear”, Steve Cameron (Dimension6, coeur de lion)
  • “Defy the Grey Kings”, Jason Fischer (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Firkin Press)
  • “Broken Glass”, Stephanie Gunn (Hear Me Roar, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “The Flowers that Bloom Where Blood Touches the Earth”, Stephanie Gunn (Bloodlines, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Haunting Matilda”, Dmetri Kakmi (Cthulhu: Deep Down Under, Horror Australis)
  • “Of Sorrow and Such”, Angela Slatter (Tor.com)


BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “2B”, Joanne Anderton (Insert Title Here, Fablecroft)
  • “The Marriage of the Corn King”, Claire McKenna (Cosmos)
  • “Alchemy and Ice”, Charlotte Nash (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #61)
  • “Witnessing”, Kaaron Warren (The Canary Press Story Magazine #6)
  • “All the Wrong Places”, Sean Williams (Meeting Infinity, Solaris)


BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “Blood and Ink”, Jack Bridges, Prizm Books
  • “The Molenstraat Music Festival”, Sean Monaghan (Asimov’s Science Fiction)
  • “By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers”, Garth Nix (Old Venus, Random House)


BEST COLLECTION

  • The Abandonment of Grace and Everything Thereafter, Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Brimstone Press)
  • Striking Fire, Dirk Flinthart (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Cherry Crow Children, Deborah Kalin (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • To Hold the Bridge, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Fading, Carole Nomarhas (self-published)
  • The Finest Ass in the Universe, Anna Tambour (Ticonderoga Publications)


BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Hear Me Roar, Liz Grzyb (ed.) (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2014, Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (eds.) (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Bloodlines, Amanda Pillar (ed.) (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Meeting Infinity, Jonathan Strahan (ed.), (Solaris)
  • The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 9, Jonathan Strahan (ed.) (Solaris)
  • Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction, Tehani Wessely (ed.) (FableCroft Publishing)


BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins)
  • The Fire Sermon, Francesca Haig (HarperVoyager)
  • Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
  • Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Hush, Skye Melki-Wagner (Penguin Random House Australia)


BEST HORROR NOVEL

No Shortlist Released


BEST FANTASY NOVEL

  • In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins)
  • Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
  • The Dagger’s Path, Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)
  • Tower Of Thorns, Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Skin, Ilka Tampke (Text Publishing)


BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Crossed, Evelyn Blackwell (self-published)
  • Clade, James Bradley (Penguin)
  • Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Their Fractured Light, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
  • Renegade, Joel Shepherd (Kindle Direct)
  • Twinmaker: Fall, Sean Williams (Allen & Unwin)


SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD

  • The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin [The King’s Bastard (2010), The Uncrowned King (2010), The Usurper (2010), The King’s Man (2012), King Breaker (2013)], Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris Press)
  • The Watergivers [The Last Stormlord (2009), Stormlord Rising (2010), Stormlord’s Exile (2011)], Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
  • The Lumatere Chronicles [Finnikin of the Rock (2008), Froi of the Exiles (2011), Quintana of Charyn (2012)], Melina Marchetta (Penguin Random House)
  • Sevenwaters [Daughter of the Forest (2000), Son of the Shadows (2001), Child of the Prophecy (2002), Heir to Sevenwaters (2009), Seer of Sevenwaters (2011), Flame of Sevenwaters (2013)], Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • The Laws of Magic [Blaze Of Glory (2007), Heart Of Gold (2007), Word Of Honour (2008),  Time Of Trial (2009), Moment Of Truth (2010), Hour Of Need (2011)], Michael Pryor (Random House Australia)
  • Creature Court [Power and Majesty (2010), Shattered City (2011), Reign of Beasts (2012)], Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)
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A Couple of Things Before We Move

For those who don’t know — and apologies to friends/family if this is the first you’ve heard; the whole House-Buying Adventure was a bit of a drama and finished all in a mad rush and we haven’t really said much to many people in case it Fell Through — we’re moving. To Ballarat. Exactly one week from now. Eeek. Jason has more to say about the house and the move here, if you’re interested. I’m sure there will be many more posts on the topic — he’s much better at blogging that sort of stuff than I am. Allow me just to say: Boxes. There are many. Here’s what our living room looks like right now:

Box Hell

And that’s just the tip of the boxy cardboardy iceberg.

But before I finish packing up the computer, here’s a couple of things I wanted to share in case — very likely — I’m not properly back online for a while.

First, the lovely Michael Keyton has interviewed me as part of “The Rack” series over on On Fiction Writing. I chat about influences, writing rules (or lack thereof), fairy tales and other sundry matters. It was a fun interview and there are a lot of great authors already in The Rack archives, including a bunch of recent Australian additions — Lisa Hannett, Kaaron Warren, Felicity Dowker, Alan Baxter and Angela Slatter to name a handful. Oh, and some guy called Jason Nahrung. He looks kinda cute.

Secondly, the NSW Writers Centre is hosting their Speculative Fiction Festival on 16 March 2013. Directed by the inimitable Kate Forsyth once again, the day will feature a wealth of Aussie spec fic authors, editors and publishers including Juliet Marillier, Ian Irvine, Marienne de Pierres, Alison Croggon, Richard Harland, Melina Marchetta, Lisa Hannett, Garth Nix, John Flanagan, Cat Sparks, Kim Wilkins, Sophie Masson, Russell Farr, Dionne Lister, Pamela Freeman, Belinda Murrell, Ben Chandler, Kate Forsyth,  Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung — there’s that guy again — Kirstyn McDermott, Angela Slatter and Dirk Strasser. You can download the program and book tickets here.

And finally, GenreCon13 has just been announced, with the first two guests being Anita Heiss and Chuck Wendig. I attended the inaugural GenreCon last year and had a blast, so I’m quite down-in-the-mouth about not being able to go this time around, due to being over in the UK for the whole of October in the lead up to World Fantasy Con. (Yes, it’s a terrible, terrible thing. I will graciously accept your condolences.) But if you won’t be in the UK for the whole of October, you should definitely look at making your way to Brisbane for GenreCon. It’s an exciting, inclusive and all round brilliant weekend for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of genre writing and publishing.

GenreCon 2013

Okay, it’s back to the Battle of the Boxes for me. Now with added shredded cuticles and bruised biceps. Hmm, the next time I post here, it will be from my new house. In Ballarat. Which I will own. (The house, not Ballarat. Well not even the house, but My Name is on the title that The Bank currently holds.)

If I say it often enough, it must be true. Right? Right?

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Twelfth Planet Press at the Melbourne Writers Festival

Somehow, it’s already August and that means the Melbourne Writers Festival is just around the corner. Twelfth Planet Press is hosting a fun little shindig this this year so, if you’ll be in Melbourne later this month, please come along. As well as being a general showcase of TPP’s exciting adventures in publishing thus far, the event will highlight the acclaimed Twelve Planets series of story collections and launch the two latest releases: Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren and Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan. There’ll be drinks and nibblies and lots of clever, witty writers. We’d all love to see you!

When: Sunday, 26 August — 5.30pm sharp
Where: Yarra Building, Federation Square, Melbourne
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Twelfth Planet Press Showcase

click to enlarge

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Continuum 8 Program Now Available!

The much anticipated program for Continuum 8: Craftonomicon — the 2012 NatCon — is now online and available to download as handy PDFs. It looks pretty damn good and the only thing I’m not looking forward to is making some difficult choices in regards to what sessions I attend. Fortunately, some of the decision making has been taken out of my hands with the following being program items with which I’m actually involved and for which I therefore must show up. Preferably awake and sober. Not always that easy at an SF convention!

Tales As Old As Time — 6pm, Friday 8th June
Fairytales are in vogue again, all over TV and movie screens and for years collected by Ellen Datlow in retold anthologies. Why are we so fascinated with these stories? And with so many retellings and versions out there how do writers make them new again? (Jenny Blackford, Lisa Hannett, Kirstyn McDermott, Jane Routley, Angela Slatter)

Twelve Planet Press Hour — 7pm, Friday 8th June
Ever wondered how your favorite Twelve Planet collection would taste like in cupcake form? Then come along to the Twelfth Planet Cocktail hour, to celebrate the launch of the newest Twelve Planets, Through Splintered  Walls by Kaaron Warren and Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan, plus the new TPP novella Salvage by Jason Nahrung and a surprise announcement! Each book will be lovingly interpreted as a cupcake by master baker, Terri Sellen. Your cocktail choice is entirely your own…

Masters of Podcasting — 10am, Saturday 9th June
What makes someone podcast? Ego? Frustrated media ambition? Being too ugly for television? Ego? A group of fannish podcasters discuss the origins, do’s, don’ts and why-the-hell-nots of podcasting. Why start a podcast? How do you do it? Where do you find an audience? A group of talented talkers talk about talking. (Terry Frost, Alisa Krasnostein, Kirstyn McDermott, Jonathan Strahan)

The Future Is Now — 2pm, Saturday 9th June
eBooks, iDevices, apps etc are changing how we write and read. What’s out there, what’s worth using, and is all this technology a help or a hindrance? And where to from here? (Alan Baxter, Louise Cusack, Kirstyn McDermott, Julia Svaganovic)

Podcast: The Writer and the Critic — 3pm, Sunday 10th June
The Writer and the Critic is a monthly podcast devoted mostly to speculative fiction books, reviews and the odd bit of idle gossip. Join hosts Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond and their most estimable guests Alison Goodman and Kelly Link in this special live-recorded edition for a discussion of The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. (Alison Goodman, Kelly Link, Kirstyn McDermott, Ian Mond)

The Awards Debarcle — 2pm, Monday 11th June
What is the role of awards in the Australian SF community? Do we have too many? Do we need more (or different) awards? Discuss. (Dave Cake, Kirstyn McDermott, Ian Mond, Jason Nahrung)

And if all that wasn’t enough, Ian Mond and I will also be hosting the Awards Ceremony on the Sunday night from 8pm until …. um … well, we promise it won’t last all night! Cross our hearts and hope to … look, we promise okay? Just trust us.

Hope to see you there!

Continuum 8: Craftonomicon

Scary Times at the Emerging Writers’ Festival

Emerging Writers FestivalAs winter gets set to roll its chilly self into Melbourne, so the too does the fabulous Emerging Writers’ Festival. The EWF is fast becoming my favourite literary event and I’m a little bummed that I’ll actually be interstate for the opening weekend this year. Still, there’s much to look forward to in the days that follow. Like the Revenge of the Nerds Slide Night which, if last year’s Not Your Nanna’s Slide Night is anything to go by, will be hilarious fun. And the Late Night Book Club over at Rue Bebelons. Not to mention all those tempting panels and workshops. Some of the sessions you do need to buy tickets for but there is also a lot of free stuff to attend and participate in, so check out the full online program and start planning your festival now!

In the Work Not Play department — oh, what am I saying; this kind of work is play! — I’ll taking part in the Fright Night session on Thursday 31st May at the State Library. In the majestic Queens Hall, no less, said to be the not-so-happy haunting grounds of no less than three ghosts, including a children’s librarian. Join a bunch of diverse writers as we attempt to scare the pants off you* with our spookiest stories …

Queens Hall

Queens Hall at the State Library of Victoria  (Picture: Joe Armao)

One of the things I love about the EWF is their Golden Ticket. At $160 it’s not exactly chicken feed but for those who Must See Everything it does prove an economical option. I’ve long bemoaned the fact that the Melbourne Writers Festival doesn’t have something similar on offer. Coming from a background of genre conventions, where you pay an upfront membership fee — usually in the $125-$200 range, sometimes more — which then entitles you to wander around the venue and see as many panels and presentations as you like, I find myself a little daunted by festivals where you pay by the session. I really do like to get to places and roam about, duck my head into whatever seems interesting, and make decisions on the spur of the moment. I know this kind of habit can prove a logistical nightmare for organisers of large festivals, but still … I want my Golden Ticket, dammit!

* Please keep your pants on. Please.

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Ditmar Award Ballot Announced: Voting Now Open!

Ditmar Award 2011

The ballot for the 2012 Ditmar Awards has just been announced and what an impressive list it is! I’m particularly excited because this year I’ve actually read/heard/seen more than half of the nominees across the ballot, so I feel particularly informed. Not that I believe in the whole, “You have to have read/heard/seen everything in order to vote responsibly” argument, but it’s really nice to be in a position where I’ll have several hard choices ahead of me when I sit down to fill out that ballot. Hmm, I wonder how many of those gaps I can fill before before the voting closes …

The Ditmar Awards will be announced at Continuum 8, which serves as the NatCon for 2012. Hearty congratulations to all the nominees:

Best Novel

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

Best Novella or Novelette

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

Best Short Story

  • “Breaking the Ice”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Cosmos 37
  • “Alchemy”, Lucy Sussex, in Thief of Lives (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker”, Martin Livings and Talie Helene, in More Scary Kisses (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “All You Can Do Is Breathe”, Kaaron Warren, in Blood and Other Cravings (Tor)
  • “Bad Power”, Deborah Biancotti, in Bad Power (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Patrician”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work

  • The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)
  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

Best Artwork

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

Best Fan Writer

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

Best Fan Artist

  • Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
  • Lisa Rye, for “Steampunk Portal” series
  • Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine Time, SF Commentary and Scratchpad
  • Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry (tanaudel.wordpress.com) including “The Dalek Game”
  • Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Programme Book

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • SF Commentary, edited by Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sean Wright
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce

Best New Talent

  • Steve Cameron
  • Alan Baxter
  • Joanne Anderton

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for “2010: The Year in Review”, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Damien Broderick and Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (Borgo Press)
  • David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely for “Reviewing New Who” series, in A Conversational Life
  • Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Croft Wessely, for reviews of 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

You might have noticed that The Writer and the Critic, the podcast I do with my dear friend Ian Mond, has been nominated in the Best Fan Publication category. This is a great honour considering the high calibre of the field we’re up against — three other fantastic podcasts as well as the venerable Steam Engine Time which sees Bruce Gillespie holding the line for print publications — and I can say with all sincerity that I absolutely do not care who carries away this particular Ditmar. It’s going to be such a great night!

The 2012 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards recognise excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by Australians in 2011. Voting for the Ditmar Awards is open to all members of Continuum 8 (including supporting members) and to members of Swancon 36 who were eligible to vote in the 2011 Awards. You can vote online here or else download a PDF of the ballot to mail in.

All votes must be received by 11.59pm on 27th May, 2012.

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Continuum, Quilts and Chronos Awards

I had a fantastic and satisfyingly exhausting time at Continuum 7 over the long weekend. The panels I saw were entertaining and engaging and Catherynne M. Valente was one of the most gracious and erudite and downright fun-to-be-around Guests of Honour a convention could hope to have. She was also a special guest on The Writer and the Critic podcast that Ian Mond and myself recorded live at the con — it will be available very soon; I just need to get some more sleep before finishing post-production — and one of my team-mates on the Great Debate. Which we won. Immortality for everyone! I also loved the enthusiastic, intelligent and impassioned discussions that took place during almost all of the panels I participated in — among panelists and audiences alike. It’s invigorating and inspiring to be in a room full of people so keen to discuss and debate and contribute. Possibly the highlight of the convention for me was the Dark Delights panel which explored the links between beauty and horror. Kyla Ward performed one of her poems with her usual aplomb and Talie Helene knocked everyone’s socks off with a stunning a cappella rendition of an old ghost ballad. (Talie’s working on an exciting new multi-media project … more details soon.)

Chronos Award 2011

Oh, and I won a very pretty Chronos Award for Madigan Mine! Karen Healey‘s Aurealis Award-winning novel, The Guardian of the Dead, was nominated in the same category and I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with Karen on the Sunday night. She’s witty and delightful and I’m looking forward to reading her new novel, The Shattering, which is due for release in July. (I was so very good and only purchased that one book at the convention — my To Be Read pile is already structurally unsound!)

The full list of 2011 Chronos Award winners are:

  • Best Long Fiction: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott (Pan MacMillan Australia)
  • Best Short Fiction: “Her Gallant Needs”, Paul Haines (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Best Artwork: Australis Imaginarium cover, Shaun Tan (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Written Work: “Review: The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick”, Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Artwork: Continuum 6 Props, Rachel Holkner
  • Best Fan Publication: Live Boxcutters Doctor Who at AussieCon IV, Josh Kinal and John Richards
  • Best Achievement: Programming: AussieCon IV, Sue Ann Barber and Grant Watson

I should also remind you that the Conquilt fundraising auction is now up and running on eBay with some impressive early bidding. It’s an amazingly gorgeous quilt — after seeing it on display at Continuum, I’m half-tempted to bid on it myself. Honestly, the photos really don’t do it any justice at all.

I’m already very excited about attending Continuum 8 next year. Not only is the NatCon but it has Kelly Link and Alison Goodman as Guests of Honour. Huzzah!

Finally, on matters unrelated to Continuum, I was interviewed by the Adventures of a Bookonaut blog as part of an ongoing series featuring Australian spec fic authors. The questions were about authors and social media, and I had a lot of fun answering them. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, wander across and have a read. Sean’s blog is a treasure trove of news and reviews and other SF tidbits — well worth following!