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!


Chronos Awards Ballot Announced

Looks like award season is well and truly upon us!

The voting ballot for the Chronos Awards, presented for excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in the state of Victoria, has just been announced. I’m very excited to see that my novel, Madigan Mine, has been nominated in the Best Long Fiction category, while The Writer and the Critic podcast is in the running for Best Fan Publication. The full ballot, along with voting instructions can be found here.

Hearty congratulations to all the finalists!

All members (full and supporting) of the Continuum 7 convention are eligible to vote for the Chronos Awards, and voting closes on Sunday 15 May 2011. The awards will be announced during Continuum 7 over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (10-13 June) in Melbourne — please check the website for the exact date and time closer to the weekend.

Continuum is always a fantastically enjoyable convention and I highly recommend anyone in Melbourne with an interest in spec fic to come along. I’ve only ever missed one — thanks to my little sister for choosing to get married in Newcastle that weekend! — and I’m especially looking forward to this year’s. Not only will the brilliant Catherynne M. Valente be attending as a Guest of Honour, but Ian Mond and I will be recording our first live podcast of The Writer and the Critic at some stage over the weekend. How can you possibly bear to miss it? 🙂

If you are planning to attend and feel like getting more involved, Continuum has put out last call for program participants and posted a list of proposed panels here.  As the programmers themselves point out, you don’t need a PhD in Astrophysics, just enthusiasm for the topic and being open to discussion. So if there’s something on the list that takes your fancy, then please put up your hand and volunteer. It’s a hell of a lot of fun!


Chronos Awards now open for nominations

The 2011 Chronos Awards for excellence in science fiction, fantasy & horror in Victoria will be presented at Continuum 7 here in Melbourne over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. All nominated works must have been published during the 2010 calendar year by a resident of the state of Victoria.

The key dates for the 2011 Chronos Awards are:

  • Nominations Open:  Sunday 23 January 2011
  • Nominations Close:  Sunday 27 March 2011
  • Voting Opens:  Sunday 3 April 2011
  • Voting Closes:  Sunday 15 May 2011
  • Awards Announced:  Continuum 7, 10-13 June 2011 (exact date/time TBA).

Click here for more information and to lodge a nomination.

If you need a refresher on eligible works published in 2010, the Continuum Foundation wiki has provided quite a comprehensive list.

And in the Blowing My Own Shiny Trumpet department, I have the following works eligible for a nomination:

Best Long Fiction category:

  • Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott (Pan Macmillan Australia).

Best Short Fiction category:

  • “Monsters Among Us” by Kirstyn McDermott in Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears, edited by Angela Challis and Marty Young (Brimstone Press).
  • “She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott in Scenes from the Second Storey, edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books). [Note: this is my personal favourite of the three published last year and, I think, one of the best stories I’ve written.]
  • “We All Fall Down” by Kirstyn McDermott, Aurealis 44.

If you’ve read and enjoyed any of the above and decide to nominate them for a Chronos Award . . . well, that would be lovely. 🙂

ETA: Also eligible for nomination in the Best Fan Publication in any Medium category is The Writer and the Critic podcast which is produced by Ian Mond and myself. The first two episodes aired in 2010. If you haven’t listened to those yet, you should. We’re clever and funny and very often silly. And we love books.