The Writer and the Critic: Episode 62

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin by talking about the recent Aurealis Awards – in particular the categories of Best Horror Novel and Best Fantasy Novel, the winners of which have been chosen for this month’s discussion. The full list of Aurealis Award winners can be found on the official website.

The novels for this episode are: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Best Fantasy Novel) [22:00] and The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren (Best Horror Novel) [57:30].

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:33:30 for final remarks. Next month, Ian and Kirstyn are reading short fiction again with an anthology and a collection of interconnected stories:

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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Interim: Twelve Planets Podcast at Embiggen Books

I’ve been very remiss in reporting back about the fabulous Continuum 8 last weekend, and I hope to rectify that very soon, but here’s a little podcast I wanted to get up ASAP. Because of the convention, a whole bunch of normally interstate folks were in Melbourne and so it was deemed an appropriate opportunity for most of the Twelve Planet authors to get together and record an interview. There were nine of us altogether, as well as our indomitable publisher, Alisa Krasnostein, and Ian Mond very kindly volunteered to host and ask questions. The podcast was recorded at Embiggen Books, which I am ashamed to say I had not previously visited, and which I am somewhat fearful to say I will now visit a little too often … It was great fun to catch up with everyone, if somewhat daunting to be in the same room as all these tremendously talented women!

Anyway, the podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Hope you enjoy it!

Here are the show notes:

In collaboration with Twelfth Planet Press and recorded live at the beautiful Embiggen Books in Melbourne, The Writer and the Critic is delighted to present a special podcast dedicated to the critically acclaimed Twelve Planets series of short story collections.

Twelfth Planet Press

Join host Ian Mond as he interviews Twelve Planet authors Deborah Biancotti, Narrelle M. Harris, Deborah Kalin, Margo Lanagan, Rosaleen Love, Kirstyn McDermott, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Lucy Sussex and Kaaron Warren, along with publisher Alisa Krasnostein. It’s a fun, informal conversation which — and this is how you know it’s not an official Writer and Critic episode — goes for less than 50 minutes! You’re welcome.

Twelve Planets at Embiggen Books

Photographs by Jason Nahrung

The Twelve Planets are twelve boutique collections by some of Australia’s finest short story writers. Varied across genre and style, each collection will offer four short stories and a unique glimpse into worlds fashioned by some of our favourite storytellers. Each author has taken the brief of 4 stories and up to 40 000 words in their own direction. Some are quartet suites of linked stories. Others are tasters of the range and style of the writer. Each release will bring something unexpected to our subscriber’s mailboxes.

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Aurealis Awards 2010

Aurealis Award 2010

The Aurealis Awards were announced in a glittery — and, at times, shoeless — ceremony in North Sydney on Saturday night and I was absolutely thrilled that Madigan Mine won Best Horror Novel. So thrilled that the just-in-case list of names I’d been intermittently rehearsing all day flew out of my head and the first thing I managed to say after been handed the award by the inimitable Kaaron Warren was, “Wow, it’s heavy.” In my defence, it is quite heavy. It’s also very, very pretty. 🙂

But I did manage to thank everyone I needed to thank and surprised myself by becoming just a wee bit emotional up there on the stage. I’m really, really grateful to receive this particular award. Madigan Mine took so long to go from initial spark of inspiration to final publication — a time which spanned some very difficult years in my life, personally and creatively — and to be awarded the Aurealis at the end of all that … well, I am so very happy right now.

It truly was a fantastic night. SpecFaction in Sydney have taken over the running of the Aurealis Award from Fantastic Queensland — who did an extraordinary job of hosting them up in Brisbane for the past six years — and it was wonderful to see the baton passed to such and enthusiastic and hard-working team. Nathan Burrage, Susan Wardle and the rest of the organising committee deserve huge kudos for putting on such a great show. Highlights included Garth Nix‘s dry humour as MC, Rob Hood‘s quirky visual presentation slideshows, the divine Angela Slatter accepting not one but two awards in bare feet, and Tansy Rayner Roberts gracious and moving  — and well-prepared! — acceptance speech upon receiving the award for Best Fantasy novel.

Wine was drunk, carousing was had, old friends were caught up with and new friends were made. It reminded me once again how special, close-knit and supportive the Australian speculative fiction community really is. As I possibly failed to articulate clearly enough in my acceptance speech, I feel proud and honoured and so very grateful to be able to count myself among their number.

As has become customary on such occasions, the multi-talented Cat Sparx was on hand with her trusty camera to provide a superb pictorial chronicle of the evening. The full set lives over on Flickr but I want to include this photo of myself and my beloved, Jason Nahrung, right here. (Thanks, Cat — you always take the best photos of us!)

Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Nahrung at 2010 Aurealis Awards

2010 AUREALIS AWARD WINNERS:

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

ILLUSTRATED BOOK/ GRAPHIC NOVEL
• Changing Ways Book 1, Justin Randall, Gestalt Publishing

COLLECTION
• The Girl With No Hands, Angela Slatter, Ticonderoga Publications

ANTHOLOGY
• 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, Brimstone Press

HORROR NOVEL
• 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

FANTASY NOVEL
• Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts, HarperVoyager (HarperCollins)

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

The full list of finalists can be found here. My sincere and heartfelt congratulations to everyone!