Aurealis Awards 2013

Had a fantastic time at the Aurealis Awards last night, lots of catching up with people, lots of excellent speculative fiction rewarded, lots of alcohol imbibed by others making me seem more interesting than I actually am. Who can ask for more?

The remote summary dejour is looking at Sean the Bookonaut’s Storify record of any given event, and this year’s Aurealis Awards is no different. You can find the summary here.

But now for some more personal reflections on the evening.

I got a chance to catch up with Nuke from Antipodean SF where I received the first ever face to face acceptance of a story that Nuke has ever given for my recently submitted piece Hindsight is a Bitch. It’s one of the shortest short stories I’ve ever written. Thanks Nuke! I could see Nuke was busily running around with his recorder, so we can expect lots of sound bites from various speculative fiction luminaries in future editions of the Antipodean SF podcast.

I also caught up with Rick (Patrick Keuning), a similar stage writer to me who was recently published in the excellent In Fabula-Divino anthology. You can follow Rick’s writing exploits on his website.

I had a good chance to chat with Jason Nahrung (whose excellent Blood and Dust and Salvage were up for best horror novel) and Kirstyn McDermott (whose excellent Perfections won best horror novel). While I was very pleased for Kirstyn’s win, I’d kind of been hoping for some kind of tie between her and Jason – I loved Blood and Dust especially. The only solution to my dilemma is for everyone reading this to immediately go out and buy all of Jason and Kirstyn’s work. If they can’t have joint awards, they should be able to console themselves by healthy joint bank balances. Go on, buy the books already! (1)

Lots of other brief conversations, including hearing about the contractual trickiness of being a creative writing academic by Lisa L. Hannett, finding an unexpected day job connection with Keith Stevenson, meeting Thoraiya Dyer in the flesh then utterly failing to talk to her properly (she was whisked away by Nuke for an Antipodean SF interview), picking up my copy of Robert Hood’s latest book after they ran out at Conflux and swapping high school sports war stories with Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Franks.

The ceremony itself was good. Scott Westerfeld was an excellent MC, giving a great introductory speech and keeping things moving at a fair clip. At last year’s awards, nearly everyone got up and said “oh dear I haven’t prepared anything, this is so unexpected”, which I think detracted from the ceremony. This year most people seemed to have learnt from that experience, because there were many more short, gracious and most of all prepared acceptances. I particularly liked Jonathan Strahan’s “insert winning publication here” speech which someone read out for him in absentia (he had three of the 5 nominations in that category). Margo Lanagan’s shout out to her husband was also a highlight.

The ceremony also included the screening of a short film by Nick Stathopoulos and director Ryan Cauchi, “It Grows” which was very entertaining.

So, I’ve listed the short lists below with the winning entry highlighted in green. I’ve included in the commentary links to any reviews I’ve done on works (it seems I am woefully under-read in award nomination worthy Australian speculative fiction this year!).


(1) Actually, I don’t think I quite have the readership to send Scrouge McDuck level money in their direction. I’ll have to think of a Plan B.

Edit 22/5/2013:

Some excellent photos of the event by Cat Sparx here.


Best Science Fiction Novel

Best Science Fiction Short Story

Best Fantasy Novel

Best Fantasy Short Story

Best Horror Novel

Best Horror Short Story

Best Young Adult Novel

Young Adult Short Story

  • “Stilled Lifes x 11″, Justin D’Ath (Trust Me Too)
  • “The Wisdom of Ants”, Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld 12/12)
  • “Rats”, Jack Heath (Trust Me Too)
  • “The Statues of Melbourne”, Jack Nicholls (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56)
  • “The Worry Man”, Adrienne Tam (self-published)

Best Collection

  • The Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote, K.J. Bishop (self-published)
  • Metro Winds, Isobelle Carmody (Allen & Unwin)
  • Midnight and Moonshine, Lisa L. Hanett & Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga)
  • Living With the Dead, Martin Livings (Dark Prints)
  • Through Splintered Walls, Kaaron Warren (Twelfth Planet) (My review of Through Splintered Walls)

Best Anthology

  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011, Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene, eds. (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Bloodstones, Amanda Pillar, ed. (Ticonderoga)
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 6, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Night Shade)
  • Under My Hat, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Random House)
  • Edge of Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris)

Best Children’s Fiction (told primarily through words)

Best Children’s Fiction (told primarily through pictures)

Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel

There was also the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award, which this year went to Kate Eltham who has been active in speculative fiction for some time, especially in Queensland. The Kris Hembury Encouragement Award went to Laura Goodin.

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.

2 thoughts on “Aurealis Awards 2013”

    1. Thanks Sean – would be great to see you at a future ceremony. Maybe Canberra is easier to get to than Sydney?…


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