2017 Ditmar nominations

The Ditmars are the primary voted awards for Australian speculative fiction (as opposed to the Aurealis Awards, which is a juried award). The 2017 ballot is out, and available for voting for any eligible member of the national convention (this year held in Melbourne at Continuum 13 – the 56th National Science Fiction Convention).

The ballot is filled with some wonderful people, and my warmest congratulations go to everyone who received a nomination. I especially wanted to note that a story published in AntipodeanSF (which has published many of my flash fiction pieces) made the ballot for Best Short Story. Congratulations Edwina (author) and Nuke (editor)!

I also noted that Dimension6, the free magazine published by Keith Stevenson, published 2 of the novella/novelette nominations – a fantastic effort showing Keith’s excellent eye for talent.

http://wiki.sf.org.au/2017_Ditmar_preliminary_ballot

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.
  • The Lyre Thief, Jennifer Fallon, HarperCollins.
  • Squid’s Grief, D.K. Mok, D.K. Mok.
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter, Jo Fletcher Books.
  • The Wizardry of Jewish Women, Gillian Polack, Satalyte Publishing.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “All the Colours of the Tomato”, Simon Petrie, in Dimension6 9.
  • “By the Laws of Crab and Woman”, Jason Fischer, in Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 17, Issue 6.
  • “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • “Finnegan’s Field”, Angela Slatter, in Tor.com.
  • “Glass Slipper Scandal”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Sheep Might Fly.
  • “Going Viral”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Dimension6 8.

Best Short Story

  • “Flame Trees”, T.R. Napper, in Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2016.
  • “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.
  • “There’s No Place Like Home”, Edwina Harvey, in AntipodeanSF 221.

Best Collected Work

  • Crow Shine by Alan Baxter, Ticonderoga Publications.
  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.
  • In Your Face, Tehani Wessely, FableCroft Publishing.

Best Artwork

  • cover and internal artwork, Adam Browne, for The Tame Animals of Saturn, Peggy Bright Books.
  • illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Earl Grey Editing Services (blog), Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
  • Galactic Chat, Alexandra Pierce, David McDonald, Sarah Parker, Helen Stubbs, Mark Webb, and Sean Wright.
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts.
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond.

Best Fan Writer

  • James ‘Jocko’ Allen, for body of work.
  • Aidan Doyle, for body of work.
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work.
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work.
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work.

Best Fan Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Illustration Friday series.

Best New Talent

  • T R Napper
  • Marlee Jane Ward

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Kat Clay for essays and reviews in Weird Fiction Review
  • Tehani Croft & Marisol Dunham, for Revisiting Pern: the great McCaffrey reread review series.
  • Tsana Dolichva, for reviews, in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews.
  • Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.
  • Alexandra Pierce, for reviews, in Randomly Yours, Alex.
  • Gillian Polack, for History and Fiction: Writers, their Research, Worlds and Stories, Peter Lang.

Australian SF Awards Part 2 – The Ditmar Awards

Both of the major SF awards in Australia are happening towards the start of the year, so I thought I might signal boost both sets of shortlists. In this second post, I’ll be focusing on the Ditmar Awards (you can see my thoughts on the Aurealis Awards in Part 1 of this series).

The Ditmar awards are Australia’s national popular vote awards for speculative fiction. Where the Aurealis awards (which are judged not voted on) focus on written work and divide the genre up into extensive sub-categories, the Ditmar awards keep the genres together and award only on length (best novel, novella, short story, collected work etc). There are also several awards for non-written contributions to the SF categories (e.g. best fan writer, artwork, fan publication in any medium etc).

The Ditmars are given out at the Australian national SF convention (which is this year Contact 2016 in Brisbane). The rules for the awards can be found on the Ditmar wiki. Details of the 2016 ceremony can be found on the Contact website. Voting is due to finish on 18 March 2016, with the voting form here.

To nominate a work, you have to be “known to fandom”, but to actually vote in the final ballot one needs to purchase a membership at the national convention (or have been a member of the previous year’s national convention).  I can see how this makes the voting process administratively easier (and is in line with the voting practices in overseas awards), but it does seem to work to restrict voting to those that can afford the financial outlay (a supporting membership of Contact 2016 costs $40).

Why does this matter? The Ditmars suffer from the same weaknesses that other voted awards do – namely the voting process is only robust if you get a large, representative sample of people to nominate and vote. There is always the chance that the Ditmar’s become less representative of the best work of the year, and more representative of famous/popular content creators. While not conclusive, I find it interesting that I recognise nearly all of the names on the Ditmar ballot, but there are a lot of names that are new to me on the Aurealis awards ballot. I do wonder if removing or reducing the financial barriers to participation in the voting process might improve the inclusiveness of the results. Having said that, the nomination process is broader, so perhaps not!

It is good to have awards for non-fiction contributions to the Australian speculative fiction scene. As well as the categories listed below, there are two other awards that are usually given out at the Ditmar award ceremony. From the Contact 2016 website:

Norma K. Hemming Award
The Norma K. Hemming Award marks excellence in the exploration of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability, and is awarded by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF). Nominations close in the second week of December in the year preceding the respective NatCon.

A. Bertram Chandler Award
Australia’s top fan award, the Chandler is awarded by the ASFF for outstanding achievement in science fiction. Unlike the Ditmars, this award is decided upon by a jury appointed by the Foundation. Nominations for the Chandler Award are always open.

More information about the Norma K. Hemming Award and the A. Bertram Chandler Award can be found on the ASFF website.

All in all, the Ditmars represent a wonderful chance for the established Australian SF community to come together. I’ve attended a couple of ceremonies in the past, and they have always been uplifting affairs. In 2014, I was even fortunate enough to be on a podcasting team that won the Best Fan Publication in Any Medium award, which was a huge honour. Between the Ditmar and the Aurealis awards shortlists, you can get an excellent sense of where the action is in the Australian scene – and I commend it to you.

2016 Ditmar Ballot contents

The following section details the contents of the preliminary ballot. (Note that the final ballot will include a “No Award” option in each category.

Best Novel

  • The Dagger’s Path, Glenda Larke (Orbit)
  • Day Boy, Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
  • Graced, Amanda Pillar (Momentum)
  • Lament for the Afterlife, Lisa L. Hannett (ChiZine Publications)
  • Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (Simon and Schuster)

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “The Cherry Crow Children of Haverny Wood”, Deborah Kalin, in Cherry Crow Children (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Fake Geek Girl”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Review of Australian Fiction, volume 14, issue 4 (Review of Australian Fiction)
  • “Hot Rods”, Cat Sparks, in Lightspeed Science Fiction & Fantasy 58 (Lightspeed Science Fiction & Fantasy)
  • “The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin, in Cherry Crow Children (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Of Sorrow and Such”, Angela Slatter (Tor.com)
  • “The Wages of Honey”, Deborah Kalin, in Cherry Crow Children (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Story

  • “2B”, Joanne Anderton, in Insert Title Here (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”, Alan Baxter, in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2015 (Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”, Kathleen Jennings, in Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Look how cold my hands are”, Deborah Biancotti, in Cranky Ladies of History (FableCroft Publishing)

Best Collected Work

  • Bloodlines, Amanda Pillar (Ticonderoga Publications))
  • Cherry Crow Children, Deborah Kalin, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Cranky Ladies of History, edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Peripheral Visions: The Collected Ghost Stories, Robert Hood (IFWG Publishing Australia)

Best Artwork

  • Cover art, Rovina Cai, for “Tom, Thom” (Tor.com)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for Bloodlines (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Cover and internal artwork, Kathleen Jennings, for Cranky Ladies of History (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Cover, Shauna O’Meara, for The Never Never Land
  • Illustrations, Shaun Tan, in The Singing Bone (Allen & Unwin)

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • The Angriest, Grant Watson
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

Best Fan Writer

  • Tsana Dolichva, for body of work
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work
  • Ian Mond, for body of work
  • Alexandra Pierce for body of work
  • Katharine Stubbs, for body of work
  • Grant Watson, for body of work

Best Fan Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Illustration Friday series
  • Belinda Morris, for body of work, including Belinda Illustrates

Best New Talent

  • Rivqa Rafael
  • T R Napper
  • DK Mok
  • Liz Barr

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Rereading the Empire Trilogy series, Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Reviewing New Who series, David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely
  • “Sara Kingdom dies at the end”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Companion Piece (Mad Norwegian Press)
  • “SF Women of the 20th Century”, Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Squeeing over Supergirl series, David McDonald, and Tehani Wessely

Ditmar award results

The Ditmar awards were handed out last night at Swancon, the Western Australian convention that doubles as the National Convention this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t get over to Perth (Easter is a time where small children will not forgive you if you’re not at home to hand out copious amounts of chocolate), however I was watching along on Twitter.

I’ve summarised the results below. Note – these are what I gleaned from watching along with Twitter – any mistakes are mine alone!

A couple of notes from me. Firstly, congratulations to all winners and runners up! A wonderful field this year, and a very deserving set of awards was handed out.

The podcast I do some work for, Galactic Chat, was up for Best Fan Publication in Any Medium. We didn’t win, but the entry that did (The Writer and the Critic podcast) is one of my favourite podcasts, and a thoroughly deserving winner.

I couldn’t be more thrilled for fellow podcaster Helen Stubbs, who took out the Best New Talent award. Helen is a vibrant and energetic member of the SF field and it is wonderful to see her recognised in this way.

A tie for best novel is always interesting in a voted award. I’ve just finished The Lascar’s Dagger (review here) and I’m 1/2 way through Thief’s Magic, and both a very good novels. Actually, it was a good ballot for Best Novel – I’ve read or are reading all of them and I can honestly say I’m enjoying them all.

It was great to see Kaleidoscope recognised in the Best Collection category, and seeing fiction that recognises such a broad range of diversity being voted for in an awards process. If you want to see more of that kind of thing, you could also support Defying Doomsday‘s Pozible campaign – a collection of stories featuring diverse characters who are in a post-apocalyptic setting.

And finally, it was good to see the Atheling award for criticism go to another single topic essay. While I can certainly see the value in recognising people’s broader body of review work, it would be good to see more in depth analysis on a broader range of topics coming from Australian authors. Hopefully this award will help this trend continue.

Anyway, enough from me – Ditmar results follow (winners bold and in red). Note – the list below doesn’t include the results for some of the Ditmar-adjacent awards like the A. Bertram Chandler Award (Donna Hanson) and the Norma K. Hemming Award (Paddy O’Reilly for The Wonders with honourable mention to Lisa L Hannett and Angela Statter for The Female Factory) and the Peter McNamara Achievement award (Merv Binns). I’ve probably missed some others (for instance the WA award – the Tin Ducks).

Best Novel

  • The Lascar’s Dagger, Glenda Larke (Hachette)
  • Bound (Alex Caine 1), Alan Baxter (Voyager)
  • Clariel, Garth Nix (HarperCollins)
  • Thief’s Magic (Millennium’s Rule 1), Trudi Canavan (Hachette Australia)
  • The Godless (Children 1), Ben Peek (Tor UK)

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “The Ghost of Hephaestus”, Charlotte Nash, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “The Legend Trap”, Sean Williams, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Darkness in Clara”, Alan Baxter, in SQ Mag 14 (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls”, Angela Slatter, in Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3 (Review of Australian Fiction)
  • “The Female Factory”, Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter, in The Female Factory (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Escapement”, Stephanie Gunn, in Kisses by Clockwork (Ticonderoga Publications)

Best Short Story

  • “Bahamut”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Vanilla”, Dirk Flinthart, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Seventh Relic”, Cat Sparks, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Signature”, Faith Mudge, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work

  • Kaleidoscope, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013, Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Phantazein, Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)

Best Artwork

  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in Black-Winged Angels (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, of Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (Tartarus Press)

Best Fan Writer

  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work
  • Tsana Dolichva, for body of work
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work
  • Katharine Stubbs, for body of work
  • Alexandra Pierce for body of work
  • Grant Watson, for body of work
  • Sean Wright, for body of work

Best Fan Artist

  • Nalini Haynes, for body of work, including “Interstellar Park Ranger Bond, Jaime Bond”, “Gabba and Slave Lay-off: Star Wars explains Australian politics”, “The Driver”, and “Unmasked” in Dark Matter Zine
  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Fakecon art and Illustration Friday series
  • Nick Stathopoulos, for movie poster of It Grows!

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • Snapshot 2014, Tsana Dolichva, Nick Evans, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely, and Sean Wright
  • It Grows!, Nick Stathopoulos
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Andrew Finch
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Chat, Sean Wright, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Alexandra Pierce, Sarah Parker, and Mark Webb

Best New Talent

  • Helen Stubbs
  • Shauna O’Meara
  • Michelle Goldsmith

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Reviews in The Angriest, Grant Watson
  • The Eddings Reread series, Tehani Wessely, Jo Anderton, and Alexandra Pierce, in A Conversational Life
  • Reviews in Adventures of a Bookonaut, Sean Wright
  • “Does Sex Make Science Fiction Soft?”, in Uncanny Magazine 1, Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Reviews in FictionMachine, Grant Watson
  • The Reviewing New Who series, David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely

Some things I liked in 2014 that didn’t make the Ditmar ballot

I recently posted that the Ditmar ballot had been released, and focused in on some of the items that I really liked that were on the list. I’ve been subsequently dwelling on a few things that I would have liked to see represented in the shortlist. This takes nothing away from the nominees – they are all fine human beings and worthy selections to a woman/man. But if there had been an extra voting slot available in a few categories, there are a few endeavours I would have liked to see represented.

Coode St podcast. Seriously, when are these guys going to win a Ditmar? Jonathan and Gary come together week in and week out to bring some of the most in depth discussion of the speculative fiction genre there is, but as far as I can tell they haven’t ever got a Ditmar gong. Perhaps with their recent move to Tor.com they might get more recognition.

AntipodeanSF had its 200th issue recently and has been a stalwart of the Australian speculative fiction scene for so long, it would be great to see Nuke’s work recognised again. Maybe next year!

Horizon a science fiction novel by Keith Stevenson, mainly ’cause I liked it.

Ian Mond – I like his current project reading and reviewing award shortlists, with some emphasis on genre fiction. Maybe that will get him up on the nomination list next year.

So, what did you like that didn’t make the shortlist this year? Feel free to signal boost in the comments below.

Ditmars preliminary ballot – Galactic Chat!

The preliminary ballot for the Ditmars (Australian SF awards – a voted award not jury picked) has come out and I’m very pleased to say that Galactic Chat has been nominated for the Best Fan Publication in Any Medium category.

For new readers of the blog, I am a minor contributor to the Galactic Chat podcast, which aims to interview the people that make up the Australian speculative fiction scene. The podcast is led by Sean Wright (who is also nominated for a bunch of other stuff around his fan writing), and also includes contributions from Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Alexandra Pierce and Sarah Parker.

In 2014 I conducted two interviews. The first was with Ion Newcombe, the publisher of AntipodeanSF (which recently published its 200th issue) and the second was with agent extraordinaire Alex Adsett. I am very proud of both interviews – it was great to speak with such fascinating people and I’d like to take the chance once again to thank them both for subjecting themselves to my incessant questioning!

The full Ditmar ballot can be found here, and I’ve reproduced the list below (accurate as at 14/2/2014) with links to the embarrassingly few nominated books that I’ve reviewed on this site. I’d like to give a particular shout out to Sean Wright for his well deserved nominations, fellow podcaster Helen Stubbs for her Best New Talent nomination and other fellow podcaster Alex Pierce for her many nominations!

I should also note that I was interviewed for the 2014 Snapshot, which is a very deserving entry in the Best Fan Publication in any Medium category.

Best Novel

  • The Lascar’s Dagger, Glenda Larke (Hachette)
  • Bound (Alex Caine 1), Alan Baxter (Voyager)
  • Clariel, Garth Nix (HarperCollins)
  • Thief’s Magic (Millennium’s Rule 1), Trudi Canavan (Hachette Australia)
  • The Godless (Children 1), Ben Peek (Tor UK)

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “The Ghost of Hephaestus”, Charlotte Nash, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “The Legend Trap”, Sean Williams, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Darkness in Clara”, Alan Baxter, in SQ Mag 14 (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls”, Angela Slatter, in Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3 (Review of Australian Fiction)
  • “The Female Factory”, Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter, in The Female Factory (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Escapement”, Stephanie Gunn, in Kisses by Clockwork (Ticonderoga Publications)

Best Short Story

  • “Bahamut”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Vanilla”, Dirk Flinthart, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Seventh Relic”, Cat Sparks, in Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Signature”, Faith Mudge, in Kaleidoscope (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work

  • Kaleidoscope, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013, Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Phantazein, Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)

Best Artwork

  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in Black-Winged Angels (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, of Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (Tartarus Press)

Best Fan Writer

  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work
  • Tsana Dolichva, for body of work
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work
  • Katharine Stubbs, for body of work
  • Alexandra Pierce for body of work
  • Grant Watson, for body of work
  • Sean Wright, for body of work

Best Fan Artist

  • Nalini Haynes, for body of work, including “Interstellar Park Ranger Bond, Jaime Bond”, “Gabba and Slave Lay-off: Star Wars explains Australian politics”, “The Driver”, and “Unmasked” in Dark Matter Zine
  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Fakecon art and Illustration Friday series
  • Nick Stathopoulos, for movie poster of It Grows!

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • Snapshot 2014, Tsana Dolichva, Nick Evans, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely, and Sean Wright
  • It Grows!, Nick Stathopoulos
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Andrew Finch
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Chat, Sean Wright, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Alexandra Pierce, Sarah Parker, and Mark Webb

Best New Talent

  • Helen Stubbs
  • Shauna O’Meara
  • Michelle Goldsmith

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Reviews in The Angriest, Grant Watson
  • The Eddings Reread series, Tehani Wessely, Jo Anderton, and Alexandra Pierce, in A Conversational Life
  • Reviews in Adventures of a Bookonaut, Sean Wright
  • “Does Sex Make Science Fiction Soft?”, in Uncanny Magazine 1, Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Reviews in FictionMachine, Grant Watson
  • The Reviewing New Who series, David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely

And the winner is…

So, as regular readers of this blog know I’ve been helping out with a podcast called Galactic Chat, in which we interview people in the speculative fiction field. Usually authors and usually Australian, although not exclusive on either front.

Recently, our podcast was nominated for a Ditmar (which are the Australian national voted speculative fiction awards) in the Best Fan Publication in Any Medium category. It was a great honour to be nominated, however we were up against some absolutely fantastic competition (the likes of Galactic SuburbiaThe Writer and the Critic, The Coode St podcast – all of which are up for the internationally recognised Hugo award this year). I don’t know about the others, but I spent quite some time practicing my gracious loser face, in case the television cameras panned to me when they announced someone else won.

(What do you mean it wasn’t broadcast on national television? What about local television? You mean that was just some guy with his own video camera? Sheesh)

There were a lot of awards to give out (the Victorian Chronos Awards, the Ditmars and a few additional individual awards that defy classification), but MC’s George Ivanoff and Narelle Harris did an excellent job keeping things moving. Soon enough we got to our category, and I sat in the audience with what I hoped was a congratulatory grin on my face.

And then we won!

It was a shock, I can tell you. Sean Wright, our intrepid leader and absolute backbone of the Galactic Chat podcast, led us up on stage and before I knew it we were each being handed a trophy.

Me and my DitmarAs you can see from the photo, it is a very pretty trophy.

Sean and Alex did the talking for us on stage, but I’d like to use this post to thank my fellow interviewers (Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs and David McDonald) and in particular thank our fellow nominees – I listen to all the other podcasts and always take a huge amount of enjoyment from them and both fanzines listed have a long and distinguished history in the Australian speculative fiction scene. I’d also like to thank Jason Nahrung and Keith Stevenson, who were the very patient subjects of my newbie interview techniques during the qualifying period.

Congratulations to all the winners on the night, in particular Sean Wright who also took home the Best Fan Writer award.

And most importantly, thank you to everyone who voted for us. You know who you are.

For a full list of all nominees, you can go here. At the time of writing, a list of the full results hadn’t been published, but I shall come back and edit this post when they have.

Edit 11/6/2014

The results are on Wikipedia now.

Galactic Chat up for a Ditmar

So, the preliminary Ditmars ballot is out and a podcast that I contributed to last year (Galactic Chat) has been nominated. It’s the first time a speculative fiction project I’ve been involved in has been nominated for an award, so its very exciting.

The 2014 Ditmar preliminary ballot can be found here, but to save that extra click, Galactic Chat can be found in the Best Fan Publication in Any Medium category, which I’ve reproduced below.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • Dark Matter Zine, Nalini Haynes
  • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Chat Podcast, Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, and Mark Webb
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Those that follow speculative fiction awards closely may have already noticed that three of our competitors are up for the Hugo award for Best Fancast (The Writer and the Critic, Galactic Suburbia and The Coode Street Podcast).

Now just because we’re up against three Hugo nominated podcasts doesn’t mean we have any less chance…
(…checks facts…)
Ah, apparently it does mean we have less of a chance. Still, I like to think of us as a plucky band of misfits taking on the might of the establishment, and unless fiction has lied to me my entire life that means we’re almost certain to win…
(…checks facts again…)
OK, apparently fiction has lied to me my entire life. Ummm, it’s an honour to be nominated?
(…checks facts a third time…)
Yes, it’s an honour to be nominated.
Phew.
I should also mention that several of the Galactic Chat “cast” have further nominations.
  • David McDonald has been nominated for the William J Atheling Award for Criticism or Review;
  • Alex Pierce was nominated twice for the Atheling, is part of the Galactic Suburbia team AND was nominated for Best Fan Writer; and
  • Sean Wright, leader of aforementioned plucky band of misfits, has also been nominated for the Best Fan Writer award.

All nominations are very well deserved – its been a pleasure working with all the members of the Galactic Chat crew and it’s great to see them being recognised for their diverse talents.

The Ditmars are presented each year at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention, which this year is Melbourne’s Continuum, held in early June.

2014 Ditmar Eligibility Post Roundup

Last year I produced a roundup of all the Ditmar eligibility posts I could find.  The Ditmar awards are the Australian national awards for speculative fiction that are voted on by members of the speculative fiction community. The awards are usually attached to the National Convention, which is being held this year in Melbourne at Continuum X.

The nomination process for the 2014 Ditmars is open until 30th March, and can be found at this online form.

While there is a wiki site that contains a pretty comprehensive list of works that are eligible for the Ditmars, I also thought it would be useful to keep track of all the eligibility posts I read around the traps. Will keep adding in items as I come across them – feel free to suggest authors/posts in the comments below.

In no particular order (or rather, the order I happened to come across them):

I’m struggling to find other posts this year – seems to be less than normal. Perhaps people are relying on the Wiki to get the word out.

 

Ditmar eligibility 2014

The Ditmar awards are the Australian national awards for speculative fiction that are voted on by members of the speculative fiction community. The awards are usually attached to the National Convention, which is being held this year in Melbourne at Continuum X.

The nomination process for the 2014 Ditmars is open until 30th March, and can be found at this online form.

Follow the following link to a wiki site that contains a pretty comprehensive list of works that are eligible for the Ditmars. Well worth a look if you’re stuck trying to remember what culture you consumed last year.

Some artists agonise over whether to publicise their own eligibility for awards, concerned that it may be considered crude and self serving by the community at large. I hold no such sensibilities, so here goes.

Best Short Story

I have two stories that are eligible under the short story category:

You can still read both stories online in the Antipodean SF archive site – just follow the links.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

Last year I was lucky enough to be involved with Galactic Chat, a podcast which interviews people involved in the Australian speculative fiction scene. It was (and continues to be) a great experience. Sean Wright is the anchor that holds the podcast together, and I’d love to see him (and all my podcast colleagues) get acknowledged for the work that they do.

  • Galactic Chat Podcast, Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Mark Webb and Sarah Parker

Best Fan Writer

Well, theoretically you could nominate me for this award as well. But I’ve been looking through the eligibility list and frankly there are a lot more talented, and prolific, fan writers out there. But for completeness:

William Atheling Jr Award for Review or Criticism

I was quite happy with my reviews as a part of the 2013 Australian Women Writers’ Reading Challenge. So, if you wanted to nominate me for anything here:

That’s about it for my contributions to the field in 2013, meagre as they were. Stand by for more posts about excellent stuff I’ve seen and enjoyed elsewhere in the Australian scene. And get voting!

So… many… award… lists…

Work has kept me a bit busy over the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t had a lot of time to add to the blog. In that time, three different sets of Australian award nominations have come out (in chronological order of release):

  1. 2012 Aurealis Awards
  2. 2012 Australian Shadow Awards
  3. 2013 Ditmars

I’m not going to repeat all the nominations here (follow the links above), but I did want to draw out a few highlights.

Firstly, Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Nahrung have cemented their place as the Australian speculative fiction writing power couple by securing nominations in all three awards. In previous posts I’ve expressed my love for their recent work, PerfectionsBlood and Dust and SalvageAll three appear in this year’s awards, which is especially impressive considering Perfections and Blood and Dust were only released just before Christmas 2012.

Secondly, Sean Wright (or Sean the Bookonaut) is up for several Ditmars in the fan writing/publications sections. Sean is an excellent contributor to the Australian speculative fiction scene, made even more impressive by the fact that he does it all from a secret (1) rural South Australian location with dodgy internet connections. If you’ve not come across his work before, it is well worth your time to track down his site and podcast.

Thirdly, Antipodean SF (who published a few of my flash fiction pieces last year) are up for best fan publication in the Ditmars. It is amazing how many established writers I talk to who say “Oh, yes – Antipodean SF is where I got my first story published”. Ion Newcombe is an excellent editor and generous contributor to the Australian speculative fiction scene. If you’ve never seen Antipodean SF, I’d encourage you to check the site out. (2)

Finally, I really enjoyed Kaaron Warren‘s collection Through Splintered Walls last year. I can see the stories from this book (and the collection itself) sprinkled all through these awards list. A fantastic book, well worth checking out.

I’ve decided that after I’ve finished my current reading, I’m going to make a concerted effort to plug some of the gaps in my Australian reading using these award lists as a guide. What about you? Have you read much of the work doing the rounds in this year’s awards season? Anything stand out?

 

(1) The secret thing may not be entirely factually accurate

(2) I help out preparing the e-Book edition of Antipodean SF each month, so I’m not entirely without bias here.