Ditmar and Chronos Awards

As a part of Continuum 8 (and the 51st National SF Convention), the Chronos Awards (for Victorian speculative fiction) and the Ditmar Awards (national voted awards for speculative fiction) were presented.

The awards were hosted by Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond (of The Writer and the Critic podcast fame), who were very amusing. As an aside, when returning from dinner, David Golding, Sean Wright and I came across a very ill Ian Mond outside, who had ate something dodgy for dinner and was feeling quite poorly. After making a quick trip out to see if I could find a chemist on Lygon St, I was forced to return with only aspirin and antacid from the only place open with any kind of medical supplies – the local Woolworths.  While none of these items proved to be useful at all, Ian went on to successfully host the awards, so I’m claiming partial credit for a successful night.

The award ceremony went well and quickly. Unlike the Aurealis Awards, most people seemed to have prepared a few words which made the evening run more smoothly. Amusingly enough, the actual Ditmar trophies hadn’t arrived as yet so people were awarded with a squeaking, fluro plastic octopus trophy as a placeholder.

As with the Aurealis Awards, I’ve listen these award results in the order the awards were presented.

The first awards of the evening were the A. Bertram Chandler Award for general all round excellence. The award went to Richard Harland, a primarily YA author whose writing workshop I went to late last year. Richard wasn’t there to receive the award. Apparently we are all to pay out on him when we see him next.

The second award of the evening was the Norma K. Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. The award went to two recipients:

  • Anita Bell (A. A. Bell) for Hindsight
  • Sara Douglass for The Devil’s Diadem

There were also three honourable mentions:

  • Meg Mundell Black Glass
  • Sue Isle Nightsiders
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts The Shattered City

The Peter McNamara Award for long term contributions to the speculative fiction field went to Bill Congreve.

Chronos Awards

The Chronos Awards looked cool, clock type awards that were very aesthetically pleasing. Almost enough to make you want to move to Victoria.


  • Best Achievement: Conquilt by Rachel Holkner and Jeanette Holkner (Continuum 7)
  • Best Fan Publication: The Writer and the Critic Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Best Fan Art: Blue Locks by Rebecca Ing
  • Best Fan Written Work: Alexandra Pierce Tiptree, and a collection of her short stories
  • Best Fan Artist: Rachel Holkner
  • Best Fan Writer: Jason Nahrung
  • Best Short Fiction: The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt by Paul Haines
  • Best Long Fiction: The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines
  • Infinity Award: Merv Binns

SF Competition

Although the results of the SF writing competition had already been announced, the winners received their awards during the ceremony.

  • First place: Pattern for knitting a galaxy by Stephanie Lai
  • Second place: The Armour by Jessica Reid
  • Third place: Stitch the Sun by Liz Barr

Ditmar Awards

The William Atheling Jr Award for criticism was given out first. It went to Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely for their conversational reviews of the Vorkosigan Saga.

  • Best New Talent: Joanne Anderton
  • Best Fan Publication in Any Medium: The Writer and the Critic by Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Best Fan Artist: Kathleen Jennings
  • Best Fan Writer: Robin Pen for The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar (sorry Sean – you were robbed!!! Actually, the Ballad was pretty funny)
  • Best Artwork: Kathleen Jennings for “Finishing School” in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (although she had the only two nominations in this category so this wasn’t a huge surprise!)
  • Best Collected Work: The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines
  • Best Short Story: The Patrician by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Best Novella or Novelette: The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt by Paul Haines
  • Best Novel: The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood

Overall a very enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all the winners and well done to all the finalists.