Last night or early this morning (all I know is it was in my inbox this morning) the Aurealis Awards nominees were announced.

Some brief thoughts:

(1) I see 6 science fiction novels, 4 of which are written by women. Wasn’t it proven on the internet with maths that women don’t write science fiction?

(2) Margo Lanagan features heavily on the ballot – and so she should – but where is Cracklescape for best collection? It looks like three out of the four stories in the book feature on the ballot. So was it deemed that as a collection it wasn’t substantial enough? Am I missing something here?

(3) Kirstyn and Jason will pretend to be all lovey dovey about appearing on the Horror Novel ballot together. They might even post something nauseating about it online. It’s bullshit. You can be sure that those smiles hide razor sharp teeth and the desire to rip each others throat out.

(4) The Best Fantasy Novel category has two extraordinary books that feature on my Hugo ballot – Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan and Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth.

(5) Like all good ballots, this one has produced a bunch of writers whose works I’m not familiar with. Specifically, Jo Spurrier, Nina Dโ€™Aleo, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Greg Mellor and Jason Franks. Anyone got opinions on these guys?

(6) I really need to read Jo Anderton at some point

(7) I think it’s brilliant that there are two anthologies edited by three women on the ballot.

(8) And while it’s easy to just pencil in Jonathan’s name in the Anthology category, I know he works fucking hard on those books. He’s not featured three times because he’s a world renowned editor. He’s featured three times because his anthologies are genuinely brilliant.

(9) Talking about brilliant, that Collection list might be missing Margo, but it’s still gob-smackingly good in terms of the writers featured. Martin Livings, in particular, is someone who I don’t think gets enough kudos for his short fiction. Also lovely to see K J Bishop back on an AA ballot.

(10) Also to The Brains, Hannett and Slatter, I really need to read your collection.

Finally, the above thoughts might seem like a bit of a love-fest, but genuinely I’m proud of the diverse and varied writers in this country and the work they produce. (I even read more Australian work in 2012, which I’m happy about). Also, like I said last year, it’s fantastic to see Australian small press thrive, ensuring that these diverse voices see the light of day. As an example, once it’s finished I think the Twelve Planets series will considered a landmark publishing event in our genre.