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Mar 21

Some Brief Thoughts on the Aurealis Awards Nominations

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 D’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.

22 comments

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  1. Tansy Rayner Roberts (@tansyrr)

    6) I believe Jo’s first collection is currently available for pre-order at Fablecroft
    5) Nina is interviewed on Sean the Blogonaut’s new podcast and also appeared recently on Momentum’s podcast, Podmentum.
    3) RAZOR RAZOR SHARP

    1. Mondyboy

      Ooooo yes must get Jo’s collection. And I’m so behind in my podcasting that I haven’t caught up with Sean’s.

      And oh yeah – RAZOR!!!!

  2. Joris M

    2) Really weird indeed
    3) Surely a plot by the competition? Split the vote there and perhaps sneak away with the win. (perhaps less likely with this juried system)

    1. Mondyboy

      Yeah, less likely about then splitting votes. And the decisions probably already been made, so ripping the others throat out wont help. But, you know…

  3. Tsana

    Jo Spurrier’s first novel (the nominated one) is excellent fantasy set in a world with lots of cold and piles of snow.

    1. Mondyboy

      Thank you. I’ll check it out.

  4. jason nahrung

    3) Much like any night. It’s only the amount of wine that varies ;)=
    5) I’ve seen Jason Franks’ graphic novel work (just this year at Oz HorrorCon) and it rocks. Have yet to read Bloody Waters (cool name, promising blues element there); Kwaymullina is on my TBR/AWWRC rev pile. The rest is undiscovered country, but that’s what awards are for, right?

    1. Mondyboy

      The best award ballot – like the Shirley Jackson – find these authors you’ve never heard of who then become favourites.

      And don’t blame wine Nahrung. I’ve seen the way the two of you look at each other. Some would call it love. I would call it repressed violence… Hehehehe

  5. seantheblogonaut

    I listen to everything Mondy does and how does he treat me… I feel so….rejected, hurt…sniff πŸ˜€

    1. Mondyboy

      Wait, how did I reject you. You know I love you.

      1. seantheblogonaut

        Swoon πŸ˜‰

        1. Mondyboy

          See, I told you I loved you!

          1. seantheblogonaut

            Just so you know I am imagining Peter Cetera singing The Glory of Love as the soundtrack to this tangeant

            1. Mondyboy

              Your such an old man. Peter Cetera indeed

              1. seantheblogonaut

                That song is a classic :D. And I thought you like power ballads anyway πŸ˜€

                1. Michelle Goldsmith

                  Did I just hear you both volunteer to run a ‘Motivational Power Ballard’ workshop at Continuum? I swear I did!

                  1. Mondyboy

                    It would become far too nauseous if we did

                  2. seantheblogonaut

                    @Michelle there’s a reason why you haven’t heard me sing πŸ˜€

  6. Michelle Goldsmith

    Dammit! I commented on the livejournal not realising the real action was here! πŸ˜›

    Oh well, now I know I might comment again.

    Nice to hear your thoughts on the short list!

    Overall I liked it! Two out of the three books I’ve read* in the fantasy novel category (coincidentally the ones you loved) I would have been disappointed not to see on there.
    Many of the short stories and novellas on the list were some of my favourites too.

    *To be honest, although I say I read 3 I didn’t finish the other one. Although now I may give it another try at some stage.

    As for the writers you don’t know, I’ve read the Ambelin Kwaymullina novel and the Greg Mellor stories. ‘The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf’ was an interesting science fiction/fantasy read aimed at the young adult market, with some nice elements of dreamtime mythology worked in. The Mellor stories were some of the original ones from his collection and were very good but not my personal favourites in the book (I liked some of the reprints best). I’m pretty sure the Jo Spurrier one is a debut, and I’ve heard some good things about it although it’s still on my to-read mountain.

    You really should read the Jo Anderton stories. They were great!

    Michelle

    1. Mondyboy

      Thanks for the info Michelle. I like it when people comment on the WordPress, because that’s what I check mostly. But you’ve reminded me that I should pay more attention to the LJ.

  7. Michelle Goldsmith

    3) Also, I can’t be the only one who envisages Kirstyn and Jason’s house as containing a room (probably the bedroom as I hear that’s where Kirstyn keeps her squeaky Ditmar octopus, and also because it adds an extra level of disturbing) where on one wall are displayed all Kirstyn’s awards and trophies and on the other side are Jason’s. All just staring passive aggressively at each other with their engraved visages, facing each other off from across the room. And Kirstyn and Jason both know what’s going on but neither will ever mention it…

    Or did I just put way too much thought into that? Possibly, neither of them (or possibly anyone else) will ever speak to me again. πŸ˜›

    1. Mondyboy

      Nah that about summarises it.

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