You’d think that with the Hugo nominees being announced today I’d get on the bandwagon and put in my two bobs worth. But jingoism precludes any sort of international award and so the Ditmar ballot comes first.

(1) I know I’d rather be cynical and sarcastic, but what a great novel list. Sea Hearts, Bitter Greens and Perfections – the three books I’ve read – are all worthy award winners. If I had to choose – and it’s seriously a toss of a three sided coin – my vote would be with Perfections. And this isn’t me showing loyalty to my podcast homey. Perfections is a magnificent psychological horror novel that really got under my thick skin.

(2) That said, Sea Hearts and Bitter Greens are brilliant as well. And I’m a little shitty that Sea Hearts didn’t get some Hugo love. (World Fantasy Award, I’m now looking at you). As much as I’ll be voting Perfections I see Sea Hearts winning.

(3) As for the other three books – well I’ve mentioned my shame previously of not reading Jason’s novella. The Battersby and the Anderton are books I own and are on the TBR pile (well, book one of the Anderton). Will I ever read them? 1,500 books in the garage aside… I can’t put my hand on the heart and say I will.

(4) I haven’t read the Ditmar rules, but I’m going to assume that Salvage is too long to be in the novella category. I’ve read Significant Dust by Margo and, unlike everyone else, didn’t like it very much. Bajazzle is my favourite Margo story from Cracklescape but it doesn’t appear. In anycase, the Warren is on my TBR pile (because I really do want to read all the Twelve Planet books. By the way, the cover to Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer is gorgeous). I don’t believe I’ve read anything by Simon Petrie – at least nothing recently – what are peoples thoughts on Flight 404?

(5) I’ve read Wisdom of Ants and reviewed it on the Last Short Story podcast. I remember saying nice things about it without being blow away. I’d be interested to know what you guys thought of the other three.

(6) While I admit I’ve only read one of the Collected Works – I think it’s safe to say that Australian small press is healthy in terms of the quality of the work produced. I also think that Australian small press should be proud in meeting the aim of exposing us readers to more work from female writers. Except for the Simon Petrie novella, every single nomination in novella, short story and collected work features a female writer or editor. I don’t believe this sort of representation exists anywhere else in the world.

(7) And… and… a good chunk of that work written by women is actually Science Fiction. With science. And everything.

(8) I’ve previously mentioned my love for Grant’s fan writing. Tansy… well she’s been nominated for a Hugo because she writes with passion and from the heart. Alex is one of the best Aussie reviewers and Sean… there’s no one more hard-working in the genre than Sean. He’s the Charles Tan of Australia, doing everything in his power to promote Australian work – and works from non Western cultures – through his blog and podcasts.

(9) I love Kathleen’s art but maybe we need to start considering parking a category if there’s only one nominee.

(10) Thank you Ditmar people for nominating Writer and the Critic and the 2012 Snapshot. But for me it’s Coode Street all the way. Jonathan and Gary have had an amazing year in terms of the breadth of people they interviewed. And after 138 episodes, their rambling is still worth listening too.

(11) BUT WHERE IS BOXCUTTERS?!?!?!?!?!?!

(12) Thoughts on Best New Talent? – coz I have none.

(13) As much as this is a strong year for the Atheling, Tansy’s article, “Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That” gets me vote. It’s a fucking brilliant piece that deserved its wider recognition on and body slams the notion that failing to have empowered women in medieval fantasy is OK because they didn’t exist in history. I quote:

History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth.

History is actually a long series of centuries of men writing down what they thought was important and interesting, and FORGETTING TO WRITE ABOUT WOMEN. It’s also a long series of centuries of women’s work and women’s writing being actively denigrated by men. Writings were destroyed, contributions were downplayed, and women were actively oppressed against, absolutely.

(14) Overall, it’s pretty hard to be cynical about this years Ditmar ballot. Jingoism gags aside, when I see a list as strong as this I do feel Aussie pride. Congrats to all!!!!