Aurealis Award winners and lessons learned

Last night was Australian speculative fiction’s night of nights, with the Aurealis Awards Gala presentation. The third and final time in Sydney (next year it moves to Canberra) and what a night it was. It’s always a party, where writers, publishers, readers and more all frock up, drink too much and enjoy the presentation of prizes to the best of the best in Australian spec fic.

In some ways, last night might have been called the Margealis Awards, as it was a bumper night for the wonderful Margo Lanagan. But no one could be more deserving and no could be nicer and more humble while desperately trying to claw her way out from under a pile of awards as big as the Rydges Hotel. She took home no less than four Aurealis Awards last night to add to all the others she’s won this year. And she deserves them all. She also offered some very sound advice, drawn from the success of Sea Hearts: Don’t marry a seal, as it will only end badly. And be nice to all the witches in your community.

Let’s be honest, that’s sound advice we can all take on board.

Kaaron Warren also had a great night, taking the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story for Sky, which means she’s won the Ditmar, Australian Shadows and Aurealis Awards this year, all for the same story. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Both Kaaron and Margo are studies in stupendous talent being justly rewarded, while remaining about the nicest people you could imagine.

I also learned last night that event MC Scott Westerfeld’s name is WesterFELD when I would have bet money before that it was Westerfield. Colour me surprised.

I also learned that Nick Stathopoulos is the new Ray Harryhausen, thanks to the screening of his short film, It Grows. If you get a chance to see that, you must!

I learned that Cat Sparks can’t pronounce the name of her publisher, but there’s every chance that was wine induced momentary tongue-tiedness.

Scott WesterFELD also made a great speech pointing out that spec fic rules about every form of media out there, and Kate Eltham, utterly worthy recipient of the Peter Mac Award, pointed out that Aussie spec fic is a tribe of the greatest kind. But those last two things we already know.

I’m so proud to be a part of this tribe and inspired by the talents of all the lovely people who make it what it is.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. Here they are, with the winners in bold:

2012 Aurealis Award Winners

FANTASY NOVEL

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (Random House Australia)

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (Tor UK)

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)

Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (PanMacmillan Australia)

Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier (HarperVoyager)

FANTASY SHORT STORY

“Sanaa’s Army” by Joanne Anderton (Bloodstones, Ticonderoga Publications)

“The Stone Witch” by Isobelle Carmody (Under My Hat, RandomHouse)

“First They Came” by Deborah Kalin (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 55)

“Bajazzle” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

“The Isles of the Sun” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Suited by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)

And All The Stars by Andrea K Host (self-published)

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina (Walker Books)

Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

The Rook by Daniel O’Malle y(HarperCollins)

SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“Visitors” by James Bradley (Review of Australian Fiction)

“Significant Dust” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Beyond Winter’s Shadow” by Greg Mellor (Wild Chrome, Ticonderoga Publications)

“The Trouble with Memes” by Greg Mellor (WildChrome, Ticonderoga Publications)

“The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club” by Kaaron Warren (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing)

HORROR NOVEL

Bloody Waters by Jason Franks (Possible Press)

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)

Blood and Dust by Jason Nahrung (Xoum)

Salvage by Jason Nahrung (Twelfth Planet Press)

HORROR SHORT STORY

“Sanaa’s Army” by Joanne Anderton (Bloodstones, Ticonderoga Publications)

“Elyora” by Jodi Cleghorn (Rabbit Hole Special Issue, Review of Australian Fiction)

“To Wish Upon a Clockwork Heart” by Felicity Dowker (Bread and Circuses, Ticonderoga Publications)

“Escenade un Asesinato” by Robert Hood (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing)

“Sky” by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL – JOINT WINNERS!

Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney (Allen & Unwin)

And All The Stars by Andrea K. Host (self-published)

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Amberlin Kwaymullina (Walker Books)

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra (Allen & Unwin)

YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“Stilled Lifes x11” by Justin D’Ath (Trust Me Too, Ford Street Publishing)

“The Wisdom of the Ants” by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)

“Rats” by Jack Heath (Trust Me Too, Ford Street Publishing)

“The Statues of Melbourne” by Jack Nicholls (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56)

“The Worry Man” by Adrienne Tam (self-published)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Princess Betony and the Unicorn by Pamela Freeman (Walker Books)

The Silver Door by Emily Rodda (Scholastic)

Irina the Wolf Queen by Leah Swann (Xoum Publishing)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

Little Elephants by Graeme Base (author and illustrator) (Viking Penguin)

The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree by Gary Crew (author) and Ross Watkins (illustrator) (Penguin Group Australia)

In the Beech Forest by Gary Crew (author) and Den Scheer (illustrator) (Ford Street Publishing)

Inside the World of Tom Roberts by Mark Wilson (author and illustrator) (Lothian Children’s Books)

ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL

Blue by Pat Grant (author and illustrator) (Top Shelf Comix)

It Shines and Shakes and Laughs by Tim Molloy (author and illustrator) (Milk Shadow Books)

Changing Ways #2 by Justin Randall (author and illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)

ANTHOLOGY

The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)

Bloodstones edited by Amanda Pillar (Ticonderoga Publications)

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 6 edited by Jonathan Strahan (NightShade Books)

Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan (Random House)

Edge of Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris Books)

COLLECTION

That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by K.J. Bishop (self‐published)

Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody (Allen & Unwin)

Midnight and Moonshine by Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)

Living With the Dead by Martin Livings (Dark Prints Press)

Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren (Twelfth Planet Press)

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