Fantasy

A Killer Among Demons from Dark Prints Press

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August 25, 2012

I’m very happy to announce that my short horror/crime story, The Beat Of A Pale Wing, has been accepted by editor, Craig Bezant, for his anthology, A Killer Among Demons, to be published by Dark Prints Press around April 2013.

From the website: A Killer Among Demons aims to encapsulate the deep, intriguing, and twisted tales that arise from the wonderful combination of paranormal/supernatural crime.

I’m very happy to be in this book and trust Craig to put together an excellent selection of yarns. I’ll post more information about it as I learn more. Now please excuse me while I Snoopy dance.

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In conversation with Gillian Polack

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August 16, 2012

On reading women, reading about women, categories and curses.

Gillian Polack is a fine writer, a fine person and a good friend of mine. You may remember that I reviewed her novel, Life Through Cellophane, a while back. Sadly, the publisher of that book, Eneit Press, fell victim to the Red Group/Borders debacle and went under. It seemed that Gillian’s book went with it. But, a literary phoenix from the ashes of corporate foolishness, it has found new life with the Pan Macmillan ebook imprint, Momentum. Now called Ms Cellophane and with a cool new cover, the book is back.

I got to talking with Gillian about the book recently. She was particularly pleased with my original review when I said:

I must admit that I felt a bit weird reading it. It was like I was hiding out during a secret women’s business meeting, hearing about things I shouldn’t know.

Mirror 6e 225x300 In conversation with Gillian PolackOn hearing this, Gillian said, “It’s a good reaction. You read lots, and this is the only book that gives you that sense. I get a lot of female readers saying to me, “This is my life, I read this and am looking into a mirror.” It makes me wonder why you haven’t encountered other books that give you the same sense. What sort of boundaries are out there and what sorts of restrictions do they put on us without us knowing?”

Alan: I think it’s largely to do with the types of books I read. It’s not that I don’t read books by women. In fact, on checking Goodreads, recently I’ve read:

Felicity Dowker’s Bread & Circuses
Jo Anderton’s Debris and Suited
Kirstyn McDermott’s Madigan Mine
Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts
Joanna Penn’s Prophecy
Lisa L Hannett’s Bluegrass Symphony

That’s just this year, which is a year where I haven’t read nearly as much as I usually do. But while these are excellent books by women, all with strong female protagonists and/or supporting characters, they’re not as much books about being a woman as yours is. So I wonder if I just don’t choose to read other books more like yours.

Gillian: My book was all about the type of invisibility that many women feel so yes, it wasn’t about a strong protagonist so much as about a very particular aspect of life. Can you pinpoint some of the things that made you feel as if you were entering a foreign universe – and maybe talk about how they differ from the approach you take to your own female characters?

Alan: I have a very simple, perhaps overly so, approach to writing female characters. I basically approach all characters as neither male or female, but simply as people. Of course, I will try to get inside my character’s heads and they’re all very individual people, but gender is only ever a small part of that, never a primary consideration.

Reading Cellophane, I felt as though I was getting an insight into the day-to-day miniutiae of being a woman. You do a good job of putting the reader in Elizabeth’s mind and it almost feels, to me at least, as though we shouldn’t be there. Of course, that’s a sign of great writing – feeling like we’re inside a character rather than simply watching from outside. And, equally, my male-ness is showing, simply because the process of reading your book came as such a surprise to me.

The best thing about it is that none of it was uncomfortable in any way – it was simply fascinating.

To go back to my own writing, I deliberately don’t try to make my female characters “feminine”. I use quotes there to indicate the insufficiency of the word. I don’t know what it’s like to be feminine. I know what it’s like to be around women. I’ve been married a long time and have many great female friends. I know what it’s like to interact with women and I know how they might respond to various situations. My author’s eye is always studying people and scenarios, subconsciously filing it away for later story use. All writers have to be great observers of the world around them. But I can never observe what it’s like to be a woman. Until reading Cellophane, that is. Because that’s something which gave me an insight I couldn’t get on my own. And while I read a lot of female authors – in fact, my favourite Australian spec-fic writers are all women! – I guess I don’t read very much stuff about women. So perhaps I need to know what I could read that would help me with that.

Of course, that also leads to a small problem. I hate “chick flicks”. I have little to no interest in reading books aimed at a purely female market. But Cellophane seemed to transcend that issue, so I guess I need advice on more books like yours!

Gillian: I don’t know where there are more books precisely like mine! There must be. Cellophane can’t be sui generis. I wrote it though, because I wanted to read books like it and I wanted the books to be speculative fiction. One of my publishers suggests that I’m like Anne Tyler, someone else suggests that the female-ness of my world is a bit like Alice Hoffmann, while Sophie Masson suggested that my first novel reminded her of A.S. Byatt. They’re all women writers who often put women in the centre of the story and are capable of working quite inwardly (though don’t always), so I’d start from them, I think, and work out. Ursula le Guin does the same inwards-out approach in Always Coming Home, but she’s more concerned with place and culture and change than with domestica.

There’s a lot of literary fiction written in a character’s head, where the internal view is key to the novel. There’s not, however, much speculative fiction that both takes this approach and focuses on the mundane. Kaaron Warren’s Slights does that, of course, but in such a different way! She wrote about someone quite terrifying and had me accepting, as a reader, that this was quite normal until we realised that this person we had accepted into our headspace was someone we wouldn’t ever want to meet. I really wanted to communicate the everydayness of lives and that these lives can be wonderful, and that magic doesn’t have to be the stuff of adventures and quests.

Alan: Slights is a great example of character, but you’re right, certainly not a particular example of womankind. More an example of arsehole-kind.

I think you hit it on the head when you say that you “wanted to communicate the everydayness of lives and that these lives can be wonderful, and that magic doesn’t have to be the stuff of adventures and quests.”

Is that something you’ll be exploring more? The street-level magic of the everyday wonder rather than the “big story” wonder? Will you write about Elizabeth again?

Gillian: I won’t write about Elizabeth again, but I will definitely be exploring the everyday wonder. In fact, I have a novel out there… It’s one of those hard-to-categorise novels, like Cellophane. Publishers are both loving it and not willing to publish it. This is a problem I face regularly, for there is no general sub-category for what I do, and so it’s hard to fit into a schedule. Personally, I can’t see what’s hard to categorise about a magic-wielding feminist divorced Jewish Sydneysider who is not speaking to her father. In fact, the short story that’s set after the time of the novel was published years ago (in ASIM), for short story markets are more flexible. It was listed as recommended on an international Year’s Best, and I have a recording of actor Bob Kuhn reading it, just waiting for the right moment to appear. People ask me about Judith, and I have to say, “Still no home.”

The cursed novel (The Art of Effective Dreaming – due to appear some time ago) is about dealing with the mundane world, how to escape it and what the implications are of such an escape, but of course, the novel is cursed (and contains dead morris dancers). It was supposed to appear several years ago, but the most extraordinary life events (hurricanes, earthquakes, computer failure, near death experiences) keep getting in the way. I find it rather ironic that a novel about an ordinary person should be doomed to adventures and not be seen, but right now, the story of the The Art of Effective Dreaming’s delays would make a rather good disaster novel.

Alan: Sounds like you need just the right small press for the Judith novel. I’m sure it’ll find a home eventually. I hope it does, because it sounds very cool.

And The Art Of Effective Dreaming will eventually see the light of day, right?

Gillian: From your mouth to God’s ear (to use a Jewish expression I did not in fact grow up with!). You want to read about the dead morris dancers… Actually, The Art of Effective Dreaming also gently takes the mickey out of quest novels, so I rather suspect you might like it. I hope you get to read it soon!

Alan: As far as I’m concerned, the only good Morris Dancer is a dead one, so yes, I’d love to read it.

As Gillian once said to me in an email: “One of the messages I wanted to get out there about my writing is that it’s not bad despite not fitting categories. So many people look for categories and assume that a novel is not readable, simply because they haven’t encountered its like before… for there is a public perception that there’s a gender divide and that women read men’s books but that men don’t read women’s. I’m beginning to think that it’s being reinforced through being assumed and would love to break it down.”

So get out there and have a read of Ms Cellophane. It might change your perceptions a little bit. It’s available now from Momentum.

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Tales From The Top Shelf interview

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August 8, 2012

years best fantasy and horror v1 web 200x300 Tales From The Top Shelf interviewTalie Helene has started a thing on her blog called Tales From The Top Shelf, an interview series looking at individual stories from The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror (Ticonderoga Publications), edited by Liz Gryzb and Talie Helene. Why? As Talie says:

…while you may correctly surmise that in the process of editing, I’ve read all the anthology stories over, and over, and over… there’s still a lot for me to learn about them! Because between what we bring as readers, and a writer’s intentions – that spooky space of story is mysterious and always open to interpretation.

I’m lucky enough to be first cab off the rank in this new series, talking about my story, The King’s Accord, which was reprinted in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2010.

Talie asks some great questions, about the story itself and about the themes explored in the story, the nature of fantasy and horror as genres and much more. It’s a good piece – you can find the whole thing here. Check it out.

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Genre fiction and the advancing world

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August 2, 2012

I’ve jumped into this one at the last minute, so a bit short notice, but if you’re anywhere near Sydney you might want to come along. I’ll be giving a talk at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts about Genre fiction and the advancing world. The talk is open to the public and free, so you can’t really go wrong. Here’s the blurb:

Many of the most popular novels today are genre fiction.

Covering everything from historical romance, hard-boiled crime and science fiction, through to urban fantasy and horror, genre writing is sometimes the victim of literary snobbery. But is that fair?

Alan Baxter, an author and independent publisher, will talk about what genre writing is and what it entails.

He will also explore how writing and publishing in all forms is changing in today’s rapidly advancing world, and what that means for a genre writer in the modern arena.

It’s on Tuesday, 7th August 2012, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, in the Mitchell Theatre. All the details here.

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Bloodstones ToC announced, including my story, “Cephalopoda Obsessia”

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July 3, 2012

blood stones web2 Bloodstones ToC announced, including my story, Cephalopoda ObsessiaI’m very pleased that I can finally announce this one. The ever brilliant Ticonderoga Publications has teamed up with award-winning editor, Amanda Pillar, to produce an anthology of myth inspired dark urban fantasy called Bloodstones.  The anthology is loaded with seventeen fantastic tales of monsters, gods, magic and so much more. It’s going to be an annual series, I think, and I’m very pleased to say that my story, Cephalopoda Obsessia, is going to be in this inaugural volume.

My story is the result of a daft Facebook conversation that occurred quite a while ago, about the psychic octopus, Paul. Remember him? He was the one predicting the football world cup results from his tank in Germany. If you want to know just what I did with that unusual character, you’ll have to get Bloodstones and read the story.

Bloodstones will be published in October 2012, in time for Halloween, and will be available in trade paperback and ebook formats.

Pre-orders for the anthology will be available shortly from Ticonderoga’s online shop at indiebooksonline.com, and on release from internet bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, amazon.com, and anywhere good books are found.

And I have to say, I’m in some stellar company in the book. Ticonderoga today released the full Table of Contents. The 17 stories are:

  • Joanne Anderton, “Sanaa’s Army”
  • Alan Baxter, “Cephalopoda Obsessia”
  • Jenny Blackford, “A Moveable Feast”
  • Vivian Caethe, “Skin”
  • MD Curelas, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
  • Thoraiya Dyer, “Surviving Film”
  • Dirk Flinthart, “The Bull in Winter”
  • Stephanie Gunn, “The Skin of the World”
  • Richard Harland, “A Mother’s Love”
  • Pete Kempshall, “Dead Inside”
  • Penny Love, “A Small Bad Thing”
  • Karen Maric, “Embracing the Invisible”
  • Christine Morgan, “Ferreau’s Curse”
  • Nicole Murphy, “Euryale”
  • Jessica Otis, “And the Dead Shall be Raised Incorruptible”
  • Dan Rabarts, “The Bone Plate”
  • Erin Underwood, “The Foam Born”

Behold the awesome. Can’t wait to read this one.

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Launching Bread & Circuses

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May 31, 2012

Further to my NatCon update post below, the cat is out of the bag that the reason I’m attending the launch of Felicity Dowker’s debut collection, Bread & Circuses, other than because she’s a very good friend of mine, is because I have the honour of actually launching the book. And that might be the longest opening sentence to a blog post I’ve ever written.

It really is an honour to launch this book and I just got myself a real, actual copy of the thing in the post this morning. Lookit, it’s lovely:

bandc Launching Bread & Circuses

So Sunday 4 until 5pm in the Drummond Room at Continuum 8. Be there!

(I better work on my speech…)

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Excellent promo video for Notions Unlimited

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May 22, 2012

You may remember a while ago that Chuck McKenzie had a Tuesday Toot slot here at The Word, talking about his new specialist bookshop in Melbourne. The shop is called Notions Unlimited and specialises in speculative fiction – science fiction, fantasy and horror titles, as well as related genres such as paranormal romance, media tie-ins (Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.), graphic novels, manga, roleplaying supplies, art books, non-fiction, and some esoteric titles. They have a major focus upon Australian small-press, with a great range of titles available, and have a commitment to providing a level of in-store customer service that guarantees the best browsing/shopping experience possible. (That’s from the website, so it must be true.)

This, folks, is the future of the bookshop – Chuck’s a great bloke and he’s setting a brilliant example.

They have a website here and a Facebook page here.

Anyway, Chuck has recently put together a promo video for Notions Unlimited and it’s excellent – worth a watch even if you’re not anywhere near Melbourne and have no intention of ever being there. Here, watch:

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2011 Aurealis Awards winners

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May 14, 2012

Australian Spec Fic had its night of nights on Saturday, with the presentation of the 2011 Aurealis Awards at The Independent in North Sydney. As ever it was an excellent event – top marks to SpecFaction for putting on another flawless presentation.

It’s always a great opportunity to hang out with old friends and meet a few people for the first time, or meet the meatbags of friends who had previously only been virtual. I really love the strength of this community and I’m proud to be a part of it. After lubricating at the Rydges bar, we all trooped to The Independent Theatre for more drinks, nibbles and then the presention, brilliantly MCd by the lovely Kate Forsyth.

Slideshow presentations by Cat Sparks and Rob Hood were brilliant (the cow being a particular highlight), but the real joy was watching the tremedous efforts of great Aussie writers get rewarded with shiny trophies, especially as some good friends were among the recipients. I also got to collect the award for Best Sci Fi Short Story on behalf of Robert N Stephenson, who couldn’t be there to collect it himself. I hope I did justice to his speech, which I read from my iPhone after frantically searching it out as I ran to the stage. There are dangers to live-tweeting an event if you suddenly find yourself required to participate.

I’ll repost the full shortlist below, with the winners in bold. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

FANTASY NOVEL

The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon (HarperVoyager)

Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)

Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)

Debris by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)

The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)

FANTASY SHORT STORY

“Fruit of the Pipal Tree” by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)

“The Proving of Smollett Standforth” by Margo Lanagan (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperVoyager)

“Into the Clouds on High” by Margo Lanagan (Yellowcake, Allen & Unwin)

“Reading Coffee” by Anthony Panegyris (Overland)

“The Dark Night of Anton Weiss” by D.C. White (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe Publications)

Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (HarperVoyager)

The Waterboys by Peter Docker (Fremantle Press)

Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)

The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)

SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden” by Joanne Anderton (Hope, Kayelle Press)

“Desert Madonna” by Robert Hood (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)

“SIBO” by Penelope Love (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)

“Dead Low” by Cat Sparks (Midnight Echo)

“Rains of la Strange” by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)

HORROR NOVEL

NO SHORTLIST OR WINNING NOVEL – TWO HONORABLE MENTIONS AWARDED TO:

The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette)

The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)

HORROR SHORT STORY – TIE

“And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living” by Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar, Gilgamesh Press)

“The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt” by Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali YugaBrimstone Press)

“The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds” by Lisa L. Hannett (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)

“Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)

“The Coffin Maker’s Daughter” by Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Quercus)

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Secrets of Carrick: Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith (black dog books)

The Shattering by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin)

Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)

Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)

YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“Nation of the Night” by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Finishing School” by Kathleen Jennings (Steampunk! An anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories, Candlewick Press)

“Seventy-Two Derwents” by Cate Kennedy (The Wicked Wood – Tales from the Tower Volume 2, Allen and Unwin)

“One Window” by Martine Murray (The Wilful Eye: Tales from the Tower Volume 1, Allen and Unwin)

“The Patrician” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

The Outcasts by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)

“It Began with a Tingle” by Thalia Kalkapsakis (Headspinners, Allen & Unwin)

The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)

City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

The Ghost of Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey (author and illustrator) (Penguin/ Viking Books)

Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)

The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen (author) and James Foley (illustrator) (Fremantle Press)

The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)

Vampyre by Margaret Wild (author) and Andrew Yeo (illustrator) (Walker Books)

ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL – TIE

Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator ) (Black Pepper)

Torn by Andrew Constant (author) and Joh James (illustrator ), additional illustrators Nicola Scott, Emily Smith (Gestalt Publishing)

Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops (author and illustrator) (Pecksniff Press)

The Eldritch Kid: Whiskey and Hate by Christian Read (author) and Michael Maier (illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)

The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)

ANTHOLOGY

Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)

Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)

Ishtar edited by Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 5 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan (Viking)

COLLECTION

Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)

Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)

Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)

Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

OTHER AWARDS

Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award went to the Galactic Suburbia podcast team.

Kris Hembury Encouragement Award went to Emily Craven of Adelaide.

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Ditmar Awards – you MUST vote

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May 8, 2012

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, but let me start out with a caveat: Yes, I am nominated for a Ditmar Award this year, in the Best New Talent category. Of course I would love your vote and, if you do vote for me, you’re a great person and you have my heartfelt gratitude. You’re also one of the cool kids. But this post is bigger than that, so I just wanted to get that out of the way early.

Here’s the meat of this post:

If you are eligible to vote in the Ditmar Awards, you MUST vote in the Ditmar Awards.

The Ditmars are a popular vote award, which means they’re a popularity contest. While we’d love to think that only the best work gets recognised, and while that certainly is a part of it, it’s naive to think that there are not other factors at play. People voting for their friends, or voting against people they don’t like, or getting together with pals and discussing who they’re going to vote for in order to consolidate their efforts and so on. Yes, it’s a type of corruption, to a degree. But it’s exactly how popular vote awards always have worked and always will. That’s just a simple fact. I know the committee in charge does all they can to make the process as fair and transparent as possible, but the very nature of the beast can’t be changed.

The only way to lessen the impact of that kind of activity and increase the likelihood that the awards are a balanced and fair expression of talent and worth is to have as big a pool of voters as possible so the activities of any dedicated and active few don’t dominate or skew anything. Therefore:

If you are eligible to vote in the Ditmar Awards, you MUST vote in the Ditmar Awards.

EDIT: Following this post I got a couple of messages which basically questioned whether it was directed at anyone or group in particular. It’s not. It’s directed at everyone. Myself included. I’ve chatted with friends about the awards and said, “So, you gonna vote for me then?” *wink, wink* They may or may not vote for me, but that’s potentially corrupting the result. We all talk about the awards, talk about voting and so on. That’s why I said above about how that’s just how popular vote awards work and you can’t change the nature of the beast. You can, by adding your voice, make that beast a lot fairer and a better example of merit. If you did think this was all about you, I can only ask: Narcissist much?

Eligibility to vote comes from being a member of this year’s Continuum convention in June (where the Awards will be given) or being a member of last year’s NatCon, which was SwanCon in Perth.

If you weren’t at SwanCon last year and can’t get to Continuum this year, but you want your voice heard, you can buy a supporting membership of Continuum here: http://continuum.org.au/join/ which entitles you to vote, as per the Ditmar rules. (You also get a copy of the convention handbook, your name printed in the members list (optional) and access to the Continuum members email list.)

Voting is incredibly easy, and the preferred voting method is via the online form. I just made my votes and it took less than five minutes. It’s as simple as filling in your name and email, typing a few numbers in a few boxes and clicking Save. You do that here: http://ditmars.sf.org.au/2012

Other voting options are:

The official ballot paper, including postal address information, may be downloaded as a PDF format file from: http://ditmars.sf.org.au/2012/2012_Ditmar_ballot.pdf

And votes will be accepted via email to: ditmars@sf.org.au

I’ll reprint below the full shortlist, so you can study that and think about what/who to vote for. If you’re not sure about any particular category, just don’t vote in that category, but don’t let that stop you from voting at all. If there’s any category that you have an opinion on, vote in it!

No one can complain about the results of a popular award if they were eligible to vote and didn’t. Only as many voters as possible will give anything like a balanced and fair view in keeping with the broader view of the community and fandom. So, hop to it!

Here’s the full shortlist for all categories:

Best Novel
* The Shattered City (Creature Court 2), Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperCollins)
* Burn Bright, Marianne de Pierres (Random House Australia)
* Mistification, Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot Books)
* The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
* Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot Books)

Best Novella or Novelette
* “The Sleeping and the Dead”, Cat Sparks, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
* “Above”, Stephanie Campisi, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt”, Paul Haines, in The Last Days of Kali Yuga (Brimstone Press)
* “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living”, Deborah Biancotti, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
* “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “Below”, Ben Peek, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Story
* “Breaking the Ice”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Cosmos 37
* “Alchemy”, Lucy Sussex, in Thief of Lives (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker”, Martin Livings and Talie Helene, in More Scary Kisses (Ticonderoga Publications)
* “All You Can Do Is Breathe”, Kaaron Warren, in Blood and Other Cravings (Tor)
* “Bad Power”, Deborah Biancotti, in Bad Power (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Patrician”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work
* The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)
* Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

Best Artwork
* “Finishing School”, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Candlewick Press)
* Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for The Freedom Maze (Small Beer Press)

Best Fan Writer
* Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus! and Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth
* Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews in Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus!, Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth, and Randomly Yours, Alex
* Robin Pen, for “The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar”
* Sean Wright, for body of work including “Authors and Social Media” series in Adventures of a Bookonaut
* Bruce Gillespie, for body of work including “The Golden Age of Fanzines is Now”, and SF Commentary 81 & 82

Best Fan Artist
* Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
* Lisa Rye, for “Steampunk Portal” series
* Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine Time, SF Commentary and Scratchpad
* Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry (tanaudel.wordpress.com) including “The Dalek Game”
* Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Programme Book

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium
* SF Commentary, edited by Bruce Gillespie
* The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
* The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
* Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sean Wright
* Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce

Best New Talent
* Steve Cameron
* Alan Baxter
* Joanne Anderton

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
* Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for “2010: The Year in Review”, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Ticonderoga Publications)
* Damien Broderick and Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (Borgo Press)
* David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely for “Reviewing New Who” series, in A Conversational Life
* Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely, for reviews of Vorkosigan Saga, in Randomly Yours, Alex
* Russell Blackford, for “Currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke”, in Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

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Damnation & Dames in my sweaty paw

By
4
April 30, 2012

tumblr m39zy1LLHm1rry0wno1 500 Damnation & Dames in my sweaty pawLookit! I got my contributor copy of Damnation & Dames in the post today. It features the story I co-wrote with Felicity Dowker (who you may remember from such posts as the one right before this one). Our story is called Burning, Always Burning and I’m very proud of it. It’s my first published collaboration, and Felicity’s, so it’s a pleasure to not only feature in another Ticonderoga Publications book, but to share that feature with Felicity.

And remember me saying in the previous post about how Ticonderoga are producing some of the best books in Australia at the moment, with some of the best covers? Seriously, check that shit out. That’s another sweet-looking cover. Compared to a lot of stuff coming out these days you could be forgiven for thinking that covers are deemed unimportant and can therefore be bland and unimaginative. But not with Ticonderoga.

I can’t wait to read this book, with sixteen paranoirmal tales from a selection of great authors. It’s available now, from here.

Damnation and Dames (tpb)
[978-1-921857-03-4 ]

edited by Liz Grzyb & Amanda Pillar

The anthology brings you sixteen stories of murder and mayhem, monsters and mysterious femme fatales.

324 pages

  • Lindsy Anderson – The Third Circle
  • Chris Bauer – Three Questions and One Troll
  • Alan Baxter & Felicity Dowker – Burning, Always Burning
  • Jay Caselberg – Blind Pig
  • M.L.D. Curelas – Silver Comes the Night
  • Karen Dent – A Case to Die For
  • Dirk Flinthart – Outlines
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter – Prohibition Blues
  • Donna Maree Hanson – Sangue Sella Notte
  • Rob Hood – Walking the Dead Beat
  • Joseph L Kellogg – The Awakened Adventure of Rick Candle
  • Pete Kempshall – Sound and Fury
  • Chris Large – One Night at the Cherry
  • Penelope Love – Be Good Sweet Maid
  • Nicole Murphy – The Black Star Killer
  • Brian G. Ross – Hard Boiled

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The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Misanthrope. Learn more about me and my work by clicking About Alan just below the header.

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