It’s always an absolute thrill when something of mine makes any kind of list. Ultimately what we want are readers and thereby good book sales – that’s what a career is made of, after all. But recognition outside of that can be so incredibly gratifying and it’s good oil in the motivation machine. The thought that there are people out there who like my stuff enough to add it to recommended reading lists or put it on an award shortlist is outstanding. And with the announcement of the 2021 ballot for the DITMAR AWARDS – Australia’s genre fiction fan-voted awards – it’s a blast to see THE ROO on the shortlist for Best Novella or Novelette. The voting on this award is a bit different now, which is great to see. It used to be open only to members of the last and current Australian National Convention. This time, the voting pool has been expanded and it’s open to anyone who was a member of any National Convention from 2016 to now. That means that you have voting rights if you were a member or supporting member of any of the following:

Contact2016 in Brisbane in 2016

Continuum 13 in Melbourne in 2017

Swancon 2018 in Perth in 2018

Continuum 15 in Melbourne in 2019

OR (even though Covid stopped them going ahead) if you had a membership (full or supporting) for

Swancon in Perth in 2020

Conflux 16 in Canberra in 2021

So if you held a full or supporting membership for any of the above NatCons, even just one of them, you retain voting rights in the Ditmars. This is important, because the bigger the pool of eligible voters, the more accurately the Awards will reflect the views of the fans. So please if you qualify, have your vote. And if you see your way to adding your number 1 vote to THE ROO as Best Novella, I’d be beside myself with joy. This is the 8th time I’ve been a Ditmar finalist, but I’ve yet to win one! You can place your vote electronically here (which only takes a minute) or you can vote by email to [email protected]. Get involved!

Here’s the full 2021 Ballot:

Best Novel
—————————————————————–
The Crying Forest, Venero Armanno (IFWG Publishing Australia).
Hollow Empire, Sam Hawke (Penguin).
The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications).
Monstrous Heart, Claire McKenna (HarperCollins).
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin).
Poison & Light, Gillian Polack (Shooting Star Press).
Repo Virtual, Corey J. White (Tom Doherty Associates).
No Award

Best Novella or Novelette
—————————————————————–
“The Attic Tragedy”, J. Ashley-Smith, in The Attic Tragedy (Meerkat Press).
“The Roo”, Alan Baxter (Self Published).
Bad Weather”, Robert Hood, in Outback Horrors Down Under (Things in the Well).
“Flyaway”, Kathleen Jennings (Pan Macmillan Australia).
“The Weight of the Air, The Weight of the World”, T.R. Napper, in Neon Leviathan (Grimdark Magazine).
No Award

Best Short Story
—————————————————————–
“The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter, Elaine Cuyegkeng, in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (Omnium Gatherum).
“Hacking Santorini”, Cat Sparks, in Dark Harvest (NewCon Press).
“The Calenture”, Kaaron Warren, in Of Gods and Globes 2.
No Award

Best Collected Work
—————————————————————–
Rebuilding Tomorrow, Tsana Dolichva (Twelfth Planet Press).
The Zookeeper’s Tales of Interstellar Oddities, Aiki Flinthart and Pamela Jeffs (CAT Press).
Songs for Dark Seasons, Lisa L. Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications).
Neon Leviathan, T.R. Napper (Grimdark Magazine).
Dark Harvest, Cat Sparks (NewCon Press).
No Award

Best Artwork
—————————————————————–
Cover art, Keely Van Order, for Drive, She Said by Tracie McBride (IFWG Publishing Australia).
Illustrations, Rovina Cai, for The Giant and the Sea (Lothian).
Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, for Mother Thorn and other tales of courage and kindness (Serenity Press).
No Award

Best Fan Writer
—————————————————————–
Bruce Gillespie, for writing in SF Commentary.
LynC, for writing in Ethel the Aardvark.
No Award

Best Fan Artist
—————————————————————–
Lyss Wickramasinghe, for fanart on Tumblr including (Elsie, Hold On), (The Gem and the Other) and (Vesuvia Pride).
No Award

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium
—————————————————————–
Pratchat, Elizabeth Flux and Ben McKenzie (Splendid Chaps Productions).
Ethel the Aardvark, LynC (Melbourne Science Fiction Club).
The AntipodeanSF Radio Show, Ion Newcombe.
The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe.
No Award

Best New Talent
—————————————————————–
Nikky Lee.
No Award

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
—————————————————————–
Terry Frost, for reviews in Terry Talks Movies (YouTube)
Kathleen Jennings, for “Contracts and Calcifer, or “In Which A Contract Is Concluded Before Witnesses”: the transactional structure of Howl’s Moving Castle”, The Proceedings of the Diana Wynne Jones Conference, Bristol 2019 [paper published 2020]
Grant Watson, for reviews in FictionMachine.
No Award