Posts Tagged ‘ditmars’

Here’s the Ditmars shortlist – some great names there.

Got a suprise listing for “The Piece of Ice in Miss Windermere’s Heart” (New Ceres Nights, TPP) – thanks to whoever nominated it! 🙂


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(snurched from Jason Fischer)

Looks like it’s time for Ditmar voting again. As this is the year of AussieCon4, it’s a great chance to showcase some antipodean talent.

Tehani Wessely is compiling a list, checking it twice, for eligible Aussies – it lives here https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AhAUWipZqrNWdFljalBZWmJwSnc1cTJVT2s0ZnlMLVE&hl=en_GB#gid=0

It also seems I have four stories eligible:

Light as Mist, Heavy as Hope
The Girl with No Hands

Other awesome eligibles include LL (Lisa Hannett), Jason Fischer, Peter Ball, Cat Sparks, Chris Greene, Deborah Biancotti, Felicity Dowker, Dirk Flinthart, Alan, Baxter, Garth Nix, Kirstyn McDermott, Gillian Polack, Kaaron Warren, Laura Goodin, Jenny Blackford, Lee Battersby, Kathleen Jennings, Lezli Robyn (also a Campbell nominee this year), Sean Williams, Steph Campisi, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Thoraiya Dyer, and Trent Jamieson.

Nominations can be made here http://ditmars.sf.org.au/2010/nominations.html and the rules live here http://wiki.sf.org.au/2010_Ditmar_eligibility_list

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Deborah Biancotti has done the world a favour by writing. She’s won Aurealis Awards and Ditmars.  Her short story collection, A Book of Endings (Twelfth Planet Press), has garnered attention both in Oz and overseas, and has bagged awards and recommendations ad infinitum (Look! Here’s a list http://deborahbiancotti.net/the/press/book_of_endings.htm), and been named on Guru of the Weird, Jeff VanderMeer’s Locus Online list of the Best of 2009. It’s a beautiful body of work. Her other stuff can be seen in various anthologies scattered artfully across the globe (including the original Clockwork Phoenix, Agog! Ripping Reads, Ideomancer, and The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction). 

Currently, she’s living in Novel-town, fighting with the neighbours, stealing their wheelie bins, borrowing cups of sugar, etc, but she still has other short stories she’s wading through – I have seen them. Of course, my disclaimer here must be that she is one of my favourite short story writers, taking a subject and turning it on its head, pointing out the weird but in such a way that it makes perfect sense for someone to be able to either make their own boyfriend (quite literally male order) or disappear into the bones of a city.

Her story in the Eneit anthology Baggage is Home Turf and once again, she turns things on their head and makes you think ‘Well, of course’. And she’s funny – did I mention she’s funny?

So, how did you get involved in Eneit’s Baggage anthology?
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s how all my best adventures start. 

What inspired Home Turf?
As soon as Gillian told me to write a story about the Australian experience, I thought: homelessness. There was nothing else I could write about. Australia has always made me feel homeless. I mean, sure I have the whole obviously-ethnic name thing, but as a kid I moved around a lot, too. Eventually we even moved states (talk about culture shock: can I request nobody ever does that to their kids, pretty please??). So I grew up without a clan. And the trouble — dare I suggest — with multicultural cultures is the very diversity they encourage can accidentally lead to isolation if left unmonitored.

Not that I want to be contentious, much.

Writing to a theme: super happy fun times or slogging through treacle?
The latter. Incidentally, did you hear about the Boston molasses disaster of 1919? More than 20 people died.

That stuff’ll kill yer.

Australia is basically a nation of immigrants, whether we acknowledge it or not – have we forgotten the fact that we’re all strangers here and has this affected our compassion for refugees?
I think that’s exactly WHY there’s not more compassion for refugees: almost all of us have these difficult histories. Stories of loss & back-breaking hard work & the kind of dangers or disappointments a misunderstood landscape can bring (think: British architecture in an Australian climate, for example). I think there’s a sense with the ‘regular’ people you talk to that they’ve bloody suffered, why should anyone else have it easy? There’s a fear that inviting anyone in will end up with everyone having less, somehow.

Reminds me of that moment in Le Guin’s THE DISPOSSESSED: there’s people on a crowded train & they don’t want MORE people on the crowded train, even though they don’t want to say that & even though some of them don’t even want to go where that train’s going. So they want to find some morally acceptable way to stop those people getting what they’ve got, right? But most of all, they just want to make sure NOBODY ELSE GETS ON THAT TRAIN.

I mean, I’m not saying it’s right. But I definitely think fear is at the heart of it.

Baggage is about the stuff we carry with us no matter where we go – do you think it’s important to be able to work out what needs to be jettisoned before you can move on?
I think what’s most important is working out how to live with baggage. It’s hard to get rid of it — even now I cringe when I come across something that reminds me of my earliest school days, for example, or something that reminds me of my last failed friendship/relationship/job/what-have-you. But nowadays I can cringe & keep moving forward. I call this ‘maturity’.

 With Home Turf, how much did the environment of Sydney influence the writing of the story? I’ve noticed the city often puts in very powerful cameos in your work!
I realised when I did a term of Environmental Psychology at uni that I’m pretty powerfully affected by the environment. Traditionally, that hasn’t been a good thing for me. (Try living in an ugly house for a few years with me, you’ll see how nuts I become.) But in the last few years I’ve had to admit that I love urban dwelling. I love the energy & unexpectedness & activity & history — especially the history — of  city living. And I love Sydney — that faded old-whore of a city, that desolate Christmas tinsel of a town. So now I just try to work with it.

I was particularly struck by one line in Home Turf: “Everyone needed to be named, to belong, even the dead.” Are our names part of our baggage too?
Yeah, I think so. It was a source of great amusement — and, it later transpired, despair — in my family that there’d be no one in my generation to carry on ‘the family name’ because we were all destined to be women, not name-bearers (i.e. men). That’s always stuck with me, that definition-via-name. A kind of pre-destined anonymity. Names are a marking of the clan. A way to say ‘I belong’. We even mark our graves with our names (except for some cultures that still bury women namelessly).

Of course, I determined to hang onto my clan marking. But then I also later resolved not to have children. So, the Biancotti dilemma remained. 😉

What part of your own baggage would you leave behind, if you could?
Right now it would be my burgeoning mid-life crisis coupled with an out-of-date adolescent angst.

And finally, and most importantly, donuts or danishes?
Doughnuts! Spelled the old fashioned way, & all.

Baggage edited by Dr Gillian Polack and published by Eneit Press is available at http://www.eneitpress.com/

Here endeth the blog tour.

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I arrived a day early, which was great because it meant I got to spend some time with the awesome La Belle Hannett, my fellow Clarionite and the other half of my brain. We found a cafe, Notcoffee (which provided much bacon) and talked; we talked a lot; then we talked a bit more. Her partner Dr Chad had cleverly acquired a set of earplugs to make sure his five days went smoothly.

So I guess if we just cover the highlights or Good Stuff that Happened:

The wonderful Sean Williams’ pirate party – an event filled with Haighs choclit frogs, munchies, drinkies, and much talk. It was also a great chance to catch up with Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Kate Eltham and Rob Hoge.

Notcoffee (for the second time) in Rundle St, where LBH and I met with the most excellent Peter Ball and Jason Fischer for a writing intensive. We wrote, ate more bacon and drank a lot of coffee and wrote a lot more. A major distraction – which I was lucky enough to have my back to – was a series of paintings on the wall. One of them the one we named ‘Baboon Goat Butts’ and I give it to you below:

A rocking dinner at Concubine in Gouger St, in the company of the superb Ron Serduik of Pulp Fiction Books (and Press), Sean Williams, Karen Miller, Jonathan Strahan and Dr Helen Merrick. It was noisy, it was fun and it was clever. And I had duck – duck for entree and duck for mains – had there been, as Sean suggested, duck ice cream, I would have had that. It was ducktacular.

Two hours spent with Karen Miller discussing novels – specifically my novels – she knows her stuff. Any time you hear the words ‘Don’t worry about making word count: you’ve got enough there for two books, maybe three’  is a good time.

Guest of Honour Julie Czerneda was superb. She totally rocked – she’s funny and smart and was, unfortunately, a bit underutilised.

Caught up with the inimitable Dirk Flinthart – this con was good coz this time he didn’t attempt to use me to demonstrate martial arts throwing techniques. And we scoped out a new novella (working title of Flying Willow) and generally did what writers do best: see who can tell the biggest porkies and exchange the most unusual and useless facts. [Ten points to Mac North, who managed to tell DF something he did not know … I don’t imagine it’s happened very often and has earned Dr North as much Jameson whisky as he can drink for the rest of his life.]

Jason Fischer provided the frog cake – which I must say was delicious. It was filled with cream and covered with icing is so thick and gooey it will stop your arteries.  And it inspired this t-shirt design by Jason’s mate Liam, and the Lovecraftian wordery by JJ Irwin:

Peter Ball’s launch of Horn – which both rocked and scared small children. It’s put out by super indie press Twelfth Planet Press. You should go and find it on the TTP website http://twelfthplanetpress.wordpress.com/.

Ditmary goodness went to Sean Williams, Dirk Flinthart, Alisa Krasnostein and Kirstyn McDermott amongst other legends.

Lowlights? All the goodwill in the world cannot make up for a lack of organisation. This con was almost completely uncontaminated by any kind of organisation. The program felt very much last minute and by-the-seat-o’the-pants. Panels had no designated moderator and not all of them had the ideal number of members (three panellists, one moderator – and ideally those people will have had a chat beforehand). For those of us who had people to catch up with, professional contacts and the ability to network, it was okay – we had the time and the place to catch up with folk. However, had I been a newbie, someone who didn’t know anyone and had paid my money for the con and the flight to Adelaide for an experience that included learning opportunities as well as the chance to discuss the state of the genre, I would have been a bit disappointed. This is to in no way denigrate the hard work put in by volunteers and the committee … a con is not an easy thing to do, it is time-consuming and can’t be done well at the last minute. Personally, I like organisation. I like certainty. I don’t necessarily cope with with a mid-range chaos factor, but I recognise that may just be me. But hey, everything happened that was supposed to happen; the launches were terrific, the dealers’ room was filled with books; the Maskobolo was superbly DJ’d by Sean Williams and some of the costumes were amazing. People were friendly and I guess it wasn’t intimidating – I was at the EasterCon Orbital last year in the UK and that was intimidating.

Ultimately, a good con had by most of my crowd; a chance to relax, chat, drink and eat too much, sit on our backsides and make up stories. And eat frog cakes. Huzzah.

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Results of the Ditmars are below … more comments will follow about NatCon, but that will be tomorrow when my brain is talking to me again … I only got off the plane an hour ago.

A. Bertram Chandler Award
Rosaleen Love

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism and Review
Kim Wilkins, an article about Australian fantasy fiction in the Journal of Australian Studies

Best New Talent
Felicity Dowker

Best Professional Achievement
Angela Challis, for Black, the Australian Dark Culture Magazine

Best Fan Production
ASif!, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Gene Melzack

Best Fan Artist
Cat Sparks for Scary Food, Paul Haines Cancer is a C*NT fundraiser!

Best Fan Writer
Rob Hood, for Undead Backbrain

Best Professional Artwork
Shaun Tan, for Tales from Outer Suburbia

Best Collected Work
Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann

Best Short Story
Tie between Margo Lanagan “The Goosle” and Dirk Flinthart “This is not my story” (ASIM #37)

Best Novella/Novelette
“Painlessness” by Kirstyn McDermott

Best Novel

“Tender Morsels” by Margo Lanagan

Peter McNamara Award
Sean Williams

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The Ditmar shortlist* is out and filled with talented folk and some very good friends (especially Jason and Pete, both up for Best New Talent) – congrats to all! Let there be frog cakes!

Best Novel
Fivefold, Nathan Burrage
Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, Simon Haynes
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan
How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalestier
Daughter of Moab, Kim Westwood
Earth Ascendant, Sean Wiliams

Best Novella
Soft Viscosity, David Conyers
Night Heron’s Curse, Thoraiya Dyer
Angel Rising, Dirk Flinthart
Creeping in Reptile Flesh, Robert Hood
Painlessness, Kirstyn McDermott

Best Short Story
Pale Dark Soldier, Deborah Biancotti
This Is Not My Story, Dirk Flinthart
The Goosle, Margo Lanagan
Her Collection of Intimacy, Paul Haines
Moments of Dying, Rob Hood
Sammarynda Deep, Cat Sparks
Ass-Hat Magic Spider, Scott Westerfeld

Best Collected Work
Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann
Canterbury 2100, edited by Dirk Flinthart
2012, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Ben Payne
Midnight Echo, edited by Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine, edited by Angela Challis
Creeping In Reptile Flesh, Robert Hood
The Starry Rift, edited by Jonathan Strahan

Best Artwork
Aurealis #40 cover, Adam Duncan
The Last Realm, Book 1 – Dragonscarpe, Michael Dutkiewics
gallery in Black Box, Andrew McKiernan
Creeping In Reptile Flesh cover, Cat Sparks
Cover of 2012, Cat Sparks
Tales from Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan

Best Fan Writer
Craig Bezant for Horrorscope
Edwina Harvey for Australian Science Fiction Bullsheet
Robert Hood for Undead Backbrain
Chuck McKenzie for Horrorscope
Mark Smith-Briggs for Horrorscope
Brenton Tonlinson, Horrorscope

Best Fan Artist
Rachel Holkner, for Gumble Soft toy and other works
Nancy Lorenz for body of work
Andrew McKiernan for body of work
Tansy Rayner Roberts for Daleks are a Girl’s Best Friend
David Schembri for body of work
Cat Sparks for Scary Food Cookbook
Anna Tambour, Box of Noses and other works

Best Fan Publication
Horrorscope, Brimstone Press
Scary Food Cookbook, edited by Cat Sparks
ASif! (Australian Speculative Fiction In Focus)
Australian SF Bullsheet

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
Dark Suspense: The End of the Line by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (in Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine #3)
George A. Romero: Master of the Living Dead by Robert Hood (in Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine #2)
Bad Film Diaries – Sometimes the Brand Burns: Tim Burton and the Planet of the Apes, Grant Watson (in Borderlands #10)
“Popular genres and the Australian literary community: the case of fantasy fiction,” Journal of Australian Studies, Kim Wilkins

Best Achievement
Angela Challis for Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine and Brimstone Press.
Marty Young and the AHWA Committe for promoting horror through the Australian Horror Writers Association
Talie Helene for her work as AHWA News Editor
Steve Clark for Tasmaniac Productions
Damien Broderick for fiction editing in Cosmos Magazine
James Doig for preserving colonial Australian horror fiction and his anthologies Australian Gothic and Australian Nightmares.
The Gunny Project: A tribute to Ian Gunn 1959-1998, Jocko and K’Rin, presented MSFC

Best New Talent
Peter M. Ball
Felicity Dowker
Jason Fischer
Gary Kemble
Amanda Pillar

(*snurched from Girlie Jones’ LJ)

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*snurched from Girlie Jones’ LJ (Apr. 21st, 2009 at 10:11 AM)

Pimping Aussie Short Stories today.

Here’s the collective Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth http://community.livejournal.com/lastshortstory/2008/12/03/ best of 2008 short story reading list:

The Last Great House of Isla Tortuga…Peter M. Ball (Dreaming Again)
On the Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves… Peter M. Ball (Fantasy)
As We Know It… Lyn Battersby (Borderlands #10)
The Metawhore’s Tale… Lee Battersby (Canterbury 2100)
Seven Ages of the Protagonist… Deborah Biancotti (Scary Food)
Watertight Lies… Deborah Biancotti (2012)
Oh Russia… Simon Brown (2012)
The Empire… Simon Brown (Dreaming Again)
A Thousand Natural Shocks… Simon Brown (Borderlands #10)
Neverland Blues… Adam Browne (Dreaming Again)
The Glass Girl Looks Back… Stephanie Campisi (Shimmer)
A Pox on All Your Houses… Stephanie Campisi (Dog vs Sandwich)
The Gnomogist’s Tale… Matthew Chrulew (Canterbury 2100)
Crystal Nights… Greg Egan (Interzone #215)
Angel Rising… Dirk Flinthart (Twelfth Planet Press)
This is Not My Story… Dirk Flinthart (ASIM #37)
Her Collection of Intimacy… Paul Haines (Black #2)
Creeping in Reptile Flesh… Robert Hood (Creeping in Reptile Flesh)
Unravelling… Robert Hood (Creeping in Reptile Flesh)
The New Deal… Trent Jamieson (Dreaming Again)
Machine Maid… Margo Lanagan (Extraordinary Engines)
The Goosle… Margo Lanagan (Del Rey Book of SF/F)
The Janus’s Tale… Penelope Love (Canterbury 2100)
The Constant Past… Sean McMullen (Dreaming Again)
The Funeral, Ruined… Ben Peek (Paper Cities)
David Bowie… Ben Peek (2012)
I Love You Like Water… Angela Slatter (2012)
The Hummingbird Heart… Angela Slatter (Shimmer)
Palisade… Cat Sparks (Clockwork Phoenix)
Ass-Hat Magic Spider… Scott Westerfeld (The Starry Rift)

You want to vote? One simply emails ones nominations to the committee at this stage: ditmars@conjecture2009.org

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