Monday, 28 April 2014

Ditmar Ballot (aka Shortlist)

The final Ditmar ballot has been announced! (If this sounds like slightly old news, it's because the preliminary ballot went up on Saturday, but I wanted to wait until the final one was ready.) The Ditmars are the fan-nominated and -voted Australian awards. The winners will be announced at the Natcon — Continuum X in Melbourne over the Queen's Birthday weekend. I've reproduced the ballot below but if you want to see the original (and if you're eligible to vote) you can do so here. Links in the shortlist go to my reviews.

Best Novel

  • Ink Black Magic, Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead, Robert Hood (Wildside Press)
  • The Beckoning, Paul Collins (Damnation Books)
  • Trucksong, Andrew Macrae (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Only Game in the Galaxy (The Maximus Black Files 3), Paul Collins (Ford Street Publishing) 
So as you can see, I've only read two of these and, other than Trucksong which is in my TBR, I haven't really heard much about the others. The other Paul Collins book is a bit of a surprise, not because I don't think it's a good read, but because it's unusual to see a YA (or younger?) book 3 make an appearance. Also notable is that Tansy is the only woman on the list and that only two Aurealis-shortlisted stories made the list (Ink Black Magic and Trucksong). It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • "Prickle Moon", Juliet Marillier, in Prickle Moon (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • "The Year of Ancient Ghosts", Kim Wilkins, in The Year of Ancient Ghosts (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • "By Bone-Light", Juliet Marillier, in Prickle Moon (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • "The Home for Broken Dolls", Kirstyn McDermott, in Caution: Contains Small Parts (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • "What Amanda Wants", Kirstyn McDermott, in Caution: Contains Small Parts (Twelfth Planet Press) 
I haven't read any of these, unfortunately. Caution: Contains Small Parts is in my TBR but keeps being pushed back by review books. The other two are also collections I'm keen to read when I get the chance.

Best Short Story

  • "Mah Song", Joanne Anderton, in The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories (FableCroft Publishing)
  • "Air, Water and the Grove", Kaaron Warren, in The Lowest Heaven (Jurassic London)
  • "Seven Days in Paris", Thoraiya Dyer, in Asymmetry (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • "Scarp", Cat Sparks, in The Bride Price (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • "Not the Worst of Sins", Alan Baxter, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies 133 (Firkin Press)
  • "Cold White Daughter", Tansy Rayner Roberts, in One Small Step (FableCroft Publishing) 
 So I've read half of this category and I'm familiar with the authors in the other half, if not those particular stories. A very strong category; it would be hard to rank.

Best Collected Work

  • The Back of the Back of Beyond, Edwina Harvey, edited by Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)
  • Asymmetry, Thoraiya Dyer, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Caution: Contains Small Parts, Kirstyn McDermott, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, Joanne Anderton, edited by Tehani Wesseley (FableCroft Publishing)
  • The Bride Price, Cat Sparks, edited by Russell B. Farr (Ticonderoga Publications) 
An interestingly similar list to the previous two categories. This category theoretically also includes anthologies, so it's interesting to see that none have made the cut, only single-author collections. Most notably absent, I'd say, is One Small Step, since it won (drew) the Aurealis and had a shortlisted story in the previous category.

Best Artwork

  • Cover art, Eleanor Clarke, for The Back of the Back of Beyond by Edwina Harvey (Peggy Bright Books)
  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, for Eclipse Online (Nightshade Books)
  • Cover art, Shauna O'Meara, for Next edited by Simon Petrie and Rob Porteous (CSFG Publishing)
  • Cover art, Cat Sparks, for The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
  • Cover art, Pia Ravenari, for Prickle Moon by Juliet Marillier (Ticonderoga Publications) 
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan, is a book filled with illustrations while the others are more one-off things apart from the Kathleen Jennings illustrations. It definitely feels like comparing apples and oranges.

Best Fan Writer (!!!)

  • Tsana Dolichva, for body of work, including reviews and interviews in Tsana's Reads and Reviews
  • Sean Wright, for body of work, including reviews in Adventures of a Bookonaut
  • Grant Watson, for body of work, including reviews in The Angriest
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work, including reviews in Shattersnipe: Malcontent & Rainbows
  • Alexandra Pierce, for body of work, including reviews in Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work, including essays and reviews at
Well this category, as you might imagine, contained a pleasant surprise. And I'm in impressive company too. Tansy won the Hugo and the Ditmar for Fan Writer last year and Foz is shortlisted for the Hugo this year as well. The others have all been at least shortlisted for this Ditmar before. I am grateful to be included in this category and very flattered that people like my blog enough to nominate me.

Best Fan Artist

Links above to the relevant arts online. The only disappointment in this category is that it's so small, albeit three times the size of last year.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • Dark Matter Zine, Nalini Haynes
  • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Chat Podcast, Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, and Mark Webb
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts 
A strong category. Again, comparing podcasts and fanzines feels a bit odd, but I see how it makes sense in this category. Another one that would be hard to rank.

Best New Talent

  • Michelle Goldsmith
  • Zena Shapter
  • Faith Mudge
  • Jo Spurrier
  • Stacey Larner 
A great list. (And all female.) I would personally be putting Jo Spurrier first, because I absolutely adore her books. Zena Shapter and Faith Mudge have been doing some interesting things, but I'm not as familiar with the other two writers.

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Reviews in Randomly Yours, Alex, Alexandra Pierce
  • "Things Invisible: Human and Ab-Human in Two of Hodgson's Carnacki stories", Leigh Blackmore, in Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies #1 edited by Sam Gafford (Ulthar Press)
  • Galactic Suburbia Episode 87: Saga Spoilerific Book Club, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Reviewing New Who series, David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely
  • "A Puppet's Parody of Joy: Dolls, Puppets and Mannikins as Diabolical Other", Leigh Blackmore, in Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Master of Modern Horror edited by Gary William Crawford (Scarecrow Press)
  • "That was then, this is now: how my perceptions have changed", George Ivanoff, in Doctor Who and Race edited by Lindy Orthia (Intellect Books) 
Another interesting field. Almost none of which I've read (well, I've read some of Alex Pierce's reviews and some of the Reviewing New Who reviews). I haven't even listened to that specific Galactic Suburbia episode because I haven't read Saga. No commentary on this one.

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