Australian volunteer-run SF conventions surprised me with their numbers. Some 350 members at a con is considered a good turnout and the con is counted as large. In Croatia, SFeraKon attracts a thousand people and other are not far behind. Furthermore, smaller Croatian cons consider themselves unworthy of a guest of honour. Australians, on the other hand, will invite as many as four guests of honour for 300 member con, such as this year’s Swancon. The other thing Aussies have in greater number then the Croats are awards. At Swancon, I missed the Tin Ducks for some other very interesting programming. At Conflux, there were the Ditmars, which I got see in person during my GUFF trip. And wrote about here.
Last Saturday, at a ceremony held in Sydney, the winners of the 2012 Aurelis Awards were announced. Established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, the company that publishes Aurealis magazine, the Aurealis Awards recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.
The 2012 winners are:
- Children’s Fiction (mainly words): Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
- Children’s Fiction (mainly pictures): Little Elephants by Graeme Base (author and illustrator) (Viking Penguin)
- YA Short Story: “The Wisdom of the Ants” by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)
- YA Novel: tie: Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney (Allen & Unwin) and Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
- Graphic novel: Blue by Pat Grant (author and illustrator) (Top Shelf Comix)
- Collection: That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by K. J. Bishop (self-published)
- Anthology: The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 6 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
- Horror Short Story: “Sky” by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Horror Novel: Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)
- Fantasy Short Story: “Bajazzle” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Fantasy Novel: Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
- Science Fiction Short Story: “Significant Dust” by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Science Fiction Novel: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)
- Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence: Kate Eltham
- Kris Hembury Encouragement Award: Laura Goodin
There are seven categoris in all, although it is a bit confusing.
Five categories – science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult and children’s fiction – can have there two separate awards, one for novel and the other for short fiction while the two categories introduced in 2008, are such that this is not possible. They are the best anthology or collection category and the best illustrated work or graphic novel category.
This is a juried award, unlike the Tin Ducks and Ditmars, so it can be said it is similar to the American Nebulas. Works in every category are reviewed by a panel of at least three judge and they selects each year’s finalists and winners. This is very similar to the Croatian awards SFERA and Artefakt.