Beyond the awards event horizon

3 04 2018

This weekend just past has been a bit of an Australasian spec-fic awards logjam, with the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Tin Duck awards all presented at this year’s Swancon in Perth, and the Sir Julius Vogel Awards presented at Conclave 3 in Auckland. (In a wider context, it was also the weekend in which the British Science Fiction Association Awards were announced, and the Hugo finalists announced. So a busy weekend all around.)

It’s always good to see talented friends and colleagues achieve award recognition, and this past weekend has seen plenty of examples of that. (There are also, of course, plenty of examples of people whose talents haven’t been recognised this time around, whether at the award or the nomination level, and that too is a staple of the awards process.)

There are numerous awards over the past weekend that have gone to people I admire and respect, but there are two in particular I want to highlight. First, I’m thrilled to note that this year’s A Bertram Chandler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction went, on Sunday night, to my friend, editor, and sometime collaborator Edwina Harvey, for her professional and fannish accomplishments over the past four decades or so; and second, I’m delighted that the winner of this year’s Ditmar Award for Best Professional Artwork went to Lewis Morley, for the cover artwork for Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body.

Matters_Arising_cover_small

And then there’s this:

MA_SJV

which, as it happens, is the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novella / Novelette, which came my way for Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body.

I’ll just note that it’s never a good policy to retire to one’s hotel room just to ‘rest one’s eyes briefly’ an hour and a half before an awards ceremony, because inevitably a nap happens … fortunately the presenters re-announced the award, once I had actually turned up. I’m told it made good theatre, as these things go, but I did feel excessively foolish for sleeping through my own award.

Still, I got the suspiciously pointy object through airport security and home intact, so I suppose all’s well … and the New Zealand cons are always great fun. It’s a trek to get there, but I’ve always been glad I’ve gone. A highlight this year was having readers specifically seek me out to tell me how much they enjoyed Matters Arising, which in its own way is better than any award.

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In other matters arising

7 04 2015

Life goes on, even in the midst of a Hugo nominations maelstrom, and here in the Antipodes, the synchronised Australian and NZ natcons — neither of which I was able to attend — have seen the parcelling out of Ditmar, Sir Julius Vogel, and other awards, under considerably less contentious circumstances than have attended the Hugo noms.  The Ditmar summary can be seen here, and the SJVs here. (Yes, I know the ‘Ditmar’ link isn’t to an official results page, but it’s a source I trust, in the apparent absence of the official page at this time.)

Hearty congratulations to all the winners — I’m especially pleased to see, on the NZ side, SJVs go to Paul Mannering for his marvellously daffy novel Engines of Empathy (thoroughly recommended), to Lee Murray for her short story ‘Inside Ferndale’, and to A J Fitzwater for her well-deserved Best New Talent award. (A J has a novella — the cover story, in fact, in the upcoming ASIM 61, which has been upcoming for so long that I’m sure it’s starting to seem like the Cathedral of Chalesm. But the issue is, honestly, almost complete …) And there’s a long list of good names on the Ditmar sheet as well, but I’d like to single out the hardworking and multi-talented Donna Maree Hanson who has claimed the A Bertram Chandler award this year.