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.


And then there’s this:


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.


A cover reveal

21 02 2018

I’m a bit slow to get to this, but the SpecFicNZ Te Korero Ahi Ka anthology I mentioned last month is now out:


Here’s the TOC:

Ahi Ka (Eileen Mueller and A J Ponder)
On the Run (Kevin Berry)
Moa Love (Aaron Compton)
An Extract from the Diary of Peter Mackenzie (Daniel Stride)
Friend (Grant Stone)
Backchat (Mark English)
The Lost (Gregory Dally)
Gatekeeper, What Toll? (Mike Reeves-McMillan)
The Dragon’s Friend Inn (Serena Dawson)
The Big Bad Wolf (Kevin G Maclean)
Breach (Robinne Weiss)
Mother’s Milk (Dan Rabarts)
The Eye of the Beholder (Kevin G Maclean)
Somnium (Gregory Dally)
Dance, Tiny Particles, Dance (Sean Monaghan)
Earthcore: Initiation (Grace Bridges)
Mid-Life (Matt Cowens)
Her Grief in My Halls (Alan Baxter)
The Music of the Spheres (Debbie Cowens)
Diggers (Sally McLennan)
To the Centre of the Earth (Robinne Weiss)
Big Enough for Two (Piper Mejia)
Why I Hate Cake (Paul Mannering)
The Mysterious Mr Montague (Jane Percival)
The Nineveh (Mouse Diver-Dudfield)
What You Wish For (I K Paterson-Harkness)
Dancing West to East (Simon Petrie and Edwina Harvey)
Selfie (Lee Murray)
Wearing the Star Cloak (Darian Smith)
Te Hokianga Mai (The Return) (Marolyn Dudfield)
Magnetic North (I K Paterson-Harkness)
The Iron Wahine (Matt Cowens)



I haven’t yet sighted a physical copy (and likely won’t get to do so until the launch at Conclave 3 in Auckland, over the Easter long weekend), but it is already available online at Amazon (paperback and .mobi) and at various other sites including Apple and Kobo (.epub and maybe .mobi again), so if you’re interested, please check it out!

A short list of shortlists

17 02 2018

Within the last 48 hours, the shortlists for the three major Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction awards have been announced. In chronological (and, conveniently, alphabetical) order of announcement, these are:

the Aurealis Awards shortlist

the Ditmar Awards preliminary ballot

and the Sir Julius Vogel Awards ballot.

I’m absolutely stunned to be able to announce that my Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body (Peggy Bright Books, 2017, edited by Edwina Harvey with cover artwork by Lewis Morley) has been shortlisted in a ‘Best Novella / Novelette’ category for all three awards.

I’m equally excited about the truly awesome array of talented Aussie and Kiwi spec-fic writers and creators documented in the lists: Alan Baxter, Grace Bridges, AC Buchanan, Nathan Burrage, Jan Butterworth, Octavia Cade, Adam Christopher, Thoraiya Dyer, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, AJ Fitzwater, Liz Grzyb, Donna Maree Hanson, JC Hart, Edwina Harvey, Talie Helene, Pamela Jeffs, Jay Kristoff, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Bren MacDibble (aka Cally Black), Lyn McConchie, Claire McKenna, DK Mok, Sean Monaghan, Lewis Morley, Lee Murray, Shauna O’Meara, Dan Rabarts, Rivqa Rafael, Robin Shortt, Darian Smith, J Ashley Smith, Cat Sparks, Keith Stevenson, Douglas A Van Belle, Keely Van Order, Marlee Jane Ward, Kaaron Warren, Janeen Webb, Darusha Wehm and, in fact, so many more. Best of luck to all concerned!

A couple of upcoming anthology appearances

27 01 2018

It’s been more than two years since my last appearance in a print anthology (the story ‘Trike Race’, co-written with Edwina Harvey, in the CSFG anthology The Never Never Land), so I’m thrilled to announce the following:

‘Dancing West to East’, a story co-written with Edwina Harvey, is to feature in the Te Korero Ahi Ka anthology edited by Lee Murray and Wolf Dietrich, and published under the auspices of SpecFicNZ.

And another story—again, co-written with Edwina Harvey—’On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus’ is scheduled to appear in the latest CSFG anthology, A Hand of Knaves, edited by Leife Shallcross and Chris Large.

These are due to come out, I think, towards the ends of March and September respectively (but further details will be forthcoming closer to release). I don’t, at this stage, have any details on the TOC for Te Korero Ahi Ka, but here’s a post by Leife Shallcross on the A Hand of Knaves lineup.


Announcing a Goodreads giveaway …

7 07 2017

… of my SF/crime novella Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body. Three copies of the print edition. Open, from now until 15th July (for a given value of ’15th July’ that will probably be 16th July in several places) for entrants in Australia and New Zealand.


For those interested, the link is here.

And in a more-or-less entirely unrelated circumstance, review e-copies of Matters Arising, and of Edwina Harvey’s new collection An Eclectic Collection of Stuff and Things, are currently available through Peggy Bright Books. For those interested, please contact and specify your preference of epub, mobi, or pdf version.

Now available for e-delivery throughout the inner solar system …

27 05 2017

Without wishing to be too annoyingly persistent on the subject of The Author’s Latest Work, a quick PSA seems appropriate. The e-book versions (epub, mobi, pdf) of my Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body and Edwina Harvey’s An Eclectic Collection of Stuff and Things are, for a limited time (i.e., up until the launch) available from the Peggy Bright Books website at the discounted price of $1.99AUD each.

Quick PSA ends. You may go about your business. Move along.

Matters Arising from the identification of a book launch

22 05 2017

A few weeks back, I foreshadowed the upcoming book launch for Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body. I now have substantive details of said book launch, so without further ado:


The launch is scheduled for 7 pm (AEST) on Friday 9th June, at Continuum 13, which is being held at the Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000. Entry to the convention for the Friday night only is at a special reduced rate of (a) a gold-coin donation or (b) $5, whichever one of these options turns out to be correct (and I’ve seen both listed in various places on the convention website, which I suspect means option (b) is the correct one and parts of last year’s site haven’t been adjusted). The launch is to be held, I’m given to understand, in the ‘Haunted House’ room. There will be nibbles, and beverages, but hopefully no poltergeists.


It’s a dual launch: the other book on offer is Edwina Harvey’s An Eclectic Collection of Stuff and Things (also newly published by Peggy Bright Books) a wonderful mixture of short speculative fiction ranging all the way from children’s stories to some decidedly adult content, with lots of stuff (and, indeed, the occasional ‘thing’) in between.

I’m thrilled to say that Master-of-Ceremonies for the launch will be Ion Newcombe, the long-serving editor of the Antipodean SF flash fiction webzine. The launch will be, in some respects, a reunion. ‘Newk’ has published a good many stories by both Edwina and myself over the years: my first speculative fiction publication, almost exactly ten years ago, was in Antipodean SF‘s 108th issue, while Edwina’s involvement with the zine goes all the way back to its very first issue in 1998 (and several of her Antipodean stories have made it into the collection—I’m hoping she’ll read ‘Where The Last Humans Went’, the latest such offering, at the launch).

So, a book launch. Now all we need, I suppose, are the books …