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Aurealis Awards, Canberra, Australia

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Aurealis Awards 2014

This year’s Aurealis Awards were held in a rather sombre Canberra. It’s normally a light, bright city, surrounded by mountains, but today we turned on the sad skies. This worked out rather well, because the awards are traditionally indoors and somewhat alcoholic. This year they were preceded by a writers’ day, which also kept people indoors, away from tourist hideouts and definitely out of the rain.
The ceremony itself was formal (as befits the national judged speculative fiction awards), but the two MCs, authors Sean Williams and Simon Brown, created a story that introduced each presenter as part of a timeline that went far into the past and beyond human survival in the distant future. Before our eyes, Sean nearly wept as he discovered that there was a time in the distant future when even his books would be forgotten… This framework of humour acted like sorbet. It gave each award its own focus, and the audience celebrated each Aurealis as if it was the first of the evening, with enthusiasm and warmth.
Speaking as a judge, the top entries this year were exceptional. It was an honour to read 64 books, when those 64 produced so many extraordinary volumes. I want to shout out to the hills “Read these books!” and “Read these stories!” The next best to shouting out to the hills is to give you a list of who won what. I’ll give you that in a moment. I want to point out first that two indie works (self-published) won their categories from very strong fields. This and the importance of small press for the production of some of the best work in 2013 is a gamechanger: the best writers are no longer going through major publishing houses.

Gillian Polack
And now – the finalists and winners are:
BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK
The four seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty Murray (Allen & Unwin)
Kingdom of the Lost, book 2: Cloud Road by Isobelle Carmody (Penguin Group Australia)
Refuge by Jackie French (Harper Collins)
Song for a scarlet runner by Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin)
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
Ice Breaker: The Hidden 1 by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK OR GRAPHIC NOVEL
Burger Force by Jackie Ryan (self-published)
The Deep Vol. 2: The Vanishing Island by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer (Gestalt Publishing)
Savage Bitch by Steve Carter and Antoinette Rydyr (Scar Studios)
Mr Unpronounceable Adventures by Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)
Peaceful Tomorrows Volume Two by Shane W Smith (Zetabella Publishing)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)
The Big Dry by Tony Davies (Harper Collins)
Hunting by Andrea Host (self-published)
The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (University of Queensland Press)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT FICTION
“By Bone-light” by Juliet Marillier (Prickle Moon, Ticonderoga Publications)
“Mah Song” by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
“Morning Star” by D.K. Mok (One Small Step, an anthology of discoveries, FableCroft Publishing)
“The Year of Ancient Ghosts” by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST COLLECTION
The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton (FableCroft Publishing)
Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press)
Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott (Twelfth Planet Press)
The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications)
The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins (Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST ANTHOLOGY
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Eds), (Ticonderoga Publications)
One Small Step, An Anthology Of Discoveries by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)
Dreaming Of Djinn by Liz Grzyb (Ed) (Ticonderoga Publications)
The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year: Volume Seven by Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Night Shade Books)
Focus 2012: Highlights Of Australian Short Fiction by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST HORROR SHORT FICTION
“The Year of Ancient Ghosts” by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)
“Fencelines” by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
“The Sleepover” by Terry Dowling (Exotic Gothic 5, PS Publishing)
“The Home for Broken Dolls” by Kirstyn McDermott (Caution: Contains Small Parts, Twelfth Planet Press)
“The Human Moth” by Kaaron Warren (The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Miskatonic Press)

BEST HORROR NOVEL
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)
The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby (Angry Robot Books)
The First Bird by Greig Beck (Momentum)
Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST FANTASY SHORT FICTION
“The Last Stormdancer” by Jay Kristoff (Thomas Dunne Books)
“The Touch of the Taniwha” by Tracie McBride (Fish, Dagan Books)
“Cold, Cold War” by Ian McHugh (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Scott H Andrews)
“Short Circuit” by Kirstie Olley (Oomph: a little super goes a long way, Crossed Genres)
“The Year of Ancient Ghosts” by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL
A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan (self-published)
Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette Australia)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (Jill Grinberg Literary Management)
Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT FICTION
“Air, Water and the Grove” by Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven, Pandemonium Press)
“The Last Tiger” by Joanne Anderton (Daily Science Fiction)
“Mah Song” by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing)
“Seven Days in Paris” by Thoraiya Dyer (Asymmetry, Twelfth Planet Press)
“Version 4.3.0.1” by Lucy Stone (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #57)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette)
Trucksong by Andrew Macrae (Twelfth Planet Press)
A Wrong Turn At The Office Of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge)
True Path by Graham Storrs (Momentum)
Rupetta by Nike Sulway (Tartarus Press)

 

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