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News before 26-Oct-00 16:53 >

Aurealis Update
Aurealis magazine has asked all the contributors to its issue #27, scheduled for June 2001, to accept no payment.

According to a statement issued by Chimaera Publications, the effects of the GST, problems with their internet server and the fact that Aurealis missed out on grant funding for a second year in a row mean that the magazine has had to tighten its belt for the first half of 2001.

According to the statement, the non-payment applies to issue #27 only, and Aurealis remains committed to paying its usual $20 per 1000 words from issue #28 on, when cash-flow problems connected with the GST are expected to ease, website-related problems will have settled down and the resumption of grant funding is likely.

Chimaera have announced a new—although possibly temporary—address for the Aurealis website: www.sf.org.au/aurealis.


(28/01/01)

Williams & Dix Successful Exports
The South Australian writing team of Sean Williams and Shane Dix have just seen Japanese language rights to their Evergence series sold to Hiyakawa. The news follows closely on sales of the series to Ast in Russia and Navrat in Czechoslovakia. All three books are due to be reprinted by UK-based FPR books in April.
(28/01/01)

Aurealis Awards Shortlisted
The conveners of the Aurealis Awards have released the shortlists for the 2000 AAs (with the exception of the SF short fiction category) and announced a date for the awards ceremony.

The shortlists for each of the four divisions and the convener's award are as follows:

Division A: Science Fiction

Best Novel
  • The Deep Field by James Bradley (Sceptre)
  • The Miocene Arrow by Sean McMullen (Tor)
  • Evergence 2: The Dying Light by Sean Williams and Shane Dix (HarperCollins / Voyager)
  • Sea As Mirror by Tess Williams (HarperCollins / Voyager)
Best Short Story
  • Shortlist still to come
(Judges: Dianne DeBellis, Van Ikin, Paul Voermans)

Division B: Fantasy

Best Novel
  • The Nameless Day by Sara Douglass (HarperCollins / Voyager)
  • The Darkness by Anthony Eaton (UQP)
  • Medalon by Jennifer Fallon (HarperCollins / Voyager)
  • Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan)
  • Vixen by Hoa Pham (Hodder Headline / Sceptre)
Best Short Story
  • "Goddess and the Geek" by Louise Cusack (Mystery, Magic, Voodoo & The Holy Grail, HarperCollins)
  • "The Fruits of Habit" by Chris Kenworthy (Altair #6/7)
  • "The Boy Who Didn’t Yearn" by Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
  • "The World According to Kipling (A Plain Tale from the Hills)" by Geoffrey Maloney (Aurealis #25/26)
  • "The Left Behind" by Kaaron Warren (Orb #1)
(Judges: Marian Foster, Peter McNamara, Helen Patrice)

Division C: Horror

Best Novel
  • Blackwater Days by Terry Dowling (Eidolon Publications)
  • The Resurrectionists by Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)
Best Short Story
  • "The First and Final Game" by Deborah Biancotti (Altair #6/7)
  • "Marilyn" by Jack Dann (Eidolon #29/30)
  • "A Sentiment Open To Doubt" by Stephen Dedman (Ticonderoga On-line)
  • "That Old Black Graffiti" by Robert Hood (Tales from the Wasteland, Hodder Headline)
  • "Sewercide" by Michael Pryor (Aurealis #25/26)
(Judges: Russell B. Farr, Richard Harland, Sophie Masson)

Division D: Young Adult

Best Novel
  • Horsehead Soup by Rory Barnes (HarperCollins)
  • Ferren and the Angel by Richard Harland (Penguin)
  • Omega by Christine Harris (Random House)
  • Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin)
  • The Green Prince by Sophie Masson (Hodder Headline)
Best Short Story
  • "Avalon" by Brian Caswell (Tales from the Wasteland, Hodder Headline)
  • "The Boy Who Didn’t Yearn" by Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
  • "Midsummer Mission" by Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
  • "The Queen’s Notice" by Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
  • "White Time" by Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
(Judges: John Cohen, Marianne Jablon, Rosaleen Love, Pam McIntyre)

Convenor's Award

  • Transrealist Fiction—Writing in the Slipstream of Science by Damien Broderick (Greenwood Press)
  • Spinouts—Bronze edited by Paul Collins and Meredith Costain (Pearson Education)
  • SF Commentary #76 (The Unrelenting Gaze—George Turner, Non-fiction: A Selection) edited by Bruce Gillespie (Bruce Gillespie)
  • White Time by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan (Lothian Books)
(The convenors for 2000 are Russell B Farr, Sophie Masson, Rob Riel, Keith Stevenson and Dirk Strasser.)

The press release invites "writers, publishers, fans, and anyone else who is interested" to the Awards Ceremony on on Friday 2 March, from 6.00pm-8.00pm at Borders Books and Music, The Jam Factory, 500 Chapel Street (cnr Chapel and Garden), South Yarra, Victoria.


(28/01/01)

Antipodean SF turns Three
Ian Newcombe's flash fiction webzine Antipodean SF celebrates its third birthday this month, with five fine genre short-shorts by Australians.

Antipodean SF #35 revives the idea of readers voting online for their favourite stories, and Newcombe's regular editorial Ionospherics promises that the most popular choices will find their way into a future print anthology.

The Australian stories in #35 are:


(28/01/01)

Australians in the 2000 Year's Bests
Three Australian short stories published in 2000 will be reprinted in the big US-based international Year's Best anthologies. The 14th Edition of Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling's The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror will reprint Jack Dann's "Marilyn" (Eidolon #29/30) and Terry Dowling's "Basic Black" (Blackwater Days), and David Hartwell has picked up Stephen Dedman's "The Devotee" (Eidolon #29/30) for Year's Best Science Fiction #6.
(28/01/01)

Nix's long-awaited Lirael due in March
Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr (pb, 444pp, $16.95), sequel to Garth Nix's acclaimed Sabriel, will be a March 2001 paperback from Allen and Unwin Children's line.

According to the press release "Lirael is a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny and danger from an exceptional fantasy talent."

Lirael, daughter of the Clayr, is set apart from her kin because she lacks the gift of Sight. Working alone in the Great Library in their icy mountain home, she has perfected powers of Charter Magic that few can match, but still she yearns to claim her birthright.

Prince Sameth, son of the great Abhorsen Sabriel, has been trained from birth in the arts of necromancy—trained to combat the Dead. But duty weighs heavily on him, and he longs to escape his destiny.

Now an ancient evil is stirring. Necromancers and their Shadow Hands are abroad once more in the Old Kingdom. Lirael and Sameth, with their eccentric companions, the Disreputable Dog and Moggett, find their paths converging in a desperate mission to protect the Royal Family, the Clayr, even the boundary between Life and Death itself. What strange secret links their fate, and can they find the courage and self-knowledge to fulfil their destiny?
Allen and Unwin will be re-releasing the award-winning Sabriel to coincide with the publication of its sequel.

(27/01/01)

Masson YA Novels For UK Reprint
Sophie Masson has sold Young Adult fantasy novels Carabas (Hodder Headline, 1996) and Clementine (Hodder Headline, 1996) for republication by Hodder UK in 2002, as part of their Silver imprint. Masson's YA work has previously been reprinted in the US by St. Mary's Press.
(31/12/00)

Williams' Greatness Now Official
Adelaide author Sean Williams has been honoured as part of this year's South Australia Day celebrations, winning the 2000 SA Great Award for Literature.

The awards—first presented in 1998—were announced at 6:00pm on Thursday, December 28th to a crowd of around 10,000 on the banks of the River Torrens. Williams joined a list of individuals and organisations recognised at the culmination of official South Australia Day celebrations.

Other winners included businessman Robert Gerard (South Australian of the Year), Adelaide Football Club doctor Brian Sando, Dual Olympic Gold-medallist Hockeyroo Juliet Haslam, TAFE Hotel School director Derrick Casey, electrical engineer Richard Combe and performer, playwright and Festival Director Robyn Archer, who was honoured for her contribution in the field of Music.


(29/12/00)

Chris Lawson Story Optioned for Film
Chris Lawson, recent winner of the 2000 Ditmar Award for Best Short Fiction, has announced that contracts have now been signed on the film option for his short story "Unborn Again".

"Unborn Again" has been optioned for feature film development by producer Louise Smith of Igloo Films (Aust.), with director Derin Seale in the chair.

Lawson's powerful tale of ethics and neurology, first published in the Dann/Webb anthology Dreaming Down-Under (HarperCollins Australia, 1999) and reprinted in Gardner Dozois' international Year's Best Science Fiction #16, tackles the challenge to Millsian utilitarianism in the Dying Rooms of a near-future Hong Kong.


(21/12/00)

Teranesia voted Best Novel of 1999
The long-delayed Australian National Science Fiction ("Ditmar") Awards were finally presented in a low-key ceremony at the well attended Ditmar 2000 Awards Party in Perth on Saturday December 16th. Winners included Chris Lawson, Sean Williams, Shaun Tan and Greg Egan, whose Teranesia was voted Best Novel.

The awards were presented by the Ditmar 2000 Subcommittee, Grant Watson and Simon Oxwell, who spoke briefly of the controversy surrounding this year's awards. Winners, or their more numerous stand-ins, were presented with framed certificates in lieu of an updated award by present Ditmar designer Lewis Morley, which will in turn be presented at the April 2001 NatCon.

The list of Ditmar 2000 winners is as follows:

BEST NOVEL
    Teranesia (Greg Egan)
BEST SHORT FICTION
    "Written in Blood" (Chris Lawson)
BEST COLLECTED WORK
    New Adventures in SciFi (Sean Williams)
BEST ARTWORK
    "Birdy Rides the Manta-cycle" (Shaun Tan)
BEST FAN WRITER
    Robin Pen
BEST FAN ARTIST
    Catriona Sparks
BEST FAN PRODUCTION
    Aussiecon 3 Opening Ceremony Video (Danny Heap)
WILLIAM ATHELING JR. AWARD FOR CRITICISM OR REVIEW
    (TIE)
    Russell Blackford, Van Ikin and Sean McMullen for Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction and
    Tess Williams and Helen Merrick for Women of Other Worlds
Robin Pen, the only recipient actually present at the event traditionally associated with the National Convention, also collected awards for a number of other winners. Attempts by publisher Russell Farr to establish phone contact with Best Collected Work winner Sean Williams were thwarted by his answering machine.

(Photos © 2000 Mark Bivens)


(17/12/00)

Ditmar 2000 Ceremony Announced
The subcommittee responsible for the 2000 Australian SF Awards, the Ditmars, have announced a party and awards ceremony for Saturday, December 16.

The Ditmar 2000 Awards Party will take place at the home of Swancon 2001 Convenor David Cake in Nedlands, a suburb of Perth Western Australia. The event will begin at 8:00pm local time, with first award scheduled to be handed out 9.30pm. Light refreshments will be provided; for more information phone +61 8 9386 7760 or email swancon25@megabyte.murdoch.edu.au.

Ballots will be accepted if received by the Perth-based committee by the last mail of Thursday December 14, 2000.


(12/12/00)

Jack Dann Update
With HarperCollins Australia set to publish his collection Jubilee: the Essential Jack Dann, recent reprints of novels The Silent, Nebula and Aurealis award-winning The Memory Cathedral and Bad Medicine (aka Counting Coup) and recent short fiction sales to publishers such as Fantasy and Science Fiction's Gordon Van Gelder, author and editor Jack Dann, who settled in Melbourne in the mid-'90s, is currently one of Australian sf's big names. Catch up with Jack through his recently updated official website.
(12/12/00)

DUFF 2001 voting now on
The Down Under Fan Fund 2001 have announced the availability of ballots and their latest newsletter on their homepage. The deadline for receipt of ballots, which must be accompanied by at least US$4 or AUD$6, is January 15, 2001.

Australasian administrator Cathy Cupitt announced the candidacy of Steven Silver and the duo of Naomi Fisher and Patrick Molloy, and voters are encouraged to make use of the ballot on their website rather than a paper ballot, which can be posted out on request.

DUFF may be contacted through the North American Administrator Janice Gelb (1070 Mercedes Ave. #2, Los Altos, CA 94022 USA) or via the Australasian Administrator Cathy Cupitt (PO Box 915 Nedlands 6909, WESTERN AUSTRALIA).


(12/12/00)

Ditmar 2000 Ballots Go Out
Grant Watson of the Ditmar 2000 Subcommittee today announced the distribution of voting ballots to all Swancon 25 members—and a closing date for the vote a mere two weeks away.

The complete nomination list is as follows:

BEST NOVEL
  • Rory Barnes and Damien Broderick, THE BOOK OF REVELATION
  • Greg Egan, TERANESIA
  • Richard Harland, HIDDEN FROM VIEW
  • Dave Luckett, A DARK VICTORY
  • Stephen Dedman, FOREIGN BODIES
  • Jane Routley, ARAMAYA
  • Sean McMullen, SOULS IN THE GREAT MACHINE
BEST SHORT FICTION
  • Paul Collins, "The Nabokov Affair" in AUSTRALIAN SHORT STORIES 63
  • Robert Hood, "Ground Underfoot" in AUREALIS 23
  • Paul Collins and Jack Wodhams, "Generation X" in CICADA Nov/Dec 99
  • Robert Hood, "Primal Etiquette" in ORB 0
  • Chris Lawson, "Written In Blood" in ASIMOV'S June 1999
BEST COLLECTED WORK
  • Sean Williams, NEW ADVENTURES IN SCI-FI
  • Damien Broderick and David Hartwell, CENTAURUS
  • Terry Dowling, ANTIQUE FUTURES
  • Paul Collins and Meredith Costain, SPINOUTS
  • Stephen Dedman, THE LADY OF SITUATIONS
BEST ARTWORK
  • Shaun Tan, cover to THE COODE ST REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION
  • Nick Stathopoulos, cover to AUSSIECON 3 PROGRAMME BOOK
  • Nick Stathopoulos, cover to DREAMING DOWN UNDER VOLUME 2
  • Marc McBride, covers to SPINOUTS
BEST FAN WRITER
  • Bruce Gillespie
  • Alan Stewart
  • Karen Johnson
  • Robin Pen
  • Merv Binns
BEST FAN ARTIST
  • Dick Jennsen
  • Brad Foster
  • Catriona Sparks
BEST FAN PRODUCTION
  • Jonathan Strahan, Steven Paulsen, THE COODE ST REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION
  • Alan Stewart, THYME
  • Cathy Cupitt, THE RHIZOME FACTOR
  • Danny Heap, Nick Stathopoulos, AUSSIECON 3 MASQUERADE CEREMONY
  • Danny Heap, AUSSIECON 3 OPENING CEREMONY VIDEO
  • Bill Wright, INTERSTELLAR RAMJET SCOOP
  • ETHEL THE AARDVARK
WILLIAM ATHELING Jr. AWARD FOR CRITICISM OR REVIEW
  • Robert Hood, writings in iam website
  • Tess Williams, Helen Merrick, WOMEN OF OTHER WORLDS
  • Jonathan Strahan, reviews in LOCUS
  • Russell Blackford, Van Ikin, Sean McMullen, STRANGE CONSTELLATIONS: A HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE FICTION
  • Jonathan Strahan, Steven Paulsen, THE COODE ST REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION
The subcommittee advises that if, as a Swancon 25 member, "you have not received your voting ballot by Tuesday, or if you have changed address since April, then please contact the Ditmar subcommittee as soon as possible at swancon25@megabyte.murdoch.edu.au. Voting closes last mail Thursday December 14th, while the winners will be announced at a special Ditmar party on Saturday December 16th."


(30/11/00)

PR Feed for Australian SF
WASFF, a convention-organising and funding body in Western Australia, today announced the establishment of a mailing list designed to allow commercial and non-commercial bodies alike to distribute news and PR information related to Australian sf without the widespread spamming which has become commonplace in recent years.

The mailing list, sfpr@sf.org.au, expects to attract mainly individuals and organisations involved in redistributing news online (such as eidolon.net) or offline, and will provide a single address to which public announcements can be sent to ensure their widespread distribution. It has become common practice to distribute such information through a variety of public discussion lists, resulting in multiple strikes on many inboxes; this "opt-in" approach provides a more generally acceptable alternative.

The sfpr list will accept postings from anyone, without requiring a sign-up or subscription procedure, providing additional convenience to news and PR providers. Those wishing to receive the newsfeed can subscribe to the list by sending email to listserv@sf.org.au saying "subscribe sfpr".

WASFF, the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation, administers the sf.org.au domain in the interests of Australian sf generally. WASFF can be contacted by email to wasff@sf.org.au.


(30/11/00)

AntiSF's Local Content Level Crashes!
Australian flash fiction output in the month of November was dramatically affected by industry stalwart Antipodean SF's local story rate of a mere 50%.

The ever-reliable publisher of genre short-shorts fell short of its usual four or five Australian pieces, with a mere three local authors represented in this outing. The Australian content for issue #33 consists of:

In more welcome news, the editor announced that AntiSF had ventured into the brave new world of epublishing. The zine is now available in the PC-friendly Microsoft Reader (.lit) and palm reader (.pdb) formats, for reading "on the go".

AntiSF 33 also includes three stories by "Anti-Antipodeans" and a review of Richard Harland's Taken By Force by Edwina Harvey, which replaces Ion Newcombe's regular "Ionospherics" editorial.


(29/11/00)

Tess Williams' second for December
HarperCollins Australia's December 2000 schedule includes Sea As Mirror, Western Australian writer, editor and academic Tess Williams' second novel, following on from 1996's Map of Power.

The back cover blurb for Sea As Mirror runs:

"It is the not-too-distant future, and in a specially constructed marina off the US coast, a young woman works to communicate with a killer whale. Then one day the impossible happens: the whale speaks. What could cause a whale to voluntarily surrender itself into captivity? What does it sense that makes it reach out to humans? As the world falls victim to terrorist nuclear attacks and everything familiar comes under threat, ancient kinships between the land and the sea re-emerge. Could there be new ways for both species to co-exist? Even a new future?"
Sea As Mirror (tpb, $27.50) will be launched in WA by local personality Liz Davenport on December 1st, 2000 at The Well Bookshop in Subiaco.


(20/11/00)

Eidolon Announces Hiatus
Eidolon magazine, last seen in print in April 2000 with Issue 29/30, will close officially during the ongoing development of the eidolon.net website.

The new eidolon.net, launched in September 2000, has severely taxed the recently diminished resources of Western Australia's Eidolon Publications, and plans to relaunch the magazine for January 2001 have proved overly ambitious. Ongoing development of the website will continue as the publisher's primary focus for at least the next six months.

Eidolon will appear in print form again sometime in the second half of 2001. In the meantime, submissions will continue to be read and responses sent, although recent lengthy delays could potentially recur. For more information, contact Eidolon Publications, PO Box 225 NORTH PERTH WA 6906.


(20/11/00)

ConSensual Calls For Submissions
This "Collection of Meaty Erotic Stories" (a term coined inadvertently by Perth genre radio personality and historian Grant Stone) is a semi-professional publishing collaboration between author Stephen Dedman, his partner Elaine Kemp and editor Cathy Cupitt, and will be published in "fanzine form" in April 2001.

According to their PR, "ConSensual is intended to be a collection of sexually explicit fiction—erotica, porn, smut, clit lit, stroke, call it what you will—written by Australian sf writers and fans"; although the stories will be published without bylines, contributors' names will be printed on the back cover.

As well as new fiction (including Slash), the editors will consider reprint material and novel excerpts to 5,000 words—although they prefer pieces to be as short as possible. Submissions will be assessed on literary merit, erotic content, sf/fantasy content, and humour, but "non-consensual sex, violence, minors, degradation, defamation [and] gerbils" will not be welcome.

Disposable manuscripts should be sent to PO Box 276 BAYSWATER Western Australia 6933 before February 14, 2001, and should be accompanied by an SASE. Payment for stories consists of two copies of the publication, and proceeds will go to WASFF and the Immunodeficiency Foundation.

(19/11/00)

From Hell Un-Banned
In an astonishingly rapid turn-about, the multi award-winning Australian-drawn graphic novel From Hell has been cleared by the Office of Film and Literature Classification in only fifteen days following a review appeal, and will now be available for sale in this country—mostly.

Quality Comics in Perth were contacted on November 14 with the news that the novel had been cleared and their impounded copies could now be retrieved. However according to Customs personnel the prohibition of #7 of the current serialisation—the issue which first attracted their attention—still stands.

This somewhat confusing situation may relate to the perception of the Office that the single issue, which includes only a one chapter of the novel, lacks sufficient context to mollify the effect of the "offending material", and Customs is currently seeking OFLC clarification on the status of that issue.

Meanwhile, copies of From Hell as a single volume are once again available, and the film will reportedly be released here around April 2001.


(17/11/00)

Ditmar 2000 Ballot Imminent
The official voting ballot for the delayed Australian National SF Awards, the Ditmars, is likely to appear this week, and information from sources close to the committee, citing preliminary ballot composition only, indicates that Greg Egan's Teranesia will head the Best Novel category.

Where the original voting ballot for the 2000 Ditmars (since declared void) had a single fiction category in Best Professional Writing (although the Best Professional Production in any Medium included some collected written works) the second ballot, based on the rules passed at the AGM of the National Convention ("the Business Meeting") in April 2000, includes Best Novel, Best Short Fiction and Best Collected Work, with an announced fourth fiction category, Best Novella or Novelette, omitted for lack of eligible works in accordance with the new rules. This expanded range of categories seems to have made room for almost everything from the original and added a number of important and valuable novels, short stories, collections and anthologies.

Notably, the new lineup includes work from each of the three authors—Damien Broderick, Stephen Dedman and Dave Luckett—who withdrew from the awards in mid-April because "the selection of works on the ballot [did] not fairly represent the best science fiction and fantasy written by Australians and professionally published in 1999." It also lacks the committee connections and first-time categories which led to the almost Floridian controversy of the original and, if it can be distributed in time for votes to be received and tallied by mid-December as planned, this year's awards may yet prove an asset to the process of reform the awards system is currently undergoing.


(13/11/00)

Fan Funds in Close-up
Victorian fanzine publisher Irwin Hirsh has announced The Australian Fan Fund Website to explain, document and archive the Fan Funds— a series of quasi-ambassadorial exchanges between conventions in geographically distanced countries or cities.

The project, which supplements and expands on information formerly available from sites such as Marc Ortlieb's vicnet pages and the FANAC history pages, includes:

  • "lists of winners and candidates;
  • bibliographic details of the various Administrators Reports;
  • reprints of some of those Administrators Reports;
  • some old (and a couple of not so old) ballots;
  • news;
  • trivia;
  • reprints of some Trip Reports [...and]
  • the ever popular Other Stuff"
The publisher intends to expand the site to include material such as photographs of fund beneficiaries and administrators past and present, and welcomes additions, suggestions and comment.

(13/11/00)

Fremantle's "Word of Mouth" Festival, Nov 18
"Word of Mouth", the Fremantle Writers' and Readers' Festival 2000, is "a day of literature, discussion, writing workshops and readings from some of Western Australia's best writers", to take place at the Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street WA, on Saturday November 18, 2000.

The Festival website—by former Voyager site designer Lyndall Thomas and Ticonderoga's Russell Farr—lists participating writers Stephen Dedman, Nick Earls, Colin Falconer, Warren Flynn, Sherry-Ann Jacobs, Elizabeth Jolley, Brigid Lowry, Deborah Lisson, David Luckett, Bruce Russell, Tracy Ryan, Katy Watson and Dianne Wolfer.

The Festival Programme, which begins at 9.00am with a $22 breakfast—one of four ticketed events during the day including writing workshops with Elizabeth Jolley and Bruce Russell at $25 each—includes three traditional panels, three storytelling sessions, a couple of readings, booklaunches and some street theatre, and the day ends with a barbeque at 6.00pm ($5.50).

For more information or to request a programme, please contact Susan Hayes at the State Literature Office on 9432 9555 or email slo@fremantle.wa.gov.au.


(05/11/00)

Award-winning Graphic Novel Banned
From Hell, Australian artist Eddie Campbell's 1993, 1995 and 2000 Eisner Award-winning collaboration with internationally acclaimed writer Alan Moore, is now officially a Banned Book in this country, despite the imminent release of a film based on the novel and starring Johnny Depp.

Allegedly acting on a March 2000 complaint by a Perth-based customs officer about a scene depicting the medical dissection of a murder victim in "The Best of All Tailors", Chapter 10 of the 600+ page graphic novel as serialised in Mad Love/Kitchen Sink Press' From Hell #7, the Office of Film & Literature Classification ruled on October 3 that the novel contravenes Regulation 4(1A)(a) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations.

The OFLC's Guidelines for the Classification of Publications, based on Regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations in force under the Customs Act 1901, provides for "Refused Classification", which allows for the prohibition of the import or sale of publications and any other goods that:
  • describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
  • promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence
  • On the basis of this ruling, copies of the magazine in question were seized from Perth's Quality Comics on October 20, and the entire novel is now banned from import or sale in Australia. The novel is, however, available for mail order from Amazon and other international merchants.

    27-Oct-00: Following negotiation with the OFLC—apparently based on the issue of the context of the offensive material—Customs will be re-submitting the book in its entirety for reclassification.

    The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, named for American comic artist, writer and critic Will Eisner (1917–), are the premiere awards in the industry. From Hell, an alternative telling of the Jack the Ripper story, was awarded the Eisner for Best Serialised Story in 1993, Best Writer (Moore) in 1995 and Best Graphic Album: Reprint in 2000.

    (26/10/00)


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