< News after 01-Mar-01 01:48
News before 29-Jan-01 10:39 >

Marillier Sells New Series
Juliet Marillier has sold world rights to two as-yet-unwritten and untitled novels in The Byrgisey Saga—a new fantasy series set during Viking times—to Pan Macmillan Australia. The first book is due to be delivered at the end of 2001, for an early 2002 publication.

Ditmar 2001 Update
Nominations for the 2001 National Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards can now be made via the Swancon website, or via email, before the closing date of March 3rd. Additional information is contained in an earlier news item.

Short "Fan Film" Festival in WA
The Swancon short "fan film" festival will be held at the Ken Hall lecture theatre (the venue used for JAFWA screenings) at Curtin University in Western Australia at 7pm on Saturday, 03-March 2001. Local and international "fan created" (non-professional) films will be screened. Cost is $10 per person, or $7 concession, with all proceeds to Swancon 2001, the Australian National SF&F Convention. Enquiries to Sarah Locksley at or (08) 9386 7760.

2000 Year's Bests Update
Since our news item of 28-January, Australians have made three further sales to the international Year's Best reprint anthologies. Karthryn Cramer and David G. Hartwell have bought Simon Brown and Alison Tokley's "A Serpent in Eden" (Eidolon 29/30) and Terry Dowling has sold "The Saltimbanques" (Blackwater Days) to both the Kramer/Hartwell book and the fourteenth Datlow/Windling Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, bringing the total to six sales for the year.

Canberra SF Guild Announces Award
In association with Jack Dann's speculative writing workshop in Canberra in April 2001, the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild has announced the Gregor Samsa Award.

Named for the chitinous central character in Kafka's Metamorphosis, the Award promises two prizes of $50 discounts from the cost of the workshop. The judges Geoffrey Maloney and Michael Barry will be looking for high quality short fiction, and the Award's press release states:

  1. The submission should be a work of speculative fiction: that is, involving character, setting or other elements that could not have occurred to the present day in the world as we know it.
  2. We expect that you know what speculative fiction is, however, the judges are easily bored and will be impressed by imagination and attempts to extend the boundaries of genre and expectation.
  3. There is no entry fee, and no minimum or maximum word limit. However, a thousand-page fantasy epic may not be appropriate for the Gregor Samsa Prizes for Short Fiction. Nor is a story that has previously been published at a professional or semi-professional level.
  4. The fictional work should feature an 'ordinary,' unremarkable, viewpoint character. Such characters typically have a clear motivation for being involved in the story: for example, because a bizarre occurrence has disrupted their everyday life (as for Gregor in Metamorphosis) or because a mundane job that they have to do in their everyday life starts to go wrong (as for Rik in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but not for Harrison Ford in Bladerunner who fits the super competent model—see below).
  5. Superhuman or super-competent characters (eg Superman, Kimball Kinnison from E.E. 'Doc' Smith's Lensman series, or Jack Ryan from the novels of Tom Clancy) will not attract or keep the judges' interest to any degree at all. We want to see real people struggling, failing, and perhaps even succeeding.
  6. Email submissions should be sent to no later than 16 March 2001. Those submitting by hard copy, should address their entries to:
    Gregor Samsa Prizes
    80A Groom St
    Hughes ACT 2605
    and have them postmarked no later than the 16 March 2001.
  7. Submissions will not be returned. Submissions should include an evening telephone number or email address, and must be professionally presented (editing, proofing and layout), as if being submitted for magazine publication. Examples of submission guidelines may be found at
  8. The winners' and runner-up certificates will be awarded at the CSFG meeting of 21 March 2001, with the declared winner eligible to claim $50 on presentation of a receipt for the 7 April 2001 SF writing course from the ACT Writers' Centre. Payments and certificates may be claimed at any time from the 21 March CSFG meeting, up to the completion of the SF writing course on 7 April 2001. The judges may also award runner-up certificates. Those unable to attend the meeting will be notified by email or in writing
  9. Prizes are not transferable and cannot be converted into cash. The judges also reserve the right to grant no prize if they consider submissions to be of insufficient quality. The judges will not enter into correspondence unless it is accompanied by return postage and a considerable cash incentive.
For further information about the awards, contact Award judge Geoff Maloney.


Jack Dann's Canberra SF workshop
Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy & Magical Realism with Jack Dann is the title of a five-hour writing workshop, scheduled for Saturday 7 April at the ACT Writers' Centre in Canberra.

The workshop will take place at the centre in Ainslie Ave., Braddon in two sessions from 10am-1pm and from 2pm-4pm. From the press release:

In this course bestselling author Jack Dann will cover: technical and thematic aspects of fantastic fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism; how to write in the various genres; history of the genres; essentials of writing cutting edge fiction; science fiction and historical fiction; Australian and British and American markets; the nature of creativity; how to tap into yourself to produce the stuff of fiction; how to get an agent (if and when you need an agent); how to submit a manuscript; how to determine the best market for a particular novel or story; how to prepare a manuscript, write a cover letter, and handle postage; do's and don'ts.

Jack is a multiple award-winning author who has written or edited 55 books, including The Memory Cathedral (an international bestseller about Leonardo Da Vinci, published in 10 languages). His awards include the Nebula award, the Australian Aurealis Award (twice), the Ditmar award (twice) and the World Fantasy Award. He lives in Melbourne and 'commutes' back and forth to Los Angeles and New York.

Cost: $66 members/conc, $110 others.

The ACT Writers' Centre will also host an evening panel session with experts in the genre on Saturday 7 April from 5pm in the Bogong Theatre, Gorman House. For further information about the workshop or panel session, contact Geoff Maloney.


AntiSF #36 unleashed
That ever-reliable source of quality short-shorts Antipodean SF has published its 36th issue.

The five Australian stories featured in issue 36 are:

Ion Newcombe's editorial Ionospherics includes a snapshot of a foggy sunrise from his Whip Mountain home.


Australian Fan History on Tape
ScreenSound Australia have accepted a donation of original film stock for the fan-produced short films Antifan and Antifan Strikes Back, used to promote the Australian WorldCon bids of 1975 and 1983; they will make copies of the film available for private sale in several formats.

The process of mastering the films to digital betacam will take several months, during which time the film stock, described as being in "pretty good shape", will be stored in a low-temperature film vault. ScreenSound Australia are "confident" that the copies they will be able to make from the new master will be higher quality than the earlier video copies made available by US fan jan howard finder.

Digital betacam copies will cost around $270, and VHS copies for domestic use will be available for around $10.50 each. Anyone who wants a copy in either format should contact Mark Loney, PO Box 181, Campbell ACT 2612.


New International Horror "Best Of"
UK-based Cosmos Books will publish reprint anthology Dark Fantasy: The Best of 2000, a "huge new dark-fantasy annual anthology", edited by author Steve Savile.

As reported in UK ezine The Paper Snarl, Dark Fantasy: The Best of 2000 is set to compete with the Datlow/Windling Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and Stephen Jones's Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, which Savile describes as "staid". "Dark Fantasy is a subgenre that inhabits the less graphic and violent territories out there," according to the editor, who believes that the new book will have a positive effect on the genre as a whole.

The anthology is scheduled for June or July 2001. Authors with relevant stories published during 2000 (web publication is OK) should send a query to Steve at


Jack Dann, early 2001
The early part of the year will see author, editor and raconteur Jack Dann flitting across the country from conference to workshop to book-reading and back. Catch up with all the details on Jack's recently updated homesite.

Ditmar 2001 Nominations Open
Official nomination forms for the 2001 Ditmar Awards have been distributed with the National Convention's latest Progress Report, and made available online in pdf format.

The 2001 committee have for the first time adopted the full twelve categories in new rules, which now officially include the William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism of Review and add Best New Talent, Best Professional Achievement and Best Fan Achievement to last year's nomination categories.

Nominations are open to members of the 2001 National Convention and "natural persons active in fandom", and the form—which incorporates the Western Australian SF Achievement Awards ("Tin Ducks") 2001 nomination form and bylaws—must be turned to the committee by 3rd March 2001.

Nomination forms are to be returned to the following address (which is not printed on the form):
Attention Mark Bivens
Ditmars/Tin Ducks
PO Box 162
and many eligible works are listed on Marc Ortlieb's 2000 Australian Science Fiction page.


Max Harris Literary Awards
The 2001 Max Harris Literary Award, a Short Fiction and Poetry Competition associated with the Penola (SA) Festival, will accept entries in Open and Youth (under 18 at 01-Jan-01) categories, plus a special category for work relating to the South East of South Australia, until 3 April 2001.

Six medals plus cash prizes ranging from $150 to $300 are on offer for unpublished short stories under 3000 words (one entry per person, $8.00 fee) and poems of under 100 lines (three entries per person, $4.00 fee per poem). Interested writers are advised to send an SASE requesting the official entry form, which includes additional rules, to:

Max Harris Literary Awards
Poplar Cottage
Old Penola Estate
PENOLA   SA   5277

This year's festival, which runs from 18-21 May, features genre young adult author John Marsden as main session leader.


Nick Stathopoulos Exhibits
"Icarus", an exhibition of Nick's recent work, will open at Mura Clay, 49-51 King Street, Newtown NSW, at 6.30pm, Friday, February 16. Work on display will include a series of images inspired by the Icarus myth plus a variety of other material including a massive (3.5m) portrait of Paul Capsis.

Redsine is Four
Elegantly-designed bimonthly webzine Redsine has published its fourth issue, featuring fiction from Rick Kennett and Geoffrey Maloney, reviews, digital art and a (UK author) Brian Stableford feature.

The complete contents of Issue #4 (February 2001) are:

Short stories by:
  • D.J. TYRER
  • COLONIES #4 reviewed
  • PENNY DREADFUL #13 reviewed
Digital Artwork by:
  • GAK (BlastZone; Cover Art)
Issue #4 showcases Brian Stableford as featured author, including four of his stories and an interview by Jeff Vandermeer.


Simon Brown's Inheritance published
HarperCollins Australia has released Simon Brown's high fantasy novel Inheritance through their Voyager line. An extract and Carol McLean-Carr's cover art can be seen on Simon's homesite.

Aurealis Awards 2000 Update
The Aurealis Award convenors have announced the SF short story shortlist—missing from the initial PR—and are currently advertising for next year's Panel.

The new shortlist information for the 2000 AAs is:

Division A: Science Fiction

Best Short Story
  • "Infinite Monkey" by Damien Broderick (Eidolon #29/30)
  • "Schrödinger's Catamaran" by Adam Browne (Orb #1)
  • "The Devotee" by Stephen Dedman (Eidolon #29/30)
  • "White Time" Margo Lanagan (White Time, Allen & Unwin)
  • "The Land Itself" by Sean Williams (Eidolon #29/30)
(Judges: Marian Foster, Peter McNamara, Helen Patrice)

The 2000 convenors are currently calling for expressions of interest for positions on the Convenor's Panel for 2001's Aurealis Awards. The Convenors' Panel administers the awards, selects the judges who in turn decide the winners (it is possible to be both a Convenor and a Judge in the same year) and presents its own Convenors' Award. Interested persons are advised to contact Dirk Strasser to be considered for the Panel.


Australian places in SFWoE
Local author Nathan Burrage has placed third in the 19th annual International Science Fiction Writers of Earth Short Story Competition.

The SFWOE's is an international competition for unpublished writers, judged by author Ed Bryant. The full results for 2000 are:

  • FIRST PRIZE: "Annie" by Larry Taylor (USD$200)
  • SECOND PRIZE: "Hyacinth" by Theodora Gross (USD$100)
  • THIRD PRIZE: "Snowstorm" by Nathan Burrage (USD$50)
  • FIRST HONOR: "Cerealogy" by Jillian Staik (USD$25)
  • SECOND HONOR: "The Corn Bear" by Michael Penncavage (2001 entry fee paid)
Details and entry forms for the 2001 competition are available in Australia through Picaro Press, PO Box 853, Warners Bay, NSW, 2282, and will be posted on the SFWoE website.


Millennium Freecon Announced
The Millennium Freecon will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 24 & 25 2001, at the Discovery Centre meeting room of The Australian Museum, Sydney.

Freecons are free mini-conventions funded through committee and membership donations. This year will see a number of SF&F writers and artists from NSW and the ACT, including Patricia Bernard, Bill Congreve, Rob Riel, Rob Hood, Maxine McArthur, Chuck McKenzie, Robbie Mathews, Marco Nero, Carol Nomarhas, Les Petersen, Cat Sparks, Alison Venugoban and Richard Womack, reading and discussing their work during the morning and afternoon sessions of both Saturday and Sunday.

The press release stressed the importance of sending in a completed application form, as the venue will only seat sixty, and last year latecomers were turned away. The only seats available on the Saturday will be from late cancellations, and the committee recommends attending the Sunday session to guarantee a place. Application forms will be available at SF&F book shops or by sending an SSAE to the freecon address (below).

For further information see the website, contact The Freecon Committee, PO Box 2, Bexley North NSW 2207 or email (or call on 02 9718 5827 after 7pm local time) 2001 Convenor Garry Dalrymple. The convenor asks that interested people not contact The Australian Museum or the Museum Society (TAMS) for details of Freecon.


New Fan Fund Opens
NAFF is the National Australian Fan Fund, designed to assist in trans-Australian travel to attend the National Science Fiction Convention (NAFF provides funds to cover transport costs and convention membership).

NAFF's first Press Release continues:

This year’s Natcon will take place in Perth, Western Australia over the Easter weekend. Fans residing in all states and territories except Western Australia are eligible to be nominated to be the recipient of this year’s NAFF. Preference will be given to those who have a) not attended a Natcon and/or b) have not attended a convention in the state/territory of [the] current Natcon.

Each nominated fan is required to provide a 200 (max.) word description indicating what they could bring to interstate fans and a brief description of their fannish history. It is expected that the winner will produce a report of their trip and will engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races.

As this is the very first NAFF, the final decision will be made by the committee. The committee currently consists of Grant Watson (Western Australia) and Sue Ann Barber (Victoria). Future NAFF races may involve voting by the fan community.

To be eligible for consideration for NAFF, your nomination must be received by 26th February 2001. Nominations may be received by email to, by snail mail to PO Box 238, Brunswick East, 3057 or handed personally to either Sue Ann Barber or Grant Watson. Nominations received after the deadline will not be considered.


Terry Dowling Updated
"The Lagan Fishers" has been sold to Ellen Datlow at for Scifiction—which pays one of the best rates for short fiction in the world at 20 US cents per word—and is due online in April 2001.

Datlow has also bought "Basic Black" from Blackwater Days for The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 14, making it the third section of Dowling's linked novel to appear in the Datlow/Windling Year's Best anthologies. His computer game Schizm: Mysterious Journey is due for February, although the date is still tentative, and a new website includes full details of the project. Finally, in order to make himself more accessible, Terry has announced a public email address:

31-Jan-01: Terry Windling has now bought "The Saltimbanques" to join "Basic Black" in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 14, placing Terry Dowling amongst the few authors ever to be represented in one of the US Year's Best anthologies by two stories.

01-Feb-01: Kathryn Cramer and David G. Hartwell have bought "The Saltimbanques" for their new anthology Year's Best Fantasy 1, to be published by HarperCollins in the US in July. Year's Best Fantasy is a new companion to David Hartwell's successful Year's Best SF series. The book should be distributed in this country by HarperCollins Australia.

05-Feb-01: Terry has sold new horror story "The Bone Ship" to Jack Dann for anthology Gathering the Bones. Gathering the Bones is an original horror anthology edited by Ramsey Campbell, Jack Dann and Dennis Etchison, featuring fiction from England, Australia and the United States, due from Tor Books and HarperCollins.


NatCon announces Amateur SF Competition
The 2001 Australian National SF&F Convention has announced a multi-media competition sponsored by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation which will accept entries in the categories of written fiction, visual media, sound media, and junior achievement (under 16), to be presented at the convention in April.

General Rules:

  • The Amateur SF&F Competition is open to Australian residents or Swancon 2001 members only.
  • The theme of the competition is "Things are not what they seem".
  • Entries must be original, fictitious and cannot be based upon existing series, properties or characters.
  • Entries must not have been previously published, nor have been the recipient of a prize.
  • The judges' decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered in to.
  • Entrants must agree to having their entries published in a fanzine or on a website, although Swancon 2001 is under no obligation to do so.
Submission Rules:
  • Up to 3 entries may be submitted by each entrant.
  • The name of the entrant must only appear on the cover page of the submission and nowhere else.
  • Each written fiction entry should consist of a short story, maximum length of 5000 words.
  • The submission must be typed, in an easily readable form.
  • Each visual media entry should consist of one short fictional film or animation, maximum length of 20 minutes.
  • The submission must be on good quality VHS tape, and accompanied by a cover letter with the contributor's name and the title of the submission(s).
  • Each sound media entry should consist of one short fictional radio-play, maximum length of 20 minutes.
  • The submission must be on good quality audio tape cassette, and accompanied by a cover letter with the contributor's name and the title of the submission(s).
  • Any written fiction, visual media or sound media which follow the above guidelines may be submitted to the junior achievement category by authors younger than 16 years of age.
  • Submissions will only be posted back if a self addressed stamped envelope is included (with sufficient postage and large enough to contain your entry).
  • Please do not submit your original, submit a copy.
  • Electronic submissions of written fiction will be accepted with consultation.
  • The judges reserve the right to deliver a verdict of No Award.
Submissions can be e-mailed to Cathy Cupitt or sent by post to PO Box 162, Nedlands WA 6909. The deadline for submissions will be announced on the Swancon website.

05-Feb-01: First clause of General Rules updated, removing the word "Western" from before "Australian".


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