< News after 24-Apr-02 12:18
News before 29-Sep-01 14:13 >

2002 Ditmar Nominees Announced
The nominees for the Australian Science Fiction Awards for 2002 have been announced, and full details of the nominations have been made available.

The complete nomination list, as published by the Ditmar Subcommittee Marc Ortlieb, is as follows:

(25 nominees, 50 nominations)
  • Eyes of the Calculor Sean McMullen (Tor)
  • Lirael Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Year of the Intelligent Tigers Kate Orman (BBC)
(20 nominees, 54 nominations)
  • "Absolute Uncertainty" Lucy Sussex F&SF April 2001
  • "The Boneyard" Kyla Ward Gothic.Net September 2001
  • "The Diamond Pit" Jack Dann Jubilee Harper Collins
  • "Rotten Times" Robert Hood Aurealis 27/28
  • "Tower of Wings" Sean McMullen Analog December 2001
  • "Whispers" Rick Kennett & Paul Collins Stalking Midnight Cosmos Books
As in previous years, there was confusion over this category and, due to a misunderstanding, the Best Novella/Novelette category was left off the nomination form distributed by the convention. This pre-empted what would have been the sub-committee's decision, to combine the two categories, as there were, as it happened, insufficient nominees in the Best Novella/Novelette area to make it a separate category.

(9 nominees, 30 nominations)
  • Earth is But a Star, Damien Broderick (UWA Press)
  • Jubilee, Jack Dann (HarperCollins)
  • Orb #2, Sarah Endacott
  • Stalking Midnight, Paul Collins (Cosmos Books)
(15 nominees, 23 nominations)
  • Geoff Allshorn
  • Deb Biancotti
  • Bill Wright
  • Bruce Gillespie
(Adrian Gaetano was nominated but withdrew from the ballot.)

(10 nominees, 30 nominations)
  • Miriam English
  • Dick Jenssen
  • Cat Sparks
(21 nominees, 42 nominations)
  • Diverse Universe, Geoff & Miriam
  • Fables and Reflections, Lily Chrywenstrom
  • Interstellar Ram Jet Scoop, Bill Wright
  • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
  • Solar Spectrum, Geoff & Miriam
(10 nominees, 30 nominations)
  • Consensual, Stephen Dedman et al
  • JB Resurrection, Garth Thomas
  • Mitch? 2 Tarts of the New Millennium, Anthony Mitchell
  • Spaced Out website
  • Tabula-Rasa, David Carroll & Kyla Ward
(8 nominees, 19 nominations)
  • Meredith Costain & Paul Collins for Editing
  • Robert Hood for the Young Adult Series Shades Hodder Headline
  • Dirk Strasser & Stephen Higgins for editing and production of Aurealis over so many years
(5 nominees, 12 nominations)
There was one nomination in this category but, after e-mail correspondence with the nominee, it was moved into the Best Fan Production-Other category.

(2 nominees, 10 nominations)
  • Cat Sparks
Neither the Best Australian Artwork nor the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review received enough nominations to appear on the final ballot.

The Awards will be voted on by members of ConVergence, the 2002 Australian National Science Fiction Convention and presented at the convention in June.


Episode II to Premiere at Fan Screening
George Lucas' fifth Star Wars feature film opens in Australia on May 16th with a special Multiverse screening in Melbourne.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, filmed in Sydney's Fox Studios, opens internationally on May 16th. Fans of the popular saga in Melbourne will have the opportunity to see the film at midnight when local science fiction group Multiverse (in association with Starwalking Inc.) present a special opening session. Fan groups in other cities may be frustrated by a Lucasfilm ban on group bookings during the film's first couple of weeks.

Episode II, set 10 years after the events of 1999's The Phantom Menace, features an all-out war in the galaxy when separatists threaten to secede from the republic.

The Multiverse screening will take place at the Hoyts Cinema Centre, 140 Bourke St Melbourne. Tickets are $12.50 per person. For more information, contact

[27-April-02] In Perth "Outer Rim Inc.", the Star Wars Fan Club of WA, have also organised a May 16 midnight group booking for ATTACK OF THE CLONES, at the Greater Union cinemas in Innaloo.


More Con-linked Small Press Activity
As has become traditional in recent years, Swancon 27's Easter Long Weekend played host to the launch of several collections of fiction and essays, including the third Mitch? collection, the second issue of fanzine Fables and Reflections and the Swancon 2001 Academic Proceedings.

Mitch?3 Hacks to the Max is a collection of short fiction edited and designed by Cat Sparks and published by Melbourne fan "Mitch?". It includes writing by Grant Watson, Scot Snow, Robin Pen, Adrian Calear, Ian Mond, Robert Hood, Deborah Biancotti, Kirsty Brooks, Cat Sparks, Sean Williams, Claire McKenna, Chris Stronach, Russell B Farr, Benne Harrison, Danny Heap, David Yeates, and Martin Livings, with cover art by Shaun Tan. The Mitch? launch featured a short play by Robin Pen, and anthology themed t-shirts designed by the publisher.

Fables and Reflections is the second issue of the popular WA fanzine edited by Lily Chrywenstrom. This issue includes fiction by Tess Williams, Claire McKenna, Kirsten Phillips, Edwina Harvey, Robbie Matthews, Sue Isle, Stephen Dedman, Stuart Barrow, Marianne de Pierres, and Robert Hood. It also includes art by Sarah Xu, Alicia Smith, and cover art by Les Petersen. Other articles include Emma Hawkes on Harry Potter, Scot Snow on fantasy film and David Cake on comic writer/artist Dave Sim. Fables can be obtained from the editor directly for $4 from:
Fables and Reflections
Claremont WA 6910
or from the bookshops that stock it (The Arcane Bookshop, The Coop Bookshop at the University of Western Australia, Empire Memorabilia, Mills Records Fremantle, Quality Comics, 78s Records, Supernova, Tactics and Valhalla in Perth, Slow Glass Books in Melbourne and Infinitas Bookshop in Parramatta).

Masquerade Swancon 2001 Academic Proceedings was edited by Cathy Cupitt, and contained articles based on presentations made at Swancon 2001 academic stream, including work by Russell Blackford, Rosaleen Love, Matt Chrulew, Cathy Cupitt, Andew Williams, and Tess Williams. Some articles were originally published elsewhere. Enquiries should be addressed care of WASFF, GPO Box G429, Perth, Western Australia, 6948.


Awards at Swancon
The annual awards ceremony of WA's 27th annual State genre convention Swancon 2002 on the 31st of March presented the Tin Duck awards for West Australian achievements in science fiction and fantasy, and the Marg Hughes Award. Perth's Grant Watson and Simon Oxwell swept the awards, being part of four out of the six winners between them.

The West Australian Achievement Awards ('Tin Ducks') are awarded to recognise specifically West Australian achievement in science fiction and fantasy.

The awards for achievement in 2001 went to:
  • Best WA Professional Writer: Stephen Dedman
  • Best WA Non-Professional Writer: Grant Watson
  • Best WA Non-Professional Artist: Colin Sharpe
  • Best WA Collected Work (Editing): The Borderlands Souvenir Book (Anna Hepworth, Simon Oxwell, and Grant Watson)
  • Best WA Production: “Raw Cordial” (Grant Watson and Simon Oxwell)
The Marg Hughes Award, formerly known as the Mumfan Award, is awarded for services to fandom that have not otherwise been recognised, and is generally awarded for 'behind the scenes' efforts. The 2002 award was presented to Simon Oxwell.

The Tin Duck awards themselves incorporated origami dragons by Tin Duck nominated artist Tom Edge and were administered by Eidolon’s own Jeremy Byrne.

The convention took place over the five days of Easter. The convention theme was 'Dragons of the World' and the venue was the Kings Perth Hotel in central Perth. Guests included International Guest David Zindell, Australian Guests Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins, Local Guest Lee Battersby and Fan Guest John McDouall, with special guest slash author James Walkswithwind "attending" via internet text-chat.

As usual, Swancon was an enjoyable and well attended event. Unusually, the convenor Susan Ackermann was not present at all during the convention; she delivered twins Matthew and Katherine by Caesarian section on the Saturday morning of the convention. Highlights of the convention included a Masquerade Ball on Saturday night, the award winning 'Raw Cordial' late night variety show, and a very successful Art Show.


Documentary filming in Melbourne
The Doctor Who Club of Australia and Reeltime Pictures are collaborating on a new Doctor Who-based documentary to be recorded in Melbourne, and local fans have the chance to participate.

Katy Manning Down Under is a low budget video documentary based around actress Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant in the BBC's Doctor Who from 1971 to 1974.

Doctor Who fans are invited to attend a special event that includes guest appearances and interviews both with and by Katy Manning. The day's proceedings will be recorded and incorporated into the video release.

The event will run from 11:00am to 6:00pm on Sunday April 7th, at the Drummoyne RSL club, 162 Victoria St Drummoyne. Tickets cost $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for children. Members of the Doctor Who Club of Australia will receive a $3.00 discount. More information is available from the club at

Reeltime Pictures have been producing documentaries on Doctor Who for the fan market since 1984. This is their first video to be recorded in Australia.


Australian Effects and Animation Festival
The Darling Harbour Convention Centre in Sydney will see animators, effects specialists and media professionals from Australia and overseas gather for a three-day Festival from 26—28 February, 2002.

Organised by trade magazine Digital Media World, the single-streamed convention includes the AEAF Awards and a range of panel, workshop and presentations by luminaries including the Animation Director and Director of Digital Artists Production at Industrial Light and Magic.

A full 3-day pass is $434, but day memberships and AEAF Award-only memberships are available and can be booked online.


Tan Wins World Fantasy Award
Shaun Tan, one of Australia's most successful picture- book and cover-artists, was announced winner of the prestigious World Fantasy Award for Best Artist at an Awards Banquet in Montreal on Sunday, November 4.

The complete results, as reported by Locus Online are as follows:

  • Philip José Farmer
  • Frank Frazetta
NOVEL (tie)
  • Declare, Tim Powers (Subterranean Press)
  • Galveston, Sean Stewart (Ace)
  • The Man on the Ceiling, Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem (American Fantasy)
  • Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, Sheree R. Thomas, ed. (Warner Aspect)
  • Beluthahatchie and Other Stories, Andy Duncan (Golden Gryphon)
  • Shaun Tan
  • Tom Shippey (for J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, HarperCollins UK)
  • Bill Sheehan (for At The Foot Of The Story Tree: An Inquiry into the Fiction of Peter Straub, Subterranean Press)


It's That Time Again
AntipodeanSF features ultra-shorts by Australians Tony Horne ("Craic Shot For Hire"), Angus Glashier ("Astronomical Entertainer") and Chris McTrusty ("Eating In") amongst the seven stories in this month's issue, their 44th.

Australians in Amazon Top 10 Lists
Isobelle Carmody, Cecilia Dart Thornton, Sara Douglass and Sean McMullen feature in the genre "2001 Editors' Choice" selections from online bookseller Amazon.

The Fantasy and Science Fiction lists are international, and the high representation of Australian work is encouraging. The complete lists are as follows:

  1. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
  2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  3. The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll
  4. Ashling by Isobelle Carmody
  5. The Other Wind by Ursula K Le Guin
  6. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  7. The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
  8. Destiny: Child of the Sky by Elizabeth Haydon
  9. Sea of Silver Light by Tad Williams
  10. BattleAxe by Sara Douglass

  1. Passage by Connie Willis
  2. The Graveyard Game by Kage Baker
  3. Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
  4. The Secret of Life by Paul J McAuley
  5. The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
  6. Nekropolis by Maureen F McHugh
  7. Kingdom of Cages by Sarah Zettel
  8. Cosmonaut Keep by Ken McLeod
  9. Metaplanetary by Tony Daniel
  10. Eyes of the Calculor by Sean McMullen


Doctor Who Survey Offers Prizes
The Doctor Who Club of Australia (DWCA) is surveying "current and past fans" of the vintage UK series, offering video and DVD prizes to encourage participation.

According to their recent press release, "Doctor Who fandom in Australia ... started with a protest outside the ABC Headquarters in Sydney" 25 years ago, and this survey is part of the DWCA's celebration of that anniversary.

First Prize will be three items, Second Prize will be two items and Third Prize will be one item, selected by the winners from a pool of 20 Roadshow videos and DVDs. The survey closes on December 31st 2001, and winners will be announced "in early January".


New CSFG Anthology Opens
The Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, who published Nor of Human... in April 2001, have opened submissions for their next project, Machinations... an Anthology of Ingenious Devices.

Unlike the first book, submissions are being sought from beyond the Guild, although non-members may submit only one story and preference is given to those who live or have lived in or around Canberra. Submissions will close on 31 January 2002 and if the submission guidelines don't answer your questions, you can contact Robbie Matthews for further information.


Tasmanian Utopias
The University of Tasmania will present a one-day symposium entitled Antipodean Utopias in Hobart on Friday, 7 December 2001.

The symposium aims to "gather together critics and creative writers working within or interested in the area of 'Antipodean Utopias'," and although it will focus on "Australasian sf, fantasy and utopian writing", it will also include "broader interpretations of the theme, especially those addressing the wider meaning of 'antipodes' as 'a place diametrically opposite to another.'"

Speakers will include Van Ikin, Janeen Webb, Lucy Sussex and Ian Irvine. For information beyond that on the Symposium's webpage, contact Dr Elizabeth Leane.


2001 Prism Award
The Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America recently announced two Australian winners of their 2001 Prism Award.

In a ceremony in New Orleans on July 18th, Louise Cusask's "Goddess and the Geek" beat Tess Williams' "Out of Time Come Prophets" into second place in the Short Story division of the awards. Both stories were collected in Mystery, Magic, Voodoo and the Holy Grail (HarperCollins, 2000). The complete results can be found on the Chapters' website.


Write (C)on Cancelled
Organiser Edwina Harvey, having earlier flagged limited bookings as a potential problem for the Kensington, NSW based Write (C)on, has now announced that the writers' convention, originally scheduled for January 2002, has been abandoned and that all cheques are to be returned.

North Sydney Freecon
A free two-day free mini-convention will take place on the Federal Election weekend of November 10–11 2001.

As noted in an earlier article, the November Freecon will be held at Stanton Library, 234 Miller Street, North Sydney. The Saturday program will consist of "fannish science fiction and fantasy discussions" and the Sunday program of half-hour author readings, with programming running from 10am to 4.55pm each day. Authors reading on Sunday include Kate Orman, Robert Hood, Felicity Pulman, Maxine McArthur, Richard Harland, Joel Shepherd, Chuck McKenzie, Ben Peek, and Deborah Biancotti.

Entry is free, although registration on arrival is encouraged. For more information, contact Garry P Dalrymple 02 9718 5827 (after 7 pm), Chuck McKenzie (for writer-related inquiries) or write to Freecon Committee, PO Box 2, Bexley North NSW 2207.


Convergence Price Rise & Art Show
The full membership rate for the 2002 Australian National SF Convention is set to jump by $35 on November 1st 2001.

Lay-by payments will be accepted, and can secure you the current rate of $130 without paying out in full. Anyone buying a full membership before 31 December 2001 will receive a poster designed by fan artists Cat Sparks and Dick (Ditmar) Jenssen.

Convergence has also recently announced an Art Show, sponsored by Dreamstone, "open to both fannish and professional artists" and welcoming "all sorts of two dimensional and three dimensional fantasy, science fiction and horror artwork." Ideally entries should address the convention's theme "The Possibilities are Infinite—Celebrating the Past, Present and Future".


Van Ikin's Science Fiction online
Long-running Perth based Critzine Science Fiction finally has a web presence.

Geoff Markley, the man behind Kate Forsyth's official website, got in touch with Science Fiction editor Van Ikin after searching fruitlessly for information about the magazine online. The website, which includes coverscans and full contents lists for issues 1 through 43, is the result of that contact.

Markley has also posted smaller pages for news and review zine Thyme and Normal Talbot's Babel Handbooks.


NAFF 2002
Nominations for the 2002 National Australian Fan Fund race will close on 31-October 2001.

Inaugurated in 2001 (see earlier article), NAFF aims to cover part of costs associated with travelling to attend an Australian National Convention. This year's contest is open to residents of all states and territories except Victoria, and will assist in travel to Convergence in Melbourne.

The press release explains that to reach the final ballot "each interested fan must be nominated by three fans from their own state/territory and provide a bond of $20. In addition, each nominated fan is required to provide a 100 (max.) word description indicating what they could bring to interstate fans and a brief description of their fannish history."

To be eligible for consideration for NAFF, your nomination must be received by 31st October, 2001. Nominations may be received by snail mail at PO Box 249, Pascoe Vale South, VIC 3044 or handed personally to either Sue Ann Barber (VIC) or Grant Watson (WA). Cheques should be payable to Sue Ann Barber, who can be contacted for further information.

Voting will commence early in November 2001 and winners will be expected to produce a "trip report" and engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races.


AntiSF's Forty Third Outing
Despite its recent brush with the underside of the net, AntipodeanSF keeps on coming, with another (smallish) slab of homegrown flash fiction—plus a few ring-ins from abroad.

The Australian stories in the 43rd issue of AntipodeanSF are:

This month's "little bit extra" is Ion's new mini-poll for most popular story of the issue.


John Foyster Suffers "Stroke"
Respected critic, fanzine editor and convention organiser John Foyster suffered what appeared to be a minor stroke on Friday, 28-September and is recovering in Royal Adelaide Hospital.

According to recent mailing-list postings from Melbourne-based Bruce Gillespie, CAT scans indicate that Foyster's most significant damage may be an incidental injury to his lungs. As of 29-September Foyster was "conscious and communicating" and, although he is on a respirator, that could be removed within hours.

30-Sep-01: Foyster's condition continues to improve, although he is still ventilated and sedated.

02-Oct-01: Foyster is recovering well and is now breathing unassisted; his sedation has been reduced, his heart and lungs appear healthy and issues relating to mild encephalitis are now being investigated.

Cards and letters can be sent via:

Yvonne Rousseau
PO Box 3086, Rundle Street Mall

23-Oct-01: In a statement entitled “The Search for Foyster’s Brain Continues”, Foyster himself announced that “things are looking up”, and that it appeared he'd had “one of the new and technologically advanced illnesses that generates kidney failure and lung failure, and simulates some aspects of stroke, without actually being any of these things”. Foyster expects to be out of hospital within weeks and expressed thanks “to all of our friends for their well wishing”.


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