Recently opened at Perth's Blue Room Theatre
are Strike and One Year Earlier, two one-act science fiction plays by
newcomer Scott Martin.
In this double-bill performance—the first for Martin's company UC
Productions—"the audience is propelled 101 years into the future
as four people struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic and anarchic
world where governments are dissolved and worldwide strikes ensue."
Strike and One Year Earlier opened at the Blue Room on
July 25th and will be playing until August 3rd. Tickets are $18 full
and $12 concessions, and can be booked
on the web.
Perth-based company Vagabond Theatre
continue their ongoing presentation of science fiction plays this August with a new
adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Directed by Jo Marsh and based on a script by Grant Watson, the play
is described as "a bold attempt at faithfully reproducing the literary
classic live on stage." Audiences will be able to judge for themselves
when the play is staged in Perth's Rechabites Hall this August.
"The greatest part of this production is the way in which we tell
the story." says Marsh. "The novel spans many countries and time
frames. With the use of a talented ensemble cast and audiovisual
representations, we have been able to create a provocative yet
entertaining piece of theatre."
Previous productions by Vagabond Theatre include Wanting Widescreen,
Degree Absolute and highly acclaimed adaptations of Dirk Gently's
Holistic Detective Agency and 1984. Frankenstein runs from
10th August to the 24th at 8pm, with a matinee on Saturday 17th August at
12.30pm. Venue: Rechabites Hall, 224 William St Northbridge. Tickets are
$18 full/$15 concession or $12 Groups 6+. Bookings are available through
BOCS Ticketing on (08) 9484 1133.
Egan Wins Seiun Again
Greg Egan's "Reasons To Be Cheerful" has tied with Ted Chiang's
"Story of Your Life" for Best Translated Short Story in the 33rd Seiun Awards, the Japanese equivalent of the Hugos.
This year saw two Australians in the category, with Stephen Dedman's
"Never Seen By Waking Eyes" also nominated.
Egan's Hugo-winning novella "Oceanic" won the category in 2001,
and his novels and short stories have featured in the nominations
every year since 1996.
The 2002 awards were announced at U-Con,
the 41st Annual Japanese SF Convention, in Shimane prefecture on July 14th,
and will be represented at the ConJose
More Success for WA Artist
2001 World Fantasy Award-winning artist Shaun Tan is fast
becoming a big name in the Australian artistic mainstream,
with his most recent release The Red Tree
featuring in several major awards this year.
The December 2001 issue of US newszine Locus featured an interview with
Tan and a cover photo.
In March The Red Tree was shortlisted
for the Children's Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the Year award
(to be announced in August) and in May it won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for
Children's Books in the 2002 NSW
In June, Tan's mural "The Tea Party" was installed in the
Children's Reading Room of the Subiaco Library (see
other coverage). Most recently, on Wednesday July 10th Shaun was featured on the ABC's The 7:30 Report (see
transcript) in a discussion
which focussed primarily on The Red Tree.
(Photos of Shaun Tan and "The Tea Party" ©2002 Grace Kovesi)
Awards at Convergence
The Awards Ceremony at Melbourne's Convergence, this June's 50th National
Australian SF Convention, featured the presentation of a number of
awards including "the Ditmars", "the Chandler" and a new award to be known as "the Mac".
This year's winners were mostly from host city Melbourne,
with SF Commentary doing particularly well for local
publisher Bruce Gillespie, picking up awards for best fanzine
and best fan writer, and best fan artist for work on its covers.
A number of categories, most notably the William Atheling Jr
award for criticism, were not awarded due to lack of nominations
or were merged (see
and there were tied votes in two categories.
2002 also saw Dick "Ditmar" Jenssen, after whom
the awards are named, among the winners for the first time.
The 2002 Australian National SF Award winners were as follows:
BEST NOVEL: Lirael, Garth Nix
BEST SHORT FICTION: "The Diamond Pit", Jack Dann, and "Absolute
Uncertainty", Lucy Sussex
BEST COLLECTED WORK: Earth Is But A Star, Damien Broderick
BEST FAN WRITER: Bruce Gillespie
BEST FAN ARTIST: Dick Jenssen
BEST FANZINE: SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
BEST FAN PRODUCTION: Mitch? 2, Anthony Mitchell, and
Spaced Out website, Miriam and Geoff
BEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Dirk Strasser and Stephen Higgins for
work on Aurealis
BEST NEW TALENT: Cat Sparks
The A. Bertram Chandler Award is presented for services to
Australian fandom by the Australian
Science Fiction Foundation. Historically, winners have been involved in fandom
for a long time, and made significant contributions. This year "the Chandler"
was awarded to Melbourne's John Foyster, whose credits include being involved
with the founding of SF groups such as the Nova Mob and Critical
Mass, and fanzine writing and editing. John has had health problems
recently, which prevented him
attending the presentation.
Australia's newest SF-related award, named for respected Adelaide editor
and publisher Peter McNamara, was also presented at Convergence by author Tony Shillitoe to Paul Collins, a writer turned editor and, like McNamara himself, an important figure in the development of genre publishing in Australia.
The McNamara Achievement Award, which aims to recognise "outstanding achievement by an individual or group in the area of speculative fiction", will feature a nominations process open to the public with the final decision made by a single judge appointed by the Award committee. The Award includes a $500 statuette and a $500 cash prize, making it one of the most valuable genre awards in the country. Nominations for "The Mac" for 2003 are now open.
Warner Wins DUFF 2002
The 2002 Down Under Fan Fund race has been won by
Melbourne fan Julian Warner. As a result, he will
travel from Australia to attend
ConJose, the 60th
World Science Fiction Convention, in September.
The fan fund's US and Australasian Administrators released
the following PR on July 3rd detailing the results of the
voting and discussing this year's race.
"The 2002 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) race has concluded.
Congratulations to Julian Warner, the new Australasian DUFF
"Voting was unusually heavy this year, with a total of 175
votes cast in Australasia (80) and North America (95).
Of these, 157 voters expressed a preference. Julian Warner
received 117 first place votes, achieving an outright majority
on the first ballot. David Cake & Sarah (Locksley) Xu polled
a very respectable 34 first place votes. The remainder was
split between Write In (2 - John Bangsund, Lee Smoire), Hold
Over Funds (4) and No Preference (18).
"Many thanks to all those who voted and who gave, and continue
to give, so very generously to the Down Under Fan Fund. Thanks
also to David & Sarah, and Julian, whose gracious and
sportsmanlike candidacies made this the most successful DUFF
race in many years. This race would not have been possible
without the tireless assistance of Janice Gelb (DUFF 1999
delegate), and Justin Ackroyd (GUFF 1984 delegate) of Slow Glass
Books in Melbourne. Many other SF fans and pros, too many to
mention here, have contributed to making this an outstanding year
for DUFF. Especial notice should be paid to the efforts of Steven
Silver (DUFF 2001 candidate), who has been a truly extraordinary
fundraiser and auctioneer for the Fund at Chicago-area
conventions. We are deeply grateful. Thank you all!
"Our apologies for this announcement being so delayed. The
communication difficulties that have plagued this race from
the start continued, and we were only able to resolve them a
few hours ago to get the final and complete Australian vote
count. We appreciate everybody's patience. Full voting details
and voter lists will be posted to the DUFF website shortly, with
the updated financial reports being posted at the beginning of
August. The site address is:
"Thank you for supporting the Down Under Fan Fund. We look
forward to welcoming Julian to North America, and to seeing him
at Con Jose!"
2002 was Warner's second DUFF race, after an unsuccessful 1994 joint candidacy with his partner, the author Lucy Sussex.
Peter Nicholls Featured in Documentary
Ansible 180 reports that Australian academic and genre encyclopaedist Peter Nicholls is "heading for media fame", thanks to the hour-long TV documentary "The What If Man: The Science Fictional Life of Peter Nicholls".
The documentary apparently premieres on 19 July 2002 in Melbourne, with more screenings planned at the Melbourne Film Festival (23-July to 11-August) and on SBS later in the year.
Cherry Wilder 1930 – 2002
Author Cherry Wilder, a one-time Australian resident whose
genre novels and short fiction have graced the international
scene for nearly thirty years, has died of cancer in her
native New Zealand.
Born Cherry Barbara Lockett (married as Grimm),
Wilder—her writing pseudonym—lived in Australia from
1954 to 1976 before moving to Germany, where she remained until
returning to her birth country in recent years.
Wilder's first published story was "The Ark of James Carlyle"
in New Writings in SF 24 in 1974. Her first novel, The
Luck of Brin's Five (1977), was the first of the YA sf Torin
trilogy (The Nearest Fire in 1980 and The Tapestry Warriors
in 1983) and won her a Ditmar. The Rulers of Hylor fantasy trilogy
(A Princess of the Chameln and Yorath the Wolf in 1984, and
The Summer's King in 1986) and a number of stand-alone novels
(linked sf novels Second Nature (1982) and Signs of Life (1996)
and occult thriller Cruel Designs in 1988) followed. A selection of
her more than 40 published short stories, Dealers in Light and
Darkness, was published in 1995, and most recently her short story
"Aotearoa" appeared in the October/November 2001 issue of Asimov's
Wilder died peacefully and painlessly on the morning of Thursday, March 14
in the Aotea Hospital in Wellington. She is survived by daughters Louisa
Perth Author Debuts with eBook Double
In an example of a developing trend, new WA author D. Jason Cooper has recently signed to publish two of his books through ebook and POD publishers.
Slums Of Paradise, to be published by Twilight Times Books in
November, is a lengthy fantasy novel set in the 23rd century, where
the Catholic Church struggles to save the Earth from vampires.
The Astral Grail is a self-described "non-fiction fantasy", recording a series of astral projections and a quest for the Holy Grail. It will be published as both an ebook and as a trade paperback by Spilled Candy Books, a small press specialising in occult and spirtualist fiction.
KSP Writing Competition Closing Soon
The Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers Centre Science Fiction and Fantasy Award closes Friday, May 31 at 5pm
The competition is open to original, unpublished stories from 1500 to 3500 hundred words. Awards will be presented at the Sunday Afternoon Readings on August the 11th at 5pm. There are open, youth, and local (shire of Mundaring) categories. Prizes are cash awards up to $200. Full details on the award are available on the KSP web site.
Fables and Reflections Update
Fables and Reflections issue 2 was released at Swancon, and is now
available through its regular distributors or by mail. Fables issue 3
is currently looking for contributions.
Fables and Reflections is currently looking for fiction, critical
essays, articles, interviews, reviews, artwork and cartoons in the
areas of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction and magic
Contributions of between 1000 and 4000 words are preferred, but all
contributions will be considered.
Submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
as an MS Word file, or
mailed as a double spaced typescript. Manuscripts must be accompanied by
an SSAE if they are to be returned. Artwork and Cartoons should be
emailed as a JPEG or GIF file. Contributors receive one free copy of the
issue in which their work appears. Copyright remains with the author or
artist of each work.
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com
or mailed to:
Fables and Reflections
PO Box 99
Claremont 6910 WA
The deadline for submissions for Issue 3 is July 31st 2002. Any
submissions received after this date will be considered for Issue 4.
Fables issue 3 will be launched at Borderlands, September 2002. Issue 2 was launched at Swancon 2002, and 53 copies of a print run of
200 where sold at the launch.
Fables and Reflections is currently available from:
Perth: Arcane Bookshop, Empire Memorabilia, Quality Comics, 78s Records, Supernova, Tactics, UWA Coop Bookshop, Valhalla
Melbourne: Slow Glass Books
Sydney: Galaxy Books
Paramatta: Infinitas Books
Brisbane: Pulp Fiction
or by mail order ($4 for Issue 1, $5 for Issue 2)
from the PO Box listed above. Cheques and Money orders should be payable to Lily Chrywenstrom.
eidolon.net eMail Restored
After a long hiatus, eidolon.net's email system, including automated mailing list signon and signoff from the front page of the website, has been restored to working order.
DUFF Race 2002
The 2002 Down Under Fan Fund "race" is underway, with winner(s) looking forward to subsidised travel and expenses at the ConJose WorldCon in September.
The announcement, via Janice Gelb, is as follows:
The 2002 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) race is underway!
We have fine candidates in David Cake & Sarah (Locksley)
Xu, running as a team, and Julian Warner.
The winner(s) will travel from Australia to attend ConJose,
the 60th World Science Fiction Convention, in San Jose, California,
Thursday, August 29 to Monday, September 2, 2002.
A printable ballot, full voting rules and the latest DUFF newsletter
are available from the DUFF 2002 website at
Ballots must be signed and accompanied by a donation of at least
$4 in US currency or $6 in Australian currency. You must return
the entire ballot (both sides). Anyone who has been active in
fandom on or before January 1, 2001, is eligible to vote. Each
voter may vote only once.
The deadline for ballots to be received is midnight, June 17, 2002.
For further information or to receive a ballot by mail, contact:
Naomi Fisher & Patrick Molloy (North America)
P.O. Box 9135
Huntsville AL 35812-0135 USA
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Cathy Cupitt (Australasia)
P.O. Box 915
Nedlands 6909, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Upcoming SF events at the KSP Writers' Centre
The Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers' Centre in the Perth
hills will be holding readings and workshops over the next three
months featuring local authors of science fiction and fantasy,
including readings from Tess Williams and Juliet Marillier and a young writers' workshop hosted by Stephen Dedman.
The KSP Writers' Centre recently released their calendar for May-July 2002. Events of interest for those interested in speculative fiction include:
May, Sunday 12th: Sunday Afternoon Readings. 2001 Vogel Winner Sarah Hay, Tess Williams, Margot Lowe. Open Forum. 2.30 for 3.00 pm.
July, Sunday 14th: Sunday Afternoon Readings. Internationally
published and award winning historical fantasy novelist Juliet
Marillier, playwright Louise Helfgott, theatre director Collin
O'Brien. Open Forum. 2.30 for 3.00 pm.
July, Thursday 25th: Young Writers. "Alien Voices", ArtsWA Special
Youth Tutor Stephen Dedman, author of 5 books and former actor talks
about giving your characters their own voices. 4.30–6.30pm. For 10 to 18 year-olds. Cost $5.
August, Sunday 11th: Sunday Afternoon Reading. The awards announced and presented for the Katherine Susannah Pritchard Science Fiction and Fantasy Award. 2.30 for 3.00 pm.
Erotic Anthology gets a Sequel
ConSensual, the Ditmar-nominated anthology of erotic speculative fiction, is to gain a sequel.
Following the overwhelming success of the first volume, editors
Stephen Dedman, Elaine Kemp and Cathy Cupitt will be releasing a
second volume, ConSensual: The Second Coming, in April 2003.
The submission guidelines explain: "ConSensual: The
Second Coming is intended to be a collection of sexually explicit
fiction—erotica, porn, smut, clit lit, stroke, call it what you will—written by sf writers and fans, and published in fanzine form at Swancon 2003, with proceeds going to WASFF and the Immunodeficiency Foundation. The stories will be published without bylines, but contributors' names will be printed on the back cover. If you've previously written erotica, stroke stories, slash fiction, confession letters, or anything similar, send it in; we're interested in reprints, new material, and those scenes you thought you'd better leave out of your young adult novels. Stories will be assessed for literary merit, erotic content, sf/fantasy content, and humour. Slash will be considered, but please, no non-consensual sex, violence, minors, degradation, defamation, or gerbils. A cover and interior art will also be needed."
Payment: 2 contributor copies
Length: 5000 words maximum; in this case, shorter is better
Editors: Cathy Cupitt, Stephen Dedman, and Elaine Kemp
Address: PO Box 276, BAYSWATER WA 6933
Please include a SASE. All Mss. will be treated as disposable. No
Deadline: February 14, 2003.
Genre Work Shortlisted in APA Awards
In a record field including websites and books
from new Non-fiction and Literary Fiction
categories, this year's 50th annual Australian Publishers' Association
Book Design Awards shortlists a number of genre works published
The awards shotlist includes the following:
The Penguin Books Australia Best Designed Commercial Fiction Book
The Galaxy Books Australia Best Designed Fantasy and Science Fiction Book
The Scholastic Australia Best Designed Childrens' Picture Book
The Brown Prior Anderson Best Designed Childrens' Fiction Book
The Best Designed Young Adult Book
The awards will be presented at a ceremony hosted by Julie McCrossin
on 19-June-2002 at Murdoch Books in Millers Point Sydney, during the
Australian Book Fair. Tickets are available from the APA
(email Libby O'Donnell for
- Shalott (Random House), Wayne Harris
Sean McMullen in the Analog Awards
Sean McMullen was one of the winners of this
year's Analog Science Fiction and Fact AnLab Awards, presented during Nebula Awards weekend on Saturday, April 27, at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
McMullen won Best Novelette for his "Tower Of Wings" (December, 2001).
Other winners of this year's AnLab awards were:
- Best Novella: Adam-Troy Castr, "Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and
Earl's", June 2001.
- Best Short Story: Rajnar Vajra, "Jake, Me, and the Zipper", November 2001.
- Best Fact Article: Richard A. Lovett, PhD. "Up In Smoke: How Mt St. Helens Blasted Conventional Scientific Wisdom", April 2001.
- Best Cover Art: Bob Eggleton, July/August 2001.
Aurealis Awards Presented
The Aurealis Awards for 2002 were presented at a ceremony in Carlton, Victoria late last month.
The now well-established and respected jury awards, recognising
Australian genre work published in 2001, were announced at a well-attended event in a lecture theatre at the RMIT, described by one commentator as "more professional" than previous years' bookshop-hosted ceremonies. The full results,
on the Aurealis website, were as follows:
Division A: Science Fiction
The Dark Imbalance by Sean Williams & Shane Dix (HarperCollins Voyager)
Best Short Story
"The Weatherboard Spaceship" by Adam Browne (Aurealis #27/28, Chimaera Publications)
Division B: Fantasy
The Wounded Hawk by Sara Douglass (HarperCollins Voyager)
Best Short Story
"The Woman of Endor" by Sue Isle (Orb #2, Orb Speculative Fiction)
Division C: Horror
Angel of Ruin by Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)
Best Short Story
'Sleight of Hand' by Simon Haynes (Potato Monkey)
Division D: Young Adult
The Other Face of Janus by Louise Katz (Angus & Robertson)
Best Short Story
Dreamwalker by Isobelle Carmody [illus. by Steven Wollman] (Lothian Books)
Division E: Children's (8-12 years)
Best Long Fiction
Candle Iron by Sally Odgers (Angus & Robertson / HarperCollins)
Best Short Fiction
"Cafe on Callisto" by Jackie French (Koala Books)
Convenors' Award for Excellence
(now renamed the Peter McNamara Convenors' Award for Excellence)
Writers in attendance included Adam Browne, Trudi Canavan, Paul Collins,
Jack Dann, Shane Dix, Jackie French, Kerry Greenwood, Richard Harland,
Louise Katz, Sean McMullen, Sally Odgers, Cameron Rogers, Lucy Sussex,
Kim Wilkins and Sean Williams. A booklet entitled The 2001 Aurealis Awards Ceremony
was produced specifically for the event, and includes winners, shortlists
and judges reports. Copies can be obtained from the Aurealis Office on
(03) 9504 1516 (or by email).
- Emily Rodda & Mark McBride for The Deltora Quest series and The Deltora Book of Monsters (Scholastic)
- Peter McNamara for his outstanding contribution to speculative fiction
Judges are currently reading for the 2002 Awards (see guidelines), with
a shortlist due in mid-December.