< News after 26-Jul-02 16:53
News before 24-Apr-02 23:17 >

Flash Theatre
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.


Frankenstein Rebound
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.


Coode Street News
Perth-based LOCUS reviews editor Jonathan Strahan recently began providing reviews and previews of international genre work via his personal weblog, and has now launched a companion news service.

Strahan's "blog" Notes From Coode Street can be reached via, and the new Coode Street News can be found via the keyword link


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 awards ceremony.


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 Premier's Awards.

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 rules) 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 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

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.

[update 19-Jul-02]
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 representative!

"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 Science Fiction.

Wilder died peacefully and painlessly on the morning of Thursday, March 14 in the Aotea Hospital in Wellington. She is survived by daughters Louisa and Kathy.


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 realism.

Contributions of between 1000 and 4000 words are preferred, but all contributions will be considered. Submissions may be emailed to 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 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.

(13/05/02) eMail Restored
After a long hiatus,'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 or

Cathy Cupitt (Australasia)
P.O. Box 915


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 e-mail submissions.
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 in 2001.

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
  • Shalott (Random House), Wayne Harris
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 more information).


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, as listed on the Aurealis website, were as follows:

Division A: Science Fiction

Best Novel
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

Best Novel
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

Best Novel
Angel of Ruin by Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story
'Sleight of Hand' by Simon Haynes (Potato Monkey)

Division D: Young Adult

Best Novel
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)

Joint Winners:
  • 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

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).

Judges are currently reading for the 2002 Awards (see guidelines), with a shortlist due in mid-December.


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