Crawford Awards

Book of Endings

Deborah Biancotti's Book of Endings

The winner and shortlist for the Crawford Award has been announced by the awards administator, Gary K. Wolfe.   I am delighted that my dear friend Deb Biancotti’s The Book of Endings made the shortlist. I was in Melbourne last year for the book launch and I think it’s a fine debut, and a terrific piece of book production from Twelfth Planet Press.  There was a winner of course – congratulations to Jedediah Berry for The Manual of Detection taking the gong – but this really, really pleased me.  Deb’s a fine writer and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next. In the meantime, all of you should go get a copy and check it out yourselves.

Weekend.

Yesterday was a grand day to blow off the last vestiges of the bug/virus that has been pursuing me for about half of January. Just that by itself was enough to turn me from a somewhat tired and overbusy person into a really rather unhappy one.  Still, I am emerging from the other side of it and Saturday was the best day I’ve had in a while.

Why? Well, it started slowly. I got to sleep in a little (i.e. not get up at 4.30am) and then had a bit of time to shake off sleep and noodle on the laptop.  The family then arose from its distractions and I whipped up a batch of cheese omelettes for the whole tribe.  Once they’d breakfasted we retreated to various activities.  I read a little, popped out a did a tiny bit of grocery shopping, watered the flourishing new plants, arranged lunch and so on.

After a relaxed day we hit the Aurealis Awards grand-tweetage.  I really would have loved to have been in Brisbane for the Awards, showing off the tux, drinking champagne and so on, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a grand time tweeting and chatting with Tansy and others as the results came out.  I was really delighted to see  Eclipse Three pick up the Best Anthology award. It’s a book that about two dozen people worked really hard on.  The writers were kind and generous, the publisher put everything they had into it, and it was in some ways just important for me.  So I was delighted.

I was also thrilled to see friends like Cat, Justin and Scott pick up awards.  Of course, every awards ceremony is bittersweet.  I had some very good friends nominated for awards (hi Alisa, Sean, Tansy, and Tehani) who were up for some excellent work (Alisa’s 12th Planet had a grand 2009 and was justifiably all over the ballot, Sean had two strong novels under consideration, and Tansy had two very good stories up as well) and I would LOVE to have had the chance to cheer them on.  I fully expect to see them and others dominating the Ditmars and featuring in the Hugos later this year, and again featuring prominently in the AAs next year.

Once the awards were done Marianne and I headed out for our 11th Anniversary dinner. Marianne had picked out the restaurant – a terrific modern Japanese place called Nine Fine Foods. We dined happily in murky candlelight and got the chance to catch up with one another in just the way that you don’t when you’re surrounded by kid chaos.  It was a lovely night.

And now? Well, it’s Sunday morning. We’re planning some kid activities, then maybe some cricket and editing for me.  It’s a long weekend and, for the first time since Christmas, I can feel my batteries recharging.

Eclipse Three at the AAs

Eclipse Three just won the Aurealis Award for Best Anthology.  I’m deeply flattered, and grateful to everyone. I asked Sean Williams to say these few words at the ceremony:

I wish I could be there with you all on what I am sure is a glittering
and glamorous BrisVegas night, but I am called upon to be on the other
side of the country celebrating a wedding anniversary, so I hope
you’ll understand.

I am genuinely delighted that Eclipse has won the Aurealis Award for
Best Anthology and would like to thank the judges, Awards’
administrator Ron Serdiuk, all of the writers, and my publisher Night
Shade Books for all of their efforts on behalf of the book, especially
Jason Williams at Night Shade who gave the series the green light and
continues to support it.

I would also like to acknowledge the advice and support I received
from my dear friend, Charles Brown, who died this past July and was
always a tireless supporter, and thank my wife Marianne and daughters
Jessica and Sophie: every moment spent working on this book was stolen
from them and I am grateful for their patience.

And a final thank you to Sean for accepting the award on my behalf.
It’s never a fun task, but it’s appreciated.  Now, please, pop some
corks on my behalf. I’ll be drinking champagne all night!

Viva BrisVegas

Tonight the glitterati of Australian science fiction will assemble at the Judith Wright Contemporary Arts Centre in Brisbane, Australia for the 2010 Aurealis Awards.  I am delighted to be nominated, and saddened that I can’t be there for what is sure to be a magnificent night. This is , I believe the final time that the Awards will be hosted by Fantastic Queensland and I hear they put on a wonderful, wonderful party. I would like to publicly thank Ron Serdiuk, the Awards administrator, for all of his hard and tireless work.  I’ve had a number of dealings with him over the years about the awards, and he has never been less than awesome.  I would also like to acknowledge the judges, who have a thankless task.  Regardless of outcomes tonight, I take my hat off to all of them.

And, finally, congratulations to all of my final nominees.  I wish everyone well, and hope the night is never less than sparkling for all.

Thursday

Sitting on the back patio again, nursing a beer, reading rock criticism, and listening to Augie March. It’s been a wearing mid-January, but I persevere. I find myself tired, irritable, impatient, and not quite myself. Aren’t you glad you’re far away?

I can’t even say I’m reading. Started a few thins, but they all lie abandoned, and year’s best reading is anathema of the deepest sort. Maybe I am, at last, all gatekeepered out? Who knows. April will tell.

Till then, though, Robert Forster’s wit and thought make me wonder again, as I often do, at the sheer plod that is science fiction book reviewing. sigh.