Friday, March 23, 2012

My Writing Week: Issue 12, Year 5.

Hi all,

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the nominees for the Aurealis speculative fiction awards in my blog. One reason is a lot of other bloggers list the nominees, the other is that I have rarely read any of the nominees. But this year is different, for once I have read two of the novels nominated for best science fiction novel.


Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe Publications)
Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (HarperVoyager)
The Waterboys by Peter Docker (Fremantle Press)
Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)

The last two novels I have read just happen to be Machine Man and The Courier’s New Bicycle. They are two very different novels. Machine Man is a satire about a mechanical engineer who slowly replaces his body parts with mechanical arms devices. While The Courier’s New Bicycle is a thriller where a courier tries to find out who is behind the attacks on her drug bosses business.

I don’t read many humorous novels because they usually aren’t. But Machine Man had me laughing out loud in places. The Courier’s New Bicycle had a very compelling vision of a future Melbourne slowly crumbling under the weight of a tea party style government in a world where nearly everyone is sterile. If the novel’s ending had wowed me it would receive my vote out of the two.


Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden by Joanne Anderton (Hope, Kayelle Press)
Desert Madonna by Robert Hood (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
SIBO by Penelope Love (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
Dead Low by Cat Sparks (Midnight Echo)
Rains of la Strange by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)

You can’t fail to notice the collection Anywhere but Earth. I think I might order a copy. But what is strange is the Anywhere but Earth collection then failed to receive a nomination for best collection or anthology


Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)
Last Days of Kali Yuga  by Paul Haines (Brimstone Press)
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Plan

As the Aurealis awards are also for horror and fantasy I must assume that the judges thought the horror and fantasy collections were better than the science fiction collections. Either that or the other stories in Anywhere but Earth were not near the standard of the three stories nominated. I am now reconsidering ordering a copy.

Another interesting fact was there were no stories from Andromeda Inflight Spaceways Magazine or Aurealis appearing in the lists for fantasy, science fiction or horror. I had a look and Aurealis is still coming out, but now as ebook only. I downloaded the latest issue. I am not a great fan of Andromeda Inflight Spaceways Magazine as I prefer harder edged science fiction.

No horror novels were shortlisted, but two received honourable mentions:

The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette)
The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)

The Business of Death is the third book in a trilogy. I very much enjoyed Death Most Definite, the first book in that series.


Anthony J. Langford said...

Don't know any of these as I don't really read sci-fi anymore, other than that book you recommended last year, Red Queen..

I used to subscribe to Andromeda Inflight Spaceways and submitted a story, which they rejected. Wasn't a big fan of the work in it either, though they have a new editor now, so I submitted a new story during the week. Not holding my breath.

Graham Clements said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graham Clements said...


Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is/was run by a collective, so the editor/s change every issue. That's why you get strange issues where most of the stories have a pregnant character in them. Too many sword and sorcery stories in it for my liking. I prefer Asimov and Analog which are straight science fiction and have longer stories.

It has been a while since I have read any short stories, I have a few collections to read and about 80 unread magazines. I really prefer novel length at the moment.

Red Queen won an Aurealis award.

Good luck with your submission.

Chris said...

I'm so out of touch now with the sci fi/fantasy side of things. I hope that once I put end to my running autobiography I can return to A Saxon Story and Shades, my historical fiction and fantasy novels. They deserve a second look I think.

Have you seen any of the HBO series, Game of Thrones? I can't remember if you've mentioned it previously in your Blogs. It was everywhere in JB on the weekend. Was tempted to buy as HBO do good stuff generally, and it is all fantasy based. The question I guess is, will it all be magic and wizadry or will it actually be political and adventure (which is more like what I enjoy)...

borgnineolive said...

Everyone has a publication inside them, or so the stating goes. But few people get that publication out.

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Graham Clements said...

Hi Chris,

I have not watched Game of Thrones, although it has got good reviews.

Speaking of cable television programs, I have been watching the excellent The Walking Dead on FX. I really want to claim it as apocalyptic science fiction. My next blog post will probably be about it.

Keith Stevenson said...

"But what is strange is the Anywhere but Earth collection then failed to receive a nomination for best collection or anthology"

I've wondered the same things, Graham!