Pretty, isn’t it? It’s the 2005 Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story, and I won it on Saturday night at a wonderful ceremony in Queensland. Luscious and I flew in from Perth to attend, as she was nominated or Best SF Story for her brilliant work The Memory of Breathing. Sadly, it lost to Trent Jamieson’s Slow and Ache, which can be found in the brand new Aurealis 36. The issue also contains my Australian Shadows nominated story Father Muerte & the Flesh, as well as Kim Westwood’s AA nominated Terning Tha Wheel, so it might be described as ‘a fair old read’…

A huge whoop of congratulations are accorded the Western Australian contingent, who cleaned up: Juliet Marillier winning the Best Fantasy Novel category; Grant Stone for being accorded the Peter MacNamara Award and about bloody time too; and most especially, our very good friend KA Bedford, whose novel Eclipse took out Best SF Novel. I’m afraid I let out a very audible “Yessssss” when that one was announced 🙂

We spent the weekend as guests of just about our favourite couple in the world, the sweetly divine Rob Hoge and Kate Eltham, who treated us like visiting royalty (they tried to crash their car into a pole in Paris and kill us, then they shot us and started World War One), and it was wonderful to catch up with so many faces we don’t get to see anywhere near often enough: Chris Lawson; Sean Williams; Rob Hood (hope the wrist is better, Rob); Cat Sparks; Geoff Maloney; Trent; the list is a long one, and includes some new friends who greeted us with warmth and fellowship: a big halloo to Robert E, Heather, Kim, Rjurik, and Nikki & Damon.

Perhaps the best part of it all was being presented my award by Jason Nahrung, a friend of mine now for a couple of years and someone I couldn’t have been happier to shake the hand of in my moment on stage. Jason has been an unfailing support and pal– he interviewed Lyn and I a couple of weeks before the trip and I always have the greatest feeling of pleasure after being in his company. To receive my award from someone for whom I have such affection made it just that little bit sweeter.

Truth to tell, everyone in Queensland makes us feel so goddamned welcome we’re always slightly guilty when we leave. It’s a subtle plot, I’m sure of it. One of these days we’ll be gassed in our beds, and wake up in a village with them all, and no way of escape…

As always, Brisbane means shopping. Can’t tell you yet if the best buy was the Jack Skellington head ceramic cup; the 4-pack of Invader Zim figurines (Beaver Gaz is our favourite), or the amazing spray-painted art piece we picked up from a street artist who was packing up because it was about to rain and gave it to us for barely anything just so he wouldn’t have to leave with it. Time will tell.

NO WORDS ARE NECESSARY

My darling wife, getting ready for the awards night. Is it any wonder I’m utterly smitten? Simply the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

FUN FUN FUN

It’s no secret that I’m a museum and art gallery geek. Brisbane art gallery has one of the goldurn funnest displays I’ve ever seen. Since November 2004, they’ve been encouraging the general populace to pull up a seat and take part in creating a growing city, made from white lego blocks. We had a go last year with the kids, but this time we set aside half an hour and had a serious crack at adding our creations to the city scape. Like all good art it’s interactive, forces its audience to think, and defies any sort of accurate description, so a couple of photos might give you some idea.

The first is my creation, with a couple of other buildings in the background.

And this one, just to give you a sense of scale. According to the docent, they’ve gone through six layers of buildings since last year, and some of those spires at the very back are nearly six or seven feet tall. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wish I had a job in Brisbane, simply so I can take a day off and really build something…

“So. What do you think the working class are doing?”

BRISBANE CUISINE

This place was around the corner from Rob and Kate’s. This was as close as I dared venture.

TODAY’S COLOUR IS MONDEGREEN

For some reason, there were a rash of Non-English speaking moments over the last few days. Firstly, outgoing AA director Lea Greenaway, who tortured her description of Richard Pitchforth as someone who fertilises new ideas, by telling us that he’d always been full of fertiliser; then backed it up by admitting they’d mis-spelled Shane Dix as Shane Nix in a previous programme, and that while she was sure Garth and the family would love to take credit, Shane had always been a Dix.

Then I shared this conversation with my darling:

Lee: How are you feeling?
Lyn: (Yawns)
Lee: Is that your answer?
Lyn: Yes. I thought I’d let my mouth speak for itself….

And finally, we were entertained this morning by Erin’s rendition of “Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his bright green cat…”

Must check the colour on the tellie.

IN OTHER NEWS ENTIRELY

Monstrously huge happinesses and congratulations to our friends Sean and Terri, upon the arrival of their 3rd daughter, Emmaline Scarlet, on Sunday morning. We’re over the moon with joy for you, guys.

AND IN HOUSE NEWS……

We have bathroooooooooommmmmssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

SWANCON

We’ll be at Swancon this weekend, where the collection should be launched, as long as the publisher can get copies to us in time. if not, I’ll be conducting The Anti-Launch, where you can win copies of magazines in which I have appeared, and play some silly games into the bargain. At least one copy of aurealis 36 will be available, which means you’re likely to be the first person in Perth besides us to scam a copy.

Come on down. Say hi.

Song of the moment: Silence. Everyone else is asleep.

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