THE FIRST LOOK BACK AT 2008

Gakked from my darling wife, the first of the end of the year round-ups:

Post the first line of the first blog entry for each month:

January: Check it out! The first issue of new magazine Sci Phi Journal, with stories by the likes of Stephen Dedman, Geoffrey Maloney, and yours truly.

February: It had to happen: the A-Boy turned 15 on Saturday, and for his present, we acceded to his desire to invite a whole bunch of friends to go paint-balling.

March: So we’re back, after a week in Snoozing-By-Sea.

April: According to Westnet, yesterday’s welcome-to-the-run-up-to-winter thunderstorms knocked out our local server, and they’ve no idea when it will be back on line.

May: The Katharine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction Awards 2008

June: One of the most outlandishly talented of my Clarion South students, Peter Ball (he of the unicorn porn physics) has a story up at Fantasy Magazine this week.

July: Goddamn, it’s been a year for losing genius’. Now George Carlin is dead, aged 71.

August: This Sunday, 17th August, at 3pm, the Chairperson of KSP, the CEO of the Shire of Mundaring and the Competition Judge – that would be me – will present the awards to the winners of the KSP Speculative Fiction Competition.

September: From their weekend trip to their Nanna’s, my cool kids:

October: Seanie, you’re my best and oldest friend, and you know how it is: some days, you don’t choose the music, it chooses you.

November: Over at the Specusphere, they’ve posted a review of The Beast Within, and we all come out of it rather well, don’t you think?

December: Ugh.

What does it all mean? Write your answers on the back of a brick marked What Does It All mean? and send it to anybody but me….

COMING IN FROM THE SNOW

This year’s list of Aurealis Awards finalists has now been released, and it is with some measure of chuff that In From The Snow has made the shortlist for Best Horror Short Story.

Reaching an awards shortlist is always an achievement: you’re competing with every story published by every Australian across an entire year, and banking that 5 disparate judges whose qualifications can be as little as “I want to do it” or as much as “Dr of SF at SF University of The Future” will agree to not hate your story as much as they hate everybody else’s, and that’s assuming you’re even nominated– In From The Snow was nominated by Harper Collins, who published it, but in the science fiction category. I nominated it within the fantasy and horror fields myself (if you’ve read it you’ll understand why it could be considered any one of the three). There are no guarantees: reaching the ballot means you’ve been given a ticket to the lottery, nothing more. Under those circumstances, to be held up as one of the 5 best stories of the year, in any field, feels like a significant achievement.

It would be nice to win. Hell, it’s great to win. I’ve been fortunate to do so once before, and it’s one hell of a good feeling. It’s a quality field- if you picked up a magazine and saw Trent Jamieson, Deb Biancotti, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian McHugh on the contents page, you’d be a happy camper. But I have one advantage they don’t: I’m quite willing to kill and impersonate them for as long as it takes to get my hands on the gong. After all, I already wear Deb’s underwear….

Check out the full list of nominees for these year’s awards. I’ve a lot of friends there (waves), and there’s a lot of damn fine material. Pick one, buy it, read it. Let me know what you think. I’d be surprised if you were disappointed.