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.


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