Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Voting Thoughts 1

I promised a week or so back that I'd post my list of recommendations for the upcoming awards season, but life being what it is I've been stuck for the opportunity to do so. Part of the problem is that I've been thinking about who I'd vote for at both the Ditmars and the WA-oriented Tin Ducks, and the list seems to expand by the second. One by-product of attending WorldCon last September was that I got to meet a wider circle of Australian writers, thus becoming wider read myself as I caught up with their work. That in turn means this post has the potential to make The Lord of the Rings look like a pamphlet...

So I'll be splitting it up. Today I'll cover one award I'm up for and one category in which I'll be nominating.

By one of those strange quirks of the voting process, I'm eligible for the Best New Talent Award at the Ditmars this year. Strange, because I was eligible for it last year, too. It seems that newbies get two bites of the cherry here - but only two, so it's my last chance in this category. That said, my output for this year has been stronger and more varied than last, including not just short stories but an editing role alongside Amanda Pillar on Scenes From the Second Storey. That Scenes has been so well received and that my short stories for the last year so well reviewed is a big step forward on the previous Ditmars. With a bit of luck, versatility can count for something.

There are, however, a couple of other people whose work I'd point you towards for the same award. Jason Crowe is one of the members of the Australian Horror Writers Association Critique Group, an invaluable collection of writers who have been there to point out the inadequacies of my fiction (and ways to fix them) for the last couple of years. Because I've returned the favour and worked on a number of Jason's manuscripts, I can say with conviction that he's a fine storyteller in his own right, and well worth considering in this category.

The other name on my list is another AHWA Critter who's just starting to make a name for herself. Amanda J Spedding's hit a rich vein of form in the last couple of months, with her stories in the Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine gaining some deserved attention. This week, her steampunk story Shovel-Man Joe won first place in a competition run by website Shades of Sentience. Again, I've read quite a number of her stories, and she's got what it takes.

So that's Best New Talent covered. If you're a Ditmar voter (ie you can prove you're 'active in fandom') you can see the full list of eligibles here. Online voting closes on March 14, but I'll be back before that with my thoughts on another category. Until then...


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