I gotta feeling… that tomorrow night’s gonna be a good night – a good, good night: #AurealisAwards
Such was my tweet on Friday – and my prediction was spot on. Saturday night at the 17th Annual Aurealis Awards was a good night – a good, good night!
Kicking off with pre-drink drinks, in pre-frock frocks (yes, I mean you Cat Sparks!), we all gathered at The Rydges Hotel’s Mundo Tapas Bar to wish the shortlisted stars of the Australian speculative fiction scene the very best of luck.
Above us, stars then followed the stars, as we switched venues to enjoy our Voyager goodie-bags, complimentary drinks and canapés in the lobby of the North Sydney Independent Theatre. With a film crew recording our every move, and a room pack full of talent so breathtaking it was hard to know whom to chat with first, it felt like a luxurious red carpet experience.
After chinking countless glasses and enjoying the mounting excitement – it was soon time for finalists, supporters, editors and fans to find their seats in the theatre, await the results and cheer as one favourite after another received their coveted Aurealis Awards.
Opening Star Wars style graphics set the mood and Kate Forsyth, our Master of Ceremonies, talked about the first Aurealis Awards she attended years ago, when she was both enormously pregnant and enormously impressed with the wealth of speculative fiction talent in Australia.
Since then our community has only grown from strength to strength, she said.
One after another, Susan Wardle, Chris Barnes, Sophie Masson, Margo Lanagan, Scott Westerfeld, Cat Sparks, Kirstyn McDermott, Stephanie Smith, Sean Williams, Tehani Wessely, Rosanna Arciuli and Damon Cavalchini then took to the stage to congratulate this year’s winners.
The onscreen graphics were particularly impressive this year, and Stephanie Smith’s farewell speech particularly touching.
So… the winners are:
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words): City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures): Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)
YOUNG ADULT short story: Nation of the Night by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)
YOUNG ADULT novel: Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)
ILLUSTRATED BOOK / GRAPHIC NOVEL: JOINT WINNERS – Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author & illustrator) (Black Pepper) AND The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)
COLLECTION: Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
ANTHOLOGY: Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)
HORROR short story: JOINT WINNERS – The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt by Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press) AND The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds by Lisa L. Hannett (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
HORROR novel: NO SHORTLIST OR WINNING NOVEL – TWO HONORABLE MENTIONS AWARDED TO: The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette) AND The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)
FANTASY short story: Fruit of the Pipal Tree by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)
FANTASY novel: Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
SCIENCE FICTION short story: Rains of la Strange by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
SCIENCE FICTION novel: The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)
The Peter McNamara Convenor’s Awards went to Galactic Suburbia.
The Kris Hembury Encouragement Award went to Emily Craven.
So, if you were wondering what to read next – there’s a list I made for you earlier!
After a few celebratory drinks in the lobby, there was a writers’ retreat of the liquid variety back at The Rydges Hotel’s Mundo Tapas Bar.
All up, it was a wonderful night, and I was sad to leave (but had to get back for my babysitter!) – so thank you SpecFaction NSW, HarperVoyager, Cosmos Magazine, Galaxy Bookshop and Judging Coordinator Tehani Wessely. It was a good night – a good, good night!
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of awards – thank you so much Sydney Aaliyah for my blogging award. I love that you love this blog enough to give it an award. Lucky me, for having received this award before, you can read the seven secret things that not very many people know about me here – but, shhh, don’t go telling too many people about them, or they won’t be so secret anymore!