In February, the list of finalists for the Aurealis Awards was announced. The Aurealis Awards are, as the website says, Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards, and are judged by a series of panels for different categories. You can see the full list of finalists in a PDF at this link, and I’ve reproduced some of them below. Mainly I’ve skipped the short story categories, since many of the shortlisted stories appear in the anthologies and collections also shortlisted, and also because people don’t tend to review isolated short stories anyway. I’ve highlighted the women shortlisted in purple (this is the AWW blog, after all) and the reviewer names listed afterwards point to reviews submitted to us of the relevant book.

Aurealis Awards Finalists

TheCloudRoadCarmodyKingdom of the Lost, book 2: Cloud Road by Isobelle Carmody (Penguin Group Australia)Shaheen, Nalini Haynes
Refuge by Jackie French (Harper Collins)
Song for a scarlet runner by Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin)
The four seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty Murray (Allen & Unwin)
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
Ice Breaker: The Hidden 1 by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

Unfortunately, we don’t have that many reviews for children’s books. Perhaps someone would like to take on the challenge of reviewing them?

The Big Dry by Tony Davies (Harper Collins)
Hunting by Andrea Höst (self-published)Tsana, Dave Versace
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)Shaheen, Tsana
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia)Elimy, Tsana, Shaheen
The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (University of Queensland Press) Bree, Shannon (Giraffe Days)

Great to see YA so well-represented!

Hunting-Andrea_host these broken stars kaufman sky-so-heavy-zorn Fairytales for Wilde Girls

The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby (Angry Robot Books)
The First Bird by Greig Beck (Momentum)
Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart (FableCroft Publishing)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia) — Elimy, Tsana, Shaheen

Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette Australia)
A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan (self-published)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin) Shaheen, Tsana
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (Jill Grinberg Literary Management)
Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing)Tsana

these broken stars kaufman ink black magic roberts

Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette)
Trucksong by Andrew Macrae (Twelfth Planet Press)
A Wrong Turn At The Office Of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge)Marisa Wikramanayake
True Path by Graham Storrs (Momentum)
Rupetta by Nike Sulway (Tartarus Press)Jane Rawson

wrong turn rawson RupettaSulway

I should also mention that Rupetta won this year’s Tiptree Award! The first time an Australian has done so. The Tiptree is awarded for “science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender” (their website).

BEST ANTHOLOGY (highlighting by editor for this one)
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Eds), (Ticonderoga Publications)
One Small Step, An Anthology Of Discoveries by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)Tsana, Dave Versace
Dreaming Of Djinn by Liz Grzyb (Ed) (Ticonderoga Publications)Nalini Haynes
The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year: Volume Seven by Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Night Shade Books)
Focus 2012: Highlights Of Australian Short Fiction by Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)

one-small-step dreaming of djinn grzyb

Not terribly surprising that the year’s bests didn’t get reviewed (including Focus which contains only 2012 award winning stories and is similar to a year’s best), since they’re somewhat different beasts to the other two anthologies listed.

The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton (FableCroft Publishing)Tsana
Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press)Alexandra, Tsana, Dave Versace, Mark Webb
Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott (Twelfth Planet Press)Stephanie Gunn, Narrelle M Harris, Mark Web
The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications)Sean the Bookonaut
The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins (Ticonderoga Publications) — Jason Nahrung, Sean the Bookonaut

BoneChimeCoverDraft asymmetry Caution contains small parts mcdermott the-bride-price the-year-of-ancient-ghosts

Exciting to see an all-female category that has been entirely covered by AWW participants!


So that’s the Aurealis finalists. I’m really pleased to notice that apart from the Children’s Book category and the three year’s bests, all the shortlistees were covered by AWW participants. Well done, everyone!

Hopefully for those of you wondering what speculative fiction to pick up next, this list may have given you some inspiration.


About Me

I’m Tsana Dolichva and I’ve been reading and enjoying Australian speculative fiction since I first started reading “grown up” books (back before YA was its own genre). More recently, I’ve been blogging my reviews over at the creatively titled Tsana’s Reads. I irregularly blog about science in science fiction over at the Science Fiction Writers’ Guide to Space. When not reading or writing, I’m probably working towards my PhD in astrophysics.