< News after 01-Apr-03 09:10
News before 25-Jan-03 08:19 >

ROR's Second Workshop
wRiters On the Road will hold their second professional development workshop from 04–07 April at the Varuna Writers' Centre in Katoomba, NSW.

The event, established by the Brisbane-based Marianne de Pierres and Rowena Cory Lindquist, was first held in Montville, QLD in October 2001. Participants in ROR 2003 are de Pierres, Lindquist, Trent Jamieson, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Michael Barry and Maxine McArthur.


WA LitFest Goes Genre
WA's All Saints College is including a genre component in its second annual Literature Festival, with two morning sessions on Thursday 03-April.

Organised by members of Katharine Susannah Prichard Centre genre writers' group The Stromatolights, the "Science-fiction & Fantasy Event" will feature "non-stop SF/Fantasy grabs, interactive opportunities, multimedia presentations, a panel discussion and creative writing sessions".

The Event's two sessions are:
  • Session 1 (2S1) is 9.15-10.00am
  • Session 2 (2S2) is 10.15-11.00am
The LitFest takes place at the school's Ewing Avenue, Bull Creek campus from 01–04 April, 2003.


Fantasy and Horror
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: 16th Annual Collection (August 2003, St. Martin's Press) will recommend fifteen Australian Horror stories and reprint one. It will also be the last of the series to be co-edited by Terri Windling.

Horror editor Ellen Datlow's recommended reading list for 2002 will include the following works by Australians:

  • "Father Muerte and the Theft" by Lee Battersby (Aurealis #29)
  • "The Nun's Story" by Helen Patrice (Aurealis #30)
  • "The Girl-Thing" by Sean Williams (
  • "Til Human Voices Wake Us" by Stephen Dedman (Queer Fear II )
  • "Rent" by Brendan Duffy (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
  • "Doorways for the Dispossessed" by Paul Haines (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
  • "Chinese Whispers" by Rick Kennett (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
  • "The Gnarly Ship" by Rick Kennett (472 Cheyne Walk)
  • "The Roaring Paddocks" by Rick Kennett (472 Cheyne Walk)
  • "Suffer the Little Children" by Cory Daniells (ASIM 2)
  • "Elecktra Dreams" by Geoffrey Maloney (Redsine 8)
  • "At Night My Television Bleeds" by Aaron Sterns (Orb #3/4)
  • "And All the Children of Chimaera" by Kate Orman (Passing Strange)
  • "Curtain Call" by Chris Mobray (Passing Strange)
  • "Cigarettes and Roses" by Ben Peek (Passing Strange)
As noted in another story, the book will also reprint Terry Dowling's "Stitch" from

As of the 2003 volume, Fantasy editor Terri Windling's position will be filled by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. The editors have invited printed copies of stories published in 2003, posted to:

Ellen Datlow
PMB 391
511 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011-8436


Kelly Link & Gavin Grant
176 Prospect Avenue
Northampton, MA 01060

(Please note that Ellen Datlow will only consider Horror, while Kelly Link and Gavin Grant are exclusively interested in Fantasy.) Submissions for the 17th volume will close on 15 December 2003.


A Strong Short Mac
The 2003 McNamara Award shortlist has been released to nominees by coordinator Robert Stephenson.

The shortlist is as follows:

  • Sean Williams and Shane Dix (Authors)
  • Jack Dann (Author/Editor)
  • Shaun Tan (Artist)
  • Stephanie Smith (Editor)
  • Dirk Strasser and Stephen Higgins (Editors)

"The Mac" is a jury award open to public nominations, awarded for general achievement in the genre. It will be presented at Swancon 2003 Awards ceremony, along with the Ditmar Awards (see story).

(13/03/03) amongst Ditmar nominees
Voting forms were mailed and final nominees for the 2003 Australian SF ("Ditmar") Awards released today, with Sean Williams dominating the Novel category, the contents of the first Agog! anthology dominating Short Fiction and this website receiving a nomination for Production.

Nominations for Western Australian's SF Awards, the "Tin Ducks", are also now available.

The complete list of Ditmar nominations is as follows:





  • Edwina Harvey
  • Chris Lawson
  • Robin Pen
  • Dave Cake
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Grant Watson
  • Bill Wright

  • Miriam English
  • Les Peterson
  • Sarah Xu
  • Dick Jenssen
  • Colin Sharpe
  • Cat Sparks

  • Lily Chrywenstrom
  • Chris Mowbray
  • Brendan Duffy
  • Lee Battersby

  • Interstellar Ramjet Scoop ed. Bill Wright
  • Fables & Reflections ed. Lily Chrywenstrom
  • Australian SF Bullsheet ed. Edwina Harvey
  • Visions ed. Stephen Thompson
  • Anitpodean SF ed. Antipodean Computer Services


  • Lee Battersby
  • Trent Jamieson
  • Jonathan Strahan

  • Borderlands: That which scares us... ed. Simon Oxwell, Grant Watson and Anna Hepworth
  • Robin Pen
  • Spaced Out Website ed. Miriam and Geoff

  • Tama Leaver
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Robin Pen
  • Bill Congreve
  • Justine Larbalestier

Voting is open to members of this year's National SF Convention, Swancon 2003, and the Awards will be presented on Sunday, April 20 at a ceremony in Perth.


Clarion South Update
The Clarion South workshop recently announced new tutors and opened applications. They're also seeking letters of support for State Arts funding body applications, with Victoria's closing March 10.

Clarion South announced in mid-January that Brisbane-based horror and dark fantasy novelist Kim Wilkins, award-winning Canadian writer Nalo Hopkinson and US editor David G. Hartwell had joined the tutors teaching at the six-week workshop. Late last year Clarion announced its first three tutors: writers Lucy Sussex, Terry Dowling and Jack Dann. Each tutor will each be in residence at Clarion South for one week, leading critique sessions and having one-to-one consultations with the participants.

Applications for the workshop (to be held from 01-Jan to 14-Feb, 2004) opened in February, and will remain open until 31-July-03. Potential applicants are advised to consult the website, download application forms and read the guidelines—and apply early, as up to eight applicants will be accepted before the deadline in order to give participants more time to fundraise and plan. The "earlybird deadline" is 30-April-03, and applications have already begun arriving.

From PR material:

"Who Should Apply? Anyone who wishes to devote some time and energy towards the goal of being a professional speculative fiction writer. We encourage people of all skill levels, backgrounds and subgenres to apply. Clarion South selection readers are asked to look out for writers who show potential and who demonstrate a passion for their work, not just a competency with basic skills. If you've only written a couple of short stories, send them to us, the readers may see your potential to learn and grow as a writer. If you've been working hard for a few years, but feel that you haven't reached the level that you're aiming for, we hope the workshop will be able to provide the motivation, skills and contacts to help you achieve professional success. If you already think of yourself as a professional, but feel that you would benefit form the workshop's intense writing and critiquing environment, we also encourage you to apply.

The workshop focuses on short stories because we believe it is the ideal form to write and critique over a relatively short period of time. If your interest is in novels, plays or screenplays, your experience at Clarion South should provide you with valuable skills that you can apply to your chosen form.

The Selection Process. Applicants are asked to provide three copies of a 6000 word sample of their work, as well as a A$25 application fee and some paperwork. The manuscripts will be distributed to three readers who, not knowing the identity of the applicant, read the sample and give it a score from one to ten, based on guidelines. The scores, and additional comments, are collated and used to determine who is offered a place at the workshop. A more detailed description of the process is available on our website."

The workshop was recently awarded a grant from Brisbane City Council for $15,000, which will go towards the cost of one of the international tutors and administration overheads, as well as making a contribution to the scholarship fund ($2000 and growing) and improving the six-week community programme of free speculative fiction events. Finally, the money will go towards lowering the cost of the workshop by $150/applicant.

Clarion South is putting together a grant application to Arts Victoria for two full scholarships to attend the workshop. These scholarships would be available to two successful Victorian applicants. (Other State Arts bodies will also be approached for funding.) To assist the application, the organisers are calling for letters of support from Victorians who are thinking of applying to the workshop. The application is due on Monday the 10th of March, so letters (post to: Clarion South Writers Workshop, PO Box 1394, Toowong QLD 4068) would need to arrive on Friday (by post) or on Sunday (by email to Grace Dugan). The organisers advise:

"It's fairly straightforward. All you have to do is write a letter, preferably on some kind of letterhead, addressed 'To Whom it May Concern.' In the letter you should:
  • tell them about yourself and your writing
  • explain what a great opportunity Clarion South would be for you
  • mention how important it would be for you to receive a scholarship. (If you could say that you would be unable to attend without this financial assistance, that would also strengthen our case.)"

In other news, Marianne de Pierres has retired as a Clarion South co-convenor due to writing commitments, but will still be helping out in an advisory role. Clarion South's publicity manager Robert Hoge (media enquiries ph. 0438 120 401) has taken Marianne's place as the fourth co-convenor.

Clarion South is an initiative of Fantastic Queensland Inc.


SupaNova Expo Returns to Sydney
The SuperNova comics and pop-culture Expo is set to return to Sydney's Wharf 8 for the weekend of 05–06 April, 2003.

More than just a mere comics convention, SupaNova describes itself as "a pop-culture event that aims to be to be there helping everybody enjoy their heroes of popular culture... whether it is bringing the actors and artists out to Australia, or bringing all the specialist retailers and exhibitors of these popular culture icons, all together under the one roof."

The Expo promises to bring together graphic art iconography and animated works—all those things we call comics and 'toons—into a two day event for young and old. Guests include Kenny Baker, Sean Schemmel (Dragonball Z), John Romita Jr. (Spiderman, Hulk, Uncanny X-Men), Debbi DerryBerry (Jimmy Neutron) and Lisa Ortiz (Pokemon).

Specialist retailers and exhibitors are urged to contact Daniel Zachariou (ph. 0412 026 797), the Supanova Event Director, to discuss the event further.

Supanova Pop Culture Expo
33 Moonah Road
Alfords Point NSW 2234


The Video Store Clerk Goes Live
The Angriest Video Store Clerk In The World, the award-winning comic zine by WA's Grant Watson, will be staged as a live-action play by Vagabond Theatre in a season starting on 19-February.

The play, written and directed by Watson, stars Perth actor Patrick Spicer in the title role. Other actors appearing in the play are Romi Gordon, Michael Lamont, Holly Matakiewicz and Atheling Award-winning fan Simon Oxwell.

Vagabond Theatre, owned and operated by Patrick Spicer and Jo Marsh, is no stranger to speculative fiction. Genre productions in recent years have included the original plays Wanting Widescreen and Degree Absolute, as well as theatrical adaptations of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The Angriest Video Store Clerk In The World debuts at Perth's Blue Room Theatre at 9:30pm on Wednesday February 19th, and will run until Sunday March 2nd as part of the Perth Fringe Festival. For bookings, contact the theatre on (08) 9221 0333.


Egan and McMullen in BSFA Shortlists
This year's British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award shortlists include two Australians.

Australians Greg Egan and Sean McMullen have both been nominated in the "Best Short Fiction" category, Egan for his novella "Singleton" (Interzone, February 2002) and McMullen for his novelette "Voice of Steel" (SciFiction, 21-Aug-02).

The complete BSFA 2002 shortlists are as follows:

Best Novel:
  • Effendi - Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Earthlight)
  • Light - M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
  • Castles Made of Sand - Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz)
  • The Scar - China Miéville (Macmillan)
  • The Separation - Christopher Priest (Scribner)
  • The Years of Rice and Salt - Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)

Best Short Fiction:
  • 'Singleton' - Greg Egan (Interzone 176, February 2002)
  • 'Coraline' - Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)
  • 'Voice of Steel' - Sean McMullen (SciFiction)
  • 'If Lions Could Speak' - Paul Park (Interzone 177, March 2002)
  • 'Router' - Charles Stross (Asimov's, September 2002)
  • 'Five British Dinosaurs' - Michael Swanwick (Interzone 177, March 2002)

Best Artwork:
  • 'Experiment 1' - Peter Gric (cover, The Third Alternative 31, July 2002)
  • Cover of Interzone 179 - Dominic Harman (Interzone 179, May 2002)
  • 'My Name is Death' - Fraser Irving (page 1 of 'Judge Death: My Name is Death', 2000AD Prog 1289, 1st May 2002)
  • Illustration for 'The Routine' - Joachim Luetke (The Third Alternative 31, July 2002)
  • 'Obliquitese' - Richard Marchand (cover, The Third Alternative 32, Autumn 2002)

Best Related Publication:
  • 'The Interrogation' - Nick Gevers interviews Chris Priest (Interzone 183, September 2002)
  • Introduction to Maps: the Uncollected Stories of John Sladek - David Langford (Big Engine)
  • 'Mapping Mars' - Oliver Morton (Fourth Estate)
  • 'The Timex Machine' - Lucius Shepard (Electric Story)
  • 'Once There Was a Magazine' - Fred Smith (Beccon Publications)

The awards are voted for by the BSFA membership and the attendees of the British Annual Science Fiction Convention Eastercon, which this year is Seacon '03 in Leicestershire (18צ21 April, 2003).


No Valentine for Late-Comers
Consensual 2, a small press magazine-style anthology of erotica co-edited by Stephen Dedman, closes for submissions on February 14.

Like its predecessor Consensual, this sequel, subtitled "The Second Coming", will include uncredited stories, with a list of contributors published somewhere in the volume.

The second ConSensual will be launched at 11.30am, Saturday 12th April at the Australian National SF Convention. The local launch of Stephen's Shadows Bite will also take place at the convention.


Duff 2003 Winners Announced
North American fans Guy and Rosy Lillian have won the 2003 Down Under Fan Fund, which will bring them to Australia as DUFF delegates for the Australian NatCon this April.

The DUFF aims to assist winners to attend alternate North American and Australian National Conventions, with this year's winners "coming down" rather than "going up".

The Lillians won the ballot against Mike and Linda McInerney by an outright majority. Previous DUFF winners include Australians Julian Warner, Terry Frost, Perry Middlemiss and Leigh Edmonds.


New Giant Monster Anthology
Agog! Press has announced an anthology of original stories about giant monsters, to be edited by Robert Hood and Robin Pen, for a mid-2005 publication.

Titled Daikaiju!, the collection is inspired by the classic giant monsters of Japanese cinema and popular culture. Editors Robert Hood and Robin Pen are well-known for their love for the genre, having presented a string of panels and discussions on the topic at Australian SF conventions and events during recent years.

The anthology is open to writers worldwide, with a November 2004 deadline for submissions. The guidelines—which include a lengthy explanation and elaboration on the Daikaiju genre, complete with movie-poster illustration—are available online.

The announcement of this anthology marks the ongoing expansion of fledgling publisher Agog!, whose second original anthology of genre fiction, Agog! Terrific Tales, is due for release at Swancon 2003 this April.


Borderlands Announced
The first issue of Borderlands, "a new journal of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror", will be launched at SwanCon in April, 2003.

Borderlands will appear three times a year, will be available via subscription or from specialist bookshops, and is intended to appear eventually in a downloadable format. According to Borderlands Press publicity person Jodie Hunter, "Borderlands will be an edgy, modern genre journal with high content standards. Our mission is to provide readers with an exciting and provocative range of short stories, novellas and non-fiction."

The WA-based publisher Borderlands Press, which sprang in part from a committee assembled to relaunch Eidolon, includes author Stephen Dedman and the three-person crew responsible for the Borderlands convention, Simon Oxwell, Grant Watson and Anna Hepworth. Potential contributors are invited to contact Simon Oxwell for submissions guidelines.


Ideomancer Goes For Pro
WA-published international genre fiction webzine Ideomancer is now offering authors more per word than any Australian genre magazine.

After a brief closure in January, Ideomancer reopened this month with new guidelines and new rates. The webzine now offers three US cents per word, to a maximum of US$100.00 per story.

According to SFWA by-laws, only periodicals paying US$0.03/word can qualify as "professional", a classification permitting the publication itself to join as an associate member and work published therein to count towards an author's SFWA membership. Nevertheless, Ideomancer has yet to be adjudged professional by the relevant SFWA sub-committee, and its lack of paid subscribers might still mean it fails to qualify. (The Science Fiction Writers of America organisation is the defacto international "peak body" for writers in the genre.)

Ideomancer offers a mix of new and "classic" fiction in a highly readable, technically sophisticated and colourful design. Robert Hood will be Featured Author at the webzine for the first three months of 2003.

In November 2001 publisher Chris Clarke answered a few questions about the origins of the site:
When did you guys first go online?

Ideomancer went online in its current form in August [2001]. Before that I was one of the editors there in its previous incarnation and when the previous publisher wanted out, I took over and revamped the site.

How did you gather your team?

We all met via the internet, initially through an online workshop. We all liked each other's work and formed a writers' group. When Ideomancer needed editors, it was the obvious place to start. I'm here in Perth, the others are in Canada, Ireland and on both coasts of the USA.

Any interest in print publication?

It's always in the back of our mind. We have a goal of getting the magazine running smoothly in the first year, then we may try getting submissions for a POD anthology in year 2. We intend to have a fiction contest in the new year and we'll see what the response is like. If we get some quality entries, we'll start thinking about the antho.

Any connection to Fictionwise?

We're an affiliate of Fictionwise. We make money from them if people buy Fictionwise products through our site. Hasn't been terribly successful so far, but then we haven't done much to push it yet. As I'm sure you know, generating revenue to pay contributors is difficult over the internet, but we live in hope.

Very nice site, btw.

Thanks. There are a few bugs and more work to be done. But the new version should be up in a couple of weeks. It won't look much different, but will me smoother and load quicker.
Anthology Ideomancer Unbound was released through ebook specialists Fictionwise in December 2002.


Continuum Continues Convergence
Melbourne convention "Continuum: Secret Worlds, Dark Dreams", to run in July at the Cato Convention Centre which hosted 2002's successful ConVergence NatCon, was officially launched on January 17th.

The event, scheduled for the weekend of 11–13 July Besides its venue, Continuum shares "a large number of the people involved in the running of [the] convention" with ConVergence. Unofficially, the committee hopes to re-establish a regular annual Victorian state SF convention. Guests this year will include Kate Forsyth, Chris Lawson, Nick Stathopoulos, Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride, and full membership is currently $80 (set to rise on 01-May-03).

With the programme at an early stage, the programming committee are currently seeking "any ideas that could possibly be developed into programme items". For additional information, contact publicity officer Sarah Marland.


KSP Short Story Competition
The 2003 The Katharine Susannah Prichard Science Fiction/Fantasy Award is now open.

Sporting a total prize-pool of $450 in three categories, the KSP "Award" is open to submissions of 1500 – 3000 word genre short fiction by Australians. Entries must meet relevant criteria and be accompanied by a $5/$4 entry fee. Send entries to:

KSP Sci-Fi/Fantasy Award
11 Old York Road

All entries must be received before 5pm May 30, 2003.


EnVision to Polish Words
EnVision, a 5-day Speculative Fiction Workshop to be held in Brisbane in July, offers to help the aspiring writer learn to make the jump to published professional.

In the process of "giv[ing] the emerging writer the competitive edge", EnVision's tutors Kim Wilkins (Horror), Marianne de Peirres (SF), and Louise Cusack and Cory Daniells (Fantasy) will guide attending writers through manuscript rewrites and pre-submission polishing, providing feedback, teaching "the difference between a structural edit and a line edit" and introducing industry professionals who'll talk about the business side of publishing.

EnVision's details are as follows:

When: Friday the 4th July to Wednesday the 9th July, 2003.
Where: Brisbane Girl's Grammar, city
How much: $550 (more if you have to hire a computer for the week).
Contact: email Cory Daniells, or phone 07 3893 2959


Futurians in 2003
Sydney F&SF fans looking for a regular event to attend are very welcome at this CBD-based, Friday night SF discussion group.

Sydney Futurians meetings are designed as an opportunity to "bring your experience of SF&F to a meeting of other people with similar interests and to hear news of other events likely to be of interest to SF&F readers and viewers". The smallish gatherings take place in Room 1615, Level 16, Tower Building at the NSW University of Technology (Broadway Campus, near Central Railway & Railway Square bus interchange), and run from about 7–9pm, generally on the third Friday of the month.

Sydney Futurian Meeting Dates And Topics For 2003:
  • February 14: The Trickster in Science Fiction
  • March 21: Relationships that are Only Possible in Science Fiction
  • April 11: (*) Weather and Atmosphere as major elements of the SF&F story
  • May 16: Artificial Insemination and Conception in SF stories
  • June 20: When Games Get Real in SF&F
  • July 19: Super Women in Science Fiction stories
  • August 15: Topic to be decided
  • September 19: Topic to be decided
  • October 17: Topic to be decided
  • November 14: Topic to be decided
  • December 19: Topic to be decided
(* April 11 date is to avoid Easter break and Natcons)

For more information contact Garry Dalrymple, or just go along to one of the meetings.


NAFF 2003 Nominations Close Soon
Designed to sponsor cross-country attendance at the NatCon each year, the National Australian Fan Fund is currently seeking people interested in being on the ballot for the race to attend Swancon 2003.

The NAFF fund, the legacy of a defunct WA fanclub, typically provides funds to cover part of the cost of airfare (or travelling expenses) and/or convention membership for a Australian National SF ("NatCon") Convention member attending from interstate. This year's NatCon, Swancon 2003, will be held in Perth over the Easter long weekend (17th–21st April), and residents of all states and territories except Western Australia are eligible to be nominated. (Previously unsuccessful applicants are welcome to re-nominate.)

To be eligible, nominations must include the names and signatures of three nominators from the State/Territory of the nominee (who must themselves be NatCon convention-goers), and come with a bond of $20 (cheques should be made payable to Sue Ann Barber). In addition, each nominee is required to provide a 100 (max.) word description "indicating what they could bring to interstate fans and a brief description of their fannish history". To be eligible for consideration for NAFF, your nomination must be received by 20th February, 2003. The winner will be expected to produce a report of the trip and to engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races.

Nominations may be delivered by hand or mailed to:

Sue Ann Barber
PO Box 249
Pascoe Vale South VIC 3044

For further information, contact Sue Ann Barber.


Dowling A Year's Best Again
Terry Dowling's chilling "Stitch", first published online here in December 2002, has been selected by editor Ellen Datlow for the 2003 international Datlow/Windling anthology The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection.

Eidolon Magazine Closes
Eidolon Publications has announced the formal closure of Eidolon: The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The magazine was first published in May 1990, and the last issue of the magazine, Issue 29/30, appeared in April 2000. A hiatus in publication was announced in November 2000, from which the magazine never re-emerged.

Additional information is available in a Press Release.


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