Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Food and Fairy Tales win at the SJV awards!!!

I have had a fantastic weekend. I spent it down in Taupo, at LexiCon – New Zealand’s national SFF convention. I was on two panels: with Seanan McGuire and Meryl Stenhouse on Ecosystems in Science Fiction; and with Meryl again and Cat Langford on Writing Science, Writing Science Fiction. They both seemed to go well, got lots of comments and questions and the people who came up to me afterwards were very complimentary, which was kind of them as I’m not the best public speaker in the world and I’m afraid it showed. But still! I was pleased to make the effort, especially given how well LexiCon went. As a convention it was small but perfectly formed, being exceedingly well organised. Everyone was friendly and excited and happy to be there which is exactly how a convention should be.

But the big news – for me, anyway – happened on the last night, just before the closing ceremony, when the Sir Julius Vogel awards were held. These are our national SFF awards, named after a 19th century Prime Minister who wrote feminist science fiction, and they’re handed out every year. I was nominated in two categories: best novella/novelette for The Convergence of Fairy Tales, and best fan writing for my series of columns on food and horror, both of which were published last year by The Book Smugglers.

I was lucky enough to win both! So I have two lovely new trophies to sit on my bookshelf. (I was also really pleased that A.J. Fitzwater won the best short story category for “Splintr”, which was well deserved.)

I’m super grateful to everyone who voted for me. The competition was very strong, especially in the novella category. I didn’t expect to win, but it seems horror is more popular in the NZ fandom than I thought! So much thanks to my fellow kiwi fans, to the SJV organising team, and to Thea and Ana over at The Book Smugglers for all their support!

The Ghost of Matter wins SJV!!!

ghost-of-matter_cover_medThis last weekend was New Zealand’s national science fiction convention, Au Contraire. It’s also when the Sir Julius Vogel Awards are held. The Ghost of Matter was nominated for best novelette/novella, and I’m pleased to say that it won!

I was so convinced it wouldn’t that I hadn’t prepared anything to say, and had to stumble to the front to receive the trophy before gaping hopelessly at the audience. I don’t think I was very coherent, but at least I was brief. If it wasn’t clear then, I shared the category with five other fantastic stories, and any one of them could have won. Thanks are due to my editor Marie at Paper Road Press, who helped turn the draft into something a little more well-considered. I’m happy to report that the Shortcuts collection, of which The Ghost of Matter is a part, also won best collection, as well as best artwork for Casey Bailey’s amazing cover.

If you haven’t read it, The Ghost of Matter is about New Zealand’s most famous scientist, Ernest Rutherford. There’s an excerpt available free to read at Paper Road Press, and it’s available to buy there and at Amazon.

SJV nomination for Trading Rosemary!

TradingRosemary_V02cIt’s been a good couple of weeks for nominations! My novella Trading Rosemary, published last year by Masque Books, has been nominated in the best novella category in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. These are the New Zealand sci-fi/fantasy awards, named after a former prime minister of ours. Vogel ran the place in the late 19th century, and actually wrote a sci-fi novel of his own. It was a feminist sci-fi novel too, appropriate for the first country in the world to give women the vote.

Congratulations to all my fellow nominees, especially those sharing the novella category with me: Jan Goldie, Shelley Chappell, Celine Murray, Rolf Luchs and J.C. Hart!

Results of the voting will be presented at the close of the Reconaissance convention in April. Keeping my fingers crossed but really, I’m just pleased to be nominated.

2014 In Review

It’s been a busy year, writing-wise. First – and most important! – my PhD thesis has been completed and accepted. Thank fuck. One of the case studies, “Witnessing the Waste Land: Sight, Sound and Response in Edith Sitwell’s ‘Three Poems of the Atomic Age'”, has been published in UnderCurrents: the Journal of Critical Environmental Studies.

I’ve also had my first novellas published. Trading Rosemary (January) and The Don’t Girls (October) were both published by Masque Books. I’ve also self-published two others: The Life in Papers of Sofie K. and Vita Urbis.

On top of that, I’ve had three short stories published: “Vita Urbis” (a short story that would later grow into the above novella) in the urban fantasy anthology Twisted Boulevard by Elektrik Milk Bath Press. Also “Tommy Flowers and the Glass Bells of Bletchley“, which was published in The Dark Magazine, and “The Mussel Eater“, published by The Book Smugglers.

If I’m perfectly honest, I’m fishing for awards nominations. A long shot, but it would be nice. I’m focusing primarily here on two pieces: Trading Rosemary and “The Mussel Eater”.

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards, for speculative fiction by New Zealand writers, are handed out every year Down Under, at the National Science Fiction Convention. As far as I understand, it’s free to nominate and you don’t have to be a Kiwi to do so. Both TR and TME are very NZ focussed – the first is eligible for the Novella or Novelette category, the second is eligible for the Short Story category. Nominations, if you’re feeling kind, can be sent via email to sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz. They close on January 31st.

Secondly, the Hugos. I’m in my second and final year of eligibility for the Campbell Award. Trading Rosemary is eligible in the Best Novella category, and TME in the Best Short Story (admittedly, though, there have been so many fine short stories this year that I don’t have a lot of hopes for it there). Rosemary has been getting some positive attention from book bloggers and critics, however, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her. If you’ve read her and liked her, please consider nominating!

All in all, a relatively successful year – especially academically. Hopefully I can now focus more on other writing now that the beast that is my thesis (540 pages, people!) has been laid to rest.