2019 Convenors’ Award for Excellence nominations

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Each year we make the eligible nominations received for the annual Convenors’ Award for Excellence public. There are several reasons for this:

  • There is no shortlist announced, so it feels right to recognise the entries;
  • These are items you may not otherwise have come across, so we’d like to make sure you know about them;
  • It may help people figure out what might be eligible in future.

It is very important to note that this list is NOT a shortlist – it is simply a list of the eligible entries we received for the Award this year (please note also that these can be self-nominated). The convenors consider all eligible entries in deciding the winner, but there is no shortlist generated, and only the winner will be presented at the ceremony.

A reminder what this award is for:

The Convenors’ Award for Excellence is awarded at the discretion of the convenors for a particular achievement in speculative fiction or related areas in that year that cannot otherwise by judged for the Aurealis Awards. 

This award can be given to a work of non-fiction, artwork, film, television, electronic or multimedia work, or one that brings credit or attention to the speculative fiction genres.

This year’s entries are:

Eugen Bacon, Writing Speculative Fiction, Red Globe Press (Macmillan International)

This approachable book is about vibrant storytelling of speculative fiction that crosses genre. Unlike a typical genre studies work, this is a cross-disciplinary book that scrutinises the characteristics of science fiction, fantasy and horror, and considers the potential of literary speculative fiction.

Jacob Edwards, The Romans (The Black Archive #32)

The Romans is a 30,000 word monograph investigating the 1965 Doctor Who story of that name. It is #32 in Obverse Book’s Black Archive range, a series predominantly entrusted to British writers. (A notable exception being John Toon, who won a Sir Julius Vogel Award for #15.) The Black Archive has generally met with acclaim, and The Romans in particular has been positively reviewed. It is a serious but accessible piece of scholarship that both adds to the canon of Doctor Who non-fiction and furthers Australia’s credentials as a respected source for academic studies in speculative fiction.

Jason Nahrung, Watermarks: Science Fiction, Mitigation and the Mosaic Novel Structure in Australian Climate Fiction (PhD exegesis)

Watermarks is a PhD (creative writing) thesis awarded by the University of Queensland in 2019. It examines the benefits of the application of science fiction approaches and tropes to climate fiction with the aim of breaking down barriers to understanding climate change and adopting mitigation measures. In particular, it looks at mosaic fiction, and examines three Australian texts – Things We Didn’t See Coming (Amsterdam), Clade (Bradley) and Nightsiders (Isle) – as case studies that draw on the mosaic form and SF to create affective and effective climate fiction. The thesis advances the study of the writing of and the role of science fiction and climate fiction, as well as adding to the profiles of the three case studies through rigorous examination.

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