2018 Sara Douglass Book Series Award shortlist

Aurealis Awards - Finalist - high resAfter consideration of more than fifty book series entered, totalling over 150 works in total, the judges of the 2018 Sara Douglass Book Series Award are delighted to announce the finalists for this period. With series numbering two to eight individual books entered and publication dates spanning thirty years for some included works, the entries, which covered series ending (in original publication) between January 2015 and December 2017, were as diverse as speculative fiction can be.

The Sara Douglass Book Series award is designed to recognise that there are book series that are greater as a whole than the sum of their parts – that is, the judges were looking for series that tell a story across the series, rather than just using the same characters/setting across loosely connected books. The judges believe that shortlisted works will be best enjoyed read in succession, with an arc that begins in the first book and is completed in the last. Excellence of writing was of the highest consideration, along with sound speculative elements, quality worldbuilding, fascinating characters and engaging storytelling.

Winners of the 2018 Sara Douglass Book Series Award, Aurealis Awards, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony taking place in Melbourne at the Jasper Hotel on Saturday May 4, 2019. Details of the event and a link to the online ticketing options will be available soon.

Blackthorn & Grim [Dreamer’s Pool (2014), Tower of Thorns (2015), Den of Wolves (2016)], Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Captive Prince [Captive Prince (2014), Prince’s Gambit (2014), Kings Rising (2016)], C S Pacat (Penguin Random House)

Electric Empire [The Diabolical Miss Hyde (2015), The Devious Dr Jekyll (2015), The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (2017)], Viola Carr (HarperCollins Publishers)

The Fire Sermon [The Fire Sermon (2015), The Map of Bones (2016), The Forever Ship (2017)], Francesca Haig (HarperCollins Publishers)

Zeroes [Zeroes (2015), Swarm (2016), Nexus (2017)], Deborah Biancotti, Margo Lanagan & Scott Westerfeld (Allen & Unwin)

For further information about the Awards please contact aurealisawards@gmail.com.

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2018 Aurealis Awards shortlist announcement

Aurealis Awards - Finalist - high res

2018 Aurealis Awards finalists announced

The Continuum Foundation (ConFound), organisers of the 2018 Aurealis Awards, is delighted to announce the finalists for the Awards.

Winners of the 2018 Aurealis Awards, Sara Douglass Book Series Award, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony taking place in Melbourne on Saturday May 4, 2019. Details of the event and a link to the online ticketing options will be available soon.

For further information about the Awards please contact aurealisawards@gmail.com

2018 Aurealis Awards – Finalists


The Relic of the Blue Dragon, Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)

The Slightly Alarming Tales of the Whispering Wars, Jaclyn Moriarty (Allen & Unwin)

The Endsister, Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)

Secret Guardians, Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

Ting Ting the Ghosthunter, Gabrielle Wang (Penguin Random House Australia)

Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt, Rhiannon Williams (Hardie Grant Egmont)


Deathship Jenny, Rob O’Connor (self-published)

Cicada, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)

Tales from The Inner City, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)


“A Robot Like Me”, Lee Cope (Mother of Invention, Twelfth Planet Press)

“The Moon Collector”, D K Mok (Under the Full Moon’s Light, Owl Hollow Press)

“The Sea-Maker of Darmid Bay”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone #277, TTA Press)

“Eight-Step Koan”, Anya Ow (Sword and Sonnet, Ate Bit Bear)

“For Weirdless Days and Weary Nights”, Deborah Sheldon (Breach #08)


“The Offering”, Michael Gardner (Aurealis #112)

“Slither”,  Jason Nahrung (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 2, IFWG Publishing Australia)

“By Kindle Light”,  Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Antipodean SF #235)

“Hit and Rot”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Breach #08)

“Sub-Urban”, Alfie Simpson (Breach #07)

“The Further Shore”, J Ashley Smith (Bourbon Penn #15)


“Andromeda Ascends”, Matthew R Davis (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, Things In The Well)

“Kopura Rising”, David Kuraria (Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud, IFWG Publishing Australia)

“The Black Sea”, Chris Mason (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, Things In The Well)

Triquetra, Kirstyn McDermott (Tor.com)

“With This Needle I Thee Thread”, Angela Rega (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)

Crisis Apparition, Kaaron Warren (Dark Moon Books)


“Crying Demon”, Alan Baxter (Suspended in Dusk 2, Grey Matter Press)

“Army Men”, Juliet Marillier (Of Gods and Globes, Lancelot Schaubert)

“The Further Shore”, J Ashley Smith (Bourbon Penn #15)

“Child of the Emptyness”, Amanda J Spedding (Grimdark Magazine #17)

“A Moment’s Peace”, Dave Versace (A Hand of Knaves, CSFG Publishing)

“Heartwood, Sapwood, Spring”, Suzanne J Willis (Sword and Sonnet, Ate Bit Bear)


“This Side of the Wall”, Michael Gardner (Metaphorosis Magazine, January 2018)

“Beautiful”, Juliet Marillier (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)

“The Staff in the Stone”, Garth Nix (The Book of Magic, Penguin Random House)

Merry Happy Valkyrie, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

“The Dressmaker and the Colonel’s Coat”, David Versace (Mnemo’s Memory and Other Fantastic Tales, self-published)

The Dragon’s Child, Janeen Webb (PS Publishing)


“The Sixes, The Wisdom and the Wasp”, E J Delaney (Escape Pod)

“The Fallen”, Pamela Jeffs (Red Hour, Four Ink Press)

On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus”, Simon Petrie & Edwina Harvey (A Hand of Knaves, CSFG)

“A Fair Wind off Baracoa”, Robert Porteous (A Hand of Knaves, CSFG)

“The Astronaut”, Jen White (Aurealis)


“I Almost Went To The Library Last Night”, Joanne Anderton (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)

The Starling Requiem, Jodi Cleghorn (eMergent Publishing)

Icefall, Stephanie Gunn (Twelfth Planet Press)

“Pinion”, Stephanie Gunn (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)

“Singles’ Day”, Samantha Murray (Interzone #277, TTA Press)

Static Ruin, Corey J White (Tor.com)


Not Quite the End of the World Just Yet, Peter M Ball (Brain Jar Press)

Phantom Limbs, Margo Lanagan (PS Publishing)

Tales from The Inner City, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)

Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren, Kaaron Warren (Dark Moon Books)


Sword and Sonnet, Aidan Doyle, Rachael K Jones & E Catherine Tobler (Ate Bit Bear)

Aurum, Russell B Farr (Ticonderoga Publications)

Mother of Invention, Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume 12, Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)


Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein (Walker Books Australia)

Lifel1k3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Catching Teller Crow, Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Allen & Unwin)

His Name was Walter, Emily Rodda (HarperCollins Publishers)

A Curse of Ash and Embers, Jo Spurrier (HarperCollins Publishers)

Impostors, Scott Westerfeld (Allen & Unwin)


The Bus on Thursday, Shirley Barrett (Allen & Unwin)

Years of the Wolf, Craig Cormick (IFWG Publishing Australia)

Tide of Stone, Kaaron Warren (Omnium Gatherum)


Devouring Dark, Alan Baxter (Grey Matter Press)

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Deceit, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins Publishers)

City of Lies, Sam Hawke (Penguin Random House)

Lightning Tracks, Alethea Kinsela (Plainspeak Publishing)

The Witch Who Courted Death, Maria Lewis (Hachette Australia)

We Ride the Storm, Devin Madson (self-published)


Scales of Empire, Kylie Chan (HarperCollins Publishers)

Obsidio, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Lifel1k3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Dyschronia, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)

A Superior Spectre, Angela Meyer (Ventura Press)

The Second Cure, Margaret Morgan (Penguin Random House)

The Sara Douglass Book Series Award shortlist will be announced at a later date due to the volume of entries under consideration.

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2018 Convenors’ Award for Excellence nominations

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, “What is AfroSF?”, Aurealis #111

In her capacity as an African Australian writer, a creative writer and a scholar, Dr Eugen Bacon in this work of non-fiction continues her contribution to speculative fiction in insightful and accessible conversations that connect broad audiences. In this article Bacon interrogates the term ‘AfroSF’ in the context of science fiction by African writers, and its potential non-application to a wider logic as a ‘concept’ rather than a ‘naming’. The article is poignant and merits the attention of Australia’s AustLit society, a non-profit collaboration of academic, library and research organisations in discovering Australian creative writing, criticism, ‘blackworks’ and stage and screen productions. ‘What is AfroSF’ is creative non-fiction that credits the speculative fiction genre in expanding current debates by diverse storytellers in Australia’s literary, print and narrative landscape.

Jac Colvin, “Lost Ones”, Sub-Q Magazine

The dream’s half-remembered song pulls you towards the river at night. What will you find? “Lost Ones” is an eerie, atmospheric take on the rusalka, Slavic water nymphs whose intentions could be downright murderous. In “Lost Ones”, you’ll pit your wits and desperation against one. But something about this particular rusalka is familiar… “Lost Ones” is a short work of electronic interactive fiction which combines the old with the new. The rusalki, creatures from half remembered folk tales, are brought to life in a way that allows the audience to become part of the story. Readers take the part of the protagonist, influencing the story with their decisions and allowing it to conclude in multiple ways.

Ruqiyah Patel, “if not us: an interactive fiction anthology”

if not us is unique to interactive fiction: a collection of five different stories, each with different presentations, narrators, mechanics and styles. It draws on traditional literary techniques and classic fantasy tropes to tell an epic story with minimal exposition: five heroes embark on a journey to save the world, but the journey claims their lives one by one, and at the end the sole remaining hero stands outside their enemy’s fortress and wonders: can I be victorious alone? Is this the battle that I must fight? What success will I find, if I continue onwards? ‘Tragedy’ is a classic literary genre, but it’s rarely seen in video games – I argue this is because the archetypal tragedy relies on the protagonist’s own flaws leading to their downfall, and having to play through this yourself in a video game can be a gruelling, unpleasant experience. if not us brings tragedy to games in a more palatable way – yes, you play as a character whose flaws have cost them everything, but the question is: what next? Must this remain a tragedy? if not us runs on Mac/Windows/Linux and can be downloaded for free at https://ub4q.itch.io/ifnotus

Tansy Rayner Roberts, “Gentlewomen of the Press”, self-published

A themed collection of pop culture essays from an award-winning Australian critic.

Cat Sparks, “The 21st Century Catastrophe: Hyper-capitalism and Severe Climate Change in Science Fiction”, Curtin University

The exegesis, The 21st Century Catastrophe: Hyper-capitalism and Severe Climate Change in Science Fiction, examines key cultural concerns of the sixties and seventies as expressed through ecocatastrophe science fiction: overpopulation, pollution, resource depletion and contamination, considering that, despite sophisticated literary efforts, science fiction’s cautionary tales were rendered ineffective, diffused by genre cringe and prejudice, dismissed as mere entertainment. This is contrasted with contemporary climate fiction, written with the presumption that the processes leading to resource depleted, climate ravaged futures are already inexorably in motion. Anthropocene fiction is pushing beyond its origins as a subgenre of science fiction, evolving into a bold new genre responding directly to looming environmental crisis, laying the foundations for new literatures to emerge alongside new technologies, new attitudes, new social ecologies and new hope. This exegesis brings both credit and attention to the speculative fiction genre by detailing storytelling’s call for the expansion of literary boundaries into frontiers, the pulling down of fences, the retiring of the old and the invigoration of fresh, new perspectives as our societies and cultures are forced to embrace a reality in which all mimetic fiction will eventually be climate fiction by default.

Kim Wilkins, Lisa Fletcher, and Beth Driscoll, “Genre Worlds: Australian Popular Fiction in the 21st Century”

This large-scale research project sought to understand the interlinked textual, social, and industrial complexities of the production of Australian fantasy, crime, and romance. Over the three years of the project, the team interviewed over 100 writers and publishing personnel, organised an industry conference (http://www.genreworlds.com/genre-worlds-symposium-2016/), an academic conference (http://www.genreworlds.com/genre-worlds-conference-2017/), curated a special issue of Australian Literary Studies (https://www.australianliterarystudies.com.au/issues/genre-worlds-popular-fiction-in-the-twenty-first-century), and published findings about Australian genre fiction of the 21st century, including one on small press and fantasy fandoms, and another tracing the publishing ecosystems of fantasy, crime, and romance (attached). The project was funded with more the $300,000 of Australian Research Council money, and was the first large funded project in Australia that took as its object of study the “”genre worlds”” of fantasy, crime, and romance. As such, it has raised the profile of those genres and the profile of speculative fiction in the academic world, and has expanded the field through nurturing multiple PhD students and early career researchers.


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Aurealis Awards entries close this Friday!

Only two days left to get your 2018 Aurealis Awards entries in. It’s important to remember that ALL eligible Australian work published for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2018, must be entered by midnight on December 7, even work intended for publication after the December 7 cut off date.

Don’t be late – get your entries in now!


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Aurealis Awards entries update and reminder!

There is now less than one month until entries close for the 2018 Aurealis Awards. It’s important to remember that ALL eligible Australian work published for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2018, must be entered by December 7, even work intended for publication after the December 7 cut off date.

Please take care to check the updated entries received list and get your entries in!


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Save the date! Aurealis Awards ceremony in Melbourne!

We’re very excited to announce that the Aurealis Awards ceremony will be held in Melbourne on the evening of Saturday 4 May, 2019. Further details of venue and exact time to be confirmed, but lock it into your calendar!


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Only three days left to enter the SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD

Entries for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award close on Friday 31 August, 2018. If you or someone you know had an Australian speculative fiction series of at least two books that was considered finished in 2015, 2016 or 2017, make sure it is entered! More information here.

Here is a list of current entries as at 9pm Tuesday 28 August.


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Reminder: Sara Douglass Book Series Award closes August 31

A reminder to ensure all eligible series for the Sara Douglass Book Series Award are entered by August 31, 2018.

Unlike the rest of the main Aurealis Awards categories (which close December 7), the Sara closes in August:

    1. because it only considers series that have already concluded in previous years, and,
    2. to allow the panel time to read the quantity of work entered.

There have already been nearly 30 series submitted, ranging from two books to seven books each, but there are many more we know are eligible!



Remember, there are NO restrictions on when the series BEGAN, for the Sara, only when it is considered concluded. A series is eligible for the Sara if it is considered CONCLUDED during the eligibility period – this year, that means series ending in 2015, 2016 or 2017. The phrase used – “considered concluded” – is important. The expectation is that publishers and authors have no CURRENT expectation of there being further books in the series. We know sometimes a new book comes out several years later, when inspiration strikes unexpectedly!

The same rules about reprints applies though, as per the other Aurealis Awards categories, that is, if the series was originally published in the 1990s but it was reprinted (eg: as an omnibus) in 2017, that does not mean it is eligible for the Award. The exception would be if a new work was added to the series within the eligibility period of 2015/16/17.

The panel has already begun their reading and the judges are very excited about the quality of the entries so far.


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Aurealis Awards entry update

We’ve just posted an update of entries for the 2018 Aurealis Awards. With fewer than 200 entries across the categories so far, we know we have a fair way to go, and our judges truly appreciate all eligible work being entered as early as possible! See the current list here.

Authors, please check with your publisher to ensure they are entering your work, or make arrangements to submit it yourself – we aim to be as inclusive as possible and absolutely hate to see things left out.

Entries for the Aurealis Awards close December 7, 2018 for all eligible Australian work first published in the 2018 calendar year.

Entries for the SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD close August 31, 2018.

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2018 Aurealis Awards are open for entry

MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate distribution

1 June 2018

2018 Aurealis Awards now open for entries

2018 Aurealis Awards overseers the Continuum Foundation (ConFound) announces that the 2018 Aurealis Awards are now open for entries.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction, are for works created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.

Full guidelines and FAQ can be found on the Aurealis Awards website:



We strongly encourage publishers and authors to enter all works published in the first half of the year by August 2018, then subsequent publications as they are released; our judges appreciate having time to consider each entry carefully.

The Aurealis Awards judges welcome electronic entries in all categories, including novels, short stories, novellas, illustrated work / graphic novels, collections, anthologies, children’s and young adult fiction. The Aurealis Awards management team recognises the financial burden of entering multiple works in multiple categories to some authors, editors and publishers at independent small presses. We accept epub and mobi files, although PDF may be provided if no other format is available (particularly for graphic works). Print may also be supplied.

The Sara Douglass Book Series Award, for series ending between 2015-2017, is also being run this year. Entries for this special award close on 31 August, 2018. More information is available at https://aurealisawards.org/the-sara-douglass-book-series-award/

Finalists of all award categories will be announced early in 2019 and winners announced at a ceremony to take place in Melbourne in the first half of the year. For more information on the awards or for the entry form, visit the Aurealis Awards website at https://aurealisawards.org/.

For more information contact the judging coordinator Tehani Croft at aajudges@gmail.com.

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