Tag Archives: Ditmars

2017 Ditmar Winners Announced

Over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, spec fic fans gathered for Continuum 13: Triskaidekaphilia. Continuum is always a great convention, and this year it was also the Aussie Natcon so it was also the host of the annual Ditmar Awards (the Australian popular vote awards for spec fic).

It was a great list of nominees, who all would have been deserving winners…the only problem being that not everyone can win! I was very happy to see a number of friends pick up an award, and especially thrilled that the 2016 Australian SF Snapshot won the Best Fan Publication in any Medium (a particularly competitive category).

Photo thanks to the awesomely fingernailed @thiefofcamorr Another lovely design from Kathleen Jennings

I’d been pretty sick in the week leading up to the convention, and didn’t see much of it at all. And, I didn’t expect to get pushed up front to say anything when we accepted the award! I doubt I made sense, but the gist of it was that it’s always an honour to be even a small part of something like the Snapshot. A lot of people put in a huge amount of their time and effort, and the result is something significant–a celebration of the incredible range of talent present in the Aussie scene.

Not at my best!

Congrats to all the winners!

Best Novel: The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.
Best Novella or Novelette:  “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.
Best Short Story: “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.
Best Collected Work: (tie) Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press & Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.
Best Artwork: illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.
Best Fan Publication in Any Medium: 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.
Best Fan Writer: Foz Meadows, for body of work.
Best New Talent:Marlee Jane Ward
William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review: Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.
(No award was given out for Best Fan Artist as the only nominee, Kathleen Jennings, withdrew.)

Obligatory 2016 Ditmar Eligibility Post

I’m aware of the discussion online about the propriety of award eligibility posts. My personal opinion is that there is nothing wrong with making people aware of what you have done, there is so much out there that it is easy for people to lose track. Soliciting votes–well, that’s another thing and something that I have a huge problem with.

So, I’ll list what I have done, and if people think it is award worthy that’s wonderful. But, far more important is that people nominate and vote for whatever works they think worthy of note. The more people who participate in award, from the Ditmars to the Hugos, the more legitimacy it has, and the wider range of works noticed.

My works are right down the bottom of the post, but don’t feel you need to read down that far, the important message is: make sure you nominate and vote in the Ditmars! There are so many amazing people in the Aussie scene, and they are producing so much good work. The list of eligibles will blow your mind. So, if you have loved someone’s work last year, why not nominate them?

Something that I do want to highlight (that I didn’t create, but was part of, and that I think was amazing not through anything to do with me, but because of the creator) was Laura E. Goodin’s spectacular , “Cabinet of Oddities”. I am not sure what category Laura would be eligible for that under, but I wanted to highlight it as something worth considering (ETA: so far the most likely seems to be “Best Collected Work”). It really was one of the stand out experiences for me in an all round amazing year.

Ditmar Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2016 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) awards are now open
and will remain open until one minute before midnight Brisbane time on
Sunday, 31st of January, 2016 (ie. 11.59pm, GMT+10). Postal nominations
must be postmarked no later than Friday, 29th of January, 2016.

The current rules, including Award categories can be found at:


You must include your name with any nomination. Nominations will be
accepted only from natural persons active in fandom, or from full or
supporting members of Contact 2016, the 2016 Australian National SF
Convention. Where a nominator may not be known to the Ditmar
subcommittee, the nominator should provide the name of someone known to
the subcommittee who can vouch for the nominator’s eligibility.
Convention attendance or membership of an SF club are among the criteria
which qualify a person as “active in fandom”, but are not the only
qualifying criteria. If in doubt, nominate and mention your qualifying
criteria. If you received this email directly, you almost certainly qualify.

You may nominate as many times in as many Award categories as you like,
although you may only nominate a particular person, work or achievement
once. The Ditmar subcommittee, which is organised under the auspices the
Standing Committee of the Natcon Business Meeting, will rule on
situations where eligibility is unclear. A partial and unofficial
eligibility list, to which everyone is encouraged to add, can be found here:


While online nominations are preferred, nominations can be made in a
number of ways:

1. online, via this form:

2. via email to ditmars@sf.org.au; or

3. by post to:

6 Florence Road

So. my list:

Best Short Story

  • “Her Face Like Lightning”, David McDonald, in Insert Title Here, FableCroft Publishing.
  • “Red in Tooth and Claw”, David McDonald, in Dimension6 5.
  • “Sympathetic Impulses”, David McDonald, in nEvermore!, Hades Publications.
  • “To Dance, Perchance to Die”, David McDonald, in Expiration Date, Hades Publications.

Best Fan Publication in any Medium

  • “Galactic Chat”, Sean Wright, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Alexandra Pierce, Sarah Parker and Mark Webb.

William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review


Galactic Chat Post Ditmar Bonus Cast

From the Galactic Chat Website:

In this week’s cast, we decided to do a Skype catch up with the team to talk about out recent Ditmar win.  In addition to congratulating each other we also took the time to engage in a little reflection.  We discuss podcasting as a way that authors can skill themselves up for interviews in other media spheres. We also talk about some of our favourite interviews and who we would interview if given the chance and money being no impediment.  

Enjoy our slightly Coode Street-esque ramble.


Interviewer: Sean Wright

Guests: Mark Webb, David McDonald, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs

Music & Intro: Tansy Rayner Roberts

Post-production: Sean Wright


Twitter: @galactichat

Email: galactichat at gmail dot com

Conflux 2013 Roundup

Wow! What an awesome Con! After a month of solid travel, I have to admit that a little part of me was wishing that I had another week or so before I had to jump on another plane, but once I got there I realised just how much I needed to be around the spec fic community. There are much better con round ups out there (if you have one feel free to post in the comments), so this is just a very quick one from me.


At around 3:30am Thursday morning I realised there was probably no point going to sleep, and I am now terrified of missing another flight, so I gave up on the idea. That meant for a change I got to the airport nice and early and felt rather relaxed. It also meant when I got to Canberra, I was absolutely exhausted! Fortunately, someone had very kindly offered to come out and pick me up (thanks, Simon!) and through the wonders of Twitter we collected someone else and headed to the Rydges (going to the wrong one first lol).

After a coffee with some friends, I decided I should go and get some sleep in my hotel to preapre myself for the excitement ahead.

Photo by Helen Stubbs

Photo by Helen Stubbs

The hotel looked closer on the map than it was, but it was still only about 2.5km away. Someone else gave me a lift back there (the generosity of others was a recurring theme over the con) and I felt much better after a nap. The only problem was I cut it a bit fine to get back for the first event I had locked in and had to run the 2.5km back!

But it was worth the heart palpitations as I got there in time for the launch of “The Bride Price”, the awesome new collection from Cat Sparks! I love Cat’s writing, and this looks like it is going to be incredible! Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long to sell out.

Photo by Cat Sparks

Russell Farr and Cat Sparks-Photo by Cat Sparks

Then, it was off to the cocktail hour where I got to mingle with lots of awesome people, both old friends and new. From there, we all naturally migrated to the bar to continue socialising until late. Despite our warnings, the hotel obviously did not believe the stories of writerly habits and left a few poor staff to face the hordes.


Had a bit of a late start on Friday, you know, because of the flight etc My first event for the day was the long awaited launch of Rob Hood’s Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead. As always, Jack Dann was an excellent MC and it was wonderful to see the support from the community for this much anticipated release.

Photo by Cat Sparks

Jack Dann and Rob Hood – Photo by Cat Sparks

Once we had toasted Rob’s book, I headed off to a Memorial for Jan Howard Finder, or Wombat as he was affectionately known. I only met Jan once, on a panel at Worldcon, but he was a really nice guy and made me feel very welcome. It was a sad occasion, yes, but filled with lots of happy memories and funny stories about a well loved member of fandom.

The rest of the night was devoted to more socialising, and a great dinner with friends.


On Saturday, my awesome Mentor’s awesome book was launched!

Jason Fischer - photo by Cat Sparks

Jason Fischer – photo by Cat Sparks

And, then lunch and – you guessed it – more socialising!

Soon, it was time to suit up for the Ditmars. Someone had the great idea (not sarcasm – I loved it!) of handing out bubble blowing kits, so I spent most of the ceremony feeling bubbles land on the back of my head – they tickled! Deb Biancotti was our host this year, and did an exceptional job. After the awesomeness that was Mondy and Kirstyn’s show last year, it would have been tempting to try and copy it, and easy to fall short. But, instead, Deb made it her own, ably assisted by the wonderful Terri.

One of my favourite innovations was the way that the twitter stream was displayed on the big screen. Aussie spec fic fans are obviously far more mature than Bryan Adams fans, because every fifth word wasn’t “boobs”! For a great slice of the night, check out Sean’s storify roundup here.

One of the great things about this community is that most of the people nominated are friends so, I was very excited for each of the winners. It is obviously how important Peter McNamara’s legacy is (and rightly so) and it was lovely to see some of his family watch the amazing Nick Stathopoulos take away the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Russell Farr was overwhelmed after being awarded the A. Bertram Chandler for his services to Aussie Spec Fic.

And, I was absolutely stunned to win the Ditmar for Best New Talent! I was completely unprepared, in fact I hadn’t even voted for myself, and I didn’t have a speech ready. I have no idea what I said, other than that I forgot to thank some people I should have (sigh), but it was a massive honour, especially given the quality of the other nominees. I was delighted that it was Kaaron who handed me the award, as she is someone who has been extremely kind to me since I came on the scene. This was the first award I have ever won in my life, and I can’t think of a crowd I would have rather won it in front of.

Kaaron hands me the award - Photo by Cat Sparks

Kaaron hands me the award – Photo by Cat Sparks

As you can imagine, I was a bit stunned by all this, in fact I still am! I really don’t know what to say, other than thank you to everyone who has supported me, and everyone who nominated and voted for me. When I look at the past winners, there is a lot to live up and I promise I will do my utmost to do so.

You can find a full list of the winners here.


The trophies themselves were beautfiul, Lewis Morley designed them and did an incredible job.

The Trophy

Trophy – Photo by Amanda Rainey

I couldn’t celebrate too hard as I had a panel at 9pm, so I lingered in the bar for a while before heading back up.

SF, movies, television and fictionIs there an increased market for things SF? Movies, books, short fiction, TV series? Dr Who just keeps going.  There’s been a new Star Trek, a movie based on the Battleship game with groovy aliens, there’s Looper, Prometheus and Iron Sky. In books, Egan, Reynolds, and Peter F Hamilton are still in the game. The panellists talk about what they are seeing? Hard SF, space opera, romance in SF? What is driving this?

The panel went really well, with some great comments from Jonathan Blum, Devin Jeyathurai, Cat Sparks as we discussed whether TV has replaced the cinema has the source of quality SF, whether we are in a “Golden Age” of spec fic adaptations and whether complex ideas are being dumbed done to suit a simpler medium. Lots of robust, but respectful debate made for an hour that flew by!

Then it was time to celebrate an eventful day, first at the bar and then onwards to a room party until the wee hours..


In my capacity as a Continuum committee member I had to attend the Natcon Business Meeting. It was fascinating see the things that need to happen behind the scenes to make conventions happen. After two hours or so, the shine of discovery had worn off a little, but I am glad I went.

The rest of the day was devoted to trying to catch up with some of the people I’d missed, though I didn’t completely succeed. I was going to go to the Closing Ceremony but ended just chilling out with some friends until I was given another lift by generous, people to the airport. The flight home wasn’t the greatest, for some reason I went through Sydney and got stuck on the tarmac in Melbourne due to an airbridge malfunction. The drunken ice hockey team expressing their displeasure didn’t help either. But, none of that could take the shine off a truly wonderful few days.

Nicole and Donna and the rest of their team deserve much congratulations for staging such an incredible Con. It had all the things I consider essential – friendly and accessible guests, strong programming, a good area for social interaction and a great venue. This was my second Conflux and reinforced my belief that it is one of the best cons for writers in Australia.

While I didn’t make it to many panels I don;t regret it, because for me a convention is about catching up with old friends and making new ones. The time I took to socialise was definitely well spent, but the beauty of this con was that whatever stage of your writing career and whatever you were looking for, you would have been well catered to. Well done to all involved!

You can find a roundup of roundups here, with more in the comments. And, please feel free to link to your own in the comments for this post.



Ditmar Shortlist Announced

I awoke this morning to see that the Ditmar shortlist had been released:

Best Novel
* The Shattered City (Creature Court 2), Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperCollins)
* Burn Bright, Marianne de Pierres (Random House Australia)
* Mistification, Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot Books)
* The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
* Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot Books)

Best Novella or Novelette
* “The Sleeping and the Dead”, Cat Sparks, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
* “Above”, Stephanie Campisi, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt”, Paul Haines, in The Last Days of Kali Yuga (Brimstone Press)
* “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living”, Deborah Biancotti, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
* “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “Below”, Ben Peek, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Story
* “Breaking the Ice”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Cosmos 37
* “Alchemy”, Lucy Sussex, in Thief of Lives (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker”, Martin Livings and Talie Helene, in More Scary Kisses (Ticonderoga Publications)
* “All You Can Do Is Breathe”, Kaaron Warren, in Blood and Other Cravings (Tor)
* “Bad Power”, Deborah Biancotti, in Bad Power (Twelfth Planet Press)
* “The Patrician”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Collected Work
* The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)
* Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
* Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

Best Artwork
* “Finishing School”, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Candlewick Press)
* Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for The Freedom Maze (Small Beer Press)

Best Fan Writer
* Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus! and Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth
* Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews in Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus!, Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth, and Randomly Yours, Alex
* Robin Pen, for “The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar”
* Sean Wright, for body of work including “Authors and Social Media” series in Adventures of a Bookonaut
* Bruce Gillespie, for body of work including “The Golden Age of Fanzines is Now”, and SF Commentary 81 & 82

Best Fan Artist
* Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
* Lisa Rye, for “Steampunk Portal” series
* Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine Time, SF Commentary and Scratchpad
* Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry (tanaudel.wordpress.com) including “The Dalek Game”
* Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Programme Book

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium
* SF Commentary, edited by Bruce Gillespie
* The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
* The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
* Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sean Wright
* Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce

Best New Talent
* Steve Cameron
* Alan Baxter
* Joanne Anderton

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
* Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for “2010: The Year in Review”, in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 (Ticonderoga Publications)
* Damien Broderick and Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (Borgo Press)
* David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely for “Reviewing New Who” series, in A Conversational Life
* Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely, for reviews of Vorkosigan Saga, in Randomly Yours, Alex
* Russell Blackford, for “Currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke”, in Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

Not only is wonderful to see so many friends have been nominated (many of whom who have featured in Wednesday Writers as well!), but obviously I am thrilled and honoured to get mention for the New Who conversations I have been part of. Thanks to Tansy and Tehani for making me look good!

I am busy preparing for my Sydney trip (yay!) and the start of winter cricket (yes, winter cricket) so I will have to come back with further thoughts. But, my initial impression is that this is a very strong list and shows how vibrant the Aussie scene is right now.

Voting and further details can be found here.