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Thought of the Day (Aurealis Awards)

Why is it, I ask you, just why, were some of the stories by Australian authors published overseas--such as with the Terry Dowling, Lucy Sussex, and Rjurik Davidson pieces that appeared on sci fiction this year--not considered for the Aurealis Awards? Surely you don't have to submit your own work if you appear in the professional markets? And how much other fiction was published overseas and didn't get considered?

Kinda not right when you think about it.

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Dec. 29th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Aurealis Awards
Ben, I completely agree with you about this issue. There is something very wrong with a system that allows the major short SF market in the world to have been overlooked. I'm up for one of those awards. If I win it, I will probably feel as if I shouldn't have, or wouldn't have, had all the stories been considered.

Cat Sparks
benpeek
Dec. 29th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Aurealis Awards
yeah, it's no good if you win the award, thinking you only won cause others weren't in it.
justinelavaworm
Dec. 29th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
There were some foreign titles considered. I don't think Uglies or Pretties have been published here yet. Do we know that the scifi.com stories weren't considered? Maybe the judges didn't like them? (Which I find hard to believe cause Rjurik's scifi.com story is bloody amazing.)

The nominating system for the Aurealis Awards seems to be overly convuluted. Forms must be filled in and posted (right?). And I've heard rumours that the judges themselves can't nominate titles. Don't know if that's true, but if it is that's nuts. When I was a Tiptree judge the nominating system was dead simple (an online form where you could put title/author/publisher and then press the send button) and we judges actively kept an eye out for eligible material.

I can't imagine that the people administering the Aurealis want to overlook anything that's eligible, so I'm wondering why they don't have a simpler system.
benpeek
Dec. 29th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
Do we know that the scifi.com stories weren't considered?

well, they're not listed on the entered works list, which you can check here: www.fantasticqueensland.com/~aurealisawards/Frame.html

i've no idea how much is and isn't there, because i've simply not kept up with everything.

(on rjurik's story, i thought it was well written, good craft, alla that, but it didn't do anything new for me, so i'll not go that it was amazing. solid. professional. yes, all those things.)

The nominating system for the Aurealis Awards seems to be overly convuluted. Forms must be filled in and posted (right?).

yeah, it's pretty annoying. i did it for the small press american stuff i published this year, which i knew wouldn't register on anyones radar down here. it was just a labour to fill out the forms, get copies of the stories, and send them. if you only had to do it once, it might not be so bad, but you've got to do it for each judge in each category you send too. it's just a chore.

And I've heard rumours that the judges themselves can't nominate titles. Don't know if that's true, but if it is that's nuts.

yeah, i agree with that. i don't know if it's true, but there are some judges that read this, so they might say. kinda crazy if it's true.

i always thought, perhaps a bit naivelly, that being a judge and running an award meant you actively went out and got the stuff published to give to the judges.
(no subject) - justinelavaworm - Dec. 29th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 30th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 30th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
i_ate_my_crusts
Dec. 30th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
You don't have to submit your own work, but *someone* has to submit it, and provide copies for all judges. For the Aus small presses and larger publisher, that's usually the publisher.

The stories you list weren't considered because nobody submitted them, with appropriate entry form, in other words.

I won't comment on the goodness/badness/whateverness of this, for obvious reasons, but that's why.
benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 01:48 am (UTC)
thanks for the info, zara.
(no subject) - strangedave - Dec. 30th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Dec. 30th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
AAs
The whole point of having awards is to identify what is judged to be the best of something and give it a prize for being so. If the identification process manages to overlook the most prestigious market available then there is something wrong with it. Its not like Sci Fiction.com was some teeny little fanzine that no one has ever heard of.

I think the AAs are in danger of becoming a complete joke if this situation isn't rectified.

Cat
llbatt
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Re: AAs
So where were Sussex, Dowling, and Davidson while their stories weren't being nominated? It's their careers, not ours: if they want their stories to be nominated for the awards, nothing stopped them doing the necessary work to nominate them. Don't blame the awards for the writers not getting involved. If you want to play that card, you can decry every AA year since Egan announced he was pulling out from future consideration.
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 1st, 2006 06:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - llbatt - Jan. 1st, 2006 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 1st, 2006 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - llbatt - Jan. 1st, 2006 06:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 1st, 2006 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - llbatt - Jan. 1st, 2006 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 1st, 2006 07:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - llbatt - Jan. 1st, 2006 07:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 4th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 4th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - benpeek - Jan. 4th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - (Anonymous) - Jan. 4th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - benpeek - Jan. 4th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - benpeek - Jan. 4th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AAs - ellen_datlow - Jan. 4th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
punkrocker1991
Dec. 30th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
Or we could just look at it this way: the AAs are run in a way that the AA organisers want to run them. There are inherent flaws in the process, and the end result is that the winners will be those works judged by their respective panels to be the best works nominated. From previous experience with judging the AAs, the awards often recognise the middle ground: often the best stories manage a polar split of the panel and it's the compromise story that gets the award. Sometimes a judge's favourite stories of the year don't even make the shortlist due to underhanded machinations of other judges.

The AAs have been, for many years, a flawed award. It's just now that an extra mound of bureacracy has been introduced into the mix. The amount of work an indie publisher has to do in order to do the right thing by their writers has become an unpleasant task.

The AAs will never be a complete joke because there will always be some that take them seriously.
benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)
awards often recognise the middle ground: often the best stories manage a polar split of the panel and it's the compromise story that gets the award. Sometimes a judge's favourite stories of the year don't even make the shortlist due to underhanded machinations of other judges.

as it is with all awards, really.
(no subject) - strangedave - Dec. 30th, 2005 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 30th, 2005 11:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strangedave - Dec. 30th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 30th, 2005 07:38 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_benpayne119
Dec. 30th, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
Ben, everything had to be submitted by *someone*. It could be the author, publisher, I think the judges themselves could nominate stories too.

The only thing is, anyone nominating a story had to be willing to pay to print up the story and mail it to the three judges, and complete the entry form.

I agree with you, it's ridiculous if they weren't considered... of course it's always possible that the judges for those categories *did* read the stories but didn't think they were good enough to go through the hoopla of officially entering them. Or maybe they didn't read them at all.

I think it's in the interests of the awards to be as inclusive as possible. While the burden shouldn't be *totally* on the judges (ie. they can't be expected to know every story that's been published in the US small presses etc) I do think it's in everyone's best interests if stuff isn't overlooked.

The entry forms in my opinion are unnecessary and simply complicate things.

As a judge I've frequently chased up stories/books.

benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 08:10 am (UTC)
the stories aren't listed on the site as entered works, so i guess they weren't. i'm personally not too fussed over this--you know my opinions on awards. but the point was raised by a friend and i figured i'd give it a public place to converse, if people wanted. as you can see, i'm not really taking part in the topic. should the stories of been there? sure. only makes sense to be inclusive. but if they were or they weren't, it doesn't change how i view the award (or any award, really), btu that's my thing. others care, so i figure people will discuss it, if not here, then elsewhere.

i disagree over authors not allowing authors to withdraw their work. if an author doesn't want it, then you shouldn't force them. there are usually plenty of other works worthy of recognition anyway, so i don't see the hassle in not having one to pick from. but thats me--i suppose i'm looking at it fromt he author point of view.
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 31st, 2005 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 31st, 2005 06:26 am (UTC) - Expand
declining nominations and related issues - ellen_datlow - Dec. 31st, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: declining nominations and related issues - benpeek - Dec. 31st, 2005 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 31st, 2005 01:22 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_benpayne119
Dec. 30th, 2005 07:29 am (UTC)
Similarly I don't believe authors should be able to ask that their works not be considered...

strangedave
Dec. 30th, 2005 11:18 am (UTC)
I think they should be able to ask, but should their request always be granted? Quite a complicated question. Especially if nominated by someone else.

The issue is, of course, very real for the Ditmars, as Greg Egan always declines Ditmar nominations. Which has, in the past, lead to the cancellaton of one Ditmar ballot process (it was repeated later in the year with more success, but not awarded at the Natcon). And essentially impossible to ever completely resolve, as it depends on philosophical questions about the nature of awards that are seldom clear for a particular award (and probably differ for awards in general).
cassiphone
Dec. 30th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
I think you'll find that the 'entered works' list just doesn't include every work that was considered. Most judges will look outside the entered works if they can - but won't go to the trouble of trying to officially enter them unless they make the shortlist.

I know from the panel I was on this year that we considered several works that weren't officially entered - and in some cases chased up the publisher to send us copies.

Likewise, just because something's published overseas doesn't mean the judges don't go out of their way to read it.

I agree that the 'entry form' system is problematic, but the administration of something like the AA's strikes me as nightmarish from beginning to end, and I wouldn't dream of taking on a task like that myself. The previous system was flawed too - although to be honest, it hasn't changed for the judges.
benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 12:05 pm (UTC)

i'm not saying that judges have a bias against overseas fiction. i'm just raising the question of what was missing on the entered works list, and letting people run from there, so they can talk about it public like.
(no subject) - cassiphone - Dec. 30th, 2005 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 30th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 31st, 2005 01:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 31st, 2005 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Jan. 1st, 2006 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jan. 1st, 2006 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 30th, 2005 12:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 31st, 2005 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 31st, 2005 06:32 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 31st, 2005 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Dec. 30th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
aurealis awards
Lucy Sussex here. I've been having this discussion with Cat Sparks & Richard Harland. Nobody told me you had to nominate your own work to get considered. Now I've had a good run with the Aurealis awards, I don't begrudge the nominees this year. But it seems to me an award is meant to be representative of its field, and that it should be inclusive.

For instance, with any fantasy category you are going to get interesting magical realist stuff (increasingly) from the mainstream. Well I remember the time the Yrs Best people (fantasy) contacted me about a story that had actually appeared in an oz lit mag. They wanted to contact the author for permission, and he actually turned out to be American. That they were prepared to range far and wide for their selection is meritorious.

Of the awards I've judged, some have been paid, some not. A meal with mucho red wine with the Davitts. Pay for another award, but it wasn't adequate recompense, not with 70-100 thick non-fictions to read. But in all cases the judges have been active in looking for stuff, spotting where books should have been submitted. Anything else is smacking of laziness.

benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Re: aurealis awards
Now I've had a good run with the Aurealis awards, I don't begrudge the nominees this year. But it seems to me an award is meant to be representative of its field, and that it should be inclusive.

no, no one is begrudging anyone their nominations. it's all very fine for the people who have been. but as you say, the award is meant to be representative of the field, and you ought to have a proper representation.
Re: aurealis awards - ex_benpayne119 - Dec. 31st, 2005 12:54 am (UTC) - Expand
ellen_datlow
Dec. 30th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC)
Aurealis awards process
No blame meant, but if I'd realized that I had to nominate the works by
Australians that I published for them to be considered, I would have done so.
benpeek
Dec. 30th, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Aurealis awards process
no one is applying any blame, i think.

i think people just want, as lucy said, to see a full representation of the people in the scene. still, it's a scene that isn't the most professional in the way it's run, so having these sort of missteps shown up public might give a bit of a hand to helping kick a bit more professional in. whatever that means, of course :)
ellen_datlow
Dec. 30th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
simple solution for the future
As I just posted on Jonathan Strahan's blog, the very simple solution is for the administrators of the award to send out a release to Locus online/print and various online newsletters/news sites once a year (early) explaining the nomination process--ie. who can nominate and how.
ex_benpayne119
Dec. 31st, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: simple solution for the future
Ellen, you're right. That's very sensible.

ellen_datlow
Dec. 31st, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
declining nominations and related issues
I don't believe it has anything to do with individual rights. Unless there's a very good reason for it, (and occasionally there is a good reason) in fact, I think that declining a nomination is rude.
benpeek
Dec. 31st, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)
Re: declining nominations and related issues
ah well. guess we just see it different then.

hey, shouldn't you be out or something? isn't it the new year or something over there? time for parties you'd never normally go to but you do because that's what new years eve is all about ;)
ellen_datlow
Dec. 31st, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
why I'm home
It's in fact my birthday. It's 5:59 pm here and after having a very relaxing massage this afternoon, I am now preparing to attend a birthday/New Year's eve dinner party at a friend's place. But it isn't till 8pm. So here I am.
Happy new year!!! to you all in oz.
benpeek
Dec. 31st, 2005 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: why I'm home
hey, happy birthday! that so must mean that you get invited to better parties this time of the year. no dodgy roof tops in blacktown for you :) (which probably wouldn't have been happening anyway.)

and happy new year, too.

Re: why I'm home - ex_benpayne119 - Jan. 1st, 2006 01:42 am (UTC) - Expand
ellen_datlow
Dec. 31st, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
I'm very choosy as to the parties I attend on New Year's Eve. If they aren't small ones, I don't feel as if they're for me and feel cheated. :-) I used to throw my own very small dinner parties, until the books on the kitchen table made that impossible. So now I go out. But no big parties for me! (at least not on Dec 31st).
So what did YOU do on the eve?
benpeek
Dec. 31st, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
i spent my time on a roof top in blacktown :)

i had plans to go to an island, which would've been cool, as i could then say, 'i spent new year's on an island', but it fell through a couple of days beforehand. kinda set up a trend for everything after that. so: blacktown roof top, where i sat round and listened to people talk about working in a supermarket (coles) and how fresh produce is, uh, interesting, and how people can't cash out a register in under five minutes. i also learnt that now matter what i do throughout my life, the ability to dance in any way that would be enjoyable for someone to watch is not going to be one of those things. so it was pretty forgetable in just about every way. obviously, i got to start being choosy :)
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Thank you. Just got home from a nice, small celebration. Saw some very disappionting fireworks. The July 4th ones in NYC are much much better.
benpeek
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:29 am (UTC)
new year's are the big ones in sydney. the light up the bridge. quite a sight up close, if you don't mind the ash falling on you. i saw it once which was enough--fireworks have always been a thing i just didn't get.

anyhow, glad you had a nice night. welcome to 2006 with the rest of us :)
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
The difference may be that here it's COLD on New year's eve. I was not happy standing outside in below freezing weather waiting for fireworks that only last 10 minutes. In the summer I can see them from my window, which faces in the direction of the Hudson river and can watch imaginative ones for half an hour. I love seeing the new ones each year. Different colors, different patterns.

When I was at the Hague Worldcon there was an international fireworks exhibition that lots of us watched. It was glorious.
benpeek
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
The difference may be that here it's COLD on New year's eve.

maybe. i'm not so up on the horrors of the freezing weather. however, when i went last to watch the fireworks, it was 2000, and the people i went with wanted to get there early for a 'good' spot. so we got there at, like, two or three in ther afternoon and waited under the bridge. they had all these public toilets set up, but by about nine that night, there were just overflowing. you'd step in there and it'd--well, there's really no way to describe overflowing toilets. the worse part was when i watched one guy get in, and then his friends ran up behind the toilet and slammed into it, rocking it round. he emerged unhappy.

then of course, the fireworks happened. ten minutes later, the slog back home through the crowd.
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Well, yeah. That doesn't sound like much fun. Once I trudged over to the east side of the city for July 4th, with masses of people, including parents with baby carriages and one jerk smoking a cigar in the middle of several thousand cramped people. It was an experience I never wanted to go through again. The river walk was pretty empty tonight though because of the cold.
benpeek
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
yeah, that trudge reminds me of nye round the bridge in sydney. it's strange, but i know people who go every year. a lot of folk make a day out of it, which is nice, but yesterday was just too hot. today's worse. it's like forty four. air conditioners are no longer working cause of the heat. it's insane. but people sit out there, waiting, making a day.

people, huh?
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
Ben, What temperature do you use in Australia? I need to convert it to Farenheit.
benpeek
Jan. 1st, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)
heh. sorry. we use celcius. i believe that's about 111 for you... (though i could be way off)
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
That's what I thought, but I couldn't believe the temperature could be that high! It wasn't that bad in Brisbane last year.
benpeek
Jan. 1st, 2006 07:22 am (UTC)
it is, apparently, the second hottest day recorded in sydney. further out inot the country, it's got to be hotter. anyhow, night night.
ellen_datlow
Jan. 1st, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
Gotta get offline. It's 2:13 am here and I'm wiped out. Nighty night.
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