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New Australian Spec Fic Award

Over the years, the one thing I've learnt about Australian speculative fiction is that they really like awards.

Don't believe me? Well, there's the Aurealis Awards, which give out fourteen statues, the Ditmars, which give out thirteen, the Tin Ducks that give out seven, and the Australian Horror Writers naked chick statue, which is given out to one person each year. These thirty five awards are particularly impressive when you give that you'd be lucky to find as many people in the same room who have read the list of nominated works in any prize. Which is, of course, why a new award is such an impressive thing to have emerge, and to top it out, it's a state wide award, much like the Tin Ducks, which means that the nine people in Victoria who'll be interested in this will have a fair shake at the nine nomination categories:

The Continuum Foundation has opened nominations for the inaugural Chronos Awards for excellence in Victorian [ed. As in Victoria, the state of Australia] SF, fantasy, and horror in 2008.

The categories are:

Professional Categories

* Best Novel
* Best Novella or Novelette
* Best Short Story
* Best Collected Work
* Best Artwork

Fan Categories

* Best Fan Writer
* Best Fan Artist
* Best Fan Publication in any Medium.

Special Award for works not eligible in existing categories

* Best Achievement


Nominations from "natural persons active in fandom" or from full or supporting members of the Continuum 5 SF convention are open from now until June 28.

Nominations can be made by:
1. Email to awards@continuum.org.au; or
2. Post to - Chronos Awards Committee, 65A Limestone Ave, BRADDON ACT 2612; or
3. Lodging a comment at the Arcadiagt5 LiveJournal.

The Chronos Awards will be presented at Continuum 5 in August.


Really, I'm struggling to see why anything in Australia would need yet another award. I have no idea what it supports, or even encourages, and given the continually shrinking audience of the work produced here, I do wonder why the energy isn't being put elsewhere...

Link.

(crossposted)

Comments

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catsparx
Jun. 1st, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
We definitely don't need any more writing awards
benpeek
Jun. 1st, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
do we need any other kind?
catsparx
Jun. 1st, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
some discussion I've read on this topic brings forth the belief that fan awards might serve a unifying function within a community that feels disenfranchised by the current Aussie spec fic scene and its apparent literary focus. I can see the point in that. What I can't see a need for is more writing trophies.
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 1st, 2009 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsparx - Jun. 1st, 2009 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crankynick - Jun. 1st, 2009 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 1st, 2009 09:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - catsparx - Jun. 1st, 2009 10:09 am (UTC) - Expand
artbroken
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
I'm in Victoria and theoretically should give a shit about this, and yet...
benpeek
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
you're waiting for the t-shirt?
angriest
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
Why is everyone getting so down on these awards? The Tin Ducks have gone just fine in WA for decades now without serious controversy, people getting desperate to win them, or people bitching endlessly about them on LJ and blogs (unlike the Ditmars and Aurealises). I don't see why a Victorian set of SF awards would be any different.

Nobody's claiming they're a serious award. Fuck, anyone who honestly thinks the Ditmars are massively important is kind of overestimating them. They're just a nice fun gesture in a community that, from what I've experienced of it, would really benefit from some extra niceness and fun.

It's not some authoratitive gesture of quality - it's 50 people telling someone "hey, we like your stuff". What's wrong with that?

Also, hasn't that Australian horror award scary chick thingy just increased from one prize to three?
robinpen
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
I agree with angriest. It's about a community giving them, not about the people getting them.

But I'm wary now. Because the same people who go on about it now as there being no need for them (and sure, there isn't, so what) will be the same people going on about them and what is nominated and what wins as if they are important. They'll all be angsty and upset on their ljs and treat them like the Ditmars and Aurealis's, which aren't needed either.
benpeek
Jun. 1st, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
oh. really? three now. gosh.

anyhow: the problem with 'new' awards is that it's kind've ridiculous and over kill. there's simply not enough work in the scene to support the ones that exist--and you either end up with overlap, or with minor work being praised. the last is a problem that you may or may not agree with, but the fact that you say no one is claiming it a serious award, and that they're honestly not that important shows the problem that there is with the awards existing in the first place.

it'll probably come as no surprise to you when i say this, but part of the problem with this community when it comes to appreciating work is, in fact, the 'community'. it's long been without any critical eye, and has a horrible tendency to react to criticism poorly. that isn't a problem, of course, if you just want to write a few stories and have your mates read them (which is arguable what the small press scene is), but it is a problem if you want the work to extend beyond its existing readers and be taken seriously. at least, in my opinion.
angriest
Jun. 1st, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
Well if your eye is aimed above and beyond the local SF community, then these kinds of awards are logically below your radar anyway.

I just think people treat these things too seriously.
benpeek
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
see, it's this that's shat for year's about this scene. i've had my rants and kicks and attempts to alter the mind set to no avail, so i'm kind've chilled with it now, but it seems to me that there's a large part of the community that wants to be taken seriously and read and have a world standard... and at the same time, say this kind of thing.
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 1st, 2009 09:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 1st, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 2nd, 2009 06:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 2nd, 2009 06:58 am (UTC) - Expand
king_espresso
Jun. 1st, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
You say ridiculous like it's a bad thing...
benpeek
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
i'm a curious fellow like that.
catsparx
Jun. 1st, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
From my personal POV, there is utterly no point in an award if its not going to be taken seriously. I would love the Ditmars to be a serious award. They are entirely what this community makes of them... unfortunately. I'd rather interested parties directed efforts into improving what we already have in place rather than spinning off on new state-specific tangents. BUT I'm not volunteering to do anything about it myself, so I'm thinking I don't get a say in the matter.

if 50 people want to tell each other they like their stuff... go for it.
robinpen
Jun. 1st, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)
"If 50 people want to tell each other they like their stuff... go for it."

Agreed.

And when a Victorian writer or artist wins one they are welcome to say "Thankyou, that's nice" and leave it at that.
angriest
Jun. 1st, 2009 07:01 am (UTC)
That's why I like the Tin Ducks way more than the Ditmars. Nobody ever accuses you of fraud or e-mails you nice messages like "fuck off and die" when you administer the Tin Ducks.
angriest
Jun. 1st, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
Maybe we should make it like a kind of national league thing, where each state has its own award, and the winner in each category on the state level advances to the Ditmar ballot.

This whole issue is kind of representative of why I've fallen out of science fiction fandom in the past two years or so. It used to be about hanging out and enjoying SF, and now I feel like one half has retreated to small press publishing and treating everything *deeply* seriously, and the other half has retreated to writing slash fiction and editing songvids on the Internet. That's a massive generalisation, obviously, but I do feel like my interests in SF are no longer really catered for in Australia and that makes me sad.
crankynick
Jun. 1st, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
one half has retreated to small press publishing and treating everything *deeply* seriously, and the other half has retreated to writing slash fiction and editing songvids on the Internet

LOL.
(no subject) - nyssa_p - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nyssa_p - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nyssa_p - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nyssa_p - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:51 am (UTC) - Expand
king_espresso
Jun. 1st, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
Awards are votes of thanks and acknowledgements of effort. Surely that's enough of a reason to take them at least moderately seriously. Cat, you have won a Ditmar. So has a genuine felis domesticus. We should leaven our seriousness with a little humour now and then.
(no subject) - catsparx - Jun. 1st, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3lobed - Jun. 1st, 2009 09:30 am (UTC) - Expand
lucius_t
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thomas Disch said it best:

"Every child must go home with a prize."
benpeek
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
i do think we're approaching the point now where every child CAN go home with a prize...
lucius_t
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I'm sure there's now an award of best novel witten in the first person by a come victim. In fact, I think I'm up for it. :)
robinpen
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
Ask a writer how many awards are enough. "Never enough, never enough!"
lucius_t
Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
I'm a writer, I've won enough. hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Locus Awrards up the wazoo, etc. Awards are fucking meaningless. The only award I've ever picked up in person was the World Fantasy Award in 1988 because my published flew me and my son to London. I was living in New York when I won the best novella Nebula and I didn't bother going crosstown to pick i up. It's better thahn a sharp stick in the eye, but basically they're bowling trophies.
(no subject) - robinpen - Jun. 2nd, 2009 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lucius_t - Jun. 2nd, 2009 01:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jun. 2nd, 2009 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lucius_t - Jun. 2nd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - robinpen - Jun. 2nd, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
garykemble
Jun. 3rd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
More cash prizes. Cash prizes are nice.

:)

Gary
nyssa_p
Jun. 3rd, 2009 07:27 am (UTC)
Here, here!
XD
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