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June 24th, 2008

Aurealis Award from Sunny Britain

A few days ago I said I'd convince Martin Lewis (ninebelow) to post his views on some past winners of the Aurealis Awards, just to give you an idea of how the scene is viewed outside the country.

Well, here it is:

One problem is that the pool of Australian fiction is simply not large enough to credibly support such an award. There is no shame in this. There is shame, however, in falsely praising minor works, a process which merely serves to undermine the reputations of all involved. There are two issues involved here. Firstly, the major fan and juried awards of the much bigger markets of Britain and the United States are not closed to entrants from outside those countries (although, of course, native entries often win.) It is an understandable fear that such an open borders policy in Australian awards would leave little, if any, Australian fiction on the shortlists. Perhaps, though, only lauding that rare fiction that can compete on the international stage is preferable to the current situation. Secondly, and more troubling, is the fact that the award is split into five categories - science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult and children – further reducing the amount of fiction available. Even if the award is restricted to Australian fiction (and there is a clear case for this, especially given how liberally the judges interpret “Australian”) there can be no reason to sub-divide so excessively. Something has to give: together these two facts make the awards simply unsustainable.


Link.

Paul Anka's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

You know, I don't think I've ever given Paul Anka the props he deserves:



A lot of people seem to hate this version, but me, I kind've like it. In part it's because I would never have imagined that you could turn 'Smells like Teen Spirit' into this tune, and in part because by doing so, Anka has taken an angry song and made it, well, happy. There's something in the part when he sings out 'Entertain us!' that conjures up the opening of some kind of freak festival, where down from the ceiling are going to come conjoined midgets, women without legs, men whose heads have been attached to mechanical spider legs, and so on and so forth.

Plus, I like seeing sacred things trashed and completely reworked into something new.

I'm that kind of guy.