The winner was recently announced it was the Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliot. Yes, the clown novel. The same book won the Golden Aurealis (which I hear now comes with a cash prize--I could be changing my opinion right round for cash, I mean, the respect of my peers), so I guess its got something going for it for some people. I have a mental block on clowns though, and it stops me from taking any kind of book with them seriously, and yeah, that's what I thought when I read a bit of it in the store. But Rob Hood, who was the guest judge who awarded the prize, is a well read, well thought out author when it comes to dark/horror fiction, so no doubt if you dig clowns, this book might do it for you.
At any rate, this post is being made because one of the judges, Miranda Siemenowicz mentioned 'Under the Red Sun' in her write up for the year:
"Three works from Fantasy Magazine were stand-outs - the lyrical and culture-infused "The Mosquito Story" (A. M. Muffaz), the wonderfully surreal and moody "Why The Balloon Man Floats Away" (Stephanie Campisi) and Ben Peek's "Under the Red Sun", darkly exotic with great characterisation."
I bet she had doubts when she wrote that--but don't worry, Miranda, all is forgiven! Unless you're those other two guys who didn't mention me, in which case, I still think you're under read and shouldn't be judging awards!
Oh, come on, have a laugh. Everyone knows I only keep the readership on this blog happy by making jokes at the expense of awards. At least I didn't call the Golden Aurealis the Golden Shower...