Sunday, April 7, 2013

Another award list out, and my grip is slipping...

The finalist list for the Aurealis Awards, Australia's literary awards for science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction, was announced a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to screen it out because I was busy doing Stella, Nebula and Miles Franklin, and also, ahem, life. But now I have completed the Stella shortlist (review of The Sunlit Zone up tomorrow!), have abandoned the Nebula list after 2 novellas because it's been too hard to get hold of titles, and am 4 books into the Miles Franklin longlist (review of The Light Between Oceans later this week, just for Justine!), I thought it was time to turn to my attention to the Aurealis list and see what treasures might be lurking therein.

The Aurealis recognises both long and short form across the three genres, and also has children's and YA categories. (The wonderful Only Ever Always, which I reviewed last year, won the YA category in 2012).

Because the reach of this award is so wide, there is obviously no chance I can, or would want to, read it all before the prize announcement on 18 May. Besides, I do not like or generally read horror, so that screens out a third of the list right there. The categories that I thought I might have a go at, therefore, are Fantasy Novel and Science Fiction Novel. The finalists are:

Fantasy Novel

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (Random House Australia)
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (Tor UK)
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier (HarperVoyager)

Science Fiction Novel

Suited by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
The Last City by Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)
And All The Stars by Andrea K Host (self-published)
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina (Walker Books)
Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)

Some good-looking titles on there, one I've already read (the beautiful Sea Hearts, which is shortlisted for the Stella) and two by writers I have read and enjoyed before (Juliet Marillier and Garth Nix). I also note, with interest, that there is a self-published title, Andrea K Host's And All the Stars; I love seeing self-pubbed titles succeed, not least for the self-interested reason that I am currently preparing two books for possible self-pubbing :-)

So the Aurealis challenge is on - 10 books by 17 May, to beat the announcement. Can I do it? Maybe - depends on how readable they are, and how busy I get with work after a big double project meeting tomorrow. I'm going to start with Kate Forsyth's Bitter Greens and Andrea K Host's And All The Stars. Reviews not this week, given that The Sunlit Zone review is tomorrow and The Light Between Oceans on Friday, but hopefully mid-week next week or so.

Off I go again on a new bookly voyage. Crap I am *such* a book nerd :-P

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