Friday, May 17, 2013

Aurealis Awards: Hits and predictions

The Aurealis Awards will be announced tomorrow night.

Having set myself the task of reading the science fiction and fantasy novels finalists lists - 11 books in total - I have managed to read 7 and review 6. I've read 5 nominated science fiction titles:

Suited by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot) * I have not reviewed this book.
The Last City by Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)
And All The Stars by Andrea K Host (self-published)
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)

And I've read 2 of the 5 fantasy nominees:

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (Random House Australia)
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)

The three fantasy titles I didn't complete are Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier. I actually started Winter Be My Shield - twice, in fact - but I just couldn't push on to complete it; for whatever reason, it didn't connect with me at all. I have to say I didn't much like it, and would definitely not give it an award. The sci fi book I read but didn't review, Suited, I did like, but I felt I was missing its true impact because I haven't read the first book (it's the second in a series). I plan to read the first book at some point and review the two together.

I simply ran out of time to even get to Marillier's and Kristoff's books, but I have downloaded both and intend to read them soon. Similarly, I didn't get to The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina, the remaining sci fi title. I plan to rectify that soon if I can.

So, based on what I've read, my pick for the sci fi award would be either The Last City or The Rook, with an outside chance for A Confusion of Princes. If *I* was awarding the prize, it would go to The Last City by a nose.

I really don't feel I can even have a stab at the fantasy winner, given I've only read two and a half books. If it was up to me, Sea Heart would win, because I want Sea Hearts to win All The Things. That said, Bitter Greens was also a very good book, so we'll see.

My award-picking record is mixed - I got the Booker winner last year, but that was a bit of slam dunk as Bring Up the Bodies was glaringly obviously the best book on the list. I did pretty well predicting the Stella shortlist - got it almost all correct, in fact - but completely flubbed picking the winner, as I had Mateship with Birds down as a definite non starter in the illustrious company it kept. I didn't even try to pick the Miles Franklin shortlist, having only read 4 of the 10 longlisted titles (although three of the four I'd read ended up on the 5-book shortlist, as luck would have it).

So you should take my predictions with a large-sized grain of salt :-) That said, it'll be interesting to see what emerges tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment