2017 Ditmar Awards

The 2017 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards for 2017 were presented June 11 at Continuum 13 in Melbourne.

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Short Story

  • “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.

Best Collected Work


  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.

Best Artwork

  • illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.

Best Fan Writer

  • Foz Meadows, for body of work.

Best Fan Artist

[No award in category — the only nominee, Kathleen Jennings, withdrew.]

Best New Talent

  • Marlee Jane Ward

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.

Other Awards Presented

A. Bertram Chandler Award

  • Bill Wright, who has been in fandom for 59 years

Peter McNamara Achievement Award

  • Rose Mitchell

Juanita Coulson Wins DUFF

By John Hertz: Juanita Coulson won the election of a 2014 Down Under Fan Fund delegate. DUFF will send her to Continuum X, the 53rd Australia national convention, Melbourne, 6-9 June (and, as is apparently needful to say, bring her home too), with such further fannish travel as can be managed.

Conclave II, the 35th New Zealand natcon, Auckland, was 24-27 April. No candidates said they could attend both the Australia and New Zealand natcons. We hope to arrange a New Zealand visit on this trip.

Founded in 1972, and supported by contributions from all over the world, DUFF sends a delegate from North America to Australia – New Zealand, or the other way, in alternating years.  If the World Science Fiction Convention is on the receiving side, the delegate goes there. The 2014 Worldcon is in the United Kingdom, Loncon 3. Coulson lives in London, Ohio.

Nominations were accepted until midnight 6 Jan 14 Pacific Standard Time, votes until midnight 31 Mar Pacific Daylight Time. Votes could be cast on paper or by electronic mail. Anyone could vote who was active in fandom on or before 1 Jan 14, i.e. a natural person involved in fannish pursuits in our community, such as participation in clubs or conventions or fanzines, singing, costuming, social life, physically, electronically, or otherwise. Votes had to be accompanied by a donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand.

DUFF uses the preferential system of balloting, which yields an automatic runoff if needed and assures a majority win. The voter ranks choices in order of preference, e.g. 1, 2, 3. If there is no absolute majority for one choice after a first count of votes, first-place votes for the lowest-ranking choice are dropped and the second-place votes on those ballots are assigned to the choices named. This goes on until one choice has a majority. It can therefore be important to vote preferences other than first place, although this is not required.

Coulson beat Aurora Celeste, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, 42-24 on first-place preferences. There were 6 No Preference votes.

                           NA                                        ANZ                             Total

Celeste                    18                                              6                                24

Coulson                   25                                            17                                42

Sixteen NA and ten ANZ votes were cast electronically, about 1/3.

Celeste’s nominators were Warren Buff, Chris Garcia, Jesi Pershing (NA); Norm Cates, Rose Mitchell (ANZ).

Coulson’s were Sue & Steve Francis, Joyce & Arnie Katz, Murray Moore (NA); Bruce Gillespie, Paula McGrath (ANZ).

Celeste’s platform: “Costumer and con runner. Currently Vice-President, International Costumers Guild. Involved in running conventions from the second one attended, acting as head of guest relations, ops, treasurer, and chair in various years for NaNaKon (4000+ people animé con in Kansas City), programming for Costume-Cons and Worldcons. Kansas City for 2016 Worldcon bid committee. Regretfully Conclave II conflicts with duty as Program Head for Costume-Con XXXII. In copious spare time reading a lot of YA SF/F.”

To this I as NA Administrator added: “Best in Show at last two Worldcon Masquerades (Chicon VII, Lonestarcon III); judges’ clerk at Renovation; Director at Costume-Con XXVIII & XXXI, judge too (no small task that) at XXVIII, MC at XXV; awards at Archon, Arisia, Animé St. Louis. Costume programming for Lonestarcon III. Upon hearing of fanzines promptly contributed to The Drink Tank 358.”

Coulson’s platform: “Have done fanzines, filksinging, pro writing. Happy to make friends and break stereotypes. Now in London, ready for Melbourne. Love to bring back opal. May illustrate own trip report. Taught Devra Langsam to hand-cut mimeo stencils, kept my styli which make nice kitchen tools. Sang at Old Ship Inn after Regency Dancing at Brighton Worldcon; lucky some Scots who’d heard Filthy Pierre in hotel bar sing unwise verse of ‘God Save the Queen’ arrived then and realized no murder needed. Very fond of rum-pots, crack-pots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?”

To this I added: “Big Heart Award. Fan Guest of Honor at Reconstruction. Co-edited Yandro 33 years with late husband Buck; 1 Hugo, 10 nominations. With him Fan GoH at L.A.con I. Brighton trip report in Yandro 250. Filk Hall of Fame; 1 Pegasus, 17 nominations; known as a Den Mother. Helped Bjo Trimble invent Art Shows. Eighteen books, 10 shorter stories.”

NA Adm’rJohn Hertz

236 S. Coronado St., No. 409

Los Angeles, CA 90057  U.S.A.

Phone  (213) 384-6622

ANZ Adm’rBill Wright

Unit 4, 1 Park St

St Kilda West, VIC 3182  Australia

Phone  (61-3) 9534 0163

E-mail  bilw@iprimus.com.au

Hertz: Beware the Chides of March

By John Hertz: Voting for the 2014 DUFF delegate closes at midnight Pacific Daylight Time, March 31, 2014. Will you have done your part?

To those who already voted, thanks. If you haven’t, it’s not too late.

This year the Down Under Fan Fund sends a fan from North America to Australia – New Zealand. There are two good candidates, Aurora Celeste and Juanita Coulson, each interesting in a different way.

Founded in 1972, DUFF is supported entirely by donations. A donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand, goes with your ballot. If you can’t decide or don’t care to, but wish to support the Fund, you can vote No Preference.

A ballot explaining how to vote electronically, with more about DUFF, the candidates’ nominators and platforms, can be found in several places, for example here.

Paper ballots have been circulated too.

As the NA Administrator, I look forward to counting the votes with my ANZ counterpart Bill Wright any minute now.

Oh, and while I’m reminding you of things, this year’s Hugo nominations close at the same date and hour. You can find more here.

Hertz: DUFF Voting Opens

By John Hertz: Nominations have closed and voting is open for the 2014 Down Under Fan Fund delegate.

DUFF annually sends fans between North America and Australia – New Zealand, alternating directions each time. This year’s delegate goes west. Nominations were accepted until midnight Pacific Standard Time January 6. Three NA nominators and two ANZ nominators were required for each candidate, also a written platform of about 100 words and a donation of at least US$25 or C$ equivalent.

No candidates said they could attend both the 53rd Australia national convention Continuum X, Melbourne, June 6-9, and the 35th New Zealand natcon Conclave II, Auckland 24-27 April. The 2014 delegate will be sent to Continuum X. Candidates hoped to visit NZ also if elected, as DUFF will attempt.

The ballot has our two candidates Aurora Celeste and Juanita Coulson, each interesting in different ways, nominators and platforms likewise. Look them over.

Votes will be accepted until midnight Pacific Standard Time March 31, 2014, and must be accompanied by a donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand.

As the ballot explains, it may be sent by paper mail or PayPal, and must include the voter’s name, paper-mail address, and any further needed contact information. Paper ballots must be signed. Voters who think they may not be known to an Administrator should include the name and contact information of someone who knows them and who will be known.

Anyone active in fandom on or before January 1, 2014 may vote. “Active in fandom” means a natural person involved in fannish pursuits in our community, such as participation in clubs or conventions or fanzines, singing, costuming, social life, physically, electronically, or otherwise.

DUFF is supported by donations. If you can’t or don’t care to choose between the candidates you can always vote “No Preference”.

My counterpart the ANZ Administrator is Bill Wright, Unit 4, 1 Park St, St Kilda West, VIC 3182, phone (61-3) 9534  0163, E-mail <bilw@iprimus.com.au>.

I’m the NA Administrator, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., phone (213) 384-6622.

Duff2014 ballot [PDF file]

Upload 02/11/2014: Replaced ballot file with revision containing voting directions and Bill Wright’s correct e-mail address, courtesy Dave Langford.

Hertz on DUFF: Wright at Home

By John Hertz: Bill Wright the 2013 Down Under Fan Fund delegate has arrived safely home at St. Kilda West, Victoria, Australia, after visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Seattle, Minneapolis & St. Paul, and Boston. Many thanks to his hosts and helpers.

Aptly St. Kilda is also home to Luna Park, entered through the grinning face of the Moon, with the oldest continuously operated roller-coaster in the world, and one of the few carousels outside the U.S. built by the fine Philadelphia Toboggan Co. This may have prepared him.

Bill duly attended the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, saw both the LASFS (Los Angeles S-F Soc.) and NESFA (New England S-F Ass’n) clubhouses, and was treated, if not royally since USans don’t do that, enthusiastically and well. Alas, a stop in Canada could not be managed, but luckily there were Canadians at the Worldcon, not least long-time DUFF activist Murray Moore.

Jacq Monahan the North America TAFF Administrator and I contrived to get 2013 TAFF delegate Jim Mowatt on the Wright path several times. Ecumenical, we are.

Various reports of Wright view, Wright aspiration, Wright speech, Wright action, Wright livelihood, Wright effort, Wright mindfulness, Wright concentration have been appearing in Electronicland.

He is now the Australia – New Zealand DUFF Administrator, succeeding Dave Cake. Whether or not this shift from Perth to Melbourne rocks the continent, Bill may be reached electronically at <bilw@iprimus.com.au> (or, if he happens to be traveling, <bilwmahail@gmail.com>); or write to me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A., for his real-mail address.

In 2013 both funds sent delegates to, and in 2014 both will send delegates from, North America. While TAFFy people think of London, where a delegate will attend the 72nd Worldcon (remind me or Bridget Bradshaw to tell you about the Great Trans-Atlantic Toffee Tasting), my mind is running to Down Under national conventions.

The 53rd Australia natcon will be Continuum X, 6-9 June, Melbourne. The 35th New Zealand natcon will be Conclave II, 24-27 April, Auckland. Will there be candidates for both? In any event, Bill and I plan to open nominations on November 1st. We’re looking for a few good fen.

Hertz on DUFF: And So It Continues

By John Hertz: On Thursday night August 22nd I saw this year’s Down Under Fan Fund delegate Bill Wright in person for the first time since 2010.

He saw the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society in person for the first time since 1972.

Bidding to hold the first World Science Fiction Convention in Australia brought him then. He’d come to L.A.Con, the 1972 Worldcon, in retrospect L.A.con I. Chuck Crayne and Bruce Pelz co-chaired. Naturally Bruce made sure Bill joined the LASFS.

After that Bruce made sure the LASFS got a clubhouse. We’re in our third now. Bill said we were just as mad — ahem — jolly as before. We said “Welcome home.”

If you see him on his DUFF trip you can say that too. Home is where the heart is.

In the San Francisco Bay Area he saw Chris Garcia who took him through the Computer History Museum, Robert Lichtman who took him through fannish history, Jim Mowatt the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund delegate with whom my TAFF counterpart Jacq Monahan and I have tried to cross Bill’s path as much as possible, Spike, and a host of others.

Walking into the Clubhouse I asked Marty Cantor “Where’s Bill?” Marty said “In the library.” Best answer. Bill will see another fine library later when he visits the New England S-F Association.

LASFSians often come for the Business Meeting and leave before the program. That’s probably because our business is monkey business.

By way of raising money we auctioned off books, a doublet, and an empty bottle, we tried to auction off a framed poster for the Barbarella movie but Bill muttering “You can’t let go of that” outbid everyone so it stays, and the usual suspects — including me — and Bill — paid pun fines. First-timers were introduced. Ceremony honored Fuzzy Pink Niven and Michelle Pincus who have done much for the Club. Failing to get Jerry Pournelle to tell a 1979 Worldcon story I started telling it wrong and that worked. There was cake for Ray Bradbury’s birthday. Death does not release you.

I drove Bill to one of our two (I think) aftermeetings, at the Coral restaurant which I said he could mnemonize as the Coral Sea. He talked s-f with John DeChancie and I seeing Dana Ginsburg helped her put stamps on poctsarcds (H. Warner, A Wealth of Fable pp. 163-64, 2nd ed. 1992).

Kim and Jordan Brown were Bill’s hosts for the night. Kim catching a breath from her work on the 2013 Worldcon gave us tea. Bill gave them a jute tote-bag with “Advance Australia Fair” on it in two-part harmony. I left about three. At breakfast the Brown young tried the song.

By now Bill is in Las Vegas.

Hertz: 2013 DUFF Trip Begins

By John Hertz: This year’s Down Under Fan Fund delegate Bill Wright arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, August 17th, at 8 a.m.

His flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:30. Fortunately I was there waiting at 7:45. An electronic notice board said the flight was coming in early and was on time.

I had brought a book. A breakfast bar served Peet’s coffee.

The notice board said the flight had arrived. Various people emerged.

An hour passed.

A guard said clearing Customs could take a while.

Many pages later I asked another guard. He said it could take three hours.

At 11 a.m. another guard said I should ask at Customs. Two floors up a nice man looked up Bill Wright, who had been cleared at 8:31.

Bill didn’t need me; he had just been traveling to and from Thailand. It was just a gesture. I’d thought of it at 3:30 a.m. after dancing till midnight and then the Bread Pudding Club.

His domestic flight left for San Jose from Terminal 1 in two-and-a-half hours. I walked over from Terminal 4. It was a nice sunny day. At Terminal 1, I learned that the only paging system would require him, if he heard it, to come back throuugh the crowd and down the escalator to pick up the call. So I went home.

But I can tell you he arrived. And last night the DUFF Intelligence Service told me he was safely asleep at Spike’s house.

Hertz: Let’s Get Ready for Some Auction

By John Hertz: The Fan Funds Auction at this year’s Worldcon, LoneStarCon 3 (28 Aug – 1 Sep, San Antonio, Texas), has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon 31 Aug. Have you anything you’d care to contribute?

If you’re attending, bring it. If you aren’t, consider sending it. A friend might bring it for you. At least one item, planned last year but only just ready, is being mailed to me so I can bring it. I’ve learned how things can be shipped to the con; call me (213) 384-6622 (land line, Pacific Daylight Time) and ask.

This traditional auction benefits our traveling-fan funds, which are maintained by various donations.

The senior fund is TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), sending fans in alternate directions each year between North America and the United Kingdom – Republic of Ireland – Europe since 1953. DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) for North America – Australia & New Zealand, founded 1972, is the second side of a triangle. Third side is GUFF (between U.K. – Eire – Europe and ANZ; Going Under, or Get Up-and-over, Fan Fund, depending on the direction), founded 1978. There are sister funds, e.g. CUFF (Canadian Unity Fan Fund), FFANZ (Fan Fund of Australia & New Zealand).

The two trans-ocean funds touching the continent of LoneStarCon 3 are TAFF and DUFF. TAFF’s current NA Administrator is Jacq Monahan, visiting delegate Jim Mowatt; I’m the DUFF NA Adm’r, delegate Bill Wright. We’ll all be at the Auction. So will John Purcell who runs the Worldcon Fanzine Lounge this year. Other funds may be represented.

If your donation is labeled saying where proceeds go, they will; otherwise we’ll share them out. Consider also noting what makes your item of interest, what value it may have; we’re more diverse these days and people may not know. In the 2009 Worldcon Art Show, Jon Singer exhibited pots he’d made of clay from Neil Gaiman’s yard; everybody knows Jon Singer, but –

We’ll have to decide on the spot what order to auction things in and even whether to auction particular things at all. If your item’s not auctioned, we’ll dispose of it in our discretion unless you say otherwise (e.g. last year a rare copy of a Sam Moskowitz book didn’t arrive in time but raised money through a private donor’s putting it in a public-access university collection).

Oh, and you might want to buy things.

2013 DUFF Winner

Bill Wright has been elected the 2013 DUFF Delegate and will attend LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio.

DUFF administrator David Cake announced the voting results on Facebook.

North America


Bill Wright         32                34 66
Clare McDonald-Sims         18                46 64
Hold Over Funds          1                  0 1
No Preference          1                  1 2
Total        52                81 133
Update 2013/06/15: Corrected Bill Wright’s NA vote count per later information from David Cake.

2013 DUFF Race Begins

Australian fans Bill Wright and Clare McDonald-Sims are your candidates for the 2013 Down Under Fan Fund. The winner will attend LoneStarCon 3 and boogie around North America afterwards. Copies of the ballot in various formats are available here.

Clare McDonald-Sims has been nominated by  Australasian fans Rose Mitchell, Perry Middlemiss and Janice Gelb, and by North American fans Curt Phillips and Chris Garcia. She has been a member of Austrek  for over a decade — General Secretary for a few years and President for one year. She worked on Aussiecon 4 as well.

Bill Wright’s Australasian nominators are Bruce Gillespie, Mervyn Binns, and Martin James Ditmar (Dick) Jenssen. His North American nominators are Murray Moore and John Purcell. He is a lifetime member of the Melbourne SF Club, a founding member of Anzapa, and a founding member of the Nova Mob (a Melbourne club). He was secretary for the first Aussiecon in 1975 and helped organize the Bring Bruce Bayside Fan Fund in 2004. He currently publishes Interstellar Ramjet Scoop and works for the Australian SF Foundation. (And Bill introduced me to Foster’s beer in 1972!)

Votes will be accepted until midnight June 10, 2013 and must be accompanied by a donation of at least $5 Australian, Canadian, United States, or $7 New Zealand. Anyone active in fandom on or before January 1, 2013 may vote. Electronic voting and donation is available through PayPal, see details on the ballot.

[Thanks to Irwin Hirsh for the story.]