The 2018 Sara Douglass Book Series Award shortlist was released on March 3.
The award is given periodically; this year the eligible series were those ending in 2015-2017 with a book that individually could have been considered for an Aurealis Award (i.e, a work of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.) The series may be in any speculative genre within the extended bounds of science fiction, fantasy or horror.
The Sara Douglass Book Series Award is not an Aurealis Award, but a separate, special award given by the same ruling body.
The judges for the 2018 award, Katharine Stubbs, Stephanie Gunn, Tehani Croft, and Ju Landeesse, considered more than fifty book series entered, with series numbering two to eight individual books. and publication dates spanning thirty years, totalling over 150 works.
The Sara Douglass Book Series award is designed to recognise that there are book series that are greater as a whole than the sum of their parts – that is, the judges were looking for series that tell a story across the series, rather than just using the same characters/setting across loosely connected books. The judges believe that shortlisted works will be best enjoyed read in succession, with an arc that begins in the first book and is completed in the last. Excellence of writing was of the highest consideration, along with sound speculative elements, quality worldbuilding, fascinating characters and engaging storytelling.
- Blackthorn & Grim [Dreamer’s Pool (2014), Tower of Thorns (2015), Den of Wolves (2016)], Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
- Captive Prince [Captive Prince (2014), Prince’s Gambit (2014), Kings Rising (2016)], C S Pacat (Penguin Random House)
- Electric Empire [The Diabolical Miss Hyde (2015), The Devious Dr Jekyll (2015), The Dastardly Miss Lizzie (2017)], Viola Carr (HarperCollins Publishers)
- The Fire Sermon [The Fire Sermon (2015), The Map of Bones (2016), The Forever Ship (2017)], Francesca Haig (HarperCollins Publishers)
- Zeroes [Zeroes (2015), Swarm (2016), Nexus (2017)], Deborah Biancotti, Margo Lanagan & Scott Westerfeld (Allen & Unwin)
The Award is named for one of Australia’s best-known speculative fiction writers.
Sara Douglass was the flagship author of the HarperVoyager Australian line, which launched the careers of many of our most popular writers, and paved the way for the vibrant and diverse speculative fiction scene Australia has today.
The 2018 Sara Douglass Book Series Award, Aurealis Awards, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony in Melbourne on May 4.