ASFF President and Vice President Step Down

Australian Science Fiction Foundation President Juliette Cavendish and Vice-President Geoff Allshorn resigned as officers on October 14, a little more than two months following a controversy over their proposal to create a youth fiction award and name it after the late Bill Wright.

Cavendish and Allshorn had debuted a rebranded and redesigned Australian Science Fiction Foundation website on August 1. On the new website they also revealed plans for the award to be named after Wright, who died in January, a choice that a number of Australians immediately spoke against because of allegations that he was a pedophile.

Cavendish and Allshorn not only responded with disbelief, they threatened one of those who spoke out with legal action.

However, by the next day the award title on the website had been redacted to Short Story Writing Competition without any reference to Wright. Since then the page has been completely removed. 

Cavendish’s announcement — “ASFF President Juliette Cavendish Steps Down to Pursue International Photographic Career” – briefly mentions her idea for the award:

…My dream had been to launch a writing competition for Primary and Secondary students in Australia – to promote creative writing and encourage our younger generation of writers. Unfortunately this won’t be done during my time as President, but maybe in the future the ASFF will continue to plan this….

Allshorn’s announcement – “ASFF Vice-President Geoff Allshorn Steps Down” – does not refer to it at all.

Neither post named who will succeed them in office.

Nominations Wanted for 2019 A. Bertram Chandler Award

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) is seeking nominations for the 2019 A. Bertram Chandler Award .

To nominate someone whom you believe has made a significant contribution to Australian science fiction and/ or Australian fandom, write or email to the ASFF, P.O. Box 215 Forest Hill Vic 3131.  Email address: [email protected]

The nomination needs to detail the nominee’s achievements and why you consider the nominee worthy of the 2019 Award.

The nomination need not be seconded, but it needs to have your name, as nominator on it, so that the ASFF can contact you if necessary.

Nominees should be recognized members of the Australian speculative fiction community, whether in professional areas such as publishing or from the myriad fandoms that make up the scene.

If accepted, nominations are added to the Chandler Awards Nominations List and considered by the Jury (usually the ASFF Committee). Nominations may be rolled over from year to year.

The winner of the 2019 Chandler will be announced at Continuum 15, the 58th Australian Science Fiction Convention.[Thanks to Rose Mitchell for the story.]

2018 Norma K Hemming Award Finalists

The Norma K Hemming Award, presented under the auspices of the Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF), announced the 2018 shortlists on April 29.

The 2018 shortlists cover works published in 2016-2017. Designed to recognise excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class or disability in a published speculative fiction work, the jury of the Norma K Hemming Award considered 130 entries published in 2016 and 2017 across the long and short form categories, comprised of short fiction, novellas, novels, edited anthologies, collections, graphic novels and stage plays.

The finalists for the Short Fiction (stories up to 17,500 words) are:

  • “Induction”, Thoraiya Dyer (Bridging Infinity, Solaris)
  • “The Rock in the Water”, Thoraiya Dyer (People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy!, Fantasy Magazine)
  • “Braid”, Kirstyn McDermott (Review of Australian Fiction Volume 24, Issue 1)
  • “Coral Bones”, Foz Meadows (Monstrous Little Voices, Abaddon Books)
  • “Tea Party”, Lauren E Mitchell (Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Memories of Fish”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 270, TTA Press)
  • “Two Somebodies Go Hunting”, Rivqa Rafael, (Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Did We Break the End of the World”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press)

The finalists for the Long Work category are:

  • The Barrier, Shankari Chandran, Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Terra Nullius, Claire G Coleman, Hachette
  • Crossroads of Canopy, Thoraiya Dyer, Tor Books
  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench (Eds.), Twelfth Planet Press
  • An Uncertain Grace, Krissy Kneen, Text Publishing
  • Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh, University of Queensland Press
  • How to Bee, Bren MacDibble, Allen & Unwin
  • An Accident of Stars, Foz Meadows, Angry Robot Books
  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia

The winners of the 2018 Norma K Hemming Award will be announced at a ceremony taking place on June 8 at Continuum in Melbourne, with citations and a monetary prize being presented.

Norma K. Hemming Award Nomination Deadline Approaching

Nominations for the 2016 Norma K. Hemming Award close December 11

The award recognizes excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in speculative fiction first published in Australia or by an Australian citizen in calendar year 2015.

You’ll find the rules, the eligibility criteria, and a downloadable Entry Form here.

Entries must be received by the administrator by Friday, December 11. There is an exception for eligible works scheduled for publication between December 11-31, provided that a duly completed Entry Form is received by December 11 and review copies of the books are mailed to the Judges as specified in Item 7 of the Entry Form to reach them by post by December 11.

Jurors for the award are editor Sarah Endacott, writer, editor and publisher Rob Gerrand and writers Tess Williams and Sean McMullen.

The award will be presented at Contact 2016, the 55th Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Brisbane, Queensland, on March 25-28, 2016.

For further information about Norma Kathleen Hemming (1928–1960) and the award, visit the Australian Science Fiction Foundation website.

2014 A. Bertram Chandler Award

Bruce Gillespie asks me to add to the Australian SF awards given out at Continuum X, in Melbourne, last weekend the award given by the Australian SF Foundation, of which he is President:

A. Bertram Chandler Award for Lifetime Service to Australian SF

  • Danny Danger Oz

And Gillespie sent along some background information about the winner:

Danny will not be known much outside of Australia, because his major achievements have been in club and convention organising, both in Western Australia and Victoria, particularly his work for the Melbourne SF Club over the last 30 years, and his establishment of Continuum to be the annual convention in Melbourne.

2012 Norma K. Hemming Shortlist

The shortlist has been posted for the 2012 Norma K Hemming Award, given by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation for thought-provoking approaches to race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction. The winner will be announced Continuum Eight, the 51 Australian Natcon in Melbourne over the June 8-11 weekend.

The following books are up for the award:

  • Black Glass, by Meg Mundell
  • Bluegrass Symphony, collection by Lisa L. Hannett
  • The Devil’s Diadem, by Sara Douglass
  • Eona, by Alison Goodman
  • Hindsight, by A. A. Bell
  • Nightsiders, by Sue Isle
  • Road To The Soul, by Kim Falconer
  • The Shattered City, by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Yellowcake Springs, by Guy Salvidge

Click on the link to see more information about Norma K. Hemming.

[Thanks to Australian SF Bullsheet for the story.]

New Hemming Award

The Australian SF Foundation has created the Norma K. Hemming Award to celebrate excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, class and sexuality in science fiction produced either in Australia or by Australian citizens.

The award is named for Norma K. Hemming (1927-1960), a British author who migrated to Australia in 1949. She wrote for the pulp magazine Thrills Incorporated and also enthusiastically participated in the Australian fan scene. She was an original member of the femme fan group Vertical Horizons.

The award may not be given annually, as ASFF will only select work that meets an appropriate standard of excellence. Assuming such a work is published this year, the award will debut at Aussiecon 4 in 2010.

Jurors selecting the first recipient will be writer/editor Russell Blackford, editor/publisher Rob Gerrand, authors Kim Wilkins and Tess Williams, and editor Sarah Endacott.

[Via Bruce Gillespie.]