Ditmar shortlistings!

The annual Ditmar Awards shortlists were announced a few days ago, and we’re absolutely over the moon to have several works feature in various categories, alongside lots of other excellent Australian stuff! To celebrate, we’re offering up some free fiction, including our two shortlisted short stories, samples of Faith Mudge’s wonderful work, and an extract from Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Ink Black Magic. We’ve also linked to Kathleen Jennings’ Illustration Friday posts, as one of her pieces was on the cover of Focus 2012 (and we think she’s awesome…). Click on the highlighted links below to download the samples!

InkBlackMagicsmBest Novel

  • Ink Black Magic, Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead, Robert Hood (Wildside Press)
  • The Beckoning, Paul Collins (Damnation Books)
  • Trucksong, Andrew Macrae (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Only Game in the Galaxy (The Maximus Black Files 3), Paul Collins (Ford Street Publishing)

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “Prickle Moon”, Juliet Marillier, in Prickle Moon (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “The Year of Ancient Ghosts”, Kim Wilkins, in The Year of Ancient Ghosts (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “By Bone-Light”, Juliet Marillier, in Prickle Moon (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “The Home for Broken Dolls”, Kirstyn McDermott, in Caution: Contains Small Parts (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “What Amanda Wants”, Kirstyn McDermott, in Caution: Contains Small Parts (Twelfth Planet Press)

OneSmallStepCoverdraftBest Short Story

  • Mah-Song, Joanne Anderton, in The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories (FableCroft Publishing)
  • “Air, Water and the Grove”, Kaaron Warren, in The Lowest Heaven (Jurassic London)
  • “Seven Days in Paris”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Asymmetry (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Scarp”, Cat Sparks, in The Bride Price (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Not the Worst of Sins”, Alan Baxter, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies 133 (Firkin Press)
  • “Cold White Daughter”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in One Small Step (FableCroft Publishing)

BoneChimeCoverDraftBest Collected Work

  • The Back of the Back of Beyond, Edwina Harvey, edited by Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)
  • Asymmetry, Thoraiya Dyer, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Caution: Contains Small Parts, Kirstyn McDermott, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, Joanne Anderton, edited by Tehani Wesseley (FableCroft Publishing)
  • The Bride Price, Cat Sparks, edited by Russell B. Farr (Ticonderoga Publications)

Best Artwork

  • Cover art, Eleanor Clarke, for The Back of the Back of Beyond by Edwina Harvey (Peggy Bright Books)
  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, for Eclipse Online (Nightshade Books)
  • Cover art, Shauna O’Meara, for Next edited by Simon Petrie and Rob Porteous (CSFG Publishing)
  • Cover art, Cat Sparks, for The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
  • Cover art, Pia Ravenari, for Prickle Moon by Juliet Marillier (Ticonderoga Publications)

Best Fan Writer

  • Tsana Dolichva, for body of work, including reviews and interviews in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews
  • Sean Wright, for body of work, including reviews in Adventures of a Bookonaut
  • Grant Watson, for body of work, including reviews in The Angriest
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work, including reviews in Shattersnipe: Malcontent & Rainbows
  • Alexandra Pierce, for body of work, including reviews in Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work, including essays and reviews at http://www.tansyrr.com

Best Fan Artist

  • Nalini Haynes, for body of work, including “Defender of the Faith”, “The Suck Fairy”, “Doctor Who vampire” and “The Last Cyberman” in Dark Matter
  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including “Illustration Friday”
  • Dick Jenssen, for body of work, including cover art for Interstellar Ramjet Scoop and SF Commentary

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • Dark Matter Zine, Nalini Haynes
  • SF Commentary, Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • Galactic Chat Podcast, Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, and Mark Webb
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best New Talent

  • Michelle Goldsmith
  • Zena Shapter
  • Faith Mudge
  • Jo Spurrier
  • Stacey Larner

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Reviews in Randomly Yours, Alex, Alexandra Pierce
  • “Things Invisible: Human and Ab-Human in Two of Hodgson’s Carnacki stories”, Leigh Blackmore, in Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies #1 edited by Sam Gafford (Ulthar Press)
  • Galactic Suburbia Episode 87: Saga Spoilerific Book Club, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Reviewing New Who series, David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Tehani Wessely
  • “A Puppet’s Parody of Joy: Dolls, Puppets and Mannikins as Diabolical Other”, Leigh Blackmore, in Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Master of Modern Horror edited by Gary William Crawford (Scarecrow Press)
  • “That was then, this is now: how my perceptions have changed”, George Ivanoff, in Doctor Who and Race edited by Lindy Orthia (Intellect Books)

Voting is now open for the Awards, for anyone who is a member of the 2013 Natcon (Conflux) or this year’s Natcon (Continuum X). Thank you so much to everyone who nominated our work!

Look, a book (cover)!

We’re almost ready to go to print on Guardian, Jo Anderton’s new novel, and we just got the final cover art through last night! I know Jo couldn’t wait to share it (she seems to like it…) and I’ve finally had a chance to pop it here as well!

Guardian cover
Original art by Dion Hamill, design by Amanda Rainey

Don’t forget, you can still pre-order Guardian for a special price and receive exclusive bonus Veiled Worlds content — more details here.

Announcement: title change for new Jo Anderton novel!

Making books is a very interesting process, and one of those things that can be tricksy are book titles. A couple of years ago we had a working title of Apocalypse Hope for one of our anthologies, but it later became (the much more aptly named) Epilogue, thanks to a Twitter suggestion. Changing a title can be a big decision, especially if promotion for the book has already begun, but, after much deliberation, Jo Anderton and I have decided to change the title of the forthcoming Veiled Worlds novel from Unbound to Guardian! We agreed that the title of Unbound (in addition to being very popular right now!), didn’t really represent the story as well as Guardian. I’m hoping Jo might blog about the way stories change focus over time at some point, so you can find out more about that…

So, Jo’s novel, due out in June, is now titled Guardian, and it is FANTASTIC! We’re just putting to final touches on the layout, and have sent out the first Advance Review Copies. You can still pre-order at the special introductory price for ebook and print copies, and get the bonus ebook, for at least the next few weeks!

BonusEbookCover1

Contents:

Story: Grandeur

Interview: Tanyana

*NEW* Story: A Varsnian Name

Interview: Lad

Story: A Memory Trapped in Light

Intervention and group interview with reader questions 

The Movoc Under Keeper Tourism Brochure

So if you need a fix of the Veiled Worlds while you eagerly await Guardian, or just love Jo’s work as much as we do, order now!

PRE-ORDER Guardian by Jo Anderton, with exclusive bonus ebook! (ended 5/6/14)

 

Photo used on ebook cover courtesy of Flickr user papalars and used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Free FableCroft ebooks for Easter!

It’s a lovely long weekend, so for a very limited time we have two free ebooks on Amazon! Until Monday only, you can grab great stories by Dirk Flinthart and Margo Lanagan, instantly available on your ereader!

SANCTION cover“Sanction” by Dirk Flinthart – continuing on from the events of the Aurealis Award-shortlisted Path of Night (though standing alone!), this brand new story follows former detective Jen Morris on a mission that will see her question everything she knows, and she’s dragging a very much changed Michael Devlin along for the ride. Will what she has to do take too much toll?

Flower and Weed“Flower and Weed” by Margo Lanagan – a short story glimpse into the vividly imagined world of Margo Lanagan’s powerful, multi-award-winning novel Sea Hearts (also published as The Brides of Rollrock Island). Selkies are in the background, but this is a story of a liaison between a selkie’s earthly husband and one of the witches who does the magic that’s essential to keeping the selkie-wife trade going.

If that’s not enough, you can still pre-order Jo Anderton’s new Veiled Worlds novel right now and receive an exclusive bonus content ebook, containing both original and previously published stories in the Veiled Worlds. Don’t miss out!

Brief FableCroft update

My apologies for the radio silence around these parts since the end of March. It’s been a crazy few weeks, and I haven’t even had a chance to properly celebrate the end of the Cranky Ladies of History campaign (which I will do soon!). A couple of very quick updates:

1. Insert Title Here slush reading is over halfway done, but we’ve had a few delays due to other things getting in the way. Hope to have first round reading finished in the next two weeks. I’m very sorry for those still waiting to hear back from us.

2. Cranky Ladies surveys and early rewards will go out very soon — just need a chance to sit down with the Pozible site and get it sorted! (And again, THANK YOU to our supporters and signal-boosters — I don’t think I can say that enough!).

3. Aurealis Awards! They happened last weekend, and we WON! One Small Step and The Bone Chime Song both received awards, alongside a bunch of other fantastic work. A proper update about that (with photos), also pending.

Thanks for your patience everyone — I’ve had a five day judging conference for the Children’s Book Council of Australia and end of term (day job) kicking my butt, alongside preparation for an interstate move, but hope to be back on the publishing train really soon!

Book Review: Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres

I don’t usually review books here on the FableCroft site, but like to periodically do so when it’s a book by one of the authors we have published in the past.

PeacemakerI first encountered Peacemaker protagonist Virgin Jackson in de Pierres’ story “Gin Jackson: Neophyte Ranger” (first published in the Agog! Smashing Stories anthology in 2004, and I liked it so much I reprinted in FableCroft’s Australis Imaginarium in 2010). I was delighted to read Peacemaker in graphic version in 2011, and was a bit sad when that format was unable to continue, so it was with huge anticipation I started on the novel version! And I have not been disappointed.

Virgin Jackson is a senior ranger in a themed conservation park; odd things have started to happen to her, and not just finding herself saddled with a US Marshall who is himself just a little strange. When she first finds a dead body where it’s almost impossible for anyone to be, she is essentially accused of the murder, and then is attacked in her home. Not one to stand idly by and let things happen, Virgin starts to investigate for herself, with the help of friends in useful places, and the odd Marshall Sixkiller. What she finds is not at all what she expects…

There are several changes that have occurred from the original short story to the novel-length edition. Focus is by necessity shifted for the longer form, and while the book is still (in my eyes) very Australian, I can also see where some elements have been altered to give the story a more international tone, and that both works very well on a plot level as well as being a sensible move in terms of audience.

In another incarnation, de Pierres writes crime fiction, and her experience in both a science fictional setting and a mystery one offer a deftness of touch here. Peacemaker rollicks along at a cracking pace, and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation at times, which is always a good sign! The character of Virgin is vivid and wonderfully acerbic, and I found both she and the supporting cast so well realised they really bounced off the page. With that combination, I got to the end of the book and flipped the last page in disappointment, because while the story ended well (albeit definitely set up for the next volume), I simply didn’t want it to stop. Bring on the next instalment!

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy of the book. It is available in ebook from your favourite e-tailer or ask your bookstore about the paperback.