Huge congratulations to all the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards finalists!

AA logoWe’re ecstatic to see several FableCroft mentions on the 2015 Aurealis Awards and 2016 Ditmar Awards (covering the same year of work…) shortlists.

In the Aurealis Awards, special mention to Dirk Flinthart, finalist for Best Collection for Striking Fire AND for Best Horror Novella with “Night Shift” from the collection,  Joanne Anderton, shortlisted for Best Science Fiction Short Story with “2B”, and DK Mok, shortlisted for Best Fantasy Short Story with “Almost Days” (both stories being from Insert Title Here). It’s also super exciting to see Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction on the Best Anthology list.

The complete shortlists are available on the Aurealis Awards website, and showcase some of the absolute best of Australian writing produced in 2015 – such an honour to be part of it!

For the Ditmars, it’s fantastic to see Joanne Anderton double up with “2B” on the Best Short Story ballot, alongside Deborah Biancotti’s creepy Cranky Ladies of History story “Look How Cold My Hands Are”. The Cranky Ladies anthology also made the Best Collected Work ballot, and Kathleen Jennings’ gorgeous cover and internals for the book are shortlisted for Best Artwork. Editor Tehani Wessely is also on the ballot for the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review for both the team efforts of “Squeeing Over Supergirl” (with David McDonald) and “Reviewing New Who” (with David McDonald and Tansy Rayner Roberts). If you were a member of Swancon last year, or of Contact 2016 this year, you are eligible to vote, so please do (for ANY of the fabulous work shortlisted!).

Congratulations to everyone appearing on these shortlists – it really shows the strength of Australian speculative fiction.

Tehani on Galactic Suburbia – another life goal achieved!

GS1400IconI was absolutely over the moon to be invited to take part in the 2015 Galactic Suburbia’s New Year Special episode, which went live on December 31. Along with a bunch of other fabulous women, I got to chat about the year that was, have my own little Culture Consumed session AND share cool stuff we’re doing at FableCroft in 2016. I’ve always been such a huge Galactic Suburbia fangirl (and of course, consider Alex, Alisa and Tansy as good friends!), so this was definitely a highlight for me. Thanks for having me, Galactic Suburbians, and for your great show.

You can listen to the podcast (there are lots of other cool people talking too, not just me 🙂 ) on iTunes or via the Galactic Suburbia Podbean.

2015 Awards Eligible Work from FableCroft

With the Ditmars now open for entry, I was reminded that it’s useful to post an eligible work post here for reference. If you are eligible to nominate work for the Ditmars, Hugos, Bram Stoker and all of those things, I encourage you to do so. The more people who nominate work they thought was award-worthy, the more diverse and interesting the final ballots are. If you loved something from FableCroft, we’d love you to nominate it, but please, just nominate anything you really enjoyed and be part of the process!

There is a great (if not entirely complete) list of work that is eligible for the Ditmars here – it’s well worth taking a look to remind yourself of other excellent Australian work produced in 2015.



Kathleen Jennings is eligible for any professional artist award for her cover of Cranky Ladies of History and its internal illustrations.

Amanda Rainey designed the covers for Insert Title Here and Striking Fire.


Striking Fire by Dirk Flinthart


Insert Title Here edited by Tehani Wessely

Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction edited by Tehani Wessely

Cranky Ladies of History edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely

STORIES (with word count and author nationality)

Author Story Title Publication Word Count Nationality
Joyce Chng Charmed Life Cranky Ladies of History 2161 Singapore
Liz Barr Queenside Cranky Ladies of History 2408 Australia
Dirk Flinthart No Hard Feelings Striking Fire 2499 Australia
Tamlyn Dreaver Reflections Insert Title Here 2860 Australia
Sara Larner Living in the Light Insert Title Here 3187 US
Tom Dullemond The Final Voyage of Saint Brendan Insert Title Here 3300 Australia
Sandra McDonald Cora Crane and The Trouble with Me Cranky Ladies of History 3394 US
LM Myles Little Battles Cranky Ladies of History 3487 UK
Caitlene Cooke Circa Insert Title Here 3500 Australia
David McDonald Her face like lightning Insert Title Here 3540 Australia
Stephanie Lai The dragon, the terror, the sea Cranky Ladies of History 3653 Australia
Kaaron Warren Another week in the future Cranky Ladies of History 3662 Australia
Alexis A. Hunter Always Another Point Insert Title Here 3680 US
Joanne Anderton 2B Insert Title Here 3950 Australia
Dirk Flinthart Tough Striking Fire 4060 Australia
Dan Simpson The Winter Stream Insert Title Here 4358 Australia
Laura Lam The Lioness Cranky Ladies of History 4609 UK
Marissa Lingen & Alec Austin Empty Monuments Insert Title Here 4950 US
Dirk Flinthart Faith Striking Fire 4989 Australia
Dirk Flinthart The First Martian Striking Fire 5000 Australia
Amanda Pillar Neter Nefer Cranky Ladies of History 5335 Australia
Barbara Robson Theodora Cranky Ladies of History 5426 Australia
Juliet Marillier Hallowed Ground Cranky Ladies of History 5562 Australia
Nisi Shawl A Beautiful Stream Cranky Ladies of History 5658 US
Dirk Flinthart A Friend in the Trade Striking Fire 5700 Australia
Darren Goossens One Who Knows Insert Title Here 5800 Australia
Deborah Biancotti Look How Cold My Hands Are Cranky Ladies of History 5855 Australia
DK Mok Almost Days Insert Title Here 5885 Australia
Thoraiya Dyer The Falcon Races Insert Title Here 5963 Australia
Thoraiya Dyer Vintana Cranky Ladies of History 5992 Australia
Dirk Flinthart Collateral Damage Insert Title Here 6000 Australia
Garth Nix The Company of Women Cranky Ladies of History 6021 Australia
Marianne de Pierres Salvatrix Insert Title Here 6215 Australia
Havva Murat The Pasha, the girl and the dagger Cranky Ladies of History 6242 Australia
Dirk Flinthart Granuaile Cranky Ladies of History 6287 Australia
Alan Baxter Beyond the Borders of All He Had Been Taught Insert Title Here 6359 Australia
Foz Meadows Bright Moon Cranky Ladies of History 6501 Australia
Robert Hood Footprints in Venom Insert Title Here 7040 Australia
Sylvia Kelso Due care and attention Cranky Ladies of History 7044 Australia
Dan Rabarts Oil and bone Insert Title Here 7900 New Zealand
Kirstyn McDermott Mary, Mary Cranky Ladies of History 7925 Australia
Lisa Hannett For So Great a Misdeed Cranky Ladies of History 8008 Australia
Kathleen Jennings The Last Case of Detective Charlemagne Insert Title Here 8200 Australia
Matthew Morrison Sins of meals past Insert Title Here 8800 Australia
Ian Creasey Ministry of Karma Insert Title Here 10100 UK
Faith Mudge Glorious Cranky Ladies of History 10312 Australia
Stephanie Burgis Samphire The art of deception Insert Title Here 12400 UK
Dirk Flinthart Night Shift Striking Fire 31970 Australia

In addition, there are a couple of works Tehani has been involved in that are eligible for non-fiction categories.

Related Work 

Letter to Tiptree edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Alex Pierce (Twelfth Planet Press)

Companion Piece: Women Celebrate the Humans, Aliens and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who edited by LM Myles and Liz Barr (Mad Norwegian Press)

“Collaboration is the Human Superpower” by Tehani Wessely,  in Magpies vol. 30, no. 4

“Mouth on Legs” by Tehani Wessely, in Companion Piece, Mad Norwegian Press

Reviewing New Who series by David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely

Squeeing over Supergirl series by David McDonald and Tehani Wessely

Marisol Dunham and Tehani Wessely, for Revisiting Pern: the great McCaffrey Reread series

Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: THE WHITE DRAGON

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.  

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – The White Dragon

T: So this has always been, in my memory, my favourite Pern book. Reading it again was interesting, because I realised that some of the bits I thought were in it are actually in other books, which was weird, but also, there is so much I forgot! It was like coming at it for the first time, which was fantastic.

M: I had the exact same experience! It’s really again proof of her storytelling power, that that many bits from a character stay with you despite multiple books, usually over multiple years for readers.

T: I love the fact that so much of the story of this book comes about due to the intellectual curiosity of the characters, not just the harpers, but others too, both young and old. The way learning and cross-crafting is so important. And the idea that sometimes, you just have to take a leap to reach the next level! Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: THE WHITE DRAGON”

Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: The Harper Hall trilogy

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.  

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – The Harper Hall Trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums)

M: First, I think I should point out this is the only time Tehani and I decided to read out of publication order, because this trilogy has so much to do with the White Dragon and the landscape there-in. It just seemed right. And having read it in this order, I stand by this.

T: To be fair, Wikipedia says Anne recommended reading the Harper Hall books before The White Dragon, so I’m comfortable with our decision!

Harper HallM: Out of all the books, this set is my absolute favourite (can’t wait to see if that still stands come the end of this).

T: They really are very very good. And the first true time (at least in Dragonsong and Dragonsinger) that we have a female protagonist, which is nice.  And I recently remembered that I did a university assignment to design a unit of work around the first book! It definitely made an impact…

menolly2M: Menolly is a fifteen year old girl who is a musical prodigy. She writes catchy songs and is a deeply compassionate, kind person. Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: The Harper Hall trilogy”

Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: DRAGONQUEST

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.  

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – Book 2 Dragonquest

T: Another story starting out from the male point-of-view. Dearie me, here we go again… Oh, but it’s Robinton, and you know what? I’m okay with that. I love the Masterharper 🙂

I really like the way McCaffrey gives us a quick recap in the shape of Robinton’s musings here – in fact, I might suggest that people planning to read the series for the first time might like to skip the very problematic Dragonflight and perhaps start here instead? Although this book is not itself problem-free…

51l2fhN2Q7LIn this one, the rampant misogyny is toned down a fair bit, giving over to the occasional off-putting line or two. Robinton’s thoughts in the first pages, for example, include this gem: “Larad, Lord of Telgar, was giving his half-sister, Famira, to Asgenar, Lord of Lemos Hold.” Giving? Is she a plant, to be given? And when the numbweed is being made, a significant event in the Weyr, it is of course “the women” boiling it and doing the awful work to make the salve. Little lines like “This was a matter for men to settle” grate on the modern reader, but again, in the context of the year of publication (1971), and in relation to some of the horrors of Dragonflight, I could deal with it.

Less easy to handle are some other aspects. Lessa’s subservience to F’lar irritated me. She stands up to him, she holds her own in a righteous argument, then suddenly caves, pressing up against him with: “I’ve no right to say such things to you,” Lessa was whispering in soft remorse. WHY? You certainly DO have the right, Lessa! You were making him see the truth of a situation! Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: DRAGONQUEST”

Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: DRAGONFLIGHT

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – Book 1 Dragonflight

M: As a quick aside, can I say how surprised I was that this book had a prologue, and how incredibly info-dumpy it was? I’ve read Dragonflight probably a dozen times since I was 10, and I never once remembered the prologue, which seems to be a point in the “Prologues are useless or should be a chapter” box I always see espoused.

T: Yes! And the prologue sets it up as explicitly science fictional – do you suppose that’s the point, given how many readers think of it as fantasy because dragons? What’s even more interesting though is how that prologue CHANGED! I started reading an early edition of Dragonflight and then switched to a new (omnibus) version and the whole thing was different, reflecting the evolving world-building that had grown (and superceded) the early details as the series went on.

Genre Bender

51M6GYpJt8LM: Pern always gets marked as a fantasy, but I’ve always read it as a sci-fi with fantasy elements due to technology loss, and the way this story goes, I felt this was reinforced the whole time. It’s clear through sense of loss, not only with the dragons and the decay in weyrs/life/etc, but in the struggle to fight Thread on the ground with what they had on hand.

And considering this book was written in 1968, I’m amazed how well it stands the genre test of time. Still a great story.

DragonflightT: It certainly holds up in terms of genre, handwavy time-travel aside (I read it as fantasy for several volumes, even though I originally first read The White Dragon…), but the same can’t be said for gender – some of the gender stereotypes are, hmmm, problematic, to say the least! Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: DRAGONFLIGHT”

Monsterful announcement

I realised I neglected to make a formal announcement here about the status of the Monsterful anthology we announced earlier this year; Twitter and Facebook notifications were made, and the information removed from this site, but I didn’t actually post on the blog.

Regretfully, we have put the project on indefinite hold in order to focus on other books. Please see our submissions page for open calls. We still hope to bring the book to life at some stage, but now is not the right time.

Open Reading Period: middle-grade/YA science fiction novels


Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

From May 1, FableCroft Publishing will be conducting an open reading period for submissions of high-quality science fiction novels for a middle-grade and younger end of young adult readership (approximately covering 9-14 year olds).

We are explicitly not looking for dystopian stories; rather, we seek books with interesting extrapolations on our present world and/or challenging ideas (appropriate to the readership) about possible or potential futures.

We actively encourage work that explores or considers perspectives other than first world (ie: not typically the privileged, straight, white, male point of view) and are particularly keen to see premises that are not frequently seen in books for this readership.

Space exploration, alien and first contact stories are welcome but must have a strong scientific base to be considered.

Strong characterisation is essential, while overt violence or sexual themes are unlikely to be appropriate.

Works should ideally be between 20,000 and 60,000 words (depending on intended audience), unpublished, and not under consideration with any other publisher.

Open internationally to works written (or translated to) the English language.

Please send full manuscripts only as a Microsoft Word compatible document attached to an email containing a short author biography and publication history. Submit to fablecroft [at] gmail [dot] com

Please be cautious to only submit final, proofread copy – ensure you have checked all your edits and removed all track changes in your document.

No multiple submissions.

No simultaneous submissions.

Payment will be in the form of a small advance plus royalties for print and ebook sales.

We do not accept submissions via snail mail.

  • Please use a common reading font, size 12, with margins of at least 2cm.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraphs by 0.5 (approx 1cm – do not use tabs), and indicate section breaks with a centered “#”.
  • Indicate chapter breaks with a new page and a number or chapter heading.
  • Include name, address, phone number, email etc at the top of the document.

Submissions open on May 1, 2015. The open reading period will continue indefinitely at this point.

Congratulations Australian Awards Winners!

It’s been a really busy week in Australian speculative fiction, with THREE sets of Awards presented over the past week. We were delighted to be shortlisted for several of them, and even more delighted to take home gongs for some of them! Well done to all the finalists and congratulations to all the winners!

Tin Duck Awards (Western Australia)

Tehani and Katharine were part of a 15-strong interviewing team (including several West Aussies) for the 2014 Snapshot, which won the Tin Duck for Best Fan Written Work.

Ditmar Awards

Cat Sparks with her Ditmar
Cat Sparks with her Ditmar

We were up for quite a few and were stoked to see Kathleen Jennings win Best Artwork for her cover of Phantazein and Cat Sparks pick up Best Short Story for “The Seventh Relic” from the book as well!

Aurealis Awards

Tehani at the Aurealis Awards – photo by Cat Sparks
Tehani at the Aurealis Awards – photo by Cat Sparks

Phantazein was again represented among the finalists, with “The Ghost of Hephaestus” by Charlotte Nash shortlisted in Best Fantasy Short Story and the book shortlisted in Best Anthology. We didn’t succeed in taking home a pretty trophy this year, but we’re always chuffed to be on the Aurealis Awards list!

It’s always a pleasure to attend the Awards ceremonies and get to see the looks of pure disbelief on some recipients’ faces, and the excitement and palpable joy that fills the room as Awards are announced. Following along on social media is also lots of fun, but I’m really glad I got to be at both ceremonies this year, and enjoy the vibe in person. If you weren’t so lucky, here’s a Storify of the Tin Ducks/Ditmars, and another of the Aurealis Awards. On top of that, Cat Sparks has done an amazing job capturing the evenings here and here (the Swancon set).

If you are looking for a good place to start reading Australian writers, the shortlists are certainly an excellent place to begin (the full Aurealis Awards shortlist and winners is here). Again, congratulations to everyone – look forward to another great year of Australian speculative fiction!