And the Winner is...

Just back from Brisneyland (being Brisbane for the uninitiated) having attended the Aurealis Awards night where, if you'll recall, Lamplighter was shortlisted in the Best Young Adult Novel category. Alas alak, I have to content myself with the shortlisting for I can reveal to you all now that Melina Marchetta's (of On the Jellicoe Road and Looking for Alibrandi fame) first foray into the spec fic world, Finnikin of the Rock (Penguin/Viking) took the honours.

Congrats to her - I'd be lying if I did not admit I was a tad bummed, but I got over myself and and very happy to have Lamplighter on a shortlist.

The other winners of the 2008 Aurealis Awards by category were:

best science fiction novel
K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
(Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)

best science fiction short story
Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again

best fantasy novel
Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom
(Harper Collins)

best fantasy short story
Cat Sparks, Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities
(Senses 5 Press)

best horror novel
John Harwood, The Seance, Jonathan Cape
(Random House Australia)

best horror short story
Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), #2

best anthology
Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift
(Viking Children's Books)

best collection
Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams
(Ticonderoga Publications)

best illustrated book/graphic novel
Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia
(Allen & Unwin)

best young adult short story
Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2

best children’s novel
Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo
(Omnibus Books)

best children’s illustrated work/picture book
Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, of The Wolf Kingdom series
(Omnibus Books)

Peter McNamara Convener's Award for Excellence
Jack Dann

Well done to everyone (with an especial cheerio to Sean Williams, Richard Harland, Laura Peterson, Shaun Tan and Omnibus!) and thank you to the organisers for a great event.

And just to turn all the attention back to MBT for a moment, the paperback of the English language editions of Lamplighter will be released this year in May, which is something to loo forward to.

Answer time!

Probing questions from Differlot:
"[Do you] know what planet is the half continent?"

The world of the Half-Continent is called the Harthe Alle (at least by some) or the Alt Gird (though not so often). Tungolitrists (what we would call astronomers) name it Deuter Diana or just Deuter. Of course other races have other names, but these three will do for now.

"I wonder what Europe does in her free time, hmmm?"

Europe would not admit to having such a thing as we would call "free time" - her oppinion on the matter would be to use time as usefully as possible; "sitting about only makes for darkened and uselessly bedizzened thoughts," is how she would put it, I reckon.

"What happens if a wit or fulgar gets turned into a monster do the monsters learn how to use the artificial organs, or since they have been put in maybe they are dead and the monster only posses natural parts since it probably wont be able to take treacle till found by somebody. They might just die from not having any."

Now here's a question I'd not considered! Monsters would not ever become lahzars, and since the whole system of treacles and surgeons is a totally human system, so you are right, even if a monster could become lahzarine, they would die from lack of treacle and such things.

Also, for those of a praying persuasion, I would very much appreciate your prayers as I struggle to get the final two chapters of Book 3. Typically I tend to have a vision of what a scene will look and feel like, a sketch - if you like - in my head, from which I spring forward to actually explore and fill out with words. Right now, however, my soul is being very reluctant to cough up a clear view of the end.

Who'd be a writer, hey?
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