Brisbane and the Aurealis Awards

 I have returned.

The “vacation” (holiday, as they say here) turned into 4 days of me being a writer geek. Thankfully, I have an understanding wife (and we are both aware I owe her a proper holiday).

I caught up with Chris and Peter and saw Jason when he’d returned to the land of the pseudo-conscious after an ungodly redeye flight. There were dinners and breakfasts and awards and, best of all, I met a bunch of new people, either authors I’ve already admired from afar or new ones I’ll keep an eye out for in future Tables of Contents.

I’m always amazed at how cool spec fic people are. Honestly, I can’t think of another vocation where people who the outside world might consider “rivals” (which is crap, all the good writers know there’s always room for more good writers) are so supportive and energetic.

I have a few Aurealis Awards of my own to give out, though, so here they go:

Best acceptance speech – Paul Haines upon finding that two of his stories had tied for the Best Short Horror award – “Well, that’s fucked my speech then.”

Strangest thing yelled on the night of the 23rd of January – Robert Hoge, after a quick review of his Tangled Bank bookmark revealed he was not of the piscine persuasion – “I want a fish, Goddammit Lynch. Where’s my fish!?”

Best writerly advice – Kate Eltham, for sneaking over to us and letting us know the bar tab was almost gone.

Best Aurealis Awards Night Ever – Fantastic Queensland

And yes, much to my relief and surprise, and greatly hampering my future efforts at humility, “Father’s Kill” jointly won Best Short Fantasy, sharing the honours of the category with “Once a Month, On a Sunday” by Ian McHugh.

Congratulations to all. Sharing shortlists with so many incredible writers is the highest point of my career.

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