June 16th, 2008


It has finally hit me!!!

OMG okay so ... it just HIT me right now - next Friday I am getting on a jetplane to Dubai at 6am.



But like ... that's the Friday after THIS one.


I have a dress to wear to the wedding. I found some travellers checks from the last trip so I have some cash. I have my room, lights and insurance paid for and booked. And that's it. I must need things like ... underwear, first aid stuff ... a list, surely I need a list?

And I have a terrible fear that a certain someone might forget me whilst I'm away

Aurealis Awards

So you can walk down memory lane with benpeek about Aurealis Awards yesteryears. They were good days. Fun times. It's what kicked started the ASif project afterall.

You can read over at Ben's about the new announcement about the change in Aurealis Award categories - no more Golden Aurealis Awards. I do't much care either way on that one but I guess I will miss his discussions on Golden Showers. Good times.

Other AA news include an announcement of two new categories - Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel and Best Collection/Anthology. And this:

Nomination and rules updated. As we do every year, we have responded to feedback from previous judges, award nominees, publishers and authors and reviewed and updated the award rules and nomination procedures.

Elect[r]onic submissions no longer permitted. As a result of our review of rules and nomination procedures, we will no longer be accepting electronic copies of works nominated for Aurealis Awards. However, individuals or small/independent publishers who face difficulties in supplying hard copies of nominated works should contact the Awards Coordinator for assistance.

Last year I banned myself from commenting on the Aurealis Awards procedure any further. It became destructive and mostly just pissed me off. And benpayne took over dealing with AA business at Twelfth Planet Press.

I'll just say these things... say a small press produces an anthology that has short stories spanning horror, fantasy and science fiction. There are now 20 judges[1] involved in the AA judging process for that. In a community as small as ours with a AA judging burn out rate that is high - we're going to go through a lot of judges in a very short timeframe.

It's mid June of 2008. I've read over 1300 short stories this year so far and am currently reading material that is to be released in October 2008. I read fast. I am already in a short story reading mode. And I read electronically. When I judged, some time at the end of October was the cut off and we had to decide the winners pretty quickly after that. I spose though without the GA, they might have an extra 6 weeks up their sleeve.

I guess I'm glad I'm not on the Fantasy novel judging panel. Judges - my thoughts are with you.

[1] I can't help myself. Last year I approached the convenor about submitting electronic copies and was told I could not do so. I note that in the rules and conditions it states : One copy of each novel/short story must be sent to EACH of the judges on the relevant panel/s. (In the case of small press publications the editor/ publisher nominating the magazine/anthology in the award may contact the convenor of the relevant panel/s to arrange for the judges to share copies. This will be done at the discretion of the panel convenor.)
I can tell you now that I ain't sending 20 copies of 2012 to the Aurealis judges - discretion of the panel convenor aside. I find the constant attempt to impose ridiculous authority over small press as though we should be thankful for being allowed to nominate free of charge, although at high expense when you talk about 20 books unless they decide to let you off the hook, shortsighted. What if small press boycotted the awards - what would the credibility of the winners be when not considered in the actual context of the scene?

More on the Aurealis Awards Discussion

Firstly I would like to apologise for any offense that I caused with my last post. It was not my intention to hurt anyone nor to belittle the work that goes into organising the AAs and the work that FQ does. I appreciate and thank those who have contacted me and have continued the discussion, both on this blog and off the blog. I personally believe that it is only through open communication and discussion that we can move forward. And if I am wrong about something, I am more than happy to rectify it.

That said ... a question ... which would you, dear reader, rather choose - a car or an Aussie small press debt?

I went into this with an idea of how much money I was willing to spend in order to play my small role in contribution to the arts. I think, if I were honest, I've already exceeded that amount. Recently I got a pretty decent sum of backpay due to a reclassification in my job role. And I put a portion of that into my shiny new Twelfth Planet Press bank account. The rest I put in my savings towards my house deposit. And when I gave up some of my future security for TPP, I promised myself that that was it. That was all the money I was ever going to loan my company. That was the amount of debt beyond which I am not prepared to go. It's less than pretty much every other Aussie specfic small press debt that I know of (there's a few I don't know, one is not in debt and I suspect maybe another is also not in debt). It would buy you a decent second hand car that's not too old.

When my TPP bank account runs dry, it's game over for TPP. If it's not viable, it's not viable. That's the deal I made with myself going in. That's business.

Shiny runs at about $150 per issue. We haven't recouped the money on any single issue yet and we have already committed to 3 more issues this year. (Never ever ask me about New Ceres - it makes me cry). So to put it into perspective, I reckon it would cost me at least half an issue of Shiny to enter all my year's publications into the AAs. When I say I can't afford to print or photocopy 5 copies or more of all those stories (50 pages or more per issue) and then post packages, it's because the decision I have made is - one more issue of Shiny over entering my stories into an awards process where last year some of the shortlisted YA stories, were not even YA (and Shiny did not make the cut). The decision I guess I am making is, how much further (pubications) I have down the road before I pull the plug. And one more issue of Shiny buys me maybe some more readers who buy back issues and so I may just limp along one more issue further down the road. $80 in printing and posting is not nothing to me.