January 27th, 2010


A Book of Endings shortlisted for the Crawford Award

From Locus Online:

Jedediah Berry has been named the winner of the 2010 William L. Crawford Award for first novel The Manual of Detection. The Award, presented annually at The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, is for a new fantasy writer whose first book appeared the previous year. This year's conference will be March 17-21, 2010 in Orlando FL.

The award committee shortlisted Deborah Biancotti's collection A Book of Endings, Kari Sperring's novel Living with Ghosts, and Ali Shaw's novel The Girl With Glass Feet, and wanted to commend two other authors whose works were ineligible this year but were highly regarded: Robert V.S. Redick, whose The Red Wolf Conspiracy appeared in 2008 and whose The Ruling Sea appears in 2010, and Michal Ajvaz, whose The Other City originally appeared in Czech in 1993 but was first translated into English by Gerald Turner in 2009.

The Award is administered by Gary K. Wolfe with assistance from Kelly Link, Niall Harrison, Cheryl Morgan, Graham Sleight, Paul Witcover, John Clute, Jonathan Strahan, Liza Groen Trombi, Farah Mendlesohn, and Amelia Beamer.


Sprawl Update

Whilst not the final Table of Contents (a few decisions are still pending), I've bought the following stories for Sprawl:

Liz Argall/Matt Huynh - Seed Dreams (comic)
Peter Ball - One Saturday Night, With Angel
Deborah Biancotti - Never Going Home
Simon Brown - Sweep
Stephanie Campisi - How to Select a Durian at Footscray Market
Thoraiya Dyer - Yowie
Dirk Flinthart - Walker
L L Hannett - Weightless
Pete Kempshall - Signature Walk
Ben Peek - White Crocodile Jazz
Tansy Rayner Roberts - Relentless Adaptations
Barbara Robson - Neighbourhood Watch
Angela Slatter - Brisneyland by Night
Cat Sparks - All The Love in the World
Anna Tambour - Gnawer of the Moon Seeks Summit of Paradise
Kaaron Warren - Loss
Sean Williams - Parched (poem)


Tony Abbott is an Idiot

So I wasn't going to comment on this the other day - I will never ever vote for a party with Tony Abbott at the helm. I will never forgive him for his position and words over RU486. I felt his words were very clear about what he considered my personal rights and freedoms (or lack thereof) are over my own body.

But my favourite part of this article - Childless Julia Gillard can't understand parents on the issue of virginity: Brandis is Kevin Rudd's quote at the end: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today he would not be offering any advice on the topic.

That's how you get elected - you don't tell people how they have to live. What he thinks on the matter is not my business, just as what I think on the matter is not the Government's business.

The most outrageous part of this little story is that somehow Julia Gillard is not allowed an opinion on like, women's rights, because she is not a parent, according to Senator Brandis. Because then, if I'm reading this right, according to Senator Brandis, women/virgins don't get an actual say in their own sexual activity. They are merely property to be passed from parent to husband. Course if Gillard is not allowed an opinion as a parent, then surely as an unmarried woman, they are arguing that she should not engage in pre-marital sex herself. They are actually trying to tell her how *she* should live. See ... this women's business, it's tricky!!!

As far as I'm concerned, the biggest personal disservice I was ever given was being told that my virginity was a gift that I should give to only one man. It relies on something profoundly important - that that one man will treat it with the care and respect that it deserves. This kind of approach does not equip women with the kind of worldiness required to be able to gauge what is right or inappropriate and as far as I can tell it's about making sure women don't have too many comparisions so some men won't be found to be coming up short. Pun intended.

So to Tony Abbott I say this: stop leering into my bedroom! And dude, if you want to get elected, you're gonna need some of these here laydeez votes to get you over the line. (Course actually, give credit where it's due, he's not a lying politician, he's just a self-defeating one.)


My Hebrew name is Leah - or how my parents know how to deal with me

My parents popped in yesterday to visit and we had a really cool discussion. I finally mentioned that I have had a stigma about my Hebrew name all my life. I mentioned this conversation I had had with my sister just before she named her baby --

Her: What's your Hebrew name?
Me: Leah.
Her: That's really pretty.
Me: Meh. It's either Jacob's wife who was so old and ugly her father had to trick Jacob into marrying her. Or I'm named after Saba's[1] sister who was murdered in the Holocaust.
Her: That's not nice!
Me: Well, it's true.

On relaying this conversation, my parents went to lengths to explain to me that Jewish tradition is such that we name our children after loved ones so that their memories live on in future generations. That it's a way of making people immortal. I was sorta not convinced on their first round because even though I remember her, I always remember her with this big cloud of the horrible horrible thing that happened to her.

To which they said --

Dad: I think it's an enormous honour to be named after a soul who perished in the Holocaust. You represent life and a channelling of all their potential. So many people are gone with noone to remember them.

Mum: There's noone else who remembers Leah. You are probably the only person in the world who does. And every time someone asks you who you were named after, you remember her. She was a 22 year old woman, just married and all her hopes and dreams vanished. She didn't get to do anything, really, before she was gone. And now you carry her name, her potential and her hopes and dreams with you as you walk in the world.

Me: And it's not like I'm quiet in this world!

Mum: Does that make you feel better? And you weren't named after the First Wife [2]

So, after nearly 34 years of feeling sad and maybe a little bit ungrateful for my Hebrew name, I'm suddenly very proud and honoured by it. As I should have been all along. And I think I'm going to use it more often and remember Leah more often. I might very well be the only person who regularly ever does. I'm going to try and see if any of our relatives in Israel have any photos of her. How horrible to be gone and forgotten.

[1] Saba is Hebrew for Grandfather
[2] That's a Big Love reference - she just got on the ... see I want to say "train" here and that's inappropriate [3]
[3] So is that