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 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.
 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?