Australia: the venue for H.P. Lovecraft’s incredible The Shadow Out of Time, for Picnic at Hanging Rock, for Mad Max, but still not always the first place that springs to mind in connection with the futuristic, the fantastic, and the frightful. But perhaps that does poor justice to the Aurealis Awards, established in 1995 “to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.” The Awards recognize achievement in science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and children’s fiction, and “submissions within a category are reviewed by a panel of at least three judges, which selects each year’s finalists and winners.”
The slate of finalists for the 2014 Aurealis Awards has just been announced with a very interesting-looking list. Judging Coordinator, Tehani Wessely remarked on the quality and volume of submissions with over 750 entries across all categories, and said: “As is always the case, the judges agreed that entries were of a very high standard and the final decisions were subject to much debate among the panellists. The competition becomes stronger every year. The trend towards quality e-published fiction continued in 2014, with a high percentage of entries published this way. Both traditional publishing and the smaller presses are well represented in the shortlists, reflecting the general entry trend.” The final winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, on Saturday April 11th, at the University House, Canberra.