The eligibility list for this category was a much more manageable 51. Embarrassingly I own all but one of the nominations below but have only read one. That will hopefully be rectified by the time I get to Continuum (see, not giving up hope).
- "The Sleeping and the Dead", Cat Sparks, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
- "Above", Stephanie Campisi, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
- "The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt", Paul Haines, in The Last Days of Kali Yuga (Brimstone Press)
- "And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living", Deborah Biancotti, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
- "Julia Agrippina's Secret Family Bestiary", Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)
- "Below", Ben Peek, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
It’s interesting to note that the category is really dominated by a couple of collections and three publishers. Above/Below is a Twelfth Planet Press double and both novellas are nominated. Ishtar Contains both Cat Sparks and Deb Biancotti’s novellas and is from Mark Deniz’s Gilgamesh Press. Paul Haines’ story was produced by the now New Zealand Brimstone Press.
It’s good to see both local and international presses too. If you listen to the latest Coode Street Podcast you’ll note that Jonahan Strahan talks about the split in Australians published overseas and those published and well known locally. I think this list is comprised of people that straddle those separate areas quite well.
As with the Best Novel category I think this is another strong selection, from writers who are or were(sadly Paul Haines passed away from cancer) hitting their straps.
I may have to return to this field after I have read the stories. If we go on Ben Peek’s assurances, we can rule him out. Roberts would have to be a favourite being nominated across the ballot, but I am not sure if that works for or against her. As for the rest, well, another “too close to call”.
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