May 29, 2012

Examining the Ditmars - Best Collected work

Well the Ditmars have closed but we can still have fun discussing them can’t we.  I have read all but Paul Haines work.  On reputation alone though he deserves a spot in what is a very tight field.

Some notable exclusions are Lisa Hannett’s Bluegrass Symphony and Margo Lanagan’s Yellow Cake*


  • The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis (Brimstone Press)
  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)

I’d personally be very happy with any of them winning.  The selections are only some of the top quality fiction being produced by Australian writers. 

It’s good to see both Australian and International presses represented too, perhaps adding weight to Coode Street’s observation that we are now starting to see small press offerings expand beyond our isolated geography. 

Slightly dodgy speculation**

Although Tansy appears all over these nominations I think she’ll have the weight of time against her - L&R was released early in 2011, likewise Sue Isle who whose Nightsiders was the first in the Twelve Planets released.  Those releasing works later in the year might have the advantage of freshness. 

Biancotti has two horses in this race – Bad Power and one third of the Ishtar collection.  Aside from being a bloody good writer, Bad Power was released in late 2011 around the middle of the season and Ishtar shortly after from memory. 

Ishtar also features Cat Sparks and Kaaron Warren, both writers in top form.  Credit to them and their editors for producing a hard hitting collection.

All this makes it very hard to suggest a winner without knowing what the voting populace is like - Bad power and Ishtar feel like  tighter collections, in that the stories are more closely related to one another or at least thy feel that way.  Does this mean they are more likely to win?  Who knows?

Best of luck to all the writers & publishers.

* I am sure there are other books of equal vitality that haven’t popped up on my radar either.

**Largely talking rubbish here.  I haven’t been in the scene long enough, nor do I know the community well enough to really make an informed guess on who’s likely to win.

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