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2017 Ditmar Preliminary Ballot

The 2017 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards preliminary ballot has just been released, and I’m chuffed to see my novella “By the Laws of Crab and Woman” on the shortlist for Best Novella/Novelette. It is fantastic to see this story get such recognition, and I’m grateful to everyone who nominated it. Huge congrats to the other finalists, what a brilliant ballot!

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.
  • The Lyre Thief, Jennifer Fallon, HarperCollins.
  • Squid’s Grief, D.K. Mok, D.K. Mok.
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter, Jo Fletcher Books.
  • The Wizardry of Jewish Women, Gillian Polack, Satalyte Publishing.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “All the Colours of the Tomato”, Simon Petrie, in Dimension6 9.
  • “By the Laws of Crab and Woman”, Jason Fischer, in Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 17, Issue 6.
  • “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • “Finnegan’s Field”, Angela Slatter, in
  • “Glass Slipper Scandal”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Sheep Might Fly.
  • “Going Viral”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Dimension6 8.

Best Short Story

  • “Flame Trees”, T.R. Napper, in Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2016.
  • “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.
  • “There’s No Place Like Home”, Edwina Harvey, in AntipodeanSF 221.

Best Collected Work

  • Crow Shine by Alan Baxter, Ticonderoga Publications.
  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.
  • In Your Face, Tehani Wessely, FableCroft Publishing.

Best Artwork

  • cover and internal artwork, Adam Browne, for The Tame Animals of Saturn, Peggy Bright Books.
  • illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Earl Grey Editing Services (blog), Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
  • Galactic Chat, Alexandra Pierce, David McDonald, Sarah Parker, Helen Stubbs, Mark Webb, and Sean Wright.
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts.
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond.

Best Fan Writer

  • James ‘Jocko’ Allen, for body of work.
  • Aidan Doyle, for body of work.
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work.
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work.
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work.

Best Fan Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Illustration Friday series.

Best New Talent

  • T R Napper
  • Marlee Jane Ward

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Kat Clay for essays and reviews in Weird Fiction Review
  • Tehani Croft & Marisol Dunham, for Revisiting Pern: the great McCaffrey reread review series.
  • Tsana Dolichva, for reviews, in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews.
  • Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.
  • Alexandra Pierce, for reviews, in Randomly Yours, Alex.
  • Gillian Polack, for History and Fiction: Writers, their Research, Worlds and Stories, Peter Lang.


National Australian Fan Fund Race 2017

As a science fiction fan and writer, I’m throwing my hat in the ring and entering the National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) race for 2017. This wonderful tradition helps fans to get to conventions, and it’s too good an opportunity to miss. I’m not saying that Adelaide is like Mos Eisley, but it’s a loooong way to most Natcons for Mister Fisch :-)

Image result for mos eisley

“This is Adelaide….not too many conventions here.”

Toss in a couple of rotten years finance-wise and health-wise, and my beloved cons have had to take a back seat, which sucks. It’s a great community, and I relish every chance I get to engage with it. I always come away from these gatherings energised, and so many projects and fun things have happened just based on something in a panel, or a conversation at the bar.

More than anything, I miss everyone. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to get to conventions under my own steam, but this year I’m hoping to be a Fan Delegate Deluxe.

If you would like to cast a vote my way for the Fan Fund Race, I would be eternally grateful. There are several great candidates on this year’s ballot paper, and it’s great to know that one of us will get to wave our fan flag on high this year.


Welcome to the NAFF race for 2017. The National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) was created to assist fans to travel across Australia to attend the National Science Fiction Convention (Natcon). NAFF assists fans to travel to the Natcon and covers the costs of airfares and accommodation. The Natcon donates a convention membership.This year’s NAFF race is to Continuum 13, which will be held in Melbourne over the long weekend 9 – 13 June, 2017. It is expected that the winner will produce a report of their trip, engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races, and to help administer the NAFF race for the following two years. All Australian fans are eligible to vote.

The voting process contributes to the fundraising so each vote costs $5. You are more than welcome to donate more than this amount! Votes are being collected by: Tehani Croft and the candidates. For more information please contact Tehani at

Your candidates for this year:

Jason Fischer (SA)

I’m a spec-fic writer from Adelaide who has won an Aurealis and the Writers of the Future contest, but I started out as a fan many years ago and continue to be one! I’ve served as an enthusiastic slush-reader, contest judge, panellist, convenor, editor, critiquer, and general dogsbody whenever any convention, small press or writer’s group needed a hand. With your endorsement and support, I’m keen to get to this year’s Nat Con at Continuum 13, to reconnect and give back to the fandom that gives so much to me.

Nominated by: Russell B Farr (WA), Cat Sparks (ACT) and Sean Williams (SA).

Vote here.

Talitha Kalago (QLD)

I have a reasonably popular blog for writers I update every Wednesday, on which I have discussed other conventions and being an Aurealis Judge and the things I have learned from that process. I also regularly post horror movie reviews on Facebook.

I have several romance titles published with Harlequin under the pen name Zaide Bishop (Theo & Eliza’s Awakening). I also have several sci fi/fantasy/horror novels and short stories out as Talitha Kalago, through various publishers and publications (Acquisition & Duplicity, YA novels, plus numerous short stories.) In July/August of 2017 I have a trilogy coming out with Harlequin: First Fall, Second Heart and Third Wave under my Zaide Bishop pen name.

I have been an Aurealis judge two years running (2016 & 2017) and have been vice president of the Vision Writer’s group for two years (2016 & 2017), and secretary for the previous two (2014 & 2015).

Nominated by: Meghann Laverick (QLD), Kirstie Olley (QLD) and Matthew Farmer (VIC).

Vote here.

Fe Waters (WA)

Fe has been involved in fandom since she was dragged to the UniSFA room in 1990. She’s been attending Swancon since 1995, and was part of Gynaecon (the con within a con) from the beginning. After being inspired by the kids’ programming at AussieCon IV, Fe took on organising the Family Programme for Swancon 2011–2013.

In recognition of her efforts for the Family Programme, she was awarded the Mumfan (Marge Hughes) Award in 2013. In 2016 she was the Fan Guest of Honour at Swancon. This was also the year that the Gynaecon Collective was awarded the Silver Swan.

Nominated by: Stephanie Bateman-Graham (WA), Ju Landéesse (VIC) and Sarah Parker (WA).

Vote here.

Jay Watson (WA)

I have been a part of WA fandom for over 25 years, but due to health issues, I have had to step back in the past few years. I am looking at getting back into and strengthening my ties with fandom. Before my health issues, I was a regular Swancon attendee/volunteer and was on several committees. I have also stepped into help other committees when needed. I am interested in all aspects of fandom and am hoping to have discussions at the Natcon, which will help me to better contribute to the fan community.

Nominated by: Tehani Croft (QLD), Alisa Krasnostein (WA) and Robin Pen (WA).

Vote here.

“Welcome to World Building” workshop with Jason Fischer – May 20, 2017

Coming soon at the SA Writers Centre – my world-building workshop is always great fun to run, and people always leave brimming with ideas for stories. If you’re interested in creating a fictional world, this workshop is for you! Suitable for all ages.


Do you dream of creating your own written universe where all the rules are made by you? Are you imagining a world of dragons, or a space station where aliens meet and trade? If so then Aurealis Award-winning writer Jason Fischer will guide you through the steps needed to create your own world and setting, either to kickstart your own stories and comics, or just for fun.

This workshop is a hands on and interactive way to learn how to build worlds with words, and will involve drawing maps, creating creatures, and talking about the natural laws observed by writers when creating their fantasy settings.

Cost: Full price $90 / Members $60 (Login to register with the Member Price) Continue reading

Aurealis Awards 2016 Shortlist

I will admit to jumping around and smiling like a loon when I read today’s Aurealis Awards shortlist. My novella “By the Laws of Crab and Woman” (originally published by the fine folks at the Review of Australian Fiction) is a finalist in the Best Fantasy Novella category for 2016.

I share this short-list with many of my friends and heroes, and many gob-smackingly awesome works have rated a berth on the HMS Aurealis 2016. Kudos to the judges, a glass raised to all of my fellow finalists, and a happy fuzzy glow for the healthy state of Australian speculative fiction.

As Molly Meldrum would say, do yourself a favour, and check out my shortlisted story over at Review of Australian Fiction. The relevant issue of RAF can be purchased via this link:

(NOTE: I shared this issue with my fellow ink-scribe Laura Goodin, who critiqued the life out of my story and deserves at least some of the credit for today’s good news!)

NEW STORY – “Ladyflies” by Jason Fischer, available at Review of Australian Fiction


If the gonnery was the hand that watched over Teper, the five main gonnes were its fingers. Her mother told her stories of how the gonnes used to shine brightly, but now they were pitted and thick with rust, patched with steel plates and welds. The gonnes tracked the moon the way a sunflower tracks its brighter cousin, clicking and groaning, old metal squealing in protest each time the main housing shifted along the big cog.

Her home, and now she was forever barred from it. She’d grown up knowing that her mother would bare her neck to her when her apprenticeship had ended, and so she’d studied the crumbling charts, crawled into the dustiest corners with oil-can and metal rasp. She’d spent long hours on the battlements, watching the moon for movement, surrounded by the reaching towers of the big gonnes.

Aster, the first gonne Teper had raised, old and ponderous. Termut and Gadagain, the twins, always moving in concert, known to trick the shell-loaders into favouring them over the others. Clareud the fine, fitted only for the smaller shells but capable of reaching targets above the clouds, and perhaps to the surface of the Moon itself.

Finally, big Ruubar, the last line of defence should the other gonnes fail. Ruubar was squat and swift, and once the dead Monitor had let Amel try it out on a target balloon. From sleep to murder, the largest gonne took a little under five seconds, and Amel’s ears had rung for days from that one fusillade.

Now all of it was in the hands of the tooth-woman, the new Monitor. Amel mourned the loss of her future, but more so she was worried that the reaver wouldn’t work the gonnes properly. There were so many things Amel’s mother had taught her, and now it was all down to a thug blindly fumbling at the controls.

‘It’s up to me,’ she said. ‘I have to defeat the Monitor.’

This is an excerpt from my latest novella “Ladyflies”, now available over at Review of Australian Fiction. You heard right, 20,000 words of novella, so in this issue of RAF you are getting extra bang for your buck. This story is an open homage to one of my favourite books “The Gate to Women’s Country” by the late Sheri S Teper, and is an extrapolation of the ideas explored in what I think of as her seminal work.

This issue is now available via the following link:

But hey! You can do one better. Why not try a three-month subscription to Review of Australian Fiction? That way you can show your support for a great fiction venue, one that has showcased bucketloads of great writers over the last few years.

Spec Fic and Fantasy Festival – SA Writers Centre

If you’re in Adelaide and are a fan of speculative fiction or fantasy writing, make sure you get along to the SA Writers Centre Spec Fic and Fantasy Festival. Yours truly shall be there with a bevy of talented folks, and it promises to be an absolute treat!

We’re going to deliver a bunch of great panels, live readings of our work, and workshops galore. I’m excited that such an event is being held in Adelaide, and tickled pink to be involved :-)


It’s time to crack out of your cryostasis and join us for one of the most spectacular Spec Fic and Fantasy Fests in the multiverse. Dock your Tardis, Delorean, heli cab or space ship at Level 2/187 Rundle Street, 7 and 8 May (unless it’s already the future, in which case… hurry! Go backwards…!)

A galaxy of stars including: Gillian Rubinstein, Sean Williams, Jason Fischer, Ben Chandler, DM Cornish, Lisa L Hannett, Tony Shillitoe, Jo Spurrier and Tehani Wessely will be creating an unforgettable atmosphere and two days of premium advice, learning, workshops and panels that will blow your flux capacitor and melt your chronoscope!

Bookings are essential. DOWNLOAD THE FULL PROGRAM HERE.



Well slap me with a fish and call me Gilgamesh, for my story “Defy the Grey Kings” from Beneath Ceaseless Skies has just picked up the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novella. I am pleasantly shocked, and am pleased that my story has been so well received!

Many thanks to the other finalists and to the judges, whose workload seems to grow year by year. If you’re interested in reading this award-winning epistle, click ye here.

The full list of this year’s Aurealis Award winners can be found here. Huzzah!


BY THE LAWS OF CRAB AND WOMAN – new story now available at Review of Australian Fiction


For her heresy, Reft climbed up to the House of the Pale Daughters. The law dictated that she take the penitent’s path, so she stood barefoot and bleeding in the front courtyard, picking thorns and slivers of glass from her feet.

Reft held a crab on a leash, a juvenile almost up to her waist in height. Its shell was fresh after a recent moult, streaked with blue and orange. Like the other crabbers, Reft had fastened a platform to its back, drilling deep into the hardening shell. From now on, as the crab grew, the platform would grow, and by adulthood it would have entire buildings bristling from its back.

The inner door to the House opened, a thick slab of stone that turned easily on a pivot hinge. One old woman pushed it open with the tips of her fingers.    She was like a piece of driftwood in a robe, flinty eyes buried in a maze of scars.

“Reft the heretic,” she said. “You have come.”

Reft fussed nervously about the crab, unpacking the trunks and crates that she’d lashed firmly to its back. With the tip of a coral knife, she parted the wax seal around the lid of an amphora.

It was honey, gold and thick, filled right up to the brim.

“What does this get me?” Reft asked.

“Death,” the crone said.


This is the opening passage to my new story “By the Laws of Crab and Woman”, which is now available at the Review of Australian Fiction. I share this issue with the amazingly talented  Laura E Goodin, and her story Regent of the Tiny Queen is a joy to read! Check the issue out via the following link:

“Treasure of Light” now available over at Story City


You have discovered an ancient document, a clue leading to the lost treasures of Colonel William Light, surveyor and architect of Adelaide. Throughout the years, clues to the treasure’s location have been hidden in the foundation stones of several historical buildings, forgotten until now. With your archaeologist friend Rhonda, you set out to find Light’s treasure, but there’s a catch – the ruthless tomb-robber Percy Graves is hunting for it too, and he is hot on your heels. Will you find the treasure in time, or will it be stolen from under your nose?


My new story “Treasure of Light” is now available on the Story City app, and is available for the Adelaide Fringe Festival, with the aid of funding from Renewal SA. It’s a story with a difference – think of the old Choose Your Own Adventures, except instead of turning to a page to make a choice, you have to walk to a different location. The whole story is told through your phone or device, and comes complete with narration, artwork, and gorgeous music.

It’s written in the flavour of the “National Treasure” stories, and this story adventure is suitable for all ages to use.

Was a lot of fun to write this story – a lot of research went into this, as well as walking around the city to make sure everything works. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll have fun but you’ll also learn things about the city of Adelaide you might not have known before. There are two other stories set in Adelaide, make sure to check them out too!

Grab the app, and hit the streets during the Adelaide Fringe to find out!

Download the app now:



Writer: Jason Fischer –
Illustrator: Sands Gonzaga –
Music: Adam Richie –
Narration: Kevin Powe –