Tag Archives: Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon

Risking the Disapproval of Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon


Some of you may remember my friend Drusilla, the Ditmar Diprotodon. This unlikely mascot from the Pleistocene era has been using my blog to spruik Australia’s national science fiction award since she stumbled into our time-stream back in 2011 or so.

Things have changed for Drusilla. She’s discovered coffee, iPads (problematic given her paws) and of course, the vibrant genre fiction scene found in her home continent. I’ve been a bit wary of disturbing her, given that she is apparently “hibernating”. I swung by her place to see if I could get anything useful out of her this year regarding the Ditmar Awards.

JF: Drusilla! Hey, hello! How are you?

DDD: [groans] What do you want? I’m sleeping.

JF: Yeah, I’m calling bullshit on that. Pleistocene-era Australia didn’t snow during winter.

DDD: What would you know? Were you THERE?

JF: Well, no.

DDD: I was. So piss off. [accepts bucket-sized coffee] Okay, you can stay.

JF: Drusilla, did you have anything to say about this year’s Ditmar Award?

DDD: Seriously dude? As if everyone hasn’t nominated yet. Here’s the hyperlink to my usual spiel, just to save everybody time [mashes iPad with her enormous paw]. Argh, I think I broke another one. Jason, can you..?

JF: Sure. Here it is (http://jasonfischer.com.au/thus-spake-drusilla-the-ditmar-diprotodon/).

DDD: I don’t really have much more to add than the usual – list as many works/people as you think are deserving of the awards. You’re not diluting your nomination by doing so – in fact, you’re ensuring a diverse ballot paper by doing so.

JF:  Thanks Drusilla. Will you – will you help pimp my stuff?

DDD: You have GOT to be kidding. I read your collection, and you didn’t even write a story about Diprotodons.

JF: Well, I mentioned them in that one story.

DDD: You mean the one where your “drop bears” used to eat us. Whatever.

JF: [hands over a bucket of Haigh's chocolate and a new iPad]

DDD: It’s my pleasure to announce Jason Fischer’s Ditmar eligible works as follows:

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “Everything is a Graveyard”, Jason Fischer, in Everything is a Graveyard, Ticonderoga Publications.

Best Short Story

  • “Art, Ink”, Jason Fischer and Martin Livings, in Antipodean SF 180.
  • “L’Hombre”, Jason Fischer, in Everything is a Graveyard, Ticonderoga Publications.
  • “When the Cheerful Misogynist Came to True-Town”, Jason Fischer, in Everything is a Graveyard, Ticonderoga Publications.

Best Collected Work

  • Everything is a Graveyard by Jason Fischer, edited by Russell B. Farr, Ticonderoga Publications.

DDD: So here’s a (possibly incomplete) list of eligible works, to help jog your memory should you be as sketchy as Mr. Fischer:


DDD:  And here’s the nomination form:


JF: Thanks Drusilla. I’ll just be quietly leaving now.

DDD: [Eating sounds, shortly followed by snoring]


Thus Spake Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon

Some of you might remember last year when I introduced you to Drusilla, the Ditmar Diprotodon. This time-travelling spokesmammal of Australian SF has apparently remained in our time-stream, mostly for the fiction. Rumours of the secret megafauna invasion are still largely exaggerated and (for now) she is an ambassador of literature and peace. Today, she joins me on the Fisch-blog to talk about all things Ditmar.

JF: Hi Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon, thanks for stopping by.

DDD: My pleasure, Jason. Thanks for the huge bushel of vegetation.

JF: I’d do the same for any of my guests. Now, my sources tell me that you’re a passionate advocate of the Ditmar Awards.

DDD: Indeed. I think it’s wonderful to reward creative minds. We had a similar popular-vote award back in the Pleistocene Epoch, “The Mammal’s Choice Award”. Though our categories were more along the lines of Best Survivor, Species Viability, Most Effective Predator and the like. We still had a Fan Art category though.

JF: Megafauna are nothing if not organised. So, Drusilla, do you know who you are nominating in this year’s Ditmar Awards?

DDD: Oh yes! I’ve perused the 2013 Ditmar Eligibility List and cobbled together a list of my favourite books, novellas, short stories and even some reviews and podcasts that I got into last year. The beauty of the Ditmar is that I can nominate as many things in as many categories as I like. You don’t dilute or divide your nomination by doing so.

JF: So, if you were a creative type nominating your own work (which is okay to do) it doesn’t hurt you at all to list other works in the same category?

DDD: Indeed. You’re a mug if you don’t. I think that this mechanism effectively neutralises any self-touting – by the time the self-nominations are tallied up, the real results would come from the additional “I also liked this stuff” nominations.

JF: So, you’re saying the system works?

DDD: I know the Ditmars are not without their own controversies. Nary a year goes by without some sort of battle royale about the results, accusations of bloc voting, all of that drama. It reminds me in many ways of the “Mammal’s Choice Award” of 50,000 BCE. Brutor the Marsupial Lion was accused by many of rigging the vote for Most Effective Predator, but it turned out he really was the Most Effective Predator, as numerous corpses attested to.

JF: So do you think there was bloc voting, both now and then?

DDD: Probably. But that’s the law of the savana. No doubt many of Brutor’s relatives put their paws to the ballot, but it was probably a statistical blip when compared to the other terrified votes. At least the result was accurate! The Ditmar nomination process resembles a circus of touting and enormous lists of eligible works, but I think it’s a necessary process. After the initial flurry of activity, the overall numbers would float to the surface, and then the most representative value appears on that final ballot paper.

JF: I heard mention that you were frustrated by one of the rules?

DDD: Yes. As a fan, I was stymied by rule 4.1 “Nominations will be accepted only from natural persons active in fandom”. Stupid homo sapiens, of course you try to keep the fun all to yourselves. But ultimately I got around it by signing up to each Natcon, and I quote “or from full or supporting members of the national convention of the year of the award.”

JF: That’s clever.

DDD: [munching sounds]

JF: We need another wheelbarrow of lettuce in here.