The shortlists for this year’s Aurealis Awards have just been released into the wild, and can be read here:
So bust out the Crayolas and colour me tickled pink, I’m a Finalist! How exciting, and somewhat humbling that my book has snuck in next to these other two amazing writers and their works:
After the World: Gravesend, Jason Fischer, Black House Comics
Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson, Orbit (Hachette)
Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott, Pan Macmillan
Oh Gravesend, you’re the little engine that could a huge congrats to everyone else who made this year’s shortlists. I don’t envy the work of the judges in any category, that’s one solid list.
Well, it’s been a week since I announced the Gravesend haiku competition, and it’s judging time. There’s been some great entries from a bunch of folks, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Still, I had to get down the serious business of judging these poems. I weighed up emotional resonance, usage of seasons, and sneaky Romero references, but mostly I counted syllables
Without further ado, the winners are:
now snowflakes curl on undead
flesh; unmelting, still.
Til death do we part;
chewing on my dear wife’s brains
silencing her screams
- Peter M Ball
Skulls are way too hard.
Softest way to get at brains:
through the eye sockets.
- Lisa Hannett
And a bonus winner, because it’s just too awesome, and captures perfectly the true angst of zombie haiku composition:
Brains brains brains brains brains
Brains brains brains brains brains brains brains
Brai- ai- ai-ai-ns
Your zombielicious copies of “After the World: Gravesend” will be in the post shortly. Congratulations!
ETA: Because he’s a classy haiku-loving kind of guy, Peter M Ball has donated his prize back into the contest. Here’s a poem that narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 3, which I’m now pleased to add to the winner’s circle.
Roused to seek fresh meat
As winter freshens the air:
I shall hunt you; hide.
To celebrate the shortlisting of “After The World: Gravesend” in this year’s Ditmar Awards, Black House Comics are offering you the chance to win a copy of the book.
To enter, simply compose a haiku – the only catch is it must be zombie or apocalypse themed. Post your haiku in this comments thread (either at jasonfischer.com.au or on the LJ feed, it’s all good). As long as you meet the 5-7-5 rule, I’m not too fussed if you mention a seasonal reference – though if you mention winter and brains, it will earn you bonus points
The best three haikus as judged by me will win themselves a copy of the book. It’s that easy! Contest closes one week from today (Thursday 19th August)
(PS sorry, Australian residents only for this competition – overseas postage is too painful)
Just got the latest issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, the 44th instalment of my favourite Aussie pulp mag. Not only does ASIM #44 contain my latest story “Sebastian” (love lost, love found, and an evil equestrian encounter), the book reviews section includes a look at my novella, “After the World: Gravesend”.
Among other things, reviewer Simon Petrie says:
“Tamsyn’s strength of character is one of the novella’s strengths: in fact the characterisation, throughout, is marvellous, with at least a dozen of the townspeople emerging as fully three-dimensional, living, breathing characters during the course of the story.”
“Fischer’s portrayal of society’s shambling disintegration is disconcertingly plausible”.
The full review (and as usual, several awesome stories) can be read in the print copy, which can be purchased here: http://www.andromedaspaceways.com/issue-44/
So with the website humming along, all tickety-boo and how’s your father, I continue to plough through the sequel to Gravesend, the tentatively titled “After the World: Corpus Christi”. Won’t be long and I’ll be signing off on this, my latest love-letter to George Romero and zombiedom as a whole. My favourite part? Revisiting some characters that I genuinely cared for, and telling the world What Happens Next. Did I say I care for these characters? You wouldn’t think so, going by the levels of woe I’m pouring upon them.
I’ve been enjoying David Farland’s “Daily Kick In The Pants” series of emails, invaluable writing advice from a writer who was actually Stephanie Meyer’s mentor, a WOTF judge, and an author with an impressive back catalogue in his own right. His invaluable writing advice can be accessed via this page: http://www.runelords.com/about/
Some of the things Mr Farland has spoken about are try/fail cycles, and actually giving your readers low levels of stress! Yes, you heard me right. When you are actually anxious about the fate of a character, that story just became a page-turner, and the author has successfully engaged you as a reader. And then, with the correct resolution, everything is brought back to normal, and you’ll go away feeling relaxed and good about that story – and will be keen to buy anything else that author writes.
A simple formula for conflict that I’ve always remembered goes along these lines:
1) get your characters stuck up in a tree
2) throw rocks at them.
3) get them back down.
I tell you what, I’ve got my eye in today…pow! Oh, sorry Tamsyn, didn’t mean to pop you in the face. Hey, there’s no need to point that bow at me, I was just….TWANG! Okay, thanks for the warning shot. Promise I’ll cut you a break real soon :-)
PS I’ve finally got my LiveJournal cross-post thing working! Many thanks to fellow Clarionite Aidan Doyle for his IT intervention.