Having said that, this shortlist is a very shortlist. And I'm surprised by that. In fact, it's embarrassingly short. OK, the first category is full, but apart from that?
I've resisted posting about this for some time, simply because I wasn't sure what to say or how to phrase it. But here goes.
Why is the list so short? Surely it's not from a shortage of eligible works. That list was long enough. Is it apathy from the nominating public? Not enough awareness of the nominated works? Not enough promotion? Is our state and this convention simply too small to operate these awards? Is the continuum membership more interested in the 'pop culture' side of the convention, and not so much in the 'speculative' side? All, some, one or none of the above?
I certainly don't know the answer.
One thing I noticed this year, in the lead up to both the Chronos and Ditmar awards, was how little self-promoting and touting there seemed to be from those who were eligible. At least that's how I saw it on Facebook. I'm not so sure how it was on other social media. Is this lack of promotion a symptom of how these awards are perceived in writing and fandom?
Now, I'm not one of those rushing to suggest the Hugos need to be cancelled because I don't like certain nominations. Simply vote on which nominee you believe to be the most worthy. And I'm not suggesting the Chronos awards needs to be discontinued. But I do think the Chronos awards need reviewing.
My thoughts? Either the SF community needs to value and support these awards, and make them relevant, or we have to accept the state is too small to continue with them.
Here's the shortlist.
Best Long Fiction (including collected works)
- Gamers' Rebellion by George Ivanoff (Ford Street Publishing)
- This Mutant Life: A Neo-Pulp Anthology edited by Ben Langdon (Kalamity Press)
- The Beckoning by Paul Collins (Damnation Books)
- Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land edited by Stephen C. Ormsby and Carol Bond (Satalyte Publishing)
- Caution: Contains Small Parts by Kirstyn McDermott (Twelfth Planet Press)
Best Short Fiction
- "Fairy Pie" by George Ivanoff in Stories for Girls (Random House Australia)
- Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
Best Fan Writer
- No award
Best Fan Publication in any Medium
- Gamers' Rebellion book trailer by Henry Gibbens