It’s that time of the year again — Aurealis Awards weekend in Brisbane when the who’s who of Australian spec fic frock up and descend on Fortitude Valley in their droves. This will be the last time the hurrah will be hosted by Fantastic Queensland. I’m not sure what’s going to become of it so I’m thinking we need to see this one out with a bang rather than a whimper.
A lot of bitching and moaning often accompanies awards: what value do they truly serve? Are they rigged, fixed, biased or just an old load of toss? Do they affect sales figures? Does anybody give a flying fuck? The AAs have been good to me. I’ve served as a judge twice, had stories nominated seven times, taken home a trophy twice, as well as a Golden Aurealis and the convener’s award. What did all these trophies do for my career as a short story writer? They did not make me famous, land me book deals or convince anyone to treat me with the respect that seems to go hand in hand with scoring a novel contract. They might have gotten me an invite to an anthology or two — I can’t be sure about that. But I’m certain of one thing — they did make me happy. I felt like I’d achieved something every time my name made the shortlist. A personal milestone in a career that can barely be called a career at all because the pay and payoffs are so slight.
Goodonya Chimaera Publications and Fantastic Queensland for providing Australian spec fic writers with a juried awards system and, perhaps more importantly, a night of nights where we all get to glam up, revel in community spirit and toast each others good fortune.
See you at the bar.