Making Contact

Author with award

Here I am with my first ever award, for Best New Talent in the Ditmar Awards. Photo by me.

Last night I returned home from Contact, the 55th annual Australian speculative fiction convention held in Brisbane.

As I usually do, I had a wonderful time catching up with friends from around the country (and outside of it), learning and live tweeting up a storm (the least terrible of these are immortalised on Storify), and adding to the ever-toppling Mt. TBR.

I was also chuffed to win a Ditmar Award for Best New Talent! Like I said on the night (hopefully coherently, right after I dropped my pin on stage) I very much appreciate the support of my family, the Australian speculative fiction community and specifically my mentor, Cat Sparks.

I am Ditmar nominated!

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve been nominated as ‘best new talent’ in the Ditmar awards. The full preliminary ballot is available on the Ditmars wiki. Any member of Contact 2016 or last year’s Swancon can vote online (for me or any of my worthy opponents).

This year, I was also a judge for the Aurealis Awards, for science fiction short stories. At final count, I believe we read 128 stories, and it was a fantastic learning experience. The full shortlist was released a little while ago, and the the winners of both awards will be announced at Contact, in Brisbane over the Easter long weekend. It’s going to be a great con!

Defying Doomsday

The anthology title 'Defying Doomsday' printed over a background of a city surrounded by desert with an orange stormy sky.

Image courtesy of Twelfth Planet Press.

My short story ‘Two Somebodies Go Hunting’ will be published in Twelfth Planet Press’ forthcoming anthology, Defying Doomsday. I am thrilled and humbled (seriously, look at the TOC!) to be included in what I think is a hugely important work.

Defying Doomsday seeks to find a place in fiction where disabled people aren’t erased or killed off early in the challenging setting of an apocalypse; where they aren’t reduced to being a burden to, or inspiration for, others.

The anthology is edited by Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, and will be available later this year in print and ebook formats.

2015: the halfway point

A woman seated behind a table with two bottles of champagne at a book launch

Rivqa Rafael at the launch of Hear Me Roar. Photo credit: Bracha Rafael.

We’re halfway through 2015, which is terrifying. On the plus side, I’ve just arrived home – energised, inspired and exhausted – from Continuum 11, which I enjoyed thoroughly and live-tweeted extensively, some of which I have immortalised here; photos from Cat Sparks are here.

One of the biggest highlights of the con was, of course, the launch of Hear Me Roar, a Ticonderoga Publications anthology that contains my first published work of fiction. Having my first launch in my hometown meant that my mother and sister were able to attend (+1 naches).

On another note, I’ve volunteered to judge the category of science fiction short stories for the Aurealis Awards. I’m excited to be part of the awards and am looking forward to discussing one of my favourite forms and genres extensively.

That said, I expect it will keep me quite busy, and (did I mention we’re halfway through 2015?) I’ve written nowhere near enough yet this year, so I’m planning to scale back on editing work and focus on writing and reading for the next few months. With that in mind, I will note that this blog, such as it is, will likely focus more on my fiction than editing or non-fiction, at least for now.