We Have Two Winners This Year!
2012 Norma K Hemming Awards presented at Continuum 8
The 2012 Norma K Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction has been jointly won by A A Bell for Hindsight and Sara Douglass for The Devil’s Diadem, both published by HarperVoyager.
The awards were presented today at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne.
The judges, author-editor Russell Blackford, editor Sarah Endacott, author-editor-publisher Rob Gerrand, and author Tess Williams, said that out of forty one entries they had selected a shortlist of nine, from which the winners were chosen, including three Honourable Mentions.
In A A Bell’s Hindsight, sequel to the 2011 Hemming Award winner Diamond
Eyes, Mira Chambers is determined to regain her independence after ten years in orphanages and asylums, while coping with a visual impairment that makes her blind in the present yet able to see past light. Pitted against adversaries and unsure who she can trust, Mira’s travails are captured in breathtaking writing of a high order.
The Devil’s Diadem was the last novel by the late Sara Warneke (1957-2011), who wrote as Sara Douglass. Like so many of Sara Douglass’s women characters, Maeb, in The Devil’s Diadem, is not famous, not powerful and not rich, but even as an ordinary woman she lives extraordinarily, questioning and evolving her place in history, in patriarchy, and in an unfurling horror.
The judges awarded Honourable Mentions to Sue Isle for Nightsiders, Meg Mundell for Black Glass and Tansy Rayner Roberts for The Shattered City. Selected comments from the judges are:
Nightsiders by Sue Isle, published by Twelfth Planet Press:
Just as the Western Australian landscape is the site of discord, of discovery, of dissociation, so too is the body, in Sue Isle’s journeys into and out of self.
Black Glass by Meg Mundell, published by Scribe Publications:
Following their father’s death in a meth lab explosion,
two sisters are separated and have very different experiences of poverty, isolation, disenfranchisement and physical vulnerability in a society moving towards terrifying levels of urban manipulation and control.
The Shattered City by Tansy Rainer Roberts, published by HarperVoyager:
In her absorbing fantasy, Tansy Rayner Roberts portrays a ‘mousey littlewoman’ who has a day job as a seamstress and turns into the queen of heaven at night – who says women can’t do everything?
The Norma K Hemming Award was established by the Australian Science Fiction Foundation in 2010 to mark excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in speculative fiction or related artwork or media, produced either in Australia or by Australian citizens.
Bill Wright – ASFF Awards Administrator (2012)