Aurealis Awards prove that anything men can do, women can do just as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Aurealis Awards I suggest you check them out, they’re the premiere awards for the Australian Speculative Fiction crowd. A chance for Spec Fic writers to get recognized, connect, maintain a professional discourse, and to sink a few bevies. Or French Champagne for the more successful authors.
It was a fantastic event, organized by two women, Nicole Murphy and Tehani Wessley, and MCed by the talented, multi-award winning, Margo Lanagan. Those unfamiliar with her works, might I suggest Tender Morsels as a starting place. Her writing is spectacular, you will not be disappointed. Cat Sparks, demonstrated her multi-dimensional talents by, presenting, photographing, and if you check out twitter, also doing a spot of glamour modelling. On top of that, Kate Forsyth (if you haven’t heard of her… have you been living under a rock?) presented the Fantasy awards. I am pretty sure I was not the only one who had to pop on shades when she walked onto the stage to dim her radiance. She is truly amazing. And the cherry on top was Angela Slatter. Angela Slatter essentially won the Aurealis. Well, she won pretty much every category she was in. She even beat out internationally acclaimed, juggernaut, Garth Nix.
The Australian Women Writers Challenge was up for the Covenors’ Award for Excellence this year and although it didn’t win, I think it actually kind of did. The Australian Women Writers Challenge is about showcasing the enormous depth of talent that is demonstrated by Australian women who are writers. These Aurealis Awards certainly nailed that brief. So bravo Aurealis Awards, bravo Australian Women Writers Challenge and bravo all Australian women writers. If nothing else, you all get a vag badge from me.
So let’s have a ‘Clam Bake’ and celebrate these wonderful women of the Aurealis Awards and go check out their wares. Names listed below for your convenience.
Lisa L Hannett
Marianne de Pierres
I will do my best to avoid spoilers. I will try to avoid referring to anything too specifically past the first three pages, although of course there will be general reference past this point, for there must be in order to review the whole novel.
Once upon a time there was a young princess who was trapped in a tower. But of course it wasn’t really a tower, it was a hospital, and it wasn’t really a princess it was a little girl. That little girl was Kate Forsyth. Through her time spent in hospitals as a child Kate Forsyth learned about yearning, struggle, and the importance of an imagination. She put that imagination into good use through reading fairy tales and writing her own stories. Now much older (well not MUCH older), Kate Forsyth’s latest novel “The Wild Girl” combines her exquisite story telling abilities and her love of fairy tales.
“The Wild Girl” explores the life of Dortchen Wild, one of the sources that the brothers Grimm used to write their collection of stories. It is a tale of love, exploration, family, hardships and exploration. Kate Forsyth manages to weave a beautiful spell between historical fiction, magic realism and fairy tale, as she tells the tale of Dortchen Wild. From the very first few pages you know that not only will this be historically accurate, with mentions of the palace and customs, but there will also be that beautiful sense of fairy tale magic, with the references to crows and rose thorns. Throughout the entire novel this balance of history and magic is held strong. Small touches such as using the historically accurate, yet fairytalesque (yes, I made up that word but I’m sticking with it) term for Napoleon “The Ogre”, is what makes this book so special.
I won’t spoil it for you by mentioning any more, aside from this is a truly magical book for the lovers of historical fiction, fantasy, magic realism or fairy tale.
Who likes fairy tales. Madly raises hand. ME! I enjoy a good fairy tale. From “The Bloody Chamber” to “Tender Morsels” to Disney to Grimms to Anderson and earlier. I am an addict. I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite but I think Hansel and Gretel have it for me. It partly inspired Teulu https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/teulu/ . Of course I like general fairy stories as well hence my Juniper Part 1 https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/juniper-part-1/ which I do intend to expand on in the not too distant future. Recently I found this little nod to Cinderella that I quite enjoyed reading http://princelogan.wordpress.com/thesleepingprince/comment-page-1/#comment-4 by Danny Carmona. What do you think? What’s your favourite fairy tale? Which fairy tales inspire you?
I love these website http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts.html http://storynory.com/archives/fairy-tales/ I hope you do too.