2021 Aurealis Award Finalists Announced

Finalists have been announced for the 2021 Aurealis Awards, recognizing the best in Australian speculative fiction.

The awards were established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications as a complement to the Australian National Science Fiction Convention’s Ditmar Awards and the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards. They recognize achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. Chimaera publishes Aurealis magazine, which has been publishing science fiction and fantasy art, non-fiction, and fiction since September 1990.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • The 22 Murders of Madison May, Max Barry (Hachette Australia)
  • Stealing Time, Rebecca Bowyer (Story Addict)
  • Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)
  • Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Deepwater King, Claire McKenna (HarperCollins)

Best Science Fiction Novella

  • “Access Denied”, Baden Chant (Aurealis #142)
  • The Cruise to the End of the World, Craig Cormick (Merino)
  • “The Birdsong Fossil”, DK Mok (Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures)
  • “Problem Landing”, Sean Monaghan (Analog 3-4/21)
  • “Preserved in Amber”, Samantha Murray (Clarkesworld 7/21)
  • “A Vast Silence”, T.R. Napper (F&SF 11-12/21)

Best Science Fiction Short Story

  • “He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars” Grace Chan (Clarkesworld 7/21)
  • “For Autumn”, Melissa Ferguson (Revolutions)
  • “Honey and a Hanging”, Aiki Flinthart (Tribute)
  • “The Reunion”, Emily Fox (Nature: Futures 8/25/21)
  • “Relict: (noun) A Widow; a Thing Remaining From the Past”, Alison Goodman (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins)
  • “Legacy of the Species”, Pamela Jeffs (The Terralight Collection)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • Supermums – And So It Begins, Meg Grace (self-published)
  • The Rose Daughter, Maria Lewis (Piatkus)
  • A Marvellous Light, Freya Marske (Tor)
  • Dark Rise, C.S. Pacat (Allen & Unwin)
  • She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan (Mantle)
  • All the Murmuring Bones, Angela Slatter (Titan)

Best Fantasy Novella

  • “Mother in Bloom”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp)
  • “The Little One”, Rebecca Fraser (Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract)
  • Bones of the Sea, Amy Laurens (Inkprint Press)
  • “Echo and Narcissus”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Sheep Might Fly)
  • The Scarab Children of Montague, Suzanne J. Willis (Falstaff)

Best Fantasy Short Story

  • “Who Wants to be a Reaper”, Jane Brown (The Centropic Oracle)
  • “So-called Bin Chicken”, E.J. Delaney (Curiouser Magazine #2)
  • “All my Tuesdays”, Laura J. Fitzwilson (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)
  • “Old Souls”, Aiki Flinthart (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins)
  • “The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/3/21)
  • “Frabjous”, Alexander Gibbs (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)

Best Horror Novel

  • The Bridge, J.S. Breukelaar (Meerkat)
  • Midnight in the Chapel of Love, Matthew R Davis (JournalStone)
  • Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)
  • The Airways, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)
  • Holly and the Nobodies, Ben Pienaar (Hellbound)

Best Horror Novella

  • When the Cicadas Stop Singing, Zachary Ashford (Horrific Tales)
  • “The Band Plays On”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp)
  • “Hell’s Teeth”, Matthew R. Davis (Haunted: An Anthology)
  • Cryptid Killers, Alister Hodge (Severed)
  • “All The Long Way Down”, Alf Simpson (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3)

Best Horror Short Story

  • “Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales)
  • “Traces of Us, Hot Enough for Dinner”, Ephiny Gale (The Dread Machine 1.3)
  • “The House that Hungers”, Maria Lewis (Aurealis #146)
  • “The Quiet Room”, Martin Livings (Midnight Echo #16)
  • “Sins of the Mother”, Tracie McBride (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies)
  • “Mother Dandelion”, Antoinette Rydyr (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies)

Best Young Adult Novel

  • Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dirt Circus League, Maree Kimberley (Text)
  • Terciel and Elinor, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • Echo in the Memory, Cameron Nunn (Walker Books Australia)
  • It’s Not You, It’s Me, Gabrielle Williams (Allen & Unwin)

Best Young Adult Short Story

  • “The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/3/21)
  • “Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales)
  • “Of Slaves and Lions”, Pamela Jeffs (Stories of Survival)
  • “Slaughterhouse Boys”, Emma Osborne (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales)
  • “Way-bread Rising”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Stories of Survival)
  • “Hunger”, Marianna Shek (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales)

Best Children’s Fiction

  • The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, Anna Ciddor (Allen & Unwin)
  • Stellarphant, James Foley (Fremantle)
  • Dragon Skin, Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (Hachette Australia)
  • Elsewhere Girls, Emily Gale & Nova Weetman (Text)
  • Barebum Billy, Nicholas Snelling (BAD DAD)

Best Collection

  • The Gulp, Alan Baxter (self-published)
  • Danged Black Thing, Eugen Bacon (Transit Lounge)
  • The Terralight Collection, Pamela Jeffs (Four Ink)
  • The Tallow-Wife & Other Tales, Angela Slatter (Tartarus)
  • Little Labyrinths: Collected Microfictions, Sean Williams (Brain Jar)

Best Anthology

  • Who Sleuthed It?, Lindy Cameron, ed. (Clan Destine)
  • Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, Aiki Flinthart, ed. (CAT)
  • Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Poppy Nwosu, ed. (Wakefield)
  • Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, Deborah Sheldon, ed. (IFWG Publishing Australia)

Best Graphic Novel/Illustrated Work

  • The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (Hachette Australia)
  • Treasure in the Lake, Jason Pamment (Allen & Unwin)
  • Mechanix, Ben Slabak & Edoardo Natalini (Cloud 9)
  • Killeroo: Semper Fidelis, Matthew Soall & Ignacio Di Meglio (OzComics)

Sara Douglass Book Series Award

  • Lifespan of Starlight: Lifespan of Starlight(2015); Split Infinity (2016); Edge of Time (2018), Thalia Kalkipsakis (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Elementals: Ice Wolves (2018);Scorch Dragons (2019); Battle Born (2020), Amie Kaufman (HarperCollins)
  • Unearthed: Unearthed(2017);Undying(2018), Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lifelike: LIFEL1K3 (2018); DEV1AT3 (2019); TRUEL1F3 (2020), Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Winter: The Road to Winter (2016); Wilder Country (2017); Land of Fences (2019), Mark Smith (Text Publishing)
  • Blood and Gold: Crown of Rowan(2014); Daughters of the Storm (2014); Sisters of the Fire (2016); Queens of the Sea (2019), Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)

Winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony in Canberra, presented by the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild on Saturday, May 28, 2022. The event will also be streamed live online.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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