Aussie fan politics

Danny Oz has written a very bloody informative history lesson about the Australian SF natcons, lit and media fandom, and spec fic awards.

As someone with a foot in pro and fan camps (the intent is mostly pro, but I’m a genuine horror lit fan, which is where the bulk of my award nominations have come from), and as someone who has already grown tired of small press politics after just six short years, I found Danny’s post to be incredibly grounding.

And you know what? I agree with him – I had no idea that media-focussed Aussie natcons existed, but now that I do, I think more should be done to balance the lit and media content for future natcons.

Also (and I’ll probably cop some flak here, especially given how I follow them each year), I think the Ditmars should be more fan oriented. Fiction writers and editors now have expanded versions of the Aurealis Awards and (for horror) the Australian Shadows Award. So let’s not forget the fans that built natcons over the last few decades.

If anyone is looking at Ditmar rules in the next few years, how about considering toning down the pro categories (removing New Talent or combining Novella and Short Story, for instance) and expanding the fan categories (eg. have fanzine, fan website, and fan production categories – and define what these really mean)? Lets give the fans more of the recognition they deserve.



  1. crankynick says:

    I don't think anyone will be moved to change the categories – it's such a pit of wank and drama that it only gets changed when there's a absolute and desperate need to do so (like it was in 2000, when the major changes were made.).

    The problem with expanding the number of categories is that the voting pool is so low (40 or so actual votes at the Con) that the results risk becoming even more skewiff if you expand the number of available categories.

    'Tis one of those eternal debates, though.

  2. BT says:

    Would the AHWA look at expanding the Shadows further to encompass more categories. As the official body of the genre here in Oz, perhaps we should be looking to provide the acknowledgement to New Talent as well as published works.

    Personally I think it's great that the Shadows now encompasses different lengths rather than an all in one type of approach. Maybe we need to look just a bit further…