Ditmar Awards 2010 – novellas/novelettes

Onto the often-overlooked mid-form of the story, the novella and novelette. I’m a huge fan of the novella, myself,  because it allows someone who is time-poor (i.e. me) to nestle into a good long story without needing to sacrifice days to it.

The best stuff I encountered (and yes, I’m including one of my own) from last year was:

  • “The Message” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Midnight Echo #2, AHWA)
  • Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Damnation Books)
  • After the World: Gravesend by Jason Fischer (Black House)

Gravesend is a well-rounded zombie apocalypse novella from Australia’s master of undead roadkill, “The Message” is old-school creepy and emotionally poignant all at the same time … and well, there’s my apocalyptic dark fantasy novella – which the Specusphere described as “a powerful tale that penetrates the mind of a man both haunted and hunted”. It’s the most compelling and emotional story I’ve written to date, and although few Aussies have read it, I hope enough punters out there agree with me.

For the sake (or at least, illusion) of completeness, other stuff that I haven’t read but have heard kind words about include:

  • After the World: Killable Hours by Clay Bakehills (Black House)
  • “Spare Key” by R. Frederick Hamilton (Spare Key, LegumeMan Books)
  • “Sins of the Father” by Brett McBean (New Dark Voices 2)
  • “Wives” by Paul Haines (X6, Coeur De Lion Publishing)
  • Horn by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)

Any novellas/novelettes on your radar that slipped below mine?

Next, short stories…



  1. Hi Shane,

    De-lurking to say how much I’ve always appreciated your Ditmar posts, and I totally recommend reading ‘Horn’. Very disturbing, but really good!


  2. Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

    Thanks for the tip, Joanne. Given TPP’s popularity with awards and the praise Horn has attracted, I’d be very surprised not to see it on the shortlist. I might even read it one day! 🙂

  3. Alan says:

    “Wives” is the best thing I read last year, of any length. It’s a masterpiece and should be required reading.

  4. Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

    With that kind of recommendation, Alan, I guess I’ll have to look up “Wives” when the opportunity arises!