Ditmar Awards 2010 – novels

For my first post on the 2010 Ditmar Awards and what I consider worthy of your nominating consideration, let’s begin at the top end of town – the novel.

I was rather fond of:

  • The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette Australia)
  • Shadow Queen by Deborah Kalin (Allen & Unwin)
  • Worldshaker by Richard Harland (Allen & Unwin)
  • Slights by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)

For me, Irwin’s The Dead Path is the pick of the bunch: it’s a creepy, well-told Australian horror story (a rare find in a novel these days!). However, all were awesome in their own way. Slights is creepy in an altogether different and unique way, Worldshaker is steampunk at its finest (and very much told in the distinctive Harland voice), and Shadow Queen is a refreshing entry on the Australian fantasy scene.

In addition, although I didn’t read the following, I’ve heard good things about these:

  • Red Queen by H. M. Brown (Random House)
  • Life Through Cellophane by Gillian Polack (Eneit Press)
  • MageSign by Alan Baxter (Blade Red Press)

So what Australian novels published in 2009 did you read and enjoy?

Next: novellas and novelettes …



  1. Hey Shane,

    I’ve read 3 of your top 4 novels and must agree with “The Dead Path” being the most commanding of the lot. A very, very impressive debut.

    Cheers, Nathan.

  2. Alan says:

    Thanks for the mention, Shane. It actually raises an interesting point. MageSign was published by Blade Red Press in 2008, therefore not qualifying for this round of awards. However, both my novels, RealmShift and MageSign, were acquired and republished by Gryphonwood Press in April this year. So I wonder if they become eligible for any awards on that basis?

  3. Shane Jiraiya Cummings says:

    Hi Alan, I recall you saying (in an email about the Australian Shadows Award) that MageSign was actually published in Jan 2009 (despite its listed publication date), which is why I mentioned it here.

    The rules are very clear: reprints don’t count – only the year the first edition was published. In your case, whenever Blade Red published your novel is the year of eligibility. If that was 2009, it’s fine, but if it was 2008, it has missed its shot.

    Of course, the best way around this is to write a new, even better book that will sweep everyone off their feet! 🙂

  4. Alan says:

    Actually, you’re right. The book was officially published in January 2009, even though the title page has the copyright listed as 2008. You’d think I’d have a clue about my own books! So it is eligible anyway. Interesting point about the reprints.

    And yeah, I’m currently writing my third book, so I’ll be aiming for everyone’s ankles with that one too!