- For a start, Sara was one of my author heroines.
- Secondly, this is the inaugural award.
- Thirdly, the award covers series written over a number of years, as long as they were completed between 2011 to 2014 — so it covers an awful lot of years and an awful lot of books… (Pity the judges!!) You can read more about the award here.
|No, that’s not me…but my name is on that trophy!!|
There were a lot more things I could have said in the speech — how much I owe to the then Voyager Australia editor, Stephanie Smith, for example. How much I owe my beta readers for making me a better writer and making those three books better works. How much I appreciate the work put into the awards by the Australian Spec Fic community and the judges.
But here’s what I did say:
When I first read Sara Douglass’s Battleaxe back in the 1990s, I was blown away, not just by the story, but also by the idea that an Australian author could publish a fantasy novel worldwide and find acclaim on a world stage.
At the time I was looking for a publisher for my first book — and Sara’s success was an inspiration. And of course, Battleaxe was just the first of long line of Sara’s groundbreaking novels.
I was delighted to hear that a series award was being created in her name, to acknowledge her pre-eminent position in Australian speculative fiction history. The fact that judges had a massive job of reading the number of series up for the award is a tribute to the present health of Speculative Fiction writing in Australia, a wave of creativity of which Sara was the forefront.
To have been short-listed by the judges for the inaugural award was a breath-taking compliment. The other works on that list are so impressive that I certainly don’t believe, as I write these words, that any work of mine could win. I just love the validation of being on the shortlist though, and I thank everyone involved.
Most of all, I wish you were here, Sara, still with us and still writing.