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Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Aesthetics, Books, Culture | 0 comments

Norma K. Hemming Award judging complete

Much of my time over the last two or three months has been spent in reading, considering, and (privately) debating the large pile of material submitted for the annual Norma K. Hemming Award, for which I am one of the four jurors (along with Sarah Endacott, Rob Gerrand, and Tess Williams). The award will be announced in a couple of weeks at the annual national science fiction convention, here in Australia (in this case, Conflux 9… to be held in Canberra on 25-28 April).

British-Australian author (and much-celebrated sf fan in her time) Norma K. Hemming (1928-1960) died far too young – she had the potential to become a major figure in the canon of Australian science fiction. I’ve tried to do justice to her sf work in Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction and (in slightly more detail) in an article co-authored with Sean McMullen, who deserves much of the credit for resurrecting her reputation.

The Norma K. Hemming Award celebrates excellence in the  exploration of the themes of race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability in science fiction and fantasy writing (or related artwork or media). Winning or shortlisted entries will inevitably need to have a strong thematic focus in at least one areas, as well as demonstrating artistic excellence. We had an exceptionally strong field this time, from work published in 2012, but we’ve now been able to settle on a short list and a winner. I’m excited to have reached this point, and looking forward to making further announcements.