2008 Australian Shadows Award Winner

The Australian Horror Writers Association has announced that "The Claws of Native Ghosts" by Lee Battersby has won 2008 Australian Shadows Award. This award is "presented by the AHWA and judged on the overall effect - the skill, delivery, and lasting resonance - of a work of horror fiction written or edited by an Australian and published either in Australia or overseas." Gary Kemble interviewed the author for the ABC's weblog "Articulate".

Q. There's been a lot of talk about a renaissance in Australian horror writing - what's your take on this? Is it all hot air or are Australian horror writers making their presence felt on the world scene?

Australian horror is very vibrant within the Australian speculative fiction scene right now, but any writer who limits themself to one form of expression is tying their fortunes to the whims of the marketplace. Five years ago, horror was destitute as an art form, and it might be again in another five. I enjoy writing darker stories, because I'm a cynical curmudgeonly old pessimist who tortures kittens and puppies of an evening, and I'm glad to see a plethora of markets for my work, but I have other sides to my writing, and most successful writers of my acquaintance can say the same (maybe not the torturing kittens bit...).

There are a lot of Australian writers being noticed internationally, but there have been for ages - Garth Nix isn't a horror writer, nor is Sean Williams, Sara Douglass, Sean Tan, or John Birmingham, and they've all been walking the big stage for a good number of years. Quality rises, that's the only real rule. We have some brilliant dark writers working in this country, from Terry Dowling (who's been internationally noticed forever), through Brett McBean, Rick Kennett, Paul Haines, and any number more that you could care to name. If they're still producing brilliant work, at an international level, in 10 years time, then we should start talking about a golden age of horror. Not just yet. Right now it's just a damn good playground to play in.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 17, 2009 10:40 AM.

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