Horror in Oz

The Aurealis Award finalists for 2013 have been announced, and, for once, there were enough horror novels to warrant a shortlist: The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby (Angry Robot Books), The First Bird by Greig Beck (Momentum), Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart (FableCroft Publishing), and Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Random House Australia), the last also being shortlisted for Best Young Adult Novel.

Finalists for Best Horror Short Fiction are "Fencelines" by Joanne Anderton (The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, FableCroft Publishing), "The Sleepover" by Terry Dowling (Exotic Gothic 5), "The Home for Broken Dolls" by Kirstyn McDermott (Caution: Contains Small Parts, Twelfth Planet Press), "The Human Moth" by Kaaron Warren (The Grimscribe’s Puppets, Miskatonic Press), and "The Year of Ancient Ghosts" by Kim Wilkins (The Year of Ancient Ghosts, Ticonderoga Publications), the last also being shortlisted for Best Young Adult Short Fiction and Best Fantasy Short Fiction!

The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, The Year of Ancient Ghosts, and Caution: Contains Small Parts are also finalists in the Best Collection category, along with Assymetry by Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press) and The Bride Price by Cat Sparks (Ticonderoga Publications). The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012, edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications), is shortlisted for Best Anthology.

WOLF CREEK 2 is due for release on February 20, and is already getting some advance publicity: A prequel novel, Wolf Creek: Origin, by scriptwriters Aaron Sterns and Greg McLean, was recently published by Penguin; cinemas are organising special screenings where audience members dress as serial killer Mick Taylor; and police were called to the home of makeup effects artist Rick Connelly after someone reported seeing him carrying bags of dismembered body parts.

The State Library of New South Wales and the NSW Readers Advisory Group will be running a seminar for librarians on better connecting with readers of horror fiction. The State Library has liaised with the AHWA; speakers will include Kaaron Warren and Kyla Ward.

In publishing news, the AHWA is looking for a new executive editor for Midnight Echo magazine, to replace Cassie Britland; Number 11, with Kaaron Warren as guest editor, will be released in digital-only format. And art is being prepared for Cthulhu: Deep Down Under; more news on that soon.