Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's the end of the year...

...and if you want to know what you should be reading (or should, perhaps, have already read), awards shortlists and year's best round up are a good place to start.

In the past month or so there have been a number of recommended reading lists, and year's end roundups announced, as well as the Aurealis Awards shortlists. As readers and publishers, it is worth checking these out for various reasons including:

  • finding out which stories/authors are being recognised consistently across the lists, and noting them as ones to look out for.
  • keeping track of new and up-and-coming talents.
  • finding markets to read in you may not have discovered.
  • mentally comparing to your own vision of what's hot and what's not.

Some of the many round ups in the last little while are:

The crew of Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth (or LSS as they are known) - the four crazy people of LSS blog throughout the year on their favourite stories (they attempt to read almost every market for the year) and then end the year with individual and combined lists, both for Australian work and as part of the international scene. If you work out which of the crew's taste best align with yours, you'll find some great recommendations.

Rich Horton's roundups: Rich analyses a huge number of markets and also posts various Year's Best lists.

Back to the 2007 publishing year - Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt publish a print Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy collection, accompanied by an online Recommended Reading list. Worth a look, and keep an eye out for the collection.

The Aurealis Awards are Australia's national speculative fiction awards. The shortlists were released last week, with awards to be announced in late January. Recognising both short and long form fiction, children's, young adult, illustrated works and collections, the Aurealis shortlists are an interesting overview of the Australian publishing year.