You may have noticed (or at least I HOPE you noticed) that Undead Backbrain has been rather quiet for the past few weeks. This was partly due to writing commitments and (paid) work pressures on my part, but mostly it was a consequence of my attendance at the 68th World SF Convention in Melbourne, Australia — otherwise known as Aussiecon 4. The annual Worldcon has only been held in Australia once every decade or so (four times now) and is thus a significant event for the local writing (and fan) community. Apart from anything else, by forcing folk to come to us we get to meet up with distant friends, meet big-name authors and attend Worldcon without all the tedious business of traveling to the US (or wherever) ourselves.
One of the big events of a Worldcon is the Hugo Award ceremonies, where writers and editors paid and unpaid are ceremoniously celebrated for work felt to be the best of the previous year. Of considerably lesser significance globally, but of local interest, are the Ditmar Awards. These are similar to the Hugos, but limited to Australians — voted by members of the given year’s National Convention. As Worldcon was held on our shores this year and thus there is no Natcon as such, the Ditmar Awards took place during a side event nicknamed Dudcon III — a sort of official Natcon stand-in.
I’m happy to announce that I received a Best Fan [meaning, “unpaid”] Writer Ditmar Award for work on Undead Backbrain. This is the second year in a row I have won it, having also won the Best Fan Writer Award in 2009, again for scribblings on Undead Backbrain. I feel deeply honoured by this and sincerely thank everyone who voted for me. Below is a picture of my partner Cat Sparks, who won the Best Short Story Award for “Seventeen” from the anthology Masques; friend Kaaron Warren, who won the big one — the Best Novel Award — for Slights (published by Angry Robot); and myself, bathing in the combined glory at the hotel bar afterwards.
Other Ditmar winners are listed on the Locus website.
I would like to make a moment to acknowledge (as I did at the actual ceremony) the involvement of Avery Guerra (aka Kaiju Search-Robot Avery) in making Undead Backbrain the wonderful monster/zombie/low-budget exploitation resource that it is. Avery, who lives in the US, may not write for the Backbrain, but his search for cinema oddities of cryptozoological interest, low-budget monstrousness and the like is untiring, and he has ferreted out many great upcoming films. Thanks, Avery.