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Best Novel (2000-)
Best Australian Long Fiction (1988-1999)
Best Australian Novel (1978-1987)
or Australian Science Fiction, Best Novel ; or Best Long Australasian Science Fiction or Fantasy
Subcategory of Ditmar Awards
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History

The category for Best Australian Long Fiction (sometimes presented as 'Australian Novel or Anthology') came into being in 1978, when the previous category (Best Australian Fiction) was split into Best Australian Long Fiction and Best Australian Short Fiction.

An award combining short and long fiction in a single category was still presented in 1979, 1980, and 1983.

Although the terminology fluctuated somewhat from the mid-1980s (the term 'Best Australian Long Fiction' stabilised in 1988), this particular award was awarded until 1999, after which it was succeeded by the two separate awards for 'Best Novel' and 'Best Collected Work'.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon The Left-Handed Booksellers of London Garth Nix , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2020 19649862 2020 single work novel fantasy young adult

'Eighteen-year-old art student Susan Arkshaw arrives in London in search of her father. But before she can question crime boss Frank Thringley he's turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin. Merlin is one of the youngest members of a secret society of booksellers with magical powers who police the mythic Old World wherever it impinges on the New World - in addition to running several bookshops, of course! Merlin also has a quest of his own: to find the Old World entity who arranged the murder of his mother. Their investigations attract attention from enemies of the Old and New Worlds. Soon they become involved in an even more urgent task to recover the grail that is the source of the left-handed booksellers' power, before it is used to destroy the booksellers and rouse the hordes of the mythic past. As the search for the grail becomes strangely intertwined with both their quests, they start to wonder… Is Susan's long-lost father a bookseller, or something altogether more mysterious?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon The Year of the Fruit Cake Gillian Polack , Victoria : IFWG Publishing Inc , 2019 16751051 2019 single work novel fantasy

'The Year of the Fruitcake tells of the Earth-based life of a mostly-mindwiped alien anthropologist inhabiting a human perimenopausal body instead of her own more rational body with its capacity to change gender. This alien has definitely shaken a great intergalactic empire by sitting in cafés with her new best friends. Chocolate may or may not have played a part. Will humanity survive?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon City of Lies Sam Hawke , Sydney : Bantam Press , 2018 14050679 2018 single work novel fantasy

'I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me...

'Jovan wears two faces. Outwardly, he is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. He’s quiet. Forgettable even. But in truth he is a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family. Then there is his sister, Kalina. She hides her frustrations behind a mask of serenity. While other women of the city holds positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies - some hidden even from her own brother.

'It's when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city that the siblings' world begins to truly unravel. Trapped and desperate, they soon discover that the society into which they were born and grew up also possesses two faces - for behind the sophistication and the beauty lies an ugly truth - this is a world built on oppression and treachery ...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Crossroads of Canopy Thoraiya Dyer , New York (City) : Tor , 2017 10795460 2017 single work novel fantasy

'At the highest level of a giant forest, thirteen kingdoms fit seamlessly together to form the great city of Canopy. Thirteen goddesses and gods rule this realm and are continuously reincarnated into human bodies. Canopy's position in the sun, however, is not without its dark side. The nation's opulence comes from the labor of slaves, and below its fruitful boughs are two other realms: Understorey and Floor, whose deprived citizens yearn for Canopy's splendor. Unar, a determined but destitute young woman, escapes her parents' plot to sell her into slavery by being selected to serve in the Garden under the goddess Audblayin, ruler of growth and fertility. As a Gardener, she wishes to become Audblayin's next Bodyguard while also growing sympathetic towards Canopy's slaves. When Audblayin dies, Unar sees her opportunity for glory — at the risk of descending into the unknown dangers of Understorey to look for a newborn god. In its depths, she discovers new forms of magic, lost family connections, and murmurs of a revolution that could cost Unar her chance ... or grant it by destroying the home she loves.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon The Grief Hole Kaaron Warren , Victoria : IFWG Publishing Inc , 2016 9436819 2016 single work novel horror

'There are many grief holes.

'There's the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies.

'There's another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live.

'And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre.

'Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love.

'Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you'll die by the spirits haunting you. If you'll drown, she'll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women.

'She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn't let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

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