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History

Historically, the section was divided into two awards: Best Novel and Best Short Story. In 2016, convenors announced a splitting of the short-fiction award, making three individual awards: Best Short Story, Best Novella, and Best Novel.

Winners

2018 joint winner Novel y separately published work icon The Witch Who Courted Death Maria Lewis , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2018 14508401 2018 single work novel fantasy

"Considering her status as the world’s most powerful medium, Corvossier ‘Casper’ von Klitzing had a pretty normal life. Her unrivalled ability to speak with and control the dead had made her a living, and made her a target.

"After a horrific incident in her home city of Berlin, Casper’s life is forever changed. The sole survivor, she is consumed with vengeance towards an enemy she doesn’t understand.

"Diving headfirst into the supernaturally secretive world of spells, charms and covens, it’s not long before Casper is crossing much more than just the line between the living and the dead..."

Source: Publisher's blurb. 

2018 joint winner Novel 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.

2018 winner Novella The Staff in the Stone Garth Nix , 2018 single work novella fantasy
— Appears in: The Book of Magic 2018;

'The villagers find a wizard’s staff sticking out of an ancient stone obelisk, but only Colrean knows just how dangerous it is and what sort of dangers it may attract.'

Source: Rocket Stack Rank (http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2018/12/The-Staff-in-the-Stone-Garth-Nix.html). (Sighted: 22/02/2019)

2018 winner Short Story The Further Shore J Ashley Smith , 2018 single work short story horror
— Appears in: Bourbon Penn , March no. 15 2018;
2017 winner Novel y separately published work icon Godsgrave Jay Kristoff , New York (City) : Thomas Dunne Books , 2017 10702284 2017 single work novel fantasy

'Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia's suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

'When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end the man who ended her world. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner Short Story The Curse Is Come Upon Me, Cried Tansy Rayner Roberts , 2017 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Please Look after This Angel and Other Winged Stories 2017;
2016 winner Novel y separately published work icon Nevernight Jay Kristoff , New York (City) : Thomas Dunne Books , 2016 9436207 2016 single work novel fantasy

'In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

'Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she wanders a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and its thugs. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the hearth of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

'Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2016 winner Novella Forfeit Andrea K. Höst , 2016 single work short story fantasy science fiction historical fiction
— Appears in: The Towers, the Moon 2016; (p. 88-103)

'Forfeit is the newest game of the Court of the Moon, and one seemingly designed for humans to lose. But Arianne Seaforth is willing to pay a great deal to help her oldest friend – and she is learning to extract a price of her own.'

Source: Publisher's Blurb

2016 winner Short Story Where the Pelican Builds Her Nest Thoraiya Dyer , 2016 single work short story
— Appears in: In Your Face 2016; (p. 345-350)
2015 winner Short Story The Giant's Lady Rowena Cory Daniells , 2015 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Legends II : Stories in Honour of David Gemmell 2015;
2015 winner Novella Defy the Grey Kings Jason Fischer , 2015 single work novella fantasy
— Appears in: Beneath Ceaseless Skies , 20 August no. 180 2015;
Ghost is a slave in the city of Tusk, subordinate to his elephant masters–but a slave's fortunes can change in the blink of an eye.
2015 winner Novel y separately published work icon Day Boy Trent Jamieson , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 8507148 2015 single work novel fantasy

'Mark is a Day Boy.

'In a post-traumatic future the Masters—formerly human, now practically immortal—rule a world that bends to their will and a human population upon which they feed. Invincible by night, all but helpless by day, each relies on his Day Boy to serve and protect him.

'Mark has been lucky in his Master: Dain has treated him well. But as he grows to manhood and his time as a Day Boy draws to a close, there are choices to be made.

'Will Mark undergo the Change and become, himself, a Master—or throw in his lot with his fellow humans? As the tensions in his conflicted world reach crisis point, Mark’s decision may be crucial.

'In Day Boy Trent Jamieson reimagines the elements of the vampire myth in a wholly original way. This is beautifully written and surprisingly tender novel about fathers and sons, and what it may mean to become a man.

Or to remain one.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner Best Short Story St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls Angela Slatter , 2014 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Review of Australian Fiction , vol. 9 no. 3 2014; The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings 2014; (p. 149-190) Tor.com Fiction , May 2015; Focus 2014 : Highlights of Australian Short Fiction 2015; A Feast of Sorrows : Stories 2016;
2014 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Dreamer's Pool Juliet Marillier , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2014 7674879 2014 single work novel fantasy

'Embittered healer Blackthorn, wrongly condemned to death, is offered a lifeline by a mysterious stranger. In return, she must set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once loved. Not only that: for seven years she must agree to help anyone who asks for her aid. She and her companion Grim settle on the fringes of a mysterious forest in Dalriada, far from the place of their incarceration, and start a new life.

'Oran, the crown prince of Dalriada, is waiting for his bride-to-be, Lady Flidais. Her letters and sweet portrait have convinced him that she is his destined true love.

'But letters can lie.

'To save Oran from disaster, Blackthorn and Grim will need courage, ingenuity, and more than a little magic.' (Publication summary)

2013 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon A Crucible of Souls Mitchell Hogan , Sydney : Mitchell Hogan , 2013 7045339 2013 single work novel fantasy

'When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

'Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers.

'But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths.

'As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction…'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2013 winner Best Short Story y separately published work icon The Last Stormdancer Jay Kristoff , New York (City) : Thomas Dunne Books , 2013 7043921 2013 single work novella fantasy

'Your blood-red skies are filled with smoke. Your bleach-white histories with lies. You walk sleeping. Wake senseless. Breathing deep of toxic blooms and forgetting all that has gone before. But I remember.

'I remember when two brothers waged bloody war over the right to sit in their father’s empty chair. I remember when orphaned twins faced each other across a field of crimson and steel, the fate of the Shima Shōgunate hanging in the poisoned sky between them.

'I remember when a blind boy stood before a court of storms and talons, armed only with a thin sword and a muttered prophecy and a desperate dream of saving the world.

'I remember when the skies above Shima were not red, but blue. Filled with thunder tigers. I remember when they left you. And I remember why. Let me tell you, monkey-child.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2012 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Sea Hearts Margo Lanagan , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1836289 2012 single work novel fantasy young adult (taught in 4 units)

'On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock - the men, the women, the children - once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?'

—Publisher's website

2012 winner Best Short Story Bajazzle Margo Lanagan , 2012 single work short story fantasy horror
— Appears in: Cracklescape 2012; (p. 45-69) Award Winning Australian Writing 2013 2013; (p. 88-105)
2011 winner Best Short Story Fruit of the Pipal Tree Thoraiya Dyer , 2011 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: After the Rain 2011; (p. 79-98) After the Rain : The After the Floods Limited E-book Edition 2011; Aurealis : Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction , November no. 56 2012;
2011 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Ember and Ash Pamela Freeman , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2011 Z1763712 2011 single work novel fantasy

Ember and Ash is 'a stand-alone tale of loss, fear and desire.

'Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants, and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people together - until her future goes up in flames.

'Ember's husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god, who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against elementals of fire and ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past.

'They must look to the present, as old furies are waking to violence and are eager to reclaim their people.' (From the publisher's website.)

2010 joint winner Best Fantasy Short Story Yowie Thoraiya Dyer , 2010 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Sprawl 2010; (p. 47-70)
Joint winner with 'The February Dragon' by L. L. Hannett and Angela Slatter.
2010 joint winner Best Fantasy Short Story The February Dragon Angela Slatter , Lisa L. Hannett , 2010 single work short story horror
— Appears in: Scary Kisses 2010; (p. 61-87) The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 2011; (p. 431-457)
Joint winner with 'Yowie' by Thoraiya Dyer
2010 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Power and Majesty Tansy Rayner Roberts , Pymble : Voyager , 2010 Z1704002 2010 single work novel fantasy (taught in 1 units)

'She almost missed the sight of a naked youth falling out of the sky. He was long and lean and muscled ... He was also completely off his face.

'A war is being fought in the skies over the city of Aufleur. No one sees the battles. No one knows how close they come to destruction every time the sun sets.

'During daylight, all is well, but when nox falls and the sky turns bright, someone has to step up and lead the Creature Court into battle.

'Twelve years ago, Garnet kissed Velody and stole her magic. Five years ago, he betrayed Ashiol, and took his powers by force. But now the Creature Court is at a crossroads ... they need a Power and Majesty who won′t give up or lose themselves in madness ...' (From the publisher's website.)

2009 joint winner Best Short Story Once a Month, On a Sunday Ian McHugh , 2009 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine , September no. 40 2009; (p. 6-11) Award Winning Australian Writing [2010] 2010; (p. 24-33) Australis Imaginarium 2010; Angel Dust 2014;
Joint winner with 'Father's Kill' by Christopher Green.
2009 joint winner Best Short Story Father's Kill Christopher Green , 2009 single work short story fantasy horror
— Appears in: Beneath Ceaseless Skies , 27 August no. 24 2009;
Joint winner with 'Once a Month, on a Sunday' by Ian Mchugh
2009 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Magician's Apprentice Trudi Canavan , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2009 Z1557518 2009 single work novel fantasy 'Set hundreds of years before the events of The Magicians' Guild, The Magician's Apprentice is the new novel set in the world of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy. In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn. When the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage get violent, Tessia unconsciously taps unknown reserves of magic to defend herself. Lord Dakon, the local magician, takes Tessia under his wing as an apprentice. The long hours of study and self-discipline also offer more opportunities than she had ever hoped for, and an exciting new world opens up to her. There are fine clothes and servants - and, to Tessia's delight - regular trips to the great city of Imardin. But along with the excitement and privilege, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. For great danger looms on the horizon for Tessia and her world.' (Publisher's blurb)
2008 winner Best Short Story Sammarynda Deep Cat Sparks , 2008 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Paper Cities : An Anthology of Urban Fantasy 2008; (p. 79-95) Award Winning Australian Writing 2009 2009; (p. 225-248) The Bride Price 2013; (p. 85-102)
2008 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Two Pearls of Wisdom Dragoneye Reborn Alison Goodman , Pymble : HarperCollins , 2008 Z1495619 2008 single work novel young adult fantasy 'Eon is a potential Dragoneye, able to manipulate wind and water to nurture and protect the land. But Eon also has a dark secret. He is really Eona, found by a power-hungry master of the Dragon Magic in a search for the new Dragoneye. Because females are forbidden to practise the art, Eona endures years of study concealed as a boy. Eona becomes Eon, and a dangerous gamble is put into play. Eon's unprecedented display of skill at the Dragoneye ceremony places him in the centre of a power struggle between the Emperor and his High Lord brother. The Emperor immediately summons Eon to court to protect his son and heir. Quickly learning to navigate the treacherous court politics, Eon makes some unexpected alliances, and a deadly enemy in a Dragoneye turned traitor.' (Publisher's blurb.)
2007 winner Best Short Story Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz Go to War Again Garth Nix , 2007 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Jim Baen's Universe , April vol. 1 no. 6 2007; The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy : Fourth Annual Volume 2008; (p. 241-277) Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz : Three Adventures 2013;
2007 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Heaven's Net Is Wide Lian Hearn , Sydney : Hachette Livre Australia , 2007 Z1430145 2007 single work novel fantasy 'Heaven's Net Is Wide is the new beginning to the celebrated Tales of the Otori, the prequel that reveals the full story of Lord Otori Shigeru, the figure who has presided in both life and death over the entire series, the man who represents the true spirit of the Otori Clan. As the story opens, the young Shigeru, heir to the clan, is eager to assert his authority and to face down treachery from within his own family and hostility from the far corners of the Three Countries. His noble education and training as a warrior have prepared him for leadership and combat, but can anything prepare him for the terrible consequences of loss and defeat? As his youthful determination pushes the Otori inexorably toward war with the rival Tohan Clan and their ruthless, scheming warlord, Iida Sadamu, fate appears to have some difficult lessons in store for Shigeru. Shigeru's life is under constant threat, but just as he is surrounded by implacable enemies, he is also supported by loyal allies, such as Lady Murayama, the only woman rule in the Three Countries. And he has friends among the Tribe, the clandestine network of assassins who not only will protect him but also will reveal the existence of a boy in a remote mountain village - a boy who belongs to the secret sect known as the Hidden, a boy who might prove to be vital to the future of the Otori.' (Source: Book jacket)
2006 winner Novel y separately published work icon Wildwood Dancing Juliet Marillier , Sydney : Pan , 2006 Z1297748 2006 single work novel young adult fantasy

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

The sisters' peace is shattered when their father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover. Although their cousin Cezar arrives to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena, the second eldes of the girls, suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, one of her sisters has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom. It's an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten it puts everything that Jena loves - her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish - in jeopardy. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.'

[Source: www.goodreads.com]

2006 winner Short Story A Fine Magic Margo Lanagan , 2006 single work short story young adult
— Appears in: Eidolon 1 2006; (p. 71-80) Yellowcake 2011; (p. 51-64)
2005 winner Novel y separately published work icon Blade of Fortriu Juliet Marillier , Sydney : Tor , 2005 Z1210096 2005 single work novel historical fiction fantasy The kingdom of Fortriu has enjoyed five years of peace since Bridei came to the throne. But now Bridei is preparing for the long-awaited war that he hopes will see the Gaelic invaders driven from the west forever, and he must forge alliances where he can. The princess Ana, a hostage of Fortriu since childhood, is sent north to make a strategic marriage with a chieftain she has never met - and with it gain an ally on whom Bridei's victory relies. Her escort is led by a man she despises: the enigmatic Faolan, Bridei's assassin and spy. (Source: Libraries Australia)
2005 joint winner short story The Greater Death of Saito Saku Richard Harland , 2005 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Daikaiju! : Giant Monster Tales 2005; (p. 213-230) Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror : Volume One 2006; (p. 144-154)

'At once an epic action showpiece and an ode to the passing of time and to the maintaining of honour up until death, Harland’s hero is Saito Saku, a samurai warrior and appointed protector of his village, who sets out to fight a final, fateful battle against a colossal fire beast (Tim Kroenert, Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus).

2005 joint winner Short Story Once Giants Roamed the Earth Rosaleen Love , 2005 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Daikaiju! : Giant Monster Tales 2005; (p. 124-127) The Travelling Tide 2005; (p. 90-97) The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy : Volume 2 2006; (p. 153-160)
2004 joint winner Short Story Weavers of the Twilight Louise Katz , 2004 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Agog! Smashing Stories : New Australian Speculative Fiction 2004; (p. 236-249)
2004 joint winner Short Story Catabolic Magic Richard Harland , 2003 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Aurealis : Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction , no. 32 2003; (p. 56-71)
2004 winner Novel y separately published work icon The Crooked Letter Sean Williams , Pymble : Voyager , 2004 Z1137359 2004 single work novel crime fantasy

'When mirror twins Seth and Hadrian Castillo travel to Europe on holidays, they don’t expect the end of the world to follow them. Seth’s murder, however, puts exactly that into motion.

'From opposite sides of death, the Castillo twins grapple with a reality neither of them suspected, although it has been encoded in myths and legends for millennia. The Earth we know is just one of many "realms", three of which are inhabited by humans during various stages of their lives. And their afterlives...'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2003 winner Short Story La Sentinelle Lucy Sussex , 2003 single work novella horror fantasy
— Appears in: Southern Blood : New Australian Tales of the Supernatural 2003; (p. 183-223) A Tour Guide in Utopia 2005; (p. 51-107) Devil Dolls and Duplicates in Australian Horror 2011; (p. 119-165) Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies : The Essential Lucy Sussex 2011; (p. 217-268)
2003 winner Novel y separately published work icon Abhorsen Garth Nix , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2003 Z1004257 2003 single work novel young adult adventure fantasy 'Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, knows that the fate of the world is in her hands. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the uncertain help of her companions - Sam, the Disreputable Dog and Mogget - Lirael sets out on her perilous mission. The answer must be found somewhere in Life or Death - but can a former Second Assistant Librarian possibly discover the means to defeat the Destroyer ... before it is too late?'
(Source: Back cover)
2002 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Storm Weaver and the Sand Sean Williams , Pymble : HarperCollins , 2002 Z994139 2002 single work novel fantasy young adult When the three runaways - Sal, Shilly and Skender - finally arrive at the remote island of the haunted City, home of the Sky Wardens, Sal's great-aunt, the Syndic, is determined to keep them under control. And if that means imprisonment, so be it. But the Syndic is the least of Sal's worries. The ghosts that live behind the ancient glass of the City are restless and no one knows why or what they can do.... (Publisher's blurb, back cover).
2001 winner Best Short Story The Woman of Endor Susan Isle , 2001 single work short story
— Appears in: Orb : Speculative Fiction , no. 2 2001; (p. 137-60)
2001 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Wounded Hawk Sara Douglass , Pymble : Voyager , 2001 Z824839 2001 single work novel fantasy 'In fourteenth-century Europe, the first wave of devastation from the Great Plague is just ending. Soldier-turned-monk Thomas Neville has received his latest marching orders from the Archangel Michael, who has given Neville the divine mission of tracking down an army of demons posing as ordinary human beings and plotting a war on humanity and heaven. Now Neville sheds his cassock to join the ranks of English estate owners and infiltrate the society of power brokers, in which the demons remain cloaked. It is becoming less and less clear whom he can trust, or even whether he is on the right side of good and evil.' (Source: LibrariesAustralia)
2000 winner Best Short Story The World According to Kipling (A Plain Tale from the Hills) Geoffrey Maloney , 2000 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Aurealis : Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction , no. 25-26 2000; (p. 125-142) Wonder Years : The Ten Best Stories From a Decade Past 2003; (p. 97-120) Tales from the Crypto-System 2003; (p. 36-57)
2000 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Son of the Shadows Juliet Marillier , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2000 Z820080 2000 single work novel fantasy 'After years of happiness bestowed on Sevenwaters by Sorcha's heroism, darkness has fallen upon Ulster. Trouble is brewing and no one is safe. Of Sorcha's three children at Sevenwaters, it is not golden-haired Niamh nor the young heir Sean, but Liadan, Sean's twin, with her special gifts, who seems to hold the key. Liadan will need all her courage to help save her family, and all her strength to stand up to those she loves. For in the finding of her own grand passion, Liadan's course may doom them all... or be their salvation'. Source: publisher's website (http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/index.asp). Sighted 15/2/11.
1999 winner Best Short Story Whispers of the Mist Children Trudi Canavan , 1999 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Aurealis : Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction , no. 23 1999; (p. 79-91)

'Velarin Initha is a "sora" or witch travelling with a desert caravan and employed by the caravan’s leader to protect it from brigands. She must do this without harming any of the brigands, since doing so would be against the rules of her order. Velarin holds a terrible secret, her failure to protect her first employer, a king in constant danger of assassination.'

Source: Eidolon (http://eidolon.net/?review=shortfiction5&pagetitle=Short+Fiction+Reviews+5).

1999 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Aramaya Jane Routley , New York (City) : EOS , 1999 Z794543 1999 single work novel fantasy 'Jane Routley continues the riveting tale of the beautiful young Dion Holyhands, the world's most powerful mage, in a mystical empire recalling the fabled opulence of czarist Russia. In search of her missing niece Dally, Dion arrives in luxurious Akieva, the glorious and corrupt capital of decadent Aramaya. Here, at the dazzling court of the handsome young emperor, Dion discovers her niece trapped in the web of necromancy and deceit hiding within the magnificent Winter Palace. But Dion's archenemy lurks at the center of the web [and] has vowed to possess her - no matter the cost. In the ensuing deadly conflict, Dion must confront the dark secrets of her own heart and the mighty evil concealed in those around her'. Source: bookseller's website.
1998 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Fire Angels Jane Routley , New York (City) : EOS , 1998 Z794531 1998 single work novel fantasy

'An accomplished fantasy of maturity and depth, Routley's second novel (after Mage Heart) continues the story of Dion Holyhands, raised by a stern foster-father to develop her outstanding magical powers. Here, Dion is reintroduced to the extended family she had lost and continues her coming-of-age, including renewed battle against her lover and foe, the demon Bedazzer. Dion is a strong character, introspective but often misled by self-doubt and guilt. Aided by the gypsylike Wanderers, she finds that her magic has destined her for a central role in the government of her homeland, Moria. While many genre fantasies simply add magic to political intrigue, Routley's are noteworthy for the natural and inevitable intertwining of the two. Here, for instance, different countries prohibit and allow different magics, thereby controlling their citizens. Well-drawn backgrounds and characters add to the appeal, as Routley produces another fantasy that can be read for more than myth or pyrotechnics, accelerating her rise as one of the genre's bright new stars'.

Source: Bookseller's website.


1998 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon A Dark Winter Dave Luckett , Norwood : Omnibus Books , 1998 Z34707 1998 single work novel fantasy young adult

'"We - the Tenabrans - we stood before the Dark. We were among the first. Tell your children that. And picture this: the castle of Ys, the outer faces of its walls washed with golden fire. Flame gushed out of the sluices to light and to burn the Dark, and the night was wicked with flying steel and thick with magic..."

'A sword maiden, a small Tenebran force and a young man called Will de Parkin: together they must defeat the unnatural armies of the Dark, and save the castle of Ys.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1998 winner Short Story A Walk-On Part in the War Stephen Dedman , 1998 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Dreaming Down-Under 1998; (p. 132-140) Dreaming Down-Under : Book One 1999; (p. 52-65) The Best Australian Science Fiction Writing : A Fifty Year Collection 2004; (p. 475-483)
1997 winner Short Story Merlusine Lucy Sussex , 1998 single work short story fantasy science fiction
— Appears in: The Year's Best : Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy : Volume 2 1998; (p. 216-253) A Tour Guide in Utopia 2005; (p. 169-199) Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies : The Essential Lucy Sussex 2011; (p. 21-48)
1997 winner Best Fantasy Novel y separately published work icon The Infernal Wicked Deeds Kim Wilkins , Milsons Point : Arrow Books , 1997 Z69568 1997 single work novel horror Australian musician Lisa Sheehan has got life sussed, but then, one-by-one, her fans start to turn up dead, their bodies hideously mutilated, and Lisa is haunted by memories that are not her own. Can these 20th-century murders be linked to events in Elizabethan England? (Source: LibrariesAustralia)
1996 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Enchanter Sara Douglass , Pymble : HarperCollins , 1996 Z266546 1996 single work novel science fiction 'Axis is a true hero, in every sense of the word. On his shoulders lies the double burden of prophecy and war. Having fulfilled the first part of the prophecy by becoming the StarMan, he now must reunite the three races inhabiting his world. It is his destiny to lead an army against his evil half-brother, to regain control of Tencendor, once the greatest land in the world. It is his destiny to be caught between the two women he loves, one the epitome of gentility, beauty, and intelligence, the other a fierce warrior with a cunning wit. And it is his destiny to be thwarted at every turn by the vicious Goragel, an insane monster bent on destroying all that Axis works to preserve . . . Sara Douglass has taken America by storm with this powerful tale of love, prophecy, battles, and revenge.' (Library of Congress publisher description, Tor, 2001 imprint) Tied with Sara Douglass's Starman.
1996 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon StarMan Sara Douglass , Pymble : HarperCollins , 1996 Z61529 1996 single work novel science fiction 'Assuming his role as the Starman of the Prophecy of the Destroyer, the warrior-wizard Axis makes his way to his final confrontation with his corrupt half-brother, Gorgrael. Meanwhile, Azhure, Axis's wife, discovers her own powers as an Enchantress and learns the twin strengths of love and friendship.' Source: bookseller's website. Tied with Sara Douglass's Enchanter.
1996 winner The Sword of God Russell Blackford , 1996 single work short story historical fiction fantasy
— Appears in: Dream Weavers 1996; (p. 212-239) The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy : Volume 1 1997; (p. 161-182) Forever Shores : Fiction of the Fantastic 2003; (p. 87-108) The Best Australian Science Fiction Writing : A Fifty Year Collection 2004; (p. 434-451)
1996 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Axis Trilogy Sara Douglass , 1995-1996 Pymble : HarperCollins , 1995-1996 11950878 1995-1996 series - author novel fantasy The award was made to 2 parts of the trilogy: Enchanter and Starman.
1996 joint winner Best Novel y separately published work icon The Memory Cathedral : A Secret History of Leonardo da Vinci Jack Dann , New York (City) : Bantam Books , 1995 Z855291 1995 single work novel historical fiction fantasy 'The Memory Cathedral is the secret history of Leonardo da Vinci, adventurer, traveller, inventor, and lover of Lorenzo the Magnificent's mistress. Based on Leonardo′s own notebooks, this expansive, multi-layered novel is ostensibly about Leonardo′s flying machines. But it is really a magical exploration of the man, his drives, his loves, his friends, and fabulous inventions. It takes place in the Florence of Lorenzo de Medici and in the fabled, mythical east. Indeed, there is real evidence that Leonardo travelled to Egypt and Persia under the protection of the Devatdar of Syria, Lieutenant of the Sacred Sultan of Babylon. Imagine what would happen if Leonardo de Vinci had been given the chance to put his fabulous inventions to use - his bombs and machine guns and submarines and tanks and flying machines. Imagine Leonardo and a young Niccolo Machiavelli flying in a balloon over Egypt. Imagine Leonardo′s closest friend Sandro Botticelli being exorcised in Florence and riding through deserts with the Caliph of Egypt. Imagine living in the dangerous day to day world of the Renaissance and knowing intimately the greatest personages of the age. That is the experience of reading The Memory Cathedral'. Source: publisher's website. Joint winner with Sara Douglass's two shortlisted novels, Starman and Enchanter.
1995 winner Best Short Story Harvest Bay Karen Attard , Neal Meldrum (illustrator), 1995 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Eidolon : The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy , Spring no. 19 1995; (p. 6-21)
1995 winner Best Novel y separately published work icon Sabriel Garth Nix , New York (City) : HarperCollins , 1995 Z822173 1995 single work novel young adult fantasy (taught in 2 units) Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.
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