The 2009 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been announced (actually, this was a wee while ago). Unfortunately JAAM 26 didn’t win the Best Collected Work category, but it was great to have been shortlisted. As Tim Jones puts it, his short story collection Transported and JAAM 26 (which he edited) were pipped at the post by ‘up-and-coming author Elizabeth Knox’ (or rather, NZ literary superstar). Congratulations Elizabeth.
Congratulations also to Helen Lowe, who won both Best Novel – Young Adult for her novel Thornspell, and Best New Talent for a body of work that included two poems and a short story that were published JAAM 26.
JAAM 26 has received a very favourable review by Keith Nunes in the latest issue of the Poetry Society magazine A fine line (March 2009).
A begins by saying ‘New Zealand is bubbling over with great writers and storytellers – just look at JAAM 26.’ And continues, ‘The annual publication by the JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) Collective is a triumph for editor Tim Jones and the team. The 164-page journal is an entertaining mix of poetry and prose that challenges and moves the reader.’
He says that he isn’t a big fan of speculative writing, of which there is some in JAAM 26, but ‘the stories I read in JAAM 26 won me over.’ He particularly mentions Tracie McBride’s story ‘Last Chance to See’.
Among the more traditional prose peices he highlights ‘When an Older Brother Dies’ by LE Scott, ‘Banshee’ by Darian Smith, ‘Voodoo’ by Renee Liang and ‘A Body of Land’ by Michele Powles. And he gives Michael Botur a ‘special mention’ for his ‘imaginative and amusing’ story ‘Historic Breakfasts’.
Of the poets, he praises Laurice Gilbert’s poems ‘Divided World’ and ‘Island Bay’. ‘Both soar and toy with you and leave images lingering.’ He continues:
The highlights come thick and fast with a number of poets impressing, including Janis Freegard with ‘he has your eyes’; Dean Ballinger’s ‘Antananarivo’; Helen Heath with two poems; Barbara Strang’s ‘Fatigues’; Sue Reidy’s ‘Bottomless Love’ and Miriam Barr’s ‘3 Phases in a Journey (Towards Self)’.
He concludes with the very positive: ‘All in all this is a wonderful journal and one which provides the reader with hours of thought provoking and entertaining reading. Well done.’
JAAM 26 is a finalist in the Collected Works section of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction and fantasy works.
JAAM 26 was guest edited by Tim Jones, and contained a number of speculative and interstitial stories and poems – hence its eligibility for the award.
All congratulations are to go to Tim himself, who assembled such a fine issue of JAAM, and who knew about the awards in the first place. Tim also deserves congratulations because his own book of short stories, Transported, is up against JAAM in the same category, along with The Invisible Road, by Elizabeth Knox.
JAAM has a couple of other connections to these awards too. Helen Lowe had poems and a story in JAAM 26, and they are part of the body of work for which she has been selected as a finalist in the Best New Talent category. Also published in JAAM was ‘Banshee’ by Darian Smith, which is a finalist in the Best Short Story category.
Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy and Fantasy Association of New Zealand will vote at Conscription, the 30th New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention, in Auckland on Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Tim Jones has some more about this on his blog: http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com/2009/03/sffanz-press-release-finalists-for-2009.html