Ditmar Award

Ok. I felt bad about the brevity of information available for the Arthur C Clarke awards. Here’s another great one for SF fans.

The Ditmar award is for Australian SF, including fantasy & horror. It is comparable to the Hugo awards, only on a national scale. It does seem to be one of the few major awards with no real cash prize, but the publicity garnered from winning or nomination has to be a plus for the author.

This award has had a bit of controversy recently. Created in 1969, originally the rules were VERY loose, and as such, cast a pall on the value of the award itself. This culminated in several authors either declining the award, or seeking to withdraw their works from consideration. As a result, the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (NatCon) which administers the awards decided to re-write the rules and procedures. Since then, it looks like the respectablity of this one has come back. 🙂

The current award categories are:

  • Best novel: 1969 to present
  • Best novella or Novelette: 2004 to present
  • Best short Story: 1978 to present
  • Best Collected Work: 2000 to present
  • Best Fan Publication: 2009 to present
  • Best Fan Writer: 1979 to present

 

The award is similar to several others run by large associations like this. Fans, authors, or publishers make nominations to a committee, which makes a ballot & distributes it to members of the next convention, who vote, and the awards are distributed. Which brings about the questions: How do you become a member? 

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find a direct website for the Ditmars, or a consistent website for the Convention….which brings back the issues raised by authors about consitency and validity.  Most of the links in this one go back to Wikipedia, which obviously, I think can be a handy site, but I DO question it if there are no links to other corroborating sources. Here, there are not. sad day.

Here’s the wiki with the official rules though: http://wiki.sf.org.au/Ditmar_rules

And, here’s a list of recent winners:

http://sfscope.com/2011/04/2011-australian-ditmar-award-w.html

After some searching, it appears that there are a variety of SF conventions in Australia, and the Natcon rotates, so that the Ditmar has been presented at various events….confusing.  Any input out there? Am I missing something?

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One Comment on “Ditmar Award”

  1. The Ditmar awards are voted for my members of the previous and current Australian National SF Conventions – the NatCon is held in conjunction with one of Australia’s various state SF conventions – Swancon (Perth), Conflux (Canberra), Continuum (Melbourne).


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