The shortlist for the Aurealis Awards, which recognises Australian fiction in science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, has been released.

Aurealis_Award_Logo

It’s days like these that I regret being a cross-genre reader. With all the books I want to tackle, how can I possibly work my way through a shortlist where I have read precious few of the books?

I have read Amanda Bridgeman’s Meridian, the third in her sci-fi series about a crew of space troopers as they fight against a scientific experiment gone rogue.

I’ve also read The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke, a story of a gifted cleric whose world is turned upside down when a foreign artifact attaches itself to him, complicating his quest to safeguard his religion against gathering forces.

I enjoyed both immensely and intend to read the next books in the series.

Otherwise, Juliet Marillier also made it into the list. I have never read a book of hers I didn’t like, but I have not read Dreamer’s Pool. Scott Westerfield too — I enjoyed his Uglies series. Again, I have not read the title he has been shortlisted for.

Horror/thriller writer Greig Beck also featured. I have been considering reading his novels for a while, but somehow they haven’t made it to the top of my pile. Maybe now is the time.

Fans of Garth Nix will be happy to see his name. I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve never picked up one of his titles.

Sorry to all those authors I am not mentioning here. I congratulate everyone who made the shortlist. The judges received over 750 entries across the 12 categories, with entries reaching an extremely high standard. I don’t envy them having to make the choice.