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Sean Williams
atheling suggestion 
12.36 pm 23.04.09
russian egghead
Kim Wilkins wrote a very important paper last year* on the treatment of fantasy literature in mainstream media, which I'll be nominating for the Atheling this year. I urge you to do the same. If you haven't read it, click here for a PDF. Here's the summary:

"Australian fantasy fiction is a highly successful field of Australian writing both nationally and internationally, and yet it occupies uncertain territory in the Australian literary community. In many ways, it is the opposite of that community’s default notion of Australian writing: it is popular, not literary; international, not local; fantastic, not realism. These incongruities make it an excellent case study for examining how the Australian literary community nteracts with popular fiction."

Fantasy, naturally, comes out rather poorly. If nothing else, read on to see how we fare, column inches-wise, in terms of book reviews in major papers.  It's shameful, but not surprising.

* Kim Wilkins, "Popular genres and the Australian literary community: the case of fantasy fiction", Journal of Australian Studies 32.2 (2008): 265-278.
04.30 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
oooh. Despite being very much a non-fan of Ken Gelder, this article just makes me mad all over again at fantasy's reception in Aus. I second your nomination; this is a very well-written and well-argued piece.
04.36 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
Hurrah! Fantastic. Yes, it makes my blood boil too.
04.39 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
On the up side, from the article, I have a whole new range of arguments to rail and rant with against my non-specfic reading friends when they have a go at me. heh heh heh...
04.48 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
:-) Kim deserves a gong for this alone!
07.20 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
Yes, Kim is writing about a real problem. When I was reviewing fantasy for The Age in the early 90s, and the literary editor went on maternity leave, the replacement didn't publish the column that I sent in as usual. When I finally phoned, she was utterly contemptuous about fantasy - "Oh, that!?" - and said she'd never publish a review of fantasy.
Just by the way, you're allowed (and indeed encouraged) to nominate as many works in each category as you want. So there's no reason why someone can't nominate Kim for this excellent paper and also Russell for his huge and important Greenwood literary encyclopedia article on sf (which I blogged about yesterday).
07.36 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
Absolutely! Russell will get a nod from me too. :-)
07.52 am 23.04.09 (UTC)
Fabulous! Here's to a worthy field!
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