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Clade shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards

800px-Milky_Way_Night_Sky_Black_Rock_Desert_NevadaI’m thrilled to be able to announce that Clade has been shortlisted for the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction, alongside books by Miles Allinson, Elizabeth Harrower, Gail Jones, John Kinsella, Joan London, Susan Midalia and Tracy Ryan. The winner is announced on 3 October, but in the meantime the shortlists for all categories are available via the State Library of Western Australia. And on a more personal note I want to say how delighted I am to find myself sharing space on a shortlist with Joan London, a writer I admire enormously. My thanks to the judges and the organisers, and congratulations to all my fellow shortlistees.

 

Clade shortlisted for the 2016 ALS Gold Medal

CladeI’m delighted to be able to announce that Clade has been nominated for Australia’s oldest literary award, the ALS Gold Medal, which is both completely unexpected and a huge honour. My congratulations to the other shortlisted writers, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Drusilla Modjeska and Brenda Niall – it’s fantastic to be in such distinguished company – and my heartfelt thanks to the judges and the organisers of the prize, the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. The winner is announced on 6 July at the Association’s conference in Canberra.

Clade now available through Audible

Clade AudibleI’m very excited to say the audio book edition of my Victorian Premier’s, Christina Stead and Aurealis Award-shortlisted novel Clade is now available through Audible in Australiathe UK and internationally. It’s read by Ian Bliss, and features a rather lovely new cover, so if you’ve been holding off reading it perhaps now’s the time to grab a copy.

And if audio books are your thing you might also want to check out the audio editions of The Resurrectionist, read by Stan Pretty (UK only), and Wrack, read by Humphrey Bower (AustraliaUK and US).

Midyear Music

Because it’s getting toward halfway through 2016 I thought I might share a few of the albums I’ve enjoyed so far this year.

Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
Underneath the ferociously political lyrics A Moon Shaped Pool is the poppiest Radiohead album in years and perhaps not coincidentally the first one that’s resonated with me for almost a decade. Although the video for ‘Burn the Witch’ is so brilliant it could probably carry the album on its own.

 

PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project
Hope Six
isn’t as good as Let England Shake (although what is?), at least partly because Harvey is clearly hitting up against the limits of the popular song’s ability to communicate complex arguments, but it’s still genuinely thrilling a lot of the time, and Harvey’s passion and fury remain as exciting (and salutary) as ever.

 

Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
Will Toledo has been recording albums alone for years, a process that led to the release of his excellent Teens of Style a couple of years ago, but his new album Teens of Denial is his first record with the backing of a proper band, and it’s incredible. They wear their influences on their sleeves, but every one of these mini-epics of suburban desire and despair is like a tiny novel, with all the variousness and passion that implies. I need a few more weeks to get to grips with it properly but it might just be my album of the year so far.

 

The Jayhawks, Paging Mr Proust
It’s been a while since I listened to Hollywood Town Hall and Rainy Day Music, and the first of the Jayhawks’ reunion records passed me by a couple of years ago, but their new one, Paging Mr Proust, is a bit of a gem. Lovely, literate folk rock that owes a little to the Byrds and a little to REM (no doubt at least partly because it was produced by Peter Buck) but never feels rooted in the past.

 

Parquet Courts, Human Performance
Parquet Courts have always been one of those bands I felt like I should love but never quite did. But their new album, Human Performance, is terrific, and filled with tight, driving songs.

 

Beverly, The Blue Swell
Because there can never be enough dreamy, blissed-out noise pop in the world.

 

Cate Le Bon, Crab Day
Imagine a fractured 2016 version of Nico and you’ve got the general idea. Easily as good as her last couple of albums. The film that accompanies it is also splendidly weird.

 

The Last Shadow Puppets, Everything You’ve Come to Expect
I think Alex Turner is one of the great contemporary songwriters, and although there’s something a little too considered and contrived about his work with Miles Kane (and some fairly icky lyrics) there’s still a lot to like about the baroque, Scott Walkerish Everything You’ve Come to Expect.

 

David Bowie, Blackstar
I wrote about Blackstar shortly after Bowie’s death. I haven’t changed my view: it’s a thrilling, mercurial album, his best since Scary Monsters, and a reminder of what his death robbed us of.

 

There are also a number of things coming out in the next little while I’m excited about (new Kills! new Band of Horses!) and more than a few things I need to listen to more carefully (the new Lucinda Williams for one) but for now they seem like enough.

Clade shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award

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I’m delighted to be able to say that Clade has been shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award for Fiction at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: it’s a huge honour and I’m absolutely thrilled. The other nominees for the fiction award are Tony Birch’s Ghost River, Merlinda Bobis’ Locust Girl, Lisa Gorton’s The Life of HousesGail Jones’ A Guide to Berlin and Mireille Juchau’s The World Without Us, several of which I’ve read and loved, but I do recommend taking a few minutes to check out the shortlists for the other awards as well. The winner will be announced in Sydney on 16 May; in the meantime I note without comment that voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award, and that Clade is one of the eligible titles.

Aurealis Awards

aurealis-awards-finalist-high-resThis week saw the announcements of the shortlists for the 2015 Aurealis Awards, and I’m thrilled to be able to say Clade is one of the nominees for Best Science Fiction Novel, alongside Evelyn Blackwell’s Crossed, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Their Fractured Light, Joel Shepherd’s Renegade and the conclusion to Sean William’s fantastic Twinmaker series, Fall. The winner will be announced at Easter at NatCon in Brisbane, but it’s a great honour and it’s fantastic to be in such terrific company. If you have a moment you might want to check out the shortlists for the other categories, which feature work by many, many excellent people.

Locus Recommended Reading List

LocusJust a quick post to say how delighted I am to discover Clade is one of the titles selected for Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading List for 2015. You can check out the full list over at Locus, but needless to say I’m completely thrilled to be on a list that features books by Ann Leckie, Kim Stanley Robinson, Adam Roberts and Dave Hutchinson, and by the incredibly generous comments about the book in the issue itself. My sincere thanks to all concerned.

And just a reminder that if you’re in Australia Clade is available from any good bookstore, your favourite online retailer or as a ebook, and worldwide through Book Depository.

 

 

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