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  • Nikky Lee

Award wins for ONCE WE FLEW and "What Bones These Tides Bring" 🎉

With the 2023 award season temporarily wrapped up, I figured it was time for an update post on how the two works I had were eligible went!

For reference, the two works were Once We Flew, my self-published science fiction/fantasy hopepunk novella and "What Bones These Tides Bring" a dark fantasy/horror short story about ghosts in the New Zealand apocalypse that I wrote for Remains To Be Told: Dark Tales of Aotearoa.

As I shared earlier this year, both stories were shortlisted for Australian Aurealis Awards and the New Zealand Sir Julius Vogel Awards in the short fiction and novella categories. "What Bones These Tides Bring" is also currently shortlisted in the Australiasian Shadow Awards, however, the awards are not announced until AsylumFest in October, so there's a bit more waiting to go yet!

So, how did these stories go?

Let's start with the Aurealis Awards (announced 18 May 2024): While "What Bones These Tides Bring" was pipped by Tansy Rayner Robert's "12 Days to Witchmass" (available exclusively through Tansy's Patreon, so go check it out), I'm delighted to share that Once We Flew won Best Science Fiction Novella!

Given the powerhouse line up of finalists and works, I'm still absolutely flabbergasted that this little self-published novella that couldn't find a home won.

As a side note, it was wonderful to see such a strong representation of small press and self published works among the Aurealis Award shortlist and winners this year.

Now, onto the Sir Julius Vogel Awards (announced 6 July 2024): In a reverse of the Aurealis Awards, Once We Flew did not win, conceeding instead to the excellent Hamlet, Prince of Robots (a sci-fi robot retelling of Hamlet) by M. Darusha Wehm. But (plot twist!) "What Bones These Tides Bring" won Best Short Story, while the Remains To Be Told anthology took away the Best Collected Work category.

I loved this collection of Kiwi horror and dark fiction—and not just because I have a story in it. You can read my review of it here. Many congratulations to Lee Murray for putting such a fantastic anthology together and to all my fellow contributors.

Lastly, because the Sir Julius Vogel Awards are fan voted, a massive, massive thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for these stories. Your support is hugely appreciated 🤗


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