Ditmar Awards

From Fancyclopedia 3
(Redirected from Ditmar Award)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Ditmars are the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards.



The name arose via a joke. At a committee meeting to decide the name of the proposed award, lengthy discussions had gotten around to considering people the award might be named after. Someone suggested that a person thus honoured might be persuaded to fund the awards.

Dick (Martin James Ditmar) Jenssen seized an opportunity to relieve tedium by hazarding that he would be willing to pay for the awards if they were named "Ditmar" awards. What, he was asked, is a Ditmar? "Digital Integrating and Tabulating Mechanism for the Advancement of Research", he told them.

His offer was accepted, and he subsequently found himself paying for the awards for some years longer than he'd anticipated.

Nowadays, the awards process for the Ditmar Awards involves separate rounds for nominations and votes, but back in 1970 there was just a single round of voting. Also, a points system was used to determine winners that year.

In 1982, the Australian Natcon, Tschaicon, was billed as "the First Australasian SF Convention", and the Ditmar Awards presented that year were, at least in theory, Australasian awards.

In 2002, and again in 2010, Ditmar received a Ditmar. (Other instances of fans receiving awards named after themselves were when Forrest J Ackerman received a Forry Award in 2002 and K. Martin Carlson a Kaymar Award in 1984.)

In 2012, Robin Pen received a Ditmar Award for his "The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar", the Ditmar of that title being a Ditmar Award from the previous year.

Ditmar Rules (archived).

William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]

The William Atheling, Jr. Award for Criticism or Review is a Special Category under the Ditmar Awards. "The Athelings", as they are known for short, are awarded for excellence in SF and speculative criticism.

They are named for the pseudonym used by SF author James Blish for his critical writing.

The award was first presented as part of the Ditmar Award ceremony, at Bofcon, the 15th Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne in August 1976.

Nowadays, the William Atheling, Jr. Award for Criticism or Review is considered a Ditmar Award. However, there was a time when the constitution governing the Australian Natcons referred to it as a separate award. It is still classified as a "special award."

The history of nominations for the award indicates that it has not always been restricted to Australians. In 1989, the last year in which there was a Ditmar Award for International Fiction, there were published eligibility criteria for the William Atheling, Jr. Award that required the work to have been published in Australia, but did not require the author to be Australian.

Ditmar Award for Best Fannish Cat[edit]

In 1991, a Ditmar Award for Best Fannish Cat was presented at SunCon (in Brisbane, Australia). The Business Meeting at that convention voted to demote the award from a Ditmar Award to a Special Award of the Convention. However, that decision was reversed at the Business Meeting of the following Australian Natcon.

According to Bruce Gillespie, “The person who was Chair of the convention in Brisbane stuffed up many aspects of the convention. She was also part of a non-Melbourne group who believed that every aspect of the Ditmars was a cruel plot by Melbourne fans to keep all the Ditmars for themselves. So she allowed members of the convention to vote for the categories as well as the items in the categories. Irresistible bait to Melbourne fans in general — who ganged up to include Best Fannish Cat in the categories.”

This still rankled as late as 2005, when a Swancon XXX progress report calling for nominations for the Tin Duck Award exhorted, “Please do not invent new categories. (e.g. No Best Fannish Cat. We’ve heard it before, and it wasn’t funny the first time).”

But Dudcon III, in 2010, revived Best Fannish Cat as a non-Ditmar Special Award of the Convention. Rules required nominees to be “natural members of the species Felis Catus” alive and resident in Australia at the time of the nomination.

In both cases, noted Gillespie, “the winners were very popular cats who had been met by many Melbourne fans. The general effect was to confirm the suspicion of Perth fans that Melbourne fans ‘did not take the Ditmars seriously.’”

1991 Nominees for Best Fannish Cat[edit]

2010 Nominees for Best Fannish Cat[edit]

Stuffed Cane Toads[edit]

Another 1991 scandal that pitted insurgents from Melbourne against sercon fen elsewhere in the country was the SunCon Ditmar trophies. Melburnian Mark Loney made awards of mounted taxidermied cane toads (a poisonous introduced pest endemic to Queensland, where the con was held). He intended them as a joke, to be presented at the ceremony, with the real Ditmars to be given at the closing ceremony.

The cane toads were presented, but the actual Ditmars trophies weren’t ready by the end of con. The real ones would be distributed later at a Nova Mob club meeting, but this did not placate the outraged.

Special Awards[edit]

Convention reports from 1971 indicate that the two Special Awards presented that year were considered to be Ditmar Awards.

Some Other Awards[edit]

The Ditmar Awards should not be confused with the Melbourne Science Fiction Club Achievement Award nor the Peter McNamara Achievement Award nor the Pat Terry Award for Humour in SF.

Award Winners[edit]

Complete Ditmar Award Results


Eighth Australian Science Fiction Convention, Melbourne

1969 Best Australian Science Fiction of any length, or collection[edit]

1969 Best International Science Fiction of any length, or collection[edit]

1969 Best Contemporary Writer of Science Fiction[edit]

1969 Best Australian Amateur Science Fiction Publication or Fanzine[edit]


Ninth Australian Science Fiction Convention, Melbourne

1970 Best Australian Science Fiction[edit]

1970 Best International Publication[edit]

1970 Best International Fiction[edit]

1970 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]


Tenth Australian Science Fiction Convention, Melbourne

1971 Best Australian SF[edit]

1971 Best International Fiction[edit]

1971 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1971 Special Awards[edit]


Syncon 2, Sydney

1972 Best Australian Fiction[edit]

1972 Best International Fiction[edit]

1972 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]


Advention 2, Adelaide

1973 Best Australian Fiction[edit]

1973 Best International Fiction[edit]

1973 Best Dramatic Presentation[edit]

  • Aussiefan (winner)
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • Tales From The Crypt

1973 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]


Ozcon, Melbourne (The programme book for the 1990 Natcon, Danse Macabre, records that no Ditmar Awards were presented in 1974.)


Syncon '75, Sydney

1975 Best Australian SF[edit]

1975 Best International Fiction[edit]

1975 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]


Bofcon, Melbourne

1976 Best Australian Fiction[edit]

1976 Best International Fiction[edit]

1976 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


A-Con 7, Adelaide

1977 Best Australian Science Fiction[edit]

1977 Best International Fiction[edit]

1977 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1977 William Atheling, Jr . Award[edit]

1977 Special Committee Award[edit]


Unicon IV, Melbourne

1978 Australian Science Fiction, Best Novel[edit]

1978 Australian Science Fiction, Best Short Fiction[edit]

1978 Best International Fiction[edit]

1978 Best Amateur Australian Publication (Fanzine)[edit]

1978 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Syncon '79, Sydney

1979 Best Australian Fiction[edit]

1979 Best International Fiction[edit]

1979 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1979 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1979 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Swancon 5, Perth

1980 Australian Fiction[edit]

1980 Best International Fiction[edit]

1980 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1980 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1980 Australian Fantasy/SF Artist[edit]

1980 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Advention '81, Adelaide

1981 Best Australian Novel[edit]

1981 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1981 Best International Fiction[edit]

1981 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1981 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1981 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1981 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Tschaicon, Melbourne

Tschaicon was the “First Australasian Science Fiction Convention,” the Australian Natcon constitution having had "Australian" replaced with "Australasian" throughout; the award categories used "Australasian" rather than "Australian." During the con, the constitution was modified again, to have "Australasian" changed back to "Australian."

1982 Best Long Australasian Science Fiction or Fantasy[edit]

1982 Best Short Australasian Science Fiction or Fantasy[edit]

1982 Best International Fiction[edit]

1982 Best Australasian Fanzine[edit]

1982 Best Australasian Fanwriter[edit]

1982 Best Australasian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1982 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Syncon '83, Sydney

1983 Best Australian Science Fiction or Fantasy[edit]

1983 Best International Fiction[edit]

1983 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1983 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1983 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1983 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Cartoonist[edit]

1983 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Editor[edit]

1983 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]

1983 Special Award[edit]


Eurekacon, Melbourne

There were insufficient nominations for the William Atheling, Jr Award.

1984 Best Australian Long Science Fiction or Fantasy[edit]

1984 Best Australian Short Science Fiction or Fantasy[edit]

  • "Crystal Soldier", Russell Blackford (Dreamworks, ed. David King, Norstrilia Press)
  • "Life the Solitude", Kevin McKay (Dreamworks, ed. David King, Norstrilia Press)
  • "Land Deal", Gerald Murnane (Dreamworks, ed. David King, Norstrilia Press)
  • "Above Atlas His Shoulders", Andrew Whitmore (Dreamworks, ed. David King, Norstrilia Press) (winner)

1984 Best International Fiction[edit]

1984 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1984 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1984 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1984 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Cartoonist[edit]

1984 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Editor[edit]


Advention '85, Adelaide

1985 Best Australian Novel[edit]

1985 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1985 Best International Fiction[edit]

1985 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1985 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1985 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist, Cartoonist or Illustrator[edit]

1985 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Editor[edit]

1985 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Dramatic Presentation[edit]

  • Boiling Frog, Stage play with productions in Adelaide & Sydney
  • Beach Blanket Tempest, Rock Fantasy stage musical (Half Moon Production)
  • Iceman, Fred Schepisi, Director
  • Iceman, Bruce Smeaton, Musical score
  • Thief of Sydney, Animated feature 15 minutes
  • Kindred Spirits, ABC Telemovie (winner)

1985 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Swancon XI, Perth

1986 Best Australian Science Fiction Novel[edit]

1986 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1986 Best International Fiction[edit]

1986 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1986 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1986 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1986 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Capcon, Canberra

1987 Best Australian Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel[edit]

1987 Best Australian Science Fiction or Fantasy Short Fiction[edit]

1987 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1987 Best Australian SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1987 Outstanding Contribution to Australian Fandom[edit]

1987 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Conviction, Sydney

1988 Best Australian Long Fiction[edit]

1988 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1988 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1988 Best Australian Fan Writer[edit]

1988 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1988 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Swancon 14, Perth

1989 Best Australian Long Fiction[edit]

1989 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1989 Best International Fiction[edit]

1989 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1989 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1989 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1989 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Danse Macabre, Melbourne

1990 Best Australian Long Fiction[edit]

1990 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

  • Terry Dowling, "The Quiet Redemption of Andy the House", Australian Short Stories #26 (June 1989) (winner)
  • Rosaleen Love, "If You Go Down to the Park Today", Total Devotion Machine
  • Rosaleen Love, "Total Devotion Machine", Total Devotion Machine
  • Petrina Smith, "Over the Edge", Mirrors: Redress Novellas

1990 Best Australian Fanzine[edit]

1990 Best Australian Fanwriter[edit]

1990 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1990 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]

Withdrawn for insufficient nominations.


Suncon, Brisbane

1991 Best Fannish Cat[edit]

1991 Best Australian Novel or Anthology[edit]

1991 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1991 Best Fanzine[edit]

1991 Best Australian Fan Artist[edit]

1991 Best Australian Fan Writer[edit]

1991 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Syncon, Sydney

1992 Best Novel or Collection[edit]

1992 Best Short Fiction[edit]

1992 Best Fanzine[edit]

1992 Best Fan Writer[edit]

1992 Best SF or Fantasy Artist[edit]

1992 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]

1992 Special Award for Services to Fandom[edit]


Swancon 18, Perth

1993 Best Long Fiction[edit]

1993 Best Short Fiction[edit]

1993 Best Periodical[edit]

1993 Best Fan Writer[edit]

1993 Best Artwork[edit]

1993 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Constantinople, Melbourne

1994 Best Long Fiction or Collection[edit]

1994 Best Short Fiction[edit]

1994 Best Professional Art Work[edit]

1994 Best Fan Writer[edit]

1994 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1994 Best Fanzine[edit]

1994 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Thylacon, Hobart

1995 Best Australian Long Fiction[edit]

1995 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1995 Best Professional Artwork[edit]

1995 Best Fanzine[edit]

1995 Best Fan Writer[edit]

1995 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1995 Special Committee Award[edit]


Swancon 21, Perth

1996 Best Long Fiction[edit]

1996 Best Short Fiction[edit]

1996 Best Publication/Fanzine/Periodical[edit]

1996 Best Artwork[edit]

1996 Best Non-Professional/Fan Writer[edit]

1996 Best Non-Professional/Fan Artist[edit]

1996 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Basicon 2, Melbourne

1997 Best Australian Long Fiction[edit]

1997 Best Australian Short Fiction[edit]

1997 Best Fanzine[edit]

1997 Best Fan Writer[edit]

1997 Best Fan Artist[edit]

1997 Best Professional Artwork[edit]

1997 William Atheling, Jr. Award[edit]


Swancon 2020, Perth

The convention was cancelled due to Covid-19. There were insufficient nominations for the Best Artwork and Best Fan Artist categories. The awards ceremony was held online with short notice on 19 September 2020. The date conflicted with Rosh Hashana, which meant that neither the Best Novel nor the Best Short Fiction winners could participate.

2020 Best Novel[edit]

2020 Best Short Fiction[edit]

2020 Best Collected Work[edit]

2020 Best Fan Publication in Any Medium[edit]

2020 Best Fan Writer[edit]

2020 Best New Talent[edit]

2020 William Atheling, Jr. Award for Criticism or Review[edit]

  • Eugen Bacon, for Writing Speculative Fiction, Red Globe Press.
  • Grant Watson, for reviews on FictionMachine (winner).


Was to have been awarded at Conflux 16, Canberra, but the convention was postponed due to Covid-19 and the awards were presented virtually on November 20, 2021.

2021 Best Novel[edit]

  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix, Allen & Unwin

2021 Best Novella or Novelette[edit]

2021 Best Short Story[edit]

2021 Best Collected Work[edit]

2021 Best Artwork[edit]

  • Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, for Mother Thorn and other tales of courage and kindness, Serenity Press

2021 Best Fan Writer[edit]

2021 Best Fan Artist[edit]

  • Lyss Wickramasinghe, for fanart on Tumblr including Elsie, Hold On, The Gem and the Other and Vesuvia Pride

2021 Best Fan Publication in Any Medium[edit]

2021 Best New Talent[edit]

  • Nikky Lee

2021 William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review[edit]

  • Terry Frost, for reviews in Terry Talks Movies, YouTube.

Award 1969
This is an award page. If you know something about it, such as who awarded it, who the winners were, what the criteria were, and when it was awarded, please add it! See Standards for Awards.