Author Grace Chan has won an Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Short Story. The solarpunk tree transformation tale As Though I Were a Little Sun appeared in the May 2022 Fireside Magazine issue 102.
The 1706-word tale is beautiful and soulful, but confronting and aching too. Here’s a small quote; If I could answer you now, I’d tell you that clouds smell loamy, like broth squeezed from soaked mushrooms, and sweet, like a puff of air from a just-opened bag of sugared popcorn. But you’re not here anymore. You’re all dead — you, our mother, our father, and everyone else who mattered when I was a child.
The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards. And Fireside Fiction Company started in 2012 with a Kickstarter-funded short-story magazine. They began with the goals of finding and publishing great stories regardless of genre, and paying their writers well. Fireside grew to have two branches for doing so: Fireside Magazine and Fireside Books. After a 10-year run, Fireside Magazine stopped publishing in 2022, and Grace Chan’s short-story (sadly and happily) appeared in one of their very last issues.
Congratulations to Grace, and many thanks to the Aurealis judges and the legacy of Fireside Magazine.