This Black Friday, the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) has selected five of the best and scariest works of Australian horror fiction from 2008 as the finalists in the annual Australian Shadows Award.

The Australian Shadows Award is an annual jury-judged literary award issued by the AHWA that honors the very best works of Australian dark fiction published in the preceding year.

Finalists (in alphabetical order):

“The Claws of Native Ghosts” by Lee Battersby (The Beast Within, ed. Matt Hults, Graveside Tales)
“This Way To The Exit” by Sara Douglass (Dreaming Again, ed. Jack Dann, HarperCollins/Voyager)
“Rick Gets a Job” by Jason Fischer (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #37)
“Lakeside” by Christopher Green (Dreaming Again, ed. Jack Dann, HarperCollins/Voyager)
“Her Collection of Intimacy” by Paul Haines (Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine #2)

This year’s shortlist is notable for the inclusion of Christopher Green, whose first published short story earned him this award nomination, and Paul Haines and best-selling fantasy author Sara Douglass, who are both battling cancer but still producing genre-defining work. Finalist Lee Battersby won the inaugural Australian Shadows Award in 2005. Lee is also notable as the author who has been nominated for the Australian Shadows Award the most number of times. This is his fourth nomination.
The winner of the 2008 Australian Shadows Award, to be determined by guest judge Sarah Endacott (acclaimed editor of Orb magazine) will be announced in April 2009. The judges for this year’s awards were Shane Jiraiya Cummings (AHWA Vice President and author of Shards), Brett McBean (author of The Mother), and Chuck McKenzie (author of Confessions of a Pod Person).

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