About the Jurors

Jurors for the 2019 award are:


  • Eugen Bacon
  • Jack Bridges
  • Gene Melzack
  • Nicole Murphy


  • Jake Corvus
  • Russell Kirkpatrick
  • Stephanie Lai
  • Alexandra Pierce

Eugen Bacon is a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. She has sold many stories and articles, together with anthologies. Her stories have won, been shortlisted and commended in international awards, including the Bridport Prize, L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Copyright Agency Prize and Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards. Her creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide, including Award Winning Australian Writing, AntipodeanSF, Andromeda, Aurealis, Bards and Sages Quarterly, and through Routledge in New Writing .Literary speculative novel – Meerkat Press (2019). Creative nonfiction book – Macmillan (2019).

Jack Bridges published several novels and novellas with Torquere Press, a now sadly defunct US queer press. “Blood and Ink” was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Best SF Novella in 2016. Jack has judged competitions and awards, including the Valerie Parv Award, for Romance Writers of Australia for the past decade. Jack also managed Fantastic Planet bookstore from 2005 to 2010, and co-owned the store from 2007 to 2010, giving a working knowledge of the Australian science fiction publishing and retail industry.

Jake Corvus is a prolific writer living on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast in Australia. Despite being in his mid-thirties, he is often mistake for being in his early teens. He loves writing horror, sci fi and fantasy, with a special interest in queer and inclusive fiction. He watches too many trashy horror movies to have any shred of self-respect, and lives with an alarmingly diverse array of disabled rescue animals, including snakes, frogs, shrimp, fish, cats, dogs and birds. Jake’s favourite dinosaur is the bagaceratops. You can find more about him at his blog, where he posts writing and lifestyle essays on Wednesdays. If that’s not enough for you, you can even sign up to his newsletter at www.traditionalevolution.com

Stephanie Lai has an extensive knowledge of and interest in speculative fiction. She has been a wide reader of speculative fiction, with specific interest in speculative fiction written by non-white authors, and authors from non-western cultural backgrounds. This reading has been done both within and without Australia. She has in particular read extensively across Australian, South-East Asian, and South Asian speculative fiction, including writers from the diaspora.

Russell Kirkpatrick (born 1961, Christchurch, New Zealand) is a geography lecturer and a novelist. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Canterbury, and lectured at the University of Waikato in Hamilton until 2014. He is currently living and writing in Australia. He has worked on seven atlas projects, including the New Zealand Historical Atlas (1998) and authored the Contemporary Atlas of New Zealand (1999/2004). He also wrote and was photographer for a book about New Zealand Waterfalls – Walk to Waterfalls (2011). He has written two fantasy trilogies, Fire of Heaven and HuskAcross the Face of the World was the biggest selling debut fantasy in the United States in 2008. He won the Julius Vogel award in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Gene Melzack has been interested in the ways in which speculative fiction can help us explore aspects of our identities and societies from an early age. This interest has shaped his life profoundly. Reading Ursula LeGuin as a primary school student introduced him to ideas about gender and politics. Reading Philip K. Dick in high school got him interested in questions of personal identity and metaphysics, which took him to university to study philosophy. At university he discovered science fiction fandom and conventions via the speculative fiction club, as well as feminist philosophy, which opened his eyes to a variety of new ways of looking at the world. Many of which, he found, were being explored by a host of exciting speculative fiction writers.

Nicole Murphy cut her teeth reading speculative fiction when she was a child, with C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien favourites. Even then, she knew that she wanted more from her spec fic, so when she took to writing she made sure she had female characters front and centre. She has had two trilogies published (The Dream of Asarlai and The Jorda Series) and dozens of short stories. She ran the Aurealis Awards in 2014-15 and was a judge in 2017. Nicole is committed to diversity in her fiction, both as a reader and as a writer and is looking forward to seeing the wonders that come into the Norma K Hemming.

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian, and has co-edited two award-winning non-fiction anthologies: Letters to Tiptree, and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E Butler. She can be found at her website, and on the Hugo-winning Galactic Suburbia podcast.

Implementation of a required rotation of judges was implemented in the 2018 award period. At least two new jurors appointed every two years, and no juror to serve more than four years consecutively unless a suitable replacement is not available. New jurors will be called for in a public application process.

The position description for the jury can be found here.