Paul Haines honoured by the Australian Horror Writers Association

The Australian Horror Writers Association have announced plans to honour the memory of one of Australia’s masters of horror, Paul Haines.

From the press release:

The Australian Horror Writers Association is pleased to announce the AUSTRALIAN SHADOWS AWARD for LONG FICTION will be named the PAUL HAINES SHADOWS AWARD for LONG FICTION in honour of Paul Haines.

New Zealand-born horror and speculative fiction writer, Paul Richard Haines, 41, died on 5 March 2012 after a five-year battle with cancer.

Raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Paul moved to Australia in the 1990s after completing a university degree in Otago. He attended the inaugural Clarion South writers workshop in 2004 and was a member of Melbourne’s SuperNOVA writers group. Paul had more than thirty short stories published in Australia, North America, and Greece.

Paul collected numerous awards including winning Australia’s Ditmar Award five times: Best New Talent in 2005; Best novella/novelette for The Last Days of Kali Yuga (2005) and The Devil in Mr Pussy (Or How I Found God Inside My Wife) (2007); Best Collection for Slice of Life (2010); and Best Novella for Wives (2010). He won the Aurealis Award three times: Best Horror Short Story for The Last Days of Kali Yuga (2004); Best Horror Short Story twice for ‘Wives’ tied with ‘Slice of Life – A Spot of Liver’ (2009). The Sir Julius Vogel Award was awarded four times: Best Collection for Doorways for the Dispossessed (2008); Best Novella for Wives (2010); Best Novella for A Tale of the Interferers: Hunger for Forbidden Flesh (2011); and Best Short Story for ‘High Tide at Hot Water Beach’ (2011). He won two Chronos Awards; Best Collection for Slice of Life (2010); and Best Short Fiction for ‘Her Gallant Needs’ (2011).

In 2011, Paul’s The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt won the Australian Shadows Award for Long Fiction. Here was a tale that mixed fiction with reality in Haines’ unique way, merging the line between what’s real and what isn’t until you felt uncomfortable. It was at once horrifying and highly emotional.

Paul’s writing interrogated the horror constrained within the heart of civilized convention; the difficulties of being human while living with animal instincts intact. Sharp, smart and observant, he managed to make the grossest of gross stuff funny – and therefore accessible.

Paul focused a spectrum of disturbing truths though the prism of his lens. His writing style was tough, mesmerising, visceral, no holds barred. In a word, authentic, just like the man himself. He wrote with certainty and strength. Sympathetic to tragedy, he enticed us to engage with and acknowledge elements of the dark within.

Grateful for the inclusion he experienced from more established writers early on, he made a point of extending the same friendship and courtesy to newer writers following behind.

He is survived by his wife Julie and daughter Isla.

Paul is still very much remembered, and missed, by the SuperNOVA writers group, and we are delighted that his legacy lives on in the Australian spec fic community.

 

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