Notions Unlimited: new genre bookshop opens – news

The good news for fans of Australian dark fiction — but most importantly, for Melbournian fans — is that a new genre bookstore has opened in the Victorian suburb of Chelsea.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop, is the twisted brainchild of Chief Zombologist, Chuck McKenzie; award-nominated author, Aurealis and Australian Shadows judge, former reviewer for HorrorScope, Chief Editor of the zombie-themed NecroScope blog, and a well known figure in the Australian dark fiction community.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop specialises in science fiction, fantasy and horror titles, as well as paranormal romance, media tie-ins (Doctor Who, Star Trek, The Walking Dead, etc), graphic novels, manga comics, role-playing supplies, related art and non-fiction publications, and a selection of esoteric and New Age books.

They have a major focus upon Australian small-press, stocking pretty much the entire back-catalogue of titles from Ticonderoga, Twelfth Planet Press, Mirrordanse, Couer de Lion, LegumeMan and Brimstone (including copies of Black Magazine!), plus selected publications from Agog!, Tasmaniac, Aurealis/Chimaera and Fablecroft. They’ve even managed to track down copies of some hard-to-get titles from Martin Livings (Carnies), Guy Salvidge (Yellowcake Springs), A. K. Wrox, Leigh Blackmore, and Rocky Wood.

That’s a pretty extensive list for those looking to dive head first into what Australian speculative fiction has to offer, or even if you just want to fill the gaps in an existing collection.

In keeping with owner Chuck McKenzie’s usual community spirit, Notions Unlimited Bookshop offers free meeting and seating facilities to genre groups (such as book groups, writing circles and gaming collectives). They also support local genre authors and publishers through regular signings and book launches, and future in-store events are rumoured to include community open days and mini-conventions.

From all indications, Notions Unlimited Bookshop is going to be much more than just a bookstore — it’s a place for the genre community to gather and support the Australian speculative fiction industry — and Thirteen O’Clock wishes owner Chuck Mckenzie and his staff all the best for its success.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop can be found at Shop 9, Chelsea Beach Arcade, 426 Nepean Hwy, Chelsea, VIC 3196.

Or, you  can catch up with them on their blog or on facebook and twitter.

Ditmar Awards open for nominations

The Australian spec-fic fan-voted Ditmar Awards are now open for nominations. Any active fan or member of Continuum can vote. Continuum is the Melbourne SF convention, which is this year’s NatCon, and will be happening in June. The Ditmars are always awarded during the annual NatCon. You can vote electronically here: and electronic voting is open until April 15th.

All the rules and details are here:

There’s also a massive, though probably not comprehensive, list of eligible works here: This list is a good place to start reminding yourself of what you read and enjoyed last year.

Please do get active and vote for any work you really enjoyed in 2011. The more people that get involved and vote, the more realistic and honest the resulting awards. When it comes to fan-voted (as opposed to judging panel) awards, it’s important to get as many votes in as possible. And voting really couldn’t be easier. So if you’ve read something you enjoyed, take a few minutes and vote for it. Make your voice heard and give that good work the recognition it deserves.