Tag Archives: Aurora Awards

When Words Collide Writing Convention

 

writing, conventions, When Words Collide, Chizine, publishers

Chizine’s table at the room party.

When Words Collide is a writing convention in Calgary, Alberta, organized by Randy McCharles and a host of helpers. This was its second year in the making and it’s growing too big for the Best Western it was held at. There were a host of panels and a moderate sized dealers room for various publishers to sell their wares. While there was a heavy accent on the speculative in the panels there were also mystery and romance panels. The romance writers had their own party and IFWA (Imaginative Fiction Writers Association) of Calgary was present.

There are cons that are professional track and some that have fan tracks. WWC is a professional track, with some readings, panels about writing and publishing and parties held by publishers. I combined a trip to Alberta to visit family and friends, and to meet some of the writers I knew through email but had not met in person. I could spend time with friends, participate in writing related fun, and yes, the Aurora Awards were held at this event.

I’m actually a bad convention goer. I go to conventions and talk and drink with

Brett Savory, writer, publsher, CZP, Chizine, When Words Collide, writing conventions

Brett Savory, writer, and publisher of CZP at one of the happy room parties.

people, visit the parties and maybe get to a panel or two. This time I was on a good size of panels so felt less inclined to go to other ones. I had intentions of going to a reading or sitting in on a panel discussion but I only made to part of one reading. I did do a combined reading with Bob Stallworthy who read some really excellent poetry, and Susan Forest, who read part of a story that is up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She was also up for a short story Aurora. I read two poems and part of a story, and not too good a reading since I was a little foggy from the parties the night before.

I also did a  live-action slush reading which involved people handing in the first page of a story. Guest of honor Jack Whyte would read the page in his lovely deep, accented baritone. When we as editors would have stopped reading a submission we put up our hands and said why. In truth I have a habit of trying to read through a full submission because sometimes a writer will hit their stride after a while and just needs some editing. The writing might be sucky but they idea might be great and it might be worth salvaging. The panel also had Susan Mac Gregor and Hayden Trenholm.

wriiter, When Words Collide, editor, Susan MacGregor

Writer and editor, Susan MacGregor

The panel I sat on about poetry and how not to make it boring turned out way better than I thought it would. Poetry has a bad rep of being inaccessible. Sandra Kasturi is a great moderator and there were enough people in the audience so it went well with input from the audience and the panel. The panelists meshed well and the audience seemed interested.

The last panel was on sex in fiction; should you put it in, how much when. We had a publisher of erotic fiction, a writer who writes young adult fiction, another who writes male to male erotica and I write short mostly hetero erotica. Many points were covered but I don’t think the panel flowed as well as the poetry panel. It felt a bit like we were trying to get across individual crusades as opposed to looking at how erotic and explicit scenes can be fit in all types of fiction if warranted. Still, the panel was intelligent and well-versed so the audience got their money’s worth. This panel was set against the publisher parties, but didn’t harm it too much.

The parties and the liquids were plentiful, and Bundoran, Tyche, Edge and ChiZine were some

Aurora Awards, nominee, Derryl Murphy, writer, writing convention

Derryl Murphy was one of the nominees in the Aurora novel category.

of the publishers throwing parties. Jack Whyte had to leave early Saturday morning due to an emergency but he was the hub of a scotch party, which involved four bottles of scotch and a lot of pretty interesting talk about sex and writing and all sorts of things. There wasn’t a drop left by the end of the night but there were a few green faces in the morning.

In all the convention was very enjoyable and I met many authors who I had only chatted with

Aurora Awards, writing convention, When Words Collide

The Aurora Awards were presented at the convention and the list can be found on their website.

in the past. This is a great convention for the new or established writer, and for fans who want to take in a few readings and the parties. Next year’s convention will be August 9-11, in Calgary.

The Aurora Awards ceremony was held Saturday night after the banquet. The list of winners can be found on the site. While I was nominated in poetry I didn’t win, but Helen Marshall won for Skeleton Leaves. Her poetry is excellent and anyone should pick up this gem published by Kelp Queen Press. It was worthy of winning.  Oh, and Randy McCharles won for his organization of the When Words Collide in 2011.

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Writing: Aurora Award Nominations

writing, Aurora Awards, poetry, fiction, speculative fiction

Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, Flickr

Again this year, I’m eligible for the Aurora Award, one of Canada’s speculative writing awards. My stories or poems have to first be nominated, and the top nominations in each category are put onto the voting ballot. That’s usually 3-5 nominees per category. To nominate and vote, one must be Canadian or ex-pat Canadian and must pay a $10 registration.

Nominations close on March 31st, and voting begins on April 16th. If you’re interested in registering, you can go to the Aurora site. To view a list of eligible Canadian works, go to on of these two sites:

http://www.canadiansf.com/node/161 or http://friendsmerrilcontest.com/2011-can-SF/

My works are listed here. Reprints are not allowed but fiction or poetry published in other countries is and two of my stories and two of my poems were published in the UK and US respectively.

*Anderson, Colleen. “A Book By Its Cover.” Mirror Shards. Thomas Carpenter, ed. Bad Moon Books, Aug. 2011.

Anderson, ColleenIt’s Only Words.” The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies (England). D.F. Lewis, ed. Nemonymous Press, June 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Tasty Morsels.” Polluto #8 Magazine (England). Victoria Hooper, ed. Aug., 2011.

*Anderson, Colleen. “A Good Catch.” Polu Texni. Dawn Albright, ed. April, 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Darkside.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. May, 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Shadow Relams.” Witches & Pagans #23. Anne Newkirk Niven, ed. BBI Media. Aug. 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Sundance.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. June, 2011.

And you can read my poem, “Queen of Heaven and Earth” now up on the Eternal Haunted Summer site.

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Writing Update: January 2012

publishing, speculative fiction, anthologies, poetry, fiction, stories

Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, Flickr

It’s been a while since I did much in the writing department. Last fall slowed down for various reasons. So here’s a recap of last year. First I have several works from last year eligible for this year’s Aurora Award, one of Canada’s speculative writing awards. If you’re Canadian (current, expat or living abroad) you are both eligible for works published and able to nominate or vote. I believe the $10 fee now covers both nominating and voting. A list of works by Canadians is viewable at the Canadian SF Works Database. My eligible works for last year are:

Short Fiction

Poems

  • A Good Catch.” Polu Texni. Dawn Albright, ed. April, 2011. (can be read online)
  • Darkside.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. May, 2011.
  • Shadow Relams.” Witches & Pagans #23. Anne Newkirk Niven, ed. BBI Media. Aug. 2011.
  • Sundance.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. June, 2011.

There were a few other things published last year but they were reprints. You can nominate me or any other Canadian writer until March 31st and you can vote starting on April 16th. Along that line there is a short review of the Mirror Shards anthology, and Des Lewis has gathered all the reviews for the Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies.

In the world of new, some time this year my poem “Visitation: Leda’s Lament” should be coming out in Bull Spec. “Gingerbread People” in Chilling Tales 2 has now been postponed until 2013. :( And my poem “Queen of Heaven and Earth” will be coming out in the spring issue of Eternal Haunted Summer.

I’ve been trying to finish my German steampunk story but still cannot come up with a good resolution, though it’s mostly done. I’m working on a tale about skin and psychopaths for another anthology if I can work out the structure. It’s being elusive. And still chipping at the novel. I also made January submission month and sent out quite a few poems and stories. Now I have to buckle down and get more

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 20-24

zombies, brains, food, dieting, eating, apocalypse, diet, dining

One way to solve the post-apocalyptic food shortage. From thinkgeek.com

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 20:

I had Chinese food leftovers again today. And somehow this last week had a lot of dining out in it, which isn’t that common for me. Dinner consisted of a half a flour tortilla with two slices of diminishing cheese, some sundried tomatoes and garlic. Later on, dinner consisted of calamari at the restaurant. And wine; did I forget to mention the wine? It helps the zombies go down.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 21:

Saturday; I almost cheated today. I was out so late last night, and ended up in complete lazy mode. I didn’t do much but watch movies. I even forewent eating until the evening. Then I thought, oh how easy it would be to order a pizza (I eat pizza about three or four times a year). But then I remembered I’d been out Friday, and I was going to Gibson’s Landing tomorrow, which would be more money and more eating out. So I made a stir fry with the last of the baby bok choy, carrots, onion, garlic, some slowly wilting chive tops, shrimp, jalapeno, fish and soy sauce. Notice that the range of vegetables is going down. Normally I would have had more greens in there like broccoli and green beans, plus mushrooms. I did use the last of the lotus root which is a fun, wheel-shaped vegetable. I think I’m not cooking it right though because the texture is like potato and maybe it should be fried crispy. That was served on red and brown rice.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 22:

I didn’t eat at home today at all since we were up early and off to catch the ferry to Gibson’s Landing. So breakfast was a bagel, lunch consisted of sharing nachos, and dinner was prawns in garlic butter. Oh, and with a lot of wine. I had a hangover by the time we got home at 8:00. This trip was to receive the nominee’s pin for the Aurora Awards. Last year, my poem was nominated. Tarol Hunt also won the Aurora in the graphic novel category for his book Goblins. It was pretty rainy in Gibson’s. We looked through a few shops, and chatted with people so it was a nice day trip. Gibson’s seems to have fewer zombies. I get the sense that they stumble up to the piers and fall into the water, becoming food for desperate fishes.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 23:

Breakfast of champions; some leftover rice with heated almond butter and a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips. Lunch was some spicy peanut soup that I had frozen. And guess what I found in the cupboard? Kraft Dinner in all its orange fakey cheesery goodness. Unlike many, I didn’t grow up with this rather bizarre food, since my mother didn’t do a lot of prepackaged stuff. So I cooked it up and mixed the powder of doom with water and margarine, then added in some stir fried broccoli, onion, sun-dried tomato and garlic.

apocalypse, end of the world. food, eating, starvation, zombies, diets, food supplies

There won't be any fresh food at the end of the world. http://www.apocalypse2011.com

I decided to make chocolate chip cookies tonight. I have a lot of eggs and don’t really eat them. I hadenough flour but when it got to the sugar I was short that half cup. I ended up crushing sugar cubes with a rolling pin to get the rest of the sugar. Now there is no more sugar (except cubes) but if I’m frugal I might get two weeks out of the cookies. I misjudged on my chocolate and I ran out, in January. Oh chocoholism, what shall we do now?

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 24:

Today’s breakfast was (cough) two cookies. Lunch was the other night’s stir fry. The not too exciting midweek crunch. Dinner was the left over Kraft dinner but I was still hungry. So I popped up the last minibag of microwave popcorn, and burned a third of it. And I was still hungry, so I had this (very) mini bag of Prez, a type of pretzel stick. Then I had some nuts I found, cracking about five hazelnuts and one walnut. And I had this Knudsen’s boysenberry soda. I really don’ t like sodas (or pop) that much and it didn’t really appeal. But it was one of those nights of bits and pieces.

Boredom with all that one has is still a strong factor. Going into the local co-op to buy toothpaste had me eying cactus pears lasciviously, giving broccoli the once over, running my fingers along the curved sides of tomatoes. But no, I’ve still resisted the buying temptation. I look at all those foods like a brain starved zombie but I shall prevail (and I still have a lot of food).

For those just popping in, the apocalypse happened on January, 1, 2012, just in time for people to freak out about the Mayan calendar. Of course, since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I will not be going out for dinner often.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will call my experiment  ended.
  5. I believe I’ll be able to eat relatively healthy at least until March.

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Writing: Aurora Award Nominees

The nominees for the Aurora Award were unveiled a week ago. These are Canada’s awards in the speculative genre and is voted on by the public. There is also the Sunburst Award, a juried award for adult and YA novels, as well as the Rannu competition for short fiction and poetry. Voting will begin in early June through the Aurora site and I believe there is a small charge like $5.  All ballots must be received by October 15, 2011.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve made it onto the nomination ballot in the poetry category. I thought one of my stories might have made it but there is very stiff competition and many more published stories than speculative poems. Still, it’s nice to add the small feather to my cap. I’ve also found out another poem “Shadow Realms” will be coming out in Witches & Pagans #23. It was my poem “Of the Corn: Kore’s Innocence” in Witches & Pagans #21,  that was nominated for the Aurora.

Other writing news is that my story “A Book By Its Cover,” a SF horror story, has just been accepted for the Mirrorshards anthology to be published by Bad Moon Books. I’ll find out more later. Now, a lovely list of talented Canadian nominees follows. Check out the writings of these people.

 Professional Awards

 Best English Novel

Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell, Great Plains Publications
Destiny’s Blood
by Marie Bilodeau, Dragon Moon Press
Stealing Home
by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press
Under Heaven
by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
Watch
by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

Best English Short Story

“The Burden of Fire” by Hayden Trenholm, Neo-Opsis #19
“Destiny Lives in the Tattoo’s Needle”
by Suzanne Church, Tesseracts Fourteen, EDGE
“The Envoy”
by Al Onia, Warrior Wisewoman 3, Norilana Books
“Touch the Sky, They Say”
by Matt Moore, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, November
“Your Beating Heart” b
y M. G. Gillett, Rigor Amortis, Absolute Xpress

Best English Poem / Song

“The ABCs of the End of the World” by Carolyn Clink, A Verdant Green, The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box
“Let the Night In” by Sandra Kasturi, Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, EDGE
“Of the Corn: Kore’s Innocence” by Colleen Anderson, Witches & Pagans #21
“The Transformed Man” by Robert J. Sawyer, Tesseracts Fourteen, EDGE
“Waiting for the Harrowing” by Helen Marshall, ChiZine 45

Best English Graphic Novel

Goblins, Tarol Hunt, goblinscomic.com
Looking For Group, Vol. 3 by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza
Stargazer, Volume 1 by Von Allan, Von Allan Studio
Tomboy Tara, Emily Ragozzino, tomboytara.com

Best English Related Work

Chimerascope, Douglas Smith (collection), ChiZine Publications
The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, DAW
Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, EDGE
On Spec, edited by Diane Walton, Copper Pig Writers Society
Tesseracts Fourteen, edited by John Robert Colombo and Brett Alexander Savory, EDGE

Best Artist (Professional and Amateur)

(An example of each artist’s work is listed below but they are to be judged on the body of work they have produced in the award year)

Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, “Brekky” cover art, On Spec Fall
Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications
Christina Molendyk, Girls of Geekdom Calendar for Argent Dawn Photography
Dan O’Driscoll, cover art for Stealing Home
Aaron Paquette, “A New Season” cover art, On Spec Spring

Fan/ Amateur Awards

Best Fan Publications

No award will be given out in this category due insufficient eligible nominees

Best Fan Filk

Dave Clement and Tom Jeffers of Dandelion Wine for “Face on Mars” CD
Karen Linsley; concert as SFContario Guest of Honour
Phil Mills, for “Time Traveller” (song writing)

Best Fan Organizational

Andrew Gurudata, organizing the Constellation Awards
Brent M. Jans, chair of Pure Speculation (Edmonton)
Liana Kerzner, chair of Futurecon (Toronto)
Helen Marshall and Sandra Kasturi, chairs of Toronto SpecFic Colloquium (Toronto)
Alex Von Thorn, chair of SFContario (Toronto)

Best Fan Other

Tom Jeffers, Fundraising, FilKONtario
John and Linda Ross Mansfield, Conception of the Aurora Nominee pins
Lloyd Penney, Articles, columns and letters of comment – fanzines

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Writing: Horror Library

Today, another wee chat about writing and reviews. Horror Library Vol. IV has had fewer reviews (and maybe I’ve post this already) than Evolve but there are still many who could review or post yet. Since both of these anthologies are on the long list for a Stoker award I figured I’d post some of the reviews here. My story has not been mentioned very much in the Horror Library volume either. Wah! So it goes for the little monkey.

http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/12/horror-library-volume-4-ed-by-rj.html

http://hellnotes.com/horror-library-volume-4-book-review did say:


Horror Library Vol. IV

Mental metamorphosis and mutation of the mundane are themes in “I Am Vision, I Am Death” by Erik Williams, and Colleen Anderson’s “Exegesis of The Insecta Apocrypha.” In the Williams story, dreams/visions blur with the seemingly substantive. Perception of identity is fragile and dicey. Persona pales when a mysterious hitchhiker catapults the central character into a twilight zone of recognition and acceptance. The final tale in the book belongs to Anderson: It is a doozy. Insects rule in this yarn. They are the protagonist’s objects of focus and desire. Obsession is taken to horrific heights, as the author weaves and

buzzes; bites and burrows; getting firmly under the skin.

http://www.zone-sf.com/wordworks/horlibv4.html

http://shroudmagazinebookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/horror-library-vol-4.html

For Evolve there are so many reviews that the central site to find most of them is here: http://www.vampires-evolve.com/NEWS_Page.html There are also many interviews with Nancy Kilpatrick on the same site. It may not list every review but has a goodly number and a few I hadn’t see before.Black Static’s magazine says:

Evolve

This is a book however in which the good outnumber the indifferent by a considerable margin, with a satisfying amount of stories that put moral dilemmas at their centre. ‘An Ember Amongst the Fallen’ by Colleen Anderson is one of the highlights of the collection. The story is set in a world of vampires, where humans are cattle and their masters discuss if they are capable of intelligent thought and feeling, and the worst crime is for a vampire to have sex with one of the beasts. It’s a clever reversal of traditional stereotypes, reminiscent in a way of Planet of the Apes, with a subtext about racism and the story brutal enough in places to horrify, both on the visceral level and intellectually.

Montreals Rover Arts http://roverarts.com/2010/05/stretching-the-vampiric-envelope/said:

In “An Ember Amongst The Fallen,” Colleen Anderson gives the reader an all-too-visual/tactile glimpse at a world where humans are used as cattle for food and blood – and the results when the metaphoric apartheid barriers are crossed.

And one more sample from A Novel Approach where he said:

An Ember Amongst the Fallen by Colleen Anderson was another troubling, yet clever story. In this version of reality, humans are relegated to the status of cattle and are harvested as such. It is ever so slightly reminiscent of Planet of the Apes in the role reversal it applies to humans as animals. If you are squeamish, you will find this story very disturbing. It was sometimes difficult to read but played interestingly to how we view our food.

So if you want to vote for Evolve or Horror Library IV or even me in the case of the Auroras http://www.prix-aurora-awards.ca/wordpress/, then I suggest reading these very good volumes (and not just because I’m in them. Writers and other artists do want to be known for their art. We monkeys of all sizes do have some vanity. All humans do.

And if you want to give input on the new cover of Evolve II then you can go to this site and vote. http://vampchix.blogspot.com/2011/02/which-appeals-more.html The two covers are called Banshee for the more blue colored one and Embrace for the darker cover. I’m not in the second volume because I didn’t submit anything. Just ran out of time with other projects.

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Writing: Aurora Award Nominees

I’ll mention right off that these are not the film related Aurora Awards but the Prix Aurora Awards voted on by Canadian fans/readers/writers for Canadian speculative fiction, art and fan achievement. They differ from SFWA’s Nebula Awards because only SFWA (Science Fiction [& Fantasy] Writers of America) membership can nominate a writer, and only the membership (made up of professional writers, editors and agents) can vote on the nominations. The Bram Stoker Awards, which I also mentioned yesterday are also nominated by the Horror Writers Association and the HWA membership votes on the finalists and winners.

Like the Hugos (for SF) and the World Fantasy Award, Auroras can be nominated by anyone. You can vote for the Hugos if you’re an attendee of the World Science Fiction convention and it is entirely fan based. World Fantasy Awards are juried for the final decision. For the Auroras, you must be Canadian to vote and pay the fee of $5.50 which is missing from the site until you register and pay to vote. http://www.prix-aurora-awards.ca/ This cost pays for the production of the awards and administration of the site. So the Aurora Awards are also fan based. There is also the Sunburst Award for Canadian speculative fiction, which is juried.

Recent years have seen a bit of changing of the categories for the Aurora, and next year will see a more succinct defining of categories since now we have magazines, poems and anthologies lumped together. Here are the nominees for the Aurora Awards and voting closes May 22. These awards are given for French and English works.

BEST NOVEL (English)
THE AMULET OF AMON-RA, by Leslie Carmichael, CBAY Books
DRUIDS, by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy
WAKE, Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada
STEEL WHISPERS, Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press
TERRA INSEGURA, Edward Willett, DAW Books

MEILLEUR ROMAN EN FRANÇAIS ( Best Novel In French )
Le protocole Reston. Mathieu Fortin, (Coups de tête)
L’axe de Koudriss. Michèle Laframboise, Médiaspaul
Suprématie. Laurent McAllister, (Bragelonne)
Un tour en Arkadie. Francine Pelletier, Alire [DETAILS]
Filles de lune 3. Le talisman de Maxandre. Élisabeth Tremblay, (De Mortagne)

BEST SHORT-FORM WORK IN ENGLISH:
“PAWNS DREAMING OF ROSES”, Eileen Bell, Women of the Apocalypse. Absolute Xpress
“HERE THERE BE MONSTERS” Brad Carson, Ages of Wonder, (DAW)
“LITTLE DEATHS” Ivan Dorin, Tesseracts Thirteen
“RADIO NOWHERE” Douglas Smith, Campus Chills
“THE WORLD MORE FULL OF WEEPING” Robert J. Wiersema, ChiZine Publications

MEILLEURE NOUVELLE EN FRANÇAIS ( Best Short-Form in French )
« Ors blancs » Alain Bergeron, (Solaris 171)
« De l’amour dans l’air » Claude Bolduc, (Solaris 172)
« La vie des douze Jésus » Luc Dagenais, (Solaris 172)
« Billet de faveur » Michèle   Laframboise, (Galaxies 41)
« Grains de silice » Mario Tessier, (Solaris 170)
« La mort aux dés » Élisabeth Vonarburg, (Solaris 171)

BEST WORK IN ENGLISH (OTHER) :
WOMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE   (the Apocalyptic Four) Editor, Absolute Xpress
AGES OF WONDER Julie E. Czerneda, & Robert St. Martin, Editors, DAW Books
NEO-OPSIS MAGAZINE, Karl Johanson, Editor
ON SPEC MAGAZINE, Diane Walton, Managing Editor, The Copper Pig Writers’ Society
DISTANT EARLY WARNINGS: CANADA’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION Robert J. Sawyer, Editor, Robert J. Sawyer books

MEILLEUR OUVRAGE EN FRANÇAIS (AUTRE) / (Best Work in French (Other)
Critiques. Jérôme-Olivier Allard, (Solaris 169-172)
Revue. Joel Champetier, éditeur, Solaris
Le jardin du general, Manga. Michele Laframboise, ,Fichtre, Montréal
Rien à voir avec la fantasy. Thibaud Sallé, (Solaris 169)
Chronique «Les Carnets du Futurible». Mario Tessier, (Solaris 169-171)

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT :
Kari-Ann Anderson, for cover of “Nina Kimberly the Merciless”,Dragon Moon Press
Jim Beveridge, “Xenobiology 101: Field Trip’” Neo-opsis #16
Lar de Souza, “Looking for Group” online Comic
Tarol Hunt, “Goblins”. Webcomic
Dan O’Driscoll, Cover of Steel Whispers , Bundoran Press

FAN ACCOMPLISHMENT (Fanzine):
Jeff Boman, The Original Universe
Richard Graeme Cameron,.WCFSAZine
Dale Speirs, Opuntia
Guillaume Voisine, éd. Brins d’Éternité
Felicity Walker, BCSFAzine

FAN ACCOMPLISHMENT (Organization) :

Renée Benett, for “In Spaces Between” at Con-Version 25
Robbie Bourget, and René Walling, Chairs of “Anticipation”, the 67 th WorldCon
David Hayman, organization Filk Hall of Fame
Roy Miles, work on USS Hudson Bay Executive
Kirstin Morrell, Programming for Con-Version 25

FAN ACCOMPLISHMENT (Other) :

Roy Badgerow, Astronomy Lecture at USS Hudson Bay
Ivan Dorin, “Gods Anonymous” (Con-Version 25 radio play)
Judith Hayman and Peggi Warner-Lalonde organization, Filk track @Anticipation
Tom Jeffers and Sue Posteraro, Filk Concert, Anticipation
Lloyd Penney, Fanwriting

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Writing: Prix Aurora Awards

In speculative fiction (horror, fantasy, SF, crossgenre, etc.) in Canada there are several awards. One is the Prix Aurora Award, voted on by anyone who is Canadian, to choose the best in short and long fiction, art as well as fan achievements. There are awards for English and French works.

The award categories are under revision and the site is being updated but for this year these are the categories:

  • Best Long Form (English & French)
  • Best Short Form (English & French)
  • Best Work in English & French, Other
  • Artistic Achievement
  • Fan Achievement  (Fanzine)
  • Fan Achievement (Organizational)
  • Fan Achievement (Other)

Long form constitutes any novels over 40,000 words. Short form includes novellas, novelettes, short stories and flash fiction, basically anything under 40,000 words. Other Work is an unfortunate category that will be split up in the future. It includes magazines, poems, graphic novels, screenplays, etc. The rest is self-explanatory.

Anyone who is Canadian can nominate a work. This first step has a mail-in deadline of February 5th, or an email deadline of February 15th. Works nominated are tallied and the top 5 go on the Aurora ballot. People can then pay to vote for the shortlisted works. The awards are given out at Canvention in May so voting will be some time before then once the works have been tabulated.

If you would like to nominate Canadian works published in 2009, you can go to:  http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/ or to AuroraNominationForm. I have three pieces eligible. Two poems, “The Drowning Ones” in OnSpec #77, “Finding Dionysus” published in Barton College’s Crucible magazine,  and the story “The Boy Who Bled Rubies” published in Don Juan and Men.  If anyone would like to read my pieces, to decide if you want to nominate (not that that would mean I get on the ballot) you can comment here I’ll send you the file.

Some but not all of Canadian authors’ works are listed on the Canadian SF Database (because each author enters their work they may be listed in different ways or not yet listed). The works go by year. http://www.canadiansf.com/ So that’s it, go and nominate some Canadian works of speculative fiction for the Prix Aurora Award.

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Writing: Nominations and Shortlists

On one of my writers’ lists we’ve been discussing when you should list that you’ve been nominated, shortlisted, longlisted or noted in various writing awards and venues. There are many different types of writing awards/honors. For some, the publisher or the writer might send in a copy of their story/novel/poem to be considered for an award. Sometimes there is a submission/registration fee.

Most literary magazines have contests and most of those have an entry fee. An author might win first, second or third place or receive an honorable mention. An award might call for nominations from a select membership or from readers (or publishers) and this could be quite open. Therefore I could list that my book had been nominated for an Aurora award (one of Canada’s speculative fiction awards voted on by readers) and it would mean that someone, including me, may have nominated the book. However, the pieces need so many nominations to make it to the shortlist. If I was shortlisted, in this case, I could say I was shortlisted or nominated for an Aurora.

In another case, my story might be shortlisted but in that version I may have submitted my story for consideration. A panel of judges or readers would then sort through and narrow the selection to a few. It might be the same judges or different ones, or the readership/members who then vote on a select few pieces and the winner is then decide. Stories and fiction for the World Fantasy Awards go through a selection process that uses jury and members. Past or current members of the World Fantasy convention (there is a set number of years that you can vote if you don’t currently attend) can nominate works. There are five spots in the final selection process. Two are selected from the member nominations and three from the jury. The judges, a panel of professional writers and editors, then make their selection. Whether they arm wrestle, discuss or just vote, I’m not sure.

The point is that there are numerous types of awards but an author who lists themselves as being shortlisted or nominated when all they did was submit their work for consideration certainly does not count as an accolade. It was pointed out that one person had listed him/herself as being nominated for a Pulitzer when in fact all that they’d done was submit copies of the book with the registration fee. That’s not only lying but puts a poor light on those who are actually shortlisted if every two-penny author feels they can say the same thing. It’s the same as if a massage therapist claimed to be a neurologist. Not the same thing at all.

There are a few awards out there or “Best of” collections where the editors tend to scan everything published. If there are small or obscure presses it behooves the publisher and the author to let the editors know. Recognition of award winners and nominees can be helpful to a writer’s career and to the publisher.

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