Tag Archives: Phyllis Gotlieb

Writing: Sunburst Awards Announce Winners

SUNBURST AWARD ANNOUNCES 2010 WINNERS OF ITS $1,000 LITERARY PRIZE

Below I’m just printing verbatim the press release for the Sunburst Award. Although there could only be one winner, all of these people are excellent Canadian writers and worth a read. Congratulations to Alyx Dellamonica and Hiromi Goto for their wonderful achievements.

Toronto (September 27, 2010) The Sunburst Award Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2010 adult award is Indigo Springs by A. M. Dellamonica (Tor, ISBN 0765319470) and the winner of its 2010 young adult award is Half World by Hiromi Goto (Puffin Canada, ISBN: 0670069655).

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award presented annually. It is based on excellence of writing and awarded to a Canadian writer who has published a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection any time during the previous calendar year. Named after the novel by Phyllis Gotlieb (1926-2009), one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction, the award consists of a cash prize of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion which incorporates a “Sunburst” logo, designed by Marcel Gagne.

The Sunburst jury said: “When Astrid returns to the town of Indigo Springs and to the house she has inherited from her father, accompanied by Sahara, the girlfriend she has a crush on, and Jake, her platonic buddy who has a crush on her, she finds that, far from being the dissipated drunk the town thought him, her father was a crafter of magical objects called ‘chantments,’ using the power of the mysterious spring of blue waters beneath the house. When Astrid and Sahara learn to use the power for themselves, they discover the magic is both addictive and transformative. As their power grows, their experiments escalate into an ecological crisis … and open an unbridgeable chasm between them.

“Original, passionate, lyrical and powerful, entertaining and terrifying at once, Dellamonica’s debut novel examines how both good intentions and good people can be overthrown by the temptations of power.”

About Half World, the Sunburst Jury said: “After her mother suddenly disappears, unpopular oddball Melanie Tamaki accidentally discovers that she is a refugee from Half World, a  Boschian third dimension between the worlds of Spirit and Flesh where dead people work out their karmic issues through chaos and entropy. Beyond the hypnagogic wonders of the Half World setting and the clever yet unobtrusive cosmology of its concept, this is a mother-daughter story, a fact which of itself sets the novel apart, for few such are written. Most YA novels focus on peer relationships; Half World does too, but Melanie’s best friend is a shape-shifting jade rat pendant.

“Goto’s style is gruesome rather than gory; neither horror nor dark fantasy but entirely original and unclassifiable. Richly imagined phantasmagoric scenes decorate every iridescent page. Goto’s stylish incendiary prose lifts Half World above the YA category; this novel crosses age boundaries and could just as easily be categorized as a book for adults.”

The jurors for the 2010 award were Don Bassingthwaite, Gemma Files, Susie Moloney, Ursula Pflug and Edward Willett. They selected five adult and five young adult shortlisted works as representing the finest of Canadian fantastic literature published during the 2009 calendar year.

The other shortlisted works for the 2010 adult award were:

The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint
Makers by Cory Doctorow
The Sunless Countries by Karl Schroeder
Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson

The other shortlisted works for the 2010 young adult award were:

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Amy By Any Other Name by Maureen Garvie
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
The Hunchback Assignment by Arthur Slade

A. M. Dellamonica lives in Vancouver. Hiromi Goto lives in Burnaby.

The 2011 Award jurors will be Julie Czerneda, Kate Freiman, Mark Leslie, Christopher Roden, and Alison Sinclair.

For additional information about the Sunburst Award, the nominees and jurors, as well as previous awards, eligibility and the selection process, please visit the website at www.sunburstaward.org.

Contact: Rebecca Simkin, Secretary at:
The Sunburst Award
2 Farm Greenway
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M3A 3M2

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Writing: Sunburst Awards Needs Help

The Sunburst Awards is a Canadian award for speculative fiction, which is judged by a panel as opposed to fans. They have only been going a few years and were named after Phyllis Gotlieb’s book by the same name. Two prizes are awarded annually, one for adult and one for young adult SF. It seems they are running into monetary issues for funding the prize. Below is the letter I received, so that if anyone wants to support the Sunburst, they can contact the organization. http://www.sunburstaward.org/

As a Canadian writer I can say I support and like Canadian speculative fiction for many reasons. We are small in population compared to the US. In fact our population could fit into California so we have many hurdles to the publishing industry. It still costs the same in production to make a book but if you’re selling to a percentage of 36 million people, it’s a much smaller group than the same percentage of the US population. Hence why we’ve often needed funding to keep various arts afloat, that the US doesn’t need.

Our writers are as unique as anyone else. Canadian themes can often include the landscape because it is such a large part of the nation’s psyche. We’re the second largest country on Earth after Russia, and we have a whole lot of space. Not only that, but most of our population is along our southern border because a lot of Canada is harsh and cold in winter.

If you are an editor, author, publisher or reader of the speculative community, then you can show your support by donating or by make a short video as outlined in the letter:

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award based on excellence of writing in two categories: adult and young adult. The awards are presented annually to Canadian writers with a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of speculative fiction published any time during the previous calendar year.

Unfortunately, the Sunburst Awards have run into a hiccup.  They do not have enough operating capital to keep going as they currently stand. This sad news comes at a particularly critical juncture in the award’s life–the operating committee is in the process of getting the Sunburst organization registered as a non-profit, and getting it “national arts organization” status.

As part of a fundraising drive to shepherd the Sunburst through this change of status and structure, we’d like to ask writers, editors, readers, and publishers from the speculative fiction community at large to record short (30 second to 2 minutes) videos that say what they think about Canadian speculative fiction. These can address a variety of topics: where the field has been; the state of field today; where the future might lie; favourite authors, etc. These will be posted individually on a YouTube channel (sunburstaward), but will also be edited in order to create a series of short videos to promote awareness of the fundraising campaign. A longer video will be shown at the opening remarks to the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium (http://specfic-colloquium.com).

To participate, send your name, contact information, video and a short release statement giving us permission to use the video to sunburstvideo@gmail.com by September 15, 2010.

For more information on the Sunburst Awards, visit http://www.sunburstaward.org/ or contact secretary.sunburst@bell.net.

To donate directly, visit
http://www.sunburstaward.org/content/levels-sponsorship.

Sincerely,
Helen Marshall
Sunburst Award Volunteer
Co-Organizer of the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

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Canadian SF Giant Dies

Phyllis Gotlieb left the mortal coil on July 14. She is probably not a name known to many in the world of speculative reading yet she was known by many writers. She was a steady writer; though not as prolific like Rob Sawyer or Charles de Lint, she was in her own way a pioneer in the field.

Judith Merril was known as the grandam of science fiction and Phyllis as the mother of Canadian SF. She began writing and publishing when there were fewer writers in the field altogether and very few women. Canada was a pipsqueak next to the US, yet Phyllis was making her mark. She was a founding member of SFWA, and the only Canadian at its time of inception in 1965.

Phyllis began writing when science fiction wasn’t as popular as it is now, but was a fan of the early pulps. She was known for her poetry and during a writing block in the 1950s her husband suggested she write science fiction. She sold her first novel Sunburst in 1964 and the Sunburst award is named after Phyllis’s book.

Phyllis was known for her no-nonsense, wry wit and intelligence. She was an active member of SF Canada and has been quoted as being instrumental in encouraging such young writers in their careers as Robert Sawyer, Cory Doctorow and Sandra Kasturi.

It’s no easy thing to be a writer in a country with a small population, be a woman, and be writing in a field that wasn’t very popular, yet Phyllis was pretty much the first Canadian speculative writer published and continued unabated, publishing her last novel in 2009. Her matter of fact Valentine’s poems to her husband Kelly were often amusing and hilarious. She gave insights that made one think deeper and longer about topics and sometimes cut straight to the chase without the sugary coating.

SF Canada will miss Phyllis greatly, and I’m glad that we had a chance last year to award her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Her contribution to SF and Canadian writers will be felt for a very long time.

Condolences and memorial messages can be added here: http://www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca/MemorialBook.aspx?snum=125855&sid=134769

An Interview with Phyllis from Challenging Destiny: http://www.challengingdestiny.com/interviews/gotlieb.htm

CBC’: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/07/15/phyllis-gotlieb.html

The Sunburst Award: http://www.sunburstaward.org/

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