Tag Archives: Sunburst Award

Writing Update

toys, childhood, nostalgia, fantasy, SF, fiction, short stories

Playground of Lost Toys is available through Amazon published by Exile Writers

My busy year has been full of many things, writing or other. Playground of Lost Toys, co-edited by Ursula Pflug and me, is up for an Aurora Award. The winners will be announced in August at When Words Collide in Calgary. I’ll be there, on several panels, a reading I think, and a blue pencil session where you can sign up and have a few pages edited by me. And kudos to authors in the anthology who have been nominated for other awards. Karen Abrahamson’s story “With One Shoe” was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award, and has been longlisted for a Sunburst Award in short fiction. Catherine A. MacLeod’s “Hide and Seek” and Dominik Parisien’s “Goodbye is a Mouthful of Water” are also longlisted for the Sunburst.

And mentioning Dominik Parisien, editor of Clockwork Canada also published by Exile Editions, my story “Buffalo Gals” is in the anthology. Airship Ambassador has done a four-part interview with me about the story (and with other authors as well). The first part is here and you can click in the right column of the site to get the other parts as well.

steampunk, cogs, clockwork, Buffalo Gals, fantasy

Clockwork Canada is available on Amazon and through Exile Editions. Steampunk stories about Canada’s revisioned history.

Other fiction that has been published this year includes “Freedom’s Just Another Word” free to read at Agnes and True, “Mermaid’s Curse” and “Paul Bunyan’s Toils” at SpeckLit. These two are drabbles, which means they’re 100 words exactly. They were fun to write and good practice for having the purest essence of a story. And just hitting the shelves for pre-order now is Alessandro Manzetti’s anthology Beauty of Death, which includes my story “Season’s End.” It’s chock full of stories and I quite like the cover.

horror, dark fantasy, death, speculative fiction, Season's End.

The Beauty of Death, edited by Alessandro Manzetti.

Earlier this year saw my poem “The Hedge Witch” come out in OnSpec along with an interview (that’s two interviews in a year), and “Book of Shadows” in Devolution Z #8. More recent, “Beltane Fires” came out in Eternal Haunted Summer’s Spring issue, and “Patchwork Girl” has just been released at The Future Fire. And two more poems “Short Sighted” and “Pilot Flight” have been released in Polar Borealis #2. Most of these poems and stories are free to read on the net so go and read great fiction and poetry and discover some new authors.

I have many more irons in fires, with more poetry and stories coming out this year but I’ll leave that for another post. I can say I’ve received approval to edit another anthology but it will be another year until you see info on that. In the meantime, I’m working on a poetry collection, and a fiction novel, and was honored to be one of the judges for Exile’s Carter V. Cooper short fiction prize. The longlist can be seen here. Gloria Vanderbilt will now choose from that list.

I’m diving back in to more fiction as well, so away I go. And if you’re a writer, don’t stop, never give up. Every skill takes practice and practice. I’m still practicing my craft and getting better all the time.

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Book Review: Over the Darkened Landscape

Canadian fiction, speculative fiction, Fairwood Press, fantasy, SF

Derryl Murphy’s collection is stellar.

When I go to writing/fan conventions I usually try to pick up a couple of books or magazines to purview. Last year, at When Worlds Collide in Calgary I picked up Derryl Murphy’s reprint collection Over the Darkened Lanscape. Derryl is a fellow Canadian writer and I know him somewhat (translation: like many writers, we’ve chatted writing over a drink or two). But I wasn’t sure I knew his writing. As well as Derryl, I wanted to help support Patrick Swenson’s Fairwood Press, out of Washington, who has always done a quality product.

The trade size book has an intriguing cover. I don’t know how it was made but I’ve never felt a cover that was so velvety, almost like skin. It holds up well to greasy paw prints as well. The cover art is not necessarily dark or even speculative in the SF/fantasy sense, and in a way it reflects Murphy’s stories perfectly. As well, this guy with a distorted face is sliced by a canvas that he peers over. When you read Derryl’s coven of stories you’ll find they are poignant perspectives of delving into a very human psyche, sometimes in extraordinary circumstances, sometimes in that visceral way where life tugs on you revealing its glories and sorrows.

I’ll try not to give away too much about the contents so you can enjoy the slow reveal of them. Murphy does a deft blending of science with the human machine and this is seen in the unique perspective of “Body Solar.” “Last Call” is not really speculative except for imagining what you would say to your wife while in space. Very poignant and one of the stories I had read before. “Frail Orbits” is a sad and tender handling about used up veterans. “Voyage to the Moon” is probably one of my favorites for a very fresh way of handling a fairy tale as science fiction. I won’t say more but even that might be too much. I really enjoyed the deft new twists.

“More Painful than the Dreams of Other Boys” deals with a world where kids don’t always grow up and one who does; growing pains always hurt. “The Day Michael Visited Happy Lake” is another tale about the reality we give our favorite childhood tales. One of the more disturbing tales, another that I had read before, “Clink Clank” examines a future where government farms out the feeding of prisoners and what children who don’t listen to their parents discover. It’s a cautionary tale of how one can place a command in someone’s thoughts. By saying “don’t touch that” we can no longer think of anything else but touching that object.

Louis Wain, H.G. Wells, paranormal, horror, speculative fiction

Wain’s paintings grew increasingly more demonic.

The collection covers vast reaches from the earliest times, to our future travels in space. But “Ancients of Earth” truly links the past and the present with a teacher in Dawson City at the time of the Gold Rush, who tries to save an ancient find, and is targeted by those ancient memories. A careful blend again of science and magic. “The Cats of Bethlem” begins with the true tale of H.G. Wells intervening in the commitment of Victorian artist Louis Wain to a sanitarium Wain was obsessed with drawing cats and it’s now believed that as he aged he grew more schizophrenic while his paintings of anthropomorphized cats grew more abstract and wild.  But what if….

Other tales take Canadian history and put it into a Gordian knot. “Canadaland” is a very tongue in cheek look at our (Canada’s) future. While the Canadians reading it will truly get the nuances, there are ample narrator-biased footnotes. Well worth a trip through our cultural foibles. “Northwest Passage” is a lonely tale of fighting the frozen winter environment that holds its ghosts close. “Cold Ground” travels into the vestiges of the Riel rebellion from the point of view of its surviving sorcerers. The title piece of the book, “Over the Darkened Landscape” was probably one of my other favorites with MacKenzie King (Canada’s 10th prime minister) and his talking dog who solve mysteries, including what happened to the missing painter Tom Thomson, who was one of the famous Group of Seven. Here, the painting is the medium, in all senses of the word.

These stories are both historic and speculative, fantastical and empathic. If I could choose only one word I would say that Derryl Murphy’s tales are visceral in pulling you along the emotional ride of  humans in odd or life threatening situations. Ingenuity, acceptance and compassion flavor Over the Darkened Landscape. I didn’t know what to expect originally but I found the stories resonated for a long time with me. It’s an excellent collection well worth reading. I’m not the only one of this opinion. Murphy’s collection has been nominated for this year’s prestigious Sunburst Award. Check it out.

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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: How to Make a Canadian a Star

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Okay, this might really be a small star but in Canada there are a few awards that recognize speculative writing. There is the juried Sunburst Award http://www.sunburstaward.org/, the Endeavour Award http://www.osfci.org/endeavour/index.php, which recognizes a book from the Pacific Northwest, either US or Canada (which is also juried), and the Prix Aurora Awards http://www.prix-aurora-awards.ca/wordpress/, which is voted on by readers and fans. The Auroras recognize professional and fan achievement and anyone who is a Canadian can nominate anyone who is a Canadian (even if living abroad) or a landed immigrant for the awards.

A book or magazine published in the US or any other country cannot be nominated for an Aurora but a Canadian who has a piece in it or has written the book can be. Canadian publishers can be nominated. And you, if you’re Canadian can nominate anyone who is eligible. There  is a list thought it may not be a complete list of eligible works by Canadians listed here: http://canadiansf.com/node/122.

I have four works that are eligible in two categories this year and the Aurora nominations are open until April 30th. Anyone can recommend a piece and the more recommendations, then the better the chance of ending up on the final ballot. To vote on the final ballot you do have to pay a nominal fee I believe and all the info can be found at the Aurora site.

My eligible works are:

Short Stories:

  • “An Ember Amongst the Fallen,” Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, March 2010.
  • “A Taste For Treasure,” Alison’s Wonderland, Edited by Alison Tyler, Harlequin Spice, July 2010.
  • “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha,” Horror Library Vol. 4, Edited by R.J. Cavender, Cutting Block Press, October 2010.

So far, I know that “An Ember” has received very good reviews and was called a “visionary masterpiece” by the Barnes & Noble reviewer, and  “Exegesis” has received several recommendations for a Stoker. It may not go farther than that but that’s a good start. The Horror Library anthology has also been nominated for a Black Quill award.

Poem:

  • “Of the Corn: Kore’s Innocence” Witches & Pagans #21, Edited by Anne Newkirk-Niven, BBI Media, Summer 2010.

The Evolve anthology would also be eligible under Best Related Work, or Best Novel. The categories are somewhat unclear still. But presumably the Aurora committee will sort that out. Of course anyone can nominate any of the works. I’ll be sending in recommendations in the next month, once I’ve had a chance to read some of the pieces. Below is the information from the Aurora site and the site can be accessed by the URL listed above.

THE CANADIAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY ASSOCIATION IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE:

The 2011 Prix Aurora Award Nominations will open Jan. 8th, 2011
Final nominations must be received no later than Midnight PST on Sunday, April 30th, 2011

[The French-language Auroras have been combined with the Prix Boréal with the new name – Prix Aurora Boréal and will be administered on behalf of CSFFA by SFSF Boréal through the Congres Boréal]

THREE STEPS TO NOMINATE :

  1. Register for membership [One-time, free, CSFFA registration on the Aurora site will enable nomination and voting for the Auroras for this and future years.]
  2. Verify your registration
  3. Use your new membership id# to Nominate

You may nominate via our easy to use online system or by manually filling in our downloadable nomination form and mailing it in to us.

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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: 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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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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