2017 Aurora Awards

The 2017 Aurora Awards were announced September 23 at Hal-Con 2017 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The award is for exceptional Canadian literary and fan works. The recipients were determined by a vote of the members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

Best Novel

  • Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

Best Young Adult Novel

  • Icarus Down by James Bow, Scholastic Canada

Best Short Fiction

  • Marion’s War by Hayden Trenholm, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media

Best Poem/Song

No award was given out in this category in 2017 due to insufficient eligible nominees

Best Graphic Novel

  • Angel Catbird, Volume One by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillian, Dark Horse Books

Best Related Work

  • Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media

Best Visual Presentation

  • Arrival, director, Denis Villeneuve, Paramount Pictures

Best Artist

  • Samantha M. Beiko, cover to Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts

Best Fan Writing and Publications

  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Organizational

  • Randy McCharles, chair, When Words Collide, Calgary

Best Fan Related Work

  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

Best of the Decade: Also announced was the winner of a special category for works published between January 2001 and December 2010.

  • The Neanderthal Parallax, Robert J. Sawyer, Tor Books

Finalists were chosen by an eight-person jury from across Canada, with the winner selected by a vote of the membership.

2017 Aurora Award Ballot

The 2017 Aurora Awards ballot was released today, May 27. The award is for works done in 2016 by Canadians, and the nominees are selected by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. There are five nominees in each category, with additional works included where there was a tie for fifth place.

Best Novel

  • Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
  • Company Town by Madeline Ashby, Tor Books
  • The Courier by Gerald Brandt, DAW Books
  • The Nature of a Pirate by A.M. Dellamonica, Tor Books
  • Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada
  • Stars like Cold Fire by Brent Nichols, Bundoran Press

Best Young Adult Novel

  • Day of the Demon by Randy McCharles, CreateSpace
  • Door into Faerie by Edward Willett, Coteau Books
  • Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun, Harlequin Teen
  • Icarus Down by James Bow, Scholastic Canada
  • Mik Murdoch: Crisis of Conscience by Michell Plested, Evil Alter Ego Press
  • The Wizard Killer – Season One by Adam Dreece, ADZO Publishing

Best Short Fiction

  • Age of Miracles by Robert Runté, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Frog Song by Erika Holt, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Living in Oz by Bev Geddes, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Marion’s War by Hayden Trenholm, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal el-Mohtar, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press
  • When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, A Ti-Jean Story by Ace Jordyn, On Spec Magazine

Best Poem/Song

No award will be given out in this category in 2017 due to insufficient eligible nominees

Best Graphic Novel

  • Angel Catbird, Volume One by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillian, Dark Horse Books
  • Crash and Burn by Kate Larking and Finn Lucullan, Astres Press
  • Earthsong by Crystal Yates, Webcomic
  • It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
  • Weregeek by Alina Pete, Webcomic

Best Related Work

  • Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction edited by Dominik Parisien, Exile Editions
  • Enigma Front: Burnt, managing editor Celeste A. Peters, Analemma Books
  • Lazarus Risen edited by Hayden Trenholm and Mike Rimar, Bundoran Press
  • Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media
  • Superhero Universe (Tesseracts Nineteen) edited by Claude Lalumiére and Mark Shainblum, EDGE

Best Visual Presentation

  • Arrival, director, Denis Villeneuve, Paramount Pictures
  • Orphan Black, Season 4, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions
  • Killjoys, Season 2, Michelle Lovretta, Temple Street Productions
  • Dark Matter, Season 2, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Prodigy Pictures
  • Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9, Peter Mitchell and Christina Jennings, Shaftesbury Films

Best Artist

  • Samantha M. Beiko, cover to Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts
  • James Beveridge, covers and poster art
  • Melissa Mary Duncan, body of work
  • Erik Mohr, covers for ChiZine Publications and Company Town for Tor Books
  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press

Best Fan Writing and Publications

  • Amazing Stories Magazine, weekly column, Steve Fahnestalk
  • BCSFAzine #512 to #519, edited by Felicity Walker
  • The Nerd is the Word, articles by Dylan McEvoy
  • OBIR Magazine #4, edited by R. Graeme Cameron
  • Silver Stag Entertainment, edited by S.M. Carriére
  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Organizational

  • Samantha Beiko and Chadwick Ginther, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Winnipeg
  • R. Graeme Cameron, chair, VCON 41, Surrey, BC
  • Sandra Kasturi and Angela Keeley, co-chairs, 2016 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
  • Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, executive, Can*Con 2016, Ottawa
  • Randy McCharles, chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, and Nicole Lavigne, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
  • Sandra Wickham, chair, Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, BC

Best Fan Related Work

  • Ron S. Friedman, Villains and Conflicts presentation, When Words Collide, Calgary Comic Expo, and File 770
  • Kari Maaren, Concert, SFContario
  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

Best of the Decade This is a special category for this year’s awards for works published between January 2001 and December 2010. Note: Items in italics are for multi-volume works. Multi-volume stories were considered if they began prior to 2001 but ended before or close to 2011. We defined a multi-volume story as one with a continuous narrative. Finalists were chosen by an eight-person jury from across Canada. The winner will be chosen by our membership’s votes.

 

  • Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson, Tor Books
  • The Blue Ant Trilogy by William Gibson, Berkley
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson, Tor Books
  • The Neanderthal Parallax, Robert J. Sawyer, Tor Books
  • The Onion Girl, Charles de Lint, Tor Books
  • Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada

Pixel Scroll 3/17/17 Nomination Street

(1) PATEL SURFACES, THEN SUBMERGES. A new Sunil Patel story that went online two days ago has been taken down. In its place, David Steffen, editor of Diabolical Plots (and the Long List Anthology) has posted “An Apology, Regarding Sunil Patel’s Story”.

On March 15th, I sent a story to Diabolical Plots publishing newsletter subscribers written by Sunil Patel. The story had been purchased and contracted in August 2016, before stories about Sunil’s abusive behavior surfaced (in October). I neglected to remove the story from the schedule and it went to the inbox of 182 subscribers of the newsletter.

This was not the right choice for me to make. Diabolical Plots is here to serve the SF publishing community, and I am sorry for my lapse in judgment. I can’t unsend an email, but the story will be removed from the publishing lineup scheduled on the Diabolical Plots site (and replaced with a different story if I can work it out). If anyone wishes to provide further feedback, please feel free to email me at editor@diabolicalplots.com.

The incident prompted Sarah Hollowell to tweet –

(2) SLICING UP THE PIE. New from Author Earnings, “February 2017 Big, Bad, Wide & International Report: covering Amazon, Apple, B&N, and Kobo ebook sales in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand”.

Greg Hullender says “This report just came out, and it’s fascinating. Although it doesn’t have the breakdown by genre (so probably not useful for File770 yet) it shows big-five publishers continuing to lose ground in e-book sales—mostly to small/medium publishers, not to independents.”

Today, with the click of a button, any author can start selling any title they wish simultaneously in 12 country-specific Amazon stores, 36 country-specific Kobo ebook stores, and over 40 country-specific Apple ebook stores.

As of yet, most of these non-English-language ebook markets are still fairly early-stage. But that’s not true of the four other major English-language markets outside the US. In those markets, too, as we’ll see, a substantial share of all new-book purchases has already gone digital. And, as we’ll also see, untracked, non-traditional suppliers make up a high percentage of ebook sales in those countries as well. Which means that these other digital markets have also been consistently underestimated and under-reported by traditional publishing-industry statistics.

(3)  IN MEMORY YET GREEN. A St.Patrick’s Day coincidence? Cat Rambo has a new entry in her Lester Dent retrospective — “Reading Doc Savage: The Sargasso Ogre”.

Our cover is mainly green, depicting Doc poling a log in what have to be anti-gravity boots because there is no way he would maintain his balance otherwise, towards an abandoned ship. As always, his shirt is artfully torn and his footwear worthy of a J. Peterman catalog.

In this read, book eighteen of the series, we finally get to see another of Doc’s men, electrical engineer Long Tom. I do want to begin with a caveat that this book starts in Alexandria and initially features an Islamic villain, Pasha Bey; while I will call out some specific instances, this is the first of these where the racism is oozing all over the page and betrays so many things about the American popular conception of the Middle East. I just want to get that out of the way up front, because it is a big ol’ problem in the beginning of this text….

(4) DRIVING THE TRAINS OUT OF IRELAND. On the other hand, our favorite train driver James Bacon says explicitly that the new Journey Planet is “Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day.”

This is our second issue looking at comic connections, in one way or another, to Ireland. I thought you would be interested, and hope you are.

Co-edited with ‘Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Michael Carrolll, this issue features an interview with Steve Dillon when he was living in Dublin, and an interview with Neil Bailey who co-edited The comic fanzine Sci Fi Adventures where Steve’s comic work began. We have an interview with Steve Moore about Ka-Pow the first British comic Fanzine and the first British Comic Con. We have and extended looks at the fan art of Paul Neary and fan and professional art of Steve Dillon and we reprint a piece about Steve Dillon that I wrote for Forbidden Planet.

This fanzine is all about histories, stories and in many respects is an oral history.  We have a lovely cover by co–editor Michael Carroll.

I’ve loved reading and writing about the comic connections, interesting, yet I feel historically significant happenings. The Fanzine connection, the Irish Connection, the comics connection. It is all connected and it is fascinating fun to find out about them. I am exceptionally graceful to Neil Bailey, Alan Moore, Paul Neary, Dez Skinn, Michael Carroll, Paul Sheridan, and of course to my co-editors Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Michael Carroll and Christopher J Garcia who have grafted very hard on this one. My thoughts are with those who mourn Steve Dillon and Steve Moore and I hope we remember them well here.

(5) FLEET OF FOOT. A scientific study from the University of Felapton Towers, “What Are Pixel Scrolls About?”, shows I haven’t been running nearly as much Bradbury material as I thought. So maybe I don’t really need the excuse of St. Patrick’s Day to plug in this adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Irish story “The Anthem Sprinters.”

(6) AURORA AWARDS CALENDAR. The Aurora Awards calendar is up.

Nominations for the 2017 awards will open on March 31, 2017….

Online nominations must be submitted by 11:59:59 PM EDT on May 20th, 2017.

Voting will begin on July 15, 2017. Online votes must be submitted by 11:59:59 EDT on September 2nd.

The Aurora awards will be presented during at Hal-Con / Canvention 37 on the weekend of September 22-24, 2017 in Halifax.

(7) NEW MANDEL STORY. Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, in collaboration with Slate’s Future Tense channel, just published “Mr. Thursday,” a new short story by Emily St. John Mandel (author of Station Eleven) about time travel, determinism, and unrequited longing. Read it (free) here, along with a response essay, “Can We Really Travel Back in Time to Change History?” by Paul Davies, a theoretical physics professor at Arizona State University and author of the book How to Build a Time Machine.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 17, 1755 – The Transylvania Land Company bought what became the state of Kentucky for $50,000, from a Cherokee Indian chief.

(9) A CUTTHROAT BUSINESS. Matt Wallace’s award suggestion rapidly morphed into a vision for a deadly cage match competition.

(10) PEWPEW. In Myke Cole’s interview by Patrick St.Denis the author does not hold back.

Given the choice, would you take a New York Times bestseller, or a World Fantasy/Hugo Award? Why, exactly?

Hands down an NYT bestseller. Nobody, apart from a tiny cabal of insiders and SMOFs, cares about the Hugos or the WFA. Winning them does help expand your audience and sell more books, but if you hit the list that means you already ARE selling more books. I come out of fandom, and consider myself a dyed-in-the-wool nerd, but I want to write for the largest audience possible, and you can only hit the list if you’re selling *outside* the traditional and limited genre audience. Added to this, both sets of awards, but moreso the Hugos, have been so mired in petty controversy that I’m not sure I want to be associated with them anymore.

You are now part of the reality TV show Hunted on CBS. Tell us a bit more about the show and how you became part of the hunters’ team.

Hunted is the most elaborate game of hide-n-seek ever made. It pits 9 teams of ordinary Americans against 34 professional investigators, all of us drawn from the intelligence, military and law enforcement communities, each of us with an average of 20+ years experience. We have state of the art equipment and full powers of law enforcement. Any one of the teams that can evade us in 100,000 square miles of the southeastern US for 28 days wins $250,000.

Most folks know that I worked in intelligence for many years, but most don’t know that my specific discipline was as an SSO-T (Special Skills Officer – Targeter) in the Counterterrorism field. Counterterrorism Targeting is just a fancy way of saying “manhunting” and I guess I built a reputation, because when CBS started making inquiries, my name came up as a go-to guy, and I got a random call out of the blue asking me if I wanted to be on TV.

It was (and is, because the show is running now) and amazing experience. I’m most pleased that it’s a window into who we are and how we work for the general public. Police relations with the public always benefit from visibility, and I think this show is a great move in that direction.

(11) DIY CORNER. Charon Dunn knows a good interview helps publicize a book. But who, oh who, could she get to do the interview?

Sieging Manganela is a short novel (just under 65k words) which takes place in the Sonny Knight universe, concerning a young soldier named Turo who, while laying siege to a city, makes a connection with a girl who lives inside.

IMAGINARY INTERVIEWER THAT I MADE UP (BECAUSE I AM AN ASOCIAL FRIEND-LACKING HERMIT) TO ASK ME QUESTIONS THAT I CRIBBED FROM REAL INTERVIEWS WITH SUCCESSFUL WRITERS: So tell me about your protagonist.

CD: Arturo “Turo” Berengar has lots of references to bears in his name, because he’s a strong stoic bear most of the time. His friends used to call him Turo, but they all died, and he has a massive case of stress and grief and survivor’s guilt and depression as a result. He’s trying to hold it together until the war ends, to keep his blind mother receiving benefits. He’s a bundle of stress but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at him. He conceals it well. He is seventeen years old….

II: Hard military science fiction, then?

CD: You could call it that, but the notion of me writing in that genre blows my mind and I’ll probably never do it again. Sieging Manganela came from me doing NaNoWriMo in the middle of being blocked on the Sonny Knight trilogy, which I’d classify as YA science fiction adventure. Sieging Manganela is darker and closer to horror, which is a genre I adore yet can’t seem to write – until I tried coming at it from a military science fiction angle. And yes, in fact it is military science fiction in a salute to Heinlein kind of way.

And, since most of the point of view characters are teens, I guess it counts as YA. So, military horror YA bioengineering dystopian science fiction adventure, hold the starships.

I will note that the research for it involved some grueling reading about soldiers, and specifically child soldiers, because I wanted to treat my soldier characters honorably. I love soldiers, especially when they’re happy and healthy and still have all their parts attached and are goofing off drawing pictures and drinking beer and telling each other about the awesome lives they’re going to have after they’re done being soldiers. There are some villains in this tale, and they are not soldiers.

That said, yeah, there’s kind of an anti-war theme running through it, but no preachy granola hogwash and no disrespecting of warriors. In the same spirit of trigger-disclosure, there’s minimal sex, some extreme violence and no animal cruelty. There’s at least one nonstr8 character but since it’s not relevant to the plot it’s undisclosed, and you’ll have to guess who.

The jacket copy is here. And Cora Buhlert ran the cover together with an excerpt from the book at Speculative Ficton Showcase. There’s even a photo of Charon with, as she calls it, “my humongous SJW credential.”

(12) THE CREATOR. With the impetus of the American Gods series, Neil Gaiman is becoming a television maven.

The comic book legend will develop projects from his library as well as original ideas.

Neil Gaiman is pushing deeper into television.

The creator and exec producer of Starz’s upcoming American Gods has signed a first-look TV deal with FremantleMedia.

Under the multiple-year deal, Gaiman will be able to adapt any of his projects — from novels and short stories — as well as adapt other projects and original ideas.

“Working with my friends at FremantleMedia on shepherding American Gods to the screen has been exciting and a delightful way to spend the last three years,” Gaiman said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “I’ve learned to trust them, and to harness their talents and enthusiasm, as they’ve learned to harness mine. They don’t mind that I love creating a ridiculously wide variety of things, and I am glad that even the strangest projects of mine will have a home with them. American Gods is TV nobody has seen before and I can’t wait to announce the specifics behind what we have coming up next.”

(13) ALL ABOARD! The Digital Antiquarian tells how Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley cooked up Railroad Tycoon.

The problem of reconciling the two halves of Railroad Tycoon might have seemed intractable to many a design team. Consider the question of time. The operational game would seemingly need to run on a scale of days and hours, as trains chug around the tracks picking up and delivering constant streams of cargo. Yet the high-level economic game needs to run on a scale of months and years. A full game of Railroad Tycoon lasts a full century, over the course of which Big Changes happen on a scale about a million miles removed from the progress of individual trains down the tracks: the economy booms and crashes and booms again; coal and oil deposits are discovered and exploited and exhausted; cities grow; new industries develop; the Age of Steam gives ways to the Age of Diesel; competitors rise and fall and rise again. “You can’t have a game that lasts a hundred years and be running individual trains,” thought Meier and Shelley initially. If they tried to run the whole thing at the natural scale of the operational game, they’d wind up with a game that took a year or two of real-world time to play and left the player so lost in the weeds of day-to-day railroad operations that the bigger economic picture would get lost entirely.

Meier’s audacious solution was to do the opposite, to run the game as a whole at the macro scale of the economic game. This means that, at the beginning of the game when locomotives are weak and slow, it might take six months for a train to go from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. What ought to be one day of train traffic takes two years in the game’s reckoning of time. As a simulation, it’s ridiculous, but if we’re willing to see each train driving on the map as an abstraction representing many individual trains — or, for that matter, if we’re willing to not think about it at all too closely — it works perfectly well. Meier understood that a game doesn’t need to be a literal simulation of its subject to evoke the spirit of its subject — that experiential gaming encompasses more than simulations. Railroad Tycoon is, to use the words of game designer Michael Bate, an “aesthetic simulation” of railroad history.

(14) CAT MAN DUE. Zoe Saldana enlists the help of Stephen Hawking to solve a quantum riddle in order to get Simon Pegg’s cat back in Quantum is Calling. Released by a CalTech production group in December 2016.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, James Bacon, Cat Rambo, Joey Eschrich, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

2016 Aurora Awards

Front row from left:  Robert J. Sawyer for Derek Newman-Stille, Hayden Trenholm, Randy McCharles, Clifford Samuels for Naru Dames Sundar   Back row from left: Paul Carreau for Derek Newman-Stille, Samantha Beiko for Erik Mohr, Sandra Kasturi for Vincent Marcone, Eve Silver for John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Amber van Dyk for Leah Bobet, Bill Robson for Kelly Robson and A.M. Dellamonica   Photo taken by: Michaela Ritchie

Front row from left: Robert J. Sawyer for Derek Newman-Stille, Hayden Trenholm, Randy McCharles, Clifford Samuels for Naru Dames Sundar
Back row from left: Paul Carreau for Derek Newman-Stille, Samantha Beiko for Erik Mohr, Sandra Kasturi for Vincent Marcone, Eve Silver for John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Amber van Dyk for Leah Bobet, Bill Robson for Kelly Robson and A.M. Dellamonica
Photo taken by: Michaela Ritchie

The winners of this year’s Aurora Awards were announced at When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta. There were over 200 people at the ceremony held on Saturday, August 13.

The Aurora Awards are given to Canadian literary and fan works that members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) feel are exceptional.

Best English Novel

A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica, Tor Books

Best English YA Novel

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet, Scholastic Canada/Clarion Books

Best English Short Fiction

“Waters of Versailles” by Kelly Robson, Tor.com

Best English Poem/Song

Origami Crane / Light Defying Spaceship” by Naru Dames Sundar, Liminality, Issue 5 Autumn

Best English Graphic Novel

The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone, ChiZine Publications

Best English Related Work

Second Contacts edited by Michael Rimar & Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press

Best Visual Presentation

Orphan Black, Season 3, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions

Best Artist

Erik Mohr, covers for ChiZine Publications

Best Fan Publication

Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Organizational

Randy McCharles, Chair, When Words Collide, Calgary

Best Fan Related Work

Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

This year the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) inaugurated a new category: Best Visual Presentation. It is for Television, Film and Stage by Canadians.

And, after 25 years, CSFFA has adopted a new Aurora trophy design.  The etched art was created by Bernard Reischl and Clifford Samuels.  The trophy has a stone base with a curved jade green glass upper.

Clifford Samuels, Aurora Awards administrator holding trophy at this year’s Nominee Pin ceremony.  Photo taken by Michaela Ritchie

Clifford Samuels, Aurora Awards administrator holding trophy at this year’s Nominee Pin ceremony. Photo taken by Michaela Ritchie

Pixel Scroll 4/1/16 There Has to Be a Trophy in Here Somewhere

It’s the First of April you know.

Bruce Campbell as Doctor Who

(1) PHAKE PHANS LISTEN UP. We predict there will be a journey in your future.

PHLEGMATIC PHLEAS ANNOUNCE TPP PHUND 2016 NOMINATIONS OPEN Nominations for the Phlegmatic Phleas’ TPP Phund (Trans-Planetary Phan Phund) are open. Note: Trip awards are one way only. Another note: Current funding is available for up to a dozen winners. Fifth note: You may nominate slates rather than individuals. Pre-Fifth note: Nominate someone you feel has earned the right to go far. Post-Fifth note: Sponsored by the “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” Phoundation.

(2) A TALL TAIL. The Aurora Awards left a category out of today’s announcement: “Best Canadian Squirrel in a book, story or poem”.

  • Squirrelly McSquirrelface in, An Icebreaker goes North, Nuts Are Us books
  • Fuzzy Nutcracker in, The Galactic Safe, In Trees Publishing
  • Digger Moreholes in, “A Tail of Nuts”, Rodent Magazine, issue 341
  • Zippy Treeclimber in, “The Maze of Nuts”, Squirrel Poets, issue 1
  • Warhammer Graytail in, A Song of Oaks and Pine, Random Tree Press

We are proud to announce this special new category.  Stay tuned for more details.

(3) CONNIE THE DECEPTICON. Connie Willis’ April Fool’s Day blog post ends with a list of her dozen all-time favorite April 1 jokes. One of them is fake.

That’s another key to a good April Fool’s joke–details.  The more specific the story is, the more believable, especially if it involves science.  Or a technology that’s already in our lives.  Like lasers or smartphones.  Or digital watches.   My favorite April Fool’s joke of all time was the one the BBC did where they announced Big Ben was going to go digital.  A bright green digital readout was going to replace the four Victorian clock faces.  You can imagine how that was received!

(4) A HAIRY PROBLEM. At the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum “Tribble Trial Trends Toward Trouble”.

Stardate 1604.01: At 12:01 am EDT this morning, the National Air and Space Museum began breeding tribbles. This bold, innovative, not-at-all-ill-advised experiment will run for 24 hours, until 11:59 pm tonight, allowing Museum specialists to study the galaxy’s most adorable ecological disaster in greater detail than ever before. The tribble trial utilizes five original specimens of the species Polygeminus grex from the original Star Trek television series, donated to the Museum in 1973.

 

(5) THE DECENT THING TO DO. You heard it here last: “National Geographic to Stop Publishing Nude Animal Pictures”.

The media group says that it will no longer degrade animals by showing photos of them without clothes.

(6) MIGHT CHANGE HIS MIND TOMORROW. Joe Vasicek explains “Why I stopped writing”, at One Thousand And One Parsecs.

This will probably come as a shock to most of you, but I’ve decided to give up writing. It was a good run while it lasted, but the time has come to pack it away with my other childhood dreams, like living on a houseboat or becoming a paleontologist.

Why did I give up writing? Because frankly, I just don’t have any new ideas anymore. Whenever I manage to come up with one, it turns out that someone else has already done it. Accidental marriage in space? Firefly. Trek across a desert planet? Dune. Colonizing an unexplored nebula? I don’t know off the top of my head, but I’m sure it’s been done before.

(7) IT IS THE END MY FRIEND. io9’s James Whitbrook declared “There Was Only One Decent April Fools’ Day Prank Today, and This Is It”

Friends, we’ve finally made it: The hellishly wearisome event that is April Fool’s Day is basically at its end. We at io9 despise this black day, but even our curmudgeonly souls got a smile out of this “prank” by the Canadian Library and Archives, which claimed to have dug up Wolverine’s military records from its collection.

The organization announced today that it had secured the declassified journals and military records of Canada’s most famous son: James “Logan” Howlett, better known to his legion of comic book fans a X-Man Wolverine.

(8) JOKES BECOME REAL IF YOU PAY ENOUGH. ThinkGeek offers a “Star Trek White Noise Sleep Machine”

ivmt_st_white_noise_sleep_machine

As effective as the Vulcan nerve pinch

  • Drift off to sleep to a familiar low thrum
  • 8 sounds from 5 different spacecraft
  • Projects a moving starfield on your ceiling

Is this genuine? At a price of $149.99 it must be.

(9) TODAY IN FOOLISH HISTORY.

  • April 1, 1964 The Horror of Party Beach opens on April Fools’ Day.

Party Beach

(10) THE TRUTH WILL OUT. SciFiNow ranks “The Top 10 Avengers TV Episodes”. Number 1 is “The Hidden Tiger” (Mar 1967).

“Pussies galore!” Ronnie Barker’s cat-rescue home is the centre of a magnificently ludicrous plot to turn domestic moggies into man-eating killers. A feel-good feline frolic exemplifying prime Avengers.

(11) EDELMAN HOMES IN ON THE RANGE. Scott Edelman’s latest installment of Eating the Fantastic features Carolyn Ives Gilman —

CarolynIvesGilmanEatingtheFantastic-300x300

Carolyn Ives Gilman

A new Eating the Fantastic is now live! Episode 5 was recorded with Carolyn Ives Gilman at Range in Friendship Heights, Maryland.

We discussed what’s kept her coming back to her Twenty Planets universe for a quarter of a century, how her first science fiction convention was “total sensory overload,” what it was like working with David Hartwell as an editor, why she’s not visible on social media, and more.

Edelman says, “If all goes well, the next will be Andy Duncan.”

(12) DOC WEIR. Winner of the Doc Weir award for unsung UK fan heroes is Kathy Westhead. [Via Ansible.]

(13) MYSTERY GATHERS. Deadline Hollywood says an MST3K reunion is in the works – “Full ‘MST3K’ Casts To Reunite For RiffTrax 10th Anniversary”.

In the 17 years since the cult TV series’ cancellation, the creative team behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 have never fully reunited in public. That changes this summer as part of the 10th anniversary of MST3K offshoot Rifftrax, with RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show, a live event to be performed in Minneapolis on June 28 and broadcast to theaters nationwide by Fathom Events. Tickets will be available April 15th from the official RiffTrax website.

(14) MORE FROM LEVINE. David D. Levine’s new Wild Cards novelette “Discards” is a free read at Tor.com. And more!

My superhero story “Into the Nth Dimension,” originally published in Human for a Day, has been podcast at GlitterShip — narrated by me!. The full text is also available on the web to read for free. You can read or listen here.

I will be appearing at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle next Friday, April 8 (one day only). I’ll be on the panel “Aliens and Airships and Authors, Oh My!”, followed by an autograph session. At other times you can most likely find me at the WordFire Press booth.

I’ve sold an essay, “How to Sell a Novel in Only Fifteen Years,” to the nonfiction anthology The Usual Path to Publication. It comes out in June and you can pre-order it here.

(15) BVS WINS BY LOSING. This was posted on March 30, just saying…. “Batman V Superman Sets Unwanted Box Office Record”.

‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ may have netted the fourth biggest opening weekend of all time, but according to business site Forbes, it’s broken a record that may be rather less welcome.

It’s recorded the worst audience drop-off over a weekend for any superhero movie in ‘modern box office history’.

Attendance has plummeted for the critically-hammered movie, which sets Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel against Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader.

It dropped an eye-popping 55% between Friday and Sunday, a figure which even beats the 48% drop in numbers set by the much-despised ‘Fantastic Four’ last summer…

(16) POST TAFF STRESS SYNDROME. Wolf von Witting is still recovering from losing TAFF.

On the first day, it was grossly tear-jerking ballads. On the second day I went on to heavy metal and other music which blows the crap out from a brain (where there is one). But in the night before the third day, my scary godmother (she doesn’t like being called a fairy) came to me in a dream and announced that I was to become the pope of European sf-fandom. “You’re supposed to reform TAFF, not win it!” she said and hit me over the back of my head with her magic wand.

She had… a beaver sitting on her left shoulder, and suddenly it became so clear to me why I lost again. It was meant to be this way, folks. We’re not living in 1952 anymore. It’s EASY and relatively cheap crossing the Atlantic now. If the yanks wish to meet the pope of European fandom, there are two ways.

1) come to Italy – that’s where the pope lives.

2) I’d be absolutely delighted to accept any FGoH invitation they send (we have American guests all the time over here in Europe. You can afford it, if you care to meet the pope).

The Gods of fandom have resolved the issue to the best of all possible outcomings. Filkers are not stupid, mind you. They knew what they were up against. So they just did what was necessary to win and I have to both salute and bless them for that. Before my scary godmother went away, she uttered some magic mumbo jumbo in an obscure language I didn’t quite understand (could have been Albanian).I recall the final three words: “Nnn.. in come Pope!”

(17) HUGO PROBABILITY SEMINAR. Chaos Horizon’s Brandon Kempner reveals his prediction in “Estimating the 2016 Hugo Nominations, Part 5”.

By breaking these out into three groups and three turnout scenarios (40%, 60%, 80%), I produced 27 different models. To conclude, we can look to see if certain books show up in a lot models, and then I’ll make that my prediction….

So that makes the official 2016 Chaos Horizon Hugo prediction as follows:

  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
  • Uprooted, Naomi Novik
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
  • Somewhither, John C. Wright

(18) CYBORG OLYMPICS. A video of people are competing in the world’s first “cyborg Olympics.” The Cybathlon competitors, called pilots, use technology to compensate for disabilities.

(19) VERTLIEB DOCUMENTARY GAINS MOMENTUM. Diabolique online magazine is getting behind the Steve Vertlieb feature documentary The Man Who “Saved” The Movies.

vert4The first film from Gull Cottage / Sandlot’s newly minted “Gull Cottage & Flying Bear” banner, STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO “SAVED” THE MOVIES is the feature-length documentary delving into the colorful life, career and ultimate legacy of cinema archivist, journalist, historian and film music educator STEVE VERTLIEB – who’s quiet, unassuming persona belies his growing status as one of the most respected of figures to a new generation of cinema buffs, filmmakers, and, surprisingly, even that most fickle and verbose of filmdom’s family tree –  the genre fanboy.

A former on-air TV reviewer of film, and magazine writer, Steve’s learned and literate dissertations on cinema over the last near half-century have made him a much sought after consultant on numerous projects, including an appearance in the 2006 award winning documentary KREATING KARLOFF, and as consultant on TCM’s 75th Anniversary Restoration of Merian C. Cooper’s original KING KONG. Widely considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on the legendary “Great Ape”, his numerous articles on the subject (including that in the still definitive volume THE GIRL IN THE HAIRY PAW) is referenced to this day by film makers, teachers and cinema students alike.

vert5

(20) MY APRIL 1 INSPIRATION. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Worf Bloopers.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Clifford Samuels, Glenn Hauman, Hampus Eckerman, Steve Vertlieb, and Daniel Dern for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

2016 Aurora Awards Shortlist

The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association has announced the finalists for the 2016 Aurora Awards for best works and activities done by Canadians in 2015.

Voting for this year’s awards will begin on June 15 and CSFFA members will have until Midnight, EDT on July 23 to cast their ballots. The voter package will be available later in April. Membership in CSFFA is open to all Canadians and Landed Immigrants.

The awards will be given out at Canvention 36, hosted by When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta on the weekend of August 12-14. Full details about CSFFA, the awards and voting can be found here.

Best English Novel

  • Cursed: Black Swan by Ryan T. McFadden, Dragon Moon Press
  • A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica, Tor Books
  • Drowning in Amber by E.C. Bell, Tyche Books
  • Much Ado about Macbeth by Randy McCharles, Tyche Books
  • Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Solaris
  • Too Far Gone by Chadwick Ginther, Ravenstone Books

Best English Young Adult Novel

  • The Flame in the Maze by Caitlin Sweet, ChiZine Publications
  • The Fountain by Suzy Vadori, Evil Alter Ego Press
  • An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet, Scholastic Canada/Clarion Books US
  • Mabel the Mafioso Dwarf by Sherry Peters, Dwarvenamazon
  • Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond by Jayne Barnard, Tyche Books

Best English Short Fiction

  • “Cosmobotica” by Costi Gurgu & Tony Pi, Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, Running Press
  • “Game Not Over” by Ron Friedman, Galaxy’s Edge, January
  • “La Héron” by Charlotte Ashley, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2015
  • “Looking for Gordo” by Robert J. Sawyer, Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft
  • “Super Frenemies” by Stephen Kotowych, Caped: An Anthology of Superhero Tales, Local Hero Press
  • “Waters of Versailles” by Kelly Robson, Tor.com

Best English Poem/Song

  • Elegy for WLC” by David Clink, The Dalhousie Review
  • Origami Crane / Light Defying Spaceship” by Naru Dames Sundar, Liminality, Issue 5 Autumn
  • Portrait” by David Clink, On Spec Winter/Spring
  • Typhon & Echidna: A Love Story” by Sandra Kasturi, Gods, Memes and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary
  • Venice Letting Go” by Sandra Kasturi, Postscripts to Darkness 6

Best English Graphic Novel

  • Bloodsuckers written by J.M. Frey, illustrated by Ryan Cole; Toronto Comics, Vol 2 (ed. Steven Andrews)
  • Crash and Burn: Prologue by Kate Larking & Finn Lucullan, Astres Press
  • Infinitum by GMB Chomichuk, ChiZine Publications
  • The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone, ChiZine Publications
  • West of Bathurst: The Complete Collection by Kari Maaren

Best English Related Work

  • Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond edited by Madeline Ashby and David Nickle, ChiZine Publications
  • nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery & the Macabre edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles, EDGE
  • Playground of Lost Toys edited by Colleen Anderson and Ursula Pflug, Exile Editions
  • Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places edited by J R Campbell and Charles Prepolec, EDGE
  • Second Contacts edited by Michael Rimar & Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press

Best Visual Presentation

  • Bitten, Season 2, Daegan Fryklind, No Equal/eOne/Hoodwink
  • Continuum, Season 4, Simon Barry, Reunion Pictures
  • Dark Matter, Season 1, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Prodigy Pictures
  • Killjoys, Season 1, Michelle Lovretta, Temple Street Productions
  • Orphan Black, Season 3, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions

Best Artist

  • James Beveridge, covers and poster art
  • Erik Mohr, covers for ChiZine Publications
  • Jeff Minkevics, covers for Five Rivers Press
  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press
  • Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, body of work: Robot sculptures made from upcycled metal objects

Best Fan Publication

  • Broken Toys edited by Taral Wayne
  • Ecdysis edited by Jonathan Crowe
  • The Page of Reviews edited by Adam Shaftoe-Durrant
  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille
  • WARP, issues 90-93 edited by Cathy Palmer-Lister

Best Fan Organizational

  • Samantha Beiko and Chadwick Ginther, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Winnipeg
  • Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, Executive, Can*Con 2015, Ottawa
  • Randy McCharles, Chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau and Nicole Lavigne, Co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
  • Alana Otis and Paul Roberts, Co-chairs, Ad Astra 34 Convention, Toronto

Best Fan Related Work

  • Morva Bowman and Alan Pollard, Halsway Con Concert, Somerset, UK
  • Keith Braithwaite, The Doctor and his Companion, Montreal Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (WARP)
  • Steve Fahnestalk, weekly column in Amazing Stories Magazine
  • Kari Maaren, Everbody Hates Elves (album), Bandcamp and CD
  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

Note: No award will be given out for the Best Music category this year due to insufficient eligible nominees.  Eligible nominees were incorporated into the Best Fan Related Work.

[Thanks to Clifford Samuels for the story.]

2015 Aurora Awards Group Photo

2015-1121_SFC6-LUM_PressRelease COMPHere are the winners and accepters of the 2015 Prix Aurora Awards given November 22 at Canvention 35/SFContario 6 in Toronto.

In the back row: Karl Schroeder, Kari Maaren, Derek Newman-Stille, Peter Watts (Awards MC), Clifford Samuels accepting for Copper Pig Writers’ Society, Hayden Trenholm accepting for Charles de Lint and Dan O’Driscoll.

Front row of seated/crouching people: Eric Choi, Caitlin Sweet holding for Derek Newman-Stille, Julie Czerneda, Catherine Crockett accepting for Sandra Kasturi, Tony Pi.

Photo credit: Do-Ming Lum, Tiger Mountain Creative Services.

[Thanks to Clifford Samuels for the story and captions.]

2015 Prix Aurora Awards

Aurora Award

Aurora Award

The 2015 Prix Aurora Awards were presented November 22 at Canvention 35, hosted by SFContario 6 in Toronto.

Best English Novel

  •  A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books

Best English YA Novel

(TIE)

  • Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, Tor Books
  • Out of This World by Charles de Lint, Razorbill Canada

Best English Short Fiction

  • “Crimson Sky” by Eric Choi, Analog, July/August

Best English Poem/Song

  • “A Hex, With Bees” by Tony Pi, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE

Best English Graphic Novel

  • It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic

Best English Related Work

  • On Spec published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society

Best Artist

  • Dan O’ Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press and On Spec magazine

Best Fan Publication

  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Music

  • Kari Maaren, YouTube Channel

Best Fan Organizational

  • Sandra Kasturi, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Toronto

Best Fan Related Work

  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

The voting statistics [PDF file] are available. A total of 173 ballots were cast.

(While Brian Z. doubtless would prefer to see William Gibson’s The Peripheral as the winner, he can feel justified by its finishing a close second to the Czerneda novel, 58-54.)

[Via John Scalzi.]

2015 Aurora Award Shortlist

Aurora Award Trophy designed by Frank Johnson of Edmonton.

Aurora Award Trophy designed by Frank Johnson of Edmonton.

The nominees for the 2015 Aurora Awards have been revealed. The Auroras are given to the best works and activities done by Canadians.

Voting begins June 1 and continues until October 17 at midnight EDT. CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association) members are eligible to vote, and membership in the organization is open to all Canadians and Landed Immigrants.

The awards will be given at Canvention 35, hosted by SFContario 6 in Toronto from November 20 – 22. Short bios of the nominees can be found here.

Best Novel – English

  • Echopraxia by Peter Watts, Tor Books
  • The Future Falls by Tanya Huff, DAW Books
  • My Real Children by Jo Walton, Tor Books
  • The Peripheral by William Gibson, Penguin Canada
  • A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books

Best Young Adult Novel – English

  • Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, Tor Books
  • Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf by Sherry Peters, Dwarvenamazon
  • Out of This World by Charles de Lint, Razorbill Canada
  • Rain by Amanda Sun, Harlequin TEEN
  • Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong, Doubleday Canada
  • Twist of the Blade by Edward Willett, Coteau Books
  • The Voices in Between by Charlene Challenger, Tightrope Books

Best Short Fiction – English

  • “Crimson Sky” by Eric Choi, Analog, July/August
  • “Jelly and the D-Machine” by Suzanne Church, Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction, EDGE
  • “Mecha-Jesus” by Derwin Mak, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE
  • “No Sweeter Art” by Tony Pi, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155, September 4, 2014
  • “Soul-Hungry” by Suzanne Church, Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction, EDGE

Best Poem/Song – English

  • A Hex, With Bees” by Tony Pi, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE
  • Aversions” by Helen Marshall, Goblin Fruit, October
  • The Machine” by David Clink, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE
  • The New Ways” by Amal el-Mohtar, Uncanny Magazine, November
  • The Perfect Library” by David Clink, If the World were to Stop Spinning (Chapbook)

 Best Graphic Novel – English

  • Cassie & Tonk by Justin Currie and GMB Chomichuk, Chasing Artwork
  • It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
  • Raygun Gothic Vol. 2 by GMB Chomichuk, Alchemical Press
  • Treadwell by Dominic Bercier, Mirror Comics
  • Trillium by Jeff Lemire, DC Comics-Vertigo

Best Related Work – English

  • Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction by Suzanne Church, EDGE
  • Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall, CZP
  • Lackington’s speculative prose edited by Ranylt Richildis
  • On Spec published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
  • Strange Bedfellows edited by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press

Best Artist

  •  James Beveridge, cover for Tantamount and Out Dweller
  • Erik Mohr, cover for The Door in the Mountain and ChiZine Publications
  • Derek Newman-Stille, cover for Elephants and Omnibuses
  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press and On Spec magazine
  • Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk & Steve Fahnestalk, “Walking on the Moon”, cover for On Spec, No. 95 (Vol. 25 No. 4),

Best Fan Publication

  • Broken Toys edited by Taral Wayne
  • Ecdysis edited by Jonathan Crowe
  • Pubnites & Other Events edited by Yvonne Penney
  • Space Cadet edited by R. Graeme Cameron
  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Music

  • Brooke Abbey, Weirdness from 2014, Bandcamp
  • Copy Red Leader, Crossing the Streams CD, The Pond Studio
  • Debs & Errol (Deborah Linden and Errol Elumir), OVFF Concert (Ohio Valley Filk Fest)
  • Kari Maaren, YouTube Channel
  • Stone Dragons, Dream of Flying CD, Stone Dragon Studios

Best Fan Organizational

  • Sandra Kasturi, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Toronto
  • Derek Künsken, Farrell McGovern, Caycee Price and Elizabeth BuchanKimmerly, Executive, Can*Con 2014, Ottawa
  • Randy McCharles, Chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau and Nicole Lavigne, Co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
  • Alana Otis-Wood and Paul Roberts, Co-chairs, Ad Astra Convention, Toronto

Best Fan Related Work

  • R. Graeme Cameron, weekly column in Amazing Stories Magazine
  • Steve Fahnestalk, weekly column in Amazing Stories Magazine
  • Kevin B. Madison, Thunder Road Trip
  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM
  • Lloyd Penney, fan writing for fanzines and e-zines