Dave Duncan (1933-2018)

Canadian sff author Dave Duncan passed away October 29 after sustaining a brain hemorrhage in a fall.

Originally from Scotland, Duncan lived all his adult life in Western Canada. He worked as a geological consultant until at age 53 he made the transition to full-time professional writer.

Duncan was a prolific novelist who wrote both fantasy and science fiction, although he said, “I always regret that my SF books are less popular than my Fantasy. SF actually takes more work to write!”

His best-known fantasy series included “The Seventh Sword,” “A Man of His Word,” and “The King’s Blades.”

He sold his sixtieth book this year – the science fiction novel Pillar of Darkness.

He won two Aurora Awards, for his novels West of January (1990) and Children of Chaos (2007).

He was an eight-time nominee for the Endeavour Award, given for a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.

Duncan was both a founding and an honorary lifetime member of SF Canada, the country’s association for speculative fiction professionals. He was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015.

He is survived by his wife, Janet, whom he married in 1959, and by their son, two daughters, and four grandchildren

[Thanks to Susan Forest for the story.]

2009 Endeavour Award finalists Kay Kenyon and Dave Duncan with award committee member Page Fuller.

2018 Aurora Awards

The 2018 Aurora Award winners were announced at VCON 42 on October 6.

The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Eligible were “works done in 2017 by Canadians.”

Best Novel

  • Jade City by Fonda Lee, Orbit

Best Young Adult Novel (Tie)

  • Exo by Fonda Lee, Scholastic Press
  • Houses of the Old Blood by Elizabeth Whitton, Kettlescon Press

Best Short Fiction

  • Gone Flying by Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound, Laksa Media

Best Graphic Novel

  • Rock Paper Cynic by Peter Chiykowski, Webcomic

Best Poem/Song

  • Heaven Is The Hell Of No Choices by Matt Moore, Polar Borealis #4

Best Related Work

  • The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media

Best Visual Presentation

  • Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve, Alcon Entertainment

Best Artist

  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press

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

  • Joshua Pantalleresco, Just Joshing (Podcast)

Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association #CSFFA Hall of Fame inductees

  • Dr. Jaymie Matthews (UBC Dept. of Astronomy)
  • Candas Jane Dorsey
  • Robert Charles Wilson

[Via Robin Shantz.]

2018 Aurora Awards Nominees

The 2018 Aurora Awards nominees have been announced.

The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Eligible were “works done in 2017 by Canadians.” The top five nominated works were selected. Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place.

The awards ceremony will be held at VCON 42, October 5-7, 2018, in Richmond, BC (www.vcon.ca).

Best Novel

  • All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner, Tor Books
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee, Orbit
  • Light of a Distant Sun by Brent Nichols, Bundoran Press
  • The Rebel (Book 3 of the San Angeles Series) by Gerald Brandt, DAW Books
  • RecipeArium by Costi Gurgu, White Cat Publications
  • To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books

Best Young Adult Novel

  • Exo by Fonda Lee, Scholastic Press
  • Houses of the Old Blood by Elizabeth Whitton, Kettlescon Press
  • Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge by Jayne Barnard, Tyche Books
  • Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko, ECW Press
  • The West Woods by Suzy Vadori, Evil Alter Ego Press

Best Short Fiction

  • A Human Stain by Kelly Robson, Tor.com
  • The Calling by Elizabeth Grotkowski, Enigma Front: The Monster Within, Analemma Books
  • Gone Flying by Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound, Laksa Media
  • Old Souls by Fonda Lee, Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Laksa Media
  • Rose’s Arm by Calvin D. Jim, Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Laksa Media

Best Graphic Novel

  • SIGNAL Saga #0: PanGaea and the Key of Mirrari by Dominic Bercier, Mirror Comics Studios
  • Rock Paper Cynic by Peter Chiykowski, Webcomic
  • Honey Dill by Ryan Harby, Webcomic
  • Crash and Burn by Kate Larking and Finn Lucullan, Astres Press
  • It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
  • Riftworld Legends, #1-4 by Jonathan Williams, Daniel Wong, and Paris Alleyne, Joe Books

Best Poem/Song

  • After Midnight by David Clink, Tesseracts 20 (Compostela), EDGE
  • The Canadian Small-Town Denizen and the Distant-Planet Space Traveller by J.J. Steinfeld, 49th Parallels, Bundoran Press
  • Card by Catherine Girczyc, Tesseracts 20 (Compostela), EDGE
  • Cruising Glaciers by Rhea Rose, 49th Parallels, Bundoran Press
  • Heaven Is The Hell Of No Choices by Matt Moore, Polar Borealis #4
  • Meat Puppets by Lynne Sargent, Polar Borealis #4
  • Shadows in the Mist by Lee F. Patrick, Polar Borealis #4

Best Related Work

  • 49th Parallels edited by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press
  • Compostela (Tesseracts 20) edited by Spider Robinson and James Alan Gardner, EDGE
  • Enigma Front: The Monster Within edited by Renée Bennett, Analemma Books
  • On Spec Magazine, The Copper Pig Writers Society
  • The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media
  • Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak, Laksa Media

Best Visual Presentation

  • Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve, Alcon Entertainment
  • Dark Matter, Season 3, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Prodigy Pictures
  • Killjoys, Season 3, Michelle Lovretta, Temple Street Productions
  • Orphan Black, Season 5, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions
  • Travelers, Season 2, Brad Wright, Carrie Mudd, John G. Lenic, and Eric McCormack, Peacock Alley Entertainment
  • Wynonna Earp, Season 2, Emily Andras, Seven24 Films Calgary

Best Artist

  • Samantha M. Beiko, covers for Laksa Media
  • Ann Crowe, cover art for Avians
  • Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, A Rivet of Robots: Body of Work
  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press
  • Fiona Staples, art for Saga comic series

Best Fan Writing and Publications

  • Reflections on Community and Gender in Canadian SFF, Krista D. Ball
  • Travelling TARDIS, Jennifer Desmarais, JenEric Designs
  • Science literacy for Science Fiction Readers and Writers, Ron S. Friedman, Quora
  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille
  • WARP edited by Cathy Palmer-Lister, Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (MonSFFA)

Best Fan Organizational

  • Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, executive, Can*Con, Ottawa
  • Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, Nicole Lavigne and Brandon Crilly, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
  • Randy McCharles, chair When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Hope Nicholson, chair Prairie Comics Festival, Winnipeg
  • Sandra Wickham, chair Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, BC

Best Fan Related Work

  • S.M. Beiko and Clare C. Marshall, Business BFFs (Podcast)
  • Kari Maaren, Monthly Musical Performances at ChiSeries Toronto
  • Kraken Not Stirred, Robots vs. Monsters (musical album)
  • Joshua Pantalleresco, Just Joshing (Podcast)
  • Steve Swanson, Poster for When Words Collide

Prix Aurora/Boréal 2018 Winners

The Prix Aurora/Boréal 2018 were presented this weekend at Congrès Boréal 2018 in Montreal, in Canada.

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur roman (Best novel)

  • Georges, Karoline: De synthèse (Alto)

Prix Aurora-Boréal – Meilleure nouvelle en français (Best short story in French)

  • Côté, Philippe-Aubert: La nuit aux trois démons (Les Six Brumes)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleure bande dessinée (Best Comic Book)

  • Desharnais, Francis/Val Mo: Le seigneur de Saint-Rock (Front Froid)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur ouvrage connexe (Best related work)

  • Trudel, Jean-Louis: Petit Guide de la science-fiction au Québec (Alire)

Prix Boréal – Création artistique visuelle et audiovisuelle (Best audiovisual artistic creation)

  • Villeneuve, Denis: Blade Runner 2049 (film)

Prix Boréal – Fanédition (Fan work)

Pixel Scroll 5/6/18 If Pixels Were Zombies, They’d Want To Eat Your Scrolls

(1) CASTING CALL. James Davis Nicoll wants young people for his next project.

I am looking for volunteers for the follow up to Young People Read Old SFF, Young People Listen to Old SF. Participants will get to listen to and react to one moderate length olden timey radio drama per month.

DM me or email me at jdnicoll at panix dot com

(2) NEEDS A PURPOSE. Abigail Nussbaum returns to China Miéville in her latest column “A Political History of the Future: The City & The City” at Lawyers, Guns & Money.

…Introducing a premise like The City & The City without tying it into current political issues feels like a much less tenable proposition right now. And yet this is what the BBC did in its recent miniseries adaptation of the book. As an adaptation, the miniseries is dutiful but not very exciting. It does a good job of transposing the book’s technique, of slowly revealing its setting until we finally realize that there is nothing going on except a mass delusion, to a more visual medium. In one particularly memorable scene, Borlú and his assistant, Lizbyet Corwi, speak on their cellphones, he from Ul Qoma and she in Bes?el. The camera cuts between them as we’d expect from any TV series trying to convey that two characters are in different physical spaces. Then it pulls back to reveal that Borlú and Corwi are sitting on the same bench, which is half in one city and half in the other. The series also does a good job of beefing up the roles of women, giving Corwi more to do, changing the gender of Borlú’s Ul Qoman counterpart, and even giving her a wife. (A similar impetus might have been at the root of a new subplot involving the disappearance of Borlú’s wife, but it just ends up reading like the common trope of motivating a man by having a woman suffer.)

Still, one has to wonder why you’d even try to adapt this novel, at this moment in time, if you weren’t willing to change it enough so that it actually says something…

(3) WHEN YOU CARE ENOUGH. Just came across this today. As we say around here, it’s always news to someone. From Know Your Meme.

(4) 2001 RETURNING TO THEATERS. The director of Dunkirk finds more use for 70 mm projectors installed to show his film: “Christopher Nolan returns Kubrick sci-fi masterpiece ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to its original glory”.

Christopher Nolan wants to show me something interesting. Something beautiful and exceptional, something that changed his life when he was a boy.

It’s also something that Nolan, one of the most accomplished and successful of contemporary filmmakers, has persuaded Warner Bros. to share with the world both at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival and then in theaters nationwide, but in a way that boldly deviates from standard practice.

For what is being cued up in a small, hidden-away screening room in an unmarked building in Burbank is a brand new 70-mm reel of film of one of the most significant and influential motion pictures ever made, Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science-fiction epic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Yes, you read that right. Not a digital anything, an actual reel of film that was for all intents and purposes identical to the one Nolan saw as a child and Kubrick himself would have looked at when the film was new half a century ago.

(5) NEW SFF MAGAZINE. The inaugural issue of Vulture Bones: Spec Fic from Trans & Enby Voices is out. See the table of contents here.

Vulture Bones is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine showcasing the voices of transgender and nonbinary writers.

Vulture Bones is what is left when everything useful is harvested, even the gamey meat of scavengers.

Vulture Bones is the name of a bald and genderless sharpshooter with thirteen enemies and one bullet left.

Vulture Bones is something morbid and foundational.

Vulture Bones is a wild ride.

(6) STAFFCON. Kevin Standlee takes you inside the room where it happened this weekend – “StaffCon”.

“StaffCon” for Worldcon 76 planning had over 100 people registered, using the same RegOnline system that the convention itself is using. Today was a chance to do a bit of a dry run of what on-site registration would be like, and to discover some bugs now while there is a chance to adjust them and make things better for the actual convention. After the initial morning session, there were numerous impromptu meetings (including a short WSFS division meeting with the four members of the division who are actually here), followed by groups touring the San Jose Convention Center. There’s an event moving in today, so we couldn’t get at everything, but everyone got a decently good look around before the lunch break. The break allowed people to spread out and find places to get lunch within a short distance of the convention center. There are many such places (far more than there were sixteen years ago).

(7) GET FINALISTS TO THE WORLDCON. The GoFundMe to bring Campbell Award finalist Rivers Solomon to Worldcon 76 reached its goal, and now additional money is being raised to help get more Hugo and Campbell finalists to the ceremony. Mary Robinette Kowal wrote in an Update:

Folks, we’ve got two additional Campbell finalists who could use a boost getting to the Hugos. I’ve got a form set up for additional finalists.

Let’s see how many we can get to the ceremony.

Need help? The link to the application is in Update #2.

(8) GOLLANCZ OBIT & KERFUFFLE. A trade publication’s obituary about Livia Gollancz (1920-2018), who once ran UK publisher Gollancz, a major publisher and now imprint of sf, got pushback from the imprint’s current editor.

For anyone under 40, Gollancz is merely a science fiction imprint—“the oldest specialist sci-fi and fantasy (SFF) publisher in the UK.” Gollancz indeed published many award-winning and successful SFF authors, J G Ballard and Terry Pratchett among them, but Gollancz is far more important than that, which makes the story of its last two decades a tragedy.

Victor Gollancz, a classics graduate from Oxford, was just 30 when he set up his eponymous company in 1927. He published George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier, and Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim, as well as books by Ford Madox Ford, Daphne du Maurier, Franz Kafka and Vera Brittain. On his daughter Livia’s watch, Julia Hales’ The Green Consumer Guide and Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch were trendsetting bestsellers….

I was genuinely shocked to see the comments about Gollancz in Livia Gollancz’s obituary published in The Bookseller. To describe a beloved publishing list as “merely a science fiction imprint” and its last two decades as a “tragedy” is offensive to my colleagues; our authors and fans; our reviewers and bloggers; fellow SFF publishers; and to the wider genre community. While everyone has a right to their personal opinion and literary preferences, to air such a definitive bias against genre fiction in the obituary of our former owner was troubling and frankly insulting.

It is easy to point out how many of the greatest works ever written are SF or Fantasy titles. From the Iliad to Jules Verne, to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, to The Handmaid’s Tale, right up to Naomi Alderman’s The Power, speculative fiction has been an unrivalled way of exploring our world and society. It is just as easy—as your publication has demonstrated—to dismiss that claim by saying those books are ”proper” literary novels not “merely SFF”.

That argument is nonsense. Worse, it is prejudiced and badly informed nonsense….

  • Bookseller editor Philip Jones apologized.

My comments on the diminution of Victor Gollancz should not be interpreted as a slight on the proud history of SF publishing itself, at Gollancz or anywhere else. Rather it is a reminder, to readers and publishers too young to remember the “old” Gollancz, that Victor Gollancz Ltd was a leader in so many ways and an independent powerhouse that set standards and trends in both adult and children’s publishing….

(9) BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born May 6, 1915 – Orson Welles

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) AURORA AWARDS HEADS-UP. Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association members have until May 26 to nominate eligible works for the Aurora Awards – see the nominations page.

(12) KEEP YOUR SUIT ON. In this Wired video, Chris Hadfield makes nude space walks sound even less attractive than they already did. And that’s just for starters.

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield helps debunk (and confirm!) some common myths about space. Is there any sound in space? Does space smell like burnt steak? Is NASA working on warp speed?

 

(13) HURTS SO GOOD. I keep reading Galactic Journey despite Gideon Marcus’ tendency to break my teen-aged fannish heart. It’s bad enough the things he says about every issue of Analog. Now he’s lighting into one of young Mike’s all-time favorite sf novels (in the hardcover version, Way Station): “[May 6, 1963] The more things change… (June 1963 Galaxy)”.

The proud progressive flagship [Galaxy] appears to be faltering, following in the footsteps of Campbell’s reactionary Analog.  It’s not all bad, exactly.  It’s just nothing new…and some of it is really bad.  Is it a momentary blip?  Or is Editor Pohl saving the avante-garde stuff for his other two magazines?

…Simak is one of the great veterans of our field, and he has been a staple of Galaxy since its inception.  He is unmatched when it comes to evoking a bucolic charm, and he has a sensitive touch when conveying people (human or otherwise).  This particular tale begins promisingly, but it meanders a bit, and it frequently repeats itself.  Either over-padded or under-edited, it could do with about 15% fewer words.  Three stars so far, but I have a feeling the next half will be better….

Next he’ll be telling Mozart “too many notes”!

(14) SPOCK IN OREGON. As long as we’re revisiting the Sixties, here’s Leonard Nimoy to tell you all about his Star Trek character….

Interview from 1967 conducted by KGW-TV, a news station in Portland, Oregon. This was rediscovered in 2010 in their film archives. Nimoy talks at length about playing Mr. Spock on “Star Trek”, then in its second season.

 

(15) TAKEI IN BOSTON. George Takei is still with us – and in the public eye: “‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei to speak at Boston library” on May 8.

Star Trek” actor George Takei (tuh-KAY’) is scheduled to speak at the Boston Public Library.

Takei on Tuesday is set to discuss his experience during World War II spent in U.S. internment camps for Japanese-Americans.

Takei used his family’s story as the inspiration for the Broadway musical “Allegiance.”

The show tells the narrative of the fictional Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The cast of the SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of Takei’s musical also will perform during the event at the library’s main branch at Copley (KAHP’-lee) Square.

(16) IT’S DEAD, JIM. Self-conscious about your Latin pronunciation? Let @Botanygeek James Wong put you at ease. Jump on the thread here:

(17) WELL THAT SUCKS. Once more, a story goes viral only to yield a dud: “Egypt says no hidden rooms in King Tut’s tomb after all”.

New radar scans have provided conclusive evidence that there are no hidden rooms inside King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, Egypt’s antiquities ministry said Sunday, bringing a disappointing end to years of excitement over the prospect.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said an Italian team conducted extensive studies with ground-penetrating radar that showed the tomb did not contain any hidden, man-made blocking walls as was earlier suspected. Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin presented the findings at an international conference in Cairo.

“Our work shows in a conclusive manner that there are no hidden chambers, no corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb,” Porcelli said, “As you know there was a theory that argued the possible existence of these chambers but unfortunately our work is not supporting this theory.”

(18) BRAIN DEATH. Vice headline: “This Neurologist Found Out What Happens to Our Brains When We Die”.  German neurologists Jens Dreier and Jed Hartings have published a study about what happens to the human brain while dying. It turns out some of the details are remarkably like that discussed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Skin of Evil” during the death of character Tasha Yar.

…if German neurologist Jens Dreier had just binged enough Star Trek: The Next Generation, he could have already known the outcome of his groundbreaking research, which the sci-fi series predicted 30 years ago.

Dreier works at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, one of Germany’s leading university hospitals. In February, the 52-year-old and his colleague, Jed Hartings, published a study that details what happens to our brain at the point of death. It describes how the brain’s neurons transmit electrical signals with full force one last time before they completely die off. Though this phenomenon, popularly known in the medical community as a “brain tsunami”, had previously only been seen in animals, Dreier and Hartings were able to show it in humans as they died. Their work goes on to suggest that in certain circumstances, the process could be stopped entirely, theorising that it could be done if enough oxygen is supplied to the brain before the cells are destroyed.

Soon after their discovery, the two researchers also found out that a 1988 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation shows chief physician Beverly Crusher trying to revive Lieutenant Tasha Yar, while clearly describing the exact processes the neurologists have been trying to understand for years. I spoke to Dreier about their discovery and how it feels to be beaten by a TV show by three decades.

And didn’t Connie Willis’ Passage make use of this premise as well?

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Karl-Johan Norén, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Carl Slaughter, ULTRAGOTHA, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Jay Byrd, Avilyn, Alan Baumler, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

Prix Aurora/Boréal 2018 Nominees

The Prix Aurora/Boréal 2018 will be presented this weekend at Congrès Boréal 2018 in Montreal, in Canada.

In connection with the novel finalists the administrators have issued a statement – in French, which Google Translate renders in English as —

The SFSF Boreal Corporation is responsible for organizing and awarding the Aurora-Boreal Awards. Over the past few days, the Aurora-Boréal Awards have been cited a few times in the media, in the context of a debate about the social acceptability of a fictional work that is among the finalists in the category of the best novel.

We find it important to specify that the finalists of the Aurora-Boreal Awards are selected by a public vote. SFSFBoréal strongly condemns any form of child pornography and the corporation would react accordingly if a charge to that effect was made against a finalist work or if a verdict to that effect was pronounced. SFSF Boréal however defends artists’ freedom of expression under Canadian law and trusts readers to recognize the artistic merit of works in the running.

Here are the works on the shortlist:

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur roman (Best novel)

  • Calvo: Toxoplasma (La Volte)
  • Georges, Karoline: De synthèse (Alto)
  • Godbout, Yvan: Hansel et Gretel (AdA)
  • Laframboise, Michèle: La ruche (Les Six Brumes)
  • Villeneuve, Mathieu: Borealium tremens (La Peuplade)

Prix Aurora-Boréal – Meilleure nouvelle en français (Best short story in French)

  • Blouin, Geneviève: Démonothérapie (Solaris 203)
  •  Côté, Philippe-Aubert: La nuit aux trois démons (Les Six Brumes)
  •  Dagenais, Luc: XXZ: une histoire de sexe oral au temps des zombies (Les Six Brumes)
  •  Laframboise, Michèle: Petzis (Solaris 203)
  •  Verdier, Vic: Lac au Sable (Les Six Brumes)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleure bande dessinée (Best Comic Book)

  • Anouk: L’armée du Soleil (http://larmeedusoleil.anoukbd.com)
  • Desharnais, Francis/Val Mo: Le seigneur de Saint-Rock (Front Froid)
  • Vigneault, François: Titan (Pow Pow)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur ouvrage connexe (Best related work)

  • Blouin, Geneviève/Lauzon, Isabelle/Rocheleau, Carl: Écrire et publier au Québec: les littératures de l’imaginaire (Les Six Brumes)
  • Bonin, Pierre-Alexandre: Horrificorama (Les Six Brumes)
  • Brins d’éternité (Ariane Gélinas, Alamo St-Jean et Guillaume Voisine, direction)
  • La République du Centaure (Alain Ducharme, coordonateur)
  • Trudel, Jean-Louis: Petit guide de la science-fiction au Québec (Alire)

Prix Boréal – Création artistique visuelle et audiovisuelle (Best audiovisual artistic creation)

  • Léger, Émilie: Couverture Horrificorama (Les Six Brumes)
  • Sybiline: Couverture (Brins d’éternité 46)
  • Tikulin, Tomislav: Illustrations (Solaris 201-202)
  • Villeneuve, Denis: Blade Runner 2049 (film)

Prix Boréal – Fanédition (Fan work)

Update 05/03/2018: Corrected site of convention to Montreal.

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

Prix Aurora/Boréal 2017 Winners

The recipients of the Prix Aurora/Boréal 2017 were announced May 7 at Congrès Boréal in Québec City, in Canada.

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur roman (Best novel)

  • Gélinas, Ariane : Les Cendres de Sedna (Alire)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleure nouvelle (Best short story)

  • Vonarburg, Élisabeth : « Le printemps de Krijka » (Solaris 200)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleure bande dessinée (Best Comic Book)

(tie)

  • Bulle Contagion T5 – Pandémie. Jean Philippe, Damien et als. (BerBer)
  • Hiver nucléaire T2. Cab (Front froid)

Prix Aurora/Boréal – Meilleur ouvrage connexe (Best related work)

  • Solaris (Jean Pettigrew, éditeur)

Prix Boréal – Création artistique visuelle et audiovisuelle (Best audiovisual artistic creation)

  • Léger, Émilie: Illustrations, Solaris 198-199; couverture, Les Cendres de Sedna, etc.

Prix Boréal – Fanédition (Fan work)

(Results via La Maison des viscères.)

Also presented at the convention’s closing ceremony:

Prix Solaris

  • Andréa Renaud-Simard for “Les Tisseurs”

The Prix Solaris is for an unpublished sff short story written in French by a Canadian author. The winner receives $1,000 and the story is published in Solaris.

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.]