2014 Prix Aurora-Boréal Nominees

The 2014 Prix Aurora-Boréal shortlist was released April 11 by Congress Boréal on Facebook. The award recognizes the best French language sf and fantasy works published in Canada.

SFSF Boréal Inc. and the Canadian Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy are the award’s sponsors. Winners are selected by a vote of readers and will be announced May 4 in Quebec.

Prix Aurora-Boréal: Meilleur roman (Best Novel)

  • Le crépuscule des arcanes 1. L’ensorceleuse de Pointe-Lévy, de Sébastien Chartrand
  • Les villages assoupis 2. L’île aux naufrages, d’Ariane Gélinas
  • Malphas 3. Ce qui se passe dans la cave reste dans la cave, de Patrick Sénécal

Prix Aurora-Boréal: Meilleure nouvelle (Best Novella)

  • Vortex, de Dave Côté
  • Les mystères d’Innsmouth, d’Yves Meynard
  • La légende de McNeil, de Jonathan Reynolds

Prix Aurora-Boreal: Meilleur ouvrage connexe (Best Related Work)

  • La revue Brins d’éternité
  • Le recueil Le sabbat des éphémères, d’Ariane Gélinas
  • La revue Solaris
  • La chronique « Les Carnets du Futurible », de Mario Tessier

Prix Boréal: Création artistique audiovisuelle (Artistic Audiovisual Creation)

  • Grégory Fromenteau
  • Nathalie Giguère
  • Émilie Léger
  • Laurine Spehner
  • Sybiline (Chantal Lajoie)

Prix Boréal: Fanédition

Al Feldstein (1925-2014)

Cover of Weird Science #13 by Al Feldstein

Cover of Weird Science #13 by Al Feldstein

Former editor of Mad Magazine Al Feldstein died April 29 at his home in Montana. He was 88.

I long ago forgave him for rejecting the parody of Star Trek I drew in the ninth grade with a ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper, and sent with a return envelope too small for the manuscript because it was – of course! – going to sell. The only rule of professional writing I didn’t break at the time was to submit to a publication I hadn’t read. I knew it very well: I loved Mad.

Feldstein was hired by EC (“Educational Comics”) as an artist in 1948. In the mid-1950s he edited EC’s New Trend group, known for such titles as Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, and Tales from the Crypt. The Wertham-inspired crackdown on comics forced EC to kill many of its titles and put Feldstein out of work. However, when Mad’s founding editor Harvey Kurtzman departed in 1956, Feldstein took his place and spent the next three decades satirizing America from Madison Avenue to Hollywood.

Feldstein’s aptitude for art was evident when he won an award in the 1939 New York World’s Fair poster contest. He trained at Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art and Brooklyn College. When he was 15 he went to work in the Eisner & Iger shop, an art service for comic book publishers, making $3 a week inking balloon lines and erasing pages.

His career at Mad ended in 1984 as its fading popularity led to a precipitous drop in circulation.

He moved to Wyoming, and later, Montana. He resumed his early interest in oil painting, depicting wildlife, nature scenes and fantasy art. Several of his works placed in the Top 100 of Arts for the Parks, a competition created in 1986 by the National Park Academy of the Arts.

In 2000, he received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Rocky Mountain College.

He was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2003.

In 2011, he received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association.

Feldstein’s survivors include his wife, Michelle, stepdaughter Katrina Oppelt, her husband, and two grandsons.

New Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

Baen Books, in association with gaming convention Gen Con, has launched the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. The award will go to the adventure fantasy short story selected as the winner of its new annual contest.

The contest opens for submissions on May 1, 2014 and all entries must be received June 30, 2014.  Each entry is limited to a short story of no more than 8,000 words, and there is one entry per author. The story may be epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, or contemporary fantasy.

“We’re looking for the best piece of original short fiction that captures the spirit and tradition of such great storytellers as Larry Correia, Robert E. Howard, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien, David Weber and Marion Zimmer Bradley,” said Baen senior editor Jim Minz.“We want fantasy adventures with heroes a reader wants to root for. We’re looking for warriors, either modern or medieval, who solve problems with their wits as well as their swords.”

Judging will be by the Baen editorial staff, with final entries also being judged by Larry Correia.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at industry-standard rates for professional story submittals. The author will also receive an engraved award and a prize package containing various Baen Books.

Second and Third Place winners will receive a prize package of Baen Books.

According to information on the award website, publication details will be worked out between winner and Baen Books. “In the unlikely event that none of the stories qualify for professional publication, a cash prize, of an amount equal to the amount it would have earned had it been published, may be substituted in lieu of publication.”

The website cautions —

What we don’t want to see
Political drama with no action, angst-ridden teens pining over vampire lovers, religious allegory, novel segments, your gaming adventure transcript, anything set in any universe not your own, “it was all a dream” endings, or screenplays.

The winners will be honored as part of the 2014 Gen Con’s Writer’s Symposium. Gen Con takes place August 14-17. Baen’s new award, therefore, will be presented the same weekend as the Hugos.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Bob Hoskins (1942-2014)

British actor, screenwriter and director Bob Hoskins died April 29 at the age of 71. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and was receiving hospital treatment for pneumonia. Hoskins became a household name after taking the lead in Dennis Potter’s musical fantasy Pennies From Heaven (1978); other appearances include Brazil (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Hook (1991), Super Mario Bros, (1993), a 1996 episode of Tales From the Crypt, The Lost World (2001), Son of the Mask (2005), Doomsday (2008), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). He also reprised the role of Smee from Hook in the 2011 mini-series Neverland.

[Thanks to Steve Green for the story.]

2014 Aurora Awards Shortlist

The 2014 Aurora Award final ballot has been released. Voting will by members of Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association will begin May 3. Votes must be received by midnight September 6. The awards will be presented at V-Con in Vancouver, Oct 3-5.

Best English Novel

  • Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada
  • River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
  • The Tattooed Witch by Susan MacGregor, Five Rivers
  • Tombstone Blues by Chadwick Ginther, Ravenstone Books
  • A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books

Best English YA (Young Adult) Novel

  • The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate by Marty Chan, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
  • Ink by Amanda Sun, Harlequin Teen
  • The Lake and the Library by S.M. Beiko, ECW Press
  • Out of Time by D.G. Ladroute, Five Rivers
  • Resolve by Neil Godbout, Bundoran Press
  • The Rising by Kelley Armstrong, Doubleday Canada

Best English Short Fiction

  • “A Bunny Hug for Karl” by Mike Rimar, Masked Mosaic, Canadian Super Stories, Tyche Books
  • “Angela and Her Three Wishes” by Eileen Bell, The Puzzle Box, EDGE
  • “The Awakening of Master March” by Randy McCharles, The Puzzle Box, EDGE
  • “Ghost in the Machine” by Ryan McFadden, The Puzzle Box, EDGE
  • “The Gift” by Susan Forest, Urban Green Man, EDGE
  • “Green Man She Restless” by Billie Milholland, Urban Green Man, EDGE
  • “Living Bargains” by Suzanne Church, When the Hero Comes Home 2, Dragon Moon Press

Best English Poem/Song

  • “A City of Buried Rivers” by Clink, David, The Literary Review of Canada, vol. 21, no. 9, November
  • “Awake” by Peter Storey, Urban Green Man, EDGE
  • “The Collected Postcards of Billy the Kid” by Helen Marshall, Postscripts to Darkness, Issue 4, October
  • “Lost” by Amal El-Mohtar, Strange Horizons, February
  • “Night Journey: West Coast” by Kernaghan, Eileen, Tesseracts Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast, EDGE
  • “Turning the Leaves” by Amal El-Mohtar, Apex Magazine, Issue 55, December

Best English Graphic Novel

  • Looking for Group by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza, webcomic
  • Rock, Paper, Cynic by Peter Chiykowski, webcomic
  • Weregeek by Alina Pete, webcomic
  • Wild Game: Sweet Tooth Vol. 6 by Jeff Lemire, Vertigo

Best English Related Work

  • The Puzzle Box by The Apocalyptic Four, EDGE
  • Urban Green Man edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine EDGE
  • On Spec published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
  • Suzenyms by Susan MacGregor, blog suzenyms.blogspot.ca
  • Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing edited by Sandra Kasturi and Samantha Beiko, ChiZine Publications

Best Artist

  • Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications
  • Melissa Mary Duncan, illustrations and cover art
  • Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press and the SF Aurora banner
  • Apis Teicher, body of work
  • Tanya Montini, cover design for The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate

Best Fan Publications

No award will be given out in this category in 2014 due to insufficient eligible nominees

Best Fan Music

  • Brooke Abbey for writing and publishing 12 songs
  • Debs & Errol for CTRL+ALT+DUETS, EP
  • Chris Hadfield for his performance of Space Oddity
  • Kari Maaren for Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off, CD
  • Devin Melanson, Leslie Hudson and, Kari Maaren for Pirate Elves in Space, CD

Best Fan Organizational

  • Evelyn Baker and Alana Otis-Wood, co-chairs Ad Astra, Toronto
  • S.M. Beiko and Chadwick Ginther, co-chairs Chiaroscuro Reading Series, ChiSeries Winnipeg
  • Sandra Kasturi and James Bambury, co-chairs Chiaroscuro Reading Series, ChiSeries Toronto
  • Randy McCharles, chair When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Matt Moore, chair Ottawa Chiaroscuro Reading Series, ChiSeries Ottawa
  • Rose Wilson, Art Show Director, VCON 38, Vancouver

Best Fan Related Work

  • R. Graeme Cameron, weekly column in Amazing Stories Magazine
  • Steve Fahnestalk, weekly column in Amazing Stories Magazine
  • Robert Runté, ”Why I Read Canadian Speculative Fiction: The Social Dimension of Reading”, Scholar Keynote Address at ACCSFF ’13, Toronto

Ellison’s Website Stats

Some sf bloggers like to parade their impressive stats. That’s never been the style at Harlan Ellison’s website. There Rick Wyatt presides as webmaster and for him it’s mainly about, “Whoa! More people are reading this site. How are we going to pay for the hosting plan?” He collects contributions from Ellison’s readers to pay the bills.

Yesterday Wyatt wrote that the site now gets 3,000 unique visitors and loads 10,000 pages a day. They exceed 100GB of bandwidth daily.

“Small potatoes to the Yahoos and Hulus but extraordinary traffic and growth for an author site,” said Rick.

That’s enough to make it one of science fiction’s most popular internet destinations — a surprising accomplishment for a site without the attraction of daily posts and political commentary from its namesake, and who comments only occasionally in the Visitors Forum. (He’s busy writing, you know!)

Amazing Stories Classic Reprints Announced

The Amazing Stories trademark has been licensed to FuturesPastEditions Ebooks Publisher for use with a new imprint. Amazing Stories Classic Reprints will publish sf, fantasy and horror works drawn from Amazing Stories and its companion magazines Amazing Stories Quarterly and Amazing Stories Annual.

There are immediate plans for two anthology volumes of past Amazing Stories anniversary issues.

Jean Marie Stine, FuturesPastEditions publisher and editor, said, “Amazing Stories has a long and storied history. It was the first science fiction magazine. Its pages were open to women writers from the beginning. It introduced Buck Rogers to the world. It published the first stories by Jack Williamson, Isaac Asimov, Walter M. Miller, Jr, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Howard Fast, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Roger Zelazny. Over the years it has published virtually every major writer in the field.”

The new imprint will feature Amazing’s comet tail logo from 1940s and 50s. Works will be published in both electronic and print formats.

[From the press release.]

Two Octavia Butler Stories Surface

Two short stories by the late Octavia Butler, discovered among her papers in the Huntington Library, will appear in an e-book titled Unexpected Stories this June.

“A Necessary Being” and “Childfinder” will be published by Open Road Integrated Media in a voume with an introduction by Walter Mosley.

Butler, who passed away in 2006, was posthumously inducted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2010.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]

2014 Andre Norton Award Judges

SFWA has announced the 2014 Andre Norton Award committee. The judges are:

  • Katherine Sparrow (chair)
  • Christopher Barzak
  • Erin M. Hartshorn
  • Merrie Haskell
  • Jenn Reese
  • Rachel Swirsky
  • Greg Van Eekhout

The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy is presented annually by SFWA to the author of an outstanding young adult or middle grade science fiction or fantasy book published in the previous year. 

The committee will consider submissions of young adult/middle grade prose or graphic works first published in English in 2013.