Joël Champetier (1957-2015)

Contributed by Jean-Louis Trudel

After a hard fight with acute leukemia, diagnosed after the Boréal convention in May 2014, Joël Champetier passed away early Saturday morning, May 30, in a palliative care unit in Saint-Tite, Québec, a few kilometres away from his home in Saint-Séverin de Proulxville.  He was 57 years old.  

A long-time member of SF Canada, Joël Champetier was the author of eight novels, seven young adult books, and nearly thirty short stories.  In terms of genre, his works ranged from science fiction to fantasy and horror, often combining great humanity with understated originality in tone and approach.  His novels included the science fiction adventure La Taupe et le Dragon, published by Tor in English translation in 1999 as The Dragon’s Eye, the suspenseful La Mémoire du lac [The Lake’s Memory], the off-beat fantasy opus Les Sources de la magie [The Sources of Magic], and the horror thriller La Peau blanche, which inspired the identically-named feature-length movie La Peau blanche (also known as White Skin and Cannibal in English markets, winner of a Toronto International Film Festival award in 2004), for which Champetier also authored the screenplay.

A guest of honour at the World Fantasy Convention in 2001, he won multiple awards as a writer (seven Prix Boréal, two Aurora Awards, and two Prix Jacques-Brossard, formerly known as the Grand Prix de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois).  He won quite a few more as the editor for many years of Solaris, one of the world’s oldest active SF magazines (founded in 1974).

 

(A picture of Joël Champetier in 2008, at Readercon 19, a Boston-area convention.  His strange taste in head covering may or may not be a deliberate artefact of the photographer’s fancy, but the shirt reflected his own taste for colourful clothing.)

Born in Québec’s Abitibi region in 1957, Joël Champetier worked for a few years for his father’s company in the field of electrochemistry before devoting himself to a full-time writing career after publishing his first story in 1981.  He went on to publish more stories as well as novels and a collection of his short fiction, Cœur de fer [Heart of Iron].  He co-edited the anthology Escales sur Solaris (1995) to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Solaris magazine.  In 2014, in spite of his deteriorating health, he helped to oversee the publication of the fortieth-anniversary issue of Solaris, which included a story of his own, “Pour son œil seulement” [For His Eye Only],  that earned him his last Prix Boréal only three weeks before his passing.  He lived in Montréal, Ville-Marie, and Gallix before moving to the village of Saint-Séverin, near Shawinigan, almost twenty years ago.  He was married to Valérie Bédard, MD.  To many in Québec, he was an inspiration as a writer, as an editor, and as a friend. 

Audiobook Released

OATTS-audibleThe audiobook version of One’s Aspect to the Sun by SF Canada member Sherry D. Ramsey is now available through Audible.com.

The novel, published by Alberta’s Tyche Books, was named Speculative Fiction Book of the Year by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta in 2014. The audiobook is narrated by Shannon Burgess and follows Captain Luta Paixon as she searches for the secret behind her failure to age.

Note of Condolence: Terri Luanna DaSilva

We are very sad to announce that Terri Luanna DaSilva, the daughter of SF writers Spider and Jeanne Robinson, passed away on December 5th. After losing her mother, Jeanne, to cancer in 2010, Terri fought her own difficult, long, and brave battle against breast cancer.

Terri’s father, Spider Robinson, is well-known for his Callahan’s and Deathkiller series, as well as the Stardance trilogy, penned with his wife Jeanne. Spider is a lifetime member of SF Canada.

The Executive and Membership of SF Canada join to extend our heartfelt condolences to Spider and his family at this tragic time.

Donations to the family, to help offset the crippling medical costs associated with Terri’s illness, may be made at this page: http://gracefulwomanwarrior.com/

SF Canada Members on Alberta Book Awards Shortlists

The recently-released shortlist for the 2014 Alberta Book Awards features a number of SF Canada members.

Sherry D. Ramsey’s debut novel, One’s Aspect to the Sun, published by Tyche Books, is one of three titles shortlisted in the Book of the Year – Speculative Fiction category.

Another Tyche title in this category is Masked Mosaic, an anthology of Canadian superhero tales. SFC contributors to the anthology include Claude Lalumiere (co-editor), David Perlmutter, Marie Bilodeau, Michael Matheson, Mike Rimar, Rhea Rose, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

SFC member Simon Rose’s non-fiction work, Canada in World War I: Roots of the Conflict, published by Weigl Educational Publishers, has also been shortlisted in the Education Book category.

The award recipients in ten categories will be announced during the Alberta Book Awards Gala on Friday, June 6, at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary. Awards for Publisher of the Year, Book Illustration, and Lifetime Achievement will also be presented.

Full details of the awards and finalists can be found on the BPAA website at http://bookpublishers.ab.ca/

One's Aspect to the SunMaskedMosaicrootsoftheconflict

Interview with Sherry D. Ramsey

Sherry-sm-cropAn interview with SF Canada member and Nova Scotia author Sherry D. Ramsey, “Author Spotlight – Sherry D. Ramsey, Builder of Worlds,” is currently online at Nine Day Wonder. Sherry answers questions about her new novel, One’s Aspect to the Sun, as well as world-building, science in science fiction, and the role of associations like SF Canada and their benefits for writers, among other things. http://www.ninedaywonder.com/2013/author-spotlight-sherry-d-ramsey-builder-of-worlds