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. 

SF Canada Awards $1000 to Tanya Huff

JLTrudelTSHuff2013AJean-Louis Trudel presents Tanya Huff with a ceremonial cheque.
(Photo by Jonathan Crowe)

The Aurora Award for Best Novel, accompanied by the SF Canada Award of $1000, was given to Tanya Huff in Ottawa on October 6, 2013 for her fantasy novel The Silvered, published by DAW Books. Born in Nova Scotia but now living in rural Ontario with her wife Fiona Patton, Tanya Huff is one of Canada’s most important and best loved fantasy authors. Since her first professional sale to Amazing Stories in 1985, she has published over thirty books and a number of short stories. Her “Blood Books” series was adapted as the television series Blood Ties in 2007. Her award-winning novel features magicians and shapeshifting werewolves united against a steampunk empire, and has been well received by readers and critics alike.

The 2013 Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature played host to the 33rd national Canadian convention of science fiction and fantasy, also known as Canvention. Ten other Aurora Awards were announced. The fantasy adventure Under My Skin (in the “Wildlings” series) by Charles de Lint won the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel. Published in On Spec, the fantasy tale “The Walker of the Shifting Borderland” by Douglas Smith won the award for best short fiction. David Clink’s poem “A sea monster tells his story” in The Literary Review of Canada won for Best Poem or Song. The webcomic Weregeek by Alina Pete won the Aurora for best graphic novel while the award for best related work went to the anthology Blood and Water edited by Hayden Trenholm for Bundoran Press. Finally, Erik Mohr received the Aurora Award for Best Artist, honouring his covers for ChiZine Publications. The remaining Aurora Awards went to fans contributing to the speculative fiction community across Canada, and the Aurora-Boréal awards for works in French were given out earlier this year in Montreal.

SF Canada Supports Aurora Awards With $500 Prize For Winning Novels

SF Canada, Canada’s association of professional speculative fiction writers, and the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association are pleased to announce the SF Canada Award, a $500 prize that will be awarded annually to winners of the Best Novel category of the Aurora and Aurora-Boreal Awards, voted on each year by Canadian fans of speculative fiction to acknowledge the best of Canadian professional and fan activity in both official languages.

The first SF Canada Award will be awarded to the winner of the Aurora-Boreal Award, for best fantasy and/or science fiction novel published first in French in 2010 by a Canadian author, at the 28th Congrès Boréal in Montréal, May 13, 2011.

The second award, for the winner of the Aurora Award for best fantasy and/or science fiction novel published in English in 2010 by a Canadian author, will be presented at SFContario 2, November 18-20, 2011, in Toronto.

Since 1981, the Prix Aurora Awards have been nominated and voted on each year by the members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA), a federally incorporated non-profit society which exists to promote quality Canadian speculative fiction and the fan activity that surrounds it. Membership in the CSFFA is free, and open to any admirer of genre fiction who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

SF Canada was founded in 1989 as Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction in order to foster a sense of community among Canadian writers of speculative fiction, to improve communication, to foster the growth of quality writing, to lobby on behalf of Canadian writers, and to encourage the translation of Canadian speculative fiction.

SF CANADA APPUIE LES PRIX AURORA/BORÉAL AVEC UNE BOURSE DE 500 $ POUR LES ROMANS GAGNANTS

SF Canada, l’Association nationale des auteurs professionnels de fiction spéculative, et l’Association canadienne de la science-fiction et du fantastique (ACSFF) sont heureux d’annoncer la bourse SF Canada, un prix de 500 $ qui sera remis aux gagnants des catégories du Prix Aurora du meilleur roman anglophone et du Prix Aurora-Boréal du meilleur roman francophone.  Ces prix sont décernés annuellement par vote des amateurs canadiens de fiction spéculative et visent à faire reconnaître en matière d’activité fanique ou professionnelle dans les deux langues officielles la première bourse SF Canada, remise au gagnant du Prix Aurora-Boréal pour le meilleur roman de fantasy ou de science fiction publié en français en 2010 par un auteur canadien, sera présentée au 28e Congrès Boréal, qui aura lieu à Montréal du 13 au 15 mai 2011.

La deuxième bourse remise au gagnant du Prix Aurora du meilleur roman de fantasy ou de science-fiction publié en anglais en 2010 par un auteur canadien, sera présentée à SFContario 2, qui aura lieu du 18 au 20 novembre 2011 à Toronto.

Depuis 1981, les prix Aurora ont été choisis par les membres de l’ACSFF, une société à but non lucratif qui vise à promouvoir la qualité de la fiction spéculative canadienne et les activités faniques qui l’entourent. L’adhésion à l’ACSFF est ouverte à tout citoyen canadien ou résident permanent au Canada qui est amateur de fiction spéculative.

SF Canada a été fondée en 1989. Cette association nationale a pour but de développer un sentiment de communauté parmi les écrivains de fiction spéculative, d’améliorer les contacts dans leur milieu professionnel, d’encourager une écriture de qualité, de défendre leurs intérêts  et de promouvoir la traduction de fiction spéculative canadienne.