Aurora Awards Ballot announced!


The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association has announced this year’s Aurora Award ballot for works done in 2019 by Canadians. Numerous SF Canada members are included in the ballot in various categories — members are indicated by *** in the list below:

Best Novel
Haunting The Haunted by E. C. Bell, Tyche Books
The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
The Quantum Garden by Derek Künsken, Solaris Books
Jade War by Fonda Lee, Orbit Books
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia***, Del Rey

Best Young Adult Novel
Wolf’s Bane by Kelley Armstrong, K.L.A. Fricke Inc
The Brilliant Dark: The Realms of Ancient, Book 3 by S.M. Beiko, ECW Press
The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Metamorphosis by Marty Chan, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest***, Laksa Media Groups Inc
Murder at the World’s Fair by MJ Lyons, Renaissance

Best Short Fiction
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, Saga Press
Clear as Quartz, Sharp as Flint by Maria Haskins***, Augur Magazine, issue 2.1
Alice Payne Rides by Kate Heartfield, Tor.com Publishing
Little Inn on the Jianghu by Y.M. Pang, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September
Modigliani Paints the World by Hayden Trenholm, Neo-Opsis, Issue #30
Blindside by Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Amazing Stories, v. 77, issue no. 1, Fall

Best Graphic Novel
The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault, McClelland & Stewart
Krampus is My Boyfriend! by S.M. Beiko, Webcomic
It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Douglas & McIntyre
Dakwäkãda Warriors by Cole Pauls, Conundrum Press

Best Poem/Song
The Girl Who Loved Birds by Clara Blackwood, Amazing Stories Magazine, v. 76, no. 3, Spring
At the Edge of Space and Time by Swati Chavda, Love at the Speed of Light, Ancient Hound Books
Steampunk Christmas by David Clink***, Star*Line, v. 42, no. 4., Fall
The Day the Animals Turned to Sand by Tyler Hagemann, Amazing Stories Magazine, v. 76, issue no. 3, Spring
Totemic Ants by Francine P. Lewis, Amazing Stories Magazine, v. 77, issue no. 1, Fall
Beauty, Sleeping by Lynne Sargent, Augur Magazine, issue 2.2
Bursts of Fire by Sora, theme song for book trailers

Best Related Work
PodCastle by Jen R. Albert and Cherae Clark, Escape Artists Inc.
Nothing Without Us by Cait Gordon*** and Talia C. Johnson, Renaissance
Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine edited by Karl Johanson***
Lackington’s Magazine, edited by Ranylt Richildis (online)
Dave Duncan’s Legacy by Robert Runté***, On Spec Magazine issue 111
Augur Magazine, Issue 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 published by Kerrie Seljak-Byrne and Alexander De Pompa
On Spec Magazine, Diane L. Walton***, Managing Editor, The Copper Pig Writers Society

Best Visual Presentation
The Umbrella Academy, Steve Blackman, Dark Horse Entertainment
V Wars (Season 1), William Laurin and Glenn Davis, High Park Entertainment
Killjoys (Season 5), Michelle Lovretta and Adam Barken, Temple Street Productions
Murdoch Mysteries (Ep. 10-18/Season 12 and Ep. 1-9/Season 13), Peter Mitchell and Christina Jennings, Shaftesbury Films
Van Helsing (Season 4), Jonathan Lloyd Walker, Nomadic Pictures

Best Artist
Samantha M. Beiko, cover for Bursts of Fire
James F. Beveridge, cover for Fata Morgana and cover for On Spec #112
Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, A Rivet of Robots in On Spec Magazine and Cartoons in Amazing Stories
Nathan Fréchette, covers for Renaissance Press
Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press and cover for On Spec Magazine #110

Best Fan Writing and Publications
R. Graeme Cameron***, weekly columns in Amazing Stories (online)
R. Graeme Cameron***, Polar Borealis, Issues #9 to #12, editor
Jennifer Desmarais, Travelling TARDIS, JenEric Designs
Steve Fahnestalk, weekly columns in Amazing Stories (online)
Ron S. Friedman***, Will Voyager 1 leave the Milky Way?, Quora
Christina Vasilevski, Books and Tea

Best Fan Organizational
KT Bryski and Jen R. Albert, ephemera reading series, Toronto
Brent Jans, Pure Speculation Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, Edmonton
Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau***, co-chairs, Can-Con, Ottawa
Randy McCharles, chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
Sandra Wickham, Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, BC

Best Fan Related Work
Brandon Crilly and Evan May, Broadcasts from the Wasteland, podcast
Kari Maaren, Music on YouTube Channel
Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada
Joshua Pantalleresco, Just Joshing, podcast
Edward Willett***, The Worldshapers, podcast

Voting for the Aurora Awards opens June 20, 2020 and closes July 25, 2020. If you would like to join CFFSA to be eligible to vote on the shortlisted nominees, you can do so at their website: www.prixaurorawards.ca.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

In Veritas by C.J. Lavigne now out!

SF Canada member C.J. Lavigne has just released her first novel, the urban fantasy In Veritas, published with NeWest Press.

Things that are and are not, she thinks, and the dog is a snake.”

In this fantastic and fantastical debut, C.J. Lavigne concocts a wondrous realm overlaying a city that brims with civic workers and pigeons. Led by her synesthesia, Verity Richards discovers a hidden world inside an old Ottawa theatre. Within the timeworn walls live people who should not exist—people whose very survival is threatened by science, technology, and natural law. Verity must submerge herself in this impossible reality to help save the last traces of their broken community. Her guides: a magician, his shadow-dog, a dying angel, and a knife-edged woman who is more than half ghost.

With great empathy and imagination, In Veritas explores the nature of truth and the complexities of human communication.

C.J. Lavigne was born in Kingston, ON, but grew up all over Canada, from Comox, BC to Barrington Passage, NS. Since 2007, she has divided her time between Ottawa, ON, and Red Deer, AB, where she currently resides and works as a professional communications scholar who writes on television, gaming, and popular culture; at other points in her life, she’s been a barista, tech support supervisor, marketing manager, freelance editor, and—briefly—radio DJ. Wherever she is, she probably has a cat with her, and she’s never terribly far from her next coffee.

Find In Veritas at Amazon, Chapters, and Kobo. Find C.J. Lavigne at www.cjlavigne.com.

Spring/Summer 2020 Webinar Series!

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on our community of writers across Canada, SF Canada and Canadian Authors have jointly decided to offer a series of webinars at no charge to all writers, whether or not they are members of either organization.

These six webinars are:

 

 

Climate fiction by Holly Schofield

Climate change (and how it relates to the pandemic) is on everyone’s mind these days, and trends in speculative fiction have quickly reflected that. Climate fiction, also called Cli-Fi, is a subgenre of Eco-Fiction in that it involves the direct or indirect effects of climate change in an ecologically focused story.

SF Canada member Holly Schofield’s short stories about climate change usually take the optimistic approach. Her first cli-fi story was published way back in 2013 in Perihelion. In “Hurry Up and Wait”, an apocalypse survivor is initially happy that he finally is being left alone by society and, well, you can guess how long that lasts. You can find it reprinted in Into the Ruins.

Holly’s stories take place in various locations. “The Knells of Agassiz” (published in the Water anthology heads up north to help preserve Canada’s glaciers. “One Bad Apple” (SciFutures’ City of the Future anthology) journeys to an inner city food forest. “Home on the Free Range” (Analog) examines a complex ecosystem on an exoplanet from the point of view of a farm worker. In the fourth volume of the middle grade Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, a young girl sneaks out of her habitat home to take an adventurous walk on an alien world because “Fluffy Pets are Best”.

Science always plays a role. “The Weight of the World” (Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change) and the forthcoming “Handful of Empty” (The Way of the Laser anthology) are both about food security under very different circumstances. “Wicked Problem”, (Utopia SF Magazine) has a scientist and her daughter dealing with an actively dangerous climate-changed environment. In “Bear #178” (Winner of Communitech’s True North contest), a tech-enhanced grizzly bear solves the problem of her shrinking habitat in a disastrous way.

Both “The Call of the Wold” (Solarpunk Summers) and “Halps’ Promise” (just released in Solarpunk Winters) take a lighter turn regarding the workings of two very different intentional communities.

A Distant Honk” (The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix anthology) takes a humorous look at how feral clowns might adapt to climate change and how we might adapt along with them. “Stewardship” (Unsung Stories) is in a similar vein, a cautionary tale about environmental protection gone wrong.

Some of Holly’s stories are quite serious. “Five Ways to Talk about Twisted Oak Moss” in the Rising Tides literary anthology, examines our past and future environment, using moss colonies as a metaphor for larger habitats.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her short stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod, and many other publications throughout the world. Find her at hollyschofield.wordpress.com

Two SF Canada members are Rhysling Award Nominees!

Congratulations to Colleen Anderson and Lisa Timpf! Each year, nominees for the Rhysling Award are selected by the membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and are considered in the SF/F/H fields to be the equivalent in poetry of the awards given for prose work — achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.

Colleen’s poem, “The Storm Witch“, appeared in the Winter Solstice issue of Eternal Haunted Summer and is nominated in the Long Poems category.

Lisa’s poem, “No Fairy Tale World” was published in New Myths 47 and is nominated in the Short Poems category.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Colleen Anderson writes both fiction and poetry and has had over 170 poems published in such venues as Grievous Angel, Polu Texni, The Future Fire, HWA Poetry Showcase and many others. She is a member of HWA and SFPA and has performed her work before audiences in the US, UK and Canada and has placed in the Balticon, Rannu, Crucible and Wax poetry competitions. Currently she is working on two poetry collections. Colleen also enjoys editing and co-edited Canadian anthologies Playground of Lost Toys (Aurora nominated) and Tesseracts 17, and her solo anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, was published in 2018. A Body of Work was recently published by Black Shuck Books, UK. Living in Vancouver, Colleen keeps an eye out for mold monsters and mermaids, and will be guest of honour in 2020 at the Creative Ink Festival (now postponed). Find her at www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com.

Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her writing has been published in a variety of venues, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog as well as New Myths, Third Flatiron, Thema, and an anthology entitled Dogs of War. Lisa enjoys bird-watching, organic gardening, and golfing. The antics of her Border Collie, Emma, have provided inspiration for several of her stories. Read more of her work at lisatimpf.blogspot.com. You can also find her on Goodreads.

Hopepunk and the New Science of Stress by Rebecca Diem

Background photo by Faris Mohammed [via Unsplash]

SF Canada member Rebecca Diem’s latest article for Tor.com, Hopepunk and the New Science of Stress, examines the growing speculative fiction genre of hopepunk.

When I first saw encountered the term “hopepunk,” I felt an immediate sense of recognition. To me, it described the state of joyful protest I aspire to: Knowing enough about the world to be absolutely furious, but choosing optimism anyway.

Rebecca discusses new research into stress which may “help us to understand the positive aspects of stress and how our bodies respond to hardship.” And this may give us answers beyond “fight or flight”.

…we actually have a much bigger toolbox with which to deal with stressful events, whether it’s the pressure of an important deadline, an immediate threat to our well-being, or an existential threat like, well, a resurgence of fascism and totalitarianism.

Author, music lover and nerd. Rebecca writes smart, hopeful speculative fiction and poetry. Her work includes contributions to Tor.com and Kobo Writing Life, as well as the indie steampunk series Tales of the Captain Duke, following the adventures of a defiant young aristocrat who saves a band of airship pirates from certain peril and talks her way into joining their crew. Find her at rebeccadiem.com/.

Rebecca’s article leaves us with a pithy closing sentiment:

Remember that you’re more resilient than you think. Remember that dragons exist, but dragons can also be beaten.