Sunday, April 4, 2010

Canadians Sawyer and Wilson face off for Hugo Award for Best Novel

Toronto area-authors Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson are facing off once again for science-fiction's top international honour, the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year.

Sawyer's Wake (published by Viking Canada / Ace USA / Gollancz UK) and Wilson's Julian Comstock: A Novel of 22nd Century America (Tor Books) are two of the six finalists for the Hugo, which will be awarded Sunday, September 5, 2010, at a gala ceremony as the highlight of the 68th annual World Science Fiction Convention, which is being held this year in Melbourne, Australia.

Wake tells the story of Caitlin Decter, a blind 15-year-old math genius in Waterloo, Ontario, who discovers a nascent intelligence lurking on the World Wide Web. Julian Comstock is a satiric Victorian-style novel set in a post-apocalyptic Christian-fundamentalist United States.

The full list
of Best Novel nominees, announced April 4, 2010, in Melbourne, Australia:
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The City & The City by China Mieville
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Julian Comstock: A Novel of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson
(Bacigalupi, Priest, and Valente are Americans; Mieville is British.)

Sawyer shares an additional Hugo nomination this year in the category of Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) for "No More Good Days," the pilot episode of the ABC TV series FlashForward, scripted by Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer and based on Sawyer's novel of the same name.

The Hugos also honour short fiction, and in the novelette category "The Island" by Toronto's Peter Watts is a finalist. In addition, the Hugos honour work in fan categories, and three Canadians are competing there: Lloyd Penney of Toronto and James Nicoll of Kitchener for Best Fan Writer, and Taral Wayne of Toronto for Best Fan Artist. All nominees in all categories are listed here.

Sawyer's Wake is also currently one of five finalists for the Aurora Award, Canada's top honour in science-fiction, for Best English Novel of the Year. Wilson's Julian Comstock is expanded from his earlier novella "Julian: A Christmas Story," which was a previous Hugo finalist.

Both Sawyer and Wilson are previous winners of the Best Novel Hugo: Sawyer took the prize in 2003 for Hominids, and Wilson won in 2006 for Spin. Sawyer and Wilson — known as "Rob and Bob" in science-fiction circles — have faced each other on the best-novel Hugo ballot twice before: both were nominees for the award in 1999 and in 2004. This is Wilson's 6th Hugo nomination, and Sawyer now has 13.

Previous Hugo Award-winning novels include Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, and Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Watch, the sequel to Sawyer's current-finalist Wake, is being launched this Tuesday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m., at Dominion on Queen pub, 500 Queen Street West, in Toronto; the event, which kicks off Sawyer's 14-city cross-Canada book tour for Watch, is free and open to the public.

Robert J. Sawyer, 49, was born in Ottawa and lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Robert Charles Wilson, 56, was born in Whittier, California, and lives in Concord, Ontario; he became a Canadian citizen last year.


Publication-quality photo: Sawyer (left) and Wilson (right) with their previous Hugo trophies (photo by Carolyn Clink)

The Robert J. Sawyer website

The Robert Charles Wilson website

Sawyer award statistics via Locus, the science-fiction trade journal

Wilson award statistics

The Hugo Awards official site

This year's World Science Fiction Convention

Robert J. Sawyer online:

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Full list of 2010 Aurora nominees

The nominees for Canada’s 2010 Aurora Awards are as follows. Winners will be announced at KeyCon 27/Canvention 30 during the May 21-24 weekend.


The Amulet of Amon-Ra, by Leslie Carmichael, CBAY Books

Druids, by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy

Wake, Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

Steel Whispers, Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press

Terra Insegura, Edward Willett, DAW Books


Le protocole Reston. Mathieu Fortin, (Coups de tête)

L’axe de Koudriss. Michèle Laframboise, Médiaspaul

Suprématie. Laurent McAllister, (Bragelonne)

Un tour en Arkadie. Francine Pelletier, Alire

Filles de lune 3. Le talisman de Maxandre. Élisabeth Tremblay, (De Mortagne)


“Pawns Dreaming of Roses”, Eileen Bell, Women of the Apocalypse. Absolute Xpress

“Here There Be Monsters” Brad Carson, Ages of Wonder, (DAW)

“Little Deaths” Ivan Dorin, Tesseracts Thirteen

“Radio Nowhere” Douglas Smith, Campus Chills

“The World More Full of Weeping” Robert J. Wiersema, ChiZine Publications


«Ors blancs» Alain Bergeron, (Solaris 171)

«De l’amour dans l’air» Claude Bolduc, (Solaris 172)

«La vie des douze Jésus» Luc Dagenais, (Solaris 172)

«Billet de faveur» Michèle Laframboise, (Galaxies 41)

«Grains de silice» Mario Tessier, (Solaris 170)

«La mort aux dés» Élisabeth Vonarburg, (Solaris 171)


Women of the Apocalypse (the Apocalyptic Four) Editor, Absolute Xpress

Ages of Wonder Julie E. Czerneda, & Robert St. Martin, Editors, DAW Books

Neo-Opsis Magazine, Karl Johanson, Editor

On Spec Magazine, Diane Walton, Managing Editor, The Copper Pig Writers’ Society

Distant Early Warnings: Canada’s Best Science Fiction Robert J. Sawyer, Editor, Robert J. Sawyer books


Critiques. Jérôme-Olivier Allard, (Solaris 169-172)

Revue. Joel Champetier, éditeur, Solaris

Le jardin du general, Manga. Michele Laframboise, ,Fichtre, Montréal

Rien à voir avec la fantasy. Thibaud Sallé, (Solaris 169)

Chronique «Les Carnets du Futurible». Mario Tessier, (Solaris 169-171)


Kari-Ann Anderson, for cover of “Nina Kimberly the Merciless”,Dragon Moon Press

Jim Beveridge, “Xenobiology 101: Field Trip’” Neo-opsis #16

Lar de Souza, “Looking for Group” online Comic

Tarol Hunt, “Goblins”. Webcomic

Dan O’Driscoll, Cover of Steel Whispers , Bundoran Press


Jeff Boman, The Original Universe

Richard Graeme Cameron,WCFSAZine

Dale Speirs, Opuntia

Guillaume Voisine, éd. Brins d’Éternité

Felicity Walker, BCSFAzine


Renée Benett, for “In Spaces Between” at Con-Version 25

Robbie Bourget, and René Walling, Chairs of “Anticipation”, the 67th WorldCon

David Hayman, organization Filk Hall of Fame

Roy Miles, work on USS Hudson Bay Executive

Kirstin Morrell, Programming for Con-Version 25


Roy Badgerow, Astronomy Lecture at USS Hudson Bay

Ivan Dorin, “Gods Anonymous” (Con-Version 25 radio play)

Judith Hayman and Peggi Warner-Lalonde organization, Filk track @Anticipation

Tom Jeffers and Sue Posteraro, Filk Concert, Anticipation

Lloyd Penney, Fanwriting

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aurora Award finalists 2010!

I'm delighted and thrilled to be on the 2010 Aurora Award ballot twice: in the "Best Long Form English" category for Wake, published by Viking (Penguin) Canada, and in the "Best English Other" category for Distant Early Warnings: Canada's Best Science Fiction, which I edited for Red Deer Press.

The full list of nominees is here.

Robert J. Sawyer online:

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Review of Steel Whispers

... a novel by my gifted writing student Hayden Trenholm. See the review here.

Steel Whispers is published by Bundoran Press, and is eligible for the Aurora Award.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Here's the right way to do it

This also appeared in my inbox today:
Hello, all, Suzanne Church here.

First of all, please forgive me if you're received this request more than once.

I am particularly proud of my story, "The Tear Closet" which appeared in Tesseracts Thirteen, from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, in September of 2009. The story is eligible for the Aurora Awards, an annual Canadian Science Fiction/Fantasy award. My category of eligibility is: "2009 -- Publications in English: Short Stories"

I would be honoured if you would take the time to read my story. You can find a consideration copy at [link].

If you agree that "The Tear Closet" is worthy of a nomination, then, please, nominate it, and any other eligible works using the web pointers below.

For a full list of all eligible works, go to: Canadian SF Works Database.

Anyone who is either a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen can submit a nomination form for the Aurora Awards. You may select up to 3 nominees in each category. All selections will be given equal weight. There is no fee to nominate. The top five works in each category with the most nominations will be placed on the final ballot.

Mail-in nominations must be postmarked by February 5th, 2010. On-line nominations close Feb 15th, 2010.

For the mail-in nomination form: [link]

For the online nomination form: [link]

Feel free to forward this email to anyone you know who loves to read Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Thank you for your consideration,


Suzanne Church

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Aurora hustling

Update 13 January 2010: After some gentle nudging by Aurora administrator Clint Budd, the scheme described below has been withdrawn by the author and her friend, and, rather than have this lapse of judgment haunt them forever, I've removed identifying details from the body of this post. However, I do think the fact that this was tried, and that this sort of thing is strongly discouraged, should be noted for the record, and so I'm not deleting the entire post.
I pointed out to author XXXXX XXXXX that her friend's attempt to "motivate" people to nominate her for an Aurora by offering prizes was in bad taste, but she is happy with it, writing to me, "What's wrong with a contest? I get stuff like that from other authors all the time! It's motivation, not bribe!"

Well, I think it's in incredibly bad taste. It's one thing to alert people to the fact that you have a work eligible for the Auroras (and it's fine to make that work freely available so that people can judge it for themselves). But it's quite another to have someone instruct people to vote for you, and ask them to hustle others to do the same -- and then offer them a chance at a prize for voting for you, and more chances at a prize for hustling on your behalf.

But that's precisely what the message from XXXXXX XXXXXX's friend that appeared in my Facebook inbox today asked, and, since the author herself approves of it, here's the message (which, incidentally, suggests all sorts of reasons for nominating her book that have nothing to do with the quality of the book):

Yes, there is still time to GO VOTE ONLINE and support a Canadian Author!!!!

It is very important that you take 5 minutes to do this!

Show XXXXX XXXXX you appreciate her an artist, friend, author, Canadian, or simply a human being!!! Whatever rocks your boat!

Literary Aurora 2010
The Prix Aurora is an award for Canadian sf books based on fan-voting. [link]

If you haven't figured it out yet, her novel "YYYYYYYYYY" fits in the BEST LONG-FORM Work In English - 2009

YES, since some of you need motivation, we are giving out three sample booklets of PART III, ZZZZZZZZZZ as a taste of things to come.

All you need to do is go online and vote, forward your Prix Aurora Awards confirmation email to CONTEST@XXXXXXX.COM, add your mail-in address and voilà!

Your name will be written down on a paper, shuffled in a hat, and drawn on Feb 15, 2009.

If you wish to earn more ballots, invite your friends, check who said "yes" to the event, and send us (or simply me) the names. We will check. One ballot is earned for every 5 friends. If they click "yes" and don't get to the website, don't worry, you still get your ballot as a thank you for trying!

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Year of Matthew Johnson

I'm always super-proud when my writing students do well, so let me tell you about Matthew Johnson:

Matthew had his first novel published in 2009: Fall from Earth was issued by Bundoran Press, the wonderful publishing house in Prince George, BC, run by Virginia O'Dine.

And Matthew also had a great short story published last year: "The Coldest War" (Asimov's SF, February 2009), which you can read online here.

Both Fall from Earth and "The Coldest War" are eligible for the Hugo and Aurora Awards -- and nominations are open now.

(Matthew was my writing student at the University of Toronto in 2005.)

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kirstin Morrell for the Aurora

There is an Aurora category for "Fan Achievement - Organizational." If you enjoyed the programming at Con-Version 25 this past year in Calgary (which was some of the best in years), don't forget to nominate Kirstin Morrell in that category.

She did an amazing job -- a job that was all the more remarkable because she was simultaneously also helping to run the annual iCORE Summit at Banff for her work.

Please nominate:
  • Morrell, Kirstin. Programming for Con-Version 25
The nominating ballot is here; all Canadians may nominate and there is no charge to do so.

Kirstin Morrell

(That's Kirstin making a last-minute adjustment to the master programming schedule)
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Aurora Award nominations now open

Nominations are now open for the 2010 Aurora Awards, honouring science fiction and fantasy work from 2009. Any Canadian may nominate, and there's not cost to do so.

The nominating ballot is here, and a reminder of what works are eligible can be found at the Canadian SF Works Database.

My novel Wake is eligible in the Best Long Form Work in English category (and, cough, cough, I'll point out that it's been ten full years since I last won in that category; my last novel to win the Aurora was 1999's FlashForward):
  • Sawyer, Robert J. Wake. Viking Canada.
And the anthology I edited, Distant Early Warnings: Canada's Best Science Fiction, is eligible in the Best Work in English (Other) category:
  • Sawyer, Robert J. Distant Early Warnings, Robert J. Sawyer Books
The 2010 Aurora Awards will be given out at KeyCon in Winnipeg over the May 22-24 weekend.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Monday, December 28, 2009

Canadian SF publishers and writers: Get with the program

Judging by the entries in the Canadian SF Works Database, there were all of five stories published in On Spec this past year, and just two in Neo-opsis, and just two in Tesseracts Thirteen. That's all that are listed in the wiki that many Canadian nominators rely on in filling out their Aurora and Hugo ballots.

Oh, and the magazines On Spec and Neo-opsis, plus the anthologies Tesseracts Thirteen and Women of the Apocalypse aren't listed, either. And apparently Edge, Canada's largest SF publisher, issued just one book last year.

It would behoove the publishers of these works to update the listings. Any Canadians who published any science fiction, fantasy, or horror in 2009 should get their works listed in the wiki; you can, and should, enter your own works. Come on, folks. It's a public Wiki, and no one is going to do this for you.

(Hats off to whoever put up the complete listings for Campus Chills and the titles published by Bundoran Press. The rest of you: get with the program!)

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site