[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Press Release

For Release Sunday, July 16, 2000

Robert J. Sawyer Sweeps the Auroras

[Aurora trophy for FlashForward] Robert J. Sawyer, 40, of Thornhill, Ontario, pulled off a rare feat this evening: he won the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("the Auroras") for both Best English Novel of the Year and Best English Short Story of the Year. The awards were presented at TT2000, this year's Canadian National Science Fiction Convention, held in Toronto.

Sawyer's winning novel is FlashForward, published by Tor Books, New York, the world's largest publisher of science fiction. The hardcover was released in June 1999, and the paperback came out in April 2000. Tor titles are distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company of Bolton, Ontario.

Sawyer's winning short story is "Stream of Consciousness," first published in the anthology Packing Fraction, edited by Julie E. Czerneda and published by Canada's Trifolium Books.

The full list of Best English Novel nominees:

  • Beholder's Eye by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books
  • Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, Warner Books
  • FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer, Tor Books
  • Starfish by Peter Watts, Tor Books
  • Bios by Robert Charles Wilson, Tor Books
  • Death Drives a Semi by Edo van Belkom, Quarry Press

Awards were also given for Best Novel in French (to Samiva de Frée by Francine Pelletier, published by Alire) and Best Short Story in French (to "Souvenirs du Saudade express" by Éric Gauthier, published in Solaris issue 130).

Other Auroras are given for "Best Work in English (Other)" and "Best Work in French (Other)." The former went to the horror anthology Northern Frights 5 edited by Don Hutchison, and the latter went to the magazine Solaris, edited by Joël Champetier.

In FlashForward, a physics experiment goes awry at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics, causing the consciousness of everyone on Earth to jump ahead 21 years for a period of two minutes.

"Stream of Consciousness" tells the story of a team from Laurentian University trying to save the dying pilot of an alien spaceship that has crashed in Northern Ontario. (The full text is on Sawyer's web site at https://sfwriter.com.)

This wasn't the first award for FlashForward; the book also won Europe's top science-fiction award, the Cdn$10,000 Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, given each year by the Polytechnic University of Barcelona.

Nor were these Sawyer's first Aurora Awards. Three years ago, he became the first person ever to pull off the same double win: his Starplex took the Best English Novel award and his "Peking Man" took the Best English Short Story award. Prior to that, he'd also won Best Novel Auroras for The Terminal Experiment (1996) and Golden Fleece (1992), and a Best Short Story Aurora for "Just Like Old Times" (1994). Today's double win brings Sawyer's Aurora total to seven; no other English-language author has more than two.

Sawyer has also won a Nebula Award (the "Academy Award" of the science-fiction field) for Best Novel of the Year, voted on by the 1,100 members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, as well as an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada for Best Short Story of the Year.

Robert J. Sawyer's latest novel is Calculating God, just out in hardcover from Tor. For more information on him and his work, visit his extensive web site at https://sfwriter.com. For more information on the Aurora Awards, visit the official web site at http://www.sentex.net/~dmullin/aurora.

Full List of Aurora Winners

Best Long-Form Work in English: FlashForward, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)

Best Long-Form Work in French: Samiva de Frée, Francine Pelletier (Alire)

Best Short-Form Work in English: "Stream of Consciousness", Robert J. Sawyer (Packing Fraction, Trifolium Books)

Best Short-Form Work in French: "Souvenirs du Saudade Express", Éric Gauthier (Solaris 131)

Best Work in English (Other): Northern Frights 5, Don Hutchison, ed. (Mosaic Press)

Best Work in French (Other): Solaris, Joël Champetier, ed.

Artistic Achievement: Larry Stewart

Fan Achievement (Fanzine): Voyageur, Karen Bennett, ed. (USS Hudson Bay / IDIC)

Fan Achievement (Organizational): Bernard Reischl (KAG/Kanada)

Fan Achievement (Other): "Made in Canada" web site, Don Bassie (http://www.geocities.com/canadian_sf)

Aurora Awards

Canada's Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards


The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("the Auroras") were first presented in 1980, and have been given annually since 1982. On a per-capita basis, the Aurora Awards have the largest voter turnout of any national SF award in the world, exceeding that of the American-dominated Hugos, the Japanese Seiuns, the British Arthur C. Clarke Awards, and the Australian Ditmars.

The Aurora Awards are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, a non-profit organization. The award trustees are W. Paul Valcour, an accountant with the federal Auditor General's office, and computer-consultant Dennis Mullin of Kitchener, Ontario.

Each year, over one thousand nominating and voting ballots are distributed through Canadian SF specialty bookstores (such as Vancouver's White Dwarf, Toronto's Bakka, and Ottawa's Basilisk Dreams); with subscription copies of Canadian SF magazines (including the English-language On Spec and Parsec and the French-language Solaris and imagine...); to all members of the national SF-writers association, SF Canada; and at over a dozen science-fiction conventions coast-to-coast. Any Canadian resident may nominate and vote for the best Canadian-authored works of the preceding year in both official languages.

Different annual regional science-fiction conventions bid to be designated the year's "Canadian National Science Fiction Convention," or "CanVention," where the Aurora Awards are presented. This year, the convention TT2000 in Toronto was the CanVention; next year the awards will be presented at the Vancouver convention VCon 26.

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