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Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Press Release
For Release Sunday, July 21, 1996

Sawyer and Vonarburg Win Canada's Top Science Fiction Awards

[Aurora Trophy] The sixteenth annual Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("the Auroras") were presented July 21, 1996, at a ceremony at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Calgary, Alberta.

Robert J. Sawyer of Thornhill, Ontario, won the Aurora Award for Best English-Language Novel for The Terminal Experiment (published by HarperPrism, the science-fiction imprint of HarperCollins; distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada Limited).

Élisabeth Vonarburg of Chicoutimi, Quebec, won the Aurora Award for Best French-Language Novel for Les Voyageurs malgré eux (published by Québec/Amérique).

In April, Sawyer's The Terminal Experiment also won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award — the Academy Award of Science Fiction — for Best Novel of the Year. The Terminal Experiment is also a finalist for the Hugo Award — SF's international readers' choice award. The Hugo winners will be announced September 1, 1996, in Anaheim, California, at the 54th Annual World Science Fiction Convention. Set in Toronto fifteen years in the future, The Terminal Experiment tells the story of the discovery of scientific proof for the existence of the human soul.

[Terminal Experiment] The other nominees in the Best English Novel category were:

  • The Cursed by Calgary's Dave Duncan (Del Rey)
  • The Lions of Al-Rasan by Toronto's Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking)
  • Starmind by Vancouver's Spider and Jeanne Robinson (Ace)
  • Resurrection Man by Sean Stewart, now living in Texas (Ace)
  • Mysterium by Toronto's Robert Charles Wilson (Bantam)

The other nominees in the Best French Novel category were:

  • Les Voyages thanatologiques de Yan Miller, Jean-Pierre April (Québec/Amérique)
  • L'Oiseau de feu (2-C), Jacques Brossard (Leméac)
  • La Rose du désert, Yves Meynard (Le Passeur)
  • Lame, Esther Rochon (Québec/Amerique)
  • Manuscrit trouvé dans un secrétaire, Daniel Sernine

Auroras were also given for short fiction. The Best English-Language Short Story Award went to "The Perseids" by Toronto's Robert Charles Wilson, first published in the Canadian anthology Northern Frights 3, edited by Don Hutchison and published by Mosaic Press. The Best French-Language Short Story Award went to "Equinox" by Yves Meynard, first published in a collection of Meynard's sort fiction.

Each Aurora Award trophy consists of two sheets of polished metal, rippling like curtains of northern lights, mounted on a maple wood base. They were designed and built by Alberta sculptor Franklyn Johnston.

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 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 Ottawa-based accountant, 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 Montreal's Nebula); with subscription copies of Canadian science-fiction magazines (including the English-language On Spec and the French-language Solaris and imagine...); to all members of various associations for SF writers; 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 Con-Version XIII in Calgary, Alberta, was the CanVention; next year, the awards will be presented at the Toronto-area SF convention Primedia '97.

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