Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Cory Doctorow wins 2004 Sunburst Award

Cory Doctorow has won the 2004 Sunburst Award for his short-story collection A Place So Foreign and 8 More (Four Walls Eight Windows Press).

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award that is presented annually. It is based on excellence of writing, and awarded to a Canadian writer who has published a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection any time during the previous calendar year. Named after the novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction, the award consists of a cash award of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion, which incorporates a "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné.

The Sunburst jury said, "A Place So Foreign and 8 More opens with Cory Doctorow's signature piece, "Craphound," which perfectly showcases the qualities that so impressed us: an energetic narrative drive; an infectious love of storytelling; intriguingly imagined outcast characters; unusual ideas explored with verve and intelligence; a charming wit; a desire to take chances rather than to retread safe ground; and a generous amount of chutzpah. This collection of nine stories is an excellent example of science fiction pushing forward and evolving, while casting a critically pertinent eye towards the past, the present, and the future."

Cory currently lives in London, England, where he works for the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is the author of two novels, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Eastern Standard Tribe.

The other short-listed works for the 2004 Sunburst Award were The Bone House by Luanne Armstrong (New Star Books), Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (McClelland & Stewart), Initiation by Virginia Frances Schwartz (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), and Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor Books).

There will be an award ceremony on September 23, 2004, at 7 p.m. in the Merrill Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, at the Lillian H Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street. The event is open to the public and free of charge. All five nominees will be honoured.

Jurors for the 2004 Sunburst Award were Caterina Edwards, Claude Lalumière, Yves Meynard, Lyle Weis, and Michelle Sagara West. They selected five short-listed works as representing the finest of Canadian fantastic literature published during the 2003 calendar year. However, this year's jury requested that the following additional books be listed because they felt very strongly that they merit special attention:

Struck by Geoffrey Bromhead (Anvil), The Mermaid of Paris by Cary Fagan (Key Porter), The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner), A Telling of Stars by Caitlin Sweet (Viking), and The Assassins of Tamurin by S. D. Tower (HarperCollins).

The 2005 Award jurors will be Deirdre Baker, Nancy Baker, Aritha van Herk, Nicholas Ruddick, and Rodger Turner. For additional information about the Sunburst Award, the nominees and jurors, as well as previous awards, eligibility and the selection process, please visit the Web site.

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