Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Phyllis Gotlieb, "grand dame of Canadian science fiction," dies in Toronto

Life member and founding member of SF Canada Phyllis Gotlieb, the "grand dame of Canadian science fiction," died yesterday in Toronto of complications from a burst appendix.

Born Phyllis Fay Bloom on May 25, 1926, in Toronto, in the 1960s and 1970s she was the only prominent English-language Canadian SF writer; in 1982 she was honored with an Aurora Award for lifetime achivement.

Her first SF story, "A Grain of Manhood," appeared in Fantastic in 1959, and she published short fiction widely right into this century. Some of her stories are gathered in Son of the Morning and Other Stories (1983) and Blue Apes (1995). She edited Tesseracts2 (1987), an anthology of Canadian SF, with Douglas Barbour.

Phyllis's first novel, Sunburst appeared in 1959; one of Canada's most important SF prizes is called the Sunburst Award in her honor. Other works include her Sven Dhalgren books: O Master Caliban! (1976) and Heart of Red Iron (1989); her Starcats series: Nebula-nominated novella "Son of the Morning" (1972) and novels including Aurora Award winner A Judgment of Dragons(1980), Emperor, Swords, Pentacles (1982), and Tiptree and Aurora finalist The Kingdom of the Cats; the Flesh and Gold series: Flesh and Gold (1998), Violent Stars (1999);Mindworlds (2002); and standalone feminist fantasy Birthstones (2007).

The funeral will be held on Thursday, July 16, at 3:30 p.m. at Adath Israel Synogague in Toronto. Details are here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

SF Canada members Dave Duncan, Cory Doctorow and Eileen Kernaghan on Sunburst Award short list

Three SF Canada members have made the shortlist of the Sunburst Award, Canada's premiere juried award for science fiction and fantasy literature.

Dave Duncan's The Alchemist's Code (Ace) is a finalist in the adult category, while Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor) and Eileen Kernaghan's Wild Talent: A Novel of the Supernatural (Thistledown) are on the young adult shortlist.

In addition, Ursula Pflug's collection After the Fires received an honorable mention in the adult category, as did Arthur Slade's Jolted: Newton Starker's Rules for Survival in the young adult category.

The awards, named after the first novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, consist of $1,000 cash and a medallion which incorporates a specially designed "Sunburst" logo. The winners will be announced in the fall.

Michèle Laframboise launches new English blog

Michèle Laframboise reports that Echos of a Sunday artist, her new English blog, is officially online, adding, "It may have a few typos, but the spirit is there!"

Michele's SF comic book The General's Garden is now out in both French and English.

Ursual Pflug resells one old story, sells two new ones

Ursula Pflug has sold a reprint of "Python," one of the stories in her Aurora Award-nominated story collection After the Fires, to Mapping the Beast: The Best of Leviathan and Album Zutique, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

A new story Ursula says she's particularly happy with, "Harvesting the Moon." will appear in the fall issue of Peter Crowther's Postscripts. Another new story, "Learning Elvish," is forthcoming in Jon Wood's Farrago's Wainscot.

Dave Duncan's Ill Met in the Arena Endeavour Award finalist

Dave Duncan's novel Ill Met in the Arena (Ace) is among three novels and two collections of short stories written by Pacific Northwest writers that are finalists for the 11th Endeavour Award and the $1,000 honorarium that accompanies it.

Besides Duncan, the other finalists are Anathem by Neal Stephenson, Long Walks, Last Flights and Other Stories by Ken Scholes, Space Magic by David Levine, and A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon.

The Endeavour Award honors a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book, either a novel or a single-author collection of stories, created by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. Entries are read by seven readers randomly selected from a panel of local fans and readers. The five highest scoring books then go to three judges, who are all professional writers or editors.

The winner will be announced November 27 at OryCon, Oregon’s annual science fiction convention.

Cory Doctorow's Little Brother ties for Campbell Award, wins Prometheus Award

Cory Doctorow's young adult novel Little Brother (Tor) continues to win awards, picking up two more in the past couple of weeks.

First, Little Brother tied with Ian MacLeod's Song of Time (PS Publishing) for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of the year. Third went to The Philosopher's Apprentice, by James Morrow. The award will be presented at the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, this weekend, July 10 to 12.

Second, Little Brother won the Prometheus Award, awarded annually by The Libertarian Futurist Society. Other finalists were Matter by Iain Banks (Orbit), The January Dancer by Michael Flynn (Tor), Saturn's Children by Charles Stross (Tor), Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (Roc), and Half a Crown by Jo Walton (Tor). The award will be presented at the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal in August.