Friday, April 13, 2012

Napier's Bones and the Aurora Award

I'm pleased to finally be able to announce that my novel Napier's Bones is a finalist for the 2012 Prix Aurora Award in the Best Novel category. I've known for well over a week now, but have had to hold off on making the announcement until today, I imagine so the administrators of the award could get all of their ducks in a row.

The Aurora is Canada's oldest SF/F prize, and one that I've been nominated for three other times. My short story "Body Solar," my short story "Mayfly," co-written with Peter Watts (both in the short fiction category), and my SF review column in the Edmonton Journal (for non-fiction) all made the shortlist, but none of them won.

I wanted to make a couple of notes about the novel category this year. First off, it pleases me to no end that four of my five fellow nominees are friends (not that Ryan Oakley is an enemy, mind; I just don't know him like I know the others). Frankly, I'd much rather lose to a friend than defeat an enemy.

I'm also pleased that four of us all come from the same publishing house, ChiZine. A lot of people have noted that it seemed that 2011 was the year that CZP seemed to jump into the fore, and certainly this is, at the very least, a small sign of that. They are still not a big press in the sense that Tor or Penguin are, but they are making very steady inroads, and doing it by coming out with quality fiction in a quality package.

Also, as fellow nominee David Nickle noted elsewhere, it's a pleasure to see that all six books were published in Canada. The most international of us all, Robert J. Sawyer, of course had his book also published in the US, but because he has a deal with Penguin Canada, it is a separate Canadian edition (or so I think).

But amidst all of the celebration and hoopla (muted hoopla, to be sure. Partly because we are Canadian, partly because the Aurora is not on the same level as the Hugo), I want to take a moment to reflect on what I think is a glaring error of omission on the roster of finalists. Jo Walton's Among Others, which came out from Tor last year, was my first choice on my own nomination ballot, and really does deserve to be there with the rest of us. However, seeing how her novel is up for this year's Hugo, I would suggest that she is probably not missing this quite as much as she could. In the meantime, if you were growing up in the 1970s or early 1980s and were a fan of science fiction and fantasy, you could do far worse than the fantastical trip down memory lane Jo takes you on.

But that's all behind us. I'm stoked my novel is there, and I'm pleased with the company I am in. I'll probably post one or two reminders about voting as time approaches, but don't expect me to push overly hard. One reminder on Facebook was all I put up about the nominations (I think), and I don't want to annoy anyone out there. At least, annoy them any more than I normally do.

congratulations on your nomination. Yours was indeed one of the novels I nominated, so am pleased to see it make the ballot.

By my count Chizine had 9 separate nominations this year, so pretty amazing for a (formerly?) small press.
Thanks, Robert. Besides Among Others, there was one other nomination I made that was in vain, and that was for your short story in Tess. Too bad, but well done just to get it out there to be enjoyed.
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