The Prix Aurora Awards

The Prix Aurora Awards are Canada’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. They’ve been celebrating Canada’s literature of the fantastic for over thirty years. They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA). I’ve been behind these things as long as I’ve been aware of them, encouraging people to nominate and vote.

More to the point, the Auroras deserve to be broadly known, as they celebrate the best of Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Canada’s practitioners of such are among the best in the world. Best, is of course subjective, but in the case of the Auroras, we’re talking about the books, stories, poems that readers and fans felt were the best.

(I’m also glad I kept in the habit of badgering people about the Auroras, as this year, I finally have a dog in the hunt: my short story “First Light” which is currently posted on my excerpts page.)

Here is a list of eligible works. If there’s a story you love that’s Canadian and not on the list, please add it, so that other readers might find it too.

Here is my list of works that really stood out in 2011.

Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong
Magebane by Lee Arthur Chane (aka Ed Willett)
A Rope of Thorns by Gemma Files
Napier’s Bones by Derryl Murphy
Enter, Night by Michael Rowe
Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer

Short Form: (I’ve never actually read this many short stories in one year, which marks something of a milestone for me, but damn is it going to make narrowing the field down to three tough.)
V-Link by Eileen Bell (Evolve 2)
Victim 18 by Eileen Bell (10th Circle Project)
The Memory Junkies by Kate Boorman (Tesseracts 15)
Costumes by Shen Braun (Tesseracts 15)
Just Dance by Erika Holt (Tesseracts 15)
Exit Interview by Patrick Johanneson (Daily SF)
Foxford by Sandra Kasturi (Chilling Tales)
Slowing of the World by Sandra Kasturi (Evolve 2)
The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere
Skin by Helen Marshall (Future Lovecraft)
Homo Sanguinus by Ryan T. McFadden (Evolve 2)
Looker by David Nickle (Chilling Tales)
Safe by Brett Alexander Savory (Chilling Tales)
Tom Chestnutt’s Midnight Blues by Robert J. Wiersema (Chilling Tales)

Poetry & Song Lyrics:
Zombie Bees of Winnipeg by Carolyn Clink (ChiZine)
Lie-Father by Gemma Files (Strange Horizons)–it has Kennings!
A Man in his Car Beside his Beautiful Wife by Sandra Kasturi (Coffee House Poetry)
Skeleton Leaves by Helen Marshall (collection)
The Oak Girl by Helen Marshall (Tesseracts 15)

Graphic Novels:

Goblins by Tarol Hunt
Imagination Manifesto Vol. 3 by GMB Chomichuk
Sweet Tooth Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire

Other Works: This category has always frustrated me, as it encompasses so many disparate things. I’ve separated my choices out by subcategories just for organization’s sake.


Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Karl Johaneson, ed.
ChiZine, Brett Alexander Savory, ed.
On Spec, Diane Walton, ed.


Chilling Tales: Evil Did I Dwell, Lewd Did I Live, Michael Kelly, ed.
First Circle, Vol 1 of the 10th Circle Project, Eileen Bell & Ryan McFadden, eds.
Tesseracts 15: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, Julie E. Czerneda & Susan MacGregor, eds.


Hiromi Goto, A Planet of One’s Own  (On Spec Summer 2011)

Artistic Achievement:
Erik Mohr, Chizine 2011 covers
Dan O’Driscoll, Cover for On Spec’s Summer 2011 issue (yeah, yeah, the issue my story appeared in. That’s not the point, it was a great cover.)

Fan Filk:
Uh….I run screaming from this stuff, so you’re on your own.

Fan Organizational:

Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall. Co-Chairs of the 2011 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium: Modern Mythologies (Toronto)
Fair disclosure, I was invited to participate in 2011’s Colloquium, marking my first ever out of town conference invite to be a guest. I was pretty chuffed about that, and Sandra and Helen put on an amazing event.
Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall. Co-Organizers of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series (Toronto)
Randy McCharles Chair of When Words Collide (Calgary)
WWC was one of my best Con experiences outside of a World Fantasy Con, ever.
Nancy Fetterman, Levi Labelle, LeAmber Kensley, Co-Chairs, KeyCon 28 (Winnipeg) This is my home con, and I enjoyed the hell out of last year.
Craig Dedrick, President,  PrairieCon 32 (Brandon) I’ve been going to PrairieCon semi-regularly since at least 1991 or 1992. Best pure gaming con I’ve attended.
Stanley Woo, President, Pure Speculation (Edmonton) Pure Spec was a last minute addition to 2011’s con schedule for me, and it was great to hang with the On Spec crew again. Deserves a nomination for guest of honour Jo Walton’s writing workshop alone.
Fan Other:
As Christopher Lambert said in Highlander: “There can be only one“, and that one needs to be team at The Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest who stepped up to post a thoroughly researched list of Canadian SF&F while the Eligible Works database was unable to be updated.

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