On the eve of the Manitoba Book Awards, where the first ever Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction will be presented, the Winnipeg Science Fiction Association has announced the creation of another new award. They’re naming it for a Manitoban, and Canada’s only (so-far) Grand Master of Science Fiction, A.E. Van Vogt. So far there’s not a lot of information about eligibility, or the method by which the award winner will be chosen. From the press release it’s safe to assume one must be a Canadian writer, so the Prix Aurora Awards and the Sunburst Award will have some company.
I do hope (as a writer of fantasy) that Science Fiction is being used as a catch-all term for “speculative fiction” (or whatever you want to call it). And yes, I hope this mostly because I don’t write science fiction, and it would be great to have another award my work is eligible for (let’s face it, I’ll never win a Booker, a GG or a Giller). However, there’s more to my hope than my writerly selfishness. While I read some science fiction, fantasy makes up much of my to-read pile, so I know I’ll be more invested in promoting and discussing this new award if I’ve read the works being considered (this is assuming a shortlist is even named–and I hope it is).
I’m looking forward to hearing more about the nuts and bolts of WINSFAs new award, but in the mean time, thank you, this is great news.
Press release below:
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – The Winnipeg Science Fiction Association Inc (WINSFA) is delighted to announce the creation of the A.E. VAN VOGT Award (The A.E.V.V.A.).
Exactly 100 years ago, on April 26, 1912, Alfred Elton Van Vogt was born on a farm in Edenburg, a Russian Mennonite community east of Gretna, Manitoba, Canada. By July 1939, he had written his first Science Fiction story and had it professionally published.. He continued to write in Winnipeg until 1944 and it was during this time that one of his major stories “SLAN” was written. By 1995 he was awarded the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) . He has been the ONLY Canadian Science Fiction Writer to be awarded this major title.
The Winnipeg Science Fiction Association (WINSFA) has taken advantage of this moment in time to create an award to honor this Manitoba born writer and his unique position as Canada’s only Grand Master and we extend our sincere gratitude to Van Vogt’s family for granting permission to honor his name & works.
This award will be called the A.E.Van Vogt Award or AEVVA.
We believe that this award, based on spotlighting the best in Canadian Science Fiction Writing over the past years, will:
- Draw attention to Canadian Science Fiction
- Demonstrate that Canada has been producing World class writers for some time.
- Cause more people to talk about Science Fiction .
- Promote better writing.
- Discover more writers.
The actual award will consist of a presentation piece and monetary prize.
We will host the award ceremony here in Winnipeg in late Sept to continue our support of Canadian Science Fiction.