Friday, May 30, 2008

Sunburst Award 2008 Shortlist


Contact person: Rebecca Simkin


TORONTO, ONTARIO (May 26, 2008) - The short-listed works in the adult category for the 2008 Sunburst Award are:


- Michelle Butler Hallett
Darkness of the God - Amber Hayward
The New Moon's Arms - Nalo Hopkinson
Wonderfull - William Neil Scott
Axis - Robert Charles Wilson

The short-listed works in the young adult category for the 2008 Sunburst Award are:


- Deborah Lynn Jacobs
Retribution - Carrie Mac
Darkwing - Kenneth Oppel
Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet - Joanne Proulx
The Night Wanderer - Drew Hayden Taylor

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award that is presented annually. Named after the debut novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction, the award consists of a cash prize of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion, which incorporates the "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné. It is based on excellence of writing; the jury selects five short-listed works and one winner, representing the finest of Canadian fantastic literature published during the 2007 calendar year. The requirements of the young adult award are the same as for the adult award except for the age of the audience to which the work is addressed. The winner of the annual young adult award will also receive a medallion and prize of $1,000.

The jurors for the 2008 award are: Timothy Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Dena Bain Taylor, and Robert J. Wiersema.

The Sunburst jury says about:


- Michelle Butler Hallett

"Sanity, madness, torture in the name of science--Double-blind is wonderfully original while chillingly based in history. It really shook us up. Through the chronically self-deceived mind of the narrator, the novel delves into profound questions of ethics in a morally ambiguous world, and comes up with tragically ironic answers. The writing is incredibly layered, with metaphor and symbol perfectly balanced against the hard neutrality of scientific language."

Darkness of the God

- Amber Hayward

"With Darkness of the God, the second book in the Children of the Panther series, Hayward really finds her footing. Melding old mythology with contemporary society, she creates a different kind of urban fantasy for readers tired of the old supernatural tropes."

The New Moon's Arms

- Nalo Hopkinson

"Nalo Hopkinson crafts an engrossing story featuring an unforgettable character. With generous doses of mystery, humour, magical fantasy and insight, The New Moon's Arms is a entrancing read."


- William Neil Scott

"Scott follows the tradition of Canadian magic realism in a first novel brimming with quirky writing that would seem forced in less capable hands. The novel has huge scope--bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside and covering the entire lifecycle of a magical town--without ever sacrificing intimacy or detail. Scott has said he was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the ghosts conjured by his own family's stories."


- Robert Charles Wilson

"Original and creative, with strikingly lyrical prose, Wilson shows insight into the human need to dominate every landscape he or she sets foot upon, be it the West in 'olden' times or a new planet in the future--and the mistakes and pitfalls that occur while rushing to do so. He also shows the determination and fortitude our ancestors possessed and passed on, and the ability to learn from our errors and go forward."


- Deborah Lynn Jacobs

"Jacobs' second novel is original and fast-paced, with characters we'd love to know. Kathleen, Kay, Kate, Kathy--Jacobs juggles realities with dazzling confidence. The resolution satisfies but keeps you thinking--about love and loss, and the choices we make."


- Carrie Mac

"A timely novel, given the current rise of child armies in parts of the world. Strong writing pulls the reader through this sequel to The Droughtlanders. The sibling characters Eli, Sabine and Seth continue to grow as an exciting, action-packed yet thoughtful story unwinds."


- Kenneth Oppel

"Kenneth Oppel always spins wonderful fantasies about worlds hidden within our own, and in Darkwing he imagines one of those sub-worlds before our own. Darkwing takes the reader back to the earliest evolutionary form of bats and gives them a well-crafted, fast-paced adventure sure to please both grade schoolers and young teens."
Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet - Joanne Proulx

"Proulx doesn't shy away from showing the tumultuous mix of beauty and ugliness at work in the mind of a teen stoner. Her debut novel tackles ESP, drug use, teen sexuality and the mores of small town conservative Michigan all foregrounded against the soundscape of Luke Hunter's life. There is no doubt teens will recognize many of the characters in this uncomfortable novel. The book, like the protagonist, is not without flaws; Proulx's huge accomplishment here is writing a character whose rage, frustration and love are palpable through the disaffected teen voice."

The Night Wanderer

- Drew Hayden Taylor

"Taylor crafts a fast-paced tale of old magic meeting the modern world in this coming-of-age novel set in an Ontario reserve. With a spare, effective narrative style, he draws compelling portraits of teenage Tiffany, her struggling father, and a grandmother who carries the old world and the old Anishinabe language in her head. The mysterious Pierre brings a darkly gothic element to the prosaic setting, settling in the Hunters' basement room while he looks for a cure for his cravings. Taylor is an accomplished storyteller tackling themes of alienation and compromise with an accessible and engaging voice."

For further information about the Sunburst Award, including information about past nominees, winners, and jurors, please visit:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Jagged Glass and Feathers," by Susan Rendell

Short story writer andjournalist Susan Rendell recently interviwed me for an aticle in The Independent. Here's a link:

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett

Spark-gap transmission / Michelle Butler Hallett
in progress