05/06/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin
The shortlisted works for this year's Sunburst Award are announced for Canadian literature of the fantastic.
The shortlisted works for the 2007 Sunburst Award are
Mark Frutkin, Fabrizio's Return
Martine Leavitt, Keturah and Lord Death
Carrie Mac, The Droughtlanders
Peter Watts, Blindsight
Robert Wiersema, Before I Wake
The winner will be announced in the fall of 2007.
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 2006 calendar year.
The jurors for the 2007 award are Steven Erikson, James Alan Gardner, Tom Henighan, Emily Pohl-Weary and Caitlin Sweet.
The Sunburst jury says about:
"Fabrizio's Return is a complex drama of faith, love, church politics, and art, set in 17th- and 18th-century Cremona. The story explores the events surrounding the mission of a 'devil's advocate' sent by the church to investigate the life of a local 'saint.' Frutkin's narrative is probing in its exploration of ordinary human nature. Rich in humour, a sense of irony, and celebrating the power of passion, this novel blends fantasy, realism and historical authenticity to create a unique and engaging work of art."
Keturah and Lord Death:
"A delicate, haunting story-within-a-story told by a girl who must choose between her bright, beloved town and the dark forest beyond it; between living and sacrifice. The tale is told with grace and humour and it resonates with a deep understanding of yearning, loss and youth."
The Droughtlanders: "This is a story whose deceptively simple voice perfectly mirrors its heart: the complexity and range of human nature. Mac depicts the divisiveness of social class and the brutality human beings are capable of showing towards one another; she also highlights our stubborn capacity for tenderness and joy. The world she has created is post-apocalyptic in its grimness, yet readers will be impatient to return to it in books two and three of the trilogy. For, while the landscape is harsh, the people who inhabit it brim with hope and promise."
"Neurobiology, vampires, alien encounters, mommy issues, deep space: Peter Watts has taken these elements (and countless others) and created a dense, provocative hard science-fiction novel that puzzles as much as it enlightens. The motives of the human, mostly human, and non-human beings who populate the story are as deliciously uncertain as the outcome of their mission. Blindsight is a mind-bending, stylish question mark of a book; we dare you to answer it."
Before I Wake:
"A mortally injured child lying in a coma seems to influence, or somehow preside over, the lives of her parents and others. Wiersema's first novel is a tour-de-force of shifting narrative viewpoints, influenced by William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, but entirely successful in its own right. Direct, sensitive and powerful, this novel uses its fantastic premise to probe human nature, passion, and the mysteries of human consciousness with irony and insight."
For further information about the Sunburst Award, including information about past nominees, winners, and jurors, please visit www.sunburstaward.or
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