This has been a good year for speculative fiction writer Guy Gavriel Kay. In July he was appointed to the Order of Canada (that country’s second highest civilian honor) for “contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author”. Now he has been awarded the Sunburst Award Society’s 2014 Copper Cylinder Award for Best Adult Novel for his historical fantasy work based on the Chinese 12th century Song Dynasty, A River of Stars.
The Sunburst Award Society’s focus is to recognize excellence in Canadian “Literature of the Fantastic”, which can encompass science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, and surrealism. To be considered for the Copper Cylinder Award, an author must be a Canadian citizen (native or naturalized; resident in Canada or residing outside Canada) or a landed immigrant in Canada. The award, which is an annual members’ choice award, takes its name from the novel A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille (1833-1880), considered to be the first Canadian science fiction novel. Awards are given for Best Adult Novel and Best Youth Novel.
Other works being considered for the Adult Novel award along with A River of Stars were Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson, This Strange Way of Dying by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, and The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper.
Cory Doctorow’s Homeland won the 2014 Copper Cylinder Award for Best Youth Novel. It is a follow up to his 2008 YA novel, Little Brother, which also won a Sunburst Award. Homeland continues the story of teenaged “hactivist” Marcus Yallow, and deals with themes of digital rights, abuse of authority, censorship and personal integrity in a politically charged landscape.
Mr. Doctorow, who was born in Toronto but currently lives in London, England, is a science fiction author, activist and blogger, and is co-editor of the eclectic website Boing Boing. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the 1999 Canadian Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. His activism includes liberalizing copyright laws and he is a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books (including Little Brother and Homeland).
Other works shortlisted for the Youth award included Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint (illustrated by Charles Vess), The Path of Names by Ari Goelman, and Urgle by Meaghan McIsaac.
Congratulations to Guy Gavriel Kay, Cory Doctorow, and all the nominees!