When the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association was started up in 1980 there was only one award given. Since 1991, awards have been presented in 10 categories. There are 6 professional awards (3 English and 3 French), 3 fan awards, and the artistic achievement award. The Aurora awards are closest to the style of the Hugo awards in the method by which they are selected. First, there is the nomination phase to select a short list. Then a voting phase to pick the winner from the short list using the Australian voting method (voters rank their choices in each category). The Prix Aurora Awards were initially called the Casper Awards, then renamed the Auroras in 1991.
Below you'll find an overview of the winners, with cover/title links to the SF Site reviews (where applicable) along with synopses of those titles yet to be reviewed (cover images are linked to larger images, when available).
|Aurora Award (Best Long-Form Work in English)|
reviewed by Michael M Jones
Webmind, the world's first true artificial intelligence, has finally revealed himself to humanity, sparking a firestorm of controversy and mixed reactions. Despite ingratiating himself by all but eliminating spam, he's already survived one attempt on his "life" and fears a repeat. Now he must convince his "creators" that he comes in peace, winning over a world conditioned to expect the worst of artificial intelligences who can break any encryption, invade any database, and learn any secret.
an audiobook review by Gil T. Wilson
Born blind, Caitlin Decter receives a retinal implant that allows her to see. In the process, her doctor accidently gives her the ability to see webspace as well as the real world. With her online vision, Caitlin notices a presence in the background of the web and begins to explore. She soon finds that the presence is an accidentally created artificial intelligence which she dubs Webmind.
reviewed by Dan Shade
15-year-old Caitlin Decter was born blind. In spite of that, she is a math genius who can surf the net. Caitlin gets her sight back because of a computer chip implanted behind her left eye. At first, all she can see is the web in the form of circles and lines of various colors. Later on, she can see normally due to some reprogramming of the implant. But when she switches off the implant and looks at the World Wide Web, she discovers a consciousness out there.
"Calamity, born Chastity, has renamed herself in a way she feels is most fitting. She's a 50-something grandmother whose mother disappeared when she was a teenager and whose father has just passed away as she begins menopause. With this physical change of life comes a return of a special power for finding lost things, something she hasn't been able to do since childhood. A little tingling in the hands then a massive hotflash, and suddenly objects, even whole buildings, lost to her since childhood begin showing up around Calamity. One of the lost things Calamity recovers is a small boy who washes up on the shore outside her house after a rainstorm."
reviewed by Donna McMahon
When the peaceful land of Florengia is invaded by bloodlord Stralg and his horde of crazed Werist soldiers, the city of Celebre is among the first to fall, and the doge is forced to give up his four children as hostages. Fifteen years later, amid rumours the doge is about to die, those hostages suddenly become strategically important. One hostage will be selected and sent back to Celebre to be installed as a puppet ruler, and the others must be killed.
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Yuri Kirov is only a small child when his home colony is destroyed by the aliens and, after a confused evacuation, his family washes up at a barren, remote refugee camp. The kids run half wild in the camp, and eventually Yuri is recruited by a visiting "merchant" ship. Once he goes aboard, he discovers that the ship is manned by pirates.
"After a devastating forest fire, a ranger discovers a litter of wolf cubs. He and his wife soon learn that they are no ordinary wolves. They are both animal and human. Although the young ones try to fit into the human world, their true nature makes the challenges of being teenagers all the more difficult. When one of the pack is kidnapped, the others must draw on both sides of their nature -- human and wolf -- to find the cunning, the strength, and the courage it takes to rescue her."
"Blind Lake is a large federal research installation in northern Minnesota where scientists are using a technology they barely understand to watch everyday life in a city of lobster-like aliens upon a distant planet. They can't contact the aliens or understand their language. All they can do is watch. Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind Lake site. All communication with the outside world is cut off. Food and other vital supplies are delivered by remote control. No one knows why."
reviewed by Rich Horton
The author's second solo novel (after the much-praised Ventus (2000)) is at once exhilarating and frustrating. Exhilarating because it attacks a truly worthwhile larger SFnal theme in an original fashion, coming to original conclusions; and because it is packed with clever technological and scientific notions, and with some awe-inspiring vistas.
Permanence by Karl Schroeder
The Snow Queen by Eileen Kernaghan
The Snow Queen by Eileen Kernaghan
reviewed by Alexander von Thorn
Alexander felt that the author wrote with Gibsonesque authority, simply displaying her world without bothering to explain things that her characters take for granted. Black Wine is a powerful story which will change the world view of many readers.
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Big spaceships, alien civilizations, the mysteries of the cosmos, and a story that roams through the vastness of time and space. All of the elements of a big-scale, hard science fiction adventure story are present right from the start. When it comes to piling on a sense of wonder, Starplex is right on point.
"Dr. Peter Hobson's theories on death and the afterlife has lead him to create three separate electronic copies of himself: one has no memory of physical existence and simulates life after death; one has no knowledge of death or aging and represents immortality; and the third is left unaltered as a control subject. But somehow all three escape into the worldwide matrix. It appears that one of them is a killer."
"In 2005, NoCal and SoCal are the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millennium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rent-a-cop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech lens can make you rich -- or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on DatAmerica, where pure information is the goal."
"When Shielder's Mark breaks the ancient spell of the Ghostwood, he becomes a celebrated hero. Then the real trouble begins. He arrives at the king's court to claim his prize according to the ancient law: whatever he asks for, the crown will give. When Mark asks for the hand of the king's youngest daughter, Gail, he also receives a Duke's title, estate and a Keep of his own. The entourage travels to Borders and find a new trouble haunting the kingdom. The magic once bound by the Ghostwood spell is now free."
"Diane Fletcher is a detective at the end of her rope. She has been brutalized by the crimes and the punishments of the "Redemptionist" religious regime in power. She is to investigate the suspicious death of a famous actor. But our detective has a special talent: she's a Shaper who can read the emotional patterns underlying events. She can cut through the artifice, the faked emotions, and paint a picture in her head of what really happened."
"Aboard Argo, a colonization ship bound for Eta Cephei IV, people are very close. So when Aaron Rossman's ex-wife dies in what seems to be a bizarre accident, everyone offers their sympathy, politely keeping their suspicions of suicide to themselves. But Aaron cannot simply accept her death. He must know the truth: was it an accident, or did she commit suicide? When Aaron discovers the truth behind her death, he is faced with a terrible secret."
"In Tigana, only the conquered people can remember the original name of the land. Everyone else can't hear it, and can only refer to it by its new name of Lower Corte. And why should such a spell be cast? To wipe out the history, the very memory of this land forever, as its army killed the son of Brandin, sorcerer, warlord, and tyrant. The only problem with this spell is that Brandin has to remain in the conquered territories until all those who can still remember Tigana have died."
reviewed by Donna McMahon
Raised in a nomadic herding family, young Knobil is an oddity -- a fair, blue-eyed blond playing among browner, dark-haired and much larger companions. Ignorant and uneducated, Knobil doesn't think much about his uniqueness, until his dying mother reveals that he is the son of an angel who visited their camp long ago, and who has left a token that will admit Knobil to Heaven -- if he can get there.
"Enter a unique world -- lyrical and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting -- where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace. Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld."
reviewed by David Soyka
Unlike traditional fairy tales, the author's heroes are more richly characterized, achieving self-realization of untapped capabilities achieved through their trials in a fay world that co-exists with familiar landscapes. Jack of Kinrowan collects 2 previously published short novels -- Jack, the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon.
"In the second book of The Fionavar Trilogy, a mage's power has brought five university students from our world into a realm where an ancient evil has freed itself from captivity to wreak revenge on its enemies."
"Young Nhiall, a novice priest in old Britain, is given a jewel carved in runes he can't read and asked to deliver it to the priests at Aprilioth. It is a very long journey, with many detours. He is enslaved, trained as a horsemaster, falls in love several times, trains a prince, saving his life, fights in great battles, and learns some spiritual mysteries before he finally reaches his goal."
Made up of four novellas that follow each other sequentially, it collects the following stories:
Son of the Morning
The King's Dogs
A Judgment of Dragons
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