A Little Housekeeping and the 2012 Aurora Awards

Been doing a little housekeeping for the site. Getting rid of sections I wanted to use, but don’t have time to update. Reorganized (and split) the Bibliography section. Also reorganized the Contact section in preparation for something coming up in the near future.

And, in other news, the list of nominees for the 2012 Aurora Awards is public, and there is now a voter’s package available for those who have paid their CSFFA dues ($10.00 for the right to nominate/vote). For those who don’t know, the Aurora Awards are the Canadian Speculative Fiction awards. It’s our equivalent of the Hugo, and it covers a fair number of categories – among them prose, poetry, art, and related work that expands, aids, or otherwise benefits the Canadian Speculative community and larger discourse of/for same.

Also worth mentioning that I’m a nominee this year for the work I do editing the Friends of the Merril newsmagazine (that’s what the Aurora Awards have labeled it, so I’m adopting the nomenclature) Sol Rising.

But, above and beyond that, if you’re Canadian and you like Speculative Fiction (and who doesn’t?) you should consider paying the cost to vote so you can get your hands on the voter’s package.

Why?

Because you get the following:

  • five full nominated novels (and an excerpt from the sixth)
  • all the nominated short stories
  • all the nominated poems (including a full .pdf of Helen Marshall‘s Skeleton Leaves epic/collection/chapbook) and the audio file of Heather Dale‘s “Skeleton Woman”. I still say it’s incredibly unfair to pit Dale’s work against the poetry, incidentally – the song is gorgeous by the way – and I’ll go into this again below. Sort of.
  • the full .pdf of book two of the “Imagination Manifesto” (and links to the webcomics that made this year’s cut as well)
  • all of the material under the Best Related Work category (that’s 4 issues of On Spec, issue 20 of Neo-Opsis, the full text of Tesseracts 16, and a full text of The 10th Circle, V1 – also a link to more of Heather Dale’s work)
  • links (and some relevant examples) of the work of the nominated artists – also, a full text of Outer Diverse seems to have been included with Costi Gurgu‘s material. Not entirely sure why, but, another free book? Okay …
  • the full text of another 10th Circle project book, three editions of the BCSFAZine, two editions of Sol Rising, the full text of the In Places Between (memorial contest) anthology, and an issue of Space Cadet
  • links to the works of two of the nominated fan FILKers

Not everything, unfortunately, is represented in the voter’s package. The link to the work of the third FILK nominee is missing, and there aren’t any links to the work of those nominated under the Best Fan Other category. The Best Fan Organizational category also doesn’t have a voter’s package, though I suppose the organizers themselves are, technically, covered in the various 2012 Nominees sections of the Prix Aurora website.

It’s a good package, despite the mild deficiencies. Especially since this is the first time the Aurora Committee have tried putting one together. Still, I don’t really feel comfortable with the fact that Heather Dale is being forced to compete in the Poetry category. I’ve had this argument, in different forms, with a couple of people, and I’ve heard reasonable argument for why Poetry and Song functions as a dual category, but I don’t agree with the premise. The list is unbalanced as it stands, and it’s hurting both sides.

Still, it’s unlikely to be addressed any time soon. I talked with Cliff Samuels (the 2012 Aurora Awards Administrator) about the categories earlier in the year, and I know there are two planned changes to the categories next year, and I’ve proposed another change that may end up under consideration for the year after next. But I gather the Aurora Committee doesn’t want to pull too many changes to the list at one time. Can’t really blame them; it’s either gradual shifts or a complete overhaul, and they’ve picked the method they think best.

In any case, it’s worth registering for a CSFFA membership if you haven’t already. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that, at $10.00, this is probably one of the best deals you’ll find on this amount of Canadian SF material.

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