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Shortlist for the 2006 Sunburst Award

Book cover of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Someone Comes to Town,
Someone Leaves Town

by Cory Doctorow

Tor Books
ISBN: 0765312786

From the book jacket:
"With Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Eastern Standard Tribe, Cory Doctorow established himself as one of the leading voices of next-generation SF: inventive, optimistic, and comfortable with the sheer strangeness of tomorrow. Now Doctorow returns with a novel of wrenching oddity, heartfelt technological vision, and human pity set on the streets of Toronto today...."

The Sunburst jury says: "This unconventional urban fantasy takes the politics of Internet access as its skeleton and the bizarre background of its central character as its musculature, but its heart and soul are where this story truly has its strongest impact—a heart and soul that focus on the strong ties of family and friend—ties that remain even through the distance of time and of place. A lesser writer would surely have taken this wild group of ingredients and created an unpalatable mess, but Doctorow has created a remarkable book that blends everything together in a wild and tasty fashion that surely would never have occurred to any but the most frantic and precocious mind."

Cory Doctorow is the UK coordinator for Creative Commons and the European Affairs Coordinator of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing, with nearly 1 million visitors a month. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the 2000 Hugo Awards. His other books include the story collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More, which won the 2004 Sunburst Award.

Book cover of Gravity Wells

Gravity Wells:
Speculative Fiction Stories

by James Alan Gardner

HarperCollins Canada
ISBN: 0060087706

From the book jacket:
"Award-winning author James Alan Gardner evokes a sense of wonder that is synonymous with great speculative fiction. Now, in his first short-story collection, he brings together the numerous tales that have made his reputation, ranging from the everyday experience to the cosmic, from peanut butter sandwiches to space drives. There are stories of wonder, imagination, humanity, and the unknown and tales that remind us of the importance of possibility.

"James Alan Gardner is a 1989 graduate of the Clarion West Science Fiction Writers Workshop, and has had several science fiction stories and novellas appear in publications such as Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Amazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He is the author of seven previous novels: Expendable, Commitment Hour, Vigilant, Hunted, Ascending, Trapped and Radiant. He was the grand prize winner of the 1989 Writers of the Future contest, has won the Aurora Award, and has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards."

The Sunburst jury says: "An amazing variety of ideas, moods and writing sleights of hand. Gravity wells up from apparent whimsy, and stories gravitate towards one another as moved by strange attractors. An original, sometimes deliciously weird voice."

Book cover of The Wave Theory of Angels

The Wave Theory of Angels
by Alison MacLeod

Penguin Canada
ISBN: 0143051334

From the book jacket:
"Every story is the story of a secret.

"This is a story that unfolds across two far-flung centuries, across two worlds. In each, the lives of a father and his two daughters are about to be catapulted into crisis....

"The Wave Theory of Angels is a story of attractions, both cosmic and earthly. The riddles of magic, metaphysics and modern-day science transport the reader from the enchantment of the thirteenth century to the disenchantment of the twenty-first and back again. Through it all, one question persists: What is the real force of the imagination?

"Alison MacLeod was born in Montreal and raised in Halifax. She is the author of the novel The Changeling. Her short stories have been published by Prospect, London Magazine and Virago. Her collection Live Wire will be published by Hamish Hamilton in 2006."

The Sunburst jury says: "Skimming the mutable borders between genre and mainstream, this skillful braiding of two epochs, the Middle Ages of the Gothic cathedrals and our own, scientific cathedrals-building one—the mutual resonances of two different universes, in fact—is deeply thought-provoking. The open inclusion of the scientific discourse is at once refreshing and amazingly well-managed. And the writing is a constant delight, weaving seamlessly and with an always light and poetic touch metaphysics, science and a heart-wrenching story of love and loss between father and daughters and between sisters."

Book cover of In the Palace of Repose

In the Palace of Repose
by Holly Phillips

Prime Books
ISBN: 1894815580

From the book jacket:
"The essential Holly Phillips story begins like this: 'In a world that felt too little, there lived a girl who saw too much.' In the Palace of Repose is a collection of nine such stories, ranging from the delightfully fantastic In the Palace of Repose to the delicately horrific 'One of the Hungry Ones to the hauntingly literary 'The Other Grace.' Here indeed are young women, and young men, who have seen too much, and who have been abandoned to wrestle alone with the strange, the wonderful, the terrifying. Some triumph& some tragically fail. Most struggle on beyond the boundaries of their stories, carrying their wonders and horrors into their lives, into their worlds—worlds, and lives, startlingly like our own."

Holly Phillips has been publishing short fiction in professional markets across North America for many years. In the Palace of Repose is her first story collection, while her first novel, The Burning Girl, was published in 2006. She lives in British Columbia.

The Sunburst jury says: "The stories of In the Palace of Repose spring to life from the page. As the characters uncover artefacts of an unimagined past, relive a long-forgotten murder, cope with a memory that suddenly wipes itself clean or struggle to adapt to startling new worlds, Holly Phillips's masterful writing, depth of characterization and complete control of her craft make this book a joy to read."

Book cover of Spin

Spin
by Robert Charles Wilson

Tor Books
ISBN: 07653093866

From the book jacket:
"One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

"The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk—a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world’s artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they’d been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, a space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside—more than a hundred million years per year on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future...."

The Sunburst jury says: "Spin takes the reader to the world of today, an unconventional destination for an epic science-fiction tale that brings that same reader deep into a cosmic mystery and near to the edges of time. The three friends who anchor this excellent novel deal with their new and frightening circumstances in believable fashion, and the result is a novel that soars to the extremes of science-fictional ideas while remaining firmly in the realm of a world we all can know and understand, even as we feel their fear of the unknown."

Robert Charles Wilson was born in California and lives in Toronto. His novel Mysterium won the Philip K. Dick Award; Darwinia won an Aurora Award and was a finalist for the Hugo Award; The Chronoliths was also a Hugo finalist and won the John W. Campbell Award; and Blind Lake was a Hugo finalist, a New York Times Notable Book and a Sunburst Award finalist.

Jury's Recommended Reading

The jury felt that the following merited Honourable Mention:

  • Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
  • Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder



AND THE 2006 SUNBURST AWARD GOES TO...

LIST OF BOOKS FROM WHICH THE 2006 SHORTLIST WAS CHOSEN

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