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Shortlist for the 2003 Sunburst Award

Book cover of Talon

by Paulette Dubé

NeWest Press ISBN: 1-896300-47-2

From the book jacket: "Rubis Caillou Morin is a widow, mid-wife, and faith healer from Gaspé.  Before her untimely death in 1873 she sends her young son west — to be safe and to help her brothers settle new land.  The young Raoul carries with him a small red book filled with his mother's wisdom and love, a book that will shape the future of Rubis's family for generations to come... "Paulette Dubé was born in Westlock, Alberta, and grew up in the French village of Legal.  When she was three, she watched her third sister being born on the kitchen table and has been hooked on magic, creation and miracles ever since.  Paulette is the author of three books and the recipient of a number of awards, including the Milton Acorn Memorial People's poetry Award (1994) and the CBC Alberta Anthology (1998).  Selections from Talon were short-listed for the 1999 Canadian Literary Awards.  She is currently a resident of Jasper, Alberta, where she lives with her husband Raymond and her son André.


Sunburst juror Hiromi Goto says: "Talon, a feminist historical story, integrates the fantastic into the narrative so seamlessly and naturally the fantastic is made seemingly mundane. The 'magic' is located in the domestic space and informs the lives of the two French Canadian families. Stylistically challenging, it's a non-linear text that actualizes the notebooks and journals that Rubis and Philia kept.  The language is poetic and spare and dense. It asks the reader to work the text and the results are amazing. The novel captures the spirit of the women and their struggles to survive. It is also joyful and tragic, reflecting an understanding of human nature." Book cover of Salt Fish Girl

Salt Fish Girl
by Larissa Lai

Thomas Allen Publishers ISBN: 0-88762-111-2

From the book jacket: "Salt Fish Girl is the mesmerizing tale of an ageless female character who shifts shape and form through time and place.  Told in the beguiling voice of a narrator who is fish, snake, girl, and woman — all of whom must struggle against adversity for survival — the novel is set alternately in nineteenth-century China and in a futuristic Pacific Northwest ... "Larissa Lai was born in La Jolla, California, grew up in Newfoundland, and lived for many years in Vancouver.  Her first novel, When Fox Is a Thousand, was short-listed for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award.  She recently complete an MA at the University of East Anglia and is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Calgary." Sunburst juror Eileen Kernaghan says: "Larissa Lai expands the boundaries of speculative literature with her imaginative synthesis of fairy tale fantasy, magic realism and science fiction. With vivid characterization and lyrical prose she connects the mythic past and the dystopic future. Lai's mysterious shape-shifting female hero weaves her way through time and space between the world of magic and the world of biotechnology, from pre-Shang China to a walled west-coast city of the 21st century. Moving in and out of dreams and reality, Lai blends Chinese mythology, cultural history and feminist social consciousness into a compelling tale."
Book cover of Permanence

by Karl Schroeder

Tor Books ISBN: 0-765-30371-X

From the book jacket: "Young Rue Cassels of the Cycler Compact — a civilization based around remote brown dwarf stars — is running from her bullying brother, who has threatened to sell her into slavery.  Fleeing in a shuttle spacecraft from the sparsely populated and austere comet-mining habitat she has lived in her whole life, she spots a distant, approaching object, and stakes a legal claim to it.  It is not the valuable comet she hoped for but something even more wonderful, an abandoned Cycler starship... This is Rue's quest to visit and claim this ship and its treasures, set against a background of warring empires, strange alien artifacts, and fantastic science.... "Karl Schroeder lives in Toronto, Canada.  Permanence, also nominated for an Prix Aurora Award, is his second novel for Tor Books.  His first novel was Ventus." Sunburst juror Lesley Choyce says: "Karl Schroeder writes as if space travel is second nature to him. He incorporates science and politics and comes up with some memorable characters who demand the reader's attention. If you were ever stranded on a space station and wanted to get off, you would definitely want this writer at your elbow. They call this 'hard SF adventure' but it's certainly has its soft edges and some literary competence as well. The adventure element plays out well and the book takes you for a very provocative ride." Book cover of Dead Man's Gold


Dead Man's Gold and Other Stories
by Paul Yee


Groundwood Books ISBN: 0-88899-475-3

From the book jacket: "The characters in these stories are men and women, rich and poor, greedy and good, young and old — all Chinese immigrants struggling to make new lives for themselves in North America.  Yet wherever they go, they are followed by reminders of the home country — the curse of a friend betrayed, the ghost of a faithful spouse, the spirit of a dead parent.  These ten original ghost stories dramatize the tumultuous history of 140 years of Chinese immigration to North America — from the poor village men who first came searching for gold in the late 1850s to the new immigrants who arrived from Hong Kong in the wake of the Communist victory in China... "Paul Yee was born in Spalding, Saskatchewan, and grew up in Vancouver's Chinatown.  As a former archivist with the city of Vancouver and the Archives of Ontario, he brings to his books extensive knowledge of written and photographic historical records.  He has published many books on the experiences of the Chinese in North America, Including Breakaway, a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, two adult non-fiction titles and several picture books.  Ghost Train was the winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, the Prix Enfantasie and the Ruth Schwarts Award; Tales from Gold Mountain, his first prize-winning collection of folktales, was named a Parent's Choice Honor Book, Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book and received starred reviews in Booklist and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Paul now lives in Toronto, where he writes full time." Sunburst juror Arthur Slade says: "These are not your typical ghost stories.  With deft prose and an expert hand, Paul Yee has created ten original haunted tales that resonate with fear, greed, love and longing — the gamut of human emotion.  The trials of Chinese immigration to North America are brought to life with clarity and boundless imagination.  A marvellous and moving read!"