Yesterday, much to my excitement, Speculating Canada won the Prix Aurora Award. In the extreme of excitement at the Award Ceremony, I was only able to give part of my acceptance speech, so I wanted to place it here in a format that all of you could read and see so that you can know how much you, the readers, have meant to me, and how much Speculating Canada has come from a collaborative effort on the part of you, the fans and readers, the authors who were willing to push their boundaries during interviews, Dwayne Collins for being willing to be a second reader on my posts, Trent Radio for being willing to facilitate On Air radio interviews with authors, Alissa Paxton for encouraging me to do more radio interviews and for operating the complicated tech that terrifies me, all of the authors and publishers who have sent books for me to review, and all of you friends, family, and loved ones who have been supports throughout this process. Fans, without your excitement and engagement with materials, Speculating Canada would not have come to the attention of the Prix Aurora Awards.
My Acceptance Speech for the Aurora Award, October 6, 2013:
“As a scholar of Canadian Spec Fic as well as a fan, I am really pleased and honoured to be included in the Prix Aurora Awards. Speculating Canada came out of a unique set of experiences and fit with so many things that I value strongly. I designed the site because I was having memory difficulties due to disability and since I was writing synopses on the books I was reading for my own purposes, I thought I would share these in order to fulfill my personal goal of sharing the notion that SF literature can be pedagogical. It can open questions in the minds of readers and help them to challenge status quos.
“I recognised the incredible vision of SF authors, their ability to see things from a different angle that evokes the need and ability in readers to similarly see things differently and question what they see in the world around them. Speculating Canada purposely mixes reviews with a little bit of lit crit to empower readers with the notion that they can all critically read texts, question and interrogate them and find out more than a surface reading might reveal. I want readers to know that they are intelligent, deeply mindful people who have value and can really contribute something to the experience of reading. I also wanted to acknowledge the incredible ability of our SF authors to see the depths of the world around them, which is why I ask more critical questions of authors, asking them to interrogate not just their writing process, but what it reflects of their inner and outer worlds.
“I owe a lot to the fans of Speculating Canada and the SF authors that I have spoken to for helping to shape Speculating Canada and for making it into a space where everyone can enter into a conversation about Canadian Spec Fic. I want to thank everyone who has participated in Speculating Canada and those who will participate in the future and help to continue to shape this intertextual and interpersonal conversation.”
Thank you to all of you, and thank you particularly to those of you who were able to attend the Prix Aurora Award ceremony and who made it such an incredible experience through your cheers and your excitement. I was far too excited after hearing your cheers to be able to say my whole acceptance speech, but you made sure that this will be an experience I will never forget and one that I will treasure throughout my life. I am honoured to call you friends.
I had the incredible opportunity of sharing the stage with incredible authors… people who I often become a fan boy around. Here is a list of the winners of this year’s Prix Aurora Awards:
Novel: The Silvered – Tanya Huff
YA Fiction: Under my Skin, The Wildlings – Charles de Lint
Short Fiction: The Walker of the Shifting Borderland – Douglas Smith
Poem / Song: A Sea Monster Tells His Story – David Clink
Graphic Novel: Weregeek – Alina Pete
Related Work: Hayden Trenholm – Blood and Water
Artist: Erik Mohr – Cover Art for ChiZine Publications
Fan Publication: Speculating Canada Blog – Derek Newman-Stille
Fan Filk: Kari Maaren – Body of Work
Fan Organizational: Randy McCharles – When Worlds Collide
Fan Related Work: Ron Friedman – Aurora Awards Voter Package
Thank you to all of you who were involved in the Prix Aurora Awards for all of your hard work and dedication to Canadian Speculative Fiction.
Congratulations again, Derek (but it’s worth repeating). And as I said before, this award is very, very well deserved. Speculating Canada is an impressive accomplishment and a valuable resource.
Thank you Doug! You have been such a huge support through our conversations about Canadian Spec Fic and through the resources and materials you have sent my way. It is really an honour to hear Speculating Canada described as “an impressive accomplishment and a valuable resource” from someone whose opinion I value as much as yours.
Congratulations, Derek! Wonderful recognition for all your hard work on Speculating Canada. I’ve been exposed to writers and books I hadn’t heard of before — and I had a special fondness for Werewolf Wednesday last October 🙂
Thank you David! It is great to hear confirmation that readers are finding new reading materials through the site. I have to say that through working on the site and talking to brilliant, informed fans like yourself, I have been exposed to a lot of brilliant, wonderful new Canadian Spec Fic that I would not have encountered before. Ooooh, I should have done another Werewolf Wednesday theme again this year. Maybe I will have to do another one soon!
Heartily seconded. Congratulations, Derek.
(I read your article in Mosaic on my Darkborn trilogy with great interest and pleasure. Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reading.)
Thank you Alison! I am really honoured that you read and enjoyed my article on your Darkborn Trilogy. It is always a wonderful experience when an author enjoys academic discourse about their work. Thank you for writing such a wonderful trilogy with such incredible and positive images of disability.