The Sunburst Award Committee has announced the winners of the 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in Adult, Young Adult, and Short Story categories.
The winner of the 2020 Sunburst Award for Adult Fiction is Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey).
The Sunburst Jury commented:
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an exquisite genre blender with a painfully human story at its heart. Gods of Jade and Shadow masterfully mixes together fairy tales, romance, historical fantasy, a coming-of-age feminist story, and a lavishly detailed odyssey through Mexican history and mythology. It is truly a tale of the fantastic, defying categorization while celebrating the magic of imagination itself.
“Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination”, Silvia Moreno-Garcia is no stranger to the Sunburst family. Her debut novel, Signal to Noise, won a Copper Cylinder Award. Her short story collection, This Strange Way of Dying was a finalist for the Sunburst. She has edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award winner Cthulhu’s Daughters (published in Canada as She Walks in Shadows). Silvia is a publisher of Innsmouth Free Press, as well as being a columnist for the Washington Post. She holds an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia.
Gods of Jade and Shadow was the 2020 American Library Association Reading List winner in the Fantasy category.
The other shortlisted works for the 2020 Adult Award were:
- Scott R. Jones, Shout Kill Revel Repeat [Trepidatio Publishing]
- Helen Marshall, The Migration [Random House Canada]
- Karen McBride, Crow Winter [HarperAvenue] achette Book Group]
- Richard Van Camp, Moccasin Square Gardens [Douglas & McIntyre]
Young Adult Award
The 2020 winner of the Sunburst Award for Young Adult Fiction is The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills [Annick Press]
The Sunburst Jury commented:
Allison Mills’ The Ghost Collector is both delightful and haunting. A delicious blend of the supernatural and the very real. Mills has great respect for her audience. Taking great care to keep the narrative moving while never simplifying the novel’s ideas and themes of loss. The result is a nuanced study in empathy for both the characters and the readers.
As the daughter of a teacher-librarian, Allison Mills grew up surrounded by books, and discovered an early passion for fantasy tales, which grew into a life-long fascination with ghosts. As someone who is Ililiw-Cree and settler Canadian, she sympathizes with those who like to straddle boundary spaces. And this fascination with the ghost world inspired her first novel, The Ghost Collector.
Allison is an avid student, achieving three Masters degrees, including an MFA in Creative Writing. She works as an academic librarian and archivist.
The other shortlisted works for the 2019 Young Adult Award were:
- Nafiza Azad , The Candle and the Flame [Scholastic Inc.]
- Sara Cassidy, Nevers [Orca Book Publishers]
- Aviaq Johston, Those Who Dwell Below [Inhabit Media]
- Jess Keating, Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray [Scholastic Inc.]
Short Story Award
The winner of the 2020 Sunburst Award for Short Story is “The Fourth Trimester is the Strangest” by Rebecca Campbell [The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2019]
The Sunburst Jury commented:
With a brilliant eye for detail and a masterful sense of control, Rebecca Campbell has crafted an unforgettable and quietly terrifying story, one that combines domestic horror – in this case the disorientation of postpartum depression – with the supernatural in a seamless and thoughtful fashion. It is at once plausible and terrifying. The fragmentation of the central character`s personality is believably and sympathetically drawn. As in all the best stories about mental disintegration, we are left wondering where the truth in fact lies.
Rebecca Campbell’s work has been in Canadian literary magazines such as Grain and Prairie Fire. She is also published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interdictions Online and Interzone. Her first novel, The Paradise Engine, was published by NeWest Press in 2013. She received her Masters Degree in English at the University of British Columbia. Originally from Duncan, British Columbia, Rebecca now resides in Toronto.
The other shortlisted works for the 2019 Short Story Award were:
- Amal El-Mohtar, “Florilegia” [The Mythic Dream Gallery/Saga Press]
- Kate Heartfield, “The Inland Beacon” [Tesseracts Twenty-Two: Alchemy and Artifacts, July 2019]
- Catherine Kim, “The Hundred Gardens” [Nat. Brut, Issue 12 Spring 2019]
- Richard Van Camp, “Wheetago War II: Summoners” [Moccasin Square Gardens, Douglas & McIntyre]
The 2020 Sunburst Award jury members were Peter Darbyshire, Kristyn Dunnion, Omar El Akkad, Michelle Butler Hallett, John Jantunen, Michael Johnstone, Ursula Pflug, and Sarah Tolmie.
See the Sunburst Award News Page for details regarding submissions.
The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic has celebrated the best in Canadian fantastic literature in both Adult and Young Adult publications since 2001.
Winners receive a medallion that incorporates the Sunburst logo. Winners of both the Adult and Young Adult Sunburst Award also receive a cash prize of $1,000, while winners of the Short Story Sunburst Award receive a cash prize of $500.
The Sunburst Award takes its name from the debut novel of the late Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction. Past winners of the Sunburst Award include Jonathan Auxier, David Demchuk, Cherie Dimaline, Gemma Files, Hiromi Goto, Rachel Hartman, Nalo Hopkinson, Guy Gavriel Kay, Thomas King, Ruth Ozeki, Joanne Proulx, Andromeda Romano-Lax and Geoff Ryman.
For additional information about the Sunburst Award, the nominees, juries, as well as previous awards, eligibility, and the selection process, please visit the official website at www.sunburstaward.org.