Sunburst Award

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The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is an annual award given for a speculative fiction novel or a book-length collection.


The name of the award comes from the title of the first novel by Phyllis Gotlieb, Sunburst (1964).

The first award was given out in 2001. The award consists of a cash prize (C$1,000 in 2001-2005) and a medallion. The winner is selected by a jury; a new jury is struck each year.

List of past award winners[edit]

Year Winner Work title
2001 Sean Stewart Galveston
2002 Margaret Sweatman When Alice Lay Down with Peter
2003 Nalo Hopkinson Skin Folk
2004 Cory Doctorow A Place So Foreign and 8 More
2005 Geoff Ryman Air
2006 Holly Phillips In the Palace of Repose
2007 Mark Frutkin Fabrizio's Return
2008 Adult: Nalo Hopkinson
Young adult: Joanne Proulx
The New Moon's Arms
Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet[1]
2009 Adult: Andrew Davidson
Young adult: Cory Doctorow
The Gargoyle
Little Brother[2]
2010 Adult: A. M. Dellamonica
Young adult: Hiromi Goto
Indigo Springs
Half World
2011 Adult: Guy Gavriel Kay
Young adult: Paul Glennon
Under Heaven
2012 Adult: Geoff Ryman
Young adult: Catherine Austen
Paradise Tales
All Good Children
2013 Adult: Martine Desjardins
Young adult: Rachel Hartman
2014 Adult: Ruth Ozeki
Young adult: Charles de Lint
A Tale for the Time Being
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest[4]
2015 Adult: Thomas King
Young adult:
Cecil Castellucci
The Back of the Turtle
Tin Star[5]
2016 Adult: Gemma Files
Young adult:
Leah Bobet
Short Story: Catherine A. MacLeod
Experimental Film
An Inheritance of Ashes
Hide and Seek[6]
2017 Adult: Claire Humphrey
Young adult:
Jonathan Auxier
Short Story: A.C. Wise
Spells of Blood and Kin
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard
The Sailing of the Henry Charles Morgan in Six Pieces of Scrimshaw (1841)[7]

List of current nominees[edit]

Adult fiction[edit]

Twenty-one books were nominated for 2016:[8]

  1. André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs (Coach House Books)
  2. Samuel Archibald, Donald Winkler, trans., Arvida (Biblioasis)
  3. Margaret Atwood, The Heart Goes Last (McClelland & Stewart)
  4. Andrew Battershill, Pillow (Coach House)
  5. Rebecca Bradley, Cadon, Hunter (self-published)
  6. Matt Cahill, The Society of Experience (Wolsak & Wynn)
  7. Jill Ciment, Act of God (Pantheon)
  8. Alain Farah, Lazer Laderhendler, trans., Ravenscrag (House of Anansi Press)
  9. Katherine Fawcett, The Little Washer of Sorrows (Thistledown Press)
  10. Gemma Files, Experimental Film (Chizine Publications)
  11. Alexandra Grigorescu, Cauchemar (ECW Press)
  12. Lisa L. Hannett, Lament for the Afterlife (Chizine)
  13. D. J. McIntosh, The Angel of Eden (Penguin Canada)
  14. Jamie McLachlan, Mind of the Phoenix (Penner Publishing)
  15. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Signal to Noise (Solaris)
  16. Heather O’Neill, Daydreams of Angels (HarperCollins Canada)
  17. Andrew Pyper, The Damned (Simon & Schuster Canada)
  18. Simone St. James, The Other Side of Midnight (New American Library)
  19. Carsten Stroud, The Reckoning (Penguin Canada)
  20. Robert Charles Wilson, The Affinities (Tor Books)
  21. A.C. Wise, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again (Lethe Press)

Young adult fiction[edit]

Fourteen books are nominated for 2016:[8]

  1. Leah Bobet, An Inheritance of Ashes (Scholastic Canada)
  2. David Carroll, Sight Unseen (Scholastic)
  3. Jason Chabot, Above (HarperTrophy)
  4. Charis Cotter, The Swallow: A Ghost Story (Tundra Books)
  5. Mikaela Everett, The Unquiet (HarperCollins Canada)
  6. Melinda Friesen, Enslavement (Rebelight)
  7. Kallie George, Clover’s Luck: The Magic Animal Adoption Agency (Book 1) (HarperCollins)
  8. Fonda Lee, Zeroboxer (Flux Books)
  9. Kenneth Oppel, The Nest (S&S)
  10. Carol Anne Shaw, Hannah and the Wild Woods (Ronsdale Press)
  11. Neil Smith, Boo (Knopf Canada)
  12. Allan Stratton, The Dogs (Scholastic)
  13. Caitlin Sweet, The Flame in the Maze (Chizine)
  14. Robert J. Wiersema, Black Feathers (HarperCollins)

Short story[edit]

Fifteen books are nominated for 2016:[8]

  1. Karen Abrahamson, “With One Shoe” (Playground of Lost Toys, Exile Editions)
  2. Charlotte Ashley, “La Héron” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2015)
  3. Rebecca Campbell, “The Glad Hosts” (Lackington’s Magazine, Issue 7)
  4. Evelyn Deshane, “Carnival of Colours” (Only Disconnect, Summer 2015, Third Flatiron Publishing)
  5. Mike Donoghue, “Stuck in the Past” (Abyss & Apex, Issue 54)
  6. David J. Fuller, “The Harsh Light of Morning” (Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy)
  7. Mark Hill, “The Zzzombie Apocalypse” (The Time It Happened, Spring 2015, Third Flatiron)
  8. Patrick Johanneson, “Person to Person” (Daily Science Fiction)
  9. Catherine A. MacLeod, “Hide and Seek” (Playground of Lost Toys, Exile)
  10. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, “Lacrimosa” (Nightmare Magazine, Issue 38)
  11. Dominik Parisien, “Goodbye is a Mouthful of Water” (Playground of Lost Toys, Exile)
  12. Dominik Parisien, “Spider Moves the World” (Lackington’s Magazine, Issue 6)
  13. Kelly Robson, “Two-Year Man” (Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 2015)
  14. Holly Schofield, “Two Steps Forward” (Scarecrow, World Weaver Press)
  15. Peter Wendt, “Get the Message” (Second Contacts, Bundoran Press)


Sunburst Award administrator and jury use the broadest possible definition of speculative fiction for eligibility purposes: "science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, horror, surrealism, fantastique, myth and legend, fantastical storytelling, and any other writing beyond the strictly realistic". To be eligible for the award, a work must be published between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year. Only Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are eligible, however there are no Canadian residency requirements, and three of the five awards presented to date have gone to expatriates (Stewart, Doctorow, Ryman).


  1. ^ "2008 Sunburst Award Winners | The Sunburst Award Society". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  2. ^ "2009 Winners | The Sunburst Award Society". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  3. ^ Strock, Ian Randall (September 15, 2011). "2011 Sunburst Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 18, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "2014 Sunburst Winners". The Sunburst Award Society. 
  5. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2015 Sunburst Awards Winners". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  6. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2016 Sunburst Awards Winners". Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c Robertson, Becky (8 June 2016). "Awards: Atwood, Alexis, O'Neill among Sunburst nominees". Quill & Quire. 

External links[edit]