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    Book Club in a Bag

    The 2012 Prix Aurora Awards

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    Calling Canadian science fiction writers and fans!!!

    The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (CSFFA) invites you to nominate your favourite science fiction, fantasy or horror books, short stories, poems, songs, CDs, plays, magazines or articles by a Canadian author or editor.

    The 2012 Prix Aurora Awards will recognize the best Canadian professional works and amateur achievements in 2011.

    Participants must be members of CSFFA. Visit their web site at http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/ and learn more about the membership and nomination process.

    Nominations must be received by midnight PST, March 31, 2012.

    The Aurora Awards will be presented at the When the Words Collide event (www.whenwordscollide.org) on the weekend of August 10-12, 2012 in Calgary.

    In the meantime, browse our science fiction collection to find brand new books like the ones below:

    Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson

    Vortex tells the story of Turk Findley, the protagonist introduced in Axis, who is transported ten thousand years into the future by the mysterious entities called "the Hypotheticals." In this future humanity exists on a chain of planets connected by Hypothetical gateways; but Earth itself is a dying world, effectively quarantined.

    Turk and his young friend Isaac Dvali are taken up by a community of fanatics who use them to enable a passage to the dying Earth, where they believe a prophecy of human/Hypothetical contact will be fulfilled. The prophecy is only partly true, however, and Turk must unravel the truth about the nature and purpose of the Hypotheticals before they carry him on a journey through warped time to the end of the universe itself.

    When the Saints by Dave Duncan

    When we left the Brothers Magnus, they had assembled in Cardice to help Anton Magnus defend the castle from attack by a neighboring state with a significant military advantage and several officers who at any moment could request help from saints - or, depending on your perspective, from the devil.

    But Cardice has a secret weapon in the form of young Wulfgang Magnus, who can ask a few favors of his own from these devil-saints. The only problem is that Wulf is in love with Madlenka, the countess from Cardice who was forcibly married to Anton to explain why he's suddenly leading the country.

    Even Wulf is unsure if family and political loyalty should override love. He's also beginning to realize that the magical battle he's stepped into has some serious rules that he doesn't know, and has no way to learn. And when several wild cards in every battle can tap into nearly limitless sources of magic, who knows how far and wide the battle might range?

    This stunning continuation of the story begun in Speak to the Devil amps up the romance and intrigue, while letting readers spend more time with master fantasist Dave Duncan's unique, complex, and ornery-but-delightful characters.

    You can also read last year's winner in the Best English Novel category:

    Watch by Robert J. Sawyer

    Born blind, 16-year-old Caitlin Decter is able to see thanks to a computerized retinal implant that also makes her able to "see" the data streams that flow along the Internet. Her gift enables her to awaken a conscious entity that calls itself Webmind. Even as her bond with her new friend strengthens, government agencies seek to eliminate what they perceive as a security threat. The sequel to WWW: Wake contrasts the innocence of developing friendship with the cynical approach of governments and corporate technology even as it develops the Decter family and their human (and digital) friends. VERDICT This page-turning thriller by the author of Flashforward and the "Neanderthal Parallax" trilogy is a top-notch choice for sf fans and AI fiction in particular. - Library Journal Review

    And others from the 2011 novel category short-list:

    Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

    Inspired by the glory of Tang Dynasty China in the eighth century, Guy Gavriel Kay melds history and the fantastic into something both powerful and emotionally compelling. Under Heaven is a novel on the grandest narrative scale, encompassing the intimate details of individual lives in an unforgettable time and place. Shen Tai is the son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in that empire's last war against their western enemies from Tagur, twenty years before. Forty thousand men on both sides were slain beside a remote mountain lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently. To honour his father's memory, Tai has spent two years of official mourning alone at the battle site among the ghosts of the dead, laying to rest their unburied bones. One spring morning, he learns that others have taken note of his vigil. The White Jade Princess in Tagur is pleased to present him with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses, given, she writes, in recognition of his courage, and honour done to the dead. You gave a man one of the famed Sardians to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor. Tai starts east towards the glittering, dangerous imperial capital and gathers his wits for a return from solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life.

    Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell

    Forced to move every twelve days, what would happen to your life? Rembrandt is the only child in the tiny community of Three Farms. Soon his two aunts grow desperate for babies of their own. A man wearing a black top-coat and a glad-ta-meet-ya? smile arrives with a magic bottle and a deadly deal is made. Determined to undo the wager, Rembrandt, Pa, and Uncle Thompson embark on the journey of their lives, for if they stay in one place for more than twelve days terrible things happen. But where and when will they find a champion capable of defeating the Black Bottle Man? Time ticks. Lives change. Every twelve days...

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