Aurora Awards

Aurora Borealis at Minnedosa, MB

This one’s for the Cana­di­ans in the crowd. Writ­ers, SF/F fans, help­ful fam­i­ly members…

The Auro­ra Awards nom­i­na­tions have opened, and will be open till the 18th of May. My short sto­ry “Vin­cent and Char­lie” is eli­gi­ble for nom­i­na­tion, as are a myr­i­ad of oth­er great sto­ries both long and short. You can check out the eli­gi­bil­i­ty lists at the Prix Auro­ra Awards site (you’ll need to be a mem­ber of the site to nom­i­nate any­one; it’s $10.00 Cana­di­an for the year).

For those that haven’t read “Vin­cent and Char­lie”, it’s avail­able in the anthol­o­gy Par­al­lel Prairies, which is avail­able from McNal­ly Robin­son, Indigo/Chapters/Coles, or (if you must) Ama­zon.

The sto­ry, in a nut­shell, is about a retired farmer, afflict­ed with demen­tia, who hap­pens across a crashed alien craft and res­cues the pilot. This attracts the atten­tion of some peo­ple whose atten­tion you’d pre­fer not to attract.

It’s a very per­son­al sto­ry, for me: it incor­po­rates my grand­par­ents’ farm, my father’s ear­ly strug­gles with demen­tia, the land­scape of my school­bus youth, and one of the lit­tle grey aliens that fas­ci­nat­ed me thanks to a life­time immersed in sci­ence fiction.

I’m proud of “Vin­cent and Char­lie”. I’m hap­py with how it turned out. It was men­tioned favourably in Sarah Jo Kirsch’s review of the anthol­o­gy for The Uniter: “Johan­neson finds an art­ful bal­ance between sus­pense and sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty and adds a soupçon of Men in Black for good measure”.

So: I hope I’ve con­vinced you that my lit­tle tale of aliens and demen­tia might be wor­thy of an Auro­ra nom­i­na­tion. Thanks for read­ing. And keep watch­ing the skis. …skies.