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2006 novel wins first A.E. Van Vogt sci-fi award

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THE first-ever A.E. Van Vogt Award for Canadian science fiction has gone to a 2006 novel called Alphanauts by Brian J. Clarke. The novel, published by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy of Calgary, is based on a group of short stories Clarke wrote about encounters in the Alpha Centauri system.

The award is sponsored by the Winnipeg Science Fiction Association, Science Fiction Winnipeg and Conadian, the 1994 World SF Con. Van Vogt was born in Gretna in 1912, and in a long science-fiction career became an important influence on a later generation of SF writers, including Philip K. Dick and Harlan Ellison.

The other nominees for the award were Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroder and The Other by Matthew Hughes.

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A Winnipeg orthodontist-turned-novelist looks to the conflicts in his native land in a first novel being launched Monday at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Milos Lekic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, when it was still the capital of Yugoslavia. In 1993 he immigrated with his family to Winnipeg, where he attended high school and studied dentistry. His self-published novel, The Bridge Between, is set in Mostar, a city in Bosnia that was wracked by the wars that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The novel focuses on a boy from the Christian side of Mostar and a girl from the Muslim side who fall in love, only to see their world, and the bridge that was Mostar's oldest landmark, torn apart.

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In a sign of the growing critical respect granted to graphic novels, Britain's Costa award for biography has gone to a graphic novel detailing the relationship between James Joyce and his daughter Lucia.

Daughter of Her Father's Eyes, by Mary and Bryan Talbot, interweaves its story with Mary's relationship with her own father, a Joyce scholar.

The awards also were a triumph for women, who wrote all five of the books honoured.

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A short story by Winnipeg's David Bergen, based on his 2010 Giller-nominated novel The Matter With Morris, has been launched as an ebook by the Canadian literary and public affairs magazine The Walrus.

Morris in Love was published in 2010 in the magazine. It sells for $1.99 in all e-reader formats at thewalrus.ca/ebooks.

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A B.C.-based poet and memoirist is the University of Winnipeg's eighth Carol Shields writer-in-residence.

Gregory Scofield blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language in his poetry, which has been published in several collections, including Louis: The Heretic Poems and I Knew Two Métis Women. His 1999 memoir, Thunder Through My Veins, has been taught at universities and colleges across Canada and the U.S.

As writer-in-residence until March 31, he will meet students and members of the public to discuss writing.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 12, 2013 J8

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