Tag Archives: Awards

Two new publications

Two new publications will be out for my birthday (July 14th) .  First, my Award-winning SF short-story  “Monarque des glaces” has been published in Solaris 175. The story depicts a dystopia set in an Earth reeling from a series of drastic climate and ecological changes.

The flower photo refers to Marguerite Andersen, the courageous editor of  the literary magazine Virages.  She does all the clerical work, despite the  recent cuts.

Marguerite is also the author of le figuier sur le toit , a precious personal account of life in Germany, in the pre-Nazi years. Germans were not a monolithic bloc, there were a diversity of opinions and political parties… until the elections of Hitler in 1933.

All this to proudly announce that another of my stories, “Château de neige”, will be published in the next Virages.

I won the 2010 Solaris Prize!

About one year ago, a Britannic webzine asked for short texts, one or three hundred words max, describing the future in one hundred years, and in the spirit of “mundane” SF. Mundane is a term coined by author Geoff Ryman to describe a “down-to-earth” approach to science-fiction stories.

I jotted a few ideas of a bleak future from which grew an embryo of text. I reworked it… and exceeded the word limit. So I left the text alone for a while.

One or two months later, I took the text back and managed to fold it into a story, with a bird-eye point of view by an unlikely character.

As the Solaris Prize deadline approached, I decided to work on it again, and polish it. The story finally grew strong and mature enough. So, like a child that I am proud of, I let it go…

And I received the good news last week. I’m a proud mother! The Prize includes a generous sum, plus the publication in the Solaris magazine.

The official communiqué (in French) is here

Never surrender

Around this time of the year, leaves begin to fall and my annual royalties come in. I opened the envelope on a rather nice day, to find an abysmally low number. This, after 15 years of continuing effort, 16 books and comic books, school appearances, hundreds of hours sitting at a round table in the bookfairs.

Meet my fans Meet some of my fans !

It might be the recession and low overall sales, but the impact of it left me staggering. My wonderful co scenarist and fellow author Alain Bergeron had just come ill, so I was floored. (By the way, Alain got better and left the intensive care unit last Friday. )

Until now, my writing have reap five Awards. La quête de Chaaas (Chaaas’ Quest)  has been recently nominated in two major general-lit awards. Bookstores commanded copies of the novel. My science-fiction book did not get any of those top awards. Bookstores returned the novels. (Those returned books were, of course, substracted from this year’s royalties).

When you appear as a writer in any event, many well-meaning people assume that you are  rich or at least, well-known.

In 2006, I met  at a panel several mid-career writers in the SF field. Most of those I considered “well known” like Nalo Hopkinson from Toronto, or outright celebrities, like Ursula K LeGuin. I felt at first as a pretender among  them, a beginner having at the time a few YA novels published, in French.

But then, as  I exchanged with them, I found out that every one of them were affected with dropping book sales, diminishing revenues, the advent of Internet… The mergers of big publishing houses managed by businessmen brought a “rationalization ” of the inprints.  Work of new ideas had no place in the commercial SF&F field.

When Ursula said “The book market has always been difficult”, I was  flabbergasted. Here was a luminary in the SF field, tellling us that for her, too, the times were difficult.

So, no, we are never “arrived at the top of the hill”. The social recognizance comes first and mostly from the $$$ an author makes, not from the quality and ideas. Even literary prizes don’t bring much fame if the book sales don’t soar.

Canadian SF author Matt Hugues, who has held many jobs over the years, including various menial jobs, but also speechwriter, put a very inspiring reflection on perseverance. His work was rejected time and time over thirty years, but always stayed on course. He was addressing budding writers.

A few years back, Matt gave the keynote speech to the Surrey Writers Conference:  No surrender!

Here is a short excerpt :

It doesn’t matter what they throw at us.

We are writers. We will not give up. We will not stay down. We will not say uncle.

We will get back up on our feet, we’ll look the world in the eye, and we’ll tell them, “No surrender.”

Thanks, Matt, for telling it.