The Aurora Awards seek to basically represent the pinnacle of the Canadian spec fiction (with the usual caveats that come with talking about any literary horse race) and I can tell you first hand that they do work, at least in terms of getting Canadian books publicity in a market choked with Americans. As a kid I was a huge reader of fantasy and scifi, a habit I have recently returned to. Many of you might not remember this, but there was a time before the internet when you couldn’t just type into Google “Canadian Science Fiction authors” to find out if your homeland produced its own Ursula Le Guins, Larry Nivens, David Brins, and William Gibsons. Wait. Anyway, I discovered Judith Merrill because of them, as well as many others. It was Cory Doctorow in his days at Bakka on Queen Street in Toronto who told me about them, I believe. He, or someone else there, also told me about the Tesseracts anthology (yes, I think there was only one then), which also felt like a real discovery. Anyway, point being: happy 40th anniversary, nerds.
Now in its 40th year, the Aurora Awards – the highest accolade in Canadian science-fiction and fantasy publishing – help foster community and fan culture through its public-voting system that celebrates small presses and indie authors.
The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) has been presenting the Aurora Awards to exceptional works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror since 1980, honouring such authors as William Gibson, Robert J. Sawyer, and Judith Merril.