At last...the winners of the largest category -- the Storyteller's Award.
This award is sponsored by its judges -- let's meet them, shall we?
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, NYT-bestselling Outlander novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting “Scrooge McDuck” comics.” The adventure began in 1991 with the classic Outlander (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), continued through four more New York Times-bestselling novels—Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, and The Fiery Cross—
and a nonfiction (well, relatively) companion volume, The Outlandish Companion, which provides copious details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the novels, and has most recently produced A Breath of Snow and Ashes,
winner of the 2006 Corine International Fiction Award, and the 2006 Quill Award for <ahem> “Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.
Jack Whyte likes to think that he’s been around long enough by now to have done most of the things he ever wanted to do . . . most of them, but by no means all, for he still thinks he has much to achieve. The author of a much-loved, nine-book cycle of novels
on the Arthurian legend and a highly successful, internationally-published trilogy on the history of the Knights Templar, he is now working on a trilogy of novels set in his native Scotland in the 14th Century, and dealing with Scotland’s (and his own) three
greatest heroes—William Wallace, (The Braveheart), King Robert the Bruce, and Sir James (the Black) Douglas.
As always, our deepest thanks go out to Diana and Jack for their generous sponsorship of this award, as well as for devoting their time as judges!
And now...the winners.
by Ray Jones
“Your brother should have put himself between the gunman and those women,” said the man sitting next to me. “A real man wouldn’t have walked out of the room.”
I think you would have liked Ed Coates, Danny. I met him a year ago in London. I’d flown there directly from Zaire as soon as I heard about your death. Ed sat next to me on the Airbus back to Vancouver.
He’d been in England visiting his daughter. She’d married a Brit and they’d just had a kid. Perhaps if Ed hadn’t pulled out a photograph of his granddaughter, I might never have talked to him the way I did.
It was a fat, laughing baby, lying on its back in a pram. In Africa I hadn’t seen too many fat babies or laughing ones either, but I’d seen plenty with distended bellies and eyes and mouths clogged with flies.
So poor Ed Coates got an earful, about you and about Paul Dillon and the nine women he murdered. Sometimes, Danny, we don’t know what we really feel about something until we start telling our stories. Until I ran into Ed, I had no idea just how angry I was at you. I was happy in Africa. It had taken almost a year, but I had finally settled in and things were going well. I loved the work. I’d made a few friends. Canada seemed as far away as the moon.
Then someone called from Nairobi. They were very polite, very Canadian. They’d didn’t say, We’re terribly sorry, sir, your younger brother has offed himself, but then they didn’t need to. Somehow I already knew. And on that flight to London, I cursed you for doing it, for not doing anything to stop Dillon, and for interrupting me life. The way I saw it, I was going home to clean up the mess you, in your huge selfishness, had left behind.
by Susan Pieters
“Why is the grass always greener in Sally’s yard?” I ask my husband, as our neighbour spreads a tablecloth over her picnic table.
“The angled line of sight covers the bare spots,” he answers, a true scientist. “The wavelength of blue light—”
“I don’t mean that,” I say.
“You mean, why did we let the kids tear up the yard?” he asks. I glance behind me at our patchy lawn. In the corner by the garage, our three kids are nailing spare wood to build a two-story fort. It looks like a shanty-town.
“How old is Sally?” he asks.
“She’s turning fifty,” I say. He grunts in surprise. From here, Sally looks much younger. I continue.
“That’s what I mean. Everything looks better from a distance.”
by Elissa Van Struth
She’s on the Skytrain heading west, to where hope and possibility are on sale at the mall. Some old guy standing by the doors is openly eying her, his gaze stutter-stepping up and down her body and she is irritated by this attention from an inappropriate. He should save it for his own kind, some fat woman with a muffin-top and a moustache.
She is young and hot and she knows she is looking good, wearing her second-best white jogging suit with Juicy embroidered right across her ass, her second-best feature. Her spray tan is only four days old and she knows it looks high-contrast against the white of the suit. She’s wearing her bling—the word is over and she would never say it out loud, but she whispers it to herself like some tricked out rapper—yo
yo yo mama. Giant gold hoops and a gold cross on a chain and a small (tasteful) diamond in her nose. Hair shiny and straight—it better be after the hour she spent this morning with the flat iron and product— slicked back into a sleek ponytail.
Beauty is something that she is good at, and dammit, she works hard for it. People think it’s so great being pretty, that it somehow makes everything easy and thank god she was born with the right genes, like her nose for example, but honestly, even if she wasn’t, she would work for it and pay for it, like get surgery or something, because don’t people understand how important it is to present yourself to the world? Your face is your fortune, that’s what her mom says, and always put your best self forwards,
that’s what Cosmo says, and beauty may be skin-deep but her skin is the only thing showing and nobody cares about how good her colon or her spleen or her heart looks. And anyways, she’ll have lots of time to worry about all that when she’s older and has lost her looks, she can worry about developing a personality. Right now, it’s all about how clear her skin is, and how flat her abs are, and she swears she would smoke to stay thin if she had to, except for her cousin who’s a dental hygienist has made her
promise not to or she won’t bleach her teeth at cost anymore and she uses the real stuff, not that cheap shit you get at the drugstore, and besides, smelling good is part of looking good and who wants to smell like an ashtray?
also blogging as leftwriter