Canadians vie for sci fi's Hugo prize

Canadians Robert F. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson are in the running for the international science fiction book prize, the Hugo Award.

Canadian authors Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson are among the finalists for the Hugo Award, considered the top prize for science fiction in the world.

The Mississauga-based Sawyer's Wake and Wilson's Julian Comstock: A Novel of 22nd-Century America are among the shortlist of six.

Wake concerns a 15-year-old girl who discovers a "nascent intelligence" lurking on the internet. Julian Comstock creates a world set in a post-apocalyptic Christian-fundamentalist U.S.

Wilson, who was born in California, became a Canadian citizen last year.

The two writers have faced off at the awards before and are also previous winners. Sawyer captured the 2003 prize for Hominids, and Wilson won in 2006 for Spin.

Sawyer is also mentioned in the Hugo category for best dramatic presentation (short form) for No More Good Days, the pilot episode of the ABC TV series FlashForward, based on Sawyer's book of the same name.

The other nominees for best book are:

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.
  • The City & The City by China Mieville.
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente.

Toronto's Peter Watts is a finalist in the short fiction division with The Island. Hugo Awards also include trophies for best graphic story, best editor, best fan writer and newcomer.

The Hugo Awards reward excellence in science fiction and fantasy. Entries are voted by sci-fi fans who are members of the World Science Fiction Society, the organizer of the annual convention, known as Worldcon.

Last year's victor in the novel category was Neil Gaiman for The Graveyard Book.

Winners will be announced Sept. 5 at the 68th annual Worldcon in Melbourne, Australia.