Crimson Sky” Wins 2015 Prix Aurora Award for Best Short Fiction English

Do-Ming Group ShotImage Credit: Do-Ming Lum

My short story “Crimson Sky”, which appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, has won the 2015 Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction English. Canada’s national award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, this year’s Auroras were presented yesterday at SFContario 6 / Canvention 35 in a ceremony hosted by Hugo and Aurora winning author Peter Watts.

While I am delighted that my story has been honored, I am also disappointed that there were not three more Auroras in the Short Fiction category for my friends Suzanne Church, Tony Pi and Derwin Mak (“Mecha-Jesus” deserved an award just for the title!). Thank you so much to the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, the Aurora voters, and Trevor Quachri for recruiting me into the Analog MAFIA.

Here is the complete list of 2015 Prix Aurora Award winners. Congratulations to everyone!

Best English Novel: A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books)
Best English YA Novel (Tie): Lockstep by Karl Schroeder (Tor Books) and Out of This World by Charles de Lint (Razorbill Canada)
Best English Short Fiction: “Crimson Sky” by Eric Choi, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2014
Best English Poem/Song: “A Hex, With Bees” by Tony Pi, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen (EDGE)
Best English Graphic Novel: It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
Best English Related Work: On Spec, Published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Best Artist: Dan O’Driscoll, Covers for Bundoran Press and On Spec magazine
Best Fan Publication: Speculating Canada, Edited by Derek Newman-Stille
Best Fan Music: Kari Maaren, YouTube channel
Best Fan Organizational: Sandra Kasturi, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series Toronto
Best Fan Related Work: Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

SFContario 6 Programming Schedule

Here is my programming schedule for SFContario 6 / Canvention 35, which will be taking place November 20–22 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in downtown Toronto. Please note the schedule is subject to change. I will be posting updates and corrections as required.

Space Weather: The Latest Forecast — Friday 6:00pm, Room 209

Earth, satellites and astronauts are constantly bombarded by a drizzle of radiation from cosmic rays and the Sun that can change into a deadly downpour. High-energy particles in the solar wind carry a magnetic field powerful enough to destroy electric power systems on Earth. The panelists will talk about space weather and what we can do about it. David Stephenson, Peter Watts (moderator), Eric Choi, Ian Stuart.

Mass Autograph Session — Friday 8:00pm, Ballroom C
Aaasss You...Wishhh” — Saturday 11:00am, Courtyard

An audience participation panel where the moderator will give a line from a SF& F movie, and the audience is invited to guess the movie and other details. An old favorite returns to SFContario. David Clink (moderator), Tom Smith, Jane Glatt, Eric Choi.

Cult SF Comedies — Saturday 3:00pm, Room 209

Everybody knows The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But, do you remember Repo Man? Mystery Men? Death Race 2000? The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension? On this panel, we’ll look at what a cult movie is (for instance, is Galaxy Quest cult or mainstream?) and celebrate our favorites. Eric Choi, David Merrill, Alter S. Reiss, Ira Nayman (moderator).

Reading — Saturday 4:30pm, Room 207
Your Technobabble is My Science — Saturday 6:00pm, Gardenview

In writing one often finds oneself having to fake an advanced level of science. What happens when reality catches up or contradicts your fakery? How much science is necessary to drive a plot? How do you successfully fake it to make a story flow? Eric Choi, Claire McCague (moderator), Julie Czerneda, Timothy Carter.

Prix Aurora Award Ceremony — Sunday 12:15pm, Ballroom C
Multiculturalism in SF — Sunday 2:00pm, Gardenview

Whether culture clashes between dwarves, hobbits and elves or philosophic discussions on Babylon 5, the issues of different cultures interacting is as much a topic for the future as for the present. How do you present cultural difference fairly without getting sidelined by minor details? Hayden Trenholm, Eric Choi (moderator), Kari Maaren, Saladin Ahmed, Charlotte Ashby.

Can*Con 2015 Programming Schedule

Here is my programming schedule for this year’s Can*Con, Ottawa’s conference on Canadian content in speculative arts and literature, October 30th to November 1st at the Ottawa Sheraton in the heart of the nation’s capital. Please note the schedule is subject to change. I will be posting updates and corrections as required.

Saturday, October 31st

10:00am — Asteroids (Not the Video Game)

With the Dawn probe paying visits to Vesta and Ceres, we know more about asteroids today than we ever have before–but what would they actually be like in person? Our panelists take a look at the big space rocks and consider their possible uses, the challenges posed by asteroid colonization, and how they fit into science fiction. Andrew Barton, Eric Choi, Wolfram Lunscher.

2:00pm — Eric Choi Author Reading
3:00pm — Writing Fiction and Fact for Analog

Analog offers readers some of the most true-to-science stories available and even publishes science fact articles. If you’ve ever thought of writing an Analog story or an Analog science article, this panel will discuss their journey to success and their views going forward. Scientists encouraged to attend! Trevor Quachri, Eric Choi, Andrew Barton, Derek Künsken (moderator).

6:00pm — Sci-Fi Cult Movies

Buckaroo Banzai, Mystery Men, Repo Man, et al. They’re crazy. They’re sometimes cheesy. But they’re 11 out of 10 on awesome. Timothy Carter, Matt Moore, Eric Choi, Ira Nayman (moderator).

Sunday, November 1st

10:00am — How to Get Traditionally Published

So let’s say you’ve got a great story or novel and you want to be published through traditional magazines or publishing houses. What’s the process? Linda Poitevin, Leah Petersen, Eric Choi, Kate Heartfield (moderator).

11:00am — Whither and How the Human Exploration of the Solar System

The Chinese are talking about having a lunar base in the 2020s. The U.S. are talking about having a Martian base in the 2030s. What are the technical, economic, psychological obstacles to be surmounted? Eric Choi, Wolfram Lunscher.

A Pennant of My Own

With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the American League East division championship, I will shamelessly jump on the bandwagon by announcing the sale of my story “Most Valuable Player”, about a washed up baseball star who unexpectedly finds redemption in mathematics, to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. “MVP” is a companion piece to Ben Bova’s “Old Timer’s Game”, which appeared in our anthology Carbide Tipped Pens (Tor). This is my second sale to Analog, preceded by the Mars themed “Crimson Sky” in the July/August 2014 issue, which is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction English. Thank you Trevor Quachri...and go Jays go!

Coming to Vancouver this October

I will be coming to Vancouver this October for two events.  First, I will be the editor guest-of-honor at VCON – Vancouver’s premier science fiction, fantasy and gaming convention — the weekend of October 2–4 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.  You can view my VCON schedule here.

A few days later, I will be a featured writer at literASIAN, a festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writing, which will be taking place October 8–11 at the UBC Learning Exchange in the heart of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.  As part of the literASIAN festival, I will be conducting a workshop called Putting the Science in Science Fiction that will be held on Sunday, October 11 at 10:00am. You can view the literASIAN schedule here and download the poster here.

Space Mission Workshop Series at Visual Voice Lab

Visual Voice Lab in Montréal presents its Space Mission Workshop Series, a trio of weekend workshops in the month of July that allows participants to engage contemporary art practices and foster a deeper understanding of science-based art.  The workshop themes include astronomical art, extraterrestrial architecture and science fiction writing.

These workshops are open to anyone, and no prerequisite knowledge of art or science is necessary.  A selection of images and texts created during the summer workshop series will be included in a dedicated ebook at the beginning of fall 2015.

The workshops will be held in the historic Belgo Building in downtown Montréal.  Places are limited as the workshop groups are being kept small in order to maximize discussion, creativity, experimentation and play.

Price for each individual Space Mission workshop:  $195 CAD
Special discount price for all three Space Mission workshops:  $495 CAD

Moon Mission with Bettina Forget

Visual Arts

In this workshop, participants will learn about astronomy, the Moon and lunar cartography, and then create a piece of artwork that establishes a link between science and art through visual storytelling.  This workshop will be conducted in “franglais”.  [Details]

Workshop Dates:  Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, 2015
Exhibition Dates:  Tuesday, July 14 to Friday, July 17, 2015

Registration:  $195 CAD [Order]

Designing New Worlds: Extraterrestrial Architecture with Christina Ciardullo


In this workshop, participants will define a space mission and consider the necessary programmatic and human factors in order to develop a conceptual design for a space habitat.  This workshop will be conducted in English.  [Details]

Workshop Dates:  Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, 2015
Exhibition Dates:  Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, August 1, 2015

Registration:  $195 CAD [Order]

Science Fiction Writing with Eric Choi


In this workshop, participants will learn the fundamentals of science fiction writing including how to set up a story, develop the characters, plan the plot, write the first draft and edit their work, plus tips on how to get published.  This workshop will be conducted in English.  [Details]

Workshop Dates:  Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26, 2015

Registration:  $195 CAD [Order]

Space Mission Special

All three workshops — Moon Mission, Designing New Worlds, and Science Fiction Writing — for a special price of $495 CAD.  [Order]

Crimson Sky” Nominated for Aurora Award

My short story “Crimson Sky”, which appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog, is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction — English.  The Aurora is the Canadian national award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy.  Thank you to everyone who nominated, and congratulations also to Derwin Mak, Suzanne Church, Tony Pi, Peter Watts, Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder, Edward Willett, Charlene Challenger, Helen Marshall, Hayden Trenholm, Yvonne and Lloyd Penney, Sandra Kasturi, Derek Künsken, Farrell McGovern, Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, Alana Otis Wood, Paul Roberts, Steve Fahnestalk and all of the other finalists.  Voting begins June 1st and closes October 17th, and the voters package will be available at that time to members of CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association).  Membership is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, and you can sign up to participate in the Aurora  Awards.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact

They Call Me...“The Space Dragon”!

My interview on The Skiffy and Fanty Show is now online.  The episode was originally recorded at Loncon 3 back on August 15th, 2014.  It’s a little noisy because we were standing near the runway of London City Airport, but the plane spotter geek in me was up to the challenge (my hosts found me “informative and fascinating”, at least in this regard).  A big thank you to Shaun Duke, Paul Weimer and Julia Rios for a truly fun late summer chat in London.  Enjoy the episode!

Carbide Tipped Pens: One-on-One with Jeff Beeler at GenreCon

I will be having a one-on-one conversation with Jeff Beeler about Carbide Tipped Pens at GenreCon 2015 this Saturday, May 2nd at 1:00pm.  We will be talking about the origin and creation of this new anthology of hard science fiction, how Ben Bova and I came up with the idea, found a publisher and the authors, obtained the stories, and put them together to create the collection.  GenreCon will be held at the Sarnia Public Library, located at 124 Christina Street South in Sarnia, Ontario.  Here is my full programming schedule:

10:00am — How Books Get Published

What is the way books are created and how can you access it to get the books you want to read or write in print or electronically?
Sandra Kasturi (moderator), Sylvia Hubbard, Brett Savory, Dennis Collins, Monica Royal, Eric Choi

11:00am — Meet and Greet

1:00pm — Carbide Tipped Pens

A conversation with Eric Choi about the origin and creation of this new anthology of hard science fiction he created with Ben Bova, how they came up with the idea, found a publisher and the authors, obtained the stories, and put them together to create the collection.
Jeff Beeler (moderator), Eric Choi

2:00pm — The Weird and the Wonderful

The attraction of reading and writing science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror.
Sandra Kastury (moderator), Brett Savory, Dennis Collins, Monica Royal, Eric Choi

Ad Astra 2015 Programming Schedule

This is my programming schedule for this year’s Ad Astra, Toronto’s premier SF and fantasy convention, April 10–12 at the Sheraton Parkway North Toronto Hotel.  Please note the schedule is subject to change.  I will be posting updates and corrections as required.


The Big Birds are Flying:  The State of Aviation Today

Time:  7:00pm — 8:00pm

Room: Aurora

Panelist:  David Stephenson, Eric Choi

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a Helicarrier?  Where are we at with aviation and where are we going?  Hear some pros discuss the possible, the impossible and the why not .

Predicting the Future:  How Wrong Are We Going To Be?

Time:  9:00pm — 10:00pm

Room:  Richmond B

Panelists:  David Stephenson, Matthew Johnson, Neil Jamieson-Williams, Eric Choi

Welcome to “Where’s my hovercar?” the panel.  Discuss the history of predictions that have failed the test of time and make predictions for the predictions in current SF!


SFWA General Meeting

Time:  10:00am — 11:00am

Room:  Richmond B

Panelists:  Derek Künsken, Julie Czerneda, Matthew Johnson, Eric Choi

SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres that informs, supports, promotes, defends and advocates for its members.  In this panel for writers who are interested in learning more about SFWA, four longtime members will talk about their experiences with SFWA and what it does for them, as well as answering audience questions and providing information about the new qualifications standards for self-published and small-press authors.

Space Battles:  Lens Flares and Camera Shakes

Time:  11:00am — 12:00pm

Room:  Buttonville

Panellists: KW Ramsey, Neil Jamieson-Williams, Eric Choi

Space battles have generally been in one of two camps:  World War II naval engagements or World War I ace pilot dogfights.  Where can we go from here to realize what actual space combat will be like without inserting our silly terracentric prejudices into the mix?

Readings:  Madeline Ashby & Eric Choi

Time:  12:00pm — 1:00pm

Room:  Event Suite

Panelists:  Madeline Ashby, Eric Choi

Commercial Space Flight:  40% Off! Book Your Seats Today!

Time:  1:00pm — 2:00pm

Room:  Aurora

Panelists:  David Stephenson, Gillian Clinton, Eric Choi

Virgin Galactic is taking reservations today!  Sort of.  Commercial spaceflight is at our doorstep.  How much would you pay to take a trip into the cold black void?

Hollywood is Running Out Of Ideas

Time:  2:00pm — 3:00pm

Room:  Markham A

Panelists:  Denis McGrath, Marcy Italiano, Eric Choi

Just like it says on the tin.  Come and have a jovial discussion about the sad state of Hollywood and share your favourite alternative media companies or one-offs.