Edward Willett

Praise from Saskatchewan Book Awards jurors for The Cityborn

Last night the 25th annual Saskatchewan Book Awards were presented at the Conexus Arts Centre. My science fiction novel The Cityborn was shortlisted for the City of Regina Book Award, for “the best book by a Regina author, judged on the quality of the writing.”

This is, I believe, the eighth time I’ve been shortlisted, and I won the City of Regina Book Award in 2002 for Spirit Singer; in fact, on the display board at the door last night they had photos of some past winners, myself among them (look closely at the photo I’m indicating in the photo accompanying this post!).

My competition this year include Anne Campbell’s poetry collection The Fabric of Day (Thistledown Press), Trevor Harriott’s non-fiction book Islands of Grass, with photographs by Branimir Gjetvaj (Coteau Books), and Marlis Wesseler’s novel The Last Chance Ladies’ Book Club (Signature Editions).

Although I didn’t win (Trevor Harriott did), the jurors for the category, Mryl Coulter, Charles Demers, and Farzana Doctor, had some very nice things to say about The Cityborn in the program:

“In this torrent of a story, Edward Willett crafts a fast-paced narrative that features masterful world-building and dozens of surprising twists. The result is a reading rush led by two unique young people who must unravel the mystery of their origins while fleeing a crumbling trash-filled environment and evading an oppressive social hierarchy. The continuing failed attempts for ultimate power by many of this book’s characters illuminate human flaws and the impossibility of omnipotence. The Cityborn is an intricate tour de force that will bewitch its readers.”

It was a great event all the way around. I look forward to next year.

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