Aurora AwardsCanadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association
Candace Jane Dorsey
CSFFA Hall of Fame 2018
Candas Jane Dorsey is the award-winning author of Black Wine, A Paradigm of Earth, Machine Sex and other stories (includes the Aurora Award winning story Sleeping in a Box) as well as other mainstream and slipstream books and stories. She is internationally known for these works, which have brought a fresh voice to the discussion of gender and sexuality in SF&F as well as demonstrating high literary quality. She also won the 1985 Three-Day Novel Contest with Nora Abercrombie for an SF novel. Her shorter works have appeared in The Norton Book of Science Fiction ed. Ursula K. leGuin and Brian Attebery, The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women, ten of the Tesseracts anthologies, Northern Stars, Women of Other Worlds, Firebirds Soaring and many other venues. Dorsey co-edited Tesseracts3, Tesseracts8, the Prairie Fire WorldCon1994 special edition, and Land/Space. From 1994, when it was acquired from Porcepic/Beach Holme Books in Victoria, until 2003, she co-owned and co-published Tesseract Books, which at the time she acquired it was Canadas only dedicated English-language SF&F publisher. During her time at the helm, Tesseract Books arranged for distribution in the US, Australia, and the UK. In 2003 the imprint was sold to Brian Hades with a solid backlist of hardcover and softcover titles. She kept the press going during the collapse of mass-market publishing (in part by not taking a salary during her entire ownership so that the press could break even), and continued the iconic Tesseracts anthology line as well as publishing the work of Peter Watts, Ursula Pflug, Karl Schroeder and David Nickle, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Phyllis Gotlieb, Michael Barley, Heather Spears,Tanya Huff and others. She also maintained a tradition of intriguing Canadian art on the covers. She is an accomplished editor of short and long fiction. She consulted on the inaugural issue of OnSpec magazine and she worked with Gerri Cook and Steve Moore to develop and publish the Dinosaur Soup series of children’s books, cut short after three volumes by the untimely death of Ms. Cook. Dorsey has written essays and critical work, travels widely in Canada and internationally to speak about Canadian SF as well as do readings and panels, and teaches writing, including SF&F. She also freelances as a manuscript editor, and mentors worthy new writers and editors on occasion. She was a founding member and the founding president of SFCanada, the professional Canadian SF&F writers organisation, and is still an active member. She was involved with SFWorkshop Canada Ink from its inception under Judith Merril in 1985. She has contributed her SF collection to the University of Alberta and her papers are in the UofA Archives. She was also approached to write the speculative fiction course now offered by Athabasca University. One of the elements of Candas Jane Dorsey’s career that should not be overlooked is the way she has consistently served not only the SF community but the wider literary community, bringing the SF&F voice into the mainstream discussion and refusing to allow other literary traditions to dismiss SF&F. Her role as a builder, whether of local (the Edmonton Bullet alternative weekly paper), provincial (Writers Guild of Alberta; The Books Collective) or national organisations, Candas Jane Dorsey has brought eloquence and intelligence to bear on the ways SF&F relates to the wider literary and public community. Candas Jane Dorsey’s contribution to the Canadian SF&F scene in Canada and beyond has been exceptional. In some ways, if not for her, there wouldn’t be a scene at all as it appears today, as she was tireless and self-sacrificing on behalf of the community, including at the expense of her own writing time. She deserves to be honoured and recognised for the immense contribution she has made to SF&F in Canada.