Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring a Finalist for CBC Canada Reads

Congratulations to Nalo Hopkinson–Canadian SF writer and winner of the Warner Aspect First Novel Prize, the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, the World Fantasy Award, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award–whose book, Brown Girl in the Ring, was announced today as a finalist for the annual CBC Canada Reads contest.

Five celebrity panelists will debate the merits of each title in a series of CBC Radio broadcasts from February 25 through 29, 2008, eliminating one book at a time until one remains. In Nalo’s case, her book is being championed by hip-hop poet Jemeni.

I loved the Quill & Quire‘s description of the book as “science-fiction flavoured” in their announcement of the finalists.

This has a kind of personal connection for me, in that in the 2005 edition of the contest the University of Toronto Press’ (my day job’s) own Rockbound by Frank Parker Day was the winner. In the final round Rockbound bested the well-written yet still terrible Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood’s most recent sci-fi-but-not-sci-fi-because-I’m-a-literary-type effort.

Rockbound is a 1928 novel about life and nature on the small maritime island of Rockbound and is a really fantastic read.

For the winner, Canada Reads can mean a huge sales boost–some have sold close to 40,000 copies based on their win.

While I can’t divulge the exact sales figures of Rockbound, I can tell you it rapidly became one of UTP’s all-time best-sellers, putting it in the same category as Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy and John Porter’s The Vertical Mosaic.

Good luck, Nalo!

– S.

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