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Deirdre Baker grew up in Haney, B.C. in a family addicted to children's literature. She went on to earn a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria, B.C. and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. She has a Licentiate in Mediaeval Studies from the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies in Toronto. For the past 20 years she has been teaching religion, medieval literature and particularly children's literature at various universities in Canada and the U.S. She currently teaches in the English Department at the University of Toronto. She has been children's book reviewer for the Toronto Star since 1998, and is the co-author of, with Ken Setterington, A Guide to Canadian Children's Books (McClelland & Stewart, 2003). She is currently working with Michele Landsberg on Follow That Broomstick: a Guide to the Best Fantasy Literature for Young Readers, scheduled for publication in 2007. She is the author of one short story for children and a children's novel, Twenty-two Pearls (forthcoming). She lives in Port Credit, Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.
Nancy Baker is the author of three dark fantasy vampire novels: The Night Inside (nominated for a City of Toronto Book Award), Blood and Chrysanthemums and A Terrible Beauty. Her short stories have appeared in The Twilight Zone Magazine and the Northern Frights anthologies, and her occasional book reviews in The Globe and Mail. By day, she works as a business manager for a Canadian magazine publishing company. She is working on her fourth novel.
Nicholas Ruddick is Professor of English at the University of Regina, where he has taught since 1982. Currently he offers undergraduate courses in science fiction, horror fiction, and classic and contemporary fairy tales, as well as graduate courses in the intersections of post-Darwinian science and fiction. His main research interest is fantastic literature with a special interest in science fiction. He's the author or editor of seven books, including Christopher Priest (1989), State of the Fantastic: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Fantastic Literature and Film (1992), and Ultimate Island: On the Nature of British Science Fiction (1993). He's also written many articles and book chapters on such topics as the deluge in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke's alien artefact, Rama, Keith Roberts's alternate worlds, Brian Aldiss's relationship with Mary Shelley, J. G. Ballard's relationship with Jean Baudrillard, Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, William Gibson's Neuromancer, quantum ethics in Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, and toxic masculinity in classic fantastic fiction. He recently published new scholarly editions of H. G. Wells's classic The Time Machine (2001) and Ignatius Donnelly's controversial 1890 dystopian novel Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century (2003). In the 1980s and 1990s he was closely involved with the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), the main organization for the academic study of fantastic literature, serving first as IAFA Science Fiction Division Head and then a three-year term as Vice-President and Academic Program Co-ordinator (1992-95). In 2002 he was awarded the title of University of Regina President's Scholar 2002-04, and in January 2003 he was appointed Director of the University of Regina's new Humanities Research Institute, with the mandate to promote and disseminate humanities scholarship in the university and its surrounding community. He's currently writing a book on paleoanthropological romance, otherwise known as prehistoric science fiction.
Rodger Turner has read a lot of science fiction and fantasy over the last 45 years. His love of the books led him to be a partner in The House of SF, an Ottawa science fiction and fantasy bookstore, from 1979 until it closed in 1997. About the same time, he got involved in SF Site, a Hugo-nominated site featuring reviews, interviews and columns, for which he is now Publisher/Managing Editor. In 1984, he co-chaired the World Fantasy Convention held in Ottawa. Since then, he has been a member of the World Fantasy Convention Board, serving as one of the Awards Administrators.
Aritha van Herk is an award-winning Canadian novelist whose work has been acclaimed throughout North America and Europe. She was born in central Alberta and subsequently read every book in the library at Camrose and studied at the University of Alberta. She first rose to international literary prominence with the publication of Judith, which received the Seal First Novel Award and which was published in North America, the U.K. and Europe. Following the publication of The Tent Peg, she was selected as one of Canada's most promising young writers in the 45 Below competition. No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey confirmed her reputation when it earned her a nomination for the Governor General's Award for fiction. Places Far From Ellesmere, a Geografictione, worked with a new form: the unexplored geographies of landscape and origin. Restlessness, her fifth work of fiction, entertains the crossroads of death and homesickness. Aritha has also published two books of ficto-criticism, In Visible Ink and A Frozen Tongue. Her most recent expedition into time and words is a non-fiction work entitled Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta, which appeared in 2001 and which won the Grant McEwan Author's Award. She is currently completing a novel and a non-fiction work on representations of laundry. Aritha has given readings, lectures, and workshops in the U.S., Singapore, Australia and Europe. Her creative and critical work has been widely published, and her work has been translated into 10 languages. 2005 SHORTLIST CHOSEN BY THIS JURY