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2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlist
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2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlist

By 49thShelf
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Edmonton – The Book Publishers Association of Alberta is excited to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards. The following shortlists represent the best of Alberta book publishing as adjudicated by experts and professionals in the field of book publishing from across Canada. The winners of all the 2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards will be announced at a gala reception at the Delta South in Edmonton on September 15, 2017. Tickets are now available on the BPAA Website, www.bookpublishers.ab.ca.
The Frontier of Patriotism

The Frontier of Patriotism

Alberta and the First World War
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Book Design, Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year
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Border Markers
Excerpt

The Story of the New Bumper

Running late. Cruising along on empty, the light flashing, that warning gong making itself known as Mike attempted to minimize the visual impact of his bald patch in the rear-view mirror by tilting his head in increments. On the passenger seat lay a sad looking bouquet of grocery store checkout flowers, heavy on the limp, little white ones. He drove to that little store, half diner, half grocery store at lunch, out in Lashburn today. That's why his tank hadn't lasted the week. An unintentional trip. The red sticker caught Mike's eye and he thought about peeling it from the Cellophane. Changed his mind as he shifted lanes, accelerating. It might be best if she saw he'd spent a few dollars thinking about her today.

The gas station was coming up on the left. If he didn't turn in, he'd wind up late for work tomorrow. He'd be late for the morning meeting, would miss those minutes when everyone was busy and he could flirt with the new redhead, the secretary, transferred from out east, when he could take a shit in the bathroom on the second floor before the employees working there showed up and wanted to spend twenty minutes in the bathroom taking a shit of their own. So Mike turned into the gas station, reached out to keep his coffee mug from falling from the too-small cup holder, like he did every time he turned left.

One empty spot. Only one on account of the afternoon price drop.

Mike went for it, driving a bit too fast around the corner. He'd have to back in, but it would get him home quicker, to work on time in the a.m. A red dually truck, its bulky wheels heading towards Mike's spot. Trying to take it from him. "Not going to happen, buddy. Never going to happen. Wait your own turn, asshole." He whipped around the second corner with a wicked squeal.

The dually stopped when Mike took the corner. Gave in to Mike, backed off. Time to go for the brake, but during that last left turn, Mike had forgotten to hold a hand out to steady the coffee mug and it came up out of the too-small holder, fell to the floor, rolled under the brake. Mike jumped the curb and hit the pump. A hiss escaped from the pump. The woman at the pump ahead of Mike dropped her gas cap and ran for the road, her arms flailing above her.

Mike felt around the passenger seat for his cellphone, mangling the flowers when they got in his way. He hit the speed-dial. "Yeah, I've got a problem. At the Esso just east of Lloydminster." He took a breath, his hand shaking as he reached for a cigarette. The people around him still standing at their pumps, admiring the truck and damage from a distance, began yelling. "Yeah. An accident," Mike replied into the phone, flicking at his lighter.
***

Frank arrived before the police and fire trucks, so he'd been around, or speeding. His tanned forearm hung out from the window of his tow truck. "This is the second gas station in a matter of twenty kilometres you've got reason to avoid. Ain't it?"

"Shouldn't you be at my wife's party?"

"Shouldn't you be at your wife's party?"

"I don't want to go anymore. With the truck and all."

"Barb'll be disappointed."

"Not the first time," Mike said.

"You better hope the coppers take you in. She might be forgiving that way."

Mike waited on a strip of grass between the gas station and the sidewalk chain-smoking. A few bystanders lingered on, but most drifted back to their own troubles, to the cheap gasoline at the pumps. Someone had a camera. Flashing lights. Mike prayed like he'd never prayed before that they would take him in for the night. Would be best.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Cover Design.
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The Bone Weir

The Bone Weir

by David Stymeist
edited by Micheline Maylor
cover design or artwork by Tim Nokes
designed by Neil Petrunia
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
More Info
Excerpt

Pinhole Man 

 

 

 

At Pinhole Cave, another grotto pun:

 

a crook-backed man with erect penis 

 

scrimshawed haphazardly onto 

 

the side of a thick slab of rib – 

 

the hard bone mammalian armour, 

 

now playfully turned to an après dine 

 

canvas where in thin cartoonish lines 

 

a lone dancer carouses in his mask. 

 

Our liminal Adam, first root and seed, 

 

and all that untimely, unimagined woe 

 

to the woolly, hairy beasts of field.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Cover Design.
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Lost Animal Club
Excerpt

Excerpt from "Mr. Money-maker"

The dog might have been born with it for all Rubin knows. A scruffy, genetic misfit. He first came upon him at the scrapyard while scrounging for jewellery wire and other useable crap. They approached each other slowly, flanked by a smouldering mound of plastic and the skeleton of a minivan. The animal looked pathetic; his fur riddled with ticks and spear grass, tattered and filthy as a rug. He seemed vaguely sarcastic if you got right down to it with his perpetually upturned lip, his distant, smoky gaze. Despite all that, there was something about him Rubin liked, something he couldn't explain. He checked the dog's tail to assess his friendliness but there wasn't one. It'd been cropped away or broken or maybe even blown right off at the ass. Hardly a discernible stub left in its place. How in all honesty could Rubin not have taken an animal like that home with him?

The dog gets up, moseys over to his food dish and waits. He doesn't fuss. Doesn't get excited. Doesn't even groom himself. And if Rubin decided not to fill his bowl today, he wouldn't scratch or bark. He'd wander off and go back to sleep. The perfect pet, remote and distant as an emperor penguin.

The first diagnosis occurred in April. The town was in the middle of a civic election and Sarah Newson, the incumbent mayor, came glad-handing door to door. Initially, Rubin wasn't sure if he should invite her in or what. Who knew the protocol for that sort of thing? The number of hassles it might lead to?

"Are you a decided voter, Mr. Tack?" the mayor said from the hallway. Her requisite smile had no oomph at all, like she was exhausted with Rubin already and knew he hadn't voted in any election, ever, in his entire life. In actuality there was a tumour the size of an eyeball in her left breast sucking the energy right out of her. Something neither one of them had a clue about at the time.

Before Rubin could answer, the dog started circling the mayor. He licked her blouse when she leaned down, pressed his nose into her chest hitting the tumour, painfully, dead on. Two weeks later she returned with the doctor's report. Two weeks after that, a full page article in the local paper and a bit piece in the nationals. And now, three confirmed positives later, people even come from down in the valley for a scan. Go figure.

The phone rings and Rubin fumbles with the receiver; his hands, tired from feeding branch segments through the bead borer. Worth answering though. If the caller's a customer, it'd be the third this week and at twenty-five bucks a scan, that's not bad.

"Hello?" he says, trying not to sound impatient.

"Is this Rubin Tack?"

"Tack-fully so."

"My name's Caleb. I work for The Oprah Winfrey Show, guest acquisition department. Do you have a minute?"

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Cover Design.
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Baffin Island

Baffin Island

Field Research and High Arctic Adventure, 1961-67
edition:eBook
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year
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Native Plants for the Short Season Yard

Native Plants for the Short Season Yard

Best Picks for the Chinook and Canadian Prairie Zones
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year
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