|Cover art by Raymond Swanland|
The Sunburst jury says this about the book: "Blackdog is everything high fantasy should be: a tale of wars among gods, demons and wizards that also works as an oddly compelling social-cultural coming-of-age novel. The Blackdog has, through a multitude of incarnations, protected the living goddess, Attalissa, who manifests in the world as a human. This time, over many years, she is driven away from her power-giving lake and grows up among the caravanserai of her new Blackdog, the caravan guard Holla-Sayan, and learns to be a more moral human/god. The characterizations of the young girl and her anguished, shape-shifting protector, as well as other gods, friends, and a demonic enemy, are profound & moving. This is a strongly imagined fantasy world, its peoples rendered with both wit and insight."
The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award to recognize stellar writing in two categories: adult and young adult. The awards are presented annually to Canadian writers with a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of speculative fiction published any time during the previous calendar year. Named after the first novel by Phyllis Gotlieb (1926–2009), one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian science fiction, the awards consist of a cash award of Cdn$1,000 and a medallion which incorporates a specially designed "Sunburst" logo. The winners receive their awards in the fall of every year.