Speculating on Canadian Fiction

Science Fiction

What comes to your mind when you hear those words? For some of you, the answer might be “weird”, “out there”, or “please tell me this isn’t a Coconut Chronicle about little green men from Mars!”.

Don’t worry, Nutters, I know I can’t make you like science fiction, or fantasy, or horror, or any genre that’s not your cup of tea, Earl Grey, hot. But I can tell you that maybe what you think about science fiction, particularly when it comes to books, might be wrong, and maybe, just maybe, you should give it a second chance.

In fact, that’s exactly what I’ve done over at 49th Shelf today. The good folks over there were kind enough to ask me to talk about science fiction and to recommend some Canadian books and authors that you non-genre reading types (you know who you are) would enjoy.

The names and books I listed were just a drop in the bucket. There are a spaceship load of excellent SF authors in Canada, some of whose books I’ve read and reviewed here. In fact, the entire realm of speculative fiction is well represented north of the 49th parallel.

No surprise, considering some of our home-grown inspiration…

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield

Canadian astronaut and rock star among the stars, Chris Hadfield

Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit all Canadian SF authors into one small article. Fortunately, I have this little blog right here. I’m no Scalzi (although I may be a cyborg sent from the future to protect him) but I’d like to use my Chronicles for the good of all Canuck spec fiction authors. So here’s the deal…

If you are a Canadian author of speculative fiction (SF/F, horror, magical realism, steam punk, etc, etc), give us a brief description of one of your books or stories in the comments here. Feel free to add a link, too (either to a place where people can buy your stuff or to your own website or blog). If this works, who knows, maybe I’ll make it a regular thing.

I’ll leave you to it. Chuff away, fellow Canucks!

*Sorry, this is for Canadian authors only. Warning, non Canucks, there will be a politeness test and imposters will be sent packing WITHOUT a donut and a Timmy’s double-double!

Shiny, eh?

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19 Responses to Speculating on Canadian Fiction

  1. Pingback: What's So Great About Science Fiction? | Warpworld Comms

  2. Hi Kristene: I seem to remember you posted on SFCanada for members to mention their own writing. Who could resist? My Steampunk/Regency romance “Steam and Stratagem” has the romantic problems of a very anachronistic Regency woman who is the fictional daughter of George Stephenson. She designs steamships that very well might save Britain from another invasion attempt planned by Napoleon. I think it follows your speculative fiction discussion of alternate realities on your 49th Shelf blog post…it is a mixture of history and fiction that will tease anyone’s memories of early 19th century happenings. See the publisher’s site at http://tychebooks.com/books/steam-and-stratagem/ It now has a sequel on the way, “Spies and Subterfuge” that has many historical figures doing things they never did.
    Chris H.

  3. Hi, Kristene.

    Thanks so much for giving us this opportunity to talk about our books. Sophie, in Shadow, my 5th YA historical fantasy, will be released this spring by Thistledown Books.

    It’s 1914. Sixteen year old Sophie Pritchard, orphaned two years earlier by a famous sea disaster, begins a new life in the unfamiliar world of British India. For Sophie, still devastated by her parent’s death, India proves a dangerously unsettling environment. Are her terrifying experiences in Kali’s temple and the Park Street cemetery hallucinations, or has she somehow been drawn back through the centuries as a witness to dark places in Calcutta’s past?

    Sophie it seems has become an unwilling traveller in a timeless zone where past, present and future co-exist. Kidnapping, enemy spies, and terrorist plots all play their part against the background of a world at war and growing unrest in the Indian subcontinent. Soon Sophie’s powers of precognition will be called upon to help thwart a conspiracy that could incite a bloodbath in Calcutta, and deliver India into enemy hands.

    Sophie, in Shadow will be available from brick and board bookstores on March 30, and can be pre-ordered now from amazon and other online sites.

  4. Ooh! Ooh! Thanks for the invitation, Kristene. Hi, Chris H!
    I’ve got Wolf Ice, a werewolf erotica thriller set in Montreal and the surrounding countryside: http://melissayuaninnes.com/portfolio/wolf-ice/
    And High School Hit List. Jimmy, a Mohawk teenager anti-hero, gets sucked in to saving the world–or at least his school. http://melissayuaninnes.com/portfolio/high-school-hit-list/
    Thanks again. I hope I passed the test. Do real Canadians get doughnuts (look, British spelling)?

  5. John Park says:

    Thanks very much for the opportunity, Kristene,

    My novel, Janus, is a dark psychological drama set on a near-future colony world. Paul Di Filippo gave it a wonderful review at Locus Online:
    http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2012/10/paul-di-filippo-reviews-john-park/

    You can find the book in major bookstores, Amazon and other outlets, or at the publisher:
    http://chizinepub.com/books/janus.php

  6. Hey Kristene, Thank you for your spirited defense of science fiction on 49th Shelf. If I can provide a plug for Warpworld, I think it exemplifies exactly what the best in the genre allows us to do – explore critical cultural, social and historical questions through a completely different lens. My writing tends to be a little bit science fiction, a little bit fantasy…hey wasn’t there a song about that? My first novel A Pair of Docks is about time travel, physics and the boundaries between science and witchcraft. Abbey, a fourteen-year-old science geek, and her brothers, Simon and Caleb, find a set of stones that transport them to what appears to be the future, except there seems to be multiple futures and they aren’t the only ones using the stones.

    Since I am an environmental researcher by day, A Pair of Docks allows me to explore themes around climate change and potential future environmental apocalypse in a action-adventure kind of way. It is available on Amazon at:

    http://amzn.to/1bsOQdD and you can read more on my website at http://www.jenniferellis.ca

  7. Greg Bechtel says:

    Wonderful article on the 49th Shelf! Nicely done. And I’m more than happy (of course) to share a description of my first book, a short story collection called Boundary Problems forthcoming this March with Freehand Books. Thanks for the opportunity!

    It’s a bit of a litfic/specfic blend, perfect gateway SF for non-SF readers. Because we all need a good gateway drug. ;) Or as the publisher puts it:

    In his confident debut, Greg Bechtel offers ten magnetically charged stories about the impossible-turned-possible — secrets, paranoia, sex, conspiracies, and magic — as he effortlessly shatters the boundaries between speculative and literary fiction.

    Boundary Problems vibrates on the edge of meaning, as carjackers, accidental gunrunners, and small-town cabbies struggle to wring meaning from the strange events that overtake them. Bechtel’s worlds of mystery and magic constantly challenge his characters’ pursuit of logical explanations. These compelling tales blur lines and push boundaries — into the surreal, into the playful, into the irresistible energy of uncertainty.

    For more info: http://www.freehand-books.com/books/boundary-problems
    Also, to preorder: http://broadviewpress.com/product.php?productid=1853&cat=0&page=1

  8. Ira Nayman says:

    Thank you, Kristene, for this opportunity. It has been a delight to discover just how supportive the spec fic community can be.

    I am primarily a humour writer, but I have been combining it with speculative fiction (broadly speaking, science fiction, fantasy, occasional horror, surrealism, et al) for the last few years. My main project is the Alternate Reality News Service, a series which currently numbers five books (all available through Amazon). However, since some people get weirded out by humourous science fiction in the form of fake journalism, I thought it would be best to talk about my two Transdimensional Authority novels.

    In the press release, the current novel is described as: “An evil wizard doesn’t take into account how a different universe will affect his spell for world domination, with absurd consequences. Sentient machines just want to serve human beings – even if it kills them! Strange happenings happen in the realm of the digital gods. Where can you find all of this and a Michael Moorcock anti-hero? In You Can’t Kill the Multiverse (But You Can Mess With its Head).”

    Those who are interested can find more information about the novel on the Web site of the publisher, Elsewhen Press (http://elsewhen.co.uk/). (And, while you’re there, be sure to check out their other books – they publish some great stuff!)

  9. Hi Kristene,

    Thanks for the invite on the SF group list to post info about our speculative fiction books. I’m an author from Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada.

    Loved your article on the 49th shelf, my favourite line was:
    “Science fiction not only entertains, challenges, poses philosophical questions, and offers insight to human nature, it also gives us hope.”

    My offering is A Beastly Scandal, a lighthearted Regency romance (inspired by a fairytale) that will whisk readers off to the wilds of Cheshire, UK of 1813, where sleuths from this world and beyond are hot on a killer’s trail.

    Available on Amazon, and currently on a winter sale!

  10. HI Kristene. Very kind of you to offer this to your fellow Canuck writers. I’ll mention my new urban fantasy novel, THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD. A shapeshifter hero battles ancient spirits, a covert government agency, and his own dark past in a race to solve a murder that could mean the end of the world.

    From Charles de Lint, who wrote the introduction:

    “I can’t remember the last time I read a book that spoke to me, so eloquently, and so deeply, on so many levels. … I’ll be rereading it in the future because it’s that sort of book. Richly layered and deeply resonant. An old friend, from the first time you read it.” —Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award winner

    Full buying links for major retailers, along with an excerpt, can be found on my website at http://www.smithwriter.com/the_wolf_at_the_end_of_the_world

    Best, Doug

  11. Greg Bechtel says:

    Also, if we’re talking Canadian SF, I simply can’t not mention /Black Wine/ by Candas Jane Dorsey. It’s recently been put back into print, and my thoughts on it–though I’ve read it more than twice–are a bit like Jo Walton’s at Tor.com, who put it this way in 2008: “This was only my second read of Candas Jane Dorsey’s Black Wine, and I don’t have all that much coherent to say about it except ‘Wow,’ and ‘You want to read it!’” (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2008/09/blackwine).

    Notice, this was a review from when the book had already been out for ten years and was, in fact, out of print. You know there’s something going on when a book has that kind of longevity.

    Except now it’s back in print as of last year.
    (http://www.fiveriverspublishing.com/2012/12/candas-jane-dorsey-to-re-issue-black.html)

    Buy it. (http://www.fiveriverspublishing.com/p/fiction-adult.html)

    Then read it, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

    • Greg Bechtel says:

      Oh wait. And by “last year,” I mean 2012. Oops. Clearly, time is slipping. Either way, it’s in print now, which is the important part.

  12. sherrydramsey says:

    A little late to the party, but I’ll tell you about my novel, ONE’S ASPECT TO THE SUN, out from Tyche Books last November. It’s been described as “space opera with heart.” The blurb:

    “Captain Luta Paixon of the far trader Tane Ikai needs to know why she looks like a woman in her thirties–even though she’s actually eighty-four. The explanation might lie with her geneticist mother, who disappeared over sixty years ago, but even if her mother is still alive, it’s proving to be no small task to track her down in the vast, wormhole-ridden expanse of Nearspace. With the ruthless PrimeCorp bent on obtaining Luta’s DNA at any cost, her ninety-year-old husband asking for one last favour, and her estranged daughter locking horns with her at every turn, Luta’s search for answers will take her to the furthest reaches of space–and deep inside her own heart.”

    It’s garnered many lovely reviews on Amazon & Goodreads, which make me blush. :) All the info on the book is here: http://www.sherrydramsey.com/?page_id=2094 and there’s an excerpt on the Tyche website, here: http://tychebooks.com/books/ones-aspect-to-the-sun-2/

    Thanks, Kristene!

  13. Even later to the party, I’ll still drop by to remind people Canadian science fiction also includes a significant body of works in French. Besides Elisabeth Vonarburg, novelists such as Joël Champetier (unfortunately, his translated sf thriller The Dragon’s Eye is no longer in print), Esther Rochon (her novella The Shell is also out of print), and Sylvie Bérard (her fix-up novel Of Wind and Sand is still available both in paper and Kindle versions) may be mentioned.

    While I do not have books in English per se, though I did co-edit the Tesseracts 7 anthology, I have several in French, both under my own name and that of Laurent McAllister, which I use when I write with Yves Meynard. However, I do have several short stories in English in recent and upcoming publications:

    — “Watching over the Human Garden” in the Blood and Water anthology from Bundoran Press
    — “The Snows of Yesteryear” in the hard science fiction anthology currently known as Carbide-Tipped Pens to be published by Tor later this year
    — “The Dome of St. Macaire” in the Canadian post-apocalyptic anthology Fractured out later this year

    The first and third stories are translations; the second is an original.

  14. Even later to the party, I’ll still drop by to remind people Canadian science fiction also includes a significant body of works in French. Besides Élisabeth Vonarburg, novelists such as Joël Champetier (unfortunately, his translated sf thriller The Dragon’s Eye is no longer in print, but it was reviewed here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-312-86882-6 ), Esther Rochon (her novella The Shell is also out of print, but is sold by Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shell-Esther-Rochon-translated-Lobdell/dp/0887508146 ), and Sylvie Bérard (her fix-up novel Of Wind and Sand is still available both in paper and Kindle versions at: http://www.amazon.ca/Wind-Sand-Sylvie-Berard/dp/1894063198 ) may be mentioned.

    While I do not have books in English per se, though I did co-edit the Tesseracts 7 anthology (now available from Edge: http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/tess7/t7-catalog.html ), I have several in French, both under my own name and that of Laurent McAllister, which I use when I write with Yves Meynard. However, I do have several short stories in English in recent and upcoming publications:

    — “Watching over the Human Garden” in the Blood and Water anthology from Bundoran Press (http://www.bundoranpress.com/product/1/Blood-and-Water )
    — “The Snows of Yesteryear” in the hard science fiction anthology currently known as Carbide-Tipped Pens to be published by Tor later this year (see https://www.facebook.com/CarbideTippedPens/timeline )
    — “The Dome of St. Macaire” in the Canadian post-apocalyptic anthology Fractured out later this year (see http://silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/2014/01/fractured-tales-of-the-canadian-post-apocalypse-toc/ )

    The first and third stories are translations; the second is an original.

  15. Chad Ganske says:

    Thanks for the opportunity, Kristene. Before I promote myself, I want to give a shout-out to the Canadian women’s hockey team for their gold medal performance in Sochi today. Job well done!

    As for my book: Idyllic Avenue has just been released by Crescent Moon press. Here’s the short blurb.

    Idyllic Avenue by Chad Ganske (Crescent Moon Press). Stanford Samuels is an ordinary man with an extraordinary disease, segregated with his fellow mutants from the healthy population by 80 foot walls. Sarah is the genetically perfect woman assigned to eradicate his mutation and deliver their family to safety. To ensure the long term survival of mankind, a massive bio-dome is being constructed to house the population after permanent midnight – but not everybody is welcome. All known genetic diseases have been banned to protect the delicate ecosystem inside the artificial environment. All Stanford needs to do to book his family’s ticket to the dome is bear a healthy offspring with Sarah. But fertility is never guaranteed, not even for a perfect couplet, and with civil strife trumped only by the impending threat of perpetual darkness, Stanford must defy his own moral compass as he searches for truth along Idyllic Avenue.

    Available for purchase at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/idyllic-avenue-chad-ganske/1118583705?ean=9781939173706

    And Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Idyllic-Avenue-Chad-Ganske/dp/1939173701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392950300&sr=8-1&keywords=idyllic+avenue

    Thanks again, Kristene!

  16. Dov Ivry says:

    My sci-fi book Earthlings Vs. Andromedans: Stanley Cup 2041 will be free on Kindle March 19.

    I am from Saint John, New Brunswick, now residing in Israel, a journalist by trade.

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