SFWRITER.COM > Canadian SF > Northern Lights
Canadian Achievements in SF
by Robert J. Sawyer
Copyright © 1983-1992 by
Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved
Do you remember Penguin Canada's domestic SF publishing line?
Do you remember SWAC? The Canadian semiprozines Borderland, Dragonfields,
Edge Detector, Moonscape, and Senary?
Remember a writer named T.S. Huff? Remember when Edward Llewelyn
was DAW's most prolific Canadian author? Remember Press Porcépic?
The Casper Awards? Samuel M. Key? The Fifth Millennium? They're all here . . .
Do you recall when these established Canadian names were starting out
with their first novels?
- Donald Kingsbury: Courtship Rite (1982)
- Guy Gavriel Kay: The Summer Tree (1984)
- Charles de Lint: The Riddle of the Wren (1984)
- William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984)
- S. M. Stirling: Snow Brother (1985)
- Robert Charles Wilson: A Hidden Place (1986)
- Andrew Weiner: Station Gehenna (1987)
- Terence M. Green: Barking Dogs (1988)
- Tanya Huff: Child of the Grove (1988)
- Robert J. Sawyer: Golden Fleece (1990)
- Sean Russell: The Initiate Brother (1991)
- Michelle Sagara: Into the Dark Lands (1991)
- Sean Stewart: Passion Play (1992)
Did you know that Andrew Weiner and Terry Green once collaborated?
Did you know that Judy Merril got a grant from the Canada Council
for the Arts to write a novel in 1984? Did you know that William
Gibson was originally going to write the screenplay for the third
Between 1982 and 1992, I wrote periodic reports on Canadian achievements
in SF first for The Bakka Bookie Sheet (the newsletter
of Canada's oldest SF specialty store), then for
SOL Rising (the newsletter of The Friends of The Merril
Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy), and finally
in a standalone newsletter called Northern Lights. All of
this activity prompted John Robert Colombo
to refer to me as "the Boswell of Canadian SF" and
Terence M. Green to dub me
"Canada's answer to Charles Brown [publisher of the American SF
trade journal Locus]."
I've gathered together all the reports here 15,000 words worth
and present them in chronological order. Although there are gaps
in the coverage periods during which no venue was available
in which to publish a report what's here still paints a fascinating
and detailed portrait of the single most significant decade in the
development of Canadian science fiction and fantasy. A few updates
appear in square brackets, but otherwise the information is as it
was reported all those years ago.
[The end of Northern Lights]
Retrospective from January to December 1983
First published in The Bakka Bookie Sheet
In September 1983, Bakka Books published an amusing chapbook
entitled Toronto's Fantastic Street Names by John Robert Colombo.
Houghton-Mifflin published The Celestial Steam Locomotive,
first volume of Michael Coney's "The Song of Earth" trilogy,
in November 1983. Coney makes his home in Sidney, B.C.
Charles de Lint of Ottawa is well-known for his excellent
semiprozine Dragonfields, of which the fourth number
appeared in 1983. But he has also taken the book-publishing
world by storm, selling his first, second, and third novels in
1983: The Riddle of the Wren and Moonheart to Ace
and The Harp of the Grey Rose to Starblaze.
Augustine Funnel of Lyndhurst, Ontario, wrote "Viewpoint: A
Stroll to the Stars" in the August 1983 issue of Isaac
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine [IAsfm].
Another fine collection by Phyllis Gotlieb, Son of the
Morning and Other Stories, was released by Ace in December
Terence M. Green made his first
appearance in IAsfm with "Susie Q2" in August
1983. He sold another story to The Magazine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction [F&SF]. He reviewed Pauline
Gedge's Stargate and Spider Robinson's Mindkiller
in the February 1983 Books in Canada. Once again, Terry
was an invited reader at the International Conference on the
Fantastic in the Arts in Florida.
Collector R. S. Hadji had annotated horror bibliographies in the
June, August, and October 1983 issues of Twilight Zone.
Tanya Huff sold script outlines to a TV series in
development stage called "Captain Lonestar." Her fantasy story
"Claus Clause" was a runner-up in the annual CBC Radio Drama
David Kesterton, author of The Darkling, and
Robert J. Sawyer both joined the Science
Fiction Writers of America in 1983, bringing the total Canadian
membership of that organization to 18.
Tsunami by Crawford Kilian of Vancouver was published by
Douglas & McIntyre.
That brilliant novel Courtship Rite continued to garner
honours for Donald Kingsbury. It was
a nominee for the Hugo and Locus named it best first novel
of the year. Kingsbury was flown to Balticon 17 in April 1983 to
accept the Compton N. Crook Memorial Award. Forbidden Planet
bookstore announced Don as winner of their first annual Saturn
Award in the Best New Writer category.
Toronto doctor Edward Llewellyn's third DAW Books novel,
Prelude to Chaos, appeared in February 1983.
Spider Robinson's "Melancholy Elephants" won the Best Short
Story Hugo. He signed autographs at Bakka in November 1983.
In June 1983, CBC-TV produced a version of University of Waterloo
alumnus Thomas J. Ryan's 1977 novel The Adolescence of
P-1. The show, with screenplay by Barrie Wexler, will be
broadcast in 1984 as part of the "For the Record" anthology
Montrealer Charles R. Saunders sold an Imaro sequel
entitled The Quest for Cush to DAW.
Robert J. Sawyer's article on semiprozines was in the Fall
1983 Canadian Author & Bookman. His story "The Contest"
was optioned by Bar Harbour films and his script "Earthfall"
[later adapted into the short story "Where The Heart Is"] won
an honourable mention in the annual Writer's Digest Writing
Competition. His mini-interview with Don Kingsbury appeared in
February 1983's Books in Canada and he sold a
long Kingsbury interview
to Science Fiction Review.
Expatriate Canuck A. E. van Vogt completed a third Null-A
book, which so far has only sold in French to a publisher in
France. DAW Books published his Computerworld in November
Andrew Weiner continued his
prolific publishing of excellent stories: "One More Time" in the
Doubleday anthology Chrysalis 10, "On the Ship" in the May
1983 F&SF, "Takeover Bid" in the June 1983 Twilight
Zone, and "Invaders" in the October 1983 IAsfm.
McGill University's Science-Fiction Studies produced
issues on "19th-century SF" and "SF in the non-print media." Bill
Marks's Vortex had four issues in 1983. A semiprozine
called Moonscape appeared, edited by Mogens Brondum of
Swan River, Manitoba.
Retrospective from January to December 1984
First published in The Bakka Bookie Sheet
John Robert Colombo's Canadian
Literary Landmarks (Hounslow, December 1984) contains many
references to writers of the fantastic.
Book 2 of Vancouverite Michael Coney's "Song of Earth" was issued
by Houghton Mifflin in September 1984. It's called Gods of
Ace published the first two novels by Charles de Lint of Ottawa:
The Riddle of the Wren in June 1984 and Moonheart
in October 1984. Forthcoming are the novels The Harp of the
Grey Rose from Starblaze, Mulengro: A Romany Tale from
Ace, and a story entitled "In the Valley of the Troll" in
Swords and Sorceresses, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
The Memoirs of Alcheringia, Part One of "The Erthring
Cycle" by Wayland Drew of Bracebridge, Ont., was published in May
1984 by Del Rey.
Augustine Funnell of Fredricton, N.B., sold "Worms from Mars" to
Twilight Zone. His "Marin's Eyes, With Needles" will
appear in either Volume 3 or 4 of Far Frontiers.
Vancouverite William Gibson's first novel Neuromancer was
published as an Ace Special in July 1984, with hardcover
following from Gollancz in August. It was the most recommended
book on the preliminary Nebula Award ballot. Gibson has two more
novels under contract: Count Zero to Ace and The Log
of the Mustang Sally to Arbor. His "New Rose Hotel" appeared
in the July Omni.
"Barking Dogs" by Toronto's Terence M.
Green, from the May 1984 F&SF, is also high on the
preliminary Nebula ballot. "Legacy" will appear in that magazine
in March 1985 and "Point Zero" will follow later.
The Summer Tree, first volume of Guy Gavriel Kay's
"Fionavar Tapestry," was published in the fall of 1984 by
McClelland & Stewart.
The death of University of Toronto Professor Edward
Llewellyn-Thomas was a great loss to Canadian SF. His fourth DAW
Books novel, Salvage and Destroy, appeared in January
1984. Two more DAW novels and a short story in Analog
will be published posthumously.
Judith Merril is editing an
anthology of Canadian SF for Press Porcépic [the
as-yet-to-be-named Tesseracts]. She's also working on an
SF novel under a Canada Council grant. She founded
a Toronto-area professional SF association, on April 29,
1984. In August 1984, she, Andrew Weiner, and Robert J. Sawyer
gave a panel on aging themes in SF at the annual meeting of the
American Psychological Association.
"Der Geist und die Maschine" by John Park of Ottawa had its first
publication in Kopernicus 11, a West German anthology
edited by H. J. Alpers and published by Moewig. His "The
Software Plague" will appear shortly in Jim Baen's new anthology
series Far Frontiers.
The first publication of Melancholy Elephants by Halifax's
Spider Robinson was as a July 1984 Canadian trade paperback from
The Quest for Cush, volume two in the planned "Imaro"
pentalogy by Ottawa's Charles R. Saunders, appeared from DAW in
January 1984. Volume 3, The Trial of Bohu, will be out in
the second half of 1985. He also has a story in Bradley's
Swords and Sorceresses, slated for May 1985 from DAW.
Robert J. Sawyer of Toronto
appeared in the Asimov, Carr, and Greenberg anthology
100 Great Fantasy Short Short
Stories (Doubleday, April) with "The Contest." He
interviewed Donald Kingsbury in the
Spring 1984 Science Fiction Review and reported on the
Canadian computer graphics used in Search for Spock for
the June 30, 1984, Toronto Star.
S. M. Stirling sold his first novel, Snow Brother, to
Signet. It will be a March 1985 paperback original. Parts of an
early version were in the Winter 1981 and Spring 1982 issues of
the defunct Miriad.
Andrew Weiner's "Distant Signals"
graced the May/June 1984 Twilight Zone and his "The Alien
Station" appeared in October 1984's IAsfm. This Toronto
writer profiled Phyllis Gotlieb, Donald
Kingsbury, and Spider Robinson in the December 1, 1984,
Financial Post Magazine. Keep an eye on IAsfm for
his forthcoming "Klein's Machine."
CBC Radio's Ideas bought three noteworthy triplets of
hour-long radio documentaries. "Crimes of the Future" by
Calgary's Tom Keenan aired in October. "Black Water" by Alberto
Manguel of Toronto was broadcast in December.
"The Future Then and Now" by Robert J.
Sawyer will air in 1985. Manguel adapted "Death and the Compass"
by Jorge Luis Borges for CBC Radio's Vanishing Point,
which premiered in October 1984.
Borderland, a dark fantasy semiprozine appeared from
Toronto in October 1984, edited by R. S. Hadji and published by
14 May 1987
Retrospective from January 1986 to May 1987
First published in SOL Rising, Summer 1987
Margaret Atwood's much-lauded 1986 novel The Handmaid's
Tale won the first Arthur C. Clarke Award for best SF book
published in England. It was a runner-up for the Best Novel
Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America.
The Perfect Circus, a first novel by Frederick Biro, was
recently published by Seal/Bantam. It had been short-listed for
the $50,000 Seal Books First Novel Award.
Farewell Tour, a short story collection by Virgil Burnett
(The Porcupine's Quill, 1987) contains two fantasies, "A Masked
Ball" and "Fallowfields."
Chandler Davis's "The Aristocrat" is in Jerry Pournelle's The
Imperial Stars, Vol.1: The Stars at War (Baen Books,
November 1986). The story was first published in the October
1949 issue of Astounding.
Charles de Lint's Yarrow was published in September 1986
by Ace. His fantasy novella Ascian in Rose appeared in
March 1987 from Axolotl.
In June 1986, Ballantine/Del Rey released The Master of
Norriya by Wayland Drew, the concluding novel of his
"Erthring Cycle." In September 1986, the Science Fiction Book
Club released The Erthring Cycle, containing the entire
trilogy in a single volume.
Augustine Funnell had a novelette in the August 1986 F&SF
and short stories in the Spring 1987 Night Cry and the
June 1987 F&SF.
Leslie Gadallah's Cat's Pawn was published by Ballantine
in March 1987.
Count Zero, by 1985 Hugo Winner William Gibson was
published in 1986 in hardcover by Arbor House, after being
serialized in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
(IAsfm) beginning in January 1986. It's a 1987 Hugo
nominee, and was both a Nebula finalist and a
Science Fiction Book Club selection. The paperback, from Ace,
was released in March 1987. In April 1986, Arbor House published
Burning Chrome: The Collected Short Stories of William Gibson.
A novelette from that collection, "The Winter Market," (first
published in Interzone Spring 1986) is a current Hugo
nominee. Gibson has contracted to write the screenplay for the
third Alien film.
Phyllis Gotlieb is editing Tesseracts II [yes, "II" not
a superscripted 2], an anthology of Canadian SF, for Porcépic Books.
Terence M. Green has one book on
the stands and another about to be published. His collection of
ten short stories, The Woman Who Is the Midnight Wind, was
issued in March 1987 by Pottersfield Press of Nova Scotia.
Terry's first science fiction novel, Barking Dogs, is
scheduled for February 1988 publication from St. Martin's Press.
It's based on a shorter work of the same name, first published in
the May 1984 F&SF and reprinted in the Midnight
Wind collection. Terry has just finished writing his
second novel, Children of the Rainbow.
On the short-story front, Terry's "Point Zero" appeared in the
May 1986 F&SF (it's also in Midnight Wind). And
his short-short "Room 1786," first published in the November 1982
Leisure Ways, will be reprinted for a second time in a
Prentice-Hall anthology designed for the school market.
Terry has a short-story collaboration with Andrew Weiner called "Twenty-Two Steps to
the Apocalypse" forthcoming in IAsfm. His interview with
Andrew is slated for the November 1987 Books in Canada.
TSR Hobbies has bought exclusive rights to an advanced Dungeons
and Dragons world called The Forgotten Realms created by
Toronto's Ed Greenwood. TSR will be publishing books and modules based on
it, and Ed will be writing a series of novels for TSR set in that
Michael Hale's first novel, The Other Child, a horror
story, was published by Avon in November 1986.
T. S. Huff's first novel, a fantasy called Child of the
Grove, will be published by DAW in May 1988. Her short story
"What Little Girls Are Made Of" appeared in October 1986 in Tor's
Magic in Ithkar 3, edited by Andre Norton and Robert
Adams. "Third Time Lucky" appeared in the November 1986
Amazing Stories. "And Who is Joah?" is scheduled for the
November 1987 Amazing. Also forthcoming in that magazine
is "The Chase is On," a space-opera novella. [T. S. Huff later
changed her writing name to Tanya Huff.]
Guy Gavriel Kay's The Wandering Fire, book 2 of "The
Fionavar Tapestry," was published in hardcover by Arbor House in
1986. Book 3, The Darkest Road, was released in October
1986 by Collins in Canada and Arbor House in the U.S. All three
Fionavar volumes have had Science Fiction Book Club editions.
Crawford Kilian's Lifter was released by Ace in June 1986.
His The Fall of the Republic will be published by Del Rey
in September 1987.
Donald Kingsbury's The Moon Goddess
and the Son was published in hardcover by Baen in December
The late Edward Llewellyn's last novel, Word-Bringer, was
published by DAW in June 1986.
Gwendolyn's MacEwen's Afterworlds, just published by
McClelland & Stewart, is a collection of lyrical poems, five of
which belong to the realm of fantastic literature: "The Death of
the Loch Ness Monster," "Thunderbirds," "Manitou Poem," "Past and
Future Ghosts," and "Halley's Comet, 1986."
Fiona Patton has made her first sale, a short story, to
Borderland, a Canadian dark-fantasy magazine. It's called
"Roses at Midnight" and will be in issue 6.
Spider Robinson's third Callahan book, Callahan's Secret,
was published in June 1986 by Berkley. He had a story in the
mid-December 1986 Analog. The Robinson family recently
moved from Halifax to Vancouver.
A new "Imaro" story by Charles Saunders appears in Weird Book
22. He recently finished the screenplay for Storm
Rebels, a fantasy film being shot in Argentina and has
another script in the works for Canada's Salter Street Films.
Robert J. Sawyer wrote and narrated
three one-hour radio documentaries about science fiction for the
Ideas. The programs were first
broadcast in January 1986 and were repeated in November 1986.
Rob's story "Uphill Climb" was published in the March 1987
Amazing Stories. In April 1987, Story Cards, a
Washington, D.C., publisher specializing in greeting cards
containing short works of fiction, reprinted his
"If I'm Here, Imagine Where They Sent My
Luggage," originally published in the 14 January 1981
Village Voice. His novelette "Golden Fleece" will appear
in a summer 1988 issue of
Rob has been commissioned to write the entry on Science Fiction
for the second editon of The Canadian Encyclopedia. He
will interview Terence M. Green in
Books in Canada early in 1988.
In 1986, Eva Seidner interviewed Stephen King for
S. M. Stirling and Shirley Meier co-authored The Sharpest
Edge, published by Signet in March 1986. Steve's third
novel, Marching Through Geogria, will be released by Baen
Books in the Fall of 1988. Shirley has a story called "Trave" in
Magic in Ithkar 4, Norton and Adams, editors, to be
released in June 1987 by Tor. She's also sold a story called
"Peacock Eyes" to Andre Norton's Tales From Out of the
Karen Wehrstein has sold a story called "I Have Seen the Enemy"
Andrew Weiner's first novel,
Station Gehenna, will be published in the fall of 1987 by
Beaverbooks as part of the "Isaac Asimov Presents" series.
Station Gehenna is based on a shorter work of the same
name originally published in F&SF, April 1982.
Andrew has also been been busy writing short stories. His "Going
Native" appeared in the Winter 1985/86 Night Cry. "The
Investigation" was in the Spring 1986 Borderland. "The
Band from Planet Zoom" graced the July 1986 issue of
IAsfm. "This Time Next Year" was on the stands this time
last year, in the August 1986 issue of Rod Serling's The
Twilight Zone Magazine. The novelette "The News from D
Street" was published in IAsfm's September 1986 issue,
"Waves" was in the same magazine's March 1987 issue, and "Rider"
in its July 1987 issue. Forthcoming are "Fake-Out" in Amazing
Stories, "Going to Meet the Alien" in F&SF, and "The
Alien in the Lake" in IAsfm.
Two of Andrew's short stories, "Going Native" and the 1984
"Distant Signals" were produced as episodes of the syndicated
American TV series Tales from the Darkside (Laurel
Productions). Both were first broadcast in 1986.
Robert Charles Wilson's first novel, A Hidden Place, was
published by Bantam Spectra in November 1986. Bob had short
stories in the January 1986, July 1986, and April 1987 F&SF.
16 February 1990
First published in SOL Rising
SWAC, the Speculative Writers Association of Canada, was
founded in 1989 at the ConText SF convention in Edmonton. It's
an attempt to provide a true professional organization comparable
to the Science Fiction Writers of America. [SWAC eventually renamed
itself "SF Canada."] And Toronto Hydra,
founded by Judith Merril, is a social
group for SF pros that grew out of the "critical mass" of "good
science fiction heads" that Judy had observed in that city.
Hydra will its sixth anniversary in April 1990.
For years, French Canadians have had two excellent genre
magazines, Solaris and imagine.... At last, we have
our own English-language Canadian science fiction and fantasy
magazine On Spec: The Canadian Magazine of Speculative
Writing. The first issue, Spring 1989, featured
contributions from Dave Duncan, H. A. Hargreaves, Eileen
Kernaghan, Sally McBride, Rhea Rose, Robert Runté, Kathryn
A. Sinclair, Jena Snyder, Ron Stewart, and Lyle Weis.
The second issue, Fall 1989, contained stories by E. C.
Bell, Tor Age Bringsvaeld (translated by James Manis), Drake
Dresen, Leslie Gadallah, Paula Johanson, Eileen Kernaghan, Trevor
Murphy, and Clelie Rich; poems by Coralie Adams, Richard Davies,
Jena Snyder, and Janet Elliot Waters; and non-fiction by Marianne
O. Nielsen and Spider Robinson.
We also now have not one but two regular publishers of
science fiction and fantasy books. Press Porcépic of Victoria
has a long list of trade paperbacks and their third anthology of
Canadian fantasy and science fiction, Tesseracts 3, is in
the works. And Penguin Canada, of Markham, Ontario, has
announced that it will produce Canadian SF titles, to be
distributed in the U.S. as part of New American Library's Roc
line [an initiative that was later canceled without a single book
The 1989 poetry collection Light Like a Summons from
Cacanadadada Press, Coquitlam, B.C., contains speculative poetry
by Eileen Kernaghan and Mary Choo.
Ad Astra 10, at the Howard Johnson Airport Hotel, Toronto,
June 8 to 10, 1990, will have these Canadian writers as guests:
Lynne Armstrong-Jones, Denis Beauvais, Terence M. Green, Tanya Huff, Guy Gavriel
Kay, Shirley Meier, Robert J. Sawyer, S. M. Stirling, Karen
Wehrstein, and Andrew Weiner.
In the fall of 1989, TVOntario, the television service of
the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, began a weekly
half-hour talk show about science fiction and comics called
Prisoners of Gravity, hosted by Rick Green, formerly of
the comedy troupe The Frantics. Among those who have appeared as
guests are Toronto SF writers Terence M. Green, Tanya Huff,
Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens, and
Robert J. Sawyer; SF comics author D. Larry Hancock; Lorna
Toolis, head librarian at The Spaced Out Library; and John Rose,
the owner of Bakka, Toronto's SF specialty shop.
Prisoners airs Mondays at 7:30 and 11:00 p.m.
Lynne Armstrong-Jones of London, Ontario, had the short story
"The Case of Kestra" published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's
Fantasy Magazine, August 1989, and "Just a Touch . . ." in
Domains of Darkover, an anthology edited by Ms. Bradley.
Forthcoming are "Commencement" in Sword and Sorceress VI
(later in 1990), "Warrior's Oath" in Sword and Sorceress
VII (1991), and "The Lesson in the Foothills" in the
anthology Free Amazons of Darkover (Winter 1990). Lynne
is also a poet, with three of her efforts ("Witchy Wood,"
"Bewitching Lessons," "Friday Night!") upcoming in Weird
Tales magazine, and another poem in Great Poems of the
Mary E. Choo's "Wolfrunner" will be in Sword and Sorceress
J. Brian Clarke of Calgary has gathered his "Expiditer" stories
from Analog into a forthcoming novel from DAW.
John Robert Colombo continued his
masterful gathering of Canadiana with the publication in 1989 of
Extraordinary Experiences (Hounslow). Coming soon:
Voices of Rama (Oberon), a collection of legends from
Ojibwa sources, mainly shamanic.
King of the Scepter'd Isle by Michael Greatrex Coney of
Sidney, B.C., the sequel to Fang the Gnome, was published
in hardcover in August 1989 by NAL. It was a selection of the
Science Fiction Book Club. His Rax (Hello Summer,
Goodbye) will be reissued by Press Porcépic in 1990 under a
title yet to be selected. He has recently completed the novels
No Place For a Sealion and A Tomcat Called Sabrina.
Ottawa's prolific Charles de Lint writes columns for Mystery
Scene, OtherRealms, and Short Form. His
chapbook The Stone Drum was published in 1989 by Triskell
Press, and his essay "Considering K. W. Jeter" was part of In
the Land of the Dead by Jeter from Morrigan Publications.
His 1989 novels were Svaha, Ace Books; The Valley of
Thunder (Philip José Farmer's The Dungeon,
Volume 3), Bantam; and the paperback of Jack the Giant
Killer from Ace. In 1990, his The Hidden City (PJF's The
Dungeon, Volume 5) will be released by Bantam. His "The Fair
in Emain Macha" is one-half of a current Tor double. Short story
publications in 1989 included "The Drowned Man's Reel," reprinted
in Pulphouse, Spring; "Life is all Chequered" (an excerpt
from The Little Country), in Silicon '89 Program
Book; "Romano Drom" in Pulphouse, Fall; "The Soft
Whisper of Midnight Snow," reprinted in The Year's Best
Fantasy, Second Annual Edition (St. Martin's Press); "The
Sacred Fire" in Stalkers (Dark Harvest); "Timeskip" in
Post Mortum (St. Martin's Press); and "Wooden Bones" in
Things that Go Bump in the Night (Harper & Row). His
forthcoming books are Bring Down the Moon: A Novel of Urban
Faerie (Ace, June 1990); Ghostwood (Axolotl Press,
June/July 1990); Moonheart (first cloth edition, Pan UK,
July 1990); Angel of Darkness (Jove, October 1990);
Greenmantle (first cloth edition, Pan UK, July 1991); and
Yarrow (first cloth edition, Pan UK, July 1992). Sold,
but with publication dates still to be scheduled, are: Death
Leaves an Echo (Tor); The Dreaming Place (Byron
Preiss/Atheneum); The Little Country (Avon); Into the
Green (Avon); and an Avon mass-market edition of The Harp
of the Grey Rose.
Calgarian David Duncan's novel Strings was published by
Del Rey in February 1990.
Leslie Gadallah, who lives in Winterburn, Alberta, published
Cat's Gambit (sequel to 1987's Cat's Pawn) with Del
Rey in March 1990.
The novel Heart of Red Iron by Phyllis Gotlieb of Toronto
(St. Martin's) was on the Locus 1989 Recommended Reading
Terence M. Green of Toronto will
be teaching a one-day SF writing course at Humber College on
April 21, 1990. McClelland & Stewart recently made an offer on
his novel Children of the Rainbow. He is currently
working on Blue Limbo, a sequel to 1988's Barking
Tanya Huff's Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light (DAW) made
it to the Locus 1989 Recommended Reading List. Her "The
Chase is On" appeared in the July 1989 Amazing and "The
Last Lesson" was in the September 1989 Amazing. Tanya is
manager of Bakka, Toronto's SF specialty store. She will be
Guest of Honour at WilfCon VI, May 26, 1990, at Wilfrid
Laurier University, Waterloo.
Torontonian Guy Gavriel Kay's novel Tigana will be a Roc
hardcover in August 1990.
Eileen Kernaghan's latest novel, The Sarsen Witch, was
published in 1989 as an Ace paperback. Eileen, who lives in
Burnaby, B.C., reports that she's just completed another novel,
Winter on the Plain of Ghosts, a prehistoric fantasy based
on the Indus Valley civilization.
In 1989, Baen published The Cage by Toronto's Shirley
Meier and S. M. Stirling. They are working on a novella for a
forthcoming anthology of stories about Bolo war machines from
Yves Meynard of Longueuil, Quebec, has "Le réalisateur" in
Solaris 84 (1989), "Antarctica" in Solaris 87
(1989), and "Les hommes-écailles" in Sous des soleils
étrangers, a 1989 anthology of original Quebec SF. He
and Jean-Louis Trudel authored "Les protocoles du désir"
in L'Année de la Science-Fiction et du Fantastique
Québécois 1988 (published in 1989).
In September 1989, Press Porcépic published a trade paperback
edition of Dreams of an Unseen Planet by Teresa Plowright
of Brown Island, B.C. This book was previously published in
hardback by Arbor House (New York); Grafton House in the U.K. is
also doing a paperback edition.
Fantasy poet Robert Priest is now writing Canadian segments of
Shifter, Bloodseeker, and Black Hunter, the
first three novels in The Chronicles of Galen Sword series by
Garfield and Judith Reeves-Steves
of Toronto and Los Angeles will
be published shortly by Roc [actually, the series was canceled
before Black Hunter appeared]. Gar's Nighteyes was a 1989
hardcover and will be a 1990 paperback from Bantam. They have
also co-written "Maggie's Secret," a CBS After-School Special
which will air in 1990. Forthcoming novels include Slyde,
a 1991 Roc hardcover and Prime Directive, the 1990 Star
Trek hardcover from Pocket Books. The couple has also
authored The Judgement of Ariel, forthcoming in DC's
Star Trek: The Next Generation comic book. Gar's first
three horror novels, Bloodshift, Dreamland, and
Children of the Shroud, previously published by Seal Books
in Canada, will be re-issued by Warner Books, New York. And
Gar's solo novel Dark Matter will be published in
hardcover by Doubleday in 1990 and his Red Lord: Bloodshift
II by Warner in 1991. His short story "Masks" appears in
Bantam's The Further Adventures of the Joker (1990) and
"It is August" is in Seal's Shivers: An Anthology of Canadian
Ghost Stories (1990).
The paperback of Spider Robinson's Callahan's Lady came
out in March 1990, and a sequel will appear as an Ace hardcover
in 1992. Starseed, a collaboration with Jeanne Robinson,
will be an Ace hardcover in 1991.
Robert J. Sawyer's novel Golden
Fleece will be published by Warner Books, New York, in
December 1990. On February 27 and March 6, 1990, CBC Radio's
Ideas series broadcast Sawyer's
"What If? An Exploration of Alternative Histories," featuring an
interview with S. M. Stirling and a reading from Andrew Weiner's short story "Comedians."
Rob's short short
"The Good Doctor" appeared in the
January 1989 Amazing.
S. M. Stirling of Toronto had Under the Yoke issued by
Baen late in 1989, and he was co-author of the bestselling
Man-Kzin Wars II (Baen, 1989).
Toronto's Karen Wehrstein has sold her first novel to Baen
Books. Her short story "O.R. Three" will be in the Seal
In December 1989, Press Porcépic published
a collection of short stories by
Andrew Weiner of Toronto.
Lyle Weis of Edmonton had two ghost stories published in 1989.
"Riders on the Shore" appeared in Amelia, Vol. 5, No. 3,
and "A Helping Hand" appeared in On Spec Vol.1, No. 1.
Robert Charles Wilson recently moved from Toronto to British
Columbia. His The Divide was just published in trade
paperback by Doubleday Foundation.
3 September 1990
First published in SOL Rising
The Tenth Annual Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards
were presented July 22, 1990. Winners in the professional
categories were: Dave Duncan, West of January, Del Rey,
for Best Long Work in English; Eileen Kernaghan, "Carpe Diem,"
On Spec, Fall 1989, for Best Short Work in English; On
Spec magazine, for Best Work in English (Other); Jacques
Brossard, L'Oiseau de feu (Tome 1), Lemeac, pour Meilleur
Livre en Français; Élisabeth Vonarburg, "Cogito," dans
imagine..., pour Meilleure Novelle en Français; et
Solaris (Luc Pomerleau, ed.) pour Meilleure Ouvrage
(Autre). The name of the award has been changed from the Casper
Aurora. Page 7 of the September 1990 Locus: The
Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field has a picture of this
Lynne Armstrong-Jones of London, Ontario, had stories in Marion
Zimmer Bradley's Domains of Darkover and Sword and
Sorceress VI. She has stories upcoming in Free Amazons of
Darkover and Sword and Sorceress VII, as well as two
short-shorts in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine
and poetry in Weird Tales.
J. Brian Clarke's "Flaw on Serendip," an Expediter tale, was the
cover story in the November 1989 Analog. His
non-Expediter story "Return of the Alphanauts" is forthcoming in
that magazine. Clarke lives in Calgary.
John Robert Colombo of Toronto
gave a talk on Canadian fantastic literature in July 1990 at the
annual meeting of the Science Fiction Research Association, which
was held this year in California.
Charles de Lint of Ottawa has sold two horror novels to Berkley,
Angel of Darkness and Niki. They will be published
under the pseudonym Samuel Key.
Candas Jane Dorsey will be writer-in-residence at the
Edmonton Public Library from September to December, 1990.
Dave Duncan of Calgary has sold an SF novel called Hero!
to Del Rey.
James Alan Gardner of Waterloo was a recent $1,000
first-place quarterly winner in the "Writers of the Future"
contest for his story "The Children of Crèche," which was
published in Writers of the Future, Vol. VI in May 1990.
He gave a reading of his winning story at the Banff School of
Fine Arts last Thanksgiving weekend. His "Muffin Explains
Teleology to the World at Large" was in the April 1990 On
Spec. He gave a talk on SF writing to his local chapter of
the Canadian Authors Association on April 2. At the American
Booksellers Association convention in Las Vegas in June, Gardner
was named Grand Prize Writers of the Future winner, pocketing
another $4,000 and acquiring himself an agent. He has a story
coming up in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Penguin Books published the hardcover Scroll of Saqqara in
September by Alberta's Pauline Gedge.
Catherine Girczyc of Edmonton has sold a script to CBC Radio's
Vanishing Point series. She's writing a series about SF
for The Edmonton Bullet and recently gave a public reading
at Café Le Gare in Edmonton.
H. A. Hargreaves's translation of Bernard le Bovier de
Fontenelle's Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds,
first published in 1668 A.D., was released in August by the
University of California press.
Tanya Huff's The Fire Stone (DAW) will be available at
Bakka, Toronto's SF specialty store, September 30, 1990, and at
bookstores across Canada in November (nice having connections,
eh?). Her vampire novel Blood Price will be released by
DAW in the spring of 1988. A late fall issue of Marion Zimmer
Bradley's Fantasy Magazine will contain Tanya's latest
Magdelene story, "Be It Ever So Humble." She lives in Toronto.
Monica Hughes of Edmonton had her novel The Promise
published by Methuen and Stoddart in 1989. Her Invitation to
the Game will be released by Upton Collins in October. She
has a short story in the Methuen anthology Get Your Knee Off
My Heart, available now in England.
In May, the anthology Shivers: Canadian Tales of the
Supernatural, edited by Greg Ioannou and Lynne Missen, was
published. Among the included authors: Robertson Davies,
Gar and Judy Reeves-Stevens,
and Karen Wehrstein.
"Cinderella Caper" by Sansoucy Kathenor of Greely, Ontario,
is being taught as part of a class on creativity and archetypes
offered by a university in Virginia.
Guy Gavriel Kay's new hardcover, Tigana, from Penguin was
launched with a reception at the Spaced Out Library on September
6. He will be Master of Ceremonies at the 51st World SF
Convention, San Francisco, 1993.
Eileen Kernaghan of Burnaby, B.C., recently profiled Michael
Coney for Canadian Author & Bookman.
Eileen Kernaghan and Jonathan Kay have delivered Walking After
Midnight, non-fiction about near-death experiences, to
Crawford Killian has finished a new novel called Green
Shirley Meier of Toronto recently turned in the novel Shadow's
Daughter to Baen Books. Shirley, Karen Wehrstein, and S. M.
Stirling are under contract to Baen for a collaborative novel to
be called Shadow's Son. Baen will be packaging books set
in the universe created by the three under the series title
Popular Library of New York has begun re-issuing the early
horror novels by ex-Torontonian
previously only published in Canada. First out is
Bloodshift. His novel Dark Matter will be
published by Doubleday in October.
"The Dictionary" by Gustav A. Richar, of Pointe-au-Baril,
Ontario, was recently published in a literary magazine.
Robert J. Sawyer will be guest of
honor critic in the CompuServe Online Science Fiction Writers
Workshop in November and December. In September, he conducted
professional-development seminars on SF for librarians in Port
Hope, Cambridge, and Chatham, Ontario. His CBC Radio
Ideas programs on Alternative Histories were repeated
September 13 and 20 across Canada.
Under the Yoke by Toronto's S. M. Stirling is a nominee
for the 1990 Prometheus Award given by the Libertarian Futurist
Society. Man-Kzin Wars III, to which he is a contributor,
was released by Baen in July. Also published in July: The
Stone Dogs, third in Stirling's Draka series.
On Monday, April 10, 1990, the "Pause for Thought" on the
Broadcast News teletext news crawl, shown by many cable
television companies across Canada, was a quote from the late
Toronto SF writer Edward Llewellyn-Thomas: "To block technology
will replace the possibility of a bang with the certainty of a
Toronto's Taral Wayne was a nominee for the 1990 Best Fan
Artist Hugo Award (the winner was Stu Shiffman).
Andrew Weiner has a short story,
"Eternity, Baby," upcoming in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction
Magazine. Orson Scott Card, reviewing Weiner's short-story
collection Distant Signals
in the September Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction says:
"Distant Signals is a wonderful collection of some of the
most beautiful, intelligent, moving stories you're likely to
read before you die and see what D. H. Lawrence and
Robert Penn Warren have been writing lately."
Karen Wehrstein has turned in Lion's Heart to Baen Books.
She is chairperson of 1991's Ad Astra Toronto regional SF
Lyle Weis of Edmonton has sold a story called "The Promethean
Project" to Tales of Cruachan, to be published in January
TVOntario's Prisoners of Gravity has
been renewed for a second season; principal broadcast will be
Thursday evenings at 7:30.
Quill & Quire: The Canadian Book News Monthly has been
reviewing a fair bit of indigenous SF. In the July issue, Gordon
Graham of Montreal called Robert J. Sawyer's forthcoming
Golden Fleece "a well-paced page-turner replete with hard
science." In the August issue of Q&Q, Graham says
Garfield Reeves-Stevens's Dark Matter is "a well-crafted
cross-over that combines the essentials of three distinct genres
horror, science fiction, and mystery without skimping on
any." Tanya Huff sums up Pauline Gedge's Scroll of
Saqqara with: "Laid over a complex plot, well-crafted
characters, and the shining splendour that was Egypt, Scroll
of Saqqara is a simple and heart-rending story of human
frailty." Michelle Sagara, manager of Toronto's
Bakka SF Bookstore, declares
Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana "masterful in
both conception and execution, and a highly satisfying read."
The Speculative Writers Association of Canada has sent
letters to various federal government officials requesting that
books be exempted from the proposed Goods and Services Tax.
Toronto SFWA member Robin Rowland has been active in this protest
for well over a year now, and spearheaded the SWAC action.
Toronto Hydra: An Association of Science Fiction
Professionals sent letters to various government officials
requesting that the profession of fiction writing in general and
SF writing in particular be exempted from the GST.
Some Canadian SF conventions to note: WilfCon VII,
Saturday, June 1, 1991, Waterloo, Ontario, with Guest of Honour
Robert J. Sawyer; ConText '91, the Canadian National
convention, June 7-9, 1991, Edmonton; Ad Astra 11, July
5-7, 1991, Toronto; Rhino 1, July 12-14, 1991, London,
17 March 1991
First published in SOL Rising
Canadian works are appearing in record numbers on American
lists of the top works of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The 1990 Preliminary Nebula Awards Ballot was issued on
Sunday, January 6, 1991. There were five Canadian works on it.
For Best Novel, Golden Fleece by
Robert J. Sawyer (Questar, with 13 recommendations and,
incidentally, the highest ranked first novel of 1990) and
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (Roc, 6 recommendations). For
Best Novelette, "Eternity, Baby" by Andrew
Weiner (Asimov's, November, 7 recommendations) and
"River of the Dying" by Augustine Funnell (Universe 1, 5
recommendations). For Best Short Story, "Wolfrunner" by Mary
Choo (Sword & Sorceress VI, 6 recommendations).
The Locus 1990 Recommended Reading List contains the
following Canadian works:
The Difference Engine by
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, and The Divide by
Robert Charles Wilson (SF); Drink Down the Moon and
Ghostwood, both by Charles de Lint, and Tigana by
Guy Gavriel Kay (Fantasy); Dark Matter by
Garfield Reeves-Stevens (Horror);
Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer
(First Novel); and
Distant Signals by
Andrew Weiner (Short-Story Collection).
Science Fiction Chronicle's list of the Best Novels of
1990, as chosen by reviewer Don D'Ammassa, contains the following
Canadian works: The Divide by Robert Charles Wilson;
Ghostwood by Charles de Lint; Angel of Darkness by
de Lint writing as Samuel Key; Shifter by Judith and
Garfield Reeves-Stevens; and Bloodshift by Garfield
The May 1991 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science
Fiction gives reviewer Orson Scott Card's choice of the Best
SF Novel of 1990: Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer.
The Divide by Robert Charles Wilson was one of three
runners-up. Card's pick for the best fantasy novel of the year:
The Little Country by Charles de Lint.
Penguin Canada has dropped its much-ballyhooed Canadian SF
line, and let editor Laurel Bernard go.
Lynne Armstrong-Jones of London, Ontario, is the author of
"N-Sisti's Solutions" and "Vegetable Matter" in the 1990 special
short-short issue of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy
Magazine. Her "Warrior's Oath" is in Sword and Sorceress
VII. In the spring of 1991, her "The Lesson in the
Foothills" was published in Renunciates of Darkover. Two
of her poems will appear soon in Weird Tales: "Bewitching
Lessons" and "Friday Night!" She has an interview with Robert J.
Sawyer coming up in Sidetrekked, the newsletter of SF
John Robert Colombo of Toronto is
writing the new entry on Canada for Peter Nicholls and John Clute's revised
Science Fiction Encyclopedia.
In the fall of 1990, Press Porcépic released Pallahaxi
Tide (formerly Rax) by Michael G. Coney of Sidney,
B.C., as a mass-market paperback.
Don H. DeBrandt of Vancouver has sold his first novel,
Quicksilver, to Del Rey.
Barbara Delaplace of Vancouver has a short story called "Legends
Never Die" in The Fantastic Robin Hood edited by Martin
Harry Greenberg. It'll be out in the summer of 1991. She also
has "Choices" coming up in Alternate Presidents edited by
Mike Resnick and Greenberg, to be published in January 1992.
Barbara is one of the sysops of the Science Fiction and Fantasy
Forum on CompuServe, a commercial computer bulletin-board service
owned by H&R Block.
Tesseracts 3, an anthology of science fiction and fantasy
stories by Canadian authors, was released in December 1990 by
Press Porcépic. Editors were Candas Jane Dorsey of
Edmonton and Gerry Truscott of Victoria. A launch party was held
at the Merril Collection on February 16, 1991.
Avon books re-released The Harp of the Grey Rose by
Ottawa's Charles de Lint in February. His Spirit Walk
an omnibus of three short sequels to Moonheart and an
original fantasy have sold to Tor. Atheneum brought out his
The Dreaming Place, as illustrated by Brian Froud, in
hardcover in the spring of 1991. He was interviewed in the March
1991 Locus, which ran a colour picture of him on the
Dave Duncan of Calgary has four new fantasy novels out or just
about to be out from Del Rey: Magic Casement (December
1990), Faery Lands Forlorn (April 1991), Perilous
Seas (July 1991), and Emperor and Clown (September
1991). He also has an SF novel forthcoming from them:
Hero (May 1991). He signed at White Dwarf Books,
Vancouver, on March 9, 1991.
Prof. Peter Fitting of the University of Toronto was one of
the judges for the 1991 Philip K. Dick Award (for best novel
originally published as a mass-market paperback in 1990).
The Difference Engine,
by William Gibson and Bruce
Sterling, was published in hardcover by Gollancz (U.K.) in
September 1990 and by Bantam Spectra (U.S.) in May 1991. Late in
1990, Gibson gave a talk about Cyberpunk at the "Mondi Virtuali"
conference at the Fortuny Palace and Museum in Venice, Italy.
Gibson sold U.K. rights to his Virtual Light for 110,000
Scroll of Saqqara by Pauline Gedge of Alberta was a
Science Fiction Book Club Selection in early 1991.
Phyllis Gotlieb is reviewing SF for The Globe and Mail.
The December Locus featured a profile of Toronto's Guy
Gavriel Kay (page 6) and a picture of Judith
Merril and her ex-husband Frederik Pohl (page 7). Guy's
Tigana was a recent selection of The Science Fiction Book
Club, and was the only Canadian title to have a general free
mailing from its publisher to all SFWA members in 1990.
Children of the Rainbow by Toronto's Terence M. Green will be a Spring 1992
hardcover from McClelland & Stewart.
Tanya Huff's next book out is Blood Price from DAW (May).
She's sold three more books featuring the same characters. All
are contemporary urban fantasies set in Canada. Tanya, Robert J.
Sawyer, and Karen Wehrstein read from their novels Blood
Price, Golden Fleece, and Lion's Heart at the
Spaced Out Library on December 8, 1990.
A volume entitled Science Fiction and Fantasy by
Montreal's David Ketterer is forthcoming from Oxford University
Press's "Perspectives on Canadian Culture" series.
Shadow's Son by Toronto writers Shirley Meier, S. M.
Stirling, and Karen Wehrstein will be released by Baen in
Toronto's Judith Merril will be
writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto in 1991-92.
Edmonton's Marianne O. Nielsen has a story, "Ice Cold
Comfort," in the May 1991 issue of Pulphouse Press's hardback SF
John Park of Ottawa had a translated version of his "The Software
Plague" published in Solaris 91. Jean-Louis Trudel did
They're old, but I haven't seen them recorded in any other
SF bibliography, so I'll mention them here: Gustav A. Richar of
Pointe-au-Baril, Ontario, had two SF short stories published in
1989: "The Dictionary" in Dandelion (out of Calgary),
Volume 16, Number 1, 1989, and "Spring Fever" in Green's
Magazine (out of Regina), Volume XVII, Number 3, 1989.
Photos of science-fiction writers by Toronto's Tom Robe are
cropping up in Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle
with great regularity. The January Locus has his photo of
Tanya Huff (page 8); the February Locus has his photo of
Charles de Lint (page 9); and the March Locus has his
shots of Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens, Spider and Jeanne
Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer (page 9). Different photos by Tom
of Spider and Jeanne, Gar and Judy, and me also appear in the
March SF Chronicle (pages 10 and 12).
Starseed by Vancouver's Spider and Jeanne Robinson, the
sequel to Stardance, is forthcoming from Ace as a
hardcover. Spider has sold a sequel to Callahan's Lady to
Ace and a short story collection called True Minds to
John Rose, owner of Toronto's Bakka SF Bookstore, is
chairperson of the 1991 Canadian Booksellers Association
convention, to be held in Toronto in July.
Michael Rosenberg of Toronto, a member of The Friends of the
Merril Collection, has announced a newsletter/journal entitled
Computers, Evolution and Society. Subscriptions are $10
for four quarterly issues.
Michelle Sagara, manager of Bakka, has sold her first novel, a
fantasy, to Del Rey. It's called Into the Dark Lands: The
First Book of the Sundered. Michelle and Merril Collection
staff members Mary Cannings, Lisa Shirley, and Lorna Toolis were
quoted in an article by Henry Mietkiewicz entitled "Star Trends:
The Next Generation," about SF readers, in The Toronto
Star for Saturday, March 9, 1991 (page H1).
In an auction conducted in February by his
agent, Richard Curtis,
Robert J. Sawyer
of Toronto sold two completed novels, Face of God [later retitled Far-Seer] and End of an Era, to Ace. Rob gave a
reading from his novel Golden Fleece at the main branch of
the Richmond Hill Public Library on December 5, 1990, and
autographed at Bakka on December 15, 1990. Under the auspices of
the Writers Development Trust, he is a "Writer in Electronic
Residence" for Wired Writers, an online workshop for high-school
students across Canada administered through Simon Fraser
Karl Schroeder will be teaching a course on writing science
fiction at George Brown College in Toronto later in 1991.
Baird Searles, former owner of New York City's Science
Fiction Shop, editorial consultant to Warner Books, and book
reviewer for Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, now
lives in Montreal. [Sadly, Baird a real gentleman
passed away in March 1993.]
Toronto's S. M. Stirling is writing a collaborative novel with
Anne McCaffrey set in the universe of McCaffrey's The Ship Who
Sang. He's also got contracts for two more novels, including
a fourth Draka book. He wrote the introductions to the stories
in The Fantastic Civil War, coming in June. Also in June,
a collaboration between Stirling and Jerry Pournelle, Go Tell
The Spartans: A Novel of Falkenberg's Legion, will be
released. His anthology Power will be published in
November. All of Stirling's works are from Baen Books.
Jean-Louis Trudel of Toronto is a regular reviewer for The New
York Review of Science Fiction, Solaris, and The
Ottawa Citizen, and new co-editor (with Karl Schroeder) of
SF Canada, the newsletter of the Speculative Writers
Association of Canada.
In September 1990, Andrew Weiner of
Toronto sold a short story called "A New Man" to The Magazine
of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Movie rights to Andrew's 1987
novel Station Gehenna were optioned in January 1991 by
Europa Productions in California.
Karen Wehrstein's first novel, Lion's Heart, was released
by Baen in March 1991. The sequel, Lion's Soul, will come out
in July 1991.
Lyle Weis of Edmonton has sold his first novel, No Problem,
We'll Fix It, to General Publishing.
In April 1991, Toronto Hydra,
an association of Science
Fiction professionals, will hold its seventh anniversary meeting.
The Hydra mailing list has 46 names currently, and about half of
those turn out at any one meeting.
GEnie, the General Electric Network For Information
Exchange, a commercial online computer bulletin-board system, has
a lively Science Fiction and Fantasy "Roundtable" section.
Category 3 of that section, "The Authors," has permanent message
topics devoted to several Canadian writers: William Gibson
(topic 26), Guy Gavriel Kay (topic 29), Spider Robinson (topic
68), Robert J. Sawyer (topic 8), S. M. Stirling (topic 37), and
A. E. van Vogt (topic 9).
Science Fiction and Fantasy writers are well represented in
The Writers' Union of Canada, one of the most-effective lobbying
groups in the publishing industry. Margaret Atwood, Lesley
Choyce, Michael Coney, Candas Jane Dorsey, Wayland Drew, Dave
Duncan, Leona Gom, Phyllis Gotlieb, Monica Hughes, Eileen
Kernaghan, Alberto Manguel, Alice Major, Judith Merril, Teresa Plowright, Robert
Priest, Spider Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, Robin Skelton,
Élisabeth Vonarburg, and Andrew Weiner
are all currently members.
Recent Canadian guests on TVOntario's
Prisoners of Gravity
include Mark Askwith, Leslie Gadallah, Terence M. Green, Tanya Huff, Shirley
Meier, Marianne O. Nielsen, Spider and Jeanne Robinson, Judith
and Garfield Reeves-Stevens,
Robert J. Sawyer, S. M. Stirling,
and Andrew Weiner. The series is
produced and directed by Gregg Thurlbeck; hosted and written by
Rick Green. The associate producer is Mark Askwith and story
editor is Shirley Brady. Executive producer is Daniel Richler.
First published as Issue 1 of the standalone newsletter
Northern Lights: Canadian Achievements in SF
Welcome to the first issue of Northern Lights in
newsletter format. Previously, Northern Lights was a
column in SOL Rising: The Newsletter of The Friends of The
Merril Collection. But so much is happening these days, it
seemed time for a separate publication devoted to the topic of
Canadian achievements in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The
Northern Lights newsletter will be mailed with copies of
The Bakka Bookie Sheet, keeping you up-to-date on sales,
publications, award nominations, and so on by Canadian SF
Winners of the 11th-annual English-language Aurora Awards,
presented in June 1991: Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana for best
novel; James Alan Gardner's "Muffin Explains Teleology to the
World at Large" for best short story; and On Spec for best
Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana was nominated for the World
Fantasy Award and for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Society Award.
The CompuServe Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum announced
its first annual HOMer Awards on April 15, 1991. Robert J.
Sawyer's Golden Fleece won
the HOMer for Best First Novel.
S. M. Stirling's Under the Yoke was nominated for the 1991
Libertarian Futurist Award.
The May 1991 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction gives
Orson Scott Card's choice of the Best SF Novel of 1990: Golden
Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer. The Divide by Robert
Charles Wilson was one of three runners-up. Card's pick for the
best fantasy novel of 1990: The Little Country by Charles
The Locus 1990 Recommended Reading List contained these
The Difference Engine by
and Bruce Sterling, and The Divide by Robert Charles
Wilson (SF); Drink Down the Moon and Ghostwood,
both by Charles de Lint, and Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
(Fantasy); Dark Matter by Garfield Reeves-Stevens
(Horror); Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer (First Novel);
and Distant Signals by
Andrew Weiner (Short-Story Collection).
SF Chronicle's list of the Best Novels of 1990 included:
Ghostwood by Charles de Lint; Angel of Darkness by
de Lint writing as Samuel Key; Shifter by
Judith & Gar Reeves-Stevens; Bloodshift by Gar Reeves-Stevens; and
The Divide by Robert Charles Wilson.
Don H. DeBrandt of Vancouver has sold his first novel,
Quicksilver, to Del Rey.
Avon books re-released The Harp of the Grey Rose by
Ottawa's Charles de Lint in February 1991. His Spirit
Walk an omnibus of three short sequels to Moonheart
has sold to Tor, and he also has a short novel called Death
Leaves an Echo in the Tor anthology Café Purgatorium
(July 1991). Atheneum brought out his The Dreaming Place
in hardcover in Spring 1990 and his Our Lady of the
Harbour was published by Pulphouse as an Axolotl Special in
September 1991. Charles was interviewed in the March 1991
Locus, which ran a colour picture of him on the cover.
Dave Duncan of Calgary had five novels published by Del Rey in
the last year: Magic Casement (December 1990), Faery
Lands Forlorn (April 1991), Hero! (May 1991),
Perilous Seas (July 1991), and Emperor and Clown
Children of the Rainbow by Toronto's Terence M. Green will be a February 1992
trade paperback from McClelland & Stewart. Terry has almost
finished Blue Limbo, the long-awaited sequel to his
Barking Dogs, and has received an Ontario Arts Council
grant to support the writing of his next novel, an expansion of
his short story "Ashland, Kentucky."
Blood Price by Tanya Huff of Toronto was number seven on
the Locus Bestseller's List for August 1991. The second volume
in the "Blood" series, Blood Trail, is scheduled
for February 1992, with Blood Lines and Blood Pact to follow.
Her short story "Be It Ever So Humble" appeared in the Spring 1991
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, and her "Li Shiung" will
be in Dragonfantastic, to be published in 1992.
Donald Kingsbury's novel (yes,
novel) The Survivor appears as part of Baen's
Man-Kzin Wars IV. Don lives in Montreal.
Shadow's Daughter, the first solo novel by Shirley Meier
of Baysville, Ontario, was published in November 1991 by Baen.
She, S. M. Stirling, and Karen Wehrstein, co-authored Shadow's
Two Reeves-Stevens hardcovers were recently reissued in
paperback: the SF/horror novel Dark Matter by Garfield,
and the Star Trek novel Prime Directive by Gar and
Starseed by Vancouver's Spider and Jeanne Robinson, the
sequel to Stardance, was an October 1991 hardcover from
Ace. In August 1991, Pulphouse released Spider's Kill the
Editor. He's recently sold Lady Slings the Booze, a
sequel to Callahan's Lady, to Ace, and a short-story
collection called True Minds to Pulphouse.
Winnipeg-native Joel Rosenberg, a novelist who now makes his
home in Minneapolis, has reasserted his Canadian citizenship by
applying for and receiving a Canadian passport.
Michelle Sagara, manager of Bakka, has sold two fantasy
novels to Del Rey as part of a series called "The Books of the
Sundered." The first volume, Into the Dark Lands, will be
published in December 1991. Number two is called Children of
the Blood. Michelle reviewed Karen Wehrstein's Lion's
Heart in Quill & Quire in July.
Robert J. Sawyer's Golden Fleece,
Far-Seer, and End of an Era have all also sold to
Hayakawa Publishing, Tokyo, and will be released as Japanese
translations. Rob's review of The Difference
Engine ran in The Globe & Mail on April 27, 1991, and
his review of The Year's Best Science Fiction, 8th Annual
Collection, ran in The Globe on August 3, 1991.
Toronto's S. M. Stirling has contracted for two more novels, including
a fourth Draka book. He wrote the introductions to the stories
in The Fantastic Civil War, published in June 1991. Two
collaborations with Jerry Pournelle were released in 1991 by
Baen: Go Tell the Spartans in June and the Kzinti novel
The Children's Hour in November. Steve's anthology
Power was published in November 1991, and he has a
collaboration with Greg Bear in Man-Kzin Wars IV.
A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson of Nanaimo,
B.C., was released in hardcover [no, it wasn't see below] by
Doubleday/Foundation in September 1991. Toronto's skyline is
shown on the cover of the UK edition of his The Divide,
published by Orbit.
In 1991, the Science Fiction Book Club offered three Canadian
books: Scroll of Saqqara by Pauline Gedge, Tigana
by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer.
Expatriate-Canadian John Clute, now living in London, England,
had a story called "Death of a Sacred Monster" in More Tales
from the Forbidden Planet, Titan Books, 1990. John is
co-editor with Peter Nicholls of the revised Encyclopedia of
Science Fiction, coming for Christmas 1992 from Macdonald.
Barbara Delaplace of Vancouver has sold eight short stories in
the last year: "Once a Hero" to Science Fiction Review;
"Legends Never Die" to The Fantastic Robin Hood, edited by
Martin Harry Greenberg; "Choices" to Alternate Presidents,
edited by Mike Resnick and Greenberg (with serial rights going to
Pulphouse); "Trading Up," a collaboration with Resnick, to
Bill Fawcett for his anthology Battlestation, Vol. 1;
"Wings" to Greenberg for his Horsefantastic; "Lost Lamb"
for Whatdunits, edited by Resnick; "Belonging" to Bill
Fawcett and Christopher Stasheff for The Crafters, Vol. 2;
and "Freedom" to Resnick's Alternate Kennedys. With that
many major-market sales in so short a time, she sure sounds like
a worthy nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New SF
Toronto's Cory Doctorow (yes, he's related to E. L.) has sold
"Hell: A Cautionary Tale" to Pulphouse: A Fiction
Donna Farley of Surrey, B.C., has sold "The Passing of the
Eclipse" to Universe 2 (edited by Robert Silverberg and Karen Haber)
and "Father Vadim's Angel" to Weird Tales.
"Reaper" by Waterloo's James Alan Gardner was in the February
1991 F&SF and his "Shadow Album" was in the July 1991
Amazing Stories. Forthcoming stories: "Lesser Figures of
the Greater Trumps," in The New Quarterly, Winter 1992;
"Hardware Scenario G-49," in Amazing; and a reprint of his
Aurora-Award winner, "Muffin Explains Teleology to the World at
Large," in The Best of the Rest, from Edgewood Press.
In January 1991, the prolific Edo van
Belkom of Brampton, Ontario, had his first sale, "Baseball
Memories," finally published in Aethelon: The Journal of
Sports Literature. The story has also been put on the "early
pencil list" by Karl Edward Wagner for Year's Best Horror
XX (1991). Edo sold four fantasy stories to Gent in
1991: "The Sales Call" appeared in May, "Night Vision" in July,
and "Chance Encounters Inc." in September. The fourth, "By the
Book," is forthcoming. Small-press sales so far in 1991 year
include "The Gratekeeper" to The Nightside, "Lamia" to
Potent Aphrodisiac, "Lip-O-Suction" to The Vampire's
Crypt, "Mother and Child" to The Raven, and "The
Lovers" to Treadmark Publications for an anthology of horror
short-shorts. Edo's "The Basement" from the Fall 1990 On
Spec will be reprinted in the small-press magazine
Andrew Weiner of Toronto has sold "A
New Man" to F&SF and "The Streak" to Asimov's.
Movie rights to his 1987 novel Station Gehenna were
optioned in January 1991 by Europa Productions in California. An
essay by him appears in issue 38 of Quantum.
Other Newsworthy Names
Toronto's Carolyn Clink, whose prize-winning mainstream poetry
has appeared in Celebrate Our City, Poetry Toronto,
and White Wall Review, has sold an SF poem called "Much
Slower Than Light" to On Spec's special humour issue.
John Robert Colombo of Toronto is
writing the new entry on Canada for the revised Encyclopedia
of Science Fiction. His "Writer's Map of Toronto," published
in 1991, locates several places related to SF, including A. E.
van Vogt's old house.
John Rose, owner of Toronto's Bakka SF Bookstore, was
chairperson of the 1991 Canadian Booksellers Association
On September 25, Robin Rowland and Robert J. Sawyer gave a talk on
writing SF to the Canadian Science Writers' Association at the
The Merril Collection's Lorna Toolis was interviewed about
Dungeons and Dragons on CBC Radio's Ideas series on
May 29, 1991. She and husband Michael Skeet are editing
Tesseracts4 for Beach Holme (formerly Press
Porcépic), to be published October 1992.
Locus (October 1991) on Charles de Lint's Our Lady of
the Harbour: "Uncommonly bittersweet. Another strong piece
from a fantasist who understands modern reality."
Locus (November 1991) on Dave Duncan's Emperor and
Clown: "More important than this series' sorcery, wit, and
color, is the hard-won wisdom. This is fantasy for grownups."
Ed Bryant in Locus (July 1991) on Tanya Huff's Blood
Price: "Simultaneously a supernatural thriller, a police
procedural, and a romantic fantasy. Huff splices it together
with breakneck pace, good cutting, and, especially, a fair amount
of genuine wit."
Kirkus on Guy Kay's Tigana: "A bravura performance.
Impossible to put down."
Canada A.M.'s J. D. Roberts on Garfield Reeves-Stevens's
Dark Matter: "Stephen Hawking meets Stephen King!"
Quantum (Fall 1990/Winter 1991) on Spider Robinson's
Callahan's Lady: "A writer who can lay words down so
deftly that I can't stop reading."
Locus (November 1991) on Michelle Sagara's Into the
Dark Lands: "Effective and compelling. A very strong first
novel, likely to appeal to fans of lengthy epic fantasies."
Charles de Lint in Science Fiction Review (December 1991)
on Robert J. Sawyer's Golden Fleece: "The prose,
characterization, pacing, speculation and storyline are so
assured, it's hard to believe that this is a first effort."
SF Chronicle (Feb. 1991) on S.M. Stirling's The Stone
Dogs: "As impressive as its two predecessors. Stirling has
established himself firmly as a writer with a distinctive voice."
Michelle Sagara in Quill & Quire (June 1991) on Karen
Wehrstein's Lion's Heart: "A subtle and complex book;
Wehrstein proves herself to be a master of style and depth."
Orson Scott Card in F&SF (September 1990) on Andrew Weiner's
"Some of the most beautiful, intelligent, moving stories you're
likely to read before you die and see what D. H. Lawrence and
Robert Penn Warren have been writing lately."
Orson Scott Card in F&SF (October 1991) on Robert Charles
Wilson's A Bridge of Years: "A storyteller of astonishing
compassion and understanding. All the sizzle you could ever hope
for is here, and all the class."
24 February 1992
First published as Issue 2 of the standalone newsletter
Northern Lights: Canadian Achievements in SF
Awards and Honours
How's this for good news/bad news? The bad news is that, at
the last moment, Doubleday canceled the hardcover of Robert
Charles Wilson's Bridge of Years reported last issue, and
released the book as a trade paperback instead. The good news is
that Bridge of Years has been nominated for the Philip K.
Dick Award, given to honor the best work of SF published
originally in paperback . . .
The Locus 1991 Recommended Reading List contains five
Canadian works. Fantasy novels: The Little Country by
Ottawa's Charles de Lint (Morrow). Horror/Dark Fantasy Novels:
Blood Price by Tanya Huff (DAW). First Novels: The
Initiate Brother by Sean Russell (DAW) and Into the Dark
Lands by Michelle Sagara (Del Rey). Novellas: Our Lady
of the Harbour by Charles de Lint (Axolotl).
Only two Canadian works made the preliminary 1991 Nebula
Award ballot (down from five in 1990), and both were novels:
Charles de Lint's The Little Country (Morrow) and
The Difference Engine
by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.
The Difference Engine was recently released in paperback.
SF at Harbourfront and the Science Centre
The Harbourfront International Readings Series in Toronto
will feature local SF writers in March. On March 24, 1992, it's
Terence M. Green, Michelle Sagara, and
S. M. Stirling. On March 31, 1992, Tanya Huff and Robert J.
Sawyer will read. General admission is $6, plus GST (free to
members of the Harbourfront Reading Series). Readings begin at 8
p.m. in the Brigantine Room, York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay
West. It's best to order tickets in advance. Box office: (416)
973-4000; Info: 973-3000; Membership: 973-4761.
The Ontario Science Centre is holding "SF-Squared: The Science
Fiction, Space and Fantasy Show" in March. Robert J. Sawyer will
be talking about writing SF on Saturday, March 14, Saturday,
March 21, and Sunday, March 22, 1992, from 2:30 to 3:30 in
Theatre B. Shirley Meier and Karen Wehrstein will be taking
turns giving talks on SF writing every weekday from March 16
through 20, 1992, at 2:30 in Theatre B. From March 14 to 22,
1992, Karen and Shirley will be in the Great Hall daily from
11:00 to 5:00 helping children write SF stories. Louise Hypher
organized the festival. All events are free with Centre
Pioneering Canadian SF
I've come across an interesting piece of pioneering Canadian
SF: a time-travel story by paleontologist Charles Hazelius
Sternberg. The story, set on the Canadian prairies in the
Mesozoic, was first published in 1917 as Chapters 11-13 of his
Hunting Dinosaurs in the Bad Lands of the Red Deer River,
Alberta Canada. A reprint edition was issued in 1985 by
NeWest Press, Edmonton, and has an introduction discussing
Sternberg's one foray into SF.
Clarifying The Fifth Millennium
The following letter from Karen Wehrstein, S. M. Stirling, and
Shirley Meier appeared in the November 1991 Locus: "We
wanted to correct a possible mis-impression created by a line
from the cover blurb on Karen Wehrstein's first novel, Lion's
Heart, which reads `Set in the world of S. M. Stirling and
Shirley Meier's The Cage.' While it is actually in the
same world, and we appreciate our publisher wanting to tie in a
first work with a previous success, we would like it to be
understood that the setting of Karen's book is original to her
the world was actually created by all three of us."
Terence M. Green's Children of the
Rainbow has just been released as a trade paperback from
McClelland & Stewart.
Vancouver's William Gibson has turned in the SF novel Virtual
Light to Bantam. His "Cyber-Claus" appeared in The
Washington Post Book World in December.
Late in 1991, Beach Holme released Strange Attractors by
Tom Henighan of Ottawa.
Tanya Huff left Bakka on February 29, 1992, to concentrate on her
booming writing career. Her latest novel is Blood Trail
(DAW, February 1992), which at one point had the working title
A Canadian Werewolf in London, Ontario. Her "I'll Be Home
for Christmas" will be in The Christmas Bestiary (DAW,
December 1992, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg). Her Blood
Lines will be published in January 1993. Edo van Belkom interviewed Tanya in
Vampire's Crypt, Number 5.
In April, Del Rey will publish Greenmagic by Crawford
Kilian of North Vancouver.
Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens have sold a script called
"Dreams of Darkness" to Warner Bros. new animated Batman
series, coming in Fall 1992 on the Fox Network. They've signed
to write "Day of Descent," the first novel in the new Alien
Nation series from Pocket Books. In November, Galen Sword
#1: Shifter, was published in the UK by Roc/Penguin and
the others in the series will follow at three-month intervals.
Dark Matter will be published in the UK in February 1992,
with Gar's other novels following at four-month intervals.
Shifter and Bloodshift have sold to an Italian
publisher. Bloodshift and Dreamland have sold to a
Polish publisher. And Dreamland and Children of the
Shroud have been sold to a Dutch publisher. "Bluebound: An
Untold Story from the Chronicles of Galen Sword" by Judith and
Garfield Reeves-Stevens appears in a horror anthology trade
paperback, Chilled to the Bone, published by Mayfair Games
in December 1991. Gar's story "Part Five" appears in The
The Ace hardcover edition of Starseed by Spider and Jeanne
Robinson of Vancouver has sold out. The Ace paperback will be
out in October. An Easton Press leather-bound acid-free
hand-sewn gold-inlaid version of Starseed is due out soon
in the Signed First Edition series, to match the 1991
Masterpieces of SF series edition of Stardance. Jeanne
and Spider have signed with Ace to write a third book in the
Stardance series, to be called Starmind, for hardcover and
paperback publication in 1993. Their original Hugo- and
Nebula-winning Stardance is now back in print from Baen.
On the solo front, Spider Robinson has delivered Lady Slings
the Booze, the second Lady Sally McGee book, to Ace. It will
be out in the fall of 1992. He's currently working on
Callahan's Legacy, under contract to Ace for both hard-
and soft-cover publication, about the bar Jake opened up after
Callahan's Place exploded. Steve Jackson Games is developing a
game series based on the Callahan's Place saga.
Michelle Sagara of Toronto has sold the third and fourth
volumes of her tetralogy "The Book of the Sundered" to Del Rey.
Volume 1 was released in December 1991, volume two, Children
of the Blood, is slated for June 1992, and the third, as yet
untitled, will be out in June 1993. She's just sold her first
short story, "Gifted," to a Mike Resnick/DAW Books anthology with
the working title Aladdin Chronicles. Michelle was
interviewed in the "Reading Habits" column of The Toronto
Star on Saturday, January 4, 1992.
End of an Era by Toronto's
Robert J. Sawyer has been scheduled for
July 1993 from Ace [later getting bumped to November 1994, to
accommodate the publication of the sequels to Far-Seer].
Rob will be interviewed for half an hour on CHEX-12
Peterborough's Weekend with Doug Hall on Sunday afternoon,
May 29, 1992 (probably at 3:00; Rogers cable 32 in Toronto). Rob will
be guest critic in the CompuServe Online Writers' Workshop during
May and June. He will be speaking on writing SF to the June
meeting of Star Trek Toronto (Saturday, June 13, 2:00
p.m., meeting room 2, second floor, Central Branch of the North
York Public Library) and he's giving a reading at the central
branch of the Richmond Hill Public Library, 24 Wright Street,
on Wednesday, June 24, at 7:00 p.m.
Moonfall by Copenhagen-based Canadian Heather Spears was
published in November 1991 by Beach Holme. Michelle Sagara
reviewed it in the January 1992 Quill & Quire.
Toronto's S. M. Stirling continues to be one of Canada's
most prolific SF writers. His collaboration with Shirley Meier,
Saber and Shadow a prequel to their The Cage
will be out later in 1992. Steve is working on two more Kzinti
novellas with Jerry Pournelle. They'll appear in Man-Kzin
Wars V and Man-Kzin Wars VI, and later as an expanded
novel. Steve's currently under contract for a four-way
round-robin collaboration (with Harry Turtledove, Susan Shwartz,
and Judith Tarr) called Blood Feuds. His second
collaborative novel with David Drake, The General #2:
Hammer, came out in February, and he's signed a contract for
a new five-volume collaborative series with Drake.
In work on his own, the revised edition of Steve Stirling's first
novel Snowbrother will be issued in May. He's just turned
in a novella called "Kings Who Die" to Jerry Pournelle's War
World series, and he's got contracts for two more SF novels,
Heavy Iron and Conquistador. All of Steve's works
are published by Baen.
New Vancouver writer Barbara Delaplace has sold another story, "The
Hidden Dragon," to Dragon Fantastic (DAW, May 1992). Keep
her in mind for the Campbell Award!
Donna Farley's article on writing, "I Was Afraid of That," appeared
in Scavenger's Newsletter, December 1991. Donna lives in Surrey, B.C.
James Alan Gardner of Waterloo has sold a novelette, "The Young
Person's Guide to the Organism," to Amazing.
Mark C. Sadler has sold a story called "Changes" to Midnight
Zoo. Said editor Pat MacEwen, "Wow! Your story is one of
the strongest we'll print this year."
"Baseball Memories" by Brampton's Edo van
Belkom has been confirmed for Year's Best Horror 20,
edited by Karl Edward Wagner. Edo's sold "Induction Center" to
Haunts, "Season's Meeting" to Midnight Zoo, and
"Bloodsuckers" to Kinda Kinky, as well as many stories to
mass-market men's magazines which will be published under a
Andrew Weiner of Toronto has sold a
novelette called "Seeing" to F&SF.
Here's the contents for Ark of Ice: Futurefictions/Canadian
SF, edited by Lesley Choyce and to be published by
Pottersfield Press in late August: "Shopping" by Margaret
Atwood, "Centrifugal Force" by John Bell, "Patches" by Lesley
Choyce, "Letters Home" by G. M. Cunningham, "Living in Cities" by
Candas Jane Dorsey, "Memoirs of the Renaissance" by Douglas
Fetherling, "What Mrs. Felton Knew" by Timothy Findley, "The
Newest Profession" by Phyllis Gotlieb, "The Immaculate Conception
Photography Gallery" by Catherine Govier, "Blue Limbo" by Terence M. Green, "In His Moccasins" by H.
A. Hargreaves, "The Price of Land" by Monica Hughes, "The
Weighmaster of Flood" by Eileen Kernaghan, "These Changing Times"
by W. P. Kinsella, "Scenes from Successive Futures" by Tom
Marshall, "Outport" by Garfield Reeves-Stevens,
"User Friendly" by Spider Robinson, "Where the Heart Is" by Robert J. Sawyer,
"The Falafel is Better in Ottawa" by Jean-Louis Trudel,
"Greenhouse" by Geoffrey Ursell, "Invasion" by Sansoucy Walker,
"The Letter" by Andrew Weiner, and an
afterword by Judith Merril. Editor
Choyce was interviewed by TVOntario's Imprint series on
January 27, 1992.
Recent books by John Robert Colombo:
UFOs Over Canada (Hounslow, 1991), Dark Visions:
Personal Accounts of the Mysterious in Canada (Hounslow,
April 1992), and Worlds in Small: An Anthology of Miniature
Literary Works (Cacanadada Press, May 1992), featuring
stories of 50 words or less by Ray Bradbury, Anthony Burgess,
Arthur C. Clarke, and others. His Dictionary of Canadian
Quotations (Stoddart, 1991) contains quotes from William
Gibson, Phyllis Gotlieb, Terence M.
Green, Spider Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer.
Peter Fitting continues to teach SF at the University of
Don Hutchison of Toronto is editing Northern Frights, an
anthology of Canadian horror stories for Mosaic Press.
Eileen Kernaghan of Burnaby won the first prize in the Federation
of British Columbia Writers' Literary Writes V competition
for her poem "Demeter and Persephone Celebrate Spring in The
British Museum." Eileen read at Simon Fraser University on
The 1992 Canadian National Science Fiction Convention
("CanVention") is Wilfcon VIII, June 27-28, Wilfrid Laurier
University, Waterloo. Guest of Honour: Andrew Weiner.
The 23rd Annual Conference of the Science Fiction Research
Association is scheduled for June 18-21, 1992, at John Abbot
The 1994 World SF Convention will be held in Winnipeg,
September 1-5. Guests of Honour: Anne McCaffrey, George Barr,
Barry B. Longyear, and Edmonton's Robert Runté. Right
now, attending memberships are $70 Canadian; on April 1, they go
up to $85. Supporting memberships are $30 until the end of the
Governor-General Award-Winner M. T. Kelly on
Terence M. Green's Children of the
Rainbow: "Written with passion and love. Its great humanity
and religious sense are as clear as the Pacific."
Locus (January 1992) on Tanya Huff's Blood Trail:
"Funny, often light hearted and highly entertaining. Huff has a
The SFRA Newsletter (Nov. 1992) on Gar and Judith
Reeves-Stevens's Galen Sword #1, Shifter: "A real page
turner in which the suspense is heart stopping, and the violent
images of sight and smell are memorable and overpowering. I can
hardly wait to read #2."
Quill & Quire (March 1992) on Michelle Sagara's Into
the Dark Lands: "Unique. Sagara is a talent to watch."
Tanya Huff on Robert J. Sawyer's forthcoming Far-Seer: "Sawyer has returned a
sense of wonder to Science Fiction."
First published as Issue 3 of the standalone newsletter
Northern Lights: Canadian Achievements in SF
Canadian Region of SFWA Formed
After a unanimous vote at its business meeting held on April
26, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia,
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.,
created a separate Canadian Region.
The Regions of SFWA are now Canada, Western U.S., South/Central
U.S., Eastern U.S., and Overseas. In SFWA's 1992 General
Election, Thornhill, Ontario, novelist Robert J. Sawyer was
elected Canadian Regional Director. Since January 1992, he has
been producing a bimonthly newsletter for Canada's active SFWA
members called Alouette.
On June 28, 1992, the winners of the 12th annual
Aurora Awards for
Canadian SF and Fantasy were announced. The English professional
winners were Best Novel: Golden
Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer; Best Short Story: "Breaking
Ball" by Michael Skeet and "A Niche," by Peter Watts (tie, both
from Tesseracts 3); Best Other:
Prisoners of Gravity, TVOntario.
Two Canadians were nominated for the 1992 John W. Campbell
Award for Best New Writer: Barbara Delaplace of Vancouver, B.C.,
and Michelle Sagara of Toronto, Ontario. (Ted Chiang won, but
both Barbara and Michelle are eligible again in next year.)
Announced April 30, 1992: the Reality 1 Commendations (the
"R1Ckies") voted on by the viewers of TVOntario's Prisoners of
Gravity: Tanya Huff's Blood Price tied with Garfield
Reeves-Stevens's Dark Matter and Anne Rice's The
Witching Hour for Best Horror Novel; and Charles de Lint won
for Best Canadian Fantasy Writer.
Nineteen Ninety-Two has been a great year for Ottawa's Charles de
Lint: His Little Country won the CompuServe SF Forum's
1992 HOMer Award for Best Fantasy Novel of the previous year; his
novelette "Death Leaves an Echo," from the collection
Café Purgatorium, was nominated for the Horror
Writers of America's Bram Stoker Award; and Charles also has
four nominees on the 1992 World Fantasy Award ballot:
The Little Country for Best Novel, "Our Lady of the
Harbour" for Best Novella, and both "The Conjure Man" and "Pity
the Monsters" for best short story.
Celebrating Canadian SF
Books in Canada's March 1993 issue will focus on Canadian
SF. Contents: an overview article by Dale L. Sproule of
Victoria; a profile of Robert J. Sawyer by Toronto's Andrew Weiner; an interview with Ottawa's
Charles de Lint; and an opinion piece by Toronto's Terence M. Green. Also, the November 1982
Quill & Quire had a special section of Canadian SF
Charles de Lint's Dreams Underfoot will be a Tor hardcover
in April 1993, and his From a Whisper to a Scream, written
under the name Samuel M. Key, will be a Berkley hardcover in
Dave Duncan of Calgary makes the jump to hardcover with his
latest novel, The Cutting Edge (Del Rey, September 1992),
first in a new series called "A Handful of Men." Volume two,
Upland Outlaws, will be out in May 1993. Dave's The
Reaver Road was released by Del Rey in August 1992, and will
also be out in a Science Fiction Book Club edition.
Tanya Huff of Milford, Ontario, was Guest of Honour at Gaylaxicon
IV in Philadelphia in July 1992. Her Blood Lines will be
published by DAW in January 1993.
A Song for Arbonne, the new novel by Toronto's Guy Gavriel
Kay, was recently released in hardcover by Viking in Canada,
HarperCollins in the UK, and Crown in the U.S. On Saturday,
September 5, 1992, it debuted as number one on The Globe and
Mail's hardcover fiction bestseller's list.
Lady Slings the Booze, the new "Callahan's" book by
Vancouver's Spider Robinson, will be an Ace hardcover in the fall
of 1992. Spider was toastmaster at the 1992 WorldCon.
Robert J. Sawyer's first
book, Far-Seer (Ace, June 1992),
sold to the SF Book Club, and an excerpt from it was in the May
1992 Amazing. In March, Ace bought Rob's second
Quintaglio book, Fossil Hunter
(scheduled for May 1993), and an unwritten third Quintaglio book.
The University of Guadalajara is bringing out a
of Golden Fleece in November 1992 [the line folded before
this appeared]. Rob was profiled in The Toronto Star on
August 22, 1992, and on Global TV's Entertainment
Desk on September 2, 1992.
Passion Play, the first novel by Sean Stewart of
Vancouver, was published in May 1992 by Beach Holme's Tesseracts
imprint. Beach Holme sent him on a publicity tour to Edmonton,
Calgary, Toronto, and the Canadian National SF Convention,
WilfCon VIII, in Waterloo, Ontario. Sean's second novel,
Nobody's Son, will be coming out in hardcover from Maxwell
MacMillan in the spring of 1993.
S. M. Stirling's "Hall of the Mountain King," a collaboration
with Jerry Pournelle, is in Man-Kzin Wars V. A revised
edition of Steve's first novel, Snowbrother, came out in
May 1992 from Baen, and his first hardcover, a collaboration with
Anne McCaffrey, will be out in the fall of 1992. Saber and
Shadow, by Steve and Shirley Meier, will be out from Baen in
November 1992. Prince of Sparta, by Steve and Pournelle,
will be a March 1993 Baen release. Steve is co-author of Baen's
War World: Blood Feuds (January 1993).
Bantam Spectra gave away 1,500 copies of their edition of The
Silent City by Élisabeth Vonarburg of Chicoutimi at
Westercon in Phoenix, Arizona, over the July 4th, 1992, weekend. Her
In the Mothers' Land will be released by Bantam in
Robert Charles Wilson of Nanaimo, B.C., is making the
well-deserved jump to hardcover with The Harvest from
Bantam Spectra, coming in January 1993.
Colleen Anderson of Vancouver, B.C., has a poem called "Slush" in
the May/June 1992 issue of Star*Line, the newsletter of
the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
Lynne Armstrong-Jones of London, Ontario, has sold "Heart in a
Box" to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorcery 10.
Mary Choo of Richmond, B.C., has sold a story called "Sektar's
Wheel" to Senary and five of her poems will appear in the
U.S. publications Magic Realism and Night Songs.
Ark of Ice, the anthology of Canadian SF edited by Lesley
Choyce for Pottersfield Press of Nova Scotia, came out in
September as a $14.95 trade paperback.
"Adoption" by J. Brian Clarke of Calgary was in the May 1992
Barbara Delaplace of Vancouver, B.C., has sold "The Last Sphinx"
to Martin Greenberg's A Christmas Bestiary (DAW, December
1992); "The Garden" to Journeys to The Twilight Zone II,
Carol Serling and Marty Greenberg, ed. (DAW, 1993); "Farewell, My
Buddy" to By Any Other Fame, Mike Resnick, ed. (DAW,
1993); and "Standing Firm" to Alternate Warriors, Mike
Resnick, ed. (Tor, 1993). The Vancouver Sun for July 9,
1992, ran an item about her Campbell Award nomination under the
headline "Novice Nominee."
"The Young Person's Guide to the Organism (Variations and
Fugue on a Classical Theme)" by James Alan Gardner of Waterloo
was in the April 1992 Amazing, and his "Kent State
Descending the Gravity Well: An Analysis of the Observer" will be
in the October 1992 Amazing. (Can this guy come up with
titles, or what?)
Montreal's Glenn Grant publishes Edge Detector: A Magazine of
Speculative Fiction. Issue #3 is out, with fiction by Yves
Meynard and others, and a column by Charles Platt.
"The Tulpa," an excerpt from a novel-in-progress by Eileen
Kernaghan of Burnaby, B.C., appeared in Thistledown Press's
The Blue Jean Collection (September 1992).
Sally McBride of Victoria has sold "Bake Me a Cake" to
Senary and "Children in Boxes" to On Spec.
M. R. Soderstrom of Oshawa has sold a novella called "Slaybells"
to Midnight Zoo.
Dale L. Sproule of Victoria has sold a 10,000-word novelette
entitled "Masks of Flesh and Sanity" and a short story called
"When the Children Misbehave" to Pulphouse. His story
"The Onion Test," originally published in Pulphouse #1,
will be reprinted in Senary.
"The Lovers," the story by Brampton's Edo van Belkom originally slated for
Treadmark Publications, was published in the "The Rising Stars
Special Issue" of Crossroads, released in September. His
"Blood Bait" was in the September Vampire's Crypt, and his
"No Kids Allowed" has sold to Twisted. Edo's "War Cry"
will appear in the Horror Writers of America anthology Beneath
the Tarmac (Ramsey Campbell, ed., Pocket, 1993). He recently
profiled Robert Bloch for The London Free Press and Rob
Sawyer for Pulsar! [Pulsar folded before the
profile appeared]. In August, Edo became the new Market Reports
Columnist for the SFWA Bulletin.
Andrew Weiner's "Changes" is in the UK
anthology In Dreams, edited by Kim Newman and Paul L.
McAuley (Golancz). And he has a story coincidentally also called
"In Dreams" forthcoming in Asimov's. His "Streak" was in
the May Asimov's, and his "Seeing" was the cover story in
the September F&SF. His stories "The News from D Street"
and "Alien Station" have sold to AFSF, a Czechoslovakian
publisher. And his "Distant Signals" will see print for a fifth
time in The Norton Book of Science Fiction, edited by
Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery, coming in October 1993.
The film option on Andrew's Station Gehenna has been
renewed by Europa Productions for a second year.
Here are the contributors to Northern Frights, a Canadian
horror anthology edited by Toronto's Don Hutchison (Mosaic Press,
October 1992): Nancy Baker, Robert Bloch, Carolyn Clink, Charles
de Lint, Terence M. Green, Tanya Huff,
Nancy Kilpatrick, Shirley Meier, David Nickle, Garfield
Reeves-Stevens, Robert Sampson, Peter Sellers, Steve Rasnic Tem,
Edo van Belkom, Karen Wehrstein, and
The March 26, 1992, issue of Eye Weekly, a Toronto
entertainment tabloid, ran an article by Shlomo Schwartzberg on
Canadian SF with photos of Terence M.
Green, Tanya Huff, and Robert J. Sawyer, and quotes from them
and Merril Collection librarian Lorna Toolis.
The Cultural Studies Program at Trent University in
Peterborough, Ontario, offers a course in SF which alternates
every year with a course in Utopian Fiction. John Fekete and
Veronica Holligner teach the SF course. It is one of the largest
in Canada, with enrollment of well over 100 students. Professor
Fekete is also responsible for the establishment of a growing SF
Special Collection housed in Trent's Bata Library.
Baen authors Karen Wehrstein and Shirley Meier now offer
"Muskoka Writing Retreats." A Friday-to-Sunday retreat,
including individual manuscript critiques, sessions on everything
from "The Most Common Mistakes Beginning Writers Make" to "How to
Get Ideas," plus accommodation and all meals, costs just $150.
Some SF conventions with Canadian featured guests: S. M.
Stirling at MapleCon, October 30 to November 1, 1992, Ottawa;
Tanya Huff and Michelle Sagara at ST Con, March 12-14, 1993,
Calgary; Michelle Sagara at Nocon, April 16-18, 1993, Niagara Falls, NY;
Robert J. Sawyer, Karen Wehrstein, and Shirley Meier
at the 1993 Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative
Literature, May 14-16, 1993, Ottawa; Dave Duncan at Ad Astra,
June 4-6, 1993, Toronto; Judith Merril at
ReaderCon, July 10-12, 1993, Worcester, Massachusetts; Michael
Coney at V-Con, May 28-30, 1993, Vancouver; Guy Gavriel Kay at
the World SF Convention, September 2-6, 1993, San Francisco.
Locus (July 1992) on Dave Duncan's The Cutting
Edge: "A thorough delight, with enough substance,
complexity, tension and color to satisfy even as it whets the
appetite for more." And Michelle Sagara in Quill & Quire
(August 1992): "A splendid beginning."
Locus (April 1992) on James Alan Gardner's "The Young
Person's Guide to the Organism," from the April Amazing:
"Structurally ambitious. Impressive for the range and variety of
voices and situations that Gardner achieves and then knits into a
Quill & Quire (May 1992) on Terence
M. Green's time-travel story Children of the Rainbow:
"Enjoyable and stimulating. A compelling novel, reminiscent of
Arthur C. Clarke. [Green] draws his characters very well and
manages the frequent temporal shifts brilliantly." The Ottawa
Citizen (May 23, 1992): "Invigorating and convincing."
Books in Canada (Summer 1992): "Artfully constructed; the
book touches brilliance. Green creates a unique forum for an
investigation into the nature of human character and then, with
wit and intellect, takes full advantage of his creation."
Science Fiction Chronicle (April 1992) on Tanya Huff's
Blood Trail: "A fine mix of the detective story with the
supernatural, and easily Huff's best novel to date."
Michelle Sagara in Quill & Quire on Guy Gavriel Kay's A
Song for Arbonne (August 1992): "With the scope and depth of
a well-researched historical novel, and the sense of majesty
conveyed by the best high fantasy, this is a novel not to be
missed." Locus (September 1992): "Kay encompasses a
greater seep of history, passions, and fully-realized lives
within the space of one big volume than most authors could pack
into a trilogy or two."
The Globe and Mail on Spider & Jeanne Robinson's
Starseed (Ace): "A real page-turner" linking "a clean prose
style with a fast-moving plot and subtle moral message." And
Analog (June 1992): "An absorbing tale, smoothly written,
easy to read, and freighted with very human pain and frustration
and anguish. You'll enjoy it."
Asimov's on Robert J. Sawyer's Far-Seer (Ace): a
"tour de force; vastly enjoyable, beautifully realized."
Analog: "Many another writer must say to Sawyer just what
one saurian says to a superior: `I cast a shadow in your
presence.'" New York Newsday: "An inventive and engaging
novel." Charles de Lint in The Ottawa Citizen:
"Constantly intriguing; proves his first novel was no fluke."
The Toronto Star: "Without question, one of the year's
outstanding sf books." Quill & Quire: "Riveting;
audacious; thrilling a real treat. Sawyer's already being
compared to Heinlein, Clarke, and Pohl. If he keeps up the high
standard set by Far-Seer, this comparison will be well
The Globe and Mail (29 August 1992) on Sean Stewart's
Passion Play (Beach Holme): "Quite simply, terrific."
Locus (September 1992) on Élisabeth Vonarburg's
The Silent City (Bantam): "One of the most sensitive
explorations of gender and identity since The Left Hand of
Obituary: Northern Lights
First published in the September 1992 issue of
Alouette: The Newsletter of the Canadian Region of SFWA
I've decided to stop producing my newsletter Northern Lights:
Canadian Achievements in SF. The third issue, in production
now, will be the last.
Northern Lights started out in 1982 as an annual overview
of Canadian SF news, printed as part of The Bakka Bookie
Sheet, the quarterly catalog of Canada's oldest SF specialty
store [that first 1982 edition was done on a typewriter rather
than a computer, and is lost to history . . .]. In 1987,
Northern Lights expanded into a twice-yearly column in
SOL Rising, the Aurora-Award-winning newsletter of The
Friends of The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation
and Fantasy. And, in November 1991, it became a standalone
newsletter (ISSN 1188-1860), mailed out with The Bakka Bookie
Sheet to over 1,200 Canadian SF buyers, with several hundred
more copies given away in Bakka and at seminars and conventions.
In 1992, Northern Lights was nominated for the Aurora
Award for Best English "Other" work.
Response from readers was gratifying, but the support from
the pro community was less so. Over the years, I sent three
separate letters to every Canadian SF pro asking them to keep
me apprised of their news for Northern Lights.
In the decade that this publicity venue has existed, only about
a dozen written news items were submitted by authors; all of
the hundreds of others I reported I had to ferret out myself.
Despite the fact that in its final newsletter incarnation,
Northern Lights reached more Canadians than did
Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle combined,
despite its reaching a dozen times more people than SF Canada's
Communiqué, despite it having been, since 1987, the
principal bibliographic resource used by the
Aurora Awards committees in producing
the annual list of eligible works,
despite highlights from it being reprinted in each issue of the
major U.S. fanzine The Astromancer Quarterly, despite all
this, Canadian SF writers didn't see the advantages inherent in
having this type of on-going free publicity vehicle. In the end,
it was simply taking me too long to research each issue, and I've
decided that, given the apathy on the part of other pros, my time
could better be spent on other projects.
I hope at some future date, someone will step forward to
produce a new ongoing report on Canadian achievements in SF.
Until then, may Northern Lights rest in peace.
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