Speculating Canada reviews my story, “One Nation Under Gods”

Really thrilled that Speculating Canada reviewed my short story, “One Nation Under Gods” which appeared in Tesseracts 14. It’s hard to get short fiction reviews and they are so valuable.  The SF/F/H community should hold tight and nurture as many reviewers as we can. With a growing market of books, the discerning reader looks to reviews to help choose what to read.  And reviewers who choose short fiction, new authors, and anthologies help support beginning writers who are starting their careers, hoping that someone notices.  So we can’t fete reviewers enough–we need them, we love them, we should be very kind to them.

I’d say this for any thoughtful reviewer, even if Derek had NOT liked my work.  It’s the way he liked my work that makes me happy. 

Speculating Canada has a really great aim:

This site has been created in response to the overwhelming number of people who are surprised that Canadian literature includes the fantastic. Canadian SF, fantasy, and horror have been cast into a literary ghetto under the power structure of CanLit, and cast as either inferior literatures, or literatures that are not ‘of here’, i.e. from abroad. Yet, Canadian speculative fiction has a long history in Canada and engages with ideas of Canadian identity, belonging, and concepts of nationhood, place and space (both ‘the final frontier’ type, and the geographical).

Realist fiction is often seen as the only ‘truly’ Canadian fiction, but even realist fiction speculates, postulates and creates a fantastic idea, just one that is based more closely on the normative world around us than most SF authors are inclined to do.

Canadian SF allows for the engagement with ideas such as What is Canada? What does belonging mean? What is the nature of ‘human’? Why are things the way they are? How do we change things? Can things change?

The appeal of Canadian SF is not just regional, but has implications for a wider audience. Canadians, long un/comfortable with our identity as a hybrid of the American and English, Francophones and Anglophones, Aboriginal and settlers, and the multicultural mix that is embedded in our philosophy, means that we are comfortable with questions of identity and the exploration of our place, ideas that naturally lend themselves to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. We live in a world that is unsure of itself, and uncomfortable with ideas of belonging, and Canadian SF plays with ideas of belonging, disrupts the normal (or what has come to be seen as normal) and allows for a new way of experiencing the world.

As for the review–well, I’ll let you read most of it as his site, but here’s a nice chunk:

Continue reading

Vincent Chong Launches New Blog and Art Book

If you’re a fan of Vincent Chong, and you’ve seen my post on him, you’ll be delighted to know he has a new blog and he has a new Art Book coming out.  The details are below.  

Vincent was commissioned to redesign covers for all of Stephen King’s books, and they’re stunning.  I’ve picked out a few designs I like.  I’m waiting still for the really cool werewolf one.  (But there aren’t really any good werewolf novels yet…gonna have to write one)

My new blog http://vincentchongart.wordpress.com is now online.  The blog will be updated regularly and feature posts including news updates, artwork, behind-the-scenes material such as sketches, insights into my working methods/inspirations, tips and info on life as a freelancer and much more.  There’s also free downloads including desktop wallpapers, so please stop by for a visit and check it out.  

I’m also excited to announce that the first art book collecting my work will be published by Telos Publishing.  Entitled ALTERED VISIONS: THE ART OF VINCENT CHONG, the book will be a 48 page, A5, full colour hardback edition. Further details can be found on my blog.

The book will be published 25th March and launched at the World Horror Convention 2010 but you can pre-order a copy now direct from the publisher’s website http://www.telos.co.uk under the ‘Original and Classic Fiction’ section.  Copies are expected to be limited so place your order now to avoid disappointment.

If you know of anyone else who may be interested in my blog or art book, please pass this information onto them.

Thanks!

Best
Vincent

Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead–all Canadian, all vampire, and evolved

Imagine this:  what would the future of vampires look like?  How would they evolve?  24 Canadian writers thought about this and came up with their ideas. Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead is an all Canadian anthology–23 stories, one poem.  It’ll be launched at the World Horror Convention in Brighton England in March.  

Yep, I have a story in there, “How Magnificent is the Universal Donor.”  In my story, vampires have finally been pulled into positions of power in the medical field.  They save the world by stepping in to keep a terrible blood disease at bay, and they continue to keep the world safe.  But it’s not a perfect situation…some sacrifices occasionally have to be made for the good of the World.  They’re just not telling anyone.  Wouldn’t want to stain their new reputations as saviours.  

I’m thrilled to be a part of the collection.  

The collection is available for pre-order now.  A limited number of the anthologies have been packed into little wooden coffins and you can pre-purchase the coffin-encased anthology at this site.  You can also order the anthology by itself too, which will be available in March.  Can’t wait to be in England pushing these little coffins on our table—it’ll be an awesome visual.  As if we’ve made little gnome coffins.  

While I’m not normally a horror writer, I just played with the idea of getting to evolve vampires.  That was fun!  Hope you enjoy it.  

Evolve is published by Edge Books, Brian Hades Publisher, and edited by Nancy Kilpatrick.

Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Ceases, Hope in the Comments

Year's Best Fantasy and HorrorLCRW announced the end of an era. The Anthology that praised the best in Horror and Fantasy published every year has ceased after 21 volumes. Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror collected two genres together, ones that complemented each other. It was good to have the cross-pollination. There’s much sadness in the Fantasy and Horror worlds, yes, but there seems to be glimmers of hope in the Comments section which has turned into a Who’s Who of Fantasy and Horror. In these comments, Ellen Datlow reveals that she has a new publisher for the Horror side of the anthology and Kathryn Cramer, publisher of Year’s Best Fantasy, reveals they have switched publishers. It’s the “narrowly dodged the bullet” reference that Cramer makes that causes me to think that the YBF&H closing might have been a publisher decision to cut costs in the rapidly diminishing American economy* (Ellen Datlow comments below that it was a combination of things, but most importantly it was an agreed-upon decision between the editors and publisher, not a sole publisher decision. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.).

Editors and authors alike send condolences in the nearly 100 comments that follow the announcement. The anthology was a huge part of the community–a way to celebrate and honor stories that represented what was happening in that community. Award shows can be fleeting celebrations–anthologies preserve and mark the year. I felt like a family gathering in the comments for a funeral or a wake. I look forward to seeing what new incarnations will arise from these decisions. And if there is a wake for the Anthology, I hope it is a big, raucous one for all the good they have done for the community!

To purchase a copy of the last volume of work, celebrating the best of 2007, follow the links above.