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:
Val Grimm, over at the Portal, gave me a good review for my short story, “One Nation Under Gods”! Thanks, Val. I’m always thrilled that there are people who will review short fiction, and anthologies. Thank you, Val! Val reviews the whole anthology, Tesseracts 14, story by story. Here is his review of mine:
The author of “One Nation Under Gods”, Jerome Stueart, emigrated to Yukon from the States in 2007, and his former citizenship is evident in the themes and content of his story. I’m not biased in its favor because of my nationality, nor simply because its dark vision seems in concord with my fears. This story succeeds, in my eyes, because of his detailed worldbuilding, the realistic relationship between the narrator and his sister, and his cultivation of genuine menace, an evocation of the way people can be treated as things. In the world of this story (which in outlook and some tropes puts me a bit in mind of Steve Darnall and Alex Ross’ 1997 comic Uncle Sam) concepts like Freedom and Patriot are incarnate as deities, administered by priests and priestesses, and the Statue of Liberty herself is known to walk abroad. The history of the gods is the history of the country, and its people are required to memorize that catechism or pay with their lives in particularly grotesque ways; if a child fails the standardized test which is a mandated rite of passage, he or she is transformed into a public object, anything from a soda shop to a garbage can. Stueart skillfully incorporates the conflict between individuality and vested religious and political powers; the way those powers can intertwine and what that merging means; the clash between idealism or perception cultivated through propaganda and reality, between history as the study of people in power versus the study of the people’s past; and the transformation of people into instruments, people into numbers.—Val Grimm at the Portal.
Thanks everyone for coming out and being a part of our signing at Mac’s Fireweed! Two anthologies I’m a part of: Tesseracts 14 and Inhuman, and Dave Strachan, who has the lead story in Inhuman, was signing too! The Fantasy/Science Fiction community in Whitehorse is doing great! More and more of our group are stretching their talents and skills, and turning out great stories and sending them off to publishers! So happy that this is happening in Whitehorse! The Yukon is building a presence in Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Oh YEAH!
Tesseracts 14 and Inhuman are both published by Hades Publications and Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (for Inhuman, through their imprint Absolute XPress).
Here’s photos of us at Mac’s Fireweed, Saturday March 12. See if you can recognize all the campadres who helped make it a great event…
My story, “One Nation Under Gods,” was selected to be part of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology, Tesseracts 14, edited by Brett Savory and John Robert Colombo, due out in September 2010. The Tesseracts series is devoted to Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy and Horror, and has had, as you might have guessed, 14 other volumes (a Tesseracts Q was for Quebec, and the requisite 1-13 which came before).
You might have caught me reading a portion of this at the Yukon Writers Festival a couple of years back. It involves two kids and a history test, and a complete restructuring of the United States based on values Americans, like me, hold sacred: patriotism, freedom, the just war, independence, religion. I just personified them a bit. I’m very pleased it found a home. I’m now going to start work on the novel version of this story.
The picture on the left is the construction of the Statue of Liberty, a figure which looms large on the landscape at the beginning of my story. And as I was now an immigrant to Canada, the Statue of Liberty loomed large on my new immigrant’s mind…what a dramatic beginning to a new life for those coming to America. For me, I saw her on my way out. On my drive from Texas to the Yukon, I parked my red truck in Calgary for one month, flew to Vermont to be part of a writer’s colony, and in that time, snuck down to see her. Like some mistress I was breaking up with.
How do you explain to her that you are leaving?
I put her in my story, though, and so in this way, she haunts me.
Eager to hear any news about Tesseracts 14?
New Update: The Table of Contents has been finalized and will, I hear, be revealed soon. Brett and John are sending out emails right now. That will take some time as I’m sure there were lots of submitters for this anthology. But everyone should know everything in, at least, about a day or two, I’d guess. Good luck everyone!
Everything below this is old news: dated January 9 2010.
Brian Hades has posted this on the Tess 14 webpage:
WE ARE A BIT BEHIND
With December holidays and more snow than one ever needs clogging up the works, we are about two weeks behind schedule. Please have patience as we catch up during the month of January. Thanks. – Brian Hades, publisher
This supersedes my other reports from SFC listserv. Thanks Marcelle for those original tips. I know folks were worried theirs were lost in the mail. The snow has a way of swiping mail sometimes. Godspeed to the editors, and to us– good luck on your next projects–several deadlines approaching. As for Tess 14, good luck to everyone! Now back to snowfall, dogwalks and deadlines.
Canadian authors of science fiction and fantasy, get your stories ready. Tesseracts 14, is open for business.
OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS (Sept. 1, 2009 – Nov. 30, 2009)
Submissions are now open (from September 1, 2009 to November 30, 2009) for volume 14 of the Tesseracts anthology. If you are a Canadian author and write speculative fiction, we want to see your stories, poetry, radio plays, flash fiction etc. [SEE GUIDELINES BELOW]
The editors for this antholgy are:
John Robert Colombo and Brett Alexander Savory.
This anthology is open to Canadians, landed immigrants, long-time residents, and expatriates.
Open to submissions in either English or French. (Francophone stories must be translated into English for publication if accepted.) Canadian authors who write in languages other than French or English are welcome to submit an English translation of their work, provided it otherwise falls within the parameters of this anthology. Please supply details of original publication for any submission that originally appeared in a language other than English.
Translation into English is the sole responsibility of the authors.
Genres: all the genres of imaginative literature, including but not limited to magic realism, science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, slipstream, supernatural horror, weird tales, alternate history, space opera, planetary adventure, surrealism, superheroes, mythic fantasy, etc.
The Tesseracts anthology series is open to both short fiction and poetry.
Payment is $20 for poetry, $50 for stories under 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $100 for stories of over 5,000 words (longer stories are paid a slightly higher fee, but in order to exceed the word length limit of 7,500 words, the editors must judge a story to be of surpassing excellence.)
Deadline: 30 November 2009.
Do not query before submitting.
Email submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emails MUST contain the word “submission” in the subject line, or they will be deleted automatically by the server. Please also include the story title in the subject line.
Submissions MUST come as an attachment: RTF is the only acceptable format.
Emails MUST contain a cover letter in the body of the email; for security reasons, email attachments with no cover letter will be deleted unread and unanswered.
Cover letter: include your name, the title of your story, your full contact information (address, phone, email), and a brief bio. Do not describe or summarize the story.
If your address is not within Canada, please indicate in the cover letter your status vis-à-vis Canada.
Reprints (stories having previously appeared in English in ANY format, print or electronic, including but not limited to any form of web publication) can be considered but will be a hard sell; reprints must come from a source not easily available in Canada. If your submission is a reprint, please supply full publication history of the story. If your story appeared previously, including but not limited to anywhere on the web, and you do not disclose this information to the editor upon submission, you will be disqualified from consideration.
Submission format: no strange formatting, colour fonts, changing fonts, borders, backgrounds, etc. Leave italics in italics, NOT underlined. Put your full contact information on the first page (name, address, email address, phone). No headers, no footers, no page numbering. DO NOT leave a blank line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. ALWAYS put a # to indicate scene breaks (a blank line is NOT enough).
ALWAYS include your full contact information (name/address/email/phone number) on the first page of the attached submission.
Rights: for original fiction, first World English publication, with a two-month exclusive from publication date; for all, non-exclusive anthology rights; all other rights remain with the author. (DO NOT INDICATE WHICH RIGHTS YOU ARE OFFERING; SUBMISSIONS MARKED WITH RESTRICTIVE RIGHTS WILL BE DELETED WITH NO REPLY.)
Spelling: please use Canadian spelling, as per the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.
Response time: initial responses (no / rewrite request / hold for further consideration) will be made within thirty days after the close of submissions. Final responses no later than 31 December 2009.
Submit up to three stories at the same time, butUNDER SEPARATE COVER (only one submission per email).
Simsubs are not encouraged but are acceptable. Should you receive a “rewrite request” or “hold for further consideration” response, please indicate immediately whether your story is under consideration anywhere else.