Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction Hardcover – Aug 23 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
This excellent collection of Canadian science fiction written in the past 20 years embodies a high level of skill and sophistication among its 25 short stories, two novel excerpts and two essays on the state of the genre. Among its haunting tales is French-Canadian Yves Meynard's "Stolen Fires," about a company's revenge against a man who tries to stop the rape of a world. In "Remember, the Dead Say," another French-Canadian writer, Jean-Louis Trudel, posits a fragmented North America invaded by Muslims, where a Quebec war of independence has failed and the computer net is the only hope for salvation. William Gibson contributes "The Winter Market," where a talented and driven young woman sells her dreams to the world and moves into a computer network. In "One," Heather Spears tells of a child growing up solo and feared in a bicephalic world where no one is ever alone, while the characters in David Duncan's "Under Another Moon" are hermaphrodites, born as females and becoming male in middle age. Phyllis Gotlieb tells of giant space creatures used by other species for mining in "Mother Lode." Glenn Grant's "Memetic Drift" comes closer to home in its portrayal of a nomadic society crossing and recrossing the blighted plains of Canada in giant trailers. Charles de Lint and Spider Robinson are others who add imaginative scenarios to a distinctive volume.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Previous anthologies of Canadian science fiction have been largely confined in their appeal to regional audiences. But this collection from a U.S. publisher bids to gain wider attention, for with a broad range of strikingly original and literate selections, editors Hartwell and Grant make in it a strong case for an abundance of superior Canadian talent. Among the more easily recognized names represented--all Canadians, including a few that may surprise U.S. fans--are William Gibson, Spider Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer. Veteran anthologist Judith Merril opens with a lucid essay on the overall temperament of Canadian sf, and Candas Jane Dorsey, who also contributes the superior feminist tale "(Learning About) Machine Sex," closes the volume with an essay redefining speculative fiction. In between, some 30 stories present a rich tapestry of imaginative viewpoints that survey extraterrestrial locales as much as a distorted future Canada. One of the year's best speculative fiction anthologies, the book should further advance Canada's reputation in the world sf community. Carl Hays