Northern Suns is the second anthology of Canadian science fiction from Hartwell and Grant (following Northern Stars). Grant's introductory essay describes the anthology's 21 stories "ranging from hard science fiction to visionary fantasy, from the horrific to the hilarious. Plus an essay by John Clute, and an updated reference list of the winners of the major Canadian SF and fantasy awards." Writers include Margaret Atwood, Robertson Davies, and W.P. Kinsella, all of whom are better known for mainstream fiction; Nalo Hopkinson, Geoff Ryman, and Cory Doctorow, whose names are most connected with SF and fantasy; and writers like Eric Choi, Sally McBride, and Alain Bergeron, known to Canadians but not yet familiar to American readers.
Grant argues that Canadian SF is distinctive for three reasons. First, unlike British or American SF, Canadian SF didn't evolve from commercial pulp fiction but was published by literary presses. Second, French Canadian authors bring the influence of French and other European SF--"tending toward surrealism, allegory, and folktale"--to bear. And finally, because Canadian SF has been shaped equally by men and women. In his essay, Clute suggests that it's a genre of solitary survivors who transcend human boundaries, unanchored in communities or extrapolated science and technology. Certainly it provides well-written, genre-bending entertainment, which will leave the reader eager to sample more. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gathering a stellar array of 22 SF stories penned by either native Canadians or writers who simply prefer to publish there, this is a worthy companion volume to Northern Stars (1994). Wesley Herbert displays a compelling cyberpunk sensibility in "Twilight of the Real," a futuristic, noirish story about a PI who discovers why Earth's few remaining humans are turning themselves into "mechniks." In the humorous horror tale "Farm Wife," Nancy Kilpatrick writes about a woman's pragmatic attitude to her husband's vampirism. Geoff Ryman ("Fan") shows how today's reclusive pop star may be tomorrow's elusive hologram, while in "Freeforall," Margaret Atwood foresees another reactionary society not too far removed from that of The Handmaid's TaleAone in which rampant sexual disease leads to arranged matings and contract marriages brokered by post-feminist "house mothers." Sally McBride offers a more romantic, if equally unsettling, tale ("The Fragrance of Orchids") that proves that redemption can be found in the arms of a stranger, even if it comes from light years away and isn't human. W.P. Kinsella presents a short and sweet meditation on the Japanization of North America ("Things Invisible to See"), while Michael Skeet unveils an alternate history set in the Civil War ("Near Enough to Home"). Like its predecessor, this volume, with stories reprinted from assorted books and magazines, showcases with style the best of Canadian SF.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.