Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Tesseracts Twelve Shout-Out...

... this time from The Fix - an online short fiction review. Read it here. Reviewer Jason Sanford loved or liked every story in the book, writing of them: "... not a single one of which isn’t good or great." If I parse his review-let of "Wylde's Kingdom" correctly, I'm guessing it falls into the good rather than great category - but that's more than cool. As editor Claude Lalumière pointed out to me last week, there have been no fewer than seven positive reviews in various spots for the little Canadian novella anthology since it came out in the fall. That is, by the standards of the long-running Tesseracts anthology series, a pretty damn fine shower of attention.

But back to The Fix. Putting the T12 review in context, Sanford raises an old (for we Canucks) question of national taxonomy: what makes Canadian speculative fiction Canadian? and concludes, correctly I think, that on the evidence of T12, the answer is "nothing in particular." For a number of years, we Canadian writers of speculative fiction were distinguished by not producing very much of it - but that's not the case any more. Cory Doctorow, Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts, Robert J. Sawyer, Guy Gavriel Kay, Phyllis Gotleib, Michelle West, Candas Jane Dorsey (among many others whose names didn't spring to mind as I started this sentence but will on the way to work this morning) have effectively popped that cherry.

We also used to fill up panel discussions at conventions talking about how our speculative fiction was about regional alienation, our relationship to the landscape, and maybe the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Thankfully, we've since realized that nobody wants to read about that stuff and learned to shut up.

What finally defines us, perhaps, is our obsessive numeracy.

At least when it comes to counting up positive reviews and publishing them in our blogs.

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