Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tesseracts Is Coming To Town

This weekend, I believe the Santa Claus Parade will be kicking up heel in downtown Toronto. Well too bad for Santa. This weekend is also a big celebration for Tesseracts and Edge, at once here in Toronto and Alberta. Tesseracts is, of course, the long-running sf/f anthology series that began when Judith Merrill edited what would have been Tesseracts One if she'd only had the foresight.

I make a little joke. Judith had all kinds of foresight. And in editing that anthology, she effectively gave birth to Canadian speculative fiction, by giving it a venue. Before On Spec, before TransVersions, before Northern Frights and Queer Fear and countless other Canadian sf anthologies... there was Tesseracts.

There are fourteen volumes to the series. Some were published by Tesseracts Books, an imprint run by Candas Jane Dorsey, and some time ago taken over by EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing, Brian Hades' imprint.

Well on Friday, at SFContario, we're going to be launching #14 - edited by John Robert Colombo and Brett Alexander Savory, and hosted by me. My story, Basements, is in the collection. It is (let me count...) my seventh Tesseracts story. 

But this is more than the launch. Old-timers like me will be on hand to read from older Tesseracts stories. We'll reminisce. We'll argue over chronologies. It will be like the Legion for SF/F, only without the cheap beer.

It all starts Friday night at eight, in the consuite of SFContario.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Care And Feeding of Horror

For those of you who missed CZP's Speculative Fiction Colloquium last month - here is some video, of my entire talk: The Care and Feeding of Horror: How a Very Unpleasant Emotion Became a Very Unstable Genre.

This video has been made available by CZP and the Chiaroscuro Reading Series. For more information on next year's Colloquium or to donate, visit

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miles Nickle Fernandez - 2006-2010

A moment of silence, for Miles - the four-year-old black tabby who carved a groove on my shoulder and a deep, infected gouge in my heart. As you can see by the picture above, he was an agile, merciless little familiar of a cat - named for Miles Davis, so as to make a matched set with his lifelong house-mate Dizzy.  Miles was never a picture of health - he spent the first few months of his life locked in a room while he worked the ringworm out of his system. He never did get rid of the feline herpes, so endured a life-long bout of the sniffles that, while endearingly cute, would have driven any lesser cat insane.

Miles was not insane. What he was, was deeply and persistently affectionate. He liked shoulders best, but he was also fond of waking up his humans with a relentless kneading-of-the-bladder, or a damp, snotty head-butt. He ate head-phone wires like licorice, and refused to pay for the replacements. But no one complained. Everybody loved Miles. Miles loved everybody.

He died Friday night, after a week in the tender and competent care of The Animal Clinic in Toronto.  There was something with his kidneys - to the end, no one could figure out precisely what. But whatever it was, it wore him down, and wore him out, and by dinner time Friday, it was time.

He was cuddled by the people who loved him most for hours before that time came.  A whole day. Then the results of his last blood test came, showing that there was only really one course.

The veterinarian warned us about various indignities we might witness: he might twitch, or yowl, or void his bladder when the anaesthetic overdose took effect.

He was quiet. He was still. And having thoughtfully insisted on using his litter box just minutes before the veterinarian returned, he was dry.  He finished his life with immense dignity, in the loving arms of his humans. And that's something.

Miles Nickle Fernandez.  Four years old is too damn young.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Eutopian cover...

Here it is, in its hideous glory: Erik Mohr's cover art for my novel Eutopia, which blends the early American eugenics movement, industrial utopianism and terrible monsters, and of which you have read so much in past postings.

Erik is the evil genius responsible for my story collection Monstrous Affections' cover, and it's clear that he's decided to continue the motif of hideous deformity with this one. That continuation may have something to do with my own motif of hideous deformity, but we will leave that discussion for another day.

This cover is exquisite, though. I am anxious beyond words to see how it looks on shelves, in bookstores mid-April 2011.