New Novella from Ursula Pflug, “Down From”

SF Canada member Ursula Pflug has recently released a new novella, the portal fantasy “Down From,” with UK-based small press Snuggly Books.

On nice days the witch Sandrine, a wife and mother of two (or is it three?) canoes along The Stream of Consciousness to the outskirts of town where her friend Vienna lives on the edge of a swamp. At Hartwood portals litter the paths, big as dinner plates, but only if you have an eye for that sort of thing. Sometimes Vienna, who does, outlines them in circles of wildflowers or pastel chalk, to alert the unwary who might otherwise be whisked away. Instead, Vienna tells her, Sandrine should explore the disused upstairs bedrooms, haunted not by the ghosts of former inhabitants but by alternate worlds, one behind each of many brightly painted doors.

What kind of world is behind each door? How to pick? Behind Pomme Verte, the door she finally tries, Sandrine meets a tall young man with red hair, who may be a son she didn’t know she had. Is it possible that in the other worlds one has children who are searching for their biological mothers–just as if they had been adopted by a human and not, as it were, by another world? Only one way to find out.

Publishers Weekly says:

“Pflug’s haunting novella is as oblique and slippery as its protagonist, Sandrine, a traveler between worlds who is first encountered returning from “astral adventures” that have left her disoriented and uncertain: her husband may be named Randy, Mike, or River, and she has either two or three children. (“Don’t forget you have a girl,” she reminds herself; “girls don’t like that, not at all.”) Sandrine worries about environmental damage and the politics of food, tries to recenter herself with her family, and confronts the unexpected ways in which the secrets and struggles of her best friend, Vienna, intersect with Sandrine’s own. Pflug’s prose is deceptively direct: much is stated but still more is hinted at in a setting where witches and telepaths are as much a fact of life as cell phones, and behind the bluntness of Sandrine’s inner monologue are startling depths of grief and loss. The work feels unfinished, but in the way a poem might: the narrative denouement leaves the door open for the reader’s own thoughts. (Apr.)”

The book is available in Canada from Amazon.caChapters Indigo, and other sellers.

Prairie Starport: Stories in Celebration of Candas Jane Dorsey

Contributed by Robert Runté

SF Canada founding President, Candas Jane Dorsey, was for over 45 years—and continues to be—an award-winning author, editor, publisher, organizer, university teacher, mentor and activist who grew Edmonton’s literary scene and helped found Canada’s cohesive SF community. To honour Dorsey’s astonishing career, Rhonda Parrish has compiled a unique tribute anthology: Prairie Starport: Stories in Celebration of Candas Jane Dorsey. The collection includes stories and tribute essays by authors and editors mentored by Dorsey. Contributors include Timothy J. Anderson, Greg Bechtel, Eileen Bell, Gregg Chamberlain, Alexandrea Flynn and Annalise Glinker, Barb Galler-Smith, Anita Jenkins, Laina Kelly, John Park, Rhonda Parrish, Ursula Pflug, Robert Runté, Diane L. Walton, BD Wilson and S.G. Wong.

 Download it for free at:

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Also available at 

Amazon

Paperback available at Amazon: .com | .co.uk

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

All profits from this collection will be donated to the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society in Candas’ name.

Run J Run contract signed

SF Canada member Su Sokol is pleased to announce her forthcoming novel, Run J Run. The book will be published by Renaissance Press, and is scheduled to release in 2019.

Su also has a short story, “Studies in Shadow and Light,” included in a post-Trump speculative fiction anthology titled After the Orange. The anthology is a project of B Cubed Press and is due to release this summer.

And if you’re in or near Seattle, Washington, mark your calendar for June 21st. Su will be appearing at Left Bank Books for a reading/discussion entitled “Towards a Liberated (un)imaginable.”

Chasing the Banyan Wind contract signed

SF Canada member Bernadette Dyer is pleased to announce her forthcoming novel, Chasing the Banyan Wind. The historical novel set during World War 2 will be published by LMH Publishing.

In addition, Dyer also has two poems set for publication in Tamaracks, an anthology of Canadian poets scheduled for publication from California’s Lummox Press.

Both books will be available in the fall of 2018.

“Bear #178” wins in True North conference

SFC member Holly Schofield’s latest story stems from reading about a famous grizzly bear around Banff known as Bear 148. The grizzly was in and out of various news stories after several close encounters with humans. As this article says: When grizzlies mix too freely with people, the grizzlies usually lose.

According to Bill Hunt, a Parks Canada resource conservation manager, this particular bear “…showed a very moderated response…tolerating less than ideal human behaviours time and time again.”

Despite this, she didn’t last long. Bear 148 was shot and killed by a hunter in 2017 when she wandered outside park boundaries. She was one of the last few bears legally killed before British Columbia ended grizzly trophy hunting last November.

As we hurtle toward a tech-driven future, we need to figure out how to be better stewards of our little blue planet. That was the impetus for Communitech ‘s True North conference last week. This international conference focused on issues at the intersection of society and technology, as a force for good in the world. Part of the initiative was a story contest to highlight that worthy endeavor. “Bear #178” was Holly’s winning entry.