A Diary in the Age of Water by Nina Munteanu


SF Canada member Nina Munteanu’s latest publication is A Diary in the Age of Water. The novel, published by Inanna Publications, follows the climate-induced journey of Earth and humanity through four generations of women, each with a unique relationship to water. It explores identity and our concept of what is “normal”—as a nation and an individual—in a world that is rapidly and incomprehensibly changing.

Launched in Toronto in June as an online event, Nina’s novel is already attracting attention. Watch a recording of the launch here.

“Evoking Ursula LeGuin’s unflinching humane and moral authority, Nina Munteanu takes us into the lives of four generations of women and their battles against a global giant that controls and manipulates Earth’s water. In a diary that entwines acute scientific observation with poignant personal reflection, Lynna’s story unfolds incrementally, like climate change itself. Particularly harrowing are the neighbourhood water betrayals, along with Lynna’s deliberately dehydrated appearance meant to deflect attention from her own clandestine water collection. Her estrangement from her beloved daughter, her “dark cascade” who embarks upon a deadly path of her own, is heartwrenching. Munteanu elegantly transports us between Lynna’s exuberant youth and her tormented present, between microcosm and macrocosm, linking her story and struggles-and those of her mother, daughter, and granddaughter-to the life force manifest in water itself. In language both gritty and hauntingly poetic, Munteanu delivers an uncompromising warning of our future.”
—Lynn Hutchinson Lee, multimedia artist, author, and playwright

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. Her novels include: Collision with Paradise; The Cypol; Angel of Chaos; Darwin’s Paradox; The Splintered Universe Trilogy; and The Last Summoner. In addition to eight novels, she has authored award-winning short stories, articles and non-fiction books, which were reprinted and translated into several languages throughout the world. Her short work has appeared in Beautiful BC Magazine, Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change, Chiaroscuro, Hadrosaur Tales, Pacific Yachting, Strange Horizons, Nowa Fantastyka, among others. Recognition for her work includes the Midwest Book Review Reader’s Choice Award, finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, the SLF Fountain Award, and The Delta Optimist Reviewers Choice Award. Nina’s latest non-fiction book, Water Is…—a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher, and environmentalist—was picked by Margaret Atwood in the NY Times. as her #1 choice in the 2016 “The Year in Reading.” She lives in Toronto. www.ninamunteanu.ca

Order A Diary in the Age of Water today!

In Veritas by C.J. Lavigne now out!

SF Canada member C.J. Lavigne has just released her first novel, the urban fantasy In Veritas, published with NeWest Press.

Things that are and are not, she thinks, and the dog is a snake.”

In this fantastic and fantastical debut, C.J. Lavigne concocts a wondrous realm overlaying a city that brims with civic workers and pigeons. Led by her synesthesia, Verity Richards discovers a hidden world inside an old Ottawa theatre. Within the timeworn walls live people who should not exist—people whose very survival is threatened by science, technology, and natural law. Verity must submerge herself in this impossible reality to help save the last traces of their broken community. Her guides: a magician, his shadow-dog, a dying angel, and a knife-edged woman who is more than half ghost.

With great empathy and imagination, In Veritas explores the nature of truth and the complexities of human communication.

C.J. Lavigne was born in Kingston, ON, but grew up all over Canada, from Comox, BC to Barrington Passage, NS. Since 2007, she has divided her time between Ottawa, ON, and Red Deer, AB, where she currently resides and works as a professional communications scholar who writes on television, gaming, and popular culture; at other points in her life, she’s been a barista, tech support supervisor, marketing manager, freelance editor, and—briefly—radio DJ. Wherever she is, she probably has a cat with her, and she’s never terribly far from her next coffee.

Find In Veritas at Amazon, Chapters, and Kobo. Find C.J. Lavigne at www.cjlavigne.com.

Climate fiction by Holly Schofield

Climate change (and how it relates to the pandemic) is on everyone’s mind these days, and trends in speculative fiction have quickly reflected that. Climate fiction, also called Cli-Fi, is a subgenre of Eco-Fiction in that it involves the direct or indirect effects of climate change in an ecologically focused story.

SF Canada member Holly Schofield’s short stories about climate change usually take the optimistic approach. Her first cli-fi story was published way back in 2013 in Perihelion. In “Hurry Up and Wait”, an apocalypse survivor is initially happy that he finally is being left alone by society and, well, you can guess how long that lasts. You can find it reprinted in Into the Ruins.

Holly’s stories take place in various locations. “The Knells of Agassiz” (published in the Water anthology heads up north to help preserve Canada’s glaciers. “One Bad Apple” (SciFutures’ City of the Future anthology) journeys to an inner city food forest. “Home on the Free Range” (Analog) examines a complex ecosystem on an exoplanet from the point of view of a farm worker. In the fourth volume of the middle grade Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, a young girl sneaks out of her habitat home to take an adventurous walk on an alien world because “Fluffy Pets are Best”.

Science always plays a role. “The Weight of the World” (Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change) and the forthcoming “Handful of Empty” (The Way of the Laser anthology) are both about food security under very different circumstances. “Wicked Problem”, (Utopia SF Magazine) has a scientist and her daughter dealing with an actively dangerous climate-changed environment. In “Bear #178” (Winner of Communitech’s True North contest), a tech-enhanced grizzly bear solves the problem of her shrinking habitat in a disastrous way.

Both “The Call of the Wold” (Solarpunk Summers) and “Halps’ Promise” (just released in Solarpunk Winters) take a lighter turn regarding the workings of two very different intentional communities.

A Distant Honk” (The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix anthology) takes a humorous look at how feral clowns might adapt to climate change and how we might adapt along with them. “Stewardship” (Unsung Stories) is in a similar vein, a cautionary tale about environmental protection gone wrong.

Some of Holly’s stories are quite serious. “Five Ways to Talk about Twisted Oak Moss” in the Rising Tides literary anthology, examines our past and future environment, using moss colonies as a metaphor for larger habitats.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her short stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod, and many other publications throughout the world. Find her at hollyschofield.wordpress.com

Two SF Canada members are Rhysling Award Nominees!

Congratulations to Colleen Anderson and Lisa Timpf! Each year, nominees for the Rhysling Award are selected by the membership of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Winning works are regularly reprinted in the Nebula Awards Anthology from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., and are considered in the SF/F/H fields to be the equivalent in poetry of the awards given for prose work — achievement awards given to poets by the writing peers of their own field of literature.

Colleen’s poem, “The Storm Witch“, appeared in the Winter Solstice issue of Eternal Haunted Summer and is nominated in the Long Poems category.

Lisa’s poem, “No Fairy Tale World” was published in New Myths 47 and is nominated in the Short Poems category.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Colleen Anderson writes both fiction and poetry and has had over 170 poems published in such venues as Grievous Angel, Polu Texni, The Future Fire, HWA Poetry Showcase and many others. She is a member of HWA and SFPA and has performed her work before audiences in the US, UK and Canada and has placed in the Balticon, Rannu, Crucible and Wax poetry competitions. Currently she is working on two poetry collections. Colleen also enjoys editing and co-edited Canadian anthologies Playground of Lost Toys (Aurora nominated) and Tesseracts 17, and her solo anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, was published in 2018. A Body of Work was recently published by Black Shuck Books, UK. Living in Vancouver, Colleen keeps an eye out for mold monsters and mermaids, and will be guest of honour in 2020 at the Creative Ink Festival (now postponed). Find her at www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com.

Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her writing has been published in a variety of venues, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog as well as New Myths, Third Flatiron, Thema, and an anthology entitled Dogs of War. Lisa enjoys bird-watching, organic gardening, and golfing. The antics of her Border Collie, Emma, have provided inspiration for several of her stories. Read more of her work at lisatimpf.blogspot.com. You can also find her on Goodreads.

Hopepunk and the New Science of Stress by Rebecca Diem

Background photo by Faris Mohammed [via Unsplash]

SF Canada member Rebecca Diem’s latest article for Tor.com, Hopepunk and the New Science of Stress, examines the growing speculative fiction genre of hopepunk.

When I first saw encountered the term “hopepunk,” I felt an immediate sense of recognition. To me, it described the state of joyful protest I aspire to: Knowing enough about the world to be absolutely furious, but choosing optimism anyway.

Rebecca discusses new research into stress which may “help us to understand the positive aspects of stress and how our bodies respond to hardship.” And this may give us answers beyond “fight or flight”.

…we actually have a much bigger toolbox with which to deal with stressful events, whether it’s the pressure of an important deadline, an immediate threat to our well-being, or an existential threat like, well, a resurgence of fascism and totalitarianism.

Author, music lover and nerd. Rebecca writes smart, hopeful speculative fiction and poetry. Her work includes contributions to Tor.com and Kobo Writing Life, as well as the indie steampunk series Tales of the Captain Duke, following the adventures of a defiant young aristocrat who saves a band of airship pirates from certain peril and talks her way into joining their crew. Find her at rebeccadiem.com/.

Rebecca’s article leaves us with a pithy closing sentiment:

Remember that you’re more resilient than you think. Remember that dragons exist, but dragons can also be beaten.

Sally McBride in House of Zolo anthology

SF Canada member Sally McBride’s latest story, “The Emperor of the Half-Garden”, appears in Volume 1 of The HOZ Journal of Speculative Literature (edited by Nihls Andersen and Erika Steeves with guest poetry editor Jon Parsons).

Writers and poets from around the world conjure fractured dimensions, cast dark nightmares and offer alternatives to the apocalypse as they navigate to the very edges of time and back. Delving into themes of post-humanity, future-shock, and the consequences of climate change, these short stories and poems fearlessly explore what it means to be human. Alternately dark and hopeful, heartbreaking and humorous, this volume contains stories and poems to spark the imagination and inspire new perspectives on the future.

Sally McBride’s short stories and novellas have appeared in Asimov’s, Amazing, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, Northern Frights, Tesseracts, On Spec, and many more magazines, anthologies, and best-of collections. “The Fragrance of Orchids” (Asimov’s), won Canada’s Aurora Award and received Hugo and Nebula nominations. Her novels Indigo Time (Five Rivers Publishing) and Water, Circle, Moon (Masque Books) are available from the publishers, Amazon, and other venues. Born and raised in Canada, Sally lives in Idaho with her husband, and has several science fiction and fantasy works in progress.

Get the HOZ Journal of Speculative Literature Volume 1 today!