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

Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light

SF Canada member Bernadette Dyer’s latest speculative fiction novel, Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light, carries you from Ireland, to remote northern Ontario, to the big city of Toronto and all the way to Jamaica. The teenaged heroine, Irish-Canadian, Kathleen Dunkley, is desperate to leave her haunting pasts and horrific tragedies behind her.

Through her coming-of-age journey, Kathleen soon learns that the witch of Rose Hall was originally from Irish stock and there is also a mysterious ghost boy called Santiago, inhabiting the house where she is staying. Kathleen is left to ponder why spooks have caught up with her, and if her new found Chinese-Jamaican friend, David Chang, can help to defend her from harm.

This moving story of survival is a page turner for just about anyone that likes adventure.

Find Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light at Amazon.

Now out!: Nothing Without Us

SF member Cait Gordon recently co-edited Nothing Without Us (along with sensitivity editor Talia C. Johnson), producing an anthology filled with protagonists who identify as disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental health. Published by Presses Renaissance Press, one of the twenty-two own-voice stories is by SF member Tonya Liburd.

“Can you recommend fiction that has main characters who are like us?” This is a question we who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness ask way too often. Typically, we’re faced with stories about us crafted by people who really don’t get us. We’re turned into pathetic, tragic souls; we merely exist to inspire the abled main characters to thrive; or even worse, we’re to overcome “what’s wrong with us” and be cured.

Nothing Without Us combines both realistic and speculative fiction, starring protagonists who are written “by us and for us.” From hospital halls to jungle villages, from within the fantastical plane to deep into outer space, our heroes take us on a journey, make us think, and prompt us to cheer them on.

These are bold tales, told in our voices, which are important for everyone to experience.

We are the heroes, not the sidekicks.

Cait (pronounced like cat) Gordon is the author of Life in the ‘Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. Her short story, “A Night at the Rabbit Hole”, appears in Alice Unbound Beyond Wonderland. Another short story, “The Hilltop Gathering”, is in the Prix Aurora Awards nominated anthology, We Shall Be Monsters.

When she’s not writing, Cait loves to bake, eat what she’s baked, and maybe think about baking more things. She adores cosplay so much that she’s decided she needs a costume closet. Cait’s also a singer and a musician. Her musical tastes range from “awesome” to “please don’t judge me.”

She’s frighteningly friendly, so reach out to her on Twitter (@CaitGAuthor).

Read author interviews on the Nothing Without Us website.

Purchase the paperback, ebook, and audiobook directly from Renaissance Press’ online shop.

The Bear Cavalry by D. G. Valdron

SF Canada member D.G. Valdron has been busy lately!:

The Bear Cavalry has just been released. This quirky, inventive alternate history is written in the style of a fun, funky, pop culture television documentary. Robin Prufrock travels the world, telling the story of how the Vikings in Iceland domesticated bears for meat and as draft animals, and how the Scandinavian Bear Cavalry eventually evolved to become the most fearsome fighting unit in the Medieval world. Along the way are entertaining detours into biology, evolutionary history, the Viking era, Medieval monarchs behaving badly, and the role of Bears in movies, art and culture in this world.

Find The Bear Cavalry here.

As well, Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs: A Story Collection is now available. Enjoy nine scary stories of Melancholy Horror:

  • Fossils: A poet follows a giant monster through the streets of abandoned Tokyo.
  • Flirtin’ Out Back With the Sasquatch Kid: A teenage girl encounters the last bigfoot.
  • Skin: A necromancer’s attack shows a woman discovers that her life is only skin deep.
  • Love, Live and the Necronomicon: The true history of the mad Arab and his era is revealed, along with Lovecraft’s dark connection.
  • Regrets Child: A nurse to a dying woman meets her hungry ghost.
  • Anomalous Phenomena: The title says it all.
  • The Dead Quarter: After the Apocalypse, the living and the undead share a disintegrating world.
  • Tell Me: A hunter finds a child vampire.
  • Killing Hot: A young man with a secret crosses the country, seeking revenge for his sister.

D.G. Valdron is a reclusive writer originally from New Brunswick, currently living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over the years, he has published in print and online a variety of short stories of speculative fiction, and articles on obscure pop culture topics. Like many writers, his previous occupations have included mechanic, carpenter, schoolteacher, journalist and ditch-digger. He is currently an aboriginal rights lawyer. He loves B-movies and tries to be nice to people.