John Bell

John Bell is a Lunenburg-based writer and editor specializing in Canadian history, literature, and popular culture. The author or editor of more than twenty books, he is a former editor of the poetry magazine Arc and has contributed to The Literary Review of Canada, Event, This Magazine, Maisonneuve, and many other Canadian and American periodicals. His work has also appeared in The Canadian Encyclopedia and more than two dozen anthologies.

John has been intermittently involved with the SF genre for more than 40 years. A co-founder of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (now the Aurora Awards), he co-chaired three Halcons (including the first Canvention) and the Tenth World Fantasy Convention. He is the co-author of CDN SF & F: A Bibliography of Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, the co-editor of Visions from the Edge: An Anthology of Atlantic Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, the editor of The Far Islands and Other Tales of Fantasy by John Buchan, and the author of The Far North and Beyond: An Index to Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy in Genre Magazines and Other Selected Periodicals of the Pulp Era, 1896‑1955. An editor and publisher of the short-lived Borealis: A Canadian Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, he has contributed fiction to Dark Fantasy, Quarry, Nebula, Copper Toadstool, and the anthology Ark of Ice: Canadian Futurefiction. In addition, his poetry has appeared in several genre magazines and four Tesseracts anthologies. He has also published SF-related non-fiction in many different periodicals, including Science-Fiction Studies, Locus, Imagine, Solaris, and Canadian Children’s Literature.

John has been active as a comics scholar as well. Among his publications are three foundational works: Canuck Comics: A Guide to Comic Books Published in Canada, Guardians of the North: The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art, and Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe. He also served as the curator or co-curator of several comics-related exhibitions and websites for Library and Archives Canada, where he worked as a senior archivist for nearly thirty years. In 2016, John received a Shuster Award for his contributions to Canadian comics.

John has lectured or given readings at many different venues in Canada, among them Library and Archives Canada, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, the Lakefield Literary Festival, and numerous SF and comics conventions.

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