Top Ten Reads of 2016

Well, November sure was horrific. In keeping with the world news these days, I’ve been reading some fantastic dystopian fiction – namely, Station Eleven. What an amazing book, elegantly crafted from multiple points of view, jumping back and forth in time – before, during, and twenty years after a deadly flu outbreak that wipes out most of humanity.

I reckon I read over forty books a year, and I deeply enjoy most of them. So it is very difficult to come up with a top ten list for 2016, but I feel I must, in the interest of contributing something positive toward the end of the year – a summation, as it were, that has nothing to do with politics, or reality. So here it is, in order of publishing year. (Note that the books were not necessarily published in 2016. It’s just when I got around to reading them.) Continue reading

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Story Sales, Readings and more

I’ve been focusing more on my novel this year – I’m at the 56K mark on my sequel! – and written rather less short fiction than last year. However, I’ve still gotten quite a few story acceptances in the last few months, along with the usual plethora of rejections. I’ll update my short fiction page by and by, but meanwhile, here is a list of publications I’m looking forward to in 2017, apart from the projects I’ve already blogged about:

Piety, Prayer, Peacekeeper, Apocalypse
A secondary-world fantasy that I loved ‘world-building’. Scheduled to be published and podcast by Podcastle early in 2017. This will be my second appearance in Podcastle – the first was a reprint (Hatyasin), and this one is an original! Continue reading

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Toronto Street Art

The other day, I was walking down Queen Street with my sister, who insisted on playing Pokémon Go the whole time. It was mildly annoying – I can’t abide games myself, and refuse to buy a smartphone (I know, I know, I’m a dinosaur). Anyway, the upside of this was that she kept ‘discovering’ the amazing murals that adorn the walls and shop fronts and alleys off Queen Street. Forced to slow down, and look, I too discovered them anew. And here are some pictures we took of that leisurely stroll. Thanks to all the artists who make our streets into walking art discoveries. And thanks to my lovely sis for making me slow down enough to appreciate them. Enjoy.
Continue reading

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Monsters and Adventures and Tropes, oh my (Part 3)

Okay, this is my final post on this topic. The third exciting project I am proud to be a part of is Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling published by Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications, due out this November, and edited by Monica Valentinelli. Each story in this collection examines a tired trope or common cliche and twists it into something new.

My story in this anthology is titled Real Women are Dangerous and is inspired by the 100 million Missing Women of Asia. The term ‘missing women’ refers to the number of extra women who SHOULD have been around in a particular country or region if the ratio of men to women was the same as it is in other parts of the world where girls and boys get the same level of care. Continue reading

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Monsters and Adventures and Tropes, oh my (Part 2)

Well, I warned you there’d be a second part. Here is my update on the second project I’m really excited to be a part of:

2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide
Dreaming Robot Press, run by Sean and Corie Weaver, publishes science fiction and fantasy novels for a Young Adult and Middle Grade audience. This is the third year of their Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide anthology – “24 amazing science fiction stories for middle grade readers”. One of them, ahem, by yours truly. I am in fantastic company, as you can see from the list of contributors. Really looking forward to reading this one! The kickstarter is currently 60% funded with 16 days still left to go. It has been selected as an SFWA Star Project. Continue reading

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Monsters and Adventures and Tropes, oh my (Part 1)

The last official weekend of summer! Already the light has changed. Couldn’t we have been eased into this, sort of? I’d like a long, sunny Autumn, please. I’d ask for a delayed and mild winter, but that would just be bad climate-changey wishing on my part, so I won’t. Now for an update on three exciting projects that I am very proud to be part of:

Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories
Edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay, and published by Exile Editions, this anthology releases on November 1st, 2016, and is available for pre-order now. My story, titled ‘Vetala’, is about a stalker-ish spirit that follows the protagonist from India to Canada. And it’s about the Bhagavad Gita. And also about Canadian trains, because I love Canadian trains, and it’s absolutely horrifying to me, how they’re slowly disappearing. Continue reading

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Talking of School

August! Another couple of weeks and schools will open, and I shall (hopefully) get back to a more writerly routine. Hello, alarm clock. I have not missed you.

Talking of school, I came across an old photograph a few days ago – my fifth grade class picture. None of us are looking particularly happy. Mrs. Henderson, our squat and grumpy class teacher, sits in the middle, looking the least happy. I do not have fond memories of her. But I do have very strong memories of that time. I got to thinking how important school was in my childhood, how large a part it played, and how different it is for my kids these days. Continue reading

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