So I was at World Fantasy 2012 this weekend. First time ever at a major con, and wow is that a fucking amazing experience – to be talked about with the people who were there at the con via mediums like Facebook, because what happens at the con stays at the con (the phrase “tub full of authors” is going to stick, and we have the photos to prove it … ). And, besides, I’m sure someone, somewhere, will do a con writeup and save me the trouble of writing it :)
Now, apparently, while I was away all the things happened.
First, Silvia Moreno-Garcia has announced the table of contents for her Dead North anthology, which is due out in the fall of 2013 (sometime before All Hallows’ Eve from what Silvia said in the post I’ve linked to). A story of mine, “Hungry Ghosts”, is in said anthology. Here’s the Table of Contents:
- “Kissing Carrion” Gemma Files (Reprint)
- “Waiting for Jenny Rex” Melissa Yuan-Ines (Reprint)
- “The Sea Half-Held by Night” Elise Tobler
- “On the Wings of a Prayer” Richard Van Camp (Reprint)
- “Ground Zero: Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue” Claude Lalumiere
- “The Food Truck of the Zombie Apocalypse” Beth Wodzinski
- “And All the Fathomless Crowds” Ada Hoffmann
- “Mother Down The Well” Ursula Pflug
- “Rat Patrol” Kevin Cockle
- “Hungry Ghosts” Michael Matheson
- “Stemming the Tide” Simon Strantzas
- “The Adventures of Dorea Tress” Rhea Rose
- “The Last Katajjaq” Carrie-Lea Côté
- “Half Ghost” Linda DeMeulemeester
- “Those Beneath the Bog” Jacques L. Condor
- “Kezzie of Babylon” Jamie Mason
- “Dead of Winter” Brian Dolton
- “The Herd” Tyler Keevil
- “Escape” TJ Brown (Reprint)
- “Dead Drift” Chantal Boudreau
The statistical breakdown of the submissions process and the authors that Silvia provides in her post speaks to the diversity of talent she pulled together for the anthology. Speaking to cultural diversity in my own work (which is always interesting to strive for, much like gender diversity, the presence of underrepresented sexual orientations or gender assignments, and non-ageist narrative), this marks the second story I’ve sold this year that’s set in Toronto and focuses on the Chinese Canadian community here, using Chinese mythology to shape the story. The other is “The Many Lives of the Xun Long”, which will appear in Masked Mosaic.
And, actually, that’s a good segue into the news that the cover art for Masked Mosaic has been revealed:
I quite like the idea of reproducing heroes from the collection on the cover [Edit: also, forgot to mention that I love the fact that the mosaic forms a giant maple leaf :) ]. I’ve been having some fun trying to figure out what costume might belong to which story. Thus far I’ve figured out Silvia’s … I think. And that inability to discern what images are indicative of which story from title alone, far from being a bad thing, speaks to the diversity of the works in the anthology and their non-generic nature. It also speaks to the understanding that the ways in which Canadians see ourselves are neither homogeneous nor stereotypical. We, as Canadians, are a nation of diverse ideas and peoples. And though we do not always do our best by ourselves or others, we pick ourselves up when we fall and keep moving, ever pursuing the ideals we strive to fulfill.
Yeah, I’m an optimist. Not that you’d know it from my fiction. Though the horrors that I write about are the ones where the world of the super- or supranatural intersects with the horrors of the real world, the latter being far more terrifying. My work is largely concerned with cutting through the seemingly serene flesh of society to expose the illness, brutalities, and depravities festering just beneath that quiescent surface. And I am so very far from alone in doing so.
Actually, that need to excavate our own psyches is merely one aspect of Canadian fiction, which is an extraordinarily diverse field to work in. But our obsessive need to explore ourselves is a mainstay of Canadian fiction, whether you’re talking about lit fic or genre (though I think horror fiction is how we do this best in Canada). The stories in which Canadian writers mine this territory are not always set directly in Canada, though Dead North and Masked Mosaic are both anthologies containing stories set specifically in Canada. But it’s not surprising that we use the backdrop of our country itself to tell these stories: Canada itself is a vast landscape, both in topographic and societal terms.
And it’s appropriate then, given that we’re talking about Canadian culture and self-referential discourse, that the third announcement here is that the cover art for yet another Canadian anthology, Chilling Tales 2, is online. I’m not sure when it went up since I haven’t checked that page in a while, but I think it’s pretty recent since I remember Mike Kelly mentioning that this cover existed some time back but also recall him saying that it wasn’t available online at that time. And since I hadn’t heard anything more from him on it I figured we were still waiting on an announcement from EDGE (who are publishing the anthology). In any case, you can find the cover art (it’s tiny and in the upper left hand corner of the page) here. I expect there will be a larger version of this at some point, but, nonetheless, I’m immensely fond of the cover art for this. It’s John Kaiine’s work, and even if Mike hadn’t told me who it was when we talked about this sometime earlier in the year I would have recognized it. Kaiine has an extremely distinctive style, and it’s in evidence here.
The fourth announcement, also concerning Canadian fiction, but in a totally different context, relates to SFContario 3. That convention is happening this weekend, and I will not only be attending, but panelling as well. You can find the full list of panels (attendees, descriptions, and scheduling information) here. My panel schedule (pulled directly from the site) is as follows:
Urban Fantasy: Fairies Around Every Corner Imagine having to battle paranormal beings while managing work and family. Caught in the midst of everyday life the supernatural can be found in the most unlikely of urban locations, Vampires, gods and monsters, and more. Our panelists discuss how a seemingly familiar world may not always be as it seems. (Timothy Carter(M), Violette Malan, Michael Matheson, Shirley Meier) Saturday 12:00 PM, Solarium
Guilt And Vengeance As A Motivation In Fiction Harry Dresden and the death of his father. Harry Potter and the death of his parents. Ray McAndrews and the death of his Grand Father. Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben and of course the origin of Batman. Throughout fiction a tragic death can stand for the hero’s call to action. What is the basis for this? Does a vendetta lend a strength that a moral sense cannot, and when does vengeance transit into a mission and tragedy into a quest? (Timothy Carter, Michael Matheson, Gareth McGorman(M), Tony Pi, Caitlin Sweet) Saturday 4:00 PM, Courtyard
As You Know Jim… Exposition is never easy. How can a writers communicate the details of a setting, magical system or incredible scientific breakthrough without losing half their audience? What makes a readers eyes glaze over and how do you avoid it? (Madeline Ashby, Danute Dorion, Michael Matheson, Caitlin Sweet(M)) Sunday 11:00 AM, Courtyard
The Future Of Privacy Fourteen years ago, on The West Wing, Sam Seaborn opined “The next two decades are going to be (about) privacy.” Technology has made it easier for people to find and share information. Yet in our increasingly online world it has become much more challenging to protect privacy. Is privacy a right to be protected our an outmoded concept? Will the future bring a further erosion of personal privacy? (Kari Maaren, Michael Matheson(M), Matt Moore, Peter Watts) Sunday 2:00 PM, Courtyard
Should be a fun set of panels given the topics and the people I’m on with. Also nice to be panelling alongside so many friends :)
And … oh god … the announcements could just potentially keep going. The FoMSSC reading period opens November 15th and the next issue of Sol Rising is coming up. And, and, and …
Okay, enough for now. I’m off to crash (just coming off World Fantasy, remember?) …