Canadian Report - June 2002
By Asta Sinusas
(Images link to reviews, Amazon.com, or publisher pages.)

There are a few books out this month doing the maple leaf proud and now that hockey seasonís officially over, I can finally get to enjoy them.

Below the 49th parallel: SF books by Canadian authors that are available in Canada but published by US houses.

To Trade the Stars by Julie E. Czerneda  (Daw/0756400759/C$9.99/$6.99 mass market original) While most think that the words ďmass marketĒ are a kiss of death for critical acclaim, itís a great strategy for attracting consumers since it is a low risk investment. Didnít like it? Who cares! It wasnít like you had to apply for a second mortgage on the house like you do to purchase most hardcovers. (see review).

Dorsai Spirit by Gordon R. Dickson (Tor/0312877641/C$35.95/$25.95 hardcover omnibus) Though he moved to the US at 13, Gordon R. Dickson started out above the 49th Parallel. The repackaging of Dorsai! and The Spirit of the Dorsai frames the mercenary culture nicely and balances the roles of the men in the first with those of the women in the second. David Drakeís introduction argues that while not the best novel ever written, it is still ďa standard against which the subgenre of military SF must be judged.Ē He goes on to draw comparisons between Dickson and Heinlein. Regardless, anyone who writes about strong, capable women gets my vote. (to be reviewed in July's issue)

Dance of Knives Dance of Knives by Donna McMahon (Tor/0312875363/$15.95 trade paperback) The mixed reviews make one think that Donna McMahon's debut novel, which came out last May,  is better as coming of age adventure than great literature, but that may not be a bad thing, especially when you can pick it up as a paperback.

Spirit Singer by Edward Willett (is a young adult fantasy which has been collecting some good buzz since it's release in late 2001. Check out the authorís website (www.edwardwillett.com) for more info.  

There are still problems at Generalís warehouse so yet again Bakkaís release of Dave Duncanís West of January is delayed yet again. The good news is that the courts have decided that Generalís relationship with client publishers was not one of trustee, but rather of debtor/creditor. (That mouthful being said, no one still has any idea when books will be able to leave Generalís warehouse.)

On a happier note, the shortlist for the Starburst Awards (for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, www.sunburstaward.org) has been announced:

And finally, prepare yourselves for the launch on June 25th of Amazon.caís new website. Recent gossip reveals that by setting up shop with CanadaPost, Amazon may have won publisherís approval, but certainly hasnít encouraged warm, cuddly feelings from local independent bookstores, who see the online retailer as the personification of online competition.

To all those who will be attending the June 22nd reading at Bakka in Toronto, I hope to see you there. (Iíll be the one wearing the camera.) In the meantime, if youíve got a tidbit from the Great White North, please email me at astasin@hotmail.com

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu