Book Reviews in March 1993 Issue

Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy
by David Ketterer,

Indiana University Press
228 pages $11.95 CT
ISBN: 0253331226
Book Review
First Word on the Subject
by R Hadji
Until quite recently, the suggestion that a peculiarly Canadian science fiction and fantasy exists would have met with a response similar to that of the apocryphal Portuguese navigator who first overlooked these shores: 'ca nada' (nothing here).
The Reaver Road
by Dave Duncan,

pages $5.99 MM
ISBN: 0345374819
The Cutting Edge
by David Duncan,

Ballantine Books
400 pages $18 TC
ISBN: 0345378962
Book Review
The Old Order Crumbles
by John Doyle
Anyone unamused by lusher styles of fantasy-writing will find the clarity in Duncan's work refreshing. In this book, for instance, when one of the ballyhooed warlocks makes his first appearance, his first words are "You nearly screwed up!"
Winds of Wastelands
by Anthony Swithin,

pages $6.95 MM
ISBN: 0006178545
Saber & Shadow A New Adventure in the Fifth Millennium
by S. M. Stirling, Shirley Meier,

384 pages $5.99 PF
ISBN: 0671721437
Book Review
Swords and Sorceries
by C Ellis
Inside and outside, from the typographical errors to the Nancy Drewmeets-Frank Frazetta cover, this swordand-sorcery epic is in most respects conventional and superficial.
The Harvest
by Robert C. Wilson,

Bantam Books
408 pages $23 TC
ISBN: 0553091239
Book Review
More Than Human
by Douglas Barbour
One of the major differences between reading science fiction in the '50s and reading SF in the '90s has to do with a complex rearrangement of genre expectations and attendant formalities.
From a Whisper to a Scream
by Samuel M. Key,

272 pages $5.99 MM
ISBN: 0425134679
Northern Frights
by Don Hutchison,

200 pages $19.95 TP
ISBN: 0889625646
Book Review
Dark Fantasies
by Lynne Luven
These two publications offer lovers of the macabre the chance to imbibe their thrills in little sips or, in the case of Samuel Key's latest novel, in one big gulp.
Maerlande Chronicles
by Elisabeth Vonarburg, Jane Brierley,

pages $8.95 TP
ISBN: 0888782942
Book Review
Words Taking Root
by Shirley Brady
Both books are set in societies that are products of an unspecified catastrophe that occurred hundreds of years earlier; both feature independent female protagonists who are on a quest; and both deal with sexual politics and gender relations.
Ark of Ice Canadian Future Fiction
by Choyce,

pages $14.95 PF
ISBN: 0919001734
Book Review
Canadian Specific
by Eric McCormack
It appears that mainstream fiction is the truly "escapist" genre. It clings to its comforting delusions that certain things are "perennial," "universal," "unchanging"; it insists, "thus has it been, thus will it ever be" (or words to that effect).
Gatherer of Clouds
by Sean Russell,

528 pages $6.5 MM
ISBN: 0886775361
Tesseracts 4
by Michael Skeet, Lorna Toolis,

pages $8.95 PF
ISBN: 0888783221
Book Review
Leaving Genre Behind
by George Kaufman
One of the stories is so emotionally and politically powerful that it alone is worth the price of the book.
The Invisible Man
by Michael Coren,

pages $16 TP
ISBN: 0394223322
Book Review
Wars with the World
by Robin Britt
Biographies are competitive creatures, always delighted to unearth some tidbit of information overlooked in previous lives of their subjects, and positively ecstatic when developing a brand-new slant on an entrenched reputation.
Taking Root The Origins of the Canadian Jewish Community
by Gerald J. Tulchinsky,

University Press of New England
367 pages $40 TC
ISBN: 0874516099
Antisemitism in Canada History & Interpretation
by Alan T. Davies,

312 pages $39.95 CT
ISBN: 0889202214
Book Review
Nothing Short of Chilling
by Joel Yanofsky
While this sort of vandalism is rare in this province and this country, it's hardly unheard of. What is unheard of is the fact that all of these acts took place on the same day. They weren't random; they were carefully planned.
Fifty Tales of Toronto
by Donald Jones,

256 pages $40 TC
ISBN: 080202761X
Guy's Guide to the Flipside
by Guy Bennett,

pages $10.95 CT
ISBN: 0889782504
Book Review
City Life
by Cary Fagan
As I read these two books I couldn't help imagining their authors sitting together in a restaurant: Mr Jones well-groomed and wearing a conservatively cut suit, and Guy in a leather jacket smelling of cigarettes and stale beer.
The French Quarter The Epic Struggle of a Family - & a Nation - Divided
by Ron Graham,

276 pages $27.95 TC
ISBN: 0921912374
French Canadians
by Michel Gratton,

pages $26.95 CT
ISBN: 1550134388
Book Review
All in the Family
by Donald Swainson
Since the rise to power of jean Lesage and his Liberals in 1960, Quebec has been an economic, social, cultural, intellectual, and political cauldron. We have had to adjust to the Quiet Revolution.
Pinocchio's Wife
by Michael Kenyon,

pages $25.95 TC
ISBN: 0887508952
Nights in the Yungas
by Stephen Henighan,

pages $16 PT
ISBN: 0920633978
Book Review
Others in Our Lives
by Merna Summers
When he is at his best, Henighan is a writer who respects his material, and offers us close and convincing observation.
Graven Images
by Audrey Thomas,

pages $6.99 TP
ISBN: 0140174729
Book Review
Mistress of Tart Remarks
by Elisabeth Harvor
The chunky shadow of the traveller's notebook falls across the novel as well, and it's also clear that Thomas often can't resist the temptation to collage even this fractured material, jazz it up.
Courage in the Air Canada's Military Heritage
by Arthur Bishop, F. R. Sutherland,

pages $29.99 OT
ISBN: 0075513765
by Lavender,

pages $7.98 OT
ISBN: 0075514664
Dictionary of Canadian Military History
by David J. Bercuson, J. L. Granatstein,

228 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0195411072
Shadows of War, Faces of Peace

pages $29.95 CT
ISBN: 1550134361
Silent Battle Canadian Prisoners of War in Germany, 1914-1919
by Desmond Morton,

232 pages $26.95 CT
ISBN: 1895555175
Book Review
Passages at Arms
by Robert Stamp
Five new titles about Canada's experiences in war and peace.
Plotting Prolifically
by Pat Barclay
I get really tired of people judging things by the lowest common denominator. You get people saying, "Science fiction is just all ray guns and 'Star Trek' and it's garbage."
Madly into the Future
by Dale Sproule
Canadian speculative fiction is entering the new wilderness at light speed.
Three Happy Families
by Heather Spears
The boy just looked about, almost as if he were deciding which baby I'd like best, and then picked Maho up and put her in my arms.
Profile - Getting Respect
by Andrew Weiner
Robert J. Sawyer is set to plunge into the strange alien galaxy of the CanLit mainstream.
Opinion - Professionally Pulped
by Terence Green
Fast-food fiction + retro reviewing = literary indigestion.
The Rose Tree
by Mary W. Keane,

256 pages $29.99 TC
ISBN: 0708933769
The Katzenbody Problem
95 pages $14.95
ISBN: 0887532489
Some Great Thing
by Lawrence Hill,

pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 0888011679
Spin Dry
by Greg Hollingshead,

Mosaic Press
210 pages $19.95 TC
ISBN: 0889625182
by Lee Maracle,

224 pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 0919441416
Brick, Looking Up
by Grant Loewen,

190 pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 0919688322
Paint Cans
by Paul Donovan,

256 pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 0921586183
What Ever Happened to Sniffy Quinn?
by Derek Yetman,

pages $11.5 TP
ISBN: 0921692358
Hockey Night in the Dominion of Canada
by Eric Zweig,

352 pages $17.95 CT
ISBN: 1895555078
First Novels
First Novels - Trusting Laughter
by Douglas Hill
ERIC ZWEIG's Hockey Night in the Dominion of Canada (Lester, 339 pages, $17-95 paper) combines a lightly fictionalized, heavily detailed history of the game's early days with a hokey terrorist subplot. The book will be of interest chiefly to hockey fans. Whatever Happened to Snuffy Quinn? (Jesperson, 169 pages, $11.50 paper), by Derek Yetman, is a complicated, mechanical, and not very enthralling political thriller set in Africa; the plot mixes illegal ivory and a military coup. The writing is u
Field Notes
Field Notes - Finding your voice
by Gloria Hildebrandt
I must represent a large proportion of 'Books in Canada' readers in my dreams of writing a book and getting it published. Another large chunk of readers must be Those Who Got There Before Me...
Field Notes
Field Notes - Cultural Representations
by Debra Martens
What hasn't changed is that the Canada Council is still a corporation, and "not an agent of Her Majesty." Nor are its employees part of the public service. This is in keeping with the Canada Council's arm's-length relationship with the government.
George Fetherling
Last Words - Testing the Waters
by Alec McEwen
In an issue of the Writers' Union of Canada's newsletter, an author remarked that when it comes to film rights, "Somehow we book writers fall between the cracks."
Three by Three Short Stories
by Anne Dandurand, Claire De, Helene Rioux, Luise Von Flotow, Luise Von Flotow,

122 pages $12 TP
ISBN: 0920717691
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Becky Liddell
For many readers outside Quebec, feminist writing in French is likely associated with the challenging, non-linear work of authors such as Nicole Brossard.
A Whole Brass Band
by Anne Cameron,

300 pages $17.95 TP
ISBN: 1550170759
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Roger Mason
We've already encountered this character in many novels and television comedies, of course, but Cameron manages to individuate her nonetheless.
Geography of Voice
by D. McGifford,

pages $19.95 CT
ISBN: 0920661270
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Allan Casey
Rohinton Mistry's depiction of a Goan Catholic who works as a servant of rich Bombay Parsis is warm and quaintly funny - but her way of life, in the end, seems spiritually suffocating.
Nature Power Stories from an Okanagan Elder
by Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire,

University of Washington Press
272 pages $17.95 TP
ISBN: 0295972238
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Non-Fiction
by John Doyle
Wickwire has successfully retained the engaging tone and rhythm of Robinson's delivery by presenting the stories as long prose-poems. These stories also establish Robinson as a cultural icon whose gift, fortunately, was recorded forever.
Double Talking Essays on Verbal & Visual Ironies in Canadian Contemporary Art & Literature
by Linda Hutcheon,

160 pages $25 PT
ISBN: 1550221396
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Non-Fiction
by Stanley Fogel
Although geared to the academic "pomo" mill (one of the few non-recessionary industries at the moment), the volume is a readable one, as is usually the case with a work written or edited by Linda Hutcheon.
Theory of Sediment
by Steve McCaffery,

160 pages $17.95 TP
ISBN: 0889222991
Chateau Puits 1981
by Mia Anderson,

pages $10.95 PT
ISBN: 088982116X
Alley Alley Home Free
by Fred Wah,

96 pages $8.95 PT
ISBN: 0889950881
Blue Mind's Flower
by Janet Read,

96 pages $12.95 PT
ISBN: 0920259413
How Do You Feel?
by K. Emmott,

pages $9.95 TP
ISBN: 1550390279
Fortress of Chairs
by E. Harvor,

pages $9.95 PT
ISBN: 1550650246
Month's Mind
by John V. Hicks,

80 pages $11 PT
ISBN: 1895449014
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Poetry
by Charlene Diehl-Jones
A book of poetry is the perfect cafe companion: engaging, provocative, available wherever you are. So here's some of the company I've enjoyed with my cafe au lait in Montreal cafes these past months.
1992 Best Canadian Stories
by David Helwig, Maggie Helwig,

pages $29.95 TC
ISBN: 0887508928
Brief Reviews
Breif Reviews - Fiction
by Roger Mason
Helwigs' annual collection shines one of those spotlights, and this is one writer and reader who - sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing with their focus - hopes they will continue to do so for years to come.
Fall down Easy
by Laurence Gough,

pages $6.99 PT
ISBN: 0771034431
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Anne Denoon
Gough keeps the plot thickening by the time-honoured but still effective device of alternating chapters that track the activities of the police, the perpetrator, and, eventually, a couple of other players who also have something to hide.
Kitchen Talk Contemporary Women's Prose & Poetry
by Edna Alford, Claire Harris,

304 pages $18.95 TP
ISBN: 0889950911
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Louise Fabiani
A collection such as this gives a large number of women the opportunity to vent their spleen or open their hearts; in more respects than one, food is like religion.
How to Make Great Stuff for Your Room
by Mary Wallace, Mary Wallace,

88 pages $8.95 TP
ISBN: 0920775853
Manny's Many Questions
by Louise Framst,

24 pages $0 TP
ISBN: 096955382X
Kelly's Garden
by Louis Framst,

24 pages $0 TP
ISBN: 0969553838
Desdemona Saves the Day
by Eileen Pettigrew,

pages $7.95 TP
ISBN: 1550410237
Why Seals Blow Their Noses Canadian Wildlife in Fact & Fiction
by Diane Swanson, Douglas Penhale,

80 pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 155110038X
Eat Up!
by Candace C. Savage, Gary Clement,

Firefly Books, Limited
56 pages $9.95 TP
ISBN: 1895565138
Real Live Science Top Scientists Present Amazing Activities Any Kid Can Do
by Jay Ingram, Jay Ingram,

48 pages $16.95 CT
ISBN: 1895688000
Children's Books
Children's Books - Active Information
by Janet McNaughton
Presses such as Kids Can, Groundwood, and Greey de Pencier (which also publishes 'Owl' and 'Chickadee' magazines) produce activity books that give kids a chance to experience science at home using only kitchen-sink equipment.
At Large
At Large - The Colony Strikes Back
by Michael Coren
There is no doubt that colonialism is indeed an egregious thing and that Canada, and its arts community, is still suffering as a result of British ravages.
Douglas Fetherling
Douglas Fetherling - Diplomatic Presence
by Douglas Fetherling
I write this at the time of President Bill Clinton's inauguration, when people have begun to wonder which former cowboy, bootlegger, or political bagman he might appoint as American ambassador to Canada.
First Novel Award
The Short List
What was the best first novel of 1992? We're not telling until the next issue, but we can confide that the following have been selected as finalists for the 1992 Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award.

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