Canadian cli-fi: Harold Johnson’s Corvus

Not too long ago I got the chance to interview Canadian author Harold Johnson about his new sci-fi novel Corvus. I loved the way it handled how different things might be by the end of the century, the way he portrayed different aspects of Canadian society — the haves, the have-nots, the differences between how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities might be in the future, and, of course, people’s use of and relationship with technology. 

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Corvus coverHarold Johnson’s fifth novel Corvus is set in an imagined late twenty-first century, in which climate change and war have dramatically changed Canada.

The idea for Corvus came when Johnson heard David Suzuki, Al Gore, and James Lovelock discuss climate change. Gore asserted climate change could be fixed. Lovelock said it was too late; climate change is the new reality. He advised Suzuki to move north and build nuclear reactors for electricity.
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Lagoon, Signal to Noise, and other great books I’ve read lately

As part of a determined “read things for fun” kick (as opposed to “read for review/story research/copy edit” which had become most of my reading) as well as an attempt to read more diversely, I decided to stop adding things to my To Be Read list and start TBRing them. And thanks to many good recommendations and things like K. Tempest Bradford’s challenge, I got to read some awesome books.
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Werewolf Wednesday: Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon

I really wanted to love Red Moon. I asked the Books editor at the Free Press months in advance whether I could review it, and was thrilled when the ARC showed up. However, as much as I enjoyed Benjamin Percy’s writing and his narrative voice, there were elements of the story and the background world of his werewolves that just didn’t hang together enough, in my opinion.

This was touted as a hot book long before it hit shelves earlier this month — if you’ve read it and disagree, I’d love to hear about in the comments.

Evocative tale of werewolf ‘terrorists’ fails to deliver

Red-MoonTHE werewolf has often embodied our fears of what is wild in nature or within ourselves. In Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon, the werewolf is cast as terrorist in what could be a provocative analogy, but it ultimately fails to deliver.
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Metal Monday: Ace Frehley’s No Regrets

NoRegretsAs the founding guitarist for KISS, you’d expect Ace Frehley to have some pretty good war stories — if he can remember them. A self-confessed party animal, Frehley has been open about his addicitions to alcohol, cocaine, and painkillers.  But as he shows in No Regrets, his memory for a lot of things is just fine.

Frehley and original KISS drummer Peter Criss have been largely written out of the band’s official history over the years — at least, to hear Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley tell it. So it’s refreshing to hear the story of the band from Frehley’s point of view.
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Why you should read Walt Simonson’s entire run on Thor

MightyThorOmnibuscropIn the 1980s, superhero comics were in the process of reinventing themselves for a more sophisticated audience, and one of the creators who took advantage of that was writer/artist Walt Simonson when he took the reins at Marvel Comics’ Thor.

Chris Clarememont and John Byrne had made their mark on The Uncanny X-Men; Frank Miller and Klaus Janson had overhauled Daredevil into something epic. (Byrne and Miller, of course, later revolutionized Superman and Batman, respectively.) But Simonson, who had worked on The Mighty Thor in the late 1970s, already had mythic material to start with, and when he returned to the title he built it into a world-shattering story.
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Metal Monday: Peter Criss’s Makeup to Breakup

makeup-to-breakup-peter-crissFounding Kiss drummer Peter Criss has been promising to release a tell-all autobiography for decades, and now he’s finally done it. (Ironically, it comes a year later than fellow Kiss founder Ace Frehley’s No Regrets.) The question is whether what he has to tell illuminates anything about the early years of Kiss or his life after he quit the band in 1980.
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