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Here is the latest in a yearly collection of speculative fiction stories and poems from north of the border, in Canada.
At an isolated research station in the north, one story concerns talking lemmings who are looking forward to being eaten by other predators. There is a modern-day vampire story. Mother Teresa moves into an elderly woman's home, and turns it into an orphanage. A group of aliens about to terraform Earth are totally enthralled by the singing of an elderly eskimo woman who knows that she has reached the end of her life. There is a near-future computer-controlled war story. A man wakes up one morning to find himself conscious, but physically unable to get out of bed. Then he finds that he has turned invisible. His wife, who thinks that he left her in the middle of the night, goes into a deep depression. Then civil order collapses as thousands, then millions, of people similarly disappear.
There is a wide variety of stories here; something for everyone. Read this an example of the state of speculative fiction in Canada, or read this as simply a group of really good stories. Either way, read it.
Seven of the 23 collected pieces have been previously published; the others appear here for the first time. While all the authors are from Canada, in introductory and closing sections, the editors each note that there really is no meaningful or helpful classification of "Canadian speculative fiction." In his foreword, Ryman notes that among the selections in this loosely-defined genre of speculative fiction are science fiction, Christian miracle tales, ones based on pagan themes and content, and others depicting inexplicable events. Hopkinson in her closing section "Final Thoughts" cites the variety of humor--satire, buffoonery, camp, etc.--found in many of the stories. A few of the pieces are short-shorts of only a page or two, a couple in verse; the longest is over 60 pages. Detailed biographical notes on the number of authors at the back lead readers to additional works.