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Tesseracts Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast

Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon, Editors

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, Inc.

Published : 2013

Copyright : All contributions copyright by their respective authors 2013

ISBN-10 : PB 1-77053-044-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-77053-044-7

Publisher's Write-Up

What is a tesseract? You can google it and go a little nutso perusing Wikipedia or try to find a simple definition: a four-dimensional equivalent of a cube, or a hypercube, having sixteen corners. But why, back when the Tesseracts anthologies began some twentyplus years ago with Judith Merril editing the first one, did they name it "Tesseracts"? I think it was a funky new shape discovered in mathematics and the advent of the computer age. A tesseract was more than what it seemed, had more surfaces than you first thought, and had a depth that changed depending on how you looked at it.

Now here we are at Tesseracts 17, where Steve Vernon and I have spent buckets of time in the hypercube trying to pull out all those facets and surfaces, all those edges and corners, for you to look at and perceive. Tesseracts is somewhat like the Tardis--bigger on the inside than on the outside... We could not gather all the types of stories and poems that fill the voids in our minds, but we tried to give a good representation of what it means to be in Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast. In reading the many submissions we found that there were tales of Wendigo, werewolves, vampires and a host of reanimated dead, though not all of them zombies. There were gentle tales of transformation and other terrors of madness and encountering the demons we know and fear. Character faced the trials of space and the spaces within.

And indeed, from Canada's inland border with the US, to the warmer Pacific waters, to the chilly depths of the Maritime Atlantic, and the mysterious tundra of the North, these are the reaches of Canada's geography. But the mindset of Canada's writers stretches farther. Tesseracts 17 is rich with tales about people: there are housewives and men who find themselves in unusual and terrifying circumstances, children who deal with the transformations of their lives and their worlds, potters, keepers of light, wine reviewers, out-of-work graduates, pilots, apprentice chefs, writers, yak herders, dead actors, game leaders, and those who just have a job to do.

With nearly four million square miles of territory and a population of thirty-four million people – Canada lives and breathes storytelling. Editors Steve Vernon and Colleen Anderson have gathered thirty fresh new stories and poems of horror, science-fiction and fantasy from authors residing in EACH of the provinces and territories of Canada.

Find out what cold darkness lurks in the heart of a Tuktoyaktuk blizzard. Hear a long-lost legend, lingering by a lonely lighthouse, perched on the shores of Manitoulin Island. Meet a hambone ghostly actor in search of his next gig in the Ottawa Museum of Nature. Learn the colors of the graffiti that tattoo the grey tenement walls of Montreal. In the Maritimes find out how coming events can be foreseen in a few shards of pottery or solve a murder by reliving the memory of a dead man. Explore a distant future, rife with acronym or trace the delicate fancies of the calligrapher’s daughter.

Come join us on a magnificent cross-country trek through worlds familiar and unknown and enjoy over two dozen stories and poem - fantastic and frightening; inspirational, illuminating and eerily surreal.

Featuring works by: Catherine Austen, Jason Barrett, John Bell, Dave Beynon, Dwain Campbell, Rachel Cooper, Megan Fennell, David Jón Fuller, Ben Godby, Costi Gurgu, Alyxandra Harvey, Dianne Homan, Eileen Kernaghan, Claude Lalumière, Mark Leslie, Catherine MacLeod, William Meikle, Elise Moser, Dominik Parisien, Rhonda Parrish, Vincent Grant Perkins, Lisa Poh, Timothy Reynolds, Patricia Robertson, Rhea Rose, Holly Schofield, Lisa Smedman, J.J. Steinfeld, Steve Vernon, Edward Willett.

'Tesseracts Seventeen is a collection of new short stories and poems of horror, science-fiction and fantasy from authors in each of the provinces and territories of Canada. There is something for every taste. Well-written, and certainly varied in content, this volume follows in the tradition of the "Tesseracts" series and will appeal to lovers of the anthology format. Recommended.'

CM Magazine
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (310816) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
Here is another compendium of weird stories from north of the border, in Canada. A new mother can't leave her baby alone for a second, out of fear that The Wall will devour the child. It's a creature that creeps along walls, looking like a shadow, and with very sharp teeth. On the other side of The Wall is a land of torment straight from Hell. Another story looks at the difference between people who are spiritual without believing in a specific religion, and those who are absolutely sure of the infallibility of religious doctrine, for instance, without being spiritual. What if all new-borns are genetically tested, and the "non-believers" are killed?

A doll tells a little girl a story about vultures who go down chimneys, and kidnap little children as they sleep. They are taken to the deep, dark Underground, where the goblins live. The "lucky" ones are cooked and eaten, and the "unlucky" ones are sent to the mines as slaves. A young man visits his grandfather's grave, which now has an interactive video of Grandpa (the software needs some diagnostic help). He also burns his worthless Ph.D. in Education, because there no longer are any live school teachers. All over the world, strange spheres appear and tell people "touch me and you will get twenty thousand dollars" (or win a cow, or save one hundred acres of rainforest, etc.). Their prizes come due in sixty days. Do they actually get their prizes?

As usual with this series, this is a first-rate group of stories. They are not specifically science fiction, or fantasy, or horror, but somewhere in the middle. They are the sort of tales that could easily be on a TV show like The Twilight Zone. It is very much worth reading.
Paul Lappen (31st August 2016)

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