THE WITCH’S DIARY
[Book Review] The Witch’s Diary is a great read for anyone who is, has, or will soon be looking for work after acquiring student debt; life can vex you, but supportive friends, staying true to oneself, and the fine art of persistence will make you adept enough to ace any test worth taking.
THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS
[Book Review] Premee Mohamed’s The Annual Migration of Clouds is a speculative novella that foreshadows post-apocalyptic Alberta, a place where climate change has ravaged the province and a mysterious intergenerational parasite called Cadastrulamyces fungi (Cad for short) can control the host’s body and mind.
TO KNOW YOU’RE ALIVE
[Book Review] Written and drawn by Dakota McFadzean between 2013 and 2020, To Know You’re Alive is a collection of graphic works printed in a combination of pink and black ink on white paper, allowing the medium to take on the characteristic look and feel of the ‘funny pages’ of a local newspaper. A splash of colour adds beautiful elegance to McFadzean’s simple art while delving into complex ideas with an often-chilling subtext. This unease invites the reader to question what they take for granted to be safe or familiar.
[Book Review] Last Tide, Andy Zuliani’s debut novel, is a dark exploration of how people come together in the midst of crises—both natural and man-made. The book is split into three parts: “Reformatting,” “Fifteen Feet,” and “Death and Surfing.” Although it is literary fiction, it bears a resemblance to disaster science fiction. Despite this, Last Tide is so frighteningly possible, readers may soon forget these origins; just because it hasn’t yet happened doesn’t mean it won’t.
DAYS BY MOONLIGHT
André AlexisCoach House Books, 2019224 pages9781552453797$19.95 Days by Moonlight follows botanist Alfred “Alfie” Homer as driver and research assistant to his parent’s friend Professor Bruno, a biographer searching for the mysterious poet John Skennen. The publisher’s website describes it as “Gulliver’s Travels meets The Underground Railroad: a road trip through the countryside – and the psyche.” Alfie is ever hopeful and constantly surprised as they encounter towns where Black residents speak only in sign language or that hold Indigenous Parades; it is a land of werewolves and witches. Days by Moonlight is a Dantesque journey taken when the sun is setting and makes us question what is real. As Alfie and Bruno…
THE LIST OF LAST CHANCES
Christina MyersCaitlin Press, 2021215 pagesISBN-13: 978-1-773860596$22.95 Reviewed by Tammi Carto Ruthie is 38 years old when she catches her boyfriend having sex on their couch with “Flower Shop Girl.” On Valentine’s day, no less. Cue the downward spiral. Ruthie lands single and unemployed on her best friend Jules’ couch. She sinks into a darkness fuelled by anger and betrayal until one day Jules forces her to answer an ad placed by the son of an elderly woman looking for someone to drive his mother from PEI to his house in BC. Ruthie considers loosening her grip on the wine bottle and abandoning her pajamas and lumpy couch, but protests. “I…
Sydney Warner BroomanInvisible Publishing, 2021128 PagesISBN 978-1-988784-79-3$20.95 Reviewed by Chris (Seabacola) Beaton The Pump is an unnerving linked story collection that is a tour of its titular town in crisis: beavers are eating people and there’s something in the water warping people’s bodies, minds, and souls. Nature is the root of this disaster, but is it truly to blame? A trigger warning feels appropriate for this book as its morbid tales can make one feel both uncomfortable and weak at the knees. The Pump is full of secrets and lore, unraveling as each story spirals further into despair. The idea of being trapped is a common theme, whether it’s on…
S. Montana KatzGuernica Editions, 2020236 pagesISBN: 1771835508$20.00 Side Effects: A Footloose Journey to the Apocalypse is a rollercoaster read through the Baby Boomer years, 60-80s, exploring the devil-may-care attitudes of a peculiarly quirky family. The narrator is the first-born daughter of that family, who offers a retrospective of past events. The book captures a post-war optimism as a newly married couple from New York set out to travel the country by motorcycle for their honeymoon. When they reach California, they are seduced by the warm climate and intellectual counter-culture and vow to live there one day as political activists. A year later they have their first child and Side Effects is told…
Alex PasseyAt Bay PressSeptember 29, 2020347 pagesISBN: 9781988168234$29.95 Mirror’s Edge is a cunning and thought-provoking debut science fiction/fantasy novel that showcases two beautifully juxtaposed worlds. It follows Rath in a technologically advanced future in which everyone and everything is connected through a MOSES chip nestled against the brainstem. Except, Rath hates his MOSES chip. He could have it removed, but doing so would make it impossible for him to function as a part of his society. Sarah’s world is beautiful and pristine, nature nearly untouched by the humans that live in a simpler world. Sarah lives in a small cabin in the woods with a large garden, a tool shed,…
WALKING ON THE BEACHES OF TEMPORAL CANDY
Walking on The Beaches of Temporal Candy is a collection of poetry split into two sections: the first being “Poems Written Travelling Around the Sun” and “Poems Written On The Walk To Work.” Both sections make use of fantastical imagery and gritty language to examine the notion of time, particularly when it passes slowly at jobs for which the employee lacks passion or during moments of anxiety over quotidian life when the strain and anger builds to a crescendo.