Interview of Derek Newman-Stille about Speculating Canada on Lynda Williams’ Reality Skimming Blog

I have recently been interviewed by the Reality Skimming Blog, facilitated by the brilliant and wonderful Lynda Williams (author of the Okal Rel Saga). I was asked about what inspired me to create the Speculating Canada site, about the relationship between Canadian SF and mainstream Can Lit, about the role of SF to engage with questions of identity, the role of SF in bringing attention to social issues, and the role of Canadian small SF presses.

You can check out our interview at

Thank you to Lynda Williams and Sarah Trick for this lovely interview.

Spec Can made the short list for a Prix Aurora Award

Dear Readers,

I have exciting news – Speculating Canada has made the short list for the Prix Aurora Awards. I am excited to see that Speculating Canada has made such an impact and that people are excited about the unique way that Spec Can explores Canadian SF.

I want to thank everyone who has participated in various ways in shaping Speculating Canada into what it is today. Speculating Canada has been very collaborative, growing out of the support, encouragement, and suggestions of readers. I have been very lucky to have very incredible Canadian SF authors and publishers take interest in Spec Can and am fortunate that so many of them have sent me books to review that I would not have otherwise encountered. I also want to thank all of those who I have interviewed for their incredible insights, general brilliance, and for giving me the exciting experience of chatting with them about things that I am really passionate about.

Here is the Short List for the Prix Aurora Awards:


I am excited to say that a few of the authors on the short list are people that I consider to be friends and that there are several works that Speculating Canada has reviewed this year that have made the short list. Here are a few links to reviews of items on the Prix Aurora Awards short list:

Karen Dudley’s Food For The Gods

Chadwick Ginther’s Thunder Road

Leah Bobet’s Above

Douglas Smith’s The Walker of the Shifting Borderland

Sandra Kasturi and Halli Villegas’ Imaginarium 2012

Helen Marhsall’s Hair Side, Flesh Side

On Spec


Thank you all for your continued support. I am so pleased that Speculating Canada has allowed me to connect with so many amazing and brilliant people.

Derek Newman-Stille

“The system was people, and I was part of it, part of its problems, and I was going to be part of the solution from now on.”

-Cory Doctorow – Homeland (Tor, 2013)

Quote – People Are Part of the Problem, People Need to be Part of the Solution

Fear and Conquest

A review of Duane Burry’s Numbered (In Here Be Monsters: Tongues and Teeth: Issue Seven, 2012)

Cover photo courtesy of the publisher

Cover photo courtesy of the publisher

Duane Burry’s Numbered presents humanity with an opportunity for interplanetary communication, a way of bridging the dark, silence of space. For a planet that has not discovered space travel, this is an incredible opportunity to speak to civilisations older and far distant than our own and share with them incredible wonders from a place of infinite diversity. The communication device is ancient in design and none of the interplanetary species that use it are aware of where it comes from.

But, the joy of interplanetary communication is quickly quashed when it is discovered that no one is willing to share anything about their distinctive worlds for fear of war. The vast interplanetary silences are not facilitated by the distance of space between worlds, but by terror and the fear of the threat that others might represent.

Numbered echoes the horrors of war and colonialism, where fear of potential threats over-rides a curiosity in different people.  Fearing war and potential threat, sentient races feel the need to conquer others before they become a threat – proving that fear is the universal constant.

To find out more about Here Be Monsters, visit their website at

Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy – June 7-8

As many of you who have been following Speculating Canada know, I like to support research in Canadian Science Fiction, particularly when it is directed toward public access and public discussions. I have given papers at the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (ACCSFF) for the past few years and have enjoyed it both for the amazing quality of the papers given, but also for the public focus and dedication to making the conference accessible to the public. I hope many of you who are in the Toronto area or able to travel to the Toronto area will join me there for exciting discussions about Canadian Spec Fic.

I have included a forwarded message from ACCSFF for those who are interested:

“The 2013 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy will be held June 7-8, 2013, at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy. Author Keynote Address speaker will be Tanya Huff, author of numerous novels including the Blood series of dark-fantasy mysteries; our Scholar Guest Speaker will be Robert Runte, one of the pioneers in the study of Canadian SF

For information on how to register, please visit their website at and go to the Events page”