Welcome!

"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." —Library Journal

"The man is Sturgeon good. Zelazny good. I don't give those up easy." —Spider Robinson, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." —Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award winner

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that touch your heart while making you think." —Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo & Nebula Awards winner

"Stories you can't forget, even years later." —Julie Czerneda, multi-award-winning author and editor


Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm a multi-award-winning Canadian author of speculative fiction, published in twenty-seven languages and thirty-five countries.

My short fiction has appeared in top professional magazines, including Amazing Stories, InterZone, Black Static (formerly The Third Alternative), Weird Tales, Baen's Universe, Escape Pod, Postscripts, On Spec, and Cicada.

My books include the novel The Wolf at the End of the World, the collections Chimerascope and Impossibilia, and the writer's guide Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction. I'm currently writing book 3 of an urban fantasy series (working title: The Dream Rider Trilogy).

I'm a three-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award and have been a finalist for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer (formerly the John W. Campbell Award), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

You can buy my fiction at all major retailers or directly from me. For free ebooks, store discounts, and more, join my monthly mailing list.

Enjoy the site! Feel free to send me an email or ask me questions on my writing on Goodreads here. Thanks for visiting!

New short story! "The Balance" in Pulp Literature

Cover of Pulp Literature #34I posted earlier here that I'd sold two new stories recently. New, as in not reprints. Brand new tales never before published. The first of these appears in issue #34 of the excellent Canadian multi-genre magazine, Pulp Literature, which is available now.

That name—Pulp Literature—might seem like an oxymoron, but it's an excellent description of the stories they publish. You'll find every type of genre and subgenre in their pages, including tales most typically found in the so-called pulp genres (SF, fantasy, horror, whatever), but all of them have a literary sensibility.

My story, "The Balance," is an unusual one for me. It is the first non-speculative, mainstream story I have had published. It is also a deeply personal one, since it draws from my experiences at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children (fondly known to locals as simply "Sick Kids") after the birth of our second son.

I wrote this story over two decades ago and, although I continued to submit it to short fiction markets, I had begun to believe that it was simply too personal to ever sell, that it was a story that I needed to write at the time, but it was not one that would ever see the light of publication.

So I was delighted when it sold to such a good market. I was even more delighted with the following review of the story that appeared in Amazing Stories:

"More children than we care to think about struggle to survive from the moment they’re born. It’s not fair to spend the first months of existence in an ICU undergoing constant crises and multiple operations. Exceedingly tough on the parents, of course, whose gamut of emotions range from hope to despair cycling so fast as to be kaleidoscopic in nature. Hard to remain sane under such conditions.

This story is harrowing in its authenticity. In that sense it is hard on the reader. Yet, as an exploration of every parent’s worst nightmare, both educational and profoundly moving. I truly believe reading this will in some small way help people to be better parents, or, at the very least, remind parents what miracles their children truly are.

This might be a useful story to place in a high school anthology, if only to allow teenagers to understand just how traumatic and difficult life can be for parents. Perhaps that’s a lost cause. Nobody understands parenting till they’ve become parents. But this is one hell of a glimpse for the uninitiated. Powerful story."

—Amazing Stories

And don't worry—the story has a happy ending.

"Symphony" reprinted in Earth Colonies

Earth Colonies anthology cover

Catching up on some short story sales I hadn't posted yet. My first contact story, "Symphony," appeared in the anthology, Earth Colonies, last summer.

I wrote "Symphony" for a science-fiction short story contest the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, was running at the time. Prairie Fire is based in Manitoba, Canada, and the contest was to commemorate Manitoba-born "Golden Age" SF writer, A. E. Van Vogt. Appropriately enough, Canadian SF writing great, Robert J. Sawyer, was the judge.

"Symphony" took second place in the contest and was also a finalist for the Aurora Award for best short fiction the following year.

Just before this anthology came out, coincidentally, I was interviewed via Zoom by Taipei-based writer, Todd Sullivan, about plot development, specifically in "Symphony," and in my writing in general. The interview is on YouTube here, as part of Todd's "Plotting in Fiction" series.

In his series, Todd uses voice-only interviews then adds supporting visuals. I think he did an amazing job with his selection of images for this one. I read the opening few paragraphs to start the interview. If you're interested, you buy an ebook edition of "Symphony" from my online bookstore or any of your favourite retailers here.

"Fiddleheads" reprinted in Nightmare Abbey #1

Nightmare Abbey coverMy short story, "Fiddleheads," was recently reprinted in the first issue of the new horror anthology series, Nightmare Abbey, from Dead Letter Press and editor Tom English.

I've been in several issues of Tom's Black Infinity anthology series, so being in the inaugural issue of a new series was a treat. But the biggest thrill was getting to share the very cool retro cover (right) with the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Robert Bloch, and Henry Kuttner.

Although "Fiddleheads" is a horror story and has a supernatural streak running through it, unlike most of my dark stories, in this tale, the real monster is human. 



The story: Twelve-year-old Andy Pembleton's younger brother disappeared two years ago. The loss tore Andy's world apart. His father left. His mother withdrew into guilt, all but ignoring Andy.

But Andy is going to change all of that. He has a plan to find his brother—a deeply disturbing one.

"… every parent’s worst nightmare. This was a gripping tale and goes to show that not only parents suffer when a child goes missing and how it can warp a child." — Bitten By Books

Win a free signed copy of my upcoming novel

Here is something you can do that will help me a LOT with the upcoming release of The Dream Rider Saga trilogy. It will take just a minute of your time and has some cool benefits for you as an avid reader.

I need you to follow me on BookBub:

BookBub Follow button

BookBub charges nothing to join and is massively popular with avid readers. As a member, you'll receive regular mailings announcing giveaways and great deals on books in your favourite genres, plus early notice when your favourite authors release new books (such as my upcoming Dream Rider titles, wink, wink).

But it also helps authors. The more followers an author has, the more tools BookBub provides for the author to reach new readers.

If you follow me, to thank you, I'll enter your name in a draw for one of two signed, personalized, print copies of The Hollow Boys, Book 1 in the trilogy, when it's released (or a print copy of one of my existing books, if you prefer). If you already follow me on BookBub, I'll enter your name into the contest as well, as a thank you.

So if you can, please (please please) click the button above (or go here), and then click the "+Follow" button beside my name on my BookBub profile. 

Thanks!

More on the Dream Rider Saga trilogy

I posted earlier about The Dream Rider Saga, a new urban fantasy trilogy I'll be releasing starting later this year.

The Lost Expedition, book 3 and the conclusion to the trilogy, has gone out to my wonderful beta readers and will soon go to my editor for a story level review, sometimes called a substantive edit. After I incorporate that feedback, the book goes to my line editor in early May.

The titles in the trilogy again are The Hollow BoysThe Crystal Key, and The Lost Expedition.

I decided early on (based on excellent advice from Charles de Lint) to write all three books before releasing any of them. The downside, of course, has been that I've not published any new fiction, besides short stories, for some time.

But the upside is that these books will come out quickly, with maybe 3-6 months between each title. I'm working through the release plan, but I'm aiming to have book 1, The Hollow Boys, released somewhere Oct-Dec 2022, with The Crystal Key and The Lost Expedition both released in 2023. Once the books are up on retailer sites, I'll post where you can preorder the titles here.

Thank you for your patience as I worked on writing all three books before you got to see any of them. More info to come, including the description for Book 1, The Hollow Boys.

New trilogy coming in 2022: The Dream Rider Saga

Hey all! I have a new urban fantasy trilogy coming out starting in 2022. Yes, an entire trilogy. All written and soon to be available for your reading pleasure.

It's called THE DREAM RIDER SAGA, and the books are THE HOLLOW BOYS, THE CRYSTAL KEY, and THE LOST EXPEDITION. I expect book 1 to be available late fall, with books 2 and 3 coming out in 2023. More info to come, including book descriptions and cover reveals, but right now...

...I need your help! I need you to follow me on BookBub:

BookBub Follow button

BookBub is free to join and is massively popular with readers. As a member, you'll get personalized recommendations for great deals on books (including free ones) handpicked to meet your tastes and favourite genres. You'll also get early notice of when the books become available on pre-order, including my upcoming DREAM RIDER books.

But it also helps authors, as the more followers an author has, the more tools BookBub provides to reach potential fans.

So if you can, please go here and click the "Follow" button. Thanks!

And stay tuned for more info on the books!

Sisters in Crime workshop series on short fiction: Feb 3, 10, 17

I'm giving a series of workshops (Feb 3, 10, 17) for the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime on selling short fiction and using it to build your writing career. Member free, non-members $25.

More info here.

Register here.

25 years ago tonight: a memorable New Year's Eve

Tesseracts6 coverExactly twenty-five years ago tonight, on New Year's Eve, 1996, I received a letter in the mail (yeah, snail mail back then) that I still remember fondly.

The letter was from the (even then) multi-award-winning Canadian SF writer, Robert J. Sawyer, and his award-winning poet wife, Carolyn Clink. Rob and Carolyn were guest editors of the next instalment in the annual speculative fiction Tesseracts anthology series, which would be Tesseracts6. And the letter was their acceptance of my story, "Spirit Dance," into the anthology.

It was my first sale. What a way to end a year and start a new one.

Twenty-five years ago. A quarter of a century. Yikes.

I've sold over two hundred stories since then and seen them published in twenty-seven countries and thirty-five languages. I've published three collections (Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and the translated La Danse des Esprits), a novel (The Wolf at the End of the World, which is a sequel to "Spirit Dance"), a writer's guide (Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction).

And I am currently finishing the last chapter in the final book on a new urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga, the first book of which, The Hollow Boys, will be released in 2022.

Tesseracts6 launchBut it started with that first sale. "Spirit Dance" was also the first story I'd ever written (well, as an adult), so that made the acceptance even more special. And it led to my first award, when a French translation of the story won the Aurora Award after its appearance in the Quebec magazine, Solaris.

So thanks, Rob and Carolyn, for accepting the story and making that New Year's Eve one of my best ever.

And if the quarter of a century that's passed doesn't make us feel old, this picture from the launch should do the trick. Left-to-right: me, Scott MacKay, Rob, Ed Baranosky, Carolyn, Andrew Weiner, Peter Bloch-Hansen.

Have Ship, Will Travel anthology sale

Have Ship, Will Travel anthology coverMy SF first-contact story, "Symphony," will be appearing in the upcoming space opera anthology, Have Ship, Will Travel, coming out in January from Stories Rule Press in Canada. It's a reprint, but I got a special kick out of this one.

If you're one of my newsletter subscribers, you would've received "Symphony" as your monthly ebook story back in March of this year. If you're not on my list, you can subscribe here (and get a free ebook for signing up).

And if you want to check out the excellent bunch of stories in this very large antho (over 400 pages), you can pre-order it here from your favourite retailer (note: an Amazon link will be added soon).

So what was that special kick I got? Check out the cover on the right. I'm one of the two "featured authors" at the top along with the multi-award-winning author and editor, Kristine Katherine Rusch. I've attended ever so many craft workshops given by Kris. This is my first (and likely last time) being billed ahead of her. Kris's story opens the antho and mine closes it. Very cool.

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