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 books include:

  • the upcoming YA urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga: The Hollow Boys, The Crystal Key, and The Lost Expedition;
  • the Heroka shapeshifter novels: The Wolf at the End of the World and The Wolf and the Phoenix (in progress);
  • the short story collections, Chimerascope and Impossibilia; and,
  • the writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction.

I'm a three-time winner of Canada's Aurora Award and have been a finalist for the Astounding Award, CBC's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane.

You can buy my books at all major retailers. For free ebooks, discounts, early news of new releases and more, join my monthly mailing list.

Enjoy the site! Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting!

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Read a free sample of my latest novel

The Hollow Boys coverHow would you like to read the first four chapters in THE HOLLOW BOYS, book 1 in my new urban fantasy trilogy, for free? Of course, you would. So read on!

The trilogy is called THE DREAM RIDER SAGA, and the books are THE HOLLOW BOYS, THE CRYSTAL KEY, and THE LOST EXPEDITION. The series is targeted as Young Adult / Adult crossover, meaning it will appeal to all fans of urban fantasy from mid-teens up.

The first book, THE HOLLOW BOYS, will be released on all major book retailers on October 15, 2022 and can be pre-ordered now on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Indigo, and Google Play.

The book will also be on Amazon, in both ebook and print editions, but not until the October 15 release date. The print edition will also be available through all bricks and mortar bookstores, starting on October 15.

To pre-order, just click here and select your preferred retailer. You'll be taken to the retailer's store for your home country. Its pre-order price of $2.99 USD will be increasing shortly after the release date. So pre-order and save money.

Wait (you say), what about that free sample?

Certainly. I'm making the first three chapters of THE HOLLOW BOYS available for your reading pleasure for free, so you can decide whether these books are for you.

Just go here and click on "Read the first four chapters!" link under the pre-order price, and you'll be able to read the start of the book in an online reader. Once you're done, click on the link at the end of the sample to return to the sales page, where you can click your favourite retailer to pre-order the book.

Enjoy!

New short story in On Spec Magazine!

On Spec issue coverNot quite as big news as my upcoming trilogy, but this is still special for me. I have a brand new short story (okay, novelette, or long short story) published in the current issue (#120, vol 32, no. 2) of On Spec, the fantastic "Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic."

The story is called "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" and is drawn from the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, off his "Magic" album.

I'm a huge Springsteen fan and have written other stories inspired by his songs, like "Going Down to Lucky Town" (in my collection, Impossibilia) and "Radio Nowhere" (Campus Chills, anthology, 2009).

His "Gypsy Biker's Comin' Home" tells the moving story of a family mourning the death of a son and brother, friend and husband, who has returned from a war, but in a coffin. If you don't know the song (and you should), you can listen to it here and read the lyrics here. It's Springsteen at his political and human and musical best.

Springsteen's ballads are tiny perfect jewels of stories, and this one has so many evocative lines and scenes, it was always calling to me to write something inspired by its characters and their pain and the images he paints.

"Gypsy Biker" also ties into my Merged Corporate Entity universe stories, such as "Scream Angel," "Enlightenment," and "Memories of the Dead Man" (On Spec, Winter 2005, #63 vol.17 No.4).

This is my fourth story to appear in On Spec over the years. My first was way back in 2001 with "The Red Bird," which was a finalist for the Aurora Award. My last appearance in On Spec was in 2014 with "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won the Aurora Award.

This issue also features an interview with yours truly. I hope you'll check out the issue, available to purchase in print or ebook here.

"The Red Bird" reprinted in We Who Are About To Die

We Who Are About to Die coverMy Japanese martial arts fantasy, "The Red Bird," has been reprinted in the anthology, We Who Are About to Die, from Rogue Blades Entertainment.

The antho "examines the theme of ultimate sacrifice as key to heroism. Not only the willingness to sacrifice all, but the act of sacrificing for the greater 'cause' — whatever that may be. Death can be a cost of heroism, but it might not be the greater loss come story’s end. Heroes die. And they lose things greater than life: Family. Freedom. Innocence. Faith. Ideals."

"The Red Bird" was an Aurora Award finalist when it was first published in the fine Canadian speculative fiction magazine, On Spec. It remains one of my favourite stories.

In it, like in the stories in this antho, death does not have to mean defeat and loss does not always equal failure. ... Heroes die and legends are born. A battle is lost to win a war.

I hope you'll check out a fine anthology available here.

The Hollow Boys: Cover reveal and pre-order links

The Hollow Boys cover

As I posted earlier, I have a new urban fantasy trilogy coming out starting in 2022. Yes, an entire trilogy. All three books are written and will soon 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. The series is targeted as Young Adult / Adult crossover, meaning it will appeal to all fans of urban fantasy from mid-teens up.

And (drum roll, please), the first book in the trilogy, THE HOLLOW BOYS, is now available for pre-order!

THE HOLLOW BOYS will be released on all major book retailers on October 15, 2022. Check out the very cool cover to the right (click on it to see it in its full-size glory). Click here for the book description or go to the pre-order link for your favourite retailer below.

The book can be pre-ordered now on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Indigo, and Google Play (as well as Angus & Robertson in Australia, Mondadori in Italy, Thalia in Germany, and Vivlio in France).

To pre-order, just click here and select your preferred retailer. You'll be taken to the retailer's store for your home country.

The book will be on Amazon as well, in both ebook and trade paperback print editions, but not until the actual release date of October 15. The print edition will also be available through all bricks and mortar bookstores, starting on October 15.

If you're a non-Amazon reader planning to buy the ebook, I'd appreciate it if you could pre-order it. All pre-orders on the non-Amazon retailers are counted as occurring on the release date, which obviously helps boost the book on retailer's rankings when it comes out, so it gets shown to more potential readers, which boost sales ranking, yada yada.

That helps me, but pre-ordering the book helps you, too, my loyal readers. Its pre-order price is a mere $2.99 USD, but that price will be increasing not long after the release date. So pre-ordering will save you money and help me. 

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.

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