A good, high-quality anthology of sci-fi by Canadian authors. I'd previously read #5 in this series and was disappointed - this was a MUCH stronger collection.
The Gift - Pat Forde
A sentimental, but excellent story about a young boy who seeks mentoring from a brilliant but discredited mathematician.
The Other Eye - Phyllis Gotlieb
I'd read this story before, in Gotlieb's 'Blue Apes' collection. It's one of those stories where it ends and you're like, "Wow! Just.. wow. Wait, what?" A haunting depiction of a young person in a repressive, underground society, experiencing bizarre visions.
Breaking Ball - Michael Skeet
There's a bit too much baseball in this story... but it's really about two very different brothers, one full of resentment about the past - and the realization that the future can be different - on two wildly different levels. Reminded me a bit of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.
Tales from the Holograph Woods - Eileen Kernaghan
Cogito - Elizabeth Vonarburg
Sorry, I found this story deeply annoying. The didactic way in which it is narrated made me want to strangle someone, and the oh-so-philosophical denouement was of a truly 'does-a-bear-shit-in-the-woods' complexity. Too bad, because if she'd just gone with telling a story instead of trying to be 'deep,' the premise - a future colony where people augment their senses to the point where a 'normal' person isn't considered to have a life worth living - was interesting.
Homelanding - Margaret Atwood
I'd read this story before, but it is worth re-reading. A woman tries to describe humanity to aliens. Meaningful, funny and insightful.
Uncle Dobbins Parrot Fair - Charles deLint
I didn't love the ending - but there are some truly weird and haunting moments in this story about how the magic inside every person can become real... and escape. Better make sure that what you're loosing on the world is lovely, not awful!
Invisible Boy - Cliff Burns
Eh. This story about a boy living with two people who fight all the time and are no good at parenting tries a bit too hard.
A Niche - Peter Watts
A really excellent story of psychological horror. Two women are on a submarine mission, alone on an undersea base. Both have varied issues. Is it because they are suited to the circumstances? Or are there other reasons?
Hanging Out in the Third World Laundromat - Leslie Gadallah
Yes, laundromats are boring and make you want to escape into fantasy worlds. I'm aware of that.
Happy Days in Old Chernobyl - Claude-Michel Prevost
I didn't like this one. It's an experimentally told story. "In this story, there is..." and then something. Repeatedly. It's annoying, and not much happens.
Carpe Diem - Eileen Kernaghan
Some old women in a nursing home... variously rebellious, resigned, depressed... It bears some similarity to Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go.'
Spring Sunset - John Park
Very brief piece on how the younger generation is quicker to accept the new... and how change comes with a sense of loss for the older.
Iserman's Override - Scott MacKay
An original twist on the theme of the ship's computer that's convinced it has to kill everyone aboard.
Only a Lifetime - Daniel Sernine
A meditational piece from the point of view of a generation ship's consciousness.
An Alien Sun - Leah Silverman
Against the Dust - Kelly Graves
A very Ray Bradbury feel to this one, with it's nostalgia-infused reminiscences of a small boy, playing in the fields and dirt, digging up lost things with a stick... but then he finds something more unusual than old bottles and debris...
She Announces... - Tom Henighan
Paolo to Francesca - Tom Henighan
The Pools of Air - Karl Schroeder
I only discovered Karl Schroeder recently, but I really, really enjoy his writing. A media team goes up to an unmanned probe exploring Jupiter for a human-interest story. But something goes terribly wrong, and the three of them will have to re-examine their priorities if they're to have any chance of survival.
Vishnu's Navel - Ben Begamudre
A Hindu-inspired neo-folktale.
The Winds of Time - Joel Champetier
Very brief sci-fi tale with the feel of an ancient folk tale, where artifacts from other times are borne on the wind, and repressive regimes try to prevent revolution. Lovely.
Birthday - PK Page
Hmm. A short story on the theme of death/rebirth. I didn't think it was the most successful piece here.
Phoenix Sunset - Colleen Anderson
A dystopian cyberpunk YA story, which might win an award for Most Frickin' Hopeless and Depressing Thing Ever! But I don't mind that.
Muffin Explains Teleology to the World At Large - James Alan Gardner
Why are wise men showing up in his yard, and random people adulating his six-year-old sister? Jamie's not sure. But Muffin knows more than she's telling. I don't usually like this sort of quirky/absurdist thing - but somehow, I quite enjoyed this.
Canadola - Esther Rochon
A woman reminisces about a time period where she did rough contract work on a remote planet. She had some grotesque and weird experiences. (Though I REALLY wanted the evil heads to come after her like in the 80's video game 'Space Harrier'...)
In the Land of Unblind - Judith Merril
It's kind of a poem and kind of a story, and it's really sexy...
North of Whitehorse Station - Leona Gom
It's one of those futures where there are no men. This time it was some kind of plague where all the men died. That was a while ago... long enough ago that when boys are born, they hide in fear. I dunno. I didn't really like the assumption that even trained into submissiveness, that awful male aggression will threaten to burst out... Overall, I had a very been there, done that feeling about this. It was interesting - once.
Under Another Moon - Dave Duncan
I only read one novel by Duncan, years ago, and I don't remember being impressed by it. But I actually loved this story. It had a VERY original take on gender relations - but it also told a good story while exploring it. (Basically, children and the elderly are considered to be gender neutral, and every individual goes through a life phase as a woman, and then as a man.)
Proscripts of Gehenna - Jean-Louis Trudel
Remote colony. Life is tough. Surrounded by werewolves. The werewolves will inherit the world... I liked it.
Doing Television - William Gibson
William Gibson is one of my very favorite authors. This is very good, but it's not one of his major works. Cyber-mood piece.
The Water Man - Ursula Pflug
Hmm. Water. Is it a drug? Not sure. Trippy and surreal, set in an artists' studio.
Guinea Pig - Francine Pelletier
Shades of 'Never Let Me Go,' again... the rich mysteriously get organ donations... and a little girl flees after hearing some half-understood but disturbing words...
Final Instructions - Lesley Choyce
A final poem.