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Canadian SF

Information and links to Canadian science fiction resources supplied by Rick Sutcliffe's Arjay Enterprises.

Since this page deals with both Canadian fiction and science fiction (SF), the separate pages on those two topics should be read first, unless the visitor is already familiar with the ideas (or foibles) of both.

Canadian SF is, well, Canadian, eh? Thus it follows one of two patterns. The author may set the book in Canada and strive to be high-toned, symbolic, and somewhat obscure, so she can be published by a Canadian house, marketed as literary, and nominated for a Governor-General's award. Alternately, he may figuratively migrate to more pleasant climes, spell "colour" as "color", use settings that have no obvious connection to Canada, and publish with a New York conglomerate. The only thing Canadian about such science fiction is that the author derives from north of the great white speed bump from whence American weather originates, lives in a place like Edberg, Lower Economy, Moose Jaw, or Yahk, and pays taxes to the elected king of Canada instead of (or in addition to) the more plebeian Uncle Sam.

Because this is SCIENCE fiction we're talking about, and therefore set in an imaginary/alternate past, present, or future, one could argue that any distinctively Canadian contribution ought to be wholly or partly subsumed by the SF aspects of the genre.

But Canadians have always been at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation, particularly in transportation, communication, medicine, aviation, areospace, pharmaceuticals, and basic research. Since ninety percent of the population of Canada lives within a few hundred kilometres of the border, their front yard (and their SF authors' audience) is filled with ten times their number of southern cousins. But out the back window is a true frontier whose mystic haunts provoke the imagination to stellar heights, a vast canvas on which to paint literary musings. Surely therefore writing and reading SF ought to be as quintessentially Canadian as tuques, poutine, Red River cereal, lacrosse, backyard hockey, environmental protests, privy councils, honourable members, the Calgary Stampede, Come By Chance, or Spuzzum.

That is, while good Canadian SF need not explicitly demonstrate "Canadian content" or Canadian political correctness, as defined by CRTC rules, the CBC, Toronto society, or other Canadian literary establishment, Canada seems at times the very kind of place to demand that a writer looking south explain how/what/why/when things might/could/should be different, if only..., or that one looking north across the vast expanse that is Canada account for things that "bump" in the night, even though there's no "there" out there for five thousand kilometres. (Say that fast five times, will you?)

Yeah, we're different here in Canada, eh? But it has more to do with the land, methinks, than by way of distinguishing ourselves from other North Americans. Think about it. From many Canadian cities not far from the border (if you need to ask which border, you don't understand) you could walk North across Canada all the way to the North Pole without meeting another human being. Only Russia is larger than Canada. I doubt if it's colder than Canada.

To the right is a modest collection of Canadian SF links, to which we will add from time to time as they come across our path of our own volition, or are dragged in by more widely read visitors. But we reserve the sole right to decide what shall appear here, when, and with what spelling. (No erotica, porn, or links to same, please, even if it is SF.)

And finally, because this isn't just any old SF site, you'll want to note that Rick Sutcliffe's science fiction is Canadian because he is, and because a few of the scenes take place in Canada (Calgary, Vancouver, and environs) or in the same geographic area as our Canada occupies but on alternate worlds (on Hibernia, part of thinly-populated Irish North America). The reflection called for in these SF stories is upon issues, not on the nature of national self identity. That is, you won't find the stereotypical Canadian themes here to a great extent, as they shouldn't be in fiction that stands on its own. Moreover, it is SF (Science Fiction) because the plot lines reflect/depend on the use (or non use) of various technologies, whether high or low.

It's also Alternate History, so by very nature demands the reader think about choices and decisions in ethics, technology, government, and society--all things Canadians debate vigorously, endlessly, but less violently that the Celtic ancestors a good lot of them share.

Finally, although Canada can only be called "Christian" per a vague sense of value inheritance from Mother England or via cultural imitation of other parts of North America, iconoclast Rick Sutcliffe teaches Computing Science and Mathematics at Trinity Western, the only fully recognized and accredited Christian University in Canada. He's also a sometimes preacher and teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his books reflect this as much as they do his Irish Canadian heritage. So, all in all, we're talking about Canadian Christian SF, eh? (Try to sell that to New York!)

In summary, Rick Sutcliffe's Christian Celtic (Irish-Canadian) SF is alternate history and soft science fiction, but not fantasy, chiliastic nor quixotic. It is set among several alternate worlds linked by a medium called the timestream, and involves the characters in ethical decision making.

The first series, The Interregnum, takes place largely on Ortho Earth, also called Greater Hibernia, and covers the period 1941-2001, during which there was a ban on the throne and the High King's family, and a corrupt oligarchy of nobles ruled.

Volume I, The Peace, published as an electronic book, won an award nomination, was a best seller with its first publisher and received very positive reviews, particularly from Analog magazine's Tom Easton. It was republished by Writers Exchange ePublishing in December 2002.
Volume II, The Friends, is also available in electronic book form and in paper from Booksurge. It was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in June 2003 and was named the best Science Fiction novel of the year with an EPPIE 2004 award.
Volume III, The Exile was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in July 2003, and was an EPPIE 2004 finalist for Science Fiction. It is available in both electronic book and paper form.
Volume IV, The General, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in March 2006 and is available from them and their retailers in a variety of formats.
Volume V, The Nexus, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in April 2006 and is available from them and their retailers in a variety of formats.
Volume VI, The Builder, was published by Writers Exchange ePublishing in March 2012.

The second series, The Throne, takes place almost entirely on Ortho Earth, also called Greater Hibernia, and covers the period 1000-2001 and the kings and queens of Hibernia during that time.

Book 1, Culmanic Parts, contains a memoir of Catherine the great, first High Queen from 1014, the story of the thirteenth century culmanics who began Hibernia's scientific and technological revolution, and the first part of Amy Rea's fourteenth century story.
Book 2, Rea's Blood or Navy Girl or follows Amy Rea through to the battle of Trafalgar in 1440. Expected in November 2015
Book 3, Tara's Mother concludes the story of the war with Spain in 1441 and the peace that follows. Expected in January 2016

Book 4, The Paladin tells the story of Hibernia's throne from 1492 through 2001, concluding both series. Finished; Awaiting second poof reading.
All of Rick Sutcliffe's books can be purchased via links here and of course from the Publisher and other fine retailers in many formats..

The Friends The Exile

(A considerable portion of the action in The Peace and The Exile takes place in Tirdia's Canada.)


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This Arjay Enterprises page was last updated 2018 07 28