Here in Canada, the last weeks of August make us hearken to the words of the Starks: winter is coming. Only a couple of short months remain for us to stockpile all the provisions we need to see us through half a year of snow and cabin fever, and new books are right at the top of the list. Thankfully, Canadian authors are happy to provide us with genre fiction to help while away the hours. Here are a few books coming out this fall to soften the feel of the icy winds blowing in from the north…
Experimental Film by Gemma Files (ChiZine—November 17)
It seems like some short story anthologies have one story that everyone talks about, and when Clockwork Phoenix II came out, that story was each thing I show you is a piece of my death. Written by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, the story combines a refined understanding of filmmaking and film history with the deft ability to write creeping horror. Experimental Film is sure to follow suit, as it is the story of a film scholar who becomes obsessed with an obscure clip of silent film footage and the ghosts it contains. The early history of film is a captivating topic that readily lends itself to genre – after all, those early moving pictures resembled nothing so much as magic to the crowds they attracted, and ghosts and film have been a classic pairing from the start.
An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet (Clarion—October 6)
I was fortunate enough to hear Leah Bobet read from the first chapter of this book at Readercon in July, and I was instantly hooked. Two sisters are trying to hold together their farmstead in the wake of a war against a dark god, but when they hire a wandering veteran to help them through the winter, all the phantoms of the war begin to crash against their gates. I really enjoyed Bobet’s first novel, Above, which was an urban fantasy set in Toronto. I’m excited to see what she does with a rural, post-apocalyptic setting in An Inheritance of Ashes. I think it will be an ideal match for the no-nonsense beauty of her prose, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica (Tor Books—December 1)
This is the second book in a trilogy that began with Child of a Hidden Sea, in which a woman from San Francisco is transported to Stormwrack, a sea-faring nation in the middle of political upheaval. She soon finds herself caught up in a conflict that she was unknowingly a part of all along. A Daughter of No Nation is set to pick up where the first book left off, following the protagonist in her continued adventures as she tries to piece together the connection between the two worlds. This promises to offer more of the swashbuckling, intrigue, and intricate world-building that made the first book such a fun ride, and the fact that it’s a series means it offers three times the winter evening entertainment value.
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly—September 15)
Kate Beaton’s new comic collection offers up a wild array of characters, from Heathcliff to Wonder Woman. Her work manages to walk the border between intellectual and hilarious, and has a lot to offer to anyone who is a student of literature and history. I became a fan of Beaton’s work when it existed purely as a web comic and greatly enjoyed her first collection, so being excited about this is a real no-brainer for me. I especially enjoy the Canadian in-jokes and digs at the Romantic poets.
Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley (Sourcebooks—October 15)
Existing in the nebulous intersection of romance and historical fantasy, Susanna Kearsley’s books tend to emphasize atmosphere, setting, and a cast of eccentric characters. Named of the Dragon follows a literary agent with a sad past who encounters romance and Arthurian mystery while on holiday in Wales. Kearsley’s best known book, The Winter Sea, also deals with a modern protagonist who gets caught up in ancient shenanigans while staying in the UK. It was an enjoyable place to spend a few evenings, and it seems like Named of the Dragon will offer a similar experience with Wales and Arthurian lore in place of Scotland and Jacobite intrigue. Being a lifelong fan of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence, I’m going to hope that this reads like a grown up romance version of The Grey King.
*Edited to add* It has been brought to my attention that Named of the Dragon is actually a reprint and not a new title being released this fall. But the new cover is super classy and I am excited to read it!
Featured image from Cynthia Sheppard‘s cover art to A Daughter of No Nation.
Caitlyn Paxson is a writer and storyteller. She is an editor at Goblin Fruit, and can sometimes be found discussing folklore and pop culture on the Fakelore Podcast or performing with the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours.