Blood and Water is launched

I had a great time at Can-Con last weekend. Much like my son, who’s roughly the same age, Can-Con seems to grow before my eyes. It’s a lovely home-town convention to have.

It was also the place where we launched Blood and Water, the anthology Hayden Trenholm edited, and which includes a story I wrote called We Take Care of Our Own.

Cheese smuggling between Canada and the U.S. features largely in that story, and I was worried people might find that so quirky as to be unbelievable (although there were examples of butter smuggling into Norway associated with the Great Butter Shortage there last year.)

But lo and behold, our launch pretty much coincided with news of a Canada-U.S. cheese smuggling ring — although the direction of the smuggling and the economic reasons therefor are different, today, than in my story, which is set in 2041.

The hard-science elements in We Take Care of Our Own are also very close to being mass-market reality: brain-controlled Twitter messages sent via EEG, and self-driving cars.

Reading from the story for the first time at the launch was great; I chose a light-hearted bit and the crowd was very kind. Very cool to chat with my fellow Blood and Water authors Jean-Louis Trudel, Agnes Cadieux and Derek Kunsken, too. And a real thrill to sign books for people. It was also a reminder, though, that I need a signature that doesn’t look quite so much like a monkey got hold of a pen. I feel bad for these people, going home, opening their books and saying, “Gack! What is that?” Maybe I should start drawing doodles instead.

CBC’s Alan Neal interviewed Hayden at Can-Con about the anthology. It’s an interesting conversation and worth a listen.

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In other news, I’m at the checking-to-make-sure-all-the-quotes-are-curly-and-the-dashes-are-ems stage of revisions for Hold My Body Down. Exciting and horrifying in equal measure. I’ve had lots of helpful feedback from my beta readers. And my partner Brent says it’s the best thing I’ve written. So that’s something.

And in the meantime, I’ve got a couple of short stories out there, submitted to pro SF/F markets. And a few more ideas working their way to my fore-brain. So the writing life is good.

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