Friday, May 23, 2003

On Spec Editorial Collective. On Spec: The First Five Years. Edmonton: Tesseract, c1995.

This is a pretty good collection of Canadian SF stories from On Spec magazine. It has some fairly familiar names, such as Robert J. Sawyer and James Alan Gardner (both with very good stories from before they were famous), but it also features several less well known authors with very strong entries such as Derryl Murphy, Sally McBride, Erik Jon Spigel and Jason Kapalka. On the other hand, some of the items carry the weight of their small press origins with poor writing, "one-liner" surprise endings and a large dose of self-important "weighty" prose. Some also bear out the stigma of Canadian SF being grim and humourless, more literary and much less fun that its American counterpart. All in all, worth reading for the good ones, but beware the clunkers.


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