cover image Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction

Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction

. Thor Publishing Company, $21.95 (383pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85747-9

This excellent collection of Canadian science fiction written in the past 20 years embodies a high level of skill and sophistication among its 25 short stories, two novel excerpts and two essays on the state of the genre. Among its haunting tales is French-Canadian Yves Meynard's ``Stolen Fires,'' about a company's revenge against a man who tries to stop the rape of a world. In ``Remember, the Dead Say,'' another French-Canadian writer, Jean-Louis Trudel, posits a fragmented North America invaded by Muslims, where a Quebec war of independence has failed and the computer net is the only hope for salvation. William Gibson contributes ``The Winter Market,'' where a talented and driven young woman sells her dreams to the world and moves into a computer network. In ``One,'' Heather Spears tells of a child growing up solo and feared in a bicephalic world where no one is ever alone, while the characters in David Duncan's ``Under Another Moon'' are hermaphrodites, born as females and becoming male in middle age. Phyllis Gotlieb tells of giant space creatures used by other species for mining in ``Mother Lode.'' Glenn Grant's ``Memetic Drift'' comes closer to home in its portrayal of a nomadic society crossing and recrossing the blighted plains of Canada in giant trailers. Charles de Lint and Spider Robinson are others who add imaginative scenarios to a distinctive volume. (Sept.)