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Book Launch & Panel w/ James Bow and others

  • WPL Main Branch 35 Albert Street Waterloo, ON, N2L 5E2 Canada (map)

Canada as a Setting for Science Fiction & Fantasy

Canada Setting Scifi Event.jpg

James Bow moderates a panel of five other authors talking about Canada as a setting for science fiction and fantasy novels. Why should New York, Los Angeles, or London have all the fun? Canada boasts some of the world’s best science fiction and fantasy writers, and some of the most innovative tech sectors. We have a part to play in the wider science fiction and fantasy community, and we intend to represent.

Science fiction and fantasy writers Erin Bow, James Nicoll, Leah Bobet, James Alan Gardner, and Sarah Raughley join moderator James Bow in a free-flowing discussion of what Canada can contribute and has contributed to science fiction and fantasy. The event will take place at the Waterloo Public Library main branch on Saturday, October 5, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The panel discussion will be followed by the launch of James Bow’s new urban fantasy novel, “The Night Girl”.

Words Worth will be on hand selling books and authors available to sign copies.


James Bow was born and grew up in Toronto. He now lives in Kitchener-Waterloo with his wife Erin and his daughters Vivian and Eleanor. As well as the urban fantasy novel “The Night Girl” (launching at the WPL), he is the author of three books of YA fantasy (The Unwritten Girl, Fathom Five, and The Young City) and the Prix Aurora Award-winning YA SF novel, Icarus Down. He enjoys coming back to his home town to ride transit and explore its underground city.

Erin Bow studied particle physics before dropping out of graduate school for a lucrative career writing poetry and children's fiction. She has five novels for middle grade and young adult readers, and has won a fistful of awards, including the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year award in the young adult fiction category, and the CBC Literary Award in the poetry category. Her latest books are the Canadian-set science fiction/political thrillers THE SCORPION RULES and THE SWAN RIDERS, and the Mongolian-set middle-grade adventure STAND ON THE SKY. She writes about science for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

After working in the gaming industry from 1982 to 2001, James Nicoll became a professional book reviewer when he accepted a position as first reader for Bookspan. He later began reviewing books for Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times before launching his own review site, James Nicoll Reviews, in 2014. Nicoll also writes reviews and essays for tor dot com. When not reviewing books, or composing essays, serving on award juries, or befriending animals that turn out not to be cats, he works at the University of Waterloo’s three theatres in a variety of roles. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Leah Bobet's most recent novel, An Inheritance of Ashes, won Canada's Prix Aurora Award, Sunburst Award, and Copper Cylinder Award. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple Year's Best anthologies and been transformed into choral work by composer Timothy C. Takach, and is taught in high school and university classrooms in Canada, Australia, and the US. She was a founding editor at Abyss & Apex and editor of Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, a contributing writer for multi-platform fiction project Shadow Unit, and, for ten years, a bookseller at Toronto’s Bakka Phoenix Books. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she makes jam, plants gardens in alleyways, and contributes to access-to-democracy initiatives.

James Alan Gardner got his B.Math and M.Math with a thesis on black holes, then immediately began writing science fiction instead. He has published ten novels and numerous short stories, including finalists for the Nebula and Hugo, and winners for the Aurora, the Asimov's Readers' Choice award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His most recent novels are "All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault" and "They Promised Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded", both from Tor. In his spare time, he plays a lot of table-top role-playing games, and has recently begun writing material for Onyx Path's Scion line. In his other spare time, he teaches Kung Fu to six-year-olds.

Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to scifi/fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games, but she will swear up and down at book signings that she was inspired by Jane Austen. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all.

Earlier Event: October 2
Reconciliation Book Club
Later Event: October 15
Cooking the Books with Relish