Quill and Quire

Book culture

« Back to

Northern chills: conversations on Canadian horror literature

Claude Lalumière


Is this an exciting time for genre writing? I think what’s fuelling this Canadian renaissance a little bit is that decades of very rigorous genre boundaries are eroding. Fifteen years ago it would have been unthinkable for publishers in Canada to come out with genre anthologies. We’re seeing that fiction can be fiction, whether it’s called science fiction, horror, gothic, fantasy, mainstream, literary, or whatever. Now, more than ever, you see fiction that’s hard to put in a box.

Do you think readers are more openminded? Readers are becoming more open, or caring less about which category their fiction fits into. You increasingly see science-fiction books marketed as mainstream. More imaginative modes of storytelling, which used to be the domain of strict genre categories, are no longer.

What do you hope Canadian horror looks like in five years? My hope is that all these aesthetically different ways of approaching literature will feed into a pan-generic Canadian fiction that embraces both the fantastic and realism, and doesn’t really care on which side of the border it takes place.  – Alex Huls