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Fall preview 2014: short fiction and crime fiction

In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at fall’s most anticipated titles.

SHORT FICTION

TheFreedomInAmericanSongsIn each successive season, Biblioasis (a small press in Windsor, Ontario) adds to one of the most impressive catalogues of short fiction being published anywhere in this country. This fall, it will release two new collections, including one by an undisputed master of the genre: Diane Schoemperlen. Her new work is billed as a sequel to the Governor General’s Literary Award–winning 1998 collection Forms of Devotion, which combined prose and images to tell its stories. By the Book: Stories and Pictures ($29.95 cl., Sept.) goes even further, comprising a series of stories interspersed with 73 colour collages that nostalgically evoke handbooks and encyclopedias of bygone eras. • Also in September, Biblioasis will publish the sophomore collection from Kathleen Winter, whose previous collection, boYs, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award. Featuring an erstwhile Zamboni mechanic who has entered the funeral business, a dog with a chastity belt, and a septuagenarian tree climber, The Freedom in American Songs ($19.95 pa., Sept.) showcases Winter’s offbeat, humorous sensibility.

Eliza Robertson’s story “My Sister Sang” was shortlisted for the 2013 Journey Prize, and another, “We Walked on Water,” won a 2013 Commonwealth Regional Prize. Robertson’s highly anticipated debut collection, Wallflowers ($22 pa.), is out from Hamish Hamilton Canada in August. • Vancouver’s Wayde Compton is known as a poet and social critic; he was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award for his non-fiction work After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region. Compton shifts gears this fall, with a book of linked stories focusing on place and identity. Arsenal Pulp will publish The Outer Harbour ($16.95 pa.) in October. • Also from Arsenal Pulp is the debut collection from frequent Q&Q contributor Shawn Syms. Nothing Looks Familiar ($15.95 pa., Oct.) is a suite of stories that ranges widely in subject and voice, but maintains a focus on marginalized or disenfranchised characters.

Marguerite Pigeon follows up her 2013 debut novel, Open Pit, with a collection of stories about travellers, drifters, and people on the move. Some Extremely Boring Drives (NeWest, $19.95 pa.) hits the road in September. • In his other job, dark fantasy/horror writer David Nickle is a journalist covering Toronto’s city hall. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that one of the stories in his second collection is about “a big-city mayor who delineates his mandate by the slash of a knife.” ChiZine Publications will debut Knife Fight and Other Struggles ($18.99 pa.) in October.