Books

11 Canadian science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy books to read this summer

If you are a sci-fi and fantasy fan, we have a reading list for you.

If you are a sci-fi and fantasy fan, we have a reading list for you. Here are 11 Canadian science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy books to read this summer.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Candle and the Flame is a debut YA novel by B.C.-based author Nafiza Azad. (Submitted by Scholastic Canada, Scholastic Press)

The Candle and the Flame is based on Arabic legends and Islamic mythology. The fantasy novel is about a girl named Fatima who lives in a city along the Silk Road that is caught in the middle of a magical war between tribes. 

The Candle and the Flame is for ages 12 and up. It was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction.

Nafiza Azad was born in Fiji. The writer of children's literature identifies as Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian and is now based in B.C. 

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Hunted by the Sky is a book by Tanaz Bhathena. (Nettie Photography, Penguin Teen)

Hunted by the Sky is a YA adventure novel set in medieval India. Gul, a young girl, has a birthmark on her arm that makes her a mark. Her parents were murdered because Gul is marked. A group of female rebel warriors take Gul in and train her to become one of them. Gul has one thing on her mind: revenge. 

Hunted by the Sky is for ages 12 and up.

Tanaz Bhathena is a YA novelist based in Mississauga, Ont. She is also the author of The Beauty of the Moment and A Girl Like That.

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

The Library of Legends is a novel by Janie Chang. (HarperCollins Canada)

In The Library of Legends19-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates are ordered to flee as Japanese bombs start to land on Nanking. It's not just refugees who are in danger — Lian has been entrusted with a 500-year-old collection of myths and legends known as "The Library of Legends." It's now up to Lian and her classmates to protect the collection at any cost. 

Janie Chang is a historical fiction writer. Chang's first novel, Three Souls, was a finalist for the 2014 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and nominated for the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award. She published her second novel, Dragon Springs Road in 2017.

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is the author of Radicalized. (CBC)

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow is a collection of four novellas that explore the quandaries — social, economic and technological — of contemporary America. Doctorow's characters deal with issues around immigration, corrupt police forces, dark web uprisings and more.

Radicalized was defended by Akil Augustine on Canada Reads 2020.

Doctorow is a bestselling sci-fi novelist whose past books include Little Brother and Walkaway.

Cory Doctorow on his Canada Reads contender Radicalized: Four Tales of Our Present Moment, a collection of four SF novellas. 16:49

The Imago Stage by Karoline Georges, translated by Rhonda Mullins

The Imago Stage is a book by Karoline Georges. (Yannick Forest, Coach House Books)

In The Imago Stage, a model decides to embed herself in a digital world to escape the life she had formed in the fashion world of Paris. Earning enough to retire in her 20s, she lives out her life as a digital avatar. However, as she learns of news that her mother is sick, she is forced to retreat from her digital life and confront her flesh and blood family.  

Karoline Georges is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Quebec. Her novel De synthèse won the 2018 Governor General's Award for French-language fiction. Her work encompasses visual art, poetry and children's fiction. 

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. 

Agency by William Gibson

William Gibson is an Canadian-American author. (Berkley, Sinisa Jolic/CBC)

In Agencya gifted app tester meets her match when she is commissioned to beta test a highly social and combat-savvy "digital assistant." In an alternate timeline, in 2017 Hillary Clinton has won the presidential election over Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in London in the 22nd century disastrous events have led to 80 per cent of humanity being wiped out. 

William Gibson is a legendary Vancouver science-fiction writer. His classic 1984 novel Neuromancer, a thriller about hacking and artificial intelligence, won sci-fi's three biggest prizes: the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award and the Hugo Award.

The author of Neuromancer and other iconic science fiction novels on his favourite fictional character, his idea of perfect happiness and more 5:56

Crow Winter by Karen McBride

Karen McBride is the author of Crow Winter. (Justina Phippen, HarperAvenue)

Since Hazel Ellis returned home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation, an old crow has been visiting her dreams to tell her he's come to save her. As Hazel investigates what this could mean, she discovers an old magic awakening in the quarry on her late father's land. The adventure Hazel embarks on will have a lasting impact on her family and community. 

Karen McBride is an Algonquin Anishinaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. Crow Winter is her first novel.

Shelagh Rogers talks to Karen McBride about her novel, Crow Winter 9:53

Different Beasts by J.R. McConvey

Different Beasts is a novel by J.R. McConvey. (Goose Lane Editions, Fouad Elgindy)

Different Beasts is a short story collection that explores the beastly side of humanity and the human side of monsters. The characters are both otherworldly and earth-bound, ranging from mutant angels and insectoid demon-gods to politicians and parents. Different Beasts won the 2020 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in the speculative fiction category.

J.R. McConvey was longlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry PrizeDifferent Beasts is his first book.

Stormsong by C.L. Polk

Stormsong is a book by C.L. Polk. (Tor Books, Shell Arkell)

The sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning Witchmark, Stormsong follows Dame Grace Hensley as she deals with the aftermath of helping her brother to undo the atrocities within their nation: Aeland. However, as the power disappears throughout the land, Grace has to guide her parents to safety. With a powerful queen standing in her way, Grace faces an insurmountable obstacle. 

C.L. Polk is a writer of fantasy fiction based in Calgary.

Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax

Plum Rains is a novel by Andromeda Romano-Lax. (Soho Press)

Plum Rains is set in 2029 Tokyo, where people are living longer and birth rates are staggeringly low. Angelica Navarro works as a nurse for Sayoko Itou — a secretive woman, who is about to turn 100 years-old. One day Sayoko is sent a gift — a sentient AI that will anticipate her every need. As the robot begins to shape Sayoko's life, Angelica begins to wonder whether she is needed at all. 

Andromeda Romano-Lax is a teacher, advocate and author of several books. Plum Rains won the 2019 Sunburst Award for Canadian speculative writing. 

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Evan Winter is the author of The Rage of Dragons. (Orbit Books, @evanwinter/Twitter.com)

In Evan Winter's fantasy debut The Rage of Dragons, a world is caught in an eternal war and protagonist Tau is his people's only hope for survival. Described as a mix of Game of Thrones and GladiatorThe Rage of Dragons follows Tau as he attempts to get revenge and become the greatest swordsman to ever live. 

The Rage of Dragons was originally self-published before it was acquired by Orbit Books. It is the first book in a planned series.

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