8 Canadian speculative fiction reads to check out this summer

Stock your bookshelf for summer 2018!

Looking for a new book to read? Check out this list of speculative fiction by Canadian writers.

American War by Omar El Akkad

Omar El Akkad's debut novel is American War. (Peter Power/CBC)

A Second American Civil war has broken out in 2074 and Sarat Chestnut was born on the losing side. Sarat is raised primarily in a refugee camp in the war-torn American South and is shaped into an instrument of war. Winner of the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer PrizeAmerican War touches presciently on themes of environmental collapse and the deepening social divisions within the U.S.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline's YA novel The Marrow Thieves was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018. (CBC)

Set in a dystopian North America destroyed by climate change, The Marrow Thieves tells the story of a teenager named Frenchie who is on the run from residential school recruiters. Frenchie joins up with a group of Indigenous people on a northward journey to the old lands, and potentially, safety. The Indigenous people of North America are being hunted for their bone marrow, which is believe to hold the lost ability to dream. The dangers of unchecked colonialism and environmental degradation are at the heart of this harrowing story.

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

Walkaway is a sci-fi novel by Cory Doctorow. (Paula Mariel Salischiker)

In the world of Walkawaytechnology has advanced to the point where anybody can manufacture anything — food, clothing, shelter — with a simple machine that resembles a computer printer. As a result, many people have chosen to "walk away" from society, a movement that leads Hubert, Seth and their heiress friend Natalie to a startling discovery.

Tarry This Night by Kristyn Dunnion

Kristyn Dunnion's book Tarry This Night is a dystopian novel in which a new civil war has broken out in the U.S. (Liz Marshall/Arsenal Pulp Press)

As civil war brews above ground in the U.S., a dangerous cult led by a man named Father Ernst lurks below. Tarry This Night follows the trials of Ruth who spends her life trapped in an underground bunker with a group known as the Family and facing the terrifying possibility of becoming Father Ernst's next wife. Themes of misogyny, religious extremism and fear radiate throughout this novel.

​An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

Thea Lim is a Toronto-based writer and teacher. (Elisha Lim/ Viking Canada)

A deadly flu is ripping through America and Polly Nader must make a drastic decision to save her partner Frank. A company called TimeRaiser agrees to pay for life-saving treatment if Polly time travels 12 years into the future, where she can be reunited with Frank, and work as a bonded labourer. But Polly is accidentally sent 17 years into a future where Frank is nowhere to be found. 

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Only Human is the third and final book in Sylvain Neuvel's Themis Files trilogy. (James Andrew Rosen)

​Only Human concludes Sylvain Neuvel's widely acclaimed Themis Files series. The novel follows scientist Rose Franklin, who, after being away from Earth for nine years, finds that a war between America and Russia has torn the world apart. Devastating alien weaponry, which Rose first discovered as a child, threatens to destroy the fabric of humanity.

Floating City by Kerri Sakamoto

Kerri Sakamoto's debut novel, The Electrical Field won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 1998. (Penguin Random House/Daniel Tisch)

With touches of magical realism, Kerri Sakamoto brings the architectural ambitions of a young dreamer to life. After living in a Japanese internment camp, Frankie Hanesaka is sent to Toronto with all his family's life savings. He finds work with a visionary architect and is encouraged to follow his own real estate dreams, eventually building landmark properties on Toronto's waterfront. But success comes at a cost, and Frankie's hardworking family bears the brunt of his sacrifices.

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

Adam Sternbergh is New York magazine's culture editor. The Blinds is his third novel. (Edwin Tse/HarperCollins)

The Blinds takes place in a small town that is populated entirely by criminals or witnesses to crime. Their memories have been wiped clean and they've been given new identities. Sheriff Calvin Cooper maintains order until a murder and a suicide send the town into a bloody revolt. Kirkus Reviews gave this tense 21st-century Western a starred review. 


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