Starlit Wood Praise

We are less than two months away from the release of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. TWO MONTHS. Everything from the stories to the cover to the artwork to the absurdly beautiful design has Navah and I excited.

In anticipation of that, we decided to share some of the early praise the book has received. Below are blurbs by Terri Windling, Jeff VanderMeer, and Jonathan Carroll. The fact that these amazing people loved our book already makes it all worth it.


Starlit Wood (1)


The modern revival of fairy tale fiction for adults began in the 20th century (with the stories of Angela Carter and Tanith Lee), and The Startlit Wood is proof that the revival is still going strong. Editors Parisien and Wolfe have brought a wide range of writers together to blaze new trails through the dark of the woods. Whether you’re passionate about fairy tales, like I am, or haven’t read them since childhood, I recommend this excellent anthology. I simply loved it.

– Terri Windling, World Fantasy Award-winning editor of the Snow White, Blood Red series


“A classy, smart, and entertaining volume of stories put together with consummate care—and featuring the best and most exciting fantasy writers working in the field today.”

– Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy


Lots of strange and wonderful goings-on in THE STARLIT WOOD. Fairy tales you thought you’d left behind in childhood are back in some very poignant, sly and original versions that will touch the “Wow!” in most readers.

– Jonathan Carroll, World Fantasy-Award winning author


Still More Clockwork Canada Reviews

New Clockwork Canada reviews have appeared in two lovely places: one in the print edition of Quill & Quire, and the other in Broken Pencil: the Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts.

The Quill & Quire reviewer wrote that the stories are “overall, an unfettered delight to read.” The review closes with: “While the immersion in steampunk tropes and milieux will no doubt be enthusiastically embraced by devotees of the genre, Clockwork Canada isn’t insular, and will welcome most any reader possessed of an adventurous mind.

Broken Pencil had some lovely things to say about the book, and like many of the other reviews we’ve had so far the reviewer was quite happy about the focus on Canadian history and culture: “The collection is saturated with Canadian wilderness imagery that we as Canadian readers cannot help but feel at home in, and employs themes of nationalism while also questioning what we think we know about Canadian history. In Clockwork Canada, Canadian history is reworked with fantasy and imagined mechanical invention, while also facing the reality of immigration and hostility in a country that now prides itself on freedom and multiculturalism.” This review also had a nice closer: Steampunk makes a refreshing return to the literary scene in Clockwork Canada, an intriguing and imaginative read.”

It’s been really terrific to see how well the book is doing with reviewers.


Sunburst Longlist, Twice!

Of late I’ve been focusing on my editorial work, specifically on Clockwork Canada (it’s still going strong!), but now it’s news relating to my writing!

The two stories I had published last year have been longlisted for the 2016 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic! To say that I was surprised by the news would be a huge understatement. Moments after I saw the longlist I basically breathed in a gin & tonic. The two stories are “Goodbye is a Mouthful of Water” and “Spider Moves the World”. “Goodbye…” was quite possibly the most difficult thing I’ve written and is a story about family, Alzheimer’s, and a drowned village. The other, “Spider Moves the World”, is an odd prose-poem that is basically a love letter to Leena Krohn’s novel Tainaron, my favourite book.

Quill & Quire posted the entire longlist here, including Adult Fiction, YA Fiction, and Short Fiction. My two nominations are in the short fiction category alongside some wonderful writers like Kelly Robson, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Holly Schofield, Charlotte Ashley, and Karen Abrahamson. The Adult (novel) list includes works from Margaret Atwood, Heather O’Neill, Andrew Pyper, Gemma Files, and Lisa Hannett. Really stellar list.

You can find my nominated stories here:

Goodbye is a Mouthful of Water, from The Playground of Lost Toys (Exile Editions).

Spider Moves the World, from Lackington’s issue 6.

The shortlist will be announced July 5th. I would love to be on the shortlist, obviously, but it’s a great group of writers and every one of them would deserve to make it (personally, I’m rooting for Kelly Robson, Charlotte Ashley, and Karen Abrahamson).



More Great Clockwork Canada Reviews

Clockwork Canada continues to build steam (…I tried so very hard not to use that pun, but I feel like I need to at this point).

In addition to the excellent reviews we already had from and Steampunk Canada, we now have some very insightful and positive reviews from Lightspeed Magazine and AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review.

Amal El-Mohtar writes in her Lightspeed column that: “I hugely appreciated seeing, across all these stories, a Canada shorn of any of the jingoistic patter that masquerades as heart-warming pluralism these days. These stories probe and poke at the country’s beginnings as at the edges of a wound: the workers who fed their bodies like coal into the railroad’s furnace; the immigrants who were turned away at ports for being too brown, too foreign; the enslavement of African peoples; the indigenous people displaced and decimated. “So you think you know about Canada,” any of these stories might begin. “Let me tell you about Canada.

I’m especially pleased about this review because of the way it highlights the attention to Canada and the exploration of Canadian history, and not just steampunk. Her closing statement is also really nice to read: “An excellent showcase for new and established Canadian voices as well as for Parisien’s editorial skill, Clockwork Canada’s a fascinating, faceted read that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Wes Smiderle also had a lot to say about the book in his AE review. There’s a good deal of engagement with specific stories, which is always nice to see. He writes that stories in the book are “actively questioning the subgenre and bringing it to some interesting new places” and he concludes with: “Not all of these stories will satisfy steampunk enthusiasts, but that’s probably the point. With so much material published in recent years, steampunk can become shorthand for clichéd Victorian characters plugged into action stories featuring inventive devices and lots of gears. For the most part, Clockwork Canada retains the gears and action while disregarding the clichés and greatly amplifying the spirit.” I wanted some fresh, unusual takes on the genre and I’m glad to see that this is doing well with critics.

Clockwork Canada Release and Reviews

Clockwork Canada is now officially out in the world. It is available for purchase from all the usual places, including Indigo-Chapters,,, as well as direct from the publisher.


We had a mini-launch for the book at the Ad Astra conference in North Toronto. There were a good number of people in attendance, and the book was one of the top sellers for the bookseller at the conference. The readers in attendance were (from the left) Claire Humphrey, Kate Heartfield, Charlotte Ashley, and Kate Story. (That’s me in the middle).




Clockwork Canada also received a very detailed review on, and the reviewer, Haralambi Markov, loved the book! He wrote that the “anthology is a true delight that hits on my favorite things in fiction—curious worldbuilding, magic, and tough women taking charge. It’s a carefully curated adventure in short fiction that stays true to a particular vision while seeking and achieving nuance.” It’s very exciting to get such a positive review from a major source like!

Steampunk Canada also reviewed the book positively, writing that “Each story is very unique and the authors have done a lovely job of bringing to life an alternate Canadian history.”

Definitely a good start for the book! I’ve been told more reviews will appear from other venues later in the month, so I’m looking forward to reading those.


Finally, we’ll be having an official Toronto launch at Supermarket Restaurant and Bar on Tuesday, May 10th from 5:45 to 9:00. Reading begin at 7:00. We’ll have six readers for the event: Charlotte Ashley, Terri Favro, Tony Pi, Claire Humphrey, Rati Mehrotra, and Karin Lowachee. Clockwork Supermarket lr.jpg

Another Clockwork Canada Interview

Kevin Steil over at Airship Ambassador was kind enough to interview me about Clockwork Canada (my process, my goals with the anthology, some notes about stories), my writing, my other editorial projects, and he included other questions about craft, inspiration, and my favourite type of sandwich! It certainly was a thorough interview. You can find it here:

In addition, Kevin will be interviewing all the Clockwork Canada contributors. He’s already posted the interview with Charlotte Ashley here, here, and here. Other contributors will follow shortly.



Ad Astra

This weekend is the Ad Astra literary conference in Markham/Richmond Hill/Toronto North (the exact location depends on who you ask, heh) taking place at the Sheraton Parkway North. I’ll be on a few panels, and Clockwork Canada will have a launch party!

How To Put Together an Anthology

  • Saturday, April 30, 2016 @12:00, Room Richmond B
  • Dominik Parisien, Hayden Trenholm, David Nickle

Crafting a Believable Alternate History

  • Saturday, April 30th @ 2pm, Room Richmond B
  • Dominik Parisien, Kate Story, Stephen Kotowych, Charlotte Ashley, Jack Whyte

Common Writing Mistakes from an Editor’s Perspective

  • Saturday April 30, 2016, @ 4pm, Room Markham B
  • Dominik Parisien, Linda Poitevin, Nina Munteanu

The Place of Nostalgia in the Stories We Tell

  • Sunday, May 1, @12pm,  Room Oakridge
  • Dominik Parisien, Timothy Carter

I will also be hosting a Clockwork Canada book launch on Friday, April 29th from 9:00pm-12:00am in the event suite, room 1086. Join us for readings, signing, books, and food and drinks! Joining me will be contributors Charlotte Ashley, Kate Heartfield, Claire Humphrey, and Kate Story!

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