Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe

I was a little concerned when I first found Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe available for pre-order on  The call for submissions that went out in late 2014 for this anthology included the following guideline:
We’re interested in submissions where Canadian setting (a specific city, region, or province) plays a role, but we’re open to other types of stories, too, set anywhere in the world, the universe, or the multiverse!
But now the product description reads as follows.
Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story!  
Superheroes! Supervillains! Superpowered antiheroes. Mad scientists. Adventurers into the unknown. Detectives of the dark night. Costumed crimefighters. Steampunk armoured avengers. Brave and bold supergroups. Crusading aliens in a strange land. Secret histories. Pulp action. Tesseracts Nineteen features all of these permutations of the superhero genre and many others besides! 
I wasn't crazy about the "out clause" in regards to Canadian content. Not that Canadian creators should be obligated to only write about Canadian character, but obviously that's what I'm most interested in.

When the final product description made no mention of a Canadian setting, I began to wonder how many of the writers chose against using one. The cover (by Jason Loo, currently best-known for The Pitiful Human-Lizard) makes no mention of it, and the character displayed most prominently is wearing the right colours but can not be definitively identified as Canadian.

But a few days ago, author Corey Redekop began posting interviews with some of the T19 contributing writers on his blog. Those interviews erased what little doubt I may have had about the book.

What follows are brief excerpts which underscore the Canadian content. Corey had planned on featuring these interviews for a couple of weeks or so. We are only about halfway through that period so you may want to check his blog regularly and/or follow him on Twitter (@CoreyRedekop) if you'd like to know more.

Let's get on with it.
Luke Murphy - Lost And Found
In Toronto, a woman has lost her job and boyfriend, but she’s got one secret power. She sees a Help Wanted ad where only she could read it, and finds a mysterious man who wants to give her a job. But who’s he working for, and what’s he trying to hide? 
P.E. Bolivar - The Rise and Fall of Captain Stupendous
“The Rise and Fall of Captain Stupendous” concerns a reporter whose career is launched after interviewing Canada’s greatest hero, Captain Stupendous. From that day on, villains think she’s his girlfriend, and constantly kidnap her to attract his attention. The story is a satire about superheroes, and how we perceive them, and how they in turn perceive themselves. 
Brent Nichols - Crusher and Typhoon
“Crusher and Typhoon” is a steampunk story set against the backdrop of the construction of the railroad in British Columbia in the 1880s. A crippled railroad manager and a Chinese labourer find themselves discarded by the railroad when airships make the National Dream obsolete. When bullies terrorize a Chinese shanty town, Dan Carter builds a steam-powered suit so he can walk and fight, and Lee Wu uses Kung Fu. Together they dispense justice and carve out a new place for themselves in a changing world. 
Mary Pletsch - The Island Way
“The Island Way” is the story of a little-known hero from a very small province. When the Canadian government assembles a cross-Canada superhero team, our protagonist has to decide whether to take her secret identity public and leave Prince Edward Island, or stay home, with all the compromises that choice entails.\
Only four stories and we've already gone B.C. to PEI!

Now I believed that the book was only available for pre-order (in paperback) at this point, but I noticed while buying it on that the page displays a release date of March 15th. So it's not in stock quite yet but should be shipping shortly. The Kindle version is available now.

A full table of contents, including writer biographies, is included on the Edge Publishing website.

And if you do buy the book on Amazon, do your own heroic deed for the day and leave a review when you're done, even if it's brief. Apparently it's a huge deal in terms of Amazon promoting the book. Just another small way of providing support.

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