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Seeds of Wonder, Seeds of Hope; Celebrating Black Authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy

January 14, 2015 | Kim | Comments (1)

OkaraforJoin us in exploring the rich history of science fiction and fantasy by authors from African nations and countries of the African diaspora, including the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

Speculative fiction by Black authors, or AfroFuturism, as it is increasingly called by its writers, is undergoing an explosive growth period, as is the case generally with speculative fiction. The writers themselves come from many countries, and varied backgrounds; some are professional writers, many are academics, and some worked in humble occupations while writing as a labour of love. AfroFuturism tends to be about social problems; oppression, racism, classism and relationships between people.



CarbideTipped Pens at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 7:00PM

December 15, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

Carbide tipped pensToronto author and co-editor Eric Choi will moderate an evening spent with the local contributors to Carbide Tipped Pens, a new science fiction anthology. Authors Kate Story, David DeGraff, and Eric Choi will read brief sections from their stories in the anthology, followed by a question and answer session, and a signing. Books will be available for purchase at the event. The event will take place in the Merril Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 3rd floor reading room in the Lillian Smith branch, 239 College Street, starting at 7PM.

Diversity in Science Fiction

September 27, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (2)

Diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy will be a roundtable discussion moderated by Léonicka Valcius, with panelists Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet, E.L. Chen, Malon Edwards, and Tonya Liburdis. The panel will offer a wide-ranging discussion about diversity in the Canadian and North American lit and spec fic fields, their various forms, what works, what doesn't, and wherever else the discussion goes from there.

The event will take place Saturday, the 27th of September, at 7:00 pm, in the basement auditorium of the Lillian H. Smith branch. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Merril Collection. The event is free.

Circus Noir; It's never a good day when the circus comes to town …

August 19, 2014 | Kim | Comments (1)

Night circus cover.aspxA new exhibit at the Merril Collection celebrates the rich and dark history of creepy clowns, sinister sideshows, and alien extravaganzas. Science fiction and horror writers have known for a long time that circuses, not idle hands, are the devil's playground.

The exhibit features some unusual and beautiful books, such as early editions of The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles Finney and a variety of Ray Bradbury's circus-themed fiction.

Not for the faint of heart; explore the dark side of the circus, if you dare …

The Night Circus



July Events at the Merril Collection

July 4, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)


Glen Hirshberg, author of Motherless Child,  The Snowman's Child, and numerous short story collections, will appear at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction on Thursday, July 17, at 7:00PM. Mr. Hirshberg is a previous winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. Mr. Hirshberg's appearance is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Merril Collection and ChiZine Press.

Find this event on Facebook


                                                                                                       Motherless Child

June Events at the Merril Collection

June 16, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

  Hugh Howey; author of the groundbreaking novel "Wool"    
  Monday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m.
  239 College St. (Lillian H. Smith building)
  Lower level program room
 Hugh Howey is the author of "Wool", the first self-published e-book to sell over a million copies. The book  has also been published in hard copy and film rights have been sold to Twentieth Century Fox. Mr. Howey will be discussing his work; both writing and e-publishing. Copies of the book will be available at the event.
  This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of  the Merril Collection and Kobo.  
Coming Out & Speaking Up: Celebrate Gay World Pride at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy
Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m.
239 College St. (Lillian H. Smith building)
Merril Collection Reading Room, 3rd floor
 The Friends of the Merril Collection are pleased to be hosting an exciting panel discussion of LGBT issues in speculative fiction. Chris Butcher of The Beguiling will moderate a panel discussion between scholars Derek Newman-Stille and Stephen Kenneally and authors Gemma Files and A. M. Dellamonica.
 Dellamonica GemmaFiles

Glenn Grant at the Merril Collection

March 29, 2011 | Lorna | Comments (0)

SF author, editor, and illustrator Glenn Grant will read from his upcoming short story collection Burning Days and talk about the writing and editing process.  The event will take place on Friday, April 8 at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, 239 College Street, in the 3rd floor reading room. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and continues until people run out of questions.
Glenn Grant's fiction has appeared in Year’s Best SF 10, Interzone, Northern Stars, ArrowDreams, Island Dreams, and in the Quebeçois sf magazine Solaris.  In collaboration with Tor senior editor David G. Hartwell, he has edited Northern Stars: The Anthology of Canadian Science Fiction and a second volume, Northern Suns.  He has written the science fiction book review column for The Montreal Gazette, and also reviewed for such periodicals as Science Fiction Eye, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Science Fiction Studies, and bOING bOING.

The book is too new for me to provide a link, but copies will be available at Ad Astra, the local science fiction convention which will be taking place on the same weekend. It looks like being an interesting evening.

New to us

November 3, 2010 | Lorna | Comments (0)

Hi. This is the first post to the Merril Collection blog. The contributors to the Merril Collection blog will be the five librarians who work at the Merril Collection. We'll post information about forthcoming events at the Merril Collection, recommend books, provide links to other sf-related sites, and write about anything else that seems likely to interest the sf community.

The Merril Collection and the Friends of the Merril Collection sponsor events throughout the year, where people of interest to the sf community, often writers, read from their forthcoming fiction, talk to their fans and pass on news about forthcoming projects. You can always check the Merril Collection Facebook page for additional information about events.

Next week, on November 10 at 7:00 in the Merril Collection reading room, the Merril Collection will host 4 readings sponsored by the Toronto Public Library and the Sturgeon Literary Trust, celebrating the publication of the 13th and final volume of the complete works of Theodore Sturgeon, Case and the Dreamer. Robert Charles Wilson, Nalo Hopkinson, Lesley Livingston, and Michaelle Sagara will read from some of Sturgeon's short fiction and Noel Sturgeon will talk about her father and his writing career.

The following week on November 18, at 7:00 p.m. in the Merril Collection reading room, sf writer Michael Swanwick will read from his fiction and talk about his writing career. 


Cryoburn was worth the long wait for another novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan begins an off-world investigation by getting lost in a necropolis, then hiding out with a street kid, while investigating the political and financial ramifications of a culture where people want to live forever. Great fun.


Arts Unknown: the life and art of Lee Brown Coye by Luis Ortiz. Coye is best known in the sf community for the work he did illustrating Arkham House's fiction, although he also painted a lot of Americana. Ortiz' biography reproduces many of Coye's most striking pieces.

Associated Interest

People who have read Sean Russell's fantasies, beginning with The Initiate Brother might be interested to learn that he also writes historical fiction as S.T. Russell. A Battle Won is the 2nd in a series about an English naval officer during the Napoleonic War, continuing the story started in Under Enemy Colors. Russell's writing shows a good understanding of this period, his characters are interesting and the adventures convincing.

Lorna Toolis, Collection Head

The Merril Collection holds over 70,000 items, all science fiction, fantasy, or horror, as well as non-fiction about science fiction and fantasy. The materials are available for reading room use only. For more information call the Merril Collection at 416-393-7748.