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Last chance to see; Seeds of Wonder, Seeds of Hope

March 23, 2015 | Kim | Comments (0)

Seeds of Wonder, Seeds of Hope, an exhibit celebrating Black writers of science fiction and fantasy is finishing it's run at the Merril Collection, and the last day of the exhibit will be Friday, April 4, 2015.

Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, Lillian Smith Branch

239 College Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario

The Brothers Cabal, by Jonathan Howard

February 4, 2015 | Kim | Comments (2)


Horst Cabal has returned! The world’s most amiable vampire was last seen disappearing in a suicidal puff of dust as he stepped into the sunlight, but he has been brought back from the dead by a group of diabolical conspirators bent on taking over the world (as they usually are). Unbeknownst to the conspirators, who require a “Lord of the Dead” for their nefarious plan, Horst has never actually killed anyone, and is far more concerned with the fit of his waistcoat than world domination.



The Brothers Cabal

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.

Robin Hobb at the Merril Collection

November 11, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

Fool's AssassinFantasy author Robin Hobb will appear at the Merril Collection in the 3rd floor reading room of the Lillian H. Smith branch on Thursday, November 13 at 7PM. She will be discussing her writing and her new book, Fool's Assassin.

Her new novel chronicles the continuing adventures of FitzChivalry Farseer, which began in Assassin's Apprentice, six books earlier. In this volume, the first of a new trilogy, FitzChivalry is retired, married to a childhood sweetheart, and living in the country when his next adventure begins.

The Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach

October 29, 2014 | Kim | Comments (0)

Fortune's pawnFans of military science fiction can rejoice; there's a new writer joining the ranks of David Weber and Elizabeth Moon.

Fortune's Pawn introduces us to Deviana (Devi) Morris, a mercenary from the planet Paradox. The only things preventing Devi from tipping over from the huge chip on her shoulder are her lovingly described battle suit, which she has named the Lady Grey, and her outstanding combat skills.

Devi takes a job on a decrepit tramp freighter, but begins to wonder what exactly is going on; nothing is what it seems to be, not the ship, and certainly not the crew. The second novel, Honor's Knight reveals the truth behind the mysteries, and introduces some additional twists and the third; Heaven's Queen wraps up the invigorating action in a satisfying conclusion.

The writing is tight, the action never lags and the characters are engaging. The darkness of some of themes is lightened by Bach's dry sense of humour.

Voices of the dispossed, speaking out

September 5, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

Long_HiddenLong Hidden: Speculative fiction from the margins of history offers short fiction giving a voice to the silent spear carriers of history, letting the people who are supposed to suffer in silence speak out. "The Oud" by Thoraiya Dyer and "It's War" by Nnedi Okorafor reveal the personal pain and cultural devastation caused by military actions. Standout stories include "Ogres of East Africa" by Sofia Samatar and "Diyu" by Robert William Iveniuk. The short stories show people in a wide range of different cultures coming to grips with their problems and resolving them as best they can, providing an absorbing view of history from the other side of the mirror.  


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



Seanan McGuire

August 16, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

Indexing_mcGuire Harriet Marchem would have been Snow White in another reality. In this world Harry hates apples, and works with a Wicked Stepsister and a Pied Piper as an agent of the ATI Management Bureau, tasked with protecting the people living in our world from fairy tales.

Fantasy readers will enjoy the world of Indexing , where fairy tale narratives try to break into our world and become reality, often with fatal results.The suspense builds as the agents of ATI try to identify the mole in the agency before reality is damaged beyond repair. The unlikely premise is fun, and McGuire's story shares her insight into fairy tales. Indexing was originally written as individual short pieces available only through Amazon for Kindle, and is available for the first time in paper copy.


Fairyland is a Glorious Place

July 24, 2014 | Lorna | Comments (0)

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There  The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own makingCatherynne Valente's wonderful trilogy begins with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, a whimsical Victorian fairytale intended for adults. In the first book September is invited to Fairyland by a Green Wind and a Leopard. She makes friends with A-L, whose mother was a wyvern and whose father was a library.

In The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, September learns the Hollow Queen is stealing the shadows of the inhabitants of Fairyland and all the magic is fading away. She shops at a Goblin Market, and rescues a Night Dodo named Aubergine, as she fights to save her friends.

The trilogy concludes with The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. Driving across the wonderfully imagined moonscape in her faithful Model-A car, September returns to Fairyland to hunt the dreadful moon-Yeti and prevent the destruction of Fairyland's moon.

The beauty of Valente's prose is only matched by the richness of her imagination. September's adventures lend new life to old images, and these exuberant, charming stories never pause for breath.

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.