Writers of other worlds live here In KW

Lovers of sci-fi and fantasy at UW don’t need to go beyond their own backyards to find skilled authors in both genres, as the KW Science Fiction and Fantasy convention held last Saturday in Kitchener proved. In fact, James Nicoll, the MC of the event, stated that KW is home for quite a number of them.

Five of those authors were in attendance that night: Marcy Italiano, Sarah Tolmie, James Alan Gardner, Suzanne Church, and Jane Anne McLachlan.  Here’s a brief look at each of these writers and what they had to offer.

<strong>Marcy Italiano</strong>

Italiano was the first writer to speak. She presented two creations: an updated version of an old poem &ldquo;The Visit,&rdquo; in which the speaker enters an old house and discovers an identity that hides within it, and a short story &ldquo;Deprived,&rdquo; where a woman is violently roused from her bed and murdered by a man she knows but never has time to reveal to the reader. The author has done extensive literary work in a variety of genres. She particularly enjoys writing horror. Italiano has published short stories and poetry in addition to novels. Her works include <em>Katrina and the Frenchman: A Journal from the Street</em>, <em>Pain Machine</em>, and <em>Spirits and Death in Niagara</em>.

<strong>Sarah Tolme</strong>

Tolmie, an English professor at UW, was the next writer to share her work with the audience. She read an excerpt from a new novella, <em>NoFood</em>, which is made out of a collection of short stories that describe the effects of a fictitious future event in which a large percentage of the population&rsquo;s elite have chosen to undergo a procedure referred to as a Total Gastric Bypass so that they no longer have to consume food. Tolmie has also written a novel, <em>The Stone Boatmen</em>, as well as a book of poetry, <em>Sonnet in a Blue Dress and Other Poems.</em>

<strong>James Alan Gardner</strong>

Gardner, an alumnus of UW, was the only one of the five authors to create a new work for the convention; a short story titled &ldquo;All In Good Timing.&rdquo; The story, intended to be a humorous tale about the frustrating limitations and consequences of time travel, greatly amused the members of the audience, who burst out into laugher at several points during his recitation. His description of his plan to sneak the Greetings to Extraterrestrials plaque from Pioneer 10 into Tutankhamun&rsquo;s tomb after it was sealed granted him a high volume of applause at the conclusion of the story. Gardner has written quite a few works in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Some of them include: <em>Expendable</em>, <em>Commitment Hour</em>, and <em>Vigilant</em>.

<strong>Suzanne Church</strong>

Church also enriched the convention with her writing contributions by reading three short stories from her new novel, <em>Elements</em>. The audience reacted favourably to her work, especially to the chapter &ldquo;The Tear Closet,&rdquo; where a mother shows her daughter a secret room in which she has hidden all of her tears so that her abusive husband won&rsquo;t see her cry. Like Italiano, she also writes horror as well as sci-fi and fantasy. Church has also published more short fiction; &ldquo;Living Bargains,&rdquo; &ldquo;Fun Sucker,&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Needle&rsquo;s Eye&rdquo; among them.

<strong>Jane Ann McLachlan</strong>

The convention was concluded by McLachlan, who presented her novel <em>Walls of Wind</em>, a thought experiment work that has centered its plot on a world where men and women are separate species and the effects that such an extreme divide creates. Adding more context to her story, McLachlan talked about how those who pay attention to stories are more likely to survive longer and raise the next generation. McLachlan used this idea to create the religious leaders of her story, who are in charge of telling their listeners stories to aid them in their efforts to endure the world of the story. The author has also published the work <em>Connections: Parables for Today</em>.&nbsp;