ChiSeries Ottawa - SF, Fantasy and horror readings will echo here

a raondom book at the merch table
Hot on the heels of the most recent Postscripts to Darkness reading come the inaugural ChiZine event. Originally hosted in Toronto, this reading series has crept up from basement shadows in Ottawa. Turnout doubled the expected headcount. Over 50 people packed the tiny room in the basement of the Royal Oak on Laurier East to listen to authors perform fantasy and dark science fiction stories. Montreal Vancouver ChiSeries launched the next night, though I have not looked up news on it yet.

So, for updates and tweets from the evening, follow them on twitter at @chiseries. Then come out! It's a smoothly run and fun reading of a few stories with ample time to visit with each author. The best thing is not only does everyone have their books, ChiZine publications has a table so there is a lot to choose from.

Violette Malan has not written horror but does have a relationship with the genre. "You have two basic horror settings," she said, "'the moors' or 'the city'. You have to decide if you are welcoming the horror element or pushing it away." She writes urban fantasy in her Mirrorland series that at times takes on a dark bent, but not into the depths of terror or gore. She read as excerpt from Shadowlands, offering a glimpse into a few dark minutes on a Toronto subway as a mind-reader. Unsettling but so well written, and well read.

Matthew Johnson reads a the Toronto ChiSeries as well and is widely published. Johnson read his short story, Heroic Measures, which is available for you at Strange Horizons so do check it out. A dark tale exploring the right to die and superhuman strength. Irregular Verbs, a collection of his short fiction, will be published by ChiZine in 2014. "I only ended up writing horror by accident," he said, regarding some of his upcoming publication.

Charles de Lint, a prolific Ottawa fantasy author once wrote three horror novels under the name of Samuel M. Key. "Those three were all I had in me, and now I've grown past that." He embraces self-publishing and takes pride in developing the entire package between himself and his wife. He read just under two chapters from The Cats of Tanglewood Forest which sounds like a good entry point to his body of work. Between cats and fairies, it felt like the beginning of a far more interesting Anne of Green Gables.

ChiSeries is coordinated in Ottawa by Matt Moore. An Ottawa area writer that we profiled earlier and is currently offering work for Aurora Award consideration. You can learn more and vote for his work on his website. The next event is on July 9, with the location to be announced shortly. Keep in mind, all of this is run by volunteers so they can exorcise some demons and call out into the dark corners. Certainly worth checking out! (psssst. I'll be reading in January)


Anonymous said…
Thanks for the write-up! Glad you could make it out and had a good time.