Six Days. Five Inmates. One Guard.
Traversing the vast, serene wilderness in Northern Saskatchewan as part of a "pre-release canoe trip", run as a pilot project in hopes of preparing five future ex-convicts for life in the real world, no one knows quite what to expect. But what follows in this novel is anything but serene. The rules dictating prison life are a hard habit to break as each inmate struggles with his own place in the group, and each one tries to figure out his first real-world steps after being released. Some ideas are more legal than others.
By the end of day six, the men find themselves grappling with violence, mutiny, and a plot to harvest and sell drugs down the river, all of which echoes off the incessant buzzing that surrounds them as thousands of mysterious insects follow along in the forest, destroying anything they come across — plants, animals, even humans...
Rick Hillis was born and raised in Saskatchewan. After receiving his B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan, he went on to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. His previously published works include the poetry collection The Blue Machines of Night and the short story collection Limbo River, which won the Drue Heinz Literature prize. His work received many accolades in Canada and the United States, appeared in many literary journals and anthologies and was read on CBC Radio. Hillis taught at Stanford, UC Hayward, Lewis and Clark, Reed College, DePauw University and the Iowa Summer Writers Festival. He died October 6, 2014.