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Comics & Graphic Novels Contemporary Women

Motion Sickness

by (author) Ursula Pflug

illustrated by S.K. Dyment

Inanna Publications & Education Inc.
Initial publish date
Aug 2018
Contemporary Women, Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price

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Motion Sickness is a flash novel consisting of 55 chapters of exactly 500 words each and accompanied by a wood-cut like, scratchboard illustration. The illustrations are dark and somewhat whimsical as is the text. Penelope, the twenty-year old narrator is a guitarist who writes some lyrics, has a good colour sense and a social conscience. She has kicked a drug habit and is now mainly drinking and sometimes jamming in after-hours clubs as well as writing letters of protest. She finds herself alone when her roommate goes to Calgary to be with her mother who has breast cancer. At the same time she is increasingly attracted to Theo, a slightly older bass player who turns out to be married and who shares a similarly poetic take on the world, but who, unlike her, sticks with people and jobs. He finds her employment with him silk screening T-shirts where they develop a more intimate but non- sexual relationship. In between birth control methods she finds herself pregnant after a drugged threesome which involved the very sexy but potentially violent Stan. She has an abortion. Stan becomes a frightening stalker. Theo remains a stable anchor and it becomes increasingly clear to both of them as well as to Theo's wife that their intimacy is not to be ignored. This is a smart, engaging, well-written novel that should appeal particularly, but by no means exclusively, to young women dealing with the responsibility of reproductive control, finding their way in the world of creative work and the social life of a young single person.

About the authors

Ursula Pflug is author of the critically acclaimed slipstream novel Green Music (2002). She has published over 70 short stories in professional publications in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. She has published dozens of art and book reviews in Canada and the U.S., and has had several plays professionally produced, one (Nobody Likes The Ugly Fish, 1994) solo-authored, and the remainder collaboratively created. Recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Works In Progress Award in 2005 to complete a new novel, Thin Wednesday, Pflug was short-listed for the K. M. Hunter Award the following year. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has also been shortlisted for the Aurora, the Sunburst, Pulp Press's 3-Day Novel, Descant's Novella Contest, and many more. Currently, she edits short fiction for The Link and teaches creative writing with a focus on the short story at Loyalist College. Her long awaited and highly praised story collection After the Fires appeared in 2008. Harvesting The Moon, a new collection, is forthcoming in 2013. from PS Publishing, a UK boutique press specializing in literary speculative fiction including the Bradbury estate. Her latest novel, The Alphabet Stones, was published by Blue Denim Press in 2013.

Ursula Pflug's profile page

SK Dyment is a writer and visual artist with a love of political cartooning. SK likes take to the stage at open mic events to perform poetry, short prose and stand-up work and they have written several plays which were produced at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. Their illustrations were most recently published in Ursula Pflug's flash fiction novel, Motion Sickness, which was longlisted for the ReLit Award. Their humour and cartooning work has appeared in a number of magazines including, Peace Magazine, This Magazine, Open Road Magazine, Healthsharing, Herizons, Kinesis, The Activist Magazine, Kick It Over Magazine, and Fireweed. Steel Animals is their debut novel.


S.K. Dyment's profile page


  • Runner-up, ReLit Award

Editorial Reviews

"A picaresque miniature, Motion Sickness describes a young urban woman's bewildering adventures on the verge of the real as she learns to trust friendship, and finally, love. This little book is a winner. Each of the facing pages forms a delightful and inextricable unit: a starkly-incised illustration and a 500-word chapter, with titles that read like a poem. Ursula Pflug's voice is unique, funny and tough, and the dialogue is so exact it can be heard. SK Dyment's dark and whimsical illustrations play with and enhance the tersely visual prose."
--Heather Spears , Author, artist, winner of Governor-General's Award for Poetry

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