In this collection of science fiction stories, a diverse array of Canadian authors including Spider Robinson, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Robert Sawyer, Terri Favro, and Jeremy Hull explore worlds of the future, where humans look and act differently – or perhaps they just look different and act the same as humans always have. They interact with alien beings, and they must learn to live with the other creatures that inhabit Earth. Sometimes funny, often poignant, frequently ingenious, and always thought-provoking, these works spark questions and challenge our ideas about how the future might look – and how creatures of every kind and species will live in it.
In the opening story, “Star Light, Star Bright,” by Robert Sawyer, a translator of ancient documents discovers children can see things in the sky that are not visible to him. What does this mean for their society, rebuilding after a long-ago war reduced humans to a primitive state? In “Hammerhead,” John Park’s protagonist, “tangled in the other branches” of his lives, must replay a horrific scenario in his head over and over to get at the uncomfortable truth, to find “the different here” that will help him in his “journeying.”
Julie Czerneda offers one possibility of what may happen when a grieving couple’s application to adopt a pet takes a surprising turn in “Foster Earth.” Spider Robinson’s parentless character has to choose between being threatened or thrilled when the colony he joins “jumps off the edge of the Solar System” in “Who is Joel Johnston?” And in the final story of the collection, a Nova Scotian rebel of the future hopes that humankind’s survival depends on a past event that almost no one noticed.
Evocative and engaging, these stories, told with vibrant engagement with “otherness” of one kind or another, offer readers the opportunity to be both entertained and enlightened.
State of the Ark is the long-awaited follow-up anthology to the 1992 landmark Canadian science fiction collection Ark of Ice.
About the author
No one has a clearer view of Atlantic Canada's literary endeavours over the past twenty years than Lesley Choyce. He is the founder of the literary journal Pottersfield Portfolio, and the publisher of Pottersfield Press. He has edited several fiction anthologies and has been the in-house editor of many books from Pottersfield Press including Making Waves, a collection of stories by emerging authors from Atlantic Canada. He is the author of more than fifty books in genres ranging from poetry and essays to autobiography, history and fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Among his recent books are the novels The Republic of Nothing, World Enough, and Cold Clear Morning, and the story collection Dance the Rocks Ashore. Choyce is the writer, host, and co-producer of the popular literary show television program, Off the Page with Lesley Choyce, which is broadcast across the country on Vision TV. He also teaches in the English department of Dalhousie University in Halifax and is leader of the rock band The Surf Poets.
Other titles by Lesley Choyce
The Untimely Resurrection of John Alexander MacNeil
State of the Ark
High Water Mark
Stories from Atlantic Canada 1983-2023
Around England with a Dog
Closing Down Heaven
Face the Music
Down Home for Christmas - Holiday Stories from Atlantic Canada
The Amazing History of a Coastal Village, Second Edition