What is a tesseract? You can google it and go a little nutso perusing Wikipedia or try to find a simple definition: a four-dimensional equivalent of a cube, or a hypercube, having sixteen corners. But why, back when the Tesseracts anthologies began some twentyplus years ago with Judith Merril editing the first one, did they name it Tesseracts? I think it was a funky new shape discovered in mathematics and the advent of the computer age. A tesseract was more than what it seemed, had more surfaces than you first thought, and had a depth that changed depending on how you looked at it.
Now here we are at Tesseracts 17, where Steve Vernon and I have spent buckets of time in the hypercube trying to pull out all those facets and surfaces, all those edges and corners, for you to look at and perceive. Tesseracts is somewhat like the Tardis—bigger on the inside than on the outside….
We could not gather all the types of stories and poems that fill the voids in our minds, but we tried to give a good representation of what it means to be in Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast. In reading the many submissions we found that there were tales of Wendigo, werewolves, vampires and a host of reanimated dead, though not all of them zombies. There were gentle tales of transformation and other terrors of madness and encountering the demons we know and fear. Character faced the trials of space and the spaces within.
And indeed, from Canada's inland border with the US, to the warmer Pacific waters, to the chilly depths of the Maritime Atlantic, and the mysterious tundra of the North, these are the reaches of Canada's geography. But the mindset of Canada's writers stretches farther. Tesseracts 17 is rich with tales about people: there are housewives and men who find themselves in unusual and terrifying circumstances, children who deal with the transformations of their lives and their worlds, potters, keepers of light, wine reviewers, out-of-work graduates, pilots, apprentice chefs, writers, yak herders, dead actors, game leaders, and those who just have a job to do.
Colleen Anderson has been nominated for the Aurora Award, Gaylactic Spectrum Award, finalist in the Rannu competition and received several honorable mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, the Year's Best SF, and Imaginarium. Her poetry and fiction have been published in Britain, Canada and the United States. She has attended both the Clarion West and the Centre for the Study of Science Fiction (CSSF) writing workshops and has a degree in creative writing. Colleen is a member of the Horror Writers of America and SF Canada.
First and foremost Steve Vernon is a storyteller. He has written traditional folklore collections such as Halifax Haunts and Haunted Harbours for Nova Scotia's Nimbus Publishing. Secondly — and only because he typed it in that order — Steve is Nova Scotia's hardest working horror writer. Check out his e-book novelette of hockey and vampires, Sudden Death Overtime. His short fiction has appeared in the pages of The Horror Show, Cemetery Dance, Flesh & Blood, and Tor's Year's Best Horror. His five page epic poem "Barren - A Chronicle in Futility" - detailing the 1820 presidentially-commissioned hunt for the Jersey Devil — took the first place prize in the 2010 Chizine Rannu Poetry Competition.
"Tesseracts Seventeen is a collection of new short stories and poems of horror, science-fiction and fantasy from authors in each of the provinces and territories of Canada. There is something for every taste. Well-written, and certainly varied in content, this volume follows in the tradition of the "Tesseracts" series and will appeal to lovers of the anthology format.
-- CM Magazine