Canadian science fiction  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A strong element in contemporary Canadian culture is rich, diverse, thoughtful and witty science fiction. Its best-known exponents are William Gibson, David Cronenberg and Margaret Atwood.

History of Canadian science fiction

Like many aspects of Canadian culture, Canadian science fiction emerged from a variety of isolated sources, including A. E. van Vogt, the fantasy works of John Buchan, the poetry of Phyllis Gotlieb, and a handful of other writers. Political upheaval in the United States brought such talents as Spider Robinson and Judith Merril.

In 1973, the World Science Fiction Convention was held again in Toronto, bringing a new generation of interest to writers like Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. This led to a range of activities and interest in the genre. Merril began hosting quarterly gatherings of authors in a loose group called "Toronto Hydra", a tradition she had brought from the New York SF community.

In the early 1980s, the Ontario Science Fiction Club was set up by Robert J. Sawyer, while the Bunch of Seven became the first known science fiction writing circle in Canada, helping the success of authors like S.M. Stirling and Tanya Huff, which later led to the Cecil Street Irregulars that included writers like Cory Doctorow. Charles de Lint and then Guy Gavriel Kay became notable for using Canadian settings in science fiction and fantasy, and William Gibson pioneered the cyberpunk subgenre with his novel Neuromancer.

In Quebec, Élisabeth Vonarburg and other authors developed a related tradition of French-Canadian SF. The Prix Boreal was established in 1979 to honour Canadian science fiction works in French. The Aurora Awards (briefly preceded by the Casper Award) were founded in 1980 to recognize and promote the best works of Canadian science fiction in both French and English.

Regular annual science fiction conventions, notably Ad Astra, brought fans and writers together to further broaden awareness and appreciation of science fiction literature in Canada.

By the 1990s, Canadian science fiction was well established and internationally recognized; mainstream authors such as Margaret Atwood began including SF in their repertoire.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company began producing science fiction as early as the 1950s. CTV produced The Starlost at the CFTO studios in Scarborough. In the early 1990s, Toronto and Vancouver became prominent centres of television and film production, with shows like Forever Knight and Robocop, then The X-Files raised the profile of Canadian science fiction television much higher. By the late 1990s, a significant fraction of science fiction and fantasy on television was produced in Canada. In the early 2000s, due to changes in tax laws, production companies shifted much of their operations from Toronto to Vancouver.

Canadian science fiction authors

Some of the most famous Canadian writers of science fiction include Margaret Atwood, John Clute, Charles de Lint, James Alan Gardner, William Gibson, Ed Greenwood, Tanya Huff, H.L. Gold, Nalo Hopkinson, Guy Gavriel Kay, Judith Merril, Spider Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, Karl Schroeder, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens and A. E. van Vogt.

Canadian science fiction in film and television

Some of the most popular science fiction movies and TV shows seen around the world are made primarily or entirely in Vancouver or Toronto, often called Hollywood North, or elsewhere in Canada. Quebec also produces shows in French. Canadian studios also produced a large volume of animation, notably specializing in 3D animation.

Canadian science fiction films of note include:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Canadian science fiction" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools