Episode 44: Crab Village

Cover art for Crab Village by Julia Clark "Underlines the dent quality in children's books" The Times Literary Supplement -- shows an old image of a beach with punch and judy sitting in deck chairs
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Mark and Joe chat with the Canadian poet and science fiction doyenne, Candas Jane Dorsey.

Candas is well-known in Canadian science fiction circles for her work as a novelist (Black Wine, A Paradigm of Earth) and editor-in-chief of The Books Collective, which included River, Slipstream and Tesseract Books.

They start the conversation by discussing which they would choose: time travel or faster-than-light travel and from that singular ground move into a discussion of their childhood reading habits.

Crab Village is on the Dover coast and the story is one of the first fantasy stories that Candas encountered. Pictures come to life and mermaids visit the local chip shoppe. It was strange to her, not only for the fantastical elements, but because it was a magical, immersive version of England.

A precocious child, Candas was only seven or eight when she read the book.

“I reread this book about every decade, and it holds up really well,” Candas says. After she finished the novel, she went on to search for similar books at her local library, where she was able to get around the book limit for children.

What follows is a fascinating conversation about how we discover books, how children engage with literature, and the incredible effects that can have on the unfolding of a creative life.

A conversation you can’t miss!

Support Our Guest

Born and still living in Edmonton, Alberta, Candas is a poet, writer and editor.

She writes across genre boundaries, including poetry, fiction, main-stream and speculative, short and long form, arts journalism and arts advocacy. Dorsey has also written television and stage scripts, magazine and newspaper articles, and reviews.

Since the 1980s she has been a strong presence in the speculative fiction world in Canada as a publisher, editor, and community-builder. She helped found and served on the board of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and SF Canada. She currently teaches writing and communication studies, and does workshops and readings. She’s received multiple awards for her artistic work and community service, including the Province of Alberta Centennial Gold Medal, and in 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts.

Now, go get the books she mentioned in the podcast, What’s the Matter with Mary Jane, The Adventures of Isobel, and He Wasn’t There Again Today.

Find more of her work at Goodreads, Book Series in Order, Amazon or at her website.

a cute and very fuzzy dog holding onto a plush toy with its mouth
Joffrey, who can be heard in the background of the interview

Candas Jane Dorsey, photo by Steven Stefaniuk

Photo of Candas by Steven Stefaniuk

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