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Futuristic Canadian Fiction

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Dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is booming right now - everyone is thinking critically about the future of our world. These futuristic books are filled with speculation, and are either written by Canadian authors or set in Canada.

El-Mohtar, Amal.
This is how you lose the time war

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters--and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. In the ashes of a dying world, Red finds a letter marked "Burn before reading. Signed, Blue." So begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents in a war that stretches through the vast reaches of time and space. Red belongs to the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue belongs to Garden, a single vast consciousness embedded in all organic matter. Their pasts are bloody and their futures mutually exclusive. They have nothing in common--save that they're the best, and they're alone. Now what began as a battlefield boast grows into a dangerous game, one both Red and Blue are determined to win. Because winning's what you do in war. Isn't it? A tour de force collaboration from two powerhouse writers that spans the whole of time and space.

Johnson, Tyrell.
The wolves of winter

Station Eleven meets The Hunger Games in this ruthless, captivating story of a young woman's survival in the frozen wilderness of the Yukon after the rest of the world has collapsed.

Rice, Waubgeshig
Moon of the crusted snow

A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadearship loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.

Harmer, Elizabeth.
The amateurs

A device called "Port"--an irresistible space-time travel product from PINA, the world's largest tech company--has caused Earth's population to plummet. Among Port's few remaining sceptics and resisters is Marie, who lives in a small community camping out in the abandoned mansions of a former steel town, hoping that her long lost lover will one day return to the spot where he disappeared. Meanwhile, Brandon, the right-hand man to the mad genius who invented Port, decides to defect. He steals a car and drives north-east, where he hopes to find his missing mother. And there he meets Marie.

Lim, Thea
Ocean of Minutes

America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan. Time travel has been invented; if she signs up for a one-way trip into the future to work as a bonded labourer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years. But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a terrifying new world to find Frank, to discover if he is alive, and to see if their love has endured. An Ocean of Minutes is a gorgeous, devastating novel about courage, yearning, the cost of holding onto the past--and the price of letting it go.

Dimaline, Cherie
The marrow thieves

In a futuristic world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow, and dreams, means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a fifteen-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing "factories."

Mastai, Elan.
All our wrong todays

This novel is set in a futuristic version of the present. Tom Barren lives in a utopia, a version of 2016 that people in the 1950s imagined, one where technology has solved all of the world's problems. When his father invents time travel, however, Tom manages to ruin everything.

Ashby, Madeline.
Company town

In New Arcadia, a failing city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, outsider Hwa is hired to protect fifteen-year-old Joel, the son of the rig's new owner, who has been receiving increasingly intense death threats that appear to be coming from the future.

Bergen, David
Stranger

Canadian author David Bergen's new book is set in a not-too-distant dystopian future. After an affair with an American doctor Íso finds herself pregnant and alone in Sierra Madre de Chiapas. When she gives birth her daughter is taken from her and she is informed she is being moved to America. Íso sets out to reclaim her stolen daughter.

Vassanji, M. G.
Nostalgia

From one of Canada's most celebrated writers, two-time Giller Prize winner Moyez Vassanji, comes a taut, ingenuous and dynamic novel about a future where eternal life is possible, and identities can be chosen.

Wilson, Robert Charles
The affinities

This speculative novel explores the implications of social media, government control, and human connection. Young graphic design student Adam Fisk completes a test that matches him with one of the 22 Affinities - organizations that match you up with compatible coworkers, friends, and lovers. But what happens to the people who don't get matched? Can all 22 Affinities coexist equally?

An excellent example of a blossoming genre, Social Science Fiction, that will appeal to fans of David Eggers' The Circle.

Wilson, Robert Charles
Spin

Tyler, Jason, and Diane stand on Earth and watch as the stars and moon disappear. Soon they learn that the darkness was created by an alien barrier that alters time and projects a sun-like image on the world. As time begins to pass more quickly, they worry that the universe may be approaching death as well. Can humans create a liveable situation for themselves on Mars? How will the aliens interfere? This futuristic Canadian-written novel is part sci-fi, part love story, and all fascinating.

Young, Moira.
Blood red road

This post-apocalyptic novel features an 18 year old girl, named Saba, on a quest to rescue her brother from a tyrannical king. She, her pet crow, and her kid sister must travel across a torturous dessert to find him, encountering slave battles, monsters, a helpful team of warrior women, and a little romance. Fans of the Mad Max setting and Katniss-style heros will love the Dust Lands series.

Atwood, Margaret
Oryx and Crake

Since it’s soon to be adapted for an HBO TV series, now is a great time to brush up on Margaret Atwood’s latest literary explosion. Not only is this dystopian/sci-fi trilogy an intricately told story with a beautiful and hilarious tone, but it addresses political issues of today and the near future: genetic engineering, the downfall of the arts, government control, pharmaceutical dependency, and favouring vanity over health. The deep, resilient characters will draw you in, the insightful metaphors will impress you, and the terrifying plausibility of the plot will make you think about the future of our society.

St. John Mandel, Emily
Station eleven

Station Eleven asks a question that most dystopian novels miss: how do the survivors of a worldwide epidemic learn to enjoy life after they’ve learned how to survive? What happens to art when 99.9% of the world is dead? Emily St.John Mandel weaves convincing characters together with the most intriguing elements – Shakespearean theatre, a traveling symphony, cults, kidnappings, a very fluffy puppy, secret poets, sci-fi comic books, the life of the rich and famous, and the life of a paparazzo. Station Eleven is one of those books that sits in your mind, begging for attention, long after it’s over. A dazzling revamp of a popular genre, and the One Book One Community selection for 2015.

Schultz, Emily
The blondes

This literary piece of Canadian fiction features a graduate student who has recently become pregnant with her married professor's baby. As if that wasn't enough, a bizarre disease that only affects blonde women has begun changing otherwise normal citizens into crazed killers. This dark yet dazzling story is filled with elements of Canadiana, and provides a poignant examination of gender roles and society's assumptions about beauty.

Crewe, Megan.
The way we fall

Sixteen-year-old Kaelyn lives a nice life on an island on the East coast of Canada - at least until the island is cut off from the mainland due to a terrifying virus that's infected most of the island's population. This thrilling apocalyptic novel is written in diary form, and explores survival, community, and human decency in the face of disaster.