Alberta Book Day

A little background on the day.

Alberta Book day is brought to you by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. As posted on their website:

POSTED 2019-11-06

Edmonton – The members of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) wish to thank the Alberta Government, through the announcement by Minister Aheer today, for declaring November 6, 2019 as the second annual “Alberta Book Day”. The day has been designated to celebrate the depth and breadth of the book publishing industry in Alberta, and to profile the many diverse and culturally important books that come to life in our province each year.

To recognize Alberta Book Day, and having Alberta Publishers to thank for it, we are adding a tip of the hat to them as well as their books. Many people forget to associate their favourite reads with its publisher. Many publishers are small independent houses that are very specific to their genre, styling, and quality of work they publish, so it only stands to reason that finding a favourite read is likely indicative of a favourite publisher. Knowing your favourite publisher makes it easy to find your next favourite book.

If this makes sense to you, then you might want to peruse the list of Alberta publishing houses listed on the Book Publishers Association of Alberta website. Here’s a link,

I have chosen a few of my favourites off the list to share with you today. Check them out, they are well worth the look.

Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

A press devoted to Science Fiction and Fantasy literature seemed like a natural extension to Brian Hades’ previous experiences in publishing books on theater, magic and the performing arts!

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing wants to encourage, produce and promote thought-provoking and well written science fiction and fantasy literature.

A Calgary based Alberta publishing house that puts out the good stuff, like:

Fantastic Trains, (An Anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders)

A collection of stories-on-a-train that will transport you to tantalizing worlds that you simply cannot imagine. These stories span the genres of literary fiction, steampunk, space opera, futurism, tragedy, magical realism, slipstream, horror, comedy, urban fantasy and more.

This is a great collection of short stories that is out as an ebook and was released on Amazon. The official book launch is coming November 25th.

Hingston and Olsen Publishing

Another Calgary based publishing house. This house brings limited edition works to the public pretty much as art. Their claim to fame is approaching the non-conventional. They are open to different formats, lengths, and perspectives. They even go as far as making the feel of the page part of the experience of reading. Their first book was the 2015 Short Story Advent Calendar. This has become an annual tradition and worth checking out.

Ghost Box III

The offering I advise you to check out soon is the third collection in the Ghost Box Trilogy. Ghost Box III is a one-time print run with one hundred extra limited-edition versions. This is a collection of spooky short stories that will stay with you long after you read them. They are not for the feint of heart, at all.

NeWest Press

My favourite Edmonton based publishing house. Founded in 1977, NeWest Press is one of Canada’s first independent literary publishing houses. NeWest publishes literary fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama, as well as a line of mystery novels, with a particular interest in books by Western Canadian authors. Its Nunatak imprint is the longest-running first-fiction series in Canada.

They have amassed a very impressive collection of awards and accolades. Their books are guaranteed to be quality reading.

I have two very strong suggestions from this publishing house.

let us not think of them as barbarians by Peter Midgley

This collection of Edmonton based author Peter Midgley swallows you up and drops you whole into the challenges of life that people of Namibia have faced for generations.

From the NeWest blurb:

These poems call out as an act of linguistic and cultural translation that gradually assembles an ombindi—an ancestral cairn—from a history of violent disruption. Underlying the intense language is an exploration of African philosophy and its potential for changing our view of the world. Even as the poems look to the past, they push the reader towards a future that is as relevant to contemporary Canada as it is to the Namibian earth that bled them.

I was fortunate enough to hear a reading of a selection of these poems by Midgley. And can testify that these poems are an incredible experience.

Arctic Smoke by Randy Nikkel Schroeder

An ageing punk band reunites for their final tour, North-bound and pursued. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, ageing punk Lor Kowalski is unsure of his sanity. He is haunted by hallucinogens and harbingers; strung out on broken stories that he cannot piece together into a lucid whole. Forced to join his old band from a life he’d rather forget, he is dragged north under the spell of a mysterious ad for an Arctic festival tour. As the band members unspool across the surreal snowscapes and frozen wastelands, rogue CSIS agents are hot on their increasingly iced-over heels. But what are ageing punks to rogue agents? Subversive and irredeemable, spectres from a past that must be erased with extreme prejudice. Randy Nikkel Schroeder combines coked-up magic realism with wound-up cyberpunk style.

Punk rock, the Canadian north, rogue CSIS agents, you don’t need anymore than that. I am pretty sure it hasn’t been done before and this author has done it right, right out of the gate. I for one hope Schroeder carries on in this line. This is pure fun reading.

Hope you enjoy my suggestions. Please let us know what  you think through any of our social media links. We are always willing to read, learn, and improve.



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