Clockwork Canada Pre-Orders

We’re already one month into 2016, and Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction is getting closer and closer to publication (May 1st!). The book is near and dear to my heart, a passion project, really. I love Canadian history, I love steampunk, and I wanted to give Canadian authors a chance to write about Canada and engage critically with steampunk as a whole, and they did that wonderfully.

And now it’s possible to pre-order Clockwork Canada!


Directly from Exile Editions:
And here is the Goodreads page:


Just look at that list of contributors:

  • Colleen Anderson
  • Charlotte Ashley
  • Chantal Boudreau
  • Terri Favro
  • Kate Heartfield
  • Claire Humphrey
  • Karin Lowachee
  • Rati Mehrotra
  • Brent Nichols
  • Tony Pi
  • Rhea Rose
  • Holly Schofield
  • Kate Story
  • Harold R. Thompson
  • Michal Wojcik

I’m also very pleased to have received wonderful blurbs from two people I greatly admire, Ann VanderMeer and Helen Marshall:

“Steampunk with a Canadian accent – in Clockwork Canada Dominik Parisien has given us a wonderful new way to look at not just Steampunk but also some of the best new Canadian fiction being written.  Full of adventure, surprise, unusual inventions and, of course, steam, this anthology will make you remember why you fell in love with Steampunk in the first place.”— Ann VanderMeer, Hugo, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy award winning editor

“This is Canadian fiction like you’ve never seen it before: a buzzing, crackling, supercharged assemblage of thrills and derring-do, secret histories, incredible machines and fantastical creatures. Prepare yourself for a wild ride through a landscape that’s somehow recognizable and utterly, gloriously strange.” — Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts For The One Who Comes After



Project Updates

Readings are moving along nicely for Clockwork Canada. I’m developing a good list of shortlisted works, but keep those stories coming. The deadline is the end of this month. I’ve responded to all submissions up to March 21st with either a rejection, a rewrite request, or a hold. If you submitted before that and haven’t heard back from me, please query.

Some of the projects I’ve worked on with the VanderMeers have recently had their table of contents posted online. They’re really fantastic books, with exciting lists of contributors.

The first is Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, coming out in May from PM Press. It’s a really exciting retrospective from the 1970s onward, with contributions by Eleanor Arnason, Kelly Barnhill, Octavia Butler, Leonora Carrington, Angela Carter, L. Timmel Duchamp, Carol Emshwiller, Kelley Eskridge, Angelica Gorodischer, Hiromi Goto, Eileen Gunn, Nalo Hopkinson, Leena Krohn, Tanith Lee, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rose Lemberg, Pat Murphy, Nnedi Okorafor, Susan Palwick, Kit Reed, Anne Richter, Joanna Russ, Pamela Sargent, Vandana Singh, Rachel Swirsky, Karin Tidbeck (one of my favourite new writers of short fiction), James Tiptree Jr., Catherynne M. Valente, and Elisabeth Vonarburg.

The second is a anthology of original fiction by some of today’s best fantasists, The Bestiary. The book is a modern bestiary of made-up fantastical creatures organized from A to Z, with an ampersand and an invisible letter. Contributors are Karin Lowachee, Gio Clairval, Corey Redekop, Karen Lord, Dexter Palmer, Dean Francis Alfar, Michael Cisco, Brian Conn, Stephen Graham Jones, Brian Evenson, Joseph Nigg, Karen Heuler, Rochita Loenin-Riuz, Felix Gilman, Reza Negarestani, Catherynne M. Valente, Karin Tidbeck, Michal Ajvaz, L.L. Hannett, Micaela Morrissette, Cat Rambo, Eric Schaller, Rikki Ducornet, Amal El-Mohtar, Rhys Hughes, Vandana Singh, Richard Howard, and China Mieville. There are also gorgeous interior illustrations by Ivica Stevanovic. The anthology is a signed, limited edition book from Centipede Press.

I’m working on new anthologies, but more details on those later.

I’ve also had work published recently. My story “Spider Moves the World” was published in issue 6 of Lackington’s, and is now available free online. The story is illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Galen Dara. I’m incredibly pleased with Galen’s illustration for “Spider”. The issue also includes great work by Steven Earnshaw, David K. Yeh, Rhonda Eikamp, L.S. Johnson, and Michael Cisco, as well as illustrations by Tomasz Wieja, Cherry Valance, Carrion House, Likhain, Gregory St. John, and Kat Weaver.

Lastly, my poem “A Portrait of the Monster as an Artist”, written for Helen Marshall, was published in Mythic Delirium 1.4. The poem is available now to subscribers and will be free online in June. This month’s free stories and poems are by C.S. MacCath, Wendy Rathbone, and Jane Yolen, with more work available in the next few months by Jessy Randall, Jane Yolen again, Adam Howe, and Natalia Theodoridou.

More Clockwork Canada Inspiration (Specifically Canadian Things)

Some people and historical things authors might want to explore or draw on for Clockwork Canada:

  • The Canadian railroad and the western expansion (including the treatment of aboriginal peoples and immigrants)
  • Inventors like Elijah McCoy and Alexander Graham Bell & Mabel Bell
  • Steampunked Canadian myths/legends/folklore (Wendigo, the Flying Canoe, the Ogopogo, etc.)
  • The Gold Rush
  • The Acadian Deportation
  • Canadian rebellions (Upper and Lower Canada, North-West)
  • Tecumseh and his Pan-Indian Movement, and aboriginal contributions to the War of 1812 in general
  • The Charlottetown Conference of 1864 (what if the Maritime provinces, then colonies, had united after all?)
  • Newfoundland and the Confederation
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Coal mining and petroleum production in Canada (the natural resources that frequently feed steampunk machinery)
  • Canadian disasters (railroad accidents, city fires like those in Quebec City, St. John’s, and Saint John in the 19th century, the Halifax Explosion)
  • Lumber barons and the timber trade
  • Voyageurs and coureurs des bois

While I am happy to see alternate history, stories do not necessarily need to explore an actual historical event—I will consider stories so long as they are set in Canada and explore steampunk. As I mentioned in the guidelines, I also welcome the use of historical periods other than the 19th century. Stories that make use of a combination of the fantastic and the mechanical are also welcome.

And here’s a previous inspiration post with stories, resources, and music.

Submission guidelines are here.

Some Clockwork Canada Inspiration

Here is some inspiration for those interested in submitting to Clockwork Canada (or anyone simply interested in Steampunk).

Some free online stories:

Cory Doctorow – Clockwork Fagin (a Canadian steampunk story)

Samantha Henderson – Beside Calais 

Shweta Narayan – Eyes of Carven Emerald 

Amal El-Mohtar – To Follow the Waves (audio)

N.K. Jemisin – The Effluent Engine

Genevieve Valentine – Terrain


Steampunk Scholar (Mike Perschon)

Silver Goggles (Jaymee Goh)

Steampunk Canada

The Steampunk Bible


Abney Park (playlist)

A Quick Clockwork Canada Update

I’ve been open to submissions for a little more than a month now. Submissions have been trickling in, some of them quite strong. I suspect I’ll see most of them in the last month of the submission window. It’s to your benefit to submit early; if the story doesn’t work for me you can always submit another before the end of the submission period.

The best stories so far are either grounded firmly in the Canadian landscape, or they explore Canadian myths and historical events with a good steampunk approach.

I won’t be a sending out any acceptances before the end of the submission period, but I am sending out hold requests.

Thanks to all those who have linked to the guidelines over the last month!

Clockwork Canada Guidelines

I will be editing a new anthology, Clockwork Canada, for Exile Editions. I am interested in stories from 2,000 to 8,000 words. I pay 5 cents/word (CAD). Stories must be set in Canada and written by Canadian authors. Canadians living abroad must indicate their status in their cover letter. Please indicate if you consider yourself any of the following in the cover letter: Aboriginal writer, culturally diverse writer, Francophone writer, new generation writer (definitions below). You are welcome to indicate your gender and if you self-identify as LGBTQIA (otherwise called QUILTBAG).

The full guidelines can be found on the Clockwork Canada page. I will periodically be posting links to Steampunk resources and recommended stories here on my blog, including updates on the anthology.