A Cape Breton Anthology of Speculative Fiction

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The landscape of Cape Breton writing doesn't necessarily begin at the Canso Causeway and end at the Cabot Strait-at least not between the covers of this volume.

The fourteen stories in Undercurrents ply the literary oceans of time and space, possibility and imagination. And while you may find familiar themes in these pages-love, change, greed, spirituality-you will discover that they take on a new perspective when viewed through the lens of the speculative.

Likewise, some of the authors will be familiar to you, while others will be newly-discovered voices. What they all share is a connection to Cape Breton Island, and a willingness to look beyond the boundaries of the world we know-or think we know.

Inside are stories that ripple and swell with the unusual: fiddle-playing ghosts, malevolent cats, urbane vampires, and ordinary folks who have drifted into the realms of the extraordinary. Set your oars in these unusual waters and see for yourself what swirls in the undercurrents.


Undercurrents includes stories by:

Douglas Arthur Brown       Julie Curwin
Kerry A. Fudge       Larry A. Gibbons
Bruce V. Miller       Krista C. Miller
Katrina Nicholson       Sherry D. Ramsey
Seanah Roper       Julie A. Serroul
Stephanie Short       Peter Andrew Smith
Donna Troicuk       Nancy S.M. Waldman

The Stories

"Magic Show" by Stephanie Short
A man whose spirit is crushed by the mundane mediocrity of his life discovers an enticing, mystical, yet terrifying opportunity.

"Improbable Mission Force" by Katrina Nicholson
A cocky young fighter pilot and his cohorts undertake an elite mission only to find that the dangers, and the objectives, are not at all what they expected.

"The Reality of Dreams" by Peter Andrew Smith
Email spam takes on a different face when a man dissatisfied with his circumstances is offered a tantalizing and unusual choice.

"Emoters" by Julie A. Serroul
A young woman with an enhanced sensory ability lives in hiding to avoid a dangerous past. When she discovers the person she most fears is closing in on her, she must make a choiceókeep running or stand her ground this time.

"My Grandmotherís Hologram" by D.C. Troicuk
In a society of the future, a privileged young woman desires nothing so much as the freedom to make her own choices, unaware of the undercurrent of control that guides her every move.

"Water" by Bruce V. Miller
A conflicted young man contemplates life beside a river polluted by his own father's mill, and finds his fate strangely intertwined with a previously unknown life form that emerges from those waters.

"A Cat Named Wellington" by Seanah Roper
An elderly man living in an isolated house in the woods inherits a cat whose bizarre behavior is both disturbing and alarming. But something more than sinister thoughts lurks behind this feline's malevolent glare.

"NetWorld" by Nancy S.M. Waldman
A computer game creator lives a life of seclusion and secrecy due to an unexplained curse that allows her to see and feel something no one else can. When her six year-old granddaughter connects her to a man with the same ability, she must confront her fears.

"Undercurrents" by Larry A. Gibbons
The long-extinct Cape Breton cougar lives on in the thoughts of a Mi'kmaw man. He prays to his ancestors for the protection of his granddaughter's innocence and imagination as she tries to win a prize toy cougar from the town's insensitive and irresponsible merchant.

"Ghouls" by Douglas Arthur Brown
An ambitious Canadian scientist conducts business with an aging German entrepreneur on an overnight train to Berlin. As strangely subdued passengers come and go, the scientist encounters echoes of the Holocaust and heralds of an uncertain future.

"Awake and Alive" by Kerry A. Fudge
A young woman afflicted with insomnia takes a late night stroll and meets an inhumanly handsome man who needs her help. She soon finds out that many other things lie awake in the night--and not all of them are alive.

"Winter Bewitched" by Sherry D. Ramsey
When the land falls under the curse of a mysterious winter, a travelling scribe and her unusual companion take on the task of untangling a web of troublesome relationships. If she cannot succeed, the cruel weather waits to take its toll.

"Edgar MacDonaldís Last Wish" by Julie Curwin
The plaintive notes of a dead manís fiddle haunt a psychiatristís nightmares as he tries to decipher the riddle surrounding his patientís death.

"Sense and Exsanguinations" by Krista C. Miller
In an alternate Victorian London where magic is very real, a young woman risks more than her motherís disapproval to help a Scotland Yard Inspector find a horrific murderer. What she discovers along the way will change her life forever.