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Farley Mowat, Comics, SciFi and Manitoba

Book Cover the Case of Windy Lake

Michael Hutchinson launches his middle grade Mighty Muskrats Mystery series with The Case of Windy Lake, the story of four inseparable cousins growing up on the Windy Lake First Nation. When a visiting archeologist goes missing, the cousins decide to solve the mystery of his disappearance... In this recommended reading list, Hutchinson shares other titles that have inspired him as a writer—and as a reader too. 

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Never Cry Wolf, by Farley Mowat

My Dad may have read a little too much Farley Mowat and was always someone who wanted to get off the grid. We didn’t get to watch TV much and it was always just fuzzy CBC when we did. We read a lot! Farley Mowat’s books were a family favorite and books such as Lost in the Barrens and Curse of the Viking Grave were some of the first books I read. They also introduced me to the idea of books being the foundation for television or movies. I really enjoyed the book Never Cry Wolf and the movie that followed.

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It Happened in Canada, by Gordon Johnston

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Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community

Book Cover Rooster Town

Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community, by Evelyn Peters, Adrian Werner and Matthew Stock, documents a history of Indigenous urban experience in the Métis community of Rooster Town on the outskirts of southwest Winnipeg. In this list, Peters shares other works that explore the important colonial history of First Nations and Métis communities within urban areas in Canada. 

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In 1901, sixteen Métis households moved into southwest Winnipeg joining six Métis families who had moved there a few years before. They squatted on unserviced lots which had reverted to the City of Winnipeg for unpaid taxes. While the settlement contracted slightly during the Great Depression, Rooster Town grew every year until in 1946 the community reached its maximum size of 59 households, with an estimated population of more the 250 people. Poverty and unstable employment meant that squatting or buying inexpensive land on the city fringe, and self-building, was a resilient strategy for accessing urban employment and services and providing housing for families. 

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Poverty and unstable employment meant that squatting or buying inexpensive land on the city fringe, and self-building, was a resilient strategy for accessing urban employment and services and providing housing fo …

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Parallel Prairies: Good Monster Stories Aren’t Really About the Monsters...

In Parallel Prairies, Editors Darren Ridgley and Adam Petrash get readers acquainted with 19 authors of speculative fiction and their weird and wondrous tales inspired by Manitoba's landscape. In this foreword from the anthology, Ridgely and Petrash write about their intentions with the book, why good monster stories are never really about the monsters, and the amazing tales that lie at the geographic centre of the continent. 

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When we set out to assemble Parallel Prairies, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. 

We knew from our travels that Manitoba wasn’t without its speculative fiction writers, but we weren’t sure just how large the community was. Finding a wealth of talent with deep ties to the province, and putting all those authors between two covers, felt like a worthy endeavour—but would we find enough people for a whole book? If we put the call out, would anyone answer?

It turns out, we had nothing to worry about.

Manitoba is a province with a long history of mutual support, and we should have known better than to doubt it. The speculative fiction writers of Manitoba showed us who they are with this project, in print and in spirit. And for that, we are grateful.

Speculative fiction tends to get bogged down with labels. Yes, there’s “fantasy” …

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Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg

Book Cover Stuck in the Middle

Winnipeg's gorgeous wildness is powerfully apparent in the photography book Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg by Bryan Scott and Bartley Kives. We're pleased to bring a few examples of the book's remarkable images, which celebrate and explore one of Canada's best cities. 

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Desired and reviled, adulated and condemned, Winnipeg inspires intense and contradictory emotions from residents, visitors and people who have never even ventured within wading distance of the Manitoba capital. The city at the centre of North America inspires a profound sense of ambivalence, stuck as it is between a colourful and triumphant early history, a long period of 20th-Century decline and an uncertain if optimistic future. Stuck in the Middle finds photographer Bryan Scott and journalist Bartley Kives exploring the geography, design and reputation of the only city they have ever truly known, loved and hated. With vicious honesty and intense affection, Scott and Kives expose Winnipeg's beautiful and conflicted soul for the rest of the world to admire and detest and ultimately ignore.

Wolseley Winter

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Eukrates’ Guide to Wining and Dining in Athens, by Karen Dudley

Corey Mintz may have a few pearls of wisdom when it comes to entertaining guests in 2013, but would he know what to do in Ancient Athens? Thankfully, none of us need go ignorant now that Karen Dudley is sharing Eukrates' Five Quick Tips for Hosts, complete with recommended—and edible—sex toys for bored women-folk.

Karen's genre-defying Food for the Gods, an historical fantasy novel set in ancient Athens, has been nominated for an Aurora Award (for science fiction and fantasy), a Bony Blithe Award (for humorous mystery), a Mary Scorer Award (for best book by a Manitoba publisher), and a High Plains Book Award for best culinary book. The sequel, Kraken Bake, is forthcoming in 2014.

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Ensure your dinner party is a success by following these Five Quick Tips for Hosts:

1. Hire the best foreign chef you can afford for your symposion. In some circles it has become common practice to demand that a cook and his slaves eat before they arrive so you do not have to bear the expense of feeding them. Although some find this behaviour acceptable, it is, in fact, niggardly and vulgar. By offering to feed the cook and his retinue, you will, in addition to appearing magnanimous, secure his gratitude and through this obtain a vastly superior meal for your special dinner party. …

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