Brent Hayward

Brent Hayward was born in London, England, grew up in Montreal, and currently lives with his family in Toronto. He is the author of three acclaimed novels, Filaria, The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter, and Head Full of Mountains, and one short story collection, Broken Sun, Broken Moon, all available from ChiZine Publications. His short fiction has appeared in various publications. By day, he works in the aerospace field. He can be reached through his website, brenthayward.com.

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Awards

  • CBC Bookies Award (shortlisted, The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter, 2012)

Blurbs

“It is a cliché to refer to an author as ‘painterly’ or possessing a ‘painter’s eye,’ but sometimes the comparison is too apt to pass up. In his first collection of short fiction, [Broken Sun, Broken Moon], novelist Brent Hayward truly brings a painter’s sensibility to a series of fractured landscapes, implanting in the reader’s imagination textured images—often of bodily metamorphosis and mutilation—that linger long after the stories’ plots and characters have faded. Which in this case is a good thing. Hayward sharpens these word-pictures by dropping the reader into fully realized alternative worlds that blend elements of sci-fi, noir, horror, and dark fantasy, forcing us to negotiate alien landscapes through the limited information available to the story’s protagonist. Rich descriptions often replace character development and interaction. The effect is jarring and deeply immersive.”
—James Grainger, The Toronto Star

“(The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter‘s) uncompromising originality leaves the reader with few familiar signposts. Reading it is like waking up in the wrong bed, in the wrong apartment, under the wrong sun. . . . By turns surreal, macabre and stunningly violent, The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter is dreamlike in its strangeness and complexity. Like a dream, it is difficult to define and difficult to shake. The imagery lingers like archetypes dredged up from the sleeping mind.”
—Mark Dunn, The Globe and Mail

“Where [Head Full of Mountains] stands out from its brethren is in the quality of Hayward’s (Filaria) prose, and the skill with which he carefully details each scene and each character, using well-worn set pieces with an energy and splendor that blinds readers to their essential familiarity.”
Publishers Weekly

“[The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter is] beautifully written and morally ambivalent, this complex tale will appeal to readers of Gene Wolfe and China Miéville.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Toronto’s Brent Hayward has a knack for creating incredibly lush alternative worlds and mythologies, and Head Full of Mountains may be his most complex and demanding work yet. . . . [The protagonist’s] journey suggests an allegory of human development progressing through different stages of life, but readers will probably come up with many other interpretations as well, perhaps seeing in it a nightmare of isolated and introverted consciousness, or the endgame of technologies that have left humanity behind. The result is one of the more different and difficult SF novels of the year, but also one of the most rewarding.”
—Alex Good, The Toronto Star

“Hayward’s debut [Filaria] is a powerful, beautifully written dystopian tale. . . .”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“. . . Filaria is simply one of the best books written in the last decade and is the best science fiction/fantasy book that I have read in a long time.”
—Examiner.com

“A disquieting, claustrophobic, compelling hybrid of China Miéville and J. G. Ballard. I first read Filaria almost two years ago: its subterranean imagery has been stuck in my midbrain ever since.”
—Peter Watts, author of Starfish and Blindsight