Next ChiSeries event is in Peterborough!

Next event:

TIME: 7 p.m.–10 p.m.

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Join us for the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, Peterborough branch with guest host Sandra Kasturi! And featuring:

NATHAN ADLER is a writer and an artist who works in many different mediums, including audio, video, film, drawing & painting, as well as glass. He is an MFA candidate for Creative Writing from UBC, currently works as a glass artist, and is working on a second novel and a collection of short stories. Nathan won the 2010 Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge. He is a member of Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation, and currently resides in Mono, Ontario. In April 2017 Nathan was awarded a REVEAL Indigenous Art Award.

IAN ROGERS is the award-winning author of the dark fiction collection Every House Is Haunted. His novelette, “The House on Ashley Avenue,” was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and has been optioned for television by Universal Cable Productions. His work has been selected for The Best Horror of the Year and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Ian lives with his wife in Peterborough, Ontario. For more information, visit

HEATHER SPEARS is a poet, author and artist. She won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1989 and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award three times. Part I of Moonfall was originally published in Tesseracts 2 in 1987, and Moonfall appared in 1991. Sequences The Children of Átwar and The Taming were published in 1993 and 1996. Four Chapters from Lofot if I Live were published as “The Road to Sibir” in Prairie Fire, 1994. Other published fragments and appencides, as well as a dictionary, are forthcoming. Heather Spears travels widely in Europe and the Middle East and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

URSULA PFLUG is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Green Music, The Alphabet Stones, Motion Sickness (a flash novel illustrated by SK Dyment) and the story collections After the Fires and Harvesting the Moon. Her award winning short stories have been taught at universities in Canada and India, and have appeared in Canada, the US and the UK, in genre and literary venues including Lightspeed, Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Postscripts, Leviathan, LCRW, Now Magazine, Bamboo Ridge, The New York Review of Science Fiction and many more. Her books have been endorsed by luminaries including Tim Wynne-Jones, Charles De Lint and NYT bestselling author of The Southern Reach, Jeff VanderMeer. Her latest book is the YA novella Mountain, forthcoming from Inanna in May. She is currently editing a new anthology for Exile, The Food of My People, with Candas Jane Dorsey. Visit her on the web at

Specfic Colloquium 2017 tickets now on sale!

2017 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

By Chiaroscuro Reading Series

Saturday, March 25 2017 9:00 AM6:00 PM



This year’s guest of honour is bestselling SF author CORY DOCTOROW!

“I Can’t Let You Do That Dave”: How the worst internet law ever is turning science fiction’s least-plausible dystopias into imminent reality. Lawmakers around the world have been convinced of the scientific nonsense that solving our social problems is best accomplished by regulating which programs people may run on their computers. With laws like 2011’s Bill C-11, governments have felonizing tampering with locks that supposedly protect copyright, even for legitimate purpose, with the totally predictable effect that companies are now using these locks to prevent their customers from doing legitimate things, like buying third-party printer ink or getting their cars serviced by independent mechanics. This is an improbable form of dystopia: one in which entertainment law is used to usher in an era of government and corporate panopticon—it’s being Huxleyed into the Full Orwell.

Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger—the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of many books, most recently IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel; INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, and HOMELAND, the award-winning, best-selling sequel to the 2008 YA novel LITTLE BROTHER.

With additional guest speakers & topics:

Special guest Julie Czerneda: “It’s a Wrap, Folks.” If a story is a conversation between author and reader, the final pages are where we make our last—and hopefully lasting—impression. Or ruin everything for someone. Knowing how and when to end a story is part skill, part practicality, but, most of all, it’s a deeply personal choice. Never has that been clearer to me than now, as I write the final chapter of my Clan Chronicles series and end the story that began my career. Join me for some of the skills, a whole bunch of the practicality, and a glimpse into the personal. Of endings.

Madeline Ashby: “Abandon All Hope, Eh?: Lessons Learned from the Company Town Tour” [details to follow]

Vicki Clough: “Alternate Realities in Art” The realm of Speculative Fiction spans the breadth of creative practice, not least of all in the depiction of alternative narratives in the visual arts. From Kent Monkman to Saya Woolfalk, artist engage our sense of wonder and the surreal, often challenging our own roles in the world we inhabit. How do contemporary artists communicate these complex ideas of fantasy in their work? How much truth is inherent in the “fictional” art form and what questions do they raise?

David Nickle: “The Tyranny of of Implausibility” [details to follow]

Jason Taniguchi: “Long Ago and Far, Far Away: Falling Hard for Fictional Worlds” [details to follow]

Books will be sold by Bakka Phoenix Books and ChiZine Publications. The Annual Toronto SpecFic Colloquium is run by the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, and sponsored in part by the Toronto Arts Council. Please see our website for a list of this year’s corporate donors.

Click here to buy tickets!

Welcome to our new home!

Emerging from early magic realism, mythology and fable, from the work of science fiction authors who cut their teeth during the 1950s golden age of pulp science fiction, and from the disturbing literary forays of horror writers inspired by Shelley, Poe, and Stoker, Canadian speculative fiction has begun to move in strange and provocative new directions, becoming something altogether different from its American counterpart and wholly itself.

We believe that Canadian authors may well prove to be the kind of rejuvenating force necessary to revitalize the “pulp” genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror writing. As Canadian publications including Neo-Opsis, On-Space, Ideomancer, Challenging Destiny, the long-running Tesseracts collections, and our own ChiZine Publications become increasingly prominent markets for speculative fiction, we want to establish a dialogue between senior and junior authors, between authors and editors, and between authors and readers in order to encourage the growth of this important literary domain.


The Chiaroscuro Reading Series is open to the public and offers readings from authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

We want to provide a casual environment for fans of genre material to discover new authors and meet with old favourites.

Authors from backgrounds of under-represented groups, minorities, and at-risk communities have found a welcoming environment for their work and a venue for sharing their stories, literal and figurative, at the Chiarscuro Reading Series. We have also provided a place for authors who identify as queer and questioning, intersex, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, Two-Spirit, bisexual, asexual, ally, gay, and genderqueer, to share their work with a wider audience, and hope, in future, to host authors from still more aspects of that pan-inclusive, and too often marginalized, aspect of the Canadian Field.

We are open to any and all under-represented groups, and actively seek out writers with interesting stories to tell, fascinating viewpoints to share, and authors from distinct backgrounds who represent a different, or alternate view, from what we normally see. In a city as richly diverse as Toronto we consider this a necessity and a privilege, and will continue to make it our business to seek out compelling, accomplished, and emerging professional writers from different cultural and social perspectives.