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Iceberg Reaches South Africa

Khaki-clad soldiers spent Saturday, July 26 advancing up a dry, grassy hill called Talana, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Some 115 years ago, this hill had been the site of the first battle of the Second Boer War; this time, the soldiers were members of the Dundee Diehard historical re-enactment team, and their foes were neither […]

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In Woody Point

I’m home in Newfoundland this week –– in the community of Woody Point in Gros Morne National Park. This is the fourth straight summer that I’ve made the pilgrimage back to this place, to stay in the same suites over the same bay, and hike the same land. To people who haven’t been here, that […]

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Special Guest Star

It’s been a quiet season for author notes, but with good reason. New projects are waiting in the wings (one of which I’ll be blathering about soon) but in the meantime, the regular schedule for Champions continues: Tuesday, July 29, will see the launch of Outports. And it’ll feature a special guest star. One of […]

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Oh Shoot

After a couple of novellas on the sidelines, Stephanie Shylock got thrown back into the deep end with last month’s Scourge. Without spoiling too much, let me just say that if I’m ever trapped in the mountains, being chased by alien space monsters, there’s a very short list of humans I’d want to be stuck […]

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Happy Birthday

In my twenty-nine years, there’s been only one May 27th upon which I forgot to wish my mother a happy birthday. The ironic thing is that this wasn’t because I was away and it slipped my mind; the year was 2005, and she and I were on an Iceberg book tour in Lethbridge, Alberta. We […]

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There She Blows?

There are a few beaches in Newfoundland that I hold in especially high esteem. Bellevue obviously comes first and foremost –– it is the place, after all, where my mother retrieved the piece of an iceberg that ultimately inspired our company name. Near St. John’s, there’s also the small beach at Middle Cove, which is […]

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Just Call Him Evelyn

When our Royal Newfoundland Regiment set off on its ill-advised cross-country drive towards an unknown Hubrin base in 1920, the one most responsible was a Major General named Evelyn Hughes. Son of forceful Canadian politician Sam Hughes, Evelyn used his influence to compel Sir Julian Byng and Arthur Currie to launch the motorized mission, even […]

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Historians

When you study history, one thing you quickly realize is that there are as many stories about our past as there were people. Granted, most of us get the same highlights from our textbooks (if we read them), and from popular culture (if we care), but the reality is that history includes just about everything […]

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Black In Newfoundland

The year was 2008, and two excellent historians, one from Ontario and the other from South Africa, were questioning me about my thesis on the Caribou Hut –– the club for servicemen in St. John’s during the Second World War. The Hut was established by everyday Newfoundlanders, because the government had been so bankrupt by […]

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Heading To The Club

Let’s start with a game. How many times in my life do you think someone’s asked me what I was doing tonight, and my answer was: “I’m heading to the club!” If you answered zero (0) times, then you can feel pretty good about yourself… and perhaps feel a bit sad for me. Whatever. This […]

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No Feet Left

As it’s been more than a month since the launch of Snapdragon, I can finally address one of the parts of the story about which I was most excited. Naturally, this means spoilers, so govern yourself accordingly… I’ve written before about Douglas Bader –– the very real, very British flyer who lost both his legs […]

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Family At Sea

Frightening times for our Royal Canadian Navy in the Pacific last week; HMCS Protecteur, one of the fleet’s two logistical support ships, was stricken by a fire in her engine room. The crew successfully put out the blaze, but not before it disabled Protecteur’s propulsion, and left her adrift in heavy seas. Fortunately, no one […]

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The Railguns Are Coming

Well, it’s official: starting this summer, some warships of the United States Navy will be equipped with directed-energy weapons. That means that in some ocean around the world, a USN Captain may be confronted by a real-world combat situation which will require the words: “Lock laser on target.” And all of us sci-fi types will […]

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The One You Love

We all know that Valentine’s Day was created by the evil corporations to sell chocolates, while getting men in trouble for not being sufficiently thoughtful, and stereotyping women as shallow creatures who determine the value of their relationships based on meaningless gestures. Anyone with half a brain should therefore hate what February 14th represents. Unfortunately, […]

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Befriend A Biathlete

When it comes to the Winter Olympics, there aren’t many events I won’t watch. Some of them are quite alien to my understanding –– with the deepest respect, I have no idea how to tell a good snowboard run from a bad one, except if someone falls. I follow some other sports with more regularity […]

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How To Keep Up

During the development of Champions, a rather obvious problem came up: if ordinary people like Stephanie Shylock and Mike Strong are supposed to protect a genetically-enhanced human like Alex… how do they keep up? As readers caught up to Snapdragon will have noticed, when a Champion is told ‘get to the airport as fast as […]

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Sackville’s Home

By now it’s a cliche to speak of the ‘greatest generation’ –– children of the Great Depression, who emerged from a level of poverty and starvation that we can scarcely imagine, to fight the injustices being wrought in Europe. Cynics among us are rightly skeptical that any war –– no matter how apparently just its […]

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Our National Sport

Last weekend, I spent roughly four hours with a shovel in hand. As Chris Murphy –– one of the residents of Mount Olympus who works at Canada’s Weather Network –– explained to my mother via Twitter, we were in line for some lake effect snow… and here in Waterloo, we certainly got our share. I’m […]

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Lost Tonnage

Earlier this week, I saw a confusing tweet from my good friend Mik; a battle had occurred in the massively multilayer online game EVE Online, which had resulted in an estimated $300,000 in damages. Now, I haven’t really played mulitplayer online games since Starcraft, so I wasn’t sure how such a battle could have a […]

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Up Against It

May of 2005 was the single busiest month I’ve ever had when it comes to book events. Coming off two Chapters tours the previous year, and sitting on invitations to travel for book events and to hold writing workshops, we stacked up a schedule that crossed four provinces in as many weeks –– not much […]

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