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Book Launch Highlights Sci-Fi’s Broad Appeal

11-08-2006

Local sci-fi author and Wilfrid Laurier University master’s student Kenneth Tam is releasing the next two books in his Defense Command series on Friday, November 10, 2006 at 7 pm. The event is being organized by the Laurier Science Fiction and Fantasy Club (SKIFFY) and hosted by Laurier Athletics in the Athletic Complex Golden Hawk Lounge.

SKIFFY Special Events Coordinator Mikael Christensen says the student group is excited about the event. “As a club we want to help develop the local community of both authors and readers of science fiction,” Christensen says. “Ken’s books are perfect for this, because they aren’t just science fiction, they’re fun and entertaining stories that anyone — even readers without a background in sci-fi — can enjoy.”

“I was honored when SKIFFY expressed interest in partnering with us for this launch,” Tam says. “The club works hard to show how approachable and applicable sci-fi can be in today’s world, a message I think is quite important. I’ve always been proud that readers from a wide range of ages and walks of life have been able to enjoy the Defense Command and Equations novels.”

Laurier’s Department of Athletics and Recreation hosts the launch, and while the crossing of varsity sport and science fiction might seem unusual, Tam sees a clear connection, “I worked at Laurier Athletics for five years, and the department was always very supportive of my writing. The names of some key characters in The Hawke Mission are closely tied to the Golden Hawks.”

Tam graduated with high distinction from Laurier in June 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Faculty of Arts gold medal. He began his graduate studies at Laurier in September with a prestigious Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. He is also a Balsillie Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

“I think an understanding of the past and present is critical if you’re going to offer a vision of the future,” Tam says. “Laurier’s history program, and my work at CIGI, have definitely equipped me with the understanding I need for my writing.”

The Human Equation, Tam’s first novel, was published in October 2003, when he was just 19 years old. The second, third and fourth novels followed in 2004 and 2005, and he released The Rogue Commodore and The Almost Coup, the first two books in the Defense Command series, last summer, along with the fifth Equations novel. The next books in both series are due in July 2007.

The Defense Command and Equations novels are published by Iceberg Publishing, the company started by Tam and his family in 2002. Iceberg welcomed its first external author in July 2006, and is currently working with its second on a non-fiction title due in 2007.