Dr. Adrian Fraser

1487973_10151936597240369_950821918_o Dr. Adrian Fraser

St. Vincent and the Grenadines historian Dr. Adrian Fraser has published a new book with The University of the West Indies Press that recounts the events leading up to and following the 1935 Riots in St. Vincent.

The book, titled The 1935 Riots in St Vincent: From Riots to Adult Suffrage, is currently available in paperback from Amazon.com.

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St Vincent was among the earliest of the British Caribbean colonies to have experienced labour disturbances in the 1930s. While disturbances in the other Caribbean colonies were largely associated with the plantations and with strikes, in St Vincent the riots broke out on the grounds of the court house during a meeting of the Legislative Council on the upper floor. The 1935 Riots in St Vincent: From Riots to Adult Suffrage is the first comprehensive treatment of those disturbances. Fraser’s analysis is to a large extent informed by the use of newspapers and of oral history. In St Vincent, the plantations no longer had total dominance of the colony’s export economy. Instead, peasants, farmers and agricultural labourers were major players in an export economy that had shifted from sugar production to Sea Island cotton and arrowroot, crops that were suited to the lands to which they had access. Of added significance to the events following the riots was the fact that political leaders unearthed by the riots failed to maintain popular support with the advent of adult suffrage in 1951. Interpretations of British West Indian colonial history have to a large extent been informed by the experiences of the larger colonies. An understanding of the St Vincent riots will make a valuable contribution to the literature of the rebellions of the 1930s.

Dr. Fraser is the former Head of the Open Campus, University of the West Indies (St Vincent and the Grenadines). His publications include Chatoyer (Chatawae): First National Hero of St Vincent and the Grenadines; From Shakers to Spiritual Baptists: The Struggle for Survival of the Shakers of St Vincent and the Grenadines; and (in collaboration with Keith Joseph) Caribbean Social Studies: St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Clem Martini

Martini_Clem_0592_largeClem Martini

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release, The Ancient Comedians And What They Have To Say To Contemporary Playwrights, is a non-fiction book that explores the evolution of comedic playwriting.

Quick description: The Ancient Comedians explores the strategies used by the innovators who navigated the terrain thousands of years ago and made their mark on the craft.

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Brief biography:
Professor Clem Martini is an award winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays, and ten books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the Calgary Book Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness and his most recent anthology, Martini With A Twist. His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, and The Greek Playwright, are employed in universities and colleges across the country. He is currently the Chair of the Division of Drama in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.

 

Links to buy Clem’s book:
Playwrights Canada Press

Clem’s promo links:
University of Calgary, School of Creative and Performing Arts

What are you working on now?
I am working on a comic play about love and extinction.

Clem’s reading recommendation:
Pseudolus by Plautus

Robert Runté – update on a new publication

Dr. Robert Runté was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014, and was a contributor to another anthology also featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct.

978-0-7864-9592-4The Canadian Fantastic in Focus: New Perspectives
Allan Weiss, Editor
Literary Criticism: Canadian Speculative Fiction

Bringing together papers presented at the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy from 2005 to 2013, this collection of essays includes Veronica Hollinger’s keynote address, “The Body on the Slab,” and Robert Runté’s Aurora Award-winning paper, “Why I Read Canadian Speculative Fiction: The Social Dimension of Reading” along with 15 other contributions on science fiction and fantasy literature, television and music by Canadian creators.

Authors discussed include Charles de Lint, Nalo Hopkinson, Tanya Huff, Esther Rochon, Peter Watts and Robert Charles Wilson. Essays on the television show Supernatural and the Scott Pilgrim comics series are also included.

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Dr. Robert Runté with the 2014 Prix Aurora Award he won for this essay in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

From Robert Runté:
I grew up in an age when speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and so on) was still considered beneath the dignity of serious scholarly attention. Indeed, one of my early deans once told me that he considered “scifi” of lower literary value than Harlequin Romance (which to his mind was the worst comparison he could draw), and that he was more embarrassed by my interest in SF than if I had written porn. So I am pretty relieved to find that the new generation of scholars has dropped such pretensions and is eagerly and capably delving into Canadian science fiction and fantasy. Drawn from the most outstanding papers of the last seven years, this collection provides a representative cross-section of both this new generation of energetic, innovative and insightful Canadian academics, and of the brilliant Canadian authors they have chosen to review.

Allan Weiss’ introductory essay provides an excellent overview of the history of scholarship on the Canadian contribution to the genre, and I like to believe that my own essay provides an overview of the themes that have dominated Canadian speculative fiction and distinguish it from the American and British versions of the genre. I have also tried to explain the social dimension of reading: why we need to create spaces where our youth can explore what it means to be Canadian, to find their own voice by creating their own interpretations of popular tropes.

I confess to being particularly proud of my essay, not just because it represents a summation of everything I’ve been arguing for the past 35 years, but because the essay won a major award even while the book was still in press. My presentation at the 2013 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy won a 2014
Aurora Award (Canada’s answer to the American Hugo Awards). Apparently, the suggestion that Canadian authors address themes that resonate particularly well with Canadian readers hit a responsive chord with the Award’s voters.

Links for people to buy it:
McFarland Publishing (publisher’s catalog)
Amazon – eBook and Paperback

Robert Runté is Senior Editor with Five Rivers Publishing, and a freelance development editor /writing coach at SFeditor.ca.