December 1, 2023 — Well, yesterday was fun. I had the great pleasure of sitting down to sign a contract old-school — pen on paper! — with Adrienne Stevenson (who is also a first-time novelist with this year’s release of Mirrors & Smoke) and Marie-Andrée Auclair, two Ottawa-based writers whose collaborative book of poems (or “chapbook”, if you prefer), Skipping Stones, will be published by The BumblePuppy Press in the spring of 2024.
I never thought we would branch out into poetry, but Skipping Stones is a book — chapbook! — whose sometimes meditative, sometimes funny, sometimes moving, poems demanded that we grow a new artistic limb.
There will be more information about this in the days and weeks to come.
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Speaking of branching out, stay tuned for announcements about a memoir, Life Is Good, written by Jules Paivio, who was the last living member of the famed Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, and a children’s book, The Inclusive Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, edited and with an introduction by yours truly.
Also, though there have been some unexpected delays, Paul Adamson is hard at work on our first audiobook, Rachel Rosen’s Cascade.
All in all, I am pretty excited about the year to come for the BumblePuppy Press.
And meanwhile, all of our books currently in print are available on our website at 20% off! Click here to visit our store and save! After all, what better holiday gift can there be than a good book? Www.bppress.ca/shop.
July 17, 2023 — A few months shy of the 10th anniversary of the publication of Carl Dow’s first book (the eclectic collection of short fiction, The Old Man’s Last Sauna) came another anniversary: Carl’s 90th birthday, which we celebrated in quiet style at his home on the northern edge of Ottawa’s Centretown this past Saturday.
In attendance were Randy Ray, his longtime friend and sometime publicist, Randy’s partner Judy Kwasnica, Carl’s oldest friend (who he has been trying to catch for about 70 years, but who somehow remains four months older) Nick Aplin, his friend Faduma (who asked not to be pictured nor last-named), and of course, my darling wife (who also chooses to keep her face and name off the internet), and my daughter, “Baobao”, whose face I have decided to keep private, now that she is nearly four.
As I said, it was a small celebration of Carl’s first 90 years, but a joyful one.
Though largely confined to the wheelchair you can see in some of the accompanying photos, Carl (who is, yes, my father; the shared last name is no coincidence. His writer’s home at The BumblePuppy Press, on the other hand, has nothing to do with nepotism and everything to do with the fact that, when I read his first novel, Black Grass, in manuscript, I started it in the evening and finished it as the sun was rising the next morning. I founded the company because I really wanted that book to see print) promises to deliver his next novel, Wildflowers: The Women Who Made McCord Chronicle to his publisher, well, any day now.
After that, he says he has a sequel to Black Grass percolating — one that will feature Louis Riel himself, along with the protagonist of Black Grass, Gabriel Dumont. He says he might start work on his memoirs once those two novels are in the proverbial can, but I suspect more fiction will get in the way of that.
While I wait for the new book (and to really bury the lede), to celebrate Carl’s birthday, we are offering both of his existing books — Black Grass and The Old Man’s Last Sauna for a combined price of only $25.00. Click here to buy them now!
Please offer your congratulations to my dad in the best way possible — buy his books! If you need evidence before laying down your hard-earned money, click here to read an excerpt from Black Grass, and here to read the powerful novelette, “O! Ernie … What Have They Done To You?” in its entirety.
March 17, 2023 — It is with great pleasure that I welcome Paul Adamson to the BumblePuppy Press.
Paul has signed on to launch our — and his — very first foray into audio books, narrating Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade.
This being our first time working with audio, I’m not ready to provide a precise launch date, but our intention is to publish it in the fall of 2023 (why yes, in time for Christmas). We will also be launching a crowd-sourcing campaign to support it — details to follow soon.
Paul has already made a name for himself as a voice actor in video games and e-learning videos, but Cascade will be his first time working with long-form fiction. I for one have no doubt that this book will be the first of many — I hope, for the BumblePuppy Press, and elsewhere.
Below is a very brief excerpt from his audition recording, already very nearly ready for prime time.
Of course, if you prefer to read your fiction with your eyes (or you just can’t wait until the fall), Cascade is now on special at our store, in hard-cover, soft-cover, and all major ebook formats (DRM-free, of course). And if you’re voting in the upcoming Aurora Awards, there is still time to vote for Cascade as this year’s best novel.
Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade eligible for Aurora Award
As is only right and proper, Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel, Cascade, is eligible in the Best Novel category for Canada’s premiere English-language science fiction and fantasy awards, the Auroras (https://www.csffa.ca/members-home/nomination/).
To have a chance to be added to the final Aurora Awards ballot, a work must get at least five nominations, and only members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) are eligible to vote. The price of that franchise is a pretty affordable $10.00 for an annual membership, and you must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant in order to join.
If you loved Cascade, or even if you’re just a fan of Canadian SF&F, that seems a small price to pay to support the work creators you like. Membership information is here: https://www.csffa.ca/become-a-member/. CSFFA membership allows you to:
nominate your favourite works in any or all of the categories;
download e-versions of almost all of the finalist works for free with our voter package; and
vote for the for the awards themselves.
To celebrate (and yes, to improve Rachel’s chances, I won’t lie), we’ve reduced the price on all versions of Cascade. DRM-free ebooks in all formats are now only $2.00, the paperback is marked down to $15.00, and the hardcover is only $26.00. A little self-serving, maybe, but a great deal for you if you have not yet had the pleasure of reading what I really do think was the best Canadian SF novel of 2022. You can buy all of our books here.
Besides the upcoming Aurora Awards, the BumblePuppy Press will have more news about Cascade (audiobook!), the upcoming novel Reprise, and a new version of A.A. Milne’s classic children’s book, which we will be calling The InclusiveWoke Winnie-the-Pooh. So please come back soon or, better yet, subscribe to our newsletter!
It’s not often one grins while pressing Send on an e-transfer, but this was one of those times. (Not often?!? Come to think of it, I can’t remember ever feeling delighted about paying money for anything.)
But it was with genuine pleasure that I found myself sending Rachel A. Rosen her first royalty payment for her debut novel, Cascade, amounting to more than 60% of her advance! (There was also a second, much smaller cheque, for sales of her related chapbook, So Human As I Am.)
Yes, I think the exclamation point is warranted. While not quite a bestseller, for the publisher behind a very small press, I consider this a real victory. And I’m confident it won’t be the last.* * *
Not only do we have four really good books currently available for sale now, but this year we have plans for at least another four books, two of them slated for the spring.
Next week we will formally launch a Kickstarter campaign for, and reveal the cover of, Zilla Novikov’s first novel, the very twisted, and very funny, science fiction romance, Reprise, and shortly after that, our Inclusive version of A.A. Milne’s children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh.
If you want to avoid the mysterious algorithms of social media, please join our mailing list (link below). We won’t sell your info to anyone else, and you’ll then be the first to know when we have actual news.
I think that’s it for the moment. I hope the new year is starting off as well for you as it is for us!
Well, our Cascade Kickstarter ended really successfully. 101 backers pledged 263% towards our modest $2,000 goal. If you are among those, please accept my thanks for your support one more time!
I am working hard to get the rewards out as soon as possible, which also means I am working hard to make Rachel A. Rosen‘s book available to everyone else, as well, so that those of you who prefer to buy their books in more traditional ways can do so soon.
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Beyond the support of readers, we’ve also had some advance praise from other writers. For the record (and for my own pleasure, if I’m being fully honest — as why shouldn’t I be?), here are what they’ve had to say to date.
Finally, something to make the hope-punks shut the fuck up.
A near-perfect blend of implacable horror, gallows humor, and ecological apocalypse. It seems almost absurd that a novel about chaos magic and bureaucrat magicians (even if they are embedded in the sociopathic morass of Canadian politics) can somehow feel more viscerally relevant than all the earnest mainstream novels and Suzuki-Foundation bulletins you could stuff into a ballot box. Pay attention, people: all magic aside, we’re far closer to this future than any of our rulers will ever admit.
Rachel A. Rosen is some kind of twisted genius. I wish I had even half her moves.
Finally, an urban fantasy that kills the cop—and the rest of the government—in your head. Relentlessly radical and often hilarious, Cascade will change the way you look at magic, and the state, forever.
Cascade is an excellent introduction to the imaginative prose of Rachel A. Rosen. Her debut novel takes us to a futuristic North America filled with vividly realized characters surrounded by magic and the possible end of the world. One of the few novels I’ve read recently in a single weekend. Sharp and thought-provoking, with thrilling moments and crackling with compelling ideas, I wouldn’t miss this one. I’m looking forward to her next instalment!
Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade is one of the best books I’ve read this year. She brings a unique blend of magic environmentalism, Canadian politcking, and indigenous and queer rights to the table. I never thought I would be so interested in the near-futuristic Canadian political process!
Full of magic and social commentary, Cascade is never so witty that it hides its anger or so angry that it sacrifices wit. This is a brilliant exciting debut by an author that will have a long and fruitful career if there’s any justice in the world.
And if all of those very perceptive comments don’t convince you that Cascade is a novel worth your time and money, the redoutable Rachel A. has created something else for you!
If you prefer to read electronically, Kindle-users can pre-order Cascade here. For the rest of you, you’ll be able to place pre-orders through our site soon, and through your usual online vendors soon after that.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list in order to stay informed about this book, and those we have waiting in the proverbial pipeline!
I feel as if someone needs to force-feed me a thesaurus, but there it is: I am once again thrilled to formally announce that The BumblePuppy Press has purchased the rights to another debut novel.
Reprise, by the remarkable Zilla Novikov, is a story the author has been shopping around for some time and I can only be grateful that no one else has been smart enough to say “Yes! Yes, I want this!” before I did.
Granted, Reprise is not an easy book to sum up — and I’m not going to do it now. A relatively short novel by word-count, Zilla manages to pack a lot into it: inter-dimensional travel, a very funny Dungeons and Dragons adventure, romance, and a hearty kick in academia’s shins, all woven into an extraordinarily tightly-woven plot. Zilla herself described it as a “… toxic romance, slow-burn plot, #darkacademia#specfic …” which is incomplete, but certainly not wrong.
Needless to say, you’ll be hearing a great deal more about Reprise in the weeks and months ahead, as we aim to publish it in the fall of 2022.
You can follow Zilla Novikov on Twitter (@zillanovikov), and don’t forget to subscribe to the BumblePuppy’s newsletter using the form below to keep abreast of what’s happening here. (There is more good news coming this year!)
And don’t forget, our Kickstarter campaign for Rachel A. Rosen’s forthcoming novel, Cascade has been a great success; with 20 days to go, it is already nearly 250% funded!
If you want to support a brilliant new writer (and get in on some fantastic extras) please click here. Alternately, the ebook is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
Edit: September 18, 2021: We’ve decided to continue this sale for a little while longer – there’s still time to save!
It seems hard to believe that this summer is almost over. As I type this on the afternoon of August 26th, 2021, in Ottawa (Canada), the thermometer in my home office reads 31.5° C, and the weather app on my phone tells me it feels like 38. (As I prepare to post, on Friday, the heat wave has mercifully broken at last — 23C!)
It seems even harder to believe that we are now pushing two years since rumours of a new infectious disease began to come out of China. That makes it nearly a year-and-a-half since I was laid off from my day job and since I started wearing a mask when I ventured out of doors.
I am vaccinated now, so I don’t always mask up outside, but I am not yet ready to venture into a bar or restaurant, and I am unhappily prepared for yet another lock-down before all this is over.
But all that said, I do believe (as the old saw has it), where there’s life, there’s hope. And what better way to remind ourselves of that adage, then to remember that life has never been easy and has never been simple.
Take Carl Dow’s fantastic historical novel, Black Grass (which is on sale for the low, low, low price of only $1.99 for the ebook edition, or $12.95 for the paperback (signed by the author at no extra charge if you wish!), only at the BumblePuppy Press. Why pay Amazon when you can be sure it all goes straight to the author!)
Set in 1866, on the border of what would be become the western territories of the United States and Canada, we find that life is no simpler, nor any safer, than it is in 2021. There is still conflict and threats of war; men and women still love, and still hate; the future is (literally, in this case) an on-coming train, inevitable in the broader sense, but not yet set on an inevitable track.
Gabriel Dumont and his fellow prairie Métis face threats to their lives, and their way of life, and face them with courage and imagination, just as we must do in the face of our challenges today.
I don’t recommend books because of their message — most of the best novels and stories cannot be broken down to a singular point. Yet we can sometimes take hints from good fiction, about what makes life worth living, and when it is worth risking all to preserve it.
Anyway, with a week and a half to go before Labour Day weekend comes to a close, I offer some small comfort to those of you in search of a good story.
Black Grass for $1.99 if you want it now, or $12.95 is you want it signed (delivery is extra, though if you live in Ottawa, I might be able to get it to you for considerably less than Canada Post will charge — and faster, too). Please visit our online store and make your choice!
Let’s hope next summer is a far sight better than the past two have been!
Geoffrey Dow, Publisher
P.S. And don’t forget to leave a review if you like it (or even if you don’t), here, at an online retailer, or at Goodreads. Small presses especially appreciate every kind word that comes our way!
“I wanted to write a story about a Canadian hero who wasn’t hanged,” Carl Dow told me in conversation some months back.
Gabriel Dumont was the hero, and Black Grass was the resulting novel, a novel which led me down the path to being a publisher. Of course, I am biased – the shared last name is no accident – but I read the book in manuscript form in one sitting, coming up for air with the rising sun.