Shadowpaw Press Crowdfundr succeeds!

It takes money to publish books, and most of that money flows out the door before the book is released and sales begin, so my publishing company, Shadowpaw Press, turned to Crowdfundr to help ensure that the wonderful books we’ll (“we” meaning me and the cat) currently plan to publish in Spring/Summer 2024 list come to fruition.

I’m pleased to say the campaign brought in $3,190, well over the (modest) goal of $2,000.

What the money is for

Our planned titles: The Downloaded, science fiction by Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer; The Traitor’s Son (science fiction) and Corridor to Nightmare (fantasy), the last two unpublished novels from the late, great Canadian science fiction author Dave Duncan; new editions of the popular Canadian Chills series of middle-grade fantasy/science fiction books (Return of the Grudstone GhostsGhost Hotel, and Invasion of the IQ Snatchers) by Governor General’s Award-winning author Arthur Slade; a new edition of the multiple award-nominated literary historical novel Let us Be True by Erna Buffie; the new mental health-focused poetry collection The Door at the End of Everything by Lynda Monahan; and The Glass Lodge, a new edition, with facsimile illustrations of the original handwritten poems, of award-winning poet and artist John Brady McDonald’s debut collection about life as a young, urban Indigenous man.

Detailed information about all of these titles can be found a little farther down in this story.

Your contributions to this Crowdfundr campaign will help us ensure that these titles are not only published, but find the readership they deserve, defraying the cost of editing, book design, printing, and marketing. In exchange, you’ll receive recognition on our website and in our newsletter, and to receive ebook or print copies of these and other books published by Shadowpaw Press.

Looking ahead

We anticipate making a Crowdfundr campaign a regular feature of Shadowpaw Press’s publishing program. We’re already working on our fall list. Back Shadowpaw Press, and you’ll also receive regular updates on our plans through our newsletter and updates on this campaign.

Now, the planned books for Spring/Summer 2024 in more detail:

Our Lead Title

The Downloaded 
By Robert J. Sawyer

In 2059 two very different groups have their minds uploaded into a quantum computer in Waterloo, Ontario. One group consists of astronauts preparing for Earth’s first interstellar voyage. The other? Convicted murderers, serving their sentences in a virtual-reality prison. But when disaster strikes, the astronauts and the prisoners must download back into physical reality and find a way to work together to save Earth from destruction…

 The Downloaded absolutely sizzles with fascinating ideas.” —Robert Charles Wilson, Hugo Award-winning author of Spin

“A wicked-smart thrill ride from start to finish. I loved it.” —Sylvain Neuvel, author of A History of What Comes Next 

 The Downloaded is a wonderful demonstration of Sawyer’s deep understanding of — and compassion for — people. It’s a rare and potent humanity that elevates his work high above the rest.” —Julie E. Czerneda, Aurora Award-winning author of To Each This World

“In  The Downloaded, Sawyer proves he’s not just a master at using science fiction to address social issues but also a master at portraying diverse characters.” —James Alan Gardner, Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning author of Commitment Hour

“One of the best SF novels I’ve read in years.” —Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Coyote

The last two unpublished novels by the late, great Dave Duncan

The Traitor’s Son

Dave Duncan

“They know the world is dying, but they hope not in their lifetimes. Meanwhile, they’re top dogs and will do anything to stay that way.”

Doig Gray is fifteen when his father is killed in a mining accident, which Doig comes to realizes was no accident. Torn from his mother and sister, Doig is sent off to college, his every movement monitored in case he has inherited his dissident father’s unacceptable attitudes . . . or passwords. Doig has nothing but his own sense that there’s something desperately wrong with the world—and a last name that evokes the assumption that he’s destined to be the next traitor-hero.

The Traitor’s Son is a science fiction novel about a colony world where everything that could go wrong already has. Stuck on the wrong world at the wrong site, with the wrong leaders, the colony is doomed to extinction unless immediate steps are taken to correct—everything. But 500 years of hiding from the reality of their situation has created an unchallengeable status quo—and the Accident Squad, determined to ensure it remains that way.

The Traitor’s Son is a fast-paced SF adventure in the best tradition of Duncan’s Hero , West of January, and Eocene Station.  

Corridor to Nightmare

When one life ends, another begins.

After forty years as the village school teacher in the idyllic valley of Greenbottom, Agatha is looking forward to a quiet retirement. Instead, an enigmatic stranger arrives to drag her through a long-closed portal to another world.

Confronted with a completely foreign culture steeped in magic and violence, Agatha finds herself a crucial pawn being played between rival factions. The only way forward through the rigid traditions and convoluted politics of the Archons of Otopia is to remain true to herself and her Greenbottom ideals.

The Canadian Chills middle-grade horror/science fiction series by Arthur Slade

The Canadian Chills series, originally published by Coteau Books, combines Arthur Slade’s comic genius and his ability to make your heart freeze with terror. Each story is chock full of mystery and surprises and set in a strange Canadian setting.  And at the centre of these tales are dynamic, smart characters who aren’t afraid of a little adventure, whether that adventure includes ghosts, aliens, or Sasquatches.

Return of the Grudstone Ghosts

When Daphne’s sixth-grade teacher, Miss Vindez, plummets from the belfry of St. Wolcott School, Daphne and her friends Nick and Peach are plunged into a mystery that includes a long-ago fire that left behind twelve dead schoolchildren, tiny ghosts with nowhere to go, and an ancient evil just dying to break through into modern-day Moose Jaw.

Miss Vindez survives her fall, but things just aren’t the same–she’s spouting gibberish, and both Principal Peterka and the school janitor are definitely not themselves at all any more.

Determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on, Daphne, Nick, and Peach dig up the troubled history of Grudstone, the school that used to stand where St. Wolcott is now. They uncover evidence of a crime so terrible it can hardly be believed. Worse, the terrifying perpetrator of that crime isn’t done yet–he has more horrible plans in mind. And all that stands in his way are three Moose Jaw school kids.

Ghost Hotel

Walter Biggar Bronson (a.k.a. Wart), and his friend Cindy meet a ghost one night after school. The small, mournful boy leads them across the Broadway Bridge to the gracious Bessborough Hotel. After a strange incident in the elevator, they find themselves still in the hotel–but back in 1936. Some spooky things are going on. The room numbers are all mixed up. The library on the mezzanine is filled with hundreds of copies of the same book. And out on the street, the cars are all the same–vintage Studebakers. Back in the present, Wart and Cindy follow their motto–“Gather, identify, solve”–until they crack the case, with help from Wart’s distinctly odd parents, and the loan of his mother’s time-travel-proof cell phone.

Young Archie Tortle, drowned along with his parents in 1936, has not been able to accept his death. He has created his own world in the hotel, where everything serves his needs. Only Wart and Cindy can help him come to terms with his loss and stop him haunting the hotel.

Invasion of the IQ Snatchers

Gordon Whillickers and his friend Sophia are the only ones who can stop a sinister plot to steal the brain power of the people of Nanaimo.

Someone is delivering plates of scrumptious Nanaimo bars to every household in Nanaimo, and the people who eat them are behaving very strangely. Gordon Whillickers doesn’t get to eat his because at the last minute a hairy arm reaches through his window and steals them. He and Sophia chase after the thief and meet an amazing Sasquatch named Cheryl, who is also puzzled by the sudden appearance of the mouth-watering delicacies.

With the help of Cheryl and the technological wizardry of a local librarian, the two kids move ever closer to the alien creature at the centre of the plot. They must stop him before the Nanaimoites’ IQs are lost forever.

A new edition of a multiple award-nominated literary historical novel

Finalist for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Finalist for the the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book at the 2016 Manitoba Book Awards

Originally published by Coteau Books

From the killing fields of Europe to the merciless beauty of the Canadian prairies, Let Us Be True tells the story of three women, whose lives have been shaped and damaged by secrets–their own and those that stretch back through time, casting their shadow from one generation to the next.

At the heart of the novel is 74-year-old Pearl Calder, a woman who has thrown away her past and kept it a secret from her daughters. But as Pearl confronts her own mortality, she begins to understand what her dead husband, Henry, has always known.

Secrets are like dark and angry ghosts. And they don’t just haunt you. They haunt everyone you love.

Alternating between the past and present, and between Pearl’s voice and the voices of her family members, both living and dead, the story explores how all of our lives, to a greater or lesser degree, are shaped by secrets: our own as well as ancestral secrets we may know nothing about, but which affect who we are and who we become.

Pearl is no exception. With a life that spans the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the deep conservatism of the postwar boom, Pearl’s secrets are rooted in events over which she had no control: the death of her mother; a father destroyed by war; a brother who adores her but who dies on the beaches of Dieppe, and a sister who abandons Pearl to save herself.

 Let Us Be True remains vital, present and taut throughout. A story as starkly beautiful as a prairie landscape.”- The  Globe and Mail 

A new poetry collection with a focus on mental health by award-winning poet Lynda Monahan

Written while Lynda Monahan was hospital writer-in-residence at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, working often on the adult and youth mental health wards, the tight, pared poems in The Door at the End of Everything give voice to and honour those living with mental illness, speaking to not only the suffering but also the courage and hope that is so clearly there as well.

Several of the poems and poetry sequences have seen publication in various literary journals, including GrainThe Society, The New QuarterlyTransitionBareback, and Dalhousie Review, and in the poetry anthologies Writing Menopause (Inanna Publications), Lummox Anthology of Canadian PoetryWorth More Standing (Caitlin Press), the Apart pandemic anthology (SWG), and Line Dance(Burton House Books), and in various tanka publications such as Atlas PoeticaA Hundred Gourds,and Gusts. A series of online readings from this manuscript, created with the help of a Canada Council grant, are available on YouTube.

  Praise for The Door at the End of Everything

“This is a terrific poetry collection. The poems are presented in a variety of styles, but always with a light, lyrical touch, notwithstanding the seriousness of the content of many of them: the poems explore mental illness, not in a clinical way, but from the inside, as well as aging, grief, loneliness, and loss. Despite the grim subject matter, the poems are infused with lovely imagery and a sense of hope . . . filled with vivid, arresting images and well-turned lines, coloured by shades of darkness and light.” – Dave Margoshes

A new illustrated edition of the poetry collection that began the career of award-winning First Nations writer John Brady McDonald

John Brady McDonald, a Nehiyawak-Metis multidisciplinary artist and writer from Treaty Six Territory, the author of five books, was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award in 2022, was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award that same year, and was a finalist for the 2023 Lambda Literary Award in New York City. He has presented around the world, including at the Edmonton and Fort McMurray Literary Festivals, the Eden Mills Writers Festival, Bookfest Windsor, the Toronto Word On The Street Festival, and the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

Before all this, however, he was a young, urban Indigenous youth, struggling with addictions, the streets, and the pain and turmoil of intergenerational trauma as a residential school survivor and the child of residential school survivors. While his struggle was not uncommon, what made it unique was that he documented it through free-verse poetry, filling countless notebooks and paper boxes with hundreds of poems over a ten-year period, providing a glimpse into the life of an Indigenous youth who had to overcome so much and grow up way too fast.

These raw, lyrical poems are a glimpse of the birth of a poet, recklessly using language and words with abandon and without restraint. It is the poetry of an individual experimenting with the language, influenced by the works of Shakespeare and Jim Morrison, mixed with the teenage goth writing style of youth–the base metals from which a lifetime of words was forged.

Originally published by Kegedonce Press in 2004, The Glass Lodge was presented across Canada and the US at esteemed festivals. Chosen for the First Nations Communities Read program, it was also nominated for the Anskohk Aboriginal Book of the Year in 2005. Since that first edition went out of print a few years ago, McDonald has re-edited and restored the work. He also rediscovered many of the original, handwritten poems, which serve as illustrations in this new edition.

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