Fictionally Speaking, That Is...
Toronto, ON (September 5, 2019) - For years, Torontonians have suffered through commuter hell. The city was recently ranked the worst in North America for commuting thanks to underfunded public transportation and anemic rapid transit growth. But arguing politicians may have a solution at last: putting trolls to work!
No, not Internet trolls, although their labour may be woefully underused. According to the fictional world of The Night Girl, by award-winning author James Bow, actual trolls - large but docile humanoid beings - can dig tunnels better than tunnel boring machines and have put the city on the cusp of a subway boom.
Fictionally, that is. The map is available in the archive of the Transit Toronto website.
"The Night Girl is the story of a young woman named Perpetua Collins, who comes to Toronto looking for work and finds it as a secretary for an employment agency that finds jobs for goblins and trolls. They want her to be their human face - not literally, of course, as that would be messy and hardly an effective disguise."
"It's an excellent fantasy adventure packed with humour, unforgettable characters and more twists and turns than an underground amusement ride," says author Arthur Slade. "You'll never look at a gargoyle in the same way. Or the city of Toronto. So much fun!"
The Night Girl is an urban fantasy, set in Toronto, featuring faeries, goblins, and trolls living and working beyond the sight of most humans. "Many of them can be found on our rooftops," James explains. "Or in Toronto's PATH Network after hours. It can get spooky down there."
James Bow was born in downtown Toronto. When writing his novel, there was no question that it would be set in his hometown. "As a Canadian author, born in Toronto, I had to speak up for my city. In science fiction and fantasy novels set on Earth, a lot of the attention goes to New York, Los Angeles, or London."
"Toronto has a lot to offer as a setting for fantastic literature," says James. "There are futuristic buildings mixed with older architecture. There's Toronto's PATH Network, which is the world's largest underground city. It has a diverse collection of cultures. People from around the world come calling, so why does it have to be just humans who show up?"
The things Toronto brings to the table as a science fiction or fantasy setting will be discussed at a special author panel discussion held at the Merril Collection of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 2 p.m., at the Lillian H. Smith library at 239 College Street.
James Bow will moderate a discussion with science fiction, fantasy, and urbanist authors including the Toronto Star's Shawn Micallef, J.M. Frey, Phoebe Barton, K.T. Bryski, Ben Berman Ghan, and Mari Ramsawakh. It will be followed by questions from the audience, a reading from The Night Girl, and a chance to have authors sign copies of their books.
"It will be a fun event, and I hope it will help put Toronto on the map when it comes to settings in science fiction and fantasy literature," says James.
The Night Girl is published by REUTS Publications, and is available at better bookstores everywhere, including Bakka-Phoenix Bookstore. More information about the novel can be found at James Bow's website at www.bowjamesbow.ca.
James Bow is available for interviews and can be reached at (519) 590-9640, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Night Girl subway map is available at: https://transit.toronto.on.ca/images/toronto-subway-night-girl-map-reduced.pdf