It's not just a name, it's an institution. Actually, it's just a newsletter.

A Literary Map of Vancouver Part I

A Literary Map of Vancouver: Part OneWe Canadians sometimes forget how new our beloved nation is. My wife’s grandmother in Japan is as old as Vancouver. Okay, not quite, but you know what I mean. That the Londons, Dublins and Tokyos of this world have produced Chaucers, Joyces and Mishimas, respectively, is in part thanks to centuries more time on earth to develop their culture. Even our New World cousins to the south have a good century’s head start. Still, considering how green a city Vancouver is (literally and metaphorically) it’s remarkable the variety of writers it has produced. In a (perhaps misguided) effort to connect the dots on this sprawling metaphoric map, I’ve grouped Vancouver’s best known scribes into two markedly disparate camps, what I call The Prophet-Satirists and The Lyrical-Outsiders, neither of which, I should add, harp too much on that lush, green and “utopian” Vancouver that one reviewer described as racking up “high scores in all those liveable city surveys.” But then when did pretty vistas or happy hiking trails make for great reading?



Whether through realism or satire, cyberpunk or often times something that defies labeling, Vancouver's Prophet-Satirists either literally forsaw much of our online world decades before it happened, or they did a good job of taking the world we live in and showing us all that makes it strange, dark, terrible and/or hilarious.

Here is the premise to William Gibson’s futuristic first novel: In an attempt to win back the love of his life, a computer hacker winds up working for what turns out to be an artificial intelligence known as Wintermute. To the young science fiction reader or movie watcher out there, this'll sound fairly pedestrian and not particularly original. When you consider, however, that Neuromancer was written in 1984, a time when most people didn’t even own personal computers let alone understand the term "hack,"  it's actually pretty mind-blowing. And this from the man who coined the term "cyberspace" two years earlier. Gibson is also credited with predicting reality television among other things.

For the rest of this article click Literary Map of Vancouver I