A century of Canadian aviation

“’Pathway to the Stars’ is a must for anyone interested in the story of Canadian aviation and the proud military accomplishments of the RCAF.” Kenneth Favrholdt reviews Pathway to the Stars: 100 Years of the Royal Canadian Air Force by Michael Hood and Tom Jenkins (Toronto: Aevo UTP, University of Toronto Press, 2023) $39.95 / 9781487547431

At ‘the edge of cataclysm,’ poetry

“In putting together pain, loss, and good feeling, the poems articulate a human capacity for gear shifting amidst dissonance—however imperfect.” —Marguerite Pigeon reviews Fine, by Matt Rader (Madeira Park: Nightwood Editions, 2024) $19.95 / 9780889714663

Where we jump forward to…

Canadian scholar and essayist Thomas Girard takes us into the future of typography, asking “How does typography play a role in what’s coming? There’s no better way, in my mind, than to talk to the experts.” Thomas Girard writes the essay Where we jump forward to…

‘What is credible hope, in this place?’

Highly recommended novella presents “a humane vision from an imagined future, of the potential that arises from valuing connection and collaboration in and with place.” —Dana McFarland reviews Arboreality, by Rebecca Campbell (Hamilton: Stelliform Press, 2022) $19.00 / 9781777682323

Where we enter

“Today, typography can be approached in many different ways whereas at many times in history there was simply a single story and single entry point. ” Thomas Girard writes Where We Enter, a third essay in his series for The British Columbia Review on the subject of typography.

‘Significant memento’ & ‘evocative artifact’

“What you are holding is clearly much more than a conventional report of a ‘project.'” Theo Dombrowski reviews Wetland Project: Explorations in Sound, Ecology and Post-Geographical Art by Brady Marks and Mark Timmings (Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022) $45.00 ISBN 9781773271996

AI and corporate intrigue

Although addictive and inventive, a debut novel’s storyline could use a trim. —Valerie Green reviews The Wickedest of Things, by Russel Barrie (Kamloops: Russel Barrie Books, 2023) $24.00 / 9781738060701

‘To the possibilities and pitfalls’

“…Randy Lee Cutler and Ingrid Koenig, two respected professors at Emily Carr University, received a major research grant to work with scientists at TRIUMF, Canada’s principal centre for particle physics research.” John O’Brian reviews Leaning Out of Windows: An Art and Physics Collaboration edited by Randy Lee Cutler and Ingrid Koenig (Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2023) $45 ISBN 9781773272177

Working with the environment

“Wuest firmly roots her book’s subject as a Western Canadian cultural institution.” Matthew Downey reviews Douglas Lake Ranch: Empire of Grass by Donna (Yoshitake) Wuest with Joe W. Gardner (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023) $50.00 / 9781990776427

Where is type going?

“Talking about specifics of typeface choices in a world where even typographic choices like serifs, italics, and double spacing can seem daunting enough, is a challenge.” Where is type going?
An Essay by Thomas Girard.
The second in a series of essays on the subject of typography.

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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The history of typography

Essay: History of typography by Thomas Girard * It would be hard to discount typography without first addressing its roots in the way we live. I was first drawn to the design history reference of stone tablets being carved into with lettering, and that lettering, at the very beginning, at least according to Megg’s, being…
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1965 The shame of 1907

White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver by Henry Tsang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $32.95  /  9781551529196 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Many British Columbians will have heard of the Vancouver anti-Asian riots of 1907. It was a brutal historic event that revealed deep-seated public prejudices fueled by paranoia about the province being…
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1956 The fire dragon

Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast by John Vaillant Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2023 $38.00  /  9780735273160 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * John Vaillant opens his book with a quote from the fire chief of Fort McMurray, Alberta: “No one’s ever seen anything like this…this is rewriting the book.” We are soon…
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1919 Mars, mirth, metadata

Girlfriend on Mars By Deborah Willis Toronto: Hamish Hamilton, 2023 $34.00 / 9780670069583 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * With a nod and wink, Vancouver’s Deborah Willis titles her story about a preposterously engineered mission to terraform Mars Girlfriend on Mars. The wonderfully lightweight word “Girlfriend” plays with the discrepancy between the gravity of a real…
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1890 Love in the Quantum Age

Catalogue d’oiseaux By Aaron Tucker Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2021 $20.00 / 9781771666947 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Catalogue d’oiseaux is a long poem that portrays a pair of lovers in their forties remaking themselves into a couple, despite distance threatening to divide them. It is the rhythmic rocking of a body in isolation, two bodies…
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1848 Share and share alike

Inheritance: a pick-the-path experience by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2022 $24.95  /  9781772013627 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * There was an opportunity to post this review on National Indigenous Peoples Day, but then, I got to thinking: why do we have to pick just one day to look at…
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1827 Sold on the human text

Art + DIY Electronics by Garnet Hertz Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, May 30, 2023 $45.00  /  9780262044936 (paperback) Reviewed by Thomas Girard * Dr. Garnet Hertz new book on DIY culture – Art + DIY Electronics – is a refreshing change from typical academic texts. It has the heft, but without the intimidation of…
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1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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