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North By 2000

North by 2000: A collection of Canadian science fiction
by H.A. Hargreaves
Published by Peter Martin Associates, 1975
Amazon.com: paperback
Highly Recommended by: Greg Slade
[North by 2000]

Book Rating
Rated 3 (Highly Recommended) by: 1 person
Rated 2 (Recommended) by: nobody
Rated 1 (Suggested) by: nobody
Rated 0 (Reviewed) by: nobody
Total Votes: 1 person
Average Rating: 3.00 (Highly Recommended)
Score: 0.30 (Reviewed)

Some stories stick with you for years after you read them. The images keep popping up, and sometimes you find yourself asking, "I wonder who wrote that story where...." In my case, a surprising number of those stories were written by H.A. Hargreaves, who was a professor of English at the University of Alberta at the time of publication. This book was originally given to me as gift in all innocence by somebody who knew that I'm into science fiction and Canadiana. ("Why not both, eh?") Four of the stories appeared previously in New Worlds and New Writings in SF.

One character appears in two of the stories: Benjamin Scroop, a Christian Spiritual Advisor. Well, sort of/almost/maybe, anyway. To be precise, he's a member of the Christian Unitarian Spiritual Society (yes, spell out the acronym), but he's also ordained as an Anglican priest. In Hargreaves' vision of the future, society has become so secularised that members of the clergy have to "moonlight" to survive, and even take on multiple parishes of multiple faiths. Scroop is poverty stricken, of course, and constrained to be nice to everyone, of course, and resented by the irreligious around him, of course. But still, he manages to find a way to help a friend.

Considering how long ago this book was printed, I was amazed to find that Amazon.com have it in their catalogue. Possibly somebody there finds these stories as unforgettable as I do. (April, 1999)

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