Canadian politics, satire, publishing

September 26, 2008

I was told that if I went to the Roselawn (Port Colborne) reading series last night, I would see Noah Richler. This wasn’t the case, but it turned out to be a great experience, anyway.

Terry Fallis was the speaker. His “real” career is in political communications (and, as he said, will have to stay that way until the home renovations are paid off). So, when he decided to write a novel, it was about Canadian politics. Oh, and he’s also an engineer. So there’s some stuff about a hovercraft. And some S&M, but he says that’s the element of the story he didn’t already know about.

It was nice to finally have Canadian politics be the focus of something in my cultural sphere. Plus, I’m such a lover of satire. I’ll have to actually read the book (it’s just being widely published now, I’ll explain in a second) to know what sort of satire it is, but I think it’s so healthy for a political system, if done in a way that can actually have some impact.

The book is called The Best Laid Plans, and when Fallis couldn’t find an interested agent or publisher, he released it as a podcast (it’s still available on iTunes or on terryfallis.com). When it got up to the top 25 literary podcasts, and good feedback was coming in, Fallis decided to self-publish. Eventually, he sent in 10 copies of the self-published book, and his $150, to the committee for the Stephen Leacock Award. It was short-listed, and then won. And now it’s published by McClelland and Stewart. Oh, and there’s a Facebook group started by someone in Australia.

I just loved it as a story about what’s been made possible by the internet. Enough that I wanted to talk about it before I read it, which should happen soon.

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