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» #97 is available now!

Issue #97 features fiction by Rishi Midha, Evie Christie, Brian Stephen Ellis, Mark Anthony Jarman, Amber Fenik, and Rob Benvie; personal essay by Peter Babiak; creative non-fiction from Cole Nowicki and Carmella Gray-Cosgrove; poetry by Jill Talbot, Brian Stephen Ellis, Diana Manole and Stan Manole; and an interview with Jonathan Simons, publisher of Analog Sea. Reviews of new books by: Alex Pugsley, Sheila Heti, Brooke Lockyer, Myriam Lacroix, George Zukerman, GauZ’, Zadie Smith, Lina Wolff (translated by Saskia Volgel), Deborah Dundas, and Kathryn Mockler, and our regular columns: Chuffed About Chapbooks by Kevin Spenst and The Crank & File from Matthew Firth.

Cover and interior illustrations by Melanie Choi

» Fiction

One on One

The last time I saw Trisha we were supposed to get together for some noose-play. The format was usually the same. I’d go over to her place. She’d drag out her slutty leather dress, black stilettos and rubber top. We’d smoke a joint then have a glass of wine and pretty soon the porn would roll out: Gallows Girls, Date with the Hangman or else some strangulation clips she’d pieced together from various horror movies and put onto a CD.

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Small, Malicious Planet

What were the odds? Her? Here?

Wexler has long forgotten her real name. When he dreams her, she’s either Catherine T., or the-most-beautiful-girl-in-the-world-you-just-want-to-take-home-and-scrub-clean. Because the last time Wexler saw her, almost twenty years ago now, there had been something distinctly cruddy about her despite that face, stunning with its origami angles and inset with otherworldly eyes that gave her the look of a startled Japanese anime character — Sailor Moon as squeegee kid.

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I still hate doing my laundry around other people; the unmentionables, the noise, the children. I wrote to you from a laundromat before. Could you tell? Did it come out clean or littered with other people’s gossip and drama? Did I tell you about the girl from downstairs who asked me if you can reuse a condom that’s been through the washer and dryer?

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» Creative Non-Fiction


They were screening Opening Night, the John Cassavetes, at the Royal. It was Cassavetes’ birthday. Also my birthday. After the movie we were ushered out into the bitter December night and none of us could bring ourselves to leave straightaway. We huddled under the marquee, stiff-shouldered, rocking on our heels, producing crystal plumes that vanished on impact. Opening Night exhausted us: we needed to talk about it. The way people careen. The way the cameras and cuts carve out blinkered geographies. The way exposition blooms in elision.

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It was after midnight, I was tired, and all I wanted was to heat up the bowl of leftover perogies I had waiting patiently for me in the fridge. Instead I stood at the door to my apartment as my neighbour stood at his, eagerly trying to convince me to “share your Internet, buddy.”
He’d called me buddy. That wasn’t a good start to the pitch.

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Youth Laid Waste

When I was a teenager I skipped school so much I’d get taken aside by my teachers and told I’d missed the most school of anyone in the history of our little Montreal-West, public-for-smart-kids prep school.

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« strong voices »

Remembering This Binge of Ours: Reading Proust, Watching The Sopranos

The past two years of the pandemic left some of us with a lot of downtime. With commutes curtailed, fewer opportunities for socializing or travel, and even, at odd times, absolute lockdown, now was the time to catch up on TV or movies or novels. For me, in the spring and summer of 2021, this meant re-watching The Sopranos, and re-reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. Somehow, the TV series and the novel worked together, and not just because they were massive in scale, immersive in their drop into characters’ lives, and with a weird combination of temporal specificity and distance. Not only do you see A.J. or Meadow grow up in The Sopranos, but you also have that memorable scene in the final volume of Proust where our narrator, Marcel, thinks he is seeing his friends in disguise as themselves as older people, until he realizes that they have, quite simply, aged.

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Global Imaginings

David Beers grew up in San Jose, California where his father was a satellite test engineer, and moved to Vancouver in 1991. His book Blue Sky Dream (1996) documents the utopian hopes and subsequent failures of the Silicon Valley version of the American Dream. He served as senior editor at the San Francisco Examiner, Mother Jones and the Vancouver Sun. His writing has won the American National Magazine Award and, twice, the Canadian National Magazine Award. After Vancouver Sun management fired him over an opinion piece in support of freedom of speech post-911, in 2003 he founded and was editor in chief of The Tyee, a much-awarded “progressive” online magazine. He lives in Vancouver.

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Campus Culture & Political (In)Correctness

Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and former video artist whose work focuses on sexual politics, aesthetics, emotion, acting out, bad behavior, and various other crevices of the American psyche. Along with her latest book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes To Campus, she’s the author of Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation; How to Become A Scandal; Against Love: A Polemic, and a few others. Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern, where she mostly teaches filmmaking.

#Resistance150: A Conversation

“Hello, Canada. Tonight has been a hundred and fifty years in the making.”

With his earnest eyes and that well-tailored smile, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau speaks to Canadians through a YouTube video on the Canada 150 website. The occasion is New Year’s Eve, 2016. With Confederation’s sesquicentennial looming on July 1st, this year has been rebranded by the government as #Canada150.

Zero Street? Where Are We?

In the fall of 1994 we had been in our new offices in the Lee Building at the intersection of Main & Broadway for close to three years. The old office was above Guys & Dolls Billiards, across the street, and was sort of funky. But the new premises were more impressive. Cleaner and seemingly more organized.

Gritty Terrain

Before Vancouver’s Main Street became a Portlandia branch plant there really wasn’t much reason to spend any time on its sidewalks. There were no single-origin coffee shops, craft-beer meccas or faux rec-room restaurants. With the noble exception of Neptoon records, and a couple of places along Antiques Row, it wasn’t much of a shopping destination either. No shops trumpeting local designers, organic materials, locally sourced handicrafts and oddball wares. Twee was pretty much absent on Main back then. Irony too.

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subTerrain gratefully acknowledges the support of our funders: The BC Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Canada Periodical Fund (Department of Canadian Heritage), and the City of Vancouver.