Posted onJuly 27, 2021|Comments Off on A literary review of my polar bear attack thriller, with all the condescending attitude you’d expect
For your amusement, I present a book review of Eaten from an Austrian academic specializing in contemporary literature by the name of Michael Fuchs. I came across his book chapter last week, buried deep within Google offerings, while looking for something else. I laughed all the way through it.
Here is the abstract:
“This chapter draws on Margaret Atwood’s vision of Canada as a Gothic space, examining how contemporary texts continue to invoke imagery of human and animal as antagonists competing for the same space. Fuchs analyzes a corpus of three “bear horror” fictions, the horror film Backcountry (2014) and two novels, The Bear (2014) by Claire Cameron and Susan J. Crockford’s near-future polar bear-themed Eaten (2015). It argues that animal predation on humans provides a powerful symbolic vehicle for bridging the human–animal divide, as it overrides the theory of human exceptionalism, offering a critical view of the entanglement of humans and nonhumans in the Anthropocene.”
A friend that I shared the essay with commented:
“My favourite sentence (new word of the day, class, please use “diegetic” in a sentence):
“These constant slippages between ontological levels puzzle the reader in ways similar to how Anna is confused by the goings-on in the diegetic reality.” [pg. 263]
Posted onNovember 30, 2020|Comments Off on UPHEAVAL – my new ice tsunami novel – is now available!
My new short novel is out! UPHEAVAL is a future disaster thriller about an ice tsunami that devastates Nova Scotia on the Canadian east coast in 2026. And yes, there are polar bears. It’s a follow-up to my 2015 novel EATEN but with a completely different focus!
Posted onNovember 25, 2020|Comments Off on New novel UPHEAVAL will be out in time for Christmas orders
My new short novel is set to be published within the next week, in time for Christmas orders. UPHEAVAL is a future disaster thriller about an ice tsunami that devastates Nova Scotia on the Canadian east coast in 2026. And yes, there are polar bears. It’s a follow-up to my 2016 novel EATEN but with a slightly different focus! It will be available in paperback and ebook formats.
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Posted onNovember 20, 2017|Comments Off on Amazon Black Friday deals and author bonus on polar bear books
As you plan your Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday gift shopping (see the deals in the US here, in Canada here, in the UK here), don’t forget to add a few polar bear books to your order to give to relatives, friends, and local libraries. Although price cuts don’t appear to extend to my books, there are other good book offers and free shipping deals, and I’ve put together a special bonus to brighten your gift package.
Special bonus: I’ve designed two polar bear bookmarks and a postcard-sized personal note signed by me to include with your gifts. Find the bookmark for kids here and the bookmark for adults here (both three per page); the person note is here (four per page), all as downloadable pdfs to print out on heavy photo paper or card stock. Spread the word.
And as described in my novel under similar circumstances, Newfoundland in 2017 had the most sightings ever recorded — it was a wakup call that polar bears really could become the kind of wildlife problem that EATEN describes. This food-for-thought thriller is a great gift for teenagers and adults alike.
Don’t forget the basic science! Polar bear science got a recent boost with my books for kids and adults that relays facts without fearmongering. Expand the minds of those around you and give them something to think about. Both are perfect library donations.
Could polar bears trump sharks at the theatre? Does the fact that unlike sharks, polar bears make house calls, give it better odds than most?
Take a walk down memory lane and give some thought to what has made films starring big animal predators a hit (or not), like JAWS, THE SHALLOWS, THE BIRDS, GRIZZLY, and a number of others, both classics and bombs. What do these predator attack films tell us (if anything) about the probability of EATEN becoming a terrifying motion picture?
Posted onAugust 7, 2016|Comments Off on Canadian Prime Minister risked being EATEN by polar bears on Fogo this year
This week (Tuesday 9 August), British Columbia’s Knowledge Network is re-running the 2015 documentary about the revitalization of Fogo Island, the Newfoundland location featured in my polar bear attack thriller, EATEN. It’s called Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island and highlights the Fogo Island Inn, where our recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apparently spent a weekend earlier this year – gambling he could avoid a lethal encounter with a hungry polar bear when fictional others haven’t been so lucky.
Did Trudeau’s advisors do any preparatory reading? I mean, seriously: aside from reading my terrifying science-based novel (where polar bear attacks take place right outside the Fogo Island Inn where the Trudeaus were staying), Fogo (see maps below) has a recent history of polar bear visits.
Most bears come ashore on Newfoundland in late March-early April, although this year one came ashore on Fogo in late January. Another was shot in early May this year as it advanced on an RCMP officernear one of the artist’s studios on Fogo. I guess I’ll have to send a complimentary copy to Ottawa…because next time, what with polar bear numbers increasing in that region, this high-profile family might not be so lucky.
Posted onJanuary 28, 2016|Comments Off on Polar bears rarely come ashore in January but one did on Tuesday
In a life-mimics-fiction moment, this report appeared Tuesday morning (26 January) in The Telegram newspaper in Newfoundland:
“The RCMP is warning the public after reports were received of a polar bear in Tilting. Fresh bear tracks were seen in the Fogo Island community Tuesday.”
Tilting is a small town on the eastern shore of Fogo Island (see map below): Fogo Island sits off the northeast shore of Newfoundland (and is featured prominently in my new polar bear attack novel). Fogo Island lays at about the same latitude as London, England. The CBC, Canada’s national news outlet, also ran the story.
“Residents are cautioned following reported sightings of polar bears tracks near the community of Titling, on the eastern end of Fogo Island. Conservation officers confirmed the tracks to be within one kilometre of the community and believe the polar bear has since returned to saltwater.” [my bold]
Polar bears are not usually seen onshore in Newfoundland until late March or April (previous stories here and here), after the ice has been close to shore for week and bears have feed extensively on newborn harp and hooded seal pups. Bears that come ashore in January – well before seal pups are born in spring (late February/mid-March) – can potentially be very dangerous because they are likely very hungry. None of the reports of this sighting gave any indication of the probable age of this bear. However, it must be kept in mind that young bears (3-5 years old) are more apt to be in a desperate state at this time of year.
Or, perhaps the bear caught interesting smells coming from shore and decided to take a short swim to check it out. The sea ice was still offshore at the time (see maps in yesterday’s post) but clearly, not too far off for the bear to swim. There may have been icebergs frozen into the pack ice that broke away (too small to show up on ice maps), that brought the bear further south than it would have ventured on its own.
It is a rare event for a polar bear to come ashore at Newfoundland in January, but it has happened before. Apparently, another bear came ashore, also on Fogo Island – in 1935 – and attacked someone. See the story below. Continue reading
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Posted onDecember 31, 2015|Comments Off on 2015 was a great year for polar bears and for EATEN
Not only did we see plenty of great news about polar bears but EATEN(my first novel) is now well on it’s way to being a resounding success. Don’t let your friends and colleagues have all the nightmares! Fabulous read for a long cold NH winter’s night but also an excellent choice for the beach…perhaps fewer nightmares?
I don’t ask for donations here at PolarBearScience – if you appreciate my efforts (418 posts and almost 630,000 views since late July 2012) and would like to see more of the same, please buy a copy or two of my book (and don’t forget to go back and leave a brief review; only the number of stars count). Paperback editions here and here; Ebooks for immediate gratification (Kindle; All other e formats).
Posted onDecember 13, 2015|Comments Off on Hungry polar bear attacks: why my novel “Eaten” is set in early March
As I’ve pointed out previously, polar bears are leanest – and thus, hungriest and potentially the most dangerous to humans – at the end of winter (i.e. March).
That is why the unexpected prospect of hundreds of lean and hungry polar bears coming ashore in early March hunting available human prey would be a truly terrifying and daunting experience. Such a speculative scenario stands in marked contrast to an actual incident in July that involved a single well-fed bear that attacked a man asleep in a tent because he and his companions had chosen to dismiss the known risk.
Any predatory attack by a polar bear is terrifying but which is potentially the more deadly? One you can reasonably expect (and thus prepare for) or one that comes out of the blue and catches everyone unprepared? Continue reading
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