Steampunk Canada

Tie up Your Dirigible and Visit for a Spell

M Butler Hallett


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Joined Jul 21 2010
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FEMALE
St, John's, NL
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Butler Hallett's work, at once striking, memorable and difficult to categorize, has been praised by Books in Canada for "economy and power," while The Globe and Mail notes that "demons are at work - the kind that lurk in the subconscious and surface, depending on the individual, as either despairing visions or acts of outright brutality. ... Butler Hallett seems often to be creating from a subliminal place, riding on intuition, unencumbered by the counsel of editors." Speaking of Butler Hallett's first novel, Double-blind, the 2008 Sunburst Award Jury said: "Sanity, madness, torture in the name of science -- Double-blind is wonderfully original while chillingly based in history. ... The writing is incredibly layered, with metaphor and symbol perfectly balanced against the hard neutrality of scientific language."

With Sky Waves, her latest novel, Butler Hallett draws on her radio background and her troubled relationship with history to create her most ambitious work yet. Described by the author as "a demented 'aural' culture novel," Sky Waves is told as a drew, that is, as the ninety-eight meshes in a row of a fishing net. Throughout ninety-eight non-linear but interconnected chapters and several different narrators, characters and storylines are networked together, almost as a mural against a timeline of 1901 to 2005. Sky Waves explores the often funny and often sad human need for - and fear of - meaningful communication.

Asked recently to describe her work, Butler Hallett replied: "a blistering fusion of history, New Romantic sensibilities, stubborn Cold War angst, hope and steampunk. Categorize that."

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5 Comments

Reply Whirligig
9:55 PM on July 25, 2010 
Sounds nifty. I'm building a reading list from recommends and so forth. I'll definitely add Sky Waves.
Reply M Butler Hallett
9:07 AM on July 24, 2010 
You're very kind, Jacob. I should point out that my fiction is not solely steampunk -- no late Victorian time settings, for example -- but does borrow steampunk tropes and attitudes -- alternative history, optimism, fusion, and playfulness.
Reply Jacob Tesla Scott
7:32 AM on July 24, 2010 
I can't wait to read your work. Will hi me-self hence to Chapters on my swing shift.
Reply Edain Duguay
11:19 AM on July 22, 2010 
Welcome to Steampunk Canada! :)
Reply Lee A. Farruga
12:04 PM on July 21, 2010 
Welcome! Yours has to be the most involved and detailed 'about me' yet. Congratulations!