Corvus

Author: Harold Johnson
ISBN: 9781771870511 Categories: Fiction, Dystopian, Indigenous, Literary
Publication Date: 1 October, 2015
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

Corvus takes place in the distant future after global warming has ravaged the land and a war that raged for years has finally ended. Mass migrations have led to a major city being established at La Ronge in Northern Saskatchewan, yet despite continued technological advances – including pre-programmed cars, personalized Platforms, holographic shopping, and cutting edge Organic Recreational Vehicles (ORVs) – the citizens of La Ronge live a dissatisfied and fearful existence. A ruthless class system continues to divide the city-dwellers from the incredibly wealthy living in the sky city Bel Arial, from those living in the impoverished and violence-riddled suburb of Regis, and from a group who has established an independently thriving Ashram on La Ronge’s outskirts. It is in this atmosphere of social discontent that the lives of four near-strangers become intertwined.

First George Taylor – an aspiring Bel Arial dweller and lawyer – finds himself spending his life savings on an ORV Raven, a synthetic flying machine created from genetic modifications to organic birds. When George is caught in a storm, he is blown off course and rescued by a group of First Nations people living traditionally in a mountain-sheltered camp. After befriending a man named Isadore and his family, George’s ambitions begin to change, and he finds himself venturing into Regis to assist victims of crime.

George’s fellow lawyer Lenore Hanson has been disenchanted since her return to Canada after fighting on the frontlines during the second Intra-American war. Her lingering post-traumatic stress disorder affects every aspect of her life, and when she befriends political dissenter Richard Warner her career and relationships begin to unravel.

Richard himself is torn between the comfortable life he has at the Ashram among likeminded naturalists and his desire to bring forward change in a society he finds increasingly frustrating. Not only does his infatuation for both Lenore and intelligent natural leader Katherine – a mysterious young woman who arrived at the Ashram alone on a bicycle and never left – further complicate things, but his affiliation with a rising revolutionary could prove disastrous.

Corvus welcomes readers to a dystopian future not unlike our own where the illusions of an ideal society have been destroyed and rebuilt using technology and class warfare. By joining classical elements of speculative fiction including surveillance, forbidden relationships, and political dissent, to the traditions of aboriginal storytelling and the legends of the Trickster, Harold Johnson invites readers to consider the consequences of our current way of life.

About the Author

HAROLD R. JOHNSON was the author of six works of fiction and five works of non-fiction. Born in northern Saskatchewan to a Swedish father and a Cree mother, Harold was a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. He enlisted in the Canadian Navy and worked as a logger, trapper, and minter before going to university as an adult, eventually graduating from Harvard Law School. It was there where, in addition to his studies, he wrote his first novel, Billy Tinker, which was published by Thistledown Press in 2001. His novel Corvus (2011) won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and was longlisted for Canada Reads in 2019. Harold managed a private practice for several years before becoming a Crown prosecutor, but had retired from the practice of law to write full time.

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