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Drew, Wayland

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1932-1998) Canadian teacher and author, often on environment issues as they affect Canada and its indigenous peoples, who began publishing sf with The Wabeno Feast (1973), a complex tale about Holocaust and its roots, in which three narrative strands all tangibly cohere – the eighteenth-century journal of an early entrepreneur who confronts the heart of darkness in the pale wabeno (an Indian shaman), the canoe trip of a Canadian couple through the wilderness upon which the earlier visitor has already stamped the seal of the civilized world, and a Near-Future flight into the same but now savaged wilderness on the part of escapees from a Disaster directly tied to the spoliation of the planet. After Dragonslayer (1981), a film tie, Drew composed in The Erthring Cycle another Post-Holocaust narrative – The Memoirs of Alcheringia (1984), The Gaian Experiment (1985) and The Master of Norriya (1986) – which describes the founding of a secret underground society, the Yggdrasil Project, via which it is hoped to surmount inevitable planetary catastrophe. But, as the final volume moves to a quiet, sombre close, the reader could be reminded of the dying fall which concludes George R Stewart's Earth Abides (1949).

Also recessional in mood, Halfway Man (1989), which is non-fantastic, revisits northern Canada. From 1999, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation has regularly awarded a Wayland Drew Natural Heritage Award for "individuals who demonstrate environmental leadership." [JC]

Wayland Miller Drew

born Oshawa, Ontario: 12 September 1932

died Bracebridge, Ontario: 3 December 1998



The Erthring Cycle

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