Skip navigation

Call For Papers

Delving Into Urban Myths: The Works Of Charles De Lint

With over seventy titles to his name and new ones in the making, Charles de Lint is
among the most prolific writers of Canadian speculative fiction and a key representative of
urban fantasy/mythic fiction. Given his vast literary output, several awards (including the
World Fantasy Award in 2000 and the Aurora Award in 2013 and again in 2015), and a large
gathering of devoted readers (if Facebook profiles such as “The Mythic Café, with Charles de
Lint & Company” are any indication), it is more than surprising that his fiction has yet to
become the subject of a full-length academic study. That is not to say, of course, that the
academia is unaware of de Lint’s presence. The writer is briefly discussed in David Ketterer’s
Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (1992), and receives some attention in Douglas
Ivison’s Canadian Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers (2002) as well as in Stefan Ekman’s
Here Be Dragons: Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings (2013). There is also a number of
individual essays published in scholarly journals and edited collections, which focus on
various aspects of de Lint’s works, e.g., Laurence Steven’s “Welwyn Wilton Katz and Charles
de Lint: New Fantasy as a Canadian Post-colonial Genre” (Worlds of Wonder, 2004),
Christine Mains’ “Old World, New World, Otherworld: Celtic and Native American
Influences in Charles de Lint’s Moonheart and Forests of the Heart” (Extrapolation, 2005),
Terri Doughty’s “Dreaming into Being: Liminal Spaces in Charles de Lint’s Young Adult
Mythic Fiction” (Knowing Their Place? Identity and Space in Children’s Literature, 2011),
Brent A. Stypczynski’s “De Lint’s Canines” (The Modern Literary Werewolf, 2013),
Weronika Łaszkiewicz’ “From Stereotypes to Sovereignty: Indigenous Peoples in the Works
of Charles de Lint” (Studies in Canadian Literature, 2018), and Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun’s
“Remembering the Romance: Medievalist Romance in Fantasy Fiction by Guy Gavriel Kay
and Charles de Lint” (Medievalism in English Canadian Literature, 2020) to name a few.
However, the lack of a full-length study devoted to de Lint alone seems a glaring omission,
perhaps caused by the writer’s staggering literary output which might seem too daunting of a
task for a single scholar.

Thus, we invite scholars and readers of Charles de Lint’s fiction to submit their
contribution to what is intended as the first comprehensive (though surely not exhaustive)
book-length study of his works, published by a reputable academic publisher. Submissions
might focus on, but are not limited to, one of the following topics:

– Charles de Lint’s position within the field of Canadian speculative fiction and urban
fantasy fiction, as well as his contribution to their development;
– his perception of the city and its aliments as exemplified by the portrayal of Ottawa,
Newford, Santo del Vado Viejo, and other—both real and fantastic—urban spaces;
– his conflation of the real and the fantastic within the urban space, including his theory
of “consensus reality”;
– his approach to socio-political problems, including violence, abuse, and trauma, illegal
immigration as well as the fate of social outcasts and the underprivileged members of
the society;
– his depiction and understanding of female empowerment;
– his depiction of artists, artistic inspiration, and the meaning of art;
– his depiction of (fictional) Native American tribes and ethnic communities, including
the question of cultural appropriation;
– his depiction of animals and human-animal hybrid characters as vital members of the
modern society;
– his approach to religion and spirituality, including his criticism of institutional religion
and emphasis on the divine hidden in the natural world/wilderness;
– his inspirations, including the medieval and Gothic tradition as well as borrowings
from different mythologies (e.g., Welsh, Celtic, Native American, etc.) to develop an
original mythological system (the Otherworld and the Animal People);
– his advice for the contemporary world in the face of the anthropocentric crisis;
– a juxtaposition of his early and more recent works, including his children’s books;
– a juxtaposition of his work with that of other Canadian fantasists or prominent writers
of urban fantasy.

Contributors are welcome to focus on a single text or deliver a cross-sectional study of a
selection of de Lint’s works. We welcome contributions from scholars of all backgrounds,
disciplines, and career stages.

Submissions—abstract (max. 400 words) and a CV (1 page)—should be sent to and

The deadline for abstracts is 30 April 2021

The deadline for full articles (5000-8000 words, MLA style) is 30 November 2021

Weronika Łaszkiewicz, PhD
University of Białystok, Poland
Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, PhD
University of Białystok, Poland

To learn about our previous publications, please find us on