Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Please join us here at the store at 3pm on Saturday June 23rd for the launch of Freeze-Frame Revolution, the new book by Peter Watts.

It’s been ages since he’s had a new title: you know you wanna come.


Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

On Saturday June 16th we’ll host a panel discussion on the crossover appeal of YA novels.

Please join us at 2pm to hear local YA authors L.E. Sterling, James Bow, Erin Bow, Lena Coakley, and V.S. McGrath discuss why so many readers are drawn to YA stories.


Thursday, March 22nd, 2018


For the next few weeks, we’ll be posting pictures of places we scouted in our plan to take over the world traveled to in 2017 onto our Instagram.

We’ll post a photo each Thursday, and you’ll have until midnight the following Wednesday to comment with the correct location. A winner will be selected at random from the correct answers. Prizes will be switched up weekly with each new photo. Only real restrictions are that you need to comment with your answer on the Instagram photo, and you’ll have to swing by and visit us to pick up your prize.

So… Where were we?

Wherein we co-present Annalee Newitz at ChiSeries!

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

We’ve shaken off our New Year’s fuzz and it’s back to the social whirl–with our first author appearance of the year!

We’ll be co-presenting California author and journalist Annalee Newitz–interviewed by Canada Reads finalist Madeline Ashby–at the January edition of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series! Join us on January 17th at 8:00 pm at the Round Venue, 152A Augusta Avenue, to hear excerpts and insights from Newitz, Kari Maaren (late of our 2017 Christmas party!), and local dark fantasy author Christian Adrian Brown.

Boxing Week!

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

It’s Boxing Week, and we’re back in store with something a little different this year!

We’ll have our usual 10% off everything in the store, with 25% off selected titles, which include 2017 hardcovers, new picture books, graphic novels, and more. The sale table will change up through the week, so check in to see if your favourite author’s there!

The Bakka-Phoenix Books 2017 Staff Picks, Part 3: Non-Fiction!

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

We’re running out of 2017, which means it’s time for the Bakka-Phoenix annual staff picks: a shoutout to some of the books we loved this year. Between the award-winners, bestsellers, and marquee series, we found a double handful of reads that made us laugh, think, and go what if…

We’re finishing off our staff’s favourite 2017 reads today with Part 3: Our Nonfiction Picks!



Our fiction picks of the year!



Ben’s pick: Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction, Grady Hendrix

A look into the boom and bust of the paperback horror market of the later 20th century. It’s both funny, as it skewers the ludicrous storylines and even more ridiculous covers, and insightful, as it looks into the social, economic, and political climates that made them relevant.

Worth checking out if you remember the glory days of pulp schlock, or want to see what old people were afraid of last century.

Chris’s picks: Everyone’s a Aliebn When ur a Aliebn Too: A Book, Jomny Sun

Sweet, poignant, funny: Everyone’s a Aliebn is part fable, part comic, with a dash of philosophical treatise on the side. No matter who you are, humabn, aliebn, or other, you’ll recognize yourself in this delightful adventure.

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

No, it’s not SFF. Trust us, though, it’s really interesting. The author, a forester with decades of experience, will convince you that trees are the original social network. A thoughtful, compelling read.

Leah’s picks: Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Liz Bourke

A collection of Bourke’s Sleeping With Monsters column, essays, and reviews, this is a slice of one of the most interesting critical perspectives in the genre today: intersectional, historically-informed, and reading across everything from queer pulps to core epic fantasy to video games. Sleeping With Monsters ends up more than the sum of its parts: putting together a picture of genre tropes in this moment, and how they’re enduring–and changing.

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults, Cheryl B. Klein

From former Scholastic and current Lee & Low editor Cheryl Klein, The Magic Words is one of the most balanced how-to books out there. Addressing craft, business, the publication process, and full of exemplars and exercises, this is a nose-to-tail view of writing and publishing fiction for young readers.

Kristen’s picks: The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson

The first translation of Homer’s epic by a woman scholar, and well worth the read.

Soonish, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith

It’s a non-fiction book by the creators of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, investigating ten emerging discoveries that will save and/or doom us all. Mwa ha ha! No, seriously, it’s eye-opening.

Rebecca’s pick: Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Outer Space, Tim Peake

A fun and in-depth look into the life of an astronaut, from training to be one, adjusting to and living in space, what-if situtations, and favourite buttons aboard the ISS.

The Bakka-Phoenix Books 2017 Staff Picks, Part 2: YA and Kids’ Fiction

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

We’re running out of 2017, which means it’s time for the Bakka-Phoenix annual staff picks: a shoutout to some of the books we loved this year. Between the award-winners, bestsellers, and marquee series, we found a double handful of reads that made us laugh, think, and go what if…

We’ll be posting our staff’s favourite 2017 reads over the next few days, and today is Part 2: Our YA and Kids’ picks.



Chris’s picks: The Wolf The Duck & The Mouse, Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

When a mouse is swallowed by a hungry wolf, it despairs. But deep inside the wolf’s belly, the mouse meets a duck. Together, they learn how to really live their lives, even given the… unusual circumstance. Funny, subversive, and appealing.

Thread War, Ian Donald Keeling

Johnny and Shabaz have returned to the Skidsphere from the Thread, and life will never be the same. Together, they try to improve the system from within, but not every Skid wants to change. Even worse, the cracks in the Skidsphere are growing. Facing enemies on all sides, it’ll take everything they have to keep the Skids safe – and that might not be enough.

Fast, fun, and moving. Thread War is an excellent follow-up to last year’s The Skids, winner of the Copper Cylinder Award.

Leah’s picks: The Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black

Blue’s sister Cass promised to always call home on the anniversary of their folk-singer mother’s death. This year, she didn’t: so, armed with her mother’s guitar and the premonition that Cass is in trouble, Blue goes to the crossroads at midnight and deals with the devil to find her big sister. While the devil enchants her plain brown boots to always point to where Cass is, she takes Blue’s voice in return—and that is how Blue sets off across America to bring her sister home.

The Devil and the Bluebird is one of the most stunning, heart-breaking, heart-making books I’ve read this year. I read it until 4am, and then I hugged it and laughed and cried. Rife with grief, love, discovery, unexpected kindnesses, subtle magic, and ghosts both literal and metaphorical—Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie included—it is one of those special books that is both heart-poundingly compelling and quietly wise about what makes people be both the best and worst of themselves.

Change Places With Me, Lois Metzger

Change Places With Me is the only YA novel I have ever seen blurbed by Kim Stanley Robinson. And it doesn’t take long to realize why.

Rose wakes up one morning happy: happy enough to change her hairstyle, make friends with the classmates she’s never spoken with before, and pet the neighbour dogs who used to terrify her. And there is something absolutely off about her contentment with the world.

I have rarely seen YA-oriented science fiction written with such skill and subtext as this: a speculative element that seeps up like groundwater into a revelation that’s all the more impactful because of how quiet it is. Change Places With Me is magnificent: a soft, deliberate, oblique novel about coming to terms with oneself, absolutely entwined with how a standard science-fiction technology impacts the life of one girl.

And I Darken, Kiersten White

And I Darken is a straight historical political thriller—with one twist: Instead of following a young Vlad Dracul’s youth as a hostage to the Turkish Empire, Vlad becomes Lada—and adds a new dimension to the political triangle that follows.

This is not the book I thought I’d like: genderflipped historicals are not usually my wheelhouse. But White deploys an utterly absorbing mix of political maneuvering and character work, intrigue and menace, topped off with evocative prose you can’t help but fall into, and I found myself up at 4am going just one more chapter before bed.

Eliza and Her Monsters, Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters is a Book About Fandom—but it’s also so much -more-. Eliza floats through life as a weird, friendless small-town high school senior, devoting all her time to her secret life as LadyConstellation, creator of wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Until the most popular fic writer in Monstrous Sea fandom transfers to her high school, and Eliza starts cautiously navigating a life outside her creation—and what drives her relationship to art and life in the first place.

There is an incredibly astute kindness to Eliza and Her Monsters: both for the fans who love fantasy worlds and the needs of the people who create them. I’ve rarely seen a more nuanced look at what making or loving a fantasy world -is-, embedded in a story that’s fun and funny and sincerely gripping.

Tangled Planet, Kate Blair

After a 400-year journey, generation ship Venture–seventeen-year-old Ursa’s home–has finally reached its destination. But instead of the untouched paradise Beta Earth is supposed to be, Ursa’s first night there features a discovered corpse–and the glint of sharp teeth in the woods. Part mystery, part core science fiction, and part a compassionate look at change, anxiety, and what opportunity does to our hearts, Tangled Planet balances adventure, danger, safety, and the places we end up–good and bad both–in trying to keep our loved ones safe.

Michelle’s picks: Mighty Jack And The Goblin King, Ben Hatke

Jack’s sister Molly has been kidnapped by an ogre. He and his friend Lilly set out after her, but the rescue is more difficult than they could have imagined. Injured, alone, afraid, they must face monster within and without in order to survive. Like everything Hatke does, it’s both charming to look at and deeply moving.

Harriet the Invincible, Ursula Vernon

Harriet is an usual princess, and not just because she’s a hamster. She likes math, and fighting with swords. And she’s fated to fall under a curse when she’s twelve, but that news fills her with excitement instead of dread. Because Harriet realizes that until the curse lands, she’s invincible! So it’s time for this princess to set out to right some wrongs, hero-style. Truly charming.

The Bakka-Phoenix Books 2017 Staff Picks, Part 1: Adult Fiction

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

We’re running out of 2017, which means it’s time for the Bakka-Phoenix annual staff picks: a shoutout to some of the books we loved this year. Between the award-winners, bestsellers, and marquee series, we found a double handful of reads that made us laugh, think, and go what if…

We’ll be posting our staff’s favourite 2017 reads over the next few days, starting with Part 1: Our adult fiction faves.


Our fiction picks of the year!


Ben’s pick: Valiant Dust, Richard Baker

Like most modern military SF, Valiant Dust owes a debt to David Weber, but quickly establishes its own identity. Featuring a diverse cast living in a truly multicultural galaxy—Sikh officers serving in a Roman republic, on a moderate Muslim planet!–this is military SF that grasps the nuances of living in a truly cosmopolitan culture, plus intrigue, investigations, ground support, and the obligatory space battle. Also: space Montreal. Space Montreal!

Chris’s pick: Winter of Ice and Iron, Rachel Neumeier

The gods may be unknowable but the Immanent spirits interact with provincial rulers, influencing and being influenced by the families they bond with. Kehera’s family’s Immanent is known for its patience and fecundity. The Immanent that suffuses Innisth, the infamous Wolf Duke of Eanete is cold, ambitious, and even cruel. But when the dragons of midwinter force Kehera and Innisth to work together, they both discover truths about themselves they could never have imagined. This is not the book you’re thinking it will be from that description… It’s so much more. The magic is dense and complicated, and unwinds slowly: so do the characters. As always, Neumeier delivers an original and compelling story, full of gorgeous language and complex emotions.

Leah’s pick: All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault, James Alan Gardner

With that title, it was basically impossible for All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault to be anything but slyly, goofily, exuberantly fun. Gardner writes a diverse group of undergrads who find themselves superpowered after a very Canadian sort of lab accident with humour, humanity, and flair, and provides real stakes–both in Kim’s relationships and the fate of the world–without ever losing that sense of buoyancy.

Michelle’s pick: The Stone in the Skull, Elizabeth Bear

Set in the universe of Range of Ghosts, this features new characters; knowledge of previous books not required. Put a man who swore an oath to protect a ruler who no longer exists beside a man who agreed to become a beating heart in a brass body in order to live long enough to take his revenge—which he’s done. Set adrift by the absence of purpose, they take the usual odd jobs as guards or messengers, and one of those jobs sends them into kingdoms almost at war. There, caught up in the hostilities, they might find the purpose that their lives have lacked: a lord to serve until death; a person to possibly love.

Rebecca’s pick: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Sci-fi meets fantasy in this story of time travel and witches. Told through a series of reports, letters, interoffice communications, and memos, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. tells of a secret government entity working to restore magic that starts out as two individuals in a cramped office translating shreds of old documents that rises to a fully functional time traveling bureaucratic entity. Perhaps due to Galland’s influence, this novel isn’t as sciency, info-dumpy and technical as you might expect from a Neil Stephenson novel. Don’t go into this expecting a hard sci-fi novel. A lot of the science works with a bit of hand-waving Schrodinger’s cat explanations and the occasional deeper foray into many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. D.O.D.O. is a funny and ludicrous novel involving everything from the fall of Constantinople, Elizabethan England, and Viking epic poems about raiding Walmart.

Kristen’s pick: River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey

The Unforgiven. With hippos, not horses. Wait–hear me out.

In the early twentieth century, some bright spark had the idea of farming hippos for meat in the Louisiana bayous. Saner heads prevailed, but Sarah Gailey has taken this idea, pushed it back 50 years, and given us a story of hippo-riding cowboys, questionable loyalties, revenge, riverboats, and a vast lake full of what is, pound for pound, the most terrifying of invasive species–feral, man-eating hippos. Short, punchy, and adrenaline-charged.

Bonus multi-staff favourite: Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee

Although this was a 2016 title, we’re loving Lee’s Machineries of Empire novels. Sharply written, absolutely involving, and deeply innovative in its exploration of consensus reality, history, culture, war, and regret, they’re readable, moving, and brilliant at the same time. Start with Ninefox Gambit.

Changes Upcoming

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

We’ve got exciting new changes coming to our website, but until they’re ready the site will be under maintenance and not updating. In the meantime, check our Twitter @bakkaphoenix or our Facebook page for new releases, events, and other news.


Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

So, as a bookstore we tend to gather.. stuff. Old books that we can’t return, new books shipped to us in error, used books that aren’t in the best condition, etc. Books that don’t sell and can’t be returned will just sit around mouldering unless we recycle them, and that’s too terrible for all but the worst books. That’s where you come in: we want all of these unloved books to find a forever home, and we’re willing to do it cheap. We’ve put together a cart with a bunch of these outcasts and left it out on our front step. Prices are $2.00 for hardcovers, $1.00 for trade paperbacks, and $0.50 for mass market paperbacks. So come on down and find a deal! Bring a friend, bring two friends, bring a date (don’t bring two dates, unless they’re both okay with that)! These deals will be around as long as stock lasts and the weather isn’t terrible.