Terence M(ichael) Green

Citation metadata

Author: Nalo Hopkinson
Editor: Douglas Ivison
Date: 2002
Publisher: Gale
Series: Dictionary of Literary Biography
Document Type: Biography; Critical essay
Length: 4,299 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

the April 1988 issue of Books in Canada Terence M. Green told fellow Canadian science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer that most science fiction "is just outrageous fairy tales for adults. But I've always thought the genre could produce literature. This may sound presumptuous, but I'd like to think I could help elevate it to that level." After years of struggle, by the late 1990s Green's work was widely acclaimed not only within the science-fiction genre but also increasingly by mainstream readers and critics.

In the chancy market that is Canadian science-fiction publishing, Green's writing career has had its share of peaks and valleys. As is common in the field, he began by writing short stories. They were acclaimed by readers and critics alike, who praised his quiet, deft style and his careful examination of fragile human relationships. But his stories were often published in obscure markets and could be difficult to obtain. When The Woman Who is the Midnight Wind (1987) collected most of his short stories into a volume, it was a critical success but was only available to a limited market. He began working on novels in the 1980s, but his success was hindered by difficulties with publishers. Barking Dogs (1988) was first sold to Bluejay Books, but the company went out of business before publishing the novel. Barking Dogs was finally published by St. Martin's Press, but that publisher then dropped its science-fiction line, leaving Green again without a publisher. His next novel, Children of the Rainbow, was published by McClelland and Stewart, Canada's foremost publisher, in 1992. Other Canadian science-fiction writers saw this publication as a breakthrough and hoped that large Canadian presses would begin to publish and develop local science-fiction talent. Those hopes were dashed, however, by McClelland and Stewart's failure to take future Green novels. Finally, he began publishing with the prominent New York-based science-fiction publisher Tor/Forge Books.

Despite these publishing frustrations Green has continued to develop his skills at novel writing, largely through expanding short stories into novels. He achieved significant critical success with the World Fantasy Award-nominated Shadow of Ashland (1996), which was described as "poignant and glowing" by prominent science-fiction critic Douglas Barbour in the 11 August 1996 Edmonton Journal. When asked how he continues to write despite his many setbacks, Green told Edo van Belkom in Northern Dreamers: Interviews with Famous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writers (1998): "Isn't that a mystery? That's why I believe some of us are born to write and some of us are born to play the piano. . . . Well, I can write, so if I don't do it I'm wasting myself."

Terence Michael Green was born on 2 February 1947 in Toronto, Ontario, to Thomas Green, a newspaper circulation manager, and Margaret (Radey) Green, a homemaker. Green was the fourth of their five children. He attended the University of Toronto, receiving a B.A. in English in 1967, and then began a career as a high-school English teacher at the East York Collegiate Institute in Toronto in...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1200010442