Green Fuse Burning by Tiffany Morris

An environmental horror, Green Fuse Burning by Tiffany Morris is a novella that plays with the ideas of art, creativity and our connection to the natural world through an indigenous perspective. Set in the near future, climate change has warmed the earth to the point Mi’kmaq elders are considering changing the names they have for seasons as they’re connected to physical changes in weather and occurrences in the natural world that just don’t happen predictably anymore.

“The world would be blooming soon, weeks ahead of when it used to, unbearably hot and humid and wrong. Rita tried to feel hopeful but hope felt misplaced, crass, unwelcomed. The hot weather made her feel wrong, too, like she didn’t fit in this new scheme of life, an aberration of rot in the blooming world around her.”

Our main character Rita is struggling with the death of her father, and her connection to her culture without him—a painter, she’s stuck in a creative lull when her sort of toxic on-again off-again girlfriend forges her name on a grant and signs her up for a remote residency to shake her out of her grief. Girl, dump her.

Sequestered in a rural cottage next to a strange pond, Rita is visited by fevered dreams and strange impulses but it unlocks something in her. Combing through her own memories and experiences, and incorporating mixed-media from the changed land, she begins a collection that might be her best yet—if it doesn’t kill her first.

An unnerving, visceral, dream-like story—it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not—but, one thing is clear, the earth is changing… the animals are evolving… and something odd and preternatural is stirring in the depths of the murk.

“The pond spoke to Rita with its many voices: chirps, croaks, the splash of water when a frog darted into the weeds—but something ancient lived beneath the teeming world, calling to her with the language of life itself.”

Morris crafts a truly unnerving novella here, the perfect amount of weird with elements of horror pulled from environmental warnings that feel very possible and immediate. This is her first book, and she does so much in its 100 pages I really can’t wait to see what she might do with a full-length novel. How much further she could go. She’s a writer to watch, for sure.

Tiffany Morris is a Mi’kmaw/settler writer of speculative fiction from Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. Her work has appeared in Apex, Nightmare, and Uncanny, among others. Her debut poetry collection, Elegies of Rotting Stars, is forthcoming from Nictitating Books in 2022.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Stelliform Press; Bilingual edition (Oct. 31 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 112 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1778092667
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1778092664

Lindsay Gloade-Raining Bird is a mixed-Cree writer, editor and book hoarder. She currently hosts the Nimbus podcast Book Me where she talks local books and interviews authors. She holds a degree in English literature from Dalhousie and her writing has been published in The Coast and CBC among others. She can usually be found relentlessly online at @birdykinsreads. Her first children’s book Snow Day is upcoming at Nimbus for Fall 2024.