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Velvet Delorey

Velvets Online Presence

"Reaching Critical Mass" Reviews

Velvet Delorey is Made in Canada's first regular review columnist. Her first  "Reaching Critical Mass" review was in the winter 2003 edition of the MiC Newsletter, published Feb 5th, 2003.

"Velvet Delorey was born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, but her parents moved her out to the wilds of rural British Columbia when she was eight. Unbeknownst to her, a little bookstore called Pickwick Books, in combination with a secret donor to her elementary school library, conspired to get her into reading literary SF at a very young age. (Although she watched Star Trek in the womb, she's sure of it; earliest TV memory is viewing "Balance of Terror" in its entirety.) From kiddie skiffy like The Hobbit and Andre Norton's Outside, she moved on to The Door Into Summer, and never looked back after that. The aforementioned bookstore had a hardcover copy of Again, Dangerous Visions, for twelve dollars, which she acquired when she eleven. Things have never been the same inside her head since. Also thanks to a hippie friend of the family, late-80s, early-90s-era issues of OMNI magazine, plus a healthy dose of cyberpunk, helped certify her as being "of the times". (Although she read the Neuromancer trilogy backwards. No, she doesn't know why, either. It just kind of happened like that.) The up-to-date OMNI fiction was much, much better than the old F&SFs, Analogs and Amazing Stories that she bought out of the bargain bin at the aforementioned bookstore for a dollar fifty apiece.

In 1992, she joined the ranks of the online community, much smaller and less corporatized back then. Mostly hanging out on Usenet, the X-Files newsgroup was her initial home, but she moved on to a few others in the interim, in particular,, ca. 1996 or so. From there she met Paul Riddell, and things have been considerably stranger ever since. 

Immortalized in his satirical commentaries as Paul's Evil Canadian Assistant (reference to Warren Ellis' excellent graphic novel series Transmetropolitan), Velvet is one of the few, the proud, the surviving Branch Riddellians; those of us who share Paul's single-minded and unique vision: If we're spending what little free time we have reading/watching this stuff, WHY CAN'T IT BE GOOD? Not a sentiment to make one popular in most science fiction sewing circles....

When Paul took over the online editorialship of SciFiNow in 2001, Velvet decided to jump into the abyss with wild abandon: Robert Sawyer had a publicly-available email address, all sources said he was a nice guy and extremely willing to give interviews, and Paul was bugging the hell out of her to be SFN's "Canadian stringer". So she conducted an interview, and it was published in SciFiNow. Velvet got a nice steak dinner out of the $75(USD) check. Oh, and some clothes. And some books. And a few CDs. And a down payment on a house. Canadian money's not what it used to be.... 

Through her affiliation with the Branch Riddellian forum on Delphi (now sadly defunct), Velvet managed to get two book reviews in Revolution SF. And into a  flamewar in the letters column. But we won't go there. Other than that, Velvet works. And reads. And watches TV. And surfs the Internet. And has no life at all."

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Last updated February 08, 2003