|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, alt.fan.harlan-ellison, ca. 1996 or so. From there
she met Paul Riddell, and things have been considerably stranger ever
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."