The Claus Effect
David Nickle and I wrote a novelized adaptation of our award-winning story "The Toy Mill"
The Beginning: The Toy Mill
David Nickle and I wrote the zany short story "The Toy Mill" almost twenty years ago on a writing retreat to Hart House Farm, north of Toronto. The story subsequently won the Canadian Aurora Award for Best Short Work, in 1993. Here's what some people have said about "The Toy Mill":
Books in Canada, the country's largest bookseller's review magazine, said this about "The Toy Mill":
For sheer reading enjoyment, it would be hard to beat "The Toy Mill", a deliciously irreverent approach to the Santa myth. David Nickle and Karl Schroeder take a curious little girl on a search for the 'real' Santa Claus, which leads into a land as dark and dangerous as any the Grimms dreamed up. The language crackles with creative intensity and would be a joy to read even if it didn't tell a compelling story...
Quill and Quire, Canada's premiere publishing industry magazine, called it "darkly satirical."
Locus said "The story is a wonderfully nasty take on the Santa Claus legend -- and some of the flaws of modern society."
The Montreal Gazette had this to say:
...Karl Schroeder and David Nickle treat Santa Claus to a satirical muggi
ng in "The Toy Mill." Ever wonder why St. Nick delivered the wrong gifts to you year after year? Because, according to this hilarious hatchet-job, he's a crazed misanthrope who couldn't care less. Say it ain't so!
Oh, it is so. We incorporated "The Toy Mill" in its complete form into The Claus Effect, which is a tale that we wrote for the three-day novel contest a couple of years later. The Claus Effect continues the tale of Emily vs. the Claus, this time into James Bond territory.
The Novel: The Claus Effect
This is Santa Claus as you've never seen him. Foul-tempered, megalomaniacal, and giddy, he is out for revenge against the girl who brought down his evil empire in the award-winning story "The Toy Mill." And he'll stop at nothing to get his revenge on Emily.
Here's what some reviewers had to say about The Claus Effect:
"The best first fantasy novel of 1998"
--Science Fiction Chronicle
"Tim Burton could make a great movie of this. But don't wait for the movie--buy the book!"
"Any parents that expose their children to this little bit of nastiness should be put away at once."
"Ever wonder why St. Nick delivered the wrong gifts to you year
after year? Because, according to this hilariuos hatchet-job, he's a
crazed misanthrope who couldn't care less. Say it ain't so!"
--The Montreal Gazette
And last but not least, you can read a recent, complete review of the novel at the Challenging Destinies website.