Mark Morton’s debut YA novel, The Headmasters, called “a brilliant science-fiction debut” by Robert J. Sawyer, releases February 6 from Shadowpaw Press

Noted Canadian non-fiction author and long-time CBC columnist Mark Morton makes his debut as a novelist with The Headmasters
Mark

Noted Canadian non-fiction author and long-time CBC columnist Mark Morton makes his debut as a novelist with The Headmasters, coming February 6 from Shadowpaw Press; a gripping, provocative post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult tale that asks the question, “How do you learn from the past if there isn’t one?”

Sixty years ago as The Headmasters opens, something awful happened. Something that killed everyone except the people at Blue Ring, a research facility in northern Ontario. Something that caused the Headmasters to appear. But young Maple doesn’t know what is was. Because talking about the past is forbidden.

Everyone at Blue Ring has a Headmaster. They sink their sinewy coils into your skull and control you, using your body for backbreaking toil and your mind to communicate with each other.

When someone dies, their Headmaster transfers to someone new. But so do the dead person’s memories, and if one of those memories surfaces in the new host’s mind, their brain breaks. That’s why talking about the past is forbidden.

Maple hates this world where the past can’t exist and the future promises only more suffering. And she hates the Headmasters for making it that way. But she doesn’t know how to fight them – until memories start to surface in her mind from someone who long ago came close to defeating the Headmasters.

But whose memories are they? Why aren’t they harming her? And how can she use them to defeat the Headmasters? Maple has to find the answers herself, unable to tell anyone what she’s experiencing or planning—not even Thorn, the young man she’s falling in love with.

Thorn, who has some forbidden secrets of his own . . .

Praise for The Headmasters

“Mark Morton’s The Headmasters is a brilliant science-fiction debut from one of Canada’s best-loved nonfiction writers. This compelling YA novel is a spot-on updating of Robert A. Heinlein’s classic The Puppet Masters for the new millennium, with intricate world-building, a great science-fiction puzzle, and — ironic for a novel about suppressed memories — a main character you’ll never forget. I loved it.”Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Downloaded

About the author

MARK MORTON (markmorton.ca)i s also the author of four nonfiction titles: Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities (nominated for a Julia Child Award and to be reissued soon in a new edition from Shadowpaw Press Reprise); The End: Closing Words for a Millennium (winner of the Alexander Isbister Award for nonfiction); The Lover’s Tongue: A Merry Romp Through the Language of Love and Sex (republished in the UK as Dirty Words), and Cooking with Shakespeare. He’s also written more than fifty columns for Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture (University of California Press) and has written and broadcast more than a hundred columns about language and culture for CBC Radio. Mark has a PhD in sixteenth-century literature from the University of Toronto and has taught at several universities in France and Canada. He currently works at the University of Waterloo. He and his wife, Melanie Cameron, (also an author) have four children, three dogs, one rabbit, and no time.

About Shadowpaw Press

Shadowpaw Press was founded in 2018 by Edward Willett. A member of Literary Press Group (Canada) and the Association of Canadian Publishers, Shadowpaw Press publishes an eclectic selection of books by both new and established authors, including adult fiction, young adult fiction, children’s books, non-fiction, and anthologies. In addition, Shadowpaw Press publishes new editions of notable, previously published books in any genre under the Shadowpaw Press Reprise imprint.

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