An Open Letter to Explorer John Rae

Dear Dr. Rae: You have been gone from us since July 22, 1893 – precisely one hundred and twenty-nine years. I write from the future to mark the day of your passing. What to report from 2022? Six years ago, I relayed the news that searchers have found the two long-lost ships of Sir John…

Read More

Frozen Dreams bring Dead Reckoning to T.O.

OK, so the photo is from Back in the Day. August 1999, to be precise. That would be me on King William Island as taken by the late Louie Kamookak. We were atop Mount Matheson on King William Island. Behind me: Rae Strait. I’ll probably mention this adventure when I give an illustrated talk called FROZEN…

Read More

Lovely paperback edition lists under $20

The paperback is here! A single author’s copy anyway, with countless others flowing into bookstores next week. Hats off to the folks at HarperCollins Canada! What a lovely package! This edition is slightly smaller than the hardcover . . . the perfect size!And it contains new and improved maps! And here on the back cover, a reviewer…

Read More

The Terror? Hailing the hell-bent original

My review of the original novel turned up in the Globe and Mail a decade ago. In response to popular demand, voila, here it is again . . .  The Terror: A Novel, by Dan Simmons Reviewed by Ken McGoogan The most impressive achievement of this brilliant historical novel is that the author manages to…

Read More

Let’s take back Arctic history in Scotland

Faithful readers (hi, mom!) will recognize this image of Abbotsford from my book Celtic Lightning.  The historical novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) created this castle-like residence, now a museum, 40 miles south of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders. Sheena shot the photo a few years ago, when last we visited. End of March, I have…

Read More

Team set to retrace Rae’s 1854 expedition

The Arctic Return team is complete. Explorers Hugh Dale-Harris and Garry Tutte round out the four-man party that will set out in April 2019 to retrace John Rae’s legendary 1854 expedition. That’s the one on which, with William Ouligbuck and Thomas Mistegan, he solved the two great mysteries of 19th-century Arctic exploration, discovering both the…

Read More

Voyage to the Erebus meets Arctic reality

Snorkeling was back on the agenda. Last September, when we boarded the Ocean Endeavour to sail west Out of the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada, we expected to don wetsuits and go snorkeling over the wreck of John Franklin’s Erebus. The Arctic had other ideas. Click on this link to see the article I wrote…

Read More