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Welcome to Brain Lag!

Based in Ontario, Canada, Brain Lag publishes fantasy and science fiction books. Our focus is on helping our authors shine by providing each author with personalized attention.

Here at Brain Lag, we love debut and emerging authors and stories that run the gamut of speculative fiction sub-genres. Our first criteria for every book we accept is a good story. Whether you like fast-paced action, slow burn epics, classic tales or envelope-pushing, short stories, or literary, we have a book (or two!) for you!

To view our complete catalogue, click the Books link. They are listed by release date, but you can use the filters at the top of the page to narrow down the results to just the kind of books you're looking for. Bios of all currently contracted authors are available on the Authors page. You can also purchase books directly from us in the Store.

We also have Videos and Podcasts featuring our authors or books. For more about our company, view the links under the About heading, see a list of our upcoming or previous appearances under Events, and you can get in touch with us under the Contact heading. (That's also where you'll find Submission information.)

Still have questions? View the FAQ or send us a message.


- 11/29/22 -

First Glimpse At Final Installment Of Haunting Dark Fantasy Trilogy Coming Spring 2023

MILTON, ONTARIO, November 29, 2022 – In 2020, Scotland author David Rae’s first novel, Crowman, about a dark spirit that keeps the Sun in a box and only lets it out one day each year, was released to rave reviews. The Sun Thief trilogy continued with Crowtower in 2021. Now, in March 2023, the final book, Crowbait, will be released, and today the cover art for the upcoming book was revealed.

Like the previous books, the cover is a charcoal drawing by publisher Brain Lag owner Catherine Fitzsimmons. Crowbait features a cloaked man holding light in his hands, with a crow rising from his shadow.

The story so far

In Crowman, readers were introduced to a world kept in darkness by the great spirit Vatu, along with Utas, father of a girl who shines like the moon, along with Utas’ struggle trying to keep her safe and hidden. The second book, Crowtower, showed Utas’ origins as the newly reborn high priest of Vatu and how a shocking secret of his birth gained him his freedom from the dark spirit.

Crowbait follows up the tragic ending of the second book to show more of the lives of the priests of Vatu and the struggles they face maintaining the dark lands, while also reflecting chilling parallels to our own world. Bandits and royal guards alike threaten the safety and freedom of Utas and his daughter Alaba while famine leads to war among the populace.

First look at Crowbait

Crowbait will be released next March in trade paperback (304 pages, ISBN 978-1-928011-92-7, $22.99 CAD) and ebook (ISBN 978-1-928011-93-4, $4.99) formats. Preorders are making their way into bookstores everywhere and are already available through the publisher’s web store. The first few chapters of the book are also available to read on the Brain Lag web site.

A critically acclaimed series

Reedsy gave both Crowman and Crowtower five-star reviews, calling Crowman, “A masterpiece of epic fantasy, conceptual and allegorical fiction in which I would willingly immerse myself book after book after book,” and saying of Crowtower, “Labyrinthine, magical, and engrossing, David Rae has once again filled each page with mesmerizing imagery, elegant beauty and chilling corruptions. If you long to lose yourself in a truly spell-binding read, look no further.”

Readers’ Favorite also gave Crowman a five-star review, calling it, “A conceptual and intriguing fantasy novel with plenty of clever secrets to uncover... highly recommended for fans of intelligent and conceptual fantasy fiction.”

Several authors and other media outlets agreed:

The Author

David Rae worked in a candy factory (not as an Oompa-Loompa), as a scaffolder and ditch digger. He has worked as a draftsman and as an ecologist, as a statistician and as a policy maker. He is married and has four lovely children and now lovely grandchildren. And he continues to read and to write and marvel at the world he lives in.

Crowbait is Milton, Ontario-based science fiction and fantasy publisher Brain Lag’s forty-fourth title. Rae was the first international author to join Brain Lag’s lineup, which now includes twenty-one other signed authors largely from Canada and the U.S.A. The book is the publisher’s third scheduled release in 2023 of eleven.

Media inquiries and requests to contact the author may be directed to publishing@brain-lag.com.

11/11/2022: Cozy Mystery Novel Featuring A Grieving Firefighter And A Crime Fiction Convention Organizer Now Out

A haunted house, a crime fiction convention, and murder mystery theatre make for “a fun read that was hard to put down” (reader David Penney) in Weekends Can Be Murder by Arlene F. Marks, out today from Brain Lag. [more...]

10/21/2022: Gentle Science Fiction Novel Showing a Green Version of Near-Future Toronto Gets Cover Art

The cover art was revealed today for upcoming solarpunk novel Unseen by Ontario author Cathy Hird. The cover features a stylized painting of a city skyline in shades of green, grey, and yellow. [more...]

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