In Richard Van Camp’s fictionalized north anything can happen and yet each story is rooted in a vivid contemporary reality. The stories offer a potent mix tape of tropes from science fiction, horror, Western and Aboriginal traditions. The title story pits Torchy against the Smith Squad, fighting for love and family in a bloody, cathartic, and ultimately hopeful narrative. Van Camp’s characters repeatedly confront the bleakness of sexual assault, substance addiction and violence with the joy and humour of inspired storytelling.
“Of his Dogrib Dene heritage, Richard Van Camp says, ‘We’re encouraged to tell stories every day. Storytelling is part of our spirituality … I want to be remembered as somebody who wrote literature that was hopeful. I think life is about second chances.'”
– Prairie Books Now, Spring 2013, Storytelling, from Lullibies to Zombies by Chadwick Ginther.
Winner of the 2013 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
“Hard-nosed but thin-skinned, sturdy yet totally off the wall, Richard Van Camp’s Godless but Loyal to Heaven is such a vibrant story collection that I’m kicking myself for only getting around to it now” – Edmonton Journal
“Powerful! An original voice from the true north strong and free.” – Tomson Highway
“Gripping, graphic and insightful, Godless but Loyal to Heaven opens up the human heart and lets the reader watch it pumping. Van Camp slips in and out of characters like a shapeshifter, introducing poetry and the fantastic into a brutal landscape” — Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach
“Godless but Loyal to Heaven is a fierce look at all the dehumanized aspects of our world as it is, written courageously, poignantly and beautifully.” – Lee Maracle
“Prepare to be shocked and seared, moved at times to tears when you read Van Camp’s work. You’ll be taken on a series of journeys that you will not forget.” – Joseph Bruchac, author of Our Stories Remember
“Richard Van Camp successfully melds aboriginal traditions with a fictional contemporary North in his new short story collection.” – Winnipeg Free Press