Lortie, Alain 1955-

views updated

LORTIE, Alain 1955-

(Daniel Sernine)


Born November 7, 1955, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; son of Paul-Émile (a building inspector) and Marcelle (Lelièvre) Lortie. Education: University of Montreal, B.A. (history), 1975, M.L.S., 1977.


Agent—Mèdiaspaul, 250 Boulevard Saint François N., Sherbrooke, Quebec J1E 2B9, Canada.


Editions Paulines (publishing firm; later became Mèdiaspaul), editor of the Jeunesse-Pop line of juvenile novels; freelance writer, 1977—; publisher of Lurelu, a magazine on children's literature, 1999—. Member of the editorial team of the science fiction magazine Requiem, which later became Solaris.


Union des ecrivains québécois, Communication-jeunesse, SF Canada, Association des Écrivains Québécois pour la Jeunesse.


Prix du Conseil des Arts en Literature de Jeunesse, 1984, for Le Cercle violet; Prix Boréal, 2002, for Boulevard des étoiles: nouvelles descience-fiction; Grand Prix de la Science-Fiction et du Fantastique Québécois, 1992, for Boulevard des étoiles, À la Recherche de Monsieur Goodtheim, Le Cercle de Khaleb, and Les Rêves d'Argus; Priz 12/17 de la Foire du Livre de Brive et du Salon du Livre de Montréal, 1992, for Le Cercle de Khaleb; Prix Aurora, 1994, for Chronoreg; Prix Boréal, 1994, for Manuscrit trouvé dans un secretaire; Grand Prix de la Science-Fiction et du Fantastique Québécois, 1996, for Sur la scène des siècles: nouvelles fantastiques, L'arc-encercle, and La Traversée de l'apprenti-sorcier.



Les Contes de l'ombre (short stories), Sélect (Montreal, Quebec), 1978.

Légendes du vieux manoir (short stories), Sélect (Montreal, Quebec), 1979.

Organisation Argus (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1979, translation by David Homel published as Those Who Watch over the Earth, Black Moss Press (Windsor, Ontario), 1990.

Le Trésor du "Scorpion" (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1980, translation by Frances Morgan published as Scorpion's Treasure, Black Moss Press (Windsor, Ontario), 1990.

Le Vieil Homme et l'Espace (short stories), Le Préambule (Longueuil, Quebec), 1981.

L'Epée Arhapal (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1981, translation by Frances Morgan published as The Sword of Arhapal, Black Moss Press (Windsor, Ontario), 1990.

La Cité inconnue (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1982.

Les Méandres du temps (novel), Le Préambule, 1983, revised edition, Alire (Lévis, Quebec), 2004.

Argus intervient (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1983, translation by Ray Chamberlain published as Argus Steps In, Black Moss Press (Windsor, Ontario), 1990.

Ludovic (juvenile novel), Pierre Tisseyre (Montreal, Quebec), 1983, revised edition, Héritage (Saint-Lambert, Quebec), 1992.

Quand vient la nuit (short stories), Le Préambule (Longueuil, Quebec), 1983.

Le Cercle violet (juvenile novel), Pierre Tisseyre (Montreal, Quebec), 1984, revised edition, 1993.

Les Envoûtements (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1985.

(Editor) Aurores boreales 2: nouvelles de la science-fiction par dix auteurs québécois (anthology), Le Préambule (Longueuil, Quebec), 1985.

Argus: mission mille (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1988.

Jardins sous la pluie (juvenile novel), Graficor (Boucherville, Quebec), 1988.

La Nef dans les nauges (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1989.

Nuits blêmes (short stories), XYZ Editeur (Montreal, Quebec), 1990.

Quatre destins (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1990.

Boulevard des étoiles: nouvelles de science-fiction (short stories), two volumes, Publication Ianus (Montreal, Quebec), 1991, revised edition, Encrage (Amiens, France), 1998.

Le Cercle de Khaleb (juvenile novel), Héritage (Saint-Lambert, Quebec), 1991.

Les Rêves d'Argus (juvenile novel), Editions Paulines (Montreal, Quebec), 1991.

La Fresque aux trois démons (juvenile novel), Hurtubise (LaSalle, Quebec), 1991.

La Magicienne Bleue (juvenile novel), Pierre Tisseyre (Montreal, Quebec), 1991.

Chronoreg (novel), Quebec/Amerique (Montreal, Quebec), 1992, revised edition, Alire (Beauport, Quebec), 1999.

La Couleur nouvelle (short stories), Quebec/Amerique (Montreal, Quebec), 1993.

Les Portes mystérieuses (short stories), Héritage (Saint-Lambert, Quebec), 1993.

Manuscrit trouvé dans un secretaire (novel), Pierre Tisseyre (Saint-Laurent, Quebec), 1994.

Sur la scène des siècles: nouvelles fantastiques (short stories), Publications Ianus (Montreal, Quebec), 1995.

La Traversée de l'apprenti-sorcier (juvenile novel), Médiaspaul (Montreal, Quebec), 1995.

L'arc-en-cercle (juvenile novel), Héritage (Saint-Lambert, Quebec), 1995.

Petites fugues en lettres mineures (juvenile novel), Dominique (Saint-Lambert, Quebec), 1997.

(Editor) Concerto pour six voix, Médiaspaul (Montreal, Quebec), 1997.

Author of over ninety short stories and novellas, including "Exode 5," 1977, "Boulevard des Étoiles," 1980, Hécate à la gueule sanglante, 1981, "Loin des vertes prairies," 1982, Petit démon, 1983, "Yadjine et la mort," 1986, "Les amis de Monsieur Soon," 1983, "La tête de Walt Unfrey," 1984, Sur la Scène des siècles, 1984, "Métal gui songe," 1989, Hôtel Carnivalla, 1991, À la recherche de Monsieur Goodtheim, 1992, "Néons bleus et roses dans un salon désert," 1992, "Ailleurs," 1994, and "Souvenirs de lumière," 2002. Author of play Nocturne, 1989. Author of over 150 papers, essays, and interviews in children's magazine Vidéo-Presse. Author of film and book reviews, sometimes under name Alain Lortie.


Alain Lortie, who is better known as his pseudonym Daniel Sernine, is one of Canada's best-known francophone authors of science fiction and fantasy. He has penned many novels for young readers, notably a series about Argus, an organization of peace-loving aliens that watches over the earth. He has also written novels and short story collections for adults and is the editor of the 1985 science fiction anthology, Aurores boreales 2: nouvelles de la science-fiction par dix auteurs québécois. Sernine was also one of the early contributors to the québécois science fiction magazine Requiem, which was eventually re-titled Solaris. He has won prizes in Quebec for his literary efforts, including the acclaimed 1984 novel Le Cercle violet. Four of his juvenile novels have been published in English, Those Who Watch over the Earth, Argus Steps In, Scorpion's Treasure, and The Sword of Arhapal.

Writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Jean-Louis Trudel cited Sernine as a major figure in the development of French-language science fiction and fantasy in Canada: "It would be easier to account for the absence of a vibrant and distinctive body of science-fiction works in French-speaking Canada than it is to explain its existence. Few countries have spawned an autonomous science-fiction tradition able to stand the comparison with American imports. However, there is a francophone school of Canadian science fiction, and Daniel Sernine is one of the reasons that it exists. As an early witness to its evolution, as a writer who has devoted himself from the first to writing unabashed science fiction and fantasy, and as an editor who has nurtured a generation of younger writers, he has shaped the field as it exists today in French-speaking Canada."

Those Who Watch over the Earth introduces Sernine's readers to the secretive Argus organization. "In Sernine's science-fictional universe," Trudel explained, "the Earth is watched over by human overseers, part of a secret organization based on an asteroid called Erymede. Gifted with advanced technology by benevolent aliens, the Erymeans, as they are known, keep an eye on Earth affairs in the hope of saving humanity from itself." In Those Who Watch over the Earth, protagonist Marc Alix is recruited to work for Argus, partially because he has extremely high intelligence for a fifteen-year-old. The story is complicated by the fact that Marc is also being chased by government agents who want secrets from his late uncle's research. The novel's first sequel, Argus Steps In, picks up with Marc's life three years later, when he is stationed on the asteroid Erymede. He is assigned, with his friend Carl, to rescue a Soviet scientist being imprisoned in a medieval castle in Scotland.

Anne Louise Mahoney, reviewing both Argus books in Quill & Quire, observed that "Marc is an interesting, likeable character," and that his extraordinary intelligence would not prevent adolescent readers from identifying with him. She also asserted that "both novels are strong, action-filled stories of intrigue, ethics, and adventure." Though Sandra Martin in Books in Canada complained about the quality of David Homel's translations of Those Who Watch over the Earth and Argus Steps In, she praised the novels themselves as "imaginative" and "quirky." Both novels take place in that part of Canada that was designated New France during the seventeenth century. Though in this way the novels are historical, they include elements of the supernatural. Martin hailed them as "rich, dense novels, fluidly translated." Mahoney declared them to be "full of magic and adventure… fun to read," and further explained that the "characters are well drawn."

Among Sernine's better-known untranslated novels is 1983's Les Méandres du temps, which at the time of its publication was one of the longest québécois science fiction novels in existence. Its protagonist, Nicolas, is a telepath participating in an experimental project. The aliens from Sernine's juvenile works, the Erymeans, also appear in the story. Henry Leperlier, in his entry on Sernine in Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, described Les Méandres du temps as the author's "major work," one "which helped give Sernine the stature he deserved and showed his detractors that he had the ability to write long works and present us with heroes devoid of naiveness." Trudel noted that in this novel, "Sernine was able to deepen and broaden his critique of secretive governments maneuvering in the waning years of the Cold War. The story also articulates Sernine's antimilitary viewpoint clearly."

Among the many collections of short stories that Sernine has published is the 1993 volume, La Couleur nouvelle. Including tales of horror and speculative fiction, the book was cited by Patricia Cooper in Canadian Materials as "guaranteed to shock and horrify all readers."



Boivin, Aurélien, Maurice Émond, and Michel Lord, editors, Les Ailleurs imaginaires: Les rapports entre le fantastiqe et la science-fiction, Nuit Blanche, 1993.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 251: Canadian Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Émond, Maurice, editor, Les Voies du fantastique québécois, Nuit Blanche, 1990.

Ruddick, Nicholas, editor, State of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Eleventh Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Greenwood (Westport, CT), 1992.

Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991.


Antarès, March, 1981, Jean-Pierre Moumon and Martine Blond, "Rencontre avec l'auteur: Daniel Sernine," pp. 130-140.

Books in Canada, January, 1991, Sandra Martin, reviews of Those Who Watch over the Earth and Argus Steps In, p. 52.

Canadian Children's Literature, Number 41, 1986, Roger Bozzetto, "Daniel Sernine, auteur de science-fiction et de fantastique," pp. 44-54; Number 63, 1991, Claire Lebrun, "Un point tournant dans l'oeuvre de Daniel Sernine," pp. 95-97.

Canadian Materials, October, 1993, Patricia Cooper, review of La Couleur nouvelle: recits fantastiques, p. 178.

Carfax, fall, 1984, Pierre D. Lacroix, "Interview avec Daniel Sernine," pp. 16-19; December, 1986, Pierre D. Lacroix, "Bibliographie exhaustive," pp. 86-98.

Cirth de Gandalf, January, 1992, Alain Jacques, "Ludovic, Sernine et Tolkien," pp. 10-14.

Courrier SF, summer, 1988, Pierre D. Lacroix, "Entrevue," pp. 11-17.

Des Livres et des Jeunes, summer, 1985, Claire Lebrun, "Un univers souterrain," pp. 17-21; fall, 1989, Christiane Gauthier, "Sernine: un monde fantastique," pp. 2-5.

Færie, February, 1987, Yves-Daniel Mercier, "Entretien avec Daniel Sernine," pp. 27-33.

French Review, May, 1997, Mel Yoken, "Entretien avec Daniel Sernine," pp. 873-886.

imagine…, June, 1984, Élisabeth Vonarburg, "Daniel Sernine entre deux mondes," pp. 53-68.

KWS, May, 1996, Jean-Louis Trudel, "Fantastique: Daniel Sernine," pp. 21-24.

Lurelu, winter, 1992, Simon Dupuis, "Le cycle de Sernine," pp. 7-9.

Quebec français, December, 1986, Michel Lord, "Entrevue avec Daniel Sernine," pp. 28-30, Michel Lord, "Entre l'espoir et le désespoir: un univers de sensations," pp. 31-35, and Aurélien Boivin, "Biographie et bibliographie," p. 38.

Quill & Quire, March, 1991, Anne Louise Mahoney, reviews of Those Who Watch over the Earth and Argus Steps In, p. 17.

Recherches amérindiennes au Quebec, fall, 1987, Sylvie Vincent, "L'aventure et ses limites: les Amérindiens dans l'oeuvre fantastique pour la jeunesse de Daniel Sernine," pp. 79-94.

Solaris, June-July, 1983, Norbert Spehner, "Entrevue: Daniel Sernine," pp. 21-24; September-October, 1987, Luc Pomerleau, "Entrevue: Daniel Sernine," pp. 18-23; April, 1989, Simon Dallaire, "Les Méandres du temps: une analyse structuraliste," pp. 35-39; January-February, 1990, Michel Lamontagne, "Repérer les humains parmi les automates," pp. 28-30; spring, 1992, Michel Lamontagne, "Chronoreg ou le spectacle du sang," pp. 63-65; spring, 1993, Fabien Ménard, "De l'écriture, de la violence et du temps," pp. 30-43; spring, 1995, Daniel Coulombe, "Femme engagéées et poètes enseignés dans Le Cercle de Khaleb," pp. 22-23.

Temps Tôt, January, 1994, Coulombe and Marie-Claude Maltais, "Les Abénaquis dans l'oeuvre de Sernine," pp. 28-30.

XYZ, spring, 1992, Francine Pelletier, "Du fantastique et de la SF," pp. 73-84.

About this article

Lortie, Alain 1955-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article