I’ve been publishing in literary journals since I was 17. A collection of my short fiction titled The Girl with the Full Figure Is Your Daughter was published by Turnstone Press in September 2002. One of my stories, originally published in Queen’s Quarterly, was chosen for the 2008 Journey Prize Stories 20. Both The Malahat Review and Prairie Fire have nominated my work for a National Magazine Award. The Antigonish Review submitted one of my stories to the 2013 Journey Prize Stories anthology.

In 2000 I participated in the St. Roch Voyage of Rediscovery through the Northwest Passage. The next year I started working on coastal tugboats. Although currently living in Burnaby, I have lived in Winnipeg, Victoria, Ottawa, Kenya and New Zealand.

Publication Credits

My work has appeared in the following publications:

The Antigonish Review (43:170)

Arc (31)

The Chariton Review (31:2)

Descant (130)

Quarry (43:4)

Queen's Quarterly (92:3, 114:3)

Rampike (8:2)

sub-TERRAIN (2:13)

Event (21:3, 25:2, 26:3, 29:3, 31:1, 37:3, 40:4)

Geist (4:16)

Grain (39:4)

Journey Prize Stories (20)

The Malahat Review (150)

NeWest Review (23:1)

Prairie Fire (13:4, 18:3, 23:4, 25:3, 29:4)

PRISM international (30:4, 32:1, 36:1)

My Work

February 12, 2015


We sit in our cruiser at the far end of the lot in Belcarra Park, where all is calm except for the two squirrels I’ve been tracking. Observed but unreported, one has scored a cheese doodle from under the picnic bench, and the other seems determined to take it by force, spiralling up the trunk of a nearby pine. Subject is a few inches tall, half a pound, light brown fur, bushy tail, nervous darting eyes, and twitchy body language. Victim is a few inches tall, half a pound, light brown fur, bushy tail, nervous darting eyes, and twitchy body language. The sharp crack that startles me is not gunfire, but a seagull dropping a clam onto the pavement to smash open its shell. This seagull of interest is known to police and has been seen in the area with his associates, harassing the eagle that now sits atop an 80-foot cedar. Current conditions do not warrant intervention. The long road in creates a secluded feeling, with evergreens crowding in so tightly that the sun rarely dries out the green trail of slime running down the centre of the lanes. Down on the dock, anglers keep their small fry catch […]


  • Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail

    “…formally innovative, disquieting and darkly incisive.”
  • Steven Heighton, author of the bestselling novel The Shadow Boxer

    “The rapidly unreeling dream (or nightmare) of each of these stories—stories of drifters, hookers, highway victims, corporate spies and con-men, dead-beat dads and the heartbroken—comes at us from off-kilter angles that are wholly the author’s own. His imagination is bold and unbreaking, his instinct for the aptest detail is sure-fire. Here is an unignorable debut.”
  • Michael Holmes, Editor, ECW

    “...I was captivated, reading after reading; so much of [the] book just blew me away.”
  • Joy Gugeler, Raincoast

    “...polished writing...these stories are small, hard bullets...”
  • Nadine McInnis, author of the acclaimed Quicksilver

    “Rife with the blackest humour, quirky, unadorned, Oscar Martens’ stories are full of characters on a collision course with each other and with the world. In the resulting aftermath, we gain this original new voice, this dark, edgy satirist of the human condition.”
  • Denise Bukowski, The Bukowski Agency

    “ original and refreshing voice with a great deal of promise...”

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