Saturday, September 30, 2017

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors! The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Jenn Bennett (2011)

Alex Approximately
Simon Pulse, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 4, 2017

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.



Starry Eyes
Simon Pulse, April 3, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?





Robyn Bennis (2017)

The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, April 17, 2018
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 2, 2017

Robyn Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs



By Fire Above
A Signal Airship Novel 2
Tor Books, May 15, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis's military airship fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”

"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up the nation's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs

“Marvelous, witty and action-packed steampunk with exquisite attention to detail. Bennis's writing is incredible, her vocabulary impressive, and she honest to God made me believe you could build an airship from spare parts.”—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre


Read an interview with Robyn Bennis here.





Terri Favro (2017)

Generation Robot
    A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation by Terri Favro
Skyhorse Publishing, February 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 300 pages

Generation Robot covers a century of science fiction, fact and, speculation—from the 1950 publication of Isaac Asimov’s seminal robot masterpiece, I, Robot, to the 2050 Singularity when artificial and human intelligence are predicted to merge. Beginning with a childhood informed by pop-culture robots in movies, in comic books, and on TV in the 1960s to adulthood where the possibilities of self-driving cars and virtual reality are daily conversation, Terri Favro offers a unique perspective on how our relationship with robotics and futuristic technologies has shifted over time. Peppered with pop-culture fun-facts about Superman’s kryptonite, the human-machine relationships in the cult TV show Firefly, and the sexual and moral implications of the film Ex Machina, Generation Robot explores how the techno-triumphs and resulting anxieties of reality bleed into the fantasies of our collective culture.

 Clever and accessible, Generation Robot isn’t just for the serious, scientific reader—it’s for everyone interested in robotics and technology since their science-fiction origins. By looking back at the future she once imagined, analyzing the plugged-in present, and speculating on what is on the horizon, Terri Favro allows readers the chance to consider what was, what is, and what could be. This is a captivating book that looks at the pop-culture of our society to explain how the world works—now and tomorrow.


Read an interview with Terri Favro here.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 4


The 7th year of the Debut Author Challenge commenced on January 1, 2017. Here are the 9 debuts being published in October, November and December 2017 that I most looking forward to reading.


Melissa Caruso

The Tethered Mage
Swords and Fire 1
Orbit, October 24, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
     Epic Fantasy

In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

The Tethered Mage is the first novel in a spellbinding new fantasy series.





Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Bloodprint
The Khorasan Archives
Harper Voyager, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
     Epic Fantasy

The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope.

A dark power called the Talisman, born of ignorance and persecution, has risen in the land. Led by a man known only as the One-Eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman’s spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her fellow warrior, Sinnia, skilled fighters who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: the Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding the Bloodprint promises to be their most perilous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal boy they freed from slavery and a man that used to be both Arian’s confidant and sword master—Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.





K Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger's Daughter
Their Bright Ascendency 1
Tor Books, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages
     Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

"Rich, expansive, and grounded in human truth...simply exquisite.” —V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series

K Arsenault Rivera's debut, The Tiger's Daughter, the beginning of a new epic fantasy trilogy

Even gods can be slain

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach—but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

A crack in the wall heralds the end…two goddesses arm themselves…K Arsenault Rivera's The Tiger’s Daughter is an adventure for the ages.





Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of Ghosts
Akashic Books, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 340 9ages
     Science Fiction, Space Opera, Literary Fiction,
     African American, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.

Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot—if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war.





Robert Guffey

Until the Last Dog Dies
Night Shade Books, November 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
     Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic,
     Satire, Humorous

A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.

What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?

Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.

Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways.

What would you consider the end of the world?

Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.





Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
St. Martin's Press, November 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy, Magical Realism,
     Paranormal

"Told with brains and heart" —Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment

"Bristles with charm and curiosity" —Winston Groom, New York Times bestselling author of Forrest Gump

"A wholly original and superbly crafted work of art, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a masterpiece of the imagination." —Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times bestselling author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness

"Charlotte's Web for grown-ups who, like Weylyn Grey, have their own stories of being different, feared, brave, and loved." —Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave

Finding magic in the ordinary.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.




S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass
The Daevabad Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 522 pages
     Historical Fantasy

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for . . .





Tracy Townsend

The Nine
Thieves of Fate 1
Pyr, November 14, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
     Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales,
     Legends and Mythology

A book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is doing everything she can to stay off the streets and earn enough to pay her mother’s way to freedom. But an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, but when a frightened and empty-handed courier shows up on his doorstep he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating a stolen book that writes itself may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon learns the text may have been written by the Creator himself, tracking the nine human subjects of his Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

This unlikely team must try to keep the book from those who would misuse it. But how can they be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen to them when it reveals a secret no human was meant to know?





Steven Savile

Glass Town
St. Martin's Press, December 5, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
     (US Debut - Own World)

Steven Savile is an international sensation, selling over half a million copies of his novels worldwide and writing for cult favorite television shows including Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Stargate. Now, he is finally making his US debut with Glass Town, a brilliantly composed novel revolving around the magic and mystery lurking in London.

There's always been magic in our world
We just needed to know where to look for it

In 1924, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. She disappeared during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s debut, Number 13, which itself is now lost. It was the crime of the age, capturing the imagination of the city: the beautiful actress never seen again, and the gangster who disappeared the same day.

Generations have passed. Everyone involved is long dead. But even now their dark, twisted secret threatens to tear the city apart.

Joshua Raines is about to enter a world of macabre beauty, of glittering celluloid and the silver screen, of illusion and deception, of impossibly old gangsters and the fiendish creatures they command, and most frighteningly of all, of genuine magic.

He is about to enter Glass Town.

The generations-old obsession with Eleanor Raines’s unsolved case is about to become his obsession, handed down father-to-son through his bloodline like some unwanted inheritance. But first he needs to bury his grandfather and absorb the implications of the confession in his hand, a letter from one of the brothers, Isaiah, claiming to have seen the missing actress. The woman in the red dress hadn’t aged a day, no matter that it was 1994 and she’d been gone seventy years.

Long buried secrets cannot stay secrets forever. Hidden places cannot stay hidden forever.

The magic that destroyed one of the most brutal families in London’s dark history is finally failing, and Joshua Raines is about to discover that everything he dared dream of, everything he has ever feared, is waiting for him in Glass Town.

Eternal Empire, Volume 1, Coming in November

EPIC FANTASY ETERNAL EMPIRE, VOL. 1 HITS STORES THIS NOVEMBER
Collecting issues #1-5

PORTLAND, OR, 09/28/2017 — Writer/artist Jonathan Luna (ALEX + ADA, GIRLS) and co-writer Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA, Ruined) will release ETERNAL EMPIRE, VOL. 1 this November.

The Eternal Empress has waged war against the countries of Saia for over 100 years, and now her sights are set on the last country standing. But within the brutal Empire’s workforce, a young man and woman discover they share a synergistic power that could change the fate of the entire
world.

“We’re very excited to have ETERNAL EMPIRE, VOL. 1 in stores,” said Luna and Vaughn. “We love this story about destiny, synergy, dragons, and rare magic, and we hope everyone enjoys it!”

ETERNAL EMPIRE, VOL. 1 (Diamond code: MAR178441, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0340-9) arrives in comic book stores Wednesday, November 22nd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, October 9th.

It will be available in bookstores Tuesday, November 28th, and it can be preordered via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and Indigo.

Note: Also available at Book Depository and Books-A-Million.




ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Nintendo Download, September 28, 2017: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • EA SPORTS FIFA 18 – The most immersive, social and authentic soccer game out there can be played anywhere on Nintendo Switch. Players can now play the world’s game anytime, anywhere and in unique ways when EA SPORTS FIFA 18 launches on Nintendo Switch on Sept. 29.
    • Golf Story – Most role-playing games are about slaying dragons or retrieving mystical crystals, but what about an RPG that lets players equip golf clubs instead of swords? In this golf RPG (yes, it’s a thing), play through a dramatic story with a diverse cast of characters to meet, golf challenges to beat, upgrades to wear and equipment to collect.
  • Virtual Console on Nintendo 3DS
    • YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters – Get wicked and complete the definitive YO-KAI WATCH experience. The strange but friendly troublemakers, Yo-kai, are back in a time-traveling adventure, and this time their mysterious world is packed with exclusive quests, Wicked Yo-kai to befriend, new areas to explore and a revamped Blasters mode featuring new bosses. YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters will be available on Sept. 29.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Super Nintendo Entertainment System™: Super NES Classic Edition Out September 29, 2017



Take a Trip to the ‘90s with Super NES Classic Edition

Mini System Comes with 21 Super NES Games and is Available Tomorrow

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 28, 2017 – Until now, you’ve just been playing with power. But starting tomorrow, you’ll be playing with SUPER power. That’s because the retro-tastic Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system is hitting stores at a suggested retail price of $79.99. The system comes with 21 pre-installed Super NES games, many of which are considered some of the greatest video games of all time. All-time classics like Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, FINAL FANTASY III and Donkey Kong Country are on the same mini system as Star Fox 2, which has never been released before!

“Super NES Classic Edition is perfect for any Nintendo fan, retro gamer or anyone who just wants to play some really fun video games,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “And at a reasonable price, the system will be a great addition to any holiday shopping list.”

Interview with Adrian J. Walker, author of The End of the World Running Club


Please welcome Adrian J. Walker to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The End of the World Running Club is published on September 5th by Sourcebooks Landmark.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Adrian:  I started writing poetry when I was 8 years old and carried on through my teens. (Trust me when I say you do not want to read the results.) Then I discovered Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Tom Robbins, Glen Duncan, Zadie Smith…and realised that I wanted to write a novel. I had several false starts, including a month in my twenties holed up on a deserted beach in New Zealand, and it took me till my 30s before I completed my first book (From the Storm).



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Adrian:  I’ve tried both and I definitely prefer plotting. For my next book I’ve written scene cards, which I spread out on the kitchen table so I can see the story end to end.

That said, sometimes you have to go off the beaten track a little, which is why I ‘pants’ dialogue. If your characters are strong then their interaction can often lead you down unexpected and useful roads. The screenwriter John Logan tells a great story about how he wrote one of the pivotal scenes in Gladiator. Look it up!



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Adrian:  Resisting the urge to describe too much. The more a reader has to create the scene in her head, the more vivid it will be. The trick is to provide the right pointers; you’re really just showing her around her own imagination.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Adrian:  My fears inspire me, and every one of my books contains at least one scene which I’ve dreamed. I read a lot of non-fiction books too, so I generally write about what I’m obsessed with. Right now I’m reading ‘To Be A Machine’ by Mark O’Connell, which is about Transhumanism.



TQDescribe The End of the World Running Club in 140 characters or less.

Adrian:  Overwhelmed and underwhelming father runs 500 miles across a post-apocalyptic UK to reach his family before they’re evacuated for good!



TQTell us something about The End of the World Running Club that is not found in the book description.

Adrian:  I cried a bit when I wrote the ending. You’ll either love it or hate it.



TQWhat inspired you to write The End of the World Running Club? What appealed to you about writing a post-apocalyptic thriller?

Adrian:  I have wanted to write a book set in a post-apocalyptic world ever since reading Lucifer’s Hammer (Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven) as a teenager. What appeals to me about PA is the idea of emptiness, not just physically but socially. Removing all the constructs we’re used to in the 21st century allows you to explore characters in interesting ways.

It was running and fatherhood (both of which I had just found when I wrote the book) which inspired me to write Running Club. I wanted to superimpose the journey of somebody learning to run, and to be a parent, onto this empty world.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The End of the World Running Club?

Adrian:  Apart from my own experiences, (I’ve run a couple of marathons but never more than that) I interviewed a number of ultra-distance runners. They’re an extremely interesting bunch with lots to say on the subject, and the most interesting answers were about the psychological effects of running very long distances, which I explore in the book.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The End of the World Running Club.

Adrian:  I spend way too much time thinking about covers! The US one is radically different to the UK version, which is almost pure typography. This in turn is even more different to my original cover (more cryptic), back when I self-published the book in 2014. The US cover depicts Ed walking (or running) into a doom-laden sky and a red horizon, with crows circling him. I love how the colours pop.



TQIn The End of the World Running Club who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Adrian:  The easiest character to write was Jacob, a cameo of a friend of mine named Tobias. But Ed was easy too, since he’s a caricature of what was my darker side at the time. Grimes was hard. She’s the group’s protector, but I didn’t want her to just be a stereotypical tough soldier. She has her own vulnerability and history too.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The End of the World Running Club?

Adrian:  I’m not sure I explore too many social issues, other than how I imagine various types of society would function after an apocalyptic event (Edinburgh’s underground warrens, a Manchester housing scheme, a stately home, a boating community on the south coast). The story is really about Ed’s own personal journey.



TQWhich question about The End of the World Running Club do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Adrian:  Why do you mention a particular song near the end of the book?

Because it’s my favourite song to run to by my favourite band in the world, and I wanted to give it as a gift in the last scene. The lead singer of the band died earlier this year, so it’s even more relevant to me now.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The End of the World Running Club.

Adrian:  Okey dokey.

‘Belief’s are strange. Things of certainty about things uncertain.’ (Ed)

‘We’re all born screaming, Ed. The moment we pop out our throats open and the same scream bursts out that always has done. We see all the lights and faces and the shadows and the strange sounds and we scream. Life screams and we scream back at it.’ (Harvey)

‘I feel like I’m running through a fart.’ (Bryce)

‘Do I believe in God? I still don’t know. Did I meet him in the canyon? Yes.
Absolutely yes.’ (Ed)



TQWhat's next?

Adrian:  My next book, THE LAST DOG ON EARTH, has just been published in the UK and (fingers crossed) it will make its appearance in the US before long. I’m currently completing my next book for Penguin Random House, after which I’m planning to write WORDS, the second book in my self-published EARTH INCORPORATED trilogy. I also have another title called THE OTHER LIVES coming out in a few months time. Lots of books!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The End of the World Running Club
Sourcebooks Landmark, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

#1 International Bestseller

"A fresh and frighteningly real take on what "the end" might be…quite an exciting and nerve-wracking 'run', with characters you believe in and feel for."—New York Times bestselling author Robert McCammon

Perfect for fans of The Martian, this powerful post-apocalyptic thriller pits reluctant father Edgar Hill in a race against time to get back to his wife and children. When the sky begins to fall and he finds himself alone, his best hope is to run – or risk losing what he loves forever.

When the world ends and you find yourself forsaken, every second counts.

No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. Stranded on the other side of the country from his wife and children, Ed must push himself across a devastated wasteland to get back to them. With the clock ticking and hundreds of miles between them, his best hope is to run — or risk losing what he loves forever.





About Adrian

Adrian J. Walker was born in the bush suburbs of Sydney, Australia, in the mid-’70s. After his father found a camper van in a ditch, he moved his family back to the UK, where Adrian was raised. Visit him at www.adrianjwalker.com.












Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @adrianwalker


Annihilation (2018) - Teaser Trailer - Paramount Pictures









While you are waiting for the movie (in theaters February 23, 2018), read the novel:

Annihilation
The Southern Reach Trilogy 1
FSG Originals, February 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

The Southern Reach Trilogy begins with this Nebula Award-winning novel that "reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world" (Kim Stanley Robinson).

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.





And check out the latter two novels in the Southern Reach Trilogy:

Authority
The Southern Reach Trilogy 2
FSG Originals,May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X—a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization—has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.

John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he's pledged to serve.

In Authority, the New York Times bestselling second volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring.



Acceptance
The Southern Reach Trilogy 3
FSG Originals, September 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril.

Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X--and who may have been corrupted by it?

In this New York Times bestselling final installment of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Guest Blog by Stephanie Burgis - Finding the Fun in Snowspelled


Please welcome Stephanie Burgis to The Qwillery. Snowspelled, the 1st novel in the Harwood Spellbook series, was published on September 4, 2017.







Finding the Fun in Snowspelled – Stephanie Burgis

I started out my adult life as a serious academic, studying 18th-century opera and politics. So it only makes sense that in my first two darkly romantic historical fantasy novels (Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets), I had one overriding priority for my worldbuilding: all of the magic had to fit discreetly into the real-world history of the time period (something I cared passionately about).

Not only did I write a version of alchemy in those books that matched real 18th-century theories of the world, but I hoped to persuade my readers – at least during the hours that they spent absorbed in those stories - that hey, maybe history really could have happened that way after all, because none of the secret magic in my books actually contradicted the real-world history we know.

I loved that creative challenge. I loved coming up with carefully-researched and deeply romantic novels that also included thoughtful Historical Notes at the end. I loved that many of my readers were inspired to go read more about the time period of each of those two novels afterward!

But then 2016 happened, and I – like so much of the world – got really, really stressed.

Suddenly, I wasn’t interested in writing dark stories in any genre. I didn’t care about intellectual challenges.

What I cared about – and desperately needed - was escape.

If I was going to get through what felt (and still feels) like a very dark time in the world, what I needed was a comforting writing-project that felt like pure, frothy fun in every possible way.

So I started writing Snowspelled, a fantasy romance novella (or short novel – I’ve never been sure which one to call it!) set in a blatantly non-real version of history – a version I could escape into any time I needed it.

In my version of “Angland,” the Romans never did manage to quash Boudicca’s famous rebellion. Instead, aided by her (fictional) next husband (a magician), she expelled the Roman Empire forever...and from then on, it was officially accepted throughout the nation that ladies (being more naturally pragmatic) would handle the practical matter of politics, while men (being “the more emotional sex”) would deal with tempestuous magic.

(Can you imagine just how satisfying that viewpoint felt to write just after the November 2016 U.S. elections?)

At the point when Snowspelled begins, in early 19th-century Angland, the nation is ruled by a collection of powerful women known as The Boudiccate, while men study magic at The Great Library of Trinivantium. The fundamentally multi-ethnic nation shares its countryside with powerful elves, trolls, fairies, and more, all held together by fragile, often complicated alliances.

But rules, of course, are only made to be broken. And my heroine – the first woman magician in Angland - has more than enough confidence to go her own way in ALL things, whether or not the Boudiccate (or her infuriatingly appealing ex-fiancé) agree...

...So when she’s trapped in the most awkward houseparty of her life, snowbound in the midst of Angland’s elven dales, of course Trouble-with-a-capital-T ensues immediately.

And oh, it felt so delicious to write!

Snowspelled gave me exactly the escape I needed, at just the moment when I most needed it. My biggest hope is that it’ll be a fun and comforting escape-book for you guys, too.





Snowspelled
The Harwood Spellbook 1
Five Fathoms Press, September 4, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 166 pages

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.

A witty and sparkling romantic fantasy novella that opens a brand-new series for adults from the author of Kat, Incorrigible, Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets.





About Stephanie

Stephanie Burgis grew up in Michigan but now lives in Wales, surrounded by castles and coffee shops. RT Book Reviews called her most recent romantic fantasy novel for adults, Congress of Secrets, "a perfect combination of romance, historical fiction and fantasy," and her most recent novel for children, The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month. To find out more and read the first two chapters of Snowspelled, visit her website: www.stephanieburgis.com





Facebook  ~  Twitter @stephanieburgis


Hob Released by Runic Games


Runic Games launched Hob on September 26, 2017, their third title after the Torchlight series.
Hob, a single-player action-adventure game set amidst the ruins of a missing civilization, released on the PC and PS4 for $19.99. Fans of the atmospheric music can purchase the original soundtrack by Matt Uelmen on Bandcamp or on Steam as DLC.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl Lives


Please welcome Rick Claypool to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Leech Girl Lives is published on September 26th by Spaceboy Books.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Rick a Happy Publication Day!







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Rick:  As a kid I spent a lot of time being bored at my grandparents’ house, so I occupied myself drawing cartoons, writing manuals for video games I made up, or stapling together drawings of dinosaurs or made-up creatures to make “books.” At the time I didn’t think of any of this as “writing” but that’s pretty much what it was. I didn’t do much in the way of creating actual narratives -- you know, stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end -- unless I was told to do so for school. That came much later.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rick:  Hybrid. I need to sketch things out in advance in order to make any kind of progress, but when I hunker down and start actually writing, the story almost inevitably veers off in unintended and surprising ways. Sometimes these unexpected offshoots are dead ends and sometimes they are way better than what I originally planned. The best of these, the ones that both work and take the story in unexpected directions, are the most thrilling part of the creative process for me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rick:  Not crashing my car when I have an idea and I try to write it down while simultaneously driving on the Turnpike.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rick:  I love the maximalist worldbuilding and political conscience of science fiction authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, China Mieville and Madeleine L’Engle and I love the everyday absurdism captured by minimalist millennial authors like Sam Pink, Juliet Escoria, and Noah Cicero. In Leech Girl Lives, I try to bring these influences together to make a kind of offbeat minimalist sci-fi.

Of course it wasn’t just books that influenced me. TV shows like Adventure Time and Doctor Who have inspired me basically not to hold back my weirdest, craziest ideas, and the dystopia/utopia I invented no doubt owes a lot to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and 12 Monkeys.



TQDescribe Leech Girl Lives in 140 characters or less.

Rick:  This book is hard to succinctly summarize but here’s an attempt in exactly 140 characters:

Leeches replace Margo's arms & help her fight art terrorists & overcome depression. She discovers her utopian city's dark side & fights back



TQTell us something about Leech Girl Lives that is not found in the book description.

Rick:  In the Bublinaplex, the distant-future utopia where the story takes place, society is centered around making art (because humanity’s survival is attributed to creativity) and safety (because the city contains the last remaining human population, so everyone’s life is extremely precious). A newly popular art movement, reckessism, threatens to disrupt the utopia, as its adherents (recklessists) defy the society’s emphasis on safety by making art that is designed to physically harm its audience. Lorcan Warhol, the de facto leader of this movement, is the arch nemesis of the story’s protagonist, Margo Chicago, an art safety inspector.



TQWhat inspired you to write Leech Girl Lives? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Rick:  It’s the result of a mishmash of many inspirations. This is going to sound very serious for a book that on the surface might seem somewhat silly and escapist, but global inequality and exploitation as facilitated by unfair trade agreements and corporate supply chains was my initial inspiration. I set out to write a story where people who live in a rather blissful utopian future rely on the brutal exploitation of the people of the past in the same way that, in real life, people in rich countries like the U.S. rely on products made possible through the brutal exploitation of people in the Global South. My challenge for myself was to write a book that is something of a zany escapist sci-fi romp that simultaneously engages with this and other deadly serious issues.

In high school, I read E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” a science fiction story from 1909, before science fiction was a thing, and it literally changed my life. In a way, I write science fiction because I hope my writing could affect others the way that story affected me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  To be honest, not very much. One exception that stands out is that a major plot point depends on there being a credible way to force a tardigrade -- an odd, nearly indestructible kind of micro-creature that dwells in moss and mud basically everywhere in the world -- into its “tun” or dormant state. I had to peruse Google Scholar a bit before I found a paper that made what happens in the book with a stampede of kaiju-sized tardigrades seem not so scientifically wrong that it would bother me.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  The cover depicts the beginning of a somewhat Nausicaa-inspired scene where Margo gets quite close to one of these massive tardigrades.



TQIn Leech Girl Lives who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rick:  I’ll respond in reverse. Margo was the hardest, since it is her perspective that the reader follows for practically the entire book. In order to maintain a consistent character, perspective, and voice for her for the duration of the novel during the years-long process of writing it, I essentially had to trick myself into thinking of her as a real person that I know, and I had to suppress the idea that she is just this artificial and in some ways arbitrary assemblage of traits and ideas that come from within me.

The easiest character to write was Lorcan Warhol. He’s malicious and flamboyant, like Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter, and he loves to hear himself speak. I had a lot of fun writing him, as I think readers probably will be able to tell.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  There’s no such thing as a novel that doesn’t include social issues. Sure, I made an effort to keep most of the politics as subtext rather than text in Leech Girl Lives. I’ll sum it up this way: At its core the book is against exploitation and ignorance and cynicsm and complacency and it is for fighting for what you believe in and confronting unfairness and choosing to be on the right side of history.



TQWhich question about Leech Girl Lives do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rick:

RC:  How did you balance writing the book with all the other things going on in your life?

I work full time, I like spending time with my wife, and I have a four-year-old. It’s not easy. The biggest advantage I’ve been blessed with is that I work from home. When I started writing the book, before my son was born, I made a conscious effort to use the time I would have spent commuting in order to do it. So for about an hour every day I churned out about 300 or so, and I forced myself to always move forward with the draft, to not go back and revise anything, and in about a year those words added up to the sprawling, incoherent 500-page mess that was my first draft. By the time my son was born a few years later I was doing final revisions. I had no interest in using the book to cop out of my parenting responsibilities (and I don’t think my wife would have put up with it for a second if I did, and rightly so). Finding time to write is much harder now that I have to schlep the boy to daycare, but I still manage to chip away at smaller projects.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Leech Girl Lives.

Rick:  Here’s a particularly fun paragraph from the middle of the book:

“The balloon leered at Margo. It spoke, and as it spoke its eyes sunk back into its skull and its teeth stood up on its gums and the teeth performed a nightmarish dance on the thing’s forked tongue to a rhythmic bleating that blared out of its nostrils.”



TQWhat's next?

Rick:  I’m working on a post-apocalyptic, Lovecraftian piece that is either a very long short story or a very short novelette that’s inspired by Wall Street’s influence on our society.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rick:  Thank you for your excellent questions.





Leech Girl Lives
Spaceboy Books LLC, September 26, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 322 pages

“I used to live in the future. Giant leeches ate my arms and then replaced them. Under the circumstances, this was actually a good thing. Anyway now I’m here and I’m looking for someone else from the future.” 

Inspector Margo Chicago is the smartest, surliest art safety inspector in the Bublinaplex, and things aren’t going her way. The guy she thinks she’s in love with has been banished. Her boss has been poisoned. Her cyborg has a limp.

Oh, and her arms have been devoured and replaced by a pair of enormous leeches. As if that isn’t enough, it’s now up to Margo to save the Bublinaplex from art terrorists whose newest installation could drive humanity to extinction.

But things in the Bublinaplex are not as they seem. And when Margo uncovers the city’s murderous secrets, she must face a choice: Should she save the Bublinaplex? Or should she join the revolution dedicated to destroying it?





About Rick

Rick Claypool is a writer and activist who lives in Pittsburgh. He works for Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that fights corporate power. He has a master's degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University. He grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania called Leechburg. Leech Girl Lives is his first novel.



Website  ~  Twitter @weirdstrug