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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC Authors


Here are some of the May 2021 novels by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.



Zen Cho (2015)

Black Water Sister
Ace, May 11, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
“A sharp and bittersweet story of past and future, ghosts and gods and family, that kept me turning pages into the dark hours of the night.”—Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of A Deadly Education

“Ghosts, gods, and supernatural vengeance collide in vividly-depicted modern day Malaysia to create a contemporary fantasy story that’s full of voice and heart.”–Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler.

She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god—and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sarah Pinsker (2019)

We Are Satellites
Berkley, May 11, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
ONE OF BUZZFEED’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOKS OF SPRING

From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that divides them.

Everybody’s getting one.

Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.

Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.

Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Cat Rambo (2015)

Exiles of Tabat
The Tabat Quartet 3
Wordfire Press , May 12, 2021
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook, 324 pages
Return to a beautifully wrought and immersive world where intelligent magical creatures fight for their right to be free.

Revolution.

Riot.

Enslaved magical creatures and an exiled, reluctant hero.

Bella Kanto finds herself aboard a hostile ship bound for a frontier town. When she encounters an old lover along the way, she has a chance to escape-but does she really want to take it?

Meanwhile apprentice Lucy and her friend Maz have been kidnapped from Tabat and taken to the Southern Isles in search of ancient magic. They fear what will happen when they get there, particularly when their kidnapper realizes he's wrong about Lucy's identity.

Return to a world where magical creatures fight for their right to be free in a system that makes use of their work and sometimes their very bodies in a city full of revolution and riot, ready for the return of its lost champion: the reluctant Bella Kanto.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
 iBooks : Kobo

Book 1
Book 2

Interview with J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch

Please welcome J. S. Dewes to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Watch was published on April 20, 2021 by Tor Books.






TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!

I have a problematically terrible memory, and can’t even begin to recall what my first piece of fiction might have been! My first vague memory of writing fiction was probably from third grade or so, when my teacher told us to forget about spelling and grammar and just get our ideas on the page. I think that comment somewhat horrified my mother, haha, but in retrospect it was actually great advice! You can’t revise a blank page, after all. :)



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

J. S.:  I definitely started out a full-on pantser, and I discovery wrote all of The Last Watch. However, since then I’ve written two more books and learned a lot more about myself as a writer in the process. Though I wouldn’t say I’ve settled fully, I’m currently pretty much a hybrid. I’ve frankensteined a flexible plot structure from a few different sources that works well for the kind of stories I like to tell, and I’ve used it to help my panster brain craft those pesky outlines editors and agents sometimes want to see.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

J. S.:  Though every phase has its different challenges, I find organizing revisions probably the most difficult. Though I’ve devised a system that works pretty well for me, setting up a revision plan within that system is hugely time consuming, and I definitely wish my brain was able to just contain and process it all at once, and I wouldn’t have to structure it all within a ridiculously detailed organization scheme. Alas.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does script writing affect (or not) your novel writing?

J. S.:  I draw from a wide variety of influences—video games, films and television, concept art (Pinterest & Art Station), and more. Music is a big one—all my story ideas thus far have come from song lyrics, and music is a part of my process during every phase of writing. I love creating playlists for different books, scenes, moods, and characters, and it’s a big part of my creative immersion process. (Which is greatly helpful when you can only squeeze in an hour or two of writing a day!)

And yes, I definitely think script writing had an impact on my novel writing. Though I didn’t fully realize it at the time, looking back I think that experience informed my instincts while pantsing my first couple novels; I didn’t have to undertake any structural edits at any point for The Last Watch, and I think that was in large part due to my understanding of plot and pacing from having written screenplays. There are definitely other relevant skills that transfer, especially things like showing versus telling, characterization, and dialogue.



TQDescribe The Last Watch using only 5 words.

J. S.:  Criminal soldiers fight danger physics!



TQTell us something about The Last Watch that is not found in the book description.

J. S.:  Despite the high concept conveyed in the blurb, the story is actually very tightly focused on the characters and their relationships. Also, there are 144 instances of the F word.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Watch? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

J. S.:  The original concept for The Last Watch was inspired by a song lyric! There’s a song I’ve loved for years called “Highwayman” (written by Jimmy Webb, performed by The Highwaymen), with a line: “I’ll fly a starship across the universe divide.” That got me thinking about what might lie outside the confines of the universe, or what might happen if the universe stopped expanding and you tried to find the edge.

Science fiction is great for so many reasons—outer space, aliens, and fun technology not least among them. But when it gets down to it, I love science fiction because it gives you a really unique way to reframe modern issues, allowing you to explore and attack those questions through a different but familiar lens. There’s also just a very specific mix of wonder and fear only science fiction can evoke, and that’s always intrigued me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Last Watch?

J. S.:  Quite a lot of research went into The Last Watch! Some of the minor categories were things like military protocol, ordnance, political science, computer & electronic engineering, and I did a fair amount of digging into fusion reactors (specifically ITER.)
      The biggest research category by far was physics, in pretty much every flavor. Physical cosmology was a big one (shape of the universe, components, structure, etc.), as well as gravitational physics, relativity, quantum mechanics, and some specifics regarding zero-g and weightlessness. And math, so much math. I truly dread math, but it’s a necessary evil in the world of physic
     I definitely *over* researched, considering what made it into the actual text. I tried to make my science as “believable” and realistic as possible, while allowing for variation when it best served the story to expand outside of those margins. I didn’t want to alienate readers by going on long technical rants, and wanted the experience to stay focused on the characters and plot, with science and technology as a background. As a result, I think this falls somewhat firmly in the center of hard and soft sci-fi, but we’ll see what the readers think about that. :)



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Last Watch.

J. S.:  I absolutely love how the cover turned out! As soon as my editor suggested the concept, I readily agreed, and couldn’t wait to see it come to fruition. Asking for a depiction of utter annihilation from space and time at the edge of the universe is a pretty big ask, but designer Peter Lutjen...well...annihilated it. Between the contrasting colors, gradient of stars, and surreal depiction of unraveling matter, it perfectly evokes the scope and existential chaos of the setting.



TQIn The Last Watch who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

J. S.:  I’m lucky in that pretty much all my characters went very easy on me, and I love writing all of them! But if I had to pick one as the easiest, I’d go with Cavalon Mercer, the sarcastic disowned prince who’s one of the two point of view characters. It’s like there’s a switch in my brain I can just flip at will to turn on his voice, and he just flows right out of me and onto the page. Writing from his perspective is so easy, and a total blast!
      The most difficult was probably Griffith Bach. Though he’s not a POV character, he’s definitely in the category of “primary” and I’d (accidentally) wildly underdeveloped him in the early drafts. During revisions my editor encouraged me to flesh him out, and I quickly realized I’d created kind of a cardboard cut-out of a person.
      Most of the time when I’m writing characters, their histories and personalities and secrets come through to me pretty naturally, but that wasn’t so much the case with Griffith. I really had to dig into his backstory and mindset and come up with a lot of “off screen” content in order flesh him out for the final draft. The result was absolutely incredible however, and the way he ties into the plot and other characters now is light-years better than before, so I’m super glad I went to the effort!



TQDoes The Last Watch touch on any social issues?

J. S.:  Yes, definitely! Though the setting of The Last Watch is fairly contained, there are a lot of subplots and hints in the worldbuilding surrounding the social issues prevalent in their society—topics like segregation, discrimination, human rights, as well as moral questions in regards to things like cloning and eugenics. Without getting into spoilers, I can say that the second book in the series delves more deeply into some broader social and political issues, some of which, coincidentally, more directly reflect our own society than I would like. :)



TQWhich question about The Last Watch do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

J. S.: “Do you want fan art for The Last Watch?”
         Why yes, yes I do!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Last Watch.

J. S.:  “You do not seem appropriately shocked.”

          “Physics doesn’t really give a shit about your existential disposition, Rake!”



TQWhat's next?

J. S.:  Next up for me is the release of The Exiled Fleet on August 17—the second book in The Divide series and sequel The Last Watch! I’ll also be continuing my “virtual tour” for The Last Watch with some panels and chats with other authors, all of which I’m very much looking forward to!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!





The Last Watch
The Divide 1
Tor Books, April 20, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes's fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

Most Anticipated Book for April 2021:
Bookish
Nerd Daily
Geek Tyrant
SFF 180

Amazon Best of the Month April 2021

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer--genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather's genetic facility for “reasons.”

She knows they’re humanity's last chance.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Upcoming

The Exiled Fleet
The Divide 2
Tor Books, August 17, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
J. S. Dewes continues her fast paced, science fiction action adventure with The Exiled Fleet, where The Expanse meets The Black Company—the survivors of The Last Watch refuse to die.

The Sentinels narrowly escaped the collapsing edge of the Divide.

They have mustered a few other surviving Sentinels, but with no engines they have no way to leave the edge of the universe before they starve.

Adequin Rake has gathered a team to find the materials they'll need to get everyone out.

To do that they're going to need new allies and evade a ruthless enemy. Some of them will not survive.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About J. S. Dewes
Photo by Dave Dewes

After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in film production, J. S. Dewes went on to serve as cinematographer for independent films, write, produce, and shoot a zombie musical, slay internet dragons, and act as lighting designer for presidents and presidential-hopefuls so many times it became mundane. Having grown weary of such pedestrian exploits, she decided to begin forging worlds in the form of novels, returning to her roots in science fiction and the written word.

She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, who’s proven to be a mixed blessing, but he makes her laugh, so she’s decided to stick it out. They have two dogs (full blessings) and a cat of unpredictable demeanor. The Last Watch is her debut novel.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @jsdewes


Excerpt from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Please welcome Sarah Penner to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge with an excerpt from her New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Lost Apothecary.







Nella

February 3, 1791


She would come at daybreak—the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I did not yet know.

           I knew neither her age nor where she lived. I did not know her rank in society nor the dark things of which she dreamed when night fell. She could be a victim or a transgressor. A new wife or a vengeful widow. A nursemaid or a courtesan.

           But despite all that I did not know, I understood this: the woman knew exactly who she wanted dead.

           I lifted the blush-colored paper, illuminated by the dying f lame of a single rush wick candle. I ran my fingers over the ink of her words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not just an apothecary, but a murderer. A master of disguise.

           Her request was simple and straightforward. For my mistress’s husband, with his breakfast. Daybreak, 4 Feb. At once, I drew to mind a middle-aged housemaid, called to do the bidding of her mistress. And with an instinct perfected over the last two decades, I knew immediately the remedy most suited to this request: a chicken egg laced with nux vomica.

           The preparation would take mere minutes; the poison was within reach. But for a reason yet unknown to me, something about the letter left me unsettled. It was not the subtle, woodsy odor of the parchment or the way the lower left corner curled forward slightly, as though once damp with tears. Instead, the disquiet brewed inside of me. An intuitive understanding that something must be avoided.

           But what unwritten warning could reside on a single sheet of parchment, shrouded beneath pen strokes? None at all, I assured myself; this letter was no omen. My troubling thoughts were merely the result of my fatigue—the hour was late—and the persistent discomfort in my joints.

           I drew my attention to my calfskin register on the table in front of me. My precious register was a record of life and death; an inventory of the many women who sought potions from here, the darkest of apothecary shops.

           In the front pages of my register, the ink was soft, written with a lighter hand, void of grief and resistance. These faded, worn entries belonged to my mother. This apothecary shop for women’s maladies, situated at 3 Back Alley, was hers long before it was mine.

           On occasion I read her entries—23 Mar 1767, Mrs. R. Ranford, Yarrow Milfoil 15 dr. 3x—and the words evoked memories of her: the way her hair fell against the back of her neck as she ground the yarrow stem with the pestle, or the taut, papery skin of her hand as she plucked seeds from the flower’s head. But my mother had not disguised her shop behind a false wall, and she had not slipped her remedies into vessels of dark red wine. She’d had no need to hide. The tinctures she dispensed were meant only for good: soothing the raw, tender parts of a new mother, or bringing menses upon a barren wife. Thus, she filled her register pages with the most benign of herbal remedies. They would raise no suspicion.

           On my register pages, I wrote things such as nettle and hyssop and amaranth, yes, but also remedies more sinister: nightshade and hellebore and arsenic. Beneath the ink strokes of my register hid betrayal, anguish…and dark secrets.

           Secrets about the vigorous young man who suffered an ailing heart on the eve of his wedding, or how it came to pass that a healthy new father fell victim to a sudden fever. My register laid it all bare: these were not weak hearts and fevers at all, but thorn apple juice and nightshade slipped into wines and pies by cunning women whose names now stained my register.

           Oh, but if only the register told my own secret, the truth about how this all began. For I had documented every victim in these pages, all but one: Frederick. The sharp, black lines of his name defaced only my sullen heart, my scarred womb.

           I gently closed the register, for I had no use of it tonight, and returned my attention to the letter. What worried me so? The edge of the parchment continued to catch my eye, as though something crawled beneath it. And the longer I remained at my table, the more my belly ached and my fingers trembled. In the distance, beyond the walls of the shop, the bells on a carriage sounded frighteningly similar to the chains on a constable’s belt. But I assured myself that the bailiffs would not come tonight, just as they had not come for the last two decades. My shop, like my poisons, was too cleverly disguised. No man would find this place; it was buried deep behind a cupboard wall at the base of a twisted alleyway in the darkest depths of London.

           I drew my eyes to the soot-stained wall that I had not the heart, nor the strength, to scrub clean. An empty bottle on a shelf caught my reflection. My eyes, once bright green like my mother’s, now held little life within them. My cheeks, too, once flushed with vitality, were sallow and sunken. I had the appearance of a ghost, much older than my forty-one years of age.

           Tenderly, I began to rub the round bone in my left wrist, swollen with heat like a stone left in the fire and forgotten. The discomfort in my joints had crawled through my body for years; it had grown so severe, I lived not a waking hour without pain. Every poison I dispensed brought a new wave of it upon me; some evenings, my fingers were so distended and stiff, I felt sure the skin would split open and expose what lay underneath.

           Killing and secret-keeping had done this to me. It had begun to rot me from the inside out, and something inside meant to tear me open.

           At once, the air grew stagnant, and smoke began to curl into the low stone ceiling of my hidden room. The candle was nearly spent, and soon the laudanum drops would wrap me in their heavy warmth. Night had long ago fallen, and she would arrive in just a few hours: the woman whose name I would add to my register and whose mystery I would begin to unravel, no matter the unease it brewed inside of me.


Excerpted from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Penner. Published by Park Row Books.





The Lost Apothecary
Park Row Books, March 2, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Hello! magazine, Oprah.com, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads!

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick

“A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Sarah

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.








Website  ~  Twitter @sl_penner


The View From Monday - May 3, 2021

Happy 1st Monday in May!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace (Adult Debut);

and

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Bottle Demon (Eric Carter 6) by Stephen Blackmoore;

Immunity Index by Sue Burke;

The Godel Operation by James L. Cambias;

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon;

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3) by K. S. Villoso;

and

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - May 3, 2021
 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

May 4, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated EditionDouglas Adams SF/HU - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1
Cursed LuckKelley Armstrong RF - Cursed Luck 1
The Vanished Seas (tp2mm)
Catherine Asaro SF/SO - Major Bhaajan 3
Providence (h2tp)
Max Barry SF/Th/Dys
Bottle DemonStephen Blackmoore UF/DF/CF - Eric Carter 6
Penric's Travels (h2tp)
Lois McMaster Bujold F
Immunity IndexSue Burke SF/AP/PA/HSF/GenEng
Master Artificer
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 2
The Godel OperationJames L. Cambias SF
May DayEmma Coleman H
The Ghost and the Haunted PortraitCleo Coyle PCM - Haunted Bookshop Mystery 7
Second PlaceRachel Cusk LF/HistF
1637: The Peacock ThroneEric Flint
Griffin Barber
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 31
Unreconciled (h2mm)
W. Michael Gear SF/HSF/SO - Donovan 4
The Shadow of the GodsJohn Gwynne F - The Bloodsworn Trilogy 1
My Name Is MonsterKatie Hale LF/Dys/Feminist
OrfeiaJoanne M. Harris FairyT/FolkT/LM/F/FR
The Shadow in the GlassJJA Harwood HistF/DF/Gaslamp/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Hist
In Ghostly Japan: Japanese Legends of Ghosts, Yokai, Yurei and Other OdditiesLafcadio Hearn FairyT/FolkT/LM
Walk Among Us: Compiled EditionCassandra Khaw
Genevieve Gornichec
Caitlin Starling
H - Vampire: The Masquerade
Firebreak (D - Adult)Nicole Kornher-Stace SF/AP/PA
Elsa Bloodstone: BequestCath Lauria MTI - Marvel Heroines
Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic FutureGideon Lichfield (Ed)
SF/AP/PA/Anthology - Twelve Tomorrows
Firefly - The Ghost Machine (h2tp)
James Lovegrove MTI/SF
Blue TicketSophie Mackintosh Dys/FL/Women
The Reincarnationist Papers (ri)D. Eric Maikranz MTI/Fiction
Utopia Avenue (h2tp)
David Mitchell LF/SF/Dys
Shadowed SteelChloe Neill P/PNR - An Heirs of Chicagoland Novel 3
A Deadly EducationNaomi Novik F/CF/CoA - Scholomance 1
Driving the Deep (h2mm)
Suzanne Palmer SF/SO/AC - The Finder Chronicles 2
Mamelukes (h2mm)
Jerry Pournelle
David Weber Phillip Pournelle
SF
Ariadne (D)
Jennifer Saint LF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Women
SorrowlandRivers Solomon African American & Black/Gothic/SF/LGBTQ+
By Force Alone (h2tp)
Lavie Tidhar F/Arthurian
The Dragon of Jin-SayengK. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3
Project Hail Mary Andy Weir SF/HSF/Sus
Freehold: DefianceMichael Z. Williamson (Ed)
SF - Anthology



May 5, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lost World: A Professor Challenger AdventureSir Arthur ConanSF - Wordfire Classics



May 6, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and FantasyElizabeth Knox (Ed)
David Larsen (Ed)
SF/F - Anthology



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths
Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2021 Debut Author Challenge - May 2021 Debuts



There are 8 debuts for May 2021.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The May debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite May cover for the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on or about May 15, 2021.





P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn
Dead Djinn Universe 1
Tor.com, May 11, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe for his fantasy novel debut, A Master of Djinn

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world forty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a familiar person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city—or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems…

A Master of Djinn is poised to launch P. Djèlí Clark’s SFF career to new heights as the highly-anticipated debut readers are clamoring for.


Novellas by P. Djèlí Clark
The Black God's Drums
The Haunting of Tram Car 015
Ring Shout
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Bethany Clift

The Last One at the Party
Mobius, May 11, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING

It's December 2023, and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM ('Six Days Maximum' - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself).

But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.

Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she's completely alone?
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sarina Dahlan 

Reset
Blackstone Publishing, May 25, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 340 pages
Can you love someone you don't remember?

After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of "Imagine" and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather-and the residents. To prevent mankind from destroying each other again, its citizens undergo a memory wipe every four years in a process called tabula rasa, a blank slate, to remove learned prejudices. With each new cycle, they begin again with new names, jobs, homes, and lives. No memories. No attachments. No wars.

Aris, a scientist who shuns love, embraces tabula rasa and the excitement of unknown futures. Walling herself off from emotional attachments, she only sees relationships as pointless and avoids deep connections. But she is haunted by a recurring dream that becomes more frequent and vivid as time passes. After meeting Benja, a handsome free-spirited writer who believes his dreams of a past lover are memories, her world is turned upside down. Obsessed with finding the Dreamers, a secret organization thought to have a way to recover memories, Benja draws her down a dangerous path toward the past. When Metis, the leader of the Dreamers, appears in Aris's life, everything she believes falls to pieces. With little time left before the next tabula rasa, they begin a bittersweet romance, navigating love in a world where names, lives, and moments are systematically destroyed.

Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Reset will make you consider the haunting reality of love and loss, and the indelible marks they leave behind.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : Kobo





Nicole Jarvis

The Lights of Prague
Titan Books, May 18, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of mysterious creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek finds solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová - a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle – he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp captured in a mysterious container. Now, as its bearer, Domek wields its power, but the wisp, known for leading travellers to their deaths, will not be so easily controlled.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Nicole Kornher-Stace

Firebreak
Gallery / Saga Press, May 4, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
(Adult debut)
One young woman faces down an all-powerful corporation in this all-too-near future science fiction debut that reads like a refreshing take on Ready Player One, with a heavy dose of Black Mirror.

Ready Player One meets Cyberpunk 2077 in this eerily familiar future.

“Twenty minutes to power curfew, and my kill counter’s stalled at eight hundred eighty-seven while I’ve been standing here like an idiot. My health bar is flashing ominously, but I’m down to four heal patches, and I have to be smart.”

New Liberty City, 2134.

Two corporations have replaced the US, splitting the country’s remaining forty-five states (five have been submerged under the ocean) between them: Stellaxis Innovations and Greenleaf. There are nine supercities within the continental US, and New Liberty City is the only amalgamated city split between the two megacorps, and thus at a perpetual state of civil war as the feeds broadcast the atrocities committed by each side.

Here, Mallory streams Stellaxis’s wargame SecOps on BestLife, spending more time jacked in than in the world just to eke out a hardscrabble living from tips. When a chance encounter with one of the game’s rare super-soldiers leads to a side job for Mal—looking to link an actual missing girl to one of the SecOps characters. Mal’s sudden burst in online fame rivals her deepening fear of what she is uncovering about BestLife’s developer, and puts her in the kind of danger she’s only experienced through her avatar.

Author Kornher-Stace’s adult science fiction debut—Firebreak— is loaded with ambitious challenges and a city to save.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Jennifer Saint

Ariadne
Flatiron Books, May 4, 2021
Hardover and eBook, 320 pages
A mesmerizing debut novel for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind?

Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, one that puts the forgotten women of Greek mythology back at the heart of the story, as they strive for a better world.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sammy H.K. Smith

Anna
Solaris, May 25, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 300 pages
A chilling feminist novel set in a near-future dystopia, Anna explores the conflicts between selfhood and expectations, safety and control, and the sacrifices we make for the sake of protection.

Beaten. Branded. Defiant.

Anna is a possession. She is owned by the man named Will, shielded from the world of struggles by his care. He loves her, protects her, and then breaks her. Anna is obedient, dutiful, and compliant. Anna does not know her place in the world.

When she falls pregnant, Anna leaves her name behind, and finds the strength to run. But the past – and Will – catch up with her in an idyllic town with a dark secret, and this time, it’s not just Anna who is at risk.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : Kobo





Phoebe Wynne

Madam
St Martin's Press, May 18, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
"Rebecca meets The Secret History: gloriously dark, gloriously Gothic." ––Sara Collins, bestselling author of The Confessions of Fannie Langton

Discover the secrets of Caldonbrae Hall in this riveting, modern gothic debut set at a secretive all girls’ boarding school perched on a craggy Scottish peninsula.

They want our silence… They want our obedience… Let them see our fire burn

For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge “resilient and ready to serve society.”

Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae’s new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school’s elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs--not to mention her commitment to educating “girls for the future.”

It also doesn’t take long for Rose to suspect that there’s more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor--a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere--than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school’s nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it.

A darkly feminist tale pitched against a haunting backdrop, and populated by an electrifying cast of heroines, Madam will keep readers engrossed until the breathtaking conclusion.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

May 2021 Releases

Here is The Qwillery's list of novels, etc. being published in May 2021. If there is something that we've missed, please leave a comment below. Any genre mistakes are ours. Leave a comment below if you feel that the genre is wrong. Also note that this list is always under revision. Publication dates change. We try to keep this as accurate as possible. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the US. Check The View From Monday each week for each week's updated release list.


May 2021 Releases
 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

May 1, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Yesterday's Tomorrows: The Story of Science Fiction in 100 BooksMike Ashley SF/LC
We, The WantedMatthew Schultz
Jordan Lepore
Native American/Gothic/CulH



May 4, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated EditionDouglas Adams SF/HU - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1
Cursed LuckKelley Armstrong RF - Cursed Luck 1
The Vanished Seas (tp2mm)
Catherine Asaro SF/SO - Major Bhaajan 3
Providence (h2tp)
Max Barry SF/Th/Dys
Bottle DemonStephen Blackmoore UF/DF/CF - Eric Carter 6
Penric's Travels (h2tp)
Lois McMaster Bujold F
Immunity IndexSue Burke SF/AP/PA/HSF/GenEng
Master Artificer
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 2
The Godel OperationJames L. Cambias SF
May DayEmma Coleman H
The Ghost and the Haunted PortraitCleo Coyle PCM - Haunted Bookshop Mystery 7
Second PlaceRachel Cusk LF/HistF
1637: The Peacock ThroneEric Flint
Griffin Barber
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 31
Unreconciled (h2mm)
W. Michael Gear SF/HSF/SO - Donovan 4
The Shadow of the GodsJohn Gwynne F - The Bloodsworn Trilogy 1
My Name Is MonsterKatie Hale LF/Dys/Feminist
OrfeiaJoanne M. Harris FairyT/FolkT/LM/F/FR
The Shadow in the GlassJJA Harwood HistF/DF/Gaslamp/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Hist
In Ghostly Japan: Japanese Legends of Ghosts, Yokai, Yurei and Other OdditiesLafcadio Hearn FairyT/FolkT/LM
Walk Among Us: Compiled EditionCassandra Khaw
Genevieve Gornichec
Caitlin Starling
H - Vampire: The Masquerade
Firebreak (D - Adult)Nicole Kornher-Stace SF/AP/PA
Elsa Bloodstone: BequestCath Lauria MTI - Marvel Heroines
Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic FutureGideon Lichfield (Ed)
SF/AP/PA/Anthology - Twelve Tomorrows
Firefly - The Ghost Machine (h2tp)
James Lovegrove MTI/SF
Blue TicketSophie Mackintosh Dys/FL/Women
The Reincarnationist Papers (ri)D. Eric Maikranz MTI/Fiction
Utopia Avenue (h2tp)
David Mitchell LF/SF/Dys
Shadowed SteelChloe Neill P/PNR - An Heirs of Chicagoland Novel 3
A Deadly EducationNaomi Novik F/CF/CoA - Scholomance 1
Driving the Deep (h2mm)
Suzanne Palmer SF/SO/AC - The Finder Chronicles 2
Mamelukes (h2mm)
Jerry Pournelle
David Weber Phillip Pournelle
SF
Ariadne (D)
Jennifer Saint LF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Women
SorrowlandRivers Solomon African American & Black/Gothic/SF/LGBTQ+
By Force Alone (h2tp)
Lavie Tidhar F/Arthurian
The Dragon of Jin-SayengK. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3
Project Hail Mary Andy Weir SF/HSF/Sus
Freehold: DefianceMichael Z. Williamson (Ed)
SF - Anthology



May 5, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lost World: A Professor Challenger AdventureSir Arthur ConanSF - Wordfire Classics



May 6, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and FantasyElizabeth Knox (Ed)
David Larsen (Ed)
SF/F - Anthology



May 11, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Angel of the Crows (h2tp)
Katherine Addison HistF/AH
MEG: Hell's Aquarium (e)(ri)Steve Alten SupTh/SF - Meg 4
You Let Me In (h2tp)
Camilla Bruce Th/PsyTh/Gothic
Midnight at the Well of SoulsJack L. ChalkerSF/SE/AC - CAEZIK Notables
Black Water SisterZen Cho CF/Asian American
A Master of Djinn (D)P. Djèlí Clark HistF/SP - Dead Djinn Universe 1
Last One At The Party (D)
Bethany Clift Dys/SF/AP/PA/Feminist/Women
Roger ZelaznyF. Brett Cox Modern Masters of LC/SF/F - Science Fiction
The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (h2tp)
Seth Dickinson F - The Masquerade 3
A Special Place for WomenLaura Hankin Occ/Sup/Women/HU
The Taker (ri)
Alma Katsu F - The Taker Trilogy 1
The House of AlwaysJenn Lyons F - Chorus of Dragons 4
Angel of the OverpassSeanan McGuire P/UF/F - Ghost Roads 3
Within Without
Jeff Noon M/SF/VisM - A Nyquist Mystery 4
Son of the StormSuyi Davies Okungbowa F/African American & Black - Nameless Republic1
Alien StoriesE.C. Osondu SS/LF/Satire/SF/SC/CulH/African American & Black - American Reader Series 36
The Rock Eaters: StoriesBrenda Peynado SS/LF/Hispanic & Latino
We Are SatellitesSarah Pinsker SF/AP/PA/LF
Frankenstein, or The Modern PrometheusMary ShelleySF - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other TalesRobert Louis StevensonH - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Dracula, A Mystery StoryBram StokerH/Sup/Occ - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Solo Viola: A Post-Exotic NovelAntoine Volodine Lia Swope Mitchell (Tr)
Dys - Univocal
The War of the Worlds & Other TalesH.G. WellsSF - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Warriors and WarlordsVariousSF - Warhammer 40,000 Anthology



May 12, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Far Side of the Universe: A Tor.com Original (e)noc
Michelle Deeter (Tr)
SF
Exiles of TabatCat Rambo F - Tabat Quartet 3



May 18, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: At Childhood's End (h2tp)
Sophie Aldred SF - Doctor Who
Day ZeroC. Robert Cargill SF/AP/PA
The BetrayalsBridget Collins MR
The Album of Dr. MoreauDaryl Gregory SF/GenEng/M
The Broken GodGareth Hanrahan F - Black Iron Legacy 3
Patchwork Elle E. Ire SF/CyP - Storm Fronts 2
Malorie (h2tp)
Josh Malerman Sus/H/SF/AP/PA - Bird Box 2
Goblin: A Novel in Six NovellasJosh Malerman Sus/SupTh/H
Star Trek: Discovery: WonderlandsUna McCormack SF - Star Trek: Discovery 7
Little BonesN V Peacock TH/Cr/Occ/Sup/H
Dead SoulsSam Riviere MR/VisM/Epistolary
Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy's Curse (ri)
Marylin Ross H - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 16
Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch (ri)
Marylin Ross H - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 15
Catherine House (h2tp)
Elisabeth Thomas LF
Screams from the VoidAnne Tibbets SF/AC - Fiction Without Frontiers
A Man Lies Dreaming (ri)
Lavie Tidhar HistTh/AH
The Lunacy Commission Lavie Tidhar SS/AH
Warrior's RansomJeff Wheeler F - First Argentines 2
Madam (D)
Phoebe Wynne Women/Gothic/Feminist



May 19, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lay of Lilyfinger: A Tor.com Original (e)G. V. Anderson F



May 25, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
MEG: Generations (tp2mm)
Steve Alten SupTh/SF - Meg 6
From Blood and AshJennifer L. Armentrout FR/PNR - Blood and Ash 1
The Damnation Game (ri)
Clive Barker H/SupTh/Sus
Power ChallengesBen Bova Power 5
The UnwillingKelly Braffet F/HistF
The Uplift War (e)(ri)David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 3
Heaven's Reach (e)(ri)David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 6
Infinity's Shore (e)(ri)David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 5
Brightness Reef (e)(ri)
David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 4
Startide Rising (e)(ri)David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 2
The Uplift Storm Trilogy: Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Heaven's Reach (e)(ri)David Brin SF - The Uplift Saga
The Last Druid (h2mm)
Terry Brooks F - Fall of Shannara 4
The Blacktongue ThiefChristopher Buehlman F/H/HU - Blacktongue 1
ScorpionChristian Cantrell SF/TT/TechTh
Reset (D)
Sarina Dahlan SF
New Welsh Reader 126: Speculative Fiction from Wales (e)Jo Dahn
Gee Williams
SpecFic - Anthology
Chance of a LifetimeJude Deveraux
Tara Sheets
Women/TT/MR/HistR - Providence Falls 1
The Apocalypse SevenGene Doucette SF/AP/PA
Claws on the PlainJames Dunbar F - Kings of War
How to MarsDavid Ebenbach SF/AC/MHU
Revelations
Nigel Foster SF/AC/SO - Netherspace 3
1636: The Atlantic Encounter (h2mm)
Eric Flint
Walter H. Hunt
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 25
Richards & KleinGuy Haley SF/CyP/PI
HoneycombJoanne M. Harris DF
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires (h2tp)
Grady Hendrix H/SupTh/Southern
Chaos Queen - DawnriseChristopher Husberg DF/F - Chaos Queen 5
The Lights of Prague (D)
Nicole Jarvis F/Gaslamp/HistF/FR
The Promised QueenJeffe Kennedy FR - Forgotten Empires 3
On the Origin of Species and Other StoriesBo-Young Kim
Sora Kim-Russell (Tr)
SF - Collection
The House of StyxDerek Künsken SF - Venus Ascendant 1
Déjà DoomedEdward M. Lerner SF/HSF/AC
A Murder in Time (ri)
Julie McElwain Women/HistM - Kendra Donovan Mystery
Shakespeare for Squirrels (h2tp)
Christopher Moore F/HU
Witness XSE Moorhead SF/Cr
The Legacy of HeorotLarry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
Steven Barnes
SF - Heorot Series 1
See Something
Carol J Perry PCM - A Witch City Mystery 11
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (h2tp)
Natasha Pulley HistF/Gay/MR/Hist
The KingdomsNatasha Pulley F/AH/HistF/MR
Burn-In (h2tp)
P. W. Singer
August Cole
TechTh - A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution
Anna (D)
Sammy H.K. Smith Women/Dys
Battle Luna (h2tp)
Travis S. Taylor
Timothy Zahn et al.

The Chalk Man (ri)
C. J. Tudor PsyTh/Sus/H
Hard RebootDjango Wexler SF/SE
A Chain Across the Dawn (ri)
Drew Williams SF/SO/HU - The Universe After 2
Version ZeroDavid Yoon TechTh/Sus/SF



May 31, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Cretaceous PastCixin Liu SF




D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Interview with Kyra Wilder, author of Little Bandaged Days

Please welcom Kyra Wilder to The Qwillery. Little Bandaged Days, Kyra's debut novel, is published today by Harry N. Abrams.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Kyra a Happy Book Birthday!







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Kyra:  I really went for the drama when I was a kid. I remember writing very involved stories about historical sets of brothers, and I was all about long, tragic scenes involving betrayals and complicated disguises. I also tried my hand at robots. My family still teases me about a story I wrote where robots become obsessed with the “smell of minds.”



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kyra:  Definitely a hybrid. I’ll have a scene or two in my head when I start writing and a general idea of how I want things to arc, but after that I have to see how it looks on the page.

Every project is different though. I started writing Little Bandaged Days with almost no plan and that worked out alright in the end.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kyra:  Finding the time! Making space for writing outside of other commitments is a real struggle for me. I suppose the silver lining is that this book is proof that it’s possible to write even in the midst of the hectic sort of overstuffed lives most of us have.

When I come across writers talking about gazing out their windows from quiet desks and thinking about sentences …. sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. It’s just not where I’m at right now.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kyra:  Everything - I think the most amazing thing about writing is that anything can be useful. The books you read, but also the paintings you can’t stop thinking about, the food you cook, that weird thing you heard someone say one time crossing the street, it’s all out there, available for you to pour into your work.

As far as authors go, Elena Ferrante’s a huge inspiration for me, as well as Shirley Jackson. I love what they do with domestic spaces, those are two writers who understand the intense relationship between people and their interior environments. I love it.



TQDescribe Little Bandaged Days using only 5 words.

Kyra:  She is trying her best.



TQTell us something about Little Bandaged Days that is not found in the book description.

Kyra:  Erika’s own mother is really important to her.



TQWhat inspired you to write Little Bandaged Days? What appealed to you about writing a psychological thriller?

Kyra:  I like reading psychological thrillers myself. My main coping mechanism during the first lockdown was running alone through the woods listening to Blindness. As for writing, I’m drawn to atmospheric tension, so a psychological thriller seemed like a good fit.

As far as inspiration goes, I think our surprise move to Geneva had a lot to do with it. Within a matter of months, I went from living in a small town in New Jersey, taking care of my kids and working at the local bakery, to living within screaming distance of the villa Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in. Not an opportunity I wanted to waste! It didn’t hurt that our first summer in Geneva was unusually wet and rainy, and we were often stuck inside, just like Mary Shelley was when she stayed at Villa Diodati and brought her monster to life.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Little Bandaged Days?

Kyra:  The book really came out of the research I’d done for my master’s thesis, which looked at the psycho-social implications of the disturbing mother figures found in Victorian sensation novels. I focused on two irresistible, bestselling Victorian thrillers, East Lynne and Lady Audley’s Secret. I also dug into a lot of really amazing feminist literary theory while I was writing it. I’d like to think some of those ideas worked their way into my book. I love the research part of a project, it’s when everything is fascinating and possible.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Little Bandaged Days.

Kyra:  I love the cover so much! Seeing it for the first time was one of the biggest thrills of the whole publishing process, such a dream.

The jacket design is by Ami Smithson and the jacket photograph is by Ralf Brocke. It’s perfect because it does relate to certain things that happen toward the end, but it also conveys Erika’s mood. She’s a match burned down to the last bit of wood. She’s alone in her little matchbox, and she’s got nowhere else to go.



TQIn Little Bandaged Days who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kyra:  There might only be one character in this book, depending on how you look at it. But that being said, I found Erika to be disturbingly easy to write. Her voice came very naturally to me, so naturally that it made me quite uneasy at times. In fact, I had a hard time writing anything that didn’t sound like her for a while.

M was a character I wanted to be careful with. I have a soft spot for him actually. That doesn’t mean I liked him all the time, but I did feel for him. I didn’t want to be unfair to him, I suppose.



TQDoes Little Bandaged Days touch on any social issues?

Kyra:  I hope so! There’s not nearly enough help for people in Erika’s position. She’s struggling, alone, and she’s lost her identity, yet she has these two young people who depend on her for round-the-clock care. She’s falling apart and she has to turn her own disintegration into a game, because she’s got to entertain her kids along the way.

I think in this pandemic we’ve seen a lot more people fall into situations resembling hers. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of isolation, a lot of people not getting help. The New York Times called the pandemic “a mental health crisis for parents,” which I think is absolutely true, but isolation and lack of adequate help were problems that, for many caregivers, were already there.



TQWhich question about Little Bandaged Days do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Kyra:  What is strozzapreti?

Erika gives her daughter a bowl of warm strozzapreti for dinner one night while she’s waiting for M to come home.

Strozzapreti (“priest-strangler” in Italian) is a hand-rolled pasta from Emilia-Romagna. Its name might come from the way frustrated women used to curse the priests when they had to fit pasta-making for the clergy into their too busy lives, or it might come from the way the dough is curled, ‘choked’, to make the shape.

Erika’s always worried about E choking on her food, and while she has the time to cook E dinner, she only has that time because she takes none for herself. At any rate, I had a lot of fun writing about food in the book.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Little Bandaged Days.

Kyra:  I think this is a feeling that a lot of people who are taking care of young children can relate to:

We slept all the time, E and me and B, and sometimes we didn’t sleep at all. Time was inconvenient, unpredictable. Sometimes it rushed me along and sometimes the minutes wrapped themselves around me, pressing, expecting to be entertained like children, needing something, needing to be fed, as if the hours were animals opening their mouths, the endless parade of minutes lodging like tiny bones in a thousand soft throats.



TQWhat's next?

Kyra:  I’m working on a modern-day take on the Hesperides. I’m really enjoying digging into the research and the drafts at the moment. Obviously, we never know if the thing that we’re working on will end up on a shelf, but for the moment that’s what I’m playing with.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kyra:  Thanks for having me!





Little Banadaged Days
Harry N. Abrams, April 20, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
An emotionally charged, tautly composed debut thriller about motherhood, madness, and the myth of the perfect life

A mother moves to Geneva with her husband and their two young children. In their beautiful new rented apartment, surrounded by their rented furniture, and several Swiss instructions to maintain quiet, she finds herself totally isolated. Her husband’s job means he is almost never present, and her entire world is caring for her children—making sure they are happy and fed and comfortable, and that they can be seen as the happy, well-fed, comfortable family they should be. Everything is perfect.

But, of course, it’s not. The isolation, the sleeplessness, the demands of two people under two are getting to Erika. She has never been so alone, and once the children are asleep, there are just too many hours to fill until morning . . .

Kyra Wilder’s Little Bandaged Days is a beautifully written, painfully claustrophobic story about a woman’s descent into madness. Unpredictable, frighteningly compelling, and brutally honest, it grapples with the harsh conditions of motherhood and this mother’s own identity, and as the novel continues, we begin to wonder just what exactly Erika might be driven to do.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Kyra

Kyra Wilder is a debut novelist who received her BA and MA in English literature at San Francisco State University. She then worked under Michael Tusk at the Michelin-starred Quince, making pasta. She continued working in restaurants in New York before moving with her family to Switzerland where she is now based.







The View From Monday - April 19, 2021

Happy Monday!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Unity by Elly Bangs;

and

The Last Watch (The Divide 1) by J. S. Dewes.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Every Sky a Grave (The Ascendance 1) by Jay Posey is out in Trade Paperback;

and

The Queen of Izmoroz (Goddess War 2) by Jon Skovron.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - April 19, 2021
 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.
 
April 20, 2021
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
A Dark Queen RisesAshok K. Banker F - The Burnt Empire 2
Fortress of MagiMirah Bolender F - Chronicles of Amicae 3
Master of Sorrows (h2tp)
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 1
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (h2tp)
Becky Chambers SF/SO - Wayfarers 4
DefektNino Cipri SF/GenEng
Metropolitan Stories (h2tp)
Christine Coulson MR/City Life/LF
SpectrumJulie E. Czerneda SF/SO/HSF/AC - Web Shifter's Library 3
The Last Watch (D)J. S. Dewes SF/SO - The Divide 1
Anansi Boys (ri)
Neil Gaiman CF
Gods & Monsters Myths & Tales: Epic TalesLiz Gloyn (Foreword) FairyT/FolkT/LM/SS - Gothic Fantasy
RegenesisWilliam Huggins VisM/SF/SE/Nature & Environment/Dys
Vanishing Hour (h2tp)
Lisa King SF/AP/PA/GenEng/Dis
December Park (ri)
Ronald Malfi H
Floating Staircase (ri)
Ronald Malfi H
Aliens: InfiltratorWeston Ochse MTI/SF/AC
The Nirvana EffectBrian Pinkerton SF/AC - Fiction Without Frontiers
Every Sky a Grave (h2tp)Jay Posey SF/SO - The Ascendance 1
PopishoLeone Ross LF/MR/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Excuse Me While I Disappear: StoriesJoanna Scott SS/LF/F - Collection
The Queen of IzmorozJon Skovron F - Goddess War 2
Age of Empyre (h2mm)
Michael J. Sullivan F - Legends of the First Empire 6
Terminal Boredom: Stories
Izumi Suzuki
Polly Barton (Tr)
Sam Bett (Tr)
David Boyd (Tr)
Daniel Joseph (Tr)
Aiko Masubuchi (Tr)
Helen O’Horan (Tr)
SS/SF/AP/PA/AB
Lover Unveiled J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 19
Repo Virtual (h2tp)
Corey J. White SF/CyP



April 21, 2021
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
Unity (D)Elly Bangs SF/AP/PA/HSF/CyP



April 22, 2021
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
Homemaking for the Apocalypse: Domesticating Horror in Atomic Age Literature & MediaJill E. Anderson LC - Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature
Alan Moore: A Critical GuideJackson Ayres LC - Bloomsbury Comics Studies





D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2021 Debuts



Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the beginning of 2022 the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2021 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on  May 3, 2021, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite April 2021 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls















Cover by Rohan Eason










Cover design: Stephanie Ross
Cover illustration: Misha Gurnanee Gudibanda

























Interior and cover design by Elizabeth Story

Interview with Marina Lostetter

Please welcome Marina Lostetter back to The Qwillery. The Helm of Mindnight, the first novel in the The Five Penalties series, was published on April 13, 2021 by Tor Books.







TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery! When we first chatted in 2017 you answered the questions regarding the most challenging thing for you about writing as follows:

"The upside to plotting for me is the focus it brings to drafting a story--the words flow well once I know where I'm going and what I'm trying to say. The downside is my tendency to try to bend the characters to fit the plot. I often write myself into corners because I want events to happen a certain way, but it doesn’t make sense for the characters to make the choices I want them to. " [Interview here.]

What has changed as far as writing challenges for you?

Marina:  Everything above still holds true. There is one new challenge I've encountered now that I'm five novels into my career, and that's coming to terms with the fact that each novel writing experience is completely different. I'll start out thinking, I can write this really quickly--draft it efficiently--because I've written a novel before, I know exactly how this will go, but then, inevitably, each book has its own nuances that make drafting completely different process than before. Either I'm trying to tackle a structure that's different, or I'm writing a character that just won't "behave," or thematically things just won't fit together easily. Each creative project is unique unto itself.



TQ:  What do you wish that you knew about book publishing when your first novel was published that you know now?

Marina:  Book releases are exhausting! There's a lot involved in a writing career besides butt-in-chair writing time. The more writing you do, the more "authoring" you do as well.



TQ:  Your prior novels have been Science Fiction. The Helm of Midnight is your first fantasy novel. What appeals to you about writing fantasy?

Marina:  I love the freedom of magic. The ability to create in-depth histories and versions of "physics" that have very little to do with reality. I can make monsters, I can make gods, I can built impossible cities.



TQ:  Describe The Helm of Midnight using only 5 words.

Marina:  I'm going to steal five words from some of the wonderful authors who blurbed the book: Bloody, ambitious, mind-ripping, beautiful, and vicious.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Helm of Midnight that is not in the book description.

Marina:  The valley of Arkensyre, in which the story takes place, is sealed off from the outside world. It's protected by the gods from the wastelands, where all manner of monsters roam. Only one kind of monster can make it past the god-barrier, and that's varger--hulking creatures that look half-bear, half-dog, which are covered in boils and only have a taste for human flesh. They can't be killed, just reduced to a fog and bottled away in enchanted glass.

But they might not all be as monstrous as they seem.



TQ:  Does The Helm of Midnight, the first novel in The Five Penalties series, share anything thematically with your Noumenon SF series?

Marina:  I tend to write about characters trying to do their best and be better people, even when their "best" is sincerely awful. Also, in the Noumenon series, the characters start out thinking physics is behaving one way, when really it's behaving very differently. Similarly, the magic system in The Helm of Midnight appears to function a certain way, but there are layers to its functionality that have yet to be discovered.



TQ:  Please tell us about the cover for The Helm of Midnight.

Marina:  Sam Weber is the cover artists. On the front we see a Regulator (essentially a lawperson in charge of overseeing enchantments) in a very specific version of their uniform. White is reserved for a special occasion. I play a lot with color meaning in The Helm of Midnight.



TQ:  In The Helm of Midnight who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Marina:  Melanie came the most naturally to me, but that might be because I've "known" her the longest. She featured in the original short story The Helm of Midnight is based on, which I wrote a decade ago now. Individually, Krona and her sister, De-Lia, weren't that difficult to write, but I'd say their relationship was one of the toughest to get right. They have a very push-and-pull kind of sisterhood. Sometimes they're rivals, sometimes they're codependent, but there's a lot of love and respect between them, even when their relationship is rocky.



TQ:  Does The Helm of Midnight touch on any social issues?

Marina:  Part of The Helm of Midnight deals with being a cog in a bad system, and how society can push us to do things we might not otherwise do. Thematically it asks things like, what are our individual roles in upholding broken systems? In what ways can we use bad systems to try to do good things regardless? At what point are we truly bad people, and the system doesn't matter? Does intent matter? Do the ends ever justify truly terrible means?

There's also a lot of focus on bodily autonomy.



TQ:  Which question about The Helm of Midnight do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Marina:  I wish more people would ask about the deities, because the Valley's creation myth and the gods' roles aren't just set dressing or back story. They're extremely integral to the plot of the first novel, as well as the over-arching plot of the trilogy. Essentially, the Valley has five gods, which correspond to the five kinds of magic: Time, Nature, Knowledge, Emotion, and the Unknown. But there's also a sixth deity, the Thalo. The Thalo created the world and the monsters, but not the humans. It sees humans as unfit, poorly formed abominations. Its sinister influence is a constant drive in The Five Penalties series.



TQ:  What's next?

Marina:  I have another book coming out this year! ACTIVATION DEGRADATION is releasing on September 28, 2021. It's a thriller-esque sci fi novel set in Jovian space, featuring soft robots, queer space pirates, action-adventure, and unreliable narration.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Marina:  Thank you so much for having me!





The Helm of Midnight
The Five Penalties 1
Tor Books, April 13, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages
Hannibal meets Mistborn in Marina Lostetter’s THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the dark and stunning first novel in a new trilogy that combines the intricate worldbuilding and rigorous magic system of the best of epic fantasy with a dark and chilling thriller.

In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power—the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city.

Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.

It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Marina

Marina J. Lostetter (she/her) is the author of Noumenon and Noumenon: Infinity. This is her first foray into fantasy. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in Arkansas with her husband, Alex. When not writing or drawing she can often be found reading spec-fic, or playing it (she enjoys a good zombie-themed board game now and again). And she does it all while globetrotting. Visit her online at https://lostetter.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @MarinaLostetter.









Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC AuthorsInterview with J. S. Dewes, author of The Last WatchExcerpt from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah PennerThe View From Monday - May 3, 20212021 Debut Author Challenge - May 2021 DebutsMay 2021 ReleasesInterview with Kyra Wilder, author of Little Bandaged DaysThe View From Monday - April 19, 20212021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2021 DebutsInterview with Marina Lostetter

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