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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


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


Eugen Bacon (2019)

The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories
Meerkat Press, December 1, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 202 pages
Eugen Bacon’s work is deemed cheeky with a fierce intelligence in text that’s resplendent, delicious, dark and evocative. NPR called her novel Claiming T-Mo ‘a confounding mysterious tour de force’. The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories imbues the same lushness in a writerly language that is Bacon’s own. This peculiar hybrid of the untraditional, the extraordinary within, without and along the borders of normalcy will hypnotise and absorb the reader with tales that refuse to be labelled. The stories in this collection are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this collection, by an award-winning African Australian author.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Kobo



Black Moon: Graphic Speculative Flash Fiction
IFWG Publishing International
Trade Paperback, 72 pages
Elena Betti, Illustrator
Black Moon is an illustrated collection of speculative flash fiction interspersed with prose poetry. It carries themes of love and war, life and the afterlife, hope and despair. It is a philosophical assortment that questions normalcy, embraces opposition, and takes a keen interest on peculiarity. It will appeal to curious lovers of literary dark fantasy and all places in between.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : IndieBound



Ivory's Story
Newcon Press, December 8, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 154 pages
Long ago, a good man transgressed and was brutally punished, his physical form killed and his soul split asunder. Now, one half of his ancient soul seeks to reunite with its lost twin, a search that leaves murder in its wake…

In the streets of modern day Sydney a killer stalks the night, slaughtering innocents, leaving bodies mutilated. The victims seem unconnected, yet Investigating Officer Ivory Tembo is convinced the killings are anything but random. The case soon leads Ivory into places she never imagined. In order to stop the killings and save the life of the man she loves, she must reach deep into her past, uncover secrets of her heritage, break a demon’s curse, and somehow unify two worlds.

Ivory's Story deftly combines the contemporary thriller with darker, older traditions, and marks the arrival of an exciting new voice on the genre fiction scene.

“Bacon masterfully blends myth, heritage, and self-discovery in this impressive, genre-defying work of speculative fiction... Writing with sharp, insightful prose, Bacon delivers a taut thriller that dives deep into its distinctive protagonist’s internal life and family history. Seasoned speculative fiction readers will be wowed by Bacon’s careful, layered worldbuilding, well-developed characters, and otherworldly atmosphere. This deserves a wide audience.” – Publisher’s Weekly [Starred Review]

“Eugen Bacon’s latest novel has a lot going for it. A lot… if the reader is adventurous enough, Ivory’s Story will both startle and seduce.” – Locus

“Not a word is wasted. This isn’t writing by rote, not a book surfing the expectancies of fantasy fiction, but one which brims with descriptive prose, where the movement of the words form the story, similar to the physical brushstrokes of a painting carrying the eye. Ivory’s Story is a fast-paced organic fantasy shone through a poet’s timbre and I loved it.” – Black Static

“A new star is born in the emerald skies of Fantasy, and its name is Eugen Bacon.” – Nuzo Onoh, author of The Reluctant Dead

“Bacon expertly weaves a speculative world with harsh and mundane realities to form a lush and magical tale about the importance of love and the courage needed to face the demons of this world and the next. Highly recommended.” – Nick Wood, author of Azanian Bridges

“Transformation and identity are the themes connecting chapters that dance and shift in each other’s light. The book’s final third revels in imaginative potential, where Bacon shows us sumptuous glens and hidden courts. She also reminds that nature and time live within us, and are capable of healing anything.” – Andromeda Spaceways Magazine

“If you're looking out for an epic tale that will certainly stand apart from your usual fare, that is written with great passion and feeling, this one may well hit the mark.” – Nerine Dorman Reviews

“Ivory's Story speaks of places and moments that bind us. The myths and mysteries that draw us in. A powerful blend of African and Australian speculative fiction.” – Dominique Hecq, award-winning poet, novelist, short story writer

“Eugen Bacon is a vital, vibrant voice.” – Lucy Sussex, author of The Scarlet Rider

"Twin-lore, bewitching entities, psychic investigation and urban murder mystery, juxtaposed against wilderness visions. Ivory’s Story is a savoury bouquet of wilderness flavours flash-fried in an offworld skin. An aromatic sense-delight. – Nikhil Singh, author of Club Ded

“A murder mystery, an adventure story and a spiritual journey all rolled up into one, which not only entertains but also leaves us pondering the deeper questions.” – Denise O'Hagan, author of The Beating Heart

Ivory's Story is available as a special edition hardback, signed by the author and limited to just 50 numbered copies, as well as in paperback and ebook editions.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound





Marko Kloos (2014)

Orders of Battle
Frontlines 7
47North, December 8, 2020
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 271 pages
The battle against the Lankies has been won. Earth seems safe. Peacetime military? Not on your life.

It’s been four years since Earth threw its full military prowess against the Lanky incursion. Humanity has been yanked back from the abyss of extinction. The solar system is at peace. For now.

The future for Major Andrew Grayson of the Commonwealth Defense Corps and his wife, Halley? Flying desk duty on the front. No more nightmares of monstrous things. No more traumas to the mind and body. But when an offer comes down from above, Andrew has to make a choice: continue pushing papers into retirement, or jump right back into the fight? What’s a podhead to do?

The remaining Lankies may have retreated in fear, but the threat isn’t over. They need to be wiped out for good before they strike again. That’ll take a new offensive deployment. Aboard an Avenger warship, Andrew and the special tactics team under his command embark on the ultimate search-and-destroy mission. This time, it’ll be on Lanky turf.

No big heroics. No unnecessary risks. Just a swift hit-and-run raid in the hostile Capella system. Blow the alien seed ships into oblivion and get the hell back to Earth. At least, that’s the objective. But when does anything in war go according to plan?
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound





Michael Mammay (2018)

Colonyside
Planetside 3
Harper Voyager, December 29, 2020
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
A missing scientist and deep pockets pull Colonel Carl Butler out of retirement, investigating another mystery that puts him and his team--and the future of relations with alien species--in danger in COLONYSIDE, the exciting follow-up to Planetside and Spaceside.

A military hero is coming out of disgrace—straight into the line of fire…

Carl Butler was once a decorated colonel. Now he’s a disgraced recluse, hoping to live out the rest of his life on a backwater planet where no one cares about his “crimes” and everyone leaves him alone.

It’s never that easy.

A CEO’s daughter has gone missing and he thinks Butler is the only one who can find her. The government is only too happy to appease him. Butler isn’t so sure, but he knows the pain of losing a daughter, so he reluctantly signs on. Soon he’s on a military ship heading for a newly-formed colony where the dangerous jungle lurks just outside the domes where settlers live.

Paired with Mac, Ganos, and a government-assigned aide named Fader, Butler dives head-first into what should be an open and shut case. Then someone tries to blow him up. Faced with an incompetent local governor, a hamstrung military, and corporations playing fast and loose with the laws, Butler finds himself in familiar territory. He’s got nobody to trust but himself, but that’s where he works best. He’ll fight to get to the bottom of the mystery, but this time, he might not live to solve it.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

The View From Monday - November 23, 2020


It is the last Monday in November. An early Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.

There are no debuts this week.

From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Call of the Bone Ships (Tide Child Trilogy 2) by RJ Barker

A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen is out in Trade Paperback

Forged (Alex Verus 11) by Benedict Jacka;

and

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is out in Trade Paperback.

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



The View From Monday - November 23, 2020



Debut novels are highlighted inblue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted ingreen.


November 24, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
The Princess Knight G.A. Aiken HistF - The Scarred Earth Saga 2
Walk the Wild With Me (tp2mm)
Rachel Atwood HistF//FairyT/FolkT/LM
Pious Mark Barber F - Kings of War
Call of the Bone Ships RJ Barker F - Tide Child Trilogy 2
1636: Flight of the Nightingale (tp2mm)
David Carrico SF/TT - Ring of Fire 28
A Beginning at the End (h2tp)
Mike Chen SF/AP/PA
Alliance Rising (tp2mm)
C. J. Cherryh
Jane S. Fancher
SF/HSF/SO - The Hinder Stars 1
Ready Player Two Ernest Cline SF/Dys/Th - Ready Player One 2
The Best of Glen Cook: 18 Stories from the Author of The Black Company and The Dread Empire Glen Cook F/DF - Collection
Last Stand in Lychford Paul Cornell CF/UF - Witches of Lychford 5
War Lord Bernard Cornwell Hist - Saxon Tales 13
Monster Hunter Guardian (h2mm)
Larry Correia
Sarah A. Hoyt
F - Monster Hunter 8
Infernal Mark de Jager F - Stratus 1
The Science Fiction Puzzle Book: Inspired by the Works of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C Clarke, Robert A Heinlein and Ursula K Le Guin Tim Dedopulos Puzzles/SF
Escape Pod: The Science Fiction Anthology S.B. Divya (Ed)
Mur Lafferty (Ed)
SF - Anthology
The Poison Prince S. C. Emmett F/HistF - Hostage of Empire 2
The Solar War John French SF/SO - The Horus Heresy
Forged Benedict Jacka UF/CF - Alex Versus 11
The Broken Girls (tp2mm) Simone St. James SupTh/H/CW
Impolitic Corpses (h2tp)
Paul Johnston M/Dys - Quint Dalrymple Mystery 8
Passages Mercedes Lackey (Ed)
F - Valdemar Anthology
Beyond Kuiper Matthew Medney
John Connelly
HSF/SF - The Galactic Star Alliance
Rasputin's Bastards (ri)
David Nickle Th/HSF
The 'Geisters (ri)
David Nickle H/GH
Monstrous Affections: Stories (e)(ri) David Nickle H/SS
Knife Fight: And Other Struggles David Nickle H/SS
36 Righteous Men (h2tp)
Steven Pressfield SupTh
Grave War Kalayna Price UF/CF/PF - Alex Craft 7
Gotrek and Felix: The Fifth Omnibus Josh Reynolds F - Warhammer Chronicles
The Awakening Nora Roberts PF/FR - The Dragon Heart Legacy 1
Star Trek Voyager: A Celebration Ben Robinson
Mark Wright
PerfArts/SF
Archangel's Sun Nalini Singh PNR/UF/PF - Guild Hunter13
Wolf Fever (ri)
Terry Spear PNR/FR - Silver Town Wolf 2
Freehold: Resistance (tp2mm)
Michael Z. Williamson (Ed)
SF - Freehold Anthology
 
 
 
November 30, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
Comes a Pale Rider Caitlín R. Kiernan H
Fishing for Dinosaurs and Other Stories Joe R. Lansdale F - Anthology
Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower Tamsyn Muir F
No Period: A Tor.com Original Harry Turtledove AH
Take a Look at the Five and Ten Connie Willis 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.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC Authors


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


Kacen Callender (2019)

King of the Rising
Islands of Blood and Storm 2
Orbit, December 1, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
King of the Rising is the searing conclusion to an unflinching and powerful Caribbean-inspired fantasy series about colonialism, resilience and defiance.

A revolution has swept through the islands of Hans Lollik and former slave Loren Jannik has been chosen to lead the survivors in a bid to free the islands forever.

But the rebels are running out of food, weapons and options. And as the Fjern inch closer to reclaiming Hans Lollik with every battle, Loren is faced with a choice that could shift the course of the revolution in their favor -- or doom it to failure.

Islands of Blood and Storm
Queen of the Conquered
King of the Rising
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sam Hawke (2018)

Hollow Empire
A Poison War Novel 2
Tor Books, December 1, 2020
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages
Moving from poison and treachery to war and witchcraft, Sam Hawke's Poison Wars continue with Hollow Empire, a fabulous epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Naomi Novik, and Scott Lynch.

Poison was only the beginning.... The deadly siege of Silasta woke the ancient spirits, and now the city-state must find its place in this new world of magic. But people and politics are always treacherous, and it will take all of Jovan and Kalina’s skills as proofer and spy to save their country when witches and assassins turn their sights to domination.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Benedict Jacka (2012)

Forged
Alex Verus 11
Ace, November 24, 2020
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Alex Verus faces his dark side in this return to the bestselling urban fantasy series about a London-based mage.

To protect his friends, Mage Alex Verus has had to change–and embrace his dark side. But the life mage Anne has changed too, and made a bond with a dangerous power. She’s going after everyone she’s got a grudge against–and it’s a long list.

In the meantime, Alex has to deal with his arch-enemy, Levistus. The Council’s death squads are hunting Alex as well as Anne, and the only way for Alex to stop them is to end his long war with Levistus and the Council, by whatever means necessary. It will take everything Alex has to stay a step ahead of the Council and stop Anne from letting the world burn.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Interview with Essa Hansen, author of Nophek Gloss

 
Please welcome Essa Hansen to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Nophek Gloss is published on November 17, 2020 by Orbit.







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

Essa:  My mom recounts stories from before I can remember, but the first one I recall—maybe nine years old?—was a fantasy short story set around a large willow tree growing out of the middle of a pool of water, in a courtyard in the center of a castle. There was a young girl and a mystery and a magical pendant that had gotten lost—sounds quite standard!



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Essa:  I’m a hybrid. I plot more now than I did when I was starting out, due to a better understanding of structure and pacing. I start with the big set piece scenes then begin to build connective tissue and logic, until I have a decent outline. As I get ideas or visions or snippets of dialogue, I’ll insert these in my outlined chapters, but when I get to drafting, I move linearly and discovery-write the scenes themselves. The moment-by moment flow, details, and dialogue are all new to me as I’m writing the scene.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Essa:  My main challenge is translating my imaginative concepts and visuals into narrative, description, and emotion that a reader can easily absorb. I’m neurodivergent and a synesthete, so the way I perceive and process the world is atypical, and the way my ideas come out on the page is deeply sensory and a bit convoluted, so I need to actively sculpt my prose and ideas into better clarity while not losing the evocative and wondrous aspects that readers find refreshing and unique.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Essa:  I absorb inspiration from all over; not just art and media, but my personal experiences and time spent in nature, as well as less commonly utilized fields such as very theoretical cosmology and quantum physics, pseudoscience, occult science, philosophy, and metaphysics. When I’m developing something new—like an alien, creature, environment, or technology—I tend to merge bits of inspiration into my original concept or take a piece as a starting place and extrapolate it in a new direction. Often my inspiration is simply brainstorming “what haven’t I seen before in the genre?”



TQDescribe Nophek Gloss using only 5 words.

Essa:  Oh, I’m bad at these so I’m going to steal from Alastair Reynolds’s blurb of the book: “Intricate, vivid, and psychedelic cosmos.”



TQTell us something about Nophek Gloss that is not found in the book description.

Essa:  The book description actually doesn’t describe the bubble multiverse! A collection of spherical universes of varying sizes (fist-sized to galactic scale), all on the same timeline and stuck together like a vast foam, with dividing membranes that can be passed through easily. Each universe has a unique deviation in the laws of physics, meaning that material, biology, and technology is transformed as it passes from one universe to another.



TQWhat inspired you to write Nophek Gloss? What appeals to you about writing science fiction?

EssaNophek Gloss is a revenge story with a heart of personal growth and the navigation of complex morality. The protagonist’s journey to find belonging and roots is drawn from my own experiences as a neurodiverse and mixed-race person. Meanwhile the setting is inspired by the obscure sciences I love, and the immersive writing comes directly from my own sensory peculiarities and creative work in film.

In far-flung or secondary world science fiction, I love that we’re allowed to get away entirely from the familiarity of Earth both as a location and as the basis of our ideas. We get to overturn the concept of “normal” by showing other possibilities. At the same time, the stories remain very human, exploring humanity and being through entirely new contexts. There’s incredible power in that.



TQYou are a sound designer for science fiction and fantasy films. Do you hear your novels when writing?

Essa:  I definitely add a lot of sound and five-senses immersion in my novels. Through a combination of hypersensitivity and synesthesia (in which usually separate senses are cross-wired), I feel sounds in my body and as a sort of extended landscape of texture and density in space, of which my nervous system is taking part. It’s…tricky to describe. While writing, even if I’m not “hearing” the story in my mind, my unique experience with the sensory world comes out in my writing style and unusual word choices. Also, working in film sound makes me hyper aware of story elements like environmental atmosphere, the material quality of things, and their motion through space, which definitely influences how I describe action and setting.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Nophek Gloss?

Essa:  I drew on a lot of fields of study I had delved into for enjoyment in the past, such as Cymatics, fluid dynamics, string theory, vibratory physics, concepts of the basis of reality and consciousness, cognitive science, emergent structures, and artificial intelligence…to name a few. Of course, I also had to research basic space travel things like time dilation, FTL, types of stellar drives, and so on.

I often start with a visual or experiential idea first and then backpedal into the science to flesh out my concept. For instance, in Nophek Gloss there’s an alien species who I wanted to emote via chromatophores on their skin, like many cephalopods, so I turned from that concept to the actual science of how and why, and in what detail or words I could describe the effect without getting too technical.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Nophek Gloss.

Essa:  The cover illustration is by Mike Heath and the design by Lauren Panepinto. It depicts Caiden’s unique starship, the Azura, which holds a lot of secrets and continues to evolve as the books go on.



TQIn Nophek Gloss who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Essa:  I always have one character who springs off the page fully-formed and feels effortless to write. For this book that was En, the crew’s negotiator, gambler, trader, charmer, muscle, and general rogue with a questionable past. En is genderfluid, dangerous but gregarious and will defend loved ones in a heartbeat, and full of snarky dialogue that sparked onto the page—which surprised me because I thought I was poor at dialogue but En’s always comes through so easily.

The hardest character to write was the story’s central antagonist, but those details are too spoilery to say!



TQWhich question about Nophek Gloss do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Essa:  Q: What “cutting room floor” scene do you miss?

A: I had a moment in the story where Caiden experiences music for the first time in his life. I loved both the wondrous emotion of that moment and the challenge of clearly describing music without using any instrumental terminology.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Nophek Gloss.

Essa:  Here’s a little excerpt:

Squeezing inside, he ran his fingers over a complex central engine bulk stretching the length of the room. He hadn’t seen such materials ever, even in the deepest sections of the aerators: some white and fleshy, glassy and scaled, coppery rings that bristled when his fingertips drew near. It looked like a hundred different animals stitched together on one set of bones.

“Maybe you’re alive. A huge creature wearing a hard shell.”

Ridiculous. Machines weren’t alive. But he smiled and swore that some of the materials he touched inside the machine were warm.



TQWhat's next?

Essa:  I’m working through revisions of the second book in The Graven trilogy, which releases in Fall 2021. In the meantime, I’ll be doing virtual discussions, panels, and interviews for the launch of Nophek Gloss in November—readers can catch up with me at those!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Nophek Gloss
The Graven 1
Orbit, November 17, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
"A sucker punch to the senses...a killer story with real heart and soul."-Alastair Reynolds

When a young man's planet is destroyed, he sets out on a single-minded quest for revenge across the galaxy in Nophek Gloss, the first book in this epic space opera trilogy debut -- perfect for fans of Revenger and Children of Time.

Caiden's planet is destroyed. His family gone. And, his only hope for survival is a crew of misfit aliens and a mysterious ship that seems to have a soul and a universe of its own. Together they will show him that the universe is much bigger, much more advanced, and much more mysterious than Caiden had ever imagined. But the universe hides dangers as well, and soon Caiden has his own plans.

He vows to do anything it takes to get revenge on the slavers who murdered his people and took away his home. To destroy their regime, he must infiltrate and dismantle them from the inside, or die trying.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Essa

Essa Hansen grew up in the beautifully wild areas of California. She has ranched bison and sheep, trained horses, practiced Japanese swordsmanship, and is a licensed falconer. She attended the Vancouver Film School and works as a sound designer for Skywalker Sound where she’s worked on films such as Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnorok, and Avengers: Endgame. Essa now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter @EssaHansen

2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2020 Debuts


2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2020 Debuts



Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2020 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. Coverartist/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 November 30, 2020, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite November 2020 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls














Cover art by Jon Dunham










Cover design and illustration by Sophie Paas-Lang





Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover illustration by Mike Heath
Cover copyright © 2020 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.





Interior and cover design by Elizabeth Story





Cover by Kieryn Tyler





Cover © 2020 Rian Hughes
Designed and illustrated by Rian Hughes

The View From Monday - November 16, 2020

 
Happy Monday!
 
There are 3 debuts this week:
 
Nophek Gloss (The Graven 1) by Essa Hansen;
 
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi;
 
and
 
Eartheater by Dolores Reyes.
 
 
 
 
From formerly featured DAC Authors:
 
Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection by Ben Aaronovtich;
 
and
 
The Burning God (The Poppy War 3) by R. F. Kuang.
 
 
 
 
The View From Monday - November 16, 2020
 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.
 
November 16, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction: A Survey, 1841-2000 Laird R. Blackwell M/SF/F
Sacred Evil (e)(ri)
Heather Graham GH/Th - Krewe of Hunters 3
Night Study (e)(ri) Maria V. Snyder F - The Chronicles of Ixia
 
 
 
November 17, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection Ben Aaronovitch F/SS - Rivers of London
They Will Drown in Their Mothers' Tears (h2tp)
Johannes Anyuru
Saskia Vogel (Tr)
LF/SF/TT/Th/Terrorism/Dys
The Human (h2tp)
Neal Asher SF/SO - Rise of the Jain 3
Foundation and Earth (ri)
Isaac Asimov SF/HSF/Classics/SO - Foundation 5
Foundation's Edge Isaac Asimov SF/HSF/Classics/SO - Foundation 4
I Don't Seem So Bright in a Well-Lit Room Sean Browning SF/HU
Lost Acre Andrew Caldecott HistF/P - Rotherweird 3
The Water Dancer (ri) Ta-Nehisi Coates HistF/MR
The Complete Lychford (e) Paul Cornell CF/UF - Lychford
The Andromeda Evolution (mm2tp)
Michael Crichton
Daniel H. Wilson
SF
Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash Yahtzee Croshaw Satire/SF/SO - Jacques McKeown 2
Nothing Good Happens After Midnight: A Suspense Magazine Anthology Jeffrey Deaver et al.
M/SupTh - Anthology
The Children of Red Peak Craig DiLouie H/PsyTh/SupTh
Madrenga (e)
Alan Dean Foster F - Madrenga 1
Smoke & Ashes Alexis Hall UF - Kate Kane Paranormal Investigator 4
The Saints of Salvation Peter F. Hamilton SF/SO/SE - Salvation Sequence 3
Nophek Gloss (D) Essa Hansen SF/AC/GenEng/SE - The Graven 1
Stillicide Cynan Jones Dys/LF/Climate
Before the Coffee Gets Cold (D - English) Toshikazu Kawaguchi
MR/F/SF
Daughter of the Serpentine E.E. Knight F - A Dragoneer Academy Novel 2
The Burning God R. F Kuang HistF - The Poppy War 3
The Silver Shooter Erin Lindsey M/GH/P - A Rose Gallagher Mystery 3
Ink Jonathan Maberry SupTh/H
Child of the Prophecy (ri)
Juliet Marillier HistF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Sevenwaters Trilogy 3
Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children, Volumes 1-3: Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Beneath the Sugar Sky Seanan McGuire CF/DF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Wayward Children
The Bright and Breaking Sea Chloe Neill F/HistF/RF - A Captain Kit Brightling Novel 1
Home Front (e) Rick Partlwo SF - Drop Trooper 5
Eartheater (D) Dolores Reyes
Julia Sanchez (Tr)
LF
Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon Marylin Ross Gothic/Occ - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 14
Rhythm of War Brandon Sanderson F - Stormlight Archive 4
The Round-dance of Water Kuznetsov Sergey
Valeriya Yermishova (Tr)
LF/MR/MU - Russian Literature Series
Age of Death Michael J. Sullivan F/HistF - Legends of the First Empire 5
Salamis Harry Turtledove AH/HistF/TT - Hellenic 5
Strange Lands Short Stories: Thrilling Tales Various SF - Anthology
Spin (ri)
Robert Charles Wilson SF/AP/PA/AC/TT - Spin 1
Rubicon Gareth Worthington SF/AH - Children of the Fifth Sun 3
 
 
 
November 18, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera: A Tor.com Original (e) Elizabeth Bear DF
 
 
 
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.
 

Days of the Dead Tour - The Badass Women of the Assassins of Landria by Gail Z. Martin


Please welcome Gail Z. Martin to The Qwillery as part of her ongoing DAYS OF THE DEAD TOUR!





The Badass Women of the Assassins of Landria

By Gail Z. Martin

Assassins of Landria is my buddy-flick epic fantasy, full of snarky action, fast-paced adventure, and epic fantasy feels without the epic length. Unconventional assassins Joel “Ridge” Breckenridge and his best friend and partner-in-mayhem Garrett “Rett” Kennard take center stage, but they wouldn’t have survived Book 1 without the help of three badass women.

Lady Sally Anne inherited the lands, title and assets of her late husband, as well as the fortress of Harrowmont. There are whispers that he was abusive, and that his death may not have been entirely natural. Granted protection by wealth, status and very thick stone walls, Lady Sally Anne has turned Harrowmont into a haven for women fleeing abusive marriages, for those in danger because they have banned magical talent, and for the psychically-gifted orphans rescued from being trafficked by the Witch Lord’s supporters.

Harrowmont is self-sufficient with farming, livestock, and the ability to make what its residents need. Those who find sanctuary there learn to read and write and do sums, but they also rotate through the tasks necessary to defend the fortress and keep it functioning, learning essential skills. By marshaling the forbidden magic of residents gifted with mediumship and clairvoyance, Lady Sally Anne is able to communicate with Ridge, Rett and their allies across distance, providing vital information to the effort to protect the kingdom and defeat the Witch Lord.

Lorella is a talented medium who had once been coerced into using her talents to benefit one of the Witch Lord’s co-conspirators. Ridge and Rett freed her from that servitude, and she has used her abilities since then to rally the kingdom’s restless ghosts for surveillance, defense and intelligence-gathering. She’s saved Ridge and Rett numerous times, and helped to save the kingdom as well.

Caralin is one of the King’s Shadows—an elite assassin like Ridge and Rett. She’s one of the few Shadows who doesn’t hold the duo’s unorthodox methods and higher-than-average success rate against them. Caralin’s an excellent fighter and strategist, and is one of the few allies Ridge and Rett have within the palace ‘establishment’ which has been largely turned against them by the Witch Lord. We haven’t seen a lot of Carlin thus far, but she’s done the boys some good turns when the chips were down. Expect her to play a more visible and vital role as the series moves forward!


What else is new? Plenty! Sons of Darkness (Night Vigil Book 1) and Inheritance (Deadly Curiosities Book 4) are now on audiobook. Monster Mash and Creature Feature are the newest Spells Salt and Steel books. Witch of the Woods and Ghosts of the Past are the newest in the Wasteland Marshals series, and Black Sun is the latest Joe Mack Adventure. Coming soon: Fugitive’s Vow (Assassins of Landria Book 3), Chicagoland (Joe Mack 3), and Reckoning (Darkhurst Book 3). Watch for new Deadly Curiosities, Night Vigil and Salvage Rat books as well!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs into November with brand new guest blog posts and more!





Assassin's Honor
Assassins of Landria 1
Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, October 2018
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 193 pages
First in the new Assassins of Landria series from the award-winning, bestselling author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst, and the Chronicles Of The Necromancer books!

Friends since their orphanage childhood, Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity. Henri, their long-suffering squire, tends to the thankless jobs of provisioning and logistics, while Ridge and Rett fight and recover.

When wandering mystic Yefim Makary becomes the darling of disenchanted aristocrats, Rett and Ridge fear Makary—or the Witch Lord, as his followers call him—is a threat to the crown. As treasonous whispers spread, Ridge and Rett go rogue to stop the threat, save the kingdom and protect the king—while landing on the “Most Wanted” list themselves!
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound




Sellsword's Oath
Assassins of Landria 2
Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, January 2020
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 193 pages
Buddy flick epic fantasy! The second in the Assassins of Landria series from the award-winning, bestselling author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst and The Chronicles Of The Necromancer books!

Wandering mystic Yefim Makary, known to his followers as the ‘Witch Lord’, disappeared before he could be accused of inciting dissent against King Kristoph. His supporters among the disenchanted aristocrats who weren’t arrested have fled or died by their own hand. The king is happy to put the matter behind him. Yet Burke, the commander of the elite King’s Shadows, doesn’t believe the threat is over, and he assigns his two most troublesome, rule-breaking—and successful—assassins to ferret out the real threat and put a stop to Makary’s plots.

Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity.

As the threads of a new plot come together revealing disloyalty among the priests and generals, Ridge and Rett once again find themselves on the run, hoping they and their allies can figure out the Witch Lord’s latest scheme before it costs them their lives—and the king his throne.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Books-A-Million : IndieBound





About Gail

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Scourge: A Darkhurst Novel, from Solaris Books. Gail is also the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel and Trifles and Folly 1: A Deadly Curiosities Collection, the latest in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC; Shadow and Flame is the fourth book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga; The Shadowed Path (The first Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures collection), as well as Iron and Blood a Steampunk series, and Spells, Salt, & Steel, both co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash, and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities and Tangled Web. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Gail’s work has appeared in over 35 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Heroes, Space, Contact Light, With Great Power, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Cinched: Imagination Unbound, Realms of Imagination, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, Gaslight and Grimm, Baker Street Irregulars, Journeys, Hath no Fury and A Haven Harbor Halloween.

You can also find Gail on: www.GailZMartin.com, Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and free excerpts on Wattpad http://wattpad.com/GailZMartin.

Interview with Wayne Santos, author of The Chimera Code


Please welcome Wayne Santos to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Chimera Code was published on November 10, 2020 by Solaris.







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

Wayne:  The first story I ever remember making myself is one I told myself. As a kid, I had narrated album of The Empire Strikes Back, but I also had the orchestral soundtrack, so I imitated the narrated record by playing back the soundtrack, to a tape recorder, and telling my own stories to the music.

The first time I ever tried writing actual fiction was probably in Junior High, though. That was a recollection trying to make a stain glass window for art class, getting high on the fumes and chasing out elementary school kids at the same time.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Wayne:  ¾ pantser, ½ hybrid, so pantsbrid? I usually have a few key events for the story in mind by the time I sit down to write it, but how the characters get to those points is entirely up to them. For the most part, it’s like just sitting back and popping a movie into my mental player, watching the events unfold and then making sure I write it all down.

I’m really bad at outlines, and every time I try, it ends up being a sort of disaster that the story itself ends up not following anyway when it gets written.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Wayne:  Two things, probably. The first is the constant struggle for lyrical language. I really, really love reading books with beautiful language, thoughtful word choices, and literary style. People that can put entire novels together that sound like poems blow me away. I have nothing but jealousy for them, but every time I try to write like that, it’s kind of a single flower blossom in the middle of a lot of explosions, since the stories usually devolve into high octane action scenes.

The other thing is intricate mysteries in plotting. People who put together good whodunits amaze me. The way you have to make sure all the pieces fit together in a plot, so that they all make sense in the end, but feel “fair” to the reader who goes back and sees the clues were there all the time if you’d just been clever enough to put it all together is also amazing. I don’t understand how people do that.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Wayne:  I’ve got a mix of literary and non-literary influences. On the literary side is, of course, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and a lot of other writers in the cyberpunk genre. If you want to get less literary, but still in the written word zone, comics were also a huge influence, since I grew up reading stuff like Chris Claremont’s X-Men and Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans as a kid, graduating to the crazier, more ambitious stuff like Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, or just about anything crazy by Grant Morrison, like The Invisibles.

Then there’s a lot of stuff that’s not literary at all. When I wasn’t devouring Robert Heinlein, or Isaac Asimov as a kid, I was plugged into video games. To this day, stuff like Mass Effect or Horizon: Zero Dawn makes as much of an impression on me as the newest Gibson novel. Anime is another big influence, as I inhaled giant robot extravaganzas like Gundam, and of course, more cyberpunk, via Akira or Ghost in the Shell. Even table-top role-playing games made an impression on me as I’m sure eagle-eyed readers will see a Shadowrun influence in The Chimera Code.



TQDescribe The Chimera Code using only 5 words.

Wayne:  Mage, hacker, blow shit up.



TQTell us something about The Chimera Code that is not found in the book description.

Wayne:  The United States in its current incarnation no longer exists and fractured into smaller, regional nation-states. The Brazilian Real became the dominant form of global currency for trade and economy, computer operating systems have been replaced by true personal digital assistants, only instead of being tablets or disembodied voices, they can be fully interactive agents that you deal with via neurosimulation. Also, gold is now worthless, because alchemy can produce infinite amounts of it.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Chimera Code? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Wayne:  I’d always loved the idea behind the tabletop role-playing game Shadowrun of a world where magic and cyberpunk coexisted together. But Shadowrun took magic influences all over the magic map, including elves, dwarves, dragons and other creatures of myth.

I was always just fascinated by the idea that magic itself worked, and wondered how that would interact with combat cyborgs, or slot into a global economy that had no business model for it, but could certainly whip one up quick if there was a buck to be made. I kept not seeing that world, so I decided to write it myself. What do you get when you combine a hacker, a military-spec cyborg and a mid-to-close range combat mage with a certification in elemental thaumaturgy? No one would tell me, so The Chimera Code is the answer.

But general appeal of science fiction has, to me, always been about worlds I’ve never seen before. That’s what Dune is. Or Foundation. Or Neuromancer, or Bladerunner or Mass Effect. When you grow up as a visible minority in mid-western Canada, you get tried of the everyday world where you’re just getting picked on as a nerd, and not even a white one, and you wonder what it would be like in those future worlds where apparently that doesn’t happen. It’s hard not to see the appeal in that.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Chimera Code?

Wayne:  It wasn’t really a matter of research, so much as selective osmosis. I’ve made a habit of squirreling away cool but useless scientific facts and findings on all kinds of things, from materials research to the lifespan of black holes and what happens after they run out of juice. Some of that stuff worms its way into stories, while other things have to be actively researched, like the administrative structure of a university. Once I’d decided on my own version of a magic school, I realized I had to make it run the way an actual university would and I had no clue how management worked in those organizations.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Chimera Code.

Wayne:  The cover went through a few iterations, but final version that Rebellion settled on was done by one of their own, Gemma Sheldrake, an artist and graphic designer for 2000 AD, on the comic/publishing side of things. The original cover was one that depicted the characters, but the current version is more stand out with the bright yellow, which is very cyberpunk, since even the video game Cyberpunk 2077 uses that color, and the more graphic design approach lets it sit just about anywhere on a book shelf.



TQIn The Chimera Code who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Wayne:  The easiest character was probably Zee. I’m not nonbinary, but Zee’s attitude, the distrust of authority, and the impulse to poke holes in systems and see what could be exploited or broken were all things that I found very easy to get into. Zee’s sarcasm and insecurities around others was also kind of giving myself a freebie in terms of writing.

The hardest character to write was probably the villain, Acevedo. I think villains in general always give me trouble, because I just don’t like those people, and don’t want to spend a lot of time with them. I’m kind of jealous of people that enjoy their villainy and like writing villains running around doing horrible things, because I always just want to get away from them.



TQDoes The Chimera Code touch on any social issues?

WayneThe Chimera Code doesn’t go all “a very special episode of The Chimera Code” and make the point of the story dealing with any specific issue, but a lot of them are scattered around is “flavor text” or accents to the ongoing story. The United States as a contiguous nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic no longer exists, and that didn’t occur for any happy reason.

Although probably the biggest thing is Zee as a nonbinary character. I wanted to show that the world had moved on, and some things had more of a place in the 22nd century, but that didn’t mean they were completely accepted or welcomed. Zee was a good conduit to showing some of that.



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

Wayne:  I want someone to ask me, “But what are video games like in this world?”


I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED…

While there are a variety of different video game formats, the dominant playstyle in the world of The Chimera Code is first person games via neurosimulation. In other words, it’s still the first person shooter or role-playing game people are familiar with today, but rather than 4K graphics at 60 frames per second, the experience comes from direct stimulation of nerve impulses.

So there is no longer any complaints about realistic or unrealistic graphics, since everything is generated by your brain and is interpreted as more or less real. It’s a natural evolution of the virtual reality headsets we’re messing around with today, but nowdiv it’s expanded to every genre of gaming imaginable.

That’s not to say that every game is a first person experience, but neurosim games have made the technical requirements of “graphics” irrelevant, and the only arbiter of how good a game looks is art direction.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Chimera Code.

Wayne
“Have fun.”


“Oh, I will.”


“Not the kind that explodes.”


“That’s the only kind.”


“Give me the sword back.”


TQWhat's next?

Wayne:  I’m diligently plugging away on my next work in progress, but in the meantime, you can probably expect some announcements soon about other things I’ve written that are going to be coming out very soon. That’s about as much as I can say right now, I think.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Wayne:  Thank you!





The Chimera Code
Solaris, November 10, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 500 pages
Neuromancer for a non-binary age: an action-packed techno-thriller with a side of magical realism.

"Fun, fresh cyberpunk!" - Publisher's Weekly

Everything’s for hire – even magic.

If you need something done, they’re the best: a tough, resourceful mage, a lab-created genderless hacker and a cyborg with a big gun.

But when they’re hired by a virtual construct to destroy the other copies of himself, and the down payment is a new magical skill, Cloke knows this job is going to be a league harder than anything they’ve ever done. "A full-throttle, magical cyberpunk superhero thriller!" - Peter McLean
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Wayne

Over the years, Wayne Santos has written copy for advertising agencies, scripts for television, and articles for magazines. He’s lived in Canada, Thailand and Singapore, traveling to many countries around South East Asia. His first love has always been science fiction and fantasy, and while he regularly engaged with it in novels, comics, anime and video games, it wasn’t until 1996, with his first short story in the Canadian speculative fiction magazine On Spec that he aimed towards becoming a novelist. He now lives in Canada, in Hamilton, ON with his wife. When he’s not writing, he is likely to be found reading, playing video games, watching anime, or trying to calm his cat down.

Website  ~>  Twitter @waynepsantos

Interview with Ginger Smith, author of The Rush's Edge


Please welcome Ginger Smith to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Rush's Edge is published on November 10, 2020 by Angry Robot.







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

Ginger:  Hi!

Well, I was about ten when I read The Elfstones of Shanara by Terry Brooks, and I was crushed by the ending (I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but a character that I loved died in what I had felt was a really unfair way). I got so upset and angry that I decided right then and there to write my own novel. That way I could have it end how I wanted it to, and I wouldn't let anyone die at the end! It was a sprawling 300-page hot mess of a fantasy novel, complete with good and evil twin brothers, mages, dwarves and a beautiful princess. I worked on that novel for two or three years when I was between 10 and 13 years old, and I still have it today. It remains unpublished (lol).



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Ginger:  Oh I'm a pantser all the way, but an obsessive rewriter. I usually start with one scene or even several objectives in mind for the story and build from there, layering in all the details like a painter. Unfortunately, this approach requires a lot of editing passes and rewriting, but it works for me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Ginger:  Editing is always a challenge. You really have to step back from your writing to see it clearly, and sometimes that can be very hard to do.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Ginger:  I love hero stories; the transformation of an unknown protagonist into a hero fascinates me. Soldiers returning from war and finding a place in society is another subject that's close to my heart. My father served during the Vietnam War, and the difficulties he went through after he returned home somewhat inspired The Rush's Edge.



TQDescribe The Rush's Edge using only 5 words.

Ginger:  Adrenaline, found family, hero's journey.



TQTell us something about The Rush's Edge that is not found in the book description.

Ginger:  This is hard because there's a lot that's not in the description, of course. I guess I could tell you a little about vats. Vat soldiers are created and genetically modified in a lab, then placed in artificial wombs full of growth accelerator for four years. When they are the size of a two year-old, the vats are implanted with an interface and educated virtually. At the size of a twelve year-old, they're "born" and begin a standard five years of training. Then when they are seventeen, they go through a year's basic combat training before they become fully active soldiers. They don't have a lot of real-world experience, and that's why they struggle with everyday life when released from service.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Rush's Edge? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Ginger:  My father had tons of space operas and hard sci-fi novels from the 60's-70's around the house, and he let me read whatever I wanted as a kid. We would watch Star Trek and Star Wars together, and those were some of my favorite times. This rich sci-fi/fantasy environment I grew up in shaped what I love to read, and the types of character-rich stories I want to tell.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Rush's Edge?

Ginger:  First, I researched the experiences of soldiers who had been in combat. In several TED talks and articles, Sebastian Junger, a war correspondent, discusses the difficulties soldiers face when they return to "normal" society after war. Junger makes the point that they miss the camaraderie of their fellow soldiers and some of that research was instrumental in developing the bond between Hal and Ty. I also had to do a lot of thinking about the military and governmental structure of the universe I wanted to create. Luckily, my husband is a military historian, so conversations with him were indispensable to crafting the world of the Edge and Spiral.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Rush's Edge.

Ginger:  Oh my goodness, I love my cover so much! I had an amazing artist named Kieryn Tyler who works with Angry Robot. I gave her some ideas here and there, and she came back with a few different designs. When I saw my cover, I knew it was the one. Hal and Vivi are the two characters depicted.



TQIn The Rush's Edge who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Ginger:  Tyce Bernon was probably the easiest for me to write. He's a lot like me: we're both thoughtful and introspective. He is very observant of others and able to see things from someone else's point of view, which helps him understand Hal. Also, he cares deeply for his little found family on the Loshad, and I feel the same for the friends that I call family.

Hal was the hardest to write at first. I had to do a lot of thinking about how he would react to certain situations; being artificially gestated and raised in a vat facility means his life experiences are very different than Ty and Vivi's. While he's a force on the battlefield, he is a bit baffled by the nats in his life, but he's trying to understand. The longer the novel went on, the easier he became to write.



TQWhich question about The Rush's Edge do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Ginger:  I guess I would ask, "What do you hope people will get out of The Rush's Edge?" My initial answer would be that I hope everyone who reads this book has fun. I wanted to write a book that reminded me of seeing the original Star Wars trilogy for the first time… with the same adventure, danger, and tight bond between characters. I hope that the audience comes for the action but stays for the characters as they grow and change throughout the events of the story.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Rush's Edge.

Ginger

#1: [Hal] was beginning to think that maybe loyalty was very different than obedience. Obedience meant you did what they told you because they made you, but loyalty couldn't be demanded. It was given. Given to someone like Tyce.

#2: Vivi fought hard against panicked tears. Seeing Ty down was like watching a sun go out. It was horrifying, but she couldn’t tear her gaze away.



TQWhat's next?

Ginger:  I have a few short stories set in the Edge that I'd like to find a home for. Even though The Rush's Edge is a stand-alone book, I'm working on a sequel to it that will expand on the characters and add more layers to the universe of the Spiral.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ginger:  You're welcome! Thanks so much for having me.





The Rush's Edge
Angry Robot, November 10, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 328 pages
With the help of his commanding officer, a genetically engineered ex-soldier fights back against the government that created him and others like him to be expendable slaves…

Halvor Cullen, a genetically-engineered and technology implanted ex-soldier, doesn’t see himself as a hero. After getting out of the service, all he’s interested in is chasing the adrenaline rush his body was designed to crave. Hal knows he won’t live long anyway; vat soldiers like him are designed to die early or will be burnt out from relentlessly seeking the rush. His best friend and former CO, Tyce, is determined not to let that happen and distracts him by work salvaging crashed ships in the Edge.

Then Hal’s ship gets a new crewmember - a hacker-turned-tecker named Vivi. As they become friends, Hal wonders if he’s got a chance with a natural-born like her. Then on a job, the crew finds a sphere that downloads an alien presence into their ship…

Multiple clashes with the military force Hal and his crew to choose sides. The battle they fight will determine the fate of vats and natural-borns throughout the galaxy. Will they join the movement against the Coalition? What has invaded their ship’s computer? And can there be a real future for a vat with an expiration date?

File Under: Science Fiction [ Toy Soldier | On the Brink | Against the Odds | Stars are Crossed ]
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
 iBooks : Kobo





About Ginger

Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her free time writing and watching classic film noir and sci-fi movies.



Website ~ Twitter @GSmithauthor


The View From Monday - November 9, 2020


Happy Monday!

There are 6 debuts this week:

Night Call (Walking Shadows 1) by Brenden Carlson;

The Book of Malachi by T.C. Farren;

XX by Rian Hughes;

The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos;

The Rush's Edge by Ginger Smith;

and 

Nucleation by Kimberly Unger.

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



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Fire of Vengeance (The Burning 2) by Evan Winter.

The View From Monday - November 9, 2020

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



The View From Monday - November 9, 2020



Debut novels are highlighted inblue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted ingreen.

November 10, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
Followers (h2tp) Megan Angelo LF/CW/Dys
Refuge JJ Blacklocke SF/SO - Tradepoint Sage 1
Second Chances P.D. Cacek SupTh - Fiction Without Frontiers
Night Call (D) Brenden Carlson SF/Cr/M/TechTh/AH - Walking Shadows 1
Judge Fear's Big Day Out and Other Stories Michael Carroll (Ed)
SF/AP/AP - Anthology
Star Trek: The Wisdom of Picard Chip Carter PerfA/SF - Star Trek
One Night Two Souls Went Walking Ellen Cooney LF/CW/Med/VisM
A Contest of Principles Greg Cox SF - Star Trek: The Original Series
The Book of Malachi (D - US) T.C. Farren SF/GenEng/H
Leopard's Rage Christine Feehan PNR - Leopard 13
Spectrum 27: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art John Fleskes (Ed)
Art
Toy Soldiers: The Complete Series (Ke) Devon C. Ford SF/Dys - Toy Soldiers
The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction Neil Gaiman SS
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery (h2tp) Christopher Golden (Ed)
Rachel Autumn Deering (Ed)
F/DF/P/H - Anthology
Sudden Traveler: Stories (h2tp)
Sarah Hall SS
A Longer Fall (h2tp)
Charlaine Harris F/P - Gunnie Rose 2
Refraction Christopher Hinz SF/GenEng
XX (D) Rian Hughes SF/AC/SE/Typography
Reconstruction: Stories Alaya Dawn Johnson F/SS
Warrior of the Altaii Robert Jordan F
The Arrest Jonathan Lethem SF/AP/PA
The Men Who Take Eyes Justin Little AH/Dys
Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons James Lovegrove HistM/Occ/Sup
Kraft Jonas Lüscher
Tess Lewis (Tr)
LF/Satire/Dys
Factory Witches of Lowell C. S. Malerich HistF/DF
The Dark Library Cyrille Martinez
Joseph Patrick Stancil (Tr)
AB/MR/LF
Harmada João Gilberto Noll
Edgar Garbelotto (Tr)
LF/Psy/AB
Queen of the North Anne O'Brien Hist/HistR/CoA/AH
At the Lucky Hand: aka The Sixty-Nine Drawers Goran Petrović
Peter Agnone (Tr)
MR/LF
Bloodquest Gordon Rennie SF/AC - Warhammer 40,000
The Auctioneer (ri)
Joan Samson H
The Chimera Code (D) Wayne Santos SF
Secret Santa Andrew Shaffer H/HU/SupTh
The Darkest King: William's Story Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld 15
On the Beach (ri)
Nevil Shute AH/Hist
Living Forever and Other Terrible Ideas Emily C Skaftun SF/HU/SS
The Troll Guide Anders Skoglind F/HU/FairyT/FolkT/LM
The Rush's Edge (D) Ginger Smith SF/SO
Familiar Spirit Lisa Tuttle H - Paperbacks from Hell
From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back Various MTI/SF/SO - Star Wars
From a Certain Point of View: Star Wars (h2tp) Various MTI/SF/SO - Star Wars
The Fires of Vengeance Evan Winter F - The Burning 2
The Green and the Gray (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF
Manta's Gift (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF
 
 
 
November 11, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law: A Tor.com Original (e)
Lavie Tidhar DF
 
 
 
November 13, 2020
TITLE AUTHOR SERIES
The Bite of the Jackal (Ke) Paolo Di Orazio H
Nucleation (D) Kimberly Unger SF/HSF/AC
 
 
 
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.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC AuthorsThe View From Monday - November 23, 2020Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC AuthorsInterview with Essa Hansen, author of Nophek Gloss2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - November 2020 DebutsThe View From Monday - November 16, 2020Days of the Dead Tour - The Badass Women of the Assassins of Landria by Gail Z. MartinInterview with Wayne Santos, author of The Chimera CodeInterview with Ginger Smith, author of The Rush's EdgeThe View From Monday - November 9, 2020

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