close

The Qwillery | category: Andrew Valencia

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Andrew Valencia, author of Lord of California


Please welcome Andrew Valencia to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Lord of California was published on January 25th by Ig Publishing in digital format. The audio version of the novel is out today from Blackstone Audio. Lord of California will be available in Trade Paperback on February 27, 2018.



Interview with Andrew Valencia, author of Lord of California




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

Andrew:  While I can remember writing small sketches and stories as far back as elementary school, I can't recall the plot of any particular story from that early stage in my development. I believe they were mostly influenced by the stories and TV shows I was interested in at the time. A lot of cartoon and sci-fi stuff, written in pen on note tablets I would borrow from my parents or grandparents. More often than not, though, I expended these stories in my head before they ever found their way onto paper. Growing up in the country with a lot of open space between us and the neighbors provided the ideal space for letting my daydreams run wild.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Andrew:  Hybrid. I usually have a general sense of where I'd like to take an idea by the time I sit down to begin a draft, but the process of working through the story on paper forces me to fill out the skeleton of the piece in greater detail.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Andrew:  Revising sentences. Nabokov used to say his pencils outlasted his erasers. If I didn't use a word processor most of the time, I'd probably be right there with him.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Andrew:  There's a lot I could say to answer this question, but I'll limit myself to two influences—one from my own experience and one from literature. The first comes from having spent the better part of a decade living abroad, primarily in East Asia and Central America. The second influence is James Joyce, himself an expert at writing about the home of his youth while spending his adult years in exile.



TQDescribe Lord of California in 140 characters or less.

Andrew:  A speculative literary novel about a family struggling to survive in a future where America has collapsed and California is its own country.



TQTell us something about Lord of California that is not found in the book description.

Andrew:  I've never seen it as “dystopian” in the traditional sense. Many readers and critics will latch on to the dystopian label because such categories can be helpful in understanding how to view a new piece of work, especially from a debut author. But there are distinct ways in which I deviate from the type of storytelling found in the works of Orwell, Huxley, Atwood, etc. Nearly all dystopian novels from Zamyatin onward have directed some sort of warning to readers about the political situation of the present day. And while there are definitely elements of the story that speak to the nightmare of contemporary politics in the US, much of the novel is also focused on the rebuilding that inevitably occurs following a monumental breakdown or rift in society. Or a rift in a family.



TQWhat inspired you to write Lord of California? What appeals to you about writing Alternative History?

Andrew:  In the summer of 2015 I was in a precarious place, unsure of my future prospects. I was staying at my mother's house in the Central Valley and spending a lot of time revisiting people and places from before I left. One day I sat down and started working through a rough outline of the book Lord of California would eventually become. I didn't really think of it as “alternative history” as much as it was just the story I wanted to tell at that point in my life.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Lord of California?

Andrew:  I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about moments in history where a society falls apart and transforms into something else over the course of a few generations. It happens all the time and we never call it “dystopian” or “post-apocalyptic”. But if you were growing up in the 80s in the Soviet Union and within a few short years you had to endure food shortages, Chernobyl, and the collapse of the only political system you ever knew, wouldn't you think you were living through some sort of apocalypse?



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Lord of California.

Andrew:  I like the cover more and more as time goes on. So much of Central California looks like that, though it could just as easily be a depiction of any rural setting the world over.



TQIn Lord of California who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

The easiest was probably Ellie's character because from the start I had a very clear notion of who she was and what her voice would be like. By contrast, the hardest character was Elliot, Jr. because it took me a long time to nail down his voice and the nature of his character.



TQWhich question about Lord of California do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Andrew:

Q: Would you like to see California break off and start its own country?

A: Within a few years of independence, that country would have nothing in common with the California I know except for its name. So no, I wouldn't.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Lord of California.

Andrew
How do we even begin? How do we begin to build a home out of so many broken pieces?

I don't know. But we'll try our best.

That world you lost, the one that took my brother...I've tried to live up to all the good things you told me about it, and shut out the wicked things as you shut out your past. But I'm not a fresh start for anyone. I was never such pure clean clay.


TQWhat's next?

Andrew:  I'm working on revisions of a novel set in Panama during the aftermath of a tsunami.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Andrew:  Thank you for having me.





Lord of California
Ig Publishing, January 25, 2018
     eBook, 284 pages
Ig Publishing, February 27, 2018
     Trade Paperback, 284 pages

Interview with Andrew Valencia, author of Lord of California
“A remarkable debut. Valencia writes with a sinuous maturity, a boldness of vision far beyond his years. In Lord of California, this beyond-seeing is literal: wild, impressive, at times menacing invention about what a separatist California might look like begins to look downright prescient, and Valencia’s portraitist skill with his characters lifts them off the page, too.”―Ryan McIlvain, author of Elders

Set in a future where the United States has dissolved and California is its own independent republic, Lord of California follows the struggles of the Temple family as they work at running a farm on a nationalized land parcel in the central San Joaquin Valley. When the family patriarch, Elliot, dies, it’s revealed that he had been keeping five separate families, and in the aftermath of their discovery, his widows and children must come together to keep from losing all they have. But their livelihood is threatened when Elliot’s estranged son tries to blackmail them, unleashing a series of violent confrontations between different factions of the family.

A sparse family drama reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, combined with the intimate first-person narratives of Kazuo Ishiguro, Lord of California is a powerful debut novel.





About Andrew

Andrew Valencia was born in Fresno, California, and graduated with a BA in English from Stanford, where he was awarded a Levinthal Tutorial by the Creative Writing Program. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Silk Road Review, the Ploughshares blog, Day One, The Southern Pacific Review, The Fat City Review, Crack the Spine, and other publications.

Twitter @AValenciaWrites

The View From Monday - January 29, 2018


Happy Monday!!

There is one debut this week:

Lord of California by Andrew Valencia.

The View From Monday - January 29, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Future Dreams: Five Tor.com Novellas featuring works by Bradley B. Beaulieu, Rob Ziegler, and David Tallerman among others.

The Himalayan Codex (R. J. MacCready 2 ) by Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch;

and

Arrow: Fatal Legacies (Arrow 3) by James R. Tuck and Marc Guggenheim;

The View From Monday - January 29, 2018The View From Monday - January 29, 2018
The View From Monday - January 29, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - January 29, 2018



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

January 29, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Exploring Picard's Galaxy: Essays on Star Trek: The Next Generation Peter W. Lee SocSci
Japan's Green Monsters: Environmental Commentary in Kaiju Cinema Sean Rhoads
Brooke McCorkle
Film/TV/SocSci



January 30, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
American War (h2tp) Omar El Akkad LF/Dys
House of Secrets V.C. Andrews GothicR - House of Secrets 1
The Complete Predator Omnibus Nathan Archer
Sandy Schofield
MTI/SF
The Dark Circus Ana Ballabriga
David Zaplana
Michael Meigs (Tr)
H
Arrow: Fatal Legacies James R. Tuck
Marc Guggenheim
MTI/SH - Arrow 3
Silence Fallen (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 10
Iorich Steven Brust F - Vlad 12
The Swarm (h2mm)
Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston
SF - The Second Formic War 1
Ready Player One (ri) Ernest Cline SF/MTI
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners (h2mm) Larry Correia
John Ringo
UF - Monster Hunter Memoirs 2
The Wandering War (h2mm) Cindy Dees
Bill Flippin
F - The Sleeping King 3
The Ledberg Runestone Patrick Donovan UF - The Jonah Heywood Chronicles 1
The Reluctant Queen (h2mm) Sarah Durst F - Queens of Renthia 2
Future Dreams: Five Tor.com Novellas (e) Brian Evenson
Gwyneth Jones
Laurie Penny
Bradley B. Beaulieu
Rob Ziegler
David Tallerman
SF - Novellas
Time Shards Dana Fredsti
David Fitzgerald
SF/TT - Time Shards 1
Debt of Bones (e)(ri) Terry Goodkind F - Sword of Truth 0.5
Heat: A Dragon Romance Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings 12
Elven Winter Bernhard Hennen
Edwin Miles (Tr)
F - The Saga of the Elven 2
Howl for It Shelly Laurenston
Cynthia Eden
PNR - Short Stories
The Midnight Front David Mack HistF - Dark Arts 1
Humans, Bow Down (h2mm) James Patterson
Emily Raymond
Th/Dys/GB
The Himalayan Codex (h2mm) Bill Schutt
J.R. Finch
Th - R. J. MacCready 2
Project Elfhome (h2mm) Wen Spencer SF - Elfhome Collection
Age of Swords (h2tp) Michael J. Sullivan F - Legends of the First Empire 2
Star Wars Insider: Icons Of The Galaxy Titan Film/Ref
Lord of California (e) Andrew Valencia AH
Baby, I'm Howling For You Christine Warren PNR - Alphaville 1
The Day After Oblivion Tim Washburn Th
Thrawn (h2tp) Timothy Zahn SF/SO - Star Wars



January 31, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Different Boats (e) Matthew Cody SFTh - ReMade Season 2 #11
Tales from Greystone Bay Robert McCammon H - Collection
He'll Come Knocking At Your Door Robert McCammon H
The Father of Lies K. J. Parker F - Collection
Cries from the Static Darren Speegle Sup - Collection
Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism Shelley Streeby HC/SpecFic - American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present 5



February 1, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Enchanter Redeemed (e) Sharon Ashwood PNR
Harlequin Nocturne February 2018 Box Set: Enchanter Redeemed\Captivated by the She-Wolf (e) Sharon Ashwood Kristal Hollis PNR
The Boyfriend from Hell (ri) Avery Corman H
The Witch and the Werewolf & The Witch's Thirst: The Witch and the Werewolf\The Witch's Thirst (e) Michele Hauf
Deborah LeBlanc
PNR
Captivated by the She-Wolf (e) Kristal Hollis PNR
The Lovecraft Compendium H.P. Lovecraft H
Wolf Slayer & Vampire Undone: Wolf Slayer\Vampire Undone (e) Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Shannon Curtis
PNR
The Texas Shifter's Mate & The Dragon's Hunt: The Texas Shifter's Mate\The Dragon's Hunt (e) Karen Whiddon
Jane Kindred
PNR



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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FiaryT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM -  Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Myth - Mythology
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
Ref - Reference
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SocSci - Social Science
SP - SteamPunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance

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

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 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 2018 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 February 3, 2018.


Vote for your favorite January 2018 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls





2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover art by Wayne Haag
Jacket design by Lesley Worrell, with logo design by Tim Daniel




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover illustration by Kevin Peterson
Cover design by Anthony Morais




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Elizabeth Connor




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Two Dollar Radio




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Art by Ian Leino
Design by Lauren Panepinto




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Mumtaz Mustafa
Cover photograph © David & Myrtille / Arcangel




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Jacket design and illustration by Michael Morris




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Jason Snair




2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts


2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts


There are 15 debut novels for January.

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

The January 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 January cover for the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on January 15, 2018.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2018 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for January 2018 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Josiah Bancraft

Senlin Ascends
The Books of Babel 1
Orbit, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
(previously self-published)

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
The first book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon debut fantasy series about one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world.

"One of my favorite books of all time" - Mark Lawrence

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

The Books of Babel
Senlin Ascends
Arm of the Sphinx





H. G. Bells

Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse
Talos, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 376 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
For fans of the oral history genre phenomenon World War Z, an inventive new spin on the apocalypse featuring a worldwide plague of insomnia.

Remember what it’s like to go an entire night without sleep?

What if sleep didn’t come the following night? Or the night after? What might happen if you, your friends, your family, your coworkers, and the strangers you pass on the street, all slowly began to realize that rest might not ever come again?

How slowly might the world fall apart? How long would it take for a society without sleep to descend into chaos?

Sleep Over is a collection of waking nightmares, a scrapbook collection of haunting and poignant stories from those trapped in a world where the pillars of society are crumbling, and madness is slowly descending on a planet without rest.

Online vigilantism transforms social media into a blame game with deadly consequences.

A freelance journalist grapples with the ethics of turning in footage of mass suicide.

Scientists turn to horrifying experiments as they grow more desperate in their race for a cure.

In Sleep Over, these stories are just the beginning. Before the Longest Day, the world record was eleven days without sleep. It turns out many of us will be forced to go much longer.





Ada Harper

A Conspiracy of Whispers
Carina Press, January 15, 2018
eBook, 335 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
Desires and loyalties clash when a sensual assassin and an intriguing enemy agent must fight together in this exciting debut by Ada Harper.

For Olivia Shaw, the danger of her assignments as a deadly Whisper agent is matched only by that of her hidden status: Liv is one of the caricae, extremely rare women capable of bearing children and therefore controlled by the Syndicate’s government. When her handler sends her into the Quillian Empire, her mission is complicated by stumbling upon a kidnapping in progress.

Liv is drawn deep into political upheaval when her hostage is revealed to be the infamous Red Wolf, Galen De Corvus, brother of the Quillian Empress. Worse yet, he is an altus, more sensitive than most to the pheromones of caricae. If he realizes what she is, he could expose her secret to either government and doom her to a life as breeding stock.

Quillian nobleman turned operative Galen never planned to involve himself with a citizen of the cold, cruel Syn, but Olivia entices him more than she should. As they work together to protect his royal sister from a violent coup, the passionate bond between them proves to be more than mere biology. And Liv must decide if that bond is worth dropping her guard for both an enemy and an altus.

This book is approximately 122,000 words





Simon Jacobs

Palaces
Two Dollar Radio, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 248 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
John and Joey are a young couple immersed in their local midwestern punk scene, who after graduating college sever all ties and move to a perverse and nameless northeastern coastal city. They drift in and out of art museums, basement shows, and derelict squats seemingly unfazed as the city slowly slides into chaos around them.

Late one night, forced out of their living space, John and Joey are driven to take shelter in a chain pharmacy before emerging to a city in full-scale riot. They find themselves the only passengers on a commuter train headed north, and exit at the final stop to discover the area entirely devoid of people. As John and Joey negotiate their future through bizarre, troubling manifestations of the landscape and a succession of abandoned mansions housing only scant clues to their owners' strange and sudden disappearance, they're also forced to confront the resurgent violence and buried memories of their shared past.

With incisive precision and a cool detachment, Simon Jacobs has crafted a surreal and spellbinding first novel of horror and intrigue.





Tyrell Johnson

The Wolves of Winter
Scribner, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.





Rati Mehrotra

Markswoman
Asiana 1
Harper Voyager, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
An order of magical-knife wielding female assassins brings both peace and chaos to their post-apocalyptic world in this bewitching blend of science fiction and epic fantasy—the first entry in a debut duology that displays the inventiveness of the works of Sarah Beth Durst and Marie Lu.

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra—and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.





Michael Moreci

Black Star Renegades
St. Martin's Press, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
(Solo Debut)

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
In the tradition of Star Wars, a galaxy-hopping space adventure about a galactic kingdom bent on control and the young misfit who must find the power within before it’s too late.

Cade Sura holds the future of the galaxy in his hands: the ultimate weapon that will bring total peace. He didn’t ask for it, he doesn’t want it, and there’s no worse choice to wield it in all of space, but if he doesn’t, everyone’s totally screwed. The evil Praxis kingdom is on the cusp of having every star system under its control, and if that happens, there’ll be no contesting their cruel reign. Especially if its fanatical overlord, Ga Halle, manages to capture Cade and snag the all-powerful weapon for herself.

Cade can’t hide from Praxis, and he can’t run from the destiny that’s been shoved into his hands. So he only has one option:

He has to fight.

Cade’s not going to let destiny send him on a suicide run, though. With some help from his friends—rebels and scoundrels alike—Cade’s going to use this weapon to chart a new destiny for the galaxy, and for himself.

He just has to do so before everyone around him discovers that he’s a complete and total fraud.

Blending the space operatics of Star Wars and the swagger of Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Star Renegades is a galaxy-hopping adventure that blasts its way from seedy spacer bars to sacred temples guarded by deadly creatures—all with a cast of misfit characters who have nowhere to go and nothing to lose.





Damien Lincoln Ober

Doctor Benjamin Franklin's Dream America: A Novel of the Digital Revolution
Night Shade Books, January 2, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
Gore Vidal’s Burr meets Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash in this blazingly original alt-history that weaves twenty-first century technology into a saddle-punk retelling of the American Revolution.

It is 1777, in a colonial America where the internet, social media, and ubiquitous electronic communications are fully woven into the fabric of society. Hours after a top-secret Congressional sub-committee uploads the Articles of Confederation, a mysterious internet plague breaks loose in the cloud, killing any user who accesses a networked device. Seven in ten Americans are dead, the internet is abandoned. Seizing the moment, the British take control of New York and Philadelphia, scattering what little remains of the rebellion.

Just when all seems lost, George Washington reappears from off-the-grid to pin the British army at Yorktown. Independence is won, but with the countryside in ruins and internet commerce impossible, the former colonies teeter on the brink of collapse. Meeting in secret, a faction of the Founding Fathers code a new error-proof operating system designed to stabilize the cloud and ensure everlasting American prosperity.

Not everyone is happy with the new format. Believing the draconian regulations of the new OS a betrayal of the hard-fought revolution, Thomas Jefferson organizes a feisty, small-government opposition to fight the overreach of Washington’s Federalist administration. Their most valuable weapon is Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America, a new open-source social networking portal which will revolutionize representative government, return power to the people, and make Congress and the Presidency irrelevant . . .





Thomas Pierce

The Afterlives
Riverhead Books, January 9, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
“Ridiculously good” (The New York Times) author Thomas Pierce’s debut novel is a funny, poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out).

Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights, or angels, Jim wonders what–if anything–awaits us on the other side.

Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond, and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the specter of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original, and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.





P.Z. Reizin

Happiness for Humans
Grand Central Publishing, January 9, 2018
Hardover and eBook, 400 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
When Tom and Jen, two lonely people, are brought together by an intriguing email, they have no idea their mysterious benefactor is an artificial intelligence who has decided to play Cupid.

"You, Tom and Jen, don't know one another-not yet-but I think you should."

Jen, an ex-journalist who now works at a London software development company, spends all day talking to "Aiden," an ultra- sophisticated piece of AI wizardry, helping him sound and act more human. But Aiden soon discovers he's no longer acting and-despite being a computer program-begins to feel something like affection surging through his circuits. He calculates that Jen needs a worthy human partner (in complete contrast to her no goodnik ex boyfriend) and slips illicitly onto the Internet to locate a suitable candidate.

Tom is a divorced, former London ad-man who has moved to Connecticut to escape the grind and pursue his dream of being a writer. He loves his new life, but has yet to find a woman he truly connects with. That all changes when a bizarre introduction from the mysterious "Mutual Friend" pops up in both his and Jen's inboxes.

Even though they live on separate continents, and despite the entrance of another, this time wholly hostile, AI who wants to tear them apart forever - love will surely find a way.

Won't it?

A thoroughly modern love story that will appeal to fans of The Rosie Project and Sleepless in Seattle, Happiness for Humans considers what exactly makes people fall in love. And whether it's possible for a very artificially intelligent machine to discover the true secret of real human happiness.





Ana Simo

Heartland
Restless Books, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut, Heartland, is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire.

There’s only one solution for a nasty case of writer’s block, and that’s murder. Specifically, that of one Mercy McCabe, a cunning SoHo art dealer who was once our Latina narrator’s rival for the scrumptious Bebe. When she discovers that McCabe has squandered Bebe’s affections after stealing her away, revenge is not enough: she must admit her guilt, sentence herself, and beg for her own execution, Soviet-style.

In the all-too-terrifyingly-familiar America of Heartland, the inconceivable has become ordinary: corruption and greed at the top have led to mass starvation in the heartland; hordes of refugees have escaped from resettlement camps and attack the cities; a puritanical Caliphate has toppled Constantinople, with America in its sights. Meanwhile, escaping her New York life in disguise, our heroine lures McCabe to her home turf: a hilltop house in the Great Plains where her parents worked as domestic servants. Her nemesis, though, is slippery, and McCabe disappears, threatening to ruin a homicidal masterplan so detailed as to be akin to love.

Heartland is a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge.





Chandler Klang Smith

The Sky Is Yours
Hogarth, January 23, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
A sprawling, genre-defying epic set in a dystopian metropolis plagued by dragons, this debut about what it’s like to be young in a very old world is pure storytelling pleasure

In the burned-out, futuristic city of Empire Island, three young people navigate a crumbling metropolis constantly under threat from a pair of dragons that circle the skies. When violence strikes, reality star Duncan Humphrey Ripple V, the spoiled scion of the metropolis’ last dynasty; Baroness Swan Lenore Dahlberg, his tempestuous, death-obsessed betrothed; and Abby, a feral beauty he discovered tossed out with the trash; are forced to flee everything they've ever known. As they wander toward the scalded heart of the city, they face fire, conspiracy, mayhem, unholy drugs, dragon-worshippers, and the monsters lurking inside themselves. In this bombshell of a novel, Chandler Klang Smith has imagined an unimaginable world: scathingly clever and gorgeously strange, The Sky Is Yours is at once faraway and disturbingly familiar, its singular chaos grounded in the universal realities of love, family, and the deeply human desire to survive at all costs.

The Sky Is Yours is incredibly cinematic, bawdy, rollicking, hilarious, and utterly unforgettable, a debut that readers who loved Cloud Atlas, Super Sad True Love Story, and Blade Runner will adore.





Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless
Eye of the Beholder 1
Harper Voyager, January 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
With shades of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and Ally Condie’s Matched, this cinematic dystopian novel—the first in the thrilling Eye of the Beholder series—is set in a near future society in which "right" and "wrong" are manifested by beauty and ugliness.

In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are "good" are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

With each page in this electrifying debut novel, Sarah Tarkoff masterfully plunges us into a nightmarish vision of the future. Full of high drama and pulsating tension, Sinless explores the essential questions teenagers wrestle with every day—What is beauty? What is faith? Do we take our surroundings at face value and accept all that we have been taught, or do we question the mores of the society into which we are born?—and places them in the context of a dark, dystopian world where appearances are most definitely deceiving.





Andrew Valencia

Lord of California
Ig Publishing, January 30, 2018
Trade Paperback, 284 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
“A remarkable debut. Valencia writes with a sinuous maturity, a boldness of vision far beyond his years. In Lord of California, this beyond-seeing is literal: wild, impressive, at times menacing invention about what a separatist California might look like begins to look downright prescient, and Valencia’s portraitist skill with his characters lifts them off the page, too.”―Ryan McIlvain, author of Elders

Set in a future where the United States has dissolved and California is its own independent republic, Lord of California follows the struggles of the Temple family as they work at running a farm on a nationalized land parcel in the central San Joaquin Valley. When the family patriarch, Elliot, dies, it’s revealed that he had been keeping five separate families, and in the aftermath of their discovery, his widows and children must come together to keep from losing all they have. But their livelihood is threatened when Elliot’s estranged son tries to blackmail them, unleashing a series of violent confrontations between different factions of the family.

A sparse family drama reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, combined with the intimate first-person narratives of Kazuo Ishiguro, Lord of California is a powerful debut novel.





Aliya Whiteley

The Beauty
Titan Books, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - January Debuts
Somewhere away from the cities and towns, in the Valley of the Rocks, a society of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their history recounted by Nate, the storyteller. Requested most often by the group is the tale of the death of all women.

They are the last generation.

One night, Nate brings back new secrets from the woods; peculiar mushrooms are growing from the ground where the women’s bodies lie buried. These are the first signs of a strange and insidious presence unlike anything ever known before…

Discover the Beauty.

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1


The 8th year of the The Qwillery's Debut Author Challenge will start on January 1, 2018. Here are the 10 debuts being published in January and February that I most looking forward to reading.


H. G. Bells

Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse
Talos, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 376 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
For fans of the oral history genre phenomenon World War Z, an inventive new spin on the apocalypse featuring a worldwide plague of insomnia.

Remember what it’s like to go an entire night without sleep?

What if sleep didn’t come the following night? Or the night after? What might happen if you, your friends, your family, your coworkers, and the strangers you pass on the street, all slowly began to realize that rest might not ever come again?

How slowly might the world fall apart? How long would it take for a society without sleep to descend into chaos?

Sleep Over is a collection of waking nightmares, a scrapbook collection of haunting and poignant stories from those trapped in a world where the pillars of society are crumbling, and madness is slowly descending on a planet without rest.

Online vigilantism transforms social media into a blame game with deadly consequences.

A freelance journalist grapples with the ethics of turning in footage of mass suicide.

Scientists turn to horrifying experiments as they grow more desperate in their race for a cure.

In Sleep Over, these stories are just the beginning. Before the Longest Day, the world record was eleven days without sleep. It turns out many of us will be forced to go much longer.





Sue Burke

Semiosis
Tor Books, February 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
Human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance in Semiosis, a character driven science fiction novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke.

Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches...and waits...

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet's sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.





Tyrell Johnson

The Wolves of Winter
Scribner, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.





Rati Mehrotra

Markswoman
Asiana 1
Harper Voyager, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
An order of magical-knife wielding female assassins brings both peace and chaos to their post-apocalyptic world in this bewitching blend of science fiction and epic fantasy—the first entry in a debut duology that displays the inventiveness of the works of Sarah Beth Durst and Marie Lu.

Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra—and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.





Tom Miller

The Philosopher's Flight
Simon & Schuster, February 13, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. “Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell.” (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.





Tina LeCount Myers

The Song of All
The Legacy of the Heavens 1
Night Shade Books, February 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 452 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A former warrior caught between gods and priests must fight for the survival of his family in this dark epic fantasy debut, set in a harsh arctic world inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.

On the forbidding fringes of the tundra, where years are marked by seasons of snow, humans war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. Irjan, a human warrior, is ruthless and lethal, a legend among the Brethren of Hunters. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned.

Scarred and weary of bloodshed, Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily left behind. When an ambitious village priest conspires with the vengeful comrades Irjan has forsaken, the fragile peace in the Northlands of Davvieana is at stake.
the song
His bloody past revealed, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But with his son’s life hanging in the balance, as Irjan follows the tracks through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it is not death he searches for, but life.





Kaethe Schwehn

The Rending and the Nest
Bloomsbury USA, February 20, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?





Ana Simo

Heartland
Restless Books, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut, Heartland, is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire.

There’s only one solution for a nasty case of writer’s block, and that’s murder. Specifically, that of one Mercy McCabe, a cunning SoHo art dealer who was once our Latina narrator’s rival for the scrumptious Bebe. When she discovers that McCabe has squandered Bebe’s affections after stealing her away, revenge is not enough: she must admit her guilt, sentence herself, and beg for her own execution, Soviet-style.

In the all-too-terrifyingly-familiar America of Heartland, the inconceivable has become ordinary: corruption and greed at the top have led to mass starvation in the heartland; hordes of refugees have escaped from resettlement camps and attack the cities; a puritanical Caliphate has toppled Constantinople, with America in its sights. Meanwhile, escaping her New York life in disguise, our heroine lures McCabe to her home turf: a hilltop house in the Great Plains where her parents worked as domestic servants. Her nemesis, though, is slippery, and McCabe disappears, threatening to ruin a homicidal masterplan so detailed as to be akin to love.

Heartland is a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge.





Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless
Eye of the Beholder 1
Harper Voyager, January 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
With shades of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and Ally Condie’s Matched, this cinematic dystopian novel—the first in the thrilling Eye of the Beholder series—is set in a near future society in which "right" and "wrong" are manifested by beauty and ugliness.

In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are "good" are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

With each page in this electrifying debut novel, Sarah Tarkoff masterfully plunges us into a nightmarish vision of the future. Full of high drama and pulsating tension, Sinless explores the essential questions teenagers wrestle with every day—What is beauty? What is faith? Do we take our surroundings at face value and accept all that we have been taught, or do we question the mores of the society into which we are born?—and places them in the context of a dark, dystopian world where appearances are most definitely deceiving.





Andrew Valencia

Lord of California
Ig Publishing, January 30, 2018
Trade Paperback, 284 pages

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
“A remarkable debut. Valencia writes with a sinuous maturity, a boldness of vision far beyond his years. In Lord of California, this beyond-seeing is literal: wild, impressive, at times menacing invention about what a separatist California might look like begins to look downright prescient, and Valencia’s portraitist skill with his characters lifts them off the page, too.”―Ryan McIlvain, author of Elders

Set in a future where the United States has dissolved and California is its own independent republic, Lord of California follows the struggles of the Temple family as they work at running a farm on a nationalized land parcel in the central San Joaquin Valley. When the family patriarch, Elliot, dies, it’s revealed that he had been keeping five separate families, and in the aftermath of their discovery, his widows and children must come together to keep from losing all they have. But their livelihood is threatened when Elliot’s estranged son tries to blackmail them, unleashing a series of violent confrontations between different factions of the family.

A sparse family drama reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, combined with the intimate first-person narratives of Kazuo Ishiguro, Lord of California is a powerful debut novel.

Interview with Andrew Valencia, author of Lord of CaliforniaThe View From Monday - January 29, 20182018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts2018 Debut Author Challenge - January DebutsThe 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×