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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 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 2017 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 September 30, 2017.

Vote for your favorite September 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Kapo Ng




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Will Staehle




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Adam Laszczuk




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by Ignacio Lazcano




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Adam Hall




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

Interview with Brad Abraham, author of Magicians Impossible


Please welcome Brad Abraham to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Magicians Impossible is published on September 12th by Thomas Dunne Books.

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



Interview with Brad Abraham, author of Magicians Impossible




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

Brad:  Thank-you for having me! I’ve been writing professionally for 18 years, first as a screenwriter and journalist, then as a comic book creator and (now) a novelist. Writing is something I kind of fell into, though not entirely by accident. Growing up I wanted to be a filmmaker – a movie director, specifically – and on graduating high school I went to film school to learn how to do just that. But over that program – 4 years - I found that the writing process was the part of filmmaking I loved the most; I enjoyed creating the world and populating it with interesting people much more than trying to execute it on screen. In my senior year I wrote and directed one film, but co-wrote several others, and found that experience a lot less nerve wracking than directing. Following film school, I decided I was going to focus on screenwriting as a profession, which was quite a struggle. It took about three years from graduation to “break in”. I’ve been successful at screenwriting, but I wanted to branch out into other areas of storytelling. I freelanced as a journalist, I created an acclaimed comic book series, and began to dip my toe into writing novels, where Magicians Impossible was born.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Brad:  I’m much more of a hybrid if I’m anything. I do outline everything before I write, and I spend a lot of time writing biographies of all my characters no matter how minor they may seem to be. I find outlining helps me “break the story” to use TV terms – to figure out what happens and to whom. But once I start drafting the story I’m prone to taking things in a different direction when the mood suits me. To me an outline is like your first draft of the story; if along the way I find a better way to get to the destination I have in mind, I’ll feel safe to divert off the path I’ve mapped and take a different route to get there. Magicians Impossible changed a fair bit between outline and finished draft, particularly the back half of the story, but to me that’s a natural part of the storytelling process. Any writer will tell you they could still go back and noodle with a book that’s already been published; you can come up with a great idea after you’ve finished your draft and will want to go back in and see how that will fit together. But in my outline I had my ending in mind before I started the writing, right down to the last sentence in the book. That remained constant; it was just the journey Jason Bishop took to get there that became a little more labyrinthine.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Brad:  Well, since becoming a father and juggling being a stay-at-home dad with being a work-from home writer, just finding time to write is the biggest challenge. I used to be able to devote a full working day to writing; now I have maybe half of that, as my day is occupied by dad stuff. That said, since becoming a father and having less time to write, I feel my writing has improved overall. I don’t have as much time to write so I make sure to maximize what time I do have. Because writing is my day job it helps to treat that like work. I focus on deadlines – personal or imposed – and I determine how many words a day I need to write to finish by that deadline. That’s basically it.



TQHow do writing films and TV series affect your novel writing?

Brad:  It’s certainly impacted how I write a novel, mostly in plotting and structuring. Film and TV writing is very structured, with three acts for film, five acts for TV. Having a solid background in structuring a story saved my life on many occasions, especially when writing Magicians Impossible and deciding I wanted to take the story in a different direction. Having a framework already in place meant I could see where the changes I wanted to make would impact the overall story, and adjust accordingly. If I’d just started writing without that roadmap I would have been lost, and the reader would have been just as lost. Film and TV, like publishing, is also very deadline-oriented, and I’ve never missed a deadline – even when I injured my back the month before Magicians was due I soldiered on, even when the pain became so unbearable I couldn’t sit at my desk for more than an hour!



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Brad:  Life. Travel. Experience. For me, getting away from my desk and experiencing life is the best tool you have as a writer. The globe-trotting aspects of Magicians Impossible are drawn largely from my own travels; the portions of the story that are set in Paris are directly influence by a trip I took there in 2011, from the Louvre right down to the location of a famous French film director’s grave. I also visited Stockholm, which has a minor role in the story, and Cold Spring New York, which is Jason’s hometown, is a couple hours from where I live. I visited that town some years ago and was captivated both by its beauty, but also by its history and its geography, particularly Storm King Mountain, which features in the story in a pretty big way. To me, travel is where I’m going to get ideas for stories I have yet to write. And it doesn’t have to be international travel either; even visiting a different part of your city or state can be enough to spark the idea.



TQDescribe Magicians Impossible in 140 characters or less.

Brad:  Jason Bishop learns his late father was a magic-wielding secret agent, and that those responsible for his father’s murder are now after him.



TQTell us something about Magicians Impossible that is not found in the book description.

BradMagicians Impossible is structured like a magic act, and is itself a puzzle-box of a story. The story you’re reading – and the one Jason is told – is not necessarily the truth. I’m a big fan of books that have a re-read value and aspired to that level. A second read of Magicians Impossible will be a much different experience than your first. A lot of people have told me they liked it on the first read but absolutely LOVED it on the second, where they could see how the pieces fit together.



TQWhat inspired you to write Magicians Impossible? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary Fantasy?

BradMagicians Impossible actually began its life as a bit of mangled syntax. I was trying to say “Mission Impossible” and it came out as “Magicians Impossible”. I thought it was a great title in search of a story, and it was a while before I latched onto one. Originally the magicians of the title were supposed to be stage magicians, acrobats, masters of disguise. It was my editor at St. Martins Press who thought “real” magic should be the element to tell the story – and he was right. To be honest when I sat down to write Magicians Impossible I wasn’t thinking of it as Contemporary Fantasy; I just wanted to tell a story. What appealed to me about working in that genre was the idea of a secret world running parallel with our own mundane world. That those witches and wizards and lands of magic I read about as a child still exist and still walk among us. We all could use a little fantasy and escape in our lives.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Magicians Impossible?

Brad:  I tried to avoid any similar stories – book, movies, TV – and just focus on telling my own. But what I did do was read a lot of folklore and mythology; particularly European and Middle-Eastern. For every page of my book there are probably ten pages of research, especially when we start getting into the origins of our rival magical clans The Invisible Hand and The Golden Dawn. I wanted everything magical in the book to have grounding in the folklore of our world, and didn’t want to be specifically tied to a Western or North American myth. An example of that would be the story within the story Allegra Sand tells Jason Bishop about an ancient chess game, which is inspired in part by a Middle Eastern fable. Another central idea – of the boundaries between the magical and mortal worlds – comes from a wide range of cultures, but the ones in Magicians I drew from Celtic legend. And the notion of Balance; what both sides of this conflict are seeking to either protect or undo is a very Eastern philosophy – think Yin and Yang. So there’s a real mix of real-world mythology and beliefs that serve as backdrop in the book.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Magicians Impossible.

Brad:  The cover is awesome. And what makes it awesome is it’s a great blend of iconic spy imagery like James Bond with the element of the fantastic of smoke and fire. I think that image paired with the book’s title basically tells you everything you need to know about the book without reading the jacket copy or plot synopsis. If the cover grabs you, the book will too.



TQIn Magicians Impossible who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Brad:  The easiest and most difficult characters to write were the father and the son respectively. Damon King, the magic-wielding secret agent was a blast to write because he’s at the peak of his powers, fast with the quip, and lethal with a deck of cards. He was just a fun character to write, despite being only a small part of the story. The flipside of that was Jason, who was much more difficult because his was the dominant POV, and the character who took us into this world. I had to do a lot of heavy lifting to make sure he felt like a real person. He’s very much me at a much younger age when I was still trying to get my act together. He also had to carry the story on his shoulders. The other characters in the story are all a lot flashier, but Jason needed to be grounded in our reality not theirs.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Magicians Impossible?

Brad:  On the surface social issues might not appear to be a big part of Magicians Impossible; I shied away from tackling specific real-world problems, but if you dig a little under the surface you will find them. The Invisible Hand and The Golden Dawn are both populated by a very diverse group of characters from all cultures and all walks of life. In fact Jason Bishop – American/Caucasian/Male – is the anomaly. There isn’t another character in the book aside from Damon, his father, who shares that background. To me the idea of these magic users being the rarest of a rare breed meant that had to be from places other than America. It made sense to me that they’d be a diverse bunch.



TQWhich question about Magicians Impossible do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Brad:  The question I have yet to be asked about Magicians Impossible is the one question seemingly every author is asked about their debut book; “how autobiographical is this novel?”

The answer: much more than I expected. To me the hallmark of good writing is authenticity; that you can tell when a writer has experienced the things they are putting their characters through. Magicians Impossible is most autobiographical as it pertains to Jason’s relationship with his family. I’m the child of divorce, and it wasn’t until very late in the game that I realized a lot of Jason’s baggage was my baggage; coming to terms with a divorce of sorts that happened decades before. Like Jason I too have found myself haunted by and obsessed with moments from my past. And also like Jason, I overcame those memories and moments and came to accept and embrace my place in the world. The journey Jason undertakes in is less about becoming a Mage as it is about becoming Jason Bishop – or at least the person he needs to become to survive in this strange new world.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Magicians Impossible.

Brad:

“The Invisible Hand is a secret society, comprised of individuals of great ability, skilled in the arts of espionage and wielding magic – real magic – as a weapon. Through deception we wage war, and with magic, we hope to win it.” – Carter Block

“First lesson, genius? Prophesies are bullshit; especially Great White Savior ones. Everybody comes to this place thinking they’re the next Mozart so you can imagine the disappointed look on their faces when they learn they’re Salieri at best.” – Allegra Sand



TQWhat's next?

Brad:  I’m about a third of the way through my next novel, which, like Magicians Impossible, is a bit of a genre mash up. I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s still very much a work in progress, but it’s basically The Breakfast Club meets Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. It’s based both on my own teenage years, but also the books and movies and music I consumed at that age. Its scope is not as epic as Magicians, but it has a lot more moving parts, and I’m having an absolute blast writing it.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Brad:  Thanks for having me!





Magicians Impossible
Thomas Dunne Books, September 12, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Brad Abraham, author of Magicians Impossible
Magicians Impossible is a mind-bending page-turner! A brilliant and unique mash-up of spells, myth and mayhem, once it got its claws in me I couldn't put it down. Like a veteran stage magician, Brad Abraham has created a hip thriller that turns convention on its ear with misdirection and mayhem. A must read for enthusiasts of edgy and extreme fiction.” —Don Coscarelli, director of John Dies At The End

Twenty-something bartender Jason Bishop’s world is shattered when his estranged father commits suicide, but the greater shock comes when he learns his father was a secret agent in the employ of the Invisible Hand; an ancient society of spies wielding magic in a centuries-spanning war. Now the Golden Dawn—the shadowy cabal of witches and warlocks responsible for Daniel Bishop’s murder, and the death of Jason’s mother years beforehave Jason in their sights. His survival will depend on mastering his own dormant magic abilities; provided he makes it through the training.

From New York, to Paris, to worlds between worlds, Jason's journey through the realm of magic will be fraught with peril. But with enemies and allies on both sides of this war, whom can he trust? The Invisible Hand, who’ve been more of a family than his own family ever was? The Golden Dawn, who may know the secrets behind his mysterious lineage? For Jason Bishop, only one thing is for certain; the magic he has slowly been mastering is telling him not to trust anybody.





About Brad

Interview with Brad Abraham, author of Magicians Impossible
Courtesy of Brad Abraham
Brad Abraham is a writer whose previous work includes the feature films Fresh Meat and Stonehenge Apocalypse, as well as the TV miniseries Robocop Prime Directives. He is creator of the acclaimed comic book series Mixtape, has written for such publications as Dreamwatch, Starburst, and Fangoria, and was a long-time contributor to Rue Morgue Magazine. A native of Ottawa, Canada, he lives in NYC. Magicians Impossible is his first novel.







Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @NotBradAbraham


The View From Monday - September 11, 2017

It's Monday... again. Not the best Monday for many, many people. If you are inclined to help those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, please check out the list compiled by author Tobias Buckell here. To help in the United States if you'd like, please check out Charity Navigator for Hurricane Irma here and Hurricane Harvey here.

The Texas Library Association has set up a Disaster Relief Fund to help Texas libraries affected by Harvey. Read more about that here.



This week there are 2 debuts:

Magicians Impossible by Brad Abraham;

and

An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King.

The View From Monday - September 11, 2017The View From Monday - September 11, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

My House Gather Desires by Adam McOmber is out in print;

and

Split Feather (Daughter of the Midnight Sun 1) by Deborah A. Wolf.

The View From Monday - September 11, 2017The View From Monday - September 11, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - September 11, 2017



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

September 11, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Tricks of the Trade (e)(ri) Laura Anne Gilman UF - Paranormal Scene Investigations 3
A Tangled Web: A Fantasy Retelling of a Greek Mythology Romance (e) Mercedes Lackey FR - A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms



September 12, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Magicians Impossible (D) Brad Abraham CF/P
A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation Zachary Auburn SF/AC/HU
The War Dogs Trilogy Greg Bear SF/SO - War Dogs
The Abandoned Heart (h2tp) Laura Benedict Gothic - Bliss House 3
Iraq + 100: The First Anthology of Science Fiction to have Emerged from Iraq Hassan Blasim (Ed) SF/AH/CulH - Anthology
Havergey John Burnside SF/AP/PA
Retrograde Peter Cawdron SF
Sirius: A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History (h2tp) Jonathan Crown LF
Werebiker (e) Paige Cuccaro PNR
All the Light There Is Anise Eden PRS -  Healing Edge 3
Blood Guard (e) Megan Erickson PNR - Mission 1
The Twilight Pariah Jeffrey Ford DF/H
Taste of Marrow Sarah Gailey HistF/AH - River of Teeth 2
Blood Vengeance (e) Yasmine Galenorn PNR - Bewitching Bedlam Novellete
Constantine: A History (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Hunter's Season (e) Thea Harrison PNR - Elder Races Novella 4.7
The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows Kij Johnson LF/Hist/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Butcher Bird: A Novel of the Dominion (ri) Richard Kadrey UF/P/DF
An Excess Male (D) Maggie Shen King SF
Doom with a View Kate Kingsbury PM - Merry Ghost Inn Mystery 2
Intimations: Stories (h2tp) Alexandra Kleeman LF
The Horned Blade Richard A. Knaak F - Legends of the Dragonrealm: Turning War 3
Deadland: Valkyrie Rising Paul Mannering SF/AP/PA
Rising Darkness Shannon Mayer UF/FR/P - Rylee Adamson 9
My House Gathers Desires Adam McOmber F/HistF.LF - American Readers Series
Hath No Fury Melanie R. Meadors (Ed)
J.M. Martin (Ed)
F - Anthology
After the Flare Deji Bryce Olukotun Dys/SF/CyP/AP/PA - Nigerians in Space 2
The Two of Swords: Part Seventeen (e) K. J. Parker F - Two of Swords
Infinity Wars Jonathan Strahan (Ed) SF - Anthology
Darkness Visible: Inside the World of Philip Pullman and His Dark Materials Nicholas Tucker LC/SF/F
Supernatural: The Men of Letters Bestiary: Winchester Family Edition Tim Waggoner Occ/Sup
The Man in the Tree Sage Walker SF
Worlds From the Word’s End Joanna Walsh LF/Absurdist/HU/SS
Thessaly: The Just City, The Philosopher Kings, Necessity Jo Walton F/SF/TT/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Thessaly Omnibus
Split Feather Deborah A. Wolf UF/DF - Daughter of the Midnight Sun 1



September 13, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Homecoming (e) Brian Francis Slattery UF/M - Bookburners Season 3 #9



September 15, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Geeky Chef Strikes Back! Cassandra Reeder Cooking - Geeky Chef 2



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



Absurdist - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
RSus - Romantic Suspense
Satire - Satire
Sc - Science
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


There are 11 debut novels for September.

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

The September 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 September cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 15, 2017.

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 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Brad Abraham

Magicians Impossible
Thomas Dunne Books, September 12, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Magicians Impossible is a mind-bending page-turner! A brilliant and unique mash-up of spells, myth and mayhem, once it got its claws in me I couldn't put it down. Like a veteran stage magician, Brad Abraham has created a hip thriller that turns convention on its ear with misdirection and mayhem. A must read for enthusiasts of edgy and extreme fiction.” —Don Coscarelli, director of John Dies At The End

Twenty-something bartender Jason Bishop’s world is shattered when his estranged father commits suicide, but the greater shock comes when he learns his father was a secret agent in the employ of the Invisible Hand; an ancient society of spies wielding magic in a centuries-spanning war. Now the Golden Dawn—the shadowy cabal of witches and warlocks responsible for Daniel Bishop’s murder, and the death of Jason’s mother years beforehave Jason in their sights. His survival will depend on mastering his own dormant magic abilities; provided he makes it through the training.

From New York, to Paris, to worlds between worlds, Jason's journey through the realm of magic will be fraught with peril. But with enemies and allies on both sides of this war, whom can he trust? The Invisible Hand, who’ve been more of a family than his own family ever was? The Golden Dawn, who may know the secrets behind his mysterious lineage? For Jason Bishop, only one thing is for certain; the magic he has slowly been mastering is telling him not to trust anybody.





James Bradley

Clade
Titan Books, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
     Science Fiction \ Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
On a beach in Antarctica, scientist Adam Leith marks the passage of the summer solstice. Back in Sydney his partner Ellie waits for the results of her latest round of IVF treatment.

That result, when it comes, will change both their lives and propel them into a future neither could have predicted. In a collapsing England, Adam will battle to survive an apocalyptic storm. Against a backdrop of growing civil unrest at home, Ellie will discover a strange affinity with beekeeping. In the aftermath of a pandemic, a young man finds solace in building virtual recreations of the dead. And new connections will be formed from the most unlikely beginnings.





Joseph Brassey

Skyfarer
Angry Robot, September 5, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
     Epic Fantasy/ Science Fiction
     (Solo Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
An apprentice sorceress is dragged into a vicious quest across an endless sky in this Star Wars-inspired space fantasy

The Axiom Diamond is a mythical relic, with the power to show its bearer any truth they desire. Men have sought for it across many continents for centuries, but in vain. When trainee sorceress Aimee de Laurent’s first ever portal-casting goes awry, she and her mentor are thrown into the race to find the gem, on the skyship Elysium. Opposing them are the infamous magic-wielding knights of the Eternal Order and their ruthless commander, Lord Azrael, who will destroy everything in their path…

File UnderFantasy [ Diamond in the Sky | Quest for Truth | Knights Magical | Eternity & Beyond ]





Adam Burch

Song of Edmon
The Fracture Worlds 1
47North, September 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 444 pages
     Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In Adam Burch’s thrilling series debut, a young man must choose between violence and peace in a distant world divided between those who thrive in endless sunlight and those who survive in eternal darkness.

The isolated planet of Tao is a house divided: the peaceful Daysiders live in harmony while the pale Nightsiders pursue power and racial purity through the violent ritual of the Combat.

Edmon Leontes, the gentle son of a ruthless warrior noble and a proud Daysider, embodies Tao’s split nature. The product of diametrically opposed races, Edmon hopes to live a quiet life pursuing the music of his mother’s people, but his Nightsider father cruelly forces him to continue in his bloody footsteps to ensure his legacy.

Edmon’s defiance will cost him everything…and spark a revolution that will shake the foundations of Tao. His choice—to embrace the light or surrender to the darkness—will shape his own fate and that of his divided world.





Catherine Burns

The Visitors
Gallery/Scout Press, September 26, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Psychological Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
“Once you start Catherine Burns's dark, disturbing, and enthralling debut novel, it's hard to stop. The Visitors is bizarrely unsettling, yet compulsively readable.” —Iain Reid, internationally bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things

With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces.

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side....





Rick Claypool

Leech Girl Lives
Spaceboy Books LLC, September 26, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 322 pages
     Post-Apocalyptic / Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
“I used to live in the future. Giant leeches ate my arms and then replaced them. Under the circumstances, this was actually a good thing. Anyway now I’m here and I’m looking for someone else from the future.” 

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

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

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





Randal Graham

Beforelife: A Likely Story
ECW Press, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 536 pages
     Fantasy / Science Fiction / Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It’s okay if you don’t believe in the afterlife. The people who live there don’t believe in you, either.

What if you went to heaven and no one there believed in Earth? This is the question at the heart of Beforelife, a satirical novel that follows the post-mortem adventures of widower Ian Brown, a man who dies on the book’s first page and finds himself in an afterlife where no one else believes in “pre-incarnation.” The other residents of the afterlife have mysteriously forgotten their pre-mortem lives and think that anyone who remembers a mortal life is suffering from a mental disorder called the “Beforelife Delusion.”

None of that really matters to Ian. All he wants to do is reunite with Penelope, his wife. Scouring the afterlife for any sign of her, Ian accidentally winds up on a quest to prove that the beforelife is real. This puts him squarely into the crosshairs of some of history’s greatest heroes and villains, all of whom seem unhealthily obsessed with erasing Ian’s memories and preventing him from reminding anyone of their pre-mortem lives. Only by staying a step ahead of his enemies can Ian hope to keep his much-needed marbles, find Penelope, and restore the public’s memories of the beforelife.





Holly Goddard Jones

The Salt Life
G.P. Putnam's Sons, September 5, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
     Literary / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic
     (SpecFic Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump “the Salt Line.”

How far will they go for their freedom—once they decide what freedom really means?

In an unspecified future, the United States’ borders have receded behind a salt line—a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.

Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks—and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.





Maggie Shen King

An Excess Male
Harper Voyager, September 12, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
     Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classics The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son.

Now 40 million of them can't find wives.

China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all-too-plausible future.





Annalee Newitz

Autonomous
Tor Books, September 19, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand.

And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?





Adrian J. Walker

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
#1 International Bestseller

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

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

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

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September DebutsInterview with Brad Abraham, author of Magicians ImpossibleThe View From Monday - September 11, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts

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