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2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36


The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has announced the 2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36:

Nicky Drayden for The Prey of Gods published 6/13/2017 by Harper Voyager with ISBN-13: 978-0062493033

Elan Mastai for All Our Wrong Todays published 2/7/2017 by Dutton with ISBN-13: 978-1101985137

Robyn Bennis for The Guns Above: A Signal Airship Novel published 5/2/2017 by Tor Books with ISBN-13: 978-0765388766

Karin Tidbeck for Amatka published 6/27/2017 by Vintage with ISBN-13: 978-1101973950

Vic James for Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts) published 2/14/2017 by Del Rey with ISBN-13: 978-0425284155

Theodora Goss for The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter published 6/20/2017 by Saga Press with ISBN-13: 978-1481466509

Cat Sparks for Lotus Blue published 3/7/2017 by Talos with ISBN-13: 978-1940456706

The members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. (BSFS) created the Compton Crook Award in 1982 to honor the best first novel of the year written by an individual author (collaborations are not eligible) in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre. Since its inception, the award has been presented at Balticon — the four-day annual Maryland regional science fiction convention produced by BSFS, currently held on Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore, MD area.

The Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award.




2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

*A Wall Street Journal "Summer Reading: One expert. One book" pick for 2017!

*The RT Book Reviews "June 2017: Seal of Excellence" pick!

*A B&N Sci Fi and Fantasy Blog "Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2017 So Far" pick!

*A Book Riot Best Books of 2017 Pick!

*A Vulture "The 10 Best Fantasy Books of 2017" Pick!

From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Trade Paperback published February 20, 2018

One of Wall Street Journal’s Best of 2017

“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.”Entertainment Weekly

“[An] amazing debut novel. . . . Dazzling and complex. . . . Fearlessly funny storytelling.”—The Washington Post

“Instantly engaging. . . . A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers, and others, that show us who we might be, could be—and maybe never should be—that eventually leads us to who we are.”USA Today

Elan Mastai’s acclaimed debut novel is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms.

It’s 2016, and in Tom Barren’s world, technology has solved all of humanity’s problemsthere’s no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocadoes. Unfortunately, Tom isn’t happy. He’s lost the girl of his dreams. And what do you do when you’re heartbroken and have a time machine? Something stupid.

Finding himself stranded in a terrible alternate realitywhich we immediately recognize as our 2016Tom is desperate to fix his mistake and go home. Right up until the moment he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and the woman who may just be the love of his life.

Now Tom faces an impossible choice. Go back to his perfect but loveless life. Or stay in our messy reality with a soulmate by his side. His search for the answer takes him across continents and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his futureour futureis supposed to be.

Filled with humor and heart and packed with insight, intelligence, and mind-bending invention, All Our Wrong Todays is a powerful and moving story of life, loss, and love.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Trade Paperback to be published April 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?
“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Amatka
Vintage, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

ONE OF THE GUARDIAN’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY BOOKS OF 2017

A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.


Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Gilded Cage
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Trade Paperback published July 25, 2017

MAGIC RULES. WE SERVE.

In a darkly fantastical debut set in modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . . .






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Saga Press, June 20, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Trade Paperback to be published on February 27, 2018

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Lotus Blue
Talos, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 388 pages

“Imaginative and richly rendered . . . Sparks frames all of this in haunting, near-poetic detail, such that the readers can smell the toxic red sand and perhaps taste the blood. Recommended for people who crave fresh post-apocalypse chaos—because Sparks’s post-apocalyptic chaos is pretty fresh, at that.”—NK Jemisin, The New York Times

Powerful war machines of the far-future collide across a barren desert world in this post-apocalyptic debut novel from award-winning Australian author Cat Sparks.

Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforgiving section of the Dead Red Heart, a war-ravaged desert landscape plagued by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monsters from a bygone age.

But when the caravan witnesses a relic-Angel satellite unexpectedly crash to Earth, a chain of events begins that sends Star on a journey far away from the life she once knew. Shanghaied upon the sandship Dogwatch, she is forced to cross the Obsidian Sea by Quarrel, an ancient Templar supersoldier. Eventually shipwrecked, Star will have no choice but to place her trust in both thieves and priestesses while coming to terms with the grim reality of her past—and the horror of her unfolding destiny—as the terrible secret her sister had been desperate to protect her from begins to unravel.

Meanwhile, something old and powerful has woken in the desert. A Lotus Blue, deadliest of all the ancient war machines. A warrior with plans of its own, far more significant than a fallen Angel. Plans that do not include the survival of humanity.

The View From Monday - February 19, 2018


Happy Monday! Happy Presidents Day in the USA.

There are 3 debuts this week - Epic Fantasy, Post- Apocalyptic SF, and Horror! Something for everyone.

The Song of All (Legacy of the Heavens 1) by Tina LeCount Myers;

The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn;

and

The Clarity by Keith Thomas.

The View From Monday - February 19, 2018The View From Monday - February 19, 2018
The View From Monday - February 19, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Armored Saint (Sacred Throne 1) by Myke Cole;

and

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is out in Trade Paperback.

The View From Monday - February 19, 2018The View From Monday - February 19, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - February 19, 2018



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

February 19, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Marrying an Alien Pop Star Kendra L. Saunders SFR/AC - The Alien Pop Star 3



February 20, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Taduno's Song (h2tp) Odafe Atogun LF
Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories Kelly Barnhill F - Collection
The Boy on the Bridge (h2tp) M. R. Carey SF/AP/PA
The Clairvoyants (h2tp) Karen Brown SupTh
Shroud of Night Andy Clark SF
The Armored Saint Myke Cole F - Sacred Throne 1
Battle Hymn William C. Dietz SF/AP/PA - America Rising 3
Outpost W. Michael Gear SF/AC - Donovan 1
A Time of Dread John Gwynne F - Of Blood & Bone 1
AWOL Traci Harding F - Time Keeper Trilogy 3
Fright Night: Resurrection (e) Tom Holland H
The Temple (e) Jean Johnson FR - Guardians of Destiny 4
Recluce Tales: Stories from the World of Recluce (h2tp) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - Saga of Recluce
Spaceman of Bohemia (h2tp) Jaroslav Kalfar LF
Cujo (ri) Stephen King H
The One John Marrs LF
All Our Wrong Todays (h2tp) Elan Mastai SF/TT
The Song of All (D) Tina LeCount Myers F - Legacy of the Heavens 1
Curse of the Chosen Richard Phillips F - Endarian Prophecy 3
Embers of War Gareth L. Powell SF - Embers of War 1
All the Names They Used for God: Stories Anjali Sachdeva MR - Collection
The Rending and the Nest (D) Kaethe Schwehn SF/AP/PA
Ambiguity Machines: and Other stories Vandana Singh SF - Collection
The Clarity (D) Keith Thomas H
The Sundering Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer Chronicles
NK3 (h2tp) Michael Tolkin LF/NF
Phosphorus: A Winterstrike Story Liz Williams SF - NewCon Press Novellas Set 3
Scribes James Wolanyk DF - The Scribe Cycle 1



February 22, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gods of the Dark Web Lucas Mangum H
Doctor Who: The Missy Chronicles (e) Cavan Scott
Jacqueline Rayner
Paul Magrs
James Goss
Peter Anghelides
Richard Dinnick
SF - Doctor Who



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



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
LF - Literary Fiction
LitCol - Literary Collection
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
NR - Near Future
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


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


Lena Gregory (2016)

Scone Cold Killer
An All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery 1
Lyrical Underground, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook

For Florida diner owner Gia Morelli, there's no such thing as too much breakfast-unless it kills you . . .

When Gia Morelli's marriage falls apart, she knows it's time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn't want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Cafe. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder . . .



Clairvoyant and Present Danger
A Bay Island Psychic Mystery 3
Berkley, February 6, 2018
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

A haunting vision reveals a ghostly grave in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Occult and Battery.

Whoever said that dead men tell no tales has never met Cass Donnovan…

Cass has always relied on her abilities to guide her, but after communications with a ghost land her in the middle of a murder investigation, she has to wonder if her gifts are really more a curse.

Cass knows she is meant to help track down the killer–much to the chagrin of local law enforcement–when the apparition leads her to a dead body on the beach near her psychic shop, Mystical Musings. But the police are not the only ones who wish Cass would stick to reading palms. Someone is trying to scare her off, and it will take all her powers of premonition to catch the killer before Cass herself becomes the next victim…





Elan Mastai (2017)

All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 20, 2018
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 7, 2017

“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.”Entertainment Weekly

“[An] amazing debut novel. . . . Dazzling and complex. . . . Fearlessly funny storytelling.”The Washington Post

“Instantly engaging. . . . A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers, and others, that show us who we might be, could be—and maybe never should be—that eventually leads us to who we are.”USA Today

Elan Mastai’s acclaimed debut novel is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms.


It’s 2016, and in Tom Barren’s world, technology has solved all of humanity’s problemsthere’s no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocadoes. Unfortunately, Tom isn’t happy. He’s lost the girl of his dreams. And what do you do when you’re heartbroken and have a time machine? Something stupid.

Finding himself stranded in a terrible alternate realitywhich we immediately recognize as our 2016Tom is desperate to fix his mistake and go home. Right up until the moment he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and the woman who may just be the love of his life.

Now Tom faces an impossible choice. Go back to his perfect but loveless life. Or stay in our messy reality with a soulmate by his side. His search for the answer takes him across continents and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his futureour futureis supposed to be.

Filled with humor and heart and packed with insight, intelligence, and mind-bending invention, All Our Wrong Todays is a powerful and moving story of life, loss, and love.





Adelia Saunders (2017)

Indelible
Bloomsbury USA, January 16, 2018
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 17, 2017

A masterful, "seductive" debut novel about fate, family secrets, and the stories our bodies tell (NYTBR).

Magdalena has an unsettling gift. She sees the truth about people written on their skin--names, dates, details both banal and profound--and her only relief from the onslaught of information is to take off her glasses and let the world recede. Mercifully, her own skin is blank.

When she meets Neil, she is intrigued to see her name on his cheek, and she is drawn into a family drama that began more than half a century before, when Neil's father, Richard, was abandoned at birth by his mother, a famous expatriate novelist. As secrets are revealed among forgotten texts in the archives of Paris, on a dusty cattle ranch in the American West, along ancient pilgrim paths, and in a run-down apartment in post-Soviet Lithuania, the novel's unforgettable characters converge--by chance, or perhaps by fate--and Magdalena's uncanny ability may be the key to their happiness.

Interview with Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays


Please welcome Elan Mastai to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. All Our Wrong Todays was published on February 7th by Dutton.



Interview with Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays




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

Elan:  As a kid I loved telling stories, so I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. But professionally I’ve been writing as my job since I was twenty-five and, through a series of misunderstandings, somehow got hired to write my first movie. I’ve been screenwriting ever since, both independently and for the Hollywood studios, but All Our Wrong Todays is my first novel.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Elan:  I’m a hybrid. I tend to marinate on an idea for a long time before I begin writing and a big part of that is working out the main turns of the plot. And I never start the writing process until I feel I’ve got a strong ending in place. Otherwise it’s like going on a road trip with no destination. I need my ending so I can plan the best route to get there. But I also leave a lot of open space to explore the territory and discover the unexpected. I never want a story to be so tightly plotted that the characters don’t have room to surprise me. Some of my favorite moments in All Our Wrong Todays were totally unplanned, but once I found them I couldn’t imagine the book any other way. Also, I’ve never heard either of these terms before—plotter and pantser—and had to look them up before I could answer. So this Q&A has been highly educational already.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Elan:  Curtailing my use of adverbs.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does being a screenwriter influence or not your novel writing?

Elan:  Mostly I’m influenced by other novelists. Off the top of my head: Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K Dick, Aldous Huxley, JK Rowling, Audrey Niffenegger, Junot Diaz, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Dave Eggers, Neal Stephenson, Sheila Heti, Michel Houellebecq, Miranda July, Joseph Heller, Michael Ende, Katherine Paterson, and Daniel Quinn.

Screenwriting definitely influences my novel-writing, in large part because I’ve been a screenwriter for fifteen years and my first novel only came out last month! Screenwriting has a very specific style and it’s a style I’m very comfortable with after all these years. Scripts are always written in the third person, present-tense, with a lean but visually dynamic use of language, and an external perspective on the characters, defining them by what they say and do because there’s no access to their inner thoughts. Now, All Our Wrong Todays isn’t written like that at all. It’s in the first person, it jumps around in time, both figuratively and literally, it explores character interiority with a casual, funny, self-effacing narrative voice. But despite those stylistic differences, I still drew off my screenwriting experience to make sure the novel offer readers a strong visual experience, characters defined by what they say and do, and a pervading sense that every word matters. I was writing a novel, not a movie, but I wanted the book to feel as vivid as a movie being projected into the reader’s brain.



TQDescribe All Our Wrong Todays in 140 characters or less.

Elan:  What if our world is actually a dystopian alternate reality caused by an accident with a stolen prototype time machine?



TQTell us something about All Our Wrong Todays that is not found in the book description.

Elan:  Despite all the fun Jetsons-like technology of the book’s alternate version of the present day, the flying cars and robot maids and teleporters, this is really a book about how the people we’re closest to define us and give our life its meaning and purpose. At its heart, my novel is about figuring out who you are and what kind of future you want to live in.



TQWhat inspired you to write All Our Wrong Todays?

Elan:  When I was growing up, my grandfather had an extensive collection of vintage sci-fi from the 1950s and 1960s, and I loved the pulpy stories but also the wild painted covers of mad scientists, robots, rocketships, and futuristic cityscapes. But even as a kid in the 1980s, I knew there was something off. The future wasn’t turning out the way these authors and artists imagined it would. So I’ve been interested in that notion since childhood—what happened to the future we were supposed to have? More recently, I’ve noticed how much dystopia has been part of our pop culture (and political climate too). It occurred to me that someone of my grandparents’ generation transported to the present day might think our world is just as dystopian as anything in our books and movies. So I was inspired to take my childhood interest in abandoned utopias and marry it with a funny, critical, but still hopeful and compassionate look at the world we live in today, through the fresh eyes of a character who finds himself unexpectedly stranded here. Which, let’s face it, we all are.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for All Our Wrong Todays?

Elan:  I did a bunch of scientific research into various futuristic technologies, how they might work but also why they haven’t yet happened. I also explored ideas of quantum theory, orbital mechanics, radiation, and the nature of time. But I didn’t include the vast majority of my research in the book. My approach is to do way more research than I need to tell the story and only include the most interesting bits for the reader.



TQPlease tell us about All Our Wrong Todays' cover.

Elan:  The cover was designed by Christopher Lin and Zak Tebbal. Because the story explores a character who is propelled out of one version of the world and finds himself stranded in a very different version, we loved the idea of showing two images of the same skyline, one right-side up and one upside-down, so it feels both familiar and disorienting. The skyline itself is from San Francisco, a city that plays an important role in the book, particularly on a crucial day in 1965 when a stolen time machine causes all kinds of havoc. The design in the background is also a sly reference to the image of the “whorl”—which looks nifty but makes a lot more sense once you’ve read the book.



TQIn All Our Wrong Todays who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Elan:  Well, the narrator, Tom, was the easiest because, as a first-person memoir, his perspective defined the book. Once I figured out how Tom saw the world and expressed himself, his voice flowed quite naturally. Also, since it’s my first novel, I chose a narrative voice that I was comfortable writing. I’m not Tom, but there are a lot of similarities between us. Tom is like me, ten years ago, if I hadn’t made some major decisions that took my life in a very different direction than his. I can’t really answer the question about the hardest character to write because it’s a huge spoiler for the book. But later on a significantly different voice narrates a key piece of the story and I found that character very challenging to write, because the point of view is so opposed to mine. It’s not how I see the world and spending time channeling that character’s voice was tough. But it was a necessity for the story I had to tell.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in All Our Wrong Todays?

Elan:  Well, I’m writing about a character from a version of the world where the last five decades played out very differently, who then finds himself stuck in our version of the world and is often appalled by what he finds. Without delving into some thorny and complex modern issues, the story wouldn’t be as dynamic, authentic, or deeply felt. Which is not to say that Tom’s utopian world is without its own blind-spots. Part of Tom’s journey as a character is realizing what he takes for granted, personally and also on a social level. Certain contemporary issues are touchstones for the evolution of his character through the story.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from All Our Wrong Todays.

Elan:

“The problem with knowing people too well is that their words stop meaning anything and their silences start meaning everything.”

“So he did what you do when you’re heartbroken and have a time machine—something stupid.”

Actually, that last one is kind of spoilery, but that’s OK, since it’s also the premise of the novel.



TQWhat's next?

Elan:  I sold the movie rights to All Our Wrong Todays, so right now I’m writing the screenplay adaptation of the book for Paramount Pictures. I’m also about halfway through a second novel. It’s unrelated to my first but shares a similar tone and style.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Elan:  Thanks for having me and asking such thoughtful questions!





All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays
“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.”—Entertainment Weekly

“[An] amazing debut novel…Dazzling and complex…Fearlessly funny storytelling.”—Washington Post

“Instantly engaging…a timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others, that show us who we might be, could be—and maybe never should be—that eventually leads us to who we are.”—USA Today

A Skimm Reads Selection

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed…because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.





About Elan

Interview with Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays
Photo by David Leyes
Elan Mastai was born in Vancouver and lives in Toronto with his wife and children. He is an award-winning screenwriter. This is his first novel.




Website  ~  Twitter @elanmastai

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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 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 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 24, 2017 (unless extended).

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




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Victo Ngai



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by David Palumbo



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Steven Meyer-Rassow



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Dave Stevenson



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Richard Anderson
Lettering and Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover design by Keith Rosson



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket Design by Yang Kim
Jacket Art by Félicien Rops, Satan Semant L'ivraie, 1906, Engraving Colors by Albert
Bertand / Coll. Musée Félicien Rops, Province De Nemur, INV G. E864 / © Musée Rops



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


There are 14 debut novels for February.

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

The February 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 February cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 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 February 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



E. O. Chirovici

The Book of Mirrors
Atria/Emily Bestler Books, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
An elegant, page-turning thriller in the vein of Night Film and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, this tautly crafted novel is about stories: the ones we tell, the ones we keep hidden, and the ones that we’ll do anything to ensure they stay buried.

When literary agent Peter Katz receives a partial book submission entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued by its promise and original voice. The author, Richard Flynn, has written a memoir about his time as an English student at Princeton in the late 1980s, documenting his relationship with the protégée of the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. One night just before Christmas 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home. The case was never solved. Now, twenty-five years later, Katz suspects that Richard Flynn is either using his book to confess to the murder, or to finally reveal who committed the violent crime.

But the manuscript ends abruptly—and its author is dying in the hospital with the missing pages nowhere to be found. Hell-bent on getting to the bottom of the story, Katz hires investigative journalist John Keller to research the murder and reconstruct the events for a true crime version of the memoir. Keller tracks down several of the mysterious key players, including retired police detective Roy Freeman, one of the original investigators assigned to the murder case, but he has just been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Inspired by John Keller’s investigation, he decides to try and solve the case once and for all, before he starts losing control of his mind. A trip to the Potosi Correctional Centre in Missouri, several interviews, and some ingenious police work finally lead him to a truth that has been buried for over two decades...or has it?

Stylishly plotted, elegantly written, and packed with thrilling suspense until the final page, The Book of Mirrors is a book within a book like you’ve never read before.




Giorgio De Maria

The Twenty Days of Turin
Ramon Glazov (Translator)
Liveright, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
Literary Fiction
(English Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Written during the height of the 1970s Italian domestic terror, a cult novel, with distinct echoes of Lovecraft and Borges, makes its English-language debut.

In the spare wing of a church-run sanatorium, some zealous youths create "the Library," a space where lonely citizens can read one another’s personal diaries and connect with like-minded souls in "dialogues across the ether." But when their scribblings devolve into the ugliest confessions of the macabre, the Library’s users learn too late that a malicious force has consumed their privacy and their sanity. As the city of Turin suffers a twenty-day "phenomenon of collective psychosis" culminating in nightly massacres that hundreds of witnesses cannot explain, the Library is shut down and erased from history. That is, until a lonely salaryman decides to investigate these mysterious events, which the citizenry of Turin fear to mention. Inevitably drawn into the city’s occult netherworld, he unearths the stuff of modern nightmares: what’s shared can never be unshared.

An allegory inspired by the grisly neo-fascist campaigns of its day, The Twenty Days of Turin has enjoyed a fervent cult following in Italy for forty years. Now, in a fretful new age of "lone-wolf" terrorism fueled by social media, we can find uncanny resonances in Giorgio De Maria’s vision of mass fear: a mute, palpitating dread that seeps into every moment of daily existence. With its stunning anticipation of the Internet—and the apocalyptic repercussions of oversharing—this bleak, prescient story is more disturbingly pertinent than ever.

Brilliantly translated into English for the first time by Ramon Glazov, The Twenty Days of Turin establishes De Maria’s place among the literary ranks of Italo Calvino and beside classic horror masters such as Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. Hauntingly imaginative, with visceral prose that chills to the marrow, the novel is an eerily clairvoyant magnum opus, long overdue but ever timely.




Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough
Tor Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
From author Lara Elena Donnelly, a debut spy thriller as a gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup

Trust no one with anything – especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover’s moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps.

Cyril participates on a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn’t easy, though, for he refuses to let anything – not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives – dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means — and people — necessary. Including each other.

Combining the espionage thrills of le Carré with the allure of an alternate vintage era, Amberlough will thoroughly seduce and enthrall you.

"James Bond by way of Oscar Wilde." —Holly Black

"Sparkling with slang, full of riotous characters, and dripping with intrigue, Amberlough is a dazzling romp through a tumultuous, ravishing world." —Robert Jackson Bennett, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and the Edgar Award

"An astonishing first novel!" —World Fantasy Award-winning author Ellen Kushner




Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld
The Band 1
Orbit, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
GLORY NEVER GETS OLD.

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help--the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It's time to get the band back together.




Eric Scott Fischl

Dr. Potter's Medicine Show
Angry Robot, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Dr. Alexander Potter, disgraced Civil War surgeon, now huckster and seller of snake-oil, travels the wet roads of the Pacific Northwest with a disheartened company of strongmen, illusionists, fortunetellers, and musical whores. Under the quiet command of the mysterious, merciless, and murderous Lyman Rhoades, they entertain the masses while hawking the Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic, a vital elixir touted to cure all ills both physical and spiritual… although, for a few unfortunate customers, the Sagwa offers something much, much worse.

For drunken dentist Josiah McDaniel, the Sagwa has taken everything from him; in the hired company of two accidental outlaws, the bickering brothers Solomon Parker and Agamemnon Rideout, he looks to revenge himself on the Elixir’s creator: Dr. Morrison Hedwith, businessman, body-thief, and secret alchemist, a man who is running out of time.

File Under: Fantasy [ The Secret Tradition | Chemical Imbalance | Hustlers Hustled | The Carnival is Over ]




Sebastian Fitzek

The Nightwalker
Jaime Lee Searle (Translator)
Pegasus Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Psychological Thriller
(American Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A psychological thrill-ride of a novel that finds an insomniac wondering if his nighttime excursions have turned into something beyond his imagination.

As a young man, Leon Nader suffered from insomnia. As a sleepwalker, he even turned to violence during his nocturnal excursions and had psychiatric treatment for his condition. Eventually, he was convinced he had been cured—but one day, years later, Leon's wife disappears from their apartment under mysterious circumstances. Could it be that his illness has broken out again? In order to find out how he behaves in his sleep, Leon fits a movement activated camera to his forehead—and when he looks at the video the next morning he makes a discovery that bursts the borders of his imagination. His nocturnal personality goes through a door that is totally unknown to him and descends into the darkness . . .

Sebastian Fitzek has been published in twenty-nine languages including Dutch, Italian, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Gree, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Bulgarian, Danish, and Japanese. He is a number one bestselling author in Germany, where he lives. This is his American debut.




Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things
William Morrow, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook 288 pages
Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—

Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life's mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony's lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor's quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony's last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice's redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.




Vic James

Gilded Cage
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook 368 pages
Fantasy, Dystopian, Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve—for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Susanna Clarke

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?




Erika Lewis

Game of Shadows
Tor Books, February 28, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A young man plagued by the ability to see ghosts races to save the mythological land of Tara from a terrible fate in Erika Lewis's stunning debut, Game of Shadows.

Thousands of years ago in Ireland, an ancient race fought a world-changing battle—and lost. Their land overrun, the Celtic gods and goddesses fled, while the mythical races and magical druids sailed to an uncharted continent, cloaked so mankind could never find it. This new homeland was named Tara.

In modern day Los Angeles, Ethan Makkai struggles with an overprotective mother who never lets him out of her sight, and a terrifying secret: he can see ghosts. Desperate for a taste of freedom, he leaves his apartment by himself for the first time—only to find his life changed forever. After being attacked by dive-bombing birds, he races home to find the place trashed and his mother gone.

With the help of a captain from Tara who has been secretly watching the Makkais for a long time, Ethan sets out to save his mother; a journey that leads him to the hidden lands, and straight into the arms of a vicious sorcerer who will stop at nothing until he controls Tara.With new-found allies including Christian, the cousin he never knew he had, and Lily, the sword-slinging healer who’d rather fight than mend bones, Ethan travels an arduous road—dodging imprisonment, battling beasts he thought only existed in nightmares, and accepting help from the beings he’s always sought to avoid: ghosts. This L.A. teen must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother, the fearless girl he’s fallen for, and all the people of Tara.




Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Science Fiction, Time Travel, Literary Fiction, Family Life

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian 

“Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight.”—Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed…because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.




Keith Rosson

The Mercy of the Tide
Meerkat Press, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 294 pages
Alternate History, Speculative Fiction, Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down at a Wolf Point bonfire. But then strange things start happening—a human skeleton is unearthed in a local park and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town’s beaches. The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives—leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever. At the heart of the story are Sam Finster, a senior in high school mourning the death of his mother, and his sister Trina, a nine-year-old deaf girl who denies her grief by dreaming of a nuclear apocalypse as Cold War tensions rise. Meanwhile, Sheriff Dave Dobbs and officer Nick Hayslip must try to put their own sorrows aside to figure out who, or what, is wreaking havoc on their once-idyllic town.

Keith Rosson paints outside the typical genre lines with his brilliant debut novel. It is a gorgeously written book that merges the sly wonder of magical realism and alternate history with the depth and characterization of literary fiction.



George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo
Random House, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Literary Fiction, Historical, Ghost

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?




Chris Sharp

Cold Counsel
Tor.com, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In Chris Sharp's new epic fantasy Cold Counsel, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountain from the goblin clans.

However, the long-lived elves remembered the brutal wars of the last age, and did not welcome the return of these lesser-giants to martial power. Twenty thousand elves marched on the mountain intent on genocide. They eradicated the entire troll species—save two.

Aunt Agnes, an old witch from the Iron Wood, carried Slud away before the elves could find them. Their existence remained hidden for decades, and in that time, Agnes molded Slud to become her instrument of revenge.

For cold is the counsel of women.




Sam Wilson

Zodiac
Pegasus Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 452 pages
Thriller, Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In a volatile society ruled and divided by its citizens' zodiac signs, a serial killer is on the loose: is it a misguided revolution or something more sinister?

A starting new thriller with one of the most original concepts in years, where the line between a life of luxury and an existence of poverty can be determined by the stroke of midnight.

In San Celeste, a series of uniquely brutal murders targets victims from totally different walks of life. In a society divided according to Zodiac signs, those differences are cast at birth and binding for life. All eyes are on detective Jerome Burton and astrological profiler Lindi Childs—divided in their beliefs over whether the answer is written in the stars, but united in their conviction that there is an ingenious serial killer executing a grand plan.

Together, they will unravel a dark tale of betrayal, lost love, broken promises and a devastating truth with the power to tear their world apart . .

Sam Wilson has written, developed, and directed a number of television programs and documentaries. Zodiac is his début novel. He lives in South Africa.

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1


The 7th year of the Debut Author Challenge will commence on January 1, 2017. I already have a list of nearly 140 debut novels the majority of which will be published in 2017. Here are the 11 debuts being published in January, February and March 2017 that I most looking forward to reading.



Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale
Del Rey, January 10, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Fantasy, Magical Realism

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.




Elle Katharine White

Heartsone
Voyager, January 17, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Historical Fantasy

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.




Thoraiya Dyer

Crossroads of Canopy
Titan's Forest 1
Tor Books, January 31, 2017
Hardcover and eBook,336 pages
Epic Fantasy

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
The highly-anticipated fantasy debut from Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning author Thoraiya Dyer, set in a giant mythical rainforest controlled by living gods

At the highest level of a giant forest, thirteen kingdoms fit seamlessly together to form the great city of Canopy. Thirteen goddesses and gods rule this realm and are continuously reincarnated into human bodies. Canopy’s position in the sun, however, is not without its dark side. The nation’s opulence comes from the labor of slaves, and below its fruitful boughs are two other realms: Understorey and Floor, whose deprived citizens yearn for Canopy’s splendor.

Unar, a determined but destitute young woman, escapes her parents’ plot to sell her into slavery by being selected to serve in the Garden under the goddess Audblayin, ruler of growth and fertility. As a Gardener, she wishes to become Audblayin’s next Bodyguard while also growing sympathetic towards Canopy's slaves.

When Audblayin dies, Unar sees her opportunity for glory – at the risk of descending into the unknown dangers of Understorey to look for a newborn god. In its depths, she discovers new forms of magic, lost family connections, and murmurs of a revolution that could cost Unar her chance…or grant it by destroying the home she loves.

“I am majorly impressed with Thoraiya Dyer's Crossroads of Canopy. A unique, gorgeous, and dangerous world, a stubborn female hero, and a writer to watch!”—Tamora Pierce




Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough
Tor Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Historical Fantasy, Thriller

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
From author Lara Elena Donnelly, a debut spy thriller as a gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup

Trust no one with anything – especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover’s moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps.

Cyril participates on a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn’t easy, though, for he refuses to let anything – not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives – dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means — and people — necessary. Including each other.

Combining the espionage thrills of le Carré with the allure of an alternate vintage era, Amberlough will thoroughly seduce and enthrall you.

"Sparkling with slang, full of riotous characters, and dripping with intrigue, Amberlough is a dazzling romp through a tumultuous, ravishing world." —Robert Jackson Bennett, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and the Edgar Award

"An astonishing first novel!" —World Fantasy Award-winning author Ellen Kushner




Eric Scott Fischl

Dr. Potter's Medicine Show
Angry Robot Books, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
Dr. Alexander Potter, disgraced Civil War surgeon, now huckster and seller of snake-oil, travels the wet roads of the Pacific Northwest with a disheartened company of strongmen, illusionists, fortunetellers, and musical whores. Under the quiet command of the mysterious, merciless, and murderous Lyman Rhoades, they entertain the masses while hawking the Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic, a vital elixir touted to cure all ills both physical and spiritual… although, for a few unfortunate customers, the Sagwa offers something much, much worse.

For drunken dentist Josiah McDaniel, the Sagwa has taken everything from him; in the hired company of two accidental outlaws, the bickering brothers Solomon Parker and Agamemnon Rideout, he looks to revenge himself on the Elixir’s creator: Dr. Morrison Hedwith, businessman, body-thief, and secret alchemist, a man who is running out of time.

File Under: Fantasy [ The Secret Tradition / Chemical Imbalance / Hustlers Hustled / The Carnival is Over ]




Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Science Fiction, Time Travel, Literary Fiction, Family Life

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
“A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”
—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian

“Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight.”
—Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette


You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.




Vic James

Gilded Cate
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Contemporary Fantasy, Dystopian

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve—for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Susanna Clarke

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?




Erika Lewis

Game of Shadows
Tor Books, February 28, 207
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends and Mythology

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A young man plagued by the ability to see ghosts races to save the mythological land of Tara from a terrible fate in Erika Lewis's stunning debut, Game of Shadows.

Thousands of years ago in Ireland, an ancient race fought a world-changing battle—and lost. Their land overrun, the Celtic gods and goddesses fled, while the mythical races and magical druids sailed to an uncharted continent, cloaked so mankind could never find it. This new homeland was named Tara.

In modern day Los Angeles, Ethan Makkai struggles with an overprotective mother who never lets him out of her sight, and a terrifying secret: he can see ghosts. Desperate for a taste of freedom, he leaves his apartment by himself for the first time—only to find his life changed forever. After being attacked by dive-bombing birds, he races home to find the place trashed and his mother gone.

With the help of a captain from Tara who has been secretly watching the Makkais for a long time, Ethan sets out to save his mother; a journey that leads him to the hidden lands, and straight into the arms of a vicious sorcerer who will stop at nothing until he controls Tara.With new-found allies including Christian, the cousin he never knew he had, and Lily, the sword-slinging healer who’d rather fight than mend bones, Ethan travels an arduous road—dodging imprisonment, battling beasts he thought only existed in nightmares, and accepting help from the beings he’s always sought to avoid: ghosts. This L.A. teen must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother, the fearless girl he’s fallen for, and all the people of Tara.




Jaroslav Kalfar

Spaceman of Bohemia
Little, Brown and Company, March 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Literary Fiction

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery

Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procházka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.




Han Yujoo

The Impossible Fairy Tale
Graywolf Press, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 192 pages
Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
Literary Fiction

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A chilling, wildly original novel from a major new voice from South Korea

The Impossible Fairy Tale is the story of two unexceptional grade-school girls. Mia is “lucky”—she is spoiled by her mother and, as she explains, her two fathers. She gloats over her exotic imported colored pencils and won’t be denied a coveted sweater. Then there is the Child who, by contrast, is neither lucky nor unlucky. She makes so little impression that she seems not even to merit a name.

At school, their fellow students, whether lucky or luckless or unlucky, seem consumed by an almost murderous rage. Adults are nearly invisible, and the society the children create on their own is marked by cruelty and soul-crushing hierarchies. Then, one day, the Child sneaks into the classroom after hours and adds ominous sentences to her classmates’ notebooks. This sinister but initially inconsequential act unlocks a series of events that end in horrible violence.

But that is not the end of this eerie, unpredictable novel. A teacher, who is also this book’s author, wakes from an intense dream. When she arrives at her next class, she recognizes a student: the Child, who knows about the events of the novel’s first half, which took place years before. The Impossible Fairy Tale is a fresh and terrifying exploration of the ethics of art making and of the stinging consequences of neglect.




Joseph Helmreich

The Return
Thomas Dunne Books, March 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
Science Fiction, Thriller

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.

Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.

Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.

Equal parts science-fiction and globe-hopping thriller, Joseph Helmreich's The Return will appeal to fans of both, and to anyone who has ever wondered... what’s out there?

2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36The View From Monday - February 19, 2018Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC AuthorsInterview with Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts2017 Debut Author Challenge - February DebutsThe 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1

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