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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The View From Monday - June 5, 2017


Happy first Monday in June!

There are five debuts this week:

In the Valley of the Sun by Any Davidson;

Blackout by Marc Elseberg;

Necessary Monsters by Richard A. Kirk;

The Rebellion's Last Traitor by Nik Korpon;

and

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black is out in Trade Paperback;

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter;

Tyrant's Throne (The Greatcoats 4) by Sebastien de Castell;

Crown of Stars (Night Song Trilogy 2) by Sophie Jaff;

MJ-12: Inception (A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1) by Michael J. Martinez is out in Mass Market Paperback;

All Good Things (The Split Worlds 5) by Emma Newman;

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl is out in Trade Paperback;

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

and

Talen (Dark Protectors) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - June 5, 2017



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


June 5, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Grave Calling (e) Wendy Roberts PM/SupTh - Bodies of Evidence 1



June 6, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Boxed In (e) Rebecca York PRS - Decorah Security 16
Year's Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3 David Afsharirad (Ed) SF - Year's Best Military & Adventure Science Series 3
Betrayals Kelley Armstrong F/Th - Cainsville 4
The DNA of Orphan Black Abbie Bernstein SF/MTI
The Day After Roswell (ri) William J. Birnes
Philip Corso
SocSci/CoT
Ninth City Burning (h2tp) J. Patrick Black SF
The Weight of Lies Emily Carpenter FL/Gothic
Tyrant's Throne Sebastien de Castell HistF - The Greatcoats 4
Tyrant of the Hollow Worlds Mark Clapham SF - Space Marine Battles
The Day After Gettysburg Robert Conroy
J. R. Dunn
AH
Monster Hunter Alpha Signed Leatherbound Edition Larry Correia F - Monster Hunter International 3
In Valley of the Sun (D) Andy Davidson H/W/Occ/Sup
The Master of Mankind Aaron Dembski-Bowden SF - The Horus Heresy 41
Starliner (ri) David Drake SF
Red Vengeance Brendan DuBois SF - Dark Victory 2
Blackout (D) Marc Elsberg TechTh
Slow Boat Hideo Furukawa
David Boyd (Tr)
LF - Japanese Novellas
Valley of the Moon (h2tp) Melanie Gideon CW/LF
Sovereign Silk ElizaBeth Gilligan F/FR/DF - Silken Magic 3
Moonbreaker Simon R. Green UF/CF - A Secret Histories Novel 11
Strangers of the Night Megan Hart PNR
Executed RR Haywood SF/TT/Dys - Extracted Trilogy 2
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization Nancy Holder MTI
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017 Edition Rich Horton (Ed) SF/F - Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
ME Tomoyuki Hoshino
Charles De Wolf (Tr)
Dys/LF/Psy
A Peace Divided Tanya Huff SF - Peacekeeper 2
Crown of Stars Sophie Jaff DF - Night Song Trilogy 2
Grim Expectations K.W. Jeter SP/AH/SF - George Dower 3
Protector Wolf Linda O. Johnston PNR - Alpha Force 11
Carnivalesque Neil Jordan LF/F
The Kill Society Richard Kadrey UF/Th - Sandman Slim 9
War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations Greg Keyes MTI/SF - War for the Planet of the Apes
Necessary Monsters (D) Richard A. Kirk HistF
Alexander Outland: Space Pirate (ri) Gini Koch SF/HU
The Rebellion's Last Traitor (D -SFF) Nik Korpon SF/AP/PA
A Study in Sable (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey HistF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Elemental Masters 11
A Grave Prediction (h2mm) Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 14
Blood Wedding (h2tp) Pierre Lemaitre PsyTh
Dear Cyborgs Eugene Lim LF/Political/SH
Sherlock Holmes - The Labyrinth of Death James Lovegrove M/Detective/Cr
Dead West: Omnibus Two Tim Marquitz (Ed)
J.M. Martin
Kenny Soward
HistF - Dead West 2
MJ-12: Inception (h2mm) Michael J. Martinez HistF - A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1
Lot and Lot's Daughter (e)(ri) Ward Moore SF - Collection
All Good Things Emma Newman UF/HistF - The Split Worlds 5
Juma (e) Madhuri Pavamani FR - Keeper Series 2
The Essex Serpent (D) Sarah Perry Hist
A Hundred Thousand Worlds (h2tp) Bob Proehl FL/CoA/LF
The Secret Language of Stones (h2tp) M. J. Rose Hist - The Daughters of La Lune 2
Maestro (h2mm) R.A. Salvatore F - Homecoming 2
The Himalayan Codex Bill Schutt
J. R. Finch
Th - R. J. MacCready 2
Bound (e) Sue Tingey CF - Soulseer Chronicles 3
Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time Lords Steve Tribe SF - Doctor Who
Wolf Hunt Paige Tyler PRS - SWAT 6
The Refrigerator Monologues Catherynne M. Valente
Annie Wu (Illus)
CF
The End of Temperance Dare Wendy Webb Psy/Gothic
Nothing Left to Lose Dan Wells SupTh - John Cleaver 6
Bladestorm Matt Westbrook F - The Realmgate Wars 8
The Fortune Teller Gwendolyn Womack SupTh/RSus
Talen (e) Rebecca Zanetti PNR - Dark Protectors



June 12, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Soul of Fire (e)(ri) Laura Anne Gilman FR - Portals 2



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


AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CoT - Conspiracy Theories
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GH - Ghost(s)
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RSus - Romantic Suspense
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superhero(es)
SocSci - Social Science
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

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

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


The cover for the Trade Paperback edition of Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black was recently revealed (by the author on Facebook)! I like the change in cover as it depicts something from the novel, which I recommend you read. 

In my review I said that "Ninth City Burning is both grand space opera and post-apocalyptic SF anchored in compelling characters and exceptional intricate worldbuilding." See my full review here.


Ninth City Burning
Ace
Trade Paperback, forthcoming
Hardcover and eBook, September 6, 2016

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
For fans of Ender’s Game, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games comes an explosive, epic science fiction debut…
Cities vanished, gone in flashes of world-shattering destruction. An alien race had come to make Earth theirs, bringing a power so far beyond human technology it seemed like magic. It was nearly the end of the world—until we learned to seize the power, and use it to fight back.

The war has raged for five centuries. For a cadet like Jax, one of the few who can harness the enemy’s universe-altering force, that means growing up in an elite military academy, training for battle at the front—and hoping he is ready. For Naomi, young nomad roaming the wilds of a ruined Earth, it means a daily fight for survival against the savage raiders who threaten her caravan.

When a new attack looms, these two young warriors find their paths suddenly intertwined. Together with a gifted but reckless military commander, a factory worker drafted as cannon fodder, a wild and beautiful gunfighter, and a brilliant scientist with nothing to lose—they must find a way to turn back the coming invasion, or see their home finally and completely destroyed.

[description from the Hardcover]

Interview with J. Patrick Black, author of Ninth City Burning


Please welcome J. Patrick Black to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Ninth City Burning was published on September 6th by Ace.







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

JPB:  Thanks for having me! I've always enjoyed writing, but I didn't get into it seriously until college. I took a creative writing seminar and was just hooked. I've been at it ever since.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

JPB:  I suppose I'd say I'm more of a hybrid. The broader the storyline gets, the larger and more sweeping the events involved, the more careful I am about plotting things out in advance, but I like to leave room for surprise and improvisation when it comes to filling in the details. That's especially true when I'm writing something especially character driven; for me it sometimes takes actually writing a scene out to really know what a given character will do or say.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

JPB:  Dealing with the fact that every word might not come out perfectly on the first try. It's easy for me to get hung up on the phrasing of a particular sentence or choice of vocabulary and lose track of the bigger picture. I have to remind myself to keep moving even if I'm not absolutely satisfied with the way my writing sounds--there will be time to come back and fuss over the words, but I need to make sure I've got a story first.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

JPB:  As I think is the case with a lot of writers in the speculative genres, there those books I encountered as a kid that marked out a territory in my mind that would always be off in some other world. Ursula K. LeGuin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" is one of many, many examples. I'm still an avid reader, and omnivorous, and I'm sure everything I read influences me to some degree or other. I'm a big fan of short stories--Lorrie Moore is one of my favorites--and I've got a soft spot for experimental fiction. Really, though, I'd say I have most of my ideas when I'm away from my desk: walking through the city (hometown: Boston), taking a long drive, standing in line at the supermarket. I'm not sure if those quite qualify as influences, but if so one of my more important ones would have to be going to the beach.



TQDescribe Ninth City Burning in 140 characters or less.

JPB:  Alternate reality invades Earth using a universe-altering power called thelemity. We learn to use it and fight back. Action, adventure ensue (think that's 140 exactly!)



TQTell us something about Ninth City Burning that is not found in the book description.

JPB:  It has seven first-person narrators, each with his or her own voice.



TQWhat inspired you to write Ninth City Burning? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction? Do you consider Ninth City Burning a Dystopian novel?

JPB:  There wasn't really any single moment of inspiration for Ninth City Burning. It was more like whole constellation of different proto-stories, ideas that had been floating around my head--for years, in some cases--merged together to create something larger than any of them. The catalyst was the concept of the fontani, sources capable of creating almost unlimited power, but only within a small area--sort of like wifi. That was the idea that bridged the space between all these other ideas, and allowed me to bring them all together.

One reason science fiction appeals to me is the sheer breadth of possibilities (or, seen another way, the absence of limitations). Every genre has its own tropes and conventions, but with science fiction these are far from required, and in the hands of really great writers can act as a kind of shorthand for the experienced reader. You see scifi elements everywhere, from literary fiction to joyously pulpy action extravaganzas--it can take you anywhere.

I don't consider Ninth City Burning a dystopian novel per se. To me, dystopian fiction tends to revolve around some central issue or ideology the consequence of which the story's author wants to explore. Ninth City Burning certainly has features common to dystopian fiction--there are plenty of totalitarian overtones, for example--but these aren't tied to any particular present day issue. They're a consequence of a highly militarized society, and war has been around longer than history.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Ninth City Burning?

JPB:  I read up on my military history, researching different eras of warfare. The conflict at the center of Ninth City Burning is very different from what we see in the modern world, but I had the idea that principles from the past would still apply. I also went back and revisited some of the story's conceptual ancestors: my favorite alien wars, adventures in fantastical other realms, giant robot battles. I had a good idea of the areas of genre I intended to inhabit, and I wanted to get a good view of the territory.



TQIn Ninth City Burning, who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

JPB:  All of the characters presented their own challenges, but I think I had the easiest time with Kizabel, if only because I felt free to explain as much or as little as I wanted about the ideas behind the story; with most characters I had to be very careful about not loading down the plot with exposition, but Kizabel narrates with footnotes, so if there was some big idea I really wanted to get into, I could use those without interrupting the story. The hardest to write was probably Imway; he's very competent at what he does, and he wants you to know it, so I had to make sure I knew every little specification for everything he describes. Also, he's kind of a jerk, and I wanted that to come through but also feel sympathetic from his perspective; the dissonance between how I thought he was acting (like an ass) and how he thought he was acting (like a completely reasonable person) made his narrative the hardest to balance for me.



TQWhich question about Ninth City Burning do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

JPB:

Q: Where does the word "thelemity" come from?

A: Well, Patrick, I'm glad you asked! It comes from a word in Ancient Greek meaning "to will" or "to wish". It seemed like an appropriate root to use when describing an energy with quasi-magical properties.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Ninth City Burning.

JPB:

"When I think on Death, I imagine her as a child, a girl in a white dress with untidy hair, running barefoot through the battlefield, collecting lives like wildflowers."

"And when you think about it, most things that are really fun *aren't* toys."



TQWhat's next?

JPB:  The sequel to Ninth City Burning will (hopefully) be out next year!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

JPB:  Thanks! It's been fun!





Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

For fans of Red Rising, Starship Troopers, and Ender’s Game comes an explosive, epic science fiction debut…

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.



You may read my review of Ninth City Burning here.





About J. Patrick Black

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
J. Patrick Black has worked as a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer. While fiction is now his profession, he still finds occasion to ply his other trades as well. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he likes to visit the ocean. NINTH CITY BURNING is his first novel. Find out more about J. Patrick Black online at www.jpatrickblack.com





Twitter @JPatrickBlack  ~  Instagram

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2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - 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 2016 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 September 24, 2016.


Vote for your favorite September 2016 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls



2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Cover by Victo Ngai




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Cover design: The last design of Jack Smyth – LBBG
Cover images copyright © Shutterstock




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Cover Illustration by Matthew Griffin
Cover Design by Adam Auerbach




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


Review: Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


Ninth City Burning
Author:  J. Patrick Black
Publisher:  Ace, September 6, 2016
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
List Price: US$27.00 (print); US$12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781101991442 (print); 9781101991459 (eBook)

Review: Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.



Qwill's Thoughts

Ninth City Burning is set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been at war for the last 500 years with aliens. Part One of the novel introduces us to the primary characters - Jax, Naomi and her sister Rae, Torro and his friends, and Vinneas and his friends, Imway and Kizabel. The story is told from their varying points of view. Black presents the structure of his world - the war, the Ninth City, the Settlements, the enemy (the Romeos) and more all without really explaining what is going on. I liked this part of the novel though I really had no real information about the war, who the attackers are, etc. It's not until Part Two that Black reveals what is going on or at least what he wants us to know is going on. For me this is when I really started to enjoy Ninth City Burning. As the novel progresses the characters are more deeply fleshed out as they change, face obstacles and end up fighting to save the planet.

Black's worldbuilding is remarkable. He has a created a highly structured system to support the war effort. There are schools in the Cities set up to teach the elite and those who can use thelemity. Thelemity, which is an inventive concept, is well explained. There are the Settlements that supply the food, draftees and more for the war effort. There are people who live outside the Cities and Settlements and trade with the Settlements. It's really fascinating. Each of these groups are represented in the point of view characters.

There are wonderful little mentions of songs, books, TV shows from what is called the Common Era (before the war) - they are both familiar anchors and a bit disorienting at the same time.

The main characters are all young as those studying in the Cities and those drafted and in the war effort tend to be preteens and teens. This society is nothing like our own. Black does a nice job with each of the POV characters as we see their inner struggles as well as outer ones. These characters are very different from each other and Black does an excellent job with each of their 'voices'.

Ninth City Burning is both grand space opera and post-apocalyptic SF anchored in compelling characters and exceptional intricate worldbuilding. I'm looking forward to the next novel in this series.


Note: Ninth City Burning does not end with a cliffhanger.

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


There are 8 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 August 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 August cover for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 15, 2016.

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 2016 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September 2016 The list is correct as of the day posted.

Update: Added Of the Abyss by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. This is her first adult fantasy novel.


Jason Arnopp

The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Orbit, September 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
"Ingenious and funny . . . Magnificent." -- Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta

Jack Sparks died while writing this book.

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.

Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed -- until now.




Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Of the Abyss
Mancer Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 27, 2016
eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
After decades of strife, peace has finally been achieved in Kavet—but at a dark cost.  Sorcery is outlawed, and anyone convicted of consorting with the beings of the other realms—the Abyssi and the Numini—is put to death. The only people who can even discuss such topics legally are the scholars of the Order of the Napthol, who give counsel when questions regarding the supernatural planes arise.

Hansa Viridian, a captain in the elite guard unit tasked with protecting Kavet from sorcery, has always led a respectable life. But when he is implicated in a sorcerer’s crimes, the only way to avoid execution is to turn to the Abyss for help—specifically, to a half-Abyssi man he’s sworn he hates, but whose physical attraction he cannot deny.     

Hansa is only the first victim in a plot that eventually drags him, a sorcerer named Xaz, and a Sister of the Napthol named Cadmia into the depths of the Abyss, where their only hope of escape is to complete an infernal task that might cost them their lives.




James Bennett

Chasing Embers
A Ben Garston Novel 1
Orbit, September 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Behind every myth, there's a spark of truth...

There's nothing special about Ben Garston. He's just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he'd have you believe.

What Ben Garston can't let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn't just a fantasy, as we've been led to believe. And he certainly can't let you know the secret of what's hiding just beneath his skin...

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.




J. Patrick Black

Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.




Susan Bishop Crispell

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes
Thomas Dunne Books, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.




Colin Gigl

The Ferryman Institute
Gallery Books, September 27, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In this stunning, fantastical debut novel from a bold new voice in the bestselling traditions of Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde, a ferryman for the dead finds his existence unraveling after making either the best decision or the biggest mistake of his immortal life.

Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people—somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife, after all. Having never failed a single assignment, he's acquired a reputation for success that’s as legendary as it is unwanted. It turns out that serving as a Ferryman is causing Charlie to slowly lose his mind. Deemed too valuable by the Ferryman Institute to be let go and too stubborn to just give up in his own right, Charlie’s pretty much abandoned all hope of escaping his grim existence. Or he had, anyway, until he saved Alice Spiegel. To be fair, Charlie never planned on stopping Alice from taking her own life—that sort of thing is strictly forbidden by the Institute—but he never planned on the President secretly giving him the choice to, either. Charlie’s not quite sure what to make of it, but Alice is alive, and it’s the first time he’s felt right in more than two hundred years.

When word of the incident reaches Inspector Javrouche, the Ferryman Institute's resident internal affairs liaison, Charlie finds he's in a world of trouble. But Charlie’s not about to lose the only living, breathing person he’s ever saved without a fight. He’s ready to protect her from Javrouche and save Alice from herself, and he’s willing to put the entire continued existence of mankind at risk to do it.

Written in the same vein as bestselling modern classics such as The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, The Ferryman Institute is a thrilling supernatural adventure packed with wit and humor.




Nisi Shawl

Everfair
Tor Books, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.




Kea Wilson

We Eat Our Own
Scribner, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
An ambitious debut novel by an original young writer, We Eat Our Own blurs the lines between life and art with the story of a film director’s unthinkable experiment in the Amazon.

When a nameless, struggling actor in 1970s New York gets the call that an enigmatic director wants him for an art film set in the Amazon, he doesn’t hesitate: he flies to South America, no questions asked. He quickly realizes he’s made a mistake. He’s replacing another actor who quit after seeing the script—a script the director now claims doesn’t exist. The movie is over budget. The production team seems headed for a breakdown. The air is so wet that the celluloid film disintegrates.

But what the actor doesn’t realize is that the greatest threat might be the town itself, and the mysterious shadow economy that powers this remote jungle outpost. Entrepreneurial Americans, international drug traffickers, and M-19 guerillas are all fighting for South America’s future—and the groups aren’t as distinct as you might think. The actor thought this would be a role that would change his life. Now he’s worried if he’ll survive it.

Inspired by a true story from the annals of 1970s Italian horror film, and told in dazzlingly precise prose, We Eat Our Own is a resounding literary debut, a thrilling journey behind the scenes of a shocking film and a thoughtful commentary on violence and its repercussions.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


J. Patrick Black

Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black


The Qwillery is thrilled to share an excerpt and more from J. Patrick Black's debut novel - Ninth City Burning!



Ninth City Burning
Ace, September 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.




Excerpt

The Valentine War, Earth 500 Years Ago

It starts with the world how it used to be, with countries and billions of people living everywhere. Back then there was no such thing as thelemity, and people built houses and machines sort of like they have in settlements today, but all of that changed when the Valentines came.

The reason we call them the Valentines is that the day they first attacked, February 14 on the old Western Calendar, was called “Valentine’s Day”. We still don’t know what the Valentines call themselves, because we’ve never been able to talk to them. We don’t even know what they look like. People had all sorts of different names for them early in the war, but “Valentine” is the one that ended up being the most popular. It used to mean something totally different, but not many people remember that now.

We never saw them coming. All at once cities just started disappearing. A city would be there, everything totally normal, and then it would be gone, nothing but rubble and a cloud of dust. By the time we figured out we were under attack, half the cities in the world had already been destroyed. We tried to fight back, but the Valentines had thelemity, and our strongest weapons were next to useless. They probably would have killed every single person on the planet, except for one thing: It turned out we could use thelemity too.




Cast of Characters

JAX: A cadet at the Academy and the youngest fontanus in Ninth City. With the ability to harness thelemity, Jax must stand for all citizens during Valentine attacks and act as the only defense between the city and complete destruction.

NAOMI: The youngest sister in the Ochre family, and a member of the nomadic Walker tribe. Naomi longs to be a scout like her older sister, Rae, but her undiscovered gifts will take her down a different path, far away from the life she knows.

RAE: The beautiful, impulsive leader of the Ochre family and a scout for the Walker tribe. Rae’s penchant for bravery and lack of fear plunge her into a new world, where her strength will be tested in ways she never imagined.

TORRO: A factory worker in Settlement 225, which provides supplies and soldiers to the Legion’s war effort. Torro’s uncomplicated life is suddenly disrupted when he finds himself drafted as cannon fodder and shipped away to the horror of the front lines.

VINNEAS: Procurator of the Academy, responsible for every cadet at the school of Grammar and Rhetoric. Part of being Procurator is being prepared for command in combat, but an unwelcome promotion sends him to active duty sooner than he expects.

IMWAY: The top ranked warrior in the Equites Aspirant, the most elite fighting unit in the Academy. Highly skilled in combat, Imway’s power stems from a suit of armor called ‘equus’ and the ego that comes with it stands the chance of ruining any relationship he has.

KIZABEL: The most sought after Artifex—a creator of artifices—at the Academy. Her most recent project violates many rules, and Kizabel faces expulsion or incarceration if caught. But her project will revolutionize equus design, if she can only get it running.


Together, this unlikely group of allies will face a mysterious enemy and a war that has brought their world to the brink of destruction.




About the Author

Spotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
J. Patrick Black has worked as a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer. While fiction is now his profession, he still finds occasion to ply his other trades as well. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he likes to visit the ocean. NINTH CITY BURNING is his first novel. Find out more about J. Patrick Black online at www.jpatrickblack.com












The View From Monday - June 5, 2017Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick BlackInterview with J. Patrick Black, author of Ninth City Burning2016 Debut Author Challenge - September DebutsReview: Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black2016 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick BlackSpotlight and Excerpt - Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black

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