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The View From Monday - December 30, 2019


Happy last Monday in December! Apologies for not posting much the last couple of months. Hopefully that will improve with the new year!

There are no debuts for the last 2 days of 2019. There are three novels from formerly featured DAC Authors:

Arkad's World by James L. Cambias is out Mass Market Paperback;

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson 13) by Darynda Jones is out in Mass Market Paperback;

and

Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times 3) by Mark Lawrence is out in Hardcover and Trade Paperback (the digital edition was previously released in November 2019).

The View From Monday - December 30, 2019 The View From Monday - December 30, 2019
The View From Monday - December 30, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - December 30, 2019



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

December 30, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Blood and Blade Lauren Dane UF/RF - Goddess with a Blade 6



December 31, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Loki Ascending Asa Maria Bradley PNR - Viking Warriors
Arkad's World (h2mm) James L. Cambias SF
Splintegrate Deborah Teramis Christian SF/CyP/SO
Celtic Empire (h2tp) Clive Cussler
Dirk Cussler
Th - Dirk Pitt Adventure 25
Black Triumph (tp2mm) Brendan DuBois SF - Dark Victory 3
All the Plagues of Hell (h2mm) Eric Flint
Dave Freer
F - Heirs of Alexandria 6
Alphabet Squadron (h2mm) Alexander Freed SF - Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron 1
Crimson Sand, Crimson Snow Craig Gallant F
The Turning (Movie Tie-In): The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories Henry James MTI/GH/Gothic
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (h2mm) Darynda Jones PM - Charley Davidson 13
Wheel of Time Premium Boxed Set II: Books 4-6 (The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time
The Fires of Heaven (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 5
The Shadow Rising (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 4
Lord of Chaos (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 6
The Sky Done Ripped Joe R. Lansdale Th/H - Ned the Seal 3
Dispel Illusion Mark Lawrence SF/TT - Impossible Times 3
The Best of Uncanny Lynne M. Thomas (Ed) Michael Damian Thomas (Ed) F/SF - Anthology
Warlord (ri) Elizabeth Vaughan FR/PNR - Chronicles of the Warlands 3
Through Fiery Trials (h2mm) David Weber SF - Safehold 10



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
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR- Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PP - Police Procedural
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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




Interview with James Cambias and review of Corsair - May 5, 2015


Please welcome James Cambias to The Qwillery. Corsair is published today by Tor Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing James a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with James Cambias and review of Corsair - May 5, 2015





TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel Corsair is published on May 5th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote A Darkling Sea (January 2014) to Corsair?

James:  The two books were written in a totally different way. For Darkling Sea I started with the basic idea of the novel and kind of "wrote my way into it." I skipped around within the text, working on different sections as the mood struck me (with the result that when I first thought it was finished my wife pointed out that I forgot to include the middle).

Corsair was based on a short story, and I developed the outline in considerable detail before I ever started writing the book. Especially since a lot of the action is determined by orbital mechanics, I had an externally-imposed timeline I had to fit everything into.

For any space geeks reading this: the timing of events on the way to and from the Moon were based on NASA's detailed timeline of the Apollo 11 mission.



TQ:  You are also a game designer. How does this affect (or not) your fiction writing?

James:  It gave me the chance to practice the basics and get paid for it; I wrote game adventures and sourcebooks and learned how to write coherent prose and build outlines and meet a deadline.

However, game writing also taught me some habits I had to "unlearn" to write fiction. In a roleplaying game, the story tends to be one of incremental success: the player-characters encounter monsters, overcome them, and thereby become more capable and able to take on more formidable enemies. But in a novel the characters have to spend a lot more time _failing_ before the final climax.



TQ:  Tell us something about Corsair that is not in the book description. Is the title literal (corsair = privateer or pirate)?

James:  Something which sadly did not make it into the book description is that there's a lot of comedy in it. My main viewpoint character is a pretty funny guy, even though he's also a terrible person.

The title is entirely literal. This is a book about Captain Black the Space Pirate, Supreme Badass of Space, and his nemesis Captain Santiago of Space Command.



TQ:  Which character in Corsair was the hardest character to write and why? Easiest and why?

James:  The trickiest character in the book was probably Captain Elizabeth Santiago, simply because I had to find out as much as I could about proper military operations and conduct. I'm pretty certain active-duty military personnel will spot many mistakes, and I hope they will be forgiving.

The easiest was David's foil Halfdan. I love Halfdan. I could write Halfdan all day. He is absolutely insane, incredibly annoying, and if there's a sequel I'm definitely bringing him back.



TQ:  Both Corsair and A Darkling Sea are Science Fiction. Is Corsair hard SF like A Darkling Sea? In your opinion, should Science Fiction deal with 'big issues' or simply be entertaining?

James:  Despite the fact that it's about space pirates, Corsair is pure hard science fiction. Indeed, it's a lot "harder" than Darkling Sea, as it includes no imaginary science (like the faster-than-light drive). In thirty years all this could be happening over our heads.

As to the question of "issues" or entertainment, I've long maintained that it's a false dichotomy. -Moby Dick- is considered one of the most profound novels in American literature. Herman Melville wrote it to cash in on the public's interest in whaling. It was his "airport novel."

Corsair touches on some pretty heavy issues: the globalization of organized crime; the increasingly blurry lines between crime, terrorism, and government operations; the exploitation of refugees; the expanding surveillance state; and some others. It also has boat chases, space battles, and buried treasure.



TQ:  Please give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Corsair.

James:  My favorite line in the book comes during some hostage negotiations. One of the bad guys, Vlad Draganovic, has kidnapped Anne Rogers and is trying to persuade Captain Santiago to give him Captain Black. But she is playing chicken with him over the phone.

“Because—” He groped for words. “—it’s your job! You are a soldier, yes? You defend your country. She is an American citizen, so you must protect her. I am a dangerous man. Maybe I torture her before killing her. You don’t want that.”

“I have other problems.”

“It is common human decency! What is wrong with you?” he shouted into the phone.


TQ:  What's next?

James:  I'm currently working on a third novel called -Arkad's World-, a coming-of-age story about a human boy alone on an alien planet. I'm hoping it will be done in time for a 2016 release, but right now that's not certain.





Corsair
Publisher:  Tor Books, May 5, 2015
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $25.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765379108 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Interview with James Cambias and review of Corsair - May 5, 2015
Space pirates and computer hackers in a thrilling near-future adventure.

The year is 2020 and robotic mining in space has become a lucrative part of Earth’s economy. Precious materials are gathered from asteroids and dropped down the gravity well to be collected out of the oceans. But just as the commerce has evolved, so has the crime, and piracy is a booming market with hackers doing all they can to get their piece of the prize.

Ten years prior, computer wizards Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz met at MIT: She was there to begin a promising career in data security; he was there to sneak into classes. After a brief affair David disappears—and neither ever dream their paths will cross again.

Now an Intelligence Operative working to prevent international space piracy, Elizabeth has been fighting a particularly skilled hacker…whose style seems eerily familiar. Soon they go head to head over some particularly valuable cargo—but as always when the steaks are that high, there’s more danger lurking than either can imagine.

From the author of the critically acclaimed A Darkling Sea comes another thrilling space adventure that will appeal to fans of Star Trek and Star Wars. With genuine characters and action not overwrought by exaggeration, this is a clean, hard SF standalone novel that is sure to impress and entertain.



Qwill's Thoughts

Corsair is James Cambias' second novel. It's set in the not so distance future (2020 and 2030) and features Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz whose lives intersect years after dating. The Moon is being mined for Helium by Westinghouse and shipments from the Moon to the Earth are sometimes hijacked by space pirates as they drop from lunar orbit to the Earth. The most blatant and brilliant of the pirates is David aka Captain Black. Elizabeth works for the military trying to stop pirates like David.

David is more than a bit of a jerk, is incredibly intelligent, and is motivated by pure self interest. He has justifications for his actions but they ring hollow. He's a thief and a pirate because he can be and because he wants to be rich. He is also very amusing and despite his many faults I find him likable.

Elizabeth joined the military but runs into trouble with her superiors for being too aggressive in her attempts to protect Helium shipments. She's sent to another job where she will supposedly be under the radar for a while. Elizabeth is very driven and has a lot of trouble dealing with failure. She also does what seem to be and are sometimes wrong things for what are the right reasons.

To say that things go badly for David and Elizabeth is a bit of an understatement. They are both in trouble. In the end, they need each other's help to save more than themselves. Cambias lets us see different sides to Elizabeth and David - they are certainly not one dimensional.

In addition to David and Elizabeth there is a truly fine cast of supporting characters - from the really nice, the really odd, to the extremely menacing. The science is fascinating, but never overwhelms the story. Nor do the deeper issues raised by the novel. There is a lot to think about in Corsair if one is so inclined.

Corsair is full of intriguing science, evil plots, and schemes. Cambias has crafted an engaging nail-biter that is exciting, fun and a satisfying read.





About James

Interview with James Cambias and review of Corsair - May 5, 2015
James Cambias is a co-founder of Zygote Games and has written several table top role-play game tie in novels. His short fiction has appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Shimmer, and several other anthologies. In 2001 he was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his family. Visit him online at jamescambias.com.

Goodreads  ~  Wikipedia

The View From Monday - May 4, 2015


Happy Monday! May the 4th be with you!


There are 6 debuts this week:
  • Hugo & Rose by Bridget Foley
  • The Brass Giant (Chroniker City 1) by Brooke Johnson
  • Unexpected Rain by Jason LaPier
  • The Waterborne Blade (Waterborne 1) by Susan Murray
  • Revision by Andrea Phillips
  • Cash Crash Jubilee (Jubilee Cycle 1) by Eli K. P. William


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:
  • Corsair: A Science Fiction Novel by James L. Cambias
  • Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
  • Three Slices by Delilah Dawson, Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig  (Blud, Iron Druid, Miriam Black novellas)
  • Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson 7) Darynda Jones is out in Mass Market Paperback
  • The Venusian Gambit (Daedalus 3) by Michael J. Martinez
  • Sword of the North (The Grim Company 2) by Luke Scull
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch is out in Trade Paperback
  • Blackbirds (Miriam Black 1), Mockingbird (Miriam Black 2) and The Cormorant (Miriam Black 3) by Chuck Wendig are re-released by their new publisher in digital format with new covers. Print editions will be available later this year.



The View From Monday - May 4, 2015



May 5, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The New World Chris Adrian LF
The Dark Between the Stars (h2mm) Kevin J. Anderson SF/SO- Saga of Shadows 1
Straits of Hell Taylor Anderson SF - Destroyermen 10
Deadly Shores (h2mm) Taylor Anderson SF - Destroyermen 9
Immunity Taylor Antrim LF/NF/Dys
Day of Atonement Alex Archer FairyT/FolkT/ L&M - Rogue Angel 54
Forbidden Trespass James Axler Dys - Deathlands 122
Hell's Maw James Axler SF - Outlanders 73
The Windup Girl (2nd Edition) Paolo Bacigalupi SF
The Boost (h2mm) Stephen Baker TechnoTh/NF
Grave Phantoms Jenn Bennett PNR - Roaring Twenties 3
Shadows (h2mm) E. C. Blake F - The Masks of Aygrima 2
Some Like It Witchy Heather Blake PM - Wishcraft Mystery 5
If There Were Demons Then Perhaps There Were Angels: William Peter Blatty's Own Story of the Exorcist (e) William Peter Blatty Film
Mirror Sight (h2tp) Kristen Britain F - Green Rider 5
Corsair: A Science Fiction Novel James L. Cambias SF
Thief's Magic (h2tp) Trudi Canavan F - Millennium's Rule 1
Earth Awakens (h2mm) Orson Scott Card SF - The First Formic War 3
Gateway to Never A Bertram Chandler SF - John Grimes 6
Seriously Wicked Tina Connolly F/YA
1882: Custer in Chains Robert Conroy AH
Cibola Burn (h2tp) James S.A. Corey SF - Expanse 4
Within (e) Keith Deininger H
Three Slices (Ke) Delilah Dawson
Kevin Hearne
Chuck Wendig
F - Novellas (Blud, Iron Druid, Miriam, Black)
Releasing the Shifter Summer Devon PNR - Solitary Shifters 3
Unseemly Science Rod Duncan HistF - The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire 2
The Waking Engine (h2mm) David Edison F
The Mystwalker Series, The Complete Collection (e) Leigh Evans PNR - Mystwalker
Winterwood (e) JG Faherty H - Childhood Fears
Hugo & Rose (D) Bridget Foley LF
Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women Paula Guran (ed) F/P - Anthology
Day Shift Charlaine Harris UF - Midnight, Texas 2
The Gospel of Loki Joanne M. Harris F
Midnight's Kiss Thea Harrison PNR - Elder Races 8
The Merchant Emperor (h2mm) Elizabeth Haydon F - Symphony of Ages 7
Scarecrows Christine Hayton H - Childhood Fears
Witches with the Enemy Barb Hendee F - Mist-Torn Witches 3
Alias Hook (h2tp) Lisa Jensen HistF
The Brass Giant (D) (e) Brooke Johnson SP - Chroniker City 1
Seventh Grave and No Body (h2mm) Darynda Jones PM - Charley Davidson 7
Revival (ri) Stephen King H/Sus
Alien Separation Gini Koch SF - Alien 11
Black Ice (tp2mm) Susan Krinard CF - Midgard 2
The Dhulyn and Parno Novels: Volume Two Violette Malan F - Dhulyn and Parno Omnibus
The Venusian Gambit Michael J. Martinez SF - Daedalus 3
Ultimatum (e) Annmarie McKenna PNR - Graham Pack Mates 3
The Mirror (e)(ri) Marlys Millhiser M/TT
The Threshold (e)(ri) Marlys Millhiser M/TT
The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave J.H. Moncrieff H - Childhood Fears
Corum - The Knight of Swords: The Eternal Champion Michael Moorcock F - Eternal Champion
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami MR
The Waterborne Blade (D) Susan Murray F - Waterborne 1
The Book of Phoenix Nnedi Okorafor SF/Ap/PA - Who Fears Death prequel
Chasers of the Wind (h2mm) Alexey Pehov F - Cycle of Wind and Sparks 1
Revision (D) Andrea Phillips SF
The Guardians of Ascension Series, Books 1-3 (e) Caris Roane PNR - Guardians of Ascension
Gifts of Darkover (Ke) Deborah J. Ross F - Darkover 15
Binary Stephanie Saulter SF - Revolution 2
Gemsigns (h2tp) Stephanie Saulter SF - Revolution 1
Sword of the North Luke Scull F - The Grim Company 2
Nightmare in Greasepaint L.L. Soares H - Childhood Fears
Phoenix in Shadow Ryk E Spoor F - Balanced Sword 2
Tomorrow and Tomorrow (h2tp) Thomas Sweterlitsch NF/Th/Ap/PA
Her Wild Hero Paige Tyler PNR - X-Ops 3
Blackbirds (e)(ri) Chuck Wendig UF - Miriam Black 1
The Cormorant (e)(ri) Chuck Wendig UF - Miriam Black 3
Mockingbird (e)(ri) Chuck Wendig UF - Miriam Black 2
Oracle Michelle West F - House War 6
Cash Crash Jubilee (D) Eli K. P. William SF/Ap/PA - Jubilee Cycle 1
A Long Time Until Now Michael Z Williamson SF/TT - Temporal Displacement 1



May 6, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt: A Tor.Com Original (e) Alex Bledsoe F
At the End of Babel: A Tor.Com Original (e) Michael Livingston F
Hollywood Presents Jules Verne: The Father of Science Fiction on Screen Brian Taves HC



May 7, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
City of Fae (e) Pippa DaCosta UF/NA
Lord of Ashes (e) Richard Ford F - Steelhaven 3
Unexpected Rain (D) (e) Jason LaPier SF



May 10, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mermen Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Mermen Trilogy 1
MerMadmen Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Mermen Trilogy 2


D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AH - Alternate History
Ap - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tale
FolkT - Folk Tale
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
L&M - Legend and Myth
LF - Literary Fiction
MR - Magical Realism
NA - New Adult
NF - Near Future
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sus - Suspense
TechnoTh - Technological Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
YA - Young Adult

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13


This is the thirteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge authors. What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 14 will cover additional 2014 DAC authors.

See Part 1 here
See Part 1.5 here
See Part 2 here
See Part 3 here
See Part 4 here
See Part 5 here
See Part 6 here
See Part 7 here
See Part 8 here
See Part 9 here
See Part 10 here
See Part 11 here
See Part 12 here


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13



James L. Cambias

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, February 3, 2015
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, January 2014

On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.




What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
From the Author's website
Corsair
Tor Books, May 5, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating. Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows under a multiplicity of names for international thieves, and Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth’s economy, shipments from space are dropped down the gravity well into the oceans. David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can't prove it. And when Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players. And both Elizabeth and David end up in a world of trouble. Space pirates and computer hackers . . . James L. Cambias's Corsair is a thrilling near-future adventure!






Beth Cato

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
The Clockwork Crown
Clockwork Dagger 2
Harper Voyager, June 9, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.





Rjurik Davidson

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
Unwrapped Sky
Caeli-Amur 1
Tor Science Fiction, March 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, April 2014

A hundred years ago, the Minotaurs saved Caeli-Amur from conquest. Now, three very different people may hold the keys to the city's survival.

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

In a novel of startling originality and riveting suspense, these three people, reflecting all the hopes and dreams of the ancient city, risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world . . . or destroy it.

Unwrapped Sky is a stunningly original debut by Rjurik Davidson, a young master of the New Weird.
[Hardcover description]




The Stars Askew (Caeli-Amur 2) will be published by Tor Books in October 2015.  Here is the cover (from the author's website):

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13





Rene Denfeld

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
The Enchanted
Harper Perennial, February 24, 2015
Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, March 2014

For the narrator locked inside an ancient prison, waiting for death, life is full of magic, from the golden horses that stampede underground to the tiny men who hammer away inside the stone walls. That the enchanted place is a death row matters less to him than the people he watches from the bars of his cage: the lady, an investigator hired to help the men escape execution; the fallen priest, brought by shame to work the row; and the kindly warden, who ushers men to death.

As the lady digs deep into the past of one of the men on the row, she finds secrets that ring chillingly familiar, and begins a journey that will bring all of them to unexpected salvation.

Guilt and innocence collide in this story of the beauty that can exist in the midst of despair. A luminous novel about redemption, the poetry that can be found in the unfathomable, and the human capacity to transcend even the most nightmarish reality, The Enchanted is a new classic.





John Dixon

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13
Devil's Pocket
Gallery Books, August 4, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Phoenix Island, which reads like “Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke” (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack) and inspired the CBS TV show Intelligence.

With a chip in his head and hundreds more throughout his body, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman was turned from an orphan with impulse control issues into a super-soldier. Forced into the mercenary Phoenix Force group, he begins to fear he’ll never escape. Sent to a volcanic island to fight for them, he’ll compete in a combat tournament that awards teens with survival for merciless brutality. But just when all looks lost, he spies a friendly face…and possibly a way out.


Guest Blog by James L. Cambias - Sexifying Monsters! - February 24, 2014



Please welcome James L. Cambias to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs and the A Darkling Sea Blog Tour. A Darkling Sea, James' debut novel, was published on January 28, 2014 by Tor Books. You may read James' DAC Interview here.




Guest Blog by James L. Cambias - Sexifying Monsters! - February 24, 2014



Sexifying Monsters!

by James L. Cambias

It's a curious observation that monsters in fantasy or horror tend to get sexier over time. Things which start out as unambiguous monsters turn into ambiguous monsters and then sexy monsters and then sexy non-monsters.

Consider one of the oldest folkloric monsters: the fairies. We tend to think of fairies as Disneyfied pixies scattering fairy-dust and living in acorns, or Tolkeinified forest Vulcans with great hair and swishy clothes, but it's worth remembering that "elf" and "fairy" and "dwarf" and "goblin" were originally synonyms. You called them the "Fair Folk" because you were scared that if you bad-mouthed them they'd come into your cottage at night and murder you.

But as the fear of the wilderness and the night declined, the fairies got nicer. Shakespeare turned them into tiny sprites living in acorns. One could call this "Disneyfication" except that it happened about three hundred years before Walt was born. By the time the Romantics got hold of them in the 19th Century, fairies were figures of wild freedom opposing buttoned-up Victorian morality. Modern fantasy has transformed them into sexy leather-jacketed immortal hipsters who can do magic, pretty much indistinguishable from that girl who lived with your college roommate for a while.

The sexification of fairies left an ecological niche open, and vampires moved into it. Vampires were once smelly, shambling walking corpses who fed on the living. Their breath smelled of decay and grave-dirt, they were covered with hair like an un-waxed pro wrestler, and they didn't talk or do anything but try to murder you. But then Dr. John Polidori decided to turn vampires into Lord Byron with fangs (which says a lot about his relationship with Byron, I think). Then Bram Stoker gave Count Dracula a way with the ladies which would make even Pablo Picasso jealous. Anne Rice took that and ran with it, and Stephanie Myers took it past eleven with her sparkling pretty Edward. Now vampires are sexy leather-jacketed immortal hipsters who can do magic, pretty much indistinguishable from that dude who used to go out with your college roommate for a while.

Dragons are another surprising example of sexification. They started off as big poisonous snakes, with no ambition beyond lying around on a treasure hoard and murdering people. They got legs, then wings, and their poison turned into fire. But they were still big monsters who ravaged villages and murdered people. Then Tolkein wrote The Hobbit, and gave half the best lines in the book to Smaug the dragon. After that, dragons in fiction never shut up. They got smarter, they got magic powers, and they started sexifying up. Authors like Patricia Briggs and Mercedes Lackey made them into shapeshifters, capable of appearing human. Now dragons seem to spend most of their free time in human form, as sexy leather-jacketed immortal hipsters who can do magic, pretty much indistinguishable from that guy whose college roommate you dated for a while.

Werewolves? Started out as forest psychopaths who took on animal form to murder people. Now they're sexy bare-chested immortal hipsters like that dude who wouldn't leave after your college roommate's party until you threatened to call the cops.

Demons? Started out as embodiments of pure evil, then Marlowe gave Mephistopheles all the good lines in Faust. Devils acquired wealth and taste, became shrewd bargainers, and finally now are sexy leather-jacketed immortal hipsters like your college roommate's friend who sold you what he claimed was weed but wasn't.

Frankenstein's Monster? Two words: Aaron Eckhart.

Even angels have gotten sexified. Angels started out as . . . not all that different from demons except not trying to murder you as much. Consider the things Ezekiel saw, all wheels and eyes and fire and wings. But then artists started making sexy angel statues (check out Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, some of the most NSFW church art ever) and modern fantasy writers wanted darker and edgier angels, and now they're yet another bunch of sexy leather-jacketed immortal hipsters, like that vegetarian chick your roommate used to live with who said buying milk was like slavery.

The only standard monster I can think of that hasn't sexificated is the zombie. In fact, it's notable that zombies have actually become less sexy over time. Originally zombies weren't smelly cannibal undead, they were more like brainwashed not-quite-dead-but-not-really-alive-either beings. The fear wasn't that the zombies would murder you, but that you might wind up a zombie yourself. And about five seconds after someone heard the story of brainwashed people bound to serve an evil sorcerer, we got a whole passel of black and white sexy zombie movies and pulp sexy zombie stories.

But as vampires abandoned the shambling undead cannibal niche, zombies moved in, losing their sexificativosity in the process. A brainwashed person in thrall to a depraved sorcerer has much more inherent sleaze appeal than a rotting corpse looking for brains. Still, I have no doubt that the sexification process will apply to zombies before long. Fast zombies are already a harbinger. Pretty soon we'll get fast talkative zombies, then sexy zombies, and before long they'll acquire leather jackets and magical powers. The zombie apocalypse will look like your college dormitory on Sunday morning.

What drives this process? Why the urge to sexificate monsters? Well, I think it's a fairly obvious pattern. When a monster is first invented, it's a monster — a threat to escape or overcome. But after you've written a few dozen stories about overcoming that kind of monster, the audience gets bored. "Use silver bullets!" they say. "Put a stake in him!" So what's an author to do? Well, turn the monster into a character. Give them good lines and a personality. From there the obvious next step is to make the monster character sympathetic. And if you're being friendly anyway . . . cue the Barry White music.

Plus there's the undeniable fact that power is sexy. Call it "Kissinger's Law." Monsters, in order to be credible menaces, have to be powerful. They're strong, they're dangerous, they're aloof and predatory. In short, monsters are walking pick-up artist handbooks. Add to that the bonus of social power that wealthy, aristocratic vampires, fairy nobles, or gold-hoarding dragons can boast, and it's no wonder they have groupies like rock stars. (Less aristocratic werewolves have to get by with nothing but animal attractiveness, and poor proletarian zombies can't get past the bouncer at the club.)

Sexified monsters are an interesting bellwether of social attitudes, with both good and worrisome implications. The good part is that it shows how completely accepting our society has become of "outsiders." Falling in love with an undead bloodsucker or fire-breathing dragon is just another lifestyle choice. Nobody (except the Evil Business Guy played by Ronny Cox) is depicted as irredeemable in modern fiction.

The worrisome part is how all this works as a model. One of the purposes of fiction is that it helps us learn to interact with others, and vicariously "try on" different social roles. Do sexy monsters encourage the notion that you have to be a monster to be sexy?




A Darkling Sea

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Guest Blog by James L. Cambias - Sexifying Monsters! - February 24, 2014
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.




Extras!

There is a terrific tie-in website for UNICA (The United Nations Interstellar Cooperation Agency): IlmatarMission.com:
  • A mission statement for Ilmatar Expedition III
  • Facts about Ilmatar
  • What we currently know about life on Ilmatar
  • A description of the Hitode Station
  • Crew bios where you can meet the personnel of the Ilmatar mission
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • The Ilmatar Expedition 111 Mission Blog
  • Information about The United Nations Interstellar Cooperation Agency
  • The personal website of the universally famous explorer and adventurer Henri Kerlerec, currently on mission with the Ilmatar Expedition




About James

Guest Blog by James L. Cambias - Sexifying Monsters! - February 24, 2014
James L. Cambias was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and no matter where he goes, that city will always be home. He attended the University of Chicago intending to become an astronomer, but became fascinated by the history of science and wound up getting his degree in History and Philosophy of Science in 1988. At Chicago he also met Diane Kelly, who later became his wife.

Jim worked for two publishing companies right out of college -- Pelican Publishing of Louisiana in New Orleans, and then Nelson-Hall Publishers in Chicago. But in 1990 he decided to try freelance writing full time.

For most of a decade Jim wrote for roleplaying game publishers, becoming a mainstay at game magazines like GDW's Challenge, Steve Jackson's Pyramid, and the Star Wars Adventure Journal. Because of his Star Wars pieces he has an entry in the online "Wookieepedia," which is extremely impressive to his young son.

His first game book was Arabian Nights, a sourcebook for the Rolemaster game system from Iron Crown Enterprises. Over the next two decades he wrote six game books and coauthored to ten others. His best-known game products are probably GURPS Mars, GURPS Castle Falkenstein, Star HERO, and GURPS Space Fourth Edition.

In 2006 he joined with Diane Kelly and Joseph Steig to start Zygote Games, a company publishing science and nature-based games, dedicated to the idea that educational games don't have to be lame. The Zygote game Parasites Unleashed was picked by Scientific American as one of their "Top Science Toys" in 2012.

He has also written nonfiction for a variety of magazines and newspapers, including aviation history pieces for Airpower and Balloon Life, articles on maps, wine, parenting advice, travel, restaurant reviews, and astronomy. He writes a weekly stargazing column for the Greenfield Recorder.

Mr. Cambias has been writing science fiction since his teens, but his first professional sale came in the year 2000, when his short story "A Diagram of Rapture" appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Since then he has published 19 short stories in F&SF, Shimmer, and several original anthologies. In 2001 he was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. A Darkling Sea is his first novel.

When he isn't writing, Jim Cambias cuts firewood, cooks, plays roleplaying games, and haunts coffee shops in western Massachusetts. He blogs at www.jamescambias.com.


The View from Monday - January 27, 2014


Happy last Monday in January! The first month of the year has flown by it seems. I recently finished reading Hive Monkey (Ack-Ack Macaque 2) by Gareth L. Powell and Shovel Ready (Spademan 1) by Adam Sternbergh. Both novels were terrific.  I'm presently reading Breach Zone (Shadow Ops 3) by Myke Cole. You can expect a review on the 29th.

In other news: Since The Qwillery has over 700,000 pageviews (711,733 as of this morning), I'm planning a 7 book giveaway or something like that. I'm trying to decide whether it should be multi-genre or just one genre. I'll keep you posted!



The View from Monday - January 27, 2014



There are 3 debuts out this week:

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy 1) by Pierce Brown;

A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias; and

Terms of Enlistment (Terms of Enlistment 1) by Marko Kloos.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Hang Wire by Adam Christopher;

Breach Zone (Shadow Ops 3) by Myke Cole;

Trinity Rising (Wild Hunt 2) by Elspeth Cooper is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Wicked After Midnight (Blud 3) by Delilah S. Dawson;

The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian is out in Trade Paperback;

Blood's Pride (Shattered Kingdoms 1) by Evie Manieri is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Wakeworld (Between 2) by Kerry Schafer; and

Forgotten Sins (Sins Brothers 1) by Rebecca Zanetti.



January 27, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Paradox Lost (e) Libby Drew SFR/TT



January 28, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Circle of Fire (ri) Keri Arthur PNR - Damask Circle 1
Dragons Wild (tp2mm) Robert Asprin F - Griffen McCandles 1
Star Trek: Voyager: Protectors Kirsten Beyer SF - Star Trek
Frost Burned (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 7
Red Rising (D) Pierce Brown SF - Red Rising Trilogy 1
Sethra Lavode (ri) Steven Brust F - Viscount of Adrilankha 3
A Darkling Sea (D) James L. Cambias SF
How Dark the World Becomes (tp2mm) Frank Chadwick SF
Hang Wire Adam Christopher SF
Breach Zone Myke Cole MSF - Shadow Ops 3
Trinity Rising (h2mm) Elspeth Cooper F - Wild Hunt 2
Wicked After Midnight Delilah S. Dawson SPR - BLUD 3
The Office of Mercy: A Novel (h2tp) Ariel Djanikian PA
Dark Moon Kate Douglas PNR - Spirit Wild 2
Queen of Stars Dave Duncan SF - Starfolk 2
Burn For Me Cynthia Eden PNR - Phoenix Fire 1
Pandemonium (h2mm) Warren Fahey Th/SF
Up from the Grave Jeaniene Frost UF - Night Huntress 7
Crimson Veil Yasmine Galenorn UF - Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon 15
Autumn Rose Abigail Gibbs PNR - Dark Heroine 2
Mark of Calth (tp2mm) Laurie Goulding SF - Horus Heresy 25
Known Devil Justin Gustainis UF / Su / Noir / M - An Occult Crimes Unit Investigation 3
Hellhole Awakening (h2mm) Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
SF - Hellhole Trilogy 2
A Few Good Men (tp2mm) Sarah A. Hoyt SF - Darkship 3
Europe In Autumn Dave Hutchinson NF / Th
The Bird's Nest (ri) Shirley Jackson H
The Sundial (ri) Shirley Jackson H
Pirates of the Outrigger Rift Gary Jonas
Bill D. Allen
SF
A Different Kingdom Paul Kearney F
Lines of Departure Marko Kloos SF - Terms of Enlistment 2
Terms of Enlistment (D) Marko Kloos SF - Terms of Enlistment 1
Patient Zero (tp2mm) Jonathan Maberry Th/Z - Joe Ledger 1
Blood's Pride (h2mm) Evie Manieri F - Shattered Kingdoms 1
That Touch of Magic Lucy March PNR
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste Valerie Martin HistFict / Meta
The Other Tree DK Mok Th
Arcanum Simon Morden F
Stepping Stone / Love Machine: Crosstown to Oblivion (h2mm) Walter Mosley SF - Crosstown to Oblivion
Wulfe Untamed Pamela Palmer PNR - Feral Warriors 8
Feet of Clay (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 19
Hogfather (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 20
Interesting Times (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 17
The Long War (h2mm) Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter
SF - Long Earth 2
Maskerade (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 18
Magic Possessed Jaime Rush PNR - Hidden 2
Dominion (ri) C.J. Sansom AH
Wakeworld Kerry Schafer UF - Between 2
Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown Joe Schreiber SF - Star Wars
Beyond Belief Helen Smith SF/M - Emily Castles Mystery 4
The Echo James Smythe SF - The Explorer 2
Bristol House (h2tp) Beverly Swerling Su/Th
Disenchanted & Co. Lynn Viehl SP/M - Disenchanted & Co. 1
Nightworld (h2mm) F. Paul Wilson H/SF - Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack 6
Forgotten Sins Rebecca Zanetti R/Sus - Sins Brothers 1



January 29, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who, The Eleventh Hour: A Critical Celebration of the Matt Smith and Steven Moffat Era Andrew Oday SF - Doctor Who
Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction Motoko Tanaka SF



January 30, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gregory Benford George Slusser LC - Modern Masters of Science Fiction



January 31, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Chiliad: A Meditation Clive Barker H
The Ape Man's Brother Joe R. Lansdale F
Eastern Shadows: Illustrated Japanese Ghost And Monster Tales Utagawa Kuniyoshi Tsukioka Yoshitoshi H - Ukiyo-e Master 11



e - eBook
D - Debut
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AH - Alternate History
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistFict - Historical Fiction
LC - Literary Criticism
M - Mystery
O - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SP - Steampunk
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts


2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts


There are  debuts 10 debuts for January. Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The January debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite January cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

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).




Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



Elisabeth Elo

North of Boston
Pamela Dorman Books, January 23, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Dennis Lehane meets Smilla’s Sense of Snow: a big discovery in the world of female suspense, about an edgy young woman with the rare ability to withstand extreme conditions

Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl with an acerbic wit and a moral compass that points due north.

When the fishing boat Pirio is on is rammed by a freighter, she finds herself abandoned in the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours in the water before being rescued by the Coast Guard. But the boat’s owner and her professional fisherman friend, Ned, is not so lucky.

Compelled to look after Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina, Pirio can’t shake the lurking suspicion that the boat’s sinking—and Ned’s death—was no accident. It’s a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, who tells her that nothing is ever what it seems. Then the navy reaches out to her to participate in research on human survival in dangerously cold temperatures.

With the help of a curious journalist named Russell Parnell, Pirio begins unraveling a lethal plot involving the glacial whaling grounds off Baffin Island. In a narrow inlet in the arctic tundra, Pirio confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.

A gripping literary thriller, North of Boston combines the atmospheric chills of Jussi Adler-Olsen with the gritty mystery of Laura Lippman. And Pirio Kasparov is a gutsy, compellingly damaged heroine with many adventures ahead.



Marko Kloos

Terms of Enlistment
47North, January 28, 2013
Trade Paperback, 346 pages
Previously published in Kindle eBook format, May 8, 2013

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to two thousand calories of badly flavored soy every day:
You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.

With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

The debut novel from Marko Kloos, Terms of Enlistment is a new addition to the great military sci-fi tradition of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi.



Snorri Kristjansson

Swords of Good Men
The Valhalla Saga 1
Jo Fletcher Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
US Debut

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Swords of Good Men, Snorri Kristjansson’s debut novel, incorporates the myths that fascinated him as a child with his passion for epic fantasy. Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two years travelling as envoy and bodyguard to his high-born cousin. They have one last stop – the walled port town of Stenvik – before they can finally go home.

Thormodsson meets the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures his heart. Stenvik is also home to solitary blacksmith Audun Arngrimsson, whose past hides many dark secrets. Soon, the conflict brewing between two factions of dangerous and determined men of the town threatens to sweep all of them, natives and visitors alike, into the jaws of war.

The factions within Stenvik are about to come to blows, but a far bigger battle is approaching: a young King Olav is bringing the White Christ at point of sword and edge of blade. And on the horizon are the sails of another, more mysterious enemy. Thormodsson and his companions will soon learn that in this conflict between the Old Gods and the new, there are enemies everywhere—outside the walls of Stenvik as well as within.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready
Crown, January 14, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The futuristic hardboiled noir that Lauren Beukes calls “sharp as a paper-cut” about a garbage man turned kill-for-hire.

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter. But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill. Spademan must navigate between these two worlds—the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy—to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.

Adam Sternbergh has written a dynamite debut: gritty, violent, funny, riveting, tender, and brilliant.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.


Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!


I can't think of a better way to end 2013 than by announcing the the initial 14 authors featured in The Qwillery's 2014 Debut Author Challenge. To participate in the Challenge as a reader, please head to the 2014 Debut Author Challenge page for the rules.



Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!



Mary Behre

Spirited
Tidewater 1
Berkley, March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be…



Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



David Edison

The Waking Engine
Tor Books, February 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Richly imaginative, David Edison's The Waking Engine is a stunning debut by a major new talent.



Adrianne Harun

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
Penguin, February 25, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The seductive and chilling debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of The King of Limbo


In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.


Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark
Viking Adult, February 20, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.



Robin Riopelle

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook,  320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.



Lauren M. Roy

Night Owls
Night Owls 1
Ace, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors…



Mark Smylie

The Barrow
Pyr, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 700 pages
Cover Illustration © Gene Mollica

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Ramona Wheeler

Three Princes
Tor Books, February 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler's Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.




The View From Monday - December 30, 2019Interview with James Cambias and review of Corsair - May 5, 2015The View From Monday - May 4, 2015What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 13Guest Blog by James L. Cambias - Sexifying Monsters! - February 24, 2014The View from Monday - January 27, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 DebutsAnnouncing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!

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