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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The View from Monday - June 24, 2013

Happy last Monday in June!

There are many books out this week.  You'll also see a separate June 25th section for Kindle eBook reissues. Amazon is reissuing in Kindle format many novels that were previously published in print format by Dorchester Publishing (or its imprints). Amazon has acquired these titles from Dorchester. If this type of list is something you'd like to see in the release lists in the future, please let us know in the comments.

You'll find a PDF of this week's releases here. Take it shopping with you!



The View from Monday - June 24, 2013



From previously featured Debut Author Challenge authors:

iD (Machine Dynasty 2) by Madeline Ashby

Hunted (Iron Druid Chronicles 6) by Kevin Hearne

River Road (Sentinels of New Orleans 2) by Suzanne Johnson is now in Trade Paperback

The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator 3) by Jillian Stone





June 24, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Bite Me (e) PJ Schnyder PNR - London Undead 1
Witch Bound (e) Eleri Stone PNR - Twilight of the Gods 2



June 25, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mercy Kill (h2mm) Aaron Allston SF - Star Wars X-WIng 10
iD Madeline Ashby SF - The Machine Dynasty 2
Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures Christopher L. Bennett SF - Star Trek
Monster Hunter Legion (h2mm) Larry Correia UF - Monster Hunter 4
Lost Souls Delilah Devlin PNR/Th - Caitlyn O'Connell 2
Cold Steel Kate Elliott F - Spiritwalker Trilogy 3
The World of the End Ofir Touché Gafla SF/M/R
Heaven's War (h2mm) David S. Goyer
Michael Cassutt
SF - Heaven's Shadow 2
Midnight's Captive: Part 3 (e serial) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
Crash Guy Haley SF
Hunted Kevin Hearne UF - Iron Druid Chronicles 6
Hangsaman Shirley Jackson H
River Road (h2tp) Suzanne Johnson UF - Sentinels of New Orleans 2
The Armies of Heaven Jane Kindred F - House of Arkhangel'sk 2
Below Ryan Lockwood H/Th
Aliens: Recent Encounters Alex Dally MacFarlane (Ed) SF - Anthology
Blade Reforged Kelly McCullough F - Fallen Blade 4
The 'Geisters David Nickle H/UF
The Goliath Stone Larry Niven
Mathew Joseph Harrington
SF
The Morcai Battalion (h2mm) Diana Palmer SF - Morcai Battalion 1
A Kiss of Blood Pamela Palmer UF - Vamp City 2
Caged Warrior Lindsey Piper PNR - Dragon Kings 1
The Long Earth (h2mm) Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter
SF - Long Earth 1
Copper Girl Jennifer Allis Provost UF
Damn Him to Hell Jamie Quaid UF - Saturn's Daughters 2
2312 (h2mm) Kim Stanley Robinson SF
The Mona Lisa Sacrifice Peter Roman UF/Noir - The Book of Cross 1
After Dark: The Darkest Angel \ Shadow Hunter Gena Showalter
Kait Ballenger
PNR - Lords of the Underworld / Execution Underground
Sea of Sorrows Ree Soesbee
Steven Savile
F - Guild Wars 3
The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter Jillian Stone SP/M - Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator 3
The Apocalypse Codex (h2mm) Charles Stross UF/SF - Laundry Files 4
Slow Apocalypse (h2mm) John Varley SF
When Diplomacy Fails (h2mm) Michael Z. Williamson SF - Freehold / Ripple Creek 3



June 25, 2013 - Kindle Reissues
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Deeper Than the Night (Kindle e) (ri) Amanda Ashley PNR
Heart of the Witch (Kindle e) (ri) Alice Dean PNR
The Shore (Kindle e) (ri) Robert Dunbar H
Covenant (Kindle e) (ri) John Everson H
Divine Madness (Kindle e) (ri) Melanie Jackson PNR - Divine 2
Divine Night (Kindle e) (ri) Melanie Jackson PNR - Divine 3
The Reach (Kindle e) (ri) Nate Kenyon H
Peaceable Kingdom (Kindle e) (ri) Jack Ketchum H
Beware (Kindle e) (ri) Richard Laymon H
Come Out Tonight (Kindle e) (ri) Richard Laymon H
The Cellar (Kindle e) (ri) Richard Laymon H - Beast House Chronicles 1
The Lake (Kindle e) (ri) Richard Laymon H
Savage (Kindle e) (ri) Richard Laymon H
Demon Eyes (Kindle e) (ri) L.H Maynard
M.P.N. Sims
H
Black Cathedral (Kindle e) (ri) L.H. Maynard
M.P.N. Sims
H - Department 18 1
Night Souls (Kindle e) (ri) L.H. Maynard
M.P.N. Sims
H - Department 18 2
The Deluge (Kindle e) (ri) Mark Morris H
Daughter of Egypt (Kindle e) (ri) Constance O'Banyon PHR - Tausrat 3
The Haunting (Kindle e) (ri) Robin T. Popp PNR - Immortals 7
Phantom (Kindle e) (ri) Lindsay Randall PNR
Jake's Wake (Kindle e) (ri) John Skipp
Cody Goodfellow
H
The Long Last Call (Kindle e) (ri) John Skipp H



June 26, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Jake and the Other Girl: A Tor.Com Original (e) Emmy Laybourne SF



June 28, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Last Full Measure Jack Campbell SF
Dragonstone (ri) Dennis L. McKiernan F - Mithgar
The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz Dan Simmons F




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


H - Horror
F - Fantasy
M - Mystery
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD - June 21, 2013


Please welcome Madeline Ashby to The Qwillery. iD, the second novel in the Machine Dynasty series, will be published on June 25 in the US/Canada and July 4 in the UK.



Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD -  June 21, 2013




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Madeline:  Thank you for having me!



TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when the your first novel, vN, came out that you know now?

Madeline:  Hmm. I wish I had known how slowly the field of publishing can move, sometimes. It's not terribly fast. This isn't a bad thing, but it can be difficult to be patient, especially when it's your first book. Everything seems like it takes too long, when in reality it's just moving at the normal pace. It's just that you don't know that pace, because it's your first time. For someone who basically grew up with the Internet, it can be a little bit of a surprise.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing about writing for you?

Madeline:  Finding the zone. It's all too easy to procrastinate, or to tell yourself that it's just not a good day for good work, or that whatever you're working on isn't good enough and you should stop. Ignoring all that external stimuli, and all those inner voices, is really hard. It really takes a certain faith in yourself and faith in the process that can be hard to muster when you're in the mushy middle of something.



TQ:  Please tell us something about iD (Machine Dynasty 2) that is not in the book description.

Madeline:  Oh, there's a lot. I list a few things. iD has casinos, and cruise ships, and housing developments, and brothels, and theme parks, and a lot of sex instead of a lot of violence. It takes place near Christmas, but isn't really a Christmas story. It's about a guy on a quest for revenge that's really a quest for his own destiny, and that guy happens to be a robot who can't hurt human beings but is really pretty awesome in the sack.



TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in the series so far?

Madeline:  I think Portia continues to surprise me. Or rather, it surprises me how much I enjoy being with her. She's pure villainy through and through, but she says the things that everybody wishes they could say, and she does things that they are scared to even imagine doing. She's a ferociously strong character, and I'm always surprised at the power she has to turn a scene around for me and give me something new and fun and challenging to do with it.



TQ:  Are there any other genres in which you would like to write?

Madeline:  I suppose at some point I should write a YA novel. But that's a market, not a genre. I live with a horror writer, and I spend time with a lot of horror writers, so I guess I'm likely to get the itch to do one of those some day. But I don't really feel like I'm done with science fiction. I haven't pissed enough people off, yet.



TQ:  What's next?

Madeline:  Right now I'm working on a story for the Hieroglyph Project, which is a collaboration between the Center for Science and the Imagination, and Arizona State University. The project is inspired by a speech that Neal Stephenson gave on the need for big ideas in science fiction. And I'm talking with Angry Robot about what else we can do in the future.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Machine Dynasty

iD
Series:  Machine Dynasty 2
Publisher:  Angry Robot, June 25, 2013 (US/Can Print / eBook); July 4, 2013 (UK Print)
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Price:   $14.99 (print)
ISBN:   9780857663115 (print)

Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD -  June 21, 2013
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.

Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation… or death.

File Under: Science Fiction [ vN2 | Island in the Streams | Failsafe No More | The Stepford Solution ]




vN
Series:  Machine Dynasty 1
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books, July 31, 2012 (US/Canada); August 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
Price:  $12.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780857662620 (print)

Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD -  June 21, 2013
Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]




Covers for vN and iD are by Martin Bland.





About Madeline
(from Angry Robot)

Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD -  June 21, 2013
Kayleigh McCollum
Madeline grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. She graduated from a Jesuit university in 2005, after having written a departmental thesis on science fiction.

After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she decided to start writing science fiction stories. While immigrating to Canada from the United States in 2006 , she could not work or study and joined the Cecil Street Irregulars – a genre writers’ workshop founded by Judith Merril – instead.

Since then she has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. She has a masters degree in Manga and Anime and writes on such matters for i09, Tor.com and BoingBoing. Currently she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.

Madeline’s first book for Angry Robot is vN, which introduces us to Amy, a robot who has been grown in a stable family environment, with her robot mother and human father. But alone of all her kind, her human-protecting failsafe has stopped working. Soon she is on the run from the law, and worse – everyone’s after her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her. Her sole friend is a robot boy who’s programmed to only like humans…

You can find Madeline at her website, madelineashby.com or follow her on twitter.


**********


Read Madeline's 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog - Gynoid Trouble - here and interview here.


What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7

What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to in 2013?  This is the seventh in a series of posts.

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



Ania Ahlborn

The Shuddering
47North, June 18, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 294 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7
Ryan Adler and his twin sister, Jane, spent their happiest childhood days at their parents’ mountain Colorado cabin—until divorce tore their family apart. Now, with the house about to be sold, the Adler twins gather with their closest friends for one last snowboarding-filled holiday. While commitment-phobic Ryan gazes longingly at Lauren, wondering if his playboy days are over, Jane’s hopes of reconciling with her old boyfriend evaporate when he brings along his new fiancée. As drama builds among the friends, something lurks in the forest, watching the cabin, growing ever bolder as the snow falls…and hunger rises.

After a blizzard leaves the group stranded, the true test of their love and loyalty begins as the hideous creatures outside close in, one bloody attack at a time. Now Ryan, Jane, and their friends must fight—tooth and nail, bullet and blade—for their lives. Or else surrender to unspeakable deaths in the darkened woods.




Madeline Ashby

iD
Machine Dynasty 2
Angry Robot, June 25, 2013 (US/Can Print / eBook); July 4, 2013 (UK Print)
Trade Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.

Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation… or death.

File Under: Science Fiction [ vN2 | Island in the Streams | Failsafe No More | The Stepford Solution ]




Steve Bein

Year of the Demon
Fated Blades 2
Roc Trade, October 1, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7
A MASK OF DESTRUCTION

Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro has been promoted to Japan’s elite Narcotics unit—and with this promotion comes a new partner, a new case, and new danger. The underboss of a powerful yakuza crime syndicate has put a price on her head, and he’ll lift the bounty only if she retrieves an ancient iron demon mask that was stolen from him in a daring raid. However, Mariko has no idea of the tumultuous past carried within the mask—or of its deadly link with the famed Inazuma blade she wields.

The secret of this mask originated hundreds of years before Mariko was born, and over time the mask’s power has evolved to bend its owner toward destruction, stopping at nothing to obtain Inazuma steel. Mariko’s fallen sensei knew much of the mask’s hypnotic power and of its mysterious link to a murderous cult. Now Mariko must use his notes to find the mask before the cult can bring Tokyo to its knees—and before the underboss decides her time is up....




Alexa Egan

Shadow's Curse
Imnada Brotherhood 2
Pocket Books, September 24, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7
The second novel in the dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood trilogy featuring shape- shifters in Regency-era England.

Suffering under a horrible curse and renounced by his clan, the Imnada shape-shifter, David St. Leger, stalks the London nights in the form of a large black wolf, channeling his desperate rage on thieves and murderers. But when he’s captured by the very woman he sought to rescue, he’s thrown into the magical and dangerous world of the Other—half human, half-Fey, and one of the Imnada’s ancient enemies.

Forced by her half-brother to use her gift of necromancy as a money-making scheme, Callista Hawthorne wants only to flee to her aunt in Scotland where she’ll be safe. Considering David her last hope, she offers him a deal—freedom in exchange for his protection on the long journey north.

Now in a race for their lives, Other and Imnada must put aside centuries of animosity and work together if they are to overcome the dark forces intent on stopping them before they reach safety. For Callista is far more powerful than she knows, and with her help and her love, David may finally be able to break the curse of the Imnada…




Max Gladstone

Two Serpents Rise
Craft Sequence 2
Tor Books, October 29, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7
Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire…and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.


Cover Revealed - iD by Madeline Ashby - March 10, 2013


Angry Robot Books has revealed the cover for iD by Madeline AhsbyiD is the second novel in The Machine Dynasty series. The first in the series, vN, was published in July 2012. As with vN, the artwork for iD is by Martin Bland.

iD will be published on June 25, 2013 in the US/Canada and on July 4, 2013 in the UK. The eBook is out on June 25th.


Cover Revealed - iD by Madeline Ashby - March 10, 2013
Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption.

Javier’s quest takes him from Amy’s island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation… or death.

File Under: Science Fiction [ vN2 | Island in the Streams | Failsafe No More | The Stepford Solution ]




And the first novel in the Machine Dynasty:

vN
Machine Dynasty 1
Angry Robot Books, July 31, 2012 (US/Canada)
August 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Cover Revealed - iD by Madeline Ashby - March 10, 2013
Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]




These are very striking covers!


Interview with Madeline Ashby - August 1, 2012

Please welcome Madeline Ashby to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. vN (Machine Dynasty 1) was published on July 31, 2012 in the US and Canada. Look for vN tomorrow in the UK and RoW. You may read Madeline's Guest Blog - Gynoid Trouble - here.


Interview with Madeline Ashby - August 1, 2012


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Madeline:  I can't write without headphones on. It's weird. I just can't focus without the music being right up close and personal with me. I use Sony MDR-EX57LP earbuds. They deliver good bass sound and surprisingly good noise cancellation. I won't wear anything else, unless it's an upgrade to that off-centre earbud model from Sony (like the MDRNC100D). They're the perfect headphones.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Madeline:  I think I subscribe to the "candy bar" school of thought. I have certain scenes in mind and I write my way toward them.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing to you about writing?

Madeline:  Sitting down in the chair and getting it done.


TQ:  Describe vN in 140 characters or less.

Madeline:  It's the heartwarming quest of one little robot to discover why she's a born killer.


TQ:  What inspired you to write vN?

Madeline:  It was a lot of different things. I had worked on a thesis on anime and cyborg theory, so I was reading a lot about replication and authenticity. I was also watching a lot of anime in which replication played a big part, everything from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to Naruto. So it was on my mind a great deal. Eventually I had an idea about a man who discovers that his wife and daughter are self-replicating humanoids. Then I realized that was a really old-fashioned idea, and it would be more intriguing if he already knew and had accepted it, but didn't quite know everything. So that was how the prologue to the novel was born.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for vN?

Madeline:  I spent time looking at artificial muscle and polymer-doped memristors and cyanophageous algae and how it photosynthesizes. Plus I had to find out a lot of about the Cascadia fault line. And I was a consuming a lot of robot-related media, so it was all fresh in my mind. I knew who I was in dialogue with.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in vN?

Madeline:  I actually re-read the ending quite a lot. I was so happy to finally get there, and to finally get it the way I wanted it. Not to give anything away, but it felt great to see where everyone ended up.


TQ:  Who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Madeline:  Amy was tough for me, at first. I had to do a few passes before I felt like I really knew her. Portia, her grandmother, was much easier. Portia is also very fun to write. She's pure spite. She's everything you wish you could say but choose not to. So actually once you open that valve, it all just comes spewing out. What's harder is shutting it once you're finished.


TQ:  What's next?

Madeline:  I'm working on the sequel to vN, titled iD. It's from the perspective of Javier, a supporting character in the first novel. He's on a quest for redemption and revenge, and it takes him to a lot of interesting places, particularly in the American Southwest. I just watched The Wizard of Oz again recently, and it was amazing how helpful that was in helping me understand the structure of those types of stories.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.



About vN

vN
Machine Dynasty 1
Angry Robot Books, July 31, 2012 (US/Canada)
August 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Madeline Ashby - August 1, 2012
Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]




About Madeline

Interview with Madeline Ashby - August 1, 2012
Madeline Ashby is the author of vN, available July 31 from Angry Robot Books. Her fiction has been published in Nature, FLURB, Escape Pod, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction has appeared at BoingBoing, Creators Project, WorldChanging, io9.com and Tor.com. She works as a foresight consultant in Toronto.


Website : Facebook : Google+ : Twitter

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for July 2012!





As part of this year's Debut Author Challenge I thought it would be fun to choose a favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2012 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US.

January 2012 Winner - Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) by Myke Cole. Cover Art by Mike Komarck.

February 2012 Winner - Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) by Chris F. Holm. Cover Art by Amazing 15.

March 2012 Winner - The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski, Cover Art by Amazing 15.

April 2012 Winner - Blackbirds (Miriam Black 1) by Chuck Wendig. Cover Art by Joey Hi-Fi.

May 2012 Winner - Nightshifted (Edie Spence 1) by Cassie Alexander. Cover art by Aleta Rafton.

June 2012 Winner - Osiris (The Osiris Project 1) by E.J. Swift. Cover art by Sparth.


















































2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts


There are 12 debuts for July.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.


The July debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite July cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.


Seed
Author:  Ania Ahlborn
Publisher:  47North
Pub Date:  July 17, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback, 250 pages 
Price:  $14.95
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-1612183664

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.


***********************


Albert of Adelaide
Author:  Howard Anderson
Publisher:  Twelve
Pub Date:  July 10, 2012
Format:  Hardcover, 240 pages
Price: $24.99
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781455509621

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
ALBERT OF ADELAIDE follows the story of a duck-billed platypus who escapes from Australia's Adelaide Zoo and embarks on a journey through the outback in search of 'Old Australia,' a land of liberty, promise and peace. Encountering a motley assortment of characters--a pyromaniac wombat, a pair of invariably drunk (and vaguely gay) bandicoots, some dingoes, a group of kangaroos and a wrestling Tasmanian devil--this unlikely hero discovers a strength and skill for survival he could not have known he possessed. At once an old-fashioned-buddy-novel-shoot-em-up and a work of deliciously imagined fantasy, ALBERT OF ADELAIDE is a haunting story of a world where something has gone horribly awry.


***********************


vN
Author:  Madeline Ashby
Series:  Machine Dynasty
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books
Pub Date:  July 31, 2012 US/Canada
                  August 2, 2012 UK/RoW
Format:  Trade Paperback, 448 pages
Price:  $7.99
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  9780857662620

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]


***********************


Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling
Author:  Michael Boccacino
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
Pub Date:  July 24, 2012 
Format:  Trade Paperback
Price:  $14.99
Genre:  Gothic/Supernatural/Victorian
ISBN:  9780062122612

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
When the nanny to the young Darrow boys is found mysteriously murdered on the outskirts of the village of Blackfield, Charlotte Markham, the recently hired governess, steps in to take over their care. During an outing in the forest, they find themselves crossing over into The Ending, "the place for the Things Above Death," where Lily Darrow, the late mother of the children, has been waiting. She invites them into the House of Darkling, a wondrous place filled with enchantment, mystery, and strange creatures that appear to be, but are not quite, human.

However, everything comes with a price, and as Charlotte begins to understand the unspeakable bargain Mrs. Darrow has made for a second chance at motherhood, she uncovers a connection to the sinister occurrences in Blackfield and enters into a deadly game with the master of Darkling—one whose outcome will determine the fate of not just the Darrows but the world itself.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling is a Victorian Gothic tale about family ties, the realm beyond the living, and the price you pay to save those you love.


***********************


A Once Crowded Sky
Author:  Tom King
Publisher:  Touchstone
Pub Date:  July 10, 2012
Format:  Hardcover, 336 pages
Price:  $26.00
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451652000

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counter-terrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of super men stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he's forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice--PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.


***********************


Liquid Lies
Author:  Hanna Martine
Series: The Elementals
Publisher:  Berkley
Pub Date: July 3, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Price:  $7.99
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN9781101569009

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...


***********************


Blood and Feathers
Author:  Lou Morgan
Series:  Blood and Feathers
Publisher:  Solaris
Pub Date:  July 31, 2012 (US and Canada)
                   August 2, 2012 (UK)
Format:  Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Price:  $9.99
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9781781080191

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
"What's the first thing you think of when I say 'angel'?" asked Mallory. Alice shrugged. "I don't know... guns?"

Alice isn't having the best of days. She was late for work, she missed her bus, and now she's getting rained on. What she doesn't know is that her day's about to get worse: the epic, grand-scale kind of worse that comes from the arrival of two angels who claim everything about her life is a lie.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act - or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever.

That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory - a disgraced angel with a drinking problem and a whole load of secrets - Alice will learn the truth about her own history… and why the angels want to send her to hell.

What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding - and can she trust either side?

Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn't just hell's demons that Alice will have to defeat...


***********************


Up Jumps the Devil
Author:  Michael Poore
Publisher:  Ecco
Pub Date:  July 3, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Price:  $13.99
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9780062064417

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
A stunningly imaginative, sharp, funny, and slyly tender novel featuring the Devil himself, John Scratch.

He's made of wood. He cooks an excellent gumbo. Cows love him. And he's the world's first love story . . . and the world's first broken heart. Meet the darkly handsome, charming John Scratch, aka the Devil. Ever since his true love, a fellow fallen angel named Arden, decided that Earth was a little too terrifying and violent, John Scratch has been trying to lure her back from the forgiving grace of Heaven. Though neither the wonders of Egypt nor the glories of Rome were enough to keep her on Earth, John Scratch believes he's found a new Eden: America.

John Scratch capitalizes on the bounty of this arcadia as he shapes it into his pet nation. Then, one dark night in the late 1960s, he meets three down-on-their-luck musicians and strikes a deal. In exchange for their souls, he'll grant them fame, wealth, and the chance to make the world a better place. Soon, the trio is helping the Devil push America to the height of civilization—or so he thinks. But there's a great deal about humans he still needs to learn, even after spending so many millennia among them.

Overflowing with imagination, insight, and humor, rippling with history and myth, Up Jumps the Devil is as madcap and charming as the Devil himself.


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No Peace for the Damned
Author:  Megan Powell
Series:  Damned
Publisher:  47North
Pub Date:   July 10, 2102
Format:  Trade Paperback
Price:  $14.95
Genre  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1612183602

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. Beautiful and powerful, she’s spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night that leaves Magnolia nearly dead, she finally sees her chance for escape…

But this first taste of freedom is short-lived when she collides with Thirteen, head of the Network—a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals—who recruits her into the group. Even as she’s coming to grips with this new life and the horrific memories that still haunt her, she’s conflicted by her growing attraction to fellow team member Theo and the emergence of new, untested abilities. After months of grueling training, her loyalty to the team is tested when she learns her target is the Network’s most wanted: the Kelch family.

Revenge may course through her veins, but so does the blood of the Kelches. And opposing her family may cost her the thing she treasures most. After all, Magnolia is still a Kelch. And the Kelch are damned.


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Year Zero
Author:  Rob Reid
Publisher:  Del Rey
Pub Date:   July 10, 2012
Format:  Hardcover, 384 pages
Price:  $25.00
Genre:  Science Fiction / Humor
ISBN978-0-345-53441-5
Fiction debut

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
An alien advance party was suddenly nosing around my planet.
Worse, they were lawyering up. . . .

In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.

Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he’s an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He’s scared of heights. He’s also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he’s packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.

Soon he’s on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has forty-eight hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.


***********************


Advent
Author:  James Treadwell
Publisher:  Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Pub Date:   July 3, 2012
Format:  Hardcover,  464 pages
Price:  $26.00
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451661644


2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret.

1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

First in an astonishingly imaginative fantasy trilogy, Advent describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started—somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer.


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Geekomancy
Author:  Michael R. Underwood
Publisher:  Pocket Star (Simon&Schuster)
Pub Date:  July 10, 2012
Format:  eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $1.99
Genre  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451698138

2012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 Debuts
Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire the Slayer in this original urban fantasy eBook about Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.

Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comicshop slave to pursue her ambitions as a screenwriter.

When a scruffy-looking guy storms into the shop looking for a comic like his life depends on it, Ree writes it off as just another day in the land of the geeks. Until a gigantic “BOOM!” echoes from the alley a minute later, and Ree follows the rabbit hole down into her town’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves, and elegant Gothic Lolita witches while wielding nostalgia-powered props.

Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from her own drag-your-heart-through-jagged-glass breakup. But as she digs deeper, Ree discovers Eastwood may not be the knight-in-cardboard armor she thought. Will Ree be able to stop the suicides, save Eastwood from himself, and somehow keep her job?

Guest Blog by Madeline Ashby - Gynoid Trouble

Please welcome Madeline Ashby to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. vN (Machine Dynasty 1), Madeline's debut, will be published by Angry Robot Books on July 31, 2012 in the US/ Canada and on August 2, 2012 in the UK/ RoW.



Gynoid Trouble

I was flying back from a trip to Intel's IXR Lab when a British ad man caught me looking at the cover of my book vN on my computer. I explained that the book was about a robot named Amy. That was Amy (and her mother Charlotte, and her grandmother Portia) on the cover.

"Does she know she's a robot?" my seat mate asked.

"Oh yes," I answered. "She knows. She's always known. She's very happy being a robot. She doesn't want to be anything else."

Saying these words aloud, I realized how odd they sounded. After all, many stories about robots are about establishing an identity. Most of this time that means that the robots, like Pinocchio, wish to become "real." The Tin Woodsman wants the Wizard to give him a heart. Little David, in both "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" and its film adaptation, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, longs to become a real little boy. Both Rick Deckard and Roy Batty are on a quest for authenticity; neither can find it without Eldon Tyrell's help. Commander Data wants to find Dr. Soong, so that he can have his emotion chip installed. Astro Boy wants to impress his creator, Dr. Tenma, and later his adopted father, Professor Ochanomizu. Even David Weyland, the robot in Ridley Scott's latest disappointment, Prometheus, performs a human identity to the best of his ability so that his father will recognize that he does indeed have a soul. All of these stories stem from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein, in which the Creature that Victor Frankenstein creates goes on a quest to find him, prove his humanity to him, and ultimately punish him for having abandoned him. In turn, M.W. Shelley's story stems from both the Prometheus and Satan myths: an angry creation's quest to prove himself to a distant creator, a quest that turns violent or destructive when the creator fails to appreciate his creation.

Most robot stories are all about daddy issues. Most robot stories are also about male robots, written by men. I suspect this is not a coincidence. But in vN, I wasn't writing about sons and fathers, but about mothers and daughters. I was also influenced by Donna Haraway's A Cyborg Manifesto, in which she says:

Unlike the hopes of Frankenstein's monster, the cyborg does not expect its father to save it through a restoration of the garden; that is, through the fabrication of a heterosexual mate, through its completion in a finished whole, a city and cosmos. The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust. Perhaps that is why I want to see if cyborgs can subvert the apocalypse of returning to nuclear dust in the manic compulsion to name the Enemy. Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not re-member the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection- they seem to have a natural feel for united front politics, but without the vanguard party. The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.

Now, Amy is not a cyborg. She is all machine. A robot. But her family unit is cyborg: a fusion of organic and synthetic elements in the form of her robot mother and human father, who live together as a mixed-species couple. The cyborg values Haraway described appealed to me, and over time they became Amy's values and those of her family: atheism, pluralism, the rejection of origin, a commitment to designing a good life based on personal desires and not social constructs. Those are the values Amy takes out into the world when she goes on an adventure that leads her to some truths about her family and herself.

But values weren't enough. When I tried to think of stories about female robots, all I could come up with were women like Rachael Rosen in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: cold, calculating, using sex as a weapon. I thought about the Buffybot, and Data's daughter Lal, and Pris and Zhora. The Stepford Wives. The Cylons: 6, 8, etc. Deceivers, mostly, or substitutes. The mechanical brides of Frankenstein's Creature. Only Molly Millions stands out as someone you might wish you could be, someone with her own position in the world. But she's a cyborg, not a robot. The only remotely healthy models of fully gynoid subjectivity I could think of were Japanese: Motoko Kusanagi, from Ghost in the Shell (all of its iterations); Gally/Alita, from Battle Angel Alita/Gunm; Melfina, from Outlaw Star; Chii, from Chobits; R. Dorothy Wayneright from Big O, and KOS-MOS, the star of the Xenosaga RPGs.

Of those, Kusanagi's story is the one that always resonates most deeply with me. In all of her incarnations -- manga or film or television animation -- she is a woman who must confront the darkest aspects of herself and reintegrate all of her disparate elements into a coherent identity. Susan J. Napier describes Kusanagi's growth as a series of "falls" and crossed thresholds both literal and figurative. This is a classic journey from girl to goddess, in which the "devouring mother" or wicked queen of Jungian archetype must be faced and displaced so that the girl can become a woman. Similarly, the more Freudian "uncanny double" appears a great deal in stories about female robots and cyborgs: in Dick's novel Rachael and Pris are doubles; Chii has Freya; KOS-MOS has T-elos; Dorothy has R.D.; Lain Iwakura has the "wild Lain"; Rei Ayanami has multiple clones and is herself a clone of Yui Ikari. All of these doubles must be subdued for the heroine to achieve her goal. The heroine's journey is the transition from object to subject. More specifically, the gynoid heroine's journey is the transition between "automaton" to "autonomous". From a piece of consumer technology to one who can never be owned. As Rei Ayanami says, "Wastashi wa anatta no ningyo ja nai; watashi wa anatta ja nai mono." I am not your puppet; I am not your thing.

This is not to say that all women have the same journey, or that all women are the same. Haraway herself said it: "There is nothing about being 'female' that naturally binds women. There is not even such a state as 'being' female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices." She wrote these words five years before Judith Butler published Gender Trouble, before "gender performativity" was a term students had to memorize. But I was thinking of both women when I wrote vN. I was also thinking about Christopher Bolton's articles on Ghost in the Shell, specifically related to bunraku puppet theatre and its relationship to the performance of both gender and humanity. Female robots, or robots coded feminine at least, would have it bad both ways, I thought. Not only would they have to be more human than human, they would have to be more woman than women.

And that seemed like a quest in and of itself.



About vN

vN
Machine Dynasty 1
Angry Robot Books, July 31, 2012 (US/Canada)
August 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Guest Blog by Madeline Ashby - Gynoid Trouble
Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]
Preorder




About Madeline


Guest Blog by Madeline Ashby - Gynoid Trouble
Madeline Ashby is the author of vN, available July 31 from Angry Robot Books. Her fiction has been published in Nature, FLURB, Escape Pod, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction has appeared at BoingBoing, Creators Project, WorldChanging, io9.com and Tor.com. She works as a foresight consultant in Toronto.


Website : Facebook : Google+ : Twitter
The View from Monday - June 24, 2013Interview with Madeline Ashby, author of vN and iD -  June 21, 2013What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 7Cover Revealed - iD by Madeline Ashby - March 10, 2013Interview with Madeline Ashby - August 1, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 20122012 Debut Author Challenge - July 2012 DebutsGuest Blog by Madeline Ashby - Gynoid Trouble

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