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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction

Tracey writes about the TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction panel that was presented at BookExpo America (BEA) on June 1st:

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction
From left to right: Charlie Jane Anders, Malka Older and Annalee Newitz

Thursday afternoon, BEA offered the panel: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction which was moderated by the author of All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders. During this 30 minute panel, Anders asked Malka Older, author of Infomocracy and the upcoming Null States and Annalee Newitz, author of the upcoming Autonomous, some fascinating questions on the factors that influenced them as they wrote their novels.

Anders started by asking how the authors prepared for setting their books in the future.

Older, whose book is set about 60 years from now, replied that it really depends on how far forward you want to go.

Newitz had more to say. Since her novel is set approximately 150 years in the future, she felt she had some "wiggle room" in terms of how current events might have transformed things. She describes her thought process in this way: First, she figured there would be 4 to 5 generations between now and then. Next, she looked back at history and thought about how much different her great grandmother's life was from her own. For instance, one contrast between her great grandmother's day and the present is that women can now vote. In her novel, there are robots who possess artificial intelligence. These robots have gone through their own civil rights movement and have gained civil rights. She stated that in comparison "there are civil rights for people of color in this country, nominally."

Next, Anders spoke about how fascinating each unique world is and asked the authors how they went about making their characters memorable.

Older stated that when she was starting to write Infomocracy she really wanted to talk about how government and politics could look different in the future. She wanted to write an adventurous story because that's the kind of thing she likes reading. So, she said, "it was really important to have characters who could connect with the present". Although her characters were born in the future, they still have a lot of the same concerns that people currently do.

One of Newitz's characters is a young robot on his very first mission and he's struggling to understand his place in the world. She said that her "first image was of (this) robot feeling physical pain. I was imagining this robot going through training exercises, climbing a sand dune, and getting sand caught in his actuators in his legs. How that would feel to him and what the emotional impact would be." This first experience with physical pain leads to emotional pain because he feels betrayed by the humans that raised him. She says she actually built the world of Autonomous around this character. Another important factor for Newitz was to find a balance between her "nerdy excitement about world building" and her "sense of human sadness and horror."

Anders then asked about the underlying theme of idealism followed by burnout that occurs in both novels.

Older says her novel is "a thought experiment in a lot of ways". She took a close look at politics and how things could be different in the future. She wanted her characters to be engaged in these politics and she knew that by the end, there was going to be a feeling of exhaustion. Also, she wanted to convey the feeling that there are limits of what can be accomplished; even by people who are so engaged and hopeful.

Newitz's other central character is Jack, a pharmaceutical pirate who starts out as a very idealistic grad student. Jack soon realizes that the world of medicine has been completely corrupted by corporations. Medicine has become too expensive for the poor, so she becomes an outlaw. She's completely burned out as she copes with working in underground labs to reverse engineer drugs and from fleeing from the law. The big question Newitz says she asks of her characters is, "if we are trying to change things, how far do we want to go, and how radical do we want to get?"

Anders commented that both novels have a very strong sense of place and wondered how the authors accomplished that. Both authors agree, by trying to visit the places that they write about.
For Older it was extremely important for her book to be global. She added that "they say write what you know but I think you can write about what you miss." It helps makes things very vivid.
Newitz stated that although she has not sailed on the Arctic Sea (like Jack), she spent a lot of time studying maps and geography. She says she also thought about new trades routes and how they would need to be based on climate change but also her world's economic system which is based on indenture. She said indenture "is just a nice term for slavery, but people like to call it indenture in the future so that they don't feel quite so bad for enslaving robots."

She believes the little details are huge. Newitz said Older "has amazing images of food in her novel and she also has a great way of showing what it's like to pass over a border." She says those are the kinds of detail that help people "smell the place and kind of see the place in their imagination."

Anders then asked about climate change and how both writers approached this when writing their books.

Older thinks it is an extremely important issue to take into consideration. She says she may have downplayed climate change a bit and made some optimistic assumptions but that even so, in her book there are certain countries completely under water. She says she looked at population maps as well because population is a major issue in her book. Studying maps helped her to keep things as realistic as possible..

Newitz, says she thinks it's crucial to include climate change in any vision of the future. She stated "We are heading into a world where geography will be changed by the environment transforming." Newitz, who is also a science journalist, has interviewed geoscientists who have said that things are going to be really screwed up for the next 1000 years. She concluded by saying "If you are setting a book in the next 1000 years, then absolutely, you have to be thinking about how settlements of humans will change, settlements of animals will change and (how) the composition of the ocean will change. There's just no getting away from it."

Finally Anders commented that both book have amazingly diverse cultures and ethnic groups. Anders asked the authors if this occurred naturally or if it was a reflection on how they wanted to portray the future.

Older didn't think it was a big change from the present. She said that we live in a diverse place with many different groups of people, To Older, the interesting part of writing her book was to decide "what are the things that we worry about now that have disappeared in the future and what are the new things that might come up." She said that "as a species we tend to find new ways to dice and slice ourselves into different groups."

Newitz candidly announced that she is "just not that interested in white people." She went on to say that she was more interested in writing about nonhumans. She felt it would be really interesting to explore how a robot would look at humans. She said that she had always been drawn to stories about nonhuman animals and aliens and their experiences. For Newitz it was a natural way to get away from the standard sci-fi plot.

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction
Malka Older (left) and Annalee Newitz (right)

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders is available now and has won the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Crawford Award for a novel published in 2016, and is nominated for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Infomocracy by Malka Older is available now and Null States, the second novel in the Centenal Cycle, will be available on September 19, 2017. Malka Older a finalist for the The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (presented at the Hugo Awards). Infomocracy is a Locus Award Finalist for Best First Novel.

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz publishes on September 19, 2017 and is Annalee's debut fiction book. Annalee Newitz's most recent non-fiction book is Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction which was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in Science & Technology.

We have a fabulous giveaway for you: signed copies of All the Birds in the Sky (Trade Paperback), Null States (printed paperback ARC) and Autonomous (printed paperback ARC)! Follow the directions in The Giveaway section below to enter.

 All the Birds in the Sky
Tor Books, April 11, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 26, 2016

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction
From the former editor-in-chief of, a stunning novel about the end of the worldand the beginning of our future

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.

But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together—to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky is a deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

Null States
The Centenal Cycle 2, September 19, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction
"Kinetic and gripping" —NPR on Infomocracy

Null States continues Campbell Award finalist Malka Older's Centenal Cycle, the trilogy beginning with Infomocracy

A Locus Award Finalist for Best First Novel
The book The Huffington Post called "one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history"
Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The Verge, Flavorwire, Kirkus, and Book Riot

The future of democracy is about to implode.
After the last controversial global election, the global infomocracy that has ensured thirty years of world peace is fraying at the edges. As the new Supermajority government struggles to establish its legitimacy, agents of Information across the globe strive to keep the peace and maintain the flows of data that feed the new world order.

In the newly-incorporated DarFur, a governor dies in a fiery explosion. In Geneva, a superpower hatches plans to bring microdemocracy to its knees. In Central Asia, a sprawling war among archaic states threatens to explode into a global crisis. And across the world, a shadowy plot is growing, threatening to strangle Information with the reins of power.

Tor Books, September 19, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science Fiction
The highly anticipated science fiction debut from the founder of io9!

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

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

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

The Giveaway

What: All the Birds in the Sky (Trade Paperback) by Charlie Jane Anders, Null States (printed paperback ARC) by Malka Older and Autonomous (printed paperback ARC) by Annalee Newitz. Each book is signed by the author! INTERNATIONAL

  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “TOR SF“ with or without the quote marks.
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the novel(s) and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted by The Qwillery once the giveaway ends.
Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on June 23, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26

This is the twenty-sixth in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year that author was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.

Part 1 here Part 11 here Part 21 here Part 31 here Part 41 here
Part 2 here Part 12 here Part 22 here Part 32 here Part 42 here
Part 3 here Part 13 here Part 23 here Part 33 here Part 43 here
Part 4 here Part 14 here Part 24 here Part 34 here Part 44 here
Part 5 here Part 15 here Part 25 here Part 35 here Part 45 here
Part 6 here Part 16 here Part 26 here Part 36 here Part 46 here
Part 7 here Part 17 here Part 27 here Part 37 here Part 47 here
Part 8 here Part 18 here Part 28 here Part 38 here Part 48 here
Part 9 here Part 19 here Part 29 here Part 39 here Part 49 here
Part 10 here Part 20 here Part 30 here Part 40 here Part 50 here

Malka Older (2016)

Infomocracy, August 8, 2017
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, June 7, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26
It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

Lauren Oliver (2014)

HarperCollins, October 4, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26
Two girls, two stories, one epic novel

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.

Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

Melissa F. Olson (2012)

Nightshades, July 19, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 176 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26
Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations―the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

Nightshades is a new gritty urban fantasy from Melissa F. Olson.

Boundary Born
Boundary Magic 3
47North, June 21, 2016
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 288 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26
Something wicked is at work in Colorado’s supernatural community. Vampires are being paralyzed or killed with poison…a weapon favored by witches. This offense threatens to break apart the already-fractured alliance between witches and the undead.

The state’s cardinal vampire, Maven, summons boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther to stop the killing before it ignites a war. Lex has barely started investigating when she gets another surprise: the biological father she’s never met arrives on her doorstep. He has answers to all of Lex’s questions about her bloodline, but getting those answers could mean betraying the life she’s already built.

Then the next vampire is poisoned—and this time it’s Maven herself. The new evil that hunts Lex is powerful and ruthless enough to stop the strongest supernatural creature in the state. In order to find such a killer, Lex will have to face down her own birthright and call on every ally—both living and dead.

Midnight Curse
Disrupted Magic 1
47North, February 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook

[cover not yet revealed]
Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Daniel O'Malley (2012)

The Rook Files 2
Back Bay Books, April 18, 2017
Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Hardcover and eBook, June 14, 2016

[cover not yet revealed]
"Satisfying and spellbinding....I just loved this book."--Charlaine Harris

When two secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers--and the bureaucratic finesse--to get the job done. Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:

The Checquy--the centuries-old covert organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and...

The Grafters--a supernatural threat.

But as bizarre attacks sweep London and threaten negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely loathe each other can find the culprits before they trigger all-out war.

STILETTO is a novel of preternatural diplomacy, paranoia, and snide remarks from an author who "adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof." (Booklist)

Ada Palmer (2016)

Too Like the Lightning
Terra Ignota 1
Tor Books, January 24, 2017
Trade Paperback, 448 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 10, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world's population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.

And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life...

Seven Surrenders
Terra Ignota 2
Tor Books, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26

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Interview with Malka Older, author of Infomocracy

Please welcome Malka Older to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Infomocracy was published on June 7th by

Interview with Malka Older, author of Infomocracy

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

Malka:  Thank you! Great to be here. I’ve always written. In elementary school I folded paper to make eight- and ten-page books with construction paper covers. In high school I wrote a novella or proto-novel, I don’t remember exactly how long it was but it had chapters and the intent was a novel. Shortly after college I finished the first novel that I considered “real” in some sense. And I’ve been writing novels ever since.

As far as the why – I always read a lot, and so narrative is one of the key ways I interact with the world. It is natural to me to reflect that back through my own writing.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Malka:  A pantser, with some plotting when necessary. My novels usually start with a few phrases, images, or partial scenes that are largely emotional or thematic in import, and the novel accretes around them. Once the characters are clear enough in my mind, I can let them play and watch what they do. Some of my novels I’ve been able to find the entire plot that way; for something like Infomocracy, which has a lot of moving pieces, and the sequel Null States, which has even more, there were points at which I needed to write a few plotting notes to make sure all the gears meshed, but I try to keep that minimal. I love the feeling of plot twists emerging and surprising me as I learn more about the characters, and in reading as well as writing I prefer books that feel organic.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Malka:  Wonderful things happen during editing, but I definitely do not feel the same drive to do it as the writing.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does your background in disaster response and humanitarian aid influence your writing?

Malka:  My writing is influenced by a lot of different factors, firstly all the books I’ve read, and then of course other experiences, conversations, interactions. Disaster response and development work are a big part of that, because they’ve been a big part of my life. One element of this is the fascination with different cultures and different places. Another is the concern about how seemingly abstract, political decisions impact people’s lives in very concrete ways. For Infomocracy I was thinking a lot about the pacing and feeling of professional disaster response, meaning not just responding to one disaster, but doing it consistently: always on call, traveling constantly, putting out metaphorical fires more often than literal ones. I wanted to give some of that combination of urgency and routine to the election workers in the book. Also, when an earthquake occurs in a novel by a disaster responder, it’s not deus ex machina – it’s something that was predicted by geologists, bound to happen eventually, and probably should have been better prepared for!

TQDescribe Infomocracy in 140 characters or less.

Malka:  Global microdemocracy! Flamethrowers! Spies! Data analysis! Anarchists! International intrigue! Katanas! Elections! Sabotage! Blood glitter!

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

MalkaInfomocracy takes place in rural northeastern Japan, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Singapore, Addis Ababa, Naha, Tokyo, Lima, Kobe, Amami, Manila, Chennai, the Maldives, Doha, New York City, Paris, and Beirut.

TQWhat inspired you to write Infomocracy?

Malka:  It was a combination of several things. I’d been thinking a lot about the nation-state and geographical borders, and the terrible wars of secession that occur because some populations within a state don’t feel represented and those in power don’t want to lose territory. I’d lived or worked in a number of these states – Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sudan, but also Spain and Italy, which had secessionist movements trying to break them up even as they joined the EU and became a part of something larger. I was also feeling very frustrated with the slipperiness of politics, particularly around the 2012 elections in the US. Lying in politics is pretty much par for the course, but it felt like we already had the tools necessary to cut down on that significantly, and instead the confusion multiplied. It wasn’t just that one politician or another was lying as a way of getting ahead; what bothered me was more how difficult it had become to have a policy discussion with someone I disagreed with, because the supposed data we based our arguments on was so often contradictory. So with these two, related frustrations I came up with the interacting components of micro-democracy and Information. There was also another element: I’d been working in Japan after the 2011 disaster, which contributed a lot to the tone of the book but also the first scene: an old and run-down pachinko parlor called 21st Century. The thought of how that name had once seemed exciting and futuristic and then became both a statement of fact and an admission of age helped me make the leap into the future.

TQThe novel has been called Cyberpunk and a Political Thriller. Do you agree with these genre labels and, if yes, what appeals to you about these genres?

Malka:  Both those labels fit. The future described in Infomocracy is made possible by virtual communications and big data, and it also owes quite a bit stylistically to the cyberpunk genre. A political thriller is what I set out to write. I hope it is both a thriller about politics, in that there are a lot of chases and explosions and fights and other thrilling activities in the pursuit of political goals, and a book that makes politics – the scheming, the leveraging, the stakes, the possibilities – thrilling to read about.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Infomocracy?

Malka:  Most of the research I did was fact checking, confirming or looking up details. Almost all of the locations in Infomocracy are places where I have lived or at a minimum passed through, so I had a good sense for them already. Their future incarnations are based on my understanding of the place in the present and my thinking, in various contexts (academic, practitioner, speculative) about the context and the pressures and incentives. I had to pay a lot of attention to population figures, because the administrative unit in the book, the centenal, is based on a population of 100,000, so I spent a fair amount of time with population predictions and a calculator. I also do a lot of reading of random articles – in magazines/newspapers, on the internet, etc – and if I come across something that is interesting and/or makes sense to me, like a future technology or a prediction about international relations, it may find its way in there.

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

Malka:  It was important to me that all of the characters have clear and relatable motivations in the complicated intrigue of the book, and maybe because of that I didn’t find any of them particularly hard to write. Probably the hardest was when I had to write someone’s public political speech, so it had to be fairly bland in the way of political rhetoric but also still indicate their leanings. There isn’t too much of that in the book, but there were a few times I had to do it. I did really enjoy writing the two main characters, Mishima and Ken. Both are a lot of fun, and they are very different, in ways that made them good foils for each other, and I enjoyed showing the ways they interpret the same situation from different perspectives.

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

Malka:  I’m not sure how I would separate social issues from a story, particularly one that involves worldbuilding. For one thing, as a sociologist, everything is a social issue. To give an example from my field: the way we experience what is often referred to as natural disasters is entirely based on the social constructs they interact with. If buildings fall down during an earthquake, that is a social issue, because it has to do with how construction is funded and regulated and incentivized. How you find help afterwards depends on social relations, both your own immediate ones and the social factors that determined what kind of organizations are set up to assist you, how they are funded, what kind of assistance they think is appropriate, and how they decide who gets it. An earthquake that doesn’t interact with society is not a disaster. If that’s the case for something we consider “natural,” so much the more so for politics, economics, family life – everything is impacted by social issues.

Then again, as a humanitarian, if I consider social issues as ways in which some people are less integrated into society – considered less human – than others (which I think is what is meant by “social issues” here), that’s a paramount concern. It needs to be seen, written about, and acted on.

As a novelist, there are two answers. It’s really hard for me to imagine a world without “social issues” (although I suppose that could be the premise for a speculative story that would be either very interesting or very boring); for the sake of verisimilitude, for the sake of representing humanity, they have to be in there. Secondly, social issues are the source of a lot of conflict and deferred desire, so they are important drivers of narrative.

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


Q: I found the issues raised in the book really compelling and relevant to the world today. Where can I learn more about them or get more involved myself?

A: Wow, I’m so glad you asked! As a matter of fact, I’m donating a percentage of my earnings from the book to the Accountability Lab, an organization that works on improving governance and accountability from the ground up. You can learn more about them and support their work here: You can support them in non-financial ways by participating in their projects and getting ideas for how to promote accountability in your own local context. Other organizations are Transparency International ( and Global Integrity ( And of course you can engage with your own governmental processes in whatever way is safe for you wherever you are. Learn all you can about the choices you are offered. Discuss them in substantive ways with people, even and especially with those who disagree with you. Vote and help to get out the vote if that’s relevant in your country, and pay attention to local elections, not just flashy national ones.

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


“Mishima has no idea what she’s going to do to stop the crow from in here, armed as she is with five shuriken and a stiletto. Even so, she can’t just stand here and watch. Mishima grabs a cool tube of fluoron, smooth as an antler and the perfect circumference for a comfortable grip. She inhales, steps over the platform rail, and lets her legs swing forward, reaching ahead to seize another loop with her other hand.”

TQWhat's next?

Malka:  The big exciting news is that there will be a sequel to Infomocracy! The title is Null States and it will come out from in 2017. I also have a story up at Capricious and another (non-speculative) coming out from Reservoir Lit this summer. There are a few other novels in the pipeline, speculative and non-speculative.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Infomocracy, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Malka Older, author of Infomocracy
It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

About Malka

Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and PhD candidate. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development and has responded to complex emergencies and natural disasters in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Darfur, Indonesia, Japan, and Mali. Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at the Institut d’Études Politques de Paris (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of multi-level governance and disaster response using the cases of Hurricane Katrina and the Japan tsunami of 2011. Malka Older’s writing can be found at Leveler,, Bengal Lights, Sundog Lit, Capricious, Reservoir, in the poetry anthology My Cruel Invention, and in Chasing Misery, an anthology of writing by female aid workers. Her science fiction political thriller Infomocracy is the first full-length novel from, and the sequel Null States will be published in 2017.

Website  ~  Twitter @m_older  ~  Facebook

The View From Monday - June 6, 2016

Happy Monday! This is a busy week for debut novels!

Silent Hall by N.S. Dolkart;

The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen;

Infomocracy by Malka Older;

Hell's Gate by Bill Schutt and J. R. Finch;

The Root by Na'amen Gobert Tilahun;

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf;


Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood.

The View From Monday - June 6, 2016The View From Monday - June 6, 2016
The View From Monday - June 6, 2016The View From Monday - June 6, 2016
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The View From Monday - June 6, 2016

Clicking on a novel cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman;

Saint's Blood (The Greatcoats Quartet 3) by Sebastien de Castell;

The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War 3) by Mark Lawrence;

Like a Boss (Windswept 2) by Adam Rakunas;

Nova (Nova 1) by Margaret Fortune is out in Mass Market Paperback;


Queen of Fire (Raven's Shadow 3) by Anthony Ryan is out in Trade Paperback.

The View From Monday - June 6, 2016The View From Monday - June 6, 2016
The View From Monday - June 6, 2016The View From Monday - June 6, 2016
The View From Monday - June 6, 2016The View From Monday - June 6, 2016

Clicking on a novel cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors are highlighted in green.

The View From Monday - June 6, 2016

June 7, 2016
The Year's Best Military & Adventure SF 2015: Volume 2 David Afsharirad (Ed) SF - Anthology
Three Faces of Asprin Robert Asprin SF - Collection
The Medusa Chronicles Stephen Baxter
Alastair Reynolds
SF - Medusa 2
The Suicide Motor Club Christopher Buehlman H/DF
Saint's Blood Sebastien de Castell HistF - The Greatcoats Quartet 3
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume One Neil Clarke (Ed) SF - Anthology
Spear of Light Brenda Cooper SF/SO - The Glittering Edge 2
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eight Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
Lethal Kisses: 18 Tales of Sex, Horror, and Revenge (e) Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
Silent Hall (D) N. S. Dolkart F - Silent Hall 1
Mash Up Gardner Dozois (Ed) SF/F - Anthology
Death's Bright Day David Drake SF - RCN 11
A Green and Ancient Light Frederic S. Durbin HistF
Nova (h2mm) Margaret Fortune SF - Nova 1
Neverwhere: Author's Preferred Text (h2tp) Neil Gaiman CF
The Many Selves of Katherine North (D) Emma Geen LF
Warcraft - Official Movie Novelization Christie Golden F
DR. DOA Simon R. Green UF - Secret Histories 10
From a Drood to A Kill (h2mm) Simon R. Green UF - Secret Histories 9
Death Masks Ed Greenwood F - Forgotten Realms
Death of the Old World Guy Haley
Josh Reynolds
F - The End Times 3
The Gospel of Loki (h2tp) Joanne M. Harris F
The Vampire's Protector Michele Hauf PNR
Autumn Princess, Dragon Child Lian Hearn F - The Tale of Shikanoko 2
Devastating Hate Markus Heitz F - The Legends of the Alfar 2
Awakened by the Wolf Kristal Hollis PNR
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016 Edition Rich Horton (Ed) SF/F - Anthology
Little Sister Dev Jarrett H
Assassin Queen Anna Kashina F/FR - Majat Code 3
End of Watch Stephen King Sus/H - The Bill Hodges Trilogy 3
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge Paul Krueger UF /P
A Study in Sable Mercedes Lackey HistF - Elemental Masters 11
From a High Tower (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey HistF - Elemental Masters 10
Sense of Deception (h2mm) Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 13
The Wheel of Osheim Mark Lawrence F - The Red Queen's War 3
Allhallow's Eve (e)(ri) Richard Laymon H
Night's Master (ri) Tanith Lee F/DF - Flat Earth 1
Charnel House (e)(ri) Graham Masterton H
The Devils of D-Day (e)(ri) Graham Masterton H
The Devil in Gray (e)(ri) Graham Masterton H
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories (h2tp) China Miéville F/CF - Collection
Robert Asprin's Myth-Fits Jody Lynn Nye F/HU - Myth-Adventures 20
Infomocracy (D) Malka Older SF/CyberP
Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Bargain Tim Pratt F - Pathfinder Tales 33
Like a Boss Adam Rakunas SF - Windswept 2
Black Tide Rising John Ringo (Ed)
Gary Poole (Ed)
PA/AP - Anthology
Peel Back the Skin: Anthology of Horror Stories Anthony Rivera (Ed)
Sharon Lawson (Ed)
H - Anthology
A Tale of the Free: Exile (e) Brian Ruckley F
Queen of Fire (h2tp) Anthony Ryan F - Raven's Shadow 3
Otto Binder: The Life and Work of a Comic Book and Science Fiction Visionary Bill Schelly LC/PopCul
Galactic Games Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Ed) SF - Anthology
Hell's Gate (D) Bill Schutt
J. R. Finch
An Affinity for Steel Sam Sykes F - The Aeons' Gate Trilogy Omnibus
Just One Damned Thing After Another Jodi Taylor SF/TT - Chronicles of St. Mary's 1
The Bookman (ri) Lavie Tidhar SP - Bookman Histories 1
The Root (D) Na'amen Gobert Tilahun UF - Wrath & Athenaeum 1
The Price of Valor (h2mm) Django Wexler F - The Shadow Campaigns 3
Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons (h2tp) Michael Witwer Biography
Security (D) Gina Wohlsdorf Sus
Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet (D) H.P. Wood Hist
Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women of Science Fiction Lisa Yaszek (Ed)
Patrick B. Sharp (Ed)
SF - Anthology
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (h2tp) Philip Zaleski
Carol Zaleski

June 8, 2016
Lullaby for a Lost World: A Tor.Com Original (e) Aliette de Bodard DF

June 9, 2016
Invasion: Extinction Biome Volume 1 (e) Addison Gunn SF - Extinction Biome
Operation Atlas Lion (e) Addison Gunn SF - Extinction Biome: Invasion 5
The Poisoned Quarrel: Episode 3 (e) Duncan Lay F - Poisoned Quarrel

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

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyberP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tale
FolkT - Folk Tale
FR - Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistScTh - Historical Science Thriller
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

Note: not all of these genres are represented in the above releases.

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts

There are 21 debut novels for June including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, novels with a touch of the supernatural or paranormal, and more.

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

The June 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 June cover for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on June 15, 2016.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2016 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for June 2016 The list is correct as of the day posted.

Curtis C. Chen

Waypoint Kangaroo
Thomas Dunne Books, June 21, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Kangaroo isn’t your typical spy. Sure, he has extensive agency training, access to bleeding-edge technology, and a ready supply of clever (to him) quips and retorts. But what sets him apart is “the pocket.” It’s a portal that opens into an empty, seemingly infinite, parallel universe, and Kangaroo is the only person in the world who can use it. But he's pretty sure the agency only keeps him around to exploit his superpower.

After he bungles yet another mission, Kangaroo gets sent away on a mandatory “vacation:” an interplanetary cruise to Mars. While he tries to make the most of his exile, two passengers are found dead, and Kangaroo has to risk blowing his cover. It turns out he isn’t the only spy on the ship–and he’s just starting to unravel a massive conspiracy which threatens the entire Solar System.

Now, Kangaroo has to stop a disaster which would shatter the delicate peace that’s existed between Earth and Mars ever since the brutal Martian Independence War. A new interplanetary conflict would be devastating for both sides. Millions of lives are at stake.

Weren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?

With Waypoint Kangaroo, Chen makes his debut with this outer space thriller. Chen has an extensive network of connections to prominent science fiction authors, and has studied under John Scalzi, James Patrick Kelly, and Ursula K. LeGuin.

Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library 1
Roc, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.

London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…

FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!

N.S. Dolkart

Silent Hall
Angry Robot Books, June 7, 2016
   North American Print
   Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Angry Robot Books, June 2, 2016
    UK Print and eBook
Cover Ilustration: Andreas Rocha

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Five bedraggled refugees and a sinister wizard awaken a dragon and defy the gods.

After their homeland is struck with a deadly plague, five refugees cross the continent searching for answers. Instead they find Psander, a wizard whose fortress is invisible to the gods, and who is willing to sacrifice anything – and anyone – to keep the knowledge of the wizards safe.

With Psander as their patron, the refugees cross the mountains, brave the territory of their sworn enemies, confront a hostile ocean and even traverse the world of the fairies in search of magic powerful enough to save themselves – and Psander’s library – from the wrath of the gods.

All they need to do is to rescue an imprisoned dragon and unleash a primordial monster upon the

How hard could it be?

File Under: Fantasy [ Ravens of Revenge / The Great Flood / Dragon Boy / You’re the Prophecy ]

Rachel Dunne

In the Shadow of the Gods
A Bound Gods Novel 1
Harper Voyager, June 21, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

K. Eason

On the Bones of Gods 1
47North, June 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 347 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
The Illhari Republic rests on the bones of gods, telling tales of conquest and forgetting its once-bloody devotion to its most powerful goddess. Snowdenaelikk, half-blood conjuror and smuggler, cares less about history than the silver she can win with sharp metal and sharper wits. But when the local legion blames her for burning a village, an outlander with a sense of honor intervenes, and Snow finds herself tangled in politics and an unwelcome partnership.

Snow and her new partner, Veiko, together with the legion scout Dekklis, uncover a conspiracy that will destroy the Republic from within. It seems that the goddess is back from wherever dead gods go. She has not forgotten the Republic, and she wants revenge.

Loyal Dekklis will do anything to save the Republic, and Snow reluctantly agrees to help—until she realizes that “anything” means sacrificing Veiko. Now Snow must decide whether her partner’s life is worth betraying her allies and damning the Republic to war.

Emma Geen

The Many Selves of Katherine North
Bloomsbury USA, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
When we first meet Kit, she's a fox.

Nineteen-year-old Kit works for the research department of Shen Corporation as a phenomenaut. She's been “jumping”--projecting her consciousness, through a neurological interface--into the bodies of lab-grown animals made for the purpose of research for seven years, which is longer than anyone else at ShenCorp, and longer than any of the scientists thought possible. She experiences a multitude of other lives--fighting and fleeing as predator and prey, as mammal, bird, and reptile--in the hope that her work will help humans better understand the other species living alongside them.

Her closest friend is Buckley, her Neuro--the computer engineer who guides a phenomenaut through consciousness projection. His is the voice, therefore, that's always in Kit's head and is the thread of continuity that connects her to the human world when she's an animal. But when ShenCorp's mission takes a more commercial--and ominous--turn, Kit is no longer sure of her safety. Propelling the reader into the bodies of the other creatures that share our world, The Many Selves of Katherine North takes place in the near future but shows us a dazzling world far, far from the realm of our experience.

Daniel Godfrey

New Pompeii
Titan Books, June 21, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
In the race to control renewable power, an energy giant stumbles on a controversial technology: the ability to transport matter from the deep past. Their biggest secret is New Pompeii, a replica city filled with Romans, pulled through time just before the volcanic eruption.

Nick Houghton doesn’t know why he’s been chosen to be the company’s historical advisor. He’s just excited to be there. Until he starts to wonder what happened to his predecessor. Until he realizes that the company has more secrets than even the conspiracy theorists suspect.

Until he realizes that they have underestimated their captives…

Claire Humphrey

Spells of Blood and Kin
   A Dark Fantasy Novel
Thomas Dunne Books, June 14, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Where we love, we ruin…

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it. Without the spell, it is only a matter of time before Maksim's violent nature slips its leash and he infects someone else—if he hasn't done so already.

Nick Kaisaris is just a normal dude who likes to party. He doesn't worry about family drama. He doesn't have any secrets. All he wants is for things to stay like they are right now, tonight: Nick and his best buddy Jonathan, out on the town. Only Nick is on a collision course with Maksim Volkov, and what he takes away from this night is going to crack open Nick's nature until all of his worst self comes to light.

Lissa's legacy of magic might hold the key to Maksim's salvation, if she can unravel it in time. But it's a legacy that comes at a price. And Maksim might not want to be saved…

Christopher Husberg

Chaos Queen Quintet 1
Titan Books, June 21, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Pulled from a frozen sea, pierced by arrows and close to death, Knot has no memory of who he was. But his dreams are dark, filled with violence and unknown faces. Winter, a tiellan woman whose people have long been oppressed by humans, is married to and abandoned by Knot on the same day. In her search for him, she will discover her control of magic, but risk losing herself utterly. And Cinzia, priestess and true believer, returns home to discover her family at the heart of a heretical rebellion. A rebellion that only the Inquisition can crush…

Their fates and those of others will intertwine, in a land where magic and daemons are believed dead, but dark forces still vie for power.

Laura Lam

False Hearts
Tor Books, June 14, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Laura Lam's adult sci-fi debut False Hearts: Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult.

Raised in the closed cult of Mana's Hearth and denied access to modern technology, conjoined sisters Taema and Tila dream of a life beyond the walls of the compound. When the heart they share begins to fail, the twins escape to San Francisco, where they are surgically separated and given new artificial hearts. From then on they pursue lives beyond anything they could have previously imagined.

Ten years later, Tila returns one night to the twins' home in the city, terrified and covered in blood, just before the police arrive and arrest her for murder--the first homicide by a civilian in decades. Tila is suspected of involvement with the Ratel, a powerful crime syndicate that deals in the flow of Zeal, a drug that allows violent minds to enact their darkest desires in a terrifying dreamscape. Taema is given a proposition: go undercover as her sister and perhaps save her twin's life. But during her investigation Taema discovers disturbing links between the twins' past and their present. Once unable to keep anything from each other, the sisters now discover the true cost of secrets.

Yoon Ha Lee

Ninefox Gambit
The Machineries of Empire 1
Solaris Books, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics.  Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics.  Cheris's career isn't the only thing at stake.  If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris's best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.  As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao--because she might be his next victim.

Malka Older

Infomocracy, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

Bob Proehl

A Hundred Thousand Worlds
Viking, June 28, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
“A Kavalier & Clay for the Comic-Con Age, this is a bighearted, inventive, exuberant debut.” —Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
Valerie Torrey took her son, Alex, and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way.

As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a brilliant corporate comics writer stuggling with her industry’s old-school ways to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.

A knowing and affectionate portrait of the geeky pleasures of fandom, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is also a tribute to the fierce and complicated love between a mother and son—and to the way the stories we create come to shape us.

Bill Schutt and J. R. Finch

Hell's Gate
William Morrow, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
When a Japanese submarine is discovered abandoned deep in the Brazilian wilderness, a smart, adventurous, and tough zoologist must derail a catastrophic plot in Hell’s Gate.

1944. As war rages in Europe and the Pacific, Army Intel makes a shocking discovery: a 300-foot Japanese sub marooned and empty, deep in the Brazilian interior. A team of Army Rangers sent to investigate has already gone missing. Now, the military sends Captain R. J. MacCready, a quick-witted, brilliant scientific jack-of-all-trades to learn why the Japanese are there—and what they’re planning.

Parachuting deep into the heart of Central Brazil, one of the most remote regions on the planet, Mac is unexpectedly reunited with his hometown friend and fellow scientist Bob Thorne. A botanist presumed dead for years, Thorne lives peacefully with Yanni, an indigenous woman who possesses mysterious and invaluable skills. Their wisdom and expertise are nothing short of lifesaving for Mac as he sets out on a trail into the unknown.

Mac makes the arduous trek into an ancient, fog-shrouded valley hidden beneath a 2000-foot plateau, where he learns of a diabolical Axis plot to destroy the United States and its allies. But the enemy isn’t the only danger in this treacherous jungle paradise. Silently creeping from the forest, an even darker force is on the prowl, attacking at night and targeting both man and beast. Mac has to uncover the source of this emerging biological crisis and foil the enemy’s plans . . . but will he be in time to save humanity from itself?

Jon Skovron

Hope and Red
The Empire of Storms 1
Orbit Books, June 28, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people will find a common cause.

Hope, the lone survivor when her village is massacred by the emperor's forces is secretly trained by a master Vinchen warrior as an instrument of vengeance.

Red, an orphan adopted by a notorious matriarch of the criminal underworld, learns to be an expert thief and con artist.


Na'amen Gobert Tilahun

The Root
A Novel of the Wrath & Athenaeum 1
Night Shade Books, June 7, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 420 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
A dark, gritty urban fantasy debut set in modern-day San Francisco, filled with gods, sinister government agencies, and worlds of dark magic hidden just below the surface.

When a secret government agency trying to enslave you isn’t the biggest problem you’re facing, you’re in trouble.

Erik, a former teen star living in San Francisco, thought his life was complicated; having his ex-boyfriend in jail because of the scandal that destroyed his career seemed overwhelming. Then Erik learned he was Blooded: descended from the Gods.

Struggling with a power he doesn’t understand and can barely control, Erik discovers that a secret government agency is selling off Blooded like lab rats to a rival branch of preternatural beings in ’Zebub—San Francisco’s mirror city in an alternate dimension.

Lil, a timid apprentice in ’Zebub, is searching for answers to her parents’ sudden and mysterious deaths. Surrounded by those who wish her harm and view her as a lesser being, Lil delves into a forgotten history that those in power will go to dangerous lengths to keep buried.

What neither Erik nor Lil realize is that a darkness is coming, something none have faced in living memory. It eats. It hunts. And it knows them. In The Root, the dark and surging urban fantasy debut from Na’amen Tilahun, two worlds must come together if even a remnant of one is to survive.

Ren Warom

Titan Books, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Shock Pao is not just any Haunt—he’s the best. There isn’t a system that he can’t crack into, no virtual lock he can’t pick, nothing he can’t steal for the right price. Outside virtual world the Slip, though, he’s a Fail—no degree, no job, no affiliations to protect him from angry ex-customers. Of which he has quite a few. So when his ex brings Shock a job which could help him escape his miserable existence, he accepts, little realizing that it will turn out to be his most impossible, illegal and insane assignment yet.

Amiga works for Twist Calhoun, one of the toughest crime lords in the Gung, as a Cleaner—assassin. Trapped in a world of kill-or-be-killed, she wants out. But when Shock’s war comes to her, she doesn’t have a choice: it’s her job to bring him to Twist, dead or alive—or it’ll be her head in a bag in Twist’s vault.

Gina Wohlsdorf

Algonquin Books, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
The inventiveness of A Visit from the Goon Squad meets the down-the-rabbit-hole suspense of The Girl on the Train in this chilling, pulse-racing thriller from an electrifying new writer.

When the gleaming new Manderley Resort opens in twenty-four hours, Santa Barbara’s exclusive beachfront hotel will offer its patrons the ultimate in luxury and high-tech security. No indulgence has been ignored, no detail overlooked. But all the money in the world can’t guarantee safety. As hotel manager Tessa and her employees ready the hotel for its invitation-only grand opening, a killer is in their midst. One by one, staff are picked off with ruthless precision. And before the night is over, as Tessa desperately struggles to survive, it will become clear that the strangest and most terrible truth at Manderley is simply this: someone is watching.

With stunning ingenuity, Gina Wohlsdorf puts readers front and center as the elite resort becomes a house of horrors. Riveting to the final sentence, Security is fierce, wry, and impossible to put down. With a deep bow to the literary tradition of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier, Wohlsdorf’s razor-wire prose blitzes readers with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is at once a shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a moving, multifaceted love story unlike any other.

H.P. Wood

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
Sourcebooks Landmark, June 7, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
A hypnotic debut in turn-of-the-century Coney Island, where an abandoned girl collides with a disgruntled ménage of circus freaks.

Kitty Hayward and her mother are ready to experience the spectacles of Coney Island’s newest attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. But when Kitty’s mother vanishes from their hotel, she finds herself penniless, alone, and far from her native England. The last people she expects to help are the cast of characters at Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of oddities. From con men to strongmen, from flea wranglers to lion tamers, Kitty’s new friends quickly adopt her and vow to help find the missing Mrs. Hayward. But even these unusual inhabitants may not be a match for the insidious sickness that begins to spread through Coney Island…or the panic that turns Dreamland into a nightmare.

With shades of Water For Elephants and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet sweeps readers into a mesmerizing world where nothing is as it seems, and where “normal” is the exception to the rule.

Simone Zelitch

Tor Books, June 21, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
Simone Zelitch has created an amazing alternate history in Judenstaat. On April 4th, 1948 the sovereign state of Judenstaat was created in the territory of Saxony, bordering Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

Forty years later, Jewish historian Judit Klemmer is making a documentary portraying Judenstaat's history from the time of its founding to the present. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, Hans, a Saxon, shot by a sniper as he conducted the National Symphony. With the grief always fresh, Judit lives a half-life, until confronted by a mysterious, flesh-and-blood ghost from her past who leaves her controversial footage on one of Judenstaat's founding fathers--and a note:

"They lied about the murder."

Judit's research into the footage, and what really happened to Hans, embroils her in controversy and conspiracy, collective memory and national amnesia, and answers far more horrific than she imagined.

Joe Zieja

Mechanical Failure
Epic Failure 1
Saga Press, June 14, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts
A smooth-talking ex-sergeant, accustomed to an easygoing peacetime military, unexpectedly re-joins the fleet and finds soldiers preparing for the strangest thing—war.

The two hundred years’ (and counting) peace is a time of tranquility that hasn’t been seen since...well, never. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That’s the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler.

But it turns out that smuggling is hard. Like getting-arrested-for-dealing-with-pirates-and-forced-back-into-service kind of hard. It doesn’t seem so bad—the military was a perpetual tiki party anyway—but when Rogers returns after only a year away, something has changed. These are soldiers—actual soldiers doing actual soldier things like preparing for a war that Rogers is sure doesn’t exist. Rogers vows to put a stop to all this nonsense—even if it means doing actual work.

With an experienced ear for military double-speak, Zieja has created a remarkable and sarcastic adventure.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Infomocracy by Malka Older

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Infomocracy by Malka Older

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

Malka Older

Infomocracy, June 7, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Infomocracy by Malka Older
It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

BEA 2017: TOR Books presents Leading Women in Science FictionWhat's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 26Interview with Malka Older, author of InfomocracyThe View From Monday - June 6, 20162016 Debut Author Challenge - June 2016 Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Infomocracy by Malka Older

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