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The View From Monday - April 10, 2017


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

Sputnik's Children by Terri Favro;

Abigale Hall by Lauren A. Forry;

and

Celestial Mechanics by William Least Heat-Moon.

The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders it out in Trade Paperback;

The Witch of Torinia (Tale of Valdur 2) by Clifford Beal;

The Island Deception (Gateway to Alissia 1) by Dan Koboldt;

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis is out in Trade Paperback;

A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan Mysteries 1) by Julie McElwain is out in Trade Paperback;

and

The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay is out in Trade Paperback.

The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017
The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017The View From Monday - April 10, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - April 10, 2017



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

April 10, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Blood From Stone (e) (ri) Laura Anne Gilman UF - A Retrievers Novel 6
The Nymph King (e) (ri) Gena Showalter PNR - Atlantis 3



April 11, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Wine-Dark Sea Robert Aickman H
All the Birds in the Sky (h2tp) Charlie Jane Anders CF/SF
Indomitable (h2tp) W. C. Bauers SF/SO - Chronicles of Promise Paen 2
The Witch of Torinia Clifford Beal F - Tale of Valdur 2
Fate of Devotion K. F. Breene SF - Finding Paradise 2
Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic the Gathering Titus Chalk RP/F
Starcraft II: Heaven's Devils William C. Dietz SF - Blizzard Legends
The Alchemists of Kush Minister Faust CF
Sputnik's Children (D) Terri Favro LF/SF/AP/PA/CoA
Abigale Hall (D) Lauren A. Forry PsyTh/SupTh/H
The Regional Office Is Under Attack! (h2tp) Manuel Gonzales LF/SF
Starcraft: Liberty's Crusade (ri) Jeff Grubb SF - Blizzard Legends
Celestial Mechanics (D) William Least Heat-Moon LF
The Loney (h2tp) Andrew Michael Hurley LF
Razr: A Demonica Underworld Novella Larissa Ione PNR - Demonica Underworld
Proof of Concept Gwyneth Jones SF
The Island Deception (e) Dan Koboldt F - Gateways to Alissia 2
The Wolf Road (h2tp) Beth Lewis PsyTh/SF/AP/PA
Thirteen Views of the Suicide Woods Bracken MacLeod Occ/Sup/H - Collection
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity (h2tp) A. Lee Martinez UF - Constance Verity 1
Void Star Zachary Mason LF/Dys
A Murder in Time (h2tp) Julie McElwain TT/M - Kendra Donovan Mysteries 1
Starcraft: I, Mengsk (ri) Graham McNeill SF - Blizzard Legends
Hystopia (h2tp) David Means LF/AH
Cold Welcome Elizabeth Moon SF/SO - Vatta's Peace 1
Waking Hell Al Robertson SF
Once Upon a Summer Night Nancy Scanlon TTR - Mists of Fate 3
The Mirror Thief (h2tp) Martin Seay HistF/M/VisMeta
Special Purposes Gavin Smith SF
The Last Machine in the Solar System Matthew Isaac Sobin SF/Dys/AP/PA/LF
Avengers of the Moon Allen Steele SF/SO
Great With Child Sonia Taitz F/FR
Take Us to Your Chief: And Other Stories: Classic Science-Fiction with a Contemporary First Nations Outlook Drew Hayden Taylor SF/Aboriginal - Collection
WarDance (e) Elizabeth Vaughan F
Blue Plague: The Fall Thomas A. Watson DF - Blue Plague 1
Thrawn Timothy Zahn SF/SO - Star Wars



April 12, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Dark Warm Heart: A Tor.com Original (e) Rich Larson H



April 13, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
And the Rest is History (e) Jodi Taylor HistF/TT - The Chronicles of Saint Mary's 8



April 14, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (e) Gwendolyn Kiste H




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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
RP - Role Playing
RSus - Romantic Suspense
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
WM - War and Military

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

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31


This is the thirty-first 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



Katie Schickel (2015)

The Mermaid's Secret
Forge, June 14, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook, 288pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
From Katie Schickel, one of Booklist's Top 10 Women's fiction of 2015, comes The Mermaid's Secret, an original, fresh, and absolutely captivating beach read.

Life on land is suffocating for Jess Creary, who wastes her summers flipping burgers for tourists on a fishing boat off her quaint resort island home off the coast of Maine. After all, her older sister Kay died in a boating accident two years ago, her mother has disappeared, and her father isn't exactly dealing with things so well. Surfing and the handsome Captain Matthew are about the only bright spots in her life.

Then, on her twenty-third birthday, Jess catches the perfect wave--a wave that transforms her into a mermaid. Under the sea, a startlingly beautiful, dark place, Jess is reborn into a confident, powerful predator with superhuman strength --finally she is someone to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, back on land, Jess's relationship with Captain Matthew heats up, and so does her search for justice for Kay.

Jess has thirty days to choose between land and sea; legs and fins; her humanity and her freedom. Who could ignore the freedom of the sea? Yet, the ocean is a dark, wild, lonely place. Is this a gift or a curse? Will Jess choose family and love, forgiveness and truth, or will she be seduced by the wild call of the sparkling sea forever?





F. Wesley Schneider (2015)

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Strange Aeons 1 of 6 - In Search of Sanity
     by F. Wesley Schneider
Paizo Publishng Inc., September 20, 2016
Paperback, 96 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
The adventurers awaken within the walls of the eerie Briarstone Asylum, their minds wracked and memories missing. As they work together to recover their missing time, they soon learn that the cause of their eerie amnesia is but a symptom of a much greater cosmic menace. As they struggle to retain their sanity, the heroes must ally with other asylum residents and fight against the monstrosities that have taken over the asylum and plunged it into nightmare. Can the adventurers defeat the terror that stalks the halls and free themselves from their prison of madness?

“In Search of Sanity” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 1st-level characters. The adventure kicks off the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, a twisted delve into madness that pits the heroes against the cosmic horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. Several new monsters, details on the Mythos, and the first installment of a new Pathfinder’s Journal round out this volume of the Pathfinder Adventure Path!

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.


Pathfinder Volume 5: Hollow Mountain
     by Erik Mona, F. Wesley Schneider, and James L. Sutter
Dynamite Entertainment, September 20, 2016
Hardcover, 192 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
The iconic heroes of Pathfinder delve deep into an ancient fortress built by the Runelords. Carved in the immense visage of Alaznist, Runelord of Wrath, the Hollow Mountain is home to a honeycomb labyrinth of trap-laden chambers and corridors. The Pathfinder agents must explore the ruins in search of a long-lost mystical artifact... but they're not alone. Competing explorers seek out the mountain's secrets, and it won't be long before open combat erupts! But unbeknownst to the warring factions, Alaznist has not left her former stronghold unprotected. Can the Pathfinder heroes and their bitter rivals put aside their animosity to survive the mountain's fearsome guardians?

written by the collaborative team of Erik Mona (Paizo Publisher and Chief Creative Officer), F. Wesley Schneider (Paizo Editor-in-Chief), and James Sutter (Paizo Senior Editor), and featuring sensational artwork by Tom Garcia (Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly), the Hollow Mountain saga expands upon the mythos of Paizo's award-winning fantasy world, fiction line, and tabletop RPG. Bonus materials include over thirty-pages of encounters and world detail for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, including a poster map.


Pathfinder Adventure Path: Curse of the Crimson Throne
by James Jacobs, Nicolas Logue, F. Wesley Schneider, Richard Pett, Greg A. Vaughan, and Michael  Kortes
Paizo Publishng Inc., November 8, 2016
Hardcover, 480 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
Return to a classic Pathfinder Adventure Path with Curse of the Crimson Throne, one of Paizo’s most popular campaigns! The city of Korvosa is in chaos, and her new queen may well be the source―can a ragtag group of heroes stand before the might of one of Golarion’s most notorious villains? This immense book collects the six classic Curse of the Crimson Throne adventures, and has everything you need to run an entire, full-length campaign covering months and months of play!
The Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover includes:
• Updates the classic Adventure Path to the Pathfinder RPG rules for the first time!
• Explore expanded adventures, including a brand new mission written by Paizo’s Creative Director, James Jacobs, that sends the heroes into a perilous dungeon run by the queen’s infamous Gray Maidens!
• Features dozens of evocative new illustrations of classic characters!
• New and updated rules for monsters, magic items, and character options





V. E. Schwab (2013)

A Gathering of Shadow
Shades of Magic 2
Tor Books, January 17, 2017
Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 23, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
From #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall...in V.E. Schwab's A Gathering of Shadows.

"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."—Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy


A Conjuring of Light
Shades of Magic 3
Tor Books, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 624 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes struggle. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees the newly minted New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab reach a thrilling conclusion concerning the fate of beloved protagonists--and old foes.





Luke Scull (2013)

Dead Man's Steel
The Grim Company 3
Ace, January 3, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
As the “gripping”* epic from the author of Sword of the North continues, the Grim Company must battle a dangerous new enemy that is determined to destroy all of humanity…

In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shattered Realms to seek allies among the fallen kingdoms, he finds that his hardest battle may be one fought within. The godly essence now residing within him offers power that could be used against the Fade—but with every death that feeds It, Cole risks losing a part of himself.

An association with a Fade officer grants the Halfmage Eremul a position of privilege among Dorminia’s new masters. He witnesses firsthand the fate that awaits humanity. But with his magic pitiful in the face of the Fade’s advanced technology, the Halfmage must rely on his wits alone to save whom he can…

And in the frozen north, the legendary warrior Brodar Kayne fights a desperate battle for his people. He is running out of time: an ancient evil sealed beneath the mountains is about to break free, an evil that is older than humanity, older than the Fade, older even than the gods—and it will not stop until the entire world is drowned in blood…

*The Guardian (UK)





Martin Seay (2016)

The Mirror Thief
Melville House, April 11, 2017
Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 10, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret ….

All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice … and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.

Interview with Martin Seay, author of The Mirror Thief


Please welcome Martin Seay to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Mirror Thief was published on May 10th by Melville House.



Interview with Martin Seay, author of The Mirror Thief




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

Martin:  Thanks! I have gradually come to realize that my impulse to write comes mostly from the satisfaction of getting something exactly right. In most undertakings—creative and otherwise—we have to accommodate the limitations of our materials and circumstances, but since writing gives us all of language to work with, as well as the freedom to decide for ourselves what “exactly right” looks like, it’s an area where this kind of exactitude seems, or feels, possible.

So that’s probably why. As to when, I’ve written stuff for as long (or longer) than I can remember. I wrote a few things that would probably qualify as functional short stories when I was in high school and college, and I started getting serious about it—taking classes, reading clinically and rigorously, writing stuff meant to be read by people I don’t personally know—in about 2000. My first published story came out in Gargoyle in 2003.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Martin:  A plotter, but I’m not fundamentalist about it. I once heard the novelist Kathryn Davis say something smart about doing research that I will now attempt to paraphrase and probably get wrong: She said that she does research whenever she gets stuck, but then stops doing research as soon as she’s not stuck anymore. (The general idea is that it’s way easier to just keep researching than it is to get back to writing, and that you’ll probably make the best and most crucial discoveries about your story by writing it, not by reading.) I think a similar principle probably applies to outlining plot: I want to know where I’m going, but I also want the story to feel like a trip, not like a map.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Martin:  Finding time! My process tends to be very revision-intensive—I’ll go over and over a particular chapter to polish it before I move on to the next one—and that means my progress is often painfully slow. While I was writing The Mirror Thief I kept a quote from Moby-Dick taped to my monitor: “God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!”



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

MartinAll the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy was the first novel by a living writer I read that made me aware of what novels are still able to do, in terms of their capacity to deal with big metaphysical questions while still telling a fun story. I read Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye around the same time, and it taught me a lot about how to write characters with complex pasts and distinctive points of view. The aforementioned Moby-Dick dramatically elevated my standards for what qualifies as fearless and ambitious. A couple of nonfiction selections: Lipstick Traces—Greil Marcus’s book about the Sex Pistols and the hidden radical tradition that includes them—opened a bunch of doors for me. The art critic Rosalind E. Krauss’s book The Optical Unconscious helped me think in new ways about the act of seeing, which is not an easy thing to do.

In the portion of my life where I interact with people face-to-face, not through books, I have been influenced by a number of teachers and friends who are also writers. I should make special mention of the novelist Jane Alison, my thesis advisor in grad school, who masterfully articulated the value of fiction as a way of modeling sympathetic understanding of people who are unlike us, and who also taught me a ton about what it means to be an honest and responsible storyteller. (I also can’t overstate the value of the example of her own writing, which is uniformly excellent and which I highly recommend.)

This is going to be the part of the interview where people go “aww,” but I am honestly most inspired by my spouse, the writer Kathleen Rooney, who during the time I have been working on The Mirror Thief has 1) changed the lives of dozens of college students, 2) started a successful publishing venture (Rose Metal Press) and a successful typewriter-poetry collective (Poems While You Wait), and 3) written eleven books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, memoir, and criticism, each of which is brilliant and quite unlike its siblings. (She has also recently coedited the first English-language edition of the selected writings of the Belgian painter and philosopher René Magritte, coming out later this year, and written her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press in January of 2017.) She’s a great writer and a great literary citizen, in addition to being a real treat to be married to.



TQDescribe The Mirror Thief in 140 characters or less.

Martin:  Las Vegas 2003, Los Angeles 1958, Venice 1592. Soldiers, gamblers, thieves, poets, alchemists, spies. LET US NOW CONSIDER THE MIRROR.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Mirror Thief? Why did you set the core of the novel in Venice, Italy?

Martin:  Venice came first, actually. I had visited it a few years prior to starting the novel and thought it was cool. While I was there, it felt like something I would eventually try to write about.

It’s hard to say why, exactly. One of the things that most struck me about it is the degree to which it’s a purely constructed environment: the vast majority of its structures aren’t built on islands, but on wood pilings pounded into shallow areas of the lagoon. The city is literally built on the water, and took its shape based less on geography than on the stubborn will of its residents.

This creation from nothing seemed to make it analogous (to an even greater extent than other cities are) to a work of art, and especially to a work of literature, which is made from nothing but language, and which is also shaped collaboratively by its writer and those who choose to inhabit it.

The Russian critic Viktor Shklovsky—who I think was pretty sharp—wrote that art functions by “making objects ‘unfamiliar,’ making forms difficult, increasing the difficulty and length of perception, because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.” Venice works a similar trick on us due to the strangeness of its form: where many old European cities are walled fortresses, it’s infinitely permeable; where they’re straight-lined and right-angled, it’s curved. It seems to have been constructed according to a highly idiosyncratic but internally consistent logic that can’t help but suggest a dream. It practically writes about itself.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Mirror Thief?

MartinExtensive research! The novel is set in Las Vegas in 2003, in Los Angeles in 1958, and in the city-state of Venice in 1592; although I had been to all three cities prior to starting the book, I wasn’t able to visit them while I was writing it. Consequently I learned almost everything I needed to know from books, films, paintings, and (of course) the internet. Topics of inquiry included the United States Marine Corps, blackjack card-counting, casino administration and security, the hermetic–cabalist intellectual tradition in early-modern Europe, the Beat movement in Southern California, English-language poetry pre- and post-Pound, mid-twentieth-century esoteric religious practices, pinball machines, Mutoscope films, alchemy, glassmaking, mirrormaking, printing, and a whole bunch of cultural, political, military, scientific, and art history.

That said, I didn’t become an expert on anything while writing the book. Researching a novel is very different from academic research; I didn’t need to achieve any kind of mastery. (And per Kathryn Davis’s point quoted above, that level of rigor would probably have killed the book: I never would have finished it.) What I’m looking for when I research are perfect little tip-of-the-iceberg details that will engage readers’ imaginations and enlist them to help fill in information that isn’t actually on the page. (The other side of that coin is all the reading that I did just to avoid messing stuff up: putting in a detail that rings false or is just plain wrong, that undercuts my authority and knocks readers out of the story.)



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Martin:  Of the three main characters, the easiest to write was probably Stanley Glass, the teenage con-man and petty criminal whom the 1958 Los Angeles sections focus on. This is simply because Stanley is even less given to introspection than the other two main characters are. All I had to do, pretty much, was keep him moving with his eyes open.

The hardest to write was Vettor Crivano, the physician, alchemist, and spy who’s the main character of the Venice 1592 sections. This is partly because he’s the most complex of the three—he has the broadest education, the most elaborate backstory, the most secrets—but mostly because it was very hard to write the consciousness of someone who’s supposed to have lived four centuries ago: I needed these sections to be strange enough to feel authentic, but not so strange as to be incomprehensible.

(Some people will try to tell you that the essential nature of human beings hasn’t really changed since the Stone Age; I can see no evidence that that’s the case. On the contrary, it seems to me that human nature has fundamentally changed just since the iPhone went on the market.)



TQTell us something about The Mirror Thief that is not found in the book description.

Martin:  Although The Mirror Thief is largely set in—and, to my way of thinking, is entirely about—Venice, the word “Venice” never appears in the book.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Mirror Thief?

Martin:  I included a lot of social issues—along with a lot of politics; I’m not sure where to draw the line between the two—as part of the book’s background noise, and I hope that readers will recognize that content as very important to me, even when the main characters aren’t paying much attention to it (which they’re generally not). It seems to me that such material is most effective in fiction when it’s presented deliberately but obliquely—worked into descriptions and dialogue in passing, for example—and not laid out as a thesis. People are prepared to disagree with explicit arguments, but they can be genuinely jolted when they encounter an assumption about a world that conflicts with their own; that’s how I’ve tried to proceed. (To be more specific in terms of social issues, I don’t think the book makes a big deal out of the fact that it contains characters who are African-American, Jewish, Muslim, gay, etc., who are living with disability and/or posttraumatic stress, and who are struggling against conventional assumptions about gender roles . . . but none of this stuff is in the book by accident, either.)

I’m not sure I believe that there is any such a thing as a book that doesn’t include social or political issues. I think books that purport not to do so are probably just conservative. At best.



TQWhich question about The Mirror Thief do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Martin:

Q: Why don’t you use quotation marks?

A: Great question! Glad you asked! Strictly speaking, I do use quotation marks; I just don’t use them to tag speech. (They show up around song titles, for instance.) The short answer was that I wanted the narration to be continuous: to feel as if it includes a bunch of voices, but also to suggest that all the voices you hear might really be one voice—the way that, say, a mirror looks like it contains a bunch of discrete objects when in fact it’s just a single reflective surface—which in turn might prompt the reader to think about who (or what) that one voice might belong to. Anyway, it was a choice. Some authors just don’t use quotation marks on principle, but I’m not one of those authors.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Mirror Thief.

Martin:  My favorite sentence in the book (from Page 19) is:

“Stretch limousines idle at curbside, sly and circumspect, while the sidewalk procession slides backlit across their mute black windshields.”

Thanks for indulging me!



TQWhat's next?

Martin:  Honestly, I’m still a little up in the air on that myself. I have maybe three or four ideas that could turn into novels, but I’ll need to spend some time with them before I’ll know what’s likely to take off. Until then, I have a few criticism projects that I plan to play with, and I’m also looking forward to working through a stack of books I picked up during my recent book tour that refreshingly have nothing to do with anything I’m working on.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Martin:  Thanks for including me in the Debut Author Challenge!





The Mirror Thief
Melville House, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 592 pages

Interview with Martin Seay, author of The Mirror Thief
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret …
.
All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice … and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.





About Martin

MARTIN SEAY is the executive secretary of the Village of Wheeling, Illinois. This is his first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @MartinSeay


2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2016 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on May 24, 2016.


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




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover Art by John Harris




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover illustration by Sylvain Sarrailh
Cover design by Rain Saukas




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Designed in-house




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover artwork © 2016 by Erik Mohr
Cover and interior design © 2016 by Samantha Beiko




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Jacket Art by Todd Lockwood
Jacket Design by Todd Lockwood and G- Force Design




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover Art by Victor Mosquera




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover Art by Emily B. Martin


The View From Monday - May 9, 2016


Happy Monday! The sun is out here after a week a rain and there are 4 debuts this week!

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley;

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota 1) by Ada Palmer;

and

The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay.

The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016


And from formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Corsair by James L. Cambias is out in Trade Paperback;

The Voodoo Killings (Kincaide Strange 1) by Kristi Charish;

Love is Red (The Nightsong Trilogy 1) by Sophie Jaff is out in Trade Paperback;

The Enceladus Crisis (Daedalus 2) by Michael J. Martinez is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Vagrant by Peter Newman is out in Hardcover;

and

Binary ((R)evolution 2) by Stephanie Saulter is out in Trade Paperback.

The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016
The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016 The View From Monday - May 9, 2016




The View From Monday - May 9, 2016



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



May 10, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Unburdened David Annandale SF - The Horus Heresy
Pyres of Armageddon (h2tp) David Annandale SF - Yarrick 2
Corsair: A Science Fiction Novel (h2tp) James L. Cambias SF
The Voodoo Killings Kristi Charish SF - Kincaide Strange 1
Nemesis Games (h2tp) James S.A. Corey SF - The Expanse 5
The World Engine Ben Counter SF - Space Marine Battles
Vengeance of the Demons Rebekah R. Ganiere PNR - The Society 3
Dark Orbit (h2tp) Carolyn Ives Gilman SF/AC
The Pier Falls: And Other Stories Mark Haddon LF/MR - Collection
The Stealers' War Stephen Hunt F -Far-Called Trilogy 3
The Loney (D) Andrew Michael Hurley LF/GO
Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest Bryan Hurt (Ed) SF/LF - Anthology
Love Is Red (h2tp) Sophie Jaff H/F - The Nightsong Trilogy 1
Mongrels Stephen Graham Jones CoA/P/UF
Children of Earth and Sky Guy Gavriel Kay HistF
The Wolf in the Attic Paul Kearney F
A Whisper of Southern Lights Tim Lebbon HistF - The Assassins Series 2
The Corporation Wars: Dissidence Ken MacLeod SF - Corporation Wars 1
The Enceladus Crisis (tp2mm) Michael J. Martinez SF - Daedalus 2
The Alchemists' Council Cynthea Masson F
The Last Phoenix Graham McNeill SF - The Horus Heresy Omnibus 2
Secondhand Souls (h2tp) Christopher Moore Hu
The Vagrant Peter Newman DF
Too Like the Lightning (D) Ada Palmer SF - Terra Ignota 1
Binary (h2tp) Stephanie Saulter SF - (R)evolution 2
The Mirror Thief (D) Martin Seay Hist/M/Vis/Meta
The Potemkin Mosaic Mark Teppo SupTh
Central Station Lavie Tidhar AP/PA/CyberP
A Head Full of Ghosts (h2tp) Paul Tremblay H
Look Who's Back (h2tp) Timur Vermes Satire



May 11, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Pigeon Summer: A Tor.Com Original (e) Brit Mandelo F




May 13, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Operation Sea Mink (e) Addison Gunn SF - Extinction Biome: Invasion 4


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
CyberP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tale
FolkT - Folk Tale
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GH - Ghost
GO - Gothic
GoR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistTh - Historical Thriller
Hu - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
Phil - Philosophy
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
PTh - Paranormal Thriller
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SocSci - Social Science
SP - Steampunk
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechnoTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
V - Visionary

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

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts



There are 17 debut novels for May. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The May 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 May cover for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on May 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 May 2016 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Basma Abdel Aziz

The Queue
Melville House, May 24, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook,
Translator: Elisabeth Jaquette

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Set against the backdrop of a failed political uprising, The Queue is a chilling debut that evokes Orwellian dystopia, Kafkaesque surrealism, and a very real vision of life after the Arab Spring.

In an unnamed Middle Eastern city, a centralized authority known as the Gate has risen to power in the aftermath of the “Disgraceful Events,” a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate for even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the building never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer and longer.

Citizens from all walks of life wait in the sun: a revolutionary journalist, a sheikh, the brother of a security officer killed in the clashes with protestors, and a man with injuries The Gate would prefer to keep quiet.

Written with dark, subtle intelligence, The Queue describes the sinister nature of authoritarianism, and illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it.




Kurt Anderson

Devour
Pinnacle, May 31, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
It Lurks

Deep beneath the ice of the Arctic Circle, something has awakened. A primordial creature frozen in time, it is the oldest, largest, most efficient predator that nature has ever produced. And it is ravenously hungry…

It Hunts

Thirty-five miles off the Massachussetts coast, a small research ship is attacked. All but one of its crew is killed by the massive serpentine horror that rises from the sea. The creature likes this human prey. The chewy outer hide. The tender saltiness within. And it wants more…

It Feeds

Responding to a distress signal, fishing-boat captain Brian Hawkins arrives in time to save the ship’s last survivor. But the nightmare is just beginning. A casino cruise ship carrying high-stakes passengers—and a top-secret cargo—becomes the creature’s bloodsoaked hunting ground. Desperate but determined, Hawkins goes after the biggest catch of the century.




Mike Brooks

Dark Run
Keiko 1
Saga Press, May 24, 2016
Hardcover (352 pp.), Trade Paperback (368 pp.) and eBook (368 pp.)

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
In this debut space epic, a crew of thieves and con artists take on a job that could pay off a lot of debts in a corrupt galaxy where life is cheap and criminals are the best people in it.

The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune, and adventurers travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And they never talk about their past—until now.

Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth, and no one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run…And it may be their last.




Sean Danker

Admiral
An Evagardian Novel 1
Roc, May 3, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
FIRST IN A NEW MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”

He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.

Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.




G.S. Denning

Warlock Holmes - A Study in Brimstone
Titan Books, May 17, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.




Antonia Hayes

Relativity
Gallery Books, May 3, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
A “beautifully written, heartbreaking” (S. J. Watson) debut novel about a gifted boy who discovers the truth about his past, his overprotective single mother who tries desperately to shield him from it, and the father he has never met who has unexpectedly returned.

Twelve-year-old Ethan Forsythe, an exceptionally talented boy obsessed with physics and astronomy, has been raised alone by his mother in Sydney, Australia. Claire, a former professional ballerina, has been a wonderful parent to Ethan, but he’s becoming increasingly curious about his father’s absence in his life. Claire is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son—and of her own feelings. But when Ethan falls ill, tied to a tragic event that occurred during his infancy, her tightly-held world is split open.

Thousands of miles away on the western coast of Australia, Mark is trying to forget about the events that tore his family apart, but an unexpected call forces him to confront his past and return home. When Ethan secretly intercepts a letter from Mark to Claire, he unleashes long-suppressed forces that—like gravity—pull the three together again, testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

Told from the alternating points of view of Ethan and each of his parents, Relativity is a poetic and soul-searing exploration of unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, the limits of science, and the magnitude of love.




Patrick Hemstreet

The God Wave
The God Wave Trilogy 1
Harper Voyager, May 17, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
A team of neuroscientists uncover amazing new capabilities in the brain that may steer human evolution toward miraculous and deadly frontiers in this spectacular debut work of speculative science fiction—Limitless meets James Rollins—that combines spirituality and science in an inventive, mind-blowing fashion.

For decades, scientists have speculated about the untapped potential of the human brain. Now, neuroscientist Chuck Brenton has made an astonishing breakthrough. He has discovered the key—the crucial combination of practice and conditioning—to access the incredible power dormant in ninety percent of our brains. Applying his methods to test subjects, he has stimulated abilities that elevate brain function to seemingly “godlike” levels.

These extraordinary abilities can transform the world, replacing fear and suffering with tranquility and stability. But in an age of increasing militarization, corporate exploitation, and explosive technological discovery, a group of influential power brokers are determined to control Brenton’s new superbeings for their own manipulative ends—and their motives may be far from peaceful.




Kat Howard

Rose and Rot
Saga Press, May 17, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Publishers Weekly Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Novel of Summer 2016

Imogen and her sister Marin escape their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, whether it be art or love in this haunting debut novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.




Andrew Michael Hurley

The Loney
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
The eerie, suspenseful debut novel — hailed as “an amazing piece of fiction” by Stephen King — that is taking the world by storm.

When the remains of a young child are discovered during a winter storm on a stretch of the bleak Lancashire coastline known as the Loney, a man named Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred forty years earlier when he visited the place as a boy. At that time, his devoutly Catholic mother was determined to find healing for Hanny, his disabled older brother. And so the family, along with members of their parish, embarked on an Easter pilgrimage to an ancient shrine.

But not all of the locals were pleased to see visitors in the area. And when the two brothers found their lives entangling with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house, they became involved in more troubling rites. Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost. Proclaimed a “modern classic” by the Sunday Telegraph (UK), The Loney marks the arrival of an important new voice in fiction.




Todd Lockwood

The Summer Dragon
First Book of the Evertide
DAW, May 3, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
The debut novel from the acclaimed illustrator–a high fantasy adventure featuring dragons and deadly politics.

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she hopes for a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. But the war goes badly, and the needs of the Dragonry dash her hopes. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. The Summer Dragon is an omen of change, but no one knows for certain what kind of change he augurs. Political factions vie to control the implied message, each to further their own agendas.

And so Maia is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors—thralls of the enemy—and a faceless creature drawn from her fears. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she uncovers secrets that challenge her understanding of her world and of herself.




Emily B. Martin

Woodwalker
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 17, 2016
     eBook, 336 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, June 14 , 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
“What on earth would I gain from that?” I asked him. “Risk my own neck by violating my banishment just to leave you? The sentence placed on me if I return is execution. If I’m entering the mountains again, I’d damn well better get something out of it.”

Exiled from the Silverwood and the people she loves, Mae has few illusions about ever returning to her home. But when she comes across three out-of-place strangers in her wanderings, she finds herself contemplating the unthinkable: risking death to help a deposed queen regain her throne.

And if anyone can help Mona Alastaire of Lumen Lake, it is a former Woodwalker—a ranger whose very being is intimately tied to the woods they are sworn to protect. Mae was once one of the best, and despite the potential of every tree limb to become the gibbet she’s hung from, she not only feels a duty to aide Mona and her brothers, but also to walk beneath her beloved trees once more.

A grand quest in the tradition of great epic fantasies, filled with adventure and the sharp wit—and tongue—of a unique hero, Woodwalker is the perfect novel to start your own journey into the realm of magical fiction.




Ada Palmer

Too Like the Lightning
Terra Ignota 1
Tor Books, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
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...




Martin Seay

The Mirror Thief
Melville House, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 592 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret …
.
All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice … and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.




Anna Smaill

The Chimes
Quercus, May 3, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
After the end of a brutal civil war, London is divided, with slums standing next to a walled city of elites. Monk-like masters are selected for special schooling and shut away for decades, learning to write beautiful compositions for the chimes, played citywide morning and night, to mute memory and keep the citizens trapped in ignorance.

A young orphan named Simon arrives in London with nothing but the vague sense of a half-forgotten promise, to locate someone. What he finds is a new family--a gang of scavengers that patrols the underbelly of the city looking for valuable metal to sell. Drawn in by an enigmatic and charismatic leader, a blind young man named Lucien with a gift for song, Simon forgets entirely what originally brought him to the place he has now made his home.

In this alternate London, the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is considered "blasphony." But Simon has a unique gift--the gift of retaining memories--that will lead him to discover a great injustice and take him far beyond the meager life as a member of Lucien's gang. Before long he will be engaged in an epic struggle for justice, love, and freedom.

The Chimes is an impressive work of speculative fiction, an imaginative adventure elegantly told. The Chimes reveals the human capacity to create both beauty and terror, in art and in life.




Fred Strydom

The Raft
Talos, May 3, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
“The day every person on earth lost his and her memory was not a day at all. In people's minds there was no actual event. . . and thus it could be followed by no period of shock or mourning. There could be no catharsis. Everyone was simply reset to zero.”

On Day Zero, the collapse of civilization was as instantaneous as it was inevitable. A mysterious and oppressive movement rose to power in the aftermath, forcing people into isolated communes run like regimes. Kayle Jenner finds himself trapped on a remote beach, and all that remains of his life before is the vague and haunting vision of his son. . .

Kayle finally escapes, only to find a broken world being put back together in strange ways. As more memories from his past life begin returning, the people he meets wandering the face of a scorched earth—some reluctant allies, others dangerous enemies—begin to paint a terrifying picture. In his relentless search for his son, Kayle will discover more than just his lost past. He will discover the truth behind Day Zero—a truth that makes both fools and gods of men.




Adrian Van Young

Shadows in Summerland
ChiZine Publications, May 17, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 350 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Boston, 1859. A nation on the brink of war.

Confidence men prowl the streets for fresh marks. Mediums swindle the newly bereaved. Into this world of illusion and intrigue comes William Mumler, a manipulating mastermind and criminal jeweler. Mumler hopes to make his fortune by photographing spirits for Boston’s elite. The key to his venture: a shy girl named Hannah who sees and manifests the dead and washes up on Boston’s harbor along with her strange, intense mother, Claudette.

As Mumler and Hannah’s fame grows throughout Boston, everybody wants a piece: Bill Christian, a brothel tough; Algernon Child, a drunken rival; Fanny A. Conant, a sly suffragette; and William Guay, a religious fanatic. These rogues among a host of others, including the great spirit rapper Kate Fox, form powerful bonds with the spirit photographers, one of which will end in murder. Mumler’s first and last mistake: the dead cannot be made to heel.

Roughly based on the real-life story of William H. Mumler, spirit photographer and his clairvoyant wife, Hannah Mumler, Shadows in Summerland immerses the reader in a shifting world of light and shade where nothing is quite what it seems at first glance. A soaring and resplendently Gothic novel spanning three decades, it is as much an homage to the Golden Age ghost stories of Edith Wharton and Henry James as it is a companion to the revisionist historical epics of Peter Carey and Sarah Waters, with a little steampunk all its own.




Ruth Vincent

Elixir
A Changeling P.I. Novel 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 3, 2016
eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Mabily "Mab" Jones is just a twenty-something, over-educated, under-employed New Yorker trying to survive as a private eye's unpaid intern . . . or is she? Once a powerful fairy, but tricked by the Fairy Queen into human form, Mab is forced to face her changeling past when investigating a missing person case at a modern speakeasy.

Obadiah Savage bootlegs fairy Elixir to human customers thirsting for a magical fix. But when Mab and Obadiah become joint suspects in a crime they didn't commit, the only way to prove their innocence is to travel back to the fairy realm. And when Mab confronts the Fairy Queen and learns the depth of her betrayal, she must decide if the fate of the fey world is worth destroying the lives of the humans she's come to love.


2016 Debut Author Challenge - The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay


2016 Debut Author Challenge - The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay


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


Martin Seay

The Mirror Thief
Melville House, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 592 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret …
.
All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice … and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.

The View From Monday - April 10, 2017What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31Interview with Martin Seay, author of The Mirror Thief2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May DebutsThe View From Monday - May 9, 20162016 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge - The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay

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