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Interview with Michael R. Underwood


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery! Annihilation Aria, the first novel in his new Space Opera series, is published on July 21, 2020 by Parvus Press.

Please join all of us at The Qwillery in wishing Michael a Happy Book Birthday!



Interview with Michael R. Underwood




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel Annihilation Aria is published on July 21st. Over the years, what has become less challenging for you as a writer? More challenging?

MRU:  It’s gotten a bit easier for me to ride the ups and downs of publishing, but easier is not easy. It’s still an industry where getting better as a writer is no guarantee that your books will do better commercially. And that’s very discouraging. Writing books themselves have gotten easier and harder. Easier as I learn how to be more flexible in my process, responding to each book with the approach that works for it. Harder because I keep raising the bar for myself and in rising to the challenges posed to me by editors like my editor on Annihilation Aria, Kaelyn Considine. Aria is my best attempt (so far) to write a fun adventure story while adding more emotional depth and interesting worldbuilding.



TQDescribe Annihilation Aria using only 5 words.

MRU:  Space archaeology gets very complicated.



TQPlease tell us something about Annihilation Aria that is not found in the book description.

MRU:  Something I’ve already gotten positive feedback about with regards to the book is people saying they really like seeing a book with a happily-married couple in it. Max and Lahra start the novel already well into their relationship, but it’s one that is still loving and affectionate, even if they have their problems like any other couple. Being happily married myself, I wanted to help contribute to the body of works that feature established couples rather than only ever showing the meet-cute and the whirlwind romance.



TQWhich character in the Annihilation Aria was the most fun to write?

MRU:  The more time I spent developing her people’s culture, the more fun Lahra became to write. She became a way for me to play with the idea of the Warrior People, with Lahra as one of the few remaining members of her people’s warrior caste. I loved developing the worldbuilding for how she relates to the song magic of her people and her inherited quest to find and restore the lost heir.



TQAnnihilation Aria is a space opera? What makes a story a "space opera"?

MRU:  Generally, I agree with the reading of space opera as the science fiction analogue to epic fantasy. Space opera as a term riffs on horse opera, an old name for westerns. In modern science fiction, space opera has broadened to cover a wide range of science fiction, from series like The Expanse to Star Wars to Dune and many projects in between. Some space opera overlaps with military SF, some overlaps more with space fantasy (Annihilation Aria among them).

For this book, I leaned into a literal definition of space opera by having Lahra’s people use song magic, with Lahra’s battle songs featuring prominently in the actions sequences of the novel. Which made it fun and let me give the series (only one book commissioned so far) the cheeky title of “The Space Operas.” And if I get to write more books, I can give them equally fun titles like Chaos Canto or the like.



TQYour novels often (but not always) subtly pay homage to various genres and/or geekdoms. I particularly enjoy this in a novel. Will we be treated to this in Annihilation Aria?

MRUAnnihilation Aria was inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and some other space opera series. Reviewers have talked about Aria playing with 1908s space opera tropes but with updated sensibilities, and that’s definitely the approach I took in writing it. Most of my work so far has been focused on fun, adventure storytelling but done with as much inclusivity as I can manage.



TQDoes Annihilation Aria touch on any social issues?

MRU:  When I started writing Aria in 2015, its political edge was not as sharp as the final result. Then November 2016 happened. I decided to lean into that anger at the rise of US authoritarianism instead of shying away from it. The evil empire in this book is not at all the same as Trumpism in the USA, but the book definitely became more anti-authoritarian and revolutionary. Empires and the struggle against them are fairly common in space opera, but I tried to be a bit more pointed about the details of how authoritarianism and fascism creates systems of social control by limiting free speech, limiting movement, etc. All while still crafting a novel more about adventure and heroism than oppression and tragedy.



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

Made up question: Why a greatsword for Lahra’s sword of station?

MRU:  Great question! Greatswords were used as a weapon of choice by some bodyguards in renaissance Europe. A greatsword is heavier and harder to control than a longsword, but its size and strength makes it great for clearing and controlling space. I’ve studied a bit of greatsword technique from the Iberian Peninsula as well as other Iberian swordplay, and I jumped at the opportunity to showcase greatswords in this project. Plus, epic fantasy and space opera already make space for Giant Ridiculous Swords, so most of what I had to do was bring my own martial arts knowledge to it and figure out how magical/martial arts movie-ish I wanted swordplay to be in this one.



TQ Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Annihilation Aria.

MRU
Lahra Kevain sang “Sahvo’s Embrace” to her armor in the sun-soaked cargo hold. The embrace was an aria of resilience and rebirth from the epic of Zhore, sung originally by a love-struck guardian to the princess who was her charge.

The song awakened the suit, allowing her armor to repair itself using the sun’s energy. The coral-steel resonated with her voice, stitching itself back together, scalloped ridges and joints sealing and smoothing over. One by one, traces of her and Max’s last misadventure faded, and the suit returned to its optimal form.


TQWhat's next?

MRU:  I’m not the fastest writer, so I’ve been working on ways to stay connected with writers and colleagues. The past couple of years, I’ve had a lot of fun writing essays on the craft of writing and the business of publishing at my Patreon (patreon.com/michaelrunderwood). I’ve covered topics from how the pandemic may impact publishing to how sub-rights work as well as building a quick one-shot for D&D and getting from concept to page one in a new writing project. Plus it has pictures of my very cute dog Oreo.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MRU:  Thanks so much for having me back! Debuting back in 2012 feels simultaneously like just the other day and a lifetime ago, and I really appreciate the support and chance to get to grow along with the Qwillery audience.





Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Michael R. Underwood
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





About Michael

Interview with Michael R. Underwood
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including Annihilation Aria, Born to the Blade (an epic fantasy serial), the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for the r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award.

Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store clerk, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, their dog Oreo, and an ever-growing library. He also loves geeking out with video & role-playing games, studying historical martial arts, and making pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the actual play show Speculate! and a guest host on The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook

The View From Monday - July 20, 2020


Monday again!

There are 3 debuts his week:

Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis;

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson;

and

The Sin in the Steel (The Fall of the Gods 1) by Ryan Van Loan.

The View From Monday - July 20, 2020The View From Monday - July 20, 2020
The View From Monday - July 20, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Killing Light (The Sacred Throne 3) by Myke Cole is out in Trade Paperback;

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicles 3) by Jay Kristoff is out in Trade Paperback;

All the Dead Men by Errick Nunnally;

The Rightful Queen (Paths of Lantistyne 2) by Isabelle Steiger;

and

Annihilation Aria (Space Operas 1) by Michael R. Underwood.

The View From Monday - July 20, 2020The View From Monday - July 20, 2020
The View From Monday - July 20, 2020The View From Monday - July 20, 2020
The View From Monday - July 20, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - July 20, 2020


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

July 20, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
All the Dead Men Errick Nunnally H - Alexander Smith 2



July 21, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Saturnine Dan Abnett SF/SO - The Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra 4
MEG: Generations Steve Alten SupTh/SF - Meg 6
Uranus Ben Bova SF/HSF/AC - Outer Planets Trilogy 1
Alpha Omega Nicholas Bowling SF/TechTh/H
The Killing Light (h2tp) Myke Cole F - Sacred Throne  3
Fearful Symmetries (e)(ri) Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
John Landis Presents The Library of Horror Haunted Houses: Classic Stories of Doors that Should Never Be Opened DK H - The Library of Horror
The Pull of the Stars Emma Donoghue Hist/Dys
Axiom's End (D) Lindsay Ellis SF/AC/Th
The Year of the Witching (D) Alexis Henderson H/Occ/Sup/DF
A Summoning of Souls Leanna Renee Hieber GH/Gaslamp - A Spectral City Novel 3
I Come with Knives S. A. Hunt H/CF - Malus Domestica 2
Trouble the Saints Alaya Dawn Johnson HistF/LF
Darkdawn (h2tp) Jay Kristoff F - The Nevernight Chronicle 3
Inch by Inch (h2tp) Morgan Llywelyn SF/AP/PA - Step by Step 2
Malorie: A Bird Box Novel Josh Malerman Sus/H/SF/AP/PA - Bird Box 2
Quantum Shadows L. E. Modesitt Jr. SF
The Rightful Queen Isabelle Steiger F - Paths of Lantistyne 2
Annihilation Aria Michael R. Underwood SF/SO - Space Operas 1
The Sin in the Steel (D) Ryan Van Loan F - The Fall of the Gods 1
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy Ann VanderMeer(Ed)
Jeff VanderMeer (Ed)
F - Anthology
A Touch of Stone and Snow Milla Vane FR/F/PNR - A Gathering of Dragons 2
Savage Legion Matt Wallace F - Savage Rebellion 1
South of the Buttonwood Tree Heather Webber CW/MR/STR
Ashes of the Sun Django Wexler F - Burningblade & Silvereye 1



July 23, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Chimera Code (e) Wayne Santos SF - Witchware 1



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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
LMF - Legends, Myths, Fables
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery! Annihilation Aria, the first novel in his new Space Opera series, will be published on July 21, 2020 by Parvus Press.



Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood




Writing from a Trope Wish List

Some time ago, I heard author Annie Bellet talk about doing herself the favor of making a list of tropes she loved and making sure to use as many as she could to help make a book more fun to write, with the hope that it would then be more fun for readers as well.

The result was her 20-sided Sorceress series, which has done very well and, I think, completely validates this approach.

So, when it came to develop my ideas for what would become ANNIHILATION ARIA, I decided to borrow a page from Annie’s book and build myself a trope wish list.

I grew up on Star Wars as a foundational space opera influence, so anything I write in the more adventure-oriented side of space opera or space fantasy is going to bear the mark of that galaxy far, far away. For ARIA, that influence mostly shows up in the form of including Cool Swords in a setting that mostly features firearms. Lahra’s sword of station is also a BS Fantasy Sword – it would not be practical or effective for a human to use in reality, but looks cool and works for Lahra as an alien warrior hero.

Other tropes I wanted to play with included Found Family, Ship as Home, Gigantic Weird Location, Happily Committed Couple Having Adventures, Evil Super-soldiers, Cyborg Pilot, Last Member of a Warrior People, Friendly Megafauna, Cool Aliens, Space Magic, Hero From Earth Far From Home, and some that constitute spoilers, so I’m leaving them out here.


Building a Novel With a Trope Wish List

The idea with the trope wish list is to lay out some building blocks instead of developing the novel from scratch. The tropes to use constitute locations, characters, and some worldbuilding elements.

For my main cast, I have Max as my Hero From Earth Far From Home, Lahra as the Last Member of a Warrior People with the Silly Fantasy Sword and Space Magic, and they’re the Happily Married Couple Having Adventures. Then to round out their Found Family, I have Wheel the Cyborg Pilot who connects with/operates the Ship as Home.

Their main port/base is The Wreck, a Gigantic Weird Location (a crashed colony ship-turned city), and then there’s also a space city built on the backs of the Drell, giant space turtles that are Friendly Megafauna. The main bad guys in the setting are Evil Super-soldiers, the galaxy is populated by some other Cool Aliens like the avian Rellix, the Atlan (Wheel’s cybernetics-using species), and the clannish, mercantile Illhari.


Other Ways to Use Tropes While Building a Novel

A broader view of the trope wish list could involve trope-y plot beats, from the Double-Cross or the Hold The Line kind of battle to something like The War Council ala the Death Star briefing. I didn’t really use the trope wish list on the plot level, but if you really like certain types of scenes or are interested in building a story around set-pieces, this approach could be useful. It can give you pillars or centers of gravity for the plot, shaping a story around the core scenes you’re most excited for.


The Big Picture

Ultimately, the cool thing about using a trope wish list is that it can help you ramp up your hype for your own novel. Having spent a few years going from novel to novel and reading in the field and paying attention to trends, it was really liberating to re-connect so intentionally and directly with some of my favorite tropes. Tropes aren’t bad, they’re just building blocks. Especially since I ended up writing ANNIHILATION ARIA over the course of several years, revisiting it several times between other projects before taking it over the finish line in 2018.





Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





About Michael

Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. Underwood
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including Annihilation Aria, Born to the Blade (an epic fantasy serial), the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for the r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award.

Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store clerk, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, their dog Oreo, and an ever-growing library. He also loves geeking out with video & role-playing games, studying historical martial arts, and making pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the actual play show Speculate! and a guest host on The Skiffy and Fanty Show.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming July 2020 works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors! The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Ian Doescher (2013)

William Shakespeare's The Merry Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars Part the Ninth
Quirk Books, July 28, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Complete your collection of the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars® series and experience the blockbuster finale to the Star Wars® saga in a brand-new way, here reimagined as though it had been penned by the Bard of Avon.

As our story opens, a sea of troubles threatens the valiant Resistance, who are pursued by the sound and fury of the vile First Order. Can Rey, Poe, Finn, Rose, BB-8, Chewbacca, and their allies overcome such toil and trouble? Shall Kylo Ren be proven fortune’s fool or master of his fate? What will become of the House of Skywalker? And is all well that ends well?

Authentic meter, stage directions, reimagined movie scenes and dialogue, and hidden Easter eggs will entertain and impress fans of Star Wars® and Shakespeare alike. Every scene and character from the film appears in the book, along with twenty woodcut-style illustrations that depict an Elizabethan version of the Star Wars® galaxy.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors





Michael R. Underwood (2012)

Annihilation Aria
The Space Operas 1
Parvus Press, July 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
Max is cheery xeno-archeologist from Earth, stranded and trying to find a way home. Lahra is a stern warrior of a nearly extinct race searching for her people’s heir. Wheel is the couple’s cybernetic pilot running from her past and toward an unknown future.

On Wheel’s ship, the Kettle, the trio traverses the galaxy, dodging Imperial patrols and searching ancient ruins for anything they can sell. The crew of the Kettle are deeply in debt to their home base’s most powerful gangster, and she wants her money back.  

So when a dangerous, but promising job comes their way, Max, Lahra, and Wheel have little choice but to take it. However, the crew of the Kettle gets more than they bargained for when they find themselves in possession of a powerful artifact, one that puts them in the crosshairs of the Vsenk, the galaxy’s ruthless and oppressive imperial overlords. 

Max, Lahra, and Wheel are pulled into a web of galactic subterfuge, ancient alien weaponry, a secret resistance force, lost civilizations, and giant space turtles.  The Vsenk will stop at nothing to recover what the crew of the Kettle has found and Max’s brains, Lahra’s muscle, and Wheel’s skills may be all that stands between entire planets and annihilation.  

Can they evade space fascists, kick-start a rebellion, and save the galaxy all while they each try to find their own way home?





Alex White (2016)

The Worst of All Possible Worlds
The Salvagers 3
Orbit, July 28, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors
The rag-tag crew of the Capricious is hunting down rogue AI, ancient colony ships, and the biggest treasure the universe has ever seen in the final book of this pulse-pounding space adventure series for fans of Firefly and The Expanse.

The crew of the Capricious seems to leave a trail of devastation wherever they go. But with powerful enemies in pursuit and family and friends under attack planetside, there’s no time to worry about all that. Ensnared by the legend of Origin, humanity’s birthplace, and a long-dead form of magic, the Capricious takes off on a journey to find the first colony ship…and magic that could bring down gods.

Read the incredible space-fantasy series that V. E. Schwab calls “A total blast!”

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC AuthorsCovers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors

The View From Monday - June 25, 2018


Happy last Monday in June!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley;

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World 1) by Rebecca Roanhorse;

and

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg.

The View From Monday - June 25, 2018 The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Killing Is My Business (Ray Electromatic Mysteries 2) by Adam Christopher is out in Trade Paperback;

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker is out in Trade Paperback;

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson is out in Trade Paperback;

Gate Crashers by Patrick S. Tomlinson;

All the Nations of the Sky (Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 11) by Michael R. Underwood;

and

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers 1) by Alex White.

The View From Monday - June 25, 2018 The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
The View From Monday - June 25, 2018 The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
The View From Monday - June 25, 2018 The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
The View From Monday - June 25, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - June 25, 2018



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

June 25, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Entangled: The Homecoming (e) Barbara Bretton PNR - The Sugar Maple Chronicles 6



June 26, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Fall of Lucifer (ri) Wendy Alec F - Chronicles of Brothers, Time Before Time 1
The First Judgement (ri) Wendy Alec F - Chronicles of Brothers, Time Before Time 2
Iron and Magic (e) Ilona Andrews PNR - The Iron Covenant 1
Yarrick: The Omnibus David Annandale SF - Yarrick
The Girl in the Tower (h2tp) Katherine Arden F/MR/LF - Winternight Trilogy 2
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Return to Woodbury (h2tp) Jay Bonansinga H/SupTh/MTI - The Walking Dead 8
The Hospital Ahmed Bouanani
Lara Vergnaud (Tr)
LF
The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume Six Diane Carey
John Shirley
MTI/SF/AC/H
Killing Is My Business (h2tp) Adam Christopher SF/PI/Noir - Ray Electromatic Mysteries 2
Paradox Bound (h2tp) Peter Clines SF/H/TT
The Day After Gettysburg (h2mm) Robert Conroy
J.R. Dunn
AH
Outside the Fire Boyd Craven SF/AP/PA - An Economic Collapse Story
The Master of Mankind (tp2mm) Aaron Dembski-Bowden SF - The Horus Heresy 41
Dark Challenge (ri) Christine Feehan PNR - Dark 5
The Darkest Time of Night (D) Jeremy Finley Sus/SF/AC
The Gods of Sagittarius Eric Flint
Mike Resnick
SF
HALO: Bad Blood Matt Forbeck SF - Halo
Red Waters Rising Laura Anne Gilman HistF - The Devil's West 3
The Map of Moments Christopher Golden
Tim Lebbon
DF/UF/CF - Hidden Cities 2
Spoonbenders (h2tp) Daryl Gregory FL/SH/LF
The Half-Drowned King (h2tp) Linnea Hartsuyker Saga - The Golden Wolf Saga 1
A Plague of Giants (h2mm) Kevin Hearne F/P
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels (h2tp) Joe Hill H- Collection
The Rules of Magic (h2tp) Alice Hoffman LF - The Practical Magic Series 1
The Book of the Unwinding (h2tp) J.D. Horn CF - Witches of New Orleans 2
Gork, the Teenage Dragon (h2tp) Gabe Hudson LF/F/HU/SF
Devil Sharks Chris Jameson H/Sus
Damnation Valley William W. Johnstone
J.A. Johnstone
W/F/Hist - The Frontiersman 4
War of Secrets Phil Kelly SF - Space Marine Conquests 3
Jade City (h2tp) Fonda Lee F/Cr/Saga - The Green Bone Saga 1
Drop by Drop Morgan Llywelyn SF/AP/PA/TechTh - Step by Step 1
What Blooms from Dust James Markert Hist/Rel/MR/LF
The Dinosaur Princess (h2mm) Victor Milan F - The Dinosaur Lords 3
Awakened James S. Murray
Darren Wearmouth
H
Summerland Hannu Rajaniemi SF/AH
Trail of Lightning (D) Rebecca Roanhorse Dys - The Sixth World 1
The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington Charles Rosenberg AH/HistTh/LegalTh
Confessions of the Fox (D) Jordy Rosenberg LF/Hist
The Round-Dance of Water Kuznetsov Sergey
Valeriya Yermishova (Tr)
LF/MU/MR - Russian Literature Series
The Darkest Warrior Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld 14
Head Full of Joy Ognjen Spahic LF/Dys
Gate Crashers Patrick S. Tomlinson SF/AC
The Dark Blood of Poppies (ri) Freda Warrington F/DF/CF
The Risen Empire Scott Westerfeld SF/SO - Succession 1
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe Alex White SF/GenEng/SO - The Salvagers 1
The Clockwork Dynasty (h2tp) Daniel H. Wilson SF/Th/AH



June 27, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
All the Nations of the Sky (e) Michael Underwood F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 11



June 30, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Rough Justice Kelley Armstrong F
Mira's Last Dance Lois McMaster Bujold F
Blood's a Rover Harlan Ellison SF
University Bentley Little H



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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LegalTh - Legal Thriller
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
Rel - Religious
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SocSci - Social Science
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Tech - Technological
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western

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

Born to the Blade: An Interview with Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan to The Qwillery to answer some questions about Born to the Blade, a Serial Box series. The first episode, Arrivals, was published on April 18, 2018. The series is written by Marie Brennan, Cassandra Khaw, Malka Older, and Michael R. Underwood.



Born to the Blade: An Interview with Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. How did the Born to the Blade serial come about?

Michael R. Underwood (MRU):  Born to the Blade started as a magic system I imagined over ten years ago. I wanted to have magic that felt embodied, that was the opposite of the D&D stereotype of the frail wizards that can’t lift a sword. In this world, magical talent isn’t heritable, but it is common enough that each nation has their own way of considering and utilizing people with the gift. Bladecraft, the magic of this world, uses edged metal for carving sigils to create magical effects. I first explored the world in a very pulpy sky pirate adventure (a trunk novel, never to be seen) that set up some of the political tensions we explored in Born to the Blade (Quloo’s aerstone shortage, Mertikan imperialism, Tsukisen’s isolationism).

When I found out about Serial Box, I got in touch and talked with co-founders Julian Yap and Molly Barton about what they were looking for, and developed several pitches. Born to the Blade, re-working a concept I had for an unfinished novel in the setting, was the one that most excited them, so we developed the world together toward the series order. And here we are, with the fabulous team of Malka Older, Cassandra Khaw, and myself weaving the tale for readers to enjoy.



TQWhat's Born to the Blade about? How many episodes will it be?

MRU:  Born to the Blade is an epic fantasy series of diplomacy, swordplay, and magic, focusing on duelist-diplomats from a variety of nations that work together in an analogue to the UN security council based in the neutral city of Twaa-Fei. It’s a story about people caught between personal loyalties and national loyalties, between friendship and duplicity, between ambition and compassion. Another way that I’ve been pitching it is like Avatar the Last Airbender meets The West Wing, with magic swordfights.

The first season is eleven episodes, and if we get renewed, I’d love to take the series forward with a total of three to five seasons. I have plans for a three-season version and a five-season version, so we’ll see where the winds of fate take us.



TQWhy is this story suited to the serial format?

MRU:  Born to the Blade was specifically built for the Serial Box format, drawing on drama series like Babylon 5 and Game of Thrones that unfold story bit by bit, balancing a cohesive story for each episode with the ongoing serial drama of character arcs and widescreen storytelling about war, diplomacy, and so on.



TQPlease tell us in general how the collaborative process works with each of you writing different episodes? Do each of you try to write in the same style for each episode?

MRU:  We kicked off the development process for season one with a weekend-long writers’ summit, where all four of us on the writers’ team talked about what we wanted the series to be, ideas about the world and characters, and once we had the world, characters, and their relationships more firmly established, we broke the story for season one, with character arcs, twists, mysteries, and so on. We broke the story within the episode structure, so that we already had a pretty clear sense of what major story beats went where in the season.

The actual collaboration process was not unlike a TV show, where each episode was assigned to one member of the writing team. For each episode, we developed a more detailed outline which the team discussed, then wrote the episode and shared with the team, arranged in phases (roughly act one, two, and three of the season). We all gave feedback on each episode, so while any given episode is entirely written by just one team member, every episode represents all of our ideas and creativity. We didn’t push ourselves to all write in identical prose styles, but as the team lead, I did take the lead in setting the tone and approach for the series in writing the pilot episode before any of the other episodes were written, helping us find the voice and approach for the series and characters (though as I said above, all of this represents everyone’s approach rather than just my own).



TQWhat do you like about writing a serial? Is writing episodes in a serial easier or harder than writing a novella?

MRU:  It’s been a great challenge to pack in as much story as possible to 10K word episodes (about 40 pages or an hour of audio). I’m definitely more used to novella and novel-length writing, so I have had to continually push myself to focus, to make every scene do double or triple duty, and to pack as much worldbuilding into other parts of the story as possible in order to keep the wordcount on target.
Working on Born to the Blade has definitely helped me become a stronger writer, and I have also set myself other challenges, like writing fight scenes that are exciting and easy to follow while also being emotionally resonant.



TQWhat is the easiest and hardest thing about writing a serial?

Marie Brennan (MB): It might seem counter-intuitive, but I feel like one of the easiest things was making sure every episode had something cool happening in it. An episode isn't the same thing as a chapter; if you think about a TV show and compare it to a novel, you'll generally see a different structure for how they're broken up. (Depending on the writer. Some novelists structure their books like TV shows.) Both approaches work, but once I got my brain into TV-style gear, it was pretty easy to think of each episode as having some kind of set-piece or ending punch, rather than building toward the ultimate end goal in a more gradual fashion.

The hardest thing was making we kept all the balls in the air. Most novels focus on only one or two protagonists, or if they have more, each one tends to get their own chapter. But because Serial Box's projects are structured more like TV series, we had to make sure the central characters were doing something significant in every episode, and the secondary characters weren't neglected for too long. It creates challenges for pacing both within an episode and across the whole season.



TQDo you have a favorite secondary character?

MB: Several! Our development process meant we spent a chunk of time considering each major secondary character directly, rather than focusing only on the main protagonists and positioning everyone else in relation to them. My answer changes from day to day; I wrote a piece for Mary Robinette Kowal's "My Favorite Bit" feature about Bellona Avitus, the junior warder for Mertika. But while she's one of my favorite bits of the story, I don't actually like her -- she's really not a good person.

So I'll choose Ueda no Takeshi, the Ikaran warder. I can't go into detail as to why without giving spoilers, but he's a "still waters run deep" kind of guy. And I like that he's a nerd: he studies the magical elements of his world, like the birthrights people acquire from being born on a particular island, and gets his strength from knowlege as much as his ability to hit people with a sword. (He's actually not all that great at hitting people with a sword.)



TQHave any of the characters in Born to the Blade been surprising?

MRU:  A lot, especially because I’ve had the fortune of witnessing how Malka, Marie, and Cassandra write the characters and take them in ways I didn’t expect. I think Bellona came to surprise all of us, as we dug in on what made her tick, how she tried to deal with Lavinia (her superior)’s domineering and demanding approach, as well as the ways that we showcased Bellona’s calculating but obvious social maneuvering through the baby shower and other efforts to make a grand gesture or big display.



TQWhat kinds of research have you done for Born to the Blade?

MRU:  A lot of the research that shows up in Born to the Blade was more a result of me and the other team members applying what we already knew, from martial arts (unarmed and swordplay) to the material and intangible culture of a variety of civilizations and peoples from around the world that we drew from to create the numerous nations of the sky. Marie did a bunch of extra work in developing a resource document for hairstyles and clothing notes for the different nations, condensing and clarifying the brainstorming that all four of us had done along the way.



TQAre social issues touched upon in Born to the Blade?

MRU:  The issues we touch on most directly are imperialism and colonialism, with Michiko as a subject of the Mertikan empire. But with Quloo we have a story that resonates with peak oil and/or climate change. Because it is a political and diplomatic series, social issues are never far from the surface, and I am especially happy with the ways that the team was always very conscious of the different levels that character actions and big moves in the story operated on, always boiling down to power – who has it, who uses it, for what purpose, and with what unintended effects.



TQAny hints to what is upcoming for Oda no Michiko and Kris Denn?

MRU:  Michiko, Kris, and Ojo are all in very different places at the end of the season than they were at the series’ start, with new perspectives, drastically different relationships, and new objectives emerging from the action and intrigue of the season. Born to the Blade is the most character-driven story I’ve worked on as a writer, which makes it very exciting, as I came out of the season with a clear sense of what each character wants based on the season’s events, and what they’re willing to do now to achieve those goals.

Just talking about it makes me want to dive back in and start writing season two. But that will have to wait to see how readers react and whether the series has earned enough support to get picked up (again, think TV series). So if you have already been reading and want to see more, make sure to spread the word and encourage friends to subscribe and read, too!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery!





Born to the Blade is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo and Serial Box.

The Episodes:

 1.  Arrivals by Michael R. Underwood
 2.  Fault Lines by Marie Brennan
 3.  Baby Shower by Cassandra Khaw
 4.  The Gauntlet by Michael R. Underwood
 5.  Trade Deal by Malka Older
 6.  Spiraling by Marie Brennan
 7.  Dreadnought by Cassandra Khaw
 8.  Refugees by Malka Older
 9.  Assassination by Malka Older
10. Shattered Blades by Marie Brennan
11. All the Nations of the Skies by Michael R. Underwood

Look for Born to the Blade: The Complete Season One on July 27th:

Born to the Blade: An Interview with Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan
For centuries the Warders' Circle on the neutral islands of Twaa-Fei has given the countries of the sky a way to avoid war, settling their disputes through formal, magical duels. But the Circle's ability to maintain peace is fading: the Mertikan Empire is preparing for conquest and the trade nation of Quloo is sinking, stripped of the aerstone that keeps both ships and island a-sky. When upstart Kris Denn tries to win their island a seat in the Warder’s Circle and colonial subject Oda no Michiko discovers that her conquered nation's past is not what she's been told, they upset the balance of power. The storm they bring will bind all the peoples of the sky together…or tear them apart.





The Authors

Marie BrennanWebsiteTwitter
Cassandra KhawFacebookTwitter
Malka OlderWebsiteTwitter
Michael R. UnderwoodWebsiteTwitter

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood


The Data Disruption, Episode 0 in the Genrenauts series by Michael R. Underwood, has been released. The Data Disruption is a prequel to the Genrenauts series as the team travels to the world of Cyberpunk. Jump into the Genrenauts' adventures with Episode 0, which is free!



The Data Disruption
Genrenauts Episode Zero
June 13, 2017
eBook, 68 pages
Design by Sean Glenn

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
When Stories Break, You Send in the Genrenauts!

The Genrenauts are a group of story experts who travel to parallel worlds. Each is the home of a narrative genre—Science Fiction or Romance, Fantasy or Western—populated by archetypal characters and constantly playing out familiar stories.

The Genrenauts’ mission: find and fix broken stories. If they fail, the ripples from the story worlds will cause havoc and devastation on their home world.

In the world of Cyberpunk, D-Source, a noted hacker, has disappeared, leaving his team's storyline to grind to a halt. Angstrom King leads the Genrenauts on a mission to find out what happened to D-Source and how to get the cyberpunks back in the action.

World-spanning megacorporations...suspicious mercenaries living on the edge...lethal computer programs designed to tear your mind to shreds...the Genrenauts will face all these and more to get the story back on track—before it's too late.

A short story in the world of Genrenauts (a finalist for the r/Fantasy "Stabby" Award for Best Serialized Fiction.)




Genrenauts

The Shootout Solution
Genrenauts Episode 1
Tor.com, November 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 164 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
Leverage meets Jasper Fforde in this new series from the fan-favorite author of Geekomancy.

When a story goes-off track, you send in the Genrenauts. This team of narrative specialists travels across dimensions to find, evaluate, and fix broken stories, lest the ripples manifest as violence and upheaval in our own world.

Genrenauts Episode 1: The Shootout Solution - Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet.

Leah's stand-up career isn't going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she's offered employment with the mysterious Genrenauts Foundation, she soon discovers that literally dying on stage is a hazard of the job!

Her first assignment takes her to a Western world. When a cowboy tale slips off its rails, and the outlaws start to win, it's up to Leah - and the Genrenauts team - to nudge the story back on track and prevent a catastrophe on Earth.

But the story's hero isn't interested in winning, and the safety of Earth hangs in the balance...



The Absconded Ambassador
Genrenauts Episode 2
Tor.com, February 23, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 176 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
Fiction is more important than you think. When stories go wrong, the Genrenauts step in to prevent the consequences from rippling into our so-called real world.

When a breach is discovered in Science Fiction World, rookie genrenaut Leah Tang gets her first taste of space flight.

A peace treaty is about to be signed on space station Ahura-3, guaranteeing the end of hostilities between some of the galaxy's most ferocious races, but when the head architect of the treaty is unexpectedly kidnapped, it's up to Leah and her new colleagues to save the day.

At any cost.



There Will Always Be a Max
A Genrenauts Story
Tor Books, April 6, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
A hero is missing. The post-apocalyptic wasteland is awash with violence and injustice, and the genrenaut's own King must step in and show precisely why There Will Always be a Max.



The Cupid Reconciliation
Genrenauts Episode 3
May 31, 2016
eBook, 101 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
Happily Ever After or Bust!

Wounded Genrenaut Mallery York returns to active duty just in time for the team to be deployed to the Rom-Com region of the Romance world. There, everyone is beautiful, office workers can afford palatial midtown apartments, and hearts are won and broken on every corner.

But before they can fix the broken love story, they have to find it. Mallery takes the lead, bringing her expertise to bear and leading Leah to wonder whether there’s a space for her on the team now that Mallery is back.

The team scours dating sites, cocktail bars, and jogging paths looking for the right pair of lovers to reconnect before time runs out and the ripples from the story breach lay waste to romance back on Earth.

This third episode of Genrenauts is a great jumping-on point for new readers. If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, pick up The Cupid Reconciliation today for an exciting romp through the worlds of story!



The Substitute Sleuth
Genrenauts Episode 4
July 26, 2016
eBook, 101 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
She’s a Wacky Comedian. He’s a Gruff Detective. They Fight Crime!

It was supposed to be a simple training mission in the Police Procedural region of Crime World. But there’s always a twist – when the precinct’s favorite wacky private eye is shot, Leah and King must fill the shoes of Odd Couple Detectives to investigate a pair of nested mysteries.

Leah and King work against the clock to fix the breach before falling too deep into their respective roles and losing themselves to the story. And there's more going on here than a simple crime of passion...

The fourth episode the trope-twisting Genrenauts series. If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, pick up The Substitute Sleuth for an energetic romp through the worlds of story!



The Failed Fellowship
Genrenauts Season 5 & 6
October 4, 2016
eBook, 181 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
We’re Going to Need a New Chosen One…

The team travels to Traditional Fantasy-land where the prophesied hero has died just before his moment of triumph. The Genrenauts take on the roles of Wizard, Paladin, Fighter, Bard, and more to stop the Night-Lord before his arcane power brings about an eternal night of terror.

In Part 1, the heroes arrive in the story world and seek a weapon capable of defeating the Night-lord. In Part 2, they confront the Night-Lord and uncover a secret with implications that will ripple across the multiverse.

If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, you'll love Genrenauts. pick up The Failed Fellowship to continue the adventure!



Genrenauts Season One
October 11, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
When Stories Break, You Send in the Genrenauts!

Struggling stand-up comic Leah Tang is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the Genrenauts, a secret organization of dimensional travelers. Leah learns that our world is just one of many, and every other world is the home of a story genre — Science Fiction or Romance, Fantasy or Western — populated by archetypal characters and constantly playing out familiar stories.

The Genrenauts’ mission: find and fix broken stories. If they fail, the ripples from the story worlds will cause havoc and devastation on their home world. Leah joins the team and dives head-first into the adventure. But the stories are breaking faster and worse than ever before. Will Leah rise to the occasion, or will she end up as just another broken story?

Collects all six episodes from the first season of the exciting science fiction novella series. If you like Leverage, Redshirts, or Quantum Leap, pick up Genrenauts to start a brand-new adventure!





About Michael R. Underwood

The Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. Underwood
Copyright Tall + Small Photography
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for a r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.

Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.

In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store cashwrap monkey, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife and their ever-growing library. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he geeks out on comics and video games and makes pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the Hugo Award-Finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43


This is the forty-third in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published or to be 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




Michael R. Underwood (2012)

There Will Always Be a Max
A Genrenauts Story
Tor Books, April 6, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
A hero is missing. The post-apocalyptic wasteland is awash with violence and injustice, and the genrenaut's own King must step in and show precisely why There Will Always be a Max.


The Cupid Reconciliation
Genrenauts Episode 3
May 31, 2016
eBook, 101 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
Happily Ever After or Bust!

Wounded Genrenaut Mallery York returns to active duty just in time for the team to be deployed to the Rom-Com region of the Romance world. There, everyone is beautiful, office workers can afford palatial midtown apartments, and hearts are won and broken on every corner.

But before they can fix the broken love story, they have to find it. Mallery takes the lead, bringing her expertise to bear and leading Leah to wonder whether there’s a space for her on the team now that Mallery is back.

The team scours dating sites, cocktail bars, and jogging paths looking for the right pair of lovers to reconnect before time runs out and the ripples from the story breach lay waste to romance back on Earth.

This third episode of Genrenauts is a great jumping-on point for new readers. If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, pick up The Cupid Reconciliation today for an exciting romp through the worlds of story!


The Substitute Sleuth
Genrenauts Episode 4
July 26, 2016
eBook, 101 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
She’s a Wacky Comedian. He’s a Gruff Detective. They Fight Crime!

It was supposed to be a simple training mission in the Police Procedural region of Crime World. But there’s always a twist – when the precinct’s favorite wacky private eye is shot, Leah and King must fill the shoes of Odd Couple Detectives to investigate a pair of nested mysteries.

Leah and King work against the clock to fix the breach before falling too deep into their respective roles and losing themselves to the story. And there's more going on here than a simple crime of passion...

The fourth episode the trope-twisting Genrenauts series. If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, pick up The Substitute Sleuth for an energetic romp through the worlds of story!


The Failed Fellowship
Genrenauts Season 5 & 6
October 4, 2016
eBook, 181 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
We’re Going to Need a New Chosen One…

The team travels to Traditional Fantasy-land where the prophesied hero has died just before his moment of triumph. The Genrenauts take on the roles of Wizard, Paladin, Fighter, Bard, and more to stop the Night-Lord before his arcane power brings about an eternal night of terror.

In Part 1, the heroes arrive in the story world and seek a weapon capable of defeating the Night-lord. In Part 2, they confront the Night-Lord and uncover a secret with implications that will ripple across the multiverse.

If you like Leverage, Quantum Leap, Redshirts, and The A-Team, you'll love Genrenauts. pick up The Failed Fellowship to continue the adventure!


Genrenauts Season One
October 11, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
When Stories Break, You Send in the Genrenauts!

Struggling stand-up comic Leah Tang is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the Genrenauts, a secret organization of dimensional travelers. Leah learns that our world is just one of many, and every other world is the home of a story genre — Science Fiction or Romance, Fantasy or Western — populated by archetypal characters and constantly playing out familiar stories.

The Genrenauts’ mission: find and fix broken stories. If they fail, the ripples from the story worlds will cause havoc and devastation on their home world. Leah joins the team and dives head-first into the adventure. But the stories are breaking faster and worse than ever before. Will Leah rise to the occasion, or will she end up as just another broken story?

Collects all six episodes from the first season of the exciting science fiction novella series. If you like Leverage, Redshirts, or Quantum Leap, pick up Genrenauts to start a brand-new adventure!





Simon Kurt Unsworth (2015)

The Devil's Evidence
Vintage, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 05, 2016

[cover not yet revealed]
Thomas Fool is a detective from Hell–literally. Having survived the wrath of both angel and demon, and still without memory of his life on earth, Fool is currently spending his damnation as a bureaucrat heading up the Information Office of Hell. But when mysterious fires begin spooking higher-ups in the Bureaucracy–homicidal arson, it’s believed–and a series of unexplained murders plagues Heaven, Fool is dispatched north to investigate.

But Heaven is not what Fool imagines. In fact, it’s not so different from Hell. And friction between the two afterworlds is only beginning to mount as Fool conducts his investigation. The Devil’s Evidence is a thrilling ride through the spiritual realm, and a welcome return for the dead’s most endearing private eye.





Ruth Vincent (2016)

Elixir
A Changeling P.I. Novel 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, June 28, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 3, 2016
     eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
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.


Unveiled
A Changeling P.I. Novel 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 6, 2016
     eBook, 384 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, January 24, 2017
     Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43
Following the events of Elixir, Mabily “Mab” Jones’ life has returned to normal. Or as normal as life can be for a changeling, who also happens to be a private detective working her first independent case, and dating a half-fey.

But then a summons to return to the fairy world arrives in the form of a knife on her pillow. And in the process of investigating her case, Mab discovers the fairies are stealing joy-producing chemicals directly from the minds of humans in order to manufacture their magic Elixir, the dwindling source of their powers. Worst of all, Mab’s boyfriend Obadiah vows to abstain from Elixir, believing the benefits are not worth the cost in human suffering—even though he knows fairies can’t long survive without their magic.

Mab soon realizes she has no choice but to answer the summons and return to the Vale. But the deeper she is drawn into the machinations of the realm, the more she becomes ensnared by promises she made in the past. And in trying to do the right thing, Mab will face her most devastating betrayal yet, one that threatens everything and everyone she holds most dear.

The View From Monday - October 10, 2016


Happy Monday!

There are three debuts out this week:

The Apothecary's Curse by Barbara Barnett;

FantasticLand by Mike Bockoven;

and

The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick.

The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Chaosmage (Age of Darkness 3) by Stephen Aryan;

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Made to Kill (L.A. Trilogy 1) by Adam Christopher is out in Trade Paperback;

Conspiracy of Ravens (Shadow 2) by Lila Bowen (Delilah S. Dawson);

The Witch House of Persimmon Point by Suzanne Palmieri;

Counterpart (Machinations 2) by Hayley Stone;

The Promise of the Child (Amaranthine Spectrum 1) by Tom Toner is out in Trade Paperback:

and

Genrenauts: The Complete Season One Collection by Michael R. Underwood.

The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - October 10, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.



The View From Monday - October 10, 2016



October 9, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Eternal Frankenstein Ross E. Lockhart (Ed) H - Anthology



October 11, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Sons of Titan (h2tp) David Annandale SF - Grey Knights
Chaosmage Stephen Aryan F - Age of Darkness 3
Hag-Seed Margaret Atwood LF - Hogarth Shakespeare Series
The Apothecary's Curse (D) Barbara Barnett UF/HistF
The Abandoned Heart Laura Benedict Gothic - Bliss House 3
FantasticLand (D) Mike Bockoven H
The Girl with Ghost Eyes (h2mm) M. H. Boroson F/P
Conspiracy of Ravens Lila Bowen HistF - The Shadow 2
Totem Darin Bradley Dys - Dystopian Cluster 3
The Scent of Salt & Sand Kristin Cast
P.C. Cast
PNR - An Escaped Novella
Made to Kill (h2tp) Adam Christopher SF - L.A. Trilogy 1
The Librarians and The Lost Lamp Greg Cox CF - The Librarians 1
The Uncrowned King Rowena Cory Daniells F - King Rolen's Kin 2
Irish Ghost Stories David Stuart Davies GH - Macmillan Collector's Library
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife Meg Elison SF/AP/PA - The Road to Nowhere 1
Silver on the Road (h2tp) Laura Anne Gilman HistF - The Devil's West 1
Crimson Death Laurell K. Hamilton F/P/H - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 25
Unhonored Tracy Hickman
Laura Hickman
HistF - The Nightbirds 2
Scratch Steve Himmer SupTh
Cat's Cradle (e)(ri) William W. Johnstone H
Watchers In The Woods (e)(ri) William W. Johnstone H
Hammers on Bone Cassandra Khaw F/P
In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe: Classic Tales of Horror, 1816-1914 (h2tp) Leslie S. Klinger (Ed) H - Anthology
The Graveyard Apartment Mariko Koike H
City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales Gigi Little (Ed) SF/F/UF/H - Anthology
Tuskers III: The Omnivore Wars Duncan McGeary H - Tuskers 3
Treachery's Tools L. E. Modesitt, Jr. F - The Imager Portfolio 10
Inspector of the Dead (h2tp) David Morrell Gothic - Thomas and Emily De Quincey 2
The Wraiths of War Mark Morris DF/UF - Obsidian Heart Trilogy 3
The Witch House of Persimmon Point Suzanne Palmieri CW/Gothic
The Comet Seekers (D) Helen Sedgwick LF
Counterpart (e) Hayley Stone SF/GenEng - Machinations 2
Legacy of Caliban: The Omnibus Gav Thorpe SF - Legacy of Caliban
The Promise of the Child (h2tp) Tom Toner SF/SO - Amaranthine Spectrum 1
Genrenauts: The Complete Season One Collection (e) Michael R. Underwood SF/F
Blood on the Tracks William Vitka SF/AP/PA - Hellcat 2
The Delphi Effect Rysa Walker SF - The Delphi Trilogy 1



October 12, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Blue is a Darkness Weakened by Light: A Tor.com Original (e) Sarah McCarry F



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



AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CW - Contemporary Women
CyberP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F _ Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hu - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
ParaTh - Paranormal Thriller
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TV - Television
UF - Urban Fantasy


Note: Not all of these genres and formats are represented in the books above.

The View From Monday - July 25, 2016


Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week:

Midsummer Night's Mischief (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery 1) by Jennifer David Hesse;

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel;

Bite by K.S. Merbeth;

and

Machinations (Machinations 1) by Hayley Stone.


The View From Monday - July 25, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016
The View From Monday - July 25, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Indomitable (Chronicles of Promise Paen 2) W. C. Bauers;

Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence 5) by Max Gladstone;

Lightless (The Lightless Trilogy 1) by C.A. Higgins is out in Trade Paperback with a new cover!;

Supernova (The Lightless Trilogy 2) by C.A. Higgins;

Sparrow Falling (Sparrow 2) by Gaie Sebold;

and

The Substitute Sleuth (Genrenauts Episode 4) by Michael R. Underwood.

The View From Monday - July 25, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016
The View From Monday - July 25, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016
The View From Monday - July 25, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.



The View From Monday - July 25, 2016


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



July 26, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Whitefern V.C. Andrews Saga/Psy - The Audrina Series 2
Indomitable W. C. Bauers SF - Chronicles of Promise Paen 2
Red Right Hand Levi Black DF
The Lightning Stones (h2mm) Jack Du Brul Th/SF - Philip Mercer 8
Bounty Michael Byrnes TechTh/SF
Illusion Town Jayne Castle PNR - An Illusion Town Novel 1
Spells and Scones Bailey Cates PM - A Magical Bakery Mystery 6
Cinema Alchemist: Designing Star Wars and Alien Roger Christian Biography
Dark Matter Blake Crouch TechTh/Sus/SF
Paycheck and Other Classic Stories By Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick SF - Collection
Dark Victory (tp2mm) Brendan DuBois SF/AP/PA
Pacific Fire (h2tp) Greg van Eekhout CF - Daniel Blackland 2
1636: The Cardinal Virtues (h2mm) Eric Flint
Walter H. Hunt
AH - The Ring of Fire 19
Wicked Joanne Fluke Sus/Cr/H
The Woman in Silk R.J. Gadney H
Valley of the Moon Melanie Gideon Saga/LF
Four Roads Cross Max Gladstone F - Craft Sequence 5
Deadly Fate Heather Graham Sus/Th/PNR/GH - Krewe of Hunters 19
Dragon Fever: A Dark Kings Novella Donna Grant PNR
Where the Wild Things Bite Molly Harper PNR - Half-Moon Hollow 5
Midsummer Night's Mischief (D) Jennifer David Hesse CM - A Wiccan Wheel Mystery 1
Supernova C.A. Higgins SF/SO - The Lightless Trilogy 2
Lightless (h2tp) C.A. Higgins SF/SO - The Lightless Trilogy 1
Fool's Quest (h2mm) Robin Hobb F - Fitz and the Fool 2
Apocalypse Now Now (tp2mm) Charlie Human F/P
Doctor Sleep (tp2mm) Stephen King H - Shining 2
The Breadwinner Trilogy Stevie Kopas SF/AP/PA - The Breadwinner Omnibus
A Grave Prediction Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 14
Best Defense David Mack SF - Star Trek: The Original Series: Legacies 2
The Night Parade Ronald Malfi H/GH/Th/Sus
The Summer That Melted Everything (D) Tiffany McDaniel LF
Thunderbird (h2mm) Jack McDevitt SF - Ancient Shores 2
City of Demons (e) Richelle Mead UF - Georgia Kincaid 2.5
Bite (D) K.S. Merbeth SF/AP/PA
Urban Allies: Ten Brand-New Collaborative Stories Joseph Nassise UF - Anthology
Night Talk George Noory SupTh
City of Wolves Willow Palecek F/P
A Sterkarm Kiss (ri) Susan Price F/TT - Sterkarm 2
The Sterkarm Handshake (ri) Susan Price F/TT - Sterkarm 1
Copper Veins (e) Jennifer Allis Provost F - Copper Legacy 3
Wasteland King Lilith Saintcrow UF - Gallow and Ragged 3
Adeptus Mechanicus Rob Sanders SF - Warhammer 40,000
Sparrow Falling Gaie Sebold SP - Sparrow 2
Koko the Mighty (tp2mm) Kieran Shea SF - Koko 2
Doctor Who Travels in Time Coloring Book Price Stern Sloan SF
Machinations (D)(e) Hayley Stone SF - Machinations 1
The Dead of Haggard Hall Marie Treanor PNR - Darke of Night 1
The Tinker King (h2mm) Tiffany Trent F - Unnaturalists
The Substitute Sleuth Michael R. Underwood SF - Genrenauts Ep. 4
Supernatural - Mythmaker Tim Waggoner F/P - Supernatural
A Call to Arms (h2mm) David Weber
Timothy Zahn
Thomas Pope
SF - Manticore Ascendant 2
Soldiers Out of Time (tp2mm) Steve White SF/TT - Jason Thanou 5



July 28, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
SNAFU: Unnatural Selection (Ke) Michale McBride
Tim Lebbon
and more
H - Anthology



July 29, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Limbus, Inc. - Book III Brett J. Talley (Ed) H/SF/F - Anthology



July 31, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Further Adventures of Langdon St. Ives James P. Blaylock SP - Collection
This Census-Taker China Miéville GB



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle only eBook
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
CM - Cozy Mystery
Cr - Crime
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost
GN - Graphic Novel
GO - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Noir - Noir
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
RR - Regency Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

Note: Not all of these genres are represented in the book above.

Interview with Michael R. UnderwoodThe View From Monday - July 20, 2020Guest Post: Writing from a Trope Wish List by Michael R. UnderwoodCovers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC AuthorsThe View From Monday - June 25, 2018Born to the Blade: An Interview with Michael R. Underwood and Marie BrennanThe Data Disruption (Genrenauts Episode 0) by Michael R. UnderwoodWhat's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 43The View From Monday - October 10, 2016The View From Monday - July 25, 2016

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