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Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl Lives


Please welcome Rick Claypool to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Leech Girl Lives is published on September 26th by Spaceboy Books.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Rick a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl Lives




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

Rick:  As a kid I spent a lot of time being bored at my grandparents’ house, so I occupied myself drawing cartoons, writing manuals for video games I made up, or stapling together drawings of dinosaurs or made-up creatures to make “books.” At the time I didn’t think of any of this as “writing” but that’s pretty much what it was. I didn’t do much in the way of creating actual narratives -- you know, stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end -- unless I was told to do so for school. That came much later.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rick:  Hybrid. I need to sketch things out in advance in order to make any kind of progress, but when I hunker down and start actually writing, the story almost inevitably veers off in unintended and surprising ways. Sometimes these unexpected offshoots are dead ends and sometimes they are way better than what I originally planned. The best of these, the ones that both work and take the story in unexpected directions, are the most thrilling part of the creative process for me.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rick:  Not crashing my car when I have an idea and I try to write it down while simultaneously driving on the Turnpike.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rick:  I love the maximalist worldbuilding and political conscience of science fiction authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, China Mieville and Madeleine L’Engle and I love the everyday absurdism captured by minimalist millennial authors like Sam Pink, Juliet Escoria, and Noah Cicero. In Leech Girl Lives, I try to bring these influences together to make a kind of offbeat minimalist sci-fi.

Of course it wasn’t just books that influenced me. TV shows like Adventure Time and Doctor Who have inspired me basically not to hold back my weirdest, craziest ideas, and the dystopia/utopia I invented no doubt owes a lot to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and 12 Monkeys.



TQDescribe Leech Girl Lives in 140 characters or less.

Rick:  This book is hard to succinctly summarize but here’s an attempt in exactly 140 characters:

Leeches replace Margo's arms & help her fight art terrorists & overcome depression. She discovers her utopian city's dark side & fights back



TQTell us something about Leech Girl Lives that is not found in the book description.

Rick:  In the Bublinaplex, the distant-future utopia where the story takes place, society is centered around making art (because humanity’s survival is attributed to creativity) and safety (because the city contains the last remaining human population, so everyone’s life is extremely precious). A newly popular art movement, reckessism, threatens to disrupt the utopia, as its adherents (recklessists) defy the society’s emphasis on safety by making art that is designed to physically harm its audience. Lorcan Warhol, the de facto leader of this movement, is the arch nemesis of the story’s protagonist, Margo Chicago, an art safety inspector.



TQWhat inspired you to write Leech Girl Lives? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Rick:  It’s the result of a mishmash of many inspirations. This is going to sound very serious for a book that on the surface might seem somewhat silly and escapist, but global inequality and exploitation as facilitated by unfair trade agreements and corporate supply chains was my initial inspiration. I set out to write a story where people who live in a rather blissful utopian future rely on the brutal exploitation of the people of the past in the same way that, in real life, people in rich countries like the U.S. rely on products made possible through the brutal exploitation of people in the Global South. My challenge for myself was to write a book that is something of a zany escapist sci-fi romp that simultaneously engages with this and other deadly serious issues.

In high school, I read E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” a science fiction story from 1909, before science fiction was a thing, and it literally changed my life. In a way, I write science fiction because I hope my writing could affect others the way that story affected me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  To be honest, not very much. One exception that stands out is that a major plot point depends on there being a credible way to force a tardigrade -- an odd, nearly indestructible kind of micro-creature that dwells in moss and mud basically everywhere in the world -- into its “tun” or dormant state. I had to peruse Google Scholar a bit before I found a paper that made what happens in the book with a stampede of kaiju-sized tardigrades seem not so scientifically wrong that it would bother me.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  The cover depicts the beginning of a somewhat Nausicaa-inspired scene where Margo gets quite close to one of these massive tardigrades.



TQIn Leech Girl Lives who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rick:  I’ll respond in reverse. Margo was the hardest, since it is her perspective that the reader follows for practically the entire book. In order to maintain a consistent character, perspective, and voice for her for the duration of the novel during the years-long process of writing it, I essentially had to trick myself into thinking of her as a real person that I know, and I had to suppress the idea that she is just this artificial and in some ways arbitrary assemblage of traits and ideas that come from within me.

The easiest character to write was Lorcan Warhol. He’s malicious and flamboyant, like Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter, and he loves to hear himself speak. I had a lot of fun writing him, as I think readers probably will be able to tell.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Leech Girl Lives?

Rick:  There’s no such thing as a novel that doesn’t include social issues. Sure, I made an effort to keep most of the politics as subtext rather than text in Leech Girl Lives. I’ll sum it up this way: At its core the book is against exploitation and ignorance and cynicsm and complacency and it is for fighting for what you believe in and confronting unfairness and choosing to be on the right side of history.



TQWhich question about Leech Girl Lives do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rick:

RC:  How did you balance writing the book with all the other things going on in your life?

I work full time, I like spending time with my wife, and I have a four-year-old. It’s not easy. The biggest advantage I’ve been blessed with is that I work from home. When I started writing the book, before my son was born, I made a conscious effort to use the time I would have spent commuting in order to do it. So for about an hour every day I churned out about 300 or so, and I forced myself to always move forward with the draft, to not go back and revise anything, and in about a year those words added up to the sprawling, incoherent 500-page mess that was my first draft. By the time my son was born a few years later I was doing final revisions. I had no interest in using the book to cop out of my parenting responsibilities (and I don’t think my wife would have put up with it for a second if I did, and rightly so). Finding time to write is much harder now that I have to schlep the boy to daycare, but I still manage to chip away at smaller projects.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Leech Girl Lives.

Rick:  Here’s a particularly fun paragraph from the middle of the book:

“The balloon leered at Margo. It spoke, and as it spoke its eyes sunk back into its skull and its teeth stood up on its gums and the teeth performed a nightmarish dance on the thing’s forked tongue to a rhythmic bleating that blared out of its nostrils.”



TQWhat's next?

Rick:  I’m working on a post-apocalyptic, Lovecraftian piece that is either a very long short story or a very short novelette that’s inspired by Wall Street’s influence on our society.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rick:  Thank you for your excellent questions.





Leech Girl Lives
Spaceboy Books LLC, September 26, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 322 pages

Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl Lives
“I used to live in the future. Giant leeches ate my arms and then replaced them. Under the circumstances, this was actually a good thing. Anyway now I’m here and I’m looking for someone else from the future.” 

Inspector Margo Chicago is the smartest, surliest art safety inspector in the Bublinaplex, and things aren’t going her way. The guy she thinks she’s in love with has been banished. Her boss has been poisoned. Her cyborg has a limp.

Oh, and her arms have been devoured and replaced by a pair of enormous leeches. As if that isn’t enough, it’s now up to Margo to save the Bublinaplex from art terrorists whose newest installation could drive humanity to extinction.

But things in the Bublinaplex are not as they seem. And when Margo uncovers the city’s murderous secrets, she must face a choice: Should she save the Bublinaplex? Or should she join the revolution dedicated to destroying it?





About Rick

Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl Lives
Rick Claypool is a writer and activist who lives in Pittsburgh. He works for Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that fights corporate power. He has a master's degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University. He grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania called Leechburg. Leech Girl Lives is his first novel.



Website  ~  Twitter @weirdstrug

The View From Monday - September 25, 2017

Happy Last Monday in September!

There are 2 debuts this week:

The Visitors by Catherine Burns;

and

Leech Girl Lives by Rick Claypool.

The View From Monday - September 25, 2017The View From Monday - September 25, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

War and Craft (America Craft 3) by Tom Doyle;

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard;

Provenance by Ann Leckie;

Of Flame and Fate (A Weird Girls Novel 8) by Cecy Robson;

The Eternity War: Pariah (The Eternity War 1) by Jamie Sawyer;

Everfair by Nisi Shawl is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Horizon (Bone Universe 3) by Fran Wilde.

The View From Monday - September 25, 2017The View From Monday - September 25, 2017
The View From Monday - September 25, 2017The View From Monday - September 25, 2017
The View From Monday - September 25, 2017The View From Monday - September 25, 2017
The View From Monday - September 25, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - September 25, 2017



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

September 25, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Warlord Wants Forever (e)(ri) Kresley Cole PNR - Immortals after Dark
Forsaken by Night (e) Larissa Ione PNR - Moonbound Clan Vampires 3
Lazy Son Eve Langlais PNR - Hell's Son 1
Dark Swan (e) Gena Showalter PNR - Alien Huntress 3



September 26, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Sound of Seas (h2tp) Gillian Anderson
Jeff Rovin
SF - The EarthEnd Saga 3
Lost Gods (h2tp) Brom DF
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (ri) Lois McMaster Bujold SF - Vorkosigan Saga 17
The Visitors (D) Catherine Burns PsyTh
Ender's Game Gift Edition Orson Scott Card SF - The Ender Quintet
Leech Girl Lives (D) Rick Claypool SF/HU
Paradox Bound Peter Clines SF/H/TT
Wolf Unbound (ri) Lauren Dane PNR - Cascadia Wolves 4
Blade Runner (ri) Philip K. Dick MTI/SF
War and Craft Tom Doyle CF/SF - American Craft 3
Planet of the Apes Omnibus 3 George Alec Effinger MTI/SF - Planet of the Apes
Castaway Odyssey (h2mm) Eric Flint
Ryk E. Spoor
SF/SO - Boundary 5
Alien: Covenant Origins - The Official Prequel to the Blockbuster Film Alan Dean Foster MTI/SF - Alien
Kane (e)(ri) Jacquelyn Frank PNR - Nightwalkers 1.5
Neverwhere Illustrated Edition Neil Gaiman SF
Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse James Goss TV/SF
An Angel's Touch (h2mm) Heather Graham R/F/FR
Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel Edward Gross
Mark A. Altman
TV/HC
The Cocktail Guide to the Galaxy: A Universe of Unique Cocktails from the Celebrated Doctor Who Bar Andy Heidel Beverages/SF
An Unkindness of Magicians Kat Howard DF
Original Sin David R. George III SF - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Sleeping Beauties Stephen King
Owen King
Th/Sus
Provenance Ann Leckie SF
Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours David Mack SF - Star Trek: Discovery 1
The Corporation Wars: Emergence Ken MacLeod SF/SO - Second Law Trilogy 3
When the Floods Came Clare Morrall LF
The Hunt Chloe Neill UF/PA - A Devil's Isle Novel 3
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School (tp2mm) Kim Newman F/P/H/AH
The Two of Swords: Part Nineteen (e) K. J. Parker F - Two of Swords
Death (e) Madhuri Pavamani FR - Keeper Series 3
Of Flame and Fate (e) Cecy Robson PNR - A Weird Girls Novel 8
Immortally Yours Lynsay Sands PNR - An Argeneau Novel 23
Savage Woods Mary SanGiovanni H
The Eternity War: Pariah Jamie Sawyer SF - The Eternity War 1
Everfair (h2tp) Nisi Shawl SP/HistF/AH
Archangel's Viper Nalini Singh PNR - Guild Hunter 10
Oceans: The Anthology (e) David Smith (Ed) SpecFic - Anthology
Extinction End Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF/PA/AP - The Extinction Cycle 5
Ghost in the Shell: The Official Movie Novelization James Swallow MTI/SF
The Lilitu, Primordial, The Cain Prophecy Toby Tate SF - The Lilitu Trilogy
Your Brother's Blood (h2tp) David Towsey SF - The Walkin' Trilogy 1
The Chosen (h2mm) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 15
Horizon Fran Wilde F - Bone Universe 3
The Emperor's Legion Chris Wraight SF - Watchers of the Throne 1
The Black Tides of Heaven JY Yang F - The Tensorate Series Novella
The Red Threads of Fortune JY Yang F - The Tensorate Series Novella



September 27, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Crossing Over (e) Margaret Dunlap UF/M - Bookburners Season 3 #11



September 28, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Belador Cosaint (e) Dianna Love PNR - Belador 9
The Wind Jay Caselberg Sus/H - NewCon Press Novellas Set 2 4



September 29, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Visionary Tongue Storm Constatine (Ed) SpecFic - Anthology



September 30, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
River's Edge James P. Blaylock SupTh
University Bentley Little H
The Collection Bentley Little H
The Policy Bentley Little H
The Summoning Bentley Little H
The Emperor and the Maula Robert Silverberg SF/AC



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
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
RSus - Romantic Suspense
Satire - Satire
Sc - Science
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 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 2017 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/designer 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 September 30, 2017.

Vote for your favorite September 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Kapo Ng




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Will Staehle




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Adam Laszczuk




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by Ignacio Lazcano




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Adam Hall




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts


There are 11 debut novels for September.

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

The September 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 September cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 15, 2017.

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 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Brad Abraham

Magicians Impossible
Thomas Dunne Books, September 12, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Magicians Impossible is a mind-bending page-turner! A brilliant and unique mash-up of spells, myth and mayhem, once it got its claws in me I couldn't put it down. Like a veteran stage magician, Brad Abraham has created a hip thriller that turns convention on its ear with misdirection and mayhem. A must read for enthusiasts of edgy and extreme fiction.” —Don Coscarelli, director of John Dies At The End

Twenty-something bartender Jason Bishop’s world is shattered when his estranged father commits suicide, but the greater shock comes when he learns his father was a secret agent in the employ of the Invisible Hand; an ancient society of spies wielding magic in a centuries-spanning war. Now the Golden Dawn—the shadowy cabal of witches and warlocks responsible for Daniel Bishop’s murder, and the death of Jason’s mother years beforehave Jason in their sights. His survival will depend on mastering his own dormant magic abilities; provided he makes it through the training.

From New York, to Paris, to worlds between worlds, Jason's journey through the realm of magic will be fraught with peril. But with enemies and allies on both sides of this war, whom can he trust? The Invisible Hand, who’ve been more of a family than his own family ever was? The Golden Dawn, who may know the secrets behind his mysterious lineage? For Jason Bishop, only one thing is for certain; the magic he has slowly been mastering is telling him not to trust anybody.





James Bradley

Clade
Titan Books, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
     Science Fiction \ Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
On a beach in Antarctica, scientist Adam Leith marks the passage of the summer solstice. Back in Sydney his partner Ellie waits for the results of her latest round of IVF treatment.

That result, when it comes, will change both their lives and propel them into a future neither could have predicted. In a collapsing England, Adam will battle to survive an apocalyptic storm. Against a backdrop of growing civil unrest at home, Ellie will discover a strange affinity with beekeeping. In the aftermath of a pandemic, a young man finds solace in building virtual recreations of the dead. And new connections will be formed from the most unlikely beginnings.





Joseph Brassey

Skyfarer
Angry Robot, September 5, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
     Epic Fantasy/ Science Fiction
     (Solo Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
An apprentice sorceress is dragged into a vicious quest across an endless sky in this Star Wars-inspired space fantasy

The Axiom Diamond is a mythical relic, with the power to show its bearer any truth they desire. Men have sought for it across many continents for centuries, but in vain. When trainee sorceress Aimee de Laurent’s first ever portal-casting goes awry, she and her mentor are thrown into the race to find the gem, on the skyship Elysium. Opposing them are the infamous magic-wielding knights of the Eternal Order and their ruthless commander, Lord Azrael, who will destroy everything in their path…

File UnderFantasy [ Diamond in the Sky | Quest for Truth | Knights Magical | Eternity & Beyond ]





Adam Burch

Song of Edmon
The Fracture Worlds 1
47North, September 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 444 pages
     Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In Adam Burch’s thrilling series debut, a young man must choose between violence and peace in a distant world divided between those who thrive in endless sunlight and those who survive in eternal darkness.

The isolated planet of Tao is a house divided: the peaceful Daysiders live in harmony while the pale Nightsiders pursue power and racial purity through the violent ritual of the Combat.

Edmon Leontes, the gentle son of a ruthless warrior noble and a proud Daysider, embodies Tao’s split nature. The product of diametrically opposed races, Edmon hopes to live a quiet life pursuing the music of his mother’s people, but his Nightsider father cruelly forces him to continue in his bloody footsteps to ensure his legacy.

Edmon’s defiance will cost him everything…and spark a revolution that will shake the foundations of Tao. His choice—to embrace the light or surrender to the darkness—will shape his own fate and that of his divided world.





Catherine Burns

The Visitors
Gallery/Scout Press, September 26, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Psychological Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
“Once you start Catherine Burns's dark, disturbing, and enthralling debut novel, it's hard to stop. The Visitors is bizarrely unsettling, yet compulsively readable.” —Iain Reid, internationally bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things

With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces.

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side....





Rick Claypool

Leech Girl Lives
Spaceboy Books LLC, September 26, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 322 pages
     Post-Apocalyptic / Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
“I used to live in the future. Giant leeches ate my arms and then replaced them. Under the circumstances, this was actually a good thing. Anyway now I’m here and I’m looking for someone else from the future.” 

Inspector Margo Chicago is the smartest, surliest art safety inspector in the Bublinaplex, and things aren’t going her way. The guy she thinks she’s in love with has been banished. Her boss has been poisoned. Her cyborg has a limp.

Oh, and her arms have been devoured and replaced by a pair of enormous leeches. As if that isn’t enough, it’s now up to Margo to save the Bublinaplex from art terrorists whose newest installation could drive humanity to extinction.

But things in the Bublinaplex are not as they seem. And when Margo uncovers the city’s murderous secrets, she must face a choice: Should she save the Bublinaplex? Or should she join the revolution dedicated to destroying it?





Randal Graham

Beforelife: A Likely Story
ECW Press, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 536 pages
     Fantasy / Science Fiction / Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
It’s okay if you don’t believe in the afterlife. The people who live there don’t believe in you, either.

What if you went to heaven and no one there believed in Earth? This is the question at the heart of Beforelife, a satirical novel that follows the post-mortem adventures of widower Ian Brown, a man who dies on the book’s first page and finds himself in an afterlife where no one else believes in “pre-incarnation.” The other residents of the afterlife have mysteriously forgotten their pre-mortem lives and think that anyone who remembers a mortal life is suffering from a mental disorder called the “Beforelife Delusion.”

None of that really matters to Ian. All he wants to do is reunite with Penelope, his wife. Scouring the afterlife for any sign of her, Ian accidentally winds up on a quest to prove that the beforelife is real. This puts him squarely into the crosshairs of some of history’s greatest heroes and villains, all of whom seem unhealthily obsessed with erasing Ian’s memories and preventing him from reminding anyone of their pre-mortem lives. Only by staying a step ahead of his enemies can Ian hope to keep his much-needed marbles, find Penelope, and restore the public’s memories of the beforelife.





Holly Goddard Jones

The Salt Life
G.P. Putnam's Sons, September 5, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
     Literary / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic
     (SpecFic Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump “the Salt Line.”

How far will they go for their freedom—once they decide what freedom really means?

In an unspecified future, the United States’ borders have receded behind a salt line—a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.

Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks—and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.





Maggie Shen King

An Excess Male
Harper Voyager, September 12, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
     Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classics The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son.

Now 40 million of them can't find wives.

China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all-too-plausible future.





Annalee Newitz

Autonomous
Tor Books, September 19, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
When anything can be owned, how can we be free

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

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

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





Adrian J. Walker

The End of the World Running Club
Sourcebooks Landmark, September 5, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages
     Dystopian

2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
#1 International Bestseller

"A fresh and frighteningly real take on what "the end" might be…quite an exciting and nerve-wracking 'run', with characters you believe in and feel for."—New York Times bestselling author Robert McCammon

Perfect for fans of The Martian, this powerful post-apocalyptic thriller pits reluctant father Edgar Hill in a race against time to get back to his wife and children. When the sky begins to fall and he finds himself alone, his best hope is to run – or risk losing what he loves forever.

When the world ends and you find yourself forsaken, every second counts.

No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. Stranded on the other side of the country from his wife and children, Ed must push himself across a devastated wasteland to get back to them. With the clock ticking and hundreds of miles between them, his best hope is to run — or risk losing what he loves forever.

Interview with Rick Claypool, author of Leech Girl LivesThe View From Monday - September 25, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts2017 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts

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