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2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist


The shortlist for the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for speculative fiction has been announced.


2020 Neukom Awards Shortlist


Debut Category

2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist




Open Category

2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist



Awards for both the debut and open book categories will be announced during the summer.

Each award winner will receive a $5,000 honorarium that is typically presented during a Dartmouth-hosted panel discussion about the genre and the winning works.

The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College is dedicated to supporting and inspiring computational work. The Literary Arts Awards is part of the Neukom Institute’s initiative to explore the ways in which computational ideas impact society.

-- https://sites.dartmouth.edu/neukominstitutelitawards/neukom-institute-literary-arts-awards-announces-2020-book-shortlist/

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 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 2019 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 May 10, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite April 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design: Colin Webber
Cover images: (man and bottle) CSA Images / Getty Images;
(clouds, top) (detail) John Lavery, Christie's Imagaes / 
Bridgeman Images; (farm, bottom) Edward Hopper, c. 1930.
James Goodman Gallery, New York, USA / Bridgeman
Images





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design: Natalie Chen





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Jacket art by Kekai Kotaki.
Jacket design by Adam Auerbach.





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design by Melanie Sun





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design: Jarrod Taylor





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design by Owen Corrigan.
Cover illustration by Alejandro Colucci.





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Jacket design: Stephen Brayda & Grace Han
Jacket art: Detail from Circe, 1885 (oil on canvas) by John
Collier (1850-1934) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie's
Images / Bridgeman Images





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover art by Victor Mosquera

Interview with Sarah Blake, author of Naamah


Please welcome Sarah Blake to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Naamah will be published on April 9, 2019 by Riverhead Books.



Interview with Sarah Blake, author of Naamah




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece that you remember writing?

Sarah:  My parents got me a portable word-processing keyboard when I was in middle school and I wrote a long story about a woman named Nerine and there were cliffs involved.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Sarah:  I'm a pantser. Though with retelling the story of Noah's ark, I guess I was slightly hybrid for this book.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing? How does being a poet affect (or not) your prose writing?

Sarah:  I find it extremely frustrating that I can't sit down and read an entire draft of a novel in one sitting so that I can revise it knowing I've addressed everything that I wanted to.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sarah:  Poetry. Short stories. Television. Movies. Novels. The children's books I read with my son.



TQDescribe Naamah using only 5 words.

Sarah:  Woman Can/Can't Save Everyone



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

Sarah:  In the form of an Egyptian vulture, the Metatron is trying to reach Naamah in her dreams.



TQWhat inspired you to write Naamah? What appealed to you about retelling the story of The Great Flood?

Sarah:  I was rereading Genesis for another writing project, and it struck me that Noah's family was on the ark for over a year, uncertain of what the world would be like after the death of everyone they knew. I thought of Naamah stuck on that ark, having to hold it together, for herself and for her family. I needed to know how she would get through that.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Naamah?

Sarah:  I researched a lot about animals. And I loved looking at art inspired by the story of the ark. But I was mostly interested in Naamah's interior life.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Naamah.

Sarah:  There are many tigers in the story, and I think they've taken on greater meaning because of the tiger's appearance on the cover, but I won't spoil anything for you!



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

Sarah:  Naamah was the easiest to write because she was the first one on the ark that I understood. Her sons and daughters-in-law were the most difficult to write because there were so many of them and I wanted them all to come to life even while the book was centered around Naamah.



TQDoes Naamah touch on any social issues?

Sarah:  Feminism.



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

Sarah:  What emotion is most important for you to impart to your reader? Joy.



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

Sarah:  Perhaps in another place, she could look upon her body and know what new thing she is becoming.



TQWhat's next?

Sarah:  A novel set in the future!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sarah:  Thank you!





Naamah
Riverhead Books, April 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Sarah Blake, author of Naamah
“A dreamy and transgressive feminist retelling of the Great Flood from the perspective of Noah’s wife as she wrestles with the mysterious metaphysics of womanhood at the end of the world.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

With the coming of the Great Flood–the mother of all disasters–only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own–questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.

In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.





About Sarah

Interview with Sarah Blake, author of Naamah
Photo: © Nina Subin
Sarah Blake is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Threepenny Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She lives near Philadelphia, PA.












Website ~ Twitter @blakesarah ~ Instagram


2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts


There are 9 debut novels for April.

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

The April 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 April cover for the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on April 15, 2019.



Sarah Blake

Naamah
Riverhead Books, April 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
“A dreamy and transgressive feminist retelling of the Great Flood from the perspective of Noah’s wife as she wrestles with the mysterious metaphysics of womanhood at the end of the world.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

With the coming of the Great Flood–the mother of all disasters–only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own–questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.

In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.





Bridget Collins

The Binding
William Morrow, April 16, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
Proclaimed as “truly spellbinding,” a “great fable” that “functions as transporting romance” by the Guardian, the runaway #1 international bestseller

"A rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped inside them and reminds us of the power of storytelling. Spellbinding.” — TRACY CHEVALIER

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.


Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice amongst their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books—and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic.





Melanie Golding

Little Darlings
Crooked Lane Books, April 30, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.
Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.





Suzanne Palmer

Finder
DAW, April 2, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
From Hugo Award-winning debut author Suzanne Palmer comes an action-packed sci-fi caper starring Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo man and professional finder

Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder

His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He’ll slip in, decode the ship’s compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.

Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a backwater deep space colony called Cernee. But Fergus’ arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger’s enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly—and inconveniently—invested in the lives of the locals.

It doesn’t help that a dangerous alien species Fergus thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following him around. 

Foolhardy. Eccentric. Reckless. Whatever he’s called, Fergus will need all the help he can get to take back the Sword and maybe save Cernee from destruction in the process.





Chen Qiufan

Waste Tide
Tor Books, April 30, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Ken Liu, Translator

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
Award-winning author Chen Qiufan's Waste Tide is a thought-provoking vision of the future.

Translated by Ken Liu, who brought Cixin Liu's Hugo Award-winning The Three Body Problem to English-speaking readers.

Mimi is drowning in the world's trash.

She’s a waste worker on Silicon Isle, where electronics -- from cell phones and laptops to bots and bionic limbs — are sent to be recycled. These amass in towering heaps, polluting every spare inch of land. On this island off the coast of China, the fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to a toxic end.
 
Mimi and thousands of migrant waste workers like her are lured to Silicon Isle with the promise of steady work and a better life. They're the lifeblood of the island’s economy, but are at the mercy of those in power.

A storm is brewing, between ruthless local gangs, warring for control. Ecoterrorists, set on toppling the status quo. American investors, hungry for profit. And a Chinese-American interpreter, searching for his roots.

As these forces collide, a war erupts -- between the rich and the poor; between tradition and modern ambition; between humanity’s past and its future.

Mimi, and others like her, must decide if they will remain pawns in this war or change the rules of the game altogether.

"An accomplished eco-techno-thriller with heart and soul as well as brain. Chen Qiufan is an astute observer, both of the present world and of the future that the next generation is in danger of inheriting." – David Mitchell, New York Times bestselling author of Cloud Atlas





Caitlin Starling

The Luminous Dead
Harper Voyager, April 2, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
"This claustrophobic, horror-leaning tour de force is highly recommended for fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation and Andy Weir’s The Martian." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
***
A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?





Kris Waldherr

The Lost History of Dreams
Atria Books, April 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.

As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.

Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.





Martine Fournier Watson

The Dream Peddler
Penguin Books, April 9, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
“Astonishing . . . Explores the vast underground legacy of our own desires. This is the must-read book of the year.” —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

A page-turning debut novel about a traveling salesman and the small town he changes forever, both a thoughtful mediation on grief and a magical exploration of our innermost desires


The dream peddler came to town at the white end of winter, before the thaw . . .

Traveling salesmen like Robert Owens have passed through Evie Dawson’s town before, but none of them offered anything like what he has to sell: dreams, made to order, with satisfaction guaranteed.

Soon after he arrives, the community is shocked by the disappearance of Evie’s young son. The townspeople, shaken by the Dawson family’s tragedy and captivated by Robert’s subversive magic, begin to experiment with his dreams. And Evie, devastated by grief, turns to Robert for a comfort only he can sell her. But the dream peddler’s wares awaken in his customers their most carefully buried desires, and despite all his good intentions, some of them will lead to disaster.

Gorgeously told through the eyes of Evie, Robert, and a broad cast of fully realized characters, The Dream Peddler is an imaginative, moving novel of overcoming loss and reckoning with the longings we keep secret.





M. G. Wheaton

Emily Eternal
Grand Central, April 23, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts
Meet Emily, “the best AI character since HAL 9000″ (Blake Crouch). She can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets, but unfortunately, even she can’t restart the sun.

Emily is an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

Her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome that may save them all. But not everyone is convinced Emily has the best solution–or the best intentions. Before her theory can be tested, the lab is brutally attacked, and Emily’s servers are taken hostage.

Narrowly escaping, Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions–college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra. As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. Soon it becomes clear not just the species is at stake, but also that which makes us most human.
2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction Shortlist2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April DebutsInterview with Sarah Blake, author of Naamah2019 Debut Author Challenge - April Debuts

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