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2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists


The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has announced the 2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists

About the Compton Crook Award:
The members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. (BSFS) created the Compton Crook Award in 1982 to honor the best first novel of the year written by an individual author (collaborations are not eligible) in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre. Since its inception, the award has been presented at Balticon — the four-day annual Maryland regional science fiction convention produced by BSFS, currently held on Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore, MD area.
Read more here.


2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists

The Finalists

Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire 1) - Yoon Ha Lee - Solaris, June 14, 2016

Arabella of Mars (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby) - David D. Levine - Tor Books, July 12, 2016

Sword and Verse - Kathy MacMillan - HarperTeen, January 19, 2016

Sleeping Giants (The Themis Files 1) - Sylvain Neuvel - Del Rey, April 26, 2016

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota 1) - Ada Palmer - Tor Books, May 10, 2016

Sleep State Interrupt - T.C. Weber - See Sharp Press, September 1, 2016




Yoon Ha Lee

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

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

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

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

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




David D. Levine

Arabella of Mars
The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 1
Tor Books, July 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Mass Market Paperback, May 30, 2017

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut novel by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space!




Kathy MacMillan

Sword and Verse
HarperTeen , January 19, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
In a sweeping fantasy that award-winning author Franny Billingsley called "fascinating and unique," debut author Kathy MacMillan weaves palace intrigue and epic world building to craft a tale for fans of Rae Carson and Megan Whalen Turner.

Raisa was just a child when she was sold into slavery in the kingdom of Qilara. Before she was taken away, her father had been adamant that she learn to read and write. But where she now lives, literacy is a capital offense for all but the nobility. The written language is closely protected, and only the King, Prince, Tutor, and Tutor-in-training are allowed to learn its very highest form. So when she is plucked from her menial labor and selected to replace the last Tutor-in-training, who was executed, Raisa knows that betraying any hint of her past could mean death.

Keeping her secret guarded is hard enough, but the romance that's been blossoming between her and Prince Mati isn't helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground rebel army—to help liberate the city's slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.




Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants
Themis Files 1
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Trade Paperback, January 24, 2017

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?




Ada Palmer

Too Like the Lightning
Terra Ignota 1
Tor Books, May 10, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
Trade Paperback, January 24, 2017

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

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

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




T.C. Weber

Sleep State Interrupt
See Sharp Press, September 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 318 pages

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award Finalists
In Sleep State Interrupt, a giant media corporation has taken over the Internet, created an addictive virtual reality called BetterWorld, and controls nearly all information. Politicians do their bidding and a brainwashed humanity serves a privileged few.

Waylee Freid, an unemployed Baltimore journalist with ever-worsening bipolar disorder, is the only hope for a brighter future. She and her countercultural friends bust a notorious teenage hacker out of jail and sneak into a closed presidential fundraiser at the Smithsonian castle, where they hope to record incriminating admissions that will wake up the world. Hunted by Homeland Security, Waylee and her friends must reach a sufficient audience by broadcasting their video during the Super Bowl. But to do so, they'll have to break into one of the most secure facilities ever built.

The View From Monday - January 23, 2017


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

Department Zero by Paul Crilley;

Dreadnought (Nemesis 1) by April Daniels;

and

Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking;

The View From Monday - January 23, 2017The View From Monday - January 23, 2017The View From Monday - January 23, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson 11) by Darynda Jones;

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files 1) by Sylvain Neuvel is out in Trade Paperback;

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota 1) by Ada Palmer is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Unveiled (A Changeling P.I. Novel 2) is out in Mass Market Paperback.

The View From Monday - January 23, 2017The View From Monday - January 23, 2017
The View From Monday - January 23, 2017The View From Monday - January 23, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



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



The View From Monday - January 23, 2017



January 24, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Legends of the Age of Sigmar David Annandale
David Guymer
Guy Haley
Robbie MacNiven
Josh Reynolds
Rob Sanders
Gav Thorpe
F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar 1
Of Fate and Phantoms (e) C.J. Archer HistF - Ministry of Curiosities 7
The Blue Line (h2tp) Ingrid Betancourt Pol/MR/LF
A Case of Conscience (e) James Blish SF/Meta
The Skill of Our Hands Steven Brust
Skyler White
CF - The Incrementalists 2
Prophets of the Ghost Ants Clark Thomas Carlton F - The Antasy Series 1
The Andromeda Strain (ri) Michael Crichton TechTh/SF/AP/PA
Department Zero (D - Adult) Paul Crilley CF/SF/SP
Dreadnought (D) April Daniels SH/LGBT - Nemesis 1
Power Game Christine Feehan PNR/Th/SF/GenEng - GhostWalker 13
Death's Mistress: Sister of Darkness Terry Goodkind F - The Nicci Chronicles Volume 1
Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone Richard Handley (Ed)
Jim Beard (Ed)
SF - Planet of the Apes
Age of Wonders: Exploring the World of Science Fiction David G. Hartwell LC/SF/F
Three Years with the Rat (D) Jay Hosking LF/SF/TT
Mr. Splitfoot (h2tp) Samantha Hunt LF
Complete Ghost Stories M. R. James GH - Macmillan Collector's Library
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight Darynda Jones PM - Charley Davidson 11
Mongrels (h2tp) Stephen Graham Jones CoA
A Conversation in Blood Paul S. Kemp F/DF - Egil & Nix 3
Passing Strange Ellen Klages HistF/R
Who Killed Piet Barol? Richard Mason LF
Sleeping Giants (h2tp) Sylvain Neuvel SF/TechTh - Themis Files 1
Anno Dracula 1899 and Other Stories Kim Newman H - Collection
The Sudden Appearance of Hope (h2tp) Claire North PsyTh
Too Like the Lightning (h2tp) Ada Palmer SF - Terra Ignota 1
Night Blood James M. Thompson H - Elijah Pike Vampire Chronicles 1
The Merman (h2tp) Carl-Johan Vallgren MR
Unveiled Ruth Vincent UF - Changeling P.I. 2
The Time Machine H. G. Wells SF - Macmillan Collector's Library 92
The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells SF - Macmillan Collector's Library 93
Leman Russ: The Great Wolf Chris Wraight SF - The Horus Heresy: Primarchs 2



January 26, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Apocalyptic Fiction (ri) Andrew Tate AP/HC - 21st Century Genre Fiction



January 27, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Call to Arms (Ke) Jay Allan SF - Blood on the Stars 2



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindly only eBook
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
Vis - Visionary


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

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24


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



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



Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2015)

Certain Dark Things
Thomas Dunne Books, October 25, 2016
Hardcover, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…

Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eeking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.

Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.

Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.

And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.

Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?





Sam Munson (2015)

The War Against the Assholes
Saga Press, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Hardcover and eBook, June 16, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
Contemporary fantasy meets true crime when schools of ancient sorcery go up against the art of the long con in this stunningly entertaining debut fantasy novel.

Mike Wood is satisfied just being a guy with broad shoulders at a decidedly unprestigious Catholic school in Manhattan. But on the dirty streets of New York City he’s an everyman with a moral code who is unafraid of violence. And when Mike is unwittingly recruited into a secret cell of magicians by a fellow student, Mike’s role as a steadfast soldier begins. These magicians don’t use ritualized rote to work their magic, they use willpower in their clandestine war with the establishment: The Assholes.





Ilana C. Myer (2015)

Last Song Before Night
Tor Books, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 29, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
A high fantasy following a young woman's defiance of her culture as she undertakes a dangerous quest to restore her world's lost magic in Ilana C. Myer's Last Song Before Night.

Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings-a fugitive who must conceal her identity or risk imprisonment and even death.

On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that an ancient scourge has returned to the land of Eivar, a pandemic both deadly and unnatural. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression-from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped, and Eivar's connection to the Otherworld from which all enchantment flowed, broken.

The Red Death's return can mean only one thing: someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic. Now poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a challenge much greater: galvanized by Valanir Ocune, greatest Seer of the age, Lin and several others set out to reclaim their legacy and reopen the way to the Otherworld-a quest that will test their deepest desires, imperil their lives, and decide the future.





David Nabhan (2015)

Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover, 160 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
Each year the world faces thousands of earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater, resulting in devastating property destruction and tragic loss of life. To help avert these catastrophes, scientists have long searched for ways to predict when and where earthquakes will happen. The earth science establishment in the US says that earthquake prediction still lies outside the realm of possibility. But recent scientific developments across the globe suggest that seismic forecasting is on the horizon.

Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology examines the latest scientific clues in hopes of discovering seismic precursors which may shed light on real earthquake prediction in the future. It is destined to be nothing less than an epoch-changing work, addressing this ancient enigma by joining the parts of a scientific detective story that ranges from the steppes of Russia to the coast of Chile, bringing to light astounding breakthroughs by researchers in Italy, India and elsewhere.

Governments in countries such as China and Japan provide support for seismic forecasting, and it is time for our country to do the same. Earthquake Prediction makes the case, with an important message for the tens of millions of Americans on the US West Coast, the Mississippi River Valley, and other seismically active zones.





Sylvain Neuvel (2016)

Sleeping Giants
The Themis Files 1
Del Rey, January 24, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 26, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?


Waking Gods
The Themis Files 2
Del Rey, April 4, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24
In the gripping sequel to Sleeping Giants, which was hailed by Pierce Brown as “a luminous conspiracy yarn . . . reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z,” Sylvain Neuvel’s innovative series about human-alien contact takes another giant step forward.

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer now than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


Sleeping Giants
Author:  Sylvan Neuvel
Series:  Themis Files 1
Publisher:  Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  US$26.00 (print); US$12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781101886694 (print);  9781101886700 (eBook)

Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?



Melanie's Thoughts

Young Rose Franklin didn't realise that riding her bicycle through the woods near her home would irrevocably change her life. One minute she is walking through the trees and the next she is lying at the bottom of a very large, very deep, square hole with walls that were intricately carved in a beautiful turquoise light. What is even more amazing is that Rose is lying on the palm of a giant metal hand. The plot advances almost 20 years in the future where Rose is now a successful physicist. From this point forward the story plays out in a series of interviews between the various characters and an unnamed interviewer.  One of the biggest mysteries of the story is the identity of the interviewer who remains unknown to both the reader and to characters themselves. The interviewer belongs to a wealthy and powerful secret organisation that want Rose to study the hand and find a way to uncover the rest of the pieces and assemble the 'giant'. The rest of the story involves the giant, Rose and her team. I don't want to tell you more than that as I don't want to let anything slip.

The construct of the plot is one of my favourite things about Sleeping Giants. I thought when I started it that I wouldn't enjoy reading a story that was comprised of transcripts of interviews but that wasn't the case. The format added to the tension and the suspense of the story. I also liked how Neuvel didn't reveal who the interviewer was or why they were so interested in Rose and the giant. The giant and what it really is and where it comes from are almost secondary to the interviewer and Rose's project team. Neuvel has managed to create characters who you are so invested in that you can't put the book down but yet, as the reader you are still only on the sidelines of the story, separated from the action by the transcripts. In my view this is innovation in story telling.

I first read Sleeping Giants eight months ago and it only took a few chapters for me to realise that it was going to be one of my favourite books of the year. Reading it again has made me realise that it likely one of my all time favourites. Not a mean feat and as a debut this an amazing accomplishment. I urge you to give Sleeping Giants a go and I dare you not to have it on your favourite reads of 2016.


Read an interview with Sylvain Neuvel here.

The View From Monday - April 25, 2016


Happy last Monday in April! There are 4 debuts this week:

Ghosts of Bergen County by Dana Cann;

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter;

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt;

and

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files 1) by Sylvain Neuvel.

The View From Monday - April 25, 2016 The View From Monday - April 25, 2016
The View From Monday - April 25, 2016 The View From Monday - April 25, 2016



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Time Salvager (Time Salvager 1) by Wesley Chu is out in Trade Paperback;

The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu;

Last First Snow (Craft Sequence 4) by Max Gladstone is out in Trade Paperback;

In Shining Armor (Pax Arcana 4) by Elliott James;

Ecko Rising (Ecko 1) by Danie Ware is out in Mass Market Paperback.

The View From Monday - April 25, 2016 The View From Monday - April 25, 2016
The View From Monday - April 25, 2016The View From Monday - April 25, 2016
The View From Monday - April 25, 2016 The View From Monday - April 25, 2016


Note: Clicking on the novel cover will take you to the novel's Amazon page.



The View From Monday - April 25, 2016



April 25, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Ghosts of Bergen County (D) Dana Cann LF/GH
Lightning Sealed Lila Felix PNR - The Lucent Series 2
Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters Series Volume 4: The Cursed\The Hexed\The Betrayed (e) Heather Graham PNR/Sup - Krewe of Hunters



April 26, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Sharp Ends Joe Abercrombie F - Stories from the World of First Law
The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories Joan Aiken F - Anthology
Undercity (tp2mm) Catherine Asaro SF - Skolian Empire 7
Aunt Dimity and the Summer King (h2tp) Nancy Atherton PM - Aunt Dimity Mystery 20
Just Over the Horizon Greg Bear SF - The Complete Short Fiction of Greg Bear 1
Far Thoughts and Pale Gods Greg Bear SF - The Complete Short Fiction of Greg Bear 2
Beyond the Farthest Suns Greg Bear The Complete Short FSF - iction of Greg Bear 3
The Siren's Dance Amber Belldene PNR - Siren's Touch 2
Long Black Curl (h2tp) Alex Bledsoe CF - Tufa Novels 3
The Darkling Child (h2mm) Terry Brooks F - The Defenders of Shannara 2
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan (h2mm) Jack Campbell SF - The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier 11
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls (D) Emily Carpenter Occ/Sup
Final Flight (e) Beth Cato SP - A Clockwork Dagger Story
Time Salvager (h2tp) Wesley Chu SF/TT
A Thousand Yesteryears Mae Clair MR/SupTh - Point Pleasant 1
1882: Custer in Chains (h2mm) Robert Conroy AH
The Minority Report and Other Classic Stories By Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick SF - Collection
Fall of Light Steven Erikson F - The Kharkanas Trilogy 2
Fire Bound Christine Feehan PNR - A Sea Haven Novel 5
Los Nefilim (e) T. Frohock F/AH
Last First Snow (h2tp) Max Gladstone F - Craft Sequence 4
Dead Ice (h2mm) Laurell K. Hamilton CF - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 23
Emperor of the Eight Islands Lian Hearn F/LF - The Tale of Shikanoko series 1
HEX (D) Thomas Olde Heuvelt H
Strangely Beautiful Leanna Renee Hieber HistF
Jilo J.D. Horn HistF - Witching Savannah 4
Z Larissa Ione PNR - A Demonica Underworld Novella
In Shining Armor Elliott James CF - Pax Arcana 4
Night Mask (e)(ri) William W. Johnstone H
Cujo (ri) Stephen King H
Alien - Invasion: The Rage War 2 Tim Lebbon SF - Alien: Invasion
Kill Switch Jonathan Maberry Th - Joe Ledger 8
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos Philip Martin SF - Doctor Who
Ladivine Marie NDiaye LF/MR
Sleeping Giants (D) Sylvain Neuvel SF - Themis Files 1
Wings of the Fallen Anthony Pryor SupTh/DF - The Shepherd 2
Wraith Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens Th
Aurora (h2mm) Kim Stanley Robinson SF/SO
Red Knight Falling Craig Schaefer DF - Harmony Black Series 2
The Music Box Girl (e) K.A. Stewart SP
Heroes Reborn: Collection Two Duane Swierczynski Keith R. A DeCandido
Kevin J. Anderson
Peter J. Wacks
SF/SH - Heroes Reborn
Elusive Salvation Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: The Original Series
Ecko Rising (tp2mm) Danie Ware SF/F - Ecko 1
Barren Cove Ariel S. Winter GB
Cobra Outlaw (tp2mm) Timothy Zahn SF - Cobra 2



April 27, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Witch Who Came in From the Cold - Episode 13: "Company Time" Max Gladstone
Lindsay Smith
HistF
La beauté sans vertu: A Tor.Com Original (e) Genevieve Valentine SF



April 30, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Days of Tao Wesley Chu SF



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


AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CyberP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tale
FolkT - Folk Tale
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GH - Ghost
GO - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
Hu - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
Phil - Philosophy
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Tech - Technological
TechnoTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Western

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

Interview with Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants


Please welcome Sylvain Neuvel to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Sleeping Giants will be published on April 26th by Del Rey.



Interview with Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants




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

Sylvain:  Ouch. I really don’t know when, and it was probably because I could. I remember writing little comic books and selling them to the neighbors for fifty cents so I could buy candy. I went on a radio show when I was ten after won a poetry contest in school and they asked me that same question. I had no idea then either. Writing is… well it’s there, it’s free. I could say something like “I’ll die if I don’t write” but the best thing about writing is that it will never be a problem. Well, you need a pen, but until the great pen shortage of 2028, I should be fine.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Sylvain:  I’m either a rebel plotter or a chicken pantster. I start with the key moments of the book. For me, that’s usually three or four strong visuals more than actual plot points – wide shot of a little girl in a giant hand, that sort of thing. I structure the plot around those, break things down into scenes, and choose a point of view for each. There will be some holes here and there, some chapter descriptions will be just one word, maybe an emotion. Once I have enough to feel safe, I start writing. Parts of my plan will get upgraded with seat-of-the-pants technology, but the gist of it is still there in the end.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Sylvain:  Time. For now, I have a day job, I also have a six-year-old boy. During the week, I get an hour or two of writing after he goes to bed. I try to work as much as I can on the weekends. I also try to spend quality time with the family, fix whatever needs fixing in our 125-year-old house, read a little. Every time I sit in front of the computer, there’s a lot of pressure to perform. I’m not complaining, I love what I do, but for now, time is the most challenging thing in my life.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sylvain:  So many things. Movies, books, lots of movies, science. Oh, and the space program. I grew up with Star Wars and Star Trek, Alien and Close Encounter of the Third Kind. Dune really blew my mind. I also read a lot of Tom Clancy and Le Carré when I was younger. Of all the books that left a mark, Les Liaisons dangereuses is probably my favorite. My generation was the first to have home computers and I was born a year after the start of the space shuttle program. I remember my elementary school teacher cancelling the class so we could watch news coverage of the Challenger accident. Now, I get email alerts when the ISS is visible from my house and we all watch it go by. I live in a time where the brightest spot in the night sky is something we made. How cool is that? So once in a while I look up and I wonder what else is out there. I’m nothing is not a product of my upbringing (That’s a Farscape quote, btw.)



TQYou have a Ph.D. in linguistics. Does this affect or not the way you use words in your writing?

Sylvain:  I’m not sure. It’s an interesting question. My dissertation is about a non-concatenative theory of morphology based on West Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) examples, so, obviously, I don’t get to apply that particular knowledge directly. But how much does understanding the mechanics of something affect how you use it? Does a mechanical engineer drive differently? I don’t know. I can tell you, for example, that some of the humor in conversations with the interviewer is based on him either failing to decode or purposely ignoring conversational implicatures. Would I have written things differently if I didn’t know that? No idea.



TQDescribe Sleeping Giants in 140 characters or less.

Sylvain:  A young girl falls into the palm of a giant metal hand. What is it? Who made it? This is a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.



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

Sylvain:  Everyone dies at the end. Kidding. Or am I? Seriously, the book asks some interesting philosophical and moral questions, but it’s also a lot of fun. There’s humor throughout and it’s riddled with pop culture references. Some are obvious, others will only be apparent to the hardcore fans of whatever I was paying homage to. I can’t wait to see how many will find them.



TQWhat inspired you to write Sleeping Giants? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Sylvain:  I love the science part in science fiction. It’s about what could be. A few years ago, researchers at MIT created a drug that identifies cells that have been infected by a virus, any virus, and destroys them to stop the infection. In theory, it could work against all viruses. That would have made great science fiction twenty years ago, now it’s just great science. I love that. I’m a geek. My son sleeps in a Raptor from BSG, and my laundry room is a spaceship in the making. I have a life-size Darth Vader in my office, more toys than I can count.

That’s sort of how Sleeping Giants came to be. I asked my son if he’d like me to make him a toy robot. He had way too many questions about it – Where is it from? Who made it? What does it do? – and I told him I’d have to think about it. Some time later, we were watching Goldorak (Grendizer in English, it’s a Japanese anime about a giant robot from outer space) and I started imagining what it would be like if we really found giant alien artifacts somewhere. That’s how it started.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Sleeping Giants?

Sylvain:  I did more research for that book than I did for my Ph.D. I love science, but Rose (the scientist in the book) knows a hell of a lot more than me. I do my best to keep up with her. I also knew nothing of the military world when I started this. I spent so much time looking at helicopter specs, explosive yields and close-up maps of Syria, I probably have a file with every government agency by now. I compared evidence on conspiracy sites to find the most likely location for a hidden base. I researched everything, from airport runways, to where you could smoke. I even read restaurant reviews to find out what’s good where the characters eat.



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

Sylvain:  They’re all really fun to write. The interviewer is a bit tricky but he’s the one I look forward to the most. Kara is probably the easiest. She’s nothing like me, but she comes naturally, somehow. Rose is probably the hardest, just because she knows a lot of things I don’t. Every time she opens her mouth, I have to read a dozen science papers.



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

Sylvain:  Tough one. How about this? You mentioned how much research you did for Sleeping Giants. Is there something in the book that you know to be inaccurate?

Yes! And I’m happy that there is. Early in the book, Kara says: “The US military doesn’t allow women in combat or special operations.” It was true when I wrote it, and it’s still mostly true, but in 2013 Barack Obama asked the Pentagon to open all military jobs to women who meet the gender-neutral requirements for it, and that went into effect at the beginning of this year. That doesn’t mean women who want to serve in special ops aren’t in for some tough times. They are probably, for the most part, unwelcome, and I’m in awe at anyone able, or even willing to put up with what they’ll have to go through. Still, at least in theory, women can now be Marines, Green Berets, Rangers, SEALs, whatever. In an ideal world, I’d rather see the military closed off to everyone because we don’t need it, but we don’t live in an ideal world, and I think the message this decision sends to our collective subconscious is more important than we might realize. Go Kara!



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

Sylvain

"- I'm just saying, these things are buried in the dirt. The reason for that might be slightly less romantic than what we’re all hoping for… "

“- I believe the words he used to describe you were: obdurate, volatile, and irascible. He has quite the vocabulary.
- He plays a lot of Scrabble.”

- I am not a physicist, as you know, but . . .
- I don’t know anything about you.
- Well, now you know I am not a physicist.”



TQWhat's next?

Sylvain:  I’m editing book two of the Themis Files, tinkering with book three. I’m really excited about where this series is going. I have some crazy ideas I have absolutely no time to develop, so my collection of napkin notes is growing rapidly. Since I wrote Sleeping Giants because of my son, I also have this idea about an illustrated kid version in the back of my head. Someday, maybe. For now, I’m too busy counting the days until April 26.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Sylvain:  Thank you for having me.





Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?





About Sylvain

Interview with Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants
Photo by James Andrew Rosen
Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age fifteen. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics, and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).



Website  ~  Twitter @neuvel




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts


2016 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 2016 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

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


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




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design by Danielle Christopher





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover by Jakob Vala




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Artist Kelly Martin





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover painting by Cynthia Reeser.
Cover design by Matthew Revert.





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts


There are 13 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 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on April 15, 2016.

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



Todd R. Baker

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat
Aqueous Books, April 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 460 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.




Dana Cann

Ghosts of Bergen County
Tin House Books, April 25, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Set in New York City and New Jersey on the cusp of the financial crisis, Ghosts of Bergen County is a literary mystery with supernatural elements.

Gil Ferko is a private-equity lieutenant who commutes to Manhattan from the New Jersey suburbs. His wife, Mary Beth, has become a shut-in since a hit-and-run accident killed their infant daughter. When Ferko reconnects with Jen Yoder, a former high school classmate, Jen introduces him to heroin. As his dependency on the drug grows, his downward spiral puts his life in danger and his career in jeopardy. Mary Beth has also found an escape―first in prescription drugs that numb her senses, then in the companionship of a mysterious girl who heightens them. A ghost? Mary Beth believes so. And Jen is also haunted. Years ago she witnessed a man she had just met fall from a rooftop. She walked away from the accident and has been haunted since by the question of why she did so. As her quest to rectify that mistake starts to collide with the mystery of the hit-and-run driver who killed Ferko and Mary Beth’s daughter, all of the characters are forced to face the fine line between fate and happenstance. Dana Cann’s debut novel is a tautly paced and intricately plotted story in which collective burdens manifest into hauntings.




Emily Carpenter

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
Lake Union Publishing, April 26, 2016
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 310 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.




Matthew Franks

The Monster Underneath
Samhain Publishing, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Reality can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare…

Max Crawford isn’t a typical prison therapist. He uses his unusual psychic ability to walk with convicts through their dreams, reliving their unspeakable crimes alongside them to show them the error of their ways.

Max always has to be on his toes to keep himself grounded, but the FBI agent waiting for him in his private office immediately puts him on edge. The bureau wants Max to go way outside his comfort zone to enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox.

To get a confession and secure the future of his prison program, Max must gain Knox’s trust by any means necessary—and survive the minefield of secrets waiting inside a murderer’s mind. Secrets that could turn Max’s reality into a living nightmare.




Manuel Gonzales

The Regional Office is Under Attack!
Riverhead Books, April 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization—the Regional Office—and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.

Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah—who may or may not have a mechanical arm—fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother’s sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose’s and Sarah’s stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end.

Weaving in a brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! is a seismically entertaining debut novel about revenge and allegiance and love.




Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HEX
Tor Books, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
The English language debut of the bestselling Dutch novel, Hex, from Thomas Olde Heuvelt--a Hugo and World Fantasy award nominated talent to watch

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

This chilling novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in mainstream horror and dark fantasy.




Holly Jennings

Arena
An Arena Novel 1
Ace, April 5, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming…

Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier…

The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside…




Jadah McCoy

Artificial
The Kepler Chronicles 1
Curiosity Quills Press, April 4, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 226 pages


2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.




Julie McElwain

A Murder in Time
Pegasus, April 11, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life—200 years before she was even born.

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.




David Means

Hystopia
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 19, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation’s mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas “enfolded”--wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy--while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians.

This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. The critic James Wood has written that Means's language "offers an exquisitely precise and sensuous register of an often crazy American reality." In Hystopia, Means brings his full talent to bear on the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome. The answers it offers are wildly inventive, deeply rooted in its characters, and wrung from the author’s own heart.




Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?




Steve Toutonghi

Join
Soho Press, April 19, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger—a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers—and survival—brings them from the networks and spire communities they’ve known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the “ferals” left behind by the rush of technology.

In the storytelling tradition of classic speculative fiction from writers like David Mitchell and Michael Chabon, Join offers a pulse-pounding story that poses the largest possible questions: How long can human life be sustained on our planet in the face of environmental catastrophe? What does it mean to be human, and what happens when humanity takes the next step in its evolution? If the individual mind becomes obsolete, what have we lost and gained, and what is still worth fighting for?




Benjamin Warner

Thirst
Bloomsbury USA, April 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
On a searing summer Friday, Eddie Chapman has been stuck for hours in a traffic jam. There are accidents along the highway, but ambulances and police are conspicuously absent. When he decides to abandon his car and run home, he sees that the trees along the edge of a stream have been burnt, and the water in the streambed is gone. Something is very wrong.

When he arrives home, the power is out and there is no running water. The pipes everywhere, it seems, have gone dry. Eddie and his wife, Laura, find themselves thrust together with their neighbors while a sense of unease thickens in the stifling night air.

Thirst
takes place in the immediate aftermath of a mysterious disaster--the Chapmans and their neighbors suffer the effects of the heat, their thirst, and the terrifying realization that no one is coming to help. As violence rips through the community, Eddie and Laura are forced to recall secrets from their past and question their present humanity. In crisp and convincing prose, Ben Warner compels readers to do the same. What might you do to survive?


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


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


Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

2017 Compton Crook 35th Award FinalistsThe View From Monday - January 23, 2017What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 24Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain NeuvelThe View From Monday - April 25, 2016Interview with Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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