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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June 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 June 30, 2017.

Vote for your favorite June 2017 Debut Cover! free polls

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover by Dan Mayer

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Joan Wong
Cover images: city © Algol/Shutterstock and smokestacks © rsooll/Shutterstock

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Adrienne Krogh/Sourcebooks
Cover image © Silas Manhood Photography

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket design by Peter Dyer

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Erin Seaward-Hiatt

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Richard A. Kirk

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Brenoch Adams

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Steve Stone @ Artist Partners

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket art and design by Bradley W. Schenck

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket art by Stephen Youll

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Art © Arcangel-Images

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design Sandra Chiu
Cover art: Glittering dust © Westend61/Getty Images

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Kate Forrester

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Kathleen Lynch and Illustration by Ben Perini

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover by Jenny Zemanek

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017

Happy first Monday in June!

There are five debuts this week:

In the Valley of the Sun by Any Davidson;

Blackout by Marc Elseberg;

Necessary Monsters by Richard A. Kirk;

The Rebellion's Last Traitor by Nik Korpon;


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black is out in Trade Paperback;

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter;

Tyrant's Throne (The Greatcoats 4) by Sebastien de Castell;

Crown of Stars (Night Song Trilogy 2) by Sophie Jaff;

MJ-12: Inception (A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1) by Michael J. Martinez is out in Mass Market Paperback;

All Good Things (The Split Worlds 5) by Emma Newman;

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl is out in Trade Paperback;

The Himalayan Codex (R. J. MacCready 2) by Bill Schutt and J. R. Finch;


Talen (Dark Protectors) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017

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

June 5, 2017
A Grave Calling (e) Wendy Roberts PM/SupTh - Bodies of Evidence 1

June 6, 2017
Boxed In (e) Rebecca York PRS - Decorah Security 16
Year's Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3 David Afsharirad (Ed) SF - Year's Best Military & Adventure Science Series 3
Betrayals Kelley Armstrong F/Th - Cainsville 4
The DNA of Orphan Black Abbie Bernstein SF/MTI
The Day After Roswell (ri) William J. Birnes
Philip Corso
Ninth City Burning (h2tp) J. Patrick Black SF
The Weight of Lies Emily Carpenter FL/Gothic
Tyrant's Throne Sebastien de Castell HistF - The Greatcoats 4
Tyrant of the Hollow Worlds Mark Clapham SF - Space Marine Battles
The Day After Gettysburg Robert Conroy
J. R. Dunn
Monster Hunter Alpha Signed Leatherbound Edition Larry Correia F - Monster Hunter International 3
In Valley of the Sun (D) Andy Davidson H/W/Occ/Sup
The Master of Mankind Aaron Dembski-Bowden SF - The Horus Heresy 41
Starliner (ri) David Drake SF
Red Vengeance Brendan DuBois SF - Dark Victory 2
Blackout (D) Marc Elsberg TechTh
Slow Boat Hideo Furukawa
David Boyd (Tr)
LF - Japanese Novellas
Valley of the Moon (h2tp) Melanie Gideon CW/LF
Sovereign Silk ElizaBeth Gilligan F/FR/DF - Silken Magic 3
Moonbreaker Simon R. Green UF/CF - A Secret Histories Novel 11
Strangers of the Night Megan Hart PNR
Executed RR Haywood SF/TT/Dys - Extracted Trilogy 2
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization Nancy Holder MTI
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017 Edition Rich Horton (Ed) SF/F - Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
ME Tomoyuki Hoshino
Charles De Wolf (Tr)
A Peace Divided Tanya Huff SF - Peacekeeper 2
Crown of Stars Sophie Jaff DF - Night Song Trilogy 2
Grim Expectations K.W. Jeter SP/AH/SF - George Dower 3
Protector Wolf Linda O. Johnston PNR - Alpha Force 11
Carnivalesque Neil Jordan LF/F
The Kill Society Richard Kadrey UF/Th - Sandman Slim 9
War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations Greg Keyes MTI/SF - War for the Planet of the Apes
Necessary Monsters (D) Richard A. Kirk HistF
Alexander Outland: Space Pirate (ri) Gini Koch SF/HU
The Rebellion's Last Traitor (D -SFF) Nik Korpon SF/AP/PA
A Study in Sable (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey HistF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Elemental Masters 11
A Grave Prediction (h2mm) Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 14
Blood Wedding (h2tp) Pierre Lemaitre PsyTh
Dear Cyborgs Eugene Lim LF/Political/SH
Sherlock Holmes - The Labyrinth of Death James Lovegrove M/Detective/Cr
Dead West: Omnibus Two Tim Marquitz (Ed)
J.M. Martin
Kenny Soward
HistF - Dead West 2
MJ-12: Inception (h2mm) Michael J. Martinez HistF - A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1
Lot and Lot's Daughter (e)(ri) Ward Moore SF - Collection
All Good Things Emma Newman UF/HistF - The Split Worlds 5
Juma (e) Madhuri Pavamani FR - Keeper Series 2
The Essex Serpent (D) Sarah Perry Hist
A Hundred Thousand Worlds (h2tp) Bob Proehl FL/CoA/LF
The Secret Language of Stones (h2tp) M. J. Rose Hist - The Daughters of La Lune 2
Maestro (h2mm) R.A. Salvatore F - Homecoming 2
The Himalayan Codex Bill Schutt
J. R. Finch
Th - R. J. MacCready 2
Bound (e) Sue Tingey CF - Soulseer Chronicles 3
Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time Lords Steve Tribe SF - Doctor Who
Wolf Hunt Paige Tyler PRS - SWAT 6
The Refrigerator Monologues Catherynne M. Valente
Annie Wu (Illus)
The End of Temperance Dare Wendy Webb Psy/Gothic
Nothing Left to Lose Dan Wells SupTh - John Cleaver 6
Bladestorm Matt Westbrook F - The Realmgate Wars 8
The Fortune Teller Gwendolyn Womack SupTh/RSus
Talen (e) Rebecca Zanetti PNR - Dark Protectors

June 12, 2017
Soul of Fire (e)(ri) Laura Anne Gilman FR - Portals 2

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

AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CoT - Conspiracy Theories
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GH - Ghost(s)
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RSus - Romantic Suspense
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superhero(es)
SocSci - Social Science
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

There are 16 debut novels for June.

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

The June 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 June cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on June 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 June 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.

Callie Bates

The Waking Land
Del Rey, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
  Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars
Berkley, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
  Literary Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
When the world ends, where will you go?

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…

Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
  Horror, Westerns, Occult & Supernatural

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Deftly written and utterly addictive, this Western literary horror debut will find a home with fans of authors like Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and Anne Rice.

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning—with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her motel and offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low and heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas Ranger is hunting Travis for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.

Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
  Contemporary Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.

Marc Elsberg

Sourcebooks Landmark, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
  Technological Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
This is no accident.
This is no act of God.
This is Blackout.

A terrifyingly plausible million-copy selling debut disaster thriller.

When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere.

A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don't believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run with Lauren Shannon, a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn't just keep the lights on―it keeps us alive.

Theodora Goss

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Saga Press, June 20, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

Michael Johnston

Tor Books, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
  Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
  (Solo Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.

Richard A. Kirk

Necessary Monsters
Arche Press, June 6, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 282 pages
  Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Lumsden Moss is an escaped thief and an unrepentant bibliophile with a long-suffering desire to foist some karmic retribution on those who have wronged him. But when the opportunity to steal a rare book from the man who sentenced him to prison puts him on the wrong side of the wrong people, Moss finds himself on the run. And it's not just the book he stole that these people want, it's also the secrets of a long-forgotten location on Nightjar Island, a place cursed and abandoned since the Purge.

When Moss falls in with Imogen, a nimble-fingered thief who has taken a traveling bookcase filled with many secrets, he starts to realize how much of his unsavory past is indelibly tied to a frightening witch-child and her nightmarish pet monster.

In a fantastic world, still recovering from a war where magic and technology were fused together, Moss and Imogen must decipher the mystery of their mutual pasts in order to illuminate the dark heart that still lurks on Nightjar Island.

Nik Korpon

The Rebellion's Last Traitor
Angry Robot, June 6, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
  Fiction, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic
  (Debut SFF)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In a dystopian world ravaged by war and environmental collapse, one man fights history to discover the truth about his wife and child.

After decades of war, the brutal Tathadann Party restored order toshattered Eitan City by outlawing the past and rewriting history. Memory is a commodity – bought and sold, and experienced like a drug. Henraek works as a Tathadann memory thief, draining citizens’ memories.

Everything changes when Henraek harvests a memory of his own wife’s death, in the hidden rebellion that once tore apart their city. Now he will do whatever it takes to learn the truth – even ifit means burning Eitan City to the ground.

File UnderScience Fiction [ Memory Thieves | Collaborators | Brothers In War | City on Fire ]

David Mealing

Soul of the World
The Ascension Cycle 1
Orbit, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 656 pages
  Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Three heroes must rise in a world on the brink of destruction in the first book of this epic fantasy trilogy that RT Book Reviews called "an impressive fantasy debut with... a unique magic system sure to capture a fantasy readers attention"!

It is a time of revolution. In the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Arak'Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.

Start reading this gripping, vibrant, and imaginative addition to the epic fantasy canon for readers of Brandon Sanderson, Brian McClellan, and Miles Cameron.

Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent
Custom House, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 poages
  Historical (US Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016

"I loved this book. At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvelous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart—and it contains some of the most beautiful evocations of place and landscape I’ve ever read. It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I’d finished it I started reading it again."—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years" (Daily Telegraph, London).

Marek Šindelka 

Nathan Fields, Translator
Twisted Spoon Press, June 15, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 220 pages
  Supernatural Thriller, Horror, Crime
  (US Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
The remarkable debut novel from Marek Šindelka, already the recipient of his country's major literary awards for poetry (Jiří Orten Prize) and prose (Magnesia Litera), Aberrant is a multifaceted work that mixes and mashes together a variety of genres and styles to create a heady concoction of crime story, horror story (inspired by the Japanese tradition of kaidan), ecological revenge fantasy, and Siberian shamanism. Nothing is what it seems. What appears to be human is actually a shell occupied by an alien spirit, or demon, and what appears to be an unassuming plant is an aggressive parasite that harbors a poisonous substance within, or manifests itself as an assassin, a phantom with no real substance who pursues his victims across Europe and through a post-apocalyptic Prague ravaged by floods. The blind see, and the seeing are blind. Plants behave like animals, and animals are symbionts with plants. Through these devices, Šindelka weaves a tale of three childhood friends, the errant paths their lives take, and the world of rare plant smuggling — and the consequences of taking the wrong plant — to show the rickety foundation of illusions on which our relationship to the environment, and to one another, rests. It is a world of aberrations, anomalies, and mistakes.

Bradley W. Schenck

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom
A Novel of Retropolis
Tor Books, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
  Science Fiction, Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

If Fritz Lang’s Metropolis somehow mated with Futurama, their mutant offspring might well be Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. Inspired by the future imagined in the 1939 World Fair, this hilarious, beautifully illustrated adventure by writer and artist Bradley W. Schenck is utterly unlike anything else in science fiction: a gonzo, totally bonkers, gut-busting look at the World of Tomorrow, populated with dashing, bubble-helmeted heroes, faithful robot sidekicks, mad scientists, plucky rocket engineers, sassy switchboard operators, space pirates, and much, much more—enhanced throughout by two dozen astonishing illustrations.

After a surprise efficiency review, the switchboard operators of Retropolis are replaced by a mysterious system beyond their comprehension. Dash Kent, freelance adventurer and apartment manager, is hired to get to the bottom of it, and discovers that the replacement switchboard is only one element of a plan concocted by an insane civil engineer: a plan so vast that it reaches from Retropolis to the Moon. And no one—not the Space Patrol, nor the Fraternal League of Robotic Persons, nor the mad scientists of Experimental Research District, nor even the priests of the Temple of the Spider God, will know what hit them.

Robin Shortt

Candlemark & Gleam, June 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
  Genre Bender

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Ben is stuck in a backwater town, his parents have broken up, and he's facing jail time for some very poor choices.

Essa is stuck in a backwater world, trapped by a vengeful ex-lover and cut off from the Well, the infinite pit lined with doors to countless realities.

Then Essa finds a way back, and drags Ben along with her. They learn an ancient threat to the Well is rising. On the run, their only allies a clockwork spider and a girl made of iron, they'll have to work together to save all the worlds.

Matthew Sullivan

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Scribner, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Goodreads Debut Author of the Month and an Indie Next Pick!

“Sullivan’s debut is a page-turner featuring a heroine bookseller who solves a cold case with clues from books—what is not to love?” —Nina George, author of The Little French Bistro, and the New York Times bestselling The Little Paris Bookshop

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.​

Karin Tidbeck

Vintage, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
  Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Visionary & Metaphysical

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.

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