Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Interview with J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch

Please welcome J. S. Dewes to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Watch was published on April 20, 2021 by Tor Books.






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

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!

I have a problematically terrible memory, and can’t even begin to recall what my first piece of fiction might have been! My first vague memory of writing fiction was probably from third grade or so, when my teacher told us to forget about spelling and grammar and just get our ideas on the page. I think that comment somewhat horrified my mother, haha, but in retrospect it was actually great advice! You can’t revise a blank page, after all. :)



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

J. S.:  I definitely started out a full-on pantser, and I discovery wrote all of The Last Watch. However, since then I’ve written two more books and learned a lot more about myself as a writer in the process. Though I wouldn’t say I’ve settled fully, I’m currently pretty much a hybrid. I’ve frankensteined a flexible plot structure from a few different sources that works well for the kind of stories I like to tell, and I’ve used it to help my panster brain craft those pesky outlines editors and agents sometimes want to see.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

J. S.:  Though every phase has its different challenges, I find organizing revisions probably the most difficult. Though I’ve devised a system that works pretty well for me, setting up a revision plan within that system is hugely time consuming, and I definitely wish my brain was able to just contain and process it all at once, and I wouldn’t have to structure it all within a ridiculously detailed organization scheme. Alas.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does script writing affect (or not) your novel writing?

J. S.:  I draw from a wide variety of influences—video games, films and television, concept art (Pinterest & Art Station), and more. Music is a big one—all my story ideas thus far have come from song lyrics, and music is a part of my process during every phase of writing. I love creating playlists for different books, scenes, moods, and characters, and it’s a big part of my creative immersion process. (Which is greatly helpful when you can only squeeze in an hour or two of writing a day!)

And yes, I definitely think script writing had an impact on my novel writing. Though I didn’t fully realize it at the time, looking back I think that experience informed my instincts while pantsing my first couple novels; I didn’t have to undertake any structural edits at any point for The Last Watch, and I think that was in large part due to my understanding of plot and pacing from having written screenplays. There are definitely other relevant skills that transfer, especially things like showing versus telling, characterization, and dialogue.



TQDescribe The Last Watch using only 5 words.

J. S.:  Criminal soldiers fight danger physics!



TQTell us something about The Last Watch that is not found in the book description.

J. S.:  Despite the high concept conveyed in the blurb, the story is actually very tightly focused on the characters and their relationships. Also, there are 144 instances of the F word.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Watch? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

J. S.:  The original concept for The Last Watch was inspired by a song lyric! There’s a song I’ve loved for years called “Highwayman” (written by Jimmy Webb, performed by The Highwaymen), with a line: “I’ll fly a starship across the universe divide.” That got me thinking about what might lie outside the confines of the universe, or what might happen if the universe stopped expanding and you tried to find the edge.

Science fiction is great for so many reasons—outer space, aliens, and fun technology not least among them. But when it gets down to it, I love science fiction because it gives you a really unique way to reframe modern issues, allowing you to explore and attack those questions through a different but familiar lens. There’s also just a very specific mix of wonder and fear only science fiction can evoke, and that’s always intrigued me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Last Watch?

J. S.:  Quite a lot of research went into The Last Watch! Some of the minor categories were things like military protocol, ordnance, political science, computer & electronic engineering, and I did a fair amount of digging into fusion reactors (specifically ITER.)
      The biggest research category by far was physics, in pretty much every flavor. Physical cosmology was a big one (shape of the universe, components, structure, etc.), as well as gravitational physics, relativity, quantum mechanics, and some specifics regarding zero-g and weightlessness. And math, so much math. I truly dread math, but it’s a necessary evil in the world of physic
     I definitely *over* researched, considering what made it into the actual text. I tried to make my science as “believable” and realistic as possible, while allowing for variation when it best served the story to expand outside of those margins. I didn’t want to alienate readers by going on long technical rants, and wanted the experience to stay focused on the characters and plot, with science and technology as a background. As a result, I think this falls somewhat firmly in the center of hard and soft sci-fi, but we’ll see what the readers think about that. :)



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Last Watch.

J. S.:  I absolutely love how the cover turned out! As soon as my editor suggested the concept, I readily agreed, and couldn’t wait to see it come to fruition. Asking for a depiction of utter annihilation from space and time at the edge of the universe is a pretty big ask, but designer Peter Lutjen...well...annihilated it. Between the contrasting colors, gradient of stars, and surreal depiction of unraveling matter, it perfectly evokes the scope and existential chaos of the setting.



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

J. S.:  I’m lucky in that pretty much all my characters went very easy on me, and I love writing all of them! But if I had to pick one as the easiest, I’d go with Cavalon Mercer, the sarcastic disowned prince who’s one of the two point of view characters. It’s like there’s a switch in my brain I can just flip at will to turn on his voice, and he just flows right out of me and onto the page. Writing from his perspective is so easy, and a total blast!
      The most difficult was probably Griffith Bach. Though he’s not a POV character, he’s definitely in the category of “primary” and I’d (accidentally) wildly underdeveloped him in the early drafts. During revisions my editor encouraged me to flesh him out, and I quickly realized I’d created kind of a cardboard cut-out of a person.
      Most of the time when I’m writing characters, their histories and personalities and secrets come through to me pretty naturally, but that wasn’t so much the case with Griffith. I really had to dig into his backstory and mindset and come up with a lot of “off screen” content in order flesh him out for the final draft. The result was absolutely incredible however, and the way he ties into the plot and other characters now is light-years better than before, so I’m super glad I went to the effort!



TQDoes The Last Watch touch on any social issues?

J. S.:  Yes, definitely! Though the setting of The Last Watch is fairly contained, there are a lot of subplots and hints in the worldbuilding surrounding the social issues prevalent in their society—topics like segregation, discrimination, human rights, as well as moral questions in regards to things like cloning and eugenics. Without getting into spoilers, I can say that the second book in the series delves more deeply into some broader social and political issues, some of which, coincidentally, more directly reflect our own society than I would like. :)



TQWhich question about The Last Watch do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

J. S.: “Do you want fan art for The Last Watch?”
         Why yes, yes I do!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Last Watch.

J. S.:  “You do not seem appropriately shocked.”

          “Physics doesn’t really give a shit about your existential disposition, Rake!”



TQWhat's next?

J. S.:  Next up for me is the release of The Exiled Fleet on August 17—the second book in The Divide series and sequel The Last Watch! I’ll also be continuing my “virtual tour” for The Last Watch with some panels and chats with other authors, all of which I’m very much looking forward to!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!





The Last Watch
The Divide 1
Tor Books, April 20, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes's fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

Most Anticipated Book for April 2021:
Bookish
Nerd Daily
Geek Tyrant
SFF 180

Amazon Best of the Month April 2021

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer--genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather's genetic facility for “reasons.”

She knows they’re humanity's last chance.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Upcoming

The Exiled Fleet
The Divide 2
Tor Books, August 17, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
J. S. Dewes continues her fast paced, science fiction action adventure with The Exiled Fleet, where The Expanse meets The Black Company—the survivors of The Last Watch refuse to die.

The Sentinels narrowly escaped the collapsing edge of the Divide.

They have mustered a few other surviving Sentinels, but with no engines they have no way to leave the edge of the universe before they starve.

Adequin Rake has gathered a team to find the materials they'll need to get everyone out.

To do that they're going to need new allies and evade a ruthless enemy. Some of them will not survive.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About J. S. Dewes
Photo by Dave Dewes

After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in film production, J. S. Dewes went on to serve as cinematographer for independent films, write, produce, and shoot a zombie musical, slay internet dragons, and act as lighting designer for presidents and presidential-hopefuls so many times it became mundane. Having grown weary of such pedestrian exploits, she decided to begin forging worlds in the form of novels, returning to her roots in science fiction and the written word.

She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, who’s proven to be a mixed blessing, but he makes her laugh, so she’s decided to stick it out. They have two dogs (full blessings) and a cat of unpredictable demeanor. The Last Watch is her debut novel.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @jsdewes


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Excerpt from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Please welcome Sarah Penner to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge with an excerpt from her New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Lost Apothecary.







Nella

February 3, 1791


She would come at daybreak—the woman whose letter I held in my hands, the woman whose name I did not yet know.

           I knew neither her age nor where she lived. I did not know her rank in society nor the dark things of which she dreamed when night fell. She could be a victim or a transgressor. A new wife or a vengeful widow. A nursemaid or a courtesan.

           But despite all that I did not know, I understood this: the woman knew exactly who she wanted dead.

           I lifted the blush-colored paper, illuminated by the dying f lame of a single rush wick candle. I ran my fingers over the ink of her words, imagining what despair brought the woman to seek out someone like me. Not just an apothecary, but a murderer. A master of disguise.

           Her request was simple and straightforward. For my mistress’s husband, with his breakfast. Daybreak, 4 Feb. At once, I drew to mind a middle-aged housemaid, called to do the bidding of her mistress. And with an instinct perfected over the last two decades, I knew immediately the remedy most suited to this request: a chicken egg laced with nux vomica.

           The preparation would take mere minutes; the poison was within reach. But for a reason yet unknown to me, something about the letter left me unsettled. It was not the subtle, woodsy odor of the parchment or the way the lower left corner curled forward slightly, as though once damp with tears. Instead, the disquiet brewed inside of me. An intuitive understanding that something must be avoided.

           But what unwritten warning could reside on a single sheet of parchment, shrouded beneath pen strokes? None at all, I assured myself; this letter was no omen. My troubling thoughts were merely the result of my fatigue—the hour was late—and the persistent discomfort in my joints.

           I drew my attention to my calfskin register on the table in front of me. My precious register was a record of life and death; an inventory of the many women who sought potions from here, the darkest of apothecary shops.

           In the front pages of my register, the ink was soft, written with a lighter hand, void of grief and resistance. These faded, worn entries belonged to my mother. This apothecary shop for women’s maladies, situated at 3 Back Alley, was hers long before it was mine.

           On occasion I read her entries—23 Mar 1767, Mrs. R. Ranford, Yarrow Milfoil 15 dr. 3x—and the words evoked memories of her: the way her hair fell against the back of her neck as she ground the yarrow stem with the pestle, or the taut, papery skin of her hand as she plucked seeds from the flower’s head. But my mother had not disguised her shop behind a false wall, and she had not slipped her remedies into vessels of dark red wine. She’d had no need to hide. The tinctures she dispensed were meant only for good: soothing the raw, tender parts of a new mother, or bringing menses upon a barren wife. Thus, she filled her register pages with the most benign of herbal remedies. They would raise no suspicion.

           On my register pages, I wrote things such as nettle and hyssop and amaranth, yes, but also remedies more sinister: nightshade and hellebore and arsenic. Beneath the ink strokes of my register hid betrayal, anguish…and dark secrets.

           Secrets about the vigorous young man who suffered an ailing heart on the eve of his wedding, or how it came to pass that a healthy new father fell victim to a sudden fever. My register laid it all bare: these were not weak hearts and fevers at all, but thorn apple juice and nightshade slipped into wines and pies by cunning women whose names now stained my register.

           Oh, but if only the register told my own secret, the truth about how this all began. For I had documented every victim in these pages, all but one: Frederick. The sharp, black lines of his name defaced only my sullen heart, my scarred womb.

           I gently closed the register, for I had no use of it tonight, and returned my attention to the letter. What worried me so? The edge of the parchment continued to catch my eye, as though something crawled beneath it. And the longer I remained at my table, the more my belly ached and my fingers trembled. In the distance, beyond the walls of the shop, the bells on a carriage sounded frighteningly similar to the chains on a constable’s belt. But I assured myself that the bailiffs would not come tonight, just as they had not come for the last two decades. My shop, like my poisons, was too cleverly disguised. No man would find this place; it was buried deep behind a cupboard wall at the base of a twisted alleyway in the darkest depths of London.

           I drew my eyes to the soot-stained wall that I had not the heart, nor the strength, to scrub clean. An empty bottle on a shelf caught my reflection. My eyes, once bright green like my mother’s, now held little life within them. My cheeks, too, once flushed with vitality, were sallow and sunken. I had the appearance of a ghost, much older than my forty-one years of age.

           Tenderly, I began to rub the round bone in my left wrist, swollen with heat like a stone left in the fire and forgotten. The discomfort in my joints had crawled through my body for years; it had grown so severe, I lived not a waking hour without pain. Every poison I dispensed brought a new wave of it upon me; some evenings, my fingers were so distended and stiff, I felt sure the skin would split open and expose what lay underneath.

           Killing and secret-keeping had done this to me. It had begun to rot me from the inside out, and something inside meant to tear me open.

           At once, the air grew stagnant, and smoke began to curl into the low stone ceiling of my hidden room. The candle was nearly spent, and soon the laudanum drops would wrap me in their heavy warmth. Night had long ago fallen, and she would arrive in just a few hours: the woman whose name I would add to my register and whose mystery I would begin to unravel, no matter the unease it brewed inside of me.


Excerpted from The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Penner. Published by Park Row Books.





The Lost Apothecary
Park Row Books, March 2, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Hello! magazine, Oprah.com, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads!

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick

“A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





About Sarah

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.








Website  ~  Twitter @sl_penner


Monday, May 03, 2021

The View From Monday - May 3, 2021

Happy 1st Monday in May!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace (Adult Debut);

and

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Bottle Demon (Eric Carter 6) by Stephen Blackmoore;

Immunity Index by Sue Burke;

The Godel Operation by James L. Cambias;

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon;

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3) by K. S. Villoso;

and

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



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

May 4, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Douglas Adams SF/HU - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1
Cursed Luck Kelley Armstrong RF - Cursed Luck 1
The Vanished Seas (tp2mm)
Catherine Asaro SF/SO - Major Bhaajan 3
Providence (h2tp)
Max Barry SF/Th/Dys
Bottle Demon Stephen Blackmoore UF/DF/CF - Eric Carter 6
Penric's Travels (h2tp)
Lois McMaster Bujold F
Immunity Index Sue Burke SF/AP/PA/HSF/GenEng
Master Artificer
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 2
The Godel Operation James L. Cambias SF
May Day Emma Coleman H
The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait Cleo Coyle PCM - Haunted Bookshop Mystery 7
Second Place Rachel Cusk LF/HistF
1637: The Peacock Throne Eric Flint
Griffin Barber
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 31
Unreconciled (h2mm)
W. Michael Gear SF/HSF/SO - Donovan 4
The Shadow of the Gods John Gwynne F - The Bloodsworn Trilogy 1
My Name Is Monster Katie Hale LF/Dys/Feminist
Orfeia Joanne M. Harris FairyT/FolkT/LM/F/FR
The Shadow in the Glass JJA Harwood HistF/DF/Gaslamp/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Hist
In Ghostly Japan: Japanese Legends of Ghosts, Yokai, Yurei and Other Oddities Lafcadio Hearn FairyT/FolkT/LM
Walk Among Us: Compiled Edition Cassandra Khaw
Genevieve Gornichec
Caitlin Starling
H - Vampire: The Masquerade
Firebreak (D - Adult) Nicole Kornher-Stace SF/AP/PA
Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest Cath Lauria MTI - Marvel Heroines
Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future Gideon Lichfield (Ed)
SF/AP/PA/Anthology - Twelve Tomorrows
Firefly - The Ghost Machine (h2tp)
James Lovegrove MTI/SF
Blue Ticket Sophie Mackintosh Dys/FL/Women
The Reincarnationist Papers (ri) D. Eric Maikranz MTI/Fiction
Utopia Avenue (h2tp)
David Mitchell LF/SF/Dys
Shadowed Steel Chloe Neill P/PNR - An Heirs of Chicagoland Novel 3
A Deadly Education Naomi Novik F/CF/CoA - Scholomance 1
Driving the Deep (h2mm)
Suzanne Palmer SF/SO/AC - The Finder Chronicles 2
Mamelukes (h2mm)
Jerry Pournelle
David Weber Phillip Pournelle
SF
Ariadne (D)
Jennifer Saint LF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Women
Sorrowland Rivers Solomon African American & Black/Gothic/SF/LGBTQ+
By Force Alone (h2tp)
Lavie Tidhar F/Arthurian
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng K. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3
Project Hail Mary Andy Weir SF/HSF/Sus
Freehold: Defiance Michael Z. Williamson (Ed)
SF - Anthology



May 5, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lost World: A Professor Challenger Adventure Sir Arthur Conan SF - Wordfire Classics



May 6, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and FantasyElizabeth Knox (Ed)
David Larsen (Ed)
SF/F - Anthology



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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths
Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

2021 Debut Author Challenge - May 2021 Debuts



There are 8 debuts for May 2021.

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

The May 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 May cover for the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on or about May 15, 2021.





P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn
Dead Djinn Universe 1
Tor.com, May 11, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe for his fantasy novel debut, A Master of Djinn

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world forty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a familiar person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city—or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems…

A Master of Djinn is poised to launch P. Djèlí Clark’s SFF career to new heights as the highly-anticipated debut readers are clamoring for.


Novellas by P. Djèlí Clark
The Black God's Drums
The Haunting of Tram Car 015
Ring Shout
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Bethany Clift

The Last One at the Party
Mobius, May 11, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING

It's December 2023, and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM ('Six Days Maximum' - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself).

But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.

Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she's completely alone?
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sarina Dahlan 

Reset
Blackstone Publishing, May 25, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 340 pages
Can you love someone you don't remember?

After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of "Imagine" and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather-and the residents. To prevent mankind from destroying each other again, its citizens undergo a memory wipe every four years in a process called tabula rasa, a blank slate, to remove learned prejudices. With each new cycle, they begin again with new names, jobs, homes, and lives. No memories. No attachments. No wars.

Aris, a scientist who shuns love, embraces tabula rasa and the excitement of unknown futures. Walling herself off from emotional attachments, she only sees relationships as pointless and avoids deep connections. But she is haunted by a recurring dream that becomes more frequent and vivid as time passes. After meeting Benja, a handsome free-spirited writer who believes his dreams of a past lover are memories, her world is turned upside down. Obsessed with finding the Dreamers, a secret organization thought to have a way to recover memories, Benja draws her down a dangerous path toward the past. When Metis, the leader of the Dreamers, appears in Aris's life, everything she believes falls to pieces. With little time left before the next tabula rasa, they begin a bittersweet romance, navigating love in a world where names, lives, and moments are systematically destroyed.

Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Reset will make you consider the haunting reality of love and loss, and the indelible marks they leave behind.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : Kobo





Nicole Jarvis

The Lights of Prague
Titan Books, May 18, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of mysterious creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek finds solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová - a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady - a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle – he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp captured in a mysterious container. Now, as its bearer, Domek wields its power, but the wisp, known for leading travellers to their deaths, will not be so easily controlled.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Nicole Kornher-Stace

Firebreak
Gallery / Saga Press, May 4, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
(Adult debut)
One young woman faces down an all-powerful corporation in this all-too-near future science fiction debut that reads like a refreshing take on Ready Player One, with a heavy dose of Black Mirror.

Ready Player One meets Cyberpunk 2077 in this eerily familiar future.

“Twenty minutes to power curfew, and my kill counter’s stalled at eight hundred eighty-seven while I’ve been standing here like an idiot. My health bar is flashing ominously, but I’m down to four heal patches, and I have to be smart.”

New Liberty City, 2134.

Two corporations have replaced the US, splitting the country’s remaining forty-five states (five have been submerged under the ocean) between them: Stellaxis Innovations and Greenleaf. There are nine supercities within the continental US, and New Liberty City is the only amalgamated city split between the two megacorps, and thus at a perpetual state of civil war as the feeds broadcast the atrocities committed by each side.

Here, Mallory streams Stellaxis’s wargame SecOps on BestLife, spending more time jacked in than in the world just to eke out a hardscrabble living from tips. When a chance encounter with one of the game’s rare super-soldiers leads to a side job for Mal—looking to link an actual missing girl to one of the SecOps characters. Mal’s sudden burst in online fame rivals her deepening fear of what she is uncovering about BestLife’s developer, and puts her in the kind of danger she’s only experienced through her avatar.

Author Kornher-Stace’s adult science fiction debut—Firebreak— is loaded with ambitious challenges and a city to save.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Jennifer Saint

Ariadne
Flatiron Books, May 4, 2021
Hardover and eBook, 320 pages
A mesmerizing debut novel for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind?

Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, one that puts the forgotten women of Greek mythology back at the heart of the story, as they strive for a better world.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sammy H.K. Smith

Anna
Solaris, May 25, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 300 pages
A chilling feminist novel set in a near-future dystopia, Anna explores the conflicts between selfhood and expectations, safety and control, and the sacrifices we make for the sake of protection.

Beaten. Branded. Defiant.

Anna is a possession. She is owned by the man named Will, shielded from the world of struggles by his care. He loves her, protects her, and then breaks her. Anna is obedient, dutiful, and compliant. Anna does not know her place in the world.

When she falls pregnant, Anna leaves her name behind, and finds the strength to run. But the past – and Will – catch up with her in an idyllic town with a dark secret, and this time, it’s not just Anna who is at risk.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : Kobo





Phoebe Wynne

Madam
St Martin's Press, May 18, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
"Rebecca meets The Secret History: gloriously dark, gloriously Gothic." ––Sara Collins, bestselling author of The Confessions of Fannie Langton

Discover the secrets of Caldonbrae Hall in this riveting, modern gothic debut set at a secretive all girls’ boarding school perched on a craggy Scottish peninsula.

They want our silence… They want our obedience… Let them see our fire burn

For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge “resilient and ready to serve society.”

Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae’s new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school’s elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs--not to mention her commitment to educating “girls for the future.”

It also doesn’t take long for Rose to suspect that there’s more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor--a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere--than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school’s nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it.

A darkly feminist tale pitched against a haunting backdrop, and populated by an electrifying cast of heroines, Madam will keep readers engrossed until the breathtaking conclusion.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

May 2021 Releases

Here is The Qwillery's list of novels, etc. being published in May 2021. If there is something that we've missed, please leave a comment below. Any genre mistakes are ours. Leave a comment below if you feel that the genre is wrong. Also note that this list is always under revision. Publication dates change. We try to keep this as accurate as possible. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the US. Check The View From Monday each week for each week's updated release list.


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

May 1, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Yesterday's Tomorrows: The Story of Science Fiction in 100 Books Mike Ashley SF/LC
We, The Wanted Matthew Schultz
Jordan Lepore
Native American/Gothic/CulH



May 4, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition Douglas Adams SF/HU - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1
Cursed Luck Kelley Armstrong RF - Cursed Luck 1
The Vanished Seas (tp2mm)
Catherine Asaro SF/SO - Major Bhaajan 3
Providence (h2tp)
Max Barry SF/Th/Dys
Bottle Demon Stephen Blackmoore UF/DF/CF - Eric Carter 6
Penric's Travels (h2tp)
Lois McMaster Bujold F
Immunity Index Sue Burke SF/AP/PA/HSF/GenEng
Master Artificer
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 2
The Godel Operation James L. Cambias SF
May Day Emma Coleman H
The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait Cleo Coyle PCM - Haunted Bookshop Mystery 7
Second Place Rachel Cusk LF/HistF
1637: The Peacock Throne Eric Flint
Griffin Barber
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 31
Unreconciled (h2mm)
W. Michael Gear SF/HSF/SO - Donovan 4
The Shadow of the Gods John Gwynne F - The Bloodsworn Trilogy 1
My Name Is Monster Katie Hale LF/Dys/Feminist
Orfeia Joanne M. Harris FairyT/FolkT/LM/F/FR
The Shadow in the Glass JJA Harwood HistF/DF/Gaslamp/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Hist
In Ghostly Japan: Japanese Legends of Ghosts, Yokai, Yurei and Other Oddities Lafcadio Hearn FairyT/FolkT/LM
Walk Among Us: Compiled Edition Cassandra Khaw
Genevieve Gornichec
Caitlin Starling
H - Vampire: The Masquerade
Firebreak (D - Adult) Nicole Kornher-Stace SF/AP/PA
Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest Cath Lauria MTI - Marvel Heroines
Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future Gideon Lichfield (Ed)
SF/AP/PA/Anthology - Twelve Tomorrows
Firefly - The Ghost Machine (h2tp)
James Lovegrove MTI/SF
Blue Ticket Sophie Mackintosh Dys/FL/Women
The Reincarnationist Papers (ri) D. Eric Maikranz MTI/Fiction
Utopia Avenue (h2tp)
David Mitchell LF/SF/Dys
Shadowed Steel Chloe Neill P/PNR - An Heirs of Chicagoland Novel 3
A Deadly Education Naomi Novik F/CF/CoA - Scholomance 1
Driving the Deep (h2mm)
Suzanne Palmer SF/SO/AC - The Finder Chronicles 2
Mamelukes (h2mm)
Jerry Pournelle
David Weber Phillip Pournelle
SF
Ariadne (D)
Jennifer Saint LF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/Women
Sorrowland Rivers Solomon African American & Black/Gothic/SF/LGBTQ+
By Force Alone (h2tp)
Lavie Tidhar F/Arthurian
The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng K. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Wolf Queen 3
Project Hail Mary Andy Weir SF/HSF/Sus
Freehold: Defiance Michael Z. Williamson (Ed)
SF - Anthology



May 5, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lost World: A Professor Challenger Adventure Sir Arthur Conan SF - Wordfire Classics



May 6, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy Elizabeth Knox (Ed)
David Larsen (Ed)
SF/F - Anthology



May 11, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Angel of the Crows (h2tp)
Katherine Addison HistF/AH
MEG: Hell's Aquarium (e)(ri) Steve Alten SupTh/SF - Meg 4
You Let Me In (h2tp)
Camilla Bruce Th/PsyTh/Gothic
Midnight at the Well of Souls Jack L. Chalker SF/SE/AC - CAEZIK Notables
Black Water Sister Zen Cho CF/Asian American
A Master of Djinn (D) P. Djèlí Clark HistF/SP - Dead Djinn Universe 1
Last One At The Party (D)
Bethany Clift Dys/SF/AP/PA/Feminist/Women
Roger Zelazny F. Brett Cox Modern Masters of LC/SF/F - Science Fiction
The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (h2tp)
Seth Dickinson F - The Masquerade 3
A Special Place for Women Laura Hankin Occ/Sup/Women/HU
The Taker (ri)
Alma Katsu F - The Taker Trilogy 1
The House of Always Jenn Lyons F - Chorus of Dragons 4
Angel of the Overpass Seanan McGuire P/UF/F - Ghost Roads 3
Within Without
Jeff Noon M/SF/VisM - A Nyquist Mystery 4
Son of the Storm Suyi Davies Okungbowa F/African American & Black - Nameless Republic1
Alien Stories E.C. Osondu SS/LF/Satire/SF/SC/CulH/African American & Black - American Reader Series 36
The Rock Eaters: Stories Brenda Peynado SS/LF/Hispanic & Latino
We Are Satellites Sarah Pinsker SF/AP/PA/LF
Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus Mary Shelley SF - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other Tales Robert Louis Stevenson H - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Dracula, A Mystery Story Bram Stoker H/Sup/Occ - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Solo Viola: A Post-Exotic Novel Antoine Volodine Lia Swope Mitchell (Tr)
Dys - Univocal
The War of the Worlds & Other Tales H.G. Wells SF - Flame Tree Collector's Editions
Warriors and Warlords Various SF - Warhammer 40,000 Anthology



May 12, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Far Side of the Universe: A Tor.com Original (e) noc
Michelle Deeter (Tr)
SF
Exiles of Tabat Cat Rambo F - Tabat Quartet 3



May 18, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: At Childhood's End (h2tp)
Sophie Aldred SF - Doctor Who
Day Zero C. Robert Cargill SF/AP/PA
The Betrayals Bridget Collins MR
The Album of Dr. Moreau Daryl Gregory SF/GenEng/M
The Broken God Gareth Hanrahan F - Black Iron Legacy 3
Patchwork Elle E. Ire SF/CyP - Storm Fronts 2
Malorie (h2tp)
Josh Malerman Sus/H/SF/AP/PA - Bird Box 2
Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas Josh Malerman Sus/SupTh/H
Star Trek: Discovery: Wonderlands Una McCormack SF - Star Trek: Discovery 7
Little Bones N V Peacock TH/Cr/Occ/Sup/H
Dead Souls Sam Riviere MR/VisM/Epistolary
Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy's Curse (ri)
Marylin Ross H - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 16
Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch (ri)
Marylin Ross H - Dark Shadows the Complete Paperback Library Reprint Book 15
Catherine House (h2tp)
Elisabeth Thomas LF
Screams from the Void Anne Tibbets SF/AC - Fiction Without Frontiers
A Man Lies Dreaming (ri)
Lavie Tidhar HistTh/AH
The Lunacy Commission Lavie Tidhar SS/AH
Warrior's Ransom Jeff Wheeler F - First Argentines 2
Madam (D)
Phoebe Wynne Women/Gothic/Feminist



May 19, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lay of Lilyfinger: A Tor.com Original (e) G. V. Anderson F



May 25, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
MEG: Generations (tp2mm)
Steve Alten SupTh/SF - Meg 6
From Blood and Ash Jennifer L. Armentrout FR/PNR - Blood and Ash 1
The Damnation Game (ri)
Clive Barker H/SupTh/Sus
Power Challenges Ben Bova Power 5
The Unwilling Kelly Braffet F/HistF
The Uplift War (e)(ri) David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 3
Heaven's Reach (e)(ri) David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 6
Infinity's Shore (e)(ri) David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 5
Brightness Reef (e)(ri)
David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 4
Startide Rising (e)(ri) David Brin SF - Uplift Saga 2
The Uplift Storm Trilogy: Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Heaven's Reach (e)(ri) David Brin SF - The Uplift Saga
The Last Druid (h2mm)
Terry Brooks F - Fall of Shannara 4
The Blacktongue Thief Christopher Buehlman F/H/HU - Blacktongue 1
Scorpion Christian Cantrell SF/TT/TechTh
Reset (D)
Sarina Dahlan SF
New Welsh Reader 126: Speculative Fiction from Wales (e) Jo Dahn
Gee Williams
SpecFic - Anthology
Chance of a Lifetime Jude Deveraux
Tara Sheets
Women/TT/MR/HistR - Providence Falls 1
The Apocalypse Seven Gene Doucette SF/AP/PA
Claws on the Plain James Dunbar F - Kings of War
How to Mars David Ebenbach SF/AC/MHU
Revelations
Nigel Foster SF/AC/SO - Netherspace 3
1636: The Atlantic Encounter (h2mm)
Eric Flint
Walter H. Hunt
SF/TT - Ring of Fire 25
Richards & Klein Guy Haley SF/CyP/PI
Honeycomb Joanne M. Harris DF
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires (h2tp)
Grady Hendrix H/SupTh/Southern
Chaos Queen - Dawnrise Christopher Husberg DF/F - Chaos Queen 5
The Lights of Prague (D)
Nicole Jarvis F/Gaslamp/HistF/FR
The Promised Queen Jeffe Kennedy FR - Forgotten Empires 3
On the Origin of Species and Other Stories Bo-Young Kim
Sora Kim-Russell (Tr)
SF - Collection
The House of Styx Derek Künsken SF - Venus Ascendant 1
Déjà Doomed Edward M. Lerner SF/HSF/AC
A Murder in Time (ri)
Julie McElwain Women/HistM - Kendra Donovan Mystery
Shakespeare for Squirrels (h2tp)
Christopher Moore F/HU
Witness X SE Moorhead SF/Cr
The Legacy of Heorot Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
Steven Barnes
SF - Heorot Series 1
See Something
Carol J Perry PCM - A Witch City Mystery 11
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (h2tp)
Natasha Pulley HistF/Gay/MR/Hist
The Kingdoms Natasha Pulley F/AH/HistF/MR
Burn-In (h2tp)
P. W. Singer
August Cole
TechTh - A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution
Anna (D)
Sammy H.K. Smith Women/Dys
Battle Luna (h2tp)
Travis S. Taylor
Timothy Zahn et al.

The Chalk Man (ri)
C. J. Tudor PsyTh/Sus/H
Hard Reboot Django Wexler SF/SE
A Chain Across the Dawn (ri)
Drew Williams SF/SO/HU - The Universe After 2
Version Zero David Yoon TechTh/Sus/SF



May 31, 2021
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Cretaceous Past Cixin Liu SF




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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

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