Sunday, June 30, 2019

2019 Locus Awards Winners

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the winners of the 2019 Locus Awards. With the exception of the Special Award, The Locus Awards are chosen by a survey of readers in an open online poll.

Winners in green.

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager US; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • If Tomorrow Comes, Nancy Kress (Tor)
  • Revenant Gun, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
  • Embers of War, Gareth L. Powell (Titan US; Titan UK)
  • Elysium Fire, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US)
  • Red Moon, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Unholy Land, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
  • Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)

  • Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch (DAW; Gollancz)
  • Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown; Jo Fletcher)
  • The Monster Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson (Tor)
  • Deep Roots, Ruthanna Emrys ( Publishing)
  • Ahab’s Return, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)
  • European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Headley (MCD)
  • The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)
  • Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
  • Creatures of Want and Ruin, Molly Tanzer (John Joseph Adams)

  • In the Night Wood, Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams)
  • Unlanguage, Michael Cisco (Eraserhead)
  • We Sold Our Souls, Grady Hendrix (Quirk)
  • Coyote Songs, Gabino Iglesias (Broken River)
  • The Hunger, Alma Katsu (Putnam; Bantam Press UK)
  • The Outsider, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Listener, Robert McCammon (Cemetery Dance)
  • Cross Her Heart, Sarah Pinborough (HarperCollins UK/Morrow)
  • The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay (Morrow; Titan UK)
  • Tide of Stone, Kaaron Warren (Omnium Gatherum)

  • The Gone Away Place, Christopher Barzak (Knopf)
  • The Cruel Prince, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)
  • The Belles, Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform; Gollancz)
  • Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman (Random House)
  • Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
  • Cross Fire, Fonda Lee (Scholastic)
  • The Agony House, Cherie Priest & Tara O’Connor (Levine)
  • Half-Witch, John Schoffstall (Big Mouth House)
  • Impostors, Scott Westerfeld (Scholastic US; Scholastic UK)
  • Mapping the Bones, Jane Yolen (Philomel)

  • Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
  • Semiosis, Sue Burke (Tor)
  • Armed in Her Fashion, Kate Heartfield (ChiZine)
  • The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
  • The Quantum Magician, Derek Künsken (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Annex, Rich Larson (Orbit US)
  • Severance, Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
  • Witchmark, C.L. Polk ( Publishing)
  • Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
  • Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

  • The Black God’s Drums, P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
  • “Umbernight“, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld 2/18)
  • Black Helicopters, Caitlín R. Kiernan ( Publishing)
  • Time Was, Ian McDonald ( Publishing)
  • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Kelly Robson ( Publishing)
  • The Freeze-Frame Revolution, Peter Watts (Tachyon)
  • Artificial Condition, Martha Wells ( Publishing)
  • Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells ( Publishing)
  • The Descent of Monsters, JY Yang ( Publishing)

  • “The Donner Party”, Dale Bailey (F&SF 1–2/18)
  • “Okay, Glory”, Elizabeth Bear (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • “No Flight Without the Shatter“, Brooke Bolander ( 8/15/18)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections“, Tina Connolly ( 7/11/18)
  • “An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
  • “Queen Lily“, Theodora Goss (Lightspeed 11/18)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth“, Daryl Gregory ( 9/19/18)
  • “Quality Time”, Ken Liu (Robots vs Fairies)
  • “How to Swallow the Moon“, Isabel Yap (Uncanny 11–12/18)

  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington“, Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)  []
  • “The Bookcase Expedition”, Jeffrey Ford (Robots vs Fairies)
  • “STET“, Sarah Gailey (Fireside 10/18)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies“, Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
  • “Cuisine des Mémoires”, N.K. Jemisin (How Long ’til Black Future Month?)
  • “The Storyteller’s Replacement”, N.K. Jemisin (How Long ’til Black Future Month?)
  • “Firelight“, Ursula K. Le Guin (Paris Review Summer ’18; The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition)
  • “The Starship and the Temple Cat“, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2/1/18)
  • “Mother of Invention“, Nnedi Okorafor (Future Tense)
  • “The Court Magician“, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)

  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Night Shade)
  • The Book of Magic, Gardner Dozois, ed. (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
  • The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-fifth Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Worlds Seen in Passing, Irene Gallo, ed. ( Publishing)
  • The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
  • Robots vs Fairies, Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • The Underwater Ballroom Society, Tiffany Trent and Stephanie Burgis, eds. (Five Fathoms)
  • The Future Is Female!, Lisa Yaszek, ed. (Library of America)

  • The Tangled Lands, Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell (Saga)
  • Brief Cases, Jim Butcher (Ace; Orbit UK)
  • An Agent of Utopia, Andy Duncan (Small Beer)
  • How Long ’til Black Future Month?, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dinosaur Tourist, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
  • Fire & Blood, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
  • All the Fabulous Beasts, Priya Sharma (Undertow)
  • The Future Is Blue, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)
  • Starlings, Jo Walton (Tachyon)
  • How to Fracture a Fairy Tale, Jane Yolen (Tachyon)

  • Analog
  • Asimov’s
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Clarkesworld
  • F&SF
  • Fireside
  • Lightspeed
  • Strange Horizons
  • Uncanny

  • Angry Robot
  • Baen
  • DAW
  • Gollancz
  • Orbit
  • Saga
  • Small Beer
  • Subterranean
  • Tachyon
  • Tor

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
  • Sheila Williams
  • Navah Wolfe

  • Kinuko Y. Craft
  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Leo & Diane Dillon
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess
  • Michael Whelan

  • Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece, Michael Benson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Sense of Wonder: Short Fiction Reviews (2009-2017), Gardner Dozois (ReAnimus)
  • Strange Stars, Jason Heller (Melville House)
  • Dreams Must Explain Themselves: The Selected Non-Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, Ursula K. Le Guin (Gollancz)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon (Tin House)
  • Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility, Alexis Lothian (NYU Press)
  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, Catherine McIlwaine, ed. (Bodleian Library)
  • Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Alec Nevala-Lee (Dey Street)
  • None of This Is Normal: The Fiction of Jeff VanderMeer, Benjamin J. Robertson (University of Minnesota Press)
  • An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000, Jo Walton (Tor)

  • Yoshitaka Amano, Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography – Beyond the Fantasy, Florent Gorges (Les Éditions Pix’n Love 2015; Dark Horse)
  • Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, John Fleskes, ed. (Flesk)
  • John Howe, A Middle-earth Traveler: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; HarperCollins UK)
  • Jeffrey Alan Love, The Thousand Demon Tree (Flesk)
  • Simon Stålenhag, The Electric State (Fria Ligan ’17; Skybound)
  • Shaun Tan, Cicada (Lothian; Levine ’19)
  • Charles Vess, The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga)
  • Michael Whelan, Beyond Science Fiction: The Alternative Realism of Michael Whelan (Baby Tattoo)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History, Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson & Sam Witwer (Ten Speed)
  • Lisbeth Zwerger, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling (Levine)

  • WINNER: Mary Anne Mohanraj

Thursday, June 27, 2019

SALVATION DAY 24-Hour Giveaway

24 hours to survive. 24 hours to win.

You could win an advance copy of SALVATION DAY by Kali Wallace, a gripping thriller that takes place in less than 24 hours! But act quickly, because this giveaway is also only 24 hours - and time is running out...

See the giveaway here.

Salvation Day
Berkley, July 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.

They thought the ship would be their salvation.

Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.

But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.

And then they woke it up.

About Kali Wallace

Kali Wallace has had a lifelong passion for both science and storytelling, and she earned a PhD in geophysics before becoming an author. Salvation Day is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of two young adult novels, Shallow Grave sand The Memory Trees; the children’s fantasy novel City of Islands; and a number of short stories. After spending most of her life in Colorado, she now lives in southern California.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Interview with Ada Hoffmann, author of The Outside

Please welcome Ada Hoffmann to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Outside was published on June 11, 2019 by Angry Robot Books.

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

AH:  Ooh, this takes a bit of thinking. I've been making up stories since I was very tiny, and some pieces are borderline - I sort of remember them, but secondhand, from family stories or from having rediscovered drafts of them later.

The first story I'm sure I remember writing, in first grade, was called "Too Many Onions." It was a Robert Munsch-esque tale in which a family bought so many onions at the grocery store that their whole house was filled with onions from top to bottom. This is going to sound weird, but the reason I remember it is because it was the first time I used quotation marks. I hadn't seen the point of them before, even when I wrote dialogue, but there was something about the character throwing her hands up and declaring "We have too many onions!" that inescapably demanded them.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

AH:  More to the plotter side, but not completely. I always make outlines because I can't get started without a plan; for novel-length work, I also need to start with some worldbuilding and character notes. But I also know that, once I see the story actually breathing on the page, I'll get some new ideas about where it should go and how it should get there. Sometimes I keep the outline vague to allow for this flexibility. Sometimes I make a more detailed one but diverge from it at will. Sometimes I get to a part where I realize I've been too vague, and then I need to work on a more detailed scene-by-scene plan for a few chapters before I can draft again.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

AH:  Dealing with the anxiety. Am I doing it right? Did I do the previous thing right? I apparently did one thing right, but will I ever do anything right again? Aaaaaaaa.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

AH:  I want to say that literally everything influences me! Brains are sponges that store everything in the form of overlapping patterns which merge and connect. Sometimes things influence me and I don't even realize it until later. Other writers with amazing writing skills influence me; my life history and strong personal feelings about influence me; my relationships influence me; my political and spiritual beliefs influence me; other media I read and consume influence me. For starters.

TQDescribe The Outside using only 5 words.

AH:  Cyborg angels versus cosmic horrors.

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

AH:  There are several factions in this book and one of the things I love is that readers legitimately differ as to who they sympathize with. Are you Team Cyborg Angel because their ruthless competence and their team dynamics appeal to you? Are you Team Cosmic Horror Mad Scientist because heck yeah let's rebel? Are you Team Yasira because her "grumpy sincerity" (as the Publisher's Weekly starred review put it) convinces you that human beings even in their darkest times are worth saving? I've seen all of these and more! (One reviewer was Team Sispirinithas The Giant Spider.) I genuinely love seeing different readers come away with different reactions like this; it means I wrote everyone's motivations in a way that felt real, even though there are some that I definitely see as villains.

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

AHThe Outside's origin is actually quite silly - I had a crush on Akavi, who started life as a Lawful Evil D&D villain played by one of my friends. I wanted to write a book about him, but I didn't want it to be a D&D book, so I ended up filing off the serial numbers so hard he ended up in space.

Science Fiction and Fantasy (I don't make a hard mental distinction between the two genres) are my comfort zone. They're what I grew up reading and never stopped. I read other genres now and then, but what I love most is the ability to make up whatever I want about the world and what's possible there. If I tried to write a book that took place entirely within our actual consensus reality, I would feel very limited.

Science Fiction has an aesthetic that distinguishes it from traditional fantasy - SPACE! Computers! Really big guns! - and I feel drawn to that more than to the "harder" aspects, where it's supposed to be a serious attempt at extrapolating things from science. I love space opera, space wizards, and weird shit happening on spaceships, yum!

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Outside?

AH:  There is quite a lot in The Outside about mysticism, and although I was already somewhat familiar with that topic, I spent a long time trawling the Wikipedia about forms of mysticism from different world traditions. Dr. Talirr's heresies in The Outside aren't meant to parallel any specific tradition, but I did find words and concepts that helped me clarify my thinking about her. For the darker, more psychological aspects of the book, I found Judith Herman's Trauma and Recovery helpful.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Outside.

AH:  When it was time to start talking about cover art, the Angry Robot editors asked me if I had a Pinterest board for the book, so I whipped one up. I had never made a Pinterest board before and it was fun! I collected a lot of images showing the aesthetics of The Outside's different factions - clean and delicate modernism for the angels, rough and lived-in 20th-century aerospace technology for the humans, and some very surreal landscapes and architecture for a part of a planet that's affected by an especially nasty heretical effect.

For Dr. Talirr's aesthetic, I wanted pictures that were as messy and rough as the other human technology, but even more complicated and a touch surreal. I discovered there's a whole genre called "industrial photography", and I collected the weirdest industrial photography I could find. One of the pictures was a plasma generator from Japan with an odd, fluid, swirling design. That picture really clicked with my editor and with the cover artist, Lee Gibbons. Gibbons used that picture as a reference for a depiction of a scene near the middle of the book, where Yasira is spacewalking on the outside of a heretical ship. He kept the wonderful, dynamic composition of the original photo but made it even more surreal, with the parts of the ship vaguely resembling tentacles, plus a depiction of space and of a suitably tiny, space-suited Yasira.

I love this cover and the Internet seems to love it, too! I couldn't be happier with the design.

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

AH:  I think the easiest character might have been Elu Ariehmu, Akavi's assistant. There's something about Elu that feels very straightforward and easy for me to empathize with, even though his life choices aren't always necessarily the best.

The hardest was definitely Yasira. Protagonists have to be so deeply and fully realized, and they have to hit so many different notes correctly. I find it really tricky to write protagonists who are active, in the way that neurotypical Western readers expect, without making them deeply unlikable. Villians, yes, I can do those; heroes, for some reason, are hard. For a long time I couldn't get a handle on Yasira. She felt flat, no matter what I tried, even once I made her autism explicit.

It was a sensitivity read from Elizabeth Bartmess, who is an absolute genius about characters, that finally helped me figure Yasira out. Elizabeth helped me figure out that Yasira wasn't just autistic, she was mildly depressed and had been that way for a while. When I delved into the question of why and how to bring that out, that's when Yasira really started to breathe - but it also meant facing up to some of my own low-grade burnout and depression, and was some of the most emotionally difficult character work I've ever done.

TQDoes The Outside touch on any social issues?

AH:  Yes, The Outside touches on several social issues. The AI Gods are a vague allegory to real-world religion, and some of the ways in which organized religion can maintain oppression while claiming to help people. Issues of neurodiversity and disability are also at the forefront in this book, since both Yasira and other characters are autistic. In particular there is some brief discussion of abusive childhood therapy, which one of the characters has experienced.

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

AH:  "Oh," said Dr Talirr, turning to leave, "and there's a protocol for monsters under the bed. If you see something with, say, eight to ten pairs of claws, ignore it. Those ones are harmless. If you see something without any claws or limbs at all, you might want to come get me. Good night."

Also, any piece of dialogue that Enga ever has.

TQWhat's next?

AH:  I'm hoping Angry Robot will greenlight a sequel for THE OUTSIDE, though nothing's fully worked out yet. In the meantime, I'm also working on a draft of a contemporary fantasy novel involving dragon paleontology.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

AH:  My pleasure! Thanks for having me.

The Outside
Angry Robot Books, June 11, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Humanity’s super-intelligent AI Gods brutally punish breaches in reality, as one young scientist discovers, in this intense and brilliant space opera.

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.

File Under: Science Fiction [ False Gods | Angel Inside | Autistic in Space | Here be Monsters ]

About Ada

ADA HOFFMANN is a Canadian graduate student trying to teach computers to write poetry. Her acclaimed speculative short stories and poems have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, Uncanny, and two year’s best anthologies. Ada was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at 13, and is passionate about autistic self-advocacy. She is a former semi-professional soprano, a tabletop gamer and an active LARPer, she lives in southern Ontario with a very polite black cat.

Website  ~  Twitter @xasymptote

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin

Supernatural Vigilantes

By Gail Z. Martin

Lonely highways wind through dark forests filled with old secrets, hungry creatures, and the restless dead. In the towns and cities, demons, curses and deals with the devil mean a hunter’s work is never done.

In Sons of Darkness, the first book in my newest urban fantasy series, demon-hunting former priest Travis Dominick works with the misfit psychics of the Night Vigil to fight supernatural creatures and malicious paranormal activity. When a series of disappearances, suicides and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, Travis teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.

The Night Vigil series is set in Western Pennsylvania, an area full of legends, lore and mysterious monsters. It’s a state undercut by so many miles of coal mines, no one actually knows where the shafts all run. Tragedies haunt its history—mine disasters, railroad wrecks, legendary floods, industrial explosions, and battlefields from the three biggest wars fought on US soil. No wonder the dead can’t rest.

The next book in the series, C.H.A.R.O.N., comes out later this summer. CHARON is a secret government agency devoted to cleaning up supernatural problems and hiding the evidence. They’ve wanted Brent to join them for a long time, and he keeps slipping out of their grip. But when a new threat arises, one that might be of CHARON’s own making, can Travis and Brent fight the danger on their own terms, and still keep their freedom?

Meet the Night Vigil. The run-down convenience store, the all-night diner, the last-ditch shelter, or seedy motel, the redneck bar and the emergency room, and all the other places open on the graveyard shift—they’re Hell’s hunting grounds, full of easy marks and desperate souls, prey for evil things out there in the dark.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms. We work the night shift because that’s when evil walks. We’re the clerk in the all-night liquor store, the server in the 24-hour diner, the long-haul trucker who only drives at night, the counter person in the convenience store, the dog shift nurse. We recognize the evil when we see it, and we use the skills we honed with blood and fire to stop it, whatever it takes.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway house heroes. No illusions left—about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf.

Look for Sons of Darkness in ebook and paperback wherever online books are sold, and watch for CHARON, coming soon!

Sons of Darkness
A Night Vigil Novel 1
SOL Publishing, November 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages

We are the Night Vigil.

The run-down convenience store, the all-night diner, the last-ditch shelter, or seedy motel, the redneck bar and the emergency room, and all the other places open on the graveyard shift—they’re Hell’s hunting grounds, full of easy marks and desperate souls, prey for evil things out there in the dark.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms. We work the night shift because that’s when evil walks. We’re the clerk in the all-night liquor store, the server in the 24-hour diner, the long-haul trucker who only drives at night, the counter person in the convenience store, the dog shift nurse. We recognize the evil when we see it, and we use the skills we honed with blood and fire to stop it, whatever it takes.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway house heroes. No illusions left—about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf

When a series of disappearances, suicides, and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, demon-hunting ex-priest Travis Dominick teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.

A Night Vigil Novel 2

About the Author

The Hawthorn Moon is the annual summer blog tour for Gail Z. Martin, and features guest blog posts, giveaways, surprises, excerpts and more on blogs worldwide. Find the master list of posts and goodies at

Bonus goodies!

Read a copy of my Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy short story Catspaw for free: and check out my epic fantasy Ascendant Kingdoms short story Reconciling Memory here for free:


Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Splintered Crown and Convicts and Exiles

Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Convicts and Exiles, Spells Salt and Steel Season One, Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, Sons of Darkness, and Assassin’s Honor.

Larry N. Martin
She is the co-author (with Larry N. Martin ) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel/New Templars series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. She is also the co-author of the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Joe Mack Cauldron/Shadow Council series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail.

Join our Shadow Alliance street team so you never miss a new release! Get all the scoop first + giveaways + fun stuff! Also where I get my beta readers and Launch Team!

Find me at, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on, at blog, on, on Goodreads, and BookBub I’m also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign Never miss out on the news with my newsletter

Monday, June 24, 2019

The View From Monday - June 24, 2019

Happy Last Monday in June!

There is one debut this week:

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer 1) by Maxym Martineau.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Rift by Nina Allan is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Sea Queen (h2tp) Linnea Hartsuykeris out in Trade Paperback;

Hexarchate Stories (Machineries of Empire) by Yoon Ha Lee;

State Tectonics (Centenal Cycle 3) by Malka Older is out in Trade Paperback;

The Anomaly (The Anomaly Files 1) by Michael Rutger is out in Mass Market Paperback;


The Book of M by Peng Shepherd is out in Trade Paperback.

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.

June 25, 2019
The Rift (tp2mm) Nina Allan SF/LF
Harbart (ri) Nabarun Bhattacharya
Sunandini Banerjee (Tr)
Bewitched and Betrothed Juliet Blackwell PCM - Witchcraft Mystery 10
March of War (tp2mm) Bennett R. Coles SF - Virtues of War 3
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints (h2mm) Larry Correia
John Ringo
UF - Monster Hunter Memoirs 3
A Demon in Silver (tp2mm) R.S. Ford F - War of the Archons 1
Salvation (h2mm) Peter F. Hamilton SF/SO/SE - The Salvation Sequence 1
The Sea Queen (h2tp) Linnea Hartsuyker Saga - Golden Wolf Saga 2
We Sold Our Souls (h2tp) Grady Hendrix H/Occ/Sup/SupTh
The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs Katherine Howe Occ/Sup/CW/LF
The Privilege of Peace (h2mm) Tanya Huff SF/HSF - Peacekeeper 3
Avalanche (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey
Cody Martin
Dennis Lee
Veronica Giguere
SF - Secret World Chronicle 5
Hexarchate Stories Yoon Ha Lee SF - Machineries of Empire collection
Ball Lightning (h2tp) Cixin Liu
Joel Martinsen (Tr)
Kingdom of Exiles (D) Maxym Martineau FR - Beast Charmer 1
Outcasts of Order (h2mm) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - Saga of Recluce 20
State Tectonics (h2tp) Malka Older SF/CyP/TechTh/PolTh - Centenal Cycle 3
The Store (tp2mm) James Patterson Richard DiLallo Sus/Cr/SF
Soul Wars (h2tp) Josh Reynolds F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
The Anomaly (h2mm) Michael Rutger Sus/PsyTh/FairyT/FolkT/LM - The Anomaly Files 1
The Book of M (h2tp) Peng Shepherd LF
Nightwing (ri) Martin Cruz Smith SupTh
A Fistful of Elven Gold (tp2mm) Alex Stewart F
The Iron Dragon's Mother Michael Swanwick F

June 26, 2019
The Last Tsar's Dragons Jane Yolen
Adam Stemple

June 27, 2019
The Devil's Equinox (ri) John Everson H - Fiction Without Frontiers
Dust Devils (ri) Jonathan Janz H - Fiction Without Frontiers

June 30, 2019
In the Shadow of Spindrift House Mira Grant H

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
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BH - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SocSci - Social Science
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) 5

The 5th year of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off starts on July 1, 2019.

We shall put on our agent hats and go through the 30 books assigned to The Qwillery looking for that 1 novel that we think can win!

Each of The Qwillery's 5 agents will be randomly assigned 6 books out of the 30. Each agent will pick a Semi-Finalist from those 6 books. Then every agent will look at the 5 Semi-Finalists. We'll share our thoughts with each other about the books and out of those 5 books a Finalist will be chosen. Semi-Finalists will get reviews but no score; only the Finalist will receive a score. Note: there is always the possibility of more than 1 Semi-Finalist per agent! That depends on the books!

The Qwillery has the following 30 books in its Slush Pile. You can follow what is happening with the Slush Pile at The Qwillery's SPFBO 5 page here.

The Qwillery's Slush Pile

Author Title
Arden, Blaine D. A Triad in Three Acts
Blanchard, Kelly  Someday I'll Be Redeemed
Blinston, Andy Oblivion
Callahan, Rebecca The Dark Yule
Cowley, Meg Heart of Dragons
Craig, Adam The Pact
Denvil, Barbara Gaskell A White Horizon
Dodge, Emerald Sea of Lost Souls
Dorner, J Lenni Fractions of Existence
Engelmeier, L.K. A Shard of Sea & Bone
Haywood, Lee H.  A Wizard's Dark Dominion
Hodgson, Jim Apprentice Quest
Kang, J.C. Masters of Deception
Knight, Eric T. Stone Bound
Kohler, Paul B. The Borrowed Souls
LeClerc, Patrick Broken Crossroads
Maxwell, Flint Knight and Shadow
McClain, Virginia Blade's Edge
Nile, Edward Bloodlight
Pfeiffer, Levi Litany of Wrath
Ponder, A.J. Quest
Prior, D. P. Husk
Raine, Eliza Skies of Olympus
Sherrer, Lydia Love, Lies & Hocus Pocus: Beginnings
Steer, Huw The Blackbird and the Ghost
Toroid, Ash Tooth Goblins
Van Orman, Sharon Lykaia
Warne, A. A. Heavy Dirty Soul
Zoltack, N. M. A Time of Turmoil
Zwikstra, Monica Alban's Choice

The Agents

The Qwillery's SPFBO team is made up of Qwill/Sally, Melanie, and Jennifer from The Qwillery and 2 guest agents:

Beth Tabler of  the Before We Go Blog and author Phil Parker! We are thrilled and delighted to have them!

About Beth

Who Am I?
My name is Beth. I am originally from Las Vegas but now reside in the pacific northwest with my husband, daughter, and dog named Handsome Jack. I run a website called before we go blog that talks about all things books, and writing.

I love books and everything about them. I pretty much always have a book in my hand. I read science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult, and everything else that looks great. I am a big fan of indie authors, and I run a weekly column called #indiespotlight highlighting a different writer every week.

Where to find me?

About Phil

Phil Parker had been a teacher of English and Drama for an eternity until starting a new life as a writer. (It's life, Jim, but not as we know it). He's written 3 non-fiction books, a regular column in an education newspaper for four years and last year self-published his Knights' Protocol trilogy. Its first novel, The Bastard from Fairyland, was an entrant in SPFBO4. Phil blogs at which includes his reviews. Phil also created the British & Irish Writing Community which has a section in his blog. As a judge in SPFBO5, Phil aims to bring his experiences as an author to make sure his reviews are honest, fair and constructive. In his spare time, Phil consumes pizza and red wine and longs to be in Italy while he's doing it.

Twitter: @PhilSpeculates

You can find out more about Qwill, Melanie and Jennifer on the "About Us" page here.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Novels by DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming novels by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.

RJ Barker (2017)

The Bone Ships
The Tide Child Trilogy 1
Orbit, September 24, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 512 pages

A crew of condemned criminals embark on a suicide mission to hunt the first sea dragon seen in centuries in the first book of this adventure fantasy trilogy.

Violent raids plague the divided isles of the Scattered Archipelago. Fleets constantly battle for dominance and glory, and no commander stands higher among them than “Lucky” Meas Gilbryn.

But betrayed and condemned to command a ship of criminals, Meas is forced on suicide mission to hunt the first living sea-dragon in generations. Everyone wants it, but Meas Gilbryn has her own ideas about the great beast. In the Scattered Archipelago, a dragon’s life, like all lives, is bound in blood, death and treachery.

The Tide Child Trilogy
The Bone Ships

For more from RJ Barker, check out:

The Wounded Kingdom
Age of Assassins
Blood of Assassins
King of Assassins

The Wounded Kingdom

Rene Denfeld (2014)

The Butterfly Girl
Harper, October 1, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages

The Butterfly Girl is a riveting novel that ripples with truth, exploring the depths of love and sacrifice in the face of a past that cannot be left dead and buried. A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life.

The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river. Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her.

As danger creeps closer, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?

Also by Rene Denfeld

Marshall Ryan Maresca (2015)

Shield of the People
The Maradaine Elite 2
DAW, October 29, 2019
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

The second novel in the Maradaine Elite series blends fast-paced high fantasy and political intrigue.

After stopping Tharek Pell and saving the Druth Parliament, Dayne Heldrin and Jerinne Fendall find themselves on the margins of the Tarian Order: lauded as heroes in public but scorned and ignored in private, their future in the Order hazy. Dayne is given an assignment that isolates him from the Order, and Jerinne is hazed and bullied at the bottom of the initiate rankings.

But it’s a grand holiday week in the city of Maradaine, celebrating over two centuries of freedom and the foundation of the reunified modern nation, and with that come parades, revelry… and protests and demonstrations. A dissident group called The Open Hand–and their mysterious, charismatic leader, Bishop Ret Issendel–seeks to disrupt the Parliament elections with their message of secession and dissolution.

Despite orders to stay out of the public eye, Dayne and Jerinne are drawn into the intrigue of the Open Hand and kept apart by dark powerful conspiracies that brew around them. Dayne and Jerinne must fight for their own principles, and protect the will of the people as the election is thrown into chaos.

Book 1


Maradaine Constabulary

Streets of Maradaine
The Fenmere Job (Streets of Maradaine 3) coming February 25, 2020.