Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 Sunburst Award Shortlists

The Sunburst Award Committee has announced the shortlists for the 2019 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The winners will be announced in the Fall 2019.

Adult Fiction
  • Eden Robinson, Trickster Drift [Penguin Random House Canada]
  • Andromeda Romano-Lax, Plum Rains [Penguin Random House Canada]
  • Kate Heartfield, Armed in Her Fashion [Chizine Publications]
  • Amber Dawn, Sodom Road Exit [Arsenal Pulp Press]
  • Rich Larson, Annex [Orbit/Hachette Book Group]

Young Adult Fiction
  • Rebecca Schaeffer, Not Even Bones [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]
  • Patrick Weekes, Feeder [Simon & Schuster Canada]
  • Rachel Hartman, Tess of the Road [Penguin Random House Canada]
  • Regan McDonell, Black Chuck [Orca Book Publishers]
  • Sebastien de Castell, Spellslinger [Orbit, Hachette Book Group]

Short Story Fiction
  • Senaa Ahmad, “The Glow-In-The-Dark Girls” [Strange Horizons, 15 Jan 2018]
  • Madeline Ashby, “Domestic Violence” [Slate, 26 March 2018]
  • Malon Edwards, “Candied Sweets, Cornbread, and Black-Eyed Peas” [Sword and Sonnet, Ate Bit Bear]
  • Rich Larson, “Meat And Salt And Sparks” [ 6 June 2018]
  • A.C. Wise, “The Time Traveler's Husband” [Shimmerzine #46, Nov 2018]

The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic has celebrated the best in Canadian fantastic literature in both Adult and Young Adult publications since 2001. Winners receive a medallion that incorporates the Sunburst logo. Winners of both the Adult and Young Adult Sunburst Award also receive a cash prize of $1,000, while winners of the Short Story Sunburst Award receive a cash prize of $500.

The Sunburst Award takes its name from the debut novel of the late Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first published authors of contemporary Canadian speculative fiction. Last year's winners were David Demchuk and Cherie Dimaline; previous winners include Johnathan Auxier, Andrew Davidson, Martine Desjardins, Gemma Files, Hiromi Goto, Nalo Hopkinson, Guy Gavriel Kay, Thomas King, Ruth Ozeki, Geoff Ryman, and Margaret Sweatman. 

SPAWN #300 Capullo & McFarlane Covers & Capullo Covers Revealed


          TOP LEFT: SPAWN #300 Cover E by Greg Capullo & Todd McFarlane (JUN190018)
          TOP RIGHT: SPAWN #300 Cover F (B&W) by Greg Capullo & Todd McFarlane (JUN190019)
          BOTTOM LEFT: SPAWN #300 Cover C by Capullo (JUN190016)
          BOTTOM RIGHT: SPAWN #300 Cover D (Virgin) by Capullo (JUN190017)

PORTLAND, Ore. 07/30/2019 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal the highly-anticipated Greg Capullo & Todd McFarlane covers and the Greg Capullo covers for the upcoming milestone SPAWN #300 issue by Todd McFarlane, President at Image Comics and creator of SPAWN. These covers are just four of many exciting cover reveals to come on the #Roadto300!

The record-setting SPAWN #300 hits stores on Wednesday, August 28. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, August 5.
  • SPAWN #300 CVR A MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190014
  • SPAWN #300 CVR B B&W MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190015
  • SPAWN #300 CVR C CAPULLO - Diamond Code JUN190016
  • SPAWN #300 CVR D CAPULLO VIRGIN - Diamond Code JUN190017
  • SPAWN #300 CVR E CAPULLO & MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190018
  • SPAWN #300 CVR F B&W CAPULLO & MCFARLANE - Diamond Code JUN190019
  • SPAWN #300 CVR G CAMPBELL - Diamond Code JUN190020
  • SPAWN #300 CVR H OPENA - Diamond Code JUN190021
  • SPAWN #300 CVR I ALEXANDER - Diamond Code JUN190022
Momentum and frenzied buzz surrounding the classic antihero series continues to build leading into historic SPAWN #300 and record-breaking SPAWN #301 when SPAWN becomes the longest running creator-owned comic in the world.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Interview with H.G. Parry, author of The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

Please welcome H. G. Parry to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was published on July 23, 2019 by Redhook.

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

H.G.:  It's a cliche, but I honestly don't remember not writing. I wrote stories all the way through primary school. My first "proper novel" I wrote in Intermediate, when I was twelve: it was about a group of explorers who find the lost city of Atlantis and rescue it from the grip of an immortal despot. It was really a short story, but it did have a talking robot cat, Magic that turned out to be Science, and a healthy paranoia about government, so I call it a win.

TQ:  Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

H.G.:  Hybrid, though I do outline a lot. I start with just writing down fragments, which are nearly always conversations between characters. Then I read back what the characters are saying, and work out the plot from there - it's often a matter of deciding what they want, what they'll do to get it, and what will hurt them the most! I won't usually get the whole plot from that, but I'll get enough to work with, and then when I get stuck I'll go back to what I've written, read over it again, and do a bit more outlining. It's all wildly out of order, of course, just to make things more fun.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

H.G.:  On a technical level, it's the opening sentences of books, chapters, and even paragraphs. I always end up plunging right into the middle, leaving some kind of note like "amazing opening goes here!!" Which of course means the last stage of every draft I've ever written is me scrolling through the book writing about fifty "amazing openings" in succession, which takes time, sighs, and multiple slices of cake.

On another level, it's the fact that whatever I try to write always feels just a little bit beyond my skill level at the time. And I don't think there's anything to be done about that except embrace it and keep growing.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

H.G.:  Honestly, just books of every kind, from Keats to Dickens to children's literature to 1960s Dr Strange comics. My academic background is in English Literature, and I love using writing as a way to explore existing stories and history.

TQDescribe The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep using only 5 words.

H.G.:  Reading books saves the world.

TQTell us something about The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep that is not found in the book description.

H.G.:  It's set in Wellington, New Zealand, where I live. I wanted to map the action very specifically on to real places I knew intimately, so that the effect of fictional characters intruding upon reality could be very distinct (if only to me!). I'm also really interested in the way Victorian literature in particular fits into colonised spaces like New Zealand - there's something about the image of Dickens in central Wellington that's more jarring than Dickens in modern London.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary Fantasy?

H.G.:  I wanted to write a book that was a love letter to reading - all kinds of reading, but particularly literary criticism. I'm fascinated with the idea of reading as an act of interpretation - everyone who reads a book has their own version of that book. So I wrote a magic system where readers don't just read characters out of books, but their own versions of characters. The sibling rivalry aspect connected to that, because I wanted to link the way we read books and the way we read people. Just as we interpret books, we're constantly interpreting the people around us, and sometimes we see them the way we need to rather than the way they need to be seen.

As for contemporary fantasy - I love all kinds of fantasy, but there's something very attractive about the idea that magic is lurking just around the corner.

TQWhy did you choose Uriah Heep as your title character?

H.G.:  He actually wasn't the title character until very late in the day, after the book had already sold! But he was in the first chapter from the beginning. Once I'd decided that the book was going to centre largely around Dickens, Uriah Heep was the obvious antagonist - David Copperfield is based heavily on Dickens, so in Uriah Heep you have the nemesis of Dickens himself. He's also just a lot of fun - delightfully repulsive, yet intelligent and complex, and always understanding the parts of the main characters they least want people to see...

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep?

H.G.:  I cheated with this, because I deliberately wrote a book about everything I love and so I knew a lot already. I did go deeper into scholarship about Dickens, and specifically David Copperfield and Uriah Heep, than I've ever gone before, which was a pleasure. I watched a lot of classic novel adaptations to get a sense of different ways the characters can be interpreted, since the premise of the book is that each character is read and interpreted differently by different readers - but honestly I do that anyway. I was also lucky enough to revisit the Charles Dickens Museum in London while I was revising, which worked its way into the texture of the Street. It's an incredible place - like a time capsule in the middle of London.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep.

H.G.:  I love the cover! Lisa Marie Pompilio designed it, and it's bookish and atmospheric and Victorian yet still quirky. It went through a few different versions, and all were amazing, but this one captures the book perfectly. My favourite detail about it is that if you read the text on the page, it's from David Copperfield, and specifically the chapter toward the end of the book where David finds Uriah Heep in prison - as though Uriah Heep has escaped directly from book-prison out into the world. It's so subtle and clever.

TQ:  In The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

H.G.:  Dorian Gray was the easiest, probably, just because he's so much fun. I loved writing Millie too - I grew up reading Enid Blyton's various adventure series, and I loved playing with the trope of the girl detective (and that exaggerated old-fashioned British vernacular!). Nobody was really difficult, but Rob and Charley were complicated for different reasons: Charley because he's seen mostly through other people's eyes, so it was difficult to sift through that and see who he really is inside his own head; Rob because he's so reluctant to get involved with anything outside the norm that he risked missing out on most of the plot!

TQWhich question about The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

H.G.:  That’s a difficult one! Um… Who would you bring out of a book, and why? And the correct answer is Paddington Bear from Michael Bond’s books, because he would be delightful company and eat the marmalade I’ve had in my fridge for years and only get into sweet, well-meaning trouble. But in reality I’d probably accidentally read out Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle or Dracula or Keats or something and chaos would ensue.

TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep.

H.G.:  I think I'm the only one who laughs at my over-the-top descriptions of Dorian Gray, but I still laugh at: "His skin was polished ivory. His cheekbones were sharp enough to pose a flight risk. His eyes defied all metaphor. People who looked into them without fair warning tended only to report, incoherently, that they were blue."

Also, on one of the five Mr Darcys: "The poor thing was the victim of one of many readers convinced Darcy's haughtiness was the product of extreme shyness, and lived much of his life holed up in the study gripped with paranoia that the others were going to organise a dance."

TQWhat's next?

H.G.:  My next book, A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAGICIANS, is coming out next year. It's an alternate history that tells the interconnected story of the French Revolution, the Haitian revolution, and the abolition of the British slave trade, but in a world where magic is strictly confined to the aristocracy. I’m editing that and drafting the sequel now – they’re bigger, darker, more research-heavy books than URIAH HEEP, and I’m both intimidated by them and love them very deeply.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

H.G.:  Thank you so much for having me!

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
Redhook, July 23, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

The ultimate book-lover’s fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.

There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.

About H.G. Parry

H.G. Parry lives in a book-infested flat in Wellington, New Zealand, which she shares with her sister and two overactive rabbits. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and teaches English, Film, and Media Studies. Her short fiction has appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and small press anthologies. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is her debut novel.

Website  ~ Twitter @hg_parry

COPRA Returns!


PORTLAND, Ore. 07/29/2019 — Michel Fiffe’s critically-acclaimed superhero revenge series Copra will be returning with an all-new #1 launching this October from Image Comics.

“I’m beyond excited to be returning to my own characters with all-new stories,” said Fiffe. “It’s been a minute since I last worked on Copra, but I’m back with laser focus and all is right in the universe. This first issue picks up right where the previous volume left off, so it’s an accessible continuation of the original arc. The hardcore fans and the new readers will both love it.”

Fiffe has earned praise for his work on Zegas, GI Joe: Sierra Muerte, Bloodstrike Brutalists, and All-New Ultimates—but his creator-owned superhero series Copra is far and away his most renowned and sought-after work. The original sold-out 31-issue series ended on a cliffhanger, and fans have been clamoring for the next chapter ever since.

Fiffe added: “The original self-published series was recently made available again in five trade paperback collections from Image, so it’s the perfect time to start telling new stories again.”

Copra #1 (Diamond Code AUG190053) will hit stores on Wednesday, October 2 and features 36 pages written, drawn, colored, and lettered by Fiffe. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, September 9.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

Monday, July 29, 2019

The View From Monday - July 29, 2019

Happy Monday!

There are no debuts this week. From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Iron Gods (Spin Trilogy 2) by Andrew Bannister;

Death Goddess Dance (The Mythos War 3) by Levi Black;

Dark Age (Red Rising 5) by Pierce Brown;


The Spider (Under the Northern Sky 2) by Leo Carew.

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.

July 30, 2019
Uncharted (h2mm) Kevin J. Anderson
Sarah A. Hoyt
Hist F - Arcane America
Iron Gods Andrew Bannister SF/SO/HSF -  Spin Trilogy 2
Mage Against the Machine (h2tp) Shaun Barger SF
Death Goddess Dance Levi Black DF/H - The Mythos War 3
The Toynbee Convector (ri) Ray Bradbury SF
Dark Age Pierce Brown SF/Dys - Red Rising 5
Rotherweird Andrew Caldecott HistF/P - Rotherweird 1
The Spider Leo Carew F - Under the Northern Sky 2
Brave the Tempest Karen Chance UF - Cassie Palmer 9
Alien: Isolation Keith R.A. DeCandido SF/AC/MTI
Halo: Silent Storm: A Master Chief Story (h2tp) Troy Denning SF - HALO 24
Worlds 2 (tp2mm) Eric Flint SF - Collection
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (h2tp) Hank Green CoA/SF/CF
An Easy Death (h2mm) Charlaine Harris DF - Gunnie Rose 1
The Book Charmer Karen Hawkins CW
Dune: The Battle of Corrin (ri) Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
SF/SO - Legends of Dune 3
Stygian (h2mm) Sherrilyn Kenyon FR/P/UF - Dark-Hunter22
The Edge Tim Lebbon DF/CF/H - Relics 3
And Then There Were Dragons Alcy Leyva Occ/HU - Shades of Hell
Dragon's Code (h2mm) Gigi McCaffrey SF/F - The Dragonriders of Pern
Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War John Jackson Miller SF - Star Trek: Discovery
Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction (h2tp) Alec Nevala-Lee Biography
The Hound of Justice Claire O'Dell Dys - Janet Watson Chronicles 2
Tide of Battle (tp2mm) Michael Z. Williamson SF
Mrs. Morris and the Ghost Traci Wilton PCM - A Salem B&B Mystery 1
The Ember Blade Chris Wooding F - Darkwater Legacy 1
Ascent to Godhood JY Yang F - The Tensorate 4

July 31, 2019
The Flowers of Vashnoi Lois McMaster Bujold SF - Vorkosigan Saga
Atmosphæra Incognita Neal Stephenson SF

August 1, 2019
The Drive-Thru Crematorium Jon Bassoff H
Till Sudden Death Do Us Part Simon R. Green SupTh/SupM - Ishmael Jones Mystery 7
Skinwrapper (Ke) Stephen Kozeniewski SF
Grandghost: A haunted house mystery Nancy Springer GH/M

August 2, 2019
The October Boys (Ke) Adam Millard 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

AA - Action and Adventure
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Eng - Engineering
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
Ke - Kindle eBook
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
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SS - Short Stories
ST+R - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
Tech - Technology
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
WS - Women Sleuths

Friday, July 26, 2019

Nintendo Download, July 25, 2019: Which House Will You Choose?

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses – War is coming to the great land of Fódlan. Here, order is maintained by the Church of Seiros, which hosts the prestigious Officers Academy within its headquarters. You are invited to teach one of its three mighty houses, each comprised of students brimming with personality and represented by a royal from one of three territories. As their professor, you must lead your students in their academic lives and in turn-based, tactical RPG battles wrought with strategic new twists to overcome. Which house, and which path, will you choose? The Fire Emblem: Three Houses game will be available on July 26.
    • Wolfenstein: Youngblood – Nineteen years after the events of Wolfenstein II, BJ Blazkowicz has disappeared after a mission into Nazi-occupied Paris. Now, after receiving years of training from their battle-hardened father, BJ’s twin daughters, Jess and Soph Blazkowicz, are forced into action. Team up with a friend online* or play alone. Level up, explore and complete missions to unlock new abilities, weapons, gadgets and cosmetics to complement your play style and customize your appearance. Wolfenstein: Youngblood features the most open-ended Wolfenstein experience to date. From a new base of operations located deep in the heart of the Paris catacombs, plan how and when to attack and dismantle the Nazi regime. The Wolfenstein: Youngblood game will be available on July 26.
    • ForagerForager is a 2D open-world game inspired by your favorite exploration, farming and crafting games. Start small and improve your base, skills, equipment and network of friends (and enemies!), and build your future as you see fit. The Forager game will be available on July 30.
    • Fantasy StrikeFantasy Strike is a colorful fighting game in which fantasy meets martial arts. It focuses on depth and strategy rather than difficult execution. It’s designed for tournament play, but also welcomes you to the genre if you haven’t played other fighting games before.

Nintendo eShop sales:

Interview with Evan Winter, author of The Rage of Dragons

Please welcome Evan Winter to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Rage of Dragons was published on July 16, 2019 by Orbit.

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

Evan:  Thanks very much to The Qwillery for having me today, it’s good to be here! And, the first fiction piece I can remember writing was the opening to what I think was a portal Epic Fantasy (hero from our world enters a world of magic). I started it on my parent’s typewriter and got about ten pages in before I ran out of steam.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Evan:  I’m a heavy plotter and can’t really start my draft until I know every character, chapter, and scene that’s going to go into the book. By the end of my plotting process I usually have a 100-page document that I’ve broken down into scenes. My notes for each scene sit to the left of my drafting window so I can follow along when I’m writing.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Evan:  I think it’s writing every day. I know I can go faster than my current pace and I know that I’ll run out of lifetime before I run out of stories. So, I want to write more without rushing the work and I think a good way of achieving that is to write every day. Since high school, I knew I wanted my work to be interwoven with my life because I’ve always felt that life can be broken into three relatively equal pieces - sleep, work, play - and I didn’t want to spend one-third of my time on Earth doing something I didn’t like. To avoid that, I’ve tried very hard to make a living doing things that come from a sense of who I am as a person. It’s rarely been easy and there were many years where I exchanged portions of my life for nothing more than a paycheck but, with writing, I’ve found what I was searching for and don’t want to waste a moment of it.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Evan:  I’m heavily influenced by life in general, my experiences specifically, the news of the day, as well as recent and not so recent history. I have to mention the books I read too, which are primarily SFF novels. They define the parameters of what I understand to be compelling writing. Finally, I write about the things that intrigue me and I aim to ground those things in topics and themes that feel important to me. My ultimate goal, when writing, is to tell a story that, were I to come to it as a reader, I would absolutely love it and think it held truth and value.

TQDescribe The Rage of Dragons using only 5 words.

Evan:  We make our own monsters.

TQTell us something about The Rage of Dragons that is not found in the book description.

Evan:  The Rage of Dragons took about 9 months to outline, draft, edit, and publish.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Rage of Dragons? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Evan:  I wrote The Rage of Dragons because it is exactly and perfectly the type of story I would have been overjoyed to find in a book store. I wrote it because when I was growing up it didn’t exist. I couldn’t have found an Epic Fantasy with swords and sorcery or swords and sandals with a Black protagonist in a place that felt like Africa. I wrote it and I write Fantasy because I believe SFF is one of the greatest places to tell stories that can explore, consider, and evaluate the human condition from enough of a remove to have the inquiry be taken as a genuine attempt to better understand and appreciate one another and our place in the universe. I think the questions we ask in SFF are important and I think the journeys we take in asking those questions are just as important.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Rage of Dragons?

Evan:  I primarily researched African architecture and weapons and went from memory for the landscape, because I wanted to present a vision of an African-esque world that was similar to the way I experienced central Africa as a child. For the story, I actually read through several psychology texts on obsession and peak performance in athletes. It was important for me to have a decent handle on the type of person/people who can outperform even other elites.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Rage of Dragons.

Evan:  The cover’s art is by the incomparable Karla Ortiz (Instagram: @kortizart) and the design is by Orbit’s creative genius, Lauren Panepinto (Twitter: @Planetpinto). The cover was well researched by Ortiz and Panepinto and the shield, the weapons, everything takes some influence from Africa.

TQIn The Rage of Dragons who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Evan:  Tau, the protagonist, was both the easiest and hardest depending on the scene and moment. The Rage of Dragons is seen primarily from his point of view and that means I spend so much time with him that I get a real sense for who he is. It also means that I run into problems when Tau fights back against what the plot is pushing for. I know him well enough to know that I have to go back into my outline and make adjustments when he’s resisting the direction I was initially intending to take. So, the closeness makes him easier to write, but it also means I can’t push him around very much.

TQDoes The Rage of Dragons touch on any social issues?

Evan:  It’s my belief that creative works almost always comment on social issues and the longer the work or the more that is asked of the audience in order to experience the work, the more likely it is that the work touches on social issues. Given that belief, I think that whenever you hear someone say, “I don’t want politics in my Science Fiction or Fantasy,” the feelings underpinning that attitude come from a preference to have their Science Fiction and Fantasy fall in line with their currently held positions in politics and social issues. So, yes, The Rage of Dragons touches on many social issues. Some of them I’m aware of and actively discussing, but there are probably many more that I’m exploring unconsciously.

TQWhich question about The Rage of Dragons do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Evan:  What is one thing that would make you think the book was truly a success?

In my eyes, the book would truly be an undeniable success if it reached and affected people who don’t often see themselves or their cultures centered in their favorite genres. It would be an undeniable success if some of those people were then encouraged to go on and create worlds and stories of their own. I believe we’re all better off if more people get the chance to tell the stories that are in their hearts.

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


“I’m not asking you to win. That’s not solely in your control,” Aren said. “I’m asking that you fight to win. Anything less is the acceptance of loss and an admission that you deserve it.”

“The wars you’ll wage aren’t decided when you fight them. They’re decided before that by the extent of your efforts and the substance of your sacrifices. They’re decided by the choices you make every single day. So ask yourself: How powerful do I choose to be?”

TQWhat's next?

Evan:  I’m really looking forward to doing a lot more reading. Writing book two and working hard to get it done has meant less time to read and I miss that. So, I can’t wait to get caught up on a lot of the awesome that has come out this year.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Evan:  Thank you very much for having me. It was a pleasure to be here. And, may your next reads be some of your very best ones!

The Rage of Dragons
The Burning 1
Orbit, July 16, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people’s only hope for survival.

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war.

Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance.

Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

The Rage of Dragons launches a stunning and powerful debut epic fantasy series that readers are already calling “the best fantasy book in years.”

The Burning
The Rage of Dragons

About Evan

Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realized that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.

Website  ~ Twitter @EvanWinter  ~  Facebook

2019 World Fantasy Awards - Nominees

The 2019 World Fantasy Awards℠ Nominees have been announced.

Statuette created by Vincent Villafranca

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

          Hayao Miyazaki
Jack Zipes

The Nominees

  • In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey (John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)
  • Witchmark by C. L. Polk (
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press)

  • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (
  • The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (
  • The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press)
  • “The Privilege of the Happy Ending” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, Aug. 2018)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (

  • “The Ten Things She Said While Dying: An Annotation” by Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare Magazine, July 2019)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
  • “Ten Deals with the Indigo Snake” by Mel Kassel (Lightspeed, October 2018)
  • “The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
  • “Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs (Uncanny Magazine, March-April 2018)

  • Sword and Sonnet, edited by Aidan Doyle, Rachael K. Jones, and E. Catherine Tobler (Ate Bit Bear)
  • The Book of Magic, edited by Gardner Dozois (Bantam Books US/HarperVoyager UK)
  • Best New Horror #28, edited by Stephen Jones (Drugstore Indian Press UK)
  • Robots vs. Fairies, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga Press)
  • Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Short Fiction, edited by Irene Gallo (

  • The Tangled Lands, by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell (Saga Press/Head of Zeus UK)
  • Still So Strange, by Amanda Downum (ChiZine Publications)
  • An Agent of Utopia: New & Selected Stories, by Andy Duncan (Small Beer Press)
  • How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Phantom Limbs, by Margo Lanagan (PS Publishing)

  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • Jeffrey Alan Love
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess

  • C. C. Finlay, for F&SF editing
  • Irene Gallo, for Art Direction at Tor Books and
  • Huw Lewis-Jones for The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands (University of Chicago Press)
  • Catherine McIlwaine for Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition (The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford)
  • Julian Yap, Molly Barton, Jeff Li, and James Stuart for Serial Box

  • Mike Allen, for Mythic Delirium
  • Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Literary Adventure Fantasy
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny Magazine
  • Catherine Tobler, for Shimmer Magazine
  • Terri Windling, for Myth & Moor

The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention℠ 2019 being held in Los Angeles, CA, October 31 – November 3, 2019.

Farmhand Optioned For TV By AMC


PORTLAND, Ore. 07/25/2019 — Bestselling comic book series Farmhand, created and illustrated by Rob Guillory, has been optioned for television development by AMC/AMC Studios. Guillory is set to write the pilot for the series and will executive produce alongside LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead, Into the Badlands).

"I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Farmhand to AMC,” said Guillory. "I knew if I was ever going to adapt Farmhand, I’d need partners whose bold vision preserved and complemented my own, and I’ve found that with LaToya Morgan and the fine folks at AMC. Their enthusiasm for this project has been absolutely infectious, and I think together we’re going to make a show that is very unique and very special."

Farmhand follows Jedidiah Jenkins, a simple farmer, but one whose cash crop isn’t corn or soy. He grows fast-healing, plug-and-play human organs. For years, Jed’s organic transplants have brought healing to many, but deep in the soil of the Jenkins Family Farm something sinister has taken root.

Guillory previously co-created and was the Eisner-award winning artist on the New York Times bestselling series Chew. He is represented by Anonymous Content & Myman Greenspan LLP.

The trade paperback of Farmhand, Vol. 1 (ISBN: 9781534309852) is available now and Farmhand, Vol. 2 (ISBN: 978-1534313323) will be available in September. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, and Indigo.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 25, 2019

SPFBO 5 Interview: Monica Zwikstra, author of Alban's Choice

Please welcome Monica Zwikstra to The Qwillery as part of the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 5 Interviews. Monica has submitted her novel, Alban's Choice, to SPFBO 5.

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

Monica:  It was probably something to do with being able to travel. I was fascinated as a child by the idea of flying rugs, or brooms, or beds. I wrote dozens of stories throughout my school years. It was not until I was retired that I decided to do the thing I enjoyed as something more than a hobby.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Monica:  I would say a plantser, or a hybrid if you prefer. I plan the broad outlines but the rest is simply writing.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Monica:  Time. I tend to over commit to community activities. Carving out time for myself and my writing can be challenging at times.

TQDescribe your Alban's Choice using only 5 words.

Monica:  Classic, Epic, Adventure, Mature, Bloody. (I'd have to qualify that last one with in several parts of the book it is quite bloody)

TQWhat inspired you to write Alban's Choice?

Monica:  I wanted to write something that reminded me of why I love to read.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for Alban's Choice. Does it depict a scene from the novel?

Monica:  Yes. It does depict a scene from the book. The cover was created by Amy Queau of Qdesign

TQIn Alban's Choice who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Monica:  Both Alban and her sister were the easiest. Because i could relate to them both. They are two sides of the same coin. As for the hardest ... The father James. I suspect it was because saw him from the girls perspective throughout most of the book.

TQDoes Alban's Choice touch on any social issues?


1    The girls are deliberately capable, strong, and independent young women.
2    There are a few conversations, scenes, that deal with some, social issue topics.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Alban's Choice.


“Once the battle begins, the plans of mice and men grow wings and fly away. Instinct and training will keep one alive to fight another day.”

"What would have happened if, when I was in search for the cure, I chose to go west first instead of east? Would I have found the staff or would Darrius be dead and the staff gone? I tell you, Rayhan, we make decisions every day in our lives that change our futures."

TQWhat's next?

Monica:  I'm working on a few more short stories and of course my next novel is about halfway done. It is about Twenty-year-old Jen who is at the heart of two prophecies.When the magicians of Skalea attack her land, a realm devoid of magic, and slaughter its leaders, Jen must find a way to save her family and her people from extinction.

She could fight the Skaleans’ magic with nothing but the strength of her loyal people, or she could save the dragons, secure the magic that she needs, and accept the possibility of love.

The futures of three lands depend on her.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Monica:  Thank you for having me.

Alban's Choice
May 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 270 pages

When their brothers die, Alban and her sister, Rayhan, must take up the roles of heir and wizard. While facing their own personal struggles, they must save their family, their world, and magic.

Magic has been banned in the north, the same magic that holds back the demonic myst that would devour their world.

Wizards are dying.

AND Alban’s and Rayhan’s new husbands have been poisoned.

Alban risks her life on an untried path to become a wizard so she can search for the cure, while Rayhan leads her armies into bloody battle.

With old magic newly found, battles fought, and difficult choices made along their journeys, they discover their strengths and talents.

And, we hope, survive.

About Monica

I am a writer and author of fantasy and a member of the Crowsnest Critters.

We are located in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada.

I love gardening, cats , ASL, and dragons.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @monicasaglezwik

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Review: The Wolf's Call by Anthony Ryan

The Wolf's Call
Author:  Anthony Ryan
Series:  A Raven's Blade Novel 1
Publisher:  Ace, July 23, 2019
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
List Price:  US$28.00 (print); US$14.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780451492517 (print); 9780451492531 (eBook)


Anthony Ryan’s debut novel Blood Song—the first book of the Raven’s Shadow series—took the fantasy world by storm. Now, he continues that saga with The Wolf’s Call, which begins a thrilling new story of razor-sharp action and epic adventure.

Peace never lasts.

Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles – and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm’s northern reaches.

Yet whispers have come from across the sea – rumours of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde’s grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat.

To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honor and intrigue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he may not be strong enough to win.

Tracey's Review

Vaelin Al Sorna has served Queen Lyrna, also known as the Fire Queen, as Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches since the end of the Liberation War. Now, word has come of the Stalhast, a powerful enemy rising in the Far West, led by Kehlbrand, who is regarded as a god by his people. Kehlbrand is a man whose lust for domination over all free people knows no limits and who will raise his bloody fist in challenge to the Fire Queen if not stopped. Vaelin may have been content to wait until the Stalhast became a tangible threat, but he soon learns that the healer Sherin, a woman he sent to the Venerable Kingdom to ensure her well-being years ago, is directly in their deadly path. And so Vaelin sets out to assure her safety and assess this new threat first-hand.

Full disclosure: I am a huge Anthony Ryan fan. His first book Blood Song, which I reviewed in 2013, was my favorite read that year. The Wolf’s Call, a Raven’s Blade Novel which succeeds A Raven’s Shadow trilogy, begins a new chapter for Vaelin, the veteran warrior and defender of the Unified Realm. Ryan hits the ground running with his newest installment and I couldn’t be more delighted. Although the first trilogy tied things up nicely, it was very satisfying to learn what befell the characters I knew so well in the aftermath of the Liberation War’s destruction.

Ryan really knows how to create characters that readers can admire, distrust, pity, or fear. In Vaelin al Sorna he has created a character that readers really care about and root for. Vaelin’s no-nonsense reasoning, coupled with his fighting skills, and amazing sense of loyalty to those he loves makes him special. The Wolf’s Call is a great blend of familiar characters and brand-new additions. For instance, Nortah, Vaelin’s Brother of the Sixth Order, hearkens back to his early years, while his niece Ellese has just recently been sent to the Northern Reaches for training. Although Ellese is young, she is smart and her fighting skills are daunting, but it’s her attitude - the perfect balance of insubordination and rebellion - that bring her to life. Vaelin’s newest enemy, the Stalhast, were interesting to learn about. Kehlbrand is arrogant, brutal and a master manipulator which makes him a powerful threat. His sister, Luralyn has gifts and talents of her own and shares her thoughts through her own POV narrative which makes for effective story telling.

The Wolf’s Call comes in the form of a threat and warning from an old enemy. As I mentioned before this time it's personal as one of the few people still alive that Vaelin loves is being threatened. In true epic adventure form Vaelin assembles a diverse, yet trustworthy company to find the healer and protect her from harm’s way. Ryan effortlessly introduces new characters who are almost instantly relatable in the context of his consummate worldbuilding skills. He is also a master strategist, and keeps the adrenaline pumping during this action-packed volume. I really enjoyed The Wolf’s Call; I didn’t want to put it down and certainly did not want it to end. If you are looking for epic adventure, answer The Wolf’s Call.

The British Fantasy Awards - 2019 Shortlist

The British Fantasy Awards 2019 Shortlist has been announced!

The Winners will be announced on October 20, 2019, at FantasyCon in Glasgow, Scotland

Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award)
  • The Bitter Twins, by Jen Williams (Headline)
  • Empire of Sand, by Tasha Suri (Orbit)
  • Foundryside, by Robert Jackson Bennett (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • The Green Man’s Heir, by Juliet E McKenna (Wizard’s Tower Press)
  • The Loosening Skin, by Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
  • Priest of Bones, by Peter McLean (Jo Fletcher Books)

Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award)
  • The Cabin at the End of the World, by Paul Tremblay (Titan Books)
  • Little Eve, by Catriona Ward (W&N)
  • The Way of the Worm, by Ramsey Campbell (PS Publishing)
  • Wolf’s Hill, by Simon Bestwick (Snowbooks)

Best Newcomer (the Sydney J Bounds Award)
  • Tomi Adeyemi, for The Children of Blood and Bone (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Cameron Johnston, for The Traitor God (Angry Robot)
  • RF Kuang, for The Poppy War (HarperVoyager)
  • Tasha Suri, for Empire of Sand (Orbit)
  • Marian Womack, for Lost Objects (Luna Press Publishing)
  • Micah Yongo, for Lost Gods (Angry Robot)

Best Novella
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor (
  • Breakwater, by Simon Bestwick (Tor Books)
  • The Land of Somewhere Safe, by Hal Duncan (NewCon Press)
  • The Last Temptation of Dr Valentine, by John Llewellyn Probert (Black Shuck Books)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander (
  • The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press)

Best Short Fiction
  • Down Where Sound Comes Blunt, by GV Anderson (F&SF March/April 2018)
  • Her Blood the Apples, Her Bones the Trees, by Georgina Bruce (The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism)
  • In the Gallery of Silent Screams, by Carole Johnstone & Chris Kelso (Black Static #65)
  • A Son of the Sea, by Priya Sharma (All the Fabulous Beasts)
  • Telling Stories, by Ruth EJ Booth (The Dark #43)
  • Thumbsucker, by Robert Shearman (New Fears 2)

Best Anthology
  • The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea, ed. Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books)
  • Humanagerie, ed. Sarah Doyle & Allen Ashley (Eibonvale Press)
  • New Fears 2, ed. Mark Morris (Titan Books)
  • This Dreaming Isle, ed. Dan Coxon (Unsung Stories)
  • Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 5, ed. Robert Shearman & Michael Kelly (Undertow Publications)

Best Collection
  • All the Fabulous Beasts, by Priya Sharma (Undertow Publications)
  • The Future is Blue, by Catherynne M Valente (Subterranean Press)
  • How Long ‘til Black Future Month?, by NK Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Lost Objects, by Marian Womack (Luna Press Publishing)
  • Octoberland, by Thana Niveau (PS Publishing)
  • Resonance & Revolt, by Rosanne Rabinowitz (Eibonvale Press)

Best Non-Fiction
  • The Evolution of African Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Francesca T Barbini (Luna Press Publishing)
  • The Full Lid, by Alasdair Stuart (
  • Ginger Nuts of Horror (
  • Les Vampires, by Tim Major (PS Publishing)
  • Noise and Sparks, by Ruth EJ Booth (Shoreline of Infinity)

Best Independent Press
  • Fox Spirit Books
  • Luna Press Publishing
  • NewCon Press
  • Unsung Stories

Best Magazine / Periodical
  • Black Static
  • Gingernuts of Horror
  • Interzone
  • Shoreline of Infinity
  • Uncanny Magazine

Best Audio
  • Bedtime Stories for the End of the World (
  • Blood on Satan’s Claw, by Mark Morris (Bafflegab)
  • Breaking the Glass Slipper (
  • PodCastle (
  • PseudoPod (

Best Comic / Graphic Novel
  • 100 Demon Dialogues, by Lucy Bellwood (Toonhound Studios)
  • B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Vol. 1, by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, Tyler Crook & Dave Stewart (Dark Horse)
  • Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories, Vol. 1, by Mike Mignola and others (Dark Horse)
  • The Prisoner, by Robert S Malan & John Cockshaw (Luna Press Publishing)
  • Saga #49-54, by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
  • Widdershins, Vol. 7, by Kate Ashwin

Best Artist
  • Vince Haig
  • David Rix
  • Daniele Serra
  • Sophie E Tallis

Best Film / Television Production
  • Annihilation, Alex Garland
  • Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
  • Black Panther, Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
  • The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan
  • Inside No. 9, series 4, Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman