Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Interview with Chana Porter, author of The Seep

Please welcome Chana Porter to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Seep was published on January 21, 2020 by Soho Press.

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

Chana:  Happy to be here! Thanks for having me.

I wrote a lot of poetry and stories as a child. I remember my second grade teacher reading a story I had written about pirates out loud to the rest of the class, without asking me. It was a strange feeling. I had just transferred from a modern orthodox Jewish school in Baltimore to a public school in the suburbs and I felt shy about being the new kid. But I liked the feeling of having my imagination acknowledged. The delight won out over the embarrassment.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Chana:  I’m a hybrid! I dream the major plot points before sitting down to write. If I don’t have a clear idea of some major parts of the action, I know I’m not ready. But if I clearly imagine everything too well, I find the process loses its life force. I’ll write juicy scenes out of order, as well, and then fill in the gaps. I also rewrite A LOT. Loads end up on the cutting room floor, so to speak.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Chana:  I love every part of being a writer and I feel extremely lucky to get to do it. That being said— I find generative early drafts very fun. Later on in the process, it can feel almost athletic to go back into a draft and work on the entire book. I eat protein bars and drink lots of water when overhauling a draft.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Chana:  I wouldn’t be the writer I am without Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel Delany, Jeff VanderMeer. Those are the big ones for me. I also love film and theater— could go on and on about my influences there (and you’ll see some shout outs to my favorite filmmakers in The Seep!) And Star Trek.

TQDescribe The Seep using only 5 words.

Chana:  Benevolent aliens, unexpected consequences. Lush!

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

Chana:  It’s a novel about grief and loss, amongst other things, but it’s actually very funny. I’m not interested in spending time with characters without good senses of humor. Being alive on this tiny spinning planet is often very ridiculous.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Seep?

Chana:  I’m interested in what our world would look like if it was life affirming for its inhabitants. I don’t think it’s our nature to oppress people, to draw these fictitious borders, to poison our ecosystem. So I wanted to create a utopia that gets people thinking about the collective choices we’re making in our current reality. Then I wanted to use this frame of a softer, abundant future to explore complex issues and emotions, like grief and loss, identity and community. Because I don't think we can move towards a more equitable future without acknowledging past oppressions, nor should we gloss over difference in an effort to celebrate oneness. I’ve attempted to create a story which is not didactic, but gives the reader a lot of personal agency and responsibility in answering the questions the novel raises. A reader remarked that I leave about half of the questions I raise unanswered— that balance feels right. I’m asking you to engage with me.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Seep?

Chana:  A lot! I worked on this book for seven years, and researched as I went. I read a lot of science fiction that dealt with utopia (or things that seem like utopia, which is more often the case with the genre.) I read essays about communes and communal living. I went to the Next Systems conference where I attended lectures about permaculture and alternate forms of currency. (I was there teaching a workshop with my summer institute The Octavia Project, so it was a wonderful synchronicity.) I researched different indigenous tribes in the Northeast to narrow down where I though Trina’s ancestry should partially be from— my main character is part Native American, part Jewish. I’m Jewish, so I didn’t research that, but I was reading a lot about Yiddish theater traditions for my own interest, and that certainly influenced the creation of another character, YD. Everything makes its way into the work. So that was the more formal research. And then other specific details about characters and settings are inspired from my own community and mentors, my experiences in cooperatively living and working. Rachel Pollack was my advisor at Goddard College, where I began writing. She was an invaluable mentor for the creation of the world.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Seep.

Chana:  Soho Press (who are so wonderful) asked me for my input. I said I wanted the cover to feel like “lush overgrowth, water, flowering, fruiting -- or anything that alludes to the natural world overtaking the domestic.” The wonderful designer Michael Morris made the most gorgeous cover. Better than I could have dreamed!

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

Chana:  When I began The Seep, it was a much longer novel with three shifting points of view— three main characters. Trina pushed out the other two storylines— she took over! She was very easy to write. I didn’t find the other characters particularly challenging, but I do find that writing a group scene is a tight rope balancing act.

TQDoes The Seep touch on any social issues?

Chana:  Quite a few. The main conflict of The Seep explores complex issues around identity and agency, in a future where you can change your appearance at will. I won’t say more than that.

Additionally, my protagonist, Trina, is an older trans lesbian. I wanted to celebrate a trans elder character who is at home in her body and has a loving marriage, a successful career, deep friendships. And then, of course, I had to make her suffer. Because great characters struggle (and I think no beautiful life is without its own intensity.)

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

Chana:  I’m SHOCKED no one has asked me “If you had the opportunity, would you be Seeped?”

I think yes! How could I resist? But, you know— in moderation. :)

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

Chana:  This one always makes me chuckle. It’s from the beginning of the book, as part of a larger catalogue of the changes The Seep has brought to the earth:

“All debts were forgiven. The student loan people threw away their phones.”

TQWhat's next?

Chana:  I have a big novel that’s almost finished, and about 20K of the next one ready to be explored. In my life as a playwright, my play with music WE ARE RADIOS will be workshopped at Shotgun Players in Berkley, CA this August 4th-5th.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Chana:  Thank you for the work you do to support debut authors!

The Seep
Soho Press, January 21, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 216 pages

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

About Chana

Photo by Stella Kalinina
Chana Porter is a playwright, teacher, MacDowell Colony fellow, and co-founder of the Octavia Project, a STEM and fiction-writing program for girls and gender non-conforming youth from underserved communities. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently at work on her next novel.

Website  ~  Facebook

Twitter @PorterChana

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Interview with Brian D. Anderson, author of The Bard's Blade

Please welcome Brian D. Anderson to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Bard's Blade is published on January 28, 2020 by Tor Books.

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

Brian:  Oh lord! It was a humiliating experience. I was roughly eleven or twelve and had just finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. It was an old copy my uncle kept in his childhood bedroom at my grandparent’s house. He was a huge science fiction and fantasy fan back in the 60’s and was more than happy to let me have it.

The very day I read the final page, I decided I wanted to be a writer. I was convinced I could do what Tolkien had done. I felt it in my heart. Sadly, that’s all I had: heart. No skill whatsoever. I’m not sure if a pre-teen boy can suffer the Dunning/Kruger effect. But I banged out about five pages of what I thought to be a work of unadulterated brilliance.

This opinion of myself was shattered when I showed my uncle and watched him read it. A grin became a smile, that became a chuckle, that became full blown laughter. He wasn’t trying to be mean. He’s a sweet man. But I was going on and on how I was going to be the next Tolkien, and the proof was in my hands. He simply couldn’t stop himself. I told him I’d keep trying. But my feelings were hurt more than I let on, and I didn’t write again for many years.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Brian:  I started as a pantser, and was for a long time. These days, I find plotting makes life so much easier. That’s not to say an outline is a suicide pact. It’s not chiseled in stone. If I think of a better idea, I’ll go with it, which makes me a bit of a hybrid, I suppose.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Brian:  There’s nothing really all that challenging anymore, at least as it pertains to the work itself. Not in the way it was as a novice. After nearly twenty books I have established my own style, voice, and methods. And I spend plenty of time reading so I can pick up a few new tricks. And I think I am flexible enough to change when the situation calls for it.

The real challenge is not taking on too much as once – balancing writing with my personal life. I have a tendency to overload myself with projects. When I do, my health (both physical and mental) suffers. It’s not conducive to a happy family situation.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Brian:  Hard to say. I’m definitely inspired by other writers. And while I’m sure they influence me, I don’t think I know when it’s happening. It’s too much in the realm of the subliminal for me to be aware of it. In fact, I’m frequently surprised by the comparisons to other authors I get from readers. It’s rarely who I think it will be.

TQDescribe The Bard's Blade using only 5 words.

Brian:  Fantasy adventure everyone should read 😊

TQTell us something about The Bard's Blade that is not found in the book description.

Brian:  Though it’s written as an adult fantasy, I wanted it to be accessible to everyone. It’s not YA, but readers of all ages can enjoy it.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Bard's Blade? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Brian:  It actually came as a result of a failed attempt at writing flash fiction. I needed a distraction, so I entered a contest. The piece was based on fan art, and was supposed to be no more than three-hundred words. While I could not keep it that short and was therefore disqualified, by the end I’d come up with the basic plot and characters for The Bard’s Blade.

What appeals to me most about writing fantasy is the freedom. I can create any type of world I want. I get to touch on social issues in a way that is relevant without being preachy or ham fisted. Things that are often difficult or awkward to talk about can be reframed in a fantasy setting so to allow for nuance and depth. The writer can take the challenges of the modern world and insert them into their narrative without the appearance of bias or malice.

Just look at the way fantasy has grown. You have Asian, African, LGBTQ, South American, Native American, among other types of fantasy that have joined in with European based fantasy as a welcome addition, rather than a contentious rival. The new and the traditional walk hand in hand. I can’t name another genre that can boast this level of enthusiastic acceptance by both creators and readers alike.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Bard's Blade?

Brian:  None. It didn’t require any. I understood the technology I intended to use. And the rest was a complete invention. Well…I did look up the organizational structure of the Roman Catholic Church. But that was more to confirm what I already knew.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Bard's Blade.

Brian:  Felix Ortiz brought his spectacular talent to bear on this. It doesn’t depict a scene. But it absolutely captures the mood and tone.

TQIn The Bard's Blade who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Brian:  Remarkably, it was Mariyah. I know it should have been Lem. We have a lot in common. But I connected more with Mariyah. I knew what she would feel and do in any given situation. I couldn’t tell you why. I just did.

The hardest was Loria Camdon. Her personality and life experience are highly complex. I didn’t want to write a stereotypical hard ass female – humorless, pragmatic, tough as nails, fearless, and sometimes mean as hell. She needed balance. Only then would she be like a real person to whom the reader could relate. It wasn’t easy. But in the end I think I accomplished my goal.

TQWhich question about The Bard's Blade do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Brian:  How many people should I tell to buy and read The Bard’s Blade?

All the people! That’s how many.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Bard's Blade.


Knowledge is like the first step down a long road. All you can see is the ground at your feet. What lies ahead is shrouded in darkness until you find the courage to walk on.

Book of Kylor, Chapter One, Verse Fifty-Three

Injustice is the garden in which the seed of misery is sown.

Book of Kylor, Chapter Three, Verse Twenty-Eight

TQWhat's next?

Brian:  A Chorus of Fire is written and out of copy editing. So mainly, I’m finishing up with my indie works, along with A Sword’s Elegy, final book of The Sorcerer’s Song. After that I have a new series in mind, of which I have 80k words written. The world is vast and extremely complex on a scale I’ve never attempted. So I’m excited to dive in deep.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

The Bard's Blade
The Sorcerer's Song 1
Tor Books, January 28, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The Bard's Blade is the start of the new Sorcerer's Song fantasy adventure series from Brian D. Anderson, bestselling author of The Godling Chronicles and Dragonvein.

Mariyah enjoys a simple life in Vylari, a land magically sealed off from the outside world, where fear and hatred are all but unknown. There she's a renowned wine maker and her betrothed, Lem, is a musician of rare talent. Their destiny has never been in question. Whatever life brings, they will face it together.

Then a stranger crosses the wards into Vylari for the first time in centuries, bringing a dark prophecy that forces Lem and Mariyah down separate paths. How far will they have to go to stop a rising darkness and save their home? And how much of themselves will they have to give up along the way?

About Brian

BRIAN D. ANDERSON is the indie-bestselling fantasy author of The Godling Chronicles, Dragonvein, and Akiri (with co-author Steven Savile) series. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and his audiobooks are perennially popular. After a fifteen year long career in music, he rediscovered his boyhood love of writing. It was soon apparent that this was what he should have been pursuing all along. Currently, he lives in the sleepy southern town of Fairhope, Alabama with his wife and son, who inspire him daily.

Website  ~  Twitter @BrianDAnderson7

Monday, January 27, 2020

The View From Monday - January 27, 2020

Happy Monday!

There is one debut this week:

The Bard's Blade (The Sorcereer's Song 1) by Brian D. Anderson.

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman is reissued;

We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk is reissued;


Titanshade (The Carter Archives 1) by Dan Stout is out in Mass Market 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.

January 28, 2020
The Bard's Blade (D) Brian D. Anderson F - The Sorcereer's Song 1
Fighters of Fear: Occult Detective Stories Mike Ashley (Ed) Occ/Sup - Anthology
With Blood Upon the Sand (tp2mm) Bradley P. Beaulieu DF/F - Song of Shattered Sands 2
Bowl of Heaven and Shipstar Gregory Benford
Larry Niven
The Cruel Stars (h2mm) John Birmingham SF/SO
Wild Country (h2mm) Anne Bishop DF/CF/AH - The World of the Others 2
Storm Cursed (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF/CF - A Mercy Thompson Novel 11
Those Across the River (ri) Christopher Buehlman H/SupTh
Highfire Eoin Colfer F/HU
The Storm (h2mm) David Drake SF - Time of Heroes 2
Twenty Debra Landwehr Engle CW/FL/MR
Vendetta Road Christine Feehan PNR - Torpedo Ink 3
Wicked Bite Jeaniene Frost PNR - Night Rebel 2
Raising Atlantis (ri) Thomas Greanias Fiction
Terminal Uprising (h2mm) Jim C. Hines SF/AP/PA/HU - Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse 2
Endgames (h2mm) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - The Imager Portfolio 12
Octavia Gone (h2mm) Jack McDevitt SF/HSF - An Alex Benedict Novel 8
The Invited (h2tp) Jennifer McMahon Sus/GH
Warlord Mel Odom SF - The Makaum War 3
Prosper's Demon K. J. Parker DF
Fleet of Knives (tp2mm) Gareth L. Powell SF/SO - An Embers of War Novel 2
Earthquake Weather (tp2mm) Tim Powers CF
Cast in Wisdom Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 15
Song of the Risen God R. A. Salvatore F/DF - The Coven 3
Buzz Kill David Sosnowski SF/HU/AP/PA/HSF
Titanshade (h2mm) Dan Stout UF/DF - The Carter Archives 1
Marked (tp2mm) S. Andrew Swann F/P
Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao Jonathan Tel LF/AB/HU

January 29, 2020
The Case of the Somewhat Mythic Sword: A Original (e) Garth Nix DF
Some of the Best from 2019 Edition: A Original (e) Various SF/F - Anthology

January 30, 2020
Snowball Gregory Bastianelli H - Fiction Without Frontiers
We Are Monsters Brian Kirk H - Fiction Without Frontiers

January 31, 2020
The Best of Elizabeth Bear Elizabeth Bear F/SF - Collection
King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats James Patrick Kelly UF
The Hunter from the Woods Robert McCammon SupTh/Occ

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

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CL - City Life
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR- Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
RS - Romantic Suspense
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Interview with Simon Jimenez, author of The Vanished Birds

Please welcome Simon Jimenez to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Vanished Birds was published on January 14, 2020 by Del Rey.

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

Simon:  When I was seven (eight?) I wrote a story called “The Time Machene” [sic]. It was about a cat that climbs a tornado like a ladder. What this has to do with the titular “machene” I couldn’t tell you, but it made perfect sense to my child brain.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Simon:  A hybrid. I usually start with the haziest suggestion of a plan, but that almost always gets tossed out while I’m in the thick of it. And after I’m done being a reckless idiot, I’ll come up with a new plan. And then toss that one out. I’ll do this a few times more before I reach the end of whatever I’m working on.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Simon:  Like for a lot of people, it’s filling up that blank page. The first draft neuroses. Getting over yourself and finally putting something down, so that you can do the actual work of revising.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Simon:  Books that I loved. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. And like most writers I suspect, a lot of my writing is powered by some base level fear and anxiety. Some unsettled thing. In this case, it was time and its inevitable passing.

TQDescribe The Vanished Birds using only 5 words.

Simon:  Time lost and love found.

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

Simon:  There are sex scenes.

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

Simon:  For a while I’d been daydreaming about the central relationship in the book between a starship captain and a quiet boy, and I knew at some point I would put that story to paper. But when I set out and started writing this book, the only prerequisite I had was that there had to be a non-stereotypical gay male character at the center of events, somewhere. That was the most important thing to me. The rest followed in the process of writing.

There are many things about science fiction that appeal to me. There is often a bigness to these types of stories, a feeling of standing at the fringe end of our understanding of reality and looking out. For this book, I wanted the texture and color of space opera. Big impossible constructions and reality bending forces that are almost synonymous with magic.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Vanished Birds?

Simon:  Since the story is set so far into the future (about a thousand years) I had a lot of allowance to just make shit up, which is what I did, in earnest. I did light research for the chapter set in the near-future, on a too-warm earth; little things that would help sell the fiction. Learning where on earth I could put the space elevators. Everything else I invented or pulled from my working knowledge of things.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Vanished Birds.

Simon:  The vividly colorful shape on the front cover does depict something from the novel—a kinetic and galaxy-shaping force. It is not a coincidence that it has the contour of an hourglass.

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

Simon:  The easiest by far was Sartoris Moth, a far future socialite who likes to talk grandiloquently. His love of words, and his awareness of self, makes it fun to write in his voice. The hardest was the young man around whom the narrative revolves. His background is so outside my own realm of experience and understanding that it took extra effort on my part to create someone coherent and whole.

TQDoes The Vanished Birds touch on any social issues?

Simon:  A few. Global warming. The all-consuming force of corporate expansionism. The cultural effects of tourism. Things that are not necessarily the main thrust of the narrative, but rather carpet it.

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


Q: Can you speak about the variety of emotion and narrative scope in the story? A: Like my favorite authors I am a fan of maximalism. I like it when I read a book or watch a movie and it is obvious that the author or director or even composer left nothing on the table in the conception and creation of the work. I wanted to capture that here. Put all of myself in the book, and don’t hold back for a sequel or another work, writing in the romance and the adventure and the big ideas and the quiet and reflective moments. To be generous with my offerings.

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


“Weeks passed with the boy as her shadow, he stitching himself slowly each day to the soles of her feet.”

“One day, I will ask what it is he hears, when he hears the notes of music: the infernal, or the celestial. Judging by what I hear now—the flute song through my open door—it is most likely something in between. A fiery heaven all its own.”

TQWhat's next?

Simon:  I’m working on my second book right now. Different genre, mythic fantasy this time. A five-day chase through a land ravaged by a violent despot. Should be out next year if things work out.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

The Vanished Birds
Del Rey, January 14, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever, in this captivating debut of connection across space and time.

“The best of what science fiction can be: a thought-provoking, heartrending story about the choices that define our lives.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A solitary ship captain, drifting through time.

Nia Imani is a woman out of place. Traveling through the stars condenses decades into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her. She lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.

A mute child, burdened with unimaginable power.

The scarred boy does not speak, his only form of communication the haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and otherworldly nature, Nia decides to take the boy in to live amongst her crew. Soon, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself. For both of them, a family. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy.

A millennia-old woman, poised to burn down the future.

Fumiko Nakajima designed the ships that allowed humanity to flee a dying Earth. One thousand years later, she now regrets what she has done in the name of progress. When chance brings Fumiko, Nia, and the child together, she recognizes the potential of his gifts, and what will happen if the ruling powers discover him. So she sends the pair to the distant corners of space to hide them as she crafts a plan to redeem her old mistakes.

But time is running out. The past hungers for the boy, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.

About Simon

Simon Jimenez’s short fiction has appeared in Canyon Voices and 100 Word Story’s anthology of flash fiction, Nothing Short Of. He received his MFA from Emerson College. This is his first novel.


Monday, January 20, 2020

The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the Preliminary Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®.

Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel
  • Owl Goingback – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Cody Goodfellow – Unamerica (King Shot Press)
  • Curtis M. Lawson – Black Heart Boys’ Choir (Wyrd Horror)
  • John R. Little – The Murder of Jesus Christ (Bad Moon Books)
  • Josh Malerman – Inspection (Del Rey)
  • S.P. Miskowski – The Worst is Yet to Come (TrepidatioPublishing)
  • Michael J Moore –  Highway Twenty (Hellbound BooksPublishing LLC)
  • Lee Murray – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)
  • Adam L.G. Nevill – The Reddening (Ritual Limited)
  • John F.D. Taff – The Fearing (Grey Matter Press)
  • Chuck Wendig – Wanderers (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Gemma Amor – Dear Laura (Independently Published)
  • Andrew Cull – Remains (IFWG Publishing International)
  • Nicholas Day – Grind Your Bones to Dust (Excession Press)
  • Eric J. Guignard  – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)
  • Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi – Stoker’s Wilde (Flame Tree Press)
  • Michelle Renee Lane – Invisible Chains (Haverhill HousePublishing)
  • Cody T Luff – Ration (Apex Book Company)
  • Rachel Eve Moulton – Tinfoil Butterfly (MCD x FSG Originals)
  • Sarah Read – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (TrepidatioPublishing)
  • Caitlin Starling – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Amelinda Bérubé  – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Ann Dávila Cardinal – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)
  • Shea Ernshaw – Winterwood (Simon Pulse)
  • Sara Faring – The Tenth Girl (Imprint)
  • Liana Gardner – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)
  • Dawn Kurtagich – Teeth in the Mist (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Kate Alice Marshall – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Peter Adam Salomon – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds (PseudoPsalms Press)
  • Jacqueline West – Last Things (Greenwillow Books)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
  • Cullen Bun – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Cullen Bunn – Bone Parish Vol. 3 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Donny Cates – Redneck Volume 3Longhorns (Image Comics)
  • Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)
  • Rob Guillory – Rob Guillory’s Farmhand Volume 1: Reap What Was Sown (Image Comics)
  • Jeff Lemire – Gideon Falls Book 2: Original Sins (Image Comics)
  • Jeff Lemire – Gideon Falls Volume 3Stations of the Cross(Image Comics)
  • Marjorie Liu – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)
  • Alessandro Manzetti – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Gou Tanabe – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
  • J.S. Breukelaar – Like Ripples on a Blank Shore (Collision: Stories) (Meerkat Press, LLC)
  • Ray Cluley – Adrenaline Junkies (The Porcupine Boy and Other Anthological Oddities) (Crossroad Press)
  • Pam Jones – Ivy Day (Spaceboy Books LLC)
  • Victor LaValle – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine #363)(Weird Tales Inc.)
  • Alessandro Manzetti – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Matt Serafini – Rites of Extinction (Grindhouse Press)
  • Farah Rose Smith – Anonyma (Ulthar Press)
  • Anna Taborska – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)
  • Sara Tantlinger – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)
  • Richard Thomas – Ring of Fire (The Seven Deadliest) (Cutting Block Books)
  • Kaaron Warren – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • Greg Chapman – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • Gwendolyn Kiste – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare MagazineNov. 2019, Issue 86)
  • Jess Landry – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the LostVolume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • John R Little – “Anniversary” (Dark Tides: A Charity Horror Anthology) (Gestalt Media)
  • Brooke MacKenzie – “The Elevator Game” (Who Knocks? Magazine Issue #2)
  • Cindy O’Quinn – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)
  • Ben Serna-Grey – “Where Gods Dance” (Apex Magazine Issue #118)
  • Tim Waggoner – “A Touch of Madness” (The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)
  • Jack Westlake – “Glass Eyes in Porcelain Faces” (Black Static Issue #70) (TTS Press)
  • Gordon B. White – “Birds of Passage” (Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles) (Chthonic Matter)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
  • James Chambers – On the Night Border (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Ted Chiang – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)
  • Brian Evenson – Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press)
  • Brad C. Hodson – Where Carrion Gods Dance (Washington Park Press)
  • Kat Howard – A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories (Gallery/Saga Press)
  • L.S. Johnson, – Rare Birds: Stories (Traversing Z Press)
  • Kate Jonez – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • John Langan – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)
  • Sarah Read – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Paul Tremblay – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • Ari Aster – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)
  • Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy – Ready or Not (Mythology Entertainment)
  • The Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)
  • Robert Eggers and Max Eggers – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)
  • Mike Flanagan – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)
  • Dan Gilroy – Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)
  • Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1212 Entertainment, CBS Films, DDY, Entertainment One, Rolling Hills Productions, Sean Daniel Company, Starlight International Media)
  • Issa López – Tigers Are Not Afraid (Filmadora Nacional, Peligrosa)
  • Jordan Peele – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures)
  • Teresa Sutherland – The Wind (Soapbox Films, Divide/Conquer, Mind Hive Films)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Patrick Beltran and D. Alexander Ward – The Seven Deadliest (Cutting Block Books)
  • Jennifer Brozek – Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)
  • Octavia Cade – Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good (Upper Rubber Boot Books)
  • Ellen Datlow – Echoes (Gallery/Saga Press)
  • Christopher Golden and James A. Moore – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)
  • Eric J. Guignard – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)
  • Eugene Johnson and Steve Dillon – Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something! (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • Stephen Jones – Best New Horror #29 (PS Publishing)
  • Darrell Schweitzer – Mountains of Madness Revealed (PS Publishing)
  • Robert S. Wilson – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
  • Eleanor Beal and Jonathan Greenaway – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality (University of Wales Press)
  • Harriet E.H. Earle – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)
  • Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller – Drafts of Dracula (Tellwell Talent)
  • Brandon R. Grafius – Reading the Bible with Horror (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic)
  • Alexandra Heller-Nicholas – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)
  • John B. Kachuba – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)
  • Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (Quirk Books)
  • Dawn Stobbart – Videogames and Horror: From Amnesia to Zombies, Run! (University of Wales Press)
  • John C. Tibbetts – The Furies of Marjorie Bowen (McFarland)
  • Stephen Volk – Coffinmaker’s Blues: Collected Writings on Terror (PS Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction
  • Mathias Clasen – Evolution, Cognition, and Horror: A Précis of Why Horror Seduces (Journal of Cognitive Historiography Vol 4, No 2)
  • Gavin F. Hurley – Between Hell and Earth: Rhetorical Appropriation of Religious Space within Hellraiser (The Spaces and Places of Horror, Vernon Press)
  • Gwendolyn Kiste – Magic, Madness, and Women Who Creep: The Power of Individuality in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 2, Issue 1)
  • Vince A. Liaguno – Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
  • Craig Ian Mann – The Beast Without: The Cinematic Werewolf as a (Counter)Cultural Metaphor (Horror Studies Journal Volume 10.1)
  • Karen J. Renner – The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging, McFarland)
  • Kelly Robinson – Film’s First Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)
  • Tim Waggoner – Riding Out the Storms (Writing in the Dark)
  • Valerie E. Weich – Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre(Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)
  • Aaron Worth – From the Books of Wandering: Fin-De-Siècle Poetics of a Supernatural Figure (The Times Literary Supplement)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Octavia Cade – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)
  • Frank Coffman – The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems (Bold Venture Press)
  • Amanda Crum – Tall Grass (Independently Published)
  • Deborah L. Davitt – The Gates of Never (Finishing Line Press)
  • Donna Lynch – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Zoe Mitchell – Hag (Indigo Dreams Publishing)
  • Michelle Scalise – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning (LVP Publications)
  • Marge Simon and Bryan D. Dietrich – The Demeter Diaries (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Kyla Lee Ward – The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich – The Apocalyptic Mannequin: The Definition of Body is Buried (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

The Final Ballot will be announced on February 23, 2020.

The View From Monday - January 20, 2020

Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

A Queen in Hiding (The Nine Realms 1) by Sarah Kozloff;

The Seep by Chana Porter;


Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford.

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Stars Beyond (Stars Uncharted 2) by S.K. Dunstall.

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.
January 21, 2020
Lord of the Dark Millennium: The Dan Abnett Collection Dan Abnett SF/SO - Warhammer 40,000
Anarch Dan Abnett SF - Warhammer 40,000
Gwendy's Magic Feather (ri) Richard Chizmar SupTh - Gwendy's Button Box Trilogy 2
Celestine Andy Clark SF - Warhammer 40,000
Tiamat's Wrath (h2tp) James S. A. Corey SF/SO/SE/AC - The Expanse 8
Sanctuary Luca D'Andrea H
Stars Beyond S. K. Dunstall SF/SO/AC - Stars Uncharted 2
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World (h2tp) C. A. Fletcher SF/AP/PA/Dys/CoA/LF
Agency William Gibson TechTh/SF/LF
Heart of Black Ice Terry Goodkind F - Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles 4
Warcry Josh Reynolds
Peter McLean
Sarah Cawkwell
David Guymer
David Annandale
Ben Counter
F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
The Will and the Wilds Charlie N. Holmberg RF/F
Wolves Simon Ings SF/LF
Rogue Planet John Andrew Karr SF - Mars Wars 2
A Queen in Hiding (D) Sarah Kozloff F - The Nine Realms 1
Knights of Macragge Nick Kyme SF - Warhammer 40,000
The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes James Lovegrove HistM/HistF/H
The Wagers Sean Michaels FL
Not So Stories David Thomas Moore (Ed) Fiction - Anthology
Riot Baby Tochi Onyebuchi SF/CF/African American/CoA
The Seep (D) Chana Porter LGBT Fiction/AB/SF/AP/PA
Follow Me to Ground (D) Sue Rainsford LF
Universal Love: Stories Alexander Weinstein SS/AB
The Serpent Sea (ri) Martha Wells F - Books of Raksura 2
The Best of Gene Wolfe: A Definitive Retrospective of His Finest Short Fiction (ri) Gene Wolfe SF - Collection

January 23, 2020
Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust Glyn Morgan LC/Dys/AH

January 24, 2020
Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre Gary Westfahl (Ed)
Gregory Benford (Ed)
Howard V. Hendrix (Ed)
Jonathan Alexander (Ed)

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

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CL - City Life
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR- Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
RS - Romantic Suspense
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

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

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

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

James L. Cambias (2014)

The Initiate
Baen, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages



The Apkallu are masters of magic. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon sent by an Apkallu. He knew that nobody would believe the truth, but now an old man offers Sam the chance to find out who is responsible and bring down the Apkallu forever.

Under a new identity, Sam must learn the secrets of magic, infiltrate the Apkallu, and walk a razor’s edge of daring as he attempts to destroy the Apkallu leaders and avoid the supernatural detectives on his trail. But Sam’s greatest challenge perhaps lies within—to avoid becoming like the hated Apkallu himself!

Dana Chamblee Carpenter (2015)

Book of the Just
The Bohemian Trilogy 3
Pegasus Books, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 2, 2019

After centuries of searching, Mouse now has everything she’s ever wanted within her reach―a normal life, a lover, a brother. What will she risk to keep them?

Cherished by a Father, coveted by a king, loved by an almost-priest; tormented by demons, tortured by a madman, hunted by a cult, hounded by her father. Mouse has survived it all. But then, she was never just a girl.

Despite Mouse’s power, her father always wanted a son―and now, at long last, he has him. And Mouse has a brother, someone else in the world just like her. Though she’s never met him, the hope of what they might mean for each other tugs at her soul, even as it terrifies her lover, Angelo.

Hiding among a tribe of the Martu in the isolation of the Australian outback near the edges of Lake Disappointment, Mouse and Angelo have seemingly evaded at least one of the predators hunting them. Carefully dropping bogus breadcrumbs across Europe, they misdirect the Novus Rishi, a ruthless cult that wants Mouse as the ultimate weapon in their battle against evil. But when unnerving dreams start to plague Angelo, and the ancient beings of the Martu’s Dreaming send prophetic warnings that include visions of Mouse at her father’s side, the two lovers realize it’s time to act. With nowhere left to run, Mouse and Angelo prepare for a last showdown with their enemies. As they chase after legendary ancient weapons ensconced in the ages old battle between good and evil, Mouse and Angelo must each decide if a final victory is worth the cost.

Book of the Just continues Mouse’s story after The Devil’s Bible and completes the journey she started so long ago in Bohemian Gospel. Imbued with a rich sense of history, magic, and mythology, this explosive final installment in Mouse’s journey will keep you captivated until the very end.

Book 1
Book 2

Andy Davidson (2017)

The Boatman's Daughter
MCD x FSG Originals, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

A "lush nightmare" (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

With the heady of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman's Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.