Friday, February 28, 2020

A Man Among Ye from Top Cow Coming This May


Interior preview pages revealed

PORTLAND, Ore. 02/27/2020 — Writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Craig Cermak invite readers aboard a high-seas adventure in a swashbuckling new series from Top Cow—A Man Among Ye—hitting comic shops this May.

Set during the waning days of piracy, when men were men (and the best pirates were...women?), writer Stephanie Phillips (Butcher of Paris, Descendent) and artist Craig Cermak (Red Team, Voltron) bring to life the tale of Anne Bonny and Mary Read as they hoist the skull and crossbones, draw cutlasses, and seek a treasure that will make them legends. In an era when sailing with women was thought to be bad luck, Anne and Mary might just be the only people capable of saving the pirate way of life.

“I've always wanted the chance to work with Craig, and I think this was the perfect opportunity. Craig's linework and storytelling are just phenomenal,” said Phillips. “I hope that readers really have fun with the story. This is an adventure with a lot of heart, and we look forward to sharing that journey with readers.”

Cermak added: “It's a delight working with Steph, whose scripts flow so well, have a flurry of fun beats, as well as her knack for precise shaping of so many characters into believable forms—perfect for illustrating a variety of expressions and moods. This tale has all the conniving you'd ever want among a world of cut-throat pirates and pirate hunters, and a prime selection of the most beautiful, the handsomest, and the grimiest of pirates.”

A Man Among Ye #1 Cover A by Cermak (Diamond Code MAR200045) and A Man Among Ye #1 Cover B by Sejic (Diamond Code MAR200046) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 13.

A Man Among Ye #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Only Lies Remain by Val Collins - An Excerpt

The Qwillery is thrilled to present an excerpt from the recently published Only Lies Remain by Val Collins.

Only Lies Remain and the previous novel, Girl Targeted, are psychological thrillers featuring Aoife Walsh. For those of you reading along the heroine's first name Aoife is pronounced "EE-fa".

Excerpt from Only Lies Remain


The news ended, but the murderer didn’t notice. The room grew dark and the mug of tea cooled. At last the murderer rose and began pacing the room, muttering, ‘Could I have misheard? No, of course I didn’t. After all this time! What am I going to do? They can trace DNA in ways that weren’t even imagined fifteen years ago. What if they find a hair, or saliva or whatever else it is that they examine? Will the police arrest me? A good solicitor could convince a jury that DNA evidence is unreliable, couldn’t he? I can’t spend the rest of my life in prison—and, hell, I shouldn’t have to. It’s not like I wanted to kill him. These things happen. But nobody would ever understand how it was. They’d never believe it wasn’t my fault. People need someone to blame. But the truth is some tragedies are nobody’s fault. He didn’t want to die, I didn’t want to kill him, but it happened anyway. It was fate. His and mine. You can’t fight fate. You just have to accept it.’


It was the same each time. The minute the house came into sight, it started. ‘Breathe in…hold…breathe out,’ Aoife muttered to herself. She really needed to get a grip. It wasn’t like she was expecting a confrontation. Maura wouldn’t say anything. Aoife knew that. But the very fact that there was bad feeling between them sent Aoife into a minor panic every time they met.
        By the time she reached the front door, Aoife’s heartbeat had almost returned to normal. She rang the doorbell and waited. Amy’s light feet raced across the wooden floor, and a moment later her little nose pressed against the narrow glass panel that ran the height of the door.
        ‘Hi, sweetie.’ Aoife waved at her.
        ‘Mama! Mama!’ Amy turned and bolted down the corridor, shouting, ‘Nana!’ A few seconds later she returned alone, wailing, ‘Mama!’, her tiny fists banging on the glass panel.
        Aoife searched her bag for the key she hadn’t used in almost six months.
        ‘Mama!’ Amy leaped into her arms.
        Aoife swung her around and Amy screeched with laughter.
        ‘Where’s Nana!’
        ‘Nana sick.’
        ‘Sick! Maura?’ She put Amy on the ground and headed for the kitchen. Amy raced ahead of her.
        Maura met them at the doorway. ‘Sorry, Aoife. I was just coming.’
        Her face was pale and had the wretched look that only came from bitter tears. Toys, which Maura normally stored in the playpen, were strewn all over the kitchen floor. Amy was rooting through them, flinging them in all directions.
        ‘What are your toys doing on the floor?’ Aoife asked.
        ‘Man. Big man.’
        ‘What man?’
        ‘Moaney,’ Amy said.
        ‘Moaney? What’s going on, Maura? Are you okay?’
        ‘Detective Moloney called earlier. He gave Amy some toys to play with while we talked. He had some upsetting news.’
        ‘Detective Moloney!’ Aoife gripped the countertop. ‘Was he looking for me?’
        ‘You’ve spoken to him? Of course, you met him when you worked in DCA. He was the detective who handled the murder investigation, wasn’t he? I’d forgotten you knew each other. Why didn’t you say anything, Aoife? Things may be difficult between us, but I didn’t deserve to hear news like that from a stranger.’
        Amy pushed between them and thrust a book at Aoife. ‘Story.’
        ‘Not now, sweetie.’
        ‘Story. Now!’
        Aoife picked up Amy and put her in the playpen. ‘Read a story to your dolls. I have to talk to Nana.’
        Amy’s face puckered. Aoife had never put her in the playpen before.
        Aoife opened the book and placed it on the floor of the playpen. ‘Wouldn’t your dollies love to hear about the beautiful princess?’
        Without waiting for an answer, she took the teabags from the cupboard and filled the kettle. A glance showed Amy lining up the dolls in readiness for her words of wisdom.
        ‘What did Detective Moloney tell you?’ she asked, putting two mugs on the glass table.
        ‘Only the basics. They found him somewhere in the city centre.’ Maura reached for the mug, then shoved it to one side. ‘You probably know more than I do.’
        ‘I haven’t spoken to Detective Moloney in over six months. Who did they find?’
        ‘Oh God! Well, I suppose you’ll find out sooner or later. I’ll have to tell the boys tonight.’
        ‘Tell them what?’
        ‘Their father. He’s dead.’
        ‘Oh no! Oh, Maura, I’m so sorry. He’d come back to Ireland?’
Maura shook her head.
        ‘Jason will be devastated. I know he always says he hates him, but deep down I think he hoped his dad would get in touch someday. If only so he could scream abuse at him for abandoning you.’
        ‘But that’s the thing, Aoife. Danny didn’t abandon us.’
        ‘He may have sent you money, Maura but he still disappeared without a word.’
        ‘Not willingly. He was murdered.’
        ‘What! When?’
        ‘Fifteen years ago. Remember a few weeks back, a body was found in the grounds of that old house in the city centre? They just identified him as Danny.’
        ‘But—I don’t understand, Maura. How could Danny be dead for fifteen years? I thought he sent you money every month.’
       ‘So did I.’ 

Only Lies Remain
VCB Publishing, February 19, 2020
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 316 pages

Everyone thought Danny Walsh deserted his family when his sons were young. But when Danny's body turns up fifteen years later and his wife, Maura, is implicated in his murder, accusations and old rumours surface.

Aoife rushes in to clear her mother-in-law's name. But why is it that Maura's story concerning Danny's disappearance doesn't quite add up?

Aoife's investigation uncovers old secrets, long-held jealousies, and lies upon lies. With every new revelation, Aoife realises she doesn't know her family at all. Now her new boss is acting strangely, her best friend is more and more distant, and her husband is no help at all.

With her support network crumbling and her family threatened, Aoife must race to keep one step ahead of danger before more innocent lives are lost. But how will she uncover the truth when only lies remain?

Also featuring Aoife Walsh

Girl Targeted
VCB Publishing, January 23, 2018
Kindle eBook, 301 pages

Where do you turn when you can’t trust your friends, your peers, your own husband?

Aoife is a contented newlywed, temping while she awaits the birth of her first child. When her agency asks her to fill in on a temp position, Aoife witnesses a horrific tragedy at the office—one that will change the course of her life forever.

Three months later, now employed full-time at the same workplace, Aoife’s learns that the ‘tragedy’ she witnessed was actually a cold-blooded murder. When she decides to investigate, Aoife discovers that everyone in the organisation has secrets they are desperate to protect. Even her friends cannot be trusted.

An attempt on Aoife’s life proves that somebody is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the past stays dead and buried—and Aoife along with it.

What’s more, Aoife’s personal life is beginning to unravel. She’s positive she has a stalker but everyone thinks she’s imagining it. Her husband is turning into a stranger who doesn’t care that his wife’s life is in danger, even her mother-in-law is keeping secrets from her.

Convinced that solving the case is the only way her she and her daughter will ever be safe again, Aoife rushes to uncover answers to a shocking scheme of greed, betrayal, and murder before the killer silences her for good.

About Val Collins

Val Collins is the author of the award-winning psychological thriller GIRL TARGETED and ONLY LIES REMAIN, both of which feature heroine Aoife Walsh.

Website  ~  Twitter @valcollinsbooks

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Interview with Kelly Braffet, author of The Unwilling

Please welcome Kelly Braffet to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Unwilling, Kelly's fantasy debut, was published on February 11, 2020 by MIRA.

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

Kelly:  The very first short story I ever wrote was called “The Blue Giraffe.” A terrifying tale of conformity, it was about an idiosyncratically pigmented giraffe who was advised to eat an orange to correct his coloring, and did so. Was the orange in season? Was it organic? What was the orange’s carbon footprint? We’ll never know, mostly because I was in preschool and didn’t know what any of those things meant yet.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kelly:  I’ve written five novels, and it seems as if every time I have to figure out a new way to do it all over again. I’ve done outlines, I’ve done no-outlines, I’ve done partial outlines. Whatever yanks the thing out of my brain. Since we’re talking about The Unwilling: I spent 20 years thinking about it, so it was pretty fully formed before I started to write it down. There were a few plot knots that I had to figure out a few chapters ahead of time, but it was fairly well behaved in the allowing-itself-to-be-written department.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kelly:  Honestly, the most challenging part of being a writer for me is this part: the promotion. If I could just sit in my pajamas and write the books and send them off into the world via vacuum tube, I would do so delightedly. And that’s not because I don’t love my literary people, or my readers – it’s just because it’s a whole other toolbox, and not one I dig into regularly. It’s like when the guy who was installing our new dryer asked if we had a socket set. We did, but I had to find it, and then I had to make sure it had the right parts, and even then I wasn’t totally sure it was what the guy needed. But if he’d had asked me for, say, a knife sharpener – I know exactly where that is, and I use it all the time. Promoting is the socket set. Writing is the knife sharpener.

If we’re talking about writing, the hardest part is winnowing out the distractions. Life has so many demands – like for instance, sometimes the dryer breaks, and the repair guy has to come and declare it dead, and then all of this other stuff happens and there’s your week gone, just with calling people and scheduling things and letting people into the house. Sometimes I cheat and go to hotels to work, just to minimize the distractions. But that’s incredibly lonely.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kelly:  Everything. I just said in an interview the other day that I wasn’t sure I “got” ideas as much as they accumulated slowly in the corners of my mind, like mental dust bunnies. But instead of cat and bunny hair – we just adopted a rabbit, so some of our dust bunnies are made of actual angora – they’re made of things I notice in books and movies, or read on the internet, or see out of the corner of my eye as I’m driving. I try to stay curious about everything, which I realize is kind of at odds with my desire to sit at home in my pajamas all the time. Internal conflict! Keeps life interesting.

TQDescribe The Unwilling using only 5 words.

Kelly:  This is the kind of thing I’m terrible at. My good friend Anthony Breznican called it “an adventure story about empathy” – can I steal that?

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

Kelly:  It’s a story about chosen family. When your birth family is absent, or a mess, you find other people to fill in those gaps. Judah, Gavin, Elly and Theron love each other, and that love is the source of all of their power. (And a not-insignificant amount of their trouble, but they’re not to blame for that.)

TQWhat inspired you to write The Unwilling, your first Fantasy novel? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Kelly:  I’ve always loved fantasy. Many years ago, when I was in college, I read a fantasy novel by a non-fantasy writer and didn’t like it. I thought, “I can write a better fantasy novel than that! It’ll be about four people who live in a deserted castle after civilization falls.” Fast forward twenty years, and those four people eventually became Judah, Gavin, Theron and Elly, the main characters in The Unwilling. The story evolved a lot over time, obviously. As to why now, the short answer is that I was trying to write another crime novel and it wasn’t behaving itself, so I turned to the only other story kicking around my head, which was this one.

Part of what I love about fantasy is the worldbuilding. I love that feeling of “Why can’t I live there?” that comes with a really original setting. But more than that, I like the sense that (within the bounds of whatever magical system exists) anything can happen. The Unwilling has all the human drama of my crime novels, but the magic is an extra level of possibility to play with.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Unwilling?

Kelly:  Honestly, most of it revolved around food. I took a cheesemaking workshop, tried my hand at harvesting the wild yeast in my kitchen (turns out there’s not much of it, which is why I haven’t ditched writing and started up a sourdough bakery), and cooked all sorts of random things, just to see if they worked. Other than that, most of the research was of the “what kind of carriages exist,” internet-search variety. I do keep notes files for all of my works-in-progress, with random ideas that occur to me and things that I want to include. Since this particular work was in progress for twenty years, the notes file is . . . lengthy. If you read it start to finish, I doubt it would bear any resemblance at all to the book as published.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Unwilling.

Kelly:  The cover was designed by Micaela Alcaino, and I love it. Normally, the art department of a publisher sends a few different initial concepts, and then everyone discusses. This time they only sent one, and it was pretty much there out of the gate. We asked for a few tweaks, but nothing dramatic. It was important to me that the cover for The Unwilling capture the dark and knotted feel of the story, and I think it does.

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

Kelly:  Normally, there is a character that really gives me trouble, in one way or another, but I’d had these people in my head for so long that they were pretty fully formed. I suppose that the Seneschal was probably the most difficult, because he’s key to the plot but also extremely interior. We don’t ever see what he’s thinking. Even in those few moments when he talks about his own motivations, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s lying. I also didn’t want to make him a cartoonish monster; the book has one of those already, and I saw the Seneschal as much more subtle. And much more dangerous.

TQDoes The Unwilling touch on any social issues?

Kelly:  I think it would be difficult to find a novel that doesn’t at least touch on social issues, because what we think of as “social issues” are actually just humans trying to interact with each other despite their differences. But I will say that The Unwilling is a very intentionally feminist novel. The women in the book are, in some ways, those who suffer the most, but they’re also the ones who really come into their own power over the course of the story. The book also deals a lot with economic inequality, and life at the bottom of the tier in Highfall; one of my two narrators, Nate, is a healer who works with the poorest people in the city. So many fantasy novels are about the ruling classes. The Unwilling is no exception, but I also thought it was important to include the lives of ordinary people.

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

Kelly:  If my grandmother was still alive, she would probably glare at me and ask why I didn’t write nicer stories. But these are the stories that grow in my head, and they grow out of everything that I see in the world around me. Human beings are not particularly kind to each other, and they never have been. I absolutely see why my gran preferred “nicer” stories, and don’t blame her or anyone else for gravitating to more pleasant depictions of the world, but the stories that I write tend to be about people who feel powerless and at the mercy of the world around them, and that’s not a nice feeling. I feel like it would be dishonest to tell the stories any other way.

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

Kelly:  This is from the perspective of Nate Clare, a travelling healer who comes from outside the city to find Judah for reasons of his own: “He could remember quite clearly what it had been like to be that little boy, lying under a quilt, knowing only the dusty ease of playing outdoors, the familiar excitement of setting up stage and footlights in a new town, the smoky campfire warmth of being loved by everyone around him. He’d had no notion, then, that he would ever cross the Barriers to the blue and gray spires of this strange, sad city, or that he would grow into a man who sat alone in a gloomy lab after midnight, figuring out how much poison per smallweight of tea.”

TQWhat's next?

Kelly:  Right now I’m working pretty frantically on the sequel to The Unwilling, which will hopefully be out next year. After that, the crime novel that wasn’t behaving itself had a change of heart, and it’s currently sitting in a nice messy first-draft stack on my desk, waiting for further attention.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kelly:  Thank you for having me!

The Unwilling
MIRA, February 11, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 576 pages
(Fantasy Debut)

A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride…The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban’s vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to Judah’s survival—and possibly her undoing.

As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom and, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban—a lord as mighty as he is cruel—has his own plans for her, and for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah. The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined.

An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

About Kelly

Kelly Braffet is the author of the novels The Unwilling, Save Yourself, Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving. Her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University and currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, the author Owen King.

Website  ~  Twitter @KellyBraffet

Monday, February 24, 2020

The View From Monday - February 24, 2020

Happy last Monday in February!

There are 4 debuts this week:

The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives 1) by Luke Arnold;

Master of Sorrows (Silent Gods 1) by Justin T. Call;

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore;


Black Leviathan by Bernd Perplies; translated by Lucy Van Cleef.

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

False Value (Rivers of London 6) by Ben Aaronovitch;

If You Take My Meaning: A Tor.Com Original by Charlies Jane Anders;

Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town (An Official Stranger Things Novel) by Adam Christopher is out in Trade Paperback;

Carved From Stone and Dream (Los Nefilim 2) by T. Frohock;

Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor 3) by Mark Lawrence is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu;

The Fenmere Job (Streets of Maradaine) 3 by Marshall Ryan Maresca;


St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid: A Original by C.L. Polk.

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.

February 24, 2020
Fire & Water (e) Alexis Hall UF - Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator 3

February 25, 2020
False Value Ben Aaronovitch UF/CF - Rivers of London 8
The Last Smile in Sunder City (D) Luke Arnold F - The Fetch Phillips Archives 1
Master of Sorrows (D) Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 1
Norma Jeane Baker of Troy Anne Carson Poetry
Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town (h2tp) Adam Christopher SupTh - Stranger Things
Finna Nino Cipri SF Publishing 2020 Debut Sampler (e) Nino Cipri
Kathleen Jennings
K. M. Sparza
Nghi Vo
House of Assassins (h2mm) Larry Correia F - Saga of the Forgotten Warrior 2
Blood Ink (tp2mm) Dana Fredsti DF - Lilith 2
Carved from Stone and Dream T. Frohock HistF - Los Nefilim 2
Wheel of Time Premium Boxed Set III Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time
Winter's Heart (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 9
The Path of Daggers (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 8
A Crown of Swords (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 7
Holy Sister (h2mm) Mark Lawrence F - Book of the Ancestor 3
The Edge (tp2mm) Tim Lebbon DF - Relics 3
Jade War (h2tp) Fonda Lee F - The Green Bone Saga 2
Carpe Diem (ri) Sharon Lee
Steve Miller
SF/SO - Liaden Universe 10
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories Ken Liu SF - Collection
Surrender Ray Loriga
Carolina De Robertis (Tr)
The Fenmere Job Marshall Ryan Maresca F/UF - Streets of Maradaine 3
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (ri) George R. R. Martin SS - A Song of Ice and Fire
A Memory Called Empire (h2tp) Arkady Martine SF/SO - Teixcalaan 1
Imaginary Numbers Seanan McGuire UF - InCryptid 9
Oona Out of Order (D) Margarita Montimore CW
The Brink (h2mm) James S Murray
Darren Wearmouth
SupTh - Awakened 2
Man-Kzin Wars XV (tp2mm) Larry Niven (Creator) SF - Man-Kzin Wars Anthology
Black Leviathan (D - English) Bernd Perplies
Lucy Van Cleef (Tr)
Aliens: Phalanx Scott Sigler SF/MTI
Wolf Rain (h2mm) Nalini Singh PNR - Psy-Changling Trinity 3
How to Love Your Elf Kerrelyn Sparks FR - Embraced by Magic 1
Soot Dan Vyleta HistF - Smoke 2
Blood Truth (h2mm) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Legacy 4
Firstborn (h2mm) Michelle West F - House War 7
Knight (h2tp) Timothy Zahn SF/SO - Sibyl's War 2

February 26, 2020
If You Take My Meaning: A Original (e) Charlies Jane Anders SF
St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid: A Original (e) C. L. Polk F

February 27, 2020
Death Unleashed Steve McHugh UF - The Rebellion Chronicles 2

February 29, 2020
Knife Children Lois McMaster Bujold F - Sharing Knife 5
Science Fiction and Psychology Gavin Miller LC - Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies LUP 62

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

AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FR- Fantasy Romance
GothicM - Gothic Mystery
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

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

Friday, February 21, 2020

Interview with Andrew Hunter Murray, author of The Last Day

Please welcome Andrew Hunter Murray to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Day was published on February 4, 2020 by Dutton.

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

Andrew:  It was a rather uninspired bit we were asked to write for an exam at school at the age of about seven, about losing my parents in a supermarket. Clearly, themes of familial segregation and trauma resulting from it stayed with me, as there’s a fair bit of that in The Last Day. Although I hadn’t yet thought of ending the world first…

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Andrew:  Enormous plotter. The only time I’ve tried pantsing (can this really be a verb?), I got disastrously stuck and then had to go back and unpick everything and start again. I’m now very wary of starting to write a big work without knowing what’s going to happen – although I might still do that for a short story.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Andrew:  The starting. Pure agony. The sooner you can get the Band-Aid ripped off, the better, and after an hour or two I have to be pried from the desk.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Andrew:  Better writers. Fortunately, there are thousands of them, all coming up with the most remarkable plotlines and brilliantly striking characters and themes. Every day of writing is a thrilling attempt to try and keep up with them, and as a lot of my favorite authors are dead, I can only gain on them.

TQDescribe The Last Day using only 5 words.

Andrew:  Planetary-collapse-inspired-gripping-yarn.

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

Andrew:  I gave up twice, lost faith plenty more times, and threw away 30,000 words at one point because the plot had gone in a different direction. All of that is meant to emphasize not that it was terribly brave of me to start again, just that all creative projects seem a certainty once they’re done, when in fact they may seem a much less sure thing from a position in the thick of it. In short: if you’re writing something yourself, keep going!

TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Day?

Andrew:  The state of the world today, and a vision of how it might be fifty years from now – if we don’t start to change direction now.

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

Andrew:  Quite a bit! Because it’s about the planet’s rotation slowing to a stop, I contacted astrophysicists and oceanographers, and in between times I read as much science as I could about satellites and servers and the effects of sunshine. I also read a brilliant book called ‘The New Odyssey’, all about the people who are making their way from Africa and the Middle East to Europe in search of a better life. That all fed into the book at various points.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Last Day.

Andrew:  The British and American covers are very different. But in the USA, we see the following: a brown-haired woman in a long coat running along a gangway, surrounded by the corona of an eclipse. So we know it’s going to be a) a little planetary and science-fictionish, and b) a rip-roaring read. And the *final* element of the cover is some nice words from Lee Child saying how much he enjoyed it, which is possibly my favorite bit.

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

Andrew:  Ellen Hopper, my main character, was the easiest. She practically grabbed me by the lapels (although really she’s a polite person and wouldn’t do that in real life). I don’t recall finding any characters particularly difficult to caption; the stuff I find really hard is the overarching structure and individual bits of plot.

TQDoes The Last Day touch on any social issues?

Andrew:  Yes, I think so. It has a big sci-fi idea at the core, but like all sci-fi it’s an attempt to analyze the world as it is today. So the book looks at climate migration, and about whether it’s right to bring a child into a world being slowly cooked by global warming, and about countries which have started trying to keep foreigners out in the attempt to preserve what they have, and totalitarianism. So I don’t think I could have avoided social issues really.

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

Andrew:  “Would you prefer the first series of the TV adaptation to be eight or ten parts long?” And: eight, please.

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


“The ship of the dead, that was how it had begun. Hopper remembered that later.” This is the first line of my first ever novel, so I think it will always have a pretty special place in my heart. I remember reading a wise author – possibly Neil Gaiman? – saying that first line of your first book will the most important thing you’ll ever write. So I went back and forth on the phrasing quite a lot.

TQWhat's next?

Andrew:  All sorts. I’m currently polishing a set of short stories beyond the point of all practicability and winding up my arm for the second novel. It will be in similar territory, but I think different enough to present something new to any readers who stick with me…

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Andrew:  Thank you!

The Last Day
Dutton, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

A visionary and powerful debut thriller set in a terrifyingly plausible dystopian near-future—with clear parallels to today’s headlines—in which the future of humanity lies in the hands of one woman, a scientist who has stumbled upon a secret that the government will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

A world half in darkness. A secret she must bring to light.

It is 2059, and the world has crashed. Forty years ago, a solar catastrophe began to slow the planet’s rotation to a stop. Now, one half of the globe is permanently sunlit, the other half trapped in an endless night. The United States has colonized the southern half of Great Britain—lucky enough to find itself in the narrow habitable region left between frozen darkness and scorching sunlight—where both nations have managed to survive the ensuing chaos by isolating themselves from the rest of the world.

Ellen Hopper is a scientist living on a frostbitten rig in the cold Atlantic. She wants nothing more to do with her country after its slide into casual violence and brutal authoritarianism. Yet when two government officials arrive, demanding she return to London to see her dying college mentor, she accepts—and begins to unravel a secret that threatens not only the nation’s fragile balance, but the future of the whole human race.

About Andrew

Photo: © Matt Crockett
Andrew Hunter Murray is a writer and comedian. He is one of the writers and researchers behind the BBC show QI and also cohosts the spinoff podcast, No Such Thing as a Fish, which, since 2014, has released 250 episodes, been downloaded 200 million times, and toured the world. It has also spawned two bestselling books, The Book of the Year and The Book of the Year 2018, as well as a BBC Two series No Such Thing as the News. Andrew also writes for Private Eye magazine and hosts the Eye‘s in-house podcast, Page 94, interviewing the country’s best investigative journalists about their work. In his spare time he performs in the Jane Austen–themed improv comedy group Austentatious, which plays in London’s West End and around the UK. The Last Day is his debut novel.

Twitter @andrewhunterm

Thursday, February 20, 2020

2019 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the final ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards. The Awards will be presented during StokerCon being held April 16, 2020 to April 19, 2020 in Scarborough, United Kingdom.

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel
  • Goingback, Owl – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Malerman, Josh – Inspection (Del Rey)
  • Miskowski, S.P. – The Worst is Yet to Come (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Murray, Lee – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)
  • Wendig, Chuck – Wanderers (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Amor, Gemma – Dear Laura (Independently Published)
  • Guignard, Eric J. – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)
  • Lane, Michelle Renee – Invisible Chains (Haverhill House Publishing)
  • Read, Sarah – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Starling, Caitlin – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Bérubé, Amelinda – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Dávila Cardinal, Ann – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)
  • Gardner, Liana – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)
  • Marshall, Kate Alice – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Salomon, Peter Adam – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds (PseudoPsalms Press)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
  • Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Gaiman, Neil – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)
  • Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Tanabe, Gou – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
  • LaValle, Victor – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine#363) (Weird Tales Inc.)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Taborska, Anna – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)
  • Tantlinger, Sara – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)
  • Warren, Kaaron – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • Chapman, Greg – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • Kiste, Gwendolyn – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare Magazine Nov. 2019, Issue 86)
  • Landry, Jess – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • O’Quinn, Cindy – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)
  • Waggoner, Tim – “A Touch of Madness”(The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
  • Chiang, Ted – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)
  • Jonez, Kate – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Langan, John – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)
  • Read, Sarah – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Tremblay, Paul – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • Aster, Ari – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)
  • Duffer Brothers, The – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)
  • Eggers, Robert and Eggers, Max – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)
  • Flanagan, Mike – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)
  • Peele, Jordan – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Brozek, Jennifer – A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)
  • Datlow, Ellen – Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories (Gallery/Saga Press)
  • Golden, Christopher and Moore, James A. – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)
  • Guignard, Eric J. – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)
  • Wilson, Robert S. – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
  • Beal, Eleanor and Greenaway, Jonathan – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality (University of Wales Press)
  • Earle, Harriet E.H. – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)
  • Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)
  • Kachuba, John B. – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)
  • Kröger, Lisa and Anderson, Melanie R. – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (Quirk Books)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction
  • Kiste, Gwendolyn – “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)
  • Liaguno, Vince A. – “Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre” (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
  • Renner, Karen J.“The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story” (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging) (McFarland)
  • Robinson, Kelly – “Film’s FThursday 16th April 2020 to Sunday 19th April 2020irst Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf” (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)
  • Weich, Valerie E. – “Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre” (Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Addison, Linda D. and Manzetti, Alessandro – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Cade, Octavia – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)
  • Lynch, Donna – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Scalise, Michelle – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning (LVP Publications)
  • Simon, Marge and Dietrich, Bryan D. – The Demeter Diaries (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Wytovich, Stephanie M. – The Apocalyptic Mannequin (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

2019 Nebula Awards Finalists Announced

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) has announced the finalists for the 55th Annual Nebula Awards, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

The awards will be presented at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference during a ceremony on the evening of May 30th.

2019 Nebula Award Finalists

  • Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir ( Publishing)
  • A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga; Jo Fletcher)
  • Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, Vylar Kaftan ( Publishing)
  • The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
  • Catfish Lullaby, A.C. Wise (Broken Eye)

  • “A Strange Uncertain Light”, G.V. Anderson (F&SF 7-8/19)
  • “For He Can Creep”, Siobhan Carroll ( 7/10/19)
  • “His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light”, Mimi Mondal ( 1/23/19)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 7-8/19)
  • Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)
  • “The Archronology of Love”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 4/19)

Short Story
  • “Give the Family My Love”, A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld 2/19)
  • “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power”, Karen Osborne (Uncanny 3-4/19)
  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons 9/9/19)
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, Nibedita Sen (Nightmare 5/19)
  • “A Catalog of Storms”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 1-2/19)
  • “How the Trick Is Done”, A.C. Wise (Uncanny 7-8/19)

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez (Disney Hyperion)
  • Catfishing on CatNet, Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
  • Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee (Disney Hyperion)
  • Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, Henry Lien (Holt)
  • Cog, Greg van Eekhout (Harper)
  • Riverland, Fran Wilde (Amulet)

Game Writing
  • Outer Wilds, Kelsey Beachum (Mobius Digital)
  • The Outer Worlds, Leonard Boyarsky, Megan Starks, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile (Obsidian Entertainment)
  • The Magician’s Workshop, Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
  • Disco Elysium, Robert Kurvitz (ZA/UM)
  • Fate Accessibility Toolkit, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry (Evil Hat Productions)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
  • Avengers: Endgame, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Marvel Studios)
  • Captain Marvel, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Marvel Studios)
  • Good Omens: “Hard Times”, Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios)
  • The Mandalorian: “The Child”, Jon Favreau (Disney+)
  • Russian Doll: “The Way Out”, Allison Silverman and Leslye Headland (Netflix)
  • Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof (HBO)

The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 28th-31st, 2020 at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills and features programming developed and geared toward SFF professionals. The Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of May 30th. On May 31st, a mass autograph session will take place, which is free and open to the public.

ADVENTUREMAN Coming this April


Preview pages from the upcoming series revealed

PORTLAND, Ore. 02/19/2020 — New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award winning writer Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals, Hawkeye), artist Terry Dodson (X-Men/Fantastic Four), and Rachel Dodson (X-Men/Fantastic Four) team up for an all-new, ongoing adventure series—Adventureman—from Image Comics this April beginning with a massively extra length and wildly affordable first issue.

"Terry and Rachel and I have been working together a long time on Adventureman and I'm thrilled our giant baby is finally ready for the world. It's a high-flying, senses-obliterating, earth-shaking, imagination-quaking, adventure and we can't wait to share it with everyone," said Fraction.

The story of beloved pulp hero "Adventureman" ended with a never-resolved cliff-hanger for his legion of fans as their hero faced execution at the vile hand of his ultra-nemesis "Baron Bizarre." And now, eighty years later, single mother Claire and her Adventurefan son Tommy seem to be the only two people alive that remember the thrilling Adventureman sagas… but from that memory burns the spark of... resurrection. What if it was all true? What if it all really happened? And what if it was happening again? Where his story ended... her story begins! 

Dodson added: "Creating Adventureman has been a heck of a journey! It’s been an amazing opportunity to develop new worlds of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Worlds inhabited by enduring and believable characters, making a family. This project allows me to tick off numerous 'wants' on my creative list! I hope everyone enjoys the ride as much as we did making it.”

Blending high-octane pulp action, low-flying dirigibles and more art-deco rayguns than you could shake a walking stick at, Adventureman kicks off with a 64 page issue filled to the brim with action and intrigue for the introductory cover price of $3.99.

Adventureman #1 (Diamond Code FEB200011) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 29.

Adventureman #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.

[click to embiggen]

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