Thursday, April 30, 2020

Nintendo Download, April 30, 2020: Splat! Smash! Kapow!

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Splatoon™ 2 Special Demo 2020 – Have you been eager to make a splash in the world of the Splatoon 2 game, but didn’t know where to get your feet wet? Well, it’s time to finally dip your tentacles in, because the water’s warm and the ink’s never been fresher! From now until May 6 at 6:59 a.m. PT, you can download the special demo which lets you join the ink-splatting action in 4-on-4 Turf War battles. You can even try out Ranked Battles and the Salmon Run co-op mode during the demo’s timed window. You’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online membership* to participate in the event. Even if you’re not a member yet, you’re still invited, thoughF! After downloading the demo, you’ll receive an email with a download code** for a seven-day free trial for Nintendo Switch Online. (Even if you’ve activated a previous free trial, you’re still eligible for this offer.) If you enjoy all the fast-paced action, you’ll be able to save 30% on the purchase of Splatoon 2 during the special demo timeframe, and your progress will carry over to the full game, once purchased. So stop sweating and start splatting!
    • Levelhead – Take control of GR-18, a delivery robot in training, as you run, jump and blast your way across more than 90 challenging, hand-designed campaign levels. Get creative and make your own levels with hundreds of items, including enemies, hazards, paths, programmable switches, secrets, weather, music and powers. Once you’ve completed your level, share it with the rest of the world and gain a following!
    • Streets of Rage 4 – Among the best beat-’em-up series ever created, the iconic Streets of Rage returns with a masterful revitalization of the arcade action fans adore. The all-time classic Streets of Rage, known as Bare Knuckle in Japan, is known for its timeless gameplay and electronic, dance-influenced music. Streets of Rage 4 builds upon the original trilogy’s gameplay with new mechanics, beautiful hand-drawn visuals and an exemplary soundtrack.

Review: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

The Secret Chapter
Author:  Genevieve Cogman
Series:  The Invisible Library Novel 6
Publisher: Ace, January 7, 2020
Format:  Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price: US$26.00 (HC); US$16.00 (TP); US$11.99  (eBook)
ISBN:  978059317844 (HC); 9781984804761 (TP);  9781984804778 (eBook)

Time-travelling, dimension-jumping, Librarian-spy Irene and dragon-prince Kai will have to team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist—or risk the wrath of a dangerous villain with a secret island lair.

A Librarian’s work is never done, and Irene is summoned to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering deep into chaos, and she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this from happening. Her only choice is to contact a mysterious Fae information-broker and trader of rare objects: Mr. Nemo.

Irene and Kai make their way to Mr. Nemo’s remote Caribbean island and are invited to dinner, which includes unlikely company. Mr. Nemo has an offer for everyone there: he wants them to steal a specific painting from a specific world. But to get their reward, they will have to form a team, including a dragon techie, a Fae thief, a gambler, a driver, and the muscle. Their goal? The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in an early twenty-first-century world, where their toughest challenge might be each other.

Melanie's Thoughts

This instalment of the Invisible Library series is a librarian version of Ocean's 11 meets the Italian job with a little of the Thomas Crown Affair thrown in for good measure. Irene is barely afforded the time to rest after the traumatic events of the last story where she helped to broker a deal between the dragons and fae. Her mission, this time, is to obtain a specific book or else the World in which she spent her teenage years will fall into chaos. Unfortunately, the key to finding this book rests in the hands of an information broker - Mr. Nemo. Before he gives up the secret to the book he wants Irene to steal a painting from another world. Irene won't be doing this on her own. She has a crack team at her disposal, each with their own specialism - a thief, a gambler, the muscle, a computer geek and a driver. If they return the painting to Mr. Nemo within a week he will give them something from his collection.  For Irene it's the book she desperately wants. Irene is not normally a 'team player' but she has to cooperate with the others or she has no chance of stealing the painting let alone surviving the mission.

This book seems to signal another change in direction for the series. Books 1-3 focused on the Alberich plotline. Then the direction changes in Books 4 and 5 which leads up to the confrontation between the fae and dragons. Then Book 6 (The Secret Chapter) is different again, where Irene is joined by Kai and a couple of 'players' in order to complete the mission. The only things that are consistent through all novels are Irene, the Library and Kai. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the story. I did. However, that is due to how much I like Irene and Kai and less about the plotline which I found quite predictable in comparison to other stories. Cogman really focuses on stereotypes and the roles that people play in life and the plot lends itself to this theme. I feel that if Cogman represented her characters in colour then everyone apart from Irene and Kai would been in black and white.

Cogam also introduces us to Irene's parents. They are both typical and atypical parents. Irene is unique as she has grown up with the Library but didn't spend a lot of time with her parents as they were off on their own book retrieval missions. The fact that they weren't always around doesn't stop Irene's parents from acting like typical parents and the scenes they are together are quite humorous. Typically being introduced to someone's parents gives you a better idea of what they are like as a person. As we have already spent 5 novels with Irene I don't think there is much about this character that we don't already know and while amusing it does seem more like her parents are a plot device rather than developing Irene's backstory and character.

Overall, this is another solid instalment in the Invisible Library series. I do, however, worry that Cogman has lost the over-arching plot arc. As much as I love Irene, Kai and friends I don't want this to continue to be one off, semi-standalone series with no end in sight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Guest Post by Sarah Chorn, author of OF HONEY AND WILDFIRES

Please welcome Sarah Chorn to The Qwillery with a guest post about some of the research she did to create the fascinating magic system in her new novel Of Honey and Wildfires.

And please join The Qwillery in wishing Sarah a very Happy Publication Day!

One of the most unique aspects (in my humble opinion) of Of Honey and Wildfires is the magic system. “Shine” (what magic is called in this book) is based on the oil and coal industries in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Shine comes in a liquid and a rock form. It’s either pumped out of the earth in big wells that people dig, or it’s mined. Shine is used for a whole slew of things. People add it to their food and drinks. It’s used to heal injuries and illness. It’s used to power trains, and send messages. There’s also a darker side to it, but I’ll let you read the book to figure that out.

I do a whole lot of real-world research when I write. I like to base as much of my secondary worlds and magic system on the real world as possible. I went down some pretty wild rabbit holes when I was researching oil and coal to make my “shine” in this book. For example, did you know that people would drink oil as a curative? Did you know that oil was used in China some 7,000+ years ago?

Fascinating stuff, right?

So, here is where I will geek out a bit about the aspects of oil and coal that I didn’t know before writing this book, and how I used this information to inform my “shine” in Of Honey and Wildfires.

The early 18th century marked a change in society, from agrarian to more industrial as steam engines and the like were introduced to the world.

Suddenly, coal was a thing people could use to heat houses, and even power engines. The benefit of coal was that a little of it went a long way. A half-ton of coal produced four times more energy than the same amount of wood.

Soon, people started wondering what else the earth held in it (some say that environmental concerns drove people toward oil, some say it was just a natural progression). Regardless, the oil industry entered the American landscape in 1859 with a well dug in Pennsylvania.

That, however, is not really where the oil industry starts. Not globally, at least. Now, follow me, dear reader, while we go down a rabbit hole that will take us back a few thousand years, to China.

The earliest sign of wells being dug is in the Zhejiang Province, in China. Evidence for wells, dating back some 7,000 years ago, when people were just starting to enter the region and cultivate the land. At this time, people in the coastal regions would boil water from the sea to produce salt. Salt was a valuable preservative, used to preserve foods as well as in cooking. As people moved inland, and the population became denser, people inland began to dig salt wells. The first recorded salt well was dug in the Sichuan Province around 2,250 years ago.

There is evidence of the drilling techniques changing over time, from using percussive methods to break through the rock and shale, to eventually using bamboo and pressure, which allowed people to dig deeper wells, easier. The first well to reach more than 1,000 meters in depth was the Shanghai Well in 1835. Oil, natural gas, petroleum and the like was often an unwanted byproduct of salt water drilling.

Early 20th century scene. Zigong City, with hundreds of salt transportation boats on the Fuxi River. (Image from Zhong & Huang) Taken from the article linked one paragraph down.

Salt was often traded on boats through rivers, while bamboo pipeline was created to pump oil and natural gas. For a long time, the salt and natural gas industry were two separate beasts (the salt being more useful and desired than the oil), but there is evidence of a fledgling natural gas industry dating back to 61 BC. Around the 16th century, technology was developed that allowed people to cultivate more natural gas. Usually, until this point, wood had been used to boil the water, which would then evaporate and leave behind salt. Now, natural gas could be used, preserving more trees and reducing deforestation in areas.

This merging of the salt and natural gas industry is what allowed Zigong’s salt production to reach an industrial scale. (I highly recommend you read this article about all this to gain more depth and detail, as well as pictures.) Another fun fact: Herodotus claimed that asphalt was used in the construction of walls, nearly four thousand years ago, and much of it was found on the banks of the river Issus. (more here)

This brings us to the US oil industry. In 1849, a man named Samual Keir began extracting oil from the saltwater wells on his property. After some experimentation, he discovered that the substance that was the byproduct of his saltwater wells had the same chemical properties of the stuff his wife was being prescribed for her ailments. He decided to see what else it could be used for. He started selling his oil for medicinal purposes and, of course, being the enterprising soul he was, he grew rich.

In the 1850’s, Kier started drilling for crude exclusively, rather than finding it as a byproduct of salt water. He joined up with John T. Kirkpatrick and started the first oil refinery wherein they refined the oil so it was cleaner and more efficient “carbon oil.” (more here)

From news of Kier’s success came the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, created by George Bissell and Benjamin Silliman. (more here)

In 1859, one very lucky chap, Edwin Drake, was sent by the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company to rural Pennsylvania dig, specifically, for oil. He ended up with a well that was 69.5 feet deep. While whale oil had been used for a long time, this “rock oil” was safer than many other oils used on the market, like camphene, which was explosive. This discovery turned Pennsylvania into one of the first “producing states.”

Edwin Drake, right, stands with friend Peter Wilson of Titusville, Pennsylvania, at the drilling site – but not the original cable-tool derrick – of America’s first oil well. Photo courtesy Drake Well Museum. (Image found in this article.)

Fun fact: Crude oil had been found in medicine as far back as 1814, though the oil used for these was found using primitive drilling methods, and the people who found this crude (in Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively), were often drilling for brine, using “spring poles” instead of the pressurized drilling used in Pennsylvania. The small amount of oil was an unwanted byproduct and thus, put into medicine. (more here)

Truthfully, oil has been used throughout civilization in many different ways, but usually, the finding of it was met with dismay. It was an unwanted byproduct of drilling to find brine, which was a valuable source of salt, used to preserve food, and etc. (more here)

Anyway, back to good ol’ Americana Black Gold.

Word got out about Drake’s find in Pennsylvania, so all sorts of people decided to come out and find their own oil. There was so much competition, that within two years, Drake had to shut his well down. Not long after, more oil was found in states out west, and Pennsylvania sort of dried up while people hied off to Texas and other states to strike it rich with the black gold.

This seems like a good place to stop things for now. It leaves a jumping-off point for what happens next – the introduction of big oil companies, Rockefeller, frontier life, western expansion, the resource curse, all of which I used in one way or another as jumping-off points for the creation of not just the magic system, but issues faced in Shine Territory as a whole.

The research I do while writing often fascinates me and helps me inform my plot and characters in some unexpected ways. I learn far more than what I actually use in my books, but knowing these things helps me add dimension, texture, and layers to my writing.

I hope, if you choose to read Of Honey and Wildfires, you’ll enjoy the magic system as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Of Honey and Wildfires
April 28, 2020
Kindle eBook, 308 pages

From the moment the first settler dug a well and struck a lode of shine, the world changed. Now, everything revolves around that magical oil.

What began as a simple scouting expedition becomes a life-changing ordeal for Arlen Esco. The son of a powerful mogul, Arlen is kidnapped and forced to confront uncomfortable truths his father has kept hidden. In his hands lies a decision that will determine the fate of everyone he loves—and impact the lives of every person in Shine Territory.

The daughter of an infamous saboteur and outlaw, Cassandra has her own dangerous secrets to protect. When the lives of those she loves are threatened, she realizes that she is uniquely placed to change the balance of power in Shine Territory once and for all.

Secrets breed more secrets. Somehow, Arlen and Cassandra must find their own truths in the middle of a garden of lies.

About Sarah

Sarah has been a compulsive reader her whole life. At a young age, she found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life. She is a freelance writer and editor, a semi-pro nature photographer, world traveler, three-time cancer survivor, and mom to one six-year-old, and one rambunctious toddler. In her ideal world, she’d do nothing but drink lots of tea and read from a never-ending pile of speculative fiction books.

Website  ~  Twitter @BookwormBlues  ~  Facebook

Monday, April 27, 2020

The View From Monday - April 27, 2020

It is the last Monday in April!

There are no debuts this week.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

A Veil of Spears (Song of Shattered Sands 3) by Bradley B. Beaulieu is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Ghost Monday (Eric Carter 5) by Stephen Blackmoore;

Starbreaker (Nightchaser 2) by Amanda Bouchet;

The Perfect Assassin (Chronicles of Ghadid 1) by K.A. Doore is out in Mass Market Paperback;


The Human Son by Adrian J. Walker.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Barnes & Noble page.

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

April 28, 2020
Pass of Fire (h2mm) Taylor Anderson SF/AH - Destroyermen 14
A Veil of Spears (tp2mm) Bradley P. Beaulieu F/DF - Song of Shattered Sands 3
Ghost Money Stephen Blackmoore UF/DF/CF - Eric Carter 5
Starbreaker Amanda Bouchet PNR/SFR - Nightchaser 2
Triumphant (h2mm) Jack Campbell SF - The Genesis Fleet 3
Of Honey and Wildfires (Ke) Sarah Chorn DF/F
The Hive (h2mm) Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston
SF/SO - Second Formic War 2
The Perfect Assassin (tp2mm) K. A. Doore F - Chronicles of Ghadid 1
The Horusian Wars: Divination John French SF - Warhammer 40,000
Empire City Matt Gallagher LF/AH
By Demons Possessed (tp2mm) P. C. Hodgell F - Kencyrath 6
Critical Point S. L. Huang SF/TechTh - Cas Russell 3
Wheel of Time Premium Boxed Set IV: Books 10-12 (Crossroads of Twilight, Knife of Dreams, The Gathering Storm) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time
Crossroads of Twilight (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 10
The Gathering Storm (ri) Robert Jordan
Brandon Sanderson
F - Wheel of Time 12
Knife of Dreams (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 11
Eye Spy (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey F/DF - Valdemar: Family Spies 2
The Gate of Ivory Bernard Lazare
Brian Stableford (Tr)
F - Anthology
The Revenant Express (h2tp) George Mann SP/Cr/M/PI - Newbury & Hobbes Investigation 5
Sons of the Selenar Graham McNeill SF/SO - Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra
The Master's Apprentice Oliver Pötzsch
Lisa Reinhardt (Tr)
HistF - Faust 1
Murder Can Confuse Your Chihuahua Rose Pressey PCM - A Haunted Craft Fair Mystery 2
A Witch in Time  Wm. Mark Simmons F/HU - Halflife Chronicles 5
Age of Legend (h2mm) Michael J. Sullivan F/HistF - Legends of the First Empire 4
The Human Son Adrian J. Walker SF
The Gordian Protocol (h2mm) David Weber
Jacob Holo
Texas Hold'em (h2tp) Wild Cards Trust
George R.R. Martin (Ed)
SF/SH - Wild Cards 21
Mrs. Morris and the Witch Traci Wilton PCM - A Salem B&B Mystery 2

April 29, 2020
Anything Resembling Love: A Original (e) S. Qiouyi Lu F

April 30, 2020
Unexpected Stories Octavia E. Butler SF - Collection
The Postutopian Adventures of Darger and Surplus Michael Swanwick F - Darger and Surplus
Jack Connie Willis SF

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

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
BlHu - Black Humour
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CH - Cultural Heritage
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Esp - Espionage
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator(s)
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PP - Police Procedural
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Spec - Speculative
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

Friday, April 24, 2020

Nintendo Download, April 23, 2020: Retrieve the Legendary Mana Sword

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Trials of Mana – Trials of Mana is the 3D remake of the classic RPG hit. This daring tale of overcoming the tests of fate has been given new life! Experience the beloved adventure fully modernized with graphic improvements, character voiceover support, a remastered soundtrack and a new episode which you can experience after the ending. There’s also an ability system and a new class that reconstructs the character leveling system, plus more active battles. Trials of Mana will be available on April 24.
    • Moving Out – Are you ready for an exciting career in furniture? As a newly certified Furniture Arrangement and Relocation Technician, you’ll take on moving jobs all across the town of Packmore. Smooth Moves may not be the biggest moving company, but there’s no task too dangerous or strange for this busy team of go-getters. Grow your business to brave new heights, recruit colorful customizable characters and save your town from furniture peril. Moving Out will be available on April 28.
    • PICROSS S4 – This is the fourth installment in the PICROSS S series on the Nintendo Switch system! Picross is a puzzle series in which you follow numerical hints to complete pictures across a grid. In this new entry, there are puzzles to enjoy in all four game modes: Picross, Mega Picross, Color Picross and Clip Picross. With simple, easy-to-follow rules and captivating challenges, PICROSS S4 is a game anyone can play.

Nintendo eShop sales:

Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Winners

On April 18, 2020, the Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced the winners of the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®.

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Winners
Winners in green

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)
  • Doran, Cullen and 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 First 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)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Velocities: Stories by Kathe Koja - Excerpt and Giveaway

Please welcome Kathe Koja to The Qwillery with an excerpt from her story collection, Velocities, and a giveaway!

Velocities: Stories
Meerkat Press, April 21, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 200 pages

From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities, Kathe Koja's second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange. Dark, disturbing, heartfelt and utterly addictive.

From BABY by Kathe Koja

It’s hot in here, and the air smells sweet, all sweet and burned, like incense. I love incense, but I can never have any; my allergies, right? Allergic to incense, to cigarette smoke, to weed smoke, to smoke in general, the smoke from the grill at Rob’s Ribs, too, so goodbye to that, and no loss either, I hate this job. The butcher’s aprons are like circus tents, like 3X, and those pointy paper hats we have to wear—“Smokin’ Specialist,” god. They look like big white dunce caps, even Rico looks stupid wearing one and Rico is hot. I’ve never seen anyone as hot as he is.
     The only good thing about working here—besides Rico—is hanging out after shift, up on the rooftop while Rob and whoever swabs out the patio, and everyone jokes and flirts, and, if Rob isn’t paying too much attention, me and Rico shotgun a couple of cans of Tecate or something. Then I lean as far over the railing as I can, my hands gripping tight, the metal pressing cold through my shirt; sometimes I let my feet leave the patio, just a few inches, just balancing there on the railing, in thin air . . . Andy always flips when I do it, he’s all like Oh Jani don’t do that Jani you could really hurt yourself! You could fall!
     Oh Andy, I always say; Andy’s like a mom or something. Calm down, it’s only gravity, only six floors up but still, if you fell, you’d be a plate of Rob’s Tuesday night special, all bones and red sauce; smush, gross, right? But I love doing it. You can feel the wind rush up between the buildings like invisible water, stealing your breath, filling you right up to the top. It’s so weird, and so choice . . . Like the feeling I always got from you, Baby.
     It’s kind of funny that I never called you anything else, just Baby; funny that I even found you, up there in Grammy’s storage space, or crawl space, or whatever it’s called when it’s not really an attic, but it’s just big enough to stand up in. Boxes were piled up everywhere, but mostly all I’d found were old china cup-and-saucer sets, and a bunch of games with missing pieces—Stratego, and Monopoly, and Clue; I already had Clue at home; I used to totally love Clue, even though I cheated when I played, sometimes. Well, all the time. I wanted to win. There were boxes and boxes of Grampy’s old books, doctor books; one was called Surgical Procedures and Facial Deformities and believe me, you did not want to look at that. I flipped it open on one picture where this guy’s mouth was all grown sideways, and his eyes—his eye— Anyway. After that I stayed away from the boxes of books.
     And then I found you, Baby, stuffed down in a big box of clothes, chiffon scarves and unraveling lace, the cut-down skirts of fancy dresses, and old shirts like Army uniforms, with steel buttons and appliqués. At the bottom of the box were all kinds of shoes, spike heels, and a couple of satin evening bags with broken clasps. At first I thought you were a kind of purse, too, or a bag, all small and yellow and leathery. But then I turned you over, and I saw that you had a face.

About the Author

Kathe Koja writes novels and short fiction, and creates and produces immersive fiction performances, both solo and with a rotating ensemble of artists. Her work crosses and combines genres, and her books have won awards, been translated, and optioned for film and performance. She is based in Detroit and thinks globally.

Website  ~  Twitter @KyleWritesBooks

GIVEAWAY: $50 Book Shopping Spree!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRH Virtual Con on April 24, 2020

(presents their first ever)

Penguin Random House is hosting a virtual convention on April 24, 2020– and you’re invited! Interact with some of our bestselling authors via our official platform partner, Reddit, and PRH social media platforms, and enter giveaways to win galleys and exclusive book swag.

When: Friday, April 24; 9:00 am – 7:00 pm ET

Where: All events will be listed on the PRH Virtual Con page, and follow #PRHVirtualCon, @PenguinRandom, @reddit, and

Who: PRH is partnering with Reddit for AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) and RPAN activations (Reddit Public Access Network) activations! Authors will participate in AMAs across several of Reddit’s book communities to answer questions, and will also read their work live on RPAN, Reddit’s livestreaming platform.

Lindsey Elias, Penguin Random House’s Director of Consumer Shows and Conventions, says, "We're thrilled to take the experience of being at a convention and translate certain aspects into virtual activities. We are excited to connect with our readers during this difficult time and provide them access to our authors and their books. We're looking forward to partnering with Reddit for Author AMAs and live readings throughout the day." 



ASK NAOMI NOVIK (A Deadly Education), KIM HARRISON (American Demon), and ANDREA ROBERTSON (Forged in Fire and Stars), and many more (almost) ANYTHING in r/books, r/yalit, r/fantasy, and other Reddit communities…

….and watch CHRIS BOHJALIAN (The Red Lotus), MAX BARRY (Providence), CAMILLA LACKBERG (The Golden Cage), and others give live readings and host Q&As on Reddit’s livestreaming platform RPAN!


Test your “geeks”-pertise on PRH’s Unbound WorldsFacebook community in GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION—a pop culture game show where authors including JIM BUTCHER (Dresden Files), EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL (The Glass Hotel), LUCY KNISLEY (Stepping Stones), and LEV GROSSMAN (The Magicians) ask the questions, and you answer for the chance to win a prize!
Follow authors including CHUCK WENDIG (The Wanderers), SAMANTHA IRBY (Wow, No Thank You), JOSH MALERMAN (Malorie) on their Twitter pages and #PRHExquisiteCorpse, as they create an entire story from scratch in EXQUISITE CORPSE


BOOK WIZARDS – enter to win a prize pack of some of 2020’s biggest titles! And take a quiz to discover which one is the perfect read for you

DRESDEN FILES 20th Anniversary giveaway – win a complete set of the Dresden Files series, including a galley of PEACE TALKS (Dresden Files #16)

COULD YOU SURVIVE A SASQUATCH ATTACK? Play a game inspired by Max Brooks’ DEVOLUTION – brought to you by Tabletopia Games


[click to embiggen]

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel about Parallel Universes

In March 2020 Arc Manor under its CAEZIK SF & Fantasy imprint published for the first time The Pursuit of the Pankera by Robert A Heinlein.

The Pursuit of the Pankera is the sister novel to The Number of the Beast, which was originally published in 1980!

The Pursuit of the Pankera
A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes
CAEZIK SF & Fantasy, March 24, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 503 pages

"Heinlein still offers a rollicking ride even after all these years."—The Oklahoman

"The Pursuit of the Pankera is mostly in his middle style and occasionally hearkens back to his earliest pulp action writings. Together, the two novels offer a fascinating insight into an inflection point in the evolution of one of science fiction's greatest writers." — Booklist

The Pursuit of the Pankera is one of the most audacious experiments ever done in science fiction by the legendary author of the classic bestseller Starship Troopers.

Robert A. Heinlein wrote The Number of the Beast, which was published in 1980. In the book Zeb, Deety, Hilda and Jake are ambushed by the alien “Black Hats” and barely escape with their lives on a specially configured vehicle (the Gay Deceiver) which can travel along various planes of existence, allowing them to visit parallel universes.

However, unknown to most fans, Heinlein had already written a “parallel” novel about the four characters and parallel universes in 1977. He effectively wrote two parallel novels about parallel universes. The novels share the same start, but as soon as the Gay Deceiver is used to transport them to a parallel universe, each book transports them to a totally different parallel world.

From that point on the plot lines diverge completely. While The Number of the Beast morphs into something very different, more representative of later Heinlein works, The Pursuit of the Pankera remains on target with a much more traditional Heinleinesque storyline and ending, reminiscent of his earlier works.

The Pursuit of the Pankera was never published and there have been many competing theories as to why (including significant copyright issues in 1977). Over time the manuscript was largely forgotten but survived in fragments. A recent re-examination of these fragments, however, made it clear that put together in the right order they constituted the complete novel.

And here it finally is: Robert A. Heinlein’s audacious experiment. A fitting farewell from one of the most inventive science fiction writers to have ever lived: a parallel novel about parallel universes as well as a great adventure pitting the forces of good versus evil only the way Heinlein could do.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The View From Monday - April 20, 2020

It is Monday again!

There is one debut this week -

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

According to Kovac (Robot Dreams 1) by Andrew Bannister;

Alchemy of Glass by Barbara Barnett;

Gears of War: Bloodlines by Jason Hough;

The Girl and the Stars (The Book of the Ice1) by Mark Lawrence;

We Are Mayhem (Black Star Renegades 2) by Michael Moreci is out in Trade Paperback;

The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War 1) by Jon Skovron;

The Beasts of Lake Oph (Robot Dreams 4) by Tom Toner;

Deep Learning (Robot Dreams 2) by Ren Warom;


An Explorer's Cartography of Already Settled Lands: A Original by Fran Wilde.

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.

April 21, 2020
According to Kovac Andrew Bannister SF - Robot Dreams 1
Alchemy of Glass Barbara Barnett HistF
Shorefall Robert Jackson Bennett F/UF - The Founders Trilogy 2
You Let Me In (D) Camilla Bruce Th/PsyTh/Gothic
The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir Peter Carlaftes (Ed) Spec - Anthology
Ship of Fates Caitlin Chung HistF
The Binding (h2tp) Bridget Collins LF
Master Class Christina Dalcher Dys/Sys/CW
Race the Sands Sarah Beth Durst F
The Moon Always Rising Alice C. Early LF/CW/FL/CRo/MR/CH
Little Digs Lisa L. Hannett F
Looking Glass Christina Henry DF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - The Chronicles of Alice 3
Gears of War: Bloodlines Jason M. Hough SF/MTI
Velocities: Stories Kathe Koja SS
The Cerulean Queen Sarah Kozloff F - The Nine Realms 4
The Girl and the Stars Mark Lawrence F/DF - The Book of the Ice1
Daughter of the Forest (ri) Juliet Marillier HistF/FolkT/FairyT/LM - Sevenwaters 1
Life for Sale Yukio Mishima Psy/AB - Vintage International
We Are Mayhem (h2tp) Michael Moreci SF/SO - Black Star Renegades 2
Lanny (h2tp) Max Porter LF/MR/Typography
Aurora Rising (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/Cr/M/GenEng/HSF/SO - The Perfect Dreyfus Emergencies 1
Absolution Gap (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO  - Revelation Space 4
Pushing Ice (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO
Galactic North (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO - Revelation Space
Redemption Ark (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO - Revelation Space 3
Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO - Revelation Space
Chasm City (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO - Revelation Space 2
House of Suns (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO
Revelation Space (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO - Revelation Space 1
Century Rain (e) Alastair Reynolds SF/HSF/SE/SO
The Ranger of Marzanna Jon Skovron F/RF - Goddess War 1
Creatures of Charm and Hunger Molly Tanzer HistF - Diabolist's Library 3
Blindsight (ri) Peter Watts SF/HSF/AC - Firefall 1
Repo Virtual Corey J. White SF/CyP

April 22, 2020
The Night Sun: A Original (e) Zin E. Rocklyn H
Deep Learning Ren Warom SF - Robot Dreams 2
An Explorer's Cartography of Already Settled Lands: A Original (e) Fran Wilde F

April 23, 2020
The Wise Friend Ramsey Campbell SupTh/H/Sus - Fiction Without Frontiers
End Game Hailey Edwards UF/RF/P - The Foundling 5
Boy in the Box (ri) Marc E. Fitch Sus/SupTh - Fiction Without Frontiers
The Heron Kings (ri) Eric Lewis F - Fiction Without Frontiers
Paper Hearts Justina Robson SF - Robot Dreams 3

April 24, 2020
The Beasts of Lake Oph Tom Toner SF - Robot Dreams 4

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

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
BlHu - Black Humour
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CH - Cultural Heritage
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Esp - Espionage
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator(s)
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PP - Police Procedural
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Spec - Speculative
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

Friday, April 17, 2020

Interview with Corry L. Lee, author of Weave the Lightning

Please welcome Corry L. Lee to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Weave the Lightning was published on April 7, 2020 by Solaris.

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

Corry:  I was in 5th grade. My “novel,” written on loose leaf notebook paper, was about a group of aliens called rock-moose (moose-like sentients with a symbiotic relationship to the rock-like creatures living on their long, shaggy fur). The water on the surface of the world turned solid during the day. An expedition from Earth had portal-ed in and was having trouble. It was a hybrid first-contact / survival story.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Corry:  Hybrid. I work out the way-points of my plot before I start writing - the ending, big events, that sort of thing - but my efforts to do more substantial outlines tend not to be very productive.

I do always write up a full outline once I finish a draft, as it helps me see the book from a different perspective when I’m pondering a revision. And I’ve started writing revision outlines (of the thing I’m revising toward) to try and iron out some of the bugs before doing all that re-writing.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Corry:  Despite outlining only rough way-points for a draft, I like having a plan. My subconscious, on the other hand, is more like a squirrel, darting off after shiny ideas. Often those ideas are in fact better than the plan, but I still get pissed when stomping through uncharted idea-underbrush. “But whyyyyy?” I moan to all who will listen. Though I often later admit that, yes, the squirrel was chasing a diamond and not a shiny bottlecap.

I might need to make peace with the squirrel.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Corry:  N.K. Jemisin, Ann Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Ann Patchett, Tanya Huff.

Also, I was (okay, still am and always will be) a huge Babylon 5 fan.

TQDescribe Weave the Lightning using only 5 words.

Corry:  Russian-inspired. Storm magic. Travelling circus.

TQTell us something about Weave the Lightning that is not found in the book description.

Corry:  It’s about hope, trust, and building a better world. I’m fundamentally an optimist, and it shows.

TQWhat inspired you to write Weave the Lightning? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Corry:  I wanted to develop a big, crunchy magic system that tied deeply into characters’ emotional space. I love magic that feels rich and organic, as complex as the people wielding it. I also love when technology develops alongside magic, when the world is constantly evolving with power dynamics shifting.

TQWhich period in Russian history was your inspiration for Weave the Lightning?

Corry:  It’s a mash-up. Technology is 1910s era, but Bourshkanya is a secondary world with Russian-flavored culture, heavily influenced by storm magic. A fascist regime has held control for the last 20-odd years, becoming increasingly repressive. In its historical underpinnings, it’s a bit Soviet, a bit pre-WWII Germany.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Weave the Lightning?

Corry:  I read and watched a lot of WWI, WWII, and Soviet-era books, films, and documentaries. Stand-outs are Lucie Aubrac’s memoir Outwitting the Gestapo and the Newberry nominated Breaking Stalin’s Nose. I chewed on discussions of fascism, like Robert O. Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism, and tried to understand how growing up under an oppressive regime affected a nation’s youth.

I also read and watched lots of circus-related material, which was much more fun!

TQPlease tell us about the cover for Weave the Lightning.

Corry:  I love the cover! It’s hard to see its full beauty in photos because the lightning bolt is spot-varnished, which means that if you tip the book back and forth, the lightning seems to flash!

The high wire walker stepping across the lightning is Celka Prochazka, a young female resistance fighter whose family are “The Amazing Prochazkas,” a travelling circus’s top-billed act of high wire walkers - modelled lightly off the real-life Flying Wallendas.

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

Corry:  Celka was the easiest. She’s bold and enthusiastic. She’s struggling to understand her magic and determined to fight the regime. She begins with a very clear sense of “right” and “wrong,” which ends up being challenged in interesting ways in the book.

Gerrit was much harder. He’s the son of the fascist state’s Supreme-General. He was trained at a top military mage academy, and so spent his life steeped in the regime’s “might makes right.” But he’s a good person at heart, if horribly entitled. Walking the line between making Gerrit the person his father wants him to be - who he’s spent his life striving to become - and a sympathetic character we can root for was an interesting challenge.

TQDoes Weave the Lightning touch on any social issues?

Corry:  Fantasy is often laden with sexism, even if the protagonists are female and the magic doesn’t discriminate along gender lines. I wanted to develop a society with deep-seated gender equality, because I believe in the power of fiction to light the way to a better world.

So despite being set in a fascist state with 1910s-era technology, women and men aren’t pigeon-holed into gender roles, non-binary pronouns are unremarkable, and love is love.

TQWhich question about Weave the Lightning do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Corry:  Are there any hidden gems or call-outs?

The minor character named Lucie is named after Lucie Aubrac, an amazing woman in the WWII French resistance who stood up to some nasty Gestapo monsters in Lyon. She fought, she loved, and she did much of it while pregnant. She’s a real-life badass, so I wanted to salute her.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Weave the Lightning.


“Most people thought time marched at an unwavering pace, each second as long as the next. Those people had never walked the wire.”


“Why are you staring at me like I have a bayonet sticking out of my chest?” he asked.

She huffed a surprised laugh. “You’re serious?”

He looked down at his chest. “Not about the bayonet.”

TQWhat's next?

Corry:  I’m currently revising Weave the Lightning’s sequel, The Storm’s Betrayal (due out in 2021). I love how it has given me a chance to open up the world and dig into different aspects of the magic system. Also, a new character (I don’t want to spoiler who, because they’re in the first book) gets a POV... and it’s delightful.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Corry:  Thank you for having me!

Weave the Lightning
Solaris, April 7, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Russian-inspired epic of magical revolution & romance

Empire. Revolution. Magic.

Gerrit is the son of Bourshkanya’s Supreme-General. Despite his powerful storm-affinity and the State’s best training, he can’t control his magic. To escape the brutal consequences, he flees.

Celka is a travelling circus performer, hiding both her link to the underground and her storm-affinity from the prying eyes of the secret police. But Gerrit’s arrival threatens to expose everything: her magic, her family, and the people they protect.

The storms have returned, and everything will change.

About Corry

Corry L. Lee is a science fiction and fantasy author, Ph.D. physicist, award-winning science teacher, data geek, and mom. In Ph.D. research at Harvard, she shed light on the universe fractions of a second after the Big Bang. At a major tech company, she connected science to technology, improving the customer experience through online experimentation. She’s currently obsessed with cross-country skiing, yoga, and single origin coffee. A transplant to Seattle, Washington from sunny Colorado, she is learning to embrace rainy days. Learn more at

Twitter  @CorryLLee  ~  Facebook