The Exploding Spaceship Announces The Women Author Book Donation Project to Benefit the Glasgow Women’s Library

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We are pleased to announce the start of a project to increase the size of the science fiction and fantasy collection at the Glasgow Women’s Library!

The library serves women of all ages so we want to include books aimed at middle grades, teens and adults. We would like to include as many author/editor signed books as possible but any books appropriate for a feminist audience are fine.

So please send us books and graphic novels by women with women main characters, we will deal with getting the volumes to the library.

We have setup an information page here: http://www.blackwelldevice.com/gwlproject.html

Please send books to P.O. Box 5845 Statesville, NC 28687-5845.

If you have any questions please direct them to Angela on Twitter @ExplodnSpceship.


The Exploding Spaceship Reviews Time Salvager, Iron and Blood, Cities and Thrones, Roboteer and The Dead Man’s Reach

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Review of Time Salvager by Wesley Chu (Tor July 7, 2015 in the UK, Angry Robot July 9, 2015)

The premise that the future is so bleak that they need to send people to the past to salvage energy sources and other resources makes for a very interesting setting. The main characters are salvager James, and two women, Grace and Elise. He meets both of them on trips to the past, but ends up bringing them to his own time in order for them to help him save the future. James’ efforts to balance his relationships with the two women make for some interesting scenes. They actually get along quite well but both are better at manipulating him than he is at dealing with either of the women.

The government in the future is just as screwy as the present US bureaucracy and seeing some of the workers try to get around the crazy rules was very familiar, unfortunately (Your Humble Reviewers both used to work for the US Government). In order to fix the Earth, Grace and Elise try to reverse the damage to the oceans. James makes many trips into the past for equipment and supplies with the help of his friend Smitt, who is still working for ChronoCom. This puts his life in danger because he doesn’t have the drugs needed to recover from the trips, plus he might get discovered and arrested by his former employers. James discovers that not all the time travelers follow the rules and that the world ended up a dismal mess because someone interfered with the plan to fix it many years before. This discovery makes him, Grace and Elise really pissed off so they rally everyone and fight the government people.

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As expected of Chu’s novels, there is fast action with fighting both hand-to-hand and with guns. Even the bit characters have some depth and the cast is quite diverse. Elise is our favorite character, a scientist action heroine who has to use her people skills as well as her science and defense skills. She is awesome and deserves a later book from her viewpoint.

If you like SF or action adventure stories then you need to read this book!

Review of Iron and Blood by Gail Z and Larry Martin (Solaris, July 7, 2015) Read the rest of this entry »


July newsletter: Paul Tremblay, Clay and Susan Griffith, John Scalzi, Michael Swanwick, the Oak City Comic Show, Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, and the latest NC books and news

Vol 5 No 5. Saturday, July 25, 2015: From scifi films on the radio to this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award, I’ve got a lot to get to in this newsletter. But first! Some upcoming event highlights:

   

  • July 26 (Sunday) 4 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Paul Tremblay discusses his novel A Head Full of Ghosts. “A chilling domestic drama that blends psychological suspense with a touch of modern horror from a new, brilliantly imaginative master.”
  • August 6 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Vampire Empire authors Clay and Susan Griffith for their “Crown & Key” trilogy (The Shadow RevolutionThe Undying Legion, and The Conquering Dark).
  • August 12 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Hugo Award winning and bestselling author John Scalzi for his new novel The End of All Things, set in his Old Man’s War universe.
  • August 13 (Thursday) — “Noir at the Bar” at Durham’s 106 Main, with: Eric Beetner (CA), Steve Weddle (VA), Greg Barth (TN), Eryk Pruitt (DUR), SA Cosby (fantasy/crime from VA), and a local artist who is about to publish his first sci-fi crime novel, Geraud Staton.
  • August 13 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts NC poet and author Valerie Nieman for a reading from her new book of (sometimes speculative) poetry Hotel Worthy. Nieman is the author of Neena Gathering, a 1988 post-apocalyptic novel. Introduction by Richard Krawiec.
  • August 15 and 17 (Saturday and Monday) 7 pm — On Saturday August 15, Quail Ridge Books hosts Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winning author Michael Swanwick for his new “Darger and Surplus” novel Chasing the Phoenix. Swanwick will visit Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books on Monday August 17.
  • August 16 (Sunday) 10 am to 5 pm — Oak City Comic Show at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown with Tommy Lee Edwards, Richard Case, Dale Mettam, Jeremy Whitley, and much more.

As you can see we’ve got a pretty packed few weeks ahead, and there’s still more to come with September readings from Kim Harrison and Christopher Moore, and the next SFWA Southeast Reading series event on Thursday, September 17 with authors Gail Z. Martin, Alyssa Wong, Ursula Vernon, Delilah Dawson, and Monica Byrne. And! Though November is a long way off, tickets for a special Welcome to Night Vale: An evening with Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor & John Darnielle event on November 3 at Chapel Hill’s Varsity Theater are on sale at Flyleaf Books.

Speaking of Wong and Vernon, though, gives me an opportunity to segue over to awards news: Read the rest of this entry »


Coming to Town: Paul Tremblay for A Head Full of Ghosts at Flyleaf Books, interviewed by Richard Dansky

Interview by Richard Dansky:

With A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay has catapulted himself into the front rank of American horror authors. Born in Colorado but currently residing in Boston, Tremblay teaches AP Calculus by day and then unleashes an entirely different set of horrors by night. His previous works include Swallowing A Donkey’s Eye and the short story collection In The Mean Time, both from ChiZine Publishing. Nominated twice for the Bram Stoker Award, he also serves as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards. He was kind enough to take time out from his Guest of Honor duties at NECON to talk a little about the role of pop culture references in fiction, blogging as a framing device, and why he’s disappointed in Les Stroud, ahead of his appearance this Sunday (July 26) at 4 pm at Flyleaf Books [Facebook].

Q: First question: Do you believe in Bigfoot?

Do I believe in Bigfoot? I do not. You know, I kind of want to, but I’m kind of taking up the “no Bigfoot” position just as devil’s advocate because my ten year old daughter is so [into it]. She hasn’t watched it much in the last six to 8 months, but my daughter had a section of time where she was totally obsessed with Bigfoot. She has a Bigfoot t-shirt and loves the show [note: the reality show Finding Bigfoot, which features prominently in A Head Full of Ghosts] so I would playfully argue with her that there was no Bigfoot. “How come they don’t find any bodies” and she always responds with “well, they bury their dead”. But I have a hard time believing that there’s a Bigfoot.

Q: Just a spoiler alert here – the last few episodes of Finding Bigfoot, they have not actually found Bigfoot. I know that’s a tremendous shock. Read the rest of this entry »


The Exploding Spaceship Reviews The Oathkeeper by J.F. Lewis, Dark Run by Mike Brooks, and The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

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Review of The Oathkeeper by J.F.Lewis (Pyr, June 9, 2015)

This is the second volume of the Grudgebearer Trilogy.  The main characters in this volume are Rae’en and Wylant. These female characters had a lesser role in the first volume because Kholster was alive then and for this volume he is a god.

Wylant and Kholster’s marriage is still ongoing even though he has passed into godhood, but the situation definitely makes for some amusing romantic confusion. Kholster wasn’t the brightest bulb about romance before he died, and becoming a god only made him more obtuse in some ways.

The Zaur attack while several of the other races are trying to make peace so that gets delayed and the city must be evacuated while also trying to fight the Zaur.  It has lots of fight scenes and general confusion, including some caused by a dragon.  The reptiles invaded the other races’ territories from several directions over both land and sea. They also are trying to settle a treaty with one of the races, but everyone is suspicious of this. The Zaur they are speaking with does have an ulterior motive but not the one they think.

Several characters in this book moved from being male idiots in the last book to being more sympathetic beings. This made this volume have a better overall tone than the last one (where several characters were males who deserved to have some sense slapped into them).

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There is more magic use in this volume because of some changes with a few Eldrennai characters. The setting and races of beings in this are quite amazing.  None of them are really typical fantasy races, although there are analogs to several. The writing is well done and it moves fast. That is actually the one problem with this volume: the scene shifts are too rapid in some cases so it is easy to get confused on where geographically you are and even in some cases whose viewpoint it is. Read the rest of this entry »


ConGregate in High Point this weekend!

ConGregate 2: Scoundrels and Rogues is set to open at the Radisson Hotel in High Point tomorrow, with writer guests of honor Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole, tons of programming, gaming, parties, and more, including Saturday evening’s presentation of this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award. I’m looking forward to seeing so many friends old and new, including John Hartness, A.J. Hartley, Laura Haywood-Cory, Emily Lavin Leverett, Paula S. Jordan, Chris Kennedy, Darin Kennedy, Debra Killeen, Steven S. Long, Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey, James Maxey, Margaret S. McGraw, Jay Posey, Gray Rinehart, Edmund R. Schubert, Rich Sigfrit, Michael G. Willians, Allen and Darcy Wold, and on and on. It’s going to be fantastic!

  

And while my schedule doesn’t quite permit it, I highly, highly recommend taking the train to the convention if you can. The High Point Amtrak station (HPT) is literally half a block from the hotel, with multiple trains daily from Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Greensboro, Burlington, Charlotte, and beyond. The routes to look far are the Crescent as well as the Carolinian and Piedmont. That’s how I got to StellarCon a couple of times when it was held at the High Point Radisson and it was just a fantastic trip. See you there?

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The Hardest Part: Alex J. Cavanaugh on Dragon of the Stars

North Carolina author Alex J. Cavanaugh already has three Amazon bestsellers under his belt with his first trilogy, as well as a sizzling review from Library Journal which praised the series as one which “calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels.” After the publication of CassaStorm in late 2013, I’d been on the lookout for his next book, but it wasn’t until I e-stumbled onto it in late December last year on a popular Goodreads list (Most Anticipated Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Novels of 2015) at #3 that I started to get an idea just how much of a following Cavanaugh has grown over first years of his young writing career. As I wrote him, “Dude, That’s one way to let a guy know that you have a new book coming in April!” (Now he’s at #15 on the list, which is still pretty impressive, above such heavyweights as John Scalzi and Stephen King, and this fellow named Neil Gaiman. You may have heard of him.) Here, Cavanaugh writes about finding a new voice and a new world for Dragon of the Stars.

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Starting a New Story After Finishing a Series
By Alex J. Cavanaugh

When I wrote my first book, I never envisioned a series. When it expanded to three books, I found certain aspects of the sequels were easier since the world and characters were already established. It provided a starting point on which I could continue to build.

Once I finished the series, I wasn’t sure I would write another book. I knew I wouldn’t continue with the Cassa universe. I’d taken the main character on his journey and there wasn’t much farther I could go with the story.

And then an idea hit me for a standalone story. Dragon of the Stars would not take place in the same universe though. That meant starting from scratch. Read the rest of this entry »


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