2011 local and regional author holiday book buying guide.

As the nights get colder and you look for a book to curl up with, or for a gift for the readers (or those darned fools who should be reading!) in your life, there are hundreds and hundreds of choices. Well, here, I’ll narrow this down to local and regional authors in (primarily, I promise!) science fiction and fantasy, presented along a few categories. Enjoy! (And if this isn’t quite enough, there’s always last year’s list…)

(A brief aside for a local book-buying hint: I’ve largely given Goodreads links for the books here. Use the “online stores” dropdown to select IndieBound, and then use IndieBound’s buttons to find it in a local store by zip code or city. And one more thing: there are a lot of Kindle and other e-books that I didn’t list — Wake Forest author Michael Jasper and Hertford, NC author David Niall Wilson, among others, I am so looking at you — this list is really meant to be a “stuff I can pick up or at least order in a local bookstore by a local author, wrap up, and give to someone” list, with exceptions for a couple of digital-only audiobooks.)

YOUNG READERS:

  • Hillsborough: John Claude Bemis’s The White City (Random House Books for Young Readers, August) concludes his The Clockwork Dark trilogy, which began with 2009’s The Nine Pound Hammer and continued with 2010’s The Wolf Tree. Audiobooks (both boxed CD sets and giftable Audible.com downloads) for all 3 books are also available. Additionally, a paperback edition of The Wolf Tree came out this year
  • Durham: Stephen Messer’s The Death of Yorik Mortwell (Random House Books for Young Readers, September) is his second standalone book for young readers after last year’s Windblowne. This one is a quirky ghost story, illustrated by Gris Grimly. Additionally, a paperback edition of Windblowne came out this year
  • Charlotte: A. J. Hartley’s Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact (Razorbill, October) introduces 11-year-old Darwen Arkwright, a boy who has just moved from England to Atlanta. R.L. Stine calls it “Fantastic, surprising fun!” and it received a positive review from the NY Journal of Books

FANTASY:

  • Pittsboro: David Drake’s Out of the Waters (Tor, July) is the second novel in his Books of the Elements tetralogy, which began with last year’s The Legions of Fire which was released in mass market paperback earlier this year
  • Raleigh: Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Rift Walker (Pyr, September) is the second novel in their Vampire Empire trilogy, which began with last year’s The Greyfriar
  • Chapel Hill: Natania Barron’s Pilgrim of the Sky (Candlemark & Gleam, December) is her debut novel, which Cherie Priest calls “… a lush, dreamy fable – both vintage gothic, and modern mystery … lovingly laced with magic and darkness from start to finish.” Pre-orders are being handled through a Kickstarter campaign as well as via B&N — though I’m sure other local bookstores can figure out how to get the book to you
  • Durham: Mur Lafferty’s 5-book Afterlife series (Heaven, Hell, Earth, Wasteland, and War), originally released as podcasted audiobooks, were published in beautiful matching hardcover editions
  • Raleigh: Lewis Shiner’s 1994 World Fantasy Award-winning novel Glimpses was released in digital audio format at Audible.com
  • Kelly Gay’s The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Pocket Books, August) is book 3 in her Charlie Madigan urban fantasy series
  • Lisa Shearin’s Con & Conjure (Ace, February/March) is book 5 in her Raine Benares urban fantasy series
  • Greensboro: Orson Scott Card’s The Lost Gate (Tor, January) begins a new series called The Mither Mages — also available in digital audio from Blackstone Audio
  • Charlotte: Gail Z. Martin’s The Sworn (Orbit, January/February) begins her second series, The Fallen Kings Cycle, in the same world as her previous, picking up after the events of her Chronicles of the Necromancer — also available in CD, MP3-CD, and digital audio from Tantor Media
  • NC: Teresa Frohock’s Miserere: An Autumn Tale (Night Shade Books, July) is her debut fantasy novel, and begins a trilogy
  • Georgia: J.M. McDermott’s Never Knew Another (Night Shade Books, January) began his Dogsland Trilogy; additionally, a new paperback edition of his first novel Last Dragon was published by Apex early this year
  • ex-NC: Tim Pratt’s Briarpatch (ChiZine Publications, September)
  • ex-NC: Tim Akers’s Dead of Veridon (Solaris Books, May)

SCIENCE FICTION:

  • Chapel Hill: Rebecca Rowe’s Circle Tide (EDGE, August) is a “loose prequel” to her previous novel Forbidden Cargo
  • Pittsboro: David Drake’s Into the Hinterlands (Wake Forest-based Baen Books, September, co-written with John Lambshead) begins a new space opera series plotted against the life of George Washington.
  • Pittsboro: David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers series came to digital audio at Audible.com in April, narrated superbly by Stefan Rudnicki: At Any Price & Rolling Hot, The Sharp End, Counting the Cost & The Warrior, and Paying the Piper
  • Raleigh: Mark L. Van Name’s 2010 novel Children No More was released in mass market paperback by Wake Forest-based Baen Books
  • High Point: Robin Parrish’s Corridor (December) will be released in paperback and e-book by StoneHouse Ink — a little more information here
  • South Carolina: T.C. McCarthy’s Germline (Orbit, July) was released as an original mass market paperback, and is also available in audio from Blackstone Audio

FICTION:

  • Durham: David Halperin’s Journal of a UFO Investigator (Viking, February) is not “properly” science fiction, but it was a novel I very much enjoyed and which freely borrows and uses science fictional techniques and elements — also available in audio from Blackstone Audio
  • Raleigh: Lewis Shiner’s Dark Tangos (Subterranean Press, August) is a taut thriller set against Argentinian tangos and intrigue and last I saw, both The Regulator and Quail Ridge Books (which each hosted book signings) had signed copies in stock. Additionally,with new paperback editions of Say Goodbye and Slam this year, all of Shiner’s previous novels are back in print in a “definitive edition” 6-book series. Some of these, including his first novel Frontera and later books Glimpses and Deserted Cities of the Heart, are speculative fiction novels, for those whose tastes are a little more exclusive, and the last of the six, Black & White, follows the construction of the Durham Freeway

    COLLECTIONS:

    ANTHOLOGIES:

    • Raleigh: Mark L. Van Name’s The Wild Side (Wake Forest-based Baen Books) is an anthology of original urban fantasy stories “with an erotic edge”, including a story from local writer Gina Massel-Castater
    • Raleigh: John Kessel’s Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka (Tachyon Publications, co-edited by James Patrick Kelly) — there’s a great chance to pick up a personalized/signed copy at a December 7th event at Quail Ridge Books
    • Pittsboro: David Drake’s story “Than Curse the Darkness” was reprinted in The Book of Cthulhu (Night Shade Books, September)
    • Durham: Mur Lafferty’s story “1963: The Argument Against Louis Pasteur” is in the Ann and Jeff VanderMeer-edited anthology The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (HarperVoyager, July), along with microfiction from Winston-Salem’s Nadine Wilson and art from Greeville’s Scott Eagle
    • Durham: Richard Dansky is one of the contributors to Night-Mantled: The Best of Wily Writers, Volume 1
    • Raleigh: Kij Johnson’s story “Story Kit” is in the Jonathan Strahan-edited original science fiction and fantasy anthology Eclipse 4 (Night Shade Books, May, which also includes ex-local Andy Duncan’s “Slow as a Bullet”); her 2010 story “Names For Water” appears in the Strahan-edited The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5 (Night Shade Books, March, which also includes Raleigh author John Kessel’s 2010 story “Iteration”); and her 2009 story “Spar” appears in the Kevin J. Anderson-edited anthology Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 (Tor Books, May)
    • Raleigh: Eric Gregory’s story “The Harrowers” is in the John Joseph Adams-edited anthology Lightspeed: Year One (Prime, November 15)
    • Raleigh: Lewis Shiner’s 1988 story “Love in Vain” appears in the Joe R. Lansdale-edited anthology Crucified Dreams (Tachyon Publications, February); and his story “The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato” is in the 1987 George R.R. Martin-edited anthology Wild Cards I, which was just released in audiobook format by Brilliance Audio, accompanying an updated 2010 print edition from Tor Books
    • Durham: Richard Dansky’s story “The Man Who Built Haunted Houses” is in Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror (Flames Rising Press, October)
    • Greenville: Ada Milenkovic Brown’s story “Nadirah Sends Her Love” is in Crossed Genres Quarterly #1 (January, edited by Natania Barron and Jaym Gates) and she has another story in the forthcoming anthology River: The Anthology (Dark Quest Books)

    NON-FICTION:

    GRAPHIC NOVELS and COMICS:

    • Firetower Studios released a trade paperback collecting the first several issues of the ongoing The Order of Dagonet by Jeremy Whitley (story) and Jason Strutz (art)
    • Tommy Lee Edwards’s TURF (Image Comics, story by Jonathan Ross) was released in hardcover, collecting the entire miniseires — also available in a special limited edition alternate binding at Ultimate Comics
    • Angi Shearstone’s BloodDreams is “Vampire Punk” praised by Warren Ellis — check it out online or in local comic stores
    • Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless is a subversive take on the archetypal “fair princess waiting in a dragon-guarded tower for rescue from a handsome prince” story — from Action Labs, with issue #2 just released
    • Greensboro: Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card’s Laddertop, Volume 1 (Tor Books, September, art by Honoel A. Ibardolaza) — also available in a digital audio adaptation narrated by Stefan Rudnicki

    ROLE PLAYING GAMES:

    • Bully Pulpit Games released the Fiasco Companion supplement to their GM-less storytelling game Fiasco — the game is praised by Wil Wheaton as: “Fiasco was one of the greatest storytelling RPGs I’ve ever played. I highly recommend it.”

    OTHER:

    • Oh, I don’t know, how about: a subscription to Bull Spec makes a great gift — you can even do something creative like start with issue 5, to have issues 5-7 on hand for the holidays and issue 8 coming in February… Or just stuff a stocking with issue #7, available to pre-order now, or a brand-new subscription to last the whole year, starting with the imminently forthcoming issue #7…

    Local events flyer for Winter 2011.

    To accompany the full events newsletter, here’s an easy one-page sheet to download, print, post, and hand around, covering November and December events:

    http://www.box.net/embed/7v5231k2a5ntard.swf


    Bull Spec local events e-mailing list: November 2011

    Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1, 2011:

    Welcome to the November events and announcements newsletter from Bull Spec! This time, a bit late instead of early. But there’s plenty to talk about this month, starting with NC Comicon this weekend and continuing through author events, new books, and more author events in November and December. A couple of things which I’d hoped to have ready for this newsletter but aren’t quite there are: 1. the second Bull Spec teen writing contest will begin soon 2. I will get a local author holiday gift guide together fairly soon as well, covering the books published this year by local authors. Look for details in the near future on the blog. Also, very (very) soon (I hope!) Bull Spec #7 will be published. One of these weeks…


    Lastly, I cannot fail to mention that — thanks to all of you — the Bull Spec Year 3 Kickstarter was a great, great success. We raised over $2000, and I’ve finally got the ball rolling on getting the rewards into your supporting hands. Thank you, yet again.


    -Sam

    Update: 1-page PDF flyer available here.

    NOVEMBER

    1: Local author book release: John Kessel’s next anthology for Tachyon, Kafkaesque, collects “Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka”, including stories from JG Ballard, Terry Bisson, Borges, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, and more. Event on December 7 at Quail Ridge Books (see below). More info: http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html


    1: The Kickstarter “pre-order” campaign for local author Natania Barron’s debut novel Pilgrim of the Sky kicked off and is already off to a great start: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/candlemarkandgleam/print-release-of-pilgrim-of-the-sky?ref=live

    5-6 (Saturday and Sunday): NC Comicon at the Morrisville Outlet Mall. A big lineup of artists and writers, a well-stocked dealer room, and more. A recent spot on NBC 17 is worth watching: http://nccomicon.com/?p=640 and there’s a Facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151473324943296


    NEW: 9 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm: Quail Ridge Books hosts L.E. Modesitt, Jr. for a reading and signing for Scholar, his newest fantasy novel: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=273997142640391

    15 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow, to present her latest novel Doc, a retelling of the life of “Doc” Holliday: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/mary-doria-russell-sparrow-author-doc

    NEW-NEW: 18 (Friday), 6 to 8 pm: Gerry Canavan presents “Shipwrecked Passengers on a Doomed Planet” as part of Duke Univsity’s Literature Grad Student Colloquium. “I’m presenting from chapter three of my dissertation, on ecology and apocalypse in 1970s and post-1970s science fiction[.]“ More info: http://gerrycanavan.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/111811-shipwrecked-passengers-on-a-doomed-planet/


    NEW: 26 (Saturday), 9 pm to late: The Gaslight Ball: A Steampunk Party at downtown Pittsboro’s Davenport & Winkleperry: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=233637586690915

    NEW: 29 (Saturday), 9 pm to midnight: The Blotter Magazine is celebrating its 100th issue with a Barbecue Bash from 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Pinhook, 117 W. Main St.DurhamNC. Storm Front, http://www.stormfrontlive.com, and The Gonzo Symphonic Presents (http://www.facebook.com/#!/thegonzosymphonicpresents) will perform. The public is invited. “The Blotter Magazine, www.blotterrag.comexists to nurture underground, outsider literature and art, and to provide it to a wide audience. Our mission is to encourage and support new writers and artists. We hope to see you there.”

    DECEMBER


    7 (Wednesday) at 7:30 pm: Quail Ridge Books: John Kessel and Ruth Gross for “An Evening with Franz Kafka and Friends”, including Kessel’s newest anthology, Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka — http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html


    9 (Friday) at 7:00 pm: Quail Ridge Books: Cassandra Clare brings us her latest, Clockwork Prince.  In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting.Clockwork Prince is the sequel to Clockwork Angel, and part of theInfernal Devices trilogy.  For ages 12 and up.  Cassandra Clare is best known for her hugely popular Mortal Instruments series. SIGNING LINE TICKET EVENT – receive a signing line ticket with the purchase of any of Cassandra Clare’s books. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/cassandra-clare-ya-novel-clockwork-prince


    13: Local author new novel: Natania Barron, Pilgrim of the Sky from Candlemark & Gleam. “A novel that might be best described as mythpunk. With elements of fantasy, science fiction, Romantic poetry, steampunk, and multiverse theory, well, it isn’t exactly the sort of book that finds a comfortable little niche to sit in.” More info: http://pilgrimofthesky.com/


    NEW: 31 (Saturday), 9 pm to late: Downtown Pittsboro’s Davenport and Winkleperry host The Clockwork Ball: A Steampunk Masquerade to usher in the New Year: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179760945440352


    JANUARY 2012

    2: Local author new novel: JL Hilton: Stellarnet Rebel from Carina Press, early 2012. “A science fiction romantic thriller.” More info: http://jlhilton.com/stellarnet-rebel/

    3: Local author new edition: The David Drake onmibus Voyage Across the Stars collects his Hammer’s Slammers novels Cross the Stars and Voyage. From Baen. More info: http://www.baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451637717


    13-15: New local SF convention illogiCon (January 13-15, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Joe Haldeman. More info: http://illogicon.com/

    31: Local author book release: Solaris Books to publish the first book in a new fantasy series from Hillsborough author James Maxey, which starts with Greatshadow: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11511696-greatshadow

    MARCH 2012

    2-4: StellarCon (March 2-4, 2012) in High Point with literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss. More info: http://stellarcon.org/

    JUNE 2012

    1-3: ConCarolinas (June 1-3, 2012) in Charlotte with writer guest of honor Jack McDevitt. More info: http://www.concarolinas.org/

    21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest. More info: http://contemporal.org/

    END

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