Local Author release day: James Maxey’s Hush, book 2 in The Dragon Apocalypse

Congratulations to Hillsborough author James Maxey, whose second fantasy series for Solaris Books has just doubled in size. Quickly on the heels of January’s Greatshadow is book 2 of The Dragon Apocalypse, Hush:

“The invulnerable, super-strong warrior Infidel has a secret: she’s lost her magical powers right at the moment when she needs them most. To keep a promise to a fallen friend, she must journey to the frozen wastelands of the north. Her quest leads her through the abstract realms of the Sea of Wine, where she uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all life. Hush, the primal dragon of cold, has formed an alliance with the ghost of a vengeful witch to murder Glorious, the dragon of the sun, plunging the world into an unending winter night. Without her magical strength, can Infidel possibly survive her battle with Hush? If she fails to save glorious, will the world see another morning?”

Via the Goodreads link here you can find it in your local IndieBound store, B&N, Powell’s, Amazon.com, etc. in both print and e-book. What better way to beat the heat this summer than with Hush, in which the eponymous primal dragon of cold, conspires to destroy the sun and plunge the world into ice? You may end up rooting for her…

ConTemporal Day 1



  • Wow. For the first day of a brand new convention, there was a lot of energy, lots and lots of art, and things just went really smoothly. Well done!
  • It is pretty hard to fit even two years worth of local sf/f onto one table.
  • Had a good time on the “Pirates in Literature” panel with John Claude Bemis and Danny Birt, moderated by Lee Martindale –rambled all over from Treasure Island to Ice Pirates, back to Peter Pan, “Pinkbeard”, the Dread Pirate Roberts, and On Stranger Tides.
  • When someone asks if you play poker, and you answer “not very well”, they will invite you to play poker immediately.

ConTemporal Week, Friday: Registration, and Pirates!

Registration for ConTemporal opens today at 12 pm, at which time you can also start registering for the various author Salons — intimate 10-person conversations with many of the guest authors and artists of the convention. As for me, I have one panel today, at 4 pm: “Pirates in Literature”. If I have time today, I’ll also set up a table of a staggeringly heavy collection of local author books (for display, not for sale) in the Artist’s Alley.

(And the Dealer’s Room opens at 5, at which time you can come check out copies of Bull Spec #7 and find out for yourself how Steampunk-influenced a “Gearaffe” might be…)

ConTemporal Week, Thursday: Meet hashtag #contemporal2012

I’m looking forward to setting up a Bull Spec and local authors display on Artists Alley tomorrow, but for today, which officially kicks off ConTemporal with this evenings dinner and concert festivities, I want to simply introduce you to the hashtag #contemporal2012 — look for quotes, pictures, and updates all weekend.

ConTemporal Week, Wednesday: Natania Barron is ConTemporal Bound

Local author (and 3-time fiction contributor, 3-time non-fiction contributor, and incoming Bull Spec fiction co-editor!) Natania Barron is ConTemporal Bound — though she doesn’t exactly have far to go. She’s posted her panel schedule, which includes a 10-person salon discussion on Saturday which you can register for when checking in at ConTemporal registration.

Natania Barron, photo by Carrie Upchurch

ConTemporal Week, Tuesday: Something you might forget to bring…

Why yes, it’s still ConTemporal week, with festivities getting started with Thursday evenings Guest of Honor dinner and concert (does anybody know if tickets are still available for these?) and continuing all weekend. I don’t have much to add today, having used up a half-handful of updates yesterday. But there is one thing I’ve had on my mind: something in particular to not forget.

You see, I received a few complaints after Lev Grossman’s reading at Flyleaf last fall that I didn’t give enough advance reminder notice to bring your copy of The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities to be signed. So I’m fixing that this year: no excuses! Literary guest of honor Cherie Priest is a contributor to the book as well.

ConTemporal Week!

It’s ConTemporal Week here in the Triangle, with things getting started with the guest of honor dinner this Thursday and continuing through closing ceremonies (and beyond to one last Maker swap meet) on Sunday. I’ll be there Friday and Saturday, with panels on pirates in literature, subplots, and manuscript preparation. (And I’ll be hunting down literary guest of honor Cherie Priest’s signing schedule…)

Monday notes:

For those into sharing, there’s both an official Facebook event and a much less official Goodreads event. ConTemporal has its own 1-page flyer somewhere, and there’s also an entry for the convention on the current Bull Spec handout sheet. Tell your friends, and I hope to see a lot of you this weekend!

Maker Faire tomorrow! Free RPG Day, too! M. David Blake is interviewed! Exciting things!

First: I hope as many of you as humanly possible were among the 40+ who went to see and hear Kevin Hearne at Flyleaf Books last Tuesday, and were able to do more than stop by Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless event last Saturday at Ultimate Comics. Did you go? Any pictures or memorable quotes?

Second: tomorrow is Maker Faire NC at the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. It runs from 10 am to 5 pm, and includes homemade robots, crafters, quilters, gadgeters, artists, and other “makers” from around the region. There isn’t an “official” Bull Spec presence this year, but hopefully I can convince some folks to take some copies of the flyer for interested parties.

Third: tomorrow is also Free RPG Day (the gaming world’s counterpart to Free Comic Book Day), with events and giveaways around the Triangle, particularly including Raleigh’s Game Theory and Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre.

Lastly: Hillsborough author M. David Blake (“Absinthe Fish”, Bull Spec #5) has a long and ranging interview with AmyBeth Inverness, in which you can see his beautiful fountain penmanship, read about the writing of “Absinthe Fish”, and more.

PS: A week from today we’ll be wrapping up a full day of programming at ConTemporal!

Bull Spec Newsletter for June 2012

Vol 2. No. 5, Thursday, June 7, 2012:

Wow, did May fly by or what? New books (Mark L. Van Name’s No Going Back, John Claude Bemis’s The Prince Who Fell From the Sky complete with launch party extravaganza last Saturday), more events (David Halperin, Alethea Kontis, Free Comic Book Day) and last weekend’s ConCarolinas in Charlotte. We also had a good bit of local and regional author awards news ranging from storySouth selections to another Nebula Award for Kij Johnson.

June is shaping up to be quite a month as well, with more events (Jeremy Whitley at Ultimate Comics on Saturday, Kevin Hearne at Flyleaf Books on Tuesday, a whole panel of local authors at the B&N of Cary late this month), more new books (James Maxey’s Hush), and ConTemporal on June 21-24, there’s plenty to keep busy.

Meanwhile, Bull Spec #7 has been chugging along, finally out both in PDF and in all of the local stores, and picking up reviews at Locus Online, SFRevu, and Tangent.

Looking longer-term, there’s some bad news and good news. The bad news is that while the event fairy giveth, the event fairy can also take away. I’m pretty bummed to announce that the planned August 5th event with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Tobias S. Buckell, and Karin Lowachee has had to be canceled. It was just too much to try to swing another post-Shared Worlds road trip this year. But! The good news is that Flyleaf Books will still be hosting an absolutely fantastic event on August 5th: two regional science fiction and fantasy authors, South Carolina’s T. C. McCarthy (Germline, Exogene, and the forthcoming Chimera) and Virginia’s Michael J. Sullivan (The Riyria Revelations series) are coming to town for a mini Orbit regional author-palooza. So keep that time slot booked, and start spreading the word! (How, you may ask? Why, with this handout, of course, and with the Facebook event link below!)


JUNE 2012

NEW: 8-10 (Friday through Sunday): Durham’s Carolina Theatre hosts a “Battle of the Groovy Movie Film Series” with Battle Royale and Predators among the lineup: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/battle-groovy-movie-film-series-schedule

NEW: 9 (Saturday) 12p to 4p — Ultimate Comics hosts Jeremy Whitley for a signing of the collected Eisner-nominated Princeless comic book, complete with fencing demonstration: https://www.facebook.com/events/200028633453186/200038296785553/

NEW: 12 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Kevin Hearne, author of the Iron Druid Chronicles series, for a reading and signing event.

16 (Saturday) 10 am to 5 pm — MakerFaire NC at the NC State Fairgrounds: http://makerfairenc.com/

13-17 (Wednesday through Sunday) — The North American Jules Verne Society will hold its 2012 annual meeting in Marion, NC, near the site of the Great Eyry referenced in Verne’s novel Master of the World. More info: http://www.najvs.org/meetings.shtml

NEW: 16 (Saturday) — Free RPG Day with events and giveaways around the Triangle, particularly including Raleigh’s Game Theory and Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre.

21 (Friday) — Durham’s Carolina Theatre hosts The Moth: Between Worlds, a live storytelling event. The guests have not yet been finalized. More info: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/events/moth-between-worlds

21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Chapel Hill with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest and comic book guests of honor Studio Foglio. More info: http://contemporal.org/

26 — Local author new novel: Solaris Books to publish Hillsborough author James Maxey’s Hush — continuing his new fantasy series which began with Greatshadow in January.

NEW: 26 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Barnes & Noble of Cary hosts its annual local author science fiction and fantasy panel, with this year’s lineup including Tony Daniels, David Drake, Kelly Gay, James Maxey, Lisa Shearin and Mark Van Name: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/3365214

JULY 2012

17: Regional author new novel: Tor to publish Greensboro author Orson Scott Card’s (along with Aaron Johnson) Earth Unaware: The First Formic War.

NEW: 23 (Monday) — Star Trek: The Next Generation is back on the big screen to celebrate its 25th anniversary with two hand-picked episodes, with three Triangle-area theaters among many state- and nation-wide, including Crossroads 20 in Cary, Brier Creek 14, and North Hills 15. (Hat tip to Laura Haywood-Cory on this one!) More info: http://www.startrek.com/article/tng-25th-anniversary-event-in-theaters-july-23

UPDATE: 29 (Sunday) 8 pm — The Raleigh Browncoats will present their annual charity screening of  the Firefly movie, Serenity, at the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. Doors open at 6 pm for the raffle and costume contest, followed by the film. More info: http://www.ncbrowncoats.com/


1 — Local editor new anthology: Raleigh author and anthologist John Kessel’s latest anthology (co-edited with James Patrick Kelly) to be released: Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology from Tachyon Publications.

UPDATE: 5 (Sunday) 2 to 4 pm — Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts the 2nd Bull Spec summer literary sf festival with South Carolina author T.C. McCarthy (Germline, Exogene, and the forthcoming Chimera) and Virginia author Michael J. Sullivan (The Riyria Revelations). Last year was a veritable Steampunk Cabinet of Curiosities. This year, it’s a mini Orbit regional author-palooza. Spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/events/326070144135719/

14 — Local author new collection: Raleigh author Kij Johnson’s fiction collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees to be published by Small Beer Press.

NEW: 31 – September 6 — Durham’s Carolina Theatre’s Summer Classics Film Series concludes with Sam Raimi’s ARMY OF DARKNESS and John Milius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/summer-classics-film-seriesSEPTEMBER 2012

4 — Local author new novel: Raleigh authors Clay and Susan Griffith conclude their Vampire Empire series with book 3, The Kingmakers, after 2010’s The Greyfriar and 2011’s The Rift Walker, from Pyr Books. More info: http://clayandsusangriffith.blogspot.com/

NEW: 14-16 (Friday to Sunday) – The Escapist Magazine presents the first Escapist Expo at the newly renovated Durham Convention Center, with game designers, writers, comics, music, and more: http://www.escapistexpo.com/


NEW: 1 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Michael Chabon (the author of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay) for a reading and signing event of his forthcoming non-genre novel, Telegraph Hill. More info: http://quailridgebooks.com/event/michael-chabon-telegraph-hill

NEW: 9 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm — Kij Johnson returns to the Triangle for a reading and signing of her forthcoming collection from Small Beer Press, At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories, at Quail Ridge Books. More info: http://quailridgebooks.com/event/kij-johnson-nebula-winner-new-stories


17-18 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center: http://nccomicon.com/

TBD — Local author new novel: J.L. Hilton’s Stellarnet Prince, sequel to January’s Stellarnet Rebel, to be published by Carina Press.


11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon 2 will be held at the Embassy Suites of Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle on January 11-13, 2013, with writer guest of honor Tim Powers and webcomic guest of honor Garth Graham: http://www.illogicon.com/



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