July Newsletter: ConTemporal, Writers of the Future, Alex Bledsoe, Ehmm Theory, Jenna Black, and Can’t Stop the Serenity

Vol 3. No 7. June 27, 2013:

I’m sneaking this into the end of June because tomorrow (Friday, June 28) has two noteworthy events to mention before we turn the page into the events of July:

  • ConTemporal, the Triangle-area-based Steampunk-centered multi-disciplinary convention for authors, artists, makers, costumers, musicians, gamers, fans, and more, opens its second year, at the North Raleigh Hilton. The “Port” opens at 3 pm, with programming getting started at 5 pm and continuing all weekend.
  • Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts Jamil Nasir for his new sf novel Tunnel Out of Death (Tor Books), along with local writer Alex Wilson for the publication of the latest anthology from Writers of the Future, which includes Wilson’s prize-winning story. Billed as a “dual reading”, this event starts at 7 pm. [Facebook event]

Speaking of July, though, it’s going to be a fun month, with readings from Alex Bledsoe, Stephen Kiernan, and Jenna Black, a comic book signing — a just-announced July 13 event at Ultimate Comics for Ehmm Theory — and to cap the month off the annual charity event by the NC Browncoats, “Can’t Stop the Serenity” on Sunday July 28. And! It’s a big month for regional speculative fiction, too, with new books from Asheville’s Nathan Ballingrud (his collection North American Lake Monsters is actually out a bit early, and reviewed quite positively by Tor.com), the aforementioned Triangle’s own Jenna Black (Replica), fellow Triangle author Kelly Gay (a short story in the anthology Carniepunk), and Durham writer Jay Posey, whose debut post-apocalyptic novel, Three, will have a local event, but it’s just not scheduled yet as of this writing. Stay tuned! (And don’t stop for too much rest after July, because August is just around the corner, with the big August 3 Bull Spec Summer Speculative Fiction Event at Quail Ridge Books!)

But looking back at June again, one category of thing jumps out at me: podcasts. Here’s a quick rundown of a few to check out from June:

  • Getting Paid – Episode #2 – Freelancing and Scoring the Perfect In-House Job by Gabe Dunston: “In this episode I talk with illustrator, Robb Mommaerts. He is the artist behind some of Cryptozoic’s new products such as the Food Fight game and The Lookouts comic.”
  • Mating Habits of the Modern Geek – Episode #23 – Hints and the Friend Zone: What You’re Probably Missing by Kelley Hightower: “In this episode, Sean Ryan and I discuss several different hints, clues, and tells for determining if that special someone you have your eye on may feel the same about you…or whether it’s time to stop bothering them. We explore the less-than-erogenous zone that is the Friend Zone, and why to women, Friendship is Magic while men avoid it like the plague.”
  • The Shambling Guide to New York City – Chapter 8 by Mur Lafferty — a chapter by chapter podcast of a new audiobook published in late May by Hachette Audio. (More Mur news I can’t resist sharing, among so much: a great write-up from io9, “Now This is the Urban Fantasy Heroine We Want”, and the inclusion of The Shambling Guide to New York City in the LA Times’ summer reading list.)

One last special shout-out this month, for local writer and critic Zack Smith, who is the pen behind the backup story in the next issue of KaBOOM! Studios’ Regular Show comic. Issue #1 sold out in 48 hours, and indeed, Zack is the “handsome devil” (his own words, c’mon, I have to quote them) on the “Next Issue” page of recently-published Issue #2. Congrats, Zack!

-Sam

UPCOMING EVENTS, JUNE 2013

27-30 (Thursday to Sunday) — ConTemporal 2013 at the North Raleigh Hilton, beginning with the Thursday evening guest of honor dinner and continuing all weekend, as this Steampunk-themed convention is back for a second year. Guest of honor Ursula Vernon, along with Lee Martindale, Tom Smith, toastmaster Sal Sanfratello, and more. More info: http://contemporal.org/

28 (Friday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Jamil Nasir for his new sf novel Tunnel Out of Death (Tor Books), along with local writer Alex Wilson for the publication of the latest anthology from Writers of the Future, which includes Wilson’s prize-winning story. [Facebook event]

29 (Saturday) 6 pm to 9 pm — Chapel Hill Comics will host Lisa Hanawalt on Saturday, June 29, from 6pm until 9pm, when she will sign her new book, My Dirty Dumb Eyes. More info: http://www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/?p=3158UPDATE 7/29: This event has been postponed until the fall.

29 (Saturday) Late to Later — Pittsboro’s Davenport & Winkleperry hosts THE CLOCKWORK BALL: A Steampunk Party.

JULY 2013

NEW-NEW: 6 (Saturday) 5 pm to 7 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts a Saturday, July 6 My Little Pony comic event with cover artist Elena “Yamino” Barbarich.

10 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Alex Bledsoe for Wisp of a Thing, book two after The Hum and the Shiver in his contemporary fantasy series.

11 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts STEPHEN KIERNAN for The Curiosity. “The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Michael Crichton in a powerful debut novel about a man frozen in ice for more than a century, who reawakens in the present day.”

NEW: 13 (Saturday) — Ultimate Comics hosts a signing for new Action Lab comic Ehmm Theory with Brockton McKinney, Larkin Ford, and Jason Strutz. (All day?)

NEW-NEW: 18-27 — Urban Garden Performing Arts presents Richard Butner’s “Vogue Men’s Fashions” at 213 Fayetteville Street in Raleigh. More info at the Facebook event. “Vogue Men’s Fashions is not a play. It’s about a man who has come to 213 Fayetteville Street with a problem, a camera, and a lot of memories. Join him on his journey through a psychic landscape populated by Ewoks, turtles, and executioners. This show contains adult language and is recommended for mature audiences.”

25 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts local author Jenna Black for her new novel Replica, first in a series set in near-future NYC.

NEW-NEW: 25 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts author Lydia Netzer for the new paperback edition of Shine Shine Shine. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/lydia-netzer-shine-shine-shine

28 (Sunday) — The annual NC Browncoats “Can’t Stop the Serenity” charity screening of Serenity at the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. Note that this is a ticketed event and tends to sell out completely in advance. More info: http://www.ncbrowncoats.com/2013/01/blog-post.html

NEW-NEW: 30 (Tuesday) 7 to 9 pm — The Barnes & Noble of the Streets at Southpoint hosts Durham author Jay Posey for a “meet and greet” signing for his debut post-apocalyptic novel, Three. More info: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4468621

AUGUST 2013

3 (Saturday) 3 pm — At the Durham County Library’s Main Branch (downtown, Roxboro St), children’s author, educator & musician, John Claude Bemis, the region’s 2013 Piedmont Laureate, will present a program celebrating the art of writing, including his traveling road show of fantasy for young readers, The Nine Pound Hammer, a magically folkloric retelling of the Legend of John Henry.

3 (Saturday) 7 to 9 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts the annual Bull Spec summer speculative fiction event. This year it is an absolutely fantastic lineup with Karen Lord, Nathan Ballingrud, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Robert V.S. Redick, and Will Hindmarch all coming up from the Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College, being joined locally by Durham author Mur Lafferty. We had a blast hosting Ann and Jeff back in 2011 and it’s sure to be another great evening. And! From 9 pm to late, The Raleigh Review is hosting an after-reading “meet the authors” reception (also free and open to the public) at their Writers’ Loft. And! See below for more info on additional events with Karen Lord while she is in the Triangle area. More info: http://bullspec.com/2013/03/29/announcement-the-third-annual-bull-spec-summer-speculative-fiction-event/

NEW: 4 (Sunday) 3 pm — The Orange County Library hosts Karen Lord for a meet the author event at its main branch in downtown Hillsborough. More info: http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=6923&EventID=177489

NEW: 5 (Monday) 4 pm — The newly renovated Chapel Hill Library hosts Karen Lord for a “meet the author tea” event. Refreshments served at 3:30 pm ahead of the event. More info: http://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/txp/?s=News&id=896

NEW: 5 (Monday) 7 pm — Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts Karen Lord for a reading and signing of her deep future anthropological sf novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds. More info: http://www.flyleafbooks.com/event/karen-lord-caribbean-speculative-fiction-bull-spec

 

NEW-NEW: 10 (Saturday) 2 to 5 pm — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts a launch party for card game Havok & Hijinks: “I am thrilled to announce that Atomic Empire in Durham, North Carolina, has kindly agreed to host the Havok & Hijinks Kickstarter Launch Party and, more importantly, you’re invited! Come out on Saturday, August the 10th to meet the Havok & Hijinks development team and spend some time at one of the most amazing gaming stores on the entire east coast.  It’s big, well-stocked, and they even have local craft beer for those that like to drink.  Festivities will begin right around 2 PM with a build-up to our launch at 5 PM!”

NEW: 23-35 (Friday to Sunday) — Atomic Empire hosts an “epic weekend of role-playing” at its first “AtomiCon”. More info: http://z6.invisionfree.com/Scifi_Genre_Forums/index.php?showtopic=9297

24 (Saturday) 2 pm to 3 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Marisha Pessl reads and signs her new novel Night Film. “An inventive–if brooding, strange and creepy–adventure in literary terror. Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King meet Guillermo del Toro as channeled by Klaus Kinski.” (Kirkus) More info: http://www.flyleafbooks.com/event/marisha-pessl-reads-and-signs-her-new-novel-night-film

27 (Tuesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts NCSU professor Wilton Barnhardt for his forthcoming historical fiction satire novel Lookaway, Lookaway (St. Martin’s and Macmillan Audio, August 20). And check your local listings, as Barnhardt has several additional readings in the local and regional area.

NEW-NEW: 29 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Richard Kadrey for Kill City Blues, the latest in his Sandman Slim series of dark urban fantasy. More info: http://www.flyleafbooks.com/event/fantasy-writer-richard-kadrey-discusses-kill-city-blues-his-latest-sandman-slim-novel

NEW-NEW: 31 (Saturday) 6 pm to 9 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts Signing with LISA HANAWALT & BRIAN RALPH! “Chapel Hill Comics is proud to announce that as part of our 10th/35th Anniversary Festivities, we will host Lisa Hanawalt and Brian Ralph on Saturday, August 31, from 6pm until 9pm! Lisa will sign her newest book, My Dirty Dumb Eyes (out now), and Brian will sign his newest book, Reggie-12 (Drawn & Quarterly is getting us copies early for the signing)!”

SEPTEMBER 2013

3 — Local book release day for Monsters of the Earth (Books of the Elements) by Pittsboro’s David Drake (Sep 3, 2013).

NEW-NEW: 4 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Susan Cooper, the Newbury Medal winning author of The Dark is Rising, for her new historical fiction novel for young readers, Ghost Hawk. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/newbery-medalist-susan-cooper-ghost-hawk

NEW-NEW: 17 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Author John Claude Bemis, who is serving this year as the Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature, is leading a series of roundtable discussions with local children’s and YA authors about writing craft, creativity, and the magic of children’s literature.  The series includes events at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on Tuesday, September 17 at 7 pm, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on October 5 at 2 pm, and Quail Ridge Books on Tuesday, October 15 at 7 pm.  For more information, visit John’s website at www.johnclaudebemis.com or the Piedmont Laureate website at www.piedmontlaureate.com. From John: “I’m still working on the line-up, but once I know I’ll let you know who will be speaking at each event.  Should be lots of fun!”

NEW-NEW: 18 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Greensboro native Emily Croy Barker for her new novel The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic.

27 (Friday) Flyleaf Books hosts Robin Sloan for the paperback edition of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. 7 pm.

OCTOBER 2013

NEW-NEW: 1 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Maile Meloy for The Apprentices, sequel to her YA/YR debut The Apothecary. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/maile-meloy-apprentices

4-6 (Friday to Sunday) — Second Escapist Expo at the Durham Convention Center. More info: http://www.escapistexpo.com/

NEW-NEW: 5 (Saturday) 2 pm — Author John Claude Bemis, who is serving this year as the Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature, is leading a series of roundtable discussions with local children’s and YA authors about writing craft, creativity, and the magic of children’s literature.  The series includes events at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on Tuesday, September 17 at 7 pm, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on October 5 at 2 pm, and Quail Ridge Books on Tuesday, October 15 at 7 pm.  For more information, visit John’s website at www.johnclaudebemis.com or the Piedmont Laureate website at www.piedmontlaureate.com. From John: “I’m still working on the line-up, but once I know I’ll let you know who will be speaking at each event.  Should be lots of fu

NEW: 8 (Tuesday) 8 pm — Durham’s Carolina Theatre welcomes Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, AMC’s Talking Dead) for a standup comedy show. Tickets in person at the Carolina Theatre or via Ticketmaster.

8 — Local book release day for Pull Down the Night (The Suburban Strange) by Durham’s Nathan Kotecki (Oct 8, 2013).

NEW-NEW: 15 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Author John Claude Bemis, who is serving this year as the Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature, is leading a series of roundtable discussions with local children’s and YA authors about writing craft, creativity, and the magic of children’s literature.  The series includes events at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on Tuesday, September 17 at 7 pm, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on October 5 at 2 pm, and Quail Ridge Books on Tuesday, October 15 at 7 pm.  For more information, visit John’s website at www.johnclaudebemis.com or the Piedmont Laureate website at www.piedmontlaureate.com. From John: “I’m still working on the line-up, but once I know I’ll let you know who will be speaking at each event.  Should be lots of fun!”

NEW-NEW: 16 (Wednesday) 6 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Adam Gidwitz for The Grimm Conclusion, a third volume of Grimm-inspired fairytales for ages 9+ after A Tale Dark and Grimm, then In a Glass Grimmly. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/adam-gidwitz-chills-grimm-conclusion

NOVEMBER 2013

NEW-NEW: 6 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts YA dystopian author James Dashner (The Maze Runner series) for his new novel The Eye of Minds, the first book in his new series The Mortality Doctrines. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/james-dashner-eye-minds

9-10 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon will be returning to the Durham Convention Center. “Twice the space, four times the fun. It’s exponential.”

JANUARY 2014

10-12 (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon iii: The Search for Schrödington’s Gold at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle, with author guests of honor Mary Robinette Kowal and Lawrence M. Shoen. More info: http://www.illogicon.com/

MARCH 2014

4 — Local book release day for Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides) by Durham’s Mur Lafferty (Mar 4, 2014).

APRIL 2014

5-6 (Saturday and Sunday) — 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival hosted by the NCSU Libraries at NC State University; the primary venue for the Festival will be the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus. “This free public event is presented on a rotating basis by the Duke University Libraries, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, the NCSU Libraries, and North Carolina Central University. The Festival is designed to attract people of all ages, from our surrounding communities and across the state. The program will be varied and will include author readings and discussions, book signings, activities, bookstore sales and more.”

JUNE 2014

(May 30) to June 1 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas in Charlotte, with guest of honor George R.R. Martin.

JULY 2014

11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — ConGregate in downtown Winston-Salem. More info: http://www.con-gregate.com/

– END –


5 Comments on “July Newsletter: ConTemporal, Writers of the Future, Alex Bledsoe, Ehmm Theory, Jenna Black, and Can’t Stop the Serenity”

  1. I’ll have to add ConTemporal to my calendar and try to make it next year

  2. Reblogged this on Mating Habits of the Modern Geek and commented:
    Awesome shout-out in Bull Spec!

  3. […] I was on Carolina Book Beat to begin the year with a year in review/year in preview of local and regional books, and I’m scheduled to give a “Bull Spec Magazine update on new books” tomorrow morning — and of course sneak in some mentions of some upcoming events as well. (Alex Bledsoe at Flyleaf Books, an Ehmm Theory signing at Ultimate Comics, Jenna Black at Flyleaf Books, the annual NC Browncoats charity screening of Serenity at the Raleighwood Cinema, a just-announced Jay Posey launch signing for Three at the B&N of Southpoint, and of course the August 3rd Bull Spec Summer Speculative Fiction Event at Quail Ridge Books — for starters.) […]

  4. […] off, as I’ve updated the July Newsletter with them, here are some newly-added events coming up in the next few months. And no, it’s […]


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