Friday Quick Updates: Local Black Friday and Small Business Saturday alternatives; another Carolina Book Beat focus on local sf on Monday; and the latest on the regional author holiday book expo next Saturday!

Friday November 29, 2013: While I’m probably somewhere in between the sentiment offered by Shimmer and the most commercial of line-up offerings at the big box stores, I did want to send out a roundup of what’s going on this weekend, along with some other news.


First, though, that Shimmer offer, a free download (PDF, epub, and/or mobi) of Shimmer Issue 17, with Bull Spec “alums” Katherine Sparrow, Lavie Tidhar, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and local writers Jordan Taylor (I first read about her story appearing in Shimmer on her website here) and Alex Wilson, whose story “Romeo and Meatbox” is the same story he so memorably performed at Flyleaf Books in August.

Next up, both Chapel Hill Comics and Ultimate Comics are having “Black Friday” sales. First up, Chapel Hill Comics: “Chapel Hill Comics is pleased to announce our 2013 Day After Thanksgiving Sale! We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving, and will reopen regular hours Friday, November 29, the Day After Thanksgiving, for a big sale! Everything in the store will be on sale! That’s right, EVERYTHING, from comics to graphic novels to toys to art books to whatever you can think of! The EVERYTHING part of the sale will run from 11am until 2pm, and there will be selected items on sale all day!”


And Ultimate is dubbing theirs “Bizzaro Black Friday” with the details: “After you’ve had your turkey and waited in long lines all morning for deals at the other stores, come by Ultimate Comics for BIZZARO Black Friday! Forget waking up early, our deals get better as the day goes on! Starting at 10am get everything in the store for 20% Off! * At 2pm things get better with Mix and Match Buy 2 Get 1 Free! Buy two trades and get an action figure FREE! Pick up a couple of statues and get that key back issue you’ve been looking at FREE! You make the deal! Also Starting at 2pm, receive a FREE Ultimate Comics or NC Comicon T-Shirt with any $50 purchase! FREE Select Omnibus, Absolute or Hardcover volume included with purchases of $100 or more!”

For the toys and collectibles folks on your list, Crowemag Toys at Raleigh’s Royal Center posted: “Black Friday Sale From 9am-11am, all items in the store location will be 20% off. While you are there please consider donating to the Toys for Tots drop box located at either location. The Flea Market location will be open regular hours this weekend. We are also offering Gift Certificates.”


Meanwhile at our local IndieBound bookstores,  “Small Business Saturday” is a big deal for local bookstores this year, as many are participating in an Indies First campaign which brings thousands of local authors into local independent bookstores as booksellers for a day. Quail Ridge Books’ Small Business Saturday & Indies First ; The Regulator Bookshop’s LOCAL AUTHORS BECOME BOOKSELLERS FOR A DAY! (with Sarah Dessen, J.J. Johnson, and Tim Tyson, among others); and Flyleaf Books’ Indies First Day featuring Daniel Wallace, Rosecrans Baldwin & Alan Shapiro! (along with a kids book signing at 11am – 12pm, Adam Rubin signs his children’s picture books Dragons Love Tacos & Secret Pizza Party!); and over at Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore, Nathan Ballingrud and Megan Shepherd are among those participating in its INDIES FIRST and SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. And, through their partnership with Kobo, the IndieBound stores are also offering discounts on some Kobo e-readers and tablets. Meanwhile, local Barnes and Noble bookstores are offering discounted Nook e-readers and tablets, among other promotions.


December 2 is the first Monday of the month, so it’s time again for another Carolina Book Beat focus on regional speculative fiction. November’s guests were Diana Bastine and Debra Killeen, and in just a few days now I’ll be at the WCOM studios at 10 AM with Durham translator Matthew Ross to talk about the recently-released The Orphan’s Promise, the second novel in The Secret of Ji series. And! In a special bonus second hour, I’ll be unveiling the 2013 regional author holiday book guide. Tune in over the air or online, or look for the podcast in a week or so.


The inaugural 2013 Bull Spec regional author holiday book expo at Durham’s Atomic Empire is going to be such a blast. The lineup has grown to:

  • Natania Barron (Geek Mom and Pilgrim of the Sky)
  • Clay and Susan Griffith (Vampire Empire paranormal Steampunk alternate history adventure book trilogy, various graphic novels)
  • Matthew Ross (The Secret of Ji epic fantasy book series, books one and two)
  • Bully Pulpit Games (Fiasco and Durance)
  • Eryk Pruitt (local short horror film Foodie and the forthcoming 2014 Southern neo-noir novel Dirtbags)
  • James Maxey (fantasy series starting with Bitterwood and second fantasy series starting with Greatshadow, along with superhero novel Nobody Gets the Girl, among other books)
  • Nathan Kotecki (young adult paranormal series with books The Suburban Strange and Pull Down the Night)
  • Gabriel Dunston (comics and graphic novels and picture books, including The Castle on the Crag)
    Jacob Foxx (science fiction series The Fifth World)
  • Ariel Djanikian (dystopian novel The Office of Mercy)
  • Jay Posey (post-apocalyptic novel Three)
  • Stuart Jaffe (The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries and post-apocalyptic fantasy series The Malja Chronicles, among other books)
  • Diana Bastine (author of the Young Adult fantasy novels The Source, Shapeshifter and Selkie)
  • Debra Killeen (author of the 5-volume award-winning fantasy series, The Myrridian Cycle)
  • Gray Rinehart (writer and musician, recent CD Truths and Lies and Make Believe will be on sale and we may even get a musical performance!)
  • Bridget Ladd (author, The Lotus Effect)
  • … and of course Bull Spec magazine individual copies and 4-issue sets
  • And! The trusty Underwood manual typewriter which has made a few appearances over the years will be in attendance for a special community holiday fiction project.

See you out and about!

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