March Newsletter: Margaret Killjoy, Mur Lafferty, Kim Harrison, The Manly Wade Wellman Award opens for nominations, and (in April) the NC Literary Festival

Vol 4. No 3. March 4, 2014:

Welcome, a bit belatedly, to March! The most recent Friday “Quick” Update has so much info that I don’t want to swamp this newsletter in repeating all of it, but in short it covers some new content at bullspec.com (new The Hardest Part essays, Coming to Town interviews, Paul Kincaid’s From the Other Side column on British sf, and the latest The Exploding Spaceship reviews column) as well as some new books (Allen L. Wold just published a new collection A Closet for a Dragon: and Other Early Tales, and Scott Nicholson just released The Narrow Gate: A Supernatural Thriller) and comics (Vandroid #1 by Tommy Lee Edwards and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #2 by Jeremy Whitley).

Among other news from last month, some highlights:

  • Mur Lafferty was featured in USA Today for her podcasting; look for more there about her forthcoming book, Ghost Train to New Orleans, soon. Speaking of Ghost Train to New Orleans, it was named a Best Bet for March speculative fiction in Kirkus Reviews. You can read an excerpt of the book already, ahead of the print, ebook, and audiobook release TODAY, and the local launch party at Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books on Thursday night. (And! I talkied with Mur on Carolina Book Beat on Monday morning at 10 am on WCOM-FM; look for the podcast of that broadcast soon.)
  • The NC Literary Festival announced lineup additions to their April 3-6 roster, which already included (among many others) Junot Diaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Peter Straub, R.L. Stine, John Kessel, William Barnhardt, Daniel Wallace, Therese Anne Fowler, and many, many more including Bill Ferris, John Claude Bemis, and Zelda Lockhart. The additions? No less spectacular, including (again, among others) Lev Grossman, Nathan Ballingrud, Richard Butner, Richard Case, and Allan Gurganus. Yeah, wow.
  • Eryk Pruitt‘s forthcoming debut novel, the “Southern Fried crime noir” Dirtbags, has a new trailer.
  • The Duke Chronicle’s Annie Piotrowski wrote an absolutely fantastic article on three Triangle-area small press magazines, one of which was Bull Spec, for which she took the time to have a phone conversation with me. I really, really love how it turned out.

Some “new” news to pass along as well:

  • The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation announced that nominations are now open (through Friday, May 2) for the  2014 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy, along with an updated final nomination list which includes 69 novels.
  • Natania Narron’s “live reading” of her novel Pilgrim of the Sky stands at nine episodes so far: http://www.youtube.com/user/pilgrimofthesky
  • Gabriel Dunston has started shipping out Kickstarter reward copies of Purgatory Pub! Yeah!
  • Stephanie Ricker is one of five winners of Rooglewood Press’ “Cinderella” writing competition, with a space-set short story “A Cinder’s Tale” set to appear in the forthcoming anthology Five Glass Slippers.
  • Richard Dansky’s Tumblr of “People Doing Terrible Things to My Book” now features a video of me chainsawing his novel Vaporware in half, filmed by Geek Field Guide’s Warren Schultz. Yes, it does.

In terms of upcoming events, there’s quite a lot going on in March and early April, including a reading tonight at Internationalist Books and Community Center on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, by SteamPunk Magazine founder Margaret Killjoy of his forthcoming anarchist utopian novel,  A Country of Ghosts, praised by Kim Stanley Robinson as “An exciting and mysterious novel, a story of war and love.” Killjoy was kind enough to take the time for an interview for bullspec.com‘s “Coming to Town” series, which I hope you will find interested as well. Next up later this week are (on Thursday) Mur Lafferty’s launch party for Ghost Train to New Orleans at Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books and (on Friday) Quail Ridge Books hosts Kim Harrison for The Undead Pool.

Lastly, I want to (again) highlight the 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival, or “NC Lit Fest”, which this year is held at NC State on April 3-6. It’s a smorgasbord of awesome, from visiting authors (Junot Diaz, Peter Straub, Karen Joy Fowler, Lev Grossman, on and on) to North Carolina’s own (John Kessel, Daniel Wallace, Nathan Ballingrud, Richard Butner, on and on). Do keep an eye out for the schedule later this month and see if anything strikes your fancy. I’m sure it will strike mine,

-Sam

MARCH 2014

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

NEW: 4 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Internationalist Books and Community Center hosts author Margaret Killjoy to talk about his forthcoming utopian anarchist sf novel A Country of Ghosts, praised by Kim Stanley Robinson as “An exciting and mysterious novel, a story of war and love.” More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411094312476615/

5 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Ishmael Beah – ‘Radiance of Tomorrow’. (Fiction.)

6 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Mur Lafferty discusses her fantasy novel Ghost Train to New Orleans.

7 (Friday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Kim Harrison for The Undead Pool. More info:http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/theundeadpool

11 — Local book release day for Resistance by Jenna Black.

NEW-NEW: 13 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Kenneth Calhoun for Black Moon, his novel imagining an insomnia epidemic. More info: http://regulatorbookshop.com/event/kenneth-calhoun [how did I miss seeing this in my almost-weekly perusal of local bookstore calendars?!]

NEW-NEW: 15 (Saturday) 4:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts a “Divergent” fan party to celebrate the film adaptation of the popular YA dystopian novel.

16 (Sunday) 3 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Richard Peck – ‘The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail’. (Kids.)

17 (Monday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts the “Three Nightmares You Can’t Resist” tour with authors Kristen Simmons, Mindee Arnett, and Jenna Black. More info:http://www.flyleafbooks.com/event/three-nightmares-you-can%E2%80%99t-resist-tour-featuring-kristen-simmons-mindee-arnett-jenna-black

NEW-NEW: 21-23 (Friday to Sunday) —  Atomic Empire hosts a 3-day “Magic the Gathering” tournament, Magic: Eternal Weekend V: The Atomic Empire Strikes Back.

NEW: 21-23 (Friday to Sunday) – Mad Monster Party Charlotte with William Shatner, Hulk Hogan, and more: http://madmonster.ticketleap.com/mmp14/

NEW-NEW: 23 (Sunday) 7:30 pm — Carrboro’s All Day Records hosts INVERSIONS 2 with readings and spoken word performances by V. Manuscipt, E. Viszk, Brian Howe, and Mildew Ethers.

25 — Local book release day for Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel.

NEW-NEW: 28-29 (Friday and Saturday) — Statesville, NC’s Mitchell Community College will host the 2014 Doris Betts Spring Writers Festival on Mar. 28 and 29. One of the guests is N.K. Jemisin, “an author of speculative fiction short stories and novels. Winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, her work has been nominated for the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award and has been shortlisted for the Crawford, the Gemmell Morningstar, and the Tiptree. Her short fiction has been published in Clarkesworld, Postscripts, Strange Horizons, Baen’s Universe, Ideomancer, Abyss & Apex, and print anthologies.” More info including free registration for the Saturday morning writers workshop: http://www.mitchellcc.edu/news.cfm?Action=Det&ID=361

28 (Friday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Meg Wolitzer – ‘The Interestings’. (Fiction.)

APRIL 2014

1 — Regional book release day for Charlotte author Gail. Z. Martin’s Reign of Ash, book two in her Ascendant Kingdoms series from Orbit Books after 2013′s Ice Forged.

1 — Regional book release day for Salvage by debut Asheville author Alexandra Duncan.

3-6 (Thursday to 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.” The North Carolina Literary Festival has announced its lineup, which is simply amazing, including Junot Diaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Peter Straub, R.L. Stine, John Kessel, William Barnhardt, Daniel Wallace, Therese Anne Fowler, and many, many more including Bill Ferris, John Claude Bemis, and Zelda Lockhart. Update: The NC Literary Festival announced lineup additions to their April 3-6 roster, including (again, among others) Lev Grossman, Nathan Ballingrud, Richard Butner, Richard Case, and Allan Gurganus.

NEW-NEW: 7 (Monday) 6:30 pm — The H.G. Wells panel at the Orange County Library that was originally scheduled for February, but was then postponed due to one of the ice storms, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 7. “Join speculative authors James Maxey, Nathan Kotecki, and Clay Griffith, who will lead a group discussion on the pioneering contribution of HG Wells to speculative fiction, and his enduring influence on the genre. ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ will be the primary focus, but the discussion is expected to encompass other Wells works, too!”

8 — Regional book release day for A Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston, book two in her Whisper Falls series.

NEW: 9 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Jen McConnel for Daughter of Chaos.

11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — JordanCon 6 in Rosell, Georgia, with author guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss and artist guest of honor Larry Elmore. More info: http://www.jordancon.org/

12 (Saturday) 3 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Elizabeth Langston – ‘A Whisper in Time’.

NEW: 17 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Barnes & Noble of Brier Creek hosts Mur Lafferty for a signing of Ghost Train to New Orleans. More info: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/83303

NEW: 19 (Saturday) 8 pm until late — The Clockwork Ball: A Steampunk Party at the Haw River Ballroom, hosted by The Davenport Sisters. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1388306014723527/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited&source=1

NEW-NEW: 21 (Monday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer for a discussion of her just-released anthology The Time Traveler’s Almanac. More info: http://flyleafbooks.com/event/2014/04/21/day

25-27 — RavenCon in Richmond, Virginia with Guest Elizabeth Bear (2013 Locus Award Winner) and Ghost Mary Shelley. More info: http://www.ravencon.com/

26-27 (Saturday and Sunday) — The Festival of Legends at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill.

29 — Local book release day for Morningside Fall (Duskwalker Cycle) by Jay Posey, a follow-on to his post-apocalyptic debut novel Three.

NEW: 30 (Wednsday) — Clay and Susan Griffith to give a reading at Lady Jane’s Salon RDU: http://ladyjanesrdu.blogspot.com/

MAY 2014

NEW-NEW: 3 (Saturday) 1 pm — B&N of Southpoint hosts Jay Posey for a reading and signing of Morningside Fall. More info: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4684887

NEW-NEW: 3 (Saturday) — Free Comic Book Day with writers and artists appearing at several participating comic book shops. Stay tuned for lineups and more information.

NEW: 3 (Saturday) — Clay and Susan Griffith are teaching a session on collaboration at Triangle Area Freelancers Write Now! conference: http://www.triangleareafreelancers.org/WriteNow.html

5 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Christopher Moore – ‘The Serpent of Venice’.

6 — Local book release day for The Sea Without a Shore by David Drake (May 6, 2014) — Lt. Leary series

NEW-NEW: 12 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Robinette Kowal for Valour and Vanity, her 4th “Glamourist” novel, this one a blend of Jane Austen Regency romance and “the heist”.

16-18 (Friday to Sunday) — DeepSouthCon 52 at new convention ConTrails in Bristol, Virginia. (That’s the big that sticks out over Tennessee in the southwest corner of the state.) With Guest of Honor:Gordon Van Gelder and Artist Guest of Honor: Charles Vess. Additionally, the Rebel and Phoenix Awards will be presented. “Contrails is a new convention in scenic Bristol, Virginia. We’re an “old fashioned” sci fi literature con with an emphasis on the written word, discussion and southern hospitality.” More info: https://sites.google.com/site/contrailssf/home

20 — Local book release day for Durham author and playwright Monica Byrne’s debut novel, The Girl in the Road.

23-25 (Friday to Sunday) — Animazement in Raleigh, NC. More info: http://www.animazement.com/

23-26 (Friday to Monday) — BaltiCon 48 with Guest of Honor Brandon Sanderson, 2013 Compton Crook Award winner Myke Cole, 2014 Heinlein Award recipient Geoffrey A. Landis, and Ghost of Honor Robert Jordan. More info: http://www.balticon.org/

NEW-NEW: 28 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Monica Byrne for the launch of her debut novel, The Girl in the Road. More info: http://regulatorbookshop.com/event/monica-byrne

31 (Saturday) — Shatterdome Atlanta 2014 is a new fan-run Pacific Rim convention being held May 31, 2014 at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center being put on by (among others) Conni Covington. Here are some links to learn more; they’re still pretty early in planning so I don’t see guest lists and such yet:http://shatterdomeatl.tumblr.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1376406699280500/

JUNE 2014

(May 30) to June 1 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas in Charlotte, with guest of honor George R.R. Martin. More info: http://concarolinas.org/

26-29 (Thursday to Sunday) — ConTemporal in Raleigh at the Hilton North Raleigh Midtown. “Join us for the Third Annual Extravaganza!” More info: http://contemporal.org/

NEW: 27-28 (Friday and Saturday) — The High Country Festival of the Book in Downtown Boone, NC. More info: http://www.highcountryfestivalofthebook.com/

JULY 2014

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

NEW-NEW: 18-20 (Friday to Sunday) — MonsterCon in Greenville, SC with Angela Pritchett, Rich Sigfrit, Naomi Grossman, Cerina Vincent, Camden Toy, Sonya Thompson, Michael Carr, John G. Hartness, Rachael Hill, and many more guests. More info: http://www.monstercon.org/

NEW-NEW: 19 (Saturday) 3 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Deborah Harkness for The Book of Life.

NOVEMBER 2014

15-16 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center. Initial announced guests include Sean Murphy. More info: http://nccomicon.com/

– END –


One Comment on “March Newsletter: Margaret Killjoy, Mur Lafferty, Kim Harrison, The Manly Wade Wellman Award opens for nominations, and (in April) the NC Literary Festival”

  1. […] is here, and, finally, so is Spring — hopefully to stay this time. March was quite a month, with a large helping of new books and several fantastic events, and April is off […]


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