April Newsletter: NC Literary Festival tonight (w/ Lev Grossman) through this weekend; Ann VanderMeer brings time travel to Flyleaf Books on April 21; so many new books; and (in May) Christopher Moore and Mary Robinette Kowal

Vol 4. No 4. April 3, 2014:

April 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 to a cracking start with a full handful of more new books and another round of can’t-miss events, starting today, Thursday April 3, with Lev Grossman at the North Carolina Literary Festival at 7:30 pm, reading at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium at NC State’s Centennial Campus, and continuing all weekend including Junot Diaz (Friday, 7 pm), Karen Joy Fowler and R.L. Stine in a special Monti storytelling event (Friday, 8 pm), Karen Joy Fowler and Therese Anne Fowler (Saturday, 11:30 am), Nathan Ballingrud, R.L. Stine, and Peter Straub (Saturday, 12:30 pm), John Kessel and Peter Straub (Saturday, 3:30 pm), a “Literary Fantastic” panel (Sunday, 2 pm, with Kessel, Ballingrud, Dale Bailey, and Richard Butner), and many and much more for readers of all ages.

There are some new events coming up as well, including: Flyleaf Books hosting Ann VanderMeer on Monday, April 21; Quail Ridge Books hosting Mary Robinette Kowal on Monday, May 12; book launches from local authors Jen McConnel, Jay Posey, and Monica Byrne; and too many more to list up here, so do check out the complete listings below.

Speaking of new books, something is absolutely in the air (and likely water) here, as March and April are absolutely packed with NC-authored science fiction and fantasy. How many? Here’s March: Mur Lafferty’s Ghost Train to New Orleans; Jenna Black’s ResistanceJen McConnel’s Daughter of Chaos; Margaret Killjoy’s A Country of Ghosts; and Scott Nicholson’s After: Milepost 291.


And already out in April? Asheville author Alexandra Duncan’s debut novel Salvage; Charlotte author Gail Z. Martin’s Reign of Ash; and the essay anthology Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction co-edited by (ex-Durham, sadly) Gerry Canavan. In addition to new books, there are plenty of new editions as well, from a newly-announced special limited definitive edition of Lewis Shiner’s Glimpses from Subterranean Press, to ReAnimus Press editions of Allen L. Wold’s backlist, to a mass market paperback edition of Tony Daniel and David Drake’s The Heretic in Drake’s “Raj Whitehall/The General” series. And speaking of Tony Daniel, his radioplay adaptation of Eric Flint’s novella “Islands” is set to be recorded this weekend, with a fantastic cast, if I do say so myself.

Glimpses Signed Limited Edition (preorder) cover  Islands Poster

It’s also been a near-banner month for new web content at bullspec.com ranging from reviews to interviews and guest columns and more: The Exploding Spaceship Release Day Edition (a day late in US and a day early in the UK): Reviews of Emilie and the Sky World and the 57 Lives of Alex WayfareComing to Town: Kim Harrison for The Undead Pool, interviewed by Sharon Stogner; The Exploding Spaceship Reviews Some Recent Good Urban Fantasy Reads: The Cormorant, Black Arts and Ghost Train to New OrleansThe Exloding Spaceship Reviews Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi and The Eidolon by Libby McGuganThe Hardest Part: Mur Lafferty on Ghost Train to New OrleansLocal book release: Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnelPaul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, March 2014: The Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist, Diana Wynne Jones’ The Islands of Chaldea, Ken MacLeod’s Descent, and Nick Mamatas’ The Last Weekend; and The Hardest Part: Alexandra Duncan on Salvage.

Lastly, while we celebrate the future of reading at the NC Literary Festival this weekend, the NC Science Festival is also ongoing through April 13. Signature events (among hundreds of talks and hands-on science exhibitions!) include: Thursday, April 3, Neil deGrasse Tyson at NCSU’s Hunt Library Auditorium; Wednesday April 9, ESPN’s Sports Science Host John Brenkus at UNC’s Memorial Hall; and Sunday April 13, Mary Roach at The Carolina Theatre of Durham. It’s a fun time to be in NC!





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: 3 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Lev Grossman at the North Carolina Literary Festival, reading at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library Auditorium at NC State’s Centennial Campus. More info: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/event/lev-grossman-north-carolina-literary-festival

NEW: 4 (Friday) 7 pm — Junot Diaz at the North Carolina Literary Festival. More info: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/literaryfestival/junot-diaz-overflow-seating/

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.

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/

NEW: 11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — ConGlomeration in Louisville, KY; guests of honor include Pittsboro author David Drake. More info: http://www.conglomeration.info/

NEW-NEW: 12 (Saturday) — 10:30 am to 4 pm — Ultimate Comics hosts G-Man & Mini-Marvel Creator Chris Giarrusso for a signing of epic proportions! There will be FREE food, drinks, LIVE ART, and plenty of good times! This will be be a fun, all-ages event, so bring the whole family and don’t forget to ask for a FREE SKETCH! If the weather is nice we will break out the grill and cook up some hotdogs!”

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

NEW-NEW: 12 (Saturday) 9 pm — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts “Atomic Comedy” in a regular geeky comedy series. Show starts at 9:30 pm.

NEW: 13 (Sunday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Girl Power!: A Panel on Powerful Women in Young Adult Literature featuring Jessica Spotswood, Nathan Kotecki, Meagan Spooner, and Alexandra Duncan.

NEW-NEW: 13 (Sunday) 7 to 9 pm — As part of the NC Science Festival, best-selling non-fiction author Mary Roach will be in conversation with Frank Stasio at The Carolina Theatre of Durham.

NEW-NEW: 15 (Tuesday) 7 pm — RTSFS book group discusses Jo Walton’s Among Others at the Southpoint B&N. More info: http://www.rtsfs.com/

NEW-NEW: 15 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm — The Carrack Modern Art (111 W Parrish St, Durham) hosts “a night of readings featuring kathryn l. pringle, Brian Howe, Scott Daughtridge, and Gina Myers.” More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/828808007132930/

NEW-NEW: 17 (Thursday) 6:30 pm — Launch party at downtown Durham pub 106 Main for Eryk Pruitt’s southern-fried neo-noir crime novel Dirtbags. “We’ll have copies to sell, or you can bring your own for a signature. Mike is slinging $3 well drinks all night long. Invite all your friends, bring some plus-ones or plus-twos. Let’s pack this place out and have a good time.” More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/282781161888049/

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-NEW: 19 (Saturday) 10 am — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts a ProTour Qualifier for Magic: the Gathering. $35 entry fee.

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: 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

NEW-NEW: 22 (Tuesday) — World Book Night 2014 kicks off with events in 23 cities including Wilmington, NC and Stone Ridge, VA.

NEW: 23-24 (Wed-Thu) — ECGC — East Coast Game Conference — at the Raleigh Convention Center, with keynote speakers Mary DeMarle (Eidos) and Ken Rolston (The Elder Scrolls) and narrative track panelists Will Hindmarch, Mur Lafferty, and more. More info: http://www.ecgconf.com/

NEW-NEW: 24 (Thu) 7:30 pm — Author Teju Cole to give the Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University, with the title “Here Comes Everybody: The Crisis of Equality in the Age of Social Media”. Held at the Schiciano Auditorium at the Fitzpatrick Center with a reception to follow. More info: http://kenan.ethics.duke.edu/blog/kenan-distinguished-lecture-with-teju-cole-apr-24/

NEW-NEW: April 24 to May 10 — Durham’s Manbites Dog Theater Company plays host to Spirits to Enforce by Mickle Maher. “In a secret submarine lair, 12 superheroes – the Fathom Town Enforcers – face their greatest challenge: a telemarketing fundraiser for their long-dreamed-of production of The Tempest.” More info: http://manbitesdogtheater.org/

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: 29 (Tuesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Alena Graedon: “The Word Exchange”. “In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange. A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word. The Regulator is thrilled to welcome Durham native Alena Graedon to read and sign copies of her first novel.”

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

NEW: 30 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Jen McConnel for Daughter of Chaos. (Had been scheduled for April 9.)

MAY 2014

NEW-NEW: 1 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Alena Graedon discusses her novel The Word Exchange. (See her April 29 event at The Regulator for a full write-up.)

NEW: 3 (Saturday) 11 am — McIntyre’s Books hosts Durham native Alena Graedon – The Word Exchange. (See her April 29 event at The Regulator for a full write-up.)

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

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

NEW-NEW: 5 (Monday) 6:30 pm — The Orange County Library (Main Branch) hosts a “lively” discussion of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. “Join authors Ariel DjanikianNathan Kotecki, and James Maxey at the main branch of the Orange County Public Library for a lively discussion of the works of Jane Austen, with a focus on Pride & Prejudice.” More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/554453934673469/

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: 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”.

NEW-NEW: 14 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe hosts acclaimed fantasy artist Charles Vess for a special slideshow and booksigning event. “Beloved illustrator (and staff favorite) Charles Vess will discuss his latest collaboration with fantasy author Charles de Lint, Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale.” More info: http://www.malaprops.com/event/charles-vess-slideshow-booksigning

16-18 (Friday to Sunday) — DeepSouthCon 52 at new convention ConTrails in Bristol, Virginia. (That’s the bit 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: http://www.contrails-sf.org/

NEW-NEW: 17 (Saturday) 10 am — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts the SCG Spring State Championships (Magic: the Gathering). $25 entry fee.

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: 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/

NEW-NEW: 4 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — At Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, the North Carolina Symphony presents “Video Games Live: Bonus Round”, a new show building off the success of last year’s “Video Games Live”. This one features MegaMan, Silent Hill 2, Metroid, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, God of War, Mass Effect, StarCraft II, Dota 2, Beyond Good & Evil, Destiny, Final Fantasy, and Warcraft. “Call 919.733.2750 and mention the promo code PLAYNOW to buy your tickets for $48 (regularly $65).” More info: http://ncsymphony.org/

NEW: 14 (Saturday) 11 am — McIntyre’s Books hosts Monica Byrne – The Girl in the Road.

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/

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

NEW: 27-29 (Friday to Sunday) — LibertyCon, Chattanooga, TN. Guests include Pittsboro author David Drake and master of ceremonies Jim Minz. More info: http://www.libertycon.org/

JULY 2014

NEW-NEW: 10 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jeff VanderMeer for Authority, book 2 of The Southern Reach.

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

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: 18-20 (Friday to Sunday) — Raleigh’s PNC Arena plays host to Marvel Universe Live, a new live-action show. More info: http://www.thepncarena.com/events/detail/marvel-universe-live

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


NEW: 28 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Lev Grossman discusses his novel The Magician’s Land.


2 — Local author book release day for The Savior (The General) by Tony Daniel and David Drake (Baen, Sep 2) — “Sequel to The Heretic, Book 10 in the nationally best-selling General series.”


NEW: 6-9 (Thursday to Sunday) — World Fantasy Con, Washington, DC with Guest of Honor Guy Gavriel Kay, Toastmaster Jane Yolen, and many, many more members including David Drake and Mark L. Van Name. More info: http://worldfantasy2014.org/

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


NEW: 9-11 (Friday to Sunday) illogiCon (“illogiCon iv: How Schrödington Got His Groove Back”) with guests of honor Jacqueline Carey and Chris Garcia at the Empassy Suites RDU. [Facebook Event]

– END –

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2 Responses to April Newsletter: NC Literary Festival tonight (w/ Lev Grossman) through this weekend; Ann VanderMeer brings time travel to Flyleaf Books on April 21; so many new books; and (in May) Christopher Moore and Mary Robinette Kowal

  1. Pingback: Friday Quick Updates: Elizabeth Langston, Chris Giarrusso, Atomic Comedy, Powerful Women in YA Lit, and more | Bull Spec

  2. Pingback: May newsletter: Mary Robinette Kowal tonight (Monday), new books from David Drake and Monica Byrne, ConCarolinas with George R.R. Martin, and more | Bull Spec

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