November newsletter: Garth Stein and NC Specualtive Fiction Night, and (in December) Julia Elliott and Fred Chappell

Vol 4. No 11. November 19, 2014: Whew! Already this month has seen William Gibson at Motorco and NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center, and there’s more yet in store with Garth Stein at Quail Ridge Books (tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 20) and with the return of the NC Speculative Fiction Night reading series this Saturday (Nov. 22) with “From the Trenches to the Stars” featuring military science fiction (War Stories, The Savior) and interstellar fantasy (Enoch the Traveler). Then in December we’ll be treated to visits by Julia Elliott (The Wilds, Friday December 5 at The Regulator) and Fred Chappell (Familiars, at Quail Ridge Books, Flyleaf Books, and The Regulator).

More on these and other events in the listings below, but first, a big pile of news and links to send your way:

 Purgatory Pub (Book 2)'s video poster

  • Stacey Cochran’s novel Eddie & Sunny has been featured in the Kindle Scout program all month, continuing through November 27, with reader votes determining whether it will receive a $1,500 advance and publishing contract: “Eddie and Sunny have never had much of value in life, save for each other’s love. For months they’ve lived in a car with their young son. A tragedy on the road one night turns the couple into fugitives of the law, separates them, and eventually leads each to believe that the other has died and all hope is lost.” The listing has remained marked “hot” and I wish Cochran the best of luck!
  • Speaking of luck, Gabe Dunston (who art designed Bull Spec #7 and #8) might need a little bit, as his Kickstarter campaign for Purgatory Pub Book 2 is about $1200 short of his goal, with 6 days to go. “This project will only be funded if at least$3,500 is pledged by Tue, Nov 25 2014 11:59 PM EST.” Book one is fantastic, which you might have had a chance to hear about if I’d configured my microphone correctly when trying to video review it, and he really does come through for his backers, as this time lapse video demonstrates.
  • M. David Blake has issued a call for submissions to the next Campbellian Anthology, so if your first professional publication was in 2014 or 2013, let him know! Meanwhile, his anthology STRAEON is imminent, and! he’s announced the reprint sale of “Absinthe Fish” (in Bull Spec #5 and on the Locus Award shortlist) to Rose Lemberg for An Alphabet of Embers. Congrats!
  • Speaking of congrats, Cynthia Sheppard (cover illustrator for Bull Spec #8, a Chesley Award finalist) just unveiled her second cover illustration for Tor Books, for Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory, due out in February 2015.
  • Speaking of covers, Gail Z. Martin asks: “Have you seen the new cover for War of Shadows — the 3rd book in my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga with Blaine McFadden?”
  • Mur Lafferty announced the completion of Afterlife VI: Stones. Meanwhile, her Ghost Train to New Orleans podcast continues as well.
  • Speaking of Mur, she and I interviewed James Maxey about his new novel Bad Wizard for Carolina Book Beat.
  • Eryk Pruitt announced the publication date and cover art for his next crime novel, Hashtag, due in Spring 2015 from 280 Steps.
  • Speaking of crime novels, Nathan Ballingrud’s The Visible Filth is up for pre-order from This Is Horror.
  • A new local arts website has launched, which asks: “We need to hear from all citizens on how you want to live creatively and how that can shape Raleigh as the Southern Capital of Arts and Culture.”

Before I get to last month’s new books, by next month I absolutely have to get the Manly Wade Wellman Award preliminary eligibility list out; if you are or know a NC author with a new novel out in 2014, please let me know so I can include you in the first pass. OK? OK. With that out of the way, here’s what I know about that was new in November, starting with audiobooks and moving onto new books:

The Voyage: Hammer's Slammer's Series | David Drake Cross the Stars: Hammer's Slammer's Series | David Drake Seas of Venus | David Drake
Into the Hinterlands: Citizen, Book 1 | David Drake,John Lambshead Frontera | Lewis Shiner Railroad!: Volume 1: Rodger Dodger | Tonia Brown
The Vampire Club | J.R. Rain,Scott Nicholson Spider Bite: A Spider Novel: The Spider Trilogy, Book 3 | J.R. Rain,Scott Nicholson The Map to Everywhere | Carrie Ryan,John Parke Davis
I Wish (I Wish, #1) The Map to Everywhere (Pirate Stream, #1)

After: Whiteout (AFTER post-apocalyptic series, Book 4) Revolution (Replica, #3)

And one more to pass along in a bit more detail, since I’ve never had the occasion to write about the author before: Bo-Aku – Undisputed King of the Forest: Tales from West Africa by Cameroon-born Matthews, NC author Emmanuel Ngwainmbi, just out from Hertford, NC-based Crossroad Press: “an adaptation of some sixty myths and legends collected in Africa with a research grant from the Southern Education Foundation. The stories describe the experiences of children and parents confronted by a gorilla and lion in the African jungle. They are eclectic, rich in moral values, humorous, suspenseful, and contain wisdom. They seek to enlighten the reader about Bantu African mythology and other ways of reasoning. They open the door to an enchanted universe where the child learns that every evil phantom has its opposite that is more powerful and worth imitating.  The legends and folktales are set against the backdrop of Bantu culture, steeped in mysticism and logical reasoning that date back to the 12th Century A.D., when interdependent villages existed in the grasslands and mountains of the black tribes in the Benue and Adamawa regions, a part of what is known today as West Africa. Chad, Gabon, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Mali are among the twenty-two countries in northwest Africa.” You can learn a bit more about Ngwainmbi and the book via an interview with his local newspaper.

Bo-Aku - Undisputed King of the Forest (Tales from West Africa) - Click Image to Close

(Bear with me, we’re almost done. I promise.) I started the first list of this newsletter with Stacey Cochran, and he also leads off a recap as to what’s new at since the October newsletter:

Lastly, I was just flabbergasted when I found out that Indy Week had selected me to receive an Indies Arts Award. I want to thank everyone for all the kind messages this week since the article was published, it’s been amazing. Again: thank you, everyone, for all your support and encouragement. You’ve all had a hand in literally and figuratively keeping the lights on here, and I’m looking forward to what’s next. (Which includes interviews with Julia Elliott, Fred Chappell, …)



Quail Ridge Flyer handout-2014-10-25-page001


NEW: (ongoing through December 6/7) — PlayMakers Repertory Company presents a rotating repertory of Into the Woods and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the Paul Green Theatre.

NEW: 19 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — The NCSU Reading Series hosts Wiley Cash & the NCSU Fiction Contest Awards at Caldwell Hall Lounge on the NC State Campus. “North Carolina native Wiley Cash is The New York Times best-selling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy, which are both available from William Morrow/​HarperCollins Publishers. Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Reviewand The Carolina Quarterly, and his essays on Southern literature have appeared in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina Review, and other publications. Wiley teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. Parking is available in the North Lot for readings in Caldwell Lounge and at the Coliseum Deck for readings in Thompson Hall.”

20 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Garth Stein – ‘A Sudden Light’ a multi-generational ghost story set in the Pacific Northwest.

22 (Saturday) 2 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Elizabeth Langston – ‘Whispers from the Past’ and ‘I Wish’. (Teen.)

NEW: 22 (Saturday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston discuss their YA novel Stolen.

22 (Saturday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts NC Speculative Fiction Night series event From the Trenches to the Stars: “The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Series presents an evening of interstellar adventure, military science fiction, and fantastic stories from North Carolina authors. Featuring David Drake, Tony Daniel, Richard Dansky, Lady Soliloque, Jay Posey, and Jaym Gates. Samuel Montgomery-Blinn will moderate.” Featuring the local launch of War Stories, a new anthology of original military science fiction, The Savior by David Drake and Tony Daniel, and Enoch the Traveler by Lady Soliloque.

25 — Local author release day for Wild Card: A Raine Benares Novella by Lisa Shearin. (Simultaneously, her novella “Lucky Charms” appears in the anthology Night Shift.)

NEW: 29 (Saturday) — “Indies First Day” at independent bookstores nationwide. Flyleaf Books hosts Sarah Dessen and Nathan Kotecki become booksellers for Indies First Day! and Quail Ridge Books has a few author appearances as well.

29 (Saturday) 7:30 pm — “The Orange County Historical Museum would like to invite you to our fifth annual Home for the Holidays storytelling event! The evening takes place at Leland Little’s Auction gallery, and opens with a wine and dessert reception at 7:30 pm. At 8pm, four distinguished writers will share some of their favorite holiday stories. This year’s lineup includes Michael Malone, Nancy Demorest, Allan Gurganus, and Nathan Kotecki. The evening will also include live music by Pan and Brett Riggs and Rob Golan, and a gift basket raffle featuring items from local vendors. Tickets are available starting October 1st. Tickets may be purchased prior to the event for $20.00 or at the door for $25.00 (space permitting). Advance tickets may be acquired by visiting the Museum at 201 Churton Street, Hillsborough NC, or calling at 919-732-2201. All proceeds benefit the Orange County Historical Museum.”


NEW: 1 (Monday) 6:30 pm — The First Monday Classics series at the Orange County Library continues, with James Maxey and Nathan Kotecki leading a discussion of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

NEW: 3 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Carl Nordgren, Anung’s Journey: ” At each stop, Anung and his drum sing of his mothers and fathers and his quest to meet the greatest chief.  This ancient legend, told in the beautifully poetic style of Carl Nordgren, begs to be read aloud and savored.” (Kids.)

3 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Flanagan for Scorpion Mountain, book 5 in his Brotherband Chronicles series for young readers following on his Ranger’s Apprentice series. More info:

5 (Friday) 7 pm — The Regulator hosts Julia Elliott–The Wilds, her genre-bending collection from Tin House. “At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend’s weird grandmother.”

NEW-NEW: 6 (Saturday) 8:30 pm — Running every Saturday through January, DSI Comedy Theater presents The Caroling Dead, “an original Sketch Comedy Revue inspired by the holidays and local news …and zombies (and more). What if Santa were quarantined? What if Cracker Barrel wasn’t safe? What if the police raided an Adam & Eve warehouse? What if UNC mismanaged another scandal? Well, come see the show and find out.”

NEW-NEW: 7 (Sunday) 8 pm — “It’s time for our [Raleigh NC Browncoats] annual”ish” Christmas screening of SERENITY at the awesome Colony Theatre! We are so happy to return again this year. Tickets are only $5. Our BiG Damn Movie will be shown in DCP Digital format! Doors are at 7:00. Movie at 8:00 on Sunday December 7th. Please come and enjoy the comfy lounge and enjoy a beer, wine, soda or soft drink before the movie if you can. No advance tickets to this event. Just $5 at the door. Please do bring cashy money as the theatre does not take cards. Hope to see you there!

9 (Tuesday) — Local author new book release: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel (Durham) — “A contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.” (Swoon Romance)

9 (Tuesday) — Regional author new book release: Finders, Inc. by Michael Jasper (UnWrecked Press, Dec 9) — book one in a new supernatural mystery series set in Boone, NC.

10 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Fred Chappell – ‘Familiars: Poems’. “Solitary, graceful, and contemplative, cats have inspired poets from Charles Baudelaire to Margaret Atwood to serve as their chroniclers and celebrants. They have appeared, wrapped in their inscrutability, in verse both sensual and spiritual, weary and whimsical. With Familiars, Fred Chappell proves himself a worthy addition to the fellowship of poets who have sought to immortalize their beloved cats.”

NEW-NEW: 11 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Flyleaf Second Thursday Poetry Series & Open Mic, featuring Fred Chappell and Pat Riviere-Seel. “Featured readers will each read for approximately 20 minutes and, after a short break for the readers to sign books, there will be an open poetry mic. Please sign up to read no later than 6:45 pm. Each open mic reader will be limited to no more than a page of poetry. An informal get-together before the reading will begin around 6:00pm next door at Foster’s Market. Come join us for an hour of conversation.”

16 (Tuesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Fred Chappell, “Familiars”. (See above for more book info!)

21 — Local author release day for The Battle of Castle Nebula by Stephanie Ricker, book one in the Cendrillon Cycle.

31 – THE CLOCKWORK BALL: A Steampunk Masquerade at the Haw River Ballroom: “Attention Pilots of Airships and their Crews, Mad Scientists, Explorers of the Unknown, Admirers of Verbosity, Respecters of the Strange, Those Lost in the Throes of Opium or Absinthe, Teetotalers, Scallywags, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dandies, Fops, and Urchins… Our next event will be on NEW YEAR’S EVE: Wednesday December 31st, 2014. Hosted by that darling DJ duo – Emmett Davenport & Lady Nikolai Attercop (both of The Clockwork Cabaret). Jazz, Blues, Swing, Dark Cabaret, Gypsy Punk, Gypsy Jazz & Dance music from times gone by or times that never were. Doors at 8pm; Music begins at 9pm. Admission: All Ages; $10 in advance/$12 at door. Appropriate Attire is Encouraged, but never required.”


6 — Local author book release day for Dragonbreath #10: Knight-napped! by Ursula Vernon.

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 Embassy Suites RDU. [Facebook Event]

NEW-NEW: 16-18 (Friday to Sunday) MarsCon 2015 in Williamsburg, Virginia celebrates its 25th anniversary with special guests David WeberKatherine KurtzDavid B. Coe/D.B. Jackson, and Alethea Kontis.

24-25 (Saturday and Sunday) — The Raleigh Review’s Southern Recitations reading and workshop series presents The Poet as Translator: Bridging the Language of the Universe and the Universe of Language with Malena Mörling.

30: Regional author book release day for After #5: Red Scare by Scott Nicholson (Boone, NC) the fifth full-length novel in his “After” post-apocalyptic series.


14-15 (Saturday and Sunday) — The Raleigh Review’s Southern Recitations reading and workshop series presents The Secret Language of Fiction: Weaving Words into Elegant, Meaningful Stories
with Marjorie Hudson.

NEW: 17 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Gabrielle Zevin discusses her novel The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. (Fiction.)

24 — Local author book release day for Tony Daniel’s Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage Trade.

27 to (March) 1 (Friday to Sunday) — MystiCon in Roanoke, VA with author guest of honor Alan Dean Foster, at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood. More info:

MARCH 2015

13-15 (Friday to Sunday) — Wizard World Comic Con at the Raleigh Convention Center with featured media guests William Shatner and James Marsters. More info:

14-15 (Saturday and Sunday) – The Raleigh Review’s Southern Recitations reading and workshop series presents Stories in Stanzas: Writing the Longer Narrative Poem with Joseph Bathanti.

NEW: Mar 18 (Wed) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jeremy Hawkins – ‘The Last Days of Video’. “We have to cheer when a bookseller gets a novel published.  Jeremy Hawkins, of our fellow independent Flyleaf in Chapel Hill,  brings us The Last Days of Video.  Check out his debut novel on Wednesday, March 18, at 7 pm.  “Funny, raucous, and deliciously irreverent” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” (Fiction.)

APRIL 2015

21 — Local author book release day for Ursula Vernon’s Castle Hangnail, a new middle grade fantasy: “From the creator of Dragonbreath comes a tale of witches, minions, and one fantastic castle, just right for fans of Roald Dahl and Tom Angleberger. When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite.”

21 — Regional author book release day for War of Shadows by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit, April 21, 2015) — book 3 in the Ascendant Kingdoms saga which began with Ice Forged.

24-26 (Friday to Sunday) — RavenCon 10 in Richmond, VA with writer guest of honor Allen Steele and special guest Lawrence M. Schoen. At the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond Midlothian. More info:

MAY 2015

29-31 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas in Concord, NC with guests of honor John Scalzi, Matt Busch and Lin Zy, and Catherine Asaro, and master of ceremonies Rich Sigfrit. at the Embassy Suites Concord.

JUNE 2015

2 — Local author book release day for Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1) from Del Rey.

24-26 (Friday to Sunday) — ConTemporal 2015: “ConTemporal is an experiential Steampunk convention being held June 24-26, 2015 at the Hilton North Raleigh-Midtown in Raleigh, NC. No sooner had the idols been recovered then they were stolen by a mysterious figure! Meanwhile, Lt. Com. Julius Cosgrove is trapped in 1632, near the location of the Grantville temporal incursion caught between the cultists and the Germans fighting the Thirty Years’ War.”

JULY 2015

NEW-NEW: 10-12 (Friday to Sunday) — ConGregate 2: Scoundrels and Rogues in High Point, NC with guests of honor Timothy Zahn, Michael Stackpole, Albin Johnson, Scott Rorie, Faith Hunter, and Valentine Wolfe.


NEW-NEW: 2-4 (Friday to Sunday) DeepSouthCon 53 at CONtraflow V in New Orleans with guests of honor Robert J. Sawyer, Seanan McGuire, and Les Johnson.

8-11 (Thursday to Sunday) Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh. Bouchercon is the annual World Mystery Convention, and this is the first Bouchercon ever (in its nearly 50-year history) to be held in the American South.

– END –

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One Response to November newsletter: Garth Stein and NC Specualtive Fiction Night, and (in December) Julia Elliott and Fred Chappell

  1. Pingback: January newsletter: illogiCon preview, Kickstarter roundups, and Manly Wade Wellman Award coverage | Bull Spec

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