May Newsletter: Jay Posey’s Outriders, Free Comic Book Day, Gabriel Dunston’s Purgatory Pub, Animazement, Manly Wade Wellman Award nominations deadline, and more

Vol 6 No 5. Friday, May 6, 2016: Is it May already? It is, with plenty going on as soon as tomorrow morning with Free Comic Book Day in comic book shops everywhere, not the least of which being festivities here in the Triangle at Ultimate Comics (both Durham and Raleigh locations), Atomic Empire, Chapel Hill Comics, Capitol Comics in Raleigh, Enterprise Comics in Pittsboro, and probably a few other places nearby as well, many with their own lineup of local and visiting comic book creators, writers, and artists.


And while you’re out… tomorrow afternoon also sees the book launch party for Durham author Jay Posey’s latest novel, Outriders, which launches a new military science fiction series from Angry Robot Books, at the Barnes & Noble Streets at Southpoint in Durham at 4 pm.

Also on Saturday, if you’re further west in North Carolina, Rutherfordton, NC’s “Mayfest” hosts a Fantasy/SF literature panel with John G. Hartness, J. Matthew Sanders, Brian Rathbone, Beth Revis, Jake Bible, Gail Z. Martin, and Darin Kennedy, at Great Expectations Books and Cafe. The event runs from 10 am to 5 pm.

Speaking of local author book launch parties, though, later this month sees another local author’s book make its way out into the world. On May 21 (Saturday) at 7 pm, Event Horizon Games (1496 Garner Station Blvd, Raleigh) hosts Gabriel Dunston for the book launch party of his graphic novel Purgatory Pub Book 2.  Among the events on the schedule are musician James Olin Odin and: “FREE CAKE!”

Speaking of later this month and early next, two large, long-running conventions are set to make their annual openings and closings and festivities. Animazement (May 27-29) at the Raleigh Convention Center, and ConCarolinas 2016 (June 3-5) at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC with author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, artist Ursula Vernon, special author guest Christie Golden, media guest Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and more. For ConCarolinas, Time is running out to purchase your 2016 Membership at Pre-Registration Pricing, which expires this Sunday night at midnight.

Speaking of ConCarolinas, the Manly Wade Wellman Award nominees will once again be unveiled there this year with a special printed flyer, but in order to do so, nominations will necessarily close on Monday, May 13. Get your votes in!

Speaking of awards, congratulations both to this year’s Shirley Jackson Award nominees, among them North Carolina authors Nathan Ballingrud, Dale Bailey, and Alyssa Wong, and to this year’s Hugo Award nominees, among them North Carolina editor Jim Minz and author Alyssa Wong, nominated in her second year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Speaking of… well, no, that’s all of the “speaking of” segues I can make. So, on to…


And though these appeared in the April 22 Friday Quick Updates, they bear repeating in the newsletter proper as well:

  • Co-editor Eric Gregory announced that Middle Planet 2 is heading out into the world; on the website, they’ve posted “Asleep in the Traces” from the new issue
  • Gabriel Dunston launched a new/old webcomic, his Kickstarter-backed comicPurgatory Pub, updating M-W-F
  • The e-ARC (electronic advance reader’s copy) of Tony Daniel‘s forthcoming yound adult fantasy The Dragon’s Hammer is now out at
  • Jay Requard’s Thief of Shadows is reviewed quite positively at Slippery Words
  • Darin Kennedy’s The Mussorgsky Riddle wins an EPIC Award for fantasy/paranormal
  • Rysa Walker was interviewed at Sailing to the Moon
  • Gail Z. Martin has a really interesting guest post at Biblio Sanctum on “order after the apocalypse”


First, a title I missed way back in the March newsletter, Jake Bible’s Sisters of the Apocalypse, the 7th in his Z-Burbia series. I hope I can be forgiven in missing one of Bible’s titles now and then, as there’s likely another one out by the next month! I also missed Debra Killeen’s latest Myrridia novel, Priestess Awakening. I’m also going to include a book that isn’t (solely) authored by a North Carolina author, the Kickstarter-funded Gaslight & Grimm anthology edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail. It includes stories by Gail Z. and Larry N. Martin, Diana Bastine, and (OK, he’s been living in Virginia for a while, but just try to get me to exclude him when I can include him!) Danny Birt, among others. And, somehow, I missed that Recorded Books released an audiobook edition of Ursula Vernon’s Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible. I know how I missed noting the publication of Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic, though: Ursula had given me an advanced copy last year, and I’ve read it to my daughter a half-dozen times already.

 Hamster Princess Audiobook

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled cover gallery of new books by North Carolina authors since the last newsletter — OK, I snuck in one from South Carolina author J. Matthew Saunders, too:

Dead Team Alpha Audiobook After: Whiteout Audiobook
The Fugitive Heir Audiobook Deep Blue Audiobook


As usual, before I sign off this month, here’s what’s new at since the April newsletter, though it’s less a “roundup” and more an in-paragraph listing again. First, though he had it to me well before the March newsletter went out: Paul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, March 2016: Patrick Ness, Aliette de Bodard, Ian Whates, and new books from Gollancz and Orbit. Second, and this bit gets longer, The Exploding Spaceship had an absolutely huge month of reviews: Shadow and Flame by Gail Z Martin and Grave Visions by Kalayna Price The Emperor’s Railroad by Guy HaleyBlack City Saint by Richard A Knaak and Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire, and a 3-review column on Tuesday which took on The Jewel and her Lapidary by Fran Wilde, The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu, and Outriders by Jay Posey, and! they offered another “visit” review, this time of Norwescon 39 in SeaTac, Washington. As far as what’s imminently ahead, once again I’ve got Paul Kincaid’s column well in hand, and there’s a few “Hardest Part” essays in the queue as well. See you next month,



NEW: 7 (Saturday) 4 pm — The Barnes and Noble Streets at South Point hosts Durham author Jay Posey for Outriders. “In celebration of Jay’s newest novel OUTRIDERS, he’ll be hanging out at the Southpoint Mall Barnes and Noble in Durham, signing books and pretending to be famous! The book will be released on Tuesday, May 3rd, but the signing is on Saturday, May 7th, and copies will be available for purchase at the event (unless they sell out, which would be awesome. At least for Jay.) Come out and say hi and let him write his pretend-famous name on your not-pretend books!”

NEW: 7 (Saturday) — Free Comic Book Day at (among others) Ultimate Comics,Atomic Empire, and Chapel Hill Comics.

NEW: 7 (Saturday) 10 am to 5 pm — Rutherfordton, NC’s “Mayfest” hosts a Fantasy/SF literature panel with John G. Hartness, J. Matthew Sanders, Brian Rathbone, Beth Revis, Jake Bible, Gail Z. Martin, and Darin Kennedy, at Great Expectations Books and Cafe.

NEW: 15 (Sunday) 1 pm — The North Carolina Museum of Art hosts its Spring Steampunk Picnic: “It’s time for an afternoon of well-mannered frivolity. Dress in your Steampunk best, bring a picnic, perhaps a game, and lounge out in the beautiful art museum park. Lady Farrow would like to invite you to participate in a Steampunk Spring Fashion Show! If you would like to enter this little show just send me an email at The show will happen at 3 pm, anyone and all are encouraged to be a part of it!!!”

16 — Local author book release day for Divine Descendant by Jenna Black (Pocket Star) marking her return to her Nikki Glass / Immortal Huntress series.

17 — NC author book release day for Artifacts by Charlotte author Pete Catalano (Month9Books, May 17) a middle grade fantasy.

18 — Hillsborough author book release day for Cinder: Book Four of the Dragon Apocalypse by James Maxey (May 18).

NEW-NEW: 19 (Thursday) through June 4 — Manbites Dog Theater (703 Foster St, Durham) hosts Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern’s The New Colossus, “a new play inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. A family of frustrated, attention-starved artists flocks to the seashore. One of them has a gun…what could possibly go wrong? A darkly comic reboot of Chekhov’s classic, this rollicking tale examines the pitfalls of making art and making love in modern day America.”

NEW-NEW: 21 (Saturday) 11 am — Charlotte’s Park Road Books hosts J. Matthew Saunders for book 2 of his Daughters of Shadows and Blood series, Elena.

NEW-NEW: 21 (Saturday) 2 pm — McIntyre’s Books hosts Fred Chappell for A Shadow All of Light.

NEW-NEW: 21 (Saturday) 2 pm — The Cameron Village Regional Library hosts a 5-author panel and signing with authors published by Raleigh-based Red Adept Publishing, including Karissa Laurel, author of the Alaska-set urban fantasy novel Midnight Burning.

NEW: 21 (Saturday) 7 pm — Event Horizon Games (1496 Garner Station Blvd, Raleigh) hosts Gabriel Dunston for the book launch party of his graphic novel Purgator Pub Book 2. “Opens with multi-instrumentalistJames Olin Odin. Then presentation by yours truly. Then FREE CAKE!”

24 — NC author book release day for The Hunt (The Cage, Book 2) by Megan Shepherd (Balzer+Bray, May 24).

27-29 (Friday to Sunday) — Animazement 2016 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

NEW-NEW: 31 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Matthew Quick discusses his new YA novel, Every Exquisite Thing.

31– NC author book release day for Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog by Ralph Hardy (HarperCollins, May 31).

JUNE 2016

NEW-NEW: 1 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Bronwen Dickey and John Lane discuss their books Pit Bull and Coyote Settles the South. (Nature.)

NEW-NEW: 2 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Grady Hendrix discusses his new novel My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Hendrix is the author of the brilliant novel Horrorstör, and here presents “a heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possession” set in 1988.

2 — Book release day for a 12-author novel omnibus, Modern Magic: Twelve Tales of Urban Fantasy, from Charlotte-based Falstaff Books. “12 complete book-length works by masters of dark urban fantasy … a walk on the wild side, into the shadows, where things go bump in the night and the hour of the wolf never ends. Featuring NY Times Best-Sellers, USA Today Best-Sellers, Bram Stoker Award Winners, Nominees, and Amazon Best-Sellers like Christopher Golden, Rick Gaultieri, Jennifer St. Giles, Julie Kenner and Gail Z. Martin.” Also includes NC authors James Maxey, John G. Hartness, Stuart Jaffe, and Nicole Givens-Kurtz.

3-5 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas 2016 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC with author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, artist Ursula Vernon, and special author guest Christie Golden, media guest Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and more.

NEW-NEW: 4 (Saturday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Ralph Hardy discusses his middle grade novel Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog.

7 — Local author book release day for Death’s Bright Day by David Drake (Baen), the latest in his RCN series.

NEW-NEW: 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Harrison Scott Key discusses his memoir The World’s Largest Man.

NEW-NEW: 8 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Charlotte author Joy Callaway discusses her novel The Fifth Avenue Artists Society. (Fiction.)

NEW-NEW: 9 (Thursday) 7 pm — Celebrate the publication of MIDNIGHT BOWLING with “reading, beers, and open lanes” at Village Lanes (330 N Hardee St, Durham) — Midnight Bowling is Carolina Wren Press‘ 2016 release, “set against the backdrop of the Galaxy Bowling Lanes in Sandusky, Ohio, in the 1970s and ’80s– a time when working-class America, and its favorite sport, was rolling into decline.”

NEW-NEW: 11-12 (Saturday and Sunday) 3 to 4 pm — The Barnes & Noble Teen Bookfest  brings local authors out into nearly all of the Triangle-area B&N bookstores for readings, signing, workshops, and other events. On Saturday, the Cary Commons Barnes & Noble hosts Cary author Rysa Walker for a book signing of her “Chronos Files” series, and on Sunday, Cary hosts Tony Daniel for a writing talk for teens as well as some early hands-on discussion of his forthcoming YA fantasy The Dragon Hammer. Meanwhile, J.J. Johnson, Nathan Kotecki, Jenna Black (New Hope Commons) will also be out and about — check your local stores for details!

NEW-NEW: 11 (Saturday) 5 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Nicole Sarrocco – ‘Ill-Mannered Ghosts: An Occasionally True Account of Hillbilly Stonehenge, Occult Cleaning Products, the Lady in the Picture, and the Blood’.

14 — NC author book release day for Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley (Tor Teen) — “The book follows 17 year old Anglet Sutonga as she is drawn into a web of murder and intrigue surrounding the theft of a strange and priceless artifact. Anglet is the steeplejack of the title, one of the marginal street urchins who works the chimneys, towers and other high, dangerous places in the city of Bar-Selehm.”

14 — NC author book release for The Shadowed Path: A Jonmarc Vanhanian Collection by Gail Z. Martin.

NEW-NEW: 14 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Chapel Hill author Katie Rose Guest Pryal launches her new novel, Chasing Chaos. (Fiction.)

NEW-NEW: 16 (Thursday) 7 to 9 pm — Noir at the Bar Durham at 106 Main (106 E Main St, Durham). “Eight crime writers gather to read, mingle, and talk crime fiction. Readers include J.D. Rhoades, Katy Munger, Sean Jackson, Eryk Pruitt, S.L. Coney, Shawn A. Cosby, Greg Barth, and Jay Wilburn. Come out and have a great time!”

NEW-NEW: 18 (Saturday) 1 pm — Eden, NC’s Uprising Coffee and Books hosts the book launch for T. Frohock‘s Los Nefilim omnibus edition from Harper Voyager.

NEW-NEW: 21 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Rebecca Makkai and Matthew Neill Null discuss their new story collections. (Fiction.)

NEW-NEW: 24 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Cara Black – ‘Murder on the Quai’. “Aimée Leduc has provided us with an investigator’s inside view of Paris since her first case inMurder On the Marais.  Author Cara Black returns to us on Friday, June 24, at 7 pm with Murder on the Quai.  This 16th in the Aimée Leduc mystery series is actually a prequel, taking readers back to 1989 and revealing how the très chic, no-nonsense private investigator ended up taking over her father’s detective agency.” (Fiction/Mystery.)

NEW-NEW: 25 (Saturday) 8 pm — The NC Museum of Art hosts a Cirque de Vol fire show as part of an outdoor screening of Mad Max: Fury Road.

NEW-NEW: 29 (Wednesday) 10 am til close — Gail Z. Martin & Friends Book Launch Party on Facebook for The Shadowed Path.

JULY 2016

5 — Local author book release day for The Dragon Hammer by Tony Daniel (Baen), beginning a new young adult fantasy series, in which “the sixteen-year-old third son of a duke in an alternate Viking-like medieval America must face invasion by confederates of a colonial Roman empire based on vampiric blood slavery.”

7 — NC author book release day for Directive 17: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller by Scott Nicholson (Haunted Computer Books, July 7), Book 4 in his “Next” series.

NEW-NEW: 13 (Wednesday) 4 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts a signing-only event with Chuck Palahniuk, “Fight Club 2 – Graphic Novel”. See link for details.

15-17 (Friday to Sunday) — ConGregate 2016 in High Point with guests of honor Steven Barnes and A.J. Hartley.

18 (Monday) — Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosts Flight of the Conchords.

19 — NC author book release day for A World Without You by Beth Revis (Razorbill).

20 — Local author book release day for The Chronos Files: Time Trial, a comic book adaptation in Cary author Rysa Walker’s The Chronos Files series.

NEW-NEW: 21 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Julia Franks, “Over the Plain Houses”. (Fiction.)

NEW: 24 (Sunday) 6 pm — 11th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity charity screening of the Firefly film Serenity. Raffles, costume contests, and the usual fun goings-on.

NEW-NEW: 30 (Saturday) 10 pm until 1 am — Midnight release parties for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Quail Ridge Books, Flyleaf Books, The Regulator, and surely other bookstores as well.


2 — Local author book release day for the 20th Anniversary Edition of Redliners by David Drake (Baen, August 2) with an all-new introduction by the author.

NEW-NEW: 2 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Drew Magary discusses his new novel The Hike. From the author of The Postmortal, “When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.”

5-7 (Friday to Sunday) — The Carolina Theatre of Durham’s Retro Film Series presents a special screening series of the original Star Wars Trilogy.

NEW-NEW: 9 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Adam O’Fallon Price discusses his debut novel, The Grand Tour. (Fiction.)

16 — NC author book release day for Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty (Disney Hyperion), sequel to Beatty’s Biltmore-set debut Serafina and the Black Cloak.

NEW: 21 (Sunday) 10 am to 4 pm — Raleigh Comic Book Show at the Hilton Garden Inn Crabtree (3912 Arrow Dr, Raleigh). Free admission.


NEW-NEW: 1 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Robin Kirk, “Peculiar Motion”. (Poetry.)

NEW-NEW: 8 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Ron Rash for The Risen. “The author of Serena returns with a suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are irrevocably altered by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that surface decades later.” (Fiction.)

NEW-NEW: 8 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — The Regulator Bookshop presents (at Motorco, ticketed event) Dave Barry, “Best. State. Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland”. (Humor.)

NEW-NEW: 9 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jacqueline Woodson for Another Brooklyn, the award-winning children’s author’s first new adult book in 20 years. (Fiction.)

9 (Friday) 8 pm — The Durham Performing Arts Center hosts “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s “The Mandatory World Tour”.

19 — Local author book release day for A Rebel’s Stone by P.T. McHugh (Glass House, September 19, 2016).

NEW-NEW: 22 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop (The Durham Armory) Colson Whitehead, “The Underground Railroad”. Whitehead is the author of the brilliant post-apocalyptic zombie novel Zone One. Here: “Prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead comes to The Regulator to discuss his new book, The Underground Railroad, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage, and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. This event is free and open to the public.”


NEW-NEW: 7 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Emma Donoghue – ‘The Wonder’. “The author of Room and Frog Music visits with a powerful psychological thriller.  Emma Donoghue shares The Wonder on Friday, October 7, at 7 pm.  An English nurse is brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle – a girl said to have survived without food for months.  She soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life in a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, and a story of love pitted against evil.”

11 — NC author book release day for The Perilous Journey of the Much Too Spontaneous Girl by Leigh Statham (Month9Books, October 11), a follow-on to The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl.

NEW-NEW: 14 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books presents Jodi Picoult – ‘Small Great Things’ (ticketed off-site event). (Fiction.)

15 (Saturday) — The Charlotte Mariott City Center hosts Carolina Book Fest 2016 with a huge author lineup, followed by the annual “Monster Mash” dance party.

NEW-NEW: 17 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Karim Dimechkie – ‘Lifted by the Great Nothing’. (Fiction.)

18 — Durham author book release day for Six Wakes by Mur Laffert (Orbit Books).

18 — Pittsboro author book release day for Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon (Dial Books).

18 — NC author book release day for Scepter of Fire by Vicki L. Weavil (Month9Books, October 18), Book 2 in her Snow Queen Saga.

20 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — The Durham Performing Arts Center hosts astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, presented in partnership with UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

NEW-NEW: 21-23 (Friday to Sunday) — Cosplay America 2016 at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel (1 Europa Dr, Chapel Hill).

25 — Raleigh author book release day for The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen by Clay and Susan Griffith (Titan Books, October 25), a “crossover” novel with The CW’s Arrow.

25 — NC author book release day for Into the Fire (Night Prince) by Jeanine Frost (Avon).


11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — NC Comicon 2016 at the Durham Convention Center.

NEW-NEW: 18 (Friday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop presents Community Conversation with Roy Scranton, “War Porn”. Scranton is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, and this is his first novel.


NEW: 4 (Sunday) 10 am to 4 pm — Raleigh Comic Book Show at the Hilton Garden Inn Crabtree (3912 Arrow Dr, Raleigh). Free admission.


TBA (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon with author guest of honor Daniel Jose Older.

MARCH 2017

18-19 (Saturday and Sunday) — Oak City Comicon 2017 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

MAY 2017

23-28 (Tuesday to Sunday) — The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Finding Neverland, which “tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan.  Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers.”

JUNE 2017

1 — NC author book release day for The Sweetest Burn (A Broken Destiny Novel) by Jeanine Frost (HQN Books).

– END –

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2 Responses to May Newsletter: Jay Posey’s Outriders, Free Comic Book Day, Gabriel Dunston’s Purgatory Pub, Animazement, Manly Wade Wellman Award nominations deadline, and more

  1. Pingback: Friday Quick Updates: Animazement this weekend, Grady Hendrix next week, ConCarolinas next weekend, and tons of new events including “Harry Potter” midnight launch party info | Bull Spec

  2. Pingback: June Newsletter: Manly Wade Wellman Award nominees, new books and events and news, details for Chuck Palahniuk at The Regulator, Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s NC events, and more! | Bull Spec

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