January newsletter: illogiCon welcomes Daniel Jose Older, Jeremy Whitley signs “Wasp”, the 2016-17 Manly Wade Wellman Award season gets underway, and more

Vol 7 No 1. Friday, January 13, 2017: Welcome, already, to illogiCon weekend, which kicks off its 6th annual convention with today’s opening ceremonies at 3 pm and continues all weekend at the Embassy Suites RDU with guests of honor Daniel José Older (Half-Resurrection Blues, pictured below, left) and Dave Ellis, along with program participants Natania Barron, Samantha Bryant, Richard Butner, Tony Daniel, Richard Dansky, Nicole Givens Kurtz, J.L. Hilton, Mur Lafferty, Josh Leone, Ian Malone, Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey, James Maxey, Gray Rinehart, and many more.

  

Meanwhile, rescheduled due to last weekend’s ice storm, on January 14 (Saturday) at 10:30 am the Durham/Chapel Hill location of Ultimate Comics hosts Durham writer Jeremy Whitley for a signing of his latest book The Unstoppable Wasp #1. “Writer Jeremy Whitley will be in-store to sign your copies of Wasp #1, Princeless, and My Little Pony Friends Forever! Appearing at each store throughout the day! Durham 10:30-11:30am, Cary 12:00-2:00pm, Raleigh 3:00-5:00pm.”

Lastly in terms of upcoming January events, while not an “event” per se there are less than two weeks left to help support Lawless Lands: Tales From The Weird Frontier funding on Kickstarter through Wed, January 25. Coming from Charlotte’s Falstaff Books and edited by North Carolina’s Emily Lavin Leverett, Misty Massey, and Margaret S. McGraw, the book aims to embody “the frontier spirit of the American West with a wild left turn into the weird” with plenty of local and regional contributors including Jake Bible, Faith Hunter, Nicole Givens Kurt, and Edmund Schubert.

Next, I’m very happy to pass along that the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation has announced the preliminary eligibility list of 109 titles for the 2016 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded in 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2017 award, voted on by the combined membership of North Carolina science fiction and fantasy conventions (illogiCon, StellarconConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate), covers novels published in 2016. Nominations will open after illogiCon in January ahead of a final voting round, with the finalists announced at ConCarolinas, and the award being presented at ConGregate in July.

Finally, while there is an absolutely mountainous grab-bag of news and notes to pass along from the four months which have passed since the September newsletter, in the interest of finally getting this newsletter out before illogiCon actually opens, I’m going to have to table most of that until next month, along with, alas, the usual “new books and audiobooks” cover gallery, or even a full update of the forthcoming book releases. What I will get into this newsletter are some highlights among the fantastic new February (and later!) events that have been added to the calendar:

  

  • February 9 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jason Rekulak for his debut novel The Impossible Fortress. The Quirk publisher who brought us Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and others brings his quirky sensibilities to his own debut coming-of-age novel. Jason Rekulak shares The Impossible Fortress with us on Thursday, February 9, at 7 pm. The 80s live again as a group of teenage boys seek a near-impossible goal: a forbidden copy of Playboy. Will a store owner’s daughter be their path to success, or an unmoveable obstacle? “Rekulak’s novel will have readers of a certain age waxing nostalgic about Space Invaders and humming Hall and Oates, … a fun ride that will appeal to all.”—Publishers Weekly.”
  • February 13 (Monday) 7:30 pm — The Regulator Bookshop presents an off-site event at Motorco Music Hall with author John Darnielle, for his new book Universal Harvester. “Set in Iowa in the late 1990s, life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut.”
  • February 15 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Darnielle for Universal Harvester.
  • February 24 (Friday) 7 pmQuail Ridge Books hosts Scott Westerfeld for his new young adult science fiction novel Horizon. “He’s one of the most fascinating speakers we’ve had, as well as one of the most inventive writers in YA fantasy today. Scott Westerfeld returns on Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 pm with Horizon, the start of a new supernatural series for slightly younger readers. Imagine Survivor on steroids. Eight young people crash in the Arctic. But instead of an icy landscape, they find themselves in a forbidding jungle, with impossibly bizarre flora and fauna. Survival means banding together, which may be equally impossible.” UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled for Monday, April 17.

   

  • March 14 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts London author Samantha Shannon for her new novel The Song Rising. “On the eve of a new decade, after two hundred years of Scion rule, a rebellion is stirring. Its unlikely cradle is the clairvoyant underworld in London, and even a shattering betrayal within the community cannot stop it. Paige Mahoney is now Underqueen in London, determined to fight for her fellow clairvoyants against overwhelming odds. Her tentative alliance with the Ranthen is tested, and her rule is threatened by a technology so powerful it could destroy the world as she knows it. Racing against the clock, Paige goes north in search of a solution—but with a new enemy pulling the strings, and war on the horizon, she will have to make dangerous sacrifices to protect the ones she loves.”
  • March 22 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Scalzi for his new science fiction novel The Collapsing Empire. “The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.​”
  • March 23 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts John Scalzi for his new science fiction novel The Collapsing Empire. “The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.​” [Facebook]
  • April 7 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Kessel for his first new novel in some time, The Moon and the Other forthcoming from Saga Press. “Welcome to the Moon of the 22nd century where politics, rival city—states, and a matriarchal society collide. Passions, both sexual and warlike, come to a boil as the players must decide what really matters to them.”
  • May 30 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Kij Johnson for hew new novel The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows forthcoming from Small Beer Press. “Kij Johnson has won the major awards for fantasy (Sturgeon, World Fantasy, Hugo). Now Johnson turns to the most elemental of fantasies – the fairy tale – as she lovingly re-creates Kenneth Grahame’s world, and expands upon it.”

These and more “NEW events appear in the extended events calendar to close the newsletter as usual. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope to see as many of you as possible at illogiCon or elsewhere!

-Sam


FORTHCOMING EVENTS, JANUARY 2017

January 13-15 (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon with guests of honor Daniel José Older (Half-Resurrection Blues, pictured below, left) and Dave Ellis, along with program participants Natania Barron, Samantha Bryant, Richard Butner, Tony Daniel, Richard Dansky, Nicole Givens Kurtz, J.L. Hilton, Mur Lafferty, Josh Leone, Ian Malone, Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey, James Maxey, Gray Rinehart, and many more.

January 31 — Durham author book release day for Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (Orbit Books).

FEBRUARY 2017

NEW: February 4-5 (Saturday and Sunday) — Carolina Games Summit 2017 in Downtown Goldsboro, NC.

NEW: February 9 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jason Rekulak for his debut novel The Impossible Fortress. The Quirk publisher who brought us Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and others brings his quirky sensibilities to his own debut coming-of-age novel. Jason Rekulak shares The Impossible Fortress with us on Thursday, February 9, at 7 pm. The 80s live again as a group of teenage boys seek a near-impossible goal: a forbidden copy of Playboy. Will a store owner’s daughter be their path to success, or an unmoveable obstacle? “Rekulak’s novel will have readers of a certain age waxing nostalgic about Space Invaders and humming Hall and Oates, … a fun ride that will appeal to all.”—Publishers Weekly.”

NEW-NEW: February 9 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Cary Barnes & Noble hosts Ilona Andrews as part of a multi-author event for Avon Books. “Join us as we celebrate the stars of romance fiction including Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, Katharine Ashe, Ilona Andrews and Alisha Rai. ”

NEW: February 10 (Friday) — Quail Ridge Books hosts Lisa McMann for her new young reader fantasy The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Captives. “The Unwanteds series was described by Kirkus Reviews as ‘The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter‘. Lisa McMann returns to Quail Ridge on Friday, February 10, at 7 pm with The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Captives. This first in a sequel series to The Unwanteds begins in disaster, as twins Fifer and Thisbe’s errant powers cause a tragedy. Older brother Alex is even considering imprisoning them until they can control their massive powers. Will battling the evil Revinir to free a land of enslaved dragons be enough to atone, or just lead them to further disaster? Ages 9+.”

NEW: February 13 (Monday) 7:30 pm — The Regulator Bookshop presents an off-site event at Motorco Music Hall with author John Darnielle, for his new book Universal Harvester. “Set in Iowa in the late 1990s, life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut.”

NEW: February 15 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Darnielle for Universal Harvester.

February 24-26 (Friday to Sunday) — MystiCon in Roanoke, Virginia with guests of honor David Weber and Joe R. Lansdale.

NEW: February 25 (Saturday) 9 am to 9 pm — Stellarcon 2017 at the UNCG Elliott University Center.

MARCH 2017

NEW-NEW: March 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Durham author Mur Lafferty to discuss her new books Six Wakes: A Novel and Bookburners.

NEW: March 7 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Charlie Lovett – ‘The Lost Book of the Grail’. “It takes a bibliophile to know one.  An English professor’s passion for ancient manuscripts, his Cathedral, and all things to do with the Holy Grail comes under threat in Charlie Lovett’s The Lost Book of the Grail.  Charlie (The Bookman’s Tale) returns on Tuesday, March 7, at 7 pm with a story of medieval mysteries, modern technological threats, and perhaps a bit of romance.”

NEW-NEW: March 13 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger), Natalie C. Anderson (City of Saints & Thieves), Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne), and Lesley Livingston (The Valiant), for “Penguin Teen on Tour – Four Fantastic YA Authors in One Night”.

NEW: March 14 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts London author Samantha Shannon for her new novel The Song Rising. “On the eve of a new decade, after two hundred years of Scion rule, a rebellion is stirring. Its unlikely cradle is the clairvoyant underworld in London, and even a shattering betrayal within the community cannot stop it. Paige Mahoney is now Underqueen in London, determined to fight for her fellow clairvoyants against overwhelming odds. Her tentative alliance with the Ranthen is tested, and her rule is threatened by a technology so powerful it could destroy the world as she knows it. Racing against the clock, Paige goes north in search of a solution—but with a new enemy pulling the strings, and war on the horizon, she will have to make dangerous sacrifices to protect the ones she loves.”

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

NEW-NEW: March 19 (Sunday) 2 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Asheville author Robert Beatty for a preview of his forthcoming novel Serafina and the Splintered Heart. “Asheville author Robert Beatty created a true nation-wide sensation with his fantasy set around the Biltmore Estate, begun with Serafina and the Black Cloak. The first Serafina received the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, and has been on the NC Battle of the Books list. The sequel, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, is now available. Join us on Sunday, March 19, at 2 pm when Robert joins us for Staff, and previews Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Book 3, due out July)! Ages 9+. We’ll have some light refreshments to make it extra special.”

NEW: March 22 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Scalzi for his new science fiction novel The Collapsing Empire. “The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.​”

NEW: March 23 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts John Scalzi for his new science fiction novel The Collapsing Empire. “The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.​” [Facebook]

APRIL 2017

April 4 — Raleigh author novel release day for The Moon and the Other by John Kessel (Saga Press, April 4, 2017) — “John Kessel, one of the most visionary writers in the field, has created a rich matriarchal utopia, set in the near future on the moon, a society that is flawed by love and sex, and on the brink of a destructive civil war.”

NEW: April 7 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Kessel for his first new novel in some time, The Moon and the Other forthcoming from Saga Press. “Welcome to the Moon of the 22nd century where politics, rival city—states, and a matriarchal society collide. Passions, both sexual and warlike, come to a boil as the players must decide what really matters to them.”

NEW-NEW: April 17 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Scott Westerfeld for his new young adult science fiction novel Horizon. “He’s one of the most fascinating speakers we’ve had, as well as one of the most inventive writers in YA fantasy today. Scott Westerfeld returns with Horizon, the start of a new supernatural series for slightly younger readers. Imagine Survivor on steroids. Eight young people crash in the Arctic. But instead of an icy landscape, they find themselves in a forbidding jungle, with impossibly bizarre flora and fauna. Survival means banding together, which may be equally impossible.”

MAY 2017

NEW-NEW: May 5 (Friday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Cory Doctorow for his new novel Walkaway. “Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza—known to his friends as Hubert, Etc—was too old to be at that Communist party. But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has no where left to be—except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society—and walk away. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter—from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system. It’s still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.”

May 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.”

NEW: May 30 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Kij Johnson for hew new novel The River Bank: A sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows forthcoming from Small Beer Press. “Kij Johnson has won the major awards for fantasy (Sturgeon, World Fantasy, Hugo). Now Johnson turns to the most elemental of fantasies – the fairy tale – as she lovingly re-creates Kenneth Grahame’s world, and expands upon it.”

JUNE 2017

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

June 6 — NC author book release day for Firebrand by A.J. Hartley (Tor Teen), sequel to Steeplejack.

JULY 2017

July 4 — Raleigh author book release day for A Rebel’s Stone by P.T. McHugh (Glass House) Book 2 in his “Stone Ends” series after Keeper of the Black Stones.

July 14-16 (Friday to Sunday) — DeepSouthCon 55 at ConGregate 4 in High Point, NC with author guest of honor Barbara Hambly, artist guest of honor Alan Pollack, special guests Toni Weisskopf, Michael A. Stackpole, and Timothy Zahn, and the presentation of the 2016-17 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy.

NEW: July 14-16 (Friday to Sunday) — Raleigh SuperCon at the Raleigh Convention Center. “Supercon is 3 days of fun featuring celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, industry guests, cosplayers, artists, writers, panels, Q&A’s, films & shorts, costume & cosplay contests, vendors, parties, anime, workshops, video gaming and more! Supercon is for fans of pop culture, superheroes, science fiction, anime, cartoons, video games, and more. Dress up in costume or come as you are for this family friendly event. Kids 9 and under are free with a paying adult.”

AUGUST 2017

August 5 (Saturday) 10 am to 4 pm — One-day mini-convention For the Love of Books Raleigh at the Raleigh Marriott City Center: “With each of our events our goal is to create a more intimate setting so that authors have more time with their fans and readers have more time discovering authors they haven’t read yet. By creating a smaller event, (about 20-25 authors,) we will be able to concentrate on all of the extras that make a signing fun, memorable, and relaxing.”

– END –

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