June Newsletter: John Claude Bemis, Sina Grace, The Writers Coffeehouse, Steampunk MidAtlantic, Wellman Award finalists, and more

Vol 7 No 4. Saturday, June 10, 2017: New events, new books, and awards news await in this month’s newsletter. Without further preamble, here’s this month’s new events highlights:

  

Today in Hillsborough, John Claude Bemis hosts the latest in his fantastic series of launch parties — er, I mean, celebrates the release of the latest of his fantastic books for young readers! No, seriously, if you haven’t been to one of John’s book launch parties at the Eno Farmer’s Market Pavilion, expect live music, giveaways, interactive art, and a lot of fun. This year the festivities are for Lord of Monsters, the second book in his alchemical retelling of Pinocchio for Disney-Hyperion Books.

Tomorrow, June 11 (Sunday) from 12 pm to 5 pm, Fight or Flight Comics (Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh) hosts Sina Grace, writer for Iceman. “Come meet Sina Grace, the writer of the brand new Iceman series from Marvel Comics.”

On June 24 and 25, Steampunk MidAtlantic hosts its convention at the Ramada Raleigh, with guests of honor Stephen Chapman, Papa Stro Maestro, and the Blibbering Humdingers. There’s a vendor expo, cosplay contest, panel discussions, a film festival, and a welcome party on Friday June 23. Tickets are $10 for one day and $15 for both days, with kids under 12 admitted for free.

I also want to mention a new literary horror book club hosted by Jon Caroll Thomas getting kicked off in July: “The Literary Horror Book Club will focus on the darker side of literature, from gothic classics  to current award winners. We like dark fantasy, supernatural and existential horror, or anything that’s both well-written and blood-chilling. Moderated by Quail Ridge staffer and life-long horror enthusiast, Jon Carroll Thomas (look for the guy to the left).  The club meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm. July 13: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle; August 10: The Vegetarian by Han Kang; and September 8: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.”

NEW BOOKS

Three — count ’em! — three North Carolina authors had new books out last week:

Frost and Filigree by Natania Barron is a novella in the new The Shadow Council Case Files novella series from Falstaff Books, a spin-off shared world of stand alone novellas set in John Hartness’ Quincy Harker Demon Hunter series. “They have worked behind the scenes of society for centuries, protecting humans from threats beyond their understanding. They are The Shadow Council, and these Archives are the stories of their members and adventures throughout recorded history. From folk heroes to monsters out of darkest nightmare, the Shadow Council Archives explore the world beyond mundane understanding.” In Frost and Filigree, “Vivienne du Lac and Nerissa Waldemar — a.k.a. la belle dame sans merci and the lamia — have been living among the elite of Tarrytown for quite some time, undetected but for the trail of goats in their wake (one must eat, after all). But just as their eccentricities begin to raise eyebrows, a dark evil arises, intent on murder. They meet a with a young woman named Christabel Crane and a group of bumbling cultists calling themselves the Circle of Iapetus, who beg for help combating the creature. As they plunge deeper into the mysteries surrounding the New York elite, old flames rekindle, and old grudges, too. Vivienne and Nerissa agree to help fend off the darkness, but will spilled blood mean the end of their reform? And if not, at what cost?”

Firebrand by A.J. Hartley is the second book in his Alternative Detective series from Tor Teen, an intriguing, 19th-century South African-inspired fantasy world which he began with last year’s Steeplejack. Here, and be ye warned, in the publisher copy there be some slight spoilers for Steeplejack, “Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. The latest threat to the city-state: Government plans for a secret weapon are stolen and feared to be sold to the rival nation of Grappoli. The investigation leads right to the doorsteps of Elitus, one of the most exclusive social clubs in the city. In order to catch the thief, Ang must pretend to be a foreign princess and infiltrate Elitus. But Ang is far from royal material, so Willinghouse enlists help from the exacting Madam Nahreem. Yet Ang has other things on her mind. Refugees are trickling into the city, fleeing Grappoli-fueled conflicts in the north. A demagogue in Parliament is proposing extreme measures to get rid of them, and she soon discovers that one theft could spark a conflagration of conspiracy that threatens the most vulnerable of Bar-Selehm. Unless she can stop it.”

Lord of Monsters by John Claude Bemis is the second book in his Out of Abaton series from Disney-Hyperion, his absolutely fantastic retelling of Pinocchio set in an alchemical, Steampunk Venetian Empire and beyond. Again, warning of some slight spoilers of book one in the publisher copy: “Pinocchio can’t believe the Moonlit Court is his home! With royal banquets, a regal wardrobe, and a whole new set of rules, Pinocchio has a lot to adjust to in his new life as prester alongside Princess Lazuli. But before they can get comfortable in their thrones, a fancy dinner at the palace is interrupted by an unwelcome guest-a monster! And this isn’t just any monster; it’s a manticore, a beast that was imprisoned centuries earlier. Desperate to locate the prison and make sure none of its other monsters were able to escape, Lazuli, Pinocchio, and their Celestial Brigade set out to save Abaton from these ancient beings. Their journey requires intelligence, strength, and a dash of the magic only presters control. But when Pinocchio tries to use his powers, they have an unintended effect: he is turning back into a wooden automa. And if he’s not careful, he may lose his human form forever.”

KICKSTARTER NEWS

The Lost Citadel — Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Roleplaying project video thumbnail

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Two role playing games with local ties are in progress. The Lost Citadel features (among others) Chapel Hill author Natania Barron and long-time North Carolina writer and editor Jaym Gates, is a Fifth Edition post-apocalyptic fantasy campaign setting, and is currently funding through Monday, July 3. Meanwhile, Pulsar Event is a strategy role playing card game created by NC local illustrator Adam Buccafusco that will have its launch party at Durham’s Atomic Empire on Saturday, June 17.

MANLY WADE WELLMAN AWARD FINALISTS

Announced at ConCarolinas, this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award finalists are:

  • Death’s Bright Day by David Drake (Baen Books)
  • Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley (Tor Books)
  • Pawn’s Gambit by Darin Kennedy (Falstaff Books)
  • Shadow and Flame by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit Books)
  • War Pigs by Jay Requard (Falstaff Books)

Final ballots are now open, and continue through Monday, July 5, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time. The winner(s) will be announced at ConGregate on Saturday, July 15. To register to place an award ballot, please submit a voter registration form.

FULL EVENTS CALENDAR

UPCOMING EVENTS, JUNE 2017

NEW: June 10 (Saturday) 4 pm — Book release celebration for LORD OF MONSTERS by John Claude Bemis, the second book in his alchemical retelling of Pinocchio for Disney-Hyperion Books, at the Eno Farmer’s Market Pavilion in downtown Hillsborough, NC. If you’ve not been to one of John’s book launch parties, expect live music, giveaways, interactive art, and a lot of fun.

NEW: June 11 (Sunday) 12 pm to 5 pm — Fight or Flight Comics (Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh) hosts Sina Grace, writer for Iceman. “Come meet Sina Grace, the writer of the brand new Iceman series from Marvel Comics.”

NEW: June 11 (Sunday) 4 pm to 7 pm — Gray Rinehart hosts The Writers Coffeehouse at the Barnes & Noble at The Streets at Southpoint, a free monthly networking and discussion group. “The Writers Coffeehouse is “a bunch of writers sitting around talking about writing … with coffee. No agenda … just chat about the latest trends in the industry, about the craft of writing, about markets, about pitching and selling, about conquering frustration and defeating writers block, and about all of the good things that come from the community of writers. No previous publishing experience necessary.”

NEW-NEW: June 16-18 (Friday to Sunday) — HeroesCon 2017 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

NEW: June 17 (Saturday) 6 pm to 9 pm — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts a Kickstarter Launch Party for Pulsar Event, a role playing card game. “Pulsar Event, a strategy role playing card game created by NC local illustrator Adam Buccafusco, is lauching a Kickstarter fund raiser to publish the game that has been over two years in the making. This event will held at the awesomely massive comic and game store Atomic Empire and will feature free food, games, prizes, and the first ever Pulsar Event Tournament! Computers will be set up where you can back the Kickstarter project to ensure the game will be made and delivered to your door.”

NEW: June 24-25 (Saturday and Sunday) — Convention Steampunk MidAtlantic at the Ramada Raleigh on Blue Ridge Road. “Join us for Steampunk MidAtlantic! We will have vendors, steampunk cosplay and contest, movie premiers, ghost and gothic stores, panels, and of course teapot racing! Featured guests are Stephen Chapman and Papa Stro Maestro.” The schedule of events also includes a Friday (June 23) welcome party and Saturday’s “Up All Night” film festival.

NEW: June 26 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Daniel Wallace (author of Big Fish) for his new novel Extraordinary Adventures. “An offer of a weekend getaway prize – companion required – jolts complacent Edsel into life. Used to his routine, he realizes he has only 79 days to find a significant other. Once you realize anything can happen, it does. Big Fish author Daniel Wallace spins an engaging and optimistic adventure in Extraordinary Adventures on Monday, June 26, at 7 pm. If you know Big Fish and The Kings and Queens of Roam, you know anything can happen in Daniel’s novels.”

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.

NEW: July 13 (Thursday) 7 pm — First meeting of a new literary horror book club hosted by Jon Caroll Thomas at Quail Ridge Books. “The Literary Horror Book Club will focus on the darker side of literature, from gothic classics  to current award winners. We like dark fantasy, supernatural and existential horror, or anything that’s both well-written and blood-chilling. Moderated by Quail Ridge staffer and life-long horror enthusiast, Jon Carroll Thomas (look for the guy to the left).  The club meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm. July 13: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle; August 10: The Vegetarian by Han Kang; and September 8: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.”

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.

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.”

NEW-NEW: July 16 (Saturday) 6:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Southern YA authors fantasy panel hosted by Scott Reintgen. “Fantasy is alive and well in the South.  We host a panel of regional fantasy authors, writing for children and YA audiences.  Join us on Saturday, July 15, at 6:30 pm for a look at their recent or upcoming releases. Aspiring writers, we bet there’ll be a bit of shop talk and advice! Among the busy panelists: Amanda McCrina, Shaila Patel, Beth Bowland, Chris Ledbetter, Leigh Statham, Brynn Chapman, E.M. Fitch, and Julie Reece.”

20 (Sunday) 6 pm to 10 pm — 12th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity benefit, a charity screening of the Firefly movie organized by the Raleigh Browncoats. “Happy to announce that its time for the 12th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity here in Raleigh NC! The event will be held Sunday July 30th at the wonderful Raleighwood Cinema Grill. As in years past we will be raising funds for Equality Now. In addition to Equality Now we will be raising funds to honor our dear Ron Glass’s charity, the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. We will have a raffle and costume contest before showing our Big Damn Movie Serenity! Doors open at 6:00 and we encourage you to arrive early and enjoy food and drink with your fellow Browncoats. Movie will start at 8:00 p.m. after we have had our traditional costume contest and raffle! Advance tickets, on sale through ETIX, are strongly encouraged. This event has Sold Out the last several years in advance.”

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.”

August 20 (Sunday) 10 am to 5 pm — Charlotte Comicon‘s summer show at the Concord Convention Center.

SEPTEMBER 2017

September 5 — NC author book release day for Uncanny by Wilmington author David Macinnis Gill (Greenwillow Press).

September 12 — Local author book release day for Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (Crown Books for Young Readers). “Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they’re willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.”

23 (Saturday) — Crystal Coast Con in Cape Carteret, NC. “We are Eastern North Carolina’s premier Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention. The Sci-Fi, fantasy and gaming experience will be a one day wondrous event held on September 23, 2017. Door prizes, fanboy flair, costume contests, very special sci-fi vendors and give-aways galore will prove a good time for all! From celebrity guests, to great Sci-Fi food and drinks, to special secret side shows, the Crystal Coast Con is getting better every year, so the Seventh Annual Con should blow you out of your socks.” Guests include Denise Crosby (“Tasha Yar”), Kris Holden-Ried (“Dyson”, “Sir William Compton”), Rick Mora (“Ephraim Black”), and more.

OCTOBER 2017

October 5 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Kij Johnson for her 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.”

October 27-29 (Friday to Sunday) — Military science fiction convention HonorCon 2017 at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown. “Join us as the 5th year of HonorCon Celebrates The Royal Manticoran Navy’s Tenth year Anniversary!” Guests include David Weber, Marko Kloos, Chris Kennedy, and Larry Correia.

NOVEMBER 2017

November 7 — Local author book release day for The Spark by David Drake (Baen). “In a violent world in which civilization has fallen and monsters roam, a young hero will rise.”

November 10-12 (Friday to Sunday) — NC Comicon Bull City at the Durham Convention Center.

JANUARY 2018

January 11-14 (Thursday to Sunday) — Ichibancon in Concord at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charlotte Concord Golf Resport and Spa. “North Carolina’s 2nd largest anime convention returns to Concord/Charlotte for its 9th year! We’ll have Voice Over guests, arcade games from Japan, Cosplay events, panels, manga library, and more.”

January 12-14 (Friday to Sunday) — Illogicon at the Embassy Suites RDU with author guest of honor Alyssa Wong.

APRIL 2018

April 17-19 (Tuesday to Thursday) — East Coast Game Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.

JUNE 2018

NEW: June 1-3 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas at the Hilton Charlotte University Place.

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