July Newsletter: Jay Posey, ConGregate/DeepSouthCon and SuperCon, Scott Reintgen, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and more

Vol 7 No 5. Saturday, June 10, 2017: There are some fantastic new events this month — starting this afternoon! — and two big centerpiece conventions to preview, as well as run down some of the new books from North Carolina authors this summer and spill the beans about a new writer’s group and a new horror book club. Let’s get to those new events first:

  

July 8 (Saturday) 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm — The Streets at Southpoint Barnes & Noble hosts Jay Posey for a signing of Sungrazer, the second book in his science fiction thriller series Outriders. “In a new Cold War between Earth and the colonies on Mars, when devastating weapons go missing, there’s only one team you can call — the Outriders. A crack force of highly specialized super-soldiers, their clone bodies are near-immortal.”

July 15 (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.”

July 22 (Saturday) 5 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Jeff VanderMeer for a conversation with Ann VanderMeer, about Jeff’s new science fiction novel Borne. “In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech. One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.” [Facebook Event]

  

In terms of new author events further ahead, I’m delighted to report that Becca Gomez-Farrell is coming back to the Triangle for (at least!) two events this September in support of her new novel Wings Unseen, forthcoming from Meerkat Press in August. On Tuesday September 19, she’ll appear at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop, with special guests James Maxey and Mur Lafferty, and on Saturday September 23 she’ll be at the Cary Barnes & Noble as part of their “Teen Fiction” day.

The new book discussion club I mentioned in the intro gets going July 13 (Thursday) at 7 pm, the 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.”

And finally, before I get to those convention previews, the new local writer’s group I mentioned is Shut Up & Write, meeting every Monday at 6 pm at Francesca’s Caffe on 9th Street in Durham, organized by Claire Sorrenson. “The concept of Shut Up & Write is simple: writing for one or two hours a week is better than writing for no hours a week, and writing with others is more motivating than writing alone. All writers are welcome. You can journal, finally finish that novel, work on an essay for school, craft a tricky email you’ve been procrastinating on writing…What’s more, you don’t have to share your work – we’re just there to write in company. We kick off with quick intros, then complete two one-hour writing sessions with a short break in between. We also talk and commiserate before and after, because that’s nice too. You’re welcome to come and go at any time. Read more and sign up here. Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks in advance!”

In terms of this month’s conventions, I’ll be at ConGregate 4 / DeepSouthCon 55 to present this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award to… well, no, that would be spoiling the surprise! Held July 14-16 at the Radisson Hotel in High Point, along with featured guests Barbara Hambly, Alan Pollack, Toni Weisskopf, Michael A. Stackpole, and Timothy Zahn there’s a full list of literary, artist, costuming, fandom, performing, and science guests. It’s the first time ConGregate has hosted DeepSouthCon, and speaking of DeepSouthCon I have to mention that I’m also looking forward to the ConCarolinas DeepSouthCon bid party late Saturday night…

If media celebrities are more your style, Raleigh Supercon is also July 14-16, at the Raleigh Convention Center. Actors Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Emma Caulfield (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Alex Kingston (Arrow), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Ernie Hudson, Jason Mewes, and Lee Majors, to wrestlers “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Ric Flair, authors Kevin J. Anderson, James Maxey, and Clay and Susan Griffith, as well as artists and video game creators. For the “big names” there are a variety of times and prices for paid photo sessions and signings.


Whew! That’s enough for this month, I think. If you’re looking for more, check the Bull Spec Facebook and Twitter feeds for information about local author short story publications (both the current Asimov’s and the current Analog have short fiction from the Triangle in them!) and the most up-to-date event news,

-Sam

UPCOMING EVENTS, JULY 2017

NEW: July 8 (Saturday) 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm — The Streets at Southpoint Barnes & Noble hosts Jay Posey for a signing of Sungrazer, the second book in his science fiction thriller series Outriders. “In a new Cold War between Earth and the colonies on Mars, when devastating weapons go missing, there’s only one team you can call — the Outriders. A crack force of highly specialized super-soldiers, their clone bodies are near-immortal.”

July 11 — NC author book release day for Scourge: A Darkhurst Novel by Gail Z. Martin (Solaris Books) beginning a new series. “Epic new fantasy from the bestselling author of The Summoner. In a city beset by monsters, three brothers must find out who is controlling the abominations.”

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: July 15 (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.”

July 18 — 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.

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.”

NEW: July 22 (Saturday) 5 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Jeff VanderMeer for a conversation with Ann VanderMeer, about Jeff’s new science fiction novel Borne. “In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech. One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.” [Facebook Event]

July 26 — Local author book release day for Walking on the Sea of Clouds by Gray Rinehart (WordFire Press) — A saga of the first colony on the moon, garnering good reviews and favorable comparisons with The Martian.

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 — Book release day for The Amber Arrow by Tony Daniel (Baen Books), sequel to The Dragon Hammer in his young reader / young adult series Wulf’s Saga.

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.”

NEW: September 19 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop hosts Rebecca Gomez Farrell for Wings Unseen, with authors James Maxey and Mur Lafferty.

NEW: September 23 (Saturday) — Barnes & Noble “Teen Fiction” day with events across the Triangle. Among other appearances: Rebecca Gomez Farrell (Wings Unseen) at the Cary Barnes & Noble.

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 12 — Book release day for Genome: The Extinction Files: Book 2 by Raleigh author A.G. Riddle. “A code hidden in the human genome will reveal the ultimate secret of human existence, and could hold humanity’s only hope of survival.”

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

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

– END –

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