News: Flyleaf Books to host Ann VanderMeer on Monday, April 21!

Fantastic news, everyone! On Monday, April 21, Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer for a discussion of her just-released anthology The Time Traveler’s Almanac. Published last year in the UK, this new definitive anthology of time travel stories gets a fantastic US release from Tor; read the preface at The Onion’s AV Club and Jason Sheehan’s review for NPR. And check out this cover:

The Time Traveler's Almanac

The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest and most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and world-renowned anthologists Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, this book compiles more than a century’s worth of literary travels into the past and the future that will serve to reacquaint readers with beloved classics of the time travel genre and introduce them to thrilling contemporary innovations. This marvelous volume includes nearly seventy journeys through time from authors such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, H. G. Wells, and Connie Willis, as well as helpful non-fiction articles original to this volume (such as Charles Yu’s “Top Ten Tips For Time Travelers”). In fact, this book is like a time machine of its very own, covering millions of years of Earth’s history from the age of the dinosaurs through to strange and fascinating futures, spanning the ages from the beginning of time to its very end. The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the ultimate anthology for the time traveler in your life.”

VanderMeer has been such a supportive (and frequent!) visitor to the Triangle area — this is her 3rd event here in the past several years, from reading “The Bear Gun” (from The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities) at Fullsteam Brewery a few years ago to last summer’s appearance at Quail Ridge Books for an event supporting The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Spread the word!


Ack! Alack! I’ve been remiss, because you are invited!

So apparently among the people I failed to tell about today’s local sf holiday party are YOU, dear readers of bullspec.com. Yipes! If you’re in the Durham area and free to stop by between 3 and 8, let me know and I’ll shoot the address to you straight away. -Sam (sam@bullspec.com)


Monday Musings: A local author holiday book expo at Atomic Empire on Saturday December 7; and miscellaneous news

Monday, November 18, 2013: The big news today is that after thinking about it and half-planning to do it for a number of years now, this year we’re actually going to have a local author holiday book expo where local authors will be on hand to sign and personalize their books. So far, the lineup includes:

  • Natania Barron (Geek Mom and Pilgrim of the Sky)
  • Clay and Susan Griffith (Vampire Empire paranormal Steampunk alternate history adventure book trilogy, various graphic novels)
  • Matthew Ross (The Secret of Ji epic fantasy book series, books one and two)
  • Bully Pulpit Games (Fiasco and Durance)
  • Eryk Pruitt (short horror film Foodie and the forthcoming 2014 Southern neo-noir novel Dirtbags)
  • James Maxey (fantasy series starting with Bitterwood and second fantasy series starting with Greatshadow, along with superhero novel Nobody Gets the Girl, among other books)
  • Nathan Kotecki (young adult paranormal series with books The Suburban Strange and Pull Down the Night)
  • Gabriel Dunston (comics and graphic novels, and the picture book The Castle on the Crag)
  • Jacob Foxx (science fiction series The Fifth World)
  • Ariel Djanikian (dystopian novel The Office of Mercy)
  • Jay Posey (post-apocalyptic novel Three) — from 3 to 4 pm
  • Stuart Jaffe (The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries and post-apocalyptic fantasy series The Malja Chronicles, among other books)
  • Diana Bastine (author of the Young Adult fantasy novels The Source, Shapeshifter and Selkie)
  • Debra Killeen (author of the 5-volume award-winning fantasy series, The Myrridian Cycle)
  • Gray Rinehart (writer and musician, recent CD Truths and Lies and Make Believe will be on sale and we may even get a musical performance!)
  • Bridget Ladd (author, The Lotus Effect)
  • Zack Smith (writer, Adventure Time and Regular Show comic scripts)
  • Jeremy Whitley (writer, Princeless) — tentatively, the second half of the expo
  • … and of course Bull Spec magazine individual copies and 4-issue sets
  • And! The trusty Underwood manual typewriter which has made a few appearances over the years will be in attendance for a special community holiday fiction project.

Read the rest of this entry »


News: Quail Ridge Books to host author Carrie Vaughn on January 17, 2014

Well, well, well. It’s early November and already our fantastic local bookstores are working on 2014 events, the first of which on my calendar — other than illogiCon of course! — is now set for Friday, January 17, when Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books will host author Carrie Vaughn at 7:30 pm.

Author photo by Timothy Siobhan

Author photo by Timothy Siobhan

Vaughn is the author of the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series (from Kitty and the Midnight Hour in 2005 through Kitty in the Underworld earlier this year — so far), and she is appearing locally in support of her forthcoming superhero novel, Dreams of the Golden Age, a follow-on to her 2011 novel After the Golden Age.

Dreams of Golden Age comp

Dreams of the Golden Age
by Carrie Vaughn
Tor Books (January 7, 2014)

Thanks to Quail Ridge Books, Tor, and Vaughn for giving us another early reason — on top of illogiCon, of course! — to anticipate the New Year.


Monday: One last day with Karen Lord in Chapel Hill, and a Games and Narrative Panel at the Durham County Library

It’s a big last day in the Triangle area for Barbados author Karen Lord. First up at 10 AM she’ll be the main guest on weekly local radio program Carolina Book Beat on WCOM-FM, which broadcasts to Chapel Hill and Carrboro on 103.5 FM, and streams online for pretty much anywhere with an Internet connection.

Then in the afternoon the Chapel Hill Public Library hosts, well to be more specific: “The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library host the popular Meet-the-Author Teas. The teas offer the public a chance to hear a published author read from and discuss their works. Refreshments are served at 3:30. The program with the author will run from 4:00 to 5:00. Free. Please come and listen! The program will take place in Meeting Room A.”

Finally, at 7 PM, Flyleaf Books hosts Karen for a reading and signing [Facebook Event], along with a just-announced special guest, Carrboro’s own Writers of the Future winner, Alex Wilson.

So! If you haven’t had a chance to catch Karen on her whirlwind tour of the Carolinas, here are your last chances.

Meanwhile! It’s quite a Monday in the Triangle, as also at 7 pm, the Durham County Library is hosting a Games and Narrative Panel Discussion with Richard Dansky, Mur Lafferty, Jason Morningstar, and Daniel Solis, in the 1st Floor Auditorium of the downtown Main Branch. “Whether we’re gathered around a table or squinting at a screen, we have always used games to create and share stories. Join local game designers and authors for a panel discussion on stories, literacy, and games (both on, and off, the screen).”


Reminder: Flyleaf Books hosts Alex Bledsoe for Wisp of a Thing tomorrow (Wednesday, July 10) at 7 pm

Author Alex Bledsoe grew up in Tennessee, and the Smokey Mountains on the Tennessee / North Carolina border are the setting for his “Tufa” novels: “No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the mountains of East Tennessee.  When the first Europeans came to the Smoky Mountains, the Tufa were already there.  Dark-haired and enigmatic, they live quietly in the hills and valleys of Cloud County, their origins lost to history.  But there are clues in their music, hidden in the songs they have passed down for generations….”

The first Tufa book, 2011’s The Hum and the Shiver, was named one of the best novels of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and I’ve “read” it myself — well, I listened to Stefan Rudnicki and Emily Janice Card narrate it for me in audiobook format. I loved the interplay of music and magic in a contemporary New South setting of veterans returning from the Middle East, unemployment, and the isolation of the mountain, and have been looking forward to checking out book two, the just-published Wisp of a Thing. I’ll get my chance — and so can you! — tomorrow night at Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books [Facebook Event] as Bledsoe visits for a reading and signing.

For Wisp of a Thing, Bledsoe creates a new stand-alone story rather than a direct sequel. Here’s a couple reviews of the new book:

“Rob Quillen, a folk singer whose girlfriend died in a plane crash, seeks out the mysterious Tufa people in search of the song he believes will mend his broken heart. Though the Tufa appear to be a racially ambiguous Appalachian subculture, they’re actually descendants of the Fae, capable of strange magics. Hunting his song, Rob becomes caught up in the fate of Curnen, a troubled girl under a terrible curse, and Stoney Hicks, a Tufa man who has been carelessly seducing and destroying women with his magical charms. Bledsoe brings a real warmth and a messy humanity to his modern-day fairy story, with strong characterization and a passionate love of music. Set in the same world as The Hum and the Shiver, this stand-alone novel feels more heartfelt and is written with a lighter touch, fulfilling all of the first book’s early promise and hitting the sweet spot between glossy and gritty.” -Publishers Weekly

“This beautifully handled drama of Appalachian music and magic once again comes complete with fascinating characters, a persuasive setting and intriguing complications. Bledsoe’s on a roll.” –Kirkus (starred review)

Alex Bledsoe is the author of “The Hum and the Shiver, ” as well as the novels in the Eddie LaCrosse series: “The Sword-Edged Blonde, Burn Me Deadly, ” and “Dark Jenny.” He grew up in west Tennessee and has been a reporter, editor, photographer, and door-to-door salesman. He now lives in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls where he writes and spends time with his family.


Two events, one flyer: Cory Doctorow and Brandon Sanderson

Operation wallpaper-the-town for two big-time events this month:

February 16 (Saturday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Cory Doctorow for Homeland, sequel to Little Brother. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/530598563635194/

February 20 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm – Quail Ridge Books again hosts best-selling author Brandon Sanderson, this time for the conclusion of The Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light. In addition, special guest Harriet McDougal will be joining Sanderson for the event. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/484713371567840/

Here’s a 2-event flyer image to share:

2013-02-08-cory-sanderson-page001

And here are printable PDF flyers in color:

2013-02-08-cory-sanderson-color-144dpi

And grayscale:

2013-02-08-cory-sanderson-bw-144dpi

OK, I lied. I do have another “flyer”, the current handout sheet:

handout-2013-02-8-bw

Which looks like this:

handout-2013-02-8-page001

Except the PDF is in grayscale.


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