November newsletter: Kelly Link, Bill Nye, and The Wheel of Time Companion; publishing news; Bull Spec Turns Six; and more

Vol 5 No 8. Wednesday, November 18, 2015: It’s been a fantastic fall for events already, with HonorCon in Raleigh and Welcome to Night Vale in Chapel Hill, readings from Julia Elliott, A.G. Riddle, and Clay and Susan Griffith, and James Maxey continues to be a fantastic ambassador for all things speculative fiction in his many appearances as Piedmont Laureate.

And even coming off a fantastic weekend with both a star-studded NC Comicon and an absolutely fantastic event with Adam Christopher and Mur Lafferty in conversation, there’s plenty still to come this month even before next weekend is over, as the Triangle will host Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and Locus Award winning author Kelly Link (NC State, Wednesday November 18, 7:30 pm), scientist Bill Nye (McIntyre’s Books, Friday November 20, 6:30 pm), and The Wheel of Time Companion tour with editor Harriet McDougal (Quail Ridge Books, Saturday November 21, 4 pm). Not a bad week ahead, eh?

  November 21 (Saturday) 4 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts an epic The Wheel of Time Companion event, with editor Harriet McDougal and editorial assistants Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk.

Then things do get a bit quieter, though I do have one December reading on my own must-see calendar — Durham’s Atomic Empire is hosting Okla Elliott and Raul Clement, co-authors of The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, on December 22 — and November also has a few events for kids (Lucy Rozier’s Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph) and teens (Leon Capetanos’ The Time Box), as well as a few intriguing looking stage productions (Peter and the Starcatcher put on by the PlayMakers Repertory Company, and Jesse Knight’s Eurydice Descended at the Cordoba Center for the Arts, which is funding via Indiegogo through tonight). Read the rest of this entry »

October newsletter: Alexandra Duncan, Leigh Bardugo, Brian Selznick, Julia Elliott, A.G. Riddle, and HonorCon

Vol 5 No 7. Saturday, October 10, 2015: Fall is here, and we’ve got a fantastic lineup of local events and new books coming our way before the first chances of snow, so get your calendars and bookshelves ready for an authorial invasion.


First, what’s on tap this weekend and early next week, including appearances by Alexandra Sokoloff, Alexandra Duncan, and Alex Matsuo, as well as writing workshops for NaNoWriMo and with Piedmont Laureate James Maxey:

   Read the rest of this entry »

September newsletter: Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, the SFWA Southeast Reading Series at Duke, Robert Beatty, Adam Morgan’s Wild Piedmont, and more

Vol 5 No 6. Friday, September 4, 2015: September kicks off readings from a pair of NY Times bestselling authors, as Quail Ridge Books welcomes Kim Harrison (today, Friday) and Christopher Moore (tomorrow, Saturday) this Dragon Con weekend, and we’re just two weeks away from the second Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Southeast Reading Series event at Duke University on Thursday, September 17. So! Let’s start with the details of these September events highlights:

September 4 (Fri) 7 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts Kim Harrison for  September 5 (Sat) 7 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts Christopher Moore for  

  • 4 (Friday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Kim Harrison – ‘The Drafter’. “Folks loved the Hollows series. Now Kim Harrison returns on Friday, September 4, at 7 pm with The Drafter.  ThinkThe Bourne Identity meets Minority Report in this first highly-anticipated installment of Harrison’s sexy new suspense trilogy, featuring a brilliant special task agent at the top of her field and set in a futuristic Detroit.”
  • 5 (Saturday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Christopher Moore – ‘Secondhand Souls’. “How do we describe Christopher Moore’s work? Just… go with the flow and be prepared to snort with laughter.  The author of Lamb, The Serpent of Venice and more joins us on Saturday, September 5, at 7 pm with Secondhand Souls. In this delightfully weird and funny sequel to the NY Timesbestseller A Dirty Job, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing – and you know that can’t be good.”
  • 17 (Thursday) 4 pm — Duke University Libraries hosts the SFWA Southeast Reading Series for “Storytelling and Migration” with authors Gail Z. Martin, Alyssa Wong, Ursula Vernon, Delilah S. Dawson, and Monica Byrne, cosponsored by the Franklin Humanities Institute’s Story Lab at the FHI Garage at Duke’s Smith Warehouse. Refreshments at 4 pm, with the program to start at 4:30 pm.

In addition to these highlights, there’s also two major literary conferences (the Bookmarks Festival of Books in Winston-Salem and the Southern Independent Booksellers Association trade show in Raleigh, with huge lists of big-name authors at both), two concerts (one with music from The Legend of Zelda and another of the music from The Lord of the Rings), and some excellent children’s and young reader events as well (Ursula Vernon, Robert Beatty, Brad Meltzer, and Gene Yuen Lang’s Secret Coders). Read the rest of this entry »

July newsletter: Paul Tremblay, Clay and Susan Griffith, John Scalzi, Michael Swanwick, the Oak City Comic Show, Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, and the latest NC books and news

Vol 5 No 5. Saturday, July 25, 2015: From scifi films on the radio to this year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award, I’ve got a lot to get to in this newsletter. But first! Some upcoming event highlights:


  • July 26 (Sunday) 4 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Paul Tremblay discusses his novel A Head Full of Ghosts. “A chilling domestic drama that blends psychological suspense with a touch of modern horror from a new, brilliantly imaginative master.”
  • August 6 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Vampire Empire authors Clay and Susan Griffith for their “Crown & Key” trilogy (The Shadow RevolutionThe Undying Legion, and The Conquering Dark).
  • August 12 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Hugo Award winning and bestselling author John Scalzi for his new novel The End of All Things, set in his Old Man’s War universe.
  • August 13 (Thursday) — “Noir at the Bar” at Durham’s 106 Main, with: Eric Beetner (CA), Steve Weddle (VA), Greg Barth (TN), Eryk Pruitt (DUR), SA Cosby (fantasy/crime from VA), and a local artist who is about to publish his first sci-fi crime novel, Geraud Staton.
  • August 13 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts NC poet and author Valerie Nieman for a reading from her new book of (sometimes speculative) poetry Hotel Worthy. Nieman is the author of Neena Gathering, a 1988 post-apocalyptic novel. Introduction by Richard Krawiec.
  • August 15 and 17 (Saturday and Monday) 7 pm — On Saturday August 15, Quail Ridge Books hosts Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winning author Michael Swanwick for his new “Darger and Surplus” novel Chasing the Phoenix. Swanwick will visit Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books on Monday August 17.
  • August 16 (Sunday) 10 am to 5 pm — Oak City Comic Show at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown with Tommy Lee Edwards, Richard Case, Dale Mettam, Jeremy Whitley, and much more.

As you can see we’ve got a pretty packed few weeks ahead, and there’s still more to come with September readings from Kim Harrison and Christopher Moore, and the next SFWA Southeast Reading series event on Thursday, September 17 with authors Gail Z. Martin, Alyssa Wong, Ursula Vernon, Delilah Dawson, and Monica Byrne. And! Though November is a long way off, tickets for a special Welcome to Night Vale: An evening with Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor & John Darnielle event on November 3 at Chapel Hill’s Varsity Theater are on sale at Flyleaf Books.

Speaking of Wong and Vernon, though, gives me an opportunity to segue over to awards news: Read the rest of this entry »

June newsletter: Darin Kennedy, Stacey Cochran, Karissa Laurel, Brian Posehn, “Noir at the Bar”, the Manly Wade Wellman Award nominees, and more

Vol 5 No 4. Saturday, June 6, 2015: Well, maybe this is turning into a bimonthly thing instead of monthly, as I didn’t manage a newsletter in May, either. Since late April we’ve seen plenty of local writers have stories, books, and audiobooks published, added a pile of new events to the upcoming readings calendar, and! found out this year’s nominees for The Manly Wade Wellman Award.

As usual, let’s start with some highlights from events that are right around the corner:

June 7 (Sunday) 2 pm -- Flyleaf Books hosts Darin Kennedy for his paranormal thriller The Mussorgsky Riddle. June 18 (Thursday) 6:30 pm -- Noir at the Bar with Nathan Ballingrud, David Terrenoire, John Saunders, Eryk Pruitt, Eric B. Martin, Jeremy Hawkins, Bryan Gilmer, and more, at 106 Main in Durham.

  • June 6 (Saturday) 8:15 pm — Durham’s Manbites Dog Theater presents the last performance in the opening run of the world premiere adaptation of Nick Cave’s Australian/Southern Gothic/cult novel And the Ass Saw the Angel.
  • June 7 (Sunday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Darin Kennedy discusses his paranormal thriller The Mussorgsky Riddle. “Psychic Mira Tejedor possesses unique talents that enable her to find anything and anyone, but now she must find a comatose boy wandering lost inside the labyrinth of his own mind.”
  • June 13 (Saturday) 11 am to 2 pm — Raleigh’s Event Horizon Games hosts a multi-author book signing event for Garner-based publisher Red Adept along with publisher Lynn McNamee. Among those appearing will be local author Karissa Laurel, whose debut novel Midnight Burning is forthcoming from Red Adept.
  • June 13 (Saturday) 1 to 3 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts comedian and Deadpool comics writer Brian Posehn for an in-store signing.
  • June 18 (Thursday) 6:30 pm — Noir at the Bar with (among others) Nathan Ballingrud (The Visible Filth), Eryk Pruitt (Hashtag), Jeremy Hawkins (The Last Days of Video), and more, at 106 Main in Durham.

And there are more readings, panels, discussions, and even writing workshops going on next week — check the full listings below. But while I’m in “highlights” mode, how about a few picks from the newly listed events: Read the rest of this entry »

April newsletter: SFWA Southeast reading series kicks off April 24; lots of award news including Hugo, Tiptree, Gemmell, and Wellman updates; and! in May: Mary Robinette Kowal and Marie Brennan visit Quail Ridge Books

Vol 5 No 3. Tuesday, April 21, 2015: No, you didn’t miss a newsletter in March; I did. We didn’t have too much going on in terms of readings, and then all of a sudden, every time I thought I was about ready to send out the newsletter, another huge piece of news would roll in, or a new event would come across the wire, and here we are mid-April with all kinds of fantastic things coming right up! Let’s start with what’s on the immediately upcoming EVENTS calendar:

sfwa-southeast-2015-04-08-page001-vertical-logo The Voyage of the Basilisk (Memoir by Lady Trent, #3)

  • April 24 (Friday) 7 pm — The SFWA Southeast Reading Series presents a panel on science fiction and technology with authors Mark Van Name, Mur Lafferty, Richard Dansky, Jay Posey, Justin Achilli, and (via Skype) Tiffany Trent, moderated by M. David Blake, hosted by Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at The Edge, on the first floor of Duke University’s Bostock Library. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. [Facebook]
  • April 25 (Saturday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts the book release party for Samantha Bryant’s “menopausal superhero novel” Going Through the Change.
  • April 25-26 (Saturday and Sunday) — Chapel Hill’s Storybook Farm hosts The 4th Annual Festival of Legends: Spirit Animals. “The Festival of Legends is a celebration of the mythic arts and the magic of life itself. It is a playground for the imagination – for children as well as adults – and an escape from the mundane world. It is a journey to the romantic by-gone eras that never were, and an exploration of the fantastical realms that have always been. The natives are magicians and musicians, acrobats and comedians, artists and crafters, proud knights and fairytale creatures. Step into the Festival of Legends, and step into a place of wonder.”
  • May 15-17 (Friday to Sunday) — Durham Central Park hosts Read Local Book Festival & Exhibitor Fair. “This weekend-long event takes place May 15-17, 2015 and will feature a kick-off Cookbook Rodeo, writing workshops, author dinners, a daytime exhibition in Durham Central Park, children’s activities, local celebrities reading outside their comfort zones, a lightning reading open mic event, and much more. Come celebrate reading local with us!” A buffet of authors dinner with Mur Lafferty, Monica Byrne, James Maxey, and Clay and Susan Griffith is set for May 16th.
  • May 18 (Monday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Robinette Kowal & Marie Brennan – Historical Fantasy Reigns.

Let’s take a closer look at the first and last bullets in that list. On the first, it’s a big deal to be launching the third regional SFWA reading series (after the Pacific Northwest and Southern California series) and Jaym Gates has put together a fantastic panel of authors to kick things off. On the second, any time Kowal comes “home” to Raleigh is cause for excitement, and we’re in for an extra special treat this time as her frequent co-book-tour-partner Brennan is making the trip as well. In between, we’ve got an exciting local book launch, the annual Festival of Legends, and a new local book festival. Not too shabby, eh? Read the rest of this entry »

February newsletter: Monica Byrne, Zine Machine, Oak City Comics Show, Wake County Library’s “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series, James Maxey named Piedmont Laureate, Read Across Durham, new books, news, and more

Vol 5 No 2. February 16, 2015: Well, the month is half over and the ice storm is here, so no time like the present to finally get the February newsletter out, right? I’ve got some news, upcoming events, and the monthly avalanche of new books to tell you about, so let’s get started.


First, while there is still a lot of seasoning left in this year’s award season, NC authors have already been on the receiving end of a long and lengthening list of nods. The 2014 Locus Recommended Reading List includes Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road in its First Novel list, as well Lewis Shiner’s novella “The Black Sun” and novelettes from both Dale Bailey (“The End of the End of Everything”, easily one of my favorite short reads of the year) and Nathan Ballingrud (“Skullpocket”), not to mention columnist Paul Kincaid for his non-fiction collection Call and Response. Speaking of Byrne, The Girl in the Road is also on the shortlist for the Kitschies Award’s Golden Tentacle award for best debut; meanwhile Bailey has another short story, “Sleep Paralysis”, on the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot which also lists Boone author Scott Nicholson’s young adult novel Intentional Haunting. And! The audiobook of Charlotte author A.J. Hartley’s novel (with David Hewson) Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is an Audie Award nominee for best Original Work.

 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel | [A. J. Hartley, David Hewson] The End of the End of Everything DALE BAILEY illustration by VICTO NGAI (

This year’s Manly Wade Wellman Award last month announced the opening of its nominations period, which continues through Monday, May 18. The nominating “jury” is comprised of the entire combined memberships of illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate; to register to place a nominating ballot, please submit a voter registration form; ballots have already gone out to all voters already registered. Last year’s inaugural award was in the news in late 2014 and early 2015, with articles in The Chapel Hill NewsThe Durham News, and The News & Observer. Read the rest of this entry »


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