November newsletter: Garth Stein and NC Specualtive Fiction Night, and (in December) Julia Elliott and Fred Chappell

Vol 4. No 11. November 19, 2014: Whew! Already this month has seen William Gibson at Motorco and NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center, and there’s more yet in store with Garth Stein at Quail Ridge Books (tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 20) and with the return of the NC Speculative Fiction Night reading series this Saturday (Nov. 22) with “From the Trenches to the Stars” featuring military science fiction (War Stories, The Savior) and interstellar fantasy (Enoch the Traveler). Then in December we’ll be treated to visits by Julia Elliott (The Wilds, Friday December 5 at The Regulator) and Fred Chappell (Familiars, at Quail Ridge Books, Flyleaf Books, and The Regulator).

More on these and other events in the listings below, but first, a big pile of news and links to send your way:

 Purgatory Pub (Book 2)'s video poster

  • Stacey Cochran’s novel Eddie & Sunny has been featured in the Kindle Scout program all month, continuing through November 27, with reader votes determining whether it will receive a $1,500 advance and publishing contract: “Eddie and Sunny have never had much of value in life, save for each other’s love. For months they’ve lived in a car with their young son. A tragedy on the road one night turns the couple into fugitives of the law, separates them, and eventually leads each to believe that the other has died and all hope is lost.” The listing has remained marked “hot” and I wish Cochran the best of luck!
  • Speaking of luck, Gabe Dunston (who art designed Bull Spec #7 and #8) might need a little bit, as his Kickstarter campaign for Purgatory Pub Book 2 is about $1200 short of his goal, with 6 days to go. “This project will only be funded if at least$3,500 is pledged by Tue, Nov 25 2014 11:59 PM EST.” Book one is fantastic, which you might have had a chance to hear about if I’d configured my microphone correctly when trying to video review it, and he really does come through for his backers, as this time lapse video demonstrates.
  • M. David Blake has issued a call for submissions to the next Campbellian Anthology, so if your first professional publication was in 2014 or 2013, let him know! Meanwhile, his anthology STRAEON is imminent, and! he’s announced the reprint sale of “Absinthe Fish” (in Bull Spec #5 and on the Locus Award shortlist) to Rose Lemberg for An Alphabet of Embers. Congrats!
  • Speaking of congrats, Cynthia Sheppard (cover illustrator for Bull Spec #8, a Chesley Award finalist) just unveiled her second cover illustration for Tor Books, for Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory, due out in February 2015.
  • Speaking of covers, Gail Z. Martin asks: “Have you seen the new cover for War of Shadows — the 3rd book in my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga with Blaine McFadden?”
  • Mur Lafferty announced the completion of Afterlife VI: Stones. Meanwhile, her Ghost Train to New Orleans podcast continues as well.
  • Speaking of Mur, she and I interviewed James Maxey about his new novel Bad Wizard for Carolina Book Beat.
  • Eryk Pruitt announced the publication date and cover art for his next crime novel, Hashtag, due in Spring 2015 from 280 Steps.
  • Speaking of crime novels, Nathan Ballingrud’s The Visible Filth is up for pre-order from This Is Horror.
  • A new local arts website has launched, www.raleighartsplan.com which asks: “We need to hear from all citizens on how you want to live creatively and how that can shape Raleigh as the Southern Capital of Arts and Culture.”

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October Newsletter: A Night of Local Horror, HonorCon, and (in November) William Gibson, NC Comicon, and NC Speculative Fiction Night

Vol 4. No 10. October 27, 2014: Well, this newsletter is coming quite a bit late in the month, but we’ve got plenty to show for it, both in the rear-view and coming up in late October and early November including visits from Timothy Zahn, John Barrowman, and William Gibson, and! the first NC Speculative Fiction Night event in quite a while. First, a quick look at some highlighted upcoming events:

Tuesday, Oct 28, Motorco Music Hall hosts "A Night of Local Horror" featuring 10 local short films. 7 pm. 

Tuesday, October 28, Durham’s Motorco Music Hall hosts A Night of Local Horror [Facebook] featuring 10 short horror films from local authors including the local premiere of “Disengaged,” the follow-up to FOODIE and the world premiere of Roger Paris’ “The Vampire”. Tickets are $5 and the doors open at 6 pm.

October 31 through November 2, sf convention HonorCon in Raleigh with guests David Weber, Timothy Zahn, Keith DeCandido, and Emmett Plant. “Celebrating Military Science Fiction Literature and Honor Harrington’s 21st Birthday.” At the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown. Per a Facebook update, “Ticket Sales have been extended through Sunday, October 26th until 11:30pm! There is still time to get your tickets, so sign up! We have David Weber, Timothy Zahn, Keith DeCandido, and some people from Baen books who will be bringing up the Baen Road Show!”

 

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September newsletter: John Hodgman, tiltExpo, HMLT, Stuart Rojstaczer, Kim Harrison, John Darnielle, The Escapism Film Festival, Scott Westerfeld, and more!

Vol 4. No 9. September 5, 2014: The first Friday of the month has no fewer than five events to pique your interest, and the first week of the month has already brought the first of five six! seven! new books by North Carolina authors that will hit stores in September.

Let’s start with those events happening today (Friday, September 5):

hmlt-poster 

  • While most festival events are on Saturday and are free, the Bookmarks Festival in Winston-Salem, NC does have a pair of ticketed “Eat and Greet” sessions on Friday, with authors Lisa Leake and Rita Mae Brown. (The Saturday lineup includes Lev Grossman, Tiphanie Yanique, Maggie Stiefvater, Morowa Yejidé, Margaret Stohl, and Jen McConnel, among many others.)\
  • Running Friday through Sunday,  The Escapist Expo returns as tiltExpo — “Triangle Game Initiative (TGI), producer of the East Coast Game Conference – will bring a new consumer event, tiltExpo, to the Durham Convention Center this September 5th, 6th, and 7th.” Guests include Bob Chipman, Chewie Slate, Rich Perrotta, Mating Habits of the Modern Geek, and the UNC “Humans vs Zombies” team, and programming includes open gaming, panels, a costume contest, and an accompanying music festival.
  • At 7 pm, DSI Comedy in Chapel Hill hosts a superhero-themed night of improv battle: “This Friday, six courageous comedians (Power Up!) will face their arch-nemeses Pantie Raid in an epic Cage Match battle! Using a super power based on YOUR suggestions, watch as they soar to new heights of comedy. Will our heroes emerge victorious in their fight against their lingerie-loving foes? Only YOU can decide.”
  • At 8 pm, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern presents “HMLT: a version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet” at Durham’s Oval Park outdoor amphitheatre (1100 Oakland Ave) at 8 pm — “With a focus on the disintegration of two powerful families, Little Green Pig brings its signature intensity to Shakespeare’s masterpiece about the pathology of denial.”
  • Also at 8 pm — The Carolina Theatre of Durham presents John Hodgman with special guest David Rees: “John Hodgman is a writer, humorist, geek celebrity, former professional literary agent and expert on all world knowledge. He was the bumbling PC in Apple’s long-running “I’m a Mac; I’m a PC” ad campaign.”

And before I get to the new books and other news, here’s a sampling (for the full listing, see further down) of events further ahead this month: Read the rest of this entry »


August Newsletter: Mur Lafferty wins the Manly Wade Wellman Award; events with Charles Soule, Lev Grossman, and John Scalzi; more news and links; and an announcement on the future of Bull Spec

Vol 4. No 8. August 14, 2014: Well, it was bound to happen. In about a year of monthly guest hosting on Carolina Book Beat, I hadn’t had a podcast fail. Well, it happened in early July, as guests Wilton Barnhardt and Jeff VanderMeer were really quite fantastic, but if you didn’t catch it live, you missed it. Mea culpa.

July was a banner month for events, with Barnhardt, Jay Posey, VanderMeer, Lydia Netzer, Deborah Harkness, D.B. Jackson a.k.a. David B. Coe, and Mur Lafferty all holding events, not to mention new sf convention ConGregate in Winston-Salem with guests of honor Larry Correia and Toni Weisskopf, where Lafferty was awarded the first Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy for her novel The Shambling Guide to New York City. Lafferty writes, “It was a huge honor to win, and an even bigger honor to be the first recipient.”At the same awards ceremony, Rich Sigfrit won the Cornerstone Award for his 10+ years of contributions to Carolinas fandom.

 

Speaking of awards, Natania Barron (for her Pilgrim of the Sky Live video reading series) and Tony Daniel (as host for Baen Free Radio Hour) were nominated for Parsec Awards, along with Bull Spec “alum” Tina Connolly (for her Toasted Cake speculative fiction podcast). Honoring excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, the awards will be presented at Dragon*Con. Read the rest of this entry »


June newsletter: MakerFaire, Noir at the Bar, ConTemporal, and the last week for Manly Wade Wellman Award nominations

Vol 4. No 6. June 6, 2014: First, it was pretty amazing to see so many fantastic NC authors and fans at ConCarolinas last weekend. (And, OK, sure, those coming in from out of state as well!) June is a bit quieter in terms of readings, though (of course) there’s still plenty going on, from Maker Faire this weekend to ConTemporal to close out the month, and the first “Noir at the Bar” event on June 19 with a half-dozen (and counting) crime novelists holding court.

Looking further ahead, while there’s rumor and word of a D.B. Jackson signing at Quail Ridge Books in July, I don’t have the final details to pass along just yet. But! The “NEW” event listings include the annual “Can’t Stop the Serenity” charity screening of the Firefly movie in July and not one but two readings with John Scalzi in late August.

Meanwhile, new bullspec.com content (other than a few “Friday Quick Update” posts) since the last newsletter includes:

And, speaking of Durham author Monica Byrne, she was my guest on The Latest from Carolina Book Beat: Monica Byrne which is now available in podcast. There’s one more night to catch her play Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo at Durham’s Manbites Dog Theatre, and she will be at McIntyre’s books on Saturday, June 14.

Lastly, I need to draw your attention to nominations for the 2014 Manly Wade Wellman Award, which have been extended through Friday, June 13. If you are or were a member of illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, or ConGregate, you are eligible to vote! If you haven’t, please fill out the registration form and I will get your e-ballot to you as soon as I can.

-Sam

UPCOMING EVENTS, JUNE 2014

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May newsletter: Mary Robinette Kowal tonight (Monday), new books from David Drake and Monica Byrne, ConCarolinas with George R.R. Martin, and more

Vol 4. No 5. May 12, 2014: Whew! In a month which kicked off with readings from Alena Graedon, Jay Posey, and Christopher Moore, Free Comic Book Day festivities and a “May the Fourth Be With You” burlesque, and when there’s a reading TONIGHT from Mary Robinette Kowal, I’m quite a bit late on the May newsletter. Better late than never?

Let’s start with the new books. The first week of April brought a crop already covered in the April newsletter, and the rest of the month saw two more local releases: Mistress Of Land And Sea by Betty Cross (Double Dragon eBooks) and Morningside Fall by Jay Posey (Angry Robot), both sequels to previous books. Meanwhile, earlier this week saw the publication of David Drake’s The Sea Without a Shore, the latest (and tenth!) in his Lt. Leary space opera/adventure series from Baen Books.

mistressoflandandsea-510 MorningsideFall-144dpi drake-9781476736396

Speaking of Baen Books, in partnership with the Indianapolis-based Gen Con gaming convention’s Writer’s Symposium, Baen has announced a new writing contest for adventure fantasy, the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, for short stories under 8000 words “centered on adventure fantasy short stories, whether epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, or contemporary fantasy.” Writers, take note! Also for writers, NC authors Nathan Ballingrud (whose collection North American Lake Monsters was just nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award) and Dale Bailey are among the workshop instructors for LitReactor’s The Horror, The Horror: Writing Horror Fiction with Substance which starts June 2 and is currently accepting signups.

On to events! Two readings on my calendar this month, starting tonight (Monday, May 12) at 7:30 pm, when Quail Ridge Books once again hosts Raleigh native Mary Robinette Kowal — who took the time for a Coming to Town interview — for her latest Glamourist Histories novel. This time it’s Valour and Vanity, described as “Jane Austen’s Ocean’s Eleven … with magic” — a heist novel complete with an edge-of-your-seat gondola chase through Venice. Then, (almost) to close the month on Wednesday May 28, Durham author Monica Byrne launches her debut novel The Girl in the Road at The Regulator Bookshop at 7 pm.

Valour and Vanity The Girl in the Road

New events in the listings since the last newsletter include Jeff VanderMeer in July and Lev Grossman in August, as well as a “Video Games Live: Bonus Round” concert by the NC Symphony in June.

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April Newsletter: NC Literary Festival tonight (w/ Lev Grossman) through this weekend; Ann VanderMeer brings time travel to Flyleaf Books on April 21; so many new books; and (in May) Christopher Moore and Mary Robinette Kowal

Vol 4. No 4. April 3, 2014:

April is here, and, finally, so is Spring — hopefully to stay this time. March was quite a month, with a large helping of new books and several fantastic events, and April is off to a cracking start with a full handful of more new books and another round of can’t-miss events, starting today, Thursday April 3, with Lev Grossman at the North Carolina Literary Festival at 7:30 pm, reading at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium at NC State’s Centennial Campus, and continuing all weekend including Junot Diaz (Friday, 7 pm), Karen Joy Fowler and R.L. Stine in a special Monti storytelling event (Friday, 8 pm), Karen Joy Fowler and Therese Anne Fowler (Saturday, 11:30 am), Nathan Ballingrud, R.L. Stine, and Peter Straub (Saturday, 12:30 pm), John Kessel and Peter Straub (Saturday, 3:30 pm), a “Literary Fantastic” panel (Sunday, 2 pm, with Kessel, Ballingrud, Dale Bailey, and Richard Butner), and many and much more for readers of all ages.

There are some new events coming up as well, including: Flyleaf Books hosting Ann VanderMeer on Monday, April 21; Quail Ridge Books hosting Mary Robinette Kowal on Monday, May 12; book launches from local authors Jen McConnel, Jay Posey, and Monica Byrne; and too many more to list up here, so do check out the complete listings below.

Speaking of new books, something is absolutely in the air (and likely water) here, as March and April are absolutely packed with NC-authored science fiction and fantasy. How many? Here’s March: Mur Lafferty’s Ghost Train to New Orleans; Jenna Black’s ResistanceJen McConnel’s Daughter of Chaos; Margaret Killjoy’s A Country of Ghosts; and Scott Nicholson’s After: Milepost 291.

  
  GP

And already out in April? Asheville author Alexandra Duncan’s debut novel Salvage; Charlotte author Gail Z. Martin’s Reign of Ash; and the essay anthology Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction co-edited by (ex-Durham, sadly) Gerry Canavan. In addition to new books, there are plenty of new editions as well, from a newly-announced special limited definitive edition of Lewis Shiner’s Glimpses from Subterranean Press, to ReAnimus Press editions of Allen L. Wold’s backlist, to a mass market paperback edition of Tony Daniel and David Drake’s The Heretic in Drake’s “Raj Whitehall/The General” series. And speaking of Tony Daniel, his radioplay adaptation of Eric Flint’s novella “Islands” is set to be recorded this weekend, with a fantastic cast, if I do say so myself.

Glimpses Signed Limited Edition (preorder) cover  Islands Poster

It’s also been a near-banner month for new web content at bullspec.com ranging from reviews to interviews and guest columns and more: The Exploding Spaceship Release Day Edition (a day late in US and a day early in the UK): Reviews of Emilie and the Sky World and the 57 Lives of Alex WayfareComing to Town: Kim Harrison for The Undead Pool, interviewed by Sharon Stogner; The Exploding Spaceship Reviews Some Recent Good Urban Fantasy Reads: The Cormorant, Black Arts and Ghost Train to New OrleansThe Exloding Spaceship Reviews Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi and The Eidolon by Libby McGuganThe Hardest Part: Mur Lafferty on Ghost Train to New OrleansLocal book release: Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnelPaul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, March 2014: The Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist, Diana Wynne Jones’ The Islands of Chaldea, Ken MacLeod’s Descent, and Nick Mamatas’ The Last Weekend; and The Hardest Part: Alexandra Duncan on Salvage.

Lastly, while we celebrate the future of reading at the NC Literary Festival this weekend, the NC Science Festival is also ongoing through April 13. Signature events (among hundreds of talks and hands-on science exhibitions!) include: Thursday, April 3, Neil deGrasse Tyson at NCSU’s Hunt Library Auditorium; Wednesday April 9, ESPN’s Sports Science Host John Brenkus at UNC’s Memorial Hall; and Sunday April 13, Mary Roach at The Carolina Theatre of Durham. It’s a fun time to be in NC!

-Sam

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UPCOMING EVENTS, APRIL 2014

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