May Newsletter: Free Comic Book Day, Daniel Wallace, Mary Robinette Kowal, John Scalzi, and Mur Lafferty

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May Newsletter: Free Comic Book Day, Daniel Wallace, Mary Robinette Kowal, John Scalzi, and Mur Lafferty

Posted on 2013-05-03 at 18:55 by montsamu

Vol 3. No 5. May 3, 2013:

Well, it finally happened, the new issue of Bull Spec is actually out in the world! Some of the more remote bookstores I haven’t quite gotten to yet, but subscriber mailings are in USPS’s hands and quite a few Triangle bookstores are “in stock”. It’ll be a few days yet on the PDF edition, but look for an announcement on the website when it’s available. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many supporters at the launch at Atomic Empire as part of NC Speculative Fiction Night as well, and I’m looking forward to reviews starting to trickle in over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile! There are several new books out from local and regional authors last month that I want to make sure to tell people about:

  • Bitterwood: The Complete Collection by James Maxey (March 31) -- "This omnibus edition collects the original three novels of the critically acclaimed Bitterwood Trilogy, Bitterwood, Dragonforge, and Dragonseed, plus the prequel short short story “Tornado of Sparks” that first appeared in the Solaris Book of New Fantasy. As an added bonus, this collection includes a complete, never before published fourth novel set 1000 years before the events of trilogy, Dawn of Dragons." -- That fourth novel, Dawn of Dragons, is also available standalone.
  • Blood Trade (Jane Yellowrock, #6)  by Faith Hunter (Roc, April 2) — “The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets.”
  • The Heretic (Raj Whitehall) by Tony Daniel and David Drake (Baen, April 2) –An all-new novel in this series, being re-launched through re-issues until: “Humanity settled the stars, only to fall into a catastrophic collapse. On one planet, a single artificial intelligence, a computer program known as Center, found a military genius of grit and daring in Raj Whitehall, and the Galactic Republic rose again.”
  • Gnomaggedon by Tonia Brown (April 2013) — “Pack up your dice and character sheets and join us for the release of the goriest, goofiest, gnomeiest novel to ever hit your Kindle. Gnomaggedon has all of the elements of a traditional fantasy with just enough filthy humor and bloody conquest to make you want to wash your hands when you’re done reading it.”
  • Rogue Descendant (Nikki Glass, #3) by Jenna Black (Pocket Books, April 30) — “No longer the leader of the Olympians, Konstantin has now gone into hiding. Konstantin is vulnerable, and Anderson believes now is the perfect time to destroy his nemesis. He orders private eye Nikki Glass to use her powers to locate Konstantin, and she balks at the idea until a series of attacks leads her to believe that Konstantin is gunning for her and Anderson instead of remaining safely in hiding.”
  • Ending (Laurian Pentalogy, #4) by Danny Birt (Dark Quest Books) -- "Alaris has enacted his continent-spanning plans, and he races against time to get to the ancient tower of mages, Pinnacle, to enact yet more.  But Pinnacle is not his ultimate goal: even mage-kind is but a tool to Alaris.  How much, then, do mere individuals matter to him?"
  • ... and! Mur Lafferty's podcast of her forthcoming novel The Shambling Guide to New York City has already gotten started with Chapter One.
And! May is absolutely packed with events, from Free Comic Book Day on Saturday May 4th, to readings from Daniel Wallace, Mary Robinette Kowal, and John Scalzi, to more comics events, writing classes, and book discussion groups. Check out what's going on this month, and spread the word!



[grayscale PDF]


MAY 2013

4 (Saturday) — Free Comic Book Day, including events and of course free comics at all participating shops. Ultimate Comics will be hosting a very large party/gathering/thing in and around their store, including two free Jeremy Whitley comic books, one a split issue featuring Princeless and Jamal Igle’s new title “Molly Danger” and the other an NFL RushZone book. Chapel Hill Comics has cartoonist Max Huffman doing free sketches, and there should be festive atmospheres around Atomic Empire and Foundation’s Edge, and elsewhere as well.

6 (Monday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Daniel Wallace, new novel The Kings and Queens of Roam Book Launch!

NEW: 6 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts RHONDA RILEY for The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope. “This first-time novelist’s exquisite language draws the reader into this improbable, beautifully rendered, somewhat biblical love story with a wildly imaginative premise that is irresistible, tender, and provocative.”

7 (Tuesday) — Quail Ridge Books hosts DANIEL WALLACE – With The Kings & Queens Of Roam at 7:30 pm.

NEW: 8 (Wednesday) 4:30 to 7:30 pm — The Orange County Library’s Main Branch (Hillsborough) hosts ComicFest, with Jeremy Whitley, Jason Strutz, and Gabriel Dunston, a costume contest, live comic ad-libs, activities, and free comics and other prizes. More info:

NEW: 10 (Friday) 11 am to 2 pm — Ultimate Comics hosts Kelly Sue Deconnick for a signing, followed by a writing workshop at 6 pm. More info:

NEW: 10 (Friday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Hugo Award winner MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL for Without a Summer. “The magical book that might result if Jane Austen’s Emma were set against the Luddite uprising in the Year Without a Summer.”

NEW: 11 (Saturday) 12 pm (registration starts at 10 am) — Atomic Empire hosts a regional Netrunner tournament. More info:

16 (Thurday) 7:30 pm - Science and Speculative Fiction Book Group meeting at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This month’s book is Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks. Flyer:

18 (Saturday) 10 am — Hillsborough author James Maxey will be teaching a class at the Orange County Library in Hillsboroug from 10 til noon called “Behind Every Great Book is a Great Rewrite.” From Maxey: “It’s going to start from the assumption that you’ve managed to write the first draft of a story or novel, and focus on the things that you should look to fix in later draft”

NEW: 18 (Saturday) 1 to 3 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts Lucy Knisley for a signing of her graphic novel memoir, Relish. “We’ll have copies of Relish, as well as her previous memoir, French Milk, and copies of the Adventure Time comics for which she has provided stories.” More info:

21 (Tuesday) 7 pm — RTSFS book discussion group. Currently they are discussion this year’s Hugo Award nominees for best novel. Location: Barnes & Noble at The Streets at Southpoint shopping center, 8030 Renaissance Parkway Suite 855, Durham, NC 27713.

24-26 (Friday to Sunday) — Animazement, an all-volunteer, fan-run anime convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, celebrating popular Japanese visual culture in all of its forms. More info:

24-27 (Friday to Monday) — BaltiCon, a science fiction convention in Baltimore, Maryland with guests Joe Haldeman, Nnedi Okorafor, T.C. McCarthy, and others. More info:

29 (Wednesday) — Quail Ridge Books hosts JOHN SCALZI – Hugo Winner With The Human Division at 7:30 pm.

NEW: 30 (Thursday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Ian Baucom for Through the Skylight: “two tantalizing tales magically intertwine, crossing cultures and spanning centuries as three kids set out to save the lives of three others—who just happen to live in the Middle Ages!  A stone lion roars….A sleek black cat speaks….A faun leaps from the canvas of a painting….When Jared, Shireen, and Miranda are each given one glittering gift from an old Venetian shopkeeper, they never fathom the powers they are now able to unleash; they never expect that their very reality is about to be utterly upended. Danger, it seems, has a way of spanning centuries.”

JUNE 2013

May 31 – June 2 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas in Charlotte, with writer guest of honor Timothy Zahn. More info:

NEW: 1 (Saturday) 2 pm — Piedmont Laureate John Claude Bemis hosts a four-author presentation at the Orange County Library in downtown Hillsborough: “A discussion with four of the Triangle’s most exciting children’s book authors: Frances O’Roark Dowell, Cate Tiernan, Clay Carmichael, and Kelly Starling Lyons.  We’ll be talking about our favorite books, how we became authors, stories from our childhoods, and generally sharing lots of inspiration to writers of all stripes.  Come and meet these wonderful local authors who write everything from young adult paranormal romance, to middle-grade mysteries, realistic fiction, and picture books. For more information visit Celebrating Children’s Literature with Local Authors.”

1 (Saturday) 7 to 9 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts a launch party for Durham author Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City, forthcoming in late May from Orbit. More info:

NEW: 2 (Sunday) 3:00 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts SUSANNA KEARSLEY, The Firebird. “With a simple touch, she can see an object’s past.  All who have wanted it.  All who have owned it.  All who have stolen it.“

5 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts mystery author WALTER MOSLEY – With Little Green.

NEW: 7 (Friday) 8 pm — The NC Symphony hosts “Video Games Live” presenting symphonic performances of video game themes. More info:

NEW: 8 (Saturday) 2 to 4 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts Tom Batiuk on Saturday, June 8, from 2pm until 4pm, when he will sign The Complete Funky Winkerbean books one and two. More info:

NEW: 14 (Friday) 7:00 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts “Fierce Reads Tour” as “Five fantasy and sci-fi authors join us with their new books! ANNA BANKS, Of Poseidon and Of Triton; LEIGH BARDUGO, Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm; JESSICA BRODY, Unremembered; EMMY LAYBOURNE, Monument 14 and Monument 14:Sky on Fire; and GENNIFER ALBIN,Crewel.” For ages 12+.

15 (Saturday) — Quail Ridge Books hosts fiction author KHALED HOSSEINI – With And The Mountains Echoed.

NEW: 15 (Saturday) — Free RPG Day at gaming stores worldwide. “Established in 2007, Free RPG Day works with participating hobby game retailers and RPG publishers to bring new and exclusive RPG quickstart rules and adventure modules into the hands of gamers.” More info:

27 (Thursday) — A sf-themed even from the NC Symphony: ‘Join George Takei, “Mr. Sulu” of Star Trek fame, as he guides you through the galaxy accompanied by music from E.T., Star Wars, Close Encounters, and,of course, Star Trek.’ Go to for tickets.

27-30 (Thursday to Sunday) — ConTemporal 2013 at the North Raleigh Hilton, beginning with the Thursday evening guest of honor dinner and continuing all weekend, as this Steampunk-themed convention is back for a second year. Guest of honor Ursula Vernon, along with Lee Martindale, Tom Smith, toastmaster Sal Sanfratello, and more. More info:

NEW-NEW: 28 (Friday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Jamil Nasir for his new sf novel Tunnel Out of Death (Tor Books).

TBD: Look for a late June event with Alex Wilson at Flyleaf Books, for the publication of the latest edition of Writers of the Future, which includes Wilson’s story.

JULY 2013

NEW: 10 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Alex Bledsoe for Wisp of a Thing, book two after The Hum and the Shiver in his new contemporary fantasy series.

NEW: 11 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts STEPHEN KIERNAN for The Curiosity. “The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Michael Crichton in a powerful debut novel about a man frozen in ice for more than a century, who reawakens in the present day.”

28 (Sunday) — The annual NC Browncoats “Can’t Stop the Serenity” charity screening of Serenity at the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. Note that this is a ticketed event and tends to sell out completely in advance. More info:


3 (Saturday) 7 to 9 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts the annual Bull Spec summer speculative fiction event. This year it is an absolutely fantastic lineup with Karen Lord, Nathan Ballingrud, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and Will Hindmarch all coming up from the Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp at Wofford College, being joined locally by Durham author Mur Lafferty. We had a blast hosting Ann and Jeff back in 2011 and it’s sure to be another great evening. More info: /2013/03/29/announcement-the-third-annual-bull-spec-summer-speculative-fiction-event/

NEW: 27 (Tuesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts NCSU professor Wilton Barnhardt for his forthcoming historical fiction satire novel Lookaway, Lookaway (St. Martin’s and Macmillan Audio, August 20).


NEW: 27 (Friday) Flyleaf Books hosts Robin Sloan for the paperback edition of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. 7 pm.


4-6 (Friday to Sunday) — Second Escapist Expo at the Durham Convention Center. More info:


9-10 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon will be returning to the Durham Convention Center. “Twice the space, four times the fun. It’s exponential.”


10-12 (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon iii: The Search for Schrödington’s Gold at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle, with author guests of honor Mary Robinette Kowal and Lawrence M. Shoen. More info:

JUNE 2014

(May 30) to June 1 (Friday to Sunday) — ConCarolinas in Charlotte, with guest of honor George R.R. Martin.

JULY 2014

NEW: 11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — ConGregate in downtown Winston-Salem. More info:

– END –

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