November newsletter: Bull Spec turns 4; NC Comicon this weekend; event updates for 2014; Kickstarters; and more

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November newsletter: Bull Spec turns 4; NC Comicon this weekend; event updates for 2014; Kickstarters; and more

Posted on 2013-11-07 at 19:43 by montsamu

Vol 3. No 11. November 7, 2013:

Well, I had hoped to get the regional holiday book buying guide ready before this newsletter, but I haven’t, and I need to get the November newsletter sent out before its Ides come marching along. So! Look for the guide in the coming weeks and in the December newsletter, and in the meantime, I’ve done a decent (though not complete) job of keeping the 2013 preview updated.

So! Bull Spec launched officially on November 6, 2009, making yesterday the 4-year anniversary. Wow. Just… wow. Thanks to all the writers, artists, readers, and supporters who helped get things started and have kept things going.

Meanwhile, this weekend brings NC Comicon and Comiquest Film Festival to the Durham Convention Center, after the DCC’s October date with The Escapist Expo. It’s a fairly quiet November, events-wise, though I hope at least some folks got out last night to see James Dashner at Quail Ridge Books, and hey, it isn’t every month that a “double the size of last year” Comicon rolls into town.

Local sf in the news! Some links to share since the last newsletter:

  • Durham author Nathan Kotecki on Carolina Book Beat in October [link]
  • Jeremy Whitley and Tommy Lee Edwards on WUNC's The State of Things yesterday [link] along with a write-up of the convention by Brian Howe in the current Indy Week
  • Diana Bastine and Debra Killeen on Carolina Book Beat in November (no link yet, but should be available soon)
Also new this month, some Kickstarters to tell you about, though both are closer to their end dates than their launch dates so don't wait too long to check them out:
  • As I mentioned in Monday's quick updates, Bull Spec art director Gabriel Dunston has two weeks to go on his Purgatory Pub (Book 1) Kickstarter, where he’s already collected pledges of $1500 towards his goal of of $3500. The first of a five book graphic novel series on the afterlife, Purgatory Pub asks “What do the Angel and Devil on your shoulders do when they are done harassing you?” and answers “They go to a bar and talk about you.” There’s a 2-chapter PDF preview available as well, so go check it out!
  • An interview with Jaym Gates touches on the ongoing Kickstarter for her "War Stories" military sf anthology, which includes SC author T.C. McCarthy, previous illogiCon guest of honor Joe Haldeman, and a further lineup including Maurice Broaddus, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Karin Lowachee, Linda Nagata, Mike Sizemore, and more. Check out both the interview and the War Stories Kickstarter, which is about 75% funded with 7 days to go.
Over at there have been three new "The Hardest Part" guest columns since the last newsletter. Here they are: Publication notes! I'm sure I'm as usual missing a few this month but:
  • Durham author Nathan Kotecki's second novel, Pull Down the Night, was out early in the month; it is a follow-on to his 2012 debut The Suburban Strange
  • Becca Gomez Farrel has a new short story in Beneath Ceasless Skies: "It’s out on Amazon:  and Weightless: as of late last week, I believe. The story should be up for free on Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ website on 10/10. Called “Blow ‘Em Down.” Issue #131, 5th Anniversary Double Issue."
  • Georgia author JM McDermott, who is both a Bull Spec contributor and has come up for one of our Speculative Fiction Nights as well as local conventions, has his two most recent novels (Never Knew Another and When We Were Executioners, in his Dogsland series) now out in audio, and they're my lead picks in my most recent AudioBookaneers Release Week roundup
  • Speaking of new audiobooks, NC author Teresa Frohock's novel Miserere: An Autumn Tale (reviewed in Bull Spec along with an interview of the author) is also newly out in audio
  • John G. Hartness has a new addition to his Black Knight Chronicles series: Paint it Black: 4 (The Black Knight Chronicles)
Lastly this month, some 2014 events news to share:
  • Author Laura Anne Gilman is joining the lineup for illogiCon! So, along with guests of honor Mary Robinette Kowal and Lawrence M. Shoen, and already-announced participants John Kessel, Gail Z. Martin, James Maxey, Tony Daniel, Misty Massey, Richard Dansky, Natania Barron, and more, there's quite a good crowd of fantastic authors converging in Raleigh-Durham on January 10-12.
  • As I announced yesterday, Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books will host author Carrie Vaughn, bestselling author of the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series, on Friday, January 17 at 7:30 pm, for her forthcoming superhero novel Dreams of the Golden Age, a follow-on to her 2011 novel After the Golden Age.
  • Another late-breaking, just-confirmed event to share with you is that Chapel Hill's Flyleaf Books will host Wendy Webb for her forthcoming ghost story / occult / haunted house novel The Vanishing on Saturday Feb 1 at 11 am.
  • And our regional friends up in Roanoke, VA, MystiCon, have announced John de Lancie, best known as "Q" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as the media guest of honor for their Feb 21-23 convention.
Whew! See you out and about, -Sam.


8 (Friday) 8 pm — Durham’s Carolina Theatre welcomes Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist, AMC’s Talking Dead) for a standup comedy show. Tickets in person at the Carolina Theatre or via Ticketmaster.

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.” Additionally, there is a free pre-party on Friday, November 8th at the Durham Armory, and the Comiquest Film Festival Nov 8-10 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.

NEW: 9 (Saturday) — The Charleston Young Adult Book Festival, YALLFest, in Charleston, SC. With guests Lev Grossman, Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Rae Carson, David Macinnis Gill, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth, Veronica Rossi, Victoria Schwab, and many others. More info:

NEW: 9 (Saturday) — The First Annual Peak City Book Festival will take place on November 9th, 2013 from 11 am to 5 pm at The Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, North Carolina.

NEW: 8-9 (Friday and Saturday) — Durham’s Supergraphic hosts a gallery opening (Friday) and then DICE — the Durham Independent Comics Expo — on Saturday. More info:

NEW-NEW: 10 (Sunday) 1 to 4 pm — Artists and Authors Showcase at the Bosetti Art Tile and Showcase in Lenoir. More info:

12 — Regional book release day for Tennessee author Cherie Priest’s Fiddlehead (Tor, Nov 12, 2013) — latest novel in Priest’s Boneshaker series The Clockwork Century

13 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Allan Gurganus for his book Local Souls, a 3-novella return to his mythological Falls, North Carolina.

NEW-NEW: 15-17 (Friday to Sunday) — MACE, “The Carolinas’ Best Gaming Con”, in Charlotte this weekend, which boasts Paizo Publishing’s Jason Bulmahn along with a trio from Pinnacle Entertainment Group as its guests of honor, and also involves Davey Beauchamp, so there is a high likelihood of some manner of shenanigans.

NEW: 16 (Saturday) 6-9 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts Ed Piskor for a signing of his newest graphic novel Hip Hop Family Tree: Volume 1. More info:

22 (Friday) — UNC’s Morehead Planetarium hosts a science education benefit, The Jupiter Ball. “The Jupiter Ball is a benefit gala for Morehead Planetarium and Science Center supporting science education for North Carolina schoolchildren. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. William E. Thornton, North Carolina’s first astronaut, will be our honored guest for the 2013 Jupiter Ball. As a member of the Skylab support crew, a veteran of two space flights on the shuttle Challenger and a holder of more than 35 patents, Dr. Thornton fully understands the importance of inspiration and innovation.” More info:

NEW-NEW: 22 (Friday) — Natania Barron is one of the participating authors at the Barnes & Noble of New Hope Commons’ “Discovery Friday”. More info:

24 (Sunday) — Quail Ridge Books hosts Elizabeth Langston – ‘Whisper Falls’.


3 — Regional book release day for the anthology Kicking It edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price (December 3)

NEW-NEW: 7 (Saturday) 2 to 4 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts a Man v Liver signing with Neil Hinson and Paul Friedrich. More info:

NEW-NEW: 7 (Saturday) 3 to 8 pm — First annual regional author holiday book expo at Durham’s Atomic Empire, with (so far) Natania Barron, Clay and Susan Griffith, Matthew Ross, Bully Pulpit Games, Eryk Pruitt, Ariel Djanikian, Stuart Jaffe, and Bull Spec. More info: /2013/11/18/monday-musings-a-local-author-holiday-book-fiesta-at-atomic-empire-on-saturday-december-7-and-miscellaneous-news/

10 — Regional book release day for Collection: Cat ‘O Nine Tales: The Jane Yellowrock Stories by Faith Hunter and The Jane Yellowrock World Companion by Faith Hunter with Carol Malcolm (Dec 10)

31 — Local book release day for The Grendel Affair: A SPI Files Novel by Lisa Shearin (Dec 31, 2013)


7 — Local book release day for Darkest Fear (Birthright) by Cate Tiernan (Jan 7, 2014)

7 — Regional book release day for Black Arts: A Jane Yellowrock Novel  by Faith Hunter (Jan 7, 2014)

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, authors Laura Anne Gilman, John Kessel, Gail Z. Martin, James Maxey, Tony Daniel, Misty Massey, Richard Dansky, Natania Barron, and more. More info:

14 — Local book release day for Watchers in the Night (Guardians of the Night) by Jenna Black (Jan 14, 2014)

NEW-NEW: 16 (Thursday) 8 pm — The Monti teams up with Scientists with Stories and the UNC Morehead Planetarium to produce a one-of-a-kind storytelling show under the dome at the Planetarium. The theme is #ScienceFail. More info:

NEW: 17 (Friday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Carrie Vaughn for Dreams of the Golden Age. More info: /2013/11/06/news-quail-ridge-books-to-host-author-carrie-vaughn-on-january-17-2014/


NEW: 1 (Saturday) 11 am – Flyleaf Books hosts Wendy Webb for The Vanishing. More book info:

21-23 (Friday to Sunday) — MystiCon in Roanoke, VA with guests John de Lancie (ST:TNG’s “Q”), author Todd McCaffery, author A.J. Hartley, and more. More info:

MARCH 2014

4 — Local book release day for Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides) by Durham’s Mur Lafferty (Mar 4, 2014).

APRIL 2014

1 — Regional book release day for Charlotte author Gail. Z. Martin’s Reign of Ash, book two in her Ascendant Kingdoms series from Orbit Books after 2013′s Ice Forged.

5-6 (Saturday and Sunday) — 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival hosted by the NCSU Libraries at NC State University; the primary venue for the Festival will be the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus. “This free public event is presented on a rotating basis by the Duke University Libraries, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, the NCSU Libraries, and North Carolina Central University. The Festival is designed to attract people of all ages, from our surrounding communities and across the state. The program will be varied and will include author readings and discussions, book signings, activities, bookstore sales and more.”

NEW: 11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — JordanCon 6 in Rosell, Georgia, with author guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss and artist guest of honor Larry Elmore. More info:

NEW: 26-27 (Saturday and Sunday) — The Festival of Legends at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill.

MAY 2014

6 — Local book release day for The Sea Without a Shore by David Drake (May 6, 2014) — Lt. Leary series

NEW: 16-18 (Friday to Sunday) — DeepSouthCon 52 at new convention ConTrails in Bristol, Virginia. (That’s the big that sticks out over Tennessee in the southwest corner of the state.) With Guest of Honor: Gordon Van Gelder and Artist Guest of Honor: Charles Vess. Additionally, the Rebel and Phoenix Awards will be presented. “Contrails is a new convention in scenic Bristol, Virginia. We’re an “old fashioned” sci fi literature con with an emphasis on the written word, discussion and southern hospitality.” More info:

20 — Local book release day for Durham author and playwright Monica Byrne’s debut novel, The Girl in the Road.

23-25 (Friday to Sunday) — Animazement in Raleigh, NC. More info:

JUNE 2014

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

NEW: 26-29 (Thursday to Sunday) — ConTemporal in Raleigh at the Hilton North Raleigh Midtown. “Join us for the Third Annual Extravaganza!” More info:

JULY 2014

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


15-16 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center.

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