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

← Coming to Town: Mary Robinette Kowal for Valour and Vanity at Quail Ridge Books
The Hardest Part: Jen McConnel →

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

Posted on 2014-05-12 at 13:43 by montsamu

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.

And we’ve had quite a few new articles at since the last newsletter:

Lastly, I have a backlog of Carolina Book Beat interview podcasts to pass along: And I'm looking forward to talking with Durham author Monica Byrne on Monday, June 2 at 10 AM. See you out and about! (Hopefully tonight at Quail Ridge Books?)





12 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Robinette Kowal for Valour and Vanity, her 4th “Glamourist” novel, this one a blend of Jane Austen Regency romance and “the heist”.

NEW: 14 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe hosts acclaimed fantasy artist Charles Vess for a special slideshow and booksigning event. “Beloved illustrator (and staff favorite) Charles Vess will discuss his latest collaboration with fantasy author Charles de Lint, Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale.” More info:

16-18 (Friday to Sunday) — DeepSouthCon 52 at new convention ConTrails in Bristol, Virginia. (That’s the bit 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:

NEW: 17 (Saturday) 10 am — Durham’s Atomic Empire hosts the SCG Spring State Championships (Magic: the Gathering). $25 entry fee.

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:

23-26 (Friday to Monday) — BaltiCon 48 with Guest of Honor Brandon Sanderson, 2013 Compton Crook Award winner Myke Cole, 2014 Heinlein Award recipient Geoffrey A. Landis, and Ghost of Honor Robert Jordan. More info:

28 (Wednesday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop hosts Monica Byrne for the launch of her debut novel, The Girl in the Road. More info:

31 (Saturday) – Shatterdome Atlanta 2014 is a new fan-run Pacific Rim convention being held May 31, 2014 at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center being put on by (among others) Conni Covington. Here are some links to learn more; they’re still pretty early in planning so I don’t see guest lists and such yet: and

JUNE 2014

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

NEW-NEW: 2 (Monday) 6:30 pm -- James Maxey and Nathan Kotecki's "First Monday Classics" series at the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough continues with Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, with guest panelist Edmund Schubert. More info:

NEW-NEW: 4 (Wednesday) 7 pm -- Asheville's Malaprop's Bookstore hosts Durham author Monica Byrne for her debut post-apocalyptic novel The Girl in the Road. More info:

NEW: 4 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — At Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, the North Carolina Symphony presents “Video Games Live: Bonus Round”, a new show building off the success of last year’s “Video Games Live”. This one features MegaMan, Silent Hill 2, Metroid, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, God of War, Mass Effect, StarCraft II, Dota 2, Beyond Good & Evil, Destiny, Final Fantasy, and Warcraft. “Call 919.733.2750 and mention the promo code PLAYNOW to buy your tickets for $48 (regularly $65).” More info:

NEW-NEW: 6-22 -- Raleigh Little Theatre presents Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit" at Cantey V. Sutton Theatre. " A novelist invites an eccentric medium and clairvoyant to his house to conduct a séance for research for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his temperamental first wife." More info:

NEW-NEW: 7 (Saturday) -- Maker Faire North Carolina at the NC Fairgrounds Exhibition Center. More info:

NEW-NEW: 13 (Friday) 7 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts Quail Ridge Books' Teen Writers Collective Performs.

14 (Saturday) 11 am — McIntyre’s Books hosts Monica Byrne – The Girl in the Road.

NEW-NEW: 19 (Thursday) 6 pm -- "Noir at the Bar" in Durham as "Seven gritty crime writers descend upon Downtown Durham to talk books, writing, and drinking at 106 Main. Join Grant Jerkins, Phillip Thompson, Steve Weddle, Eryk Pruitt, Charles Dodd White, Peter Farris and Chad Rohrbacher for a night so dangerous, you're going to need a drink." More info:

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

27-28 (Friday and Saturday) — The High Country Festival of the Book in Downtown Boone, NC. More info:

27-29 (Friday to Sunday) – LibertyCon, Chattanooga, TN. Guests include Pittsboro author David Drake and master of ceremonies Jim Minz. More info:

JULY 2014

NEW: 10 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Jeff VanderMeer for Authority, book 2 of The Southern Reach after Annihilation. VanderMeer has also recently released an award-winning writing/creative book, Wonderbook.

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

18-20 (Friday to Sunday) — MonsterCon in Greenville, SC with Angela Pritchett, Rich Sigfrit, Naomi Grossman, Cerina Vincent, Camden Toy, Sonya Thompson, Michael Carr, John G. Hartness, Rachael Hill, and many more guests. More info:

NEW: 18-20 (Friday to Sunday) — Raleigh’s PNC Arena plays host to Marvel Universe Live, a new live-action show. More info:

19 (Saturday) 3 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Deborah Harkness for The Book of Life. More info:

NEW-NEW: 23 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts Chris Bohjalian - 'Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands'. (Fiction)

NEW-NEW: 27 (Sunday) 6 pm -- The annual Raleigh NC Browncoats "Can't Stop the Serenity" charity screening of Serenity, the Firefly movie, at the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. Doors open at 6 pm ahead of a costume contest and raffle prior to the screening at 8 pm. This event usually sells out in advance. More info:


28 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Lev Grossman discusses his novel The Magician’s Land.

NEW-NEW: 28 (Thursday) 7:30 pm -- Quail Ridge Books hosts John Scalzi for his forthcoming sf novel Lock In.

NEW-NEW: 29 (Friday) 7 pm -- Flyleaf Books hosts John Scalzi for his forthcoming sf novel Lock In.


2 — Local author book release day for The Savior (The General) by Tony Daniel and David Drake (Baen, Sep 2) — “Sequel to The Heretic, Book 10 in the nationally best-selling General series.”


NEW-NEW: 8 (Wednesday) 7 pm -- Flyleaf Books hosts Marie Lu discusses her new young adult novel The Young Elites.


6-9 (Thursday to Sunday) – World Fantasy Con, Washington, DC with Guest of Honor Guy Gavriel Kay, Toastmaster Jane Yolen, and many, many more members including David Drake and Mark L. Van Name. More info:

15-16 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center. Initial announced guests include Sean Murphy. More info:


9-11 (Friday to Sunday) illogiCon (“illogiCon iv: How Schrödington Got His Groove Back”) with guests of honor Jacqueline Carey and Chris Garcia at the Empassy Suites RDU. [Facebook Event]


8-11 (Thursday to Sunday) Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh. Bouchercon is the annual World Mystery Convention, and this is the first Bouchercon ever (in its nearly 50-year history) to be held in the American South. 

– END –

Posted in newsletter | Tagged concarolinas, david drake, george rr martin, mary robinette kowal, monica byrne