Posts by: montsamu

Newsletter 2023.2: Nathan Ballingrud's The Strange, T. Kingfisher's A House With Good Bones, FantaSci 2023 with Richard A. Knaak and Howard Andrew Jones, and more

Posted on 2023-03-22 at 18:19 by montsamu

Vol 11 No 2. Wednesday, March 22, 2023: New events, new books, awards news, let's get right to it!

New events since the last newsletter first, since the first of these is literally tonight: Asheville's Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters, Wounds) is back in Raleigh to visit Quail Ridge Books, for his debut novel, the Mars-set weird-sf The Strange (Gallery/Saga Press). And he's brought a friend! The absolutely fantastic Dale Bailey (In the Night Wood, "The End of the End of Everything", "A

Posted in newsletter

Newsletter 2023.1: Leigh Bardugo, Grady Hendrix, new and returning conventions, new books, and more

Posted on 2023-01-11 at 19:48 by montsamu

Vol 11 No 1. Wednesday, January 11, 2023: OK, so, the past three years have been... something. (Understatement much?) As we navigate how to have in-person events again, there's a few of note this month, along with a year of conventions ahead, and plenty of books to read and talk about.


11 (Wednesday) 8 pm -- A virtual event ahead of MarsCon in Virginia Beach this weekend, Raleigh's own Madison Metricula Roberts hosts a "tailgate and preview" Facebook live stream whic

Posted in newsletter, Uncategorized

Review: Queen of None by Natania Barron

Posted on 2020-11-17 at 15:25 by montsamu

In which a publisher sends an advance review copy of Chapel Hill author Natania Barron's forthcoming novel to me, but my wife claims it as her own:

Queen of None by Natania Barron (Vernacular Books, December 2020)

When Anna Pendragon was born, Merlin prophesied: "Through all the ages, and in the hearts of men, you will be forgotten."

Married at twelve, and a mother soon after, Anna - the famed King Arthur's sister - did not live a young life full of promise, myth, and legend. She bore three

Posted in reviews | Tagged kendra montgomery-blinn, natania barron, vernacular books

Newsletter 2020.1: Voices Rising, Kwame Mbalia, Scott Reintgen, Kim Stanley Robinson, Madeline Miller, and more

Posted on 2020-01-21 at 17:34 by montsamu

Vol 10 No 1. Friday, January 10, 2020: Well. It's been a while, eh? It's a good thing absolutely nothing happened since May of last year, or else this newsletter would get quite unwieldy! Seriously though, there will needs be omissions from the second half of last year to get this out sometime this (new) decade, but what a year we had and are going to have, with books, readings, conventions, awards, and more.

First, if it feels like we should have been meeting up in person this past weekend, but somehow

Posted in Uncategorized

May Newsletter: Zeno Alexander, Valerie Nieman, Lewis Shiner, Free Comic Book Day, Star Wars Day, and more

Posted on 2019-05-04 at 14:30 by montsamu

Vol 9 No 2. Saturday, May 4, 2019: May the 4th be with you. (And also with you.) It's Star Wars day, it's Free Comic Book Day, it's book release party day for "secretive" Durham author Zeno Alexander's The Library of Ever at The Regulator Bookshop, and there's plenty more as the summer event calendar really begins to get started. Readings from Valerie Nieman (To The Bones) and Lewis Shiner (Outside the Gates of Eden) being the highlights as we head into the convention season. As always see the full events

Posted in newsletter | Tagged newsletter

January Newsletter: Robin Kirk, Holly Black, illogiCon with Annalee Newitz, and more

Posted on 2019-01-06 at 20:58 by montsamu

Vol 9 No 1. Sunday, January 6, 2019: Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! From upcoming events both this month and next, new local and regional conventions, some long-omitted news, and even a few new books, here's what's happening as far as I know:


Obviously I'm omitting dozens and dozens of things since last February, from piles of new books to additional awards news and so very, very many story publications. But to get a new newsletter out for the first time in so long, some short cuts

Posted in newsletter, Uncategorized

February Newsletter: Colson Whitehead, John Darnielle, John Kessel, the Playthrough Gaming Convention, and more

Posted on 2018-02-07 at 11:24 by montsamu

Vol 8 No 1. Tuesday, February 6, 2018: It really has taken this long to emerge from my illogiCon-induced contemplations. So many news books and authors that I had to retroactively add back in to The year in NC science fiction and fantasy, part 2 of 3: The Rest of What’s Best from the Triangle and The year in NC science fiction and fantasy, part 3 of 3: Beyond the Triangle, starting a proper 2018 events calendar, and! getting this year's Manly Wade Wellman Award prospective eligibility list out. Let's dive

Posted in newsletter

The year in NC science fiction and fantasy, part 3 of 3: Beyond the Triangle

Posted on 2018-01-13 at 19:55 by montsamu

Picking up as promised from part 2, which was a deeper dive covering new books from the greater Raleigh-Durham area, let's take a look at the incredible variety (and volume!) of speculative fiction published last year from across North Carolina, organized into five geographic areas: Charlotte (and surrounds), The Triad (Greensboro and surrounds), The Mountains (Asheville and Boone and so on), The Coast (Wilmington and New Bern and so on), and, of course, "Other." Enjoy!


The domain
Posted in Uncategorized

The year in NC science fiction and fantasy, part 2 of 3: The Rest of What's Best from the Triangle

Posted on 2017-12-31 at 20:6 by montsamu

Wait, what's this? New non-newsletter content at! Yes, indeed! But, you say, part 2? Where's part 1? I'm glad you asked!

I was very pleased indeed that Indy Week editor Brian Howe invited me to contribute another "local books in review" column this year, as he also so graciously did in 2015 and 2016. Entitled "Though the Triangle Produces All Kinds of Books, Its Genre Writers Make the Most Noise. Here Are Some of Our Favorites of 2017.", this year's edition covers my "top 10" of local science

Posted in articles | Tagged Holiday shopping guide, triangle

November newsletter: NC Comicon Bull City, Leigh Statham, Michele Tracy Berger and Nicole Givens Kurtz, Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower: The Opera, and more

Posted on 2017-11-10 at 21:6 by montsamu

Vol 7 No 7. Friday, November 10, 2017: Well, this one's coming a bit later in the month than I'd like, but what else is new, eh? Hopefully not too many of you missed the Zine Machine Printed Matter Festival or the Fall Steampunk Picnic last weekend?

Anyway, last month seemed to really fly by, and there was a fantastic event towards the end of the month as Arcana Durham hosted Books & Brews with a big roster of Falstaff Books authors (John Hartness, Misty Massey, Natania Barron, Michael Williams, on and on!

Posted in newsletter

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