Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Interview with Simon Jimenez, author of The Vanished Birds

Please welcome Simon Jimenez to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Vanished Birds was published on January 14, 2020 by Del Rey.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Simon:  When I was seven (eight?) I wrote a story called “The Time Machene” [sic]. It was about a cat that climbs a tornado like a ladder. What this has to do with the titular “machene” I couldn’t tell you, but it made perfect sense to my child brain.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Simon:  A hybrid. I usually start with the haziest suggestion of a plan, but that almost always gets tossed out while I’m in the thick of it. And after I’m done being a reckless idiot, I’ll come up with a new plan. And then toss that one out. I’ll do this a few times more before I reach the end of whatever I’m working on.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Simon:  Like for a lot of people, it’s filling up that blank page. The first draft neuroses. Getting over yourself and finally putting something down, so that you can do the actual work of revising.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Simon:  Books that I loved. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. And like most writers I suspect, a lot of my writing is powered by some base level fear and anxiety. Some unsettled thing. In this case, it was time and its inevitable passing.

TQDescribe The Vanished Birds using only 5 words.

Simon:  Time lost and love found.

TQTell us something about The Vanished Birds that is not found in the book description.

Simon:  There are sex scenes.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Vanished Birds? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Simon:  For a while I’d been daydreaming about the central relationship in the book between a starship captain and a quiet boy, and I knew at some point I would put that story to paper. But when I set out and started writing this book, the only prerequisite I had was that there had to be a non-stereotypical gay male character at the center of events, somewhere. That was the most important thing to me. The rest followed in the process of writing.

There are many things about science fiction that appeal to me. There is often a bigness to these types of stories, a feeling of standing at the fringe end of our understanding of reality and looking out. For this book, I wanted the texture and color of space opera. Big impossible constructions and reality bending forces that are almost synonymous with magic.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Vanished Birds?

Simon:  Since the story is set so far into the future (about a thousand years) I had a lot of allowance to just make shit up, which is what I did, in earnest. I did light research for the chapter set in the near-future, on a too-warm earth; little things that would help sell the fiction. Learning where on earth I could put the space elevators. Everything else I invented or pulled from my working knowledge of things.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Vanished Birds.

Simon:  The vividly colorful shape on the front cover does depict something from the novel—a kinetic and galaxy-shaping force. It is not a coincidence that it has the contour of an hourglass.

TQIn The Vanished Birds who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Simon:  The easiest by far was Sartoris Moth, a far future socialite who likes to talk grandiloquently. His love of words, and his awareness of self, makes it fun to write in his voice. The hardest was the young man around whom the narrative revolves. His background is so outside my own realm of experience and understanding that it took extra effort on my part to create someone coherent and whole.

TQDoes The Vanished Birds touch on any social issues?

Simon:  A few. Global warming. The all-consuming force of corporate expansionism. The cultural effects of tourism. Things that are not necessarily the main thrust of the narrative, but rather carpet it.

TQWhich question about The Vanished Birds do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!


Q: Can you speak about the variety of emotion and narrative scope in the story? A: Like my favorite authors I am a fan of maximalism. I like it when I read a book or watch a movie and it is obvious that the author or director or even composer left nothing on the table in the conception and creation of the work. I wanted to capture that here. Put all of myself in the book, and don’t hold back for a sequel or another work, writing in the romance and the adventure and the big ideas and the quiet and reflective moments. To be generous with my offerings.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Vanished Birds.


“Weeks passed with the boy as her shadow, he stitching himself slowly each day to the soles of her feet.”

“One day, I will ask what it is he hears, when he hears the notes of music: the infernal, or the celestial. Judging by what I hear now—the flute song through my open door—it is most likely something in between. A fiery heaven all its own.”

TQWhat's next?

Simon:  I’m working on my second book right now. Different genre, mythic fantasy this time. A five-day chase through a land ravaged by a violent despot. Should be out next year if things work out.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

The Vanished Birds
Del Rey, January 14, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever, in this captivating debut of connection across space and time.

“The best of what science fiction can be: a thought-provoking, heartrending story about the choices that define our lives.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A solitary ship captain, drifting through time.

Nia Imani is a woman out of place. Traveling through the stars condenses decades into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her. She lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.

A mute child, burdened with unimaginable power.

The scarred boy does not speak, his only form of communication the haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and otherworldly nature, Nia decides to take the boy in to live amongst her crew. Soon, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself. For both of them, a family. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy.

A millennia-old woman, poised to burn down the future.

Fumiko Nakajima designed the ships that allowed humanity to flee a dying Earth. One thousand years later, she now regrets what she has done in the name of progress. When chance brings Fumiko, Nia, and the child together, she recognizes the potential of his gifts, and what will happen if the ruling powers discover him. So she sends the pair to the distant corners of space to hide them as she crafts a plan to redeem her old mistakes.

But time is running out. The past hungers for the boy, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.

About Simon

Simon Jimenez’s short fiction has appeared in Canyon Voices and 100 Word Story’s anthology of flash fiction, Nothing Short Of. He received his MFA from Emerson College. This is his first novel.


Monday, January 20, 2020

The 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the Preliminary Ballot for the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards®.

Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel
  • Owl Goingback – Coyote Rage (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Cody Goodfellow – Unamerica (King Shot Press)
  • Curtis M. Lawson – Black Heart Boys’ Choir (Wyrd Horror)
  • John R. Little – The Murder of Jesus Christ (Bad Moon Books)
  • Josh Malerman – Inspection (Del Rey)
  • S.P. Miskowski – The Worst is Yet to Come (TrepidatioPublishing)
  • Michael J Moore –  Highway Twenty (Hellbound BooksPublishing LLC)
  • Lee Murray – Into the Ashes (Severed Press)
  • Adam L.G. Nevill – The Reddening (Ritual Limited)
  • John F.D. Taff – The Fearing (Grey Matter Press)
  • Chuck Wendig – Wanderers (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Gemma Amor – Dear Laura (Independently Published)
  • Andrew Cull – Remains (IFWG Publishing International)
  • Nicholas Day – Grind Your Bones to Dust (Excession Press)
  • Eric J. Guignard  – Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone)
  • Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi – Stoker’s Wilde (Flame Tree Press)
  • Michelle Renee Lane – Invisible Chains (Haverhill HousePublishing)
  • Cody T Luff – Ration (Apex Book Company)
  • Rachel Eve Moulton – Tinfoil Butterfly (MCD x FSG Originals)
  • Sarah Read – The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (TrepidatioPublishing)
  • Caitlin Starling – The Luminous Dead (Harper Voyager)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • Amelinda Bérubé  – Here There Are Monsters (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Ann Dávila Cardinal – Five Midnights (Tor Teen)
  • Shea Ernshaw – Winterwood (Simon Pulse)
  • Sara Faring – The Tenth Girl (Imprint)
  • Liana Gardner – Speak No Evil (Vesuvian Books)
  • Dawn Kurtagich – Teeth in the Mist (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Kate Alice Marshall – Rules for Vanishing (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • Nzondi – Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Peter Adam Salomon – Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds (PseudoPsalms Press)
  • Jacqueline West – Last Things (Greenwillow Books)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
  • Cullen Bun – Bone Parish Vol. 2 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Cullen Bunn – Bone Parish Vol. 3 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Donny Cates – Redneck Volume 3Longhorns (Image Comics)
  • Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples (Dark Horse Books)
  • Rob Guillory – Rob Guillory’s Farmhand Volume 1: Reap What Was Sown (Image Comics)
  • Jeff Lemire – Gideon Falls Book 2: Original Sins (Image Comics)
  • Jeff Lemire – Gideon Falls Volume 3Stations of the Cross(Image Comics)
  • Marjorie Liu – Monstress Volume 4: The Chosen (Image Comics)
  • Alessandro Manzetti – Calcutta Horror (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Gou Tanabe – H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness Volume 1 (Dark Horse Manga)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
  • J.S. Breukelaar – Like Ripples on a Blank Shore (Collision: Stories) (Meerkat Press, LLC)
  • Ray Cluley – Adrenaline Junkies (The Porcupine Boy and Other Anthological Oddities) (Crossroad Press)
  • Pam Jones – Ivy Day (Spaceboy Books LLC)
  • Victor LaValle – Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine #363)(Weird Tales Inc.)
  • Alessandro Manzetti – The Keeper of Chernobyl (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Matt Serafini – Rites of Extinction (Grindhouse Press)
  • Farah Rose Smith – Anonyma (Ulthar Press)
  • Anna Taborska – The Cat Sitter (Shadowcats) (Black Shuck Books)
  • Sara Tantlinger – To Be Devoured (Unnerving)
  • Richard Thomas – Ring of Fire (The Seven Deadliest) (Cutting Block Books)
  • Kaaron Warren – Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Shorts)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • Greg Chapman – “The Book of Last Words” (This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • Gwendolyn Kiste – “The Eight People Who Murdered Me (Excerpt from Lucy Westenra’s Diary)” (Nightmare MagazineNov. 2019, Issue 86)
  • Jess Landry – “Bury Me in Tar and Twine” (Tales of the LostVolume 1: We All Lose Something!) (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • John R Little – “Anniversary” (Dark Tides: A Charity Horror Anthology) (Gestalt Media)
  • Brooke MacKenzie – “The Elevator Game” (Who Knocks? Magazine Issue #2)
  • Cindy O’Quinn – “Lydia” (The Twisted Book of Shadows) (Twisted Publishing)
  • Ben Serna-Grey – “Where Gods Dance” (Apex Magazine Issue #118)
  • Tim Waggoner – “A Touch of Madness” (The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias) (LVP Publications)
  • Jack Westlake – “Glass Eyes in Porcelain Faces” (Black Static Issue #70) (TTS Press)
  • Gordon B. White – “Birds of Passage” (Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles) (Chthonic Matter)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
  • James Chambers – On the Night Border (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Ted Chiang – Exhalation: Stories (Knopf)
  • Brian Evenson – Song for the Unraveling of the World (Coffee House Press)
  • Brad C. Hodson – Where Carrion Gods Dance (Washington Park Press)
  • Kat Howard – A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories (Gallery/Saga Press)
  • L.S. Johnson, – Rare Birds: Stories (Traversing Z Press)
  • Kate Jonez – Lady Bits (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • John Langan – Sefira and Other Betrayals (Hippocampus Press)
  • Sarah Read – Out of Water (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Paul Tremblay – Growing Things and Other Stories (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • Ari Aster – Midsommar (B-Reel Films, Square Peg)
  • Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy – Ready or Not (Mythology Entertainment)
  • The Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things (Season 3, Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt) (Netflix)
  • Robert Eggers and Max Eggers – The Lighthouse (A24, New Regency Pictures, RT Features)
  • Mike Flanagan – Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros., Intrepid Pictures/Vertigo Entertainment)
  • Dan Gilroy – Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)
  • Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1212 Entertainment, CBS Films, DDY, Entertainment One, Rolling Hills Productions, Sean Daniel Company, Starlight International Media)
  • Issa López – Tigers Are Not Afraid (Filmadora Nacional, Peligrosa)
  • Jordan Peele – Us (Monkeypaw Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Universal Pictures)
  • Teresa Sutherland – The Wind (Soapbox Films, Divide/Conquer, Mind Hive Films)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Patrick Beltran and D. Alexander Ward – The Seven Deadliest (Cutting Block Books)
  • Jennifer Brozek – Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods (Pulse Publishing)
  • Octavia Cade – Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good (Upper Rubber Boot Books)
  • Ellen Datlow – Echoes (Gallery/Saga Press)
  • Christopher Golden and James A. Moore – The Twisted Book of Shadows (Twisted Publishing)
  • Eric J. Guignard – Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror (Dark Moon Books)
  • Eugene Johnson and Steve Dillon – Tales of the Lost Volume 1: We All Lose Something! (Things in the Well Publishing)
  • Stephen Jones – Best New Horror #29 (PS Publishing)
  • Darrell Schweitzer – Mountains of Madness Revealed (PS Publishing)
  • Robert S. Wilson – Nox Pareidolia (Nightscape Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
  • Eleanor Beal and Jonathan Greenaway – Horror and Religion: New Literary Approaches to Theology, Race, and Sexuality (University of Wales Press)
  • Harriet E.H. Earle – Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays (McFarland)
  • Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller – Drafts of Dracula (Tellwell Talent)
  • Brandon R. Grafius – Reading the Bible with Horror (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic)
  • Alexandra Heller-Nicholas – Masks in Horror Cinema: Eyes Without Faces (University of Wales Press)
  • John B. Kachuba – Shapeshifters: A History (Reaktion Books)
  • Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson – Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (Quirk Books)
  • Dawn Stobbart – Videogames and Horror: From Amnesia to Zombies, Run! (University of Wales Press)
  • John C. Tibbetts – The Furies of Marjorie Bowen (McFarland)
  • Stephen Volk – Coffinmaker’s Blues: Collected Writings on Terror (PS Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Short Non-Fiction
  • Mathias Clasen – Evolution, Cognition, and Horror: A Précis of Why Horror Seduces (Journal of Cognitive Historiography Vol 4, No 2)
  • Gavin F. Hurley – Between Hell and Earth: Rhetorical Appropriation of Religious Space within Hellraiser (The Spaces and Places of Horror, Vernon Press)
  • Gwendolyn Kiste – Magic, Madness, and Women Who Creep: The Power of Individuality in the Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Vastarien: A Literary Journal Vol. 2, Issue 1)
  • Vince A. Liaguno – Slasher Films Made Me Gay: The Queer Appeal and Subtext of the Genre (LGBTQ+ Horror Month: 9/1/2019, Ginger Nuts of Horror)
  • Craig Ian Mann – The Beast Without: The Cinematic Werewolf as a (Counter)Cultural Metaphor (Horror Studies Journal Volume 10.1)
  • Karen J. Renner – The Evil Aging Women of American Horror Story (Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging, McFarland)
  • Kelly Robinson – Film’s First Lycanthrope: 1913’s The Werewolf (Scary Monsters Magazine #114)
  • Tim Waggoner – Riding Out the Storms (Writing in the Dark)
  • Valerie E. Weich – Lord Byron’s Whipping Boy: Dr. John William Polidori and the 200th Anniversary of The Vampyre(Famous Monsters of Filmland, Issue #291)
  • Aaron Worth – From the Books of Wandering: Fin-De-Siècle Poetics of a Supernatural Figure (The Times Literary Supplement)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti – The Place of Broken Things (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Octavia Cade – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster (Aqueduct Press)
  • Frank Coffman – The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems (Bold Venture Press)
  • Amanda Crum – Tall Grass (Independently Published)
  • Deborah L. Davitt – The Gates of Never (Finishing Line Press)
  • Donna Lynch – Choking Back the Devil (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Zoe Mitchell – Hag (Indigo Dreams Publishing)
  • Michelle Scalise – Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning (LVP Publications)
  • Marge Simon and Bryan D. Dietrich – The Demeter Diaries (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Kyla Lee Ward – The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press)
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich – The Apocalyptic Mannequin: The Definition of Body is Buried (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

The Final Ballot will be announced on February 23, 2020.

The View From Monday - January 20, 2020

Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

A Queen in Hiding (The Nine Realms 1) by Sarah Kozloff;

The Seep by Chana Porter;


Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Stars Beyond (Stars Uncharted 2) by S.K. Dunstall.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.
January 21, 2020
Lord of the Dark Millennium: The Dan Abnett Collection Dan Abnett SF/SO - Warhammer 40,000
Anarch Dan Abnett SF - Warhammer 40,000
Gwendy's Magic Feather (ri) Richard Chizmar SupTh - Gwendy's Button Box Trilogy 2
Celestine Andy Clark SF - Warhammer 40,000
Tiamat's Wrath (h2tp) James S. A. Corey SF/SO/SE/AC - The Expanse 8
Sanctuary Luca D'Andrea H
Stars Beyond S. K. Dunstall SF/SO/AC - Stars Uncharted 2
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World (h2tp) C. A. Fletcher SF/AP/PA/Dys/CoA/LF
Agency William Gibson TechTh/SF/LF
Heart of Black Ice Terry Goodkind F - Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles 4
Warcry Josh Reynolds
Peter McLean
Sarah Cawkwell
David Guymer
David Annandale
Ben Counter
F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
The Will and the Wilds Charlie N. Holmberg RF/F
Wolves Simon Ings SF/LF
Rogue Planet John Andrew Karr SF - Mars Wars 2
A Queen in Hiding (D) Sarah Kozloff F - The Nine Realms 1
Knights of Macragge Nick Kyme SF - Warhammer 40,000
The Manifestations of Sherlock Holmes James Lovegrove HistM/HistF/H
The Wagers Sean Michaels FL
Not So Stories David Thomas Moore (Ed) Fiction - Anthology
Riot Baby Tochi Onyebuchi SF/CF/African American/CoA
The Seep (D) Chana Porter LGBT Fiction/AB/SF/AP/PA
Follow Me to Ground (D) Sue Rainsford LF
Universal Love: Stories Alexander Weinstein SS/AB
The Serpent Sea (ri) Martha Wells F - Books of Raksura 2
The Best of Gene Wolfe: A Definitive Retrospective of His Finest Short Fiction (ri) Gene Wolfe SF - Collection

January 23, 2020
Imagining the Unimaginable: Speculative Fiction and the Holocaust Glyn Morgan LC/Dys/AH

January 24, 2020
Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre Gary Westfahl (Ed)
Gregory Benford (Ed)
Howard V. Hendrix (Ed)
Jonathan Alexander (Ed)

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CL - City Life
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR- Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
RS - Romantic Suspense
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.

James L. Cambias (2014)

The Initiate
Baen, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages



The Apkallu are masters of magic. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon sent by an Apkallu. He knew that nobody would believe the truth, but now an old man offers Sam the chance to find out who is responsible and bring down the Apkallu forever.

Under a new identity, Sam must learn the secrets of magic, infiltrate the Apkallu, and walk a razor’s edge of daring as he attempts to destroy the Apkallu leaders and avoid the supernatural detectives on his trail. But Sam’s greatest challenge perhaps lies within—to avoid becoming like the hated Apkallu himself!

Dana Chamblee Carpenter (2015)

Book of the Just
The Bohemian Trilogy 3
Pegasus Books, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 2, 2019

After centuries of searching, Mouse now has everything she’s ever wanted within her reach―a normal life, a lover, a brother. What will she risk to keep them?

Cherished by a Father, coveted by a king, loved by an almost-priest; tormented by demons, tortured by a madman, hunted by a cult, hounded by her father. Mouse has survived it all. But then, she was never just a girl.

Despite Mouse’s power, her father always wanted a son―and now, at long last, he has him. And Mouse has a brother, someone else in the world just like her. Though she’s never met him, the hope of what they might mean for each other tugs at her soul, even as it terrifies her lover, Angelo.

Hiding among a tribe of the Martu in the isolation of the Australian outback near the edges of Lake Disappointment, Mouse and Angelo have seemingly evaded at least one of the predators hunting them. Carefully dropping bogus breadcrumbs across Europe, they misdirect the Novus Rishi, a ruthless cult that wants Mouse as the ultimate weapon in their battle against evil. But when unnerving dreams start to plague Angelo, and the ancient beings of the Martu’s Dreaming send prophetic warnings that include visions of Mouse at her father’s side, the two lovers realize it’s time to act. With nowhere left to run, Mouse and Angelo prepare for a last showdown with their enemies. As they chase after legendary ancient weapons ensconced in the ages old battle between good and evil, Mouse and Angelo must each decide if a final victory is worth the cost.

Book of the Just continues Mouse’s story after The Devil’s Bible and completes the journey she started so long ago in Bohemian Gospel. Imbued with a rich sense of history, magic, and mythology, this explosive final installment in Mouse’s journey will keep you captivated until the very end.

Book 1
Book 2

Andy Davidson (2017)

The Boatman's Daughter
MCD x FSG Originals, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

A "lush nightmare" (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

With the heady of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman's Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2020 Debuts

Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2020 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on January 31, 2020, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite January 2020 Debut Cover!
pollcode.com free polls

Cover art by Félix Ortiz

Cover design by Debra Billison
Paintings by Shokoofeh Azar used for cover design: 1. The Poetry
Night; 2. The Birds; 3. Red Bird and Moon

Jacket design by Jarrod Taylor

Cover design by Rodrigo Corral Studio. Cover copyright © 2020 by
Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Cover design and illustration by David G. Stevenson, 
based on an image © Shutterstock

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced

The six works nominated for the 2020 Philip K. Dick Award have been anounced by the judges of the 2020 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust.
  • The Outside by Ada Hoffmann (Angry Robot)
  • Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe (Orbit)
  • All Worlds Are Real: Short Fictions by Susan Palwick (Fairwood Press)
  • Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories by Sarah Pinsker (Small Beer Press)
  • The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson (Orbit)
  • The Little Animals by Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press)
First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 10, 2020 at Norwescon 43 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society. Last year’s winner was THEORY OF BASTARDS by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions) with a special citation to 84K by Claire North (Orbit). The 2019 judges are Thomas A. Easton, Karen Heuler, Mur Lafferty, Patricia MacEwen (chair), and James Sallis.

Ada Hoffman

The Outside
Angry Robot Books, June 11, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Humanity’s super-intelligent AI Gods brutally punish breaches in reality, as one young scientist discovers, in this intense and brilliant space opera.

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out.

File Under: Science Fiction [ False Gods | Angel Inside | Autistic in Space | Here be Monsters ]

Megan E. O'Keefe

Velocity Weapon
The Protectorate 1
Orbit, June 11, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera by award-winning author Megan O’Keefe.

Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction.

However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.

Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right.

“Meticulously plotted, edge-of-your-seat space opera with a soul.” —Kirkus

The Protectorate
Velocity Weapon

Susan Palwick

All Worlds are Real: Short Fictions
Fairwood Press, November 5, 2019
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 322 pages

Beautifully crafted, unfailingly strange, and always moving, Susan Palwick's stories shift effortlessly between fantasy and science fiction, magical realism and horror. Here you will encounter aliens, ghosts, and robots, along with a colorful assortment of eccentric  and vulnerable humans. You will see souls trapped in lucite, witness the operations of a magical measuring tape, and watch the oldest woman on a generation ship bequeath a precious Terran relic to a young friend. Collecting tales published in markets such as Tor.com, Asimov's, F&SF, and Lightspeed, All Worlds are Real also includes three new pieces exclusive to this volume.

Sarah Pinsker

Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories
Small Beer Press, March 19, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is one of the most anticipated sf&f collections of recent years. Pinsker has shot like a star across the firmament with stories multiply nominated for awards as well as Sturgeon and Nebula award wins.

The baker’s dozen stories gathered here (including a new, previously unpublished story) turn readers into travelers to the past, the future, and explorers of the weirder points of the present. The journey is the thing as Pinsker weaves music, memory, technology, history, mystery, love, loss, and even multiple selves on generation ships and cruise ships, on highways and high seas, in murder houses and treehouses. They feature runaways, fiddle-playing astronauts, and retired time travelers; they are weird, wired, hopeful, haunting, and deeply human. They are often described as beautiful but Pinsker also knows that the heart wants what the heart wants and that is not always right, or easy.

Tade Thompson

The Rosewater Redemption
The Wormwood Trilogy 3
Orbit, October 15, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

The Rosewater Redemption concludes the award-winning, cutting edge Wormwood trilogy, set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction’s most engaging new voices.

Life in the newly independent city-state of Rosewater isn’t everything its citizens were expecting.

The Mayor finds that debts incurred during the insurrection are coming back to haunt him. Nigeria isn’t willing to let Rosewater go without a fight. And the city’s alien inhabitants are threatening mass murder for their own sinister ends…

Operating across spacetime, the xenosphere, and international borders, it is up to a small group of hackers and criminals to prevent the extra-terrestrial advance. The fugitive known as Bicycle Girl, Kaaro, and his former handler Femi may be humanity’s last line of defense.

Tade Thompson’s innovative, genre-bending, Afrofuturist series, the Wormwood Trilogy, is perfect for fans of Jeff Vandermeer, N. K. Jemisin, William Gibson, and Ann Leckie.

The Wormwood Trilogy
The Rosewater Insurrection
The Rosewater Redemption

Sarah Tolmie

The Little Animals
Aqueduct Press, May 1, 2019
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 384 pages

Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, a quiet linen draper in Delft, has discovered a new world: the world of the little animals, or animalcules, that he sees through his simple microscopes. These tiny creatures are everywhere, even inside us. But who will believe him? Not his wife, not his neighbors, not his fellow merchants—only his friend Reinier De Graaf, a medical doctor. Then he meets an itinerant goose girl at the market who lives surrounded by tiny, invisible voices. Are these the animalcules also? Leeuwenhoek and the girl form a curious alliance, and gradually the lives of the little animals infiltrate everything around them: Leeuwenhoek’s cloth business, the art of his friend Johannes Vermeer, the nascent sex trade, and people’s religious certainties. But Leeuwenhoek also needs to cement his reputation as a natural philosopher, and for that he needs the Royal Society of London—a daunting challenge, indeed, for a Dutch draper who can't communicate in Latin.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

BITTER ROOT In Development for Film and More


“Incredibly entertaining.” —Entertainment Weekly

PORTLAND, Ore. 01/13/2020 — Image Comics is pleased to announce the return of the critically acclaimed series Bitter Root this February from Image Comics. Nominated for multiple awards including the Eisner and the Ringo—and hailed as one of 2019’s “Best New Series” by Entertainment WeeklyBitter Root is currently in development as a film from producer Ryan Coogler and Legendary.

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson. The monster-fighting Sangerye family as they embark on another adventure coming from Image Comics this February with Bitter Root #6.

“We’ve put our hearts and souls into this new arc of Bitter Root,” said Walker. “Knowing that we had to top what’s already been done, and knowing that our readers deserve something exceptional.”

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

Brown added: “I channeled my darkside for this arc. Hell has come to Harlem and I love it. We’re taking our antagonists to a new level.”

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

“The anticipation of Bitter Root's return has been beyond exhilarating,” said Greene. “We can't wait for people to see where we are going with this story. I have never been more proud of a body of work.”

Bitter Root #6 is also available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play. Fans can also subscribe to receive the series delivered by mail within the domestic U.S. on Image Direct.

Bitter Root #6 Cover A by Greene (Diamond Code DEC190073) and Bitter Root #6 Cover B by Chris Brunner [limited] (Diamond Code DEC190074) will hit stores on Wednesday, February 19. 

Select praise for Bitter Root:

“Incredibly entertaining.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Historical fiction mixes with supernatural horror, producing a hybrid fantasy world of voodoo spells, mad science, monster Klansmen, and Jazz Age demon hunters wielding steampunk versions of Ghostbusters proton packs... Comics fans will look forward to future volumes of this energetic dark fantasy that effectively mixes thrills and scares." —Publishers Weekly

"Relentless action...a kinetic style." —Library Journal

"The comic is by an all-black creative team and features a predominantly black cast of characters in the 1920s—embracing the black artistic creativity of the Harlem Renaissance but also recognizing the racism of the time." —The Washington Post

"The tragedy and family drama at the heart of Image Comics’ new series Bitter Root may be the most traditional thing about a comic that is, at heart, anything but traditional." —The Hollywood Reporter

“A comic with a clear message, it never feels overtly moralizing, but simply an education as stark and brutal as the rad-as-hell monster-fighting horror that plays out in as the family goes about its work.” —io9

"Puts a monstrous face on bigotry and a beautiful new spin on the Harlem Renaissance." —The Onion's AV Club

"Confident in itself and doesn't need to rely on overwrought high-concept themes. Bitter Root isn't afraid to tackle weighty issues while still having some fun, giving us some new heroes that are much needed in today's world." —ComicBook.com

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit