Saturday, June 30, 2012

Interview with Jo Anderton and Giveaway - June 30, 2012

Please welcome Jo Anderton to The Qwillery. Jo is the author of Veiled Worlds series that begins with Debris and continues with Suited.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

JA:  It's very kind of you to invite me again!

TQSuited, the second novel in The Veiled Worlds series, was published on June 26, 2012 in the US and Canada. Tell us something about Suited that is not in the book description.

JA:  Hmm, what does the book description say? Tanyana has chosen to side with the Keeper... stand against Puppet Men...own suit becoming aggressive against her... yes that all sounds about right... What else? Ah, I know. On the surface, this book might look like it's very focused on Tanyana, on her struggle against the Puppet Men and her fight against the suit drilled into her bones. And sure, it is. But it's also about Lad.

Suited is where Lad comes into his own. He changes, in this book, from the scared half-man, half-child, listening to the voices in his head and relying heavily on his older brother. He starts to come to terms with his role as a Half, to understand the importance of his connection to the Keeper, and insist his own voice is heard accordingly. This is Tanyana's book -- her journey, her choices, her mistakes -- but it's also Lad's.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Suited?

JA:  That's so hard to say! There are parts in this book that make me cry, and moments -- at the end in particular -- that still send a tingle up my spine. But I can't tell you about any of those without being frightfully spoilerific. So instead, I'll tell you about Tanyana and Kichlan ostensibly on assignment, stealing a sweet moment together. Hiding in the shadows, sharing homemade food and cheap wine. Close to each other, comfortable with each other, and happy.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most in The Veiled Worlds series so far?

JA:  Natasha, definitely. You'll see why...

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when Debris, the first Veiled Worlds novel, came out that you know now?

JA:  That it's always good to have a short, sharp spiel about your book handy at all times! Because people will ask you, 'what's your book about?' And you really will have little more than thirty seconds to tell them, before they lose interest. So in order to take that opportunity, to engage with them, to get them interested, you gotta know what you're going to say in advance!

TQ:  What is most challenging thing for you about writing?

JA:  I think that changes. Sometimes it's a simple matter of forcing myself to get off the comfy, comfy couch, stick my butt in my chair and be productive. Other times it's dealing with the pain of my dodgy back. At the moment, it's a matter of focus. My brain is swimming in stories and I want to write ALL THE THINGS. But you know what, I can't! No one can. So I need to train myself to pick a story and stick with it. The others will wait.

TQ:  You are stuck on a deserted island for a year. Which 5 novels/series would you want to have with you?

JA:  Okay, the first has got to be Tolkien, Lord of the Rings. I can reread these books over and over and never get bored of them. My Dad read them to me when I was a kid, and they are the reason I read, write, live and breathe speculative fiction.

Next, Robin Hobb -- Farseer, Liveship and Tawny Man Trilogies. Because they're awesome. Surely that needs no more explanation. Also, I'm sorry but I'm counting them as one! To balance all of those -- Rebecca, by Daphne de Maurier. Because it's beautiful, and oh-so creepy. Then, the Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass. And Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, to round it all off nicely.

Yep, that'd keep me happy for a while!

TQDebris combines Science Fiction and Fantasy. Are there any other genres or sub-genres in which you'd like to write?

JA:  I'd love to write a horror novel. I've written horror short fiction and continue to do so, but to sustain that sense of wrong, or creepy, or downright terrifying over a whole novel? That's gotta take serious skill. And I'd love to get there, one day.

TQ:  What's next?

JA:  Ah, well there could actually be a third book in the series, but I guess we'll just have to see how that goes...

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

JA:  Thank you for having me!

The Veiled Worlds

The Veiled Worlds 2
Angry Robot Books, June 26, 2012 US/Canada
July 5, 2012 UK/RoW
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

The Veiled Worlds, Vol II

Tanyana has chosen to help the Keeper, to stand against the Puppet Men, who continue to force the Debris into unnatural creations.

And when even her own suit becomes aggressive against her, Tanyana must weigh some very personal issues against her determination to serve the greater good.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Parasite | Make Monsters | Hidden Strings | Needs of the Many ]

The Veiled Worlds 1
Angry Robot Books, October 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

In a far future where technology is all but indistinguishable from magic, Tanyana is one of the elite.

She can control pions, the building blocks of matter, shaping them into new forms using ritual gestures and techniques. The rewards are great, and she is one of most highly regarded people in the city. But that was before the “accident”.

Stripped of her powers, bound inside a bizarre powersuit, she finds herself cast down to the very lowest level of society. Powerless, penniless and scarred, Tanyana must adjust to a new life collecting “debris”, the stuff left behind by pions. But as she tries to find who has done all of this to her, she also starts to realize that debris is more important than anyone could guess.

Debris is a stunning new piece of Science Fantasy, which draws in themes from Japanese manga, and classic Western SF and Fantasy to create this unique, engrossing debut from the very exciting young author Jo Anderton.

FILE UNDER: Science Fiction [ Sentient Matter | Cast Down | Cruel Betrayals | All Is Lies ]

About Jo

Jo Anderton lives in Sydney with her husband and too many pets. By day she is a mild-mannered marketing coordinator for an Australian book distributor. By night, weekends and lunchtimes she writes science fiction, fantasy and horror. Her short fiction has most recently appeared in Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear! and Epilogue. Her debut novel, Debris (Book One the Veiled Worlds Series) was published by Angry Robot Books in 2011. Book two Suited will be published in 2012. Debris was a finalist for the 2011 Aurealis award for Best Fantasy Novel, and Jo won the 2012 Ditmar for Best New Talent. Visit her online at and on Twitter @joanneanderton

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Suited (The Veiled Worlds 2) from Jo!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who (or what) is the last fictional character that you really cared about? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Friday, June 29, 2012

July 2012 Book Releases

Here is The Qwillery's list of books being published in July 2012. If there is something that I've missed, please leave a comment below. Any genre mistakes are mine. Leave a comment below if you feel that the genre is wrong. Also note that this list is always under revision. Publication dates change. I try to keep this as accurate as possible. The most accurate lists can be found for each week in The View From Monday posts.

July 1, 2012
The Werewolf of Paris (ri) Guy Endore H/M
Aleron Kane H - Strigoi 1
Quiver (h2tp) Holly Luhning H/M
The Soul Consortium Simon West-Bulford SF

July 3, 2012
Pies and Prejudice Ellery Adams PCM - Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery 1
Other Worlds Than These John Joseph Adams SF - Anthology
The Portrait of Doreene Gray Esri Allbritten PCM - Chihuahua Mystery 2
Iron Gray Sea Taylor Anderson SF - Destroyermen 7
In a Witch's Wardrobe Juliet Blackwell PCM - Witchcraft Mystery 4
Cloaked in Malice Annette Blair PCM - Vintage Magic 5
Wake of the Bloody Angel Alex Bledsoe F/M - Eddie Lacrosse 4
Blood Before Sunrise Amanda Bonilla UF - Shaede Assassin 2
Orion and King Arthur Ben Bova SF/TT
A Million Heavens John Brandon G/O/S
The Hollow Earth: At the Earth's Core and Pellucidar Edgar Rice Burroughs SF/A
The Sleeping and the Dead Jeff Crook M w/PE - Jackie Lyons 1
A Hunger So Wild Sylvia Day PNR - Renegade Angels 2
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection Gardner Dozois SF - Anthology
The Asylum Interviews: Bronx (e) Jocelynn Drake UF - Asylum Tales Short Story
House of Sighs Aaron Dries H
Samurai Game Christine Feehan PNR - GhostWalkers 10
Night Seeker Yasmine Galenorn UF - Indigo Court 3
Heaven's War David S. Goyer
Michael Cassutt
SF - Heaven's Shadow 2
Alliance Forged Kylie Griffin FR - Light Blade 2
Stalking the Others Jess Haines UF - H&W Investigations 4
Assignment in Eternity (ri) Robert A. Heinlein SF
Citadels of the Lost (h2mm) Tracy Hickman F - Annals of Drakis 2
The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer Jim C. Hines F - Jig the Goblin Omnibus
Thieftaker D. B. Jackson F - Thieftaker Chronicles 1
This Dark Earth John Hornor Jacobs H
The Dragon Reborn (ri) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 3
Goddess in the Middle Stephanie Julian PER - Forgotten Goddesses 3
Fire Kissed Erin Kellison PNR - Shadow Kissed 1
A Sinister Sense Allison Kingsley PCM - Raven's Nest Bookstore 2
Dragon Rule (tp2mm) E.E. Knight F - Age of Fire 5
The Unincorporated Woman (h2tp) Dani Kollin
Eytan Kollin
SF - Unincorporated 3
Lethal Outlook Victoria Laurie PCM - Psychic Eye 10
God Save the Queen Kate Locke UF - Immortal Empire 1
The Immorality Engine (h2tp) George Mann F/M/SP - Newbury & Hobbes Investigations 3
Liquid Lies (d) Hanna Martine PNR -  Elementals 1
Lord of Fire and Ice Connie Mason
w/ Mia Marlowe
HR w/ PE
Hedge End Peter Mark May H
Tin Swift Devon Monk SP - Age of Steam 2
Tainted Night, Tainted Blood E.S. Moore UF - Kat Redding 2
My Lady Mage Alexis Morgan FR - Warriors of the Mist 1
The Night Circus (h2tp) Erin Morgenstern F
Up Jumps the Devil (d) Michael Poore F
Grave Memory Kalayna Price UF - Alex Craft 3
Downpour (h2mm) Kat Richardson UF - Greywalker 6
Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues Diana Rowland UF - White Trash Zombie 2
Neverwinter R.A. Salvatore F - D&D Forgotten Realms: Neverwinter Night Trilogy 2
Elfhome Wen Spencer F - Elfhome 3
Spin the Sky Katy Stauber SF
The Apocalypse Codex Charles Stross UF - Laundry Files 4
Voyage to Kazohinia Sandor Szathmari SF/Dystopia
Advent (d) James Treadwell F
War Maid's Choice Limited Signed Edition David Weber F - War God 4
War Maid's Choice David Weber F - War God 4
The Hollow City Dan Wells H/Su
Waking Hours (h2tp) Lis Wiehl M/PE - East Salem Trilogy 1
The Beginners (h2tp) Rebecca Wolff H

July 4, 2012
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2012 Edition Paula Guran (ed) F/H - Anthology

July 10, 2012
Albert of Adelaide (d) Howard Anderson F
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln Stephen L. Carter AH
The Investigation Philippe Claudel Satire/Dystopian
The White Devil (h2tp) Justin Evans Th/P/H
Lord Tyger (ri) Philip Jose Farmer F
Shadow of Night Deborah Harkness UF - All Souls Trilogy 2
The Mysterious Wu Fang: The Case of the Suicide Tomb (ri) Robert J. Hogan H
Some Kind of Fairy Tale Graham Joyce SF
West of Want Laura Kaye PNR - Hearts of the Anemoi 2
A Once Crowded Sky (d) Tom King F
Blood of the Demon (ri) Rosalie Lario PNR - Demons of Infernum 1
Tempting the Gods: The Selected Stories of Tanith Lee Volume 1 Tanith Lee F - Collection
V Wars Jonathan Maberry (ed) F
House of Shadows Rachel Neumeier F
The Prankster: A Novella James Polster SF/Humor
No Peace for the Damned (d) Megan Powell UF - Damned 1
Year Zero (fiction d) Rob Reid SF/Humor
Geekomancy (d) (e) Michael R Underwood UF
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists (h2tp) Ann VanderMeer (ed)
Jeff VanderMeer (ed)
F/SP/SF - Anthology
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury Sam Weller (ed)
Mort Castle (ed)
SF/F - Anthology
Zone One (h2tp) Colson Whitehead H
The Last Policeman Ben Winters F/M
The Prisoner of Heaven Carlos Ruiz Zafon M/Su/G - Cemetery of Forgotten Books 3

July 11, 2012
Starboard Wine: More Notes on the Language of Science Fiction Samuel R. Delany Literary Criticism

July 17, 2012
Seed (d) Ania Ahlborn H
Queen's Hunt Beth Bernobich F - River of Souls 2
Earth Unaware Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnstone
SF - First Formic War 1
The Cosmic Puppets (ri) Philip K. Dick SF
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Philip K. Dick SF
Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City Kai-cheung Dung AH
21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology Christopher Golden (ed) Z - Anthology
Ripper David L. Golemon SF - Event Group Adventure 7
The Scream Laurent Graff SF
Third Grave Dead Ahead (h2tp) Darynda Jones UF - Charley Davidson 3
Energized Edward M. Lerner SF
The Time Engine Sean McMullen SF - Moonworlds Saga 4
Them or Us (h2tp) David Moody H - Hater Trilogy 3
Sharps K. J. Parker F
The Lost Angel (h2tp) Javier Sierra Ap/Th
The Coldest War Ian Tregillis F - Milkweed Triptych 2

July 19, 2012
Empty Space M. John Harrison SF - Kefahuchi Trilogy 3

July 20, 2012
Dreamscapes Magical Menagerie: Creating Fantasy Creatures and Animals with Watercolor Stephanie Pui-Mun Law Painting

July 23, 2012
The Drowned World (50th Anniversary Edition) J. G. Ballard SF

July 24, 2012
Best Served Cold (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie F
Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing Sandra Kasturi (ed)
Halli Villegas (ed)
SF/F - Anthology
Thirteen Kelley Armstrong UF - Women of the Otherworld 13
Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling (d) Michael Boccacino G
Tiger Bound Doranna Durgin PNR - Sentinels 4
Dragon Justice Laura Anne Gilman UF - Paranormal Scene Investigations
Dead Man Vol 3 Lee Goldberg
William Rabkin
Secrets of the Wolves (h2tp) Dorothy Hearst F - Wolf Chronicles 2
Technomancer B.V. Larson UF - Unspeakable Things 1
11/22/63 (h2emm) Stephen King AH
Seduced by Blood Laurie London PNR - Sweetblood 4
Darksiders: The Abomination Vault Ari Marmell F
The Legend of Sigmar Graham McNeill F - Time of Legends Omnibus
Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories John Jackson Miller SF
There But For The (h2tp) Ali Smith UF
The Covert Wolf Bonnie Vanak PNR - Phoenix Force

July 27, 2012
Galactic Creatures Elektra Hammond (ed) SF

July 28, 2012
The Woman Who Married a Cloud: The Collected Short Stories of Jonathan Carroll Jonathan Carroll F

July 31, 2012
Whispers Under Ground Ben Aaronovitch UF - Rivers of London 3
Gunmetal Magic Ilona Andrews UF - World of Kate Daniels 1
Beneath a Rising Moon (ri) Keri Arthur PNR - Ripple Creek Werewolf 1
vN (d) Madeline Ashby SF - Machine Dynasty 1
Devil's Wake Steven Barnes
Tananarive Due
SF/Ap - Devil's Wake 1
When Temptation Burns J.K. Beck PNR - Shadow Keepers 6
The Girls with Games of Blood (tp2mm) Alex Bledsoe H - Memphis Vampires 2
The Wanderers Paula Brandon F - Veiled Isles Trilogy 3
The Measure of the Magic (h2mm) Terry Brooks F - Legends of Shannara 2
Stands a Shadow (h2mm) Col Buchanan F - Heart of the World 2
Shadow Rising Kendra Leigh Castle PNR - Dark Dynasties 3
Wings of Creation (h2mm) Brenda Cooper SF - Silver Ship 3
The Passage (h2tp) Justin Cronin H - Passage Trilogy 1
Exile Rowena Cory Daniells F - The Outcast Chronicles 2
Loose Cannon: The Tom Kelly Novels David Drake SF - Tom Kelly Omnibus
Dark Desire (ri) Christine Feehan PNR - Dark 2
Voracious V.K. Forrest PNR - Clare Point 5
Shadows Before the Sun Kelly Gay UF - Charlie Madigan 4
Demon Hunting In The Deep South Lexi George PNR - Demon Hunter 2
The Omen Machine (h2emm) Terry Goodkind F - Sword of Truth 12
The Unspoken  Heather Graham PNR - Krewe of Hunters
Manhattan in Reverse Peter F. Hamilton SF - Collection
The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires Molly Harper PNR
Blood of the Emperor Tracy Hickman F - Annals of Drakis 3
Darklands Nancy HolznerUF - Deadtown 4
Carry the Flame James Jaros F/PA - Burn Down the Sky 2
An Officer's Duty Jean Johnson SF - Theirs Not to Reason Why 2
Aloha from Hell (h2tp) Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 3
Devil in the Dollhouse (e) Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim Story
Sandman Slim (mm2tp) Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 1
Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart Caitlin R. Kiernan H - Collection
Odd Apocalypse Dean Koontz H - Odd Thomas 5
Winter Moon (ri) Dean Koontz H
Fear Nothing (ri) Dean Koontz H
Icebound (ri) Dean Koontz H
Seize the Night (ri) Dean Koontz H
Sole Survivor (ri) Dean Koontz H
Ticktock (ri) Dean Koontz H
Prospero in Hell (h2mm) L. Jagi Lamplighter F - Prospero's Daughter 2
Imperium Keith Laumer SF - Imperium Omnibus
Prince of Thorns (h2mm) Mark Lawrence F - Broken Empire 1
Ghost Ship (h2mm) Sharon Lee
Steve Miller
SF - New Adventures in the Liaden Universe 4
The Great God Pan & Xelucha Arthur Machen
M.P. Shiel
The Witch Is Back H. P. Mallory PNR - Jolie Wilkins 4
Angel (h2mm) Nicole "Coco" Marrow
Laura Hayden
Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods Michael A. Martin SF - Star Trek Titan Series
Chimera T.C. McCarthy SF - Subterrene War 3
Priests of Mars Graham McNeill SF - Warhammer 40,000
Blood and Feathers (d) Lou Morgan UF - Blood and Feather 1
Sin's Dark Caress Tracey O'Hara UF - Dark Brethren 3
The Devil's Bride: Mysteries of Jules de Gandin Seabury Quinn H/M
Dredd: Collecting: Dredd Vs Death, Kingdom of the Blind and The Final Cut Gordon Rennie SF - Omnibus
The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures Mike Resnick SF - Collection
The Lady Is a Vamp Lynsay Sands PNR - Argeneau Vampire 17
The Crown of the Usurper Gav Thorpe F - Crown of the Blood Trilogy 3
All Seeing Eye Rob Thurman STh
Coup d'Etat Harry Turtledove AH - War That Came Early 4
Kitty Steals the Show Carrie Vaughn UF - Kitty Vauhan 10
Night Forbidden Joss Ware PNR - Envy Chronicles 5
The Mammoth Book of SF Wars Ian Watson (ed)
Ian Whates (ed)
SF - Anthology
How Firm a Foundation (h2mm) David Weber SF - Safehold 5

d - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
h2emm - Hardcover to Enhanced Mass Market Paperback
mm2tp - Mass Market to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback

A - Adventure
Ap - Apocalyptic
AH - Alternate History
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
HR - Historical Romance
G - Gothic
M - Mystery
O - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PE - Paranormal Elements
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
S - Supernatural
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
STh - Supernatural Thriller
Su - Suspense
Th - Thiller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Jess Haines

Please welcome Jess Haines to The Qwillery as part of the Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interviews!  Jess has kindly included this Author Spotlight as part of her Stalking the Others Blog Tour.

TQ:  What inspired you to become a writer?

Jess:  When I was a teenager, there was a girl who introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons, and the different book series that were based off campaign modules (DragonLance, Ravenloft, etc). Mostly, it was the DragonLance books that did it. I had always had a special place in my heart for dragons, so I thought they might be fun to write about. I had written stuff before then, but the desire to write grew as I did projects like working on the school paper, creative writing classes, and (don't laugh!) roleplaying on AOL. As I grew older, my desire to try my hand at professional writing grew exponentially. It just took me a while to get over some internal issues that held me back from ever attempting to reach out to publishers with my work.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jess:  Writing the naughty bits when I know that people I know -- like my mom -- are going to read them. It sounds silly, but it's true. When it came to a certain scene in STALKING THE OTHERS, I almost wanted to bury myself in a hole forever and ever even though I know it's ridiculous. My New England prudish sensibilities rearing their ugly head, I suppose.

TQ:  What writing achievement are you most proud of?

Jess:  That I'm published at all. Long ago, someone nearly made me give up that dream entirely. It took me a long time to get over some of the things he said and take a chance. Though I've grown past the shocked speechless stage, it still surprises me now and then when people tell me they like my work.

TQ:  What one thing should everyone know about your writing?

Jess:  I've been told by a few people that they were very surprised that Shiarra is human, and they were expecting her to be more powerful or kick-ass from the get-go. This is her story about how she grows into her big girl panties and becomes that kick-ass UF heroine, so be prepared to deal with a normal girl who works her way through her fears and becomes her own version of Superwoman.

TQ:  Please tell us about your latest and upcoming works.

Jess:  Sure thing. The book I am promoting now is STALKING THE OTHERS. It's the fourth in the series, so here's a little description of all four books for those who are unfamiliar:

Book 1 – HUNTED BY THE OTHERS: Shiarra Waynest, a private investigator, is blackmailed into retrieving an artifact from a vampire. The problem? As a human, she doesn’t stand a chance against the Others.

Book 2 – TAKEN BY THE OTHERS: With the artifact destroyed, Shia believes her dealings with the supernaturals in town are over—but the vampires, werewolves, and monster hunters in town believe otherwise…

Book 3 – DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS: Determined to get away from the troubles plaguing her in the city, Shia goes on a vacation with her werewolf boyfriend—along with his entire pack—in the Catskills.

Book 4 – STALKING THE OTHERS: After the events and subsequent betrayal Shia experienced in the last book, she’s done being pushed around. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can—and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left...

So, in this book, Shiarra is in a very bad place. She’s lost her family, her boyfriend, and probably her business and license as a private investigator—and some might feel she’s also lost her marbles. She’s ready to take on the world, and get some payback from the people who turned her life into her version of a living hell.

It’s not recommended as a starting point—this is the continuation that picks up right where my last book, DECEIVED BY THE OTHERS, left off.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jess:  Thanks again for having me and being part of the STALKING THE OTHERS blog tour!

About H&W Investigations

Stalking the Others
H&W Investigations 4
Zebra, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Vampires, werewolves, mages—the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor…

Once, she was one of the good guys—or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shia’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon…

Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police. Instead of going into hiding, Shia is enlisting the aid of her enchanted hunter’s belt and every dirty P.I. trick she knows. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can—and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left…

Deceived by the Others
H&W Investigations 3
Zebra, July 1, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

They’re here, and they’re real…werewolves, vampires, mages, and other creatures of the night. For New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest, taking care of Others business started out as a way to stay solvent. But now business is getting very, very complicated…

Shiarra’s relationship with sexy werewolf Chaz may be somewhat unconventional. Still, after a few bumps, Shia is finally ready to get serious. That means meeting family—or in this case, bringing Chaz’s entire werewolf pack along for a rollicking full-moon weekend in the Catskills.

Soon after they arrive, threatening notes appear, warning Chaz to go home. Then their cabin is ransacked. Shia starts digging to find out whether it’s the work of upstart teenaged werewolves or something more sinister. Yet as rumors about her vampire connections arouse the pack’s hostility, Shia has to contend with other dangers. Not just from an adversary about to make his fatal intentions known, but from a threat that’s even closer than she knows…

Taken by the Others
H&W Investigations 2
Zebra, January 4, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Jess Haines draws readers deep into the mesmerizing world of the Others—werewolves, vampires, and mages who make their home among humans, and are turning Shiarra Waynest’s life upside down…

Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest’s most pressing problem was keeping her agency afloat. Now she’s dealing with two dangerous, seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia—for very different reasons.

Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing his progeny, while Royce’s interest is a lot more personal. That’s not sitting well with Shia’s werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were the bad guys, but she’s discovering unexpected shades of grey that are about to redefine her friends, her loyalties—and even her desires…

Hunted by the Others
H&W Investigations 1
Zebra, May 4, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

They are the Others—the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they’re stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again…

In A Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm—if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend—a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing—and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil—whether she likes it or not…

About Jess

Jess Haines, author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, is a displaced New Yorker who writes about vampires, werewolves, and other bitey creatures of the night from her home in Southern California. She's best known for the H&W Investigations series (starting with HUNTED BY THE OTHERS).

You can also visit Jess on the web:


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Blog by Lou Morgan - Sound & Fury

Please welcome Lou Morgan to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Blood and Feathers, Lou's debut, will be published on July 31, 2012 in the US and Canada and on August 2, 2012 in the UK.


"Oh dear god, no! You can't put that on! Turn it off: are you trying to *kill* me?"

(My husband stands, bewildered, at the foot of the stairs; a remote control in his hand.)

"Turn it off! Turn it off! I used that song for a short story, and you'll put me back in work mode!"

(Husband - still bewildered, but also looking a little pained now - obligingly turns the music off, and puts another album on.)

Welcome to the world of writers' playlists.

It seems to happen more and more often these days: writers post playlists to accompany their latest book online, and many will have favourite albums to work to. Film scores are apparently a favourite (probably because they don't usually have lyrics) and a while back, I knew of at least ten authors who were using the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack to score their own writing. I'm not surprised, by the way: it's a brilliant album.

With the rise of digital, music is a more integral part of our lives than it has ever been. It goes with us everywhere, and that's why it's so useful to writers. A very, very long time ago, I remember reading an article with a Properly Famous, Serious Author who said he couldn't listen to the radio while he worked because it was unpredictable: you had no idea what the next song would be, and there was no way of controlling the pace or the tone of what you heard - and that would seep into the writing.

An interesting idea.

I've heard other writers say they will only listen to orchestral music (besides Daft Punk's music for "Tron", thanks to his scores for Christopher Nolan's films in particular, Hans Zimmer has become something of an unofficial patron saint to authors) or some who will only play songs with lyrics in a language they don't speak. In an interview a few years ago, Joe Hill summed up the writer's playlist as being a "mental trick"; a way to get back into the right mood when picking up a story again.

For a lot of writers, it seems to be part of the ritual. Others may not need it; may want to work in silence.

I'm on the side of the playlisters. I've killed more than one song for myself by listening to them over and over and over again while I worked on a short story (and when I say "killed" them, I mean it. At the last count, one of them registers as having been played 200 times. Over the course of a weekend. I weep every time I hear it, a year and a half later. This was the musical choice of my unfortunate husband… hence the freak-out on my part. Excusable? Not really. Understandable? Maybe.) In my case, I might find a song that matches a character, a scene, an aspect of what I'm writing; that sums something up… and on the playlist it goes. Sometimes, it's a song which gets me thinking, and the rest of it falls into place from there.

And while I might weep and wail and gnash my teeth and pull my hair and generally make life miserable for whoever happens to be nearest to me if a "work song" is sprung on me unexpectedly, it's also quite nice to be able to revisit not just the stories themselves, but the memories of working on them. I can still hang the whole of my experience plotting and writing "Blood and Feathers" on one Linkin Park song.

There are other songs which came after it, which fitted around what I was doing, what I wanted to do… but that song will forever be the beginning; the start of something quite new.

And after all, isn't that what inspiration means?

You can find the BLOOD & FEATHERS playlist printed in the back of the book, and listen to it on Spotify.

Blood and Feathers

Blood and Feathers
Blood and Feathers 1
Solaris, July 31, 2012 (US and Canada)
August 2, 2012 (UK)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

"What's the first thing you think of when I say 'angel'?" asked Mallory. Alice shrugged. "I don't know... guns?"

Alice isn't having the best of days. She was late for work, she missed her bus, and now she's getting rained on. What she doesn't know is that her day's about to get worse: the epic, grand-scale kind of worse that comes from the arrival of two angels who claim everything about her life is a lie.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act - or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever.

That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory - a disgraced angel with a drinking problem and a whole load of secrets - Alice will learn the truth about her own history… and why the angels want to send her to hell.

What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding - and can she trust either side?

Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn't just hell's demons that Alice will have to defeat...

Blood and Feathers: Rebellion (Blood and Feathers 2) will be published in 2013!

About Lou

Lou Morgan grew up in Wales, before moving to London to study medieval literature at UCL. She now lives in Brighton with her husband and son.

Her first novel, BLOOD AND FEATHERS will be published by Solaris Books in August 2012 with the sequel, BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION to follow in 2013.

She wastes a lot of time on Twitter as @LouMorgan, and occasionally commits short fiction.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June 2012 Winner

The results are in and the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars winner for June is E.J. Swift's Osiris (The Osiris Project 1) with 57% of the votes cast. The winning cover was created by Sparth.

The final results:

Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue in July with voting on the July debut covers (of which there are quite a few).

Winners x 10 - June 27, 2012

And the winners are...

One commenter will win a signed copy of Tes Hilaire’s Deliver Me from Darkness and another commenter will win Elisabeth Staab’s King of Darkness - Ended June 18, 2012 - Read the Guest Post here.

Question:  If you could ask a vampire anything, what would it be?

Deliver Me From Darkness by Tes Hilaire

miki who said...

i would like to know if they could become human/mortal again would they do it? and Why?


King of Darkness by Elisabeth Staab

Betty Hamilton who said...

I would ask how it felt to be immortal and if they experienced a lot of boredom knowing that this life would go on forever.

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett - Ended June 20, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Question:  What is the best novel that you've read this year (so far)?

Spaz who said...

Love the interview. That line from Connelly in Mr Shivers kinda surprised me as a reader. Then I was like, hell yeah! Is there anything better than hearing writers talk about writing? (Aside from reading.)

I think my favorite read so far this year was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Other favorites were Horns by Joe Hill, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (this is my first time reading it), and of course Mr. Shivers as I didn't read it until just this year.

Winner's choice of one of the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles - Under Wraps, Under Suspicion, OR Under Attack by Hannah Jayne - Ended June 21, 2012 - Read the Interview here.

Question:   Who is your favorite vampire?

Melliane who said...

Oh a difficult question, I think I would say Malik in the series. He is so myterious and I really love him!

Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond 1) by Laura Resnick (new cover) - Ended June 22, 2012 - Read the Interview here.

Question:  Which cover of Disappearing Nightly do you like better - Old or New?

Old                             New

Natalia J who said...

I like the new one, I think it has more detail than the old cover and it grabs my attention more. Thanks for the giveaway.

Undead and Unstable (Undead / Betsy 11) by MaryJanice Davidson - Ended June 23, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here. US ONLY

How:  Leave a comment.

Joanne who said...

This series is great. I still have to get the last three. Thanks for the great post, excerpt, and giveaway.

The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen - Ended June 24, 2012 - Read the post here. US/Canada Only

Question:  What is your favorite historical era to read about?

Jenn who said...

... I love medieval Scotland or 1700 England.

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel - Winner's choice of print or audio book - Ended June 24, 2012 - Read the interview here. US/Canada Only

Question: Zombies, Vampires, Shifters, Other. Do you have a favorite type of supernatural or paranormal being?

Martha Lawson who said...

Vamps and shifters are my favorites.

Terminal Point (Strykers Syndicate 2) by K.M. Ruiz - Ended June 25, 2012 - Read the Interview here.

Question: What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic novels, movies, comics, etc.?

Tim who said...

Since I can only pick one, I will say the Mad Max movies. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Green Light Delivery by Anne E. Johnson (eBook) - Ended June 26, 2012 - Read the Interview here.

Question: Robots! Do you have a favorite from novels, comics, TV, or movies?

Barbara E. who said...

I like Sonny, the robot in I, Robot. I'm also partial to Bender from Futurama.

The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Guest Blog by J.K. Beck - June 27, 2012

Please welcome J.K. Beck to The Qwillery. J.K. is the author of the Shadow Keepers series.

I’m so excited because this is the week that WHEN DARKNESS HUNGERS comes out (book 5 in the Shadow Keepers series).

Now, the truth is that I’m excited when any book comes out. I mean, let’s face it—seeing your book hit shelves (either wooden, plastic or digital) is a pretty cool thing. Months, sometimes years, of work are represented right there on pages between a snazzy cover. (And can I just say that Bantam did a bang-up job on the covers for this series? I’ll confess that I’m not always a fan of manly-men chest covers, but I think the colors and the images for this series rule. And the guys are pretty hot, too.)

Even after over a decade of writing books for publication, I still get a sweet thrill when I get that first hot-off-the-press book in my hands, and another trill of pleasure when I see the book actually on sale. And then, of course, the biggest thrill of all: getting feedback from readers!

All of those things are true with DARKNESS. But for this book, there’s something more. Because in the Shadow Keepers books, I’m revisiting a paranormal world that I really love, filled with dark characters plagued with tricky moral dilemmas. And in DARKNESS in particular, I’m revisiting a character who made his first appearance in the very first book of the series, WHEN BLOOD CALLS. Sergius.

Sergius is probably the most tortured character I’ve ever written, and I loved every minute of it. He’s had one heck of a hard life (death?), and the daemon—a vile malevolence that lives in every vampire—is strong in him. Where other vamps can control their daemon, Serge succumbs, sliding under until the evil consumes him. He’s a fighter, though, and he’s loyal, and he’s grown throughout the course of the series. It was a true pleasure to give him his own book.

There’s no doubt that I’m a fan of series books. I love returning to characters that I’ve created or that I’ve met reading the work of other authors. Or, for that matter, returning to previously watched television shows. I probably watch the Buffy series at least annually, and have watched and rewatched Alias and Lost among others. As for books, I’ve read and re-read the In Death series, the Outlander series, the Harry Potter books (I’m re-reading The Deathly Hallows right now) and so many others. It is, I think, like re-visiting old friends.

Which, I guess, means that a release week for a series character is like throwing a party. So thanks for helping me celebrate!

What are your favorite book and television series? Are you a re-watcher or do you move on to new stories?

The Shadow Keepers

When Darkness Hungers
Shadow Keepers 5
Bantam, June 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

FBI agent Alexis Martin knows that vampires exist—because one of them killed her sister. Assigned to investigate a series of bizarre homicides in Los Angeles, Alexis believes the murders are the work of rogue vampires—perhaps even the monster responsible for her sister’s death. Now she finally has a chance for retribution. Even better, Alexis receives unexpected help from a sexy stranger as hungry for rogue blood as she is.

Serge is a centuries-old bad boy who stays off the grid—keeping his secrets, his hunger, and his heart safe from exposure. A new breed of vampire that feeds off other shadowers, Serge finds sweet torture in Alexis’s arms. Loving her is a chance to be free from the hiding, the loneliness, the secrecy. But the truth about what he is, and what he’s done, may banish him to the dark confines of his own private hell—and destroy the beginnings of their love.

When Passion Lies
Shadow Keepers 4
Bantam, May 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Tiberius is a vampire dedicated to protecting his kind—and the secrets of the shadow world. Now, as his quest to become head of the Alliance draws within reach, a shattering new threat puts him to the ultimate test. It’s a nightmare of grim proportions: a dark plot to bring about the mass extermination of human and shadow alike. And it forces Tiberius to turn to the woman he loved and lost, the lover he still desires but doesn’t trust.

Caris was Tiberius’s mate for centuries—until a fateful mission changed her forever. Her tortured secrets drove her into the arms of his rival, but desperation has brought her back. As a horrifying new weapon of mass destruction is about to be unleashed, Tiberius and Caris harness the power of their immortal and passionate love. But will it be enough to battle devastating odds and a ruthless enemy with the ambition to destroy them all?

Shadow Keepers Short Story
Bantam, November 7, 2011
eBook, 84 pages
(Also found in the back of When Passion Lies)

Enter J. K. Beck’s thrilling, seductive world of the Shadow Keepers, which New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian calls “exciting paranormal romance with a sharp, suspenseful edge.”

Carissa de Soranzo will not rest until her kidnapped younger brother has been freed from the nobleman Baloch de Fioro, a fiendish werewolf who means to turn the boy at the next full moon. Against her father’s wishes, Carissa secretly seeks help from the mysterious werewolf hunter Tiberius. Desperate, she promises to do anything if he’ll save her brother—and she can see in his eyes what that will mean.

Dark, strong, and virile, Tiberius cannot resist ravishing the most beautiful woman he’s seen in centuries. But he can never truly have his fill of her, for Tiberius is a vampire. On a quest to trap the werewolf in his den, Tiberius realizes that the only way to rescue Carissa’s brother is to reveal what he truly is. But he risks losing Carissa forever—especially when she discovers that she has given her heart to a vampire.

When Wicked Craves
Shadow Keepers 3
Bantam, October 26, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Petra Lang is cursed never to love. One touch of her skin unleashes the vilest demons. Sentenced to death by the Shadow authorities, who fear she’ll turn her curse against them, Petra is rescued by vampire advocate Nicholas Montegue. As their bodies merge and transform into mist, Petra feels an erotic longing.

Nicholas risked his own life to save Petra, yet he knows he can never give in to the explosive attraction he feels for her. But the deep yearning they share tempts them. Together, they must find a way to lift the curse. For only a love this strong has the power to overcome such monstrous evil.

When Pleasure Rules
Shadow Keepers 2
Bantam, September 26, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Seven innocents have been brutally murdered in Los Angeles, yet the Shadow Alliance has no suspects and no leads. As the body count mounts, the age-old feud between vampires and werewolves threatens to explode.

Lissa Monroe—a strong-willed, ravishing succubus who entices men to surrender their souls—agrees to go undercover for the Alliance. Her mission: infiltrate the mind of werewolf leader Vincent Rand, a ferociously alluring enemy who exerts a powerful hold over her. As the City of Angels teeters on the brink of apocalypse, these two adversaries must join together in order to survive an even more lethal enemy hidden in plain sight.

When Blood Calls
Shadow Keepers 1
Bantam, August 31, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion—until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she’ll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

And coming in July:

When Temptation Burns
Shadow Keepers 6
Bantam, July 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Half human, half daemon, Ryan Doyle is a driving force for justice. As an agent for the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition, he’s investigating murders linked to a Los Angeles fringe group bent on exposing the shadow world to humanity. He is a master of self-control, keeping his deepest hungers hidden beneath a veneer of cool professionalism. Until he crosses paths with sinfully sweet Andy Tarrent, a gutsy reporter who makes him crave all the pleasures he’s denied himself for centuries.

Tracking a band of conspiracy theorists eager to spill blood, Andy has uncovered the story of her career. Brooding, mysterious Ryan is an enigma—but their dance of seduction is hotter than any fantasy. As they race to stop mass murder on the streets, Andy knows that Ryan is holding back, keeping secrets. But getting close to Ryan means opening the door to a world that will challenge her deepest beliefs—including what it means to truly surrender to love.

About J.K. Beck

J. K. Beck spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge in her passion for writing. Now she uses her legal background as inspiration for her paranormal romantic suspense series, The Shadow Keepers, set in and around a secret judicial system hidden within and mirroring our own. J.K. Beck is the pen name for bestselling author Julie Kenner, creator of the popular Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series. California born, Julie/J. K. now lives and writes in Texas, where she hangs out with her husband and daughters and drinks far too much coffee. You can hang out with J.K. online at her website, or on twitter (@juliekenner and @jkbeck) and on Facebook: and

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Blog by Madeline Ashby - Gynoid Trouble

Please welcome Madeline Ashby to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. vN (Machine Dynasty 1), Madeline's debut, will be published by Angry Robot Books on July 31, 2012 in the US/ Canada and on August 2, 2012 in the UK/ RoW.

Gynoid Trouble

I was flying back from a trip to Intel's IXR Lab when a British ad man caught me looking at the cover of my book vN on my computer. I explained that the book was about a robot named Amy. That was Amy (and her mother Charlotte, and her grandmother Portia) on the cover.

"Does she know she's a robot?" my seat mate asked.

"Oh yes," I answered. "She knows. She's always known. She's very happy being a robot. She doesn't want to be anything else."

Saying these words aloud, I realized how odd they sounded. After all, many stories about robots are about establishing an identity. Most of this time that means that the robots, like Pinocchio, wish to become "real." The Tin Woodsman wants the Wizard to give him a heart. Little David, in both "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" and its film adaptation, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, longs to become a real little boy. Both Rick Deckard and Roy Batty are on a quest for authenticity; neither can find it without Eldon Tyrell's help. Commander Data wants to find Dr. Soong, so that he can have his emotion chip installed. Astro Boy wants to impress his creator, Dr. Tenma, and later his adopted father, Professor Ochanomizu. Even David Weyland, the robot in Ridley Scott's latest disappointment, Prometheus, performs a human identity to the best of his ability so that his father will recognize that he does indeed have a soul. All of these stories stem from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein, in which the Creature that Victor Frankenstein creates goes on a quest to find him, prove his humanity to him, and ultimately punish him for having abandoned him. In turn, M.W. Shelley's story stems from both the Prometheus and Satan myths: an angry creation's quest to prove himself to a distant creator, a quest that turns violent or destructive when the creator fails to appreciate his creation.

Most robot stories are all about daddy issues. Most robot stories are also about male robots, written by men. I suspect this is not a coincidence. But in vN, I wasn't writing about sons and fathers, but about mothers and daughters. I was also influenced by Donna Haraway's A Cyborg Manifesto, in which she says:

Unlike the hopes of Frankenstein's monster, the cyborg does not expect its father to save it through a restoration of the garden; that is, through the fabrication of a heterosexual mate, through its completion in a finished whole, a city and cosmos. The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust. Perhaps that is why I want to see if cyborgs can subvert the apocalypse of returning to nuclear dust in the manic compulsion to name the Enemy. Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not re-member the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection- they seem to have a natural feel for united front politics, but without the vanguard party. The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.

Now, Amy is not a cyborg. She is all machine. A robot. But her family unit is cyborg: a fusion of organic and synthetic elements in the form of her robot mother and human father, who live together as a mixed-species couple. The cyborg values Haraway described appealed to me, and over time they became Amy's values and those of her family: atheism, pluralism, the rejection of origin, a commitment to designing a good life based on personal desires and not social constructs. Those are the values Amy takes out into the world when she goes on an adventure that leads her to some truths about her family and herself.

But values weren't enough. When I tried to think of stories about female robots, all I could come up with were women like Rachael Rosen in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: cold, calculating, using sex as a weapon. I thought about the Buffybot, and Data's daughter Lal, and Pris and Zhora. The Stepford Wives. The Cylons: 6, 8, etc. Deceivers, mostly, or substitutes. The mechanical brides of Frankenstein's Creature. Only Molly Millions stands out as someone you might wish you could be, someone with her own position in the world. But she's a cyborg, not a robot. The only remotely healthy models of fully gynoid subjectivity I could think of were Japanese: Motoko Kusanagi, from Ghost in the Shell (all of its iterations); Gally/Alita, from Battle Angel Alita/Gunm; Melfina, from Outlaw Star; Chii, from Chobits; R. Dorothy Wayneright from Big O, and KOS-MOS, the star of the Xenosaga RPGs.

Of those, Kusanagi's story is the one that always resonates most deeply with me. In all of her incarnations -- manga or film or television animation -- she is a woman who must confront the darkest aspects of herself and reintegrate all of her disparate elements into a coherent identity. Susan J. Napier describes Kusanagi's growth as a series of "falls" and crossed thresholds both literal and figurative. This is a classic journey from girl to goddess, in which the "devouring mother" or wicked queen of Jungian archetype must be faced and displaced so that the girl can become a woman. Similarly, the more Freudian "uncanny double" appears a great deal in stories about female robots and cyborgs: in Dick's novel Rachael and Pris are doubles; Chii has Freya; KOS-MOS has T-elos; Dorothy has R.D.; Lain Iwakura has the "wild Lain"; Rei Ayanami has multiple clones and is herself a clone of Yui Ikari. All of these doubles must be subdued for the heroine to achieve her goal. The heroine's journey is the transition from object to subject. More specifically, the gynoid heroine's journey is the transition between "automaton" to "autonomous". From a piece of consumer technology to one who can never be owned. As Rei Ayanami says, "Wastashi wa anatta no ningyo ja nai; watashi wa anatta ja nai mono." I am not your puppet; I am not your thing.

This is not to say that all women have the same journey, or that all women are the same. Haraway herself said it: "There is nothing about being 'female' that naturally binds women. There is not even such a state as 'being' female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices." She wrote these words five years before Judith Butler published Gender Trouble, before "gender performativity" was a term students had to memorize. But I was thinking of both women when I wrote vN. I was also thinking about Christopher Bolton's articles on Ghost in the Shell, specifically related to bunraku puppet theatre and its relationship to the performance of both gender and humanity. Female robots, or robots coded feminine at least, would have it bad both ways, I thought. Not only would they have to be more human than human, they would have to be more woman than women.

And that seemed like a quest in and of itself.

About vN

Machine Dynasty 1
Angry Robot Books, July 31, 2012 (US/Canada)
August 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Von Neumann Sisters | Fail Safe Fail | The Squid & the Swarm | Robot Nation ]

About Madeline

Madeline Ashby is the author of vN, available July 31 from Angry Robot Books. Her fiction has been published in Nature, FLURB, Escape Pod, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction has appeared at BoingBoing, Creators Project, WorldChanging, and She works as a foresight consultant in Toronto.

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