Thursday, July 20, 2017

Legendary Pokémon Coming to Pokémon Go

From Myth To Augmented Reality, Legendary Pokémon Soon Descend Into Pokémon GO

New Pokémon GO Trailer Teases Epic Cooperative Battles with Legendary Pokémon

SAN FRANCISCO—JULY 20, 2017— In celebration of Pokémon GO’s one-year anniversary, Niantic, Inc. and The Pokémon Company International have revealed that Legendary Pokémon will begin to soar into the real world soon. A new Pokémon GO trailer offers a glimpse at the way Trainers will cooperate with one another to discover, battle, and catch elusive and extremely powerful Legendary Pokémon. Once in the wild, Trainers can search for unique Legendary Eggs at Gym locations around the world. Players can team up with friends and other Trainers to join a Legendary Raid Battle to defeat the Legendary Pokémon and earn a chance to catch it.

Interview with Michael F. Haspil, author of Graveyard Shift

Please welcome Michael F. Haspil to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Graveyard Shift was published on July 18th by Tor Books.

The QwilleryWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Michael F. Haspil:  Thank you for your welcome. I enter of my own free will. I started writing in earnest probably in the 5th or 6th grade when I was at New York Military Academy. I may have written stories before but my English teacher there at NYMA, Mrs. Marion Thomas, ran a small literary magazine students would publish stories in. She ran it off on a ditto machine, so it wasn’t the most sophisticated of affairs. But I remember a story I wrote which she published (which happened to be about werewolves) was the first one I received any acclaim for. My classmates loved it and we even made a quick one-shot role-playing campaign out of it.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

MH:  I’m a hybrid, though lately I’m more of a plotter than a pantser. Before I even start a story, I tend to have a scene, usually the climax or the ending, firmly in my mind. Then I break out a plotting grid and start working out the story from there. But the plotting grid is a guide, not fixed in stone. So, as I write, if something better comes up or a plot point becomes too problematic, I jettison the plot grid and revise it.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

MH:  The most challenging thing for me, and I suspect for others, is simply finding the time to write. I’ve gotten rid of my television and cut incredibly back on computer games, but it still seems that I can’t find the time. One thing that has helped me recently is to come to terms that I will never find the ideal block of free time to let me summon the muse. So, I just have to make do without her and write despite having no time to do it. I find that usually if I get going without her, she gets annoyed and shows up anyway.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

MH:  I would like to say all kinds of lofty references to literary great works, but that wouldn’t be true. The truth would be a lot of genre fiction in film, in books, and comics; a lot of which are considered schlocky by today’s standards.

TQDescribe Graveyard Shift in 140 characters or less.

MH:  An immortal pharaoh battles an ancient vampire conspiracy, using drastic measures and questionable allies, to prevent something much worse.

TQTell us something about Graveyard Shift that is not found in the book description.

MH:  One of the vampires is a Catholic priest who used to be a Spanish conquistador.

TQWhat inspired you to write Graveyard Shift? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

MH:  I had a dream about the world where it takes place. When I woke, all I could remember was the sentence, “I used to kill vampires for the NSA, now I work vice.”

What I like about writing Urban Fantasy is that it isn’t that far removed from our own world. It’s that thing you catch a glimpse of out of the corner of your eye. It’s the rumpled jacket on the chair in the dim light that might just be some demonic imp crouching and observing you through the darkness, waiting for you to look away so it can pounce. I love the idea that we think we know what is real, but we’re most probably wrong.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Graveyard Shift?

MH:  I did a lot of research on the Miami-Dade police department and on urban police operations in general. I really wanted to try and get that as right as I could so the story would be grounded. At the same time, I had to loosen up and acknowledge that strictly realistic police work might not be possible in a Miami populated by all manner of preternatural beings.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for Graveyard Shift.

MH:  Stephen Youll is the cover artist behind the magnificent cover for Graveyard Shift. It doesn’t portray any single moment from the novel and yet he managed to capture the spirit of the novel perfectly. When I saw the cover, I thought, “Wow. That’s is exactly what the book is about.” And yet it is silhouettes, splashes of color, and ghostly figures from out of time. I love it.

TQIn Graveyard Shift who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

MH:  Marcus was the easiest character to right because his motivations are very straightforward. In many ways, he’s the “Boy Scout” of the characters. He’s a former Roman who was beholden to some serious secret societies (and he might still be loyal to them) but he knows what he should do and is generally focused on exactly how to do it.

The hardest character to write was Rhuna, who is a shapeshifter. She is vicious and deadly and takes pleasure in being so. But she’s not a bad person. She’s not entirely human and so her emotions and motivations are also not entirely human. She can be laughing one instant and at another’s throat in the next. But she’s very loyal in her own way. The surrounding characters very much need to walk on eggshells when around her.

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Graveyard Shift?

MH:  There are some social issues present throughout Graveyard Shift, though I don’t present solutions to any of them. The book certainly touches on issues of drug abuse and human trafficking very prominently. But our heroes often deal with issues where situational ethics come into play and they are forced to make awful decisions to avoid something worse in the future.

TQWhich question about Graveyard Shift do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

MH:  How did the Pharaoh Menkaure become an immortal mummy? Well, I won’t answer much of that but it had something to do with him sacrificing his immortal soul to protect humanity from an unspeakable evil. That’s much of the plot of an upcoming novel and if I answered the entire question truthfully, then it would be rife with spoilers.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Graveyard Shift.


Quote 1: “I rewarded them with the finest of Hathor’s yrp wine and from that day forth, they called themselves Menkaure’s Drunkards.”

Quote 2: “I remember the story that Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf…but that’s just a myth, right?”

TQWhat's next?

MH:  Right now, I’m working on a fun pop-culture geek novel in the tradition of Geekomancy and Scott Pilgrim. Sort of Ready Player-One meets Through the Looking Glass (complete with a live Jabberwock and a vorpal blade!) It’s not connected to the world of Graveyard Shift in any way.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MH:  Thank you for hosting me! I really hope people will enjoy the book.

Graveyard Shift
Tor Books, July 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut by Michael F. Haspil in Graveyard Shift

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they'll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

“Gritty urban fantasy and hard-boiled noir packed into a hand grenade of awesome!” —Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown

About Michael

MICHAEL F. HASPIL is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he distinguished himself as an ICBM crew commander. After retiring from the military, he served as a launch director at Cape Canaveral. He has been writing original stories for as long as he can remember and has dabbled in many genres. Graveyard Shift is his first novel.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @MichaelHaspil

Hello Kitty ♥ PAC-MAN Mobile Game and Merchandise

Sanrio and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Join Forces with New Hello Kitty ♥ PAC-MAN Mobile Game and Merchandise

Pop Icon Hello Kitty and the First Video Game Hero to Chomp Tasty Dots and Pesky Ghosts, Debuting Collaboration at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (July 19, 2017) – Sanrio, Inc. and leading anime video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment today announce Hello Kitty ♥ PAC-MAN, a new collaboration featuring PAC-MAN, the world’s first video game hero, joining forces with supercute global pop icon, Hello Kitty. Developed by Sanrio, Inc. and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment as a license program, the collaboration kicks-off on July 19th at Comic-Con International: San Diego with a Hello Kitty themed update to the PAC-MAN app available now as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Dark and Light from Snail Games Launches July 20th on Steam Early Access

Snail Games, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment, has announced that Dark and Light, the dark fantasy multiplayer survival game, will launch on Steam in Early Access on July 20th for $29.99.

Dark and Light puts players in an immersive fantasy world that is filled with magic, monsters, and mystery. In this world, they will be challenged to survive and thrive through a combination of crafting, exploration, and powerful magic.

Dark and Light’s features include:
  • Master the Elements: Discover, craft, and cast dozens of powerful magical spells to take on the threats looming on Archos.
  • Explore a Massive, Living World: Travel from frigid mountain peaks, to dense forests, floating islands, hidden caverns, volcanic regions, and more.
  • Build a House and Support Your Faction: Join one of three factions, build your own noble house, and take on other players to dominate Archos.
  • Choose a Side: Support the Light or the Darkness, fill the world with powerful Dark creatures, or purify the world with Light.
  • Take Command of Powerful Creatures: Tame virtually any creature you encounter in the world - giant treants, mystical elementals, and legendary dragons can be at your command.
  • Protect Your Home: Build anything from a straw shack to an enormous fortress to defend against hostile forces.

Crystal Dynamics Celebrates 25 Years

This July marks the 25th anniversary for Crystal Dynamics®, the studio behind the critically acclaimed and world-famous TOMB RAIDER® franchise which has sold over 58 million copies globally.  In celebration, the studio has organized a series of charitable events and activities that takes us on a trip down memory lane, commemorating Crystal’s 25 years of producing unforgettable experiences.

“The collaboration of our top industry talent all focused on creating ground-breaking, unprecedented gaming experiences is the engine that drives Crystal,” said Ron Rosenberg, Co-Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics. “We’re extremely proud of all that we’ve accomplished over the last twenty-five years, and, as we look to the future, we are excited to bring our passion and craftsmanship to even more games including the 'Avengers' project.”

Starting July 18th, Square Enix® and Crystal Dynamics are offering an exclusive Crystal Dynamics 25th Anniversary game bundle through GameChanger. Patrons who donate $25 or more will receive this exclusive bundle of 12 new and classic Crystal Dynamics games, including Tomb Raider, Lara Croft® and the Temple of Osiris™, Legacy of Kain™: Defiance, Project Snowblind™, and more. Funds raised will be given to GameChanger Charity and support their mission of bringing happiness and gaming to children facing life-threatening illnesses in hospitals around the world.

Square Enix at SDCC



LOS ANGELES (July 18, 2017) – SQUARE ENIX® will host a wide variety of gaming experiences for San Diego Comic-Con attendees this year from July 19-23. Fans who visit the SQUARE ENIX booth will be able to get the first-ever hands-on with Tokyo RPG Factory™’s sophomore title LOST SPHEARand preview FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE and DISSIDIA® FINAL FANTASY NT. Winners of each free play round of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT will also receive an exclusive Warrior of Light Gil Coin while supplies last.

The SQUARE ENIX team will also be hosting two DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT tournaments at the booth throughout the weekend, where attendees can win exclusive prizes. Find out more details at:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interview with David Demchuk, author of The Bone Mother

Please welcome David Demchuk to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Bone Mother was published on July 18th by ChiZine Publications.

The QwilleryWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

David Demchuk:  I always had a vivid imagination and loved words and storytelling from when I could first speak (I was an exhausting child), so you could say I was a writer well before I could actually write.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

DD:  While I often have a loose structure in mind (and quite often have something of an ending to aim for), I tend to be a pantser for the first third of any given project, and then more of a hybrid after that.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

DD:  Overcoming crippling self-doubt and maintaining discipline and momentum. There's really no other way to say it. As I reach various milestones in a project (fairly predictable milestones at that), my confidence begins to waver and various insecurities creep in and then the second-guessing begins. By then I'm in the thick of it with no clear path through and I find myself wondering if I should go back keep going or tear back or give up entirely. It's at times like that that you have to turn a cold clear eye on the work and then, more often than not, just push through till you can get a better perspective. But it's tough. Every story I start, I feel like I've completely forgotten how to write and have to learn all over again. But after many years I've come to recognize it for what it is, and remember that there is no formula or recipe, there are no rules, you just have to write.

TQYou have been writing for theater, film, television, radio and other media for over 3 decades. How does this affect your novel writing?

DD:  Well, I have the benefit of years of experience--which hopefully translates into a certain level of craft, an understanding of structure and conflict, a respect for the values and characteristics of each medium I've written for, an awareness of the needs of the audience whether it's one person or one thousand. I have a certain level of discipline and tenacity, or flat-out stubbornness. And I'm old now, so publishers and producers and directors and editors are more inclined to trust me and let me have my way. Conversely, I'm more inclined to trust them and to let them into my process so we can support each other with our strengths.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

DD:  In general, I'm still heavily influenced by books I read as a child and stories that were read to me, as well as the movies and television and music that I grew up on. My mother read to my brother and me from very early on, and I was a precocious and voracious reader throughout my childhood and teenage years. For specific projects, I am usually inspired by something I read in the news or overhear in conversation or a question or issue that comes up in my life that I can only work through by writing about it, creating a mental and emotional process where I can look at the question from different perspectives and the conflicts created between them.

The Bone Mother is a bit of an exception in that I started it almost arbitrarily. I decided I would start the year (in this case 2015) with a new project and that I would find some photographs in the public domain to use as prompts--each one would be a different character, and in adding them all together I would tell a larger story and create a larger world for them. I was very lucky to find the archive of Romanian wartime photographer Costica Acsinte. His work was very much the impetus for the stories that make up the novel.

TQDescribe The Bone Mother in 140 characters or less.

DD:  The last mythical creatures of Eastern Europe tell their stories and face their destines as they await a war that may eradicate them forever

TQTell us something about The Bone Mother that is not found in the book description.

DD: Interspersed through the book are four longer contemporary pieces, set in North America, told by the children and grandchildren of those few creatures who survived. Some of them know their heritage, some do not. They are, in a way, part of a supernatural diaspora.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Bone Mother? What appeals to you about writing horror and why did you focus on Eastern European mythical creatures?

DD:  As I mentioned earlier, the Acsinte photographs were the spark for the book. What they did, I think, was unlock a long-forgotten knowledge of and interest in the stories I heard and read about when I was a child, about the enigmatic forest witch Baba Yaga (who of course is The Bone Mother of the title) and creatures like the strigoi and the rusalka. Some of the classic monsters of horror--the vampire and the werewolf in particular--have their roots in these legends.

I've long been a huge horror fan (in short fiction and novels, in film, television and video games), but had not had many opportunities to actually write in the genre. As I started the book, I realized that I was writing a series of love letters to the stories and characters that scared and delighted me as a young reader.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Bone Mother?

DD:  I drew a lot from my own knowledge of Ukrainian culture and from life in small towns and on farms--I'm a prairie boy after all--but I did need to research some of the more obscure Eastern European legends, as well as what happened in Ukraine and Romania before and during the war. Many of the true stories are more frightening than anything that I could make up.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Bone Mother.

DD:  The cover artist is the award-winning Erik Mohr, who is responsible for almost all of the covers for ChiZine Publications. His amazing covers are one of the reasons why I first approached ChiZine. They're just such beautiful books. And while it's not an image specific to any one story, I would say that his illustration is a superb evocation of The Bone Mother herself.

TQIn The Bone Mother who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

DD:  One section is about a young boy, Andreas, who visits a haunted house on a dare and finds a reflection of himself. This piece tumbled out in one evening of writing, it was like transcribing a horrible dream. His voice came out perfectly. I think it was one of two pieces that never changed from the very first draft.

The hardest was a character named Gregor, the narrator of one of the contemporary pieces. As I reached his section, I had a crisis of faith around the intensity of the horror in the book. (In the end I needn't have worried.) As a result, I decided to write a character who would frighten me personally. Unfortunately I succeeded, and I ended up gritting my teeth, having violent nightmares, and just generally dreading every moment I sat at the keyboard. He left a nasty mark on me that took a while to get over. I promptly wrote a love story as a kind of antidote, and that piece can be found near the end of the book.

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Bone Mother?

DD:  In dark times, people turn to dark stories for affirmation, for catharsis and for illumination. I think the best works of horror are those that speak both to the cultural anxieties of their time and to the ageless fears that we all carry. Much of The Bone Mother is centred on the effects of war on those who have the least power to fight, particularly on women and children. The fairytales and folklore that are the basis of The Bone Mother often focus on mothers and children--mothers who reject their children or who try to destroy them, mothers who try to save their children or who sacrifice themselves so their children may live, surrogate mothers who take in children that others have cast out or left behind. The book looks at that within the context of war in order to grapple with the choices that desperate people make in desperate situations. I also gave special attention to gay and lesbian characters and to characters who we would now consider to be transgender, as these voices and stories, particularly in historical settings, continue to be underheard and underappreciated.

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

DD:  "What scares you personally?" Everything scares me, actually--I'm a catalogue of phobias: heights, water, enclosed spaces, crowds, spiders, interviews ;) The one thing that doesn't scare me is snakes--I have always loved them (but I could never have one as a pet because I can't handle their eating habits).

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Bone Mother.

DD:  "Knitting is a good way to pass the time when you're waiting for something to die."

"But the Bone Mother is a wicked witch who eats naughty children!" I cried.
"Good children do taste better," she said wistfully, "but there are so few of them. If you can be satisfied with naughty children, you will always have food on the table. They are never in short supply"

TQWhat's next?

DD:  I will be at Readercon and Necon in the month of July, and I have some other readings and book launches scheduled between now and November. I'm expecting to start a new book in the fall--but that's as much as I'll say for now.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

DD:  Thank you very much for inviting me!

The Bone Mother
ChiZine Publications, July 18, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages

Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.

Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.

About David

David Demchuk was born and raised in Winnipeg and now lives in Toronto. He has been writing for theatre, film, television, radio, and other media for more than thirty years. His publications include the short-fiction cycle Seven Dreams, and the Lewis Carroll adaptation Alice in Cyberspace, and appearances in the anthologies Making, Out!, Outspoken, and Canadian Brash. His reviews, essays, interviews, and columns have appeared in such magazines as Toronto Life, Xtra, What! Magazine, and Prairie Fire, as well as the Toronto Star. Most recently, he has been a contributing writer for the digital magazine Torontoist. The Bone Mother is his first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @david_demchuk  ~  Facebook

Image Comics' 25th Anniversary Blind Box Available Today


PORTLAND, OR, 07/18/2017 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal the ratio of rarity (are you feelin' lucky?) of the variants that fans have a chance of receiving enclosed in their IMAGE COMICS 25TH ANNIVERSARY BLIND BOX.

Each IMAGE COMICS 25TH ANNIVERSARY BLIND BOX will contain an assortment of 25 polybagged comics drawing from a selection of six different limited edition variants of the 17 all-new 2017 series that are only available within this box. Each comic will be bagged in opaque black poly to keep every comic a surprise.

MAESTROS Coming in October


"MAESTROS is a masterpiece." —Brian K. Vaughan

PORTLAND, OR, 07/18/2017 — Superstar comics and storyboard artist Steve Skroce (WE STAND ON GUARD, Wolverine) will take on both writing and art duties in his all-new, totally irreverent and fantastical action-comedy MAESTROS this October from Image Comics.

The Maestro and his entire royal family have been murdered. Now, his banished son from Earth will inherit the Wizard King's throne along with a spell that turns its user into GOD. With enemies everywhere, will this Orlando-born millennial be able to keep his new magic kingdom?



PORTLAND, OR, 07/18/2017 —Cassie Hack returns in Tim Seeley’s HACK/SLASH: RESURRECTION with Tini Howard as the series’ new writer and artists Celor and K. Michael Russell.

Hack/Slash is the book people always ask me about,” said Seeley. “I've been waiting for the proper time to bring it back, but I wanted to make sure I had the perfect creators first. Now that I have them, it's time to unleash Cassie Hack on the world again."

In HACK/SLASH: RESURRECTION, Cassie’s been living off the grid, but when a new monstrous threat arises to torment promiscuous teens, it's time for Cassie to pick up the baseball bat once again!



Road to San Diego 2017 Announcement #9: Star-studded, oversized issue from Archaia imprint arrives November 2017

July 17, 2017 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – BOOM! Studios, in partnership with The Jim Henson Company, is proud to announce the JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH 2017 SPECIAL, on sale in November. Featuring a diverse assembly of acclaimed creators, including Jeff Stokely (The Spire), Roger Langridge (Thor: The Mighty Avenger), Delilah S. Dawson (Ladycastle), Adam Smith (Jim Henson’s Labyrinth), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), Ryan Sook (Batman Beyond), Derek Kirk Kim (Tune), and more, this second annual special is an all-new collection of short stories that celebrates the various characters and creatures from the world of Labyrinth (1986). This includes the never-before-told story of how Sir Didymus met his trusted steed Ambrosius, and the story of a goblin running late to the famous “Dance Magic Dance” sequence from the iconic film.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Interview with David Burr Gerrard

Please welcome David Burr Gerrard to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Epiphany Machine is published on July 18th by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing David a Happy Publication Day!

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

David:  I’ve been writing since high school. I wanted to make readers feel something like what I felt when I read my favorite writers—particularly writers like Franz Kafka and Jorge Luis Borges who could turn the world upside down and inside out in a way that would show it exactly as it was.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

David:  I’m a failed plotter, which makes me a reluctant pantser. I make elaborate plans that get me lost deep in the darkest woods, and then I have to find my way out with nothing but a stick and a broken compass. Lucky for me, the woods are where they keep the best stories.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

David:  Getting the first hundred words down on any given day. If I get a hundred words down, I can easily get 1,000, sometimes 2,000, when I’m on a real roll 3,000 words. But I often don’t get the first hundred words down.

TQYou teach fiction writing. How does that affect (or not) your own writing?

David:  It’s constantly making me articulate what I think about fiction, which is a good way to clear out the cobwebs and the lazy assumptions that gather in my approach. Plus, it’s getting paid to hang out with cool people and read the stuff they make up.

TQDescribe The Epiphany Machine in 140 characters or less.

David:  It’s about a device that tattoos epiphanies on the forearms of its users.

TQTell us something about The Epiphany Machine that is not found in the book description.

David:  When I first started writing The Epiphany Machine, the epiphanies were not tattooed onto the body, but rather inscribed on blocks of wood. The more I wrote, the more I realized that whatever wisdom the machine had would have to wound the flesh.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Epiphany Machine? What appeals to you about writing alternative history?

David:  All fiction is alternate history, even (maybe especially) fiction that presents itself as literally true. Big historical figures—politicians, rock stars—are always making up stories that they tell us about ourselves, so why can’t we flip it around and do the same for them? I wrote The Epiphany Machine in part because I wanted to talk back to the big cultural forces that tell us how to live our

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Epiphany Machine?

David:  Most of the research I did for The Epiphany Machine I did without realizing it was research. I read something that interested me and then it worked its way into the book, like ink working its way into an arm.

Beyond that, I allowed my imagination to roam free, trampling whatever gardens it wished. If anyone took anything in The Epiphany Machine as historical record, I would be horrified, though to be more honest than I probably should be, I would probably also be amused.

TQWhy did you set the novel in New York City?

David:  The simple answer is that I live here, and everyone thinks that where they live is the center of the universe. Unlike people who don’t live in New York City, I happen to be right. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding.)

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Epiphany Machine.

David:  Putnam’s brilliant Stephen Brayda designed the wonderful cover, which puts the novel’s idea of forearm epiphany tattoos to beautiful, thoughtful, witty use. My single favorite detail is that Putnam’s insignia, which goes on the spine of every Putnam book, is transformed into an epiphany tattoo.

TQIn The Epiphany Machine who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

David:  The hardest to write was Adam Lyons, the epiphany machine’s proprietor/prophet. I didn’t want him to be a clichéd cult leader out of a movie—long hair and robes, that sort of thing—but I had a lot of difficulty figuring out who else he can be. Then one night my friend Michael Seidenberg, who runs the secret Upper East Side bookstore Brazenhead Books—and who has an earthy, open, magnetic personality—mentioned offhand that he had always wanted to be a cult leader. Then I started writing Adam imagining he was Michael, and he instantly became the easiest character to write.

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Epiphany Machine?

David:  I don’t see how it’s possible not to include social issues. Everybody exists in society. Every f your story is about one person who is isolated by force or choice, there are complex social factors that made that isolation possible and—whether for your character or whoever put your character into isolation—desirable.

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


Q: If this book were written by the epiphany machine itself, rather than by you, would you be honest about that?

A: Certainly not.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Epiphany Machine.


“What is surprising is never what is revealed but the grace with which it has been hidden.”

“Failure was something that might happen, but probably to other people, and death lay in a future so remote we would be long dead by the time it arrived.”

TQWhat's next?

David:  I’m working on a novel about a mysterious disease that appears to be killed everyone born in 1981 (the year I was born) but is leaving everyone else unaffected. Wish me luck!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

The Epiphany Machine
G.P. Putnam's Sons, July 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
    (SpecFic Debut)

Everyone else knows the truth about you, now you can know it, too.

That’s the slogan. The product: a junky contraption that tattoos personalized revelations on its users’ forearms. It’s an old con, playing on the fear that we are obvious to everybody except ourselves. This particular one’s been circulating New York since the 1960s. The ad works. And, oddly enough, so might the device…

A small stream of city dwellers buy into this cult of the epiphany machine, including Venter Lowood’s parents. This stigma follows them when they move upstate, where Venter can’t avoid the whispers of teachers and neighbors any more than he can ignore the machine’s accurate predictions: his mother’s abandonment and his father’s disinterest. So when Venter’s grandmother finally asks him to confront the epiphany machine and inoculate himself against his family’s mistakes, he’s only too happy to oblige.

Like his parents before him, Venter is quick to fall under the spell of the device’s sweat-stained, profane, and surprisingly charming operator, Adam Lyons. But unlike them, Venter gets close enough to Adam to learn a dark secret. There’s an undeniable pattern between specific epiphanies and violent crimes. And Adam won’t jeopardize the privacy of his customers by alerting the police.

It may be a hoax, but that doesn’t mean what Adam is selling isn’t also spot-on. And in this sprawling, snarling tragicomedy about accountability in contemporary America, the greater danger is that Adam Lyon’s apparatus may just be right about us all.

About David

Photo by Albert Cheung
David Burr Gerrard is the author of The Epiphany Machine (Putnam, 2017). He received an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University. His first novel, Short Century, was published by Rare Bird Books, and his work has appeared in The Awl, The LA Review of Books, BOMB, Guernica, and other publications. He teaches fiction writing at Manhattanville College, the 92nd Street Y, and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.

Website  ~  Twitter @DBGerrard

Shadow Bug Coming July 21st

Muro Studios is excited to announce that Shadow Bug is going to be released July 21st 2017 on the Steam store for Windows and Mac, and is priced at $4.99 / 4.99€.

You are the overpowered ninja hero Shadow Bug! Save your home forest from the evil factory by slicing monsters to pieces.

Adventure through beautiful and twisted landscapes full of action and adventure as the ultimate ninja.

Game Features:
- Unique core mechanic: move by attacking enemies.
- 36 hand crafted levels filled with action, exploration and puzzles.
- 6 memorable boss fights.
- Mesmerizing art with picturesque parallax backgrounds and mystical silhouettes.
- Breathtaking soundscape with an epic soundtrack and immersive sound effects.
- Leaderboards for speedrunning levels.
- A completely new take on platformer games.

JRPG Lionheart - July 31st Release

Lionheart Has a Release Date!

Fruitbat Factory is excited to announce that the Japanese fantasy RPG Lionheart will release on Steam on July 31. Developed by Shiisanmei, Lionheart tells the story of Leon Lionheart and his party as they explore the forbidden depths of a magical labyrinth and meet new allies. The beautifully illustrated RPG is voiced in Japanese and has an estimated playtime of 50-100 hours.

Kingdom Hearts III - First Disney•Pixar World Inspired By “Toy Story”

SQUARE ENIX® and Disney have unveiled a new KINGDOM HEARTS III trailer that shines a spotlight on the first world in the KINGDOM HEARTS series to be based on a Disney•Pixar film, “Toy Story.” Director of the KINGDOM HEARTS series, Tetsuya Nomura, premiered the trailer during The Walt Disney Company’s Video Game Showcase at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.

The new trailer follows Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy to Andy’s room as they join Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Rex and Sarge’s investigation into the disappearance of their fellow toys and Andy, and the emergence of the Heartless enemies in their world. Featuring an original storyline, fans will get a first look at the dynamic trio’s “Toy Story”-themed looks, all-new toys, such as the Gigas, and special Keyblades that transform and give Sora unique attacks to unleash on Heartless enemies.

Monday, July 17, 2017

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Trailer 2

The past will always find you. Watch the NEW #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6.
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

From executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve, #BladeRunner2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, MacKenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.
Follow #BladeRunne2049 on social media:

The View From Monday - July 17, 2017

Happy Monday!

There are 5 debuts this week.

The Bone Mother by David Demchuk;

Devil's Call by J. Danielle Dorn (eBook; print August 8th);

The Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard;

Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil;


Hook's Tale by John Leonard Pielmeier.

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Company Town by Madeline Ashby is out in Trade Paperback;

Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow 2) by Lila Bowen (Delilah S. Dawson) is out in Trade Paperback;

Raining Fire (Rising Tide 3) by Rajan Khanna;

Arabella and the Battle of Venus (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2) by David D. Levine;


The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty 2) by Ken Liu is out in Trade Paperback.

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.

July 17, 2017
Hard Magic (e)(ri) Laura Anne Gilman UF - Paranormal Scene Investigations 1
Love Me to Death Maggie Shayne PNR

July 18, 2017
Company Town (h2tp) Madeline Ashby SF/GenEng/Noir
Conspiracy of Ravens (h2tp) Lila Bowen HistF - The Shadow 2
Dice Tales: Essays on Roleplaying Games and Storytelling (e) Marie Brennan RPGs
The Empty Ones (h2tp) Robert Brockway HU/UF/H - The Vicious Circuit 2
Strange Dogs: An Expanse Novella (e) James S. A. Corey SF - The Expanse
War for the Planet of the Apes: Official Movie Novelization Greg Cox SF/MTI
The Memory Agent Matthew B.J. Delaney SF
The Bone Mother (D) David Demchuk H/FairyT/FolkT/LM/ F/DF
Devil's Call (D)(e) J. Danielle Dorn Occ/Sup/W
One Year After (ri) William R. Forstchen Th/SF/AP/PA - John Matherson 2
The Epiphany Machine (D - SpecFic) David Burr Gerrard LF/AH/SF
Spellbinder Thea Harrison PNR - Moonshadow 2
Graveyard Shift (D) Michael F. Haspil UF/SupTh/M
The Body in the Clouds Ashley Hay LF
The Unit (ri) Ninni Holmqvist Dys/SF/Psy
Raining Fire Rajan Khanna SF/AP/PA/SP - Rising Tide 3
Exodus Alex Lamb
Arabella and the Battle of Venus David D. Levine AH/SF - The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 2
The Wall of Storms (h2tp) Ken Liu F - The Dandelion Dynasty 2
Equus Rhonda Parrish (Ed) F - Anthoolgy
Hook's Tale (D) John Leonard Pielmeier Fict
The Gradual (h2tp) Christopher Priest F/HistF/LF
Hell Divers II: Ghosts Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF - The Hell Divers Trilogy 2
And the Rest is History Jodi Taylor SF/TT/HistF - The Chronicles of St. Mary's8
Armistice: The Hot War Harry Turtledove AH/SF - Hot War 3
Icon (h2tp) Genevieve Valentine SF - The Persona Sequence 2
The Blood Mirror (h2tp) Brent Weeks F - Lightbringer 4
Underground Airlines (h2tp) Ben Winters Th/AH

July 19, 2017
The Hole in the Moon and Other Tales by Margaret St. Clair Margaret St. Clair SF - Collection
The Martian Obelisk: A Original (e) Linda Nagata SF

July 20, 2017
The Quiet War Omnibus: The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun (e)(ri) Paul McAuley SF - The Quiet War
The Vastening Omnibus: In the Mouth of the Whale and Evening's Empires (e) Paul McAuley SF - The Vasteming

July 21, 2017
Of Masques and Martyrs (e)(ri) Christopher Golden DF - Peter Octavian 3

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

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GH - Ghost(s)
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GO - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Noir - Noir
Occ - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RPGs - Role Playing Games
Satire - Satire
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superhero(es)
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western
Z - Zombies

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

2016 Shirley Jackson Awards - Winners

The 2016 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners have been announced. The awards were presented July 16th at Readercon 28 (Quincy Marriott, Quincy MA).

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics.  The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories:  Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

  • Foxlowe, Eleanor Wasserberg (Fourth Estate-UK/Penguin Books-US)
  • The Girls, Emma Cline (Random House)
  • I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid (Gallery/Scout)
  • Lily, Michael Thomas Ford (Lethe)
  • Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow)
  • The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown)

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (
  • Maggots,” Nina Allan (Five Stories High)
  • Muscadines, S.P. Miskowski (Dunhams Manor)
  • The Sadist’s Bible, Nicole Cushing (01 Publishing)
  • The Warren, Brian Evenson (

  • “Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees,” Laird Barron (Autumn Cthulhu)
  • “Angel, Monster, Man,” Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine)
  • “Breaking Water,” Indrapramit Das (
  • “The Night Cyclist,” Stephen Graham Jones (
  • “Presence,” Helen Oyeyemi (What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours)
  • “Waxy,” Camilla Grudova (Granta)

  • “Animal Parts,” Irenosen Okojie (Speak, Gigantular)
  • “The Apartments,” Karen Heuler (Other Places)
  • “Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark)
  • “Red,” Katie Knoll (Masters Review)
  • “Things With Beards,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)

  • Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, D.P. Watt (Undertow)
  • Furnace, Livia Llewellyn (Word Horde)
  • Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt (Shock Totem)
  • A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer Press)
  • We Show What We Have Learned, Clare Beams (Lookout)

  • Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis (Lovecraft eZine Press)
  • The Madness of Dr. Caligari, edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (Fedogan and Bremer )
  • The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga Press )
  • Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay (Exile Editions)
  • An Unreliable Guide to London, edited by Kit Caless and Gary Budden (Influx Press)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD to Ruth Franklin in recognition of the biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.

2017 Thriller Awards - Winners

The winners of the 2017 ITW Thriller Awards were announced at ThrillerFest XII, July 15, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt (New York City) by the International Thriller Writers.


Winner:  Noah Hawley — BEFORE THE FALL (Grand Central Publishing)
  • Megan Abbott — YOU WILL KNOW ME (Little, Brown and Company)
  • Reed Farrel Coleman — WHERE IT HURTS (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Laura McHugh — ARROWOOD (Spiegel & Grau)
  • Ben H. Winters — UNDERGROUND AIRLINES (Mulholland Books)


Winner:  Nick Petrie — THE DRIFTER (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Bob Bickford — DEADLY KISS (Black Opal Books)
  • J.L. Delozier — TYPE AND CROSS (WiDo Publishing)
  • David McCaleb — RECALL (Lyrical Underground)
  • E.Z. Rinsky — PALINDROME (Witness Impulse)


Winner:  Anne Frasier — THE BODY READER (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Robert Dugoni — IN THE CLEARING (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Paul Kemprecos — THE MINOAN CIPHER (Suspense Publishing)
  • Jonathan Maberry — KILL SWITCH (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Stephen Maher — SALVAGE (Dundurn)


Winner:  Joyce Carol Oates — “Big Momma” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • Eric Beetner — “The Business of Death” UNLOADED: CRIME WRITERS WRITING WITHOUT GUNS (Down & Out Books)
  • Laura Benedict — “The Peter Rabbit Killers” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • Brendan DuBois — “The Man from Away” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • Art Taylor — “Parallel Play” CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: STORM WARNING (Wildside Press)


Winner:  A.J. Hartley — STEEPLEJACK (TOR Teen)
  • Pierce Brown — MORNING STAR (Del Rey)
  • Elle Cosimano — HOLDING SMOKE (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Billy Taylor — THIEVING WEASELS (Dial Books)
  • Kara Thomas — THE DARKEST CORNERS (Delacorte Press)


Winner:  James Scott Bell — ROMEO’S WAY (Compendium Press)
  • Sean Black — THE EDGE OF ALONE (Sean Black)
  • Sibel Hodge — UNTOUCHABLE (Wonder Women Publishing)
  • J.F. Penn — DESTROYER OF WORLDS (J.F. Penn)
  • Richard Thomas — BREAKER (Alibi)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Doctor Who - Meet the Thirteenth Doctor

Without the same fanfare that Peter Capaldi received when he was announced as the Doctor, BBC has announced Doctor 13 - Jodie Whittaker.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 16, 2017

Why am I so tired if I only worked three days this week? Might have something to do with going to my step son's graduation and then making and decorating a mini wedding cake and a birthday cake. One turned out and one didn't.....check them out. There was almost tears with the 70th birthday cake. It didn't quite turn out as I expected. Let's just I won't be reading anymore cake recipe books for a while!

So what did I read when I wasn't baking?

Was it a coincidence that one of the books I read was about chocolate? The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer is more of a murder mystery than it is about chocolate. Tasmin and William were destined to be wed despite the fact that Tasmin is from the North and considered a barbarian and William is from the more reserved and less magical South. When William is accused of murder the wedding looks to be called off until Tasmin decides that she is going to prove her intended's innocence. What she discovers besides William's fledgling chocolate business, is murder and revenge. Someone wants to see William and his family destroyed and Tasmin is determined to find out who and why.

I quite enjoyed The Chocolatier's Wife but didn't love it. I liked how Speer told the back story of William and Tasmin's relationship through the letters that they wrote to each other while they were growing up. Why I only quite liked it rather than loved it was that it was just a bit too drawn out. While the letters were a great way to tell the reader more about the characters it also tended to interrupt the story. A couple of the big reveals, including the identity of the main 'baddy', were very good. Lovely illustrations throughout as well.

I have to confess that I read book number 2 a few months ago. I received it from the publisher via NetGalley back in April (or possibly May) and had to wait a while before I could write a review. Ride the Storm is Karen Chance's eighth instalment in the Cassie Palmer series. Cassie is still travelling through time in an effort to catch Pritkin so that she can restore his soul. He isn't too keen to get caught and joining her this time is Pritkin's father and now frenemy Rosier. There are more crossovers this time with the Dorina Basarab series which finds the Mages and the Vampires under attack. Cassie is still being pursued through time by a few acolytes who wanted the top job as the Pythia. While that is enough to get on with, the gods want to come back and Cassie is only person that can stop them breaking through but she can't do it alone. She has a lot on her plate and a lot is at stake on the young Pythia's shoulders.

I preferred this instalment to the one before (Reap the Wind) as I thought the story flowed a bit more cohesively. It is still pretty chaotic with Cassie being in modern day Las Vegas one minute and ancient England the next. We also learn more about Cassie's parents and get to 'meet' her father which adds another dimension to her character. The ending is a bit of a surprise and I am still not entirely sure what happened. Feel free to make a comment and let me know!

That is it for me this week. I am looking forward to a week that doesn't involve getting covered in icing sugar. Wish me luck!

The Chocolatier's Wife: Illustrated Edition
Dragonwell Publishing, April 28, 2017
Hardcover, 302 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, July 6, 2012


When Tasmin’s betrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn’t have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William’s own family, who all resent her kind – the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose – and he is intent on ruining William’s family at all cost.

The Chocolatier’s Wife is a truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

Ride the Storm
Cassie Palmer 8
Berkley, August 1, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 608 pages

Cassie Palmer can see the future, talk to ghosts, and travel through time—but nothing’s prepared her for this.

Ever since being stuck with the job of pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up to the lifetime’s worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled pythian court. Catch up to the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned.

But now she realizes that all that was the just the warm up for the real race. Ancient forces that once terrorized the world are trying to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them…