Day one at Tucson Festival… The Pain!

2015 Tucson FoB_crowdDay one of the Tucson Festival of Books is complete. I didn’t get to see exactly every panel I wanted, (sorry Beth and Yvonne, I missed the kick-ass women) but it was still a fun and productive day.

That started quite a bit earlier than I expected. For some reason the dogs decided that 5 a.m. was playtime, so I gave up on that last hour of sleep and hit the road, hopped up on Dutch Brothers.

It was around Maricopa that I realized I’d forgotten my cane. The back would be angry.

It wasn’t too bad though, and I arrived early enough to grab a quick bite and great parking. Great parking has become a prime motivator for me.

The festival is amazing. The entire length of the UA campus is lined with booths hawking everything from new age remedies to celebrating the National Park System.

And the authors!

I did a recent write-up for the New Times featuring some of the big names at the Festival, and it barely scratches the surface.
Continue reading

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Diversity Shines with Nebula Nominees

Tgrace-of-kingshe Science Fiction Writers of America announced the Nebula Award Nominees this weekend and there is a whole lot to be excited about, especially the diverse cast of nominees. Is this a backlash against the Sad Puppies campaign? Or a commentary on the flap over the Oscars’ lack of diversity? (The Nebulas are sort of Sci-Fi’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.)  I don’t really care, because it’s great to see so many women and people of color on the shortlists.

Fantasy dominated the novel nominees, from Ken Liu’s magnificent Homer-meets-the-Chu-Han-contention debut, The Grace of Kings, to Naomi Novik’s Polish fairytale rewrite,  Uprooted. But there are strong sci-fi contenders as well. uprootedAnn Leckie snared her third nomination with Ancillary Mercy, while Lawrence M. Schoen’s late-entry, Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard, made a surprise showing, especially considering it was released in the late December dead zone between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s been vaulted onto the must-read ASAP list (along with N.K. Jemisin’s Fifth Season) as I prepare my Hugo ballot in the coming months. Continue reading

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Four More Harper Voyager Authors Coming to Phoenix Comicon

Harper Voyager
will have a strong presence at Phoenix Comicon this year as four more Harper authors join the guest lineup.

Bishop O'ConnellBishop O’Connell is known for his “American Faerie Tale” series, which kicked off in 2014 with The Stolen. These contemporary fantasy novels, set in a magical Boston and the mystical land of Tír na nÓg, follow a mother as she searches for her child, who has been stolen by the Fae. The fourth novel in the series, The Returned, is available on eBook in July.

God WaveNavy veteran and polymath Patrick Hemstreet’s debut novel, The God Wave, follows a neuroscientist unlocks the key to seemingly unlimited brain power and Godlike abilities. In his dystopian future, however, his benevolent intent is easily corrupted by military intervention. The novel is coming out  on May 17.

small angry planetBecky Chambers is one of the most talked about young sci-fi authors right now, thanks to her acclaimed space opera, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which Chambers funded through a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and self-published in 2014, earning a Kitschie nomination in the process. Last year Ann Leckie sang the praises of the debut here and Harper released it as an eBook last August. The paperback comes out in July.

Joseph NassiseFinally, the Valley’s own Joe Nassise will be joining the Harper crew. A New York Times bestselling
horror author, he has earned multiple Stoker nominations and served as the president of the Horror Writers Association. Nassise is best known for the acclaimed Riverwatch, as well as the “Templar Chronicles” urban fantasy series. His latest series “The Great Undead War” is an alt-history mash-up of zombies and World War I. He also recently edited the anthology Urban Allies, which features ten collaborative urban fantasy tales by such superstars as Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden working in tandem. The collection hits shelves on July 26.

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Sci-Fridays book club at The Poisoned Pen

darker shadeI wanted to share some exciting news about a project I’ve started here in Phoenix — the Sci Fridays book club. 

I’m teaming up with Pat King from the Poisoned Pen for this group, which will meet every third Friday of the month at the Pen, starting next month on March 18. 

Something I’ve noticed is that when discussions gravitate to sci-fi, the books and authors named are invariably 30 years old or so. Now I’m a big fan of Bradbury, Zelazny, Gibson et al, those were the books I grew up reading, but there is so much great stuff coming out now that I don’t think we need to simply celebrate the past. So we’re going to focus on the best new (or newish) books.

Our first meeting will be on March 18 at 7 p.m. We will discuss V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, an intriguing and acclaimed tale of a magician and thief who are able to travel between parallel Londons. As an added bonus, Schwab will be at the Pen on March 3 promoting Darker Shade’s sequel, A Gathering of Shadows, so if you pick your copy up then, you can get it signed!

For those planning ahead, the next meeting will be on April 15, discussing Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs. May’s meeting is on the 20th, discussing Jaye Wells’ Dirty Magic.

So if you’re in town, I’d love to see you. If not, I’ve got a Facebook group in the works for online discussion as well.

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Harper Voyager Impulse Authors Sarah Remy and Lexie Dunne Coming to Phoenix Comicon

Harper Voyager Impulse Author Sarah Remy

Harper Voyager Impulse Author Sarah Remy

Harper Voyager Impulse is bringing a pair of new faces in sci-fi and fantasy to Phoenix Comicon.

Sarah Remy made her Impulse debut in 2014 with Stonehill Downs, a dark fantasy mystery that follows two mysterious mages from starkly different backgrounds as they investigate a series of grisly murders in a remote village. The sequel, Across the Long Sea was released in August, with more titles in the series due later this year.

Superheroes Anonymous author Lexie Dunne

Superheroes Anonymous author Lexie Dunne

Lexie Dunne also debuted in 2014 with Superheroes Anonymous, a tale of a journalist who always seems to be getting kidnapped, then rescued by the local superhero, Blaze. Soon she finds herself known as Hostage Girl, with powers of her own. A sequel, Supervillains Anonymous, was released last year, with Hostage Girl framed for murder and locked in prison with the same villains who would kidnap her regularly.

Launched in 2014, Harper Voyager Impulse is an eBook imprint designed to showcase up-and-coming authors. Titles are launched electronically, followed by a short print run several months later.

Check back for more author announcements in the coming weeks!

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