Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalists

This year’s finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been announced. The awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards reception on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award - 2018 Finalists

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-­story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978 at the University of Kansas. It includes a Friday‐evening banquet where the annual Theodore A. Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are given; a Saturday round‐table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.

Note: Clicking on a short story title will take you to that story online with the exception of the link to Greg Egan's story which takes you to a PDF.

Gideon Falls Issue 2 Rushed Back to Print


PORTLAND, OR, 04/18/2018 — The breakout hit, GIDEON FALLS, from the creative team behind Green Arrow and Old Man LoganNew York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning writer Jeff Lemire (ROYAL CITY, DESCENDER) and critically acclaimed artist Andrea Sorrentino—is being rushed back to print. Issue #2 of the horror/mystery series is flying off shelves and is slated to go back to print in order to keep up with the frenzied customer demand.

In GIDEON FALLS #2, the mysteries of the “Black Barn” heighten as the reclusive Norton begins to unravel new clues just as a murder spree breaks out in the town of Gideon Falls. But how is it all connected?! The puzzle pieces begin to fall.

GIDEON FALLS is a series that explores the lives of a solitary young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets. At the heart of the town’s secrets is the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.

GIDEON FALLS #2 remains available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website (, the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (, iOS, Android, and Google Play.

GIDEON FALLS #2, 2nd printing (Diamond Code MAR188168) will be available on Wednesday, May 16th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 23rd.

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

Mansions of Madness Coming to Steam in 2019

Asmodee Digital Announces the First Video Game Based on Mansions of Madness Board Game

Fantasy Flight Games’ Lovecraft-inspired board game gets a stand-alone adventure game early 2019

PARIS -- April 17, 2018 -- Asmodee Digital, the industry leader in digital board games, announced today that it will publish a brand-new adventure game based on Fantasy Flight Games’ Mansions of Madness, an award-winning board game celebrated for its high production values, Lovecraft-inspired art, and unique fusion of physical and digital gameplay mechanics. Developed by Luckyhammers, the Mansions of Madness: Mother’s Embrace video game is the next evolution of the iconic game and is scheduled to hit Steam (PC/Mac) early 2019.

In Mansions of Madness: Mother’s Embrace, players will lead a team of investigators through an eerie mansion while uncovering its dark secrets. Everything is not what it seems as the investigators encounter traps, monsters, and other Lovecraftian horrors, and descend deeper into the depths of madness. Will your team solve the mystery and make it out alive?

SEGA Revives SEGA AGES on the Nintendo Switch™!

An Early Look at the First Five Titles in the Lineup

IRVINE, Calif. - April 16, 2018 - SEGA of America announced today that SEGA AGES, the original series that brought classic games to modern consoles, is being rebooted for Nintendo Switch™. This series of retro titles will be launching in Japan, North America, and Europe starting in Summer 2018.

The first five SEGA AGES titles have been announced, including such notable games as the Sega Master System versions of Phantasy Star and Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Sega Genesis versions of Thunder Force IV and Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as a port of the original arcade version of Gain Ground. This collection will mark the first time that several SEGA titles have had official launches in the West. Stay tuned for the first batch of SEGA AGES releases, coming Summer 2018.


SEGA AGES is a series of classic SEGA titles being released on the Nintendo Switch™. Developed by M2, the Japanese developer known for high-quality ports of classic games such as the popular SEGA 3D Classics series on the Nintendo 3DS™, SEGA AGES aims to bring prominent titles from SEGA's legacy catalog to fans around the world. From a selection of home console classics, to a multitude of perfectly-emulated arcade games, SEGA AGES gives fans the ability to build their own retro SEGA collection unlike any other.

SEGA AGES originally debuted as SEGA Ages Vol. 1 Shukudai ga Tant-R, a compilation of enhanced arcade ports of Puzzle & Action: Tant-R and Quiz Shukudai wo Wasuremashita, released on the Sega Saturn in 1996 in Japan. Over time, the SEGA Ages series grew to encompass enhanced ports of dozens of games across multiple systems. The series also made an appearance in the West with SEGA Ages: Volume 1, a collection of enhanced ports of Space Harrier, OutRun, and After Burner II, released in 1997 on the Sega Saturn. Now, SEGA AGES is being rebooted on the Nintendo Switch™, delivering the most faithful ports of Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and arcade games for the current generation. As you would expect from the retro geniuses at M2, these games will stay true to their original forms while incorporating new features that bring a refreshing twist to these classic titles' gameplay.

About SEGA® of America, Inc.:
SEGA® of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Games Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA of America's website is located at

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

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

Charlie Jane Anders (2016)

Rock Manning Goes for Broke
Subterranean Press, September 30, 2018
Hardcover, 128 pages

Vikings vs. Steampunks! Ice cream sundae hearse disasters! Roman gladiators meet vacuum-cleaner salesmen! Inappropriate uses of exercise equipment and supermarket trolleys! Unsupervised fires, and reckless destruction of public property! Nothing is off limits.

Rock Manning lives and breathes slapstick comedy, and his whole life is an elaborate tribute to the masters, like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Jackie Chan. With his best friend, Sally Hamster, he creates joyfully chaotic short movies that are full of mayhem and silliness.

But Rock and Sally are becoming famous at a time of unrest, when America's economy has collapsed and people are taking refuge in highly addictive drugs. America's youth are being drafted to take part in endless wars against imaginary enemies overseas, while at home, a fascist militia known as the Red Bandanas is rising to power. As America becomes more mired in violence and destruction, Rock Manning's zany comedy films become the escapist fun that everybody needs.

Over-the-top physical comedy and real-life brutality collide, as Rock and Sally find themselves unable to avoid getting sucked into the slow implosion of their country. The Red Bandanas want Rock Manning to star in propaganda films promoting their movement, and soon Rock and Sally are at the center of the struggle for the soul of America. The trauma and death that Rock witnesses begin to take a toll on him.

When a botched weapon test plunges the world into deeper chaos, Rock and Sally must confront once and for all the outer limits of comedy.

Seth Dickinson (2015)

The Monster Baru Comorant
The Masquerade 2
Tor Books, October 30, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 464 Pages

A breathtaking geopolitical epic fantasy, The Monster Baru Cormorant is the sequel to Seth Dickinson's "fascinating tale" (The Washington Post), The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

Baru Cormorant's world was shattered by the Empire of Masks. To exact her revenge, she has clawed her way up razor-edged rungs of betrayal, sacrifice, and compromise, becoming the very thing she seeks to destroy.

Now she strides in the Masquerade's halls of power. To save the world, she must tear it asunder...and with it, all that remains of her soul.

Book 1

Vic James (2017)

Bright Ruin
Dark Gifts 3
Del Rey, October 9, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

As the dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes, the people of Britain rise up against their magically gifted masters. They must break the system—or be broken.


The rules are simple, the system cruel: the lower classes must give ten years in service to Britain’s powerfully gifted rulers. With one uprising crushed by the glittering elite, commoners and aristocrats alike now take sides for a final confrontation.

At the center of it all are two ordinary siblings: Abi Hadley and her brother, Luke. Each has reason to hate the ruling Jardine family. Abi was once their servant—and now seeks revenge for a terrible wrong. Luke was imprisoned on their whim—but his only hope may be an alliance with the youngest and most powerful of the clan, the cold and inscrutable Silyen Jardine.

Staking everything to end a bright and shining tyranny, Abi, Luke, and Silyen find themselves bound by a single destiny. Their actions will change their fates—and change everything. But at a cost almost too terrible to contemplate.

What price would you pay for freedom?

Book 1
Book 2

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Interview with Cass Morris, author of From Unseen Fire

Please welcome Cass Morris to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. From Unseen Fire is published on April 16th by DAW.

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

Cass:  Hello, and thanks for having me! The very first thing I remember writing was a story about a girl named Janine and her dog. I can’t remember if I was in kindergarten or first grade, but I do remember that the teacher kept insisting I had misspelled the name “Janie”. I hadn’t; I had picked up the name Janine from the Babysitter’s Club novels. I distinctly recall dragging a book out of my backpack to show her it was a real name.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Cass:  By instinct, largely a pantser on early drafts. I tend to dive into a manuscript with a strong idea of the place and at least a few of the characters, let them all collide into each other, and see what happens from there. From Unseen Fire is the first of a three-book deal, though, which has meant I’ve had to learn to be a bit more of a plotter so far as the overall narrative is concerned.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Cass:  Defeating the urge to include too many world-building details. I was a kid who read the encyclopedia for fun, so I have to be careful not to let the world detract from the story.

TQWhat influences your writing? You worked for the education department at the American Shakespeare Center. Has being around Shakespeare's works since 2010 influenced your writing?

Cass:  I sure hope so! I fell in love with Shakespeare when I was eleven, acted in his plays through high school and college, got a graduate degree in Shakespeare studies, and then decided to work for him for another seven years. I think what I learned most from him in all that time was a sense of rhetorical stylings. I love the study of rhetoric so much. One of the things it gave Shakespeare, and that I try to emulate, is a sense of voice -- how different people talk differently, resort to different syntactical patterns, fall into different cadences. I also get a lot of influence from the other media I consume -- historical novels, fantasy novels, and musical theatre, in particular.

TQDescribe From Unseen Fire in 140 characters or less.

Cass:  In an alternate version of ancient Rome, a trio of patrician sisters and an ambitious senator use wit, charm, and magic to realize their dreams for the city they love.

TQTell us something about From Unseen Fire that is not found in the book description.

Cass:  The elemental magic of Aven, my alt-Rome, isn’t the only kind you’ll encounter. The Iberians waging war on the provincial borders have their own brand, tied to their own gods, drawing power from the stars, rivers, and blood.

TQWhat inspired you to write From Unseen Fire? What appeals to you about writing alt-Roman historical fantasy?

Cass:  Directly, a painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema called “The Baths of Caracalla”. I’d been thinking I wanted to play with something outside of the medieval European mold, and I’d been toying with the idea of using a Roman-based model, when that painting happened across my eyes. The Vitelliae -- my heroine Latona and her sisters -- sprang into my head in that moment.

The alt-Roman setting gives me so much to mess about with. You get a fantasy world with sanitation and health care, for one thing! The pantheon of gods dovetailed with the magical system I was building in so many beneficial ways. And Rome was such a magnificently diverse, complex place, with social and political issues that are in many ways so familiar to the modern age. It’s a wonderfully fertile playground.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for From Unseen Fire?

Cass:  A lot of it was reviving past studies. I started taking Latin in the seventh grade and kept it up through high school, and I took so many courses on the ancient world in college that I was only a few credits short of an accidental Classics minor. So I had a lot to remind myself of, and a lot that needed more exploration, particularly when it came to the social history. I read a lot of books, listened to a lot of podcasts, watched a lot of documentaries. I’ve got a list of sources on my website, actually (, for anyone who’s interested in delving in themselves.

The most fun research, though, was a trip I took in 2016 to do some on-the-ground investigations in Rome itself. I spent three days tramping all around the ancient city, figuring out what was visible from various points on the hills, how long it would take to walk from the Esquiline to the Palatine, all sorts of little details. It also gave me a great sense of the city as a bustling, multicultural metropolis.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for From Unseen Fire.

Cass:  The gorgeous artwork on the cover was done by Tran Nguyen (you can find her on Instagram). My editor, Betsy Wolheim, found a piece of hers based on Roman frescoes and we both loved the style. The woman on the cover is the main female protagonist, Latona, a mage of Fire and Spirit. Tran nailed her look so perfectly. I love that she’s looking the reader right in the eyes, bold and proud, but there’s a vulnerability in her, too. The background is based on a Roman lararium -- a sort of household shrine. The crackled effect was something we’d both loved in Tran’s earlier work, and here it carries a sort of hidden meaning. One of the other magical elements is Fracture, and while it isn’t inherently a dark or evil power, one of the antagonists turns it to warped purposes. I love that the shattered-fresco effect nods towards that as well as communicating a sense of Roman antiquity.

TQIn From Unseen Fire who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Cass:  My knee-jerk reaction was to say Latona, because she’s the character I poured the most of myself into, but I think that actually required too much emotional crafting to call it “easy”. Aula, her older sister, is the one who leaps effortlessly to the page. Her voice comes into my head with resonant clarity, and her relationship with Latona has never given me a moment’s trouble.

The hardest character was probably her brother, Gaius, who’s leading a small legionary expedition in Iberia. He’s early in his career, eager to succeed, and in way over his head. Military matters are so far from my experience, and they’re entirely what he’s thinking about, so that’s a harder mode to get myself into. I leaned a lot on my research for that. Fortunately the ancient Romans wrote down a lot about their warfare!

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in From Unseen Fire?

Cass:  Because socio-political issues are personal issues. I wouldn’t know how to remove them from the story or the characters. I wanted to write Aven as Rome was, a diverse, multicultural, sprawling, wonderful mess of a city. There was no way to write that without engaging in politics. The male protag, Sempronius, has a vision of using that diversity to make Aven the center of a sprawling federation of interconnected nations; his opponents are men who fear change and prefer isolationism. Latona is a woman hemmed in by the patriarchy, recovering from trauma and breaking free of chains forged by what we would call gaslighting. The Iberians worry they’re facing a choice between colonization and conquest. Social issues compose the very beings of these characters. Nothing in From Unseen Fire was meant as a direct analog for current issues or modern political figures, but humanity has wrestled with a lot of the same questions for thousands of years. I think that’s always worth engaging with.

TQWhich question about From Unseen Fire do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Cass:  What scene do I most regret having to cut? There was a whole 20k section taking place at chariot races that I just loved but ended up not fitting -- but I’m hoping to rework it into Book 2!

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from From Unseen Fire.


Shadow and Water both moved in him, a blend that lent itself to a strange intuition, an ability to hear words unsaid and see things not yet done.


‘All my life,’ she thought, ‘someone has been telling me what I must not do. Mother, father, husband, priestesses . . . How did it take me till now to realize how heartily sick of it I am?’

TQWhat's next?

Cass:  Books two and three of the Aven Cycle! Latona’s story isn’t over yet, so I’m working on getting those manuscripts into fighting shape. I’m also in the early stages of drafting a space opera with a heroine inspired by the French swordswoman/opera singer Julie d’Aubigny. I’m not far into it yet, but that one’s going to be a total romp, and I’m quite looking forward to it.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Cass:  Thanks for having me! I can’t wait to share From Unseen Fire and the world of Aven with more people.

From Unseen Fire
Aven Cycle 1
DAW, April 17, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

From Unseen Fire is the first novel in the Aven Cycle, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Rome, by debut author Cass Morris

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people—if only she can find the courage to try.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.

As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?

About Cass

Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart. She can be found on Twitter at @CassRMorris.

Website  ~  Twitter @CassRMorris

APHRODITE V Arrives in July


PORTLAND, OR, 04/16/2018 — Writer Bryan Hill (POSTAL, BONEHEAD) and artist Jeff Spokes will launch APHRODITE V this July from Image/Top Cow.

In the near future, Los Angeles is a city on the brink of evolution, struggling with a new wave of terror fueled by black-market technology. Enter Aphrodite V: a fugitive from her masters, seeking individuality and purpose. She is the bleeding edge of biomechanics, and L.A.’s best hope against a new enemy—one that seeks to become a god among machines.

“This is a great way for people unfamiliar with this side of the Top Cow universe to jump into a story about the intersection of technology, humanity, and justice,” said Hill.

One machine wants to destroy the city. Another has come to save it. Only one will survive.

APHRODITE V #1 (Diamond code: MAY180030) hits comic book shops Wednesday, July 18th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, June 25th.

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts

Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2018 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on April 30, 2018.

Vote for your favorite April 2018 Debut Cover! free polls

Jacket design by Will Staehle

Jacket design by Will Staehle / Unusual Co.
Jacket image © Mallory Fandal / Shutterstock (sky)

Cover by Tran Nguyen

Cover design by Patrick Insole
Wolf cover image by Lee Gibbons
Other images © Shutterstock

The View From Monday - April 16, 2018

Happy Monday!

There are five debuts this week:

The City of Lost Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel 1) by Bryan Camp;

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller;

From Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle 1) by Cass Morris;

The Spirit Photographer by Jon Michael Varese;


Collision Theory by Adrian Todd Zuniga.

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

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Guns Above (Signal Airship 1) by Robyn Bennis is out in Trade Paperback;

The Brass God (Gates of the World 3) by K. M. McKinley;


Before Mars (A Planetfall Novel 3) by Emma Newman.

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.

April 16, 2018
Ghost Memories (e)(ri) Heather Graham Th/GH - Bone Island Trilogy Prequel
Ghost Shadow (e)(ri) Heather Graham Th/GH - Bone Island Trilogy 1

April 17, 2018
The Lost: A Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus Dan Abnett SF - Gaunt's Ghosts
Traitor Born Amy A. Bartol Dys - Secondborn 2
The Guns Above (h2tp) Robyn Bennis SF/SP - Signal Airship 1
The City of Lost Fortunes (D) Bryan Camp CF - A Crescent City Novel 1
Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction (e) Bill Campbell (Ed)
Francesco Verso (Ed)
SF - Short Stories
Shadow Star: Book Three of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 3
Shadow awn: Book Two of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 2
Shadow Moon: Book One of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 1
Dead But Once Auston Habershaw DF - Saga of the Redeemed 3
The Music of the Deep Elizabeth Hall CW
Champions of Chaos Darius Hinks
S. P. Cawkwell
Ben Counter
F - Warhammer Chronicles 5
The Talisman (ri) Stephen King
Peter Straub
Black House (ri) Stephen King
Peter Straub
The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel (ri) Stephen King P
Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales (ri) Stephen King H - Collection
The Night Lies Bleeding M.D. Lachlan HistF - Wolfsangel 5
The Long Sunset Jack McDevitt SF - The Academy 8
The Brass God K. M. McKinley F - Gates of the World 3
Blackfish City (D) Sam J Miller F
Noir Christopher Moore F/HU
EMPulse2 Deborah D. Moore SF/AP/PA
It's Not the End and Other Lies Matt Moore SF - Collection
From Unseen Fire (D) Cass Morris F/HistF - Aven Cycle 1
Before Mars Emma Newman SF/Psy - A Planetfall Novel 3
Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel Daniel José Older SF/SO/MTI - Star Wars
Harry Potter Talking Dobby and Collectible Book Running Press F
The Real-Town Murders Adam Roberts SF
Pocalypse Road (e) Lilith Saintcrow H/Z - Roadtrip Z3
Head On: A Novel of the Near Future John Scalzi SF/CyP/Th - Lock In 2
The Atrocities Jeremy C. Shipp SF/Gothic
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (h2tp) Neal Stephenson
Nicole Galland
The Spirit Photographer (D) Jon Michael Varese Hist/Sus
Jules Verne: The Essential Collection Jules Verne SF - Knickerbocker Classics
Collision Theory (D) Adrian Todd Zuniga LF/CoA/GH/HU

April 18, 2018
Arrivals (e) Michael R. Underwood F - Born to the Blade, Season 1 - Episode 1

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

AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - April 15, 2018

Hello readers. Hope you have had a good week. I started to get over my uber bad cold so also able to read something challenging on my commute into work.I did however, only read one book but boy, it was a good one! So what did I read?

I finally decided to buy City of Miracles which is the final book of Robert J. Bennett's The Divine Cities trilogy. This book has been out for some time and I highly recommend you read the Qwill's review. I absolutely loved this series but had to wait for the price to drop a bit on the Kindle version before I bought it.

Rather than recount the plot for you I am going to focus on a couple of themes I picked out. I felt the most prominent theme was the theme of loss. The loss of a mother's love, the loss of friendship and the loss of identity. Loss was on every page and every chapter. Sigrud acutely felt the loss of his daughter and his beloved friend and as the story progressed we discovered what else he lost through the choices he made. Grief was the other prominent theme and Bennett explores, through his characters, individual responses to grief.  In fact loss and grief were the prevalent themes throughout all three novels with the deaths of Vohannes in City of Stairs, Signe in City of Blades and then Shara's death in the final book. In my view, Bennett is a master of handling the very sensitive and personal topic of grief. Bennett's standalone novel The Troupe is another testament of his ability to deal with this topic. The counter balance to grief was the theme of love - parental love, romantic love, friendship. This theme was a bit more subtle in how it played out but it was definitely there.

Bennett is one of my favourite authors even though I haven't yet read everything he has written. For me his books are like a good quality, expensive chocolates. I don't want to eat them all the time or they won't be such a treat. The Divine Cities has superb character development, excellent world building and tight plot arc. This final book is very poignant and you should probably have some tissues handy. This series is a must read but be sure to start with book 1 - City of Stairs.

That is it for me this week. I won't be with you next week as I am away to Spain for a city break. I am super excited that it is going to be 28°C. After two weeks of non stop rain and grey skies I am really looking forward to my vitamin D not coming from a bottle. Until next time Happy Reading.

City of Miracles
The Divine Cities 3
Broadway Books, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.

So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do—and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.

Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And—perhaps most daunting of all—finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books


City of Stairs
The Divine Cities 1
Broadway Books, September 9, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city--from one of America's most acclaimed young SF writers.

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

See Qwill's review here.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books

City of Blades
The Divine Cities 2
Broadway Books, January 26, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

A triumphant return to the world of City of Stairs.

A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions.

Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. And to its new military occupiers, the once-powerful capital is a wasteland of sectarian violence and bloody uprisings.

So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh— foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister—has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten.

At least, it makes the perfect cover story.

The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world–or destroy it.

The trouble is that this old soldier isn’t sure she’s still got what it takes to be the hero.

See Qwill's review here.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books