Monthly Archives: December 2014

Vectors: Our Releases for 2015

The core participants of Novelocity are new novelists contracted with major publishers. We had several authors debut in 2014, and 2015 brings even more excitement, anxiety, and deadline stress. Thanks for being along for the ride!

That said, here are the specifics on what awaits in 2015:

Tina Connolly
I’m excited to see several different projects come out early next year. Many of them have been in process for a long time, but all the work is coming to a head over the next several months.

In January is the premiere of my first full-length play, a dystopian thriller I’ve been co-writing with Matt Haynes of the Pulp Stage. It’s called
Box, and it’s actually even more than a full-length play – it’s in three parts! Episode 1 will be performed Jan 26 here in Portland as part of our fringe festival Fertile Ground, with episodes 2 and 3 on Feb 2 and Feb 9. The Pulp Stage is running an Indiegogo campaign through January 2nd, and has a great video on the indiegogo site.Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

In February Alex Shvartsman is releasing his first collection, Explaining Chthulu to Grandma, and I’m doing the recording for the audiobook. I’ve read a number of Alex’s stories on my Toasted Cake flash fiction podcast (and I’ve been narrating stories in general for awhile now), but this is my first full-length audiobook, and I’m excited to see that go live.

I’m currently involved in another Kickstarter too, a new kind of anthology called Six by Six, which will be a compilation of six stories each from six different spec-fic authors. The other authors are Brad Beaulieu, Brenda Cooper, Stephen Gaskell, Will McIntosh, and Martha Wells. So if that funds, the collection will be released around April, so I’ll be busy putting together my mini-collection of six stories (and polishing up my new story that goes in it!).

And then in May, my first YA novel, Seriously Wicked, comes out from Tor Teen. It’s about a girl who lives with
a *seriously wicked* witch, and I am SO excited to see this one finally getting out into the world. It’s a fun, funny story, and I can’t wait to share it.

After that…I think I may try to take a break. (I know, I know, I say that so often…) Maybe take the summer off? Wish me luck!

Ken Liu
Grace_of_Kings_cover_blogI’m looking forward to the release of my debut novel, The Grace of Kings, on April 7, 2015 by Saga Press. It’s a silkpunk epic fantasy that offers a loose reimagining of some Chinese historical legends in a fresh fantasy setting.

Later in 2015, Saga Press is also releasing my first short story collection, which will include some of my best stories as well as a new story.

There are a few other short-fiction projects I’m also excited about, as well as translations.

E.C. Ambrose
Elisha BarberI look forward to the release of Elisha Rex, book 3 in my Dark Apostle series, on July 7 from DAW books.

Hopefully by then I’ll have turned in book 4, and have a solid draft on book 5, the final volume–the black death, Petrarch and a pillar of fire–what’s not to love?

Then return to polishing my new work, which I have been referring to as waterpunk,but (thanks to Ken Liu) I now know is actually silkpunk. I am also exploring the idea of entering a whole new genre. . .

Fran Wilde
I’m looking forward to the release of UPDRAFT, my first Bone City novel with Tor, in September 2015.

Also can’t wait for my author’s copy of XIII, from Resurrection Press – which is sure to be gorgeous; the April/May issue of Asimov’s, which will have my story “How to Walk through Historic Graveyards in the Post-Digital Age,” in it, and “The Ghost Tide Chanty,” coming out at Tor.com.

I’ll be turning in CLOUDBOUND the second Bone City novel, in mid-January and beginning the third book. Also, if the winds are right, another large project I’ve been working on.

Plus, I can’t wait to read the 2015 fabulousness that is coming from my fellow Novelocity folks – it’s an amazing list!

Steve Bein
Disciple of the Wind will be released on April 7! This is the third book in the Fated Blades series from Roc.Disciple of the Wind by Steve Bein

J. Kathleen Cheney
The finale to my Tales of the Golden City, The Shores of Spain, will come out on July 7, 2015, along with the mass market issue of her second novel, The Seat of Magic. shoresofspain

Tina Connolly on Her New Crowd-Funding Projects

tina_connolly-300x450After never having done a crowd-funding project before, suddenly I’m working on two at the same time! One is an indiegogo campaign for a science fiction play I’m co-writing with Matt Haynes, called Box, which is going live in Portland at the end of January.

The other is the kickstarter Six by Six, which is “a new kind of spec-fic anthology.” It’s a really neat project to be working on. There are six of us – Brad Beaulieu, Brenda Cooper, Stephen Gaskell, Will McIntosh, Martha Wells, and me (Tina Connolly). And we’re each contributing a mini-collection of six
stories. There are a bunch of add-ons and bonuses too, and after the kickstarter is over, you will never again be able to buy all 36 stories together like this.

This is my first time collecting any of my work and it was really interesting to try to decide what sort of grouping to make. Should I collect 6 science fiction stories? 6 fantasy? What about making them all dark, or all humorous, or all YA?

One collection I briefly considered was a collection of my 6 stories from Clarion West, which have all since been published in various places. Pros – might be neat for someone looking to apply to the workshop, would be kind of cool in an anthropological way. Cons – it wouldn’t necessarily make a great theme, marketing-wise – who would search on Amazon for a collection of “Clarion West” stories?

So I thought some more. I knew I wanted to include one story that had never been published anywhere. I had a couple choices, but one immediately jumped out at me as the strongest and most exciting – “Scales and Honor.” In Miriam’s family, one woman in every generation becomes a dragon whenever danger approaches their island kingdom. When her older sister can no longer serve, Miriam is torn between the music she loves and her duty to her country.

Now I had a cornerstone to build the collection around. The story is YA and high fantasy, so I could have used either of those as a way to group the collection. But both of those labels are very broad. So I started thinking about a more narrow theme of the story – shapeshifting. I looked through my stories and yes, I had 6 stories that would easily fit the shapeshifting theme (funnily enough, 3 of the stories were actually written at Clarion West…perhaps it’s no surprise that transformation was on my mind there!)

So, that’s how I ended up with the collection and title – “Scales and Other Transformations.” I personally like themed collections quite a lot – and this fit my criteria for the question I should have asked to start with. Would I buy a collection of six stories about shapeshifters? Yes. Yes, I would.

Vectors: Holiday Gift Giving

Today we look ahead to the holiday season (a bit early, to the chagrin of some members) and ask the question, “What book(s) do you plan on giving as gifts this season?”

Michael R. Underwood
Oh, Bookmas. My favorite holiday. Really, any day can be Bookmas, but it’s easiest when the world provides the context to give away books.

Here are some books from this year that I look forward to giving away during the various holidays between now and New Year’s.

For people who say “I don’t really like Urban Fantasy”: I would give them Dirty Magic, by Jaye Wells. It puts crime fiction front and center, and goes with an open magical world instead of a hidden world. The worldbuilding is inventive, the characterization compelling, and the plotting precise.

The Goblin EmperorFor readers who are looking for new fantasy without the Grimdark: I’d go with The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. It’s a genuinely hopeful fantasy with a lead who just wants to do right by people, who tries to build consensus, and learns about the dangers of politics without becoming corrupt or cruel.

For readers looking for smart, inventive science fiction that still has action: I’d point them toward Nexus, by Ramez Naam. I’m biased because it’s an Angry Robot book, but many many others agree with me. It’s the co-winner of the Prometheus Award, and has made many many readers happy with its near-future speculation about human augmentation, mind-to-mind communication, and the tension between technological innovation and global security. Nexus balances science fiction speculation, social exploration, and action/adventure to great effect.

Tina Connolly
OurLadyoftheIslandsI just finished reading Our Lady of the Islands, co-written by Shannon Page and Jay Lake, which comes out in December from Per Aspera Press, and I loved it and would give it to anyone who’s a fan of epic or secondary world fantasy. I ended up blurbing it as “A gorgeous tale of courage and friendship, with appealing characters and an epic sweep.” The main character is a successful business woman (who also happens to be a grandmother!) who suddenly ends up with unwanted powers. The characters are all likable and there’s a great female friendship at the core of the book. Recommended!

Beth Cato
If a certain family member reads this, it may spoil the surprise of their Christmas, but I hope it makes them anticipate the gifts all the more.

OtherboundMy two picks are intense YA reads that came out this year. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis splits the narrative between a fantasy world and modern Arizona. The boy on Earth, Nolan, is believed to suffer from seizures, but the truth is that whenever he closes his eyes–so much as blinks–he sees and experiences a very different world through Amara’s eyes. Amara is a servant to a cursed princess in exile. Each day is filled with the threat of death. When Nolan finds a way to communicate with Amara, their lives converge in even more powerful, dangerous ways.

Islands at the End of the WorldThe Islands At the End of the World by Austin Aslan uses the setting of Hawaii to create a fantastic apocalyptic drama that’s even profound because the human reactions are so plausible. Leilani and her father leave their home on the Big Island so she can begin a new experimental drug treatment for her epilepsy in Honolulu. The flight is no big deal–40 minutes. However, as soon as they arrive, all hell breaks loose. The president goes into hiding. Electricity fails. A strange green phenomenon fills the night sky. As Honolulu fractures into tourist versus native versus everyone violence, Leilani and her dad fight to get home. It’s terrifying and feels grounded in facts, though there is a heavily science fiction element that’s important through the ending.

Steve Bein
Man, whoever came up with this question is way ahead of the ball on holiday shopping!

MarvelUntoldStoryMarvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe, is on my list. It’s a must-read for the comic book fan in your life.

I’ve just been re-reading Dan Simmons’ Hyperion books. I’d forgotten how brilliant they are. Stellar science fiction channeled through the Canterbury Tales, impossibly combining amazing action sequences with the poetry of John Keats, all set against the backdrop of the looming extinction of all humankind. Re-reading them was a gift to myself; now they’re on my gift list for others.

That’s all I can think of for now — and I guess that’s what I get for not doing my holiday shopping two freakin’ months in advance. Sheesh! Some people!

M.K. Hutchins
HerosGuideThe Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy. I’m not sure who to give it to, but I want to buy it for someone. It’s charming and hilarious and there are so many cleverly fractured fairy tales and subverted, side-stepped tropes. Maybe what I love best about it is that it shows how many different ways there are to be a hero — and running in and smashing things isn’t always going to cut it.

ChaplainsWarI’d also had thoughts about getting The Chaplain’s War by Brad R. Torgersen for my husband. I waffled over whether or not to wrap it. Was it selfish to get my husband a book I wanted to read, even though I thought he’d like it? As I pondered, my husband found said book and is now reading it behind me. At least he gets to read it first? I’m not very good at hiding books.