M T McGuire – an update on a new novel

M T McGuire was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in July 2014. She’s back now to update us on a new release!

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Escape From B-Movie Hell – First contact in films was never like this!

If you asked Andi Turbot whether she had anything in common with Flash Gordon she’d say no, emphatically. Saving the world is for dynamic, go-ahead, leaders of men and while it would be nice to see a woman getting involved for a change, she believes she could be the least well-equipped being in her galaxy for the job.

Then her best friend, Eric, reveals that he is an extraterrestrial. He’s not just any ET either. He’s Gamalian: seven-foot, lobster-shaped and covered in Marmite-scented goo. Just when Andi’s getting used to that he tells her about the Apocalypse and really ruins her day.

The human race will perish unless Eric’s Gamalian superiors step in. Abducted and trapped on an alien ship, Andi must convince the Gamalians her world is worth saving. Or escape from their clutches and save it herself.

The book is available on all major retail outlets you can find them from my website.

Robert Runté Recommends Dave Duncan

When Robert Runté suggested recommending Dave Duncan on this blog I jumped at the chance to feature an author whose work I’d known since I first began selling books in Calgary in 1978. The Guild Gallery did not stock many science fiction or fantasy books, but we did sell those written by local author, Dave Duncan! He was a best-selling author back then, and I was so pleased when Robert mentioned he was recommending Dave’s 50th book – and that Dave didn’t even begin writing until he was in his 50s. What an inspiration to every writer!

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The Eye of Strife
by Dave Duncan
Genre:
Fantasy (with equal parts mystery, political intrigue, swashbuckling adventure, and wry humour)

Quick description: The high priest has summoned an improbable group of witnesses/suspects to explain what they know of the Eye of Strife—a powerful religious relic. As each tells their overlapping tales of high adventure, the listeners have to work out who is lying and what really happened.

dave Why I recommend this book: Actually, I recommend all of Dave Duncan’s books (all of which are still in print and readily available) but what makes Eye of Strife particularly remarkable is that it’s his fiftieth published novel. And he started writing in his mid-50s after a long and successful career as a petroleum geologist.

Dave’s illustrious writing career always inspired me in my own writing—in contrast to the usual coverage of the latest wunderkind, which often seemed to imply that if one hadn’t hit it big by age 22, one never would. If Duncan can write fifty great books after age fifty, then maybe there is hope for the rest of us yet!

Duncan may have started late, but he came out of the gate with a bang (his early Reluctant Swordsman and Man of his Word series remain his most popular to this day) and has never faltered. Duncan has always been in the top three of my favourite authors, whether he was writing fantasy or science fiction; whether writing under his own name or one of his pseudonyms (adopted because he was always more prolific than any one publisher could handle); or whether writing a series or a standalone novel. There isn’t a single lemon in the bunch. On the contrary, Duncan is always pushing himself to try new things, to move forward, to renew himself in his writing. He is constantly surprising me, except in the consistently high quality of his story-telling and imagination.

The Eye of Strife is as good as anything that has gone before. An incredibly fun romp, it is a great place to dip one’s toe into the Duncan canon because it has all the Duncan trademarks: compelling and consistent world-building; action that arises logically out of the characters’ differing motivations; page-turning adventure; and an underlying current of wry humour. This is Duncan at his best, but in an easily accessible standalone novel—in contrast to, say, the much darker Chronicles of the King Blades series, or committing oneself to the seven sequel addiction that inevitably follows from reading The Magic Casement (my personal favourite.) An easy breezy summer read, I cannot recommend Eye of Strife too highly whether Duncan is new to you, or you have been a long-time fan.

Links for people to buy Dave’s book:
Kindle
Print

runte2 Robert Runté’s latest title or project: My own latest publication was ‘Why I Read Canadian Speculative Fiction: The Social Dimension of Reading” in Canadian Fantastic In Focus: New Perspectives. Allan Weiss, ed. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 2014. [The original conference presentation of this paper won an Aurora Award, 2014] The article examines both the impact of the peer group on reading, and Canadian themes in Canadian SF.

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Robert Runté was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014.

Robert Runté – update on a new publication

Dr. Robert Runté was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014, and was a contributor to another anthology also featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct.

978-0-7864-9592-4The Canadian Fantastic in Focus: New Perspectives
Allan Weiss, Editor
Literary Criticism: Canadian Speculative Fiction

Bringing together papers presented at the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy from 2005 to 2013, this collection of essays includes Veronica Hollinger’s keynote address, “The Body on the Slab,” and Robert Runté’s Aurora Award-winning paper, “Why I Read Canadian Speculative Fiction: The Social Dimension of Reading” along with 15 other contributions on science fiction and fantasy literature, television and music by Canadian creators.

Authors discussed include Charles de Lint, Nalo Hopkinson, Tanya Huff, Esther Rochon, Peter Watts and Robert Charles Wilson. Essays on the television show Supernatural and the Scott Pilgrim comics series are also included.

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Dr. Robert Runté with the 2014 Prix Aurora Award he won for this essay in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

From Robert Runté:
I grew up in an age when speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and so on) was still considered beneath the dignity of serious scholarly attention. Indeed, one of my early deans once told me that he considered “scifi” of lower literary value than Harlequin Romance (which to his mind was the worst comparison he could draw), and that he was more embarrassed by my interest in SF than if I had written porn. So I am pretty relieved to find that the new generation of scholars has dropped such pretensions and is eagerly and capably delving into Canadian science fiction and fantasy. Drawn from the most outstanding papers of the last seven years, this collection provides a representative cross-section of both this new generation of energetic, innovative and insightful Canadian academics, and of the brilliant Canadian authors they have chosen to review.

Allan Weiss’ introductory essay provides an excellent overview of the history of scholarship on the Canadian contribution to the genre, and I like to believe that my own essay provides an overview of the themes that have dominated Canadian speculative fiction and distinguish it from the American and British versions of the genre. I have also tried to explain the social dimension of reading: why we need to create spaces where our youth can explore what it means to be Canadian, to find their own voice by creating their own interpretations of popular tropes.

I confess to being particularly proud of my essay, not just because it represents a summation of everything I’ve been arguing for the past 35 years, but because the essay won a major award even while the book was still in press. My presentation at the 2013 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy won a 2014
Aurora Award (Canada’s answer to the American Hugo Awards). Apparently, the suggestion that Canadian authors address themes that resonate particularly well with Canadian readers hit a responsive chord with the Award’s voters.

Links for people to buy it:
McFarland Publishing (publisher’s catalog)
Amazon – eBook and Paperback

Robert Runté is Senior Editor with Five Rivers Publishing, and a freelance development editor /writing coach at SFeditor.ca.

Dale Furse

DaleFurse crop(166x340)Dale Furse

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Justice (Book 3 of the Wexkia Trilogy) Young Adult, Science Fiction/Fanatsy

Quick description: In the final installment of the fast-paced SciFi/Fantasy trilogy, Nell has more mounting questions she wants answered.

Nell thinks she is safe on Earth but she battles to defend her family and her home against an alien attack. She realizes she must learn to use all her wexkian talents to save her father who is dying from a deadly virus. However, she too succumbs to sickness before she can put her training into force.

Nell needs to fight the disease and engage in the bloodiest of battles to save not only her extended family, but an entire alien race. Will she be willing to pay the price for victory?

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Brief biography:
Dale Furse lives in North Queensland, Australia. If she isn’t staring through her closest window dreaming of far flung worlds and people, she’s writing tales, be they Science Fiction, Fantasy or a little Horror.

As a university drop out, she decided to follow her passion, endeavouring to learn all she could about the craft of writing. She holds a Diploma of Professional Writing (Children’s Writing and Publishing) and she has completed more writing courses than she can count.

Having written novels, short stories, plays, songs and poems for over thirty years, Dale still works to improve her craft.

Links to buy Dale’s book:
The full trilogy
Amazon – eBook and Paperback
Justice
Amazon – eBook

Dale’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

What are you working on now?
I’m finally getting to the end of the last re-write of another Young Adult novel. The working title for the YA is Beyond the Wall but I don’t like it anymore. 

Here’s a short blurb: God’s bird-brained servants lose the wall responsible for two boy’s hapless excursion to an alien world.

Dale’s reading recommendation:
I don’t write in the Mystery genre but I’ve just finished Three-Ways: A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery by Mike Markel. I bought it on a promotion and although it isn’t the first book in the series (I didn’t know that at the time), it read like a stand alone book. Detective Karen Seagate is a great lead character and she is a character. I loved the way she talked and the author’s writing had me right in the action. I love stories that take you in like this one did.

M T McGuire

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M T McGuire

What is your latest release and what genre is it? I have two books that were released on 12th June and 12th July, respectively. They are: One Man: No Plan, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 3 and Looking For Trouble, K’Barthan Trilogy Part 4.

Quick description: As the titles suggest, they are the last two installments of the inappropriately named, K’Barthan Trilogy, humorous science fiction fantasy with a splash of romance (don’t worry, no squelchy bits). It’s about a hopelessly inept outlaw who just wants a quiet life. But he doesn’t really ‘do’ quiet. He has too much of a knack of getting himself noticed by the wrong people and falling for a girl living in a different version of reality to his doesn’t help. As a result, his efforts to exist humbly and unobtrusively, and to woo his love, merely get him into deeper and deeper trouble, dragging both her, and his friends, along with him. At last, with nowhere left to run, he is forced to stand up for his beliefs, or die trying.

There are bad jokes, silly names, an unspeakable baddie, flying cars, flying car chases, fights and a smattering of romance. There might even be the odd universal truth buried in here somewhere but if there is, it’s only by mistake.

The books in the K’Barthan Trilogy are;
Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 1.
The Wrong Stuff, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 2

One Man: No Plan, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 3
Looking For Trouble, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 4
The first book is free everywhere, the second, third and fourth are available, now, from all good booksellers.

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Brief biography:
In the third person . . . weird: M T McGuire enjoys the real world but wouldn’t want to live here full time. That’s why she writes books. She now lives in Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, with a McOther, a McMini and a selection of very silly cars. She hasn’t found a way to make any of the cars fly, and none of them is fitted with ordnance, but she and her team of evil scientists are working on that.

Despite being 45 now, and supposedly, an adult, M T checks all unfamiliar wardrobes for a gateway to Narnia. She hasn’t found one so far but she lives in hope.

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Links to buy M T’s book:
e-Pub version:
Apple UK
Apple USA
Kobo

Barnes & Noble – paperback

Kindle version:
Amazon Worldwide

Any version you like:
Smashwords
Libero
Screwpulp

M T’s promo links:
Blog
Website
Twitter profile for easy following
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon – this will take you to my author page in your local Amazon.
Pinterest
Tumblr (caveat, I’ve no idea what to do with Tumblr but wordpress offered to add my blog posts and it seemed churlish to refuse)

What are you working on now?
There are two books in the ether at the moment, one is called Space Dustmen and right now it comprises about four lines of dialogue, a name and a picture of an aeroplane. The other is a story about aliens invading earth and a lone university student who is trying to save the world. Andi Turbot is her name and she’s up against the Threeps, 7ft lobster-like creatures with seven eyes on stalks. There is only one sex of Threep but they marry in threes because it takes three of them to pod and incubate an egg. It’s fairly in keeping with my writing style.

M T’s reading recommendation:
This one is very not current and it’s quite obscure but I really loved it as a kid. It’s The Children of the New Forest, by Frederick Marryat which was published in 1847.

This book represents the epitome of everything modern writing advice tells us not to do; it’s all tell but it’s totally compulsive, which just goes to show that if an author gets telling right, it can be done.

Donna Glee Williams

Donna  Molly cropped Donna Glee Williams

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My fantasy novel The Braided Path was released on March 15, 2014

Quick description: Envision a world that is a wall. There’s no North or South, East or West. There is only upworld and downworld, held together by a single path—until that world and its cliff-dwelling society are torn apart by an earthquake. That’s the setting for my 78,000-word multicultural literary fantasy, The Braided Path, a parable about what happens when three characters set out to find the limits of their world, and of themselves. Len Rope-Maker is a widowed mother who lives on a narrow terrace of this world—Home Village—from which the one path leads above and below. Most youths quickly learn the upper and lower limits to which they can travel, but not her son Cam. He shows promise of growing into a Far-Walker, one of the rare few whose work is to carry goods and news to distant villages, up and down the cliff that is all his people know. Torn between his hunger to climb and his love for his sweetheart, Fox, Cam sets off to find the top of the world—and discovers that his vertical reality has another side, where the world is slanted, many-pathed, complex, and baffling. Meanwhile, as a premature child is born and the path breaks in two, Len and Fox quest in opposite directions. All three will find new love and new lives, testing and surpassing their own boundaries as they seek the bottom of the world and a way to braid their divided paths back into one.

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Brief biography:
I was born in Mexico, the daughter of a Kentucky farm-girl and a Texas Aggie large-animal veterinarian. I’ve been a lot of places; now, I live in the hills of North Carolina, but I stayed the longest in New Orleans and still call it home. These days I earn my daily bread as a dream and creativity coach and by leading seminars on writing, the Universe, and everything, but in the past I’ve done the dance as turnabout crew (aka, “maid”) on a schooner, as a librarian, as an environmental activist, as a registered nurse, as a teacher, and for a long stint as a professional student. The craft society of The Braided Path owes a lot to the time I’ve spent hanging out in villages in Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, India, and Mexico.

Links to buy Donna Glee’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy website
Amazon Worldwide – eBook
Amazon US – paperback
Amazon Canada – paperback

Donna Glee’s promo links:
My website, about as low-tech as the world of my novel, has links to some of my stories that are available to read for free at various online sites like the wonderful Strange Horizons, PodCastle, and PseudoPod.

Donna Glee’s video introduction to The Braided Path

I can be contacted through the website, or readers can connect with me through Facebook or LinkedIn (as Donna Glee Williams). If your book group or school would like to arrange for a phone or face visit, please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to make it happen.

What are you working on now?
I’m working with super-agent Richard Curtis, looking for a home for my second novel, DREAMERS, about a young dream-oracle trapped in a life not of her choosing. A bigger marketing challenge I need to spend some time with is TIME AT THE CENTER, an odd little allegorical fantasy—think Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Little Prince, The Man Who Planted Trees, or Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle. On the new writing front, I’m working on the discovery draft of a quest tale about a young girl who is born into an aboriginal culture that trains trees. Because of an unexplainable poison that is pouring down from above their world, Pynpoi climbs the cliff up to the plains of the ancestors to face the dead of her people and demand an explanation, but finds herself facing instead a complex world of real, living people who are more alien than the ancestors could ever be. I’m also preparing to do some scouting this summer for a long-time dream: To lead some writers and aspiring writers on a writing/hiking safari in Scotland. I’m talking with fellow fantasy-writer Sarah McGuire (author of the forthcoming VALIANT, a fabulous retelling of “The Brave Little Tailor”) about teaming up for this. If any readers are interested in this kind of creative adventure, they should get in touch with me and I’ll put them on the list to hear from us as soon as we get the details together.

Donna Glee`s reading recommendation:
Because I’m trying to find a publisher for an odd little book, Patricia Lee Gauch recommended that I take a look at Algonquin’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. Amazing. It baffled me, at first, how the author managed to make the story of a woman’s relationship with a snail so riveting. The more I thought about it, the more it seems that the emotional power of this book lies in the way the story she tells explicitly (about the snail) also conveys an implied story (about a woman’s tragic loss of her ability to live her life). I’ve also been knocked sockless recently by Room. The narrative point of view in this astonishing book is so eerily alien that it almost feels like science fiction, although it’s contemporary realism. I loved discovering John Green: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and especially The Fault in Our Stars. (Never neglect an author because they write for “young adults” and you’re an “adult”.) The Fault in Our Stars touched me especially because, as a pediatric nurse, I knew many young cancer patients and I’m grateful to Green for putting some of their stories out in front of us, with honesty and humor.

Oh, boy—you asked for a book or an author, and I’ve gone on and on. That’s the risk in asking writers about books, I guess.

Janice Blaine

Janice_photo_formatted Janice Blaine

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Urban Green Man Anthology (co-editor/illustrator/designer)
Genre: Urban Fantasy Anthology from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Quick description: The Urban Green Man is a collection of 31 short stories and poems from an international cast of authors that explore the myth of the Green Man in contemporary society. Edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine. Introduction by Charles de Lint.

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Brief biography:
Janice Blaine is an Aurora nominated artist working out of Calgary, Alberta. Throughout her career, she has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from pre-production animation to design and illustration of children’s books. She is co-editor and illustrator of The Urban Green Man Anthology, and her illustrations have appeared on the covers of numerous books and magazines. Her most recent illustrated book, The Funny Farm written by Gordon R. Perry, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Book in the Children’s Interest category. She currently works as the Production Manager of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Links to buy Janice’s book:
Urban Green Man website
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing catalogue

Janice’s promo links:
Painter’s Block Studio website
Urban Green Man Anthology website

What are you working on now?
I’m currently illustrating several self-published children’s books which are due to be released later this year. I also have ongoing personal paintings that I post in progress on my website at the following link:
http://www.paintersblock.com/worksinprogress.htm

Janice’s reading recommendation:
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Janice’s co-editor on The Green Man Anthology, Adria Laycraft, was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.

Michael J. Martineck

Michael_photo Michael J. Martineck

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Milkman, science fiction.

Quick description: Nations are extinct. The world works for one of three companies. There are no codified laws, but murder is still bad for the bottom line. That’s why everyone’s looking for the Milkman.

Milkman

Brief biography: Michael’s latest novel is The Milkman (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy). His last novel, Cinco de Mayo, was a finalist for the 2010 Alberta Reader’s Choice Award. He has written for DC Comics, several magazines (fiction and non-fiction) the Urban Green Man anthology and two novels for young readers. Michael has a degree in English and Economics, but has worked in advertising for several years. He lives with his wife and two children on Grand Island, NY.

Links to buy Michael’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing – eBook and Print available

Michael’s promo links:
Website

What are you working on now?
EDGE Publishing likes The Milkman so much, they’ve asked for another novel set in the Free World. I’m thinking this will be a set of three.

Michael’s reading recommendation:
Suzanne Church’s new collection, Elements, is a treat. Spooky, thought-provoking and so frequently laugh-out-loud funny. She finds a rare balance. (Suzanne was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)

Sagan Jeffries (pen name for Ed Lukowich)

Author Color Ed Lukowich, I write under the pen name Sagan Jeffries

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Trillionist – genre is futuristic science fiction

Quick description: The Trillionist is not yet a word in Webster’s dictionary. It is the word ‘trillion’ with the suffix ‘ist’ on the end. A Trillionist is ‘a being or entity which is a trillion years of age.’ In the Trillionist novel, a young man named Sage Rojan is born with vast knowledge, only problem is that he doesn’t know where this knowledge came from or why he possesses it. Along his journey to find his real self, he uncovers and discovers incredible secrets about our universe – its age and its origin. Then, in a self-centered act, he tries to use his powerful gifts to race his Planet Tidon through its technological age – only to end up threatening his planet and solar system with obliteration. In a last ditch effort, he looks for help from outside of his planet.

Trillionist Use Lighter

Brief biography:
Ed Lukowich (pen name Sagan Jeffries) lives in Calgary and was born in Speers, Saskatchewan. The pen name is partly from Ed’s sci-fi hero Carl Sagan (1980’s author of Contact and Cosmos novels). Ed is a former World Curling Champion and an Olympian (he published four books on the sport of Curling in the 1980-1990’s) who has now reinvented himself from the sports world to the world of sci-fi writing. The Trillionist is his first novel and he has utilized QR codes in the novel which enable a reader with a cell phone app to go directly to his website where the reader can learn more about the science in the novel. Ed’s second book based on Universe Theory will be published in January 2014.

Links to buy Ed’s book:
Print Edition In Stores: Chapters-Indigo-Coles
Print Edition In Stores in Calgary: Curler’s Corner at Calgary Curling Club; Pages Books on Kensington; Owls Nest.
eBook and Print Edition On Line:
Amazon Worldwide
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Ed’s promo links:
Website
Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy
Facebook
Linkedin
Twitter

What are you working on now?
My new science book (Universe Theory Book) to be published and released in January 2014.

[Author’s first name] reading recommendation:
I like Contact by Carl Sagan. It is realistic sci-fi.

Jennifer Brozek

JennBrozek1 Jennifer Brozek

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Coins of Chaos anthology – Shared world horror from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Quick description: 17 stories about cursed Depression Era art called hobo nickels. Each coin carries with it pain, suffering, and death. Each story tells the tale of how a victim either escaped or succumbed to the coin’s curse. The anthology is a shared world anthology and spans decades.

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Brief biography:
Jennifer Brozek is an award-winning editor, game designer, and author. She has been writing role-playing games and professionally publishing fiction since 2004. With the number of edited anthologies, fiction sales, RPG books, and non-fiction books under her belt, Jennifer is often considered a Renaissance woman, but she prefers to be known as a wordslinger and optimist. Read more about her at her website.

Links to buy Jennifer’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook and paperback
Barnes & Noble – paperback
EDGE SFF Publishing

Jennifer’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
I just turned in a Shadowrun novella called Doc Wagon 19 and my Battletech YA webseries, The Nellus Academy Incident, has been packaged up as a novel. Finally, Keystones, the third book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles will be coming out in April 2014. On the anthology side of things, I’m finishing up Bless Your Mechanical Heart anthology for Evil Girlfriend Media and I’ve turned in Shattered Shields anthology for Baen Books, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Jennifer’s reading recommendation:
I very much enjoyed American Elsewhere by Robert J. Bennett, The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire, and Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey