Monday, May 29, 2017

The 2017 Aurora Awards Ballot


The 2017 Aurora Awards Ballot has been announced by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

From the CSFFA FAQ:
What are the awards? 
The Aurora Awards are kind of like the Peoples Choice awards for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, except just for Canadians.  There are twelve categories, some of them for literary works, and some of them for amateur or what we call Fan works.  All Canadians may nominate or vote for the awards.  Each year’s awards are for original works or activites done by Canadians in the previous calendar year.




2017 Aurora Award Ballot 

This ballot is for works done in 2016 by Canadians. The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. The top five nominated works were selected. Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place.

Best Novel
  • Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada
  • Company Town by Madeline Ashby, Tor Books
  • The Courier by Gerald Brandt, DAW Books
  • The Nature of a Pirate by A.M. Dellamonica, Tor Books
  • Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada
  • Stars like Cold Fire by Brent Nichols, Bundoran Press

Best Young Adult Novel
  • Day of the Demon by Randy McCharles, CreateSpace
  • Door into Faerie by Edward Willett, Coteau Books
  • Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun, Harlequin Teen
  • Icarus Down by James Bow, Scholastic Canada
  • Mik Murdoch: Crisis of Conscience by Michell Plested, Evil Alter Ego Press The Wizard Killer - Season One by Adam Dreece, ADZO Publishing

Best Short Fiction
  • Age of Miracles by Robert Runté, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Frog Song by Erika Holt, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Living in Oz by Bev Geddes, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Marion's War by Hayden Trenholm, Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Laksa Media
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal el-Mohtar, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press When Phakack Came to Steal Papa, A Ti-Jean Story by Ace Jordyn, On Spec Magazine

Best Poem/Song
No award will be given out in this category in 2017 due to insufficient eligible nominees

Best Graphic Novel
  • Angel Catbird, Volume One by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillian, Dark Horse Books Crash and Burn by Kate Larking and Finn Lucullan, Astres Press
  • Earthsong by Crystal Yates, Webcomic
  • It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
  • Weregeek by Alina Pete, Webcomic

Best Related Work
  • Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction edited by Dominik Parisien, Exile Editions
  • Enigma Front: Burnt, managing editor Celeste A. Peters, Analemma Books
  • Lazarus Risen edited by Hayden Trenholm and Mike Rimar, Bundoran Press
  • Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media
  • Superhero Universe (Tesseracts Nineteen) edited by Claude Lalumière and Mark Shainblum, EDGE

Best Visual Presentation
  • Arrival, director, Denis Villeneuve, Paramount Pictures
  • Orphan Black, Season 4, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions
  • Killjoys, Season 2, Michelle Lovretta, Temple Street Productions
  • Dark Matter, Season 2, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Prodigy Pictures
  • Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9, Peter Mitchell and Christina Jennings, Shaftesbury Films

Best Artist
  • Samantha M. Beiko, cover to Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts
  • James Beveridge, covers and poster art
  • Melissa Mary Duncan, body of work
  • Erik Mohr, covers for ChiZine Publications and Company Town for Tor Books Dan O'Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press

Best Fan Writing and Publications
  • Amazing Stories Magazine, weekly column, Steve Fahnestalk
  • BCSFAzine #512 to #519, edited by Felicity Walker
  • The Nerd is the Word, articles by Dylan McEvoy
  • OBIR Magazine #4, edited by R. Graeme Cameron
  • Silver Stag Entertainment, edited by S.M. Carrière
  • Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille

Best Fan Organizational
  • Samantha Beiko and Chadwick Ginther, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Winnipeg
  • R. Graeme Cameron, chair, VCON 41, Surrey, BC
  • Sandra Kasturi and Angela Keeley, co-chairs, 2016 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
  • Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, executive, Can*Con 2016, Ottawa
  • Randy McCharles, chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
  • Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, and Nicole Lavigne, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa Sandra Wickham, chair, Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, BC

Best Fan Related Work
  • Ron S. Friedman, Villains and Conflicts presentation, When Words Collide, Calgary Comic Expo, and File 770
  • Kari Maaren, Concert, SFContario
  • Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating, Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM

Best of the Decade
This is a special category for this year’s awards for works published between January 2001 and December 2010. Note: Items in italics are for multi-volume works. Multi-volume stories were considered if they began prior to 2001 but ended before or close to 2011. We defined a multi-volume story as one with a continuous narrative. Finalists were chosen by an eight-person jury from across Canada. The winner will be chosen by our membership’s votes.

  • Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson, Tor Books
  • The Blue Ant Trilogy by William Gibson, Berkley
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson, Tor Books
  • The Neanderthal Parallax, Robert J. Sawyer, Tor Books
  • The Onion Girl, Charles de Lint, Tor Books
  • Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay, Viking Canada

The View From Monday - May 29, 2017


Happy last Monday in May!

There is one debut this week:

The Bones of the Past by Craig A. Munro.

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



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Injection Burn (Dire Earth Cycle) by Jason M. Hough;

False Hearts by Laura Lam is out in Trade Paperback;

Arabella of Mars (The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 1) by David D. Levine in out in Trade Paperback (Arabella of Mars just won a Nebula Award - the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.);

Escapology by Ren Warom is out in Mass Market Paperback;

and

Invasive by Chuck Wendig is out in Trade Paperback. (Like ants? You might not after reading Invasive. Scared of ants? Then this is the stuff of nightmares.).

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.

May 29, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Gena Showalter Atlantis Series Complete Collection: Heart of the Dragon\Jewel of Atlantis\The Nymph King\The Vampire's Bride\The Amazon's Curse (e) Gena Showalter PNR - Atlantis



May 30, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Lost Lake (tp2mm) Sarah Addison Allen CW/MR
White Hot Ilona Andrews PNR - Hidden Legacy 2
Cherished (e) Christina Bauer DF - Beholder 3
Lightning in the Blood Marie Brennan F - Varekai 2
Ghosts of War (tp2mm) Bennett R. Coles SF - Virtues of War 2
Protected Lauren Dane PNR - Diablo Lake 2
Burn For Me Cynthia Eden PNR - Phoenix Fire 1
Shadow Reaper Christine Feehan PNR - Shadow Riders 2
The Damned Trilogy: A Call to Arms, The False Mirror, and The Spoils of War (e) Alan Dean Foster SF/GenEng
The Traveler (h2mm) David L. Golemon SF - Event Group Thrillers 11
Dying Breath Heather Graham PNR - Krewe of Hunters 21
Blaze: A Dragon Romance Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings 11
Blaze: Volume 4: A Dragon Romance (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Feedback (h2mm) Mira Grant SF/AP/PA - Newsflesh 4
Injection Burn Jason M. Hough SF - The Dire Earth Cycle 4
The Wheel of Time Companion: The People, Places, and History of the Bestselling Series (h2tp) Robert Jordan
Harriet McDougal
Alan Romanczuk
Maria Simons
LC/SF/F - Wheel of Time
Skeleton Crew: Stories (tp2mm) Stephen King Sus
The Hidden Icon Jillian Kuhlmann F - Book of Icons 1
The Dread Goddess Jillian Kuhlmann F - Book of Icons 2
False Hearts (h2tp) Laura Lam SF/Th/GenEng
Arabella of Mars (h2mm) David D. Levine AH/HistF/F - The Adventures of Arabella Ashby 1
The White Road Sarah Lotz Th
Nymphs Sari Luhtanen
Miikko Oikkonen
FR
The Dinosaur Knights (h2mm) Victor Milán F - The Dinosaur Lords 2
The Bones of the Past (D) Craig A. Munro F/DF
Supernatural: The Usual Sacrifices (e) Yvonne Navarro DF/P - Supernatural
Desperate Fire Christopher G. Nuttall SF - Angel in the Whirlwind 4
1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz (tp2mm) Kerryn Offord
Rick Boatright
AH - Ring of Fire 21
Mormama Kit Reed P/Sup/Gothic
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (h2tp) Anne Rice Occ/Sup/Th - Vampire Chronicles 12
Black Tide Rising (h2mm) John Ringo
Gary Poole
SF/AP/PA - Black Tide Rising 5
Lily and the Octopus (h2tp) Steven Rowley LF
Extinction Horizon Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF/AP/PA - The Extinction Cycle 1
The High Ground (tp2mm) Melinda Snodgrass SF - Imperials Saga 1
Dark Moon Rising (ri) James M. Thompson H
Fallout: The Hot War (h2mm) Harry Turtledove AH/SF - The Hot War 2
Spectacle Rachel Vincent LF/CF - The Menagerie Series 2
Only the Dead Know Brooklyn Chris Vola H/SupTh
Hearts and Minds Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: The Next Generation
Escapology (tp2mm) Ren Warom SF/CyP
Invasive (h2mm) Chuck Wendig TechTh



May 31, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Beyond the Gates of Antares: Open Signal Brandon Rospond (Ed) SF - Beyond Antares
The Dispatcher John Scalzi SF



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



AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Cozy Mystery
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CyP - Cyberpunk
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistTh - Historical Thriller
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - May 28, 2017




Happy bank holiday to me! This is the second bank holiday of May here in the UK and despite rain this morning today was gloriously sunny and warm. I managed not to get too burned while I was watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on my iPad outside. Sorry! I wasn't reading and this is part of the reason why I only have 1 book to tell you about this week *gasp*. I am not sure why I only managed to read only 1 book but I have completed a thorough search of all my e-Reader apps and nothing else is popping out saying 'review me, review me!'. So here you go.


Around the time I was having my love affair with the Clovenhoof series I was offered an advance copy of Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. I loved each and every Clovenhoof book I read and I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity (directly from the author) to read a new book from the hilarious writing duo of Goody and Grant.

Ella Hannaford thought she was leading a fairly normal life, had a good job, lived with her Dad and about to suffer the indignity of going to her future mother in law's hen party. Life seemed pretty normal until 7 foul mouthed dwarfs kidnap her from the hen party and drag her to an alternative fairy tale reality. The big bad wolf is the least of Ella's worries when she discovers that her very own fairy godmother is willing to do anything to give her a happily ever after!

I loved every page of every book of the Clovenhoof series and there was lots of lolling and rolfing on public transport. I was expecting to do something similar with Disenchanted but unfortunately, I am one of the very few who didn't find it that funny. I really wanted to find it funny and while I found bits and pieces a bit of a laugh, overall I only found it mildly amusing. I did however, find the concept unique and the authors are very creative. The pace of the story is perfect and I never knew what was going to happen next. If you are looking forward to a light-hearted story, don't mind quite a bit of swearing and like a good fairy tale then give it a read but if you are a big fan and expecting another Clovenhoof then this is your warning that it isn't as funny as that series.


That is it for me this week. Sorry it is so short. You won't hear from me next week (and maybe the week after) as I am off on holiday so see you in a couple of weeks. Happy Reading!





Disenchanted
Pigeon Park Press, February 12, 2017
     Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Pigeon Park Press, May 5, 2017
     Kindle eBook

Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding.

Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.

Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.

Wonder Woman Feature Film Soundtrack Coming June 2nd


Wonder Woman Feature Film Soundtrack Details Announced

Includes New End Title Song “To Be Human” Performed by Sia Feat. Labrinth

Features Original Score by Composer Rupert Gregson-Williams


LOS ANGELES--May 26, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterTower Music today announced the release details of the Wonder Woman soundtrack, which features an original score by composer Rupert Gregson-Williams and the new end title track “To Be Human” by Sia Feat. Labrinth. The soundtrack to this epic action adventure film from director Patty Jenkins will be released both digitally and on CD on the same date that the film is in theatres, June 2.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Interview with Weston Ochse


Please welcome Weston Ochse to The Qwillery. Grunt Hero, the 3rd and final Task Force Ombra Novel, was published on April 25th by Solaris.







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

Weston:  Hi, Sally. I began writing when I turned 30. Scratch that. I actually began writing when I was 8, but that story was pulled from circulation by the school and I didn’t write for another 22 years.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Weston:  I’m a hybrid. I plot enough,t hen I pants it. I love it when a character surprises me. When they do, I know I have something special. I’m not sure that if I was a pure plotter if that would happen.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Weston:  Facebook.



TQDescribe Grunt Hero in 140 characters or less.

Weston:  Humanity fought the war and lost. Aliens now have the run of our Earth. When all hope is gone, all that’s left is to seek revenge.



TQGrunt Hero is the conclusion to your Task Force Ombra series. What are your feelings on wrapping up the series?

Weston:  I’d call this a trilogy, not a series. When I wrote the SEAL Team 666 books, I thought I was writing a trilogy, but it ended up being a series. What’s the difference? A trilogy is an enclosed literary environment where something special happens. A series is books that follow one after the other that don’t necessarily have a relation to the others except for characters and setting. Like the James Bond books. That was a series. I took what I learned about failing to write a trilogy with the SEAL Team 666 books and impressed them into the writing of the Grunt Trilogy. What are my feelings, you ask? I’m happy that I actually created a solid trilogy. I am sort of saddened to let Ben Mason go, though. He was a hell of a grunt.



TQTell us something about Grunt Hero that is not found in the book description.

Weston:  It has walruses.



TQWhat inspired you to write the Task Force Ombra series? What appeals to you about writing Military SF?

Weston:  I’ve spent 35 years in the military. They say write what you know. I’ve written thirty books and six out of the last seven books I wrote were military fiction. It’s appealing to my sensibilities right now to write military sf. I think there’s some really terrific writing out there, but not a lot by people who have been street level with a terrorist. There are feelings one has when they are in harm’s way that no amount of research can get you. In fact, I wrote Grunt Life while I was in Afghanistan and brought into it some of the feelings of mortality I was having then.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Grunt Hero and the series?

Weston:  I did a lot of research so I could get the Gun Porn right. Then there was science. I had a science guy who kept me straight. I’d ask him if I could do something, then when he’d stop laughing, he’d tell me what I could really do. I wanted the science behind everything to be as real as possible.



TQIn the Task Force Ombra series who was the easiest character to write and why? Which character surprised you?

Weston:  Ben Mason was the easiest to write for me, because he was essentially me. I included many biographical elements into that character. Michelle became the hardest to write, mainly because of what I did to her.



TQWhat's next?

Weston:  I wrote and turned in Burning Sky for Solaris, which is a military horror novel set in Afghanistan. I’m working on the sequel to that, Dead Sky and I’m also working on a few other books. I had a big short story year this last year. I worked on the franchises of Hellboy, X-Files, Joe Ledger, Aliens and Predator. The Hellboy and Predator stories have yet to be published. This fall I’m working with DC Comics on a project. I’m super stoked about that.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Weston:  No. Thank you!





Grunt Hero
A Task Force Ombra Novel 3
Solaris, April 25, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

It is a time for heroes, for killers, for Grunts.

In this thrilling conclusion to the breakout military SF series, we find Earth plagued with millions of miles of terraformed cities, black vines crushing concrete, revealing iron and steel. Those unable to escape the vines are empty vessels waiting to be filled, living storage for alien algorythmic thought. What else can happen? What more can be done? This has always been a time for for heroes, for Killers, for Grunts, but are they enough?

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked to return to OMBRA to help them find these answers, and what he finds will send him over the edge. In the end, his efforts won't be about survival, they'll be about revenge, and his revenge will be served in a blaze.





Previously

Grunt Life
A Task Force Ombra Novel 1
Solaris, April 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

This is a brand new Military SF series from Weston Ochse, an experienced military man and author.

Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.

For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing—the prospect was too awful, the costs too high—and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.

That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it.

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts



Grunt Traitor
A Task Force Ombra Novel 2
Solaris, July 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The breakout military SF series continues!

Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, until finally they flipped the switch and threw us back into the Dark Ages.

Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming. But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens? They're pushing the human race to the edge of extinction if we can't find a way to change things. But what will we have to change? What will we humans become to survive this threat. This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might be the last person on Earth defending not just our lives, but our humanity. 





About Weston

Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, border crossers, narco-bad guys, and human smuggling punks. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war.

Follow Wes on Twitter, and for more information visit the official Weston Ochse website.