Sunday, March 30, 2014

Baryon 127

Baryon 127 is up on the website.

Check it out if you have time.

I would appreciate it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

James Lovegrave A Day In A Writers Life

A Day In A Writer’s Life

I’m an old-school writer in that I do first drafts longhand. Yes! Pen and paper! Actual handwriting!

The reason for this is that I’m old enough to remember a time before computers, before the prevalence of IT, before every three-year-old had their own iPad. When I was a kid, we didn’t use screens; we wrote things down. Usually in ruled exercise books.

That was how I wrote my earliest fiction – short-short stories when I was five or six – and it’s how I still do it. There’s something about the connection between hand and pen, pen and paper, the ink flowing directly onto the surface, making shapes, words, sentences. All those crossings-out and insertions. Those additional clauses squeezed into whatever space is available. It seems more real, somehow. It has more value.

Usually I’m at work by eight every morning, earlier if I can get away with it. My sons are off to school, my wife’s gone out, the house has quietened down, the cat is curled up beside me, and sometimes the dog too. The two animals usually can’t get along but somehow call a truce at this time of day and doze while I toil. I’ll scribble away for two or three hours without a break, managing about five pages, six on a good day. That’s two thousand words on average. In addition to the pets I’ll have my iPad by my side in case I need to look something up and also to stay on top of email as it comes in.

I write on wide ruled A4, using a Parker Rollerball, dark blue ink. I call the Rollerball “my lucky pen” and don’t use anything else. I’d like to pretend that I’ve had the same pen since I wrote my first novel, The Hope, back in 1988, but this isn’t the case. I’ve owned several of them over the years, probably as many as thirty. Sometimes they get lost, sometimes they break. I just like the way that particular kind of pen feels in the hand. It’s the right weight and size.

Once I’ve hit the five/six-page mark I usually run out of steam. To try to write any more would be a mistake. It wouldn’t be any good. That’s when the computer goes on and I embark on the process of transcribing that chunk of rough-and-ready, illegible-to-anyone-but-me runic scrawl, turning it into lines of neat, tidy word-processed prose.

This takes about an hour and a half all told, at which point I’ll take a break. Grab some lunch. Then maybe go for a walk, do some yoga, or head off to the gym for a weights session. Which makes me sound very health-conscious, and I’m not, but I feel that all that brain work needs some sort of counterbalance. Doing something physical gets me out of my headspace for a while, forcing me to use muscles rather than grey matter, body rather than mind. It’s a useful and necessary pause.

Then it’s back to the desk to go over the morning’s output, tinkering, polishing, tweaking, recasting, refining. I’ll also go back through earlier parts of the novel and fix little bits here and there that need attention. This keeps me in touch with the overall shape of the book and helps me spot any continuity errors and character inconsistencies that may have crept it. I never stop altering and honing a manuscript until the day it’s finished and ready to go off to be edited.

To some people my method may appear over-elaborate and unnecessarily laborious. It probably is. But it’s what works for me, and has worked for more than a quarter of a century. I could try writing directly onto the computer screen, but I doubt I’d enjoy it and I doubt the end-product would be improved. It might in fact be worse. I’ve got a technique, and I’m going to stick with it. I’m too well-entrenched in my groove, and too superstitious about breaking patterns, to change now.

– James Lovegrove

The latest Pantheon novel, Age Of Shiva, is out now from Solaris Books.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Press Release

Deadly Curiosities
by Gail Z. Martin

See where curiosity leads you on 25th June (US & Canada) and 3rd July (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 9781781082324
$7.99/$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 9781781082331

Available in paperback and ebook

The author of the best-selling Chronicles of the Necromancer, Gail Z. Martin, is returning to Solaris with an exciting and brand new urban fantasy series.

Deadly Curiosities
is the lead Solaris fantasy title for summer 2014, and a exceptional return to the imprint for Martin, author of the perennially best-selling The Summoner. One of the world’s leading female authors of fantasy, Martin will be sure to pick up new readers with this urban fantasy tale of the American South.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670 – acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history.

Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500-year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

About the Author

Gail Zehner Martin was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Grove City College with a B.A. in History, and earned an M.B.A. in marketing and management information systems from The Pennsylvania State University.

After nearly 20 years as a marketing executive for corporations and non-profit organizations, she started her own consulting firm, Dream Spinner Communications. She also writes feature articles on a variety of topics for regional and national magazines. In addition to writing and consulting, Ms. Martin teaches public relations writing and public speaking for the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat and a golden retriever.

She discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The very first story she ever wrote -at age five- was about a vampire. Her favourite TV shows as a preschooler were Dark Shadows and Lost in Space. At age 14, she decided to become a writer, and launched a fanzine when she was in college. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Angry Robot Books is excited to announce our latest acquisition, World Rights from Sam Copeland (Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agency) for Susan Murray’s The Waterborne Blade (October 2014), the opening volume of an intriguing medieval fantasy series for fans of Trudi Canavan, Karen Miller and Gail Z Martin.

Angry Robot Books is delighted to have obtained Susan’s wonderful debut novel, in which an exiled queen must protect her unborn child during a civil war by drawing on dark powers she can neither understand nor control. The as-yet untitled sequel will be released in summer of 2015.

Susan Murray: “I’m thrilled to find myself working with the dynamic team at Angry Robot. With so many talented authors on their list I imagined my novel’s chances of acceptance lay somewhere between slim and none. Never have I been more happy to be wrong.”

The Waterborne Blade

The citadel has long been the stronghold of Highkell. All that is about to change because the traitor, Vasic, is marching on the capital. Against her better judgement, Queen Alwenna allows herself to be spirited away by one of the Crown’s most trusted servants, safe from the clutches of the throne’s would-be usurper.

Fleeing across country, she quickly comes to learn that her pampered existence has ill-equipped her for survival away from the comforts of the court. Alwenna must toughen up, and fast, if she is even to make it to a place of safety. But she has an even loftier aim – for after dreaming of her husband’s impending death, Alwenna knows she must turn around and head back to Highkell to save the land she loves, and the husband who adores her, or die in the attempt.

But Vasic the traitor is waiting. And this was all just as he planned.

Susan Murray

After spending her formative years falling off ponies Susan moved on to rock climbing, mountains proving marginally less unpredictable than horses. Along the way she acquired a rugby-playing husband, soon followed by two daughters and a succession of rundown houses. Cumulative wear and tear prompted her to return to study, settling unfinished business with an Open University Humanities degree. She lives with her family in rural Cumbria where she writes fantasy and science fiction with occasional forays into other genres.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Wounded Prey

“It’s time to finish what he started…”

A young girl is snatched in broad daylight from outside her school and later found brutally murdered and hanging from a tree.

When recently retired San Francisco Police Inspector, Bob Farrell, sees this on the news, he realises his worst nightmare has just come true. The same brutal killer a government agency stopped him from putting away twenty years before is once more on the loose.

As the killer wreaks a trail of blood and destruction across North America, Bob Farrell teams up with rookie cop Kevin Kearns and sets out to track down their lethal prey.

But Farrell and Kearns are not playing by the rules any more than the killer is, and soon the FBI have all of them in their sights…

A visceral and heart-wrenching cross between No Country For Old Men and Silence of the Lambs, this is an exhilarating debut from a thrillingly authentic author.

The Fourth Motive

Whatever it takes…

Deputy District Attorney Paige Callen is being stalked, and the man stalking her is motivated, methodical, and relentless.

The police aren’t merely one step behind Paige’s stalker; they’re stumped. So Paige’s father, retired Judge ‘Iron Gene’ Callen, instead hires retired San Francisco P.D. Inspector turned private investigator Bob Farrell, to the dismay of the local police.

The cops know all-too-well Farrell’s reputation as a reckless wild card. Judge Callen, however, knows Farrell as a man who never lets the rules get in the way of getting the job done.

Farrell enlists the aid of former Iowa Deputy Kevin Kearns to help him protect Paige, and to stop a madman before she becomes a statistic. But to find her stalker, Farrell and Kearns must first learn why he’s launched his crusade; a journey none of them might survive.

Monday, March 24, 2014



The Incendi elementals that dwell beneath the mountains have found a way to tap into the Arbor’s roots, which stretch not only across the land but also through time, and King Pyra is determined to crush the ancient tree.

Twenty-two years after the defeat of the Darkwater Lords, Chonrad’s widow Procella and their three children are drawn back to Heartwood to investigate the rumour of strange fires springing up across the land. Across three separate timelines, the heroes must battle to join together their ancient sunstones, to overcome the Incendi threat, and to protect the Arbor and make earth victorious once more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I haven't forgotten about you.

The stent placement took more out of me than I expected. That along with new meds and doubling the Zoloft for depression has me in a no energy, no desire mood almost 24/7.

I'll hopefully be back soon with more regularity. Harriet has decided to retire from reviewing and Jim is reading less as well. I'm the only one who reads the ebooks and pdf files so I'm behind on them as well.

I can't make a promise, but I will do the best I can to get more regular than I have been.

Thanks for your concern!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 8

edited by Jonathan Strahan

The celebrated series comes to Solaris on 10th April (US and UK)

$19.99 (US) ISBN 978-1-78108-216-4
£13.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-215-7

Available in paperback and ebook

“…Strahan has hit them all out of the park in his Best of the Year series…” –

“…demonstrate[s] a knowledge of and affection for the fantastic that rival
editors would be hard-pressed to match” – Publishers Weekly

The celebrated The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series comes to the UK – Solaris is proud to be the new home for the latest volume in Jonathan Strahan’s critically-acclaimed SFF anthology series!

The best, most original, and brightest science fiction and fantasy stories from around the globe from the past twelve months are brought together in one collection by the multiple-award-winning editor. This highly popular series is released in the UK for the first time and includes stories from both the biggest names in the field and the most exciting new talents, including Neil Gaiman, Joe Abercrombie, Karin Tidbeck, An Owomoyela, Madeline Ashby, Lavie Tidhar, Charlie Jane Anders, Geoff Ryman, Caitlin R Kiernan and many more.

With a fantastic range of diverse authors and cutting-edge science fiction, this essential book is an established series in the US but has only been found on import in the UK. It now joins Solaris’ high-profile anthology list.

About the Author

Jonathan Strahan is an editor and anthologist. He co-edited The Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology series in 1997 and 1998. He is also the reviews editor of Locus. He lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his wife and their two daughters.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Some Great Reviews

Dead of Night
Charlaine Harris and Amanda Stevens
Mira, $11.95
ISBN: 9780778314769

“Dancers In The Dark.” Dancer Rue May answers an ad for job dancing with vampires at Blue Moon Entertainment and Black Moon Productions. Rue gets the job. Vampire Sean O'Rourke finds he is attracted to the mortal, but believes she is hiding something. As he tries to learn the truth about Rue, they fall in love, but her actions leave her in danger from an unknown person who is part of the troupe.

“The Devil’s Footprints.” The cloven footprints first appeared in Adamanet, Alabama in 1922 during a freak snowstorm; nothing further was found. Seven decades later, the battered mutilated corpse of seventeen year old Rachel DeLaune is found in the same area with those same devil's footprints nearby. Her younger sister Sarah thinks Ashe Cain killed her sibling, but no one else believes he exists. Fourteen years later in New Orleans, Sarah remains disturbed by her sister's death. Two mutilated corpses are found near her home with those same telltale cloven footprints. Her ex-lover, New Orleans Detective Sean Kelton leads the homicide investigation; he asks Sarah to interpret strange etchings on the bodies. She immediately thinks of Ashe and wonders if he is coming for her.

These reprints of two taut thrillers grip the reader throughout though Dancers In The Dark is a romantic paranormal and The Devil’s Footprints keeps readers guessing whether it is horror or psychological suspense. Harriet Klausner

The Demon’s Wife
Rick Hautala
JournalStone, $18.95
ISBN: 9781936564958

In Portland, Maine, lonely and bored Claire McMullen works as a purchasing agent for Montressor; her time spent inside her broom closet-sized office is listening to a Philadelphia radio station streaming over the internet and checking out social media sites. She shares an apartment with Sally Lewis, who persuades Claire to stop at the Margarita Grille before they see The Economy perform.

At the Grille, Sally flirts with Samael, but he focuses on Claire. When someone assaults her just outside, Samael rescues Claire. She goes to the hospital, but once released Samael takes her home. When they finally make love, Claire is stunned by his lack of the usual male tools and by how sensational his tail proves to be. However, Claire fears he wants her soul for some nefarious purpose besides love’s redemption. As Samael makes his case that they belong together, raging demons believe this coupling is a sinful transgression of the natural order and must end with the human banished for eternity.

The Demon’s Wife is an engaging romantic urban fantasy starring two fascinating characters falling into a taboo love that shakes the eternal cold war order of Heaven and Hell. Fast-paced with plenty of action and strange bedfellows; the demons mount a campaign to end this immoral horror and the angels reluctantly protect the partnering. Samael’s reformation never feels right as he recognizes his nasty history though love enables him to say Honest to God. Still fans will appreciate the late Rick Hautala’s wicked relationship drama; summed up by Milton in Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Harriet Klausner

Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin's, $27.99
ISBN: 9781250029881

In tenth century BC, twin brothers Acheron and Styxx were separated as young children. Their sire King Archon preferred their deaths but feared the Oracle’s prophecy especially re Acheron. Over the millenniums both sons faced endless torture. When Acheron died, the omen proved true as horror came to devastate the world. Though he did not want to return to save those who spurned him when he lived especially his distrusting twin and raging sire, Archon saved the world.

Years after Archon’s heroism, Prince Styxx still struggles to retain his humanity after over a hundred centuries of torment at the hands of his insane father and his sire’s wrathful followers. When Styxx and blind Bethany meet they fall in love. As the Goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany must right the wrong Acheron caused and dispatch him to hell’s pantheon of dead deities. However, Styxx changes the dynamics as he risks his life to prevent the malevolence that Acheron once faced from destroying the world.

This epic fantasy is a profound Dark Hunter companion piece to Acheron; as more than half of the book follows a similar timeline but this tale is from the older twin’s anguished perspective. The abuse and rage Styxx’s received for eleven millennia (and hundreds of pages) are persistently atrocious and graphic as the protagonist is a victim of his father’s psychotic paranoia. The romance is a secondary but is a critical subplot as Bethany brings to the angry adult a chance for something wonderful though she remains fixated on killing the twin he learned from his father to hate; yet ironically love mellows him but a lifetime of loathing is hard to ignore. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Somethng to tide you over

Sara Humphreys
Sourcebooks, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402258527

Depressed by not finding her mate as she passes her thirtieth birthday, Pure-blooded Bear Clan Amoveo Marianna Coltari, a Kodiak bear shapeshifter, feels her powers waning. To avoid her race, she hides at the Vampire owned Coven, but Hayden arrives there anyway as he wants her as his Mate. Meanwhile her twin brother Dante (see Untouched) fears the violent Purists will assault his Pure Blood sibling for remaining Mateless with so many of their kind to breed with. Thus he orders human Pete Castro, a former cop who works at Dante’s Inferno Securities, to keep Marianna safe from the Purists.

As they hide from those who want to use Marianna, Pete is attracted to her but will not act on his feelings because his first need is to protect her; besides he believes a purebred human is a lesser species than a purebred Amoveo. Marianna dreams about Pete, which she knows means he is her mate and she will act on her feelings.

The fourth Amoveo Legend paranormal romance (see Untamed and Unleashed) is undeniably a fabulous entry as star-crossed soul mates fall in love while being in the crosshairs of an impending species civil war that will determine dilution or ethnic cleansing purification. With a fully developed cast that makes the Humphreys mythos seem genuine, series fans will appreciate Sara Humphreys’ latest super romantic urban fantasy as the Amoveo Legend saga continues to be great. Harriet Klausner

The Entity Within
Cat Devon
St. Martin's, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312547806

The Boston witches coven banishes Zoe Adams and her grandma Irma. Unable to remain in Boston, Irma’s longtime friend Nick St. George invites the two shunned females to stay with him as his guests in Chicago. Neither Irma nor Nick tell Zoe that he is a vampire residing in the gated community Vamptown along with others of his species.

Demon hunter Damon Thornheart the vampire recently moved to Vamptown. He loathes witches due to an ally betraying him. He and Zoe meet with plenty of fire, ire and desire. However when Irma looks into the Book of Darkness, she releases demons in Vamptown. This affirms Damon’s belief that witches are untrustworthy though he reluctantly accepts Zoe as his teammate seeking the truth behind the demon invasion.

The second Vamptown romantic urban fantasy (see Sleeping with the Entity) is an amusing paranormal though the humor at times seems flat. Still the lead couple is a wonderful pairing of a witch and an anti-witch falling in love in the fully developed vivacious vivid Vamptown. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Michael Shea Passes

Michael Shea
Michael Shea, 1946 – 2014

It is with great sadness that our family must tell Michael's readers of his passing. It happened very suddenly on Sunday, February 16th and remains a great shock to us all.

The depth of this loss is vast and multi-fold. He touched so many as a writer, as a English teacher, and as an immaculately honest and kind man. For those lucky enough to have known Michael, he radiated enthusiasm, wit, and laughter. A self-proclaimed “hyperbolicker,” his awe of the universe so naturally shone forth through his love of language. He was conversant in Spanish, French, and German but loved and respected English most of all. Without effort and at the drop of a hat, he'd recite full poems from Thomas, Eliot, Swinburne, and Shakespeare, his favorite. A wordsmith himself, Michael could not help but relish and convey the music of the words he read or recited.

Michael published his first novel, A Quest for Simbilis, in 1974, and for all the years that I knew him, he wrote almost every day. Novels, short stories, and, his first love, poetry poured out of him up through the very last day of his life. Some thought of Michael as reclusive, when in fact he was just old-fashioned, a writer's writer. Once a piece was perfect, he wanted to set it aside, forget it, and begin the next project. Even so, we, his family, feel that, along with our memories, his written works are what we still have of him. In this spirit, this space will soon change into a Michael Shea Forum, a place where people can share their experiences, both literary and personal, as well as find access to new releases and formats of his work-- Mythos, fantasy, sci fi, and horror-- in print and electronic formats.

Michael was a loving father of two, and my husband and best friend for thirty five years. We will miss his gentle spirit and the window to the world that this generous man held open so widely for us all.

Please feel free to share by posting a comment, we would love to hear from you. And if you would like to send a private communication to his family, please visit

This small bit of verse comes from Michael:

Where wild winds shepherd their cloudy kine,
Where lightnings unborn sleep sheathed in the blue,
That's the bright country that I will call mine,
And where I would do what the winged one's do!
--(The Mines of Behemoth, Book II in the Nifft series)

Reprinted from Facebook