Green Mountain Expo returns to Barre in April 2018

The Green Mountain Comic Expo was held for the first time earlier this year, and the folks behind the event are pinning their hopes on Barre for the future of Vermont Comic Con. So, it comes as little surprise that they’re bringing the Comic Expo back to Barre next year. The show will take place on April 14th and 15th, 2018.

Launch Party for Brian Staveley’s Skullsworn

Brian Staveley’s next novel is coming out next week, and you can join him and Phoenix Books to celebrate its release! The Burlington bookstore will host an event on Thursday, April 27, at 7:00PM. Tickets are $3 per person, and will include a coupon for $5 off one of Staveley’s books.

Here’s what the book is about:

Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.”

Pyrre isn’t sure she’s ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love . . . and ending it on the edge of her sword.

Coming Soon: Laurie Forest’s The Black Witch


A new Vermont author has a book coming out soon: Laurie Forest will be releasing her debut novel on May 2nd: The Black Witch.

Here’s what it’s about:

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

Forest will also be touring around Vermont throughout May:

  • May 2nd: Phoenix Books, Burlington. 7:00PM
  • May 3rd: The Vermont Bookshop, Middlebury. 6:00PM
  • May 16th: Bear Pond Books, Montpelier. 7:00PM
  • May 18th, Phoenix Books, Rutland. 7:00PM.

Out Today: Moriah, by Daniel Mills


Daniel Mills has a new book that hits stores today: Moriah. I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite a while now, and I’m eager to get my hands on a copy Here’s what it’s about:

Silas Flood is a broken man in a broken country. Nine years have passed since the end of the American Civil War and Flood is helpless to escape its shadow.

In the summer of 1874, he is dispatched to the mountain village of Moriah, Vermont to investigate sensational claims of supernatural happenings. There the brothers Thaddeus and Ambrose Lynch are said to converse with spirits and summon the dead.

As Flood investigates the true nature of these phenomena, and the difference between the hauntings of the living and the dead, he must first come to terms with his own past and with the hold it has upon him—before he can behold the mysteries of the other side.

Katherine Arden revealed the cover for her next novel, The Girl in the Tower


I really enjoyed Katherine Arden’s debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she has coming up. Her next novel is due out in January 2018, and it’ll be titled The Girl in the Tower.

Here’s what it’s about:

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.


12 Monkeys at Main Street Landing

Main Street Landing will be screening Terry Gilliam’s classic science fiction film, 12 Monkeys on April 18th.

La Jetee, the French film on which Twelve Monkeys is based, is a science fiction story, the most famous work (and the only fiction film) by famed documentarian Chris Marker. The story is told through a succession of still frames with voiceover narration, and in only one brief shot does this motion picture actually move. Gilliam claims in interviews that he has never seen La Jetee, but there seems to be a direct reference to its unusual style in a scene where Dr. Railly narrates a slide show about a delusional soldier in World War I. And when Railly and Cole take refuge in a movie theater that happens to be showing Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (an important influence on Marker and La Jetee), we’re forced to consider suddenly, almost subconsciously, the many interesting ways that film is this film’s doppelganger. In the year 1997, some five billion people are wiped out by a deadly virus that renders the surface of the planet uninhabitable, driving the few survivors underground. Some 30 years hence, researchers living underneath Philadelphia have concluded that the virus may have been deliberately introduced by an underground organization calling itself the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Serving a life sentence, convict James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to travel back in time to gather information about that organization in an attempt to pinpoint the origin of the virus, which remains incurable. Cole is forced to “volunteer” for this disorienting assignment mainly because he has an extraordinary memory. That memory has also wrapped itself around a traumatic vision from Cole’s childhood — of a man being gunned down at an airport — that manifests itself as a recurring dream.

The film will be free (donations appreciated), and will screen at 7 pm at the Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington.

MEGA Spring Meltdown – This Weekend!


The Green Mountain Gamers are hosting their next big gaming weekend on Saturday, April 8th and Sunday, April 9th. MEGA Spring Meltdown will be held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee.

As the snow melts, so do the gamers rouse from their winter hibernation. Break out the meeples and percentile dice. It’s time for the springtime Green Mountain Game Day and this time it will be even more special! It’s a DESTINATION game day! At Lake Morey Resort: That’s right, the former home of Carnage!

Entry is $15 for adults, $8 for children (12 and under are free).

The event will include door prizes, a ton of games, and the GMG’s annual meeting. More details can be found here.

UVM’s 14th Annual Tolkien Conference: This weekend!


UVM will be hosting its annual Tolkien conference once again this weekend, and this year’s theme is Romances in Middle-earth.

The conference kicks off tonight at 6:30pm with a reading in UVM’s Old Mill Annex. Here’s the rest of the schedule:

8:00am: Continental breakfast with coffee and tea In Lafayette room L207

8:30am: Session 1
– Christopher Vaccaro (University of Vermont) “Freawaru and Tolkien’s Beowulf”
– Zachary Dilbeck, (Columbus State Community College) “The Broken Sword, a Meme: Beowulf, Arthur, and Elendil”

9:30am: Session 2
– Gerry Blair (Independent Scholar) “The Tale of Turin a Hapless Helpless boy with a Doom for Failed Romance”
– Katherine Neville (Signum University) “Ill-met by Moonlight: Aredhel and Eöl as the Upside Down of Beren and Lúthien”
– Dawn M. Walls-Thumma (Coventry Village School) “Thus Wrote Pengolodh”: Historical Bias, Its Evidence, and Its Implications in The Silmarillion

10:45am: Session 3
– Peter Kao (National Chung Cheng University) “Realistic or Fantastic Narratives in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”
– Marc Zender (Tulane University) ‘I have loved you, and that love shall not fail’: Tolkien’s philological explorations of friendship, love, and romance in The Lord of the Rings
– Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University) “And with him was Elrond Half-Elven”: The High King and His Herald (Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight)”

12:00pm: Keynote
– Corey Olsen (Signum University) “The Turning Point in Tolkien’s Career”

12:45pm: Lunch

1:45pm: Session 4
– Annie Brust (Kent State University) “Dispelling Misogyny in Tolkien’s Women – Through reflection of Medieval lyric and personal relationships”
– Jeffrey Bullins (SUNY Plattsburgh) “Sounds in the Dark: Assimilation and Continuity in The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey”
– Paul Fortunato (University of Houston – Downtown) “Weberian “vocation” in The Lord of the Rings”

3:00pm: Coffee & Tea

3:15pm: Session 5
– Andrew Peterson (Harvard) “‘Warm as Sunlight, Cold as Frost in the Stars’ – Tolkien’s Exploration of Courtly Relationships through the Lady Galadriel.”
– James Williamson (University of Vermont) “Romance and Romance”
– Heather Dail (University of South Alabama) “The Evolution of the Animal to Magical Beast in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”

Admission is $25, $15 for students, and free for UVM students.