Seven Days profiles local sci-fi comedy audiobook

Seven Days has a cool profile of local comedian and author Conor Lastowka, who recently published a science fiction comedy called The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe which was recently republished as an Audible Original title, featuring a number of well-known comedians, like Paul F. Tomkins, and Weird Al Yankovic.

The novel, according to Amazon, follows a high school girl named Kara Everglades, who is brought along on a strange adventure with her eccentric grandfather, Cornelius Everglades.

Here’s the full description:

Kara Everglades has just finished her first year of high school and is longing for an adventure. So far her only option is an invitation from some upperclassmen to watch them drunkenly race a bunch of bullfrogs in a ditch. To be honest, she was hoping for something a bit more exciting.

Her grandfather, Cornelius Everglades, is a renegade who founded his own island micronation. Unfortunately, the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge it (possibly because he’s gone about the nation-building process using wildly illegal and unethical means).

When Cornelius shows up at Kara’s door needing her help and promising an adventure, Kara agrees to go along with his far-fetched plan to put his micronation on the map, even though a) she thought Cornelius was dead, and b) his scheme depends heavily on Kara wearing a mascot costume.

If Kara had known about the giant alien spaceship currently speeding toward her grandfather’s country with the intent to subjugate and humiliate mankind, she might have reconsidered.

Lastowka is also a writer for RiffTrax, and performs at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington, and the profile digs into his career and interest in science fiction, noting that science fiction comedy is a hard genre to get right. Give the full article a read here.

Phoenix Books hosts Harry Potter Book Night

Harry Potter fans take note: Phoenix Books will be hosting a trio of Harry Potter Book Nights at its Essex, Burlington, and Rutland locations tonight, February 7th.

The event is an annual affair in its fifth year, designed to celebrate all things Harry Potter:

Share the Magic! Mark your calendars for Harry Potter Book Night, when fans young and old will be able to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series – and it’s a chance to pass the magic on to new readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books. The magical theme is ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ and as the scene of so many seminal moments in the Harry Potter stories we can’t wait to celebrate all things Hogwarts!

The events will begin at each of the stores at 6PM. Costumes encouraged.

DeadFi Productions will release its first full-length feature film, Incident at Montauk

DeadFi productions has done a number of short, found-footage horror films over the years, and this year, they’ll level up and produce their first full-length project, Incident at Montauk.

The incident refers to a conspiracy theory about at Air Force station in the area that was supposedly home to some secret experiments. According to the production, the film picks those conspiracies up:

The film reveals the footage of Jed Logan, who after witnessing a UFO, discovers his sighting is linked to a secret government project. This leads him down a dangerous path to uncover the truth at a former military base.

Full details here.

Cartoon Cosplay Rewind in Springfield

Springfield’s Vermont Steampunk Festival will host a Cartoon Cosplay ball at the Hartness House Inn in April. Tickets will go on sale on January 26th, and will run $25 in advance, while the regular price is $30. The event will begin at 7PM and will go to midnight.

Join us for this amazingly fun 80s and 90s cartoon themed cosplay ball at the Hartness House Inn on April 6th. Come dressed as your favorite retro cartoon character from the 80s or 90s. This is a fundraiser for the Springfield Vermont Steampunk Festival; enjoy one event and help support another!

Here’s the Facebook event for the event.

Rutland’s Paramount Theater will premiere sci-fi film Axcellerator

It’s not often that Vermont is home to a world premiere. Rutland’s Paramount Theater announced that it will be screening a new science fiction film, Axcellerator, on January 25th, with two showings at 6PM and 8:30PM.

The film is helmed by Rutland director David Giancola through his local film company, Edgewood Studios. and was filmed around Rutland, according to a press release on Vermont Business Magazine. The film’s cast and crew will be at the screening, with an after-party to take place at the Franklin Conference Center in Howe Center.

The film, according to the release, follows a thief who “stumbles onto a teleportation device and the girl of his dreams, the invention of the century takes them on an adventure of a lifetime.” The film’s cast includes Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon), Sean Young (Blade Runner, Wall Street) John James (Dynasty) and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2.)

Tickets are between $6 and $8. A trailer for the film was released in 2017:

Out today: Katherine Arden’s The Winter of the Witch

The final installment of local fantasy author Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy, The Winter of the Witch, is now out in stores! The book is the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, and is set in, and is inspired by the folklore of Medieval Russia.

Here’s what it’s about:

The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Arden is currently out on tour for the book, with stops in San Diego CA, Austin TX, Denver CO, Chicago IL, Boston MA, and Concord NH, before returning to Vermont for a trio of stops:

Sunday, January 13 – Middlebury, VT
The Vermont Bookshop
Location: 38 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753

Monday, January 21 – Shoreham, VT
Platt Memorial Library
Location: 279 Main St, Shoreham, VT 05770

Thursday, January 24 – Burlington, VT
Phoenix Books
Event with S.A. Chakraborty
Location: 191 Bank St, Burlington, VT 05401

Coming soon: Winter Weirdness 2019

The Green Mountain Gamers are once again holding their annual winter micro-con: Winter Weirdness! The one-day gaming event will take place next week, on Saturday, January 12th from 9AM to 9PM at Barre’s Unitarian Church.


No admission cost! But donations are happily accepted. Donations at the door are split between Green Mountain Gamers and The Good Samaritan Haven (

Everyone who attends gets one free ticket. Additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each or 6 for $5. Half of the donations of tickets sales benefit a local charity.

RSVP here.

Mike Luoma’s Glow-In-The-Dark Radio podcast hits episode 500

Local podcaster and science fiction author Mike Luoma reaches an awesome milestone today: it marks the release of the 500th episode of his Glow-In-The-Dark-Radio podcast!

The long-running podcast began in September 2006, and follows the adventures of his pulp science fiction character Alibi Jones, the subject of several of Luoma’s novels and graphic novels. Jones is a mediator for the Solar Alliance in the year 2130, and works as a covert-ops agent. In recent episodes, he’s been investigating a mysterious alien ship. 

You can find the show on iTunes, Spotify, Radio Public, Stitcher, Tune-In, and Podomatic. (Episode 500 will be available later today)

Katherine Arden and S.A. Chakraborty signing at Phoenix Books

In January, Phoenix Books will bring in two fantasy authors for a discussion of their new novels: Katherine Arden and S.A. Chakraborty, whose new novels, The Winter of the Witch and Kingdom of Copper, respectively, come out in 2019. 

Arden is a local fantasy author who has gained acclaim for her books The Bear and the Nightingale, and The Girl in the Tower. Her next, The Winter of the Witch, will conclude that trilogy, which draws its inspiration from medieval Russia. Chakraborty hails from New York, and released her debut novel last year, The City of Brass, a fantasy novel inspired by legends from the Middle East. 

Phoenix will be hosting both authors for a discussion on Thursday, January 24th at its Burlington location at 6:30PM. The event will be ticketed, with admission $3 (which will take $5 off of any of their books). 

Pat Esden at Phoenix Books in Burlington!

Phoenix Books will be holding a signing for local author Pat Esden, for her new novel, His Dark Magic. 

Pat’s been a regular on our Vermont SF Writer’s Series events (which we’ll get back to hosting … someday), and her latest book came out earlier this week from Lyrical Press. 

Here’s what it’s about: 

One tragic impulsive mistake made Chloe Winslow an outcast to her influential magic family. As a medical student, she wants to combine science with sorcery to heal those she hurt and right her wrongs. But brilliant, charismatic Devlin Marsh re-routes her plans with a once-in-eternity offer: membership in the exclusive Northern Circle, a mysterious Vermont coven known for pushing the limits.

Enthralled by Devlin and their mesmerizing mutual attraction, Chloe makes a dangerous sacrifice to help the Circle’s high priestess awaken Merlin himself—and learn his timeless cures. But a foreshadowing soon causes Chloe to doubt the Circle’s real motives, as well as Devlin’s . . .
Now Merlin’s demonic shade is loose in the human world, while Chloe and Devlin’s uneasy alliance will pit them against ancient enemies, malevolent illusions, and shattering betrayal. And with the fate of two realms in the balance, Chloe must risk her untried power against a force she can’t defeat—and a passion that could destroy her.  

Pat’s signing will take place on Saturday, January 12th at 2:00PM at Phoenix Books’ Burlington location. The store is selling tickets for the event: $3 will get you admission and a $5 off coupon for the book.