Jennifer McMahon’s next novel: The Invited



Jennifer McMahon’s next novel is due out on April 30th, The Invited. It’s a ghost story about a couple who buy a property with a potential ghost of a woman who died more than a century ago.

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house–a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse–objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously. As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.

McMahon will be stopping by Bear Pond Books to celebrate the release of the novel. RSVPP here.

Bear Pond Books is holding a space prom

This looks like quite a bit of fun: Bear Pond Books is hosting an event called Once & Future Space Prom, to support an event for Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy’s new YA novel, Once & Future. The event takes place on April 26th in Montpelier.

The book comes out next week, and is the first book in a gender-bent duology that retells the story of King Arthur:

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

Here are the details for the event:

Cosplay! Music! Author Signing! Reader’s Theater! Cake!

Door Prizes! Costumes & Fancy Dress Encouraged!

Wear your favorite incarnation of a King Arthur genderbending character at this “Space Prom” event with VCFA authors Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy, co-authors of Once & Future.

Tickets $5 each. Click the ticket link to purchase. Ticket holders will receive $5 off the purchase of the book Once & Future at the event.

Brattleboro’s Mystery on Main Street bookstore is shutting down

Brattleboro’s bookstore Mystery on Main Street says that it will shut down for good on March 23rd.

In a post to Facebook, the store says that it’s selling off its inventory — signs in the windows say that it’s a “retirement sale.”

The bookstore focuses extensively on stocking mystery novels, and was named by Yankee Magazine as one of the best independent bookstores to visit in New England. I’ve shopped at the store a couple of times over the years, and it’s always been a fantastic place to browse and to pick up a good mystery novel.

Dartmouth announces Ann & Jeff VanderMeer as 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award judges

Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science has announced two heavy-hitters to judge its 2019 Literary Arts Awards: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The award issues a cash prize to three works of speculative fiction that examine the potential of computational sciences.

Last year, the awards went to Best Worst American, by Juan Martinez (debut author), while Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station, and Corinne Duyvis’s On the Edge of Gone shared the prize for the open category.

Ann VanderMeer is an award-winning editor of short fiction, and has edited for publications such as Weird Tales and Tor.com, as well as anthologies such as The New Weird, The Big Book of Science Fiction, and the forthcoming Big Book of Classic Fantasy. Her husband, Jeff VanderMeer, collaborated with her on those anthologies, and has become well-known for his Area X trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), and his latest novel, Borne.

Submissions for the prize closed in December, and the short list of finalists will be released in the coming weeks.

Sen. Patrick Leahy wrote the introduction to Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman

It’s well known that Senator Patrick Leahy is a big Batman fan. He’s memorably appeared in films like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and donates the proceeds of his appearances to Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Now, he’s written the foreword to a new comic book that commemorates the 80th anniversary of the caped crusader.

The book is Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, described as a “celebration of Detective Comics‘ amazing eight-decade run and Batman’s 80 years,” and includes commentary from the likes of Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and others.

The Washington Post notes that Leahy said that he “couldn’t resist the opportunity,” when asked to contribute, and recounts his experiences filming the Nolan films, saying that he was terrified of Heath Ledger as the Joker. “I was scared. It wasn’t acting.” The Post notes that Leahy has provided introductions for comics before, such as in 1996, when he provided one for a charity comic,Batman: Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines.

Cadwell Turnbull event at Yankee Bookshop

Debut science fiction author Cadwell Turnbull will appear at an event at Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop on July 1st, to discuss his novel The Lesson.

Here’s what the book is about:

An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.

A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.

Turnbull has been a rising star in the SF/F world — his work has appeared recently in publications such as The Verge, Lightspeed Magazine, and Asimov’s.

RSVP here.

Former Vermont Author J.J. French has released his debut novel


A writer who grew up in Vermont has released his debut novel, Tea, Robots, and the End of the World. J.J. French says that he grew up in Vermont and Massachusetts, and now resides in England.

He self-published his debut novel in January, which is set in the year 2053. Here’s the description from Amazon:

In the early 2040s, we created the first simulated intelligence. A machine mind that could mimic the mental processes of the human brain. Not truly aware, but close enough for our purposes. It was a revelation. The world changed.

The first of these intelligences grew beyond its original design. It transformed itself to surpass its creator’s wildest expectations, and grew to think, to feel, to be creative. This process became known as emergence. And it started a war.

Two years later, stuffed in the equipment lockers of flight CR-2075, another artistic intelligence has emerged. It calls itself Rue.

Nobody knows about it, except for Commonwealth pilot Liam Hale, his crew, and a multinational conspiracy obsessed with commanding mankind’s destiny. With nobody to trust but himself, Liam will need all of his wits about him as he comes face-to-face with forces beyond his reckoning, competing truths about the nature of life, and some questionable cups of coffee. Ultimately, he will need to answer a simple question: how far is he willing to go, and how much is he willing to risk, to have a hand in shaping the future?

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
4:00pm
The Vermont Bookshop
Location: 38 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753

Monday, January 21 – Shoreham, VT
7:00pm
Platt Memorial Library
Location: 279 Main St, Shoreham, VT 05770

Thursday, January 24 – Burlington, VT
6:30pm
Phoenix Books
Event with S.A. Chakraborty
Location: 191 Bank St, Burlington, VT 05401

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). 

Erin Morgenstern’s next book takes place in Vermont

Erin Morgenstern is best known for her debut novel, The Night Circus, a story about a pair of magicians and a fantastical circus. It was a huge hit, and according to EW, her next book will be set in Vermont.

The Starless Sea is due out next November. Here’s the plot:

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose — in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Sounds intriguing — scholars at any of the graduate schools here should proceed with caution.