F. Brett Cox’s End Of All Our Exploring is now out!

Norwich University professor and speculative fiction author F. Brett Cox has a new book out this week: The End of All Our Exploring. It’s a collection of his short fiction, along with some historical notes.

The stories in F. Brett Cox’s debut collection move through multiple genres and many times and places, from the monsters of the 19th century to the future fields of war, from New England to the South to the American West, from the strange house at the top of the hill to the bottom of your childhood swimming pool. But whatever the time and place, and whether utterly fantastic or all too real, all of these remarkable fictions pose the fundamental question: what’s next? The End of All Our Exploring features 27 stories, and it also includes Cox’s unique historical notes.

The book is now in stores. He’ll also be stopping by Bear Pond Books on September 17th to discuss the collection.

F. Brett Cox event at Bear Pond Books

Norwich University professor and science fiction / fantasy / horror author F. Brett Cox will be holding a reading event for his upcoming collection of short stories, The End of All Our Exploring. The book will hit stores this month, and Bear Pond Books of Montpelier will host Cox on September 17th as part of its Sci-Fi Plus book club. He’ll read from the book and answer questions at 6:30PM.

RSVP here.

Archer Mayor’s 29th Joe Gunther novel: Bury the Lead

Fall is coming, and that means that Vermont mystery author Archer Mayor will have a new book out in a couple of months. His next is called Bury the Lead, and it’ll be the 29th installment of his long-running Joe Gunther series.

The book will be released on September 25th, and will follow Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation as they investigate the death of a young woman found on a trail of a ski resort. At the same time, a local grocery distributor is being attacked by vandals — resulting in another death — while a local hospital deals with a potential case of Ebola.

When the body of a young woman is found near a trail at a popular ski mountain, the case falls to Joe Gunther and his team at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI). They quickly have a suspect, Mick Durocher, and a confession, but not everyone on the team is convinced. Despite Mick’s ready admission, investigators quickly sense there might be more going on than is immediately apparent.

At the same time, a large local business is being targeted with escalating acts of vandalism―a warehouse fire, a vandalized truck, a massive cooling system destroyed―resulting in loss of life. And either by coincidence, or not, Mick Durocher, the self-confessed murderer, was once employed by this very company.

These two puzzling cases―now possibly connected―are further complicated by the sidelining of a key member of VBI, Willy Kunkle, who undergoes surgery at a hospital that appears to be having an unlikely―and suspiciously timed―outbreak of Ebola.

Joe and his team pursue these cases, uncovering motives that might link them, while proving that trust betrayed can be a toxic virus, turning love into murderous loathing. Indeed, behind the mayhem and murder, Joe must uncover a tragic history before another victim dies.

As is to be expected, Archer will be touring around Vermont to a variety of bookstores throughout the fall.

John Goodrich Signing

Local author John Goodrich will be holding a signing for two of his books, Dark Draughts and Hag, next month at the Bennington Bookshop.

The signing will take place on Thursday, August 9th from 7PM to 8PM.

Here’s what the books are about:

Hag:

All David wanted was to rest and get better. He moved from Vermont to Boston to beat his cancer. Even before the boxes are unpacked, he and his best friend Sam notice an eerie presence in his new apartment building. The emaciated haunt is a roiling storm of fury with black iron claws and jagged metal teeth. She attacks David without reason or pity, leaving him in agony. Hag is a dark, brooding novel set in a blighted personal landscape. A story of deathless rage terrible love.

Dark Draughts:

Culled from nearly a decade of work, Dark Draughts is the first collection of John Goodrich’s short fiction. Discover a terrifying new god, and an old, well known one just as malicious. Encounter horror tropes broken and remade; dead and undead pharaohs, a compassionate ghoul, and a serial killer who discovers something darker than himself. Find out what happens to a man literally at war with himself. With stories set in Arkham, ancient Egypt, the blood-soaked battlefields of World War One, rural Vermont, and a hideous apocalyptic future, these stories encompass the terrors of the past as well as our fears for the future. Dark Draughts: Strong medicine for what ails us all.

RSVP here.

Here are the finalists for the 2018 Vermont Book Award

Vermont College has announced its finalists (via VPR) for the 2018 Vermont Book Award, an award that honors “work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors.” Winners for the award include poet Kerrin McCadden (2015), Major Jackson (2016), and Jensen Beach (2017).

This year’s finalists are:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Fiction) by Katherine Arden
  • Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes (CNF) by Martin Philip
  • Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray (CNF) by Adam Federman
  • Grand Canyon (Children’s Lit, Picture Book) by Jason Chin
  • Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time (Children’s Lit, YA fiction) by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Event Boundaries (Poetry) by April Ossmann
  • Selected Delanty (Poetry) by Greg Delanty

The books are nominated by a committee of independent bookstores in four categories: Children’s Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Their suggestions are whittled down by a panel of judges, and the winner of the award will be announced at the Vermont Book Award Gala in September. The winner gets a $5,000 cash prize.

Phoenix Books Rutland To Open September 28th

Join Phoenix Books in Rutland on September 28th for their grand opening at Center Street. It’s fantastic to see the store grow and expand into a new location. Here’s their full press release:

Phoenix Books Rutland, borne through a community-supported pre-buy program and local investment, will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 28, followed two days later by an event with arguably Vermont’s most successful author, Chris Bohjalian.

“We’ve been blessed with incredible community support, so we wanted to do something big to mark the opening,” co-owner Michael DeSanto said.  “Few Vermont authors are more successful than Chris. His appearance is kind of a ‘thank you’ to the community for the amazing reception we’ve received.”

Rutland resident Tricia Huebner, who will manage the store, and with her husband, Tom, is a co-owner, said her excitement has been building for weeks as space was renovated and inventory began to arrive.

“We’ve created a spectacular space that will be welcoming and warm, and will fill a need not just for books, but for discussion and debate and connecting with one another,” Huebner said.  “This is a dream fulfilled for me personally, and for a lot of people in Rutland County.”

Phoenix Books plans a reception for pre-buyers and other key supporters on Sept. 27, with the official grand opening set for 10 a.m. Sept. 28 – though the owners hinted that the store might open a little sooner.  “We are considering a soft opening, like restaurants often hold, to whet the appetite,” DeSanto said.

Because Bohjalian is expected to draw a big crowd, the reading and signing event will be held at the Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center – where the idea of Phoenix Books Rutland began last November.  GMP, with support from the Downtown Rutland Partnership, Mayor Chris Louras, and a variety of local residents, organizations and businesses, recruited DeSanto to Rutland.  GMP Vice President Steve Costello enlisted more than 50 people and businesses to pre-buy $1,000 worth of books each last fall to support the store.

“I thought he was kidding when we met for the first time and he said he already had $30,000 committed,” DeSanto said.   “I’ve never seen a community rally like Rutland has rallied around us.  It is humbling.”

Mayor Chris Louras said the Phoenix opening was symbolic of larger efforts to revitalize downtown, and address broader issues in the region.  “Every success we have had has come through collaboration,” Louras said. “Collaboration is bringing Phoenix to life, rejuvenating the downtown, and improving quality of life in Rutland.”

The Sept. 30 Bohjalian event will begin at 7 p.m. at the EIC, at 68-70 Merchants Row.  Bohjalian will read from and answer questions about his new book, “Close your Eyes, Hold Hands,” a New York Times Best Seller.   “‘Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands,’ Chris Bohjalian’s terrific new novel, could serve as a master class on how to write the thinking reader’s bestseller,” according to a Washington Post review.

We can’t wait to check it out.

Lines of Departure Nominated for a Hugo Award

Lines of Departure (Marko Kloos)

Local-ish author Marko Kloos was recently nominated for one of Science Fiction’s top honors for a novel published last year: the Hugo Award. His novel, Lines of Departure was one of five novels selected for the honor by popular vote. Other nominees for the category include Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, The Dark Between Stars by Kevin J. Anderson and Skin Game by Jim Butcher.

Here’s what the book is about:

Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the Solar System…

Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is North American Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day, alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.

After surviving a disastrous space-borne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony—and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun.

In this sequel to the bestselling Terms of Enlistment, a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species…or bear witness to humanity’s last, fleeting breaths.

This year’s slate of awards has been marred by controversy over voting blocs, as a conservative element had pushed for a specific slate of nominees. More can be read about that here and here. Despite that, we’re happy to see Kloos included on the ballot: Lines of Departure was a fun novel, and we’re very excited to see his next one, Angles of Attack later this month.

Eco-Fiction Interviews Don Bredes

polly_book_cover_front

Eco-Fiction interviews Vermont author Don Bredes, author of Polly and the One and Only World:

Meet author Don Bredes, whose debut novel Hard Feelings was named Best Book of the Year for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Bredes is back with another YA novel, Polly and the One and Only World, a fantasy apocalyptic novel ushering in a vision of a future world that is not so impossible to believe. In the book, a young heroine named Polly Lightfoot tries to survive results of climate change: rising seas, coastal floods, drought, and social upheaval.

Mary: Hi Don, thanks for the interview! You have written a fantastic book with lovable 15-year-old Polly, who, along with her friend and raven, must figure out how to escape a fundamentalist dominion and reunite with her family; this is an epic journey up the eastern seaboard of the United States. Though fiction, this journey opens our eyes to a potential future if we’re not careful with our treatment of the environment. What motivated you to tackle this subject?

Don: Thanks very much, Mary, for your interest in the novel.

One strong motivation has been my reverence for the natural environment that nurtures and sustains us. Each one of our social systems–government, education, health care, commerce, trade, global relations–indeed, everything that characterizes modern civilization–relies on the continuing health of our ecosystems. In recent years, more and more of us have come to realize how the human “conquest” and plundering of nature have disrupted the balance that the world’s climate has enjoyed for thousands of years.

We understand now that increasingly severe disruption–which seems inevitable–will result in ever more intense storms, permanent drought, coastal flooding, the probable end of large-scale industry and agriculture, and, perhaps, the collapse of the Gulf Stream conveyor. Very likely, such convulsive changes will lead to widening inequality and social upheaval, wars over shrinking resources, and the potential for terrorist violence a thousand times more devastating than 9/11.

Somehow, and soon, the nations of the world will have to resolve to ameliorate the devastating consequences of a rapidly changing climate. In the years ahead, the decisions we make in response to the climate crisis will shape the course of civilization for centuries to come. Polly and the One and Only World presents a cautionary fantasy that will inspire young readers to understand the imperative need to make most effective choices.

Read the entire interview here.

Providence of Fire Wine Pairing Event

staveley_anderson_providence-of-fire

Last year, Brian Staveley and Windham Wines in Brattleboro joined forces to do a wine pairing event based on the characters from his first novel, The Emperor’s Blades. Now, they’ll be back together with a sequel event!

On April 11th at 5:30pm, join Brian and Windham Wines with an event that pairs up wines and The Providence of Fire:

That’s right — one my favorite events from last year is BACK. On April 11 at 5:30, at Windham Wines here in Brattleboro VT, we’ll be pairing characters from the novel with a variety of great wines. Weird, right? It’s awesome. Last year, for instance, we decided Gwenna was a rustic Chianti — rough around the edges, earthy, rustic, but powerful. I read a little passage involving Gwenna, we drank Chianti, then on to the next one…

It’s $25 dollars for the evening (plus tip for the server). Last year it lasted a couple of hours and we tasted eight or nine wines. Spots are limited, so if you’re interested, get on it quick by calling Windham Wines at 802.246.6400.