Thursday, May 24, 2018

Chaos Conspiracy (Sacrificial Magic, Book 1) by Holly Evans

Release date: May 17, 2018
Subgenre:  Urban Fantasy

About Chaos Conspiracy


Wren Kincaid, blood witch.

It’s a shame I can’t put that on my résumé. Mercenaries with magic or supernal blood have a much easier time landing jobs. Unfortunately, if anyone finds out about my blood magic, I’ll be executed in twelve hours or less. Blood witches were eradicated a century before I was born, deemed too dangerous, or so everyone thought.

My life wasn’t too bad. I had to wrangle more drunk pixies than I’d have liked, and it was far from luxurious. I struggled to pay my rent, but I wasn’t complaining. Not too loudly, anyway.

Cue the Council and Dante Caspari. The Council are the people who will execute me if they find out what I am. Dante Caspari is the sexy-as-sin guy they hired me to work with so I can find out what happened to the missing supernals in Bucharest.

It sounds great working with a sexy guy, right? The problem is, his father’s a demon prince and his mother’s one of the most powerful witches in the Americas. If anyone is going to trip me up and hand me over to the Council, it’s him. So, I have to find the missing supernals, save the day, and try not to get killed doing it. Funny, those drunk pixies I was complaining about don’t seem so bad now.

Set in the same world as the popular Forged in Blood series




Things were not going to plan. Redcaps were dumb. I was supposed to open his arteries, he’d bleed out, and we were done. Nice and easy. Instead, we circled around each other again, and I wasn’t finding a hint of weakness in his movements. Given my lack of size, I depended on my speed and wiles. I wouldn’t do well in a long, sustained fight.  A redcap would normally be slower, almost lumbering, but he was as nimble as a sidhe or a feline shifter. Something was very wrong there. Had I been set up? He rushed me again, and I slashed at his throat, but he pulled away and my blade slipped through thin air. He wasn’t giving me any room to dance away, not that time. He had his arms out and a manic grin on his face. I tried to duck under his arms, but he grabbed onto the back of my jacket.
I tried to stab him in the groin, but his arms were longer than mine. He leaned in, and his teeth grazed my throat. I tried to slash at his wrist to free myself of his grip. He dropped me, only to dive forwards and pin me against my own alchemical barrier. I should have known that was a stupid idea! 
He licked my cheek, and I fought to free my arms so I could cut off that awful grey tongue. His rancid breath filled my nose and threatened to make me vomit.
“Ever heard of breath mints?” I asked. 
He held my arms firm as he inched in closer, his teeth aiming for my neck. A quick glance around showed that we were still alone. Non-magical people wouldn’t be able to see inside of the alchemical circle, but supernals would be able to. I couldn’t afford the trap that made us entirely invisible, and really it would be good for business if supernals saw me kicking ass. I mentally reached inside the redcap and wrapped my consciousness around his blood. It felt so damn good to use my magic. If the Council knew I had it at all, they’d kill me. Blood magicians were outlawed for being too dangerous a century before I was born. As I held his blood in my mind’s eye and made it boil within him, I wondered if, perhaps, they had a point. 
The redcap screamed and flailed as he clawed at himself, tearing great chunks of flesh out of his arms and stomach. Then he went poof. The black gunk that formed when a fae died rained down and coated me. It smelled like rotting meat and fresh blood. It was going to take forever to get that smell out of my hair. Thankfully, the gunk would dissolve soon enough, but that damn smell was going to linger on my skin and hair. 
I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair, trying to get some of the gunk out. At least I’d earnt enough to pay rent. Ok, so it was three days late, but better late than never, right? The bone-deep tiredness that came with using my blood magic started to slip in just as the alchemical trap dissolved around me. A hot guy chose that moment to walk around the corner and see me coated in black gunk and looking frazzled from chasing that damn redcap for three days. I gave him a big friendly smile and a little wave before I realised I still had my blood-coated dagger in my hand. His eyes went big and he swallowed hard before he turned on his heel and walked very quickly the other direction. I had to give him points for not running, I supposed.




About Holly Evans: 

Holly Evans is an urban fantasy author with an unhealthy fascination with blades, a deep love of hellhounds, and would love one day to wake up as a fae. When she isn't wrangling rogue characters and trying to tame her muse, she's researching shiny new ninja moves. During her spare time she fights crime and rights wrongs on the streets of County Kerry.


Website | Twitter

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Interview with Daniel Gibbs, author of Fight the Good Fight, Book I of Echoes of the Past

Today on the Speculative Fiction Showcase, Daniel Gibbs, author of Fight the Good Fight, Book I of the Echoes of the Past trilogy, has kindly agreed to answer our interview questions!

From the book, having seen the design of the space vessel itself, you have clearly taken great care researching the background and creating a realistic environment. Can you tell us more about that?
First and foremost, I’m a nerd. That’s important because us nerds tend to poke holes in things that don’t make plausible sense. I’ll be the first to admit that some of the technology in Echoes of the Past is what some would refer to as “handwave”, especially things like an inertial dampener. But most of the weaponry, ship design, and tactics are rooted in what I see as real-world applications of evolving technology. I’ve read a lot of papers on what combat in space might look like; my ship designs and the technology of the universe evolved out of that research.

The book has a dedication to your father, who was in the US navy, and mentions that you yourself mention have many years of experience with the military. How important was this experience to writing the book?
Let me first say that I have worked with the military as a civilian – primarily the US Navy. (The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree!) That work has really defined my purpose in life; as I mentioned, I’m a nerd and I primarily design and build computer systems. Seeing those things come to life and hopefully help out in some small way, well it’s a great feeling.
My father served for thirty years in the Navy. He joined six weeks before the end of WWII, and served in that war, Korea, and Vietnam. Then he got out, went to work as a civilian contractor in ship repair, and did that for another thirty-four years. A number of years ago, my mother had a stroke. My dad and I spent many weeks in the hospital with her, and he told me stories from his time in the Navy to pass the time. A lot of those stories, shades of them anyways, have found a home in my writing. They’re just fun little vignettes of military life.

David Cohen, the hero of Fight the Good Fight, experiences an internal conflict between his role as a starship commander and his wish to become a rabbi. This makes him at once an interesting and more complex character than some shoot-em-up heroes. Why did you choose to portray him like that?
I was aiming for a more complex series of characters. I’ve worked with a lot of men and women that have seen combat; I’ve been in theatre where that combat occurred and worked side by side with folks that had to go out every day with the possibility that they wouldn’t come back. The typical shoot-em-up hero characters if you will, never seem to have to deal with the toll that combat takes on the soul. It’s not plausible, at least to me, to have a character that kills dozens of people and feels nothing about it, ever. I wanted to portray a group of people that had to deal with that toll, and throughout the book, David has to face the results of his actions.

Does Daniel Cohen have echoes of other biblical heroes like the Maccabees and King David?
You know, that’s a great question. I never really thought of that as I was writing him, but yes, he does have some of that panache.

How important is the religious aspect of the book?
One of the things I wanted to show in my novel was the various religions of Humanity actually getting along with each other. In the main characters you will find Christians, Jews (both Orthodox and less than Orthodox), Muslims, and atheists. Its been my experience in life that great uncertainty (thinking back to 9/11 especially) causes people to return to their faith. I would think that in a war that’s lasted nearly thirty years and is in effect, a galactic war for survival, that people would cling strongly to their faiths as well and I portray that in my series. 

The trailer is awesome – short, very professional and to the point. It makes clear the central conflict within the hero as well as the battle outside. Tell us a bit about the making of the trailer…
First off, thank you! I’m a very visual person, and discovered this idea of book trailers. So I decided to make one. I had a couple of friends of mine create some 3D rendered art (the Lion of Judah and the Rabin, specifically), and another friend who is a composer and general jack of all things artistic, put the trailer together. I love how it came out!

Who are the enemies here – The League of Sol? Do they have a supernatural aspect?
The League of Sol is the enemy; but they have no supernatural aspects. They’re simply a totalitarian, communist regime that won world war three. They’ve imposed their way of thinking on Earth and most of the planets in Earth’s local region of space that they control. I don’t envision them being paper thin bad guys however. I will over the course of my trilogy and some novellas I have planned, explore the League and why they are the way that they are.

Were you in any way influenced by some of the great Jewish superhero characters such as Captain America and Magneto (more of an antihero!)
I can’t say that I was! I created the basic idea, and the basic characters behind Echoes of the Past more than 20 years ago. I hadn’t even heard of Captain America back then! Its only been recently that I felt my skills as a writer had progressed to the point I could actually write the story and do it the justice I felt it deserved.

The second book is clearly in preparation. Are you a fast writer? What is your writing routine?
Well, it took about a year to write the first novel this last time I picked it up. I had tried several times to write it, and wasn’t happy with the results. But this time I was. I would say that my routine is to define a set amount of words I want to get written in a given time period, and then hold myself accountable. I’m hard at work on the second novel in the series, and I’m about 40,000 words into my first draft. I anticipate it ending up around 100,000 words, maybe a touch more. Then the editing process can begin! I’m hoping to have it ready for release by the end of the summer.

Are there any writers of SF and military SF who you enjoy? (Past or present)
Many! My favourites include David Weber (I love the Safehold series), Taylor Anderson (Destroyermen), as well as Vaughn Heppner, Joshua Dalzelle and Glynn Stewart. My idea of a vacation is to get 20-25 books, go to a quiet place with no cell service, and read non-stop.

What about the current crop of Marvel superhero films, the new Star Wars trilogy and other films set in space in a more realistic style?
I loved Star Wars: Rogue One; and I loved Enders Game. (Both the books and the movie). I’ve enjoyed the Marvel movies I’ve seen, but I have to admit I’m quite behind on watching all of them. There’s never enough time! For realistic Sci-Fi, I find The Expanse to really hit the nail on the head. Outstanding work by everyone involved with it – from the novels, to the series.

What are your plans for future stories and series?
My first goal is to complete the initial trilogy for Echoes of the Past that I’ve plotted out so far; beginning with Fight the Good Fight, which just released on May 10th, So Fight I, the second novel, and ‘I Have Fought a Good Fight’, the third. After that, I’ve got several ideas for short story and novella volumes, and stand-alone novels set in the universe. When it comes to Echoes of the Past, I have almost unlimited creative energy.


About Daniel Gibbs:

Daniel Gibbs is the creator of the Echoes of the Past universe. An idea that was born nearly twenty years ago, has finally come alive. A former computer engineer, Daniel loves all forms of science-fiction. His first novel was recently released to Amazon, and he is hard at work on the next two novels in the beginning EOTP trilogy. With mountains of ideas and notes for additional novels, Daniel will be busy for years to come bringing his universe to life! 

With many years of experience supporting the military as an IT engineer, Daniel hopes to bring an authentic lens to military science fiction, especially around the tribulations and trials of those who serve.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Breakdown (Dark Road, Book 1) by Bruno Miller

Release date: May 6, 2018
Subgenre: Post-apocalyptic

About Breakdown:


Do you have what it takes to survive?
Ben Davis was prepared for disaster. He just didn’t know it would come so soon.

He and his teenage son, Joel, are miles deep in the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains when high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic detonations light up the pre-dawn sky. Ben, Joel, and their dog, Gunner, must make their way home – or to whatever’s left of it – on foot.

Without the ability to communicate with his ex-wife in Maryland, Ben has no idea if Joel’s brother and sister are okay. The two decide they have no options but to head East. Before their journey begins, they venture into town to check Ben’s outdoor store for supplies and discover one of Joel’s classmates, Allie, alone and in desperate need of help.

When Ben realizes Allie’s flight attendant mother is most likely dead and her father lives in Pittsburgh, he knows he has to take her with them. Ben must use the skills he learned as an Army Ranger many years ago to survive the post-apocalyptic world they now live in.

Can he keep himself and two teenagers safe as they navigate the dark and dangerous road ahead?




Just then another explosion to the south, this time much closer. Out of their tents, both of them now had a clear view. A bright orange flash overwhelmed the valley for a split second as Ben threw up his hand to cover his face from the sudden blast of light.
“Don’t look at it!” Ben shouted.
A deep bass rumbled up the valley and momentarily canceled out all other sound, followed a few seconds later by a warm breeze the likes of which Ben had never felt in the mountains before. The bright flash of light had diminished to a pale orange glow that seemed to be floating within a distant massive cloud that consisted of an ominous column of fire and blackness that reached well into the atmosphere where it became encircled by a giant orange glowing ball of fire and smoke mixed with what seemed like lightning.
They both stood there watching in silence for what felt like an eternity before either one of them said anything.
This can’t be happening, Ben thought to himself, they actually did it.
“Dad, uh, what’s going on? What is it?” Joel asked.
“Son, I think we just witnessed a nuclear explosion,” Ben said solemnly. “I’m just guessing, but I would say that last one was over Vegas or maybe Albuquerque and the one before it that I caught the end of when I came out of the tent looked to be in the direction of Denver. I… I… I think they’re EMPs, Joel. High altitude nukes.” He ran his hand through his slightly graying brown hair.
“Well, what are we going to do?” Joel asked in disbelief.
“We’re going to pack up our stuff and get home as quickly as possible and then plan our next move from there,” Ben said, almost machine-like.
Realizing how he probably sounded to his son he took a couple steps towards him and put his arm around Joel as he pulled him close.
“We’ll figure it out, we’ll be all right. We have enough supplies at home to last a long time and even more down at the store if we need them.” Ben hoped he sounded reassuring to his son, because he wasn’t sure he believed his own words.




About Bruno Miller:

Bruno Miller is the author of the Dark Road series. He’s a military vet who likes to spend his downtime hanging out with his wife and kids, or getting in some range time. He believes in being prepared for any situation.


Website | Facebook

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hunter and Hunted (In Love and War, Book 9) by Cora Buhlert

Release date: May 11, 2018
Subgenre: Space Opera Romance, Cozy Space Opera

About Hunter and Hunted:

Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.

Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.

On their way back from a mission, Anjali and Mikhail are ambushed by a squad of bounty hunters. Wounded and hunted through a frozen landscape, they find shelter in a mountain lodge.

But their pursuers are still out there, tracking them. And with Anjali too injured to fight, Mikhail must face down seven bounty hunters on his own…

This is a novella of 21000 words or approx. 75 print pages in the "In Love and War" series, but may be read as a standalone.



I. Snow Ride

A ground glider shot across the snow-covered surface of the independent rim world of Harketon, en route from the luxury resort of Furuholmen back to the planet’s main spaceport.
The glider was small, a two-seater. Beneath the transparent canopy, the passengers, a man and a woman, sat huddled together in forced proximity. Not that either of them minded. After all, they’d spent the better part of the last year in close proximity, so that by now it was no longer forced, even if it had started out as less than voluntary.
The man was tall, with pale skin, striking blue eyes and long dark hair that he wore tied back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was clad all in black, a bright blue scarf the only flash of colour. This was Captain Mikhail Alexeievich Grikov, formerly of the Republican Special Commando Forces, now wanted as a deserter and traitor.
The woman by his side was a good head shorter, with brown skin, dark eyes and glossy black hair that fell down her back in gentle waves. She was clad in grey utility pants and a light blue sweater, topped with a shawl in a somewhat darker tone of blue. This was Lieutenant Anjali Patel, formerly of the Imperial Shakyri Expeditionary Corps, now also wanted as a deserter and traitor.
Almost a year ago now, Anjali and Mikhail had met during a mission. And even though their respective governments were at war with each other and had been for eighty-eight years now, Anjali and Mikhail fell in love and decided to run away together, leaving behind the only lives they’d ever known. They’d fled to the independent worlds on the galactic rim, eking out a living as mercenaries, doing any odd jobs that required their particular skills. And today, one of those jobs had brought them to Harketon.
The mission in question was a simple courier job. Deliver a sealed box containing some data crystals to a man called Norland, who was currently on vacation in Furuholmen, on behalf of a smuggler captain called Pekkalainen and return to Pekkalainen’s ship, the Jewel of Leskinen, in under ninety-six hours. All expenses paid, no questions asked. As jobs went, this one was as good as it got.
“Now that…” Anjali remarked, “…was almost too easy. Especially since we’ve still got…” She checked her wrist unit. “…almost forty-four hours until the Jewel of Leskinen leaves port.”
Mikhail briefly looked up from the controls. He was flying, because he had more experience with this particular glider model, a Republican manufactured Astral Avalanche.
“Would you rather have something go wrong?” he asked.
“No, but we could’ve spent another night in Furuholmen, especially since the client is paying all our expenses.”
Mikhail flashed her a quick smile. “Yes, the those thermal baths and the sauna were really nice.”
“Though they would have been even nicer without potbellied gangsters,” Anjali said with a shudder. Cause Norland, the recipient of the data crystals, was not the sort of person you wanted to see dressed only in a towel.
“But actually, I was thinking more of the hotel room…” she added, “…and particularly of the bed.”
By now, Anjali and Mikhail were both used to living and sleeping rough. After all, they’d been on the run for the better part of a year now and soldiers for most of their lives before that. That meant hard bunks, cramped barracks, tiny cabins or sometimes just a rough shelter and a sleeping bag on the ground.
Most of the time, Anjali did not mind. This was the life she’d chosen for herself, after all. But nonetheless, she appreciated a proper bed with a good mattress, fluffy pillows and a soft blanket on occasion. And the bed in the hotel room they’d shared in Furuholmen had all that and more.
Mikhail’s smile broadened, while his cheeks flushed ever so slightly. “Yes, that bed was… very nice indeed.”
Anjali reached out, her hand brushing against his. “And we put it to some very good use, didn’t we?”
Mikhail smiled at the memory and focussed his full attention on the controls again, as he piloted the glider through a narrow and winding canyon.
After a few kilometres, the canyon ended and the glider shot out onto a pleasant snow-covered slope lined with clusters of bluish trees.
“I’ve been thinking,” Mikhail said, “Maybe, once we’ve made it back to the ship and collected the rest of our payment, we could check into a hotel at the spaceport for a few nights. A proper hotel and not one of the flophouses we normally use.”
“Sounds tempting.” And it did. “But we don’t have the money for this. We need new power-packs and grenades and ammo for my Marcasona Mark IV sniper rifle and nano booster shots and…”
Mikhail put his hand on top of Anjali’s, silencing her. “I know. I just want to do right by you, want to give you the life you deserve, at least for a little while.”
“It’s all right. I have everything I could ever want.” Though a big soft bed now and then would be nice.
“Maybe, when once we’ve gotten all the supplies we need and we still have some money left over, we could check into a nicer hotel for a night or two,” Mikhail said.
Anjali did not reply, because at just this moment something attracted her attention. A gleam in a copse of trees, like sunlight striking the sight of a rifle.
Barely a second later, the drive exploded and the glider spiralled out of control straight into a snowdrift.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple iTunes | Google Play | Smashwords | Scribd | Playster | DriveThru | 24symbols

About the In Love and War series:


About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. 
Cora has been writing, since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. She is the author of the Silencer series of pulp style thrillers, the Shattered Empire space opera series, the In Love and War science fiction romance series, the Helen Shepherd Mysteries and plenty of standalone stories in multiple genres. When Cora is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.


Website | Mailing list | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Mastodon



Sunday, May 20, 2018

SFF Book Bonanza 99 Cent Promo

Dean F. Wilson is running a 99 cent cross promo for science fiction and fantasy novels. There are more than 60 books in various subgenre available for 99 cents each.

The promo runs from May 21 to May 27, i.e. all week. 

It's the ideal way to fill up your e-reader and virtual TBR pile and discover some new authors and series to love. 

For a list of participating books click here!



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Interview with Kate Coe, author of Desert Sands and Silence

Today the Speculative Fiction Showcase have great pleasure in interviewing Kate Coe, whose new release, Desert Sands and Silence, we featured on May 5th.

Tell us a bit about the world of Green Skies.
It’s a world of magic and technology; I wanted to explore a place where technology was the interloper, and where inventors were the ones breaking the mould - but also a place where those inventors were using everything to hand, and that included magic! I settled on a vaguely Renaissance-era technology, so there’s clockwork, rudimentary electricity, flying machines...but you have to be a Mage to fly, the electricity is harvested from lightning, and the clockwork runs the wagons! And within that, I wanted to explore the political tensions between countries, but also the people caught in the middle of those tensions, and the stories of how simple choices and events could change wider movements.
It’s also been described as “Studio Ghibli” and “delightful”, which I think it is; the world has darker edges, but it’s meant to be a lighter read, and a story that leaves you feeling a little bit more hopeful.

Desert Sands and Silence is your sixth book in the series. Where does it stand in relation to its predecessors?
The first three books in the GreenSky series are a trilogy; every book after that is stand-alone, although they are also linear, so the events follow on from each other. As I was writing the first three, I knew that I wanted to explore more of the characters that don’t make it front-and-centre; I wanted to know what they did next, where they went, who they met. I also wanted to know how the events of the first book would continue playing out, and how the spread of electricity (spark) and flying technology would change the world - and so the two collided, and I got to write stories about some of the characters we’ve already met in the first three going out into the world, following the changes and small revolutions that spread from the events of the first few books.

How does writing a novella differ from writing a full length novel, if at all?
I’m primarily a novella writer because I’m a character writer; I much prefer exploring how people react to events and the small moments between them than looking at big, world-shaking plots; and I’ve found that a novella is pretty much the perfect length to just follow one person’s story. I’ve personally found that I need to plot a novel better than I plot novellas - I need more interwoven events and a longer timeframe, whereas for a novella I can mostly get away with winging the plot! It’s definitely been an education for me to jump between novellas to novels, but it’s definitely worth trying both as a writer.

Do you have any favourite characters, or people whose story arc you want to explore further?
Toru is my absolute favourite; he’s a pain in the butt, invades every scene he possibly can, fell in love most inconveniently when I didn’t plan for him to, and I absolutely adore him.
I was lucky with the novellas in that I have gotten to explore most of the story arcs that I wanted to - I picked up most of the characters from the first three books and introduced a lot of new ones, and I loved being able to tie the wider world and characters into the specific stories (for example, in Book 9 the main character meets the main characters from Book 4 as part of her journey) - so I get to catch up and see how people have progressed even if I’m focusing on someone else’s story.

Where will the series go next?
I’m currently just finishing the tenth and final novella in the series, and I’ve got three novels planned after this; they follow the children and younger generation of the current characters, and look at what the changes made to the world have done after a generation, and how the thinking and political world is changing. I want to explore electricity, slavery, communication, the growth of flight and travel, changes in labour...the world doesn’t quite get set on fire, but it’s looking at how the technological changes begin to revolutionise a lot of lives. However, the novels are currently on the back burner due to other projects, so I’ll have to see how it all goes!

Do you have any other works in progress?
I’m currently writing an urban fantasy series; the first book is finished, the second is almost done, third and fourth are halfway through and the fifth is in the eternal planning loop! Beyond that, I’m also writing short stories in both the GreenSky and urban fantasy universe, and I usually have some sort of fanfic on the go.

You have been co-editing the forthcoming anthologies from Grimbold Books - how does that experience differ from that of writing?
The anthologies have been a brilliant mix of amazing and frustrating, and definitely a different experience from writing! I think the main difference between editing (particularly an anthology) and writing is that with editing, you’re having to deal with so many additional details and a much wider range of problems than with writing, which tends to be far more internal problems and story issues (and character problems, because characters are tricksy hobbitses.) I’ve loved being able to read so much wonderful fiction for the anthologies, but narrowing down the stories is always so hard - you’re trying to pick stories that fit the theme of the anthology and also display the widest range of talents possible, as well as picking as broad a range of ideas and settings as you can. We’ve been so lucky to have a whole bunch of brilliant writers submit, and I’m so proud of the collections we’ve pulled together - even if choosing stories, working with writers to edit and polish them, getting the formatting sorted and the whole bunch of myriad little details has been a lot of work!

Are deadlines a help or a hindrance?
A bit of both! I don’t do well with self-imposed deadlines as I know that I can break them, but external deadlines are usually good as I’m pretty organised, so will make sure I get things done.

Nanowrimo – love it, hate it or both?
I like NaNo a lot! I am definitely a break-the-rules person, though; I’ve done it for the last four years, but I see it as dedicated time for me to work on whatever is going to help me - which for the last few years has been novellas or a WIP rather than a new novel. NaNo’s community spirit is really amazing, and it’s definitely worth doing and being part of - but I’d advise doing it on your own terms.

Are there any films you are watching - Avengers or others? What about Game of Thrones?
I’m sort of sporadically into films...I’ll occasionally see things at the cinema or watch something with a friend, but I much prefer settling with a book! I’ve recently enjoyed Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy, haven’t even tried Game of Thrones (I didn’t get on with the books so haven’t dared try the TV series) but will happily watch Ghibli or Disney films any day.

What are you reading at the moment?
It tends to change by the day! I currently have Jeannette Ng’s Under The Pendulum Sun and Jasmine Gower’s Moonshine on the go, and I’ve just finished Artificial Condition by Martha Wells - but it will have changed by next week!

If you could go on holiday to any of the imaginary worlds you've read about, where would you go? (And where would you avoid!)
I definitely wouldn’t want to go to the Game of Thrones universe, and given the current films, I’d probably avoid the Marvel/DC universe too! I’d love to go to some of Diane Wynne Jones’ universes - Howl’s Moving Castle, Deep Secret (and The Merlin Conspiracy) or The Dark Lord of Derkholm all sound like amazing universes to just be a visitor in. Jasper Fforde’s Thursday series would also be great fun - I’d be able to visit any book I wanted!

I am unsure how to frame this question, but Oxford must be second only to London as a magical/literary destination, from the time of Lewis Carroll and Tolkien to the present day (Phillip Pullman…) What’s it all about?
I’ve only been living in Oxford for a month, but it’s a beautiful city - the buildings are stunning and I’m enjoying the open space! My commute is down the river every morning, which is fabulous. I think Oxford combines a constantly changing mindset and population in a very centred and long-term framework, and something airily philosophical and grand with a more down-to-earth practicality: there’s a huge population of geeks and passionate people, and I love the way that everything mixes. It’s a very laid-back city, but also somewhere that the magical could be real - and could be just around the next corner, or peering down from the carved spires.

Do you belong to any fandoms – Dr Who, Star Wars, Star Trek (or many more)?
I’m not part of any particular big fandoms, but I love Studio Ghibli, My Little Pony thanks to a friend who was really into it, and The Dresden Files...beyond that, I’ll quite happily discuss Harry Potter and know the basics of most fandoms, so I can at least hold my own in a conversation - or duck when someone yells about a monster! | Amazon UK

About Kate Coe:

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at In real life she's a typesetter and fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for May 18, 2018

It's time for the weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Avengers: Infinity War (spoilers mostly marked, but reader beware), The Handmaid's Tale, Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, various TV show cancellations, tributes to Margot Kidder, an uproar involving Origins Game Fair as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, con reports, crowdfunding campaigns, science articles, free online fiction and much more. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Comments on Avengers: Infinity War:

Comments on season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale:

Comments on Solo: A Star Wars Story

Comments on Deadpool 2:

Tributes to Margot Kidder:

Comments on various TV show cancellations:


Writing, publishing and promotion:




Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: