Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Covers Revealed - Recent and Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

Here are some of the recent and upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.

Delilah S. Dawson (2012)

Journey to Star War: The Last Jedi
Del Rey, April 24, 2018
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 1, 2017

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover Captain Phasma’s mysterious history in this “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” novel.

One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.

Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.

What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.

Rachel Dunne (2016)

The Shattered Sun
A Bound Gods Novel 3
Harper Voyager, December 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

The epic sword-and-sorcery Bound Gods fantasy series comes to its dark conclusion in this thrilling story of a vibrant world whose fate lies in the hands of vengeful gods and bold warriors.

The world has been plunged into darkness . . . and only the scheming priest Joros might be able to bring back the sun.

With his ragtag band of fighters—a laconic warrior, a pair of street urchins, a ruthless priestess, and an unhinged sorcerer—Joros seeks to defeat the ancient gods newly released from their long imprisonment. But the Twins have champions of their own, and powers beyond knowing . . . and the only sure thing is that they won’t go down without a fight.

The fate of the world hangs in the balance as the Twins aim to enact revenge on the parents that imprisoned them, and the world that spurned them. The Long Night has begun, and the shadows hide many secrets—including that the Twins themselves may not be as powerful as they would have everyone think.

Joros and his allies must strike now—before the Twins can consolidate their power . . . and before they are allowed to shape the world in their vision.

Book 1
Book 2

Randy Henderson (2015)

Smells Like Finn Spirit
The Arcana Familia 3
Tor Books, April 24, 2018
Trade Paperback, 448 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 7, 2017

Finn Graymare is back in the final installment of Randy Henderson's Familia Arcana series, Smells Like Finn Spirit.

Finn's re-adaptation to the human world is not going so well. He's got a great girlfriend, and is figuring out how things like the internet work, but he is still carrying the disembodied personality of Alynon, Prince of the Silver Demesne, the fae who had occupied his body during his imprisonment. And he's not getting along at all with his older brother. And oh, by the way, his dead grandfather is still trying to possess him in order to bring about Armageddon.

Book 1
Book 2

Altered Perception Opening in Theaters and on VOD and Digital on May 4, 2018


Opening in Theaters and on VOD & Digital
on May 4, 2018


When the government attempts to produce a designer drug aimed at correcting the false perceptions that people develop during trauma and stress, the implications are deadly. Advertised as a cure for socio-political tensions, four couples volunteer, but end up with far more than they bargained for as their past and present are examined while taking variations of the new drug. However, this causes them to doubt their own memory, perceptions - and even their own sanity in this thriller in the vein of Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SPFBO 2017 Review: Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe

Sufficiently Advanced Magic
Author:  Andrew Rowe
Series:  Arcane Ascension 1
Publisher:  Self-published, February 26, 2017
Format:  Kindle eBook, 625 pages
Other fomats:  Trade Paperback

Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess.

He never returned.

Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won’t be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that, he’s going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity.

The journey won’t be easy, but Corin won’t stop until he gets his brother back.

Tracey's Thoughts

Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe opens as the protagonist, Corin Cadence, mentally prepares himself to enter Serpent Spire on his Judgement Day. Since the giant tower is nothing more than a series of trials designed to judge a person's skills and abilities, Corin is understandably uneasy. These tests, designed by the goddess Selys, involve magical puzzles, dangerous monsters, and intricate traps. Failing isn't an option for Corin; he plans to exit the tower alive.

Along with the other youths that enter the Judgement Day gates, Corin is hoping to earn an attunement. These marks are said to be a sign of the goddess' blessing, and even more important, they give the bearer magical powers. Corin also has more personal motive; he hopes to discover information pertaining to his brother Tristan, who entered the Serpent Spire five years earlier but never returned.

The book's opening is fantastic. Corin's adventures in the Serpent Spire both excited and intrigued me. I loved the traps, puzzles, and the beings that Corin faced before earning his attunement. Author Andrew Rowe's introduction really brings his world, the tower, and its occupants to life. Which may explain why I was disappointed after Corin exits the tower and enters the Lorian Heights Academy of Arcane Arts.

Lorian Heights is a school of magic where the student body attends classes while working to improve their magical abilities. Becoming more powerful is a paramount goal for Corin who plans to eventually return to the tower to look for clues of his brother's whereabouts. Although the magic and its source in this world are vastly different, there are just too many parallels to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to ignore. For instance, the professors at Lorian Heights, much like those at Hogwarts, are cryptic, often gruff, and very seldom helpful. Another similarity is Corin's group of friends, who much like Harry's, come from diverse backgrounds and are at their strongest when they are working together. Finally, Lorian Heights comes under attack by monsters on multiple occasions, reminiscent of events created by JK Rowling. For me, this middle portion of the story is unoriginal and lackluster.

One of my favorite parts of speculative fiction is character development. Corin Cadence is determined, enterprising and innovative. His major fault is the he is emotionally distant. Corin is very aware of this flaw and constantly worked on it throughout the story. He also invests a huge portion of his time on inventing and improving magical devices designed to boost the bearer's powers. This starts out interesting, but on both counts Rowe spends too much time on the details which become tedious. Much more likeable is Sera Cadence, Corin's half-sister. Her relation with Corin is near perfect and the peaks and valleys of their interactions are a highlight for me. I also really enjoyed her experience in the Survival Match battle arena.

No concrete spoilers, but in the finale, Rowe takes his characters back into the tower and the story once again shines.

Bottom line: Sufficiently Advanced Magic begins and ends on a high note, but the middle drags. Andrew Rose produces some amazing, adrenaline-filled action sequences, but the meat of the story is just too bland for my tastes.

I rate Sufficiently Advanced Magic as a solid 6.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The View From Monday - April 23, 2018

Happy Monday!

There are no debuts this week. Don't forget to vote in the Cover Wars for the April debuts here.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Defiant Heir (Swords and Fire 2) by Melissa Caruso;

Phasma (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) by Delilah S. Dawson is out in Mass Market Paperback;


Smells Like Finn Spirit (The Familia Arcana 3) by Randy Henderson is out in Trade Paperback.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

April 23, 2018
The Battersea Barricades (e) Jodi Taylor SF/TT - A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story

April 24, 2018
Reset Brian Andrews Th
Midnight Wolf Jennifer Ashley PNR - A Shifters Unbound Novel 11
Publish and Perish Phillipa Bornikova CF/DF/UF - Linnet Ellery 3
Vicious Circle (ri) Mike Carey SupTh - Felix Castor 2
Sea of Rust (h2tp) C. Robert Cargill SF/AP/PA
The Defiant Heir Melissa Caruso F - Swords and Fire 2
Waking the Ancients Catherine Cavendish Occ/H/HistF - Nemesis of the Gods 2
Monster Hunter Siege (h2mm) Larry Correia UF - Monster Hunter 6
Phasma (h2mm) Delilah S. Dawson SF/SO - Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Spawn of Lilith (tp2mm) Dana Fredsti DF - Lilith 1
The War of the Dwarves (ri) Markus Heitz F - The Dwarves 2
Smells Like Finn Spirit (h2tp) Randy Henderson UF/HU - The Familia Arcana 3
Day Reaper Melody Johnson PNR - Night Blood 4
Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium Paul Kidby Art
The Unyielding (tp2mm) Shelly Laurenston PNR - Call Of Crows 3
Void Star (h2tp) Zachary Mason LF/SF/Dys
Forsaken Michael McBride SupTh - A Unit 51 Novel 2
Time Was Ian McDonald SF/TT
Anno Dracula - Dracula Cha Cha Cha Kim Newman H - Anno Dracula 3
Acts of Vanishing Fredrik T. Olsson Th
Chain of Events (h2mm) Fredrik T. Olsson Th
1635: The Wars for the Rhine (tp2mm) Anette Pedersen SF - Ring of Fire 24
The Essex Serpent (h2tp) Sarah Perry Hist
The Library of Light and Shadow (h2tp) M. J. Rose Hist - Daughters of La Lune 3
Cast in Silence (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 5
Cast in Secret (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 3
Cast in Ruin (ri) Michelle Sagara F  - The Chronicles of Elantra 7
Cast in Flame (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra
Cast in Sorrow (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 9
Cast in Peril (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 8
Cast in Chaos (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 6
Cast in Fury (ri) Michelle Sagara F - The Chronicles of Elantra 4
White as Milk, Red as Blood: The Forgotten Fairy Tales of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth Franz Xaver von Schönwerth
Shelley Tanaka (Tr)
FairyT/FolkT/LM/ LF/GN
The Emissary Yoko Tawada
Margaret Mitsutani (Tr)
Corax (h2mm) Gav Thorpe SF - The Horus Heresy 40
Martians Abroad (h2tp) Carrie Vaughn SF
Blue Plague: Decisions Thomas A. Watson SF/AP/PA - Blue Plague 5
Alien: The Cold Forge Alex White H/SF/MTI - Alien

April 27, 2018
Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times Aimee Bahng Asian American Studies/LC/SF/F

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Spotlight - A Demon in Silver by R.S. Ford

Coming in June from Titan Books the start of the War of the the Archons trilogy  - A Demon in Silver by R.S. Ford.

A Demon in Silver
War of the Archons 1
Titan Books, June 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.

When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.

But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.

About R.S. Ford

R.S. Ford originally hails from Leeds in the heartland of Yorkshire but now resides in the wild fens of Cambridgeshire. His previous works include the raucous steampunk adventure, Kultus, and the grimdark fantasy trilogy, Steelhaven.

Digital Editions of Deadly Class On Sale


PORTLAND, OR, 04/19/2018 — In celebration of SyFy Channel’s forthcoming TV series adaptation of Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s bestselling DEADLY CLASS, Image Comics is pleased to announce Google Play and ComiXology digital sales going on now through Monday, April 23rd.

It’s back to school for fans of DEADLY CLASS! Stock up on digital editions of the bestselling series by Rick Remender and Wes Craig and binge-read the series before the forthcoming SyFy TV show airs. Bone up on this '80s punk-influenced story about a school for assassins—because at King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical.

SyFy ordered DEADLY CLASS to pilot in September of last year, and Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott adapted the popular series for television. They will also serve as executive producers alongside Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, and Mike Larocca. Adam Targum from Chipmunk Hill also served as executive producer on the pilot, along with Lee Toland Krieger, who also directed. Sony Pictures Television and Universal Cable Productions will produce.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

Nintendo Download, April 19, 2018: Ample Parking, Day or Night!

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Standard Edition – Players will once again assume the role of the New Kid. As the newest member of Coon and Friends, you must create your own superhero, build up your notoriety and use your superpowers to save South Park. Only then will Coon and Friends take their rightful place as the greatest team of superheroes ever assembled – and get the movie deal they so richly deserve. The game launches on April 24.

Nintendo eShop sales:

MMORPG Crusaders of Light - "Battle for Karanvale" Update

MMORPG Crusaders of Light Launches “Battle for Karanvale” Content Update

Update introduces global players to the city of Karanvale and its royal legacy, rare Mythic gear of unimaginable power, a new Assassin PvP mode and the Mad Laboratory dungeon raid

BRISBANE - Apr. 19, 2018 - NetEase Games (NASDAQ: NTES) today launched a new content update for its free-to-play, cross-platform MMORPG, Crusaders of Light, “Battle for Karanvale,” featuring a new city, a new tier of gear, a new PVP game mode and the most difficult team raid so far. Available on the App Store, Google Play, Facebook Gameroom, and Steam, Crusaders of Light features a gorgeous 3D fantasy world, a series of challenging dungeons, and epic 40-person raids. With Crusaders of Light, players can play cross-platform, continuing the same game and upleveling the same character, whether at home on their PC, or on the go via their mobile device.

Learn more about the “Battle of Karanvale” update in an all-new trailer:

Download Crusaders of Light today from the App Store, Google Play, or Facebook Gameroom by visiting, and from Steam at

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr Available June 5th


Lesquin, FRANCE - April 19, 2018 - Neocore and Bigben, along with Maximum Games, today announce a delay in the release of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr, previously planned for May 11th. In order to offer players the most seamless gaming experience possible, the game will be released simultaneously on Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and PC on June 5th.

Neocore Games is a development studio based in Budapest whose expertise in Action-RPGs has previously been demonstrated, both on PC and consoles, in "The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing". The team has been working on Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr for three years. It's the very first Action-RPG set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

In Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr, players control an Inquisitor in the Caligari Sector, a region infested with heretics, mutants, and Chaos Daemons. The game, playable in both solo and online cooperative mode with up to 4 players, lets players progress through a persistent universe via numerous missions with varied objectives. The player embodies one of three classes with complementary abilities, each one offering specific skills and varied customizable options. They'll fight across destructible environments which use a cover system that is unique in this type of game, and must survive battles that are both tactical and brutal.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalists

This year’s finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction story have been announced. The awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards reception on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award - 2018 Finalists

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award recognizes the best science fiction short story of each year. It was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-­story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.

The Campbell Conference has been held each year since 1978 at the University of Kansas. It includes a Friday‐evening banquet where the annual Theodore A. Sturgeon and John W. Campbell Memorial Award are given; a Saturday round‐table discussion with scholars, scientists, and writers of science fiction; and other events.

Note: Clicking on a short story title will take you to that story online with the exception of the link to Greg Egan's story which takes you to a PDF.