On May 23rd, 24th, and 25th 2014, the Engen-crew of authors once again embarked on their yearly trip to St. John’s Newfoundland for the Eighth Annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. Every Sci-Fi on the Rock is a special event to the City of St. John’s: what started 8 years ago as a small cult following of fans lead by Darren Hann has become the ultimate in Geek Chic for the province, a three-day celebration of what it is to be a Newfoundland Nerd.
The convention consists of near-round the clock movies, trivia contests, gaming tournaments, lectures, fan-expos, and cos-playing. The event isn’t all fun-and-games though, and has become the go-to place in the province to make connections on collaborative works such as indie comics as with Ariel Marsh of Super-Galactic Space Explorers, meet and learn from professional authors such as Paradise native Scott Bartlett, or attend stunning and thought-provoking lectures by experts in their field, like Dr. Chistopher Lockett’s lecture on all things Tolkien.
As they have been for the last seven years, Engen Books was out in full force with four of its authors in attendance; including Matthew LeDrew ( the Black Womb series & The Long Road), Ellen Curtis (the Infinity series and Compendium), Jay Paulin (light|dark) and Steve Lake (the Full Moon series).
The weekend saw the released of Matthew LeDrew’s latest book, The Long Road, which bridges the Black Womb series (which ended with its tenth book, Chains, released at last years Sci-Fi on the Rock) and its sequel series The Xander Drew series, which is tentatively slated to begin publication in the fall. The Long Road is a book of short stories, in which each story is a different point along the road as Xander Drew makes a life-altering trek from small-town Maine to the big city of Los Angeles, California.
“It’s time for Xander to get out of Coral Beach and interact with the larger Engen Universe as a whole,” said series-creator Matthew LeDrew. “To grow up and stop being stuck in the same thought patterns that small towns can foster. He needs new challenges and new risks in order to remain fresh and interesting, and to grow as a character.”
What this means for the rest of the cast of the previous series is currently unclear, and is not fully explained at the start of the collection. LeDrew was heard explaining to one fan that the new series will be “sans a supporting cast.” When asked to elaborate, LeDrew claimed that in the new series Xander would be alone, and that that would make him “more dangerous” than he’s ever been before.
Also premiering to the excitement of Black Womb fans this weekend was the new international edition of Transformations in Pain, easily the most controversial and polarizing Engen book thus far. This novel follows the international release of Black Womb in October 2012. The next book set for re-release is Ghosts of the Past, with the remaining two Black Womb books to follow soon-after.
Also returning was the Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever, consisting this time of Ellen Curtis, Jay Paulin, and Matthew LeDrew. The four answered questions for a packed room, ranging from topics a varied as dealing with writer’s block to how to prepare a manuscript for publication. Plans had been made to film the panel discussion as the season premiere of the second season of the popular YouTube program, but conflicts between it and Steve Lake’s popular Geek Survivor made filming impossible. New episodes are to begin filming soon.