I was asked to write an update about my experience at SciFi on the Rock last weekend, but where do I even start?
For someone who had never attended the convention in full, I think the biggest surprise for me was how fast the time flew. I thought the hours at the tables would creep by. But three days have never gone so quickly.
Going back and forth between the Writer’s Alliance of NL (WANL) community table and the Engen Books table in the vendor room, I got to meet and connect with so many readers and writers. I have always believed speculative fiction readers are some of the most devoted in existence and, after last weekend, I am even more convinced. The enthusiasm from the attendees truly made the conference for me. Continue reading Mischief managed: SciFi on the Rock update | Amanda Labonté→
This was originally going to be a series of posts — every day of Sci-Fi on the Rock 11 was it’s own mini-event that deserved chronicling. However, as the title implies, I’ve been a little under the weather. As of today it’s been a week since the con started, and I really don’t want to wait any longer. So I’m going to try and get it all on record. 🙂
So, as a bit of preamble, I’m kind of known among my friends for my immune system. When my friends have children that are sick, I get the call: because I won’t catch it. I’m not sure why that is, but I’ve always reveled in it with the utmost glee… that is, until I met Heather Reilly’s youngest daughter, an adorable red-head with a perpetually runny nose. I was sitting for them the week before the con, and caught something that resulted in a 103-degree fever for about 48 un-fun hours.
That was Wave One. Wave Two was that, while recovering and my immune system was down, I apparently caught something else — I believe from the same Reilly child, we’re not sure. In any event, this most recent biological attack on us from Reilly Books resulting in an extreme cold and laryngitis… that started attacking my voice on April 27. You know, the day of our book launch for Fantasy from the Rock, the event we’ve been planning for a year to celebrate 10 years of Engen Books. Continue reading Confessions of Patient Zero | My Sci-Fi on the Rock 11 Story→
I just took off my gold nail polish, which means that SciFi on the Rock is offically over for me. Am I recovered from three full days of meeting and greeting, selling and yelling yet? No, of course not. Does one ever recover from a brand new experience? Not really; I think what happens instead is you just adapt to this new aspect of your life. And, just like it took me a long time to adapt to the experience of driving across the country and back, I think it’s going to take me a while to adapt to SciFi on the Rock 10.
In all honesty, I feel somewhat disoriented. I went from SciFi on the Rock – nearly twelve hours a day for three days – and then was expected to return to the routine of life. Rather like Dorothy must have marveled at the thought of returning to Kansas after experiencing Oz, or Frodo wondered at how Hobbiton could feel like home, I am looking around my world and thinking that it doesn’t quite fit anymore.
(Of course, that could be the exhaustion speaking. I am already remembering my place in this routine I have established over the last few weeks.)
Kenneth Tam, a name familiar to all fans of science-fiction in Canada and known as the first guest ever to appear at Sci-Fi on the Rock returns for the landmark 10th year and is the final contributor to the Sci-Fi from the Rock 2016 collection!
Tam brings with him a prologue to Whitecoat, the first novel in his Champions series.
Since 1881, Britain, Canada and the United States have been colonizing another planet. Now it’s 1940, and tensions between the world’s Empires are mounting because the English-speaking nations enjoy exclusive control over a uniquely powerful resource: genetically-enhanced humans known as ‘Champions’. Lady Alex Smith is the newest Champion, and her best friend Stephanie Shylock has joined the British Army so they can work together. Along with Sergeant Mike Strong, a veteran soldier with a colorful reputation, these two must follow in the footsteps of their famous parents, and save the world… perhaps both worlds. For more, visit Championsof1940.com
Kenneth Tam (born 1984 in St. John’s, Newfoundland) is a Canadian science-fiction author. His best-known works include The Equations Novels and the Defense Command series. He is the son of fellow Canadian author Jacqui Tam. He is a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario. Kenneth has been an author guest at the Polaris Science Fiction Convention for six consecutive years, and a guest at the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention for its first three years.
He is the author of over 40 books spread over 4 different science-fiction series, and Engen Books is proud and honored to have his work represented here.
One of the reasons for the success of the first Sci-Fi from the Rock collection in April 2010 (and the Engen Anthology program as a whole) was the skillful and powerful prose of Melanie Collins, who proved to us that there were amazing authors out there without a venue that needed a place to shine and reach their fandom.
One of the greatest heartbreaks of the last six years for Engen Books has been seeing that title, and specifically that story, fall from print. In April 2016 that error is being rectified when Melanie Collins’s fantasy masterpiece Woven by the Thief returns to the printed page as a part of our 10th Anniversary Collection.
We thank Melanie for the privilege of working with her again.
When it comes to distractions (and that is the name of this blog after all) nothing eats up more of my time than anticipation: that time spent waiting for the next novel in a series or the next season of a show of the next movie in a franchise. Follow my train of thought here: if the next movie in my favorite franchise was out I could just watch it, a distraction from my work of no more than 3 hours. But waiting for it, wondering about it, watching trailers, reading predictions, fixating on it, and then watching it: that’s a much heavier time commitment that I should be using to write and edit.
With that in mind, here are my Top 4 most anticipated book releases of 2016. These are the books that have left me sitting in my chair wondering rather than sitting in my chair working, and time can’t tick by fast enough for them to arrive!
Ali House returns to pen a short story for Sci-Fi from the Rock!
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Ali House spends most of her time scribbling stories and ideas in notebooks. After graduating from MUN with a BFA, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she works in arts administration and moonlights as an actor, director, stage manager, and playwright. She is an avid traveler, foodie, and fan of the Oxford comma. Her work has previously appeared in the anthology Bluenose Paradox.
This time Ali’s short story, “Twenty-One,” will be the first short to be set in a new fictional universe which will be expanded into a novel in late 2016: already optioned by Engen Books after the success of this story at her work with Bluenose Paradox! Get on the ground floor and pick up her story in April!
Making her fiction writing debut in the April 2016 collection is Engen Books’s own senior editor Erin Vance, with her short story Cast, Clutter, Pack, Murder, the first story in a new and exciting science-fiction universe!
Erin Vance is an editor and a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland English Honors Program.
Erin wrote her Honors thesis paper, The Song of the Mockingjay, explored the nature of Katniss Everdeen’s agency in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. She is creative, spiritual, and loves reading, writing, and anything to do with words.
Erin is an editor for Engen Books on a work-for-hire basis and is currently accepting proposals from more editing work in both copy and content from authors of all backgrounds and skill sets, subject to right-to-refusal and prices to be negotiated based on the amount of time each project is estimated to take. Potential authors wishing to work with Erin should write email@example.com and allow up to four weeks for a response.
Erin Vance is an editor for Engen Books on a work-for-hire basis and is currently accepting proposals for more editing work in both copy and content from authors of all backgrounds and skill sets, subject to right-to-refusal and prices to be negotiated based on the amount of time each project is estimated to take. Potential authors wishing to work with Erin should write firstname.lastname@example.org and allow up to four weeks for a response.
The Pitch: The approaching execution of Adam Genblade brings closure to the men and women of Coral Beach… until people start showing up dead in the same manor they did when he was at large. Now his victims are forced to keep him alive in order to get their answers… or accept that it may not have been him to begin with.
Note: Erin edited the 2015 international edition of Smoke and Mirrors only.
The Pitch: Thomas Horton is a good cop. Focused and unyielding, he has one of the highest solved-case rates in Los Angeles, a city with the highest unsolved murder rate in the whole of the United States. Despite his record, his resolve is questioned by the appearance of a young man named Xander Drew: a man equally as focused and determined, but who refuses to operate within the confines of the rigid California legal system.
When the egos and obsessions of both men collide, Horton enters a violent and dangerous world he didn’t know existed beneath the veneer of order and structure that he has based his entire deductive method around, forcing both men to question everything they knew… until they are both threatened to be dragged down to a place where everything burns, until all that are left, are Cinders.
In another welcoming announcement, Engen Books is proud to introduce Stacey Oakley and her short story, The Sorrows of War.
Stacey Oakley is an avid reader and writer, especially of fantasy. She has a BA in Art History & Visual Studies with a minor in Social Justice Studies from the University of Victoria and is currently in the process of completing a post-grad diploma in Cultural Resource management by distance, also from Uvic. While originally from Moncton, New Brunswick she’s lived on both sides of the country having spent a number of years in BC and only recently moved to Newfoundland.
In all the hype leading up to 2016’s hotly anticipated collection Sci-Fi from the Rock and its many authors, it’s easy to overlook the other great titles being released in April: such as Ellen Curtis and Matthew LeDrew’s Exodus of Angels.
After 3 and a half years, readers will finally be able to check back in with Victor, Jaycee, Theo and Leigh this April with a story that will touch the hearts and minds of anyone who reads it — as well stoke the fire of anyone who believes there to be a common thread running through all of the Engen Universe titles, including the Black Womb, Xander Drew, and Benedict Forecasts series.
Led by series creator and show-runner Ellen Curtis, the novel will delve into Theo’s troubled past first glimpsed in the short story “The Theogony” and introduce startling new characters within the walls of the Black Springs Psychiatric Ward.
Pick up your copy on April 1, and if you haven’t tried out the Infinity series by Ellen Curtis and Matthew LeDrew yet, the e-books are on sale now with links below!
The Pitch: There is a man living in Atlanta Georgia that people don’t talk about, but everyone knows he’s there. He arrived a year ago and turned a gaggle of uneducated and uninterested youth into a force to be reckoned with; something to fear more than any demon or violent act: something new.