Category Archives: Sci-Fi on the rock

Mischief managed: SciFi on the Rock update | Amanda Labonté

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

Confessions of Patient Zero | My Sci-Fi on the Rock 11 Story

Dana Carberry Matthew LeDrew
Me infecting young Dana Carberry.

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

Only 17 days left!! | Fantasy from the Rock

That’s right, only 17 days left before the submissions for Fantasy from the Rock close on December 31, 2016! We already look to have twelve amazing new authors, some new, some established, and some award winning on board, with formal announcements to come once the deadline is closed. You’ve still got time to be a part of this great new collection!

After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock this past 10th Anniversary weekend, Engen Books has decided to continue the line with Fantasy from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2017 at the eleventh annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

“The response from fans was enormous and overwhelming,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “We we able to publish a number of first-time authors alongside established pillars in the Newfoundland science-fiction community like Kenneth Tam and Scott Bartlett, of Iceberg Publishing and Mirth Publishing, respectfully. Engen Books has always been a fan of placing new talent alongside established talent, giving those new voices a chance to shine in a way they may have have otherwise.”

While the inaugural volume was titled Sci-Fi from the Rock, it in fact told PG-rated stories from the fantasy, science-fiction, and thriller genres. This new collection will focus more heavily on genre-specific stories, with each successive volume then showcasing different talent within the Canadian writing scene.

Editors Ellen Curtis and Erin Vance are scheduled to return to helm the project.

As Fierce as Steel author Christopher Walsh will be returning his fantasy series, The Gold and Steel Saga to the collection. “My short story, In Defense of Our Home, will take readers back over eight centuries before the events of As Fierce as Steel to a historical era of great upheaval in Illiastra. The events unfolding in the story surround that of the dwarves of the ancient city of Dhalla, through the eyes of a warrior known as Axel the Goldenhair. He and his closest allies stand at the gates of their city, awaiting the arrival of a terrifying foe that has promised to wipe the dwarves from existence.

Other, award-winning authors have expressed interest, but anyone can submit to be a part of this Spring 2017 collection! Deadline is December 31, 2016 but get your stories in as quick as you can, as it gives our wonderful editors more time to work with you and make sure it is as good as it can possibly be!

Continue reading Only 17 days left!! | Fantasy from the Rock

Gold Nail Polish, New Friends, and a Couple Good Foot Stomps

 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.)

Continue reading Gold Nail Polish, New Friends, and a Couple Good Foot Stomps

KENNETH TAM the final Sci-Fi author!

Whitecoat: The Champions of 1940Kenneth 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.

Melanie Collins returns to print

Melanie Collins
Melanie Collins

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.

Continue reading Melanie Collins returns to print

Top 5 Anticipated Releases of 2016

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 5 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!

Continue reading Top 5 Anticipated Releases of 2016