Knight’s Surrender is a 2014 YA Fantasy novel by Heather Reilly and published through her own small-press publishing company, Reilly Books. This is the first novel in the Binding of the Almatraek series of a planned five books, three of which are currently available. This is the first in a series a reviews of quality indie fantasy leading up to our Spring 2017 release, Fantasy from the Rock.
From what I’m seeing of the fantasy genre, and I am new to it, the evolution of the genre happens not through innovations in setting or circumstance but through style. More than any other genre I can think of, fantasy reads best if you understand the history from which it came, and the authors that came before and (possibly) inspired the author, either knowingly or unknowlingly.
To that end, I can see the connective tissue linking JRR Tolkien to George RR Martin, and now from George RR Martin to Heather Reilly. With each passing generation of fantasy scribe, elements of the previous are transferred over while adding twists and changes and refinement: that’s how the genre can seem to outwardly the same but so functionally different all these years later.
Eighteen authors bringing a total of twenty stories and nearly 100,000 words making this our largest collection ever have been chosen for inclusion in 2017’s epic fantasy anthology, Fantasy from the Rock. They include an award-winning fantasy author, novelists, returning short story authors, and new talent whose works are reaching the public for the first time.
Behind each of those blanked-out spaces is the name of one of our authors, and as the contracts roll out and return and bios are written, we’ll be peeling back the curtain on them one by one. Let the speculation begin! 🙂
After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock and the sheer amount of amazing submissions we got for Fantasy from the Rock, Engen Books has decided to continue the From The Rock line with Chillers from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2018 at the 12th annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention. Continue reading Call for Scary submissions!→
Damnation Code is a 2015 supernatural thriller by screenwriter William Massa and produced by the intensely-successful small press publishing platform Critical Mass Publishing. It stars Mark Talon, a Delta Force Operator who has spent nearly a decade as a career soldier fighting America’s enemies abroad becoming entangled in the fight against a techno-savvy supernatural death cult after his reporter girlfriend is ritualistically murdered for getting too close to their operations. This book is the first in the Occult Assassin series, of which there are currently six titles (4 main entries and 2 side-books).
This novel is the perfect blend of genre and off-genre elements that proves Massa is a gifted, intelligent author. He knows exactly how to manipulate the reader — in a good way — using the tropes and recognizable storytelling elements of familiar genres. That’s what nobody ever tells young writers: tropes aren’t a bad thing. Tropes are just elements that recur over and over again in a particular type of literature. As humans we’re very good at noticing these patterns, and using them to predict what will happen next. A smart author — like Massa — will use these tropes to subconsciously set up expectations in the reader’s mind, only to subvert them at a critical moment. And without digging too deep into spoilers, that’s what happens here.
Samuel Bauer performed a reading of his short story, The Locket, to a full house of participants of the Lloyd Auckland Invitational Mathematics Workshop at the University of Waterloo on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016. The young author read his short, which appeared in the 2016 anthology collection Sci-Fi from the Rock, to a reaction of “stunned silence and applause,” one attendee stated.
The Auckland Workshop is a week of mathematical stimulation for young intellectuals from all over Canada and across the globe. It features various activities, trips, lectures and problem solving workshops. Students are invited based off their performance on the CEMC’s Cayley and Fermat contest, further proving Samuel Bauer’s unique status as a mind in science fiction: the sort of intellectual-creative double-threat mixtures that created the liked of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick.
The University of Waterloo has already produced some of the best modern voices in Canadian fiction, such as Kenneth Tam (His Majesty’s New World, Defense Command) and Conor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare), and continues this trend by continuing to foster young smart-creatives like Sam Bauer.
Be sure and support Bauer as well as sixteen other Canadian authors by picking up Sci-Fi from the Rock, available now. 🙂
Sci-Fi From the Rock (Paperback)
Ellen Curtis & Erin Vance (Editors)