Tag Archives: Newfoundland

Sci-Fi from the Rock welcomes Peter Foote

In addition to established all-stars like Jay Paulin (Super Galactic Space Explorers) and Scott Bartlett (Taking Stock), April’s Sci-Fi from the Rock will feature the initial publication of several soon-to-be well-known Atlantic Canadian authors!

Bringing his short story “The Silence Between Moons,” Engen Books is proud to announce Peter Foote!

Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, the son of an apple farmer, Peter Foote studied archaeology in university, is employed as a boiler and refrigeration operator, and runs a used bookstore out of his basement in his spare time.

Believing that an author should write what he knows, many of Peter’s stories are a reflection of his personal life.

“The Silence Between Moons” is Peter’s first published story.

Check out Sci-Fi from the Rock in print and digital formats April 1, 2016 and stay tuned for more announcements!

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46 Days Left: Last Chance to See!

Sci-Fi from the Rock ReturnsThere are only 46 days left to submit your short story to the Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology title, being published by Engen Books and in cooperation with that Sci-Fi on the Rock Convention on April 1, 2016. Deadline for entry is December 31, 2015.

The amount of talent and pedigree on tap for this volume is already impressive, including a short prose story by Jay Paulin taking place in his fuzzy and expansive Super Galactic Space Explorers Universe (with ornamental by series creator Ariel Marsh), a tale by multiple-award winning Newfoundland author Scott Bartlett, a non-fiction retrospective on Sci-Fi on the Rock from the award-winning author of A Daughter’s Gift Jacqui Tam, and introducing sure-to-be fan-favorite author Erin Vance, who is introducing a new story set in an exciting new fantasy multiverse!

There will also be stories by Matthew LeDrew, Ellen Curtis, Steve Lake, Melanie Collins, Darren Hann, and an amazing new cover by the talented Kyle Callahan of Kyle Callahan Photography, the people behind those amazing photo-realistic geek-culture artwork prints that have been showing up at the last few Sci-Fi on the Rock conventions!

A new development recently leaked is that December 31 2015 also represents the “last chance to see” for the existing Sci-Fi from the Rock titles.

“The original Sci-Fi from the Rock (2010) has been out of print for some time, as one of the three authors featured wished to have their short expanded into a full novel via another publisher not long before we made the jump to an international distributor,” reminded Engen Partner Ellen Louise Curtis in an interview last Sunday. “After 2015 we will be taking More Sci-Fi from the Rock and Sci-Fi from the Rock out of active print. They won’t be available for ordering via Amazon or any of our other affiliates, and we’ll sell off the remaining stock.”

“The reason for the change is simple,” chimed in Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “Those were wonderful volumes but much smaller, sometimes only 70 pages. We’re going to be taking most of that material, that we still have the rights to print, and it’s going to be made available in the new Sci-Fi from the Rock volume. We’re hoping that that, combined with the new material to make one mammoth volume that really celebrates 10 years of Sci-Fi on the Rock.

Got a story to tell?  We think everyone does! Especially the talented staff and attendees of Sci-Fi on the Rock! That’s why Engen Books produces the Sci-Fi From the Rock anthologies, highlighting short stories from our region, written by the staff a guests of everyone’s favorite Sci-Fi convention! This year is Sci-Fi on the Rock’s 10th Anniversary, and we’re going to ring it in in style with a new anthology celebrating the Con’s decade of history bringing science-fiction to our region…but Sci-Fi on the Rock isn’t just made possible by its staff and guests: it’s made possible by you! So between now and December 31st 2015, Engen Books will be accepting submissions for publication in the 10th Anniversary Sci-Fi From the Rock from anyone who attends the convention or wants to help celebrate its ten-year history!

Eligible entrants will be entered into a draw to win a free weekend pass to Sci-Fi on the Rock 10! And with guest like Robert Picardo, Eugene Simon, JM Frey and Kirby Morrow (plus more to come!) that’s a heck of a great prize!

Send all entries to submissions@engenbooks.com by December 31st, 2015, with the following information: Your Name, the title of your story, the genre of your story, and the length (approximate is fine). Please note: if selected we will need some further information on the author, please provide a reliable e-mail address.

For this specific collection, we’re going for an equivalent of PG to PG-13. That’s mainly because this book, more than the previous three, will be linked to the convention itself in that it’s celebrating 10 years of the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

I Always Forget How Beautiful Newfoundland Is

erinsjourney
Part One: St. Johns to Stephenville

As some of you may know, there’s a river that runs by my property. It goes through a circular culvert (or, it was circular until 2 months ago), under the road, and then out past this open field we’ve always called The Meadow. When I was a kid, I used to run through this culvert in my rubber boots, with Mom calling out encouragements from the other end. I tried to do this 18 months ago, and I understood why Mom never ran through it with me; it’s cramped!

Anyways. My point is that last night as I lay in bed, my chest felt like it was that culvert, except it was getting smaller and smaller. Every breath was a push through this shrinking space, and the more I thought about it, the smaller the cavity became.

Yes, I was freaking out. I was singing the first verse of Anastasia‘s “Journey to the Past” over and over again, crying on my mom’s shoulder, and texting one of my best friends trying to explain that my laptop could potentially be squashed by some crazy accident on the ferry ride and that would be terrible. (Thanks for listening, btw.)

My dad calls it The Law of Inertia. You know the one: an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion. Basically this means that that old cliche about the first step being the hardest one is completely accurate. I didn’t want to leave my house this morning. No matter how much I have shook the last couple of days (with excitement, mind you), I decided that it wasn’t worth it and I should just hide in my house for the next 7 weeks.

Continue reading I Always Forget How Beautiful Newfoundland Is

Atlanti-Con 4: A very successful distraction

Atlanti-Con 4 swept through the city of Corner Brook this past weekend, September 25-27 at the Corner Brook Convention Center and was once again wildly successful. It is to my deep regret that I missed this event in its first two years: it’s a great con run by amazing people, and always a ton of fun that is also — somehow — quite relaxing. There’s something of a very chill vibe that I get from Atlanti-Con that I do not get at other conventions on my standard circuit: Atlanti-Con is the cool surfer-brother of the Atlantic Provinces Convention family.

While many Engen authors, including Steve Lake (author of the Full Moon series of short stories), Darren Hann (author of Time Diamond, Holy Troll, and The Imagination Journals) and Tara Murphy (author of HagRidden) all came out together along with other members of the Sci-Fi on the Rock community, myself and fellow Infinity author Ellen Curtis came out a few days earlier on September 23, carpooling with award-winning author Scott Bartlett (author of Royal Flush, Taking Stock, and Finished with Life) to stay with friend and co-author Sarah Thompson and her wife Erica Green on the west coast of the province for a few days before the convention really geared up.

Light-DarkSarah and Erica are some of my very best friends. Their wedding last year was an amazing night with laughter and friends and fun that will be remembered for years to come, and they are wonderful hosts. Sarah herself is a person of many talents, not only working as an Employee-of-the-Year-winning announcer on K-Rock and helping at the Engen booth with sales, but also penning an amazing short story for the Engen light|dark anthology, Reamers.

After a few days of fun in the surprising amount of sun, with good food and lots late nights, Atlanti-Con took full affect in its new venue, with guests that included Michael McCluskey (also known by his stage name, Fat Apollo), voice-actor Erin Fitzgerald (most famously of the Monster High series), and comic-artist/author Richard Comely.

Now I don’t fan-gush much at conventions. It is very rare that I meet a celebrity that flusters me: I tend to be of the mind that we’re all people, and that getting excited over meeting a celebrity is a little silly: your life-partner, that’s someone to get excited about meeting. But while I don’t think I was nerding too badly at Atlanti-Con, I will say that meeting Richard Comely was a big moment for me.

Captain Canuck Compendium 1975-1981For anyone who isn’t familiar with the name, Richard Comely was the creator and main creative influence on the Captain Canuck series of comic books that ran from 1975 to 1981 and formed a large part of the cultural and pop-cultural heritage and history of Canadians in that time and to the present day. The first issue of Captain Canuck sold over 200,000 copies in 1975, and was one of the first Canadian super-hero comic success stories.

To put it into perspective: that was the same year that Giant-Sized X-Men #1 came out and relaunched the X-Men with Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and the like. And even then, many mainstream comics were not hitting the numbers that Comely’s comics were.

For me personally, I remember finding back-issues of Captain Canuck in a longbox in St. Johns. I didn’t know it then in those pre-internet days of 1990, but I had found almost the entire 14-issue series in one sitting. I remember reading through each issue, and Comely editorials at the end of each one, feverishly. I’d read superhero comics for some time, but even those set in Canada had been written and produced south of the border. Something about reading Comely’s evocative stories gave me, as a Canadian, permission to write and imagine writing in that genre. The series is available now in an Omnibus (called a Compendium) that collects all 14 issues, an previously unrepresented 15th issue, and several one-shot issues leading up to the recent relaunch. Everyone should check it out.

I picked up the 1975-1981 Compendium immediately, and later Richard was interested in what he was seeing across the hall at the Engen booth and proposed a swap: the first three issues of the new series for the anthology title light/dark, which highlights many of the Engen authors. A very good trade. Artist Kevin Kendall and I ended up getting in a bit of a nerd-off competition for who could get more Captain Canuck merchandise, as we’re both big fans.

Black WombSpeaking of Kevin Kendall, Atlanti-Con also was host to some of the best artists in the province, including Kevin’s Kendallight Studios and Kyle Callahan from Kyle Callahan Photography. Both do amazingly detailed work in very different ways, and the body of their work is often stunning. Atlanti-Con is always great for building connections and relationships: I met Kevin at a Convention on the West Coast in 2009, and he ended up doing the cover art for the revamped international edition of Black Womb for us. Keep your ears open for more collaborations between Engen and Kendallight Studios in the future, as well as with Kyle Callahan Photography.

Engen Books sold well as always, with the new-to-the-West-Coast Cinders and Infinity being the best sellers. We can’t wait to start getting feedback from the wonderful, creative people we met at Atlanti-Con this year: art isn’t art without input from the viewer!

Here’s to another great year at Atlanti-Con next year! Special shout-out to Scott Bartlett for driving this year and getting the three of us there (and back) safe and sound in an environmentally-friendly way! 🙂

Never Look Back!