Tag Archives: Sci-Fi on the Rock

Alicia Niemann announced as Fantasy from the Rock author!

Engen Books is proud to introduce our third author for 2017’s Fantasy from the Rock, Alicia Niemann!

Born in Victoria, BC, Alicia Niemann spent the majority of her twenties wandering Atlantic Canada, from Caraquet to Cape Breton. She studies representations of language and multilingualism in fairy tales and other fiction and, after much longer than was really necessary, graduated from Dalhousie University with an honours in European Studies, before going on to complete her masters in World Literature at the University of Ottawa last year. She has published academic work in Dalhousie’s European Studies journal The Lyre and the University of Ottawa’s journal of world literature, Confetti. Currently she works as a language teacher in Argentina.

Niemann brings her short story Snow White and Rose Red to the Fantasy from the Rock collection, which will be launching at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Center, April 27 2017 6 – 8PM, leading into Sci-Fi on the Rock 11 starting the next day!

Call for Scary submissions!

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!

Sci-Fi on the Rock: 10 years of awesome, dysfunction, and kentamination for the win.

April 1-3 this year was the tenth consecutive year for Sci-Fi on the Rock, a science-fiction convention that has become one of the largest fan and volunteer-run conventions of its kind. The Sheraton Newfoundland Hotel was filled to — from my understanding — near capacity and it resulted in one of the best weekends for the convention ever, by many metrics.

But not all metrics are measurable. This was the greatest weekend Engen Books has ever had by many metrics, not the least of which: sheer joy and pride. I’m going to attempt to explain why in a very stream-of-consciousness way.

Kenneth Tam, Matthew LeDrew, and Ellen Curtis behind the Engen Books booth. Dreams = come true.

Life has an odd way — sometimes — of linking things back together in very cohesive ways. Life isn’t a narrative. Life isn’t narratively pleasing, everything circling back to form a complete story… except sometimes.

The return of Kenneth Tam to Sci-Fi on the Rock was one of those moments, on a personal level. Kenneth Tam was the first guest at the original Sci-Fi on the Rock in 2006, which is in and of itself an Engen Books anniversary. As Ken himself put it this year while we all attended the Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel: “Ten years ago Matthew LeDrew came to my panel on how to break into publishing and scribbled everything I said on a sheet of paper furiously. The next year he came back with his own company and novel. Now ten years later, we’re all in this room because of that.”

Which, to be fair, is a flattering lie. 😉 That is classic Ken Tam, because I think he knew I was planning on spinning all our individual successes back to him as the “root of all evil good” in the Atlantic Canadian small press publishing world, and turned it against me first. Kudos, Tammy. Kudos. (And thank you).

At one point I caught Ken surveying the Engen booth, chin clasped in his hand, in a look I mistook for maybe “where does the series continue” or perhaps “where are the links between series” and, after finishing with the customer I was speaking to, asked him what I could help him with. He said, if a far too-quiet voice: “Look at everything you’ve accomplished.”

He’s an amazing man whose accomplishments dwarf our own, but he still takes the time to think of others, congratulate others, and encourage others. If the measure of a man is in how he treats others, then Kenneth Tam is a giant among us.

Also, I give you the following greatest pun ever… “We have been Ken-Tam-inated.” [Drops the Mic].


Matthew Daniels and Sam Bauer, posing with “Sci-Fi from the Rock.”

Going from our oldest partner to our newest, I’m proud to say that we got to meet Sci-Fi from the Rock author Samuel Bauer as well. This young author — who wrote The Locket — seemed genuinely surprised who accepted he was in the indie-publishing community of Newfoundland and Labrador: sitting behind the table, talking about this work to fans, signing copies, and attending the unofficial tradition of the authors and artists picking a restaurant to go out to on Saturday night. Speaking on behalf of everyone Sam, the honor was ours.

This year’s Most Dynsfunctional Writing Panel Ever was our most-attended and filled our room to capacity, despite being at night, being 16+, being up against the at-least-equally-awesome Storytime with Fat Apollo, and featuring Matthew LeDrew. We feel we got more information across and were less dysfunctional than usual, and aren’t sure if that’s a win or a loss.

Authors in attendance included Ellen Curtis, Erin Vance, Kenneth Tam, Jay Paulin, and Scott Bartlett, all of whom also contributed to the Sci-Fi from the Rock 10th anniversary collection. At the event, we announced that next year Fantasy from the Rock was to be made a reality during Sci-Fi on the Rock 11.

Also I don’t think I can say much, but we have made great strides towards a visual representation of one of our stories with an artist I have been wanted to work with for some years. Nothing is set until it’s set, but I’m already getting sketches in and it seems like she will be a blast to work with. More on that as it unfolds.

There will be more posts on this wonderful event and the people there, but right now I’m still feverish with the con-plague and will post more at a later time. Y’all are lucky you got this month out of me. 🙂

Great job everyone who helped, and a big thank you to all our fans 🙂

Sci-Fi 10 starts tomorrow!

Sci-Fi on the Rock 10 starts tomorrow, April 1, and last until April 3 at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland. In attendance will be Engen authors Matthew LeDrew & Ellen Curtis, as well as Engen Head-Editor Erin Vance!

Sci-Fi from the Rock (2016)The weekend is jam-packed with events and panels from your favorite Engen authors, contributors, and friends!

Friday, April 1

5:00-5:50pm in the Roddenberry Room:
Book Launch for Sci-Fi From The Rock!

Celebrating 10 years of Sci-Fi on the Rock with this special commemorative volume featuring over twenty short stories by some of Atlantic Canada’s most impressive indie talent in science-fiction!

Saturday, April 2

11-11:50am in the Nimoy Room:
Finding a Partner in Crime: A Guide to Story Collaboration
with Jay Paulin & Ariel Marsh!

Struggling to find a co-writer or co-creator for your project? Having a tough time compromising with a partner? Join the author of Spooky’s Gambit to learn the tricks that have allowed us to thrive together for five years.

3-3:50pm in the Tolkien Room:
Take Control: Why You Should Self-Publish Your Fiction and How to Do It
with Scott Bartlett, author of Flight or Fight

Full-time indie author Scott Bartlett will outline the benefits of independently publishing your fiction in today’s rapidly changing market and will also take you through how to do it. He’ll finish with a reading from book 1 in his new dystopian satire trilogy.

6-6:50pm in the Lucas Room
The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever
with Engen Books and friends

Join a convention tradition as an all-star cast of authors debate the merits of each other’s writing advice. Come with questions to ask, and stay for the laughter that ensues.

Sunday, April 3

9:30-10:20am in the Roddenberry Room
Ambassador Series: A New Era in Publishing
Kenneth Tam, author of Whitecoat

Sci-Fi from the Rock eBook available!

Sci-Fi from the Rock (2016)Sci-Fi from the Rock launches at the 10th Annual Sci-Fi on the Rock in just 7 days!! What’s that you say, that’s too long to wait to get your hands on the newest stories by the most influential independent authors in the Atlantic provinces? 7 days is too long to go without reading about the first Super Galactic Space Explorers prose story? The introduction to Kenneth Tam’s Champions series? The first story in Chris Walsh’s Gold and Steel series? The birth of Ali House’s new universe?

Well you’re in luck! Just for you guys, the book is available for download on Kindle now! Download at an amazing discount, less than $4 CAD, to get all the action, suspense, and thrills you can handle!

Those reading this after the fact who already have a physical copy: fear not! Sci-Fi from the Rock is a part of the MatchBooks program! Owners of the physical book can receive a digital copy at an extreme discount: only 99 cents!

So you say you just can’t wait? You don’t have to!!

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