Saturday, May 27, 2017

Interview with Weston Ochse


Please welcome Weston Ochse to The Qwillery. Grunt Hero, the 3rd and final Task Force Ombra Novel, was published on April 25th by Solaris.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Weston:  Hi, Sally. I began writing when I turned 30. Scratch that. I actually began writing when I was 8, but that story was pulled from circulation by the school and I didn’t write for another 22 years.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Weston:  I’m a hybrid. I plot enough,t hen I pants it. I love it when a character surprises me. When they do, I know I have something special. I’m not sure that if I was a pure plotter if that would happen.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Weston:  Facebook.



TQDescribe Grunt Hero in 140 characters or less.

Weston:  Humanity fought the war and lost. Aliens now have the run of our Earth. When all hope is gone, all that’s left is to seek revenge.



TQGrunt Hero is the conclusion to your Task Force Ombra series. What are your feelings on wrapping up the series?

Weston:  I’d call this a trilogy, not a series. When I wrote the SEAL Team 666 books, I thought I was writing a trilogy, but it ended up being a series. What’s the difference? A trilogy is an enclosed literary environment where something special happens. A series is books that follow one after the other that don’t necessarily have a relation to the others except for characters and setting. Like the James Bond books. That was a series. I took what I learned about failing to write a trilogy with the SEAL Team 666 books and impressed them into the writing of the Grunt Trilogy. What are my feelings, you ask? I’m happy that I actually created a solid trilogy. I am sort of saddened to let Ben Mason go, though. He was a hell of a grunt.



TQTell us something about Grunt Hero that is not found in the book description.

Weston:  It has walruses.



TQWhat inspired you to write the Task Force Ombra series? What appeals to you about writing Military SF?

Weston:  I’ve spent 35 years in the military. They say write what you know. I’ve written thirty books and six out of the last seven books I wrote were military fiction. It’s appealing to my sensibilities right now to write military sf. I think there’s some really terrific writing out there, but not a lot by people who have been street level with a terrorist. There are feelings one has when they are in harm’s way that no amount of research can get you. In fact, I wrote Grunt Life while I was in Afghanistan and brought into it some of the feelings of mortality I was having then.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Grunt Hero and the series?

Weston:  I did a lot of research so I could get the Gun Porn right. Then there was science. I had a science guy who kept me straight. I’d ask him if I could do something, then when he’d stop laughing, he’d tell me what I could really do. I wanted the science behind everything to be as real as possible.



TQIn the Task Force Ombra series who was the easiest character to write and why? Which character surprised you?

Weston:  Ben Mason was the easiest to write for me, because he was essentially me. I included many biographical elements into that character. Michelle became the hardest to write, mainly because of what I did to her.



TQWhat's next?

Weston:  I wrote and turned in Burning Sky for Solaris, which is a military horror novel set in Afghanistan. I’m working on the sequel to that, Dead Sky and I’m also working on a few other books. I had a big short story year this last year. I worked on the franchises of Hellboy, X-Files, Joe Ledger, Aliens and Predator. The Hellboy and Predator stories have yet to be published. This fall I’m working with DC Comics on a project. I’m super stoked about that.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Weston:  No. Thank you!





Grunt Hero
A Task Force Ombra Novel 3
Solaris, April 25, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

It is a time for heroes, for killers, for Grunts.

In this thrilling conclusion to the breakout military SF series, we find Earth plagued with millions of miles of terraformed cities, black vines crushing concrete, revealing iron and steel. Those unable to escape the vines are empty vessels waiting to be filled, living storage for alien algorythmic thought. What else can happen? What more can be done? This has always been a time for for heroes, for Killers, for Grunts, but are they enough?

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked to return to OMBRA to help them find these answers, and what he finds will send him over the edge. In the end, his efforts won't be about survival, they'll be about revenge, and his revenge will be served in a blaze.





Previously

Grunt Life
A Task Force Ombra Novel 1
Solaris, April 29, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

This is a brand new Military SF series from Weston Ochse, an experienced military man and author.

Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.

For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing—the prospect was too awful, the costs too high—and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.

That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it.

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts



Grunt Traitor
A Task Force Ombra Novel 2
Solaris, July 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The breakout military SF series continues!

Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, until finally they flipped the switch and threw us back into the Dark Ages.

Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming. But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens? They're pushing the human race to the edge of extinction if we can't find a way to change things. But what will we have to change? What will we humans become to survive this threat. This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might be the last person on Earth defending not just our lives, but our humanity. 





About Weston

Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, border crossers, narco-bad guys, and human smuggling punks. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war.

Follow Wes on Twitter, and for more information visit the official Weston Ochse website.

FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE - Gambit System



FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE’S GAMBIT SYSTEM BOILED DOWN IN NEW TRAILER

LOS ANGELES (May 26, 2017) – SQUARE ENIX® released a new FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE™ trailer that focuses on the Gambit System, the ground-breaking combat system which utilizes customizable AI “gambits” to let players to adapt to any situation during battle. Players can also freely develop their characters and tactics with the all-new Zodiac Job System, which allows each character to battle as two of 12 unique and beloved jobs.

The Gambit System Trailer


SPAWN DIRECTOR’S CUT Rushed Back to Print - FOIL ENCORE EDITION



SPAWN DIRECTOR’S CUT A HIT, RUSHED BACK TO PRINT FOR FOIL ENCORE EDITION

TEMPE, AZ, 05/26/2017 — Image Comics is pleased to announce that the special SPAWN #1: DIRECTOR’S CUT EDITION by comics legend and Image Comics President, Todd McFarlane, is being fast-tracked for a special reprint.

The cover C by McFarlane will receive a foil treatment and will be rushed back to print for SPAWN #1 25TH ANNIVERSARY DIRECTOR’S CUT FOIL ENCORE EDITION in order to keep up with overwhelming customer demand.

The DIRECTOR’S CUT includes the original artboards of SPAWN #1, commentary from McFarlane himself on each page, and bonus, never-before-seen art.

SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER - Nude "Beariant" Cover



SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER PULLS NO PUNCHES WITH NUDE “BEARIANT” COVER 

PORTLAND, OR, 05/26/2017 — From writers Jody LeHeup (former editor of Uncanny X-Force, Deadpool, Quantum and Woody) and Sebastian Girner (editor of SOUTHERN BASTARDS, DEADLY CLASS, BLACK SCIENCE), newcomer artist Nil Vendrell, colorist Mike Spicer (HEAD LOPPER, MYTHIC), and letterer Dave Lanphear comes a modern tall tale for the ages. Image Comics is pleased to reveal a limited SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER #1 Nude variant (or shall we say, “beariant”?) cover.

After being betrayed by the bears that raised him, the legendary SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER wanders the forest he’s sworn to protect, fist-fighting bears, eating flapjacks, and being the angriest man the world has ever known! When wild-eyed, super-strong bears attack the citizens of Major City, Shirtless ventures into the human world to do what he does best… PUNCH THOSE BEARS IN THE FACE! But all is not as it seems. Someone is manipulating Shirtless… and only by confronting the demons of his past can Shirtless hope to save his future!

GRRL SCOUTS: MAGIC SOCKS Getting 2nd Printing



GRRL SCOUTS: MAGIC SOCKS
AN ACTION-PACKED HIT

PORTLAND, OR, 05/26/2017 — Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl, Clerks) hits big with his glorious return to the beloved GRRL SCOUTS in MAGIC SOCKS. In order to keep up with the increased demand, Image Comics is pleased to announce that GRRL SCOUTS: MAGIC SOCKS #1 will be fast-tracked to a second printing.

In GRRL SCOUTS: MAGIC SOCKS, readers meet up with Gwen, Daphne, and Rita as they reunite for a pulse-pounding psychedelic adventure through the streets of Freak City. This first issue is stuffed to the gills with an action-packed story, bonus art, soundtrack, sketchbook, and behind-the-scenes bonus content.

REDNECK Burns Through Inventory



CATES & ESTHERREN'S REDNECK BURNS THROUGH INVENTORY

PORTLAND, OR, 05/25/2017 — The bestselling Image/Skybound series REDNECK by Donny Cates (GOD COUNTRY) and Lisandro Estherren is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with overwhelming customer demand.

In REDNECK, readers are introduced to The Bowmans—a family of vampires who have quietly run the local barbecue joint in their small town for years, living off cow's blood. Their peaceful coexistence ends as generations of hate, fear, and bad blood bubble to the surface—making it impossible to separate man from monster.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Interview with G.S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes Novels


Please welcome G.S. Denning back to The Qwillery. The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles (Warlock Holmes 2) was published on May 16th by Titan Books.







TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles (Warlock Holmes 2), was published on May 16th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote A Study in Brimstone (2016) to The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles?

G.S.:  Well, I’m still stealing time at nights and weekends. Still running off to friendly restaurants who will bring me diet cokes for 3 hours while I write and write. The biggest change is that I have the fan feedback from book 1. Now I can hear what my readers value about the series and include more of that. For example, I had no idea how much people would like Grogsson and Lestrade. I had to sneak a whole Grogsson-centric story into Hell-hound when I realized how much people wanted him and how little I had. (Oh, that’s The Adventure of the Solitary Tricyclist, by the way.)



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when A Study in Brimstone came out that you know now?

G.S.:  The podcast “Writing Excuses” taught me a lot. Traditional publishing is slow. Be ready, fellow authors. Nothing happens quickly except deadlines.

Yet, I’ve learned to be exceedingly grateful that I went the traditional publishing route. I can go see my books, in book-stores and I didn’t have to drive them there and brow-beat the proprietors into carrying them. There’s an audiobook version and I didn’t have to call all the audio companies and beg. As much as people complain about how slow traditional publishing is and how small the per-book percentage that goes to the author, I know perfectly well that I could never, never, never have gotten Warlock this far on my own. Thanks to the whole team!



TQTell us something about The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles that is not found in the book description.

G.S.:  Part of it was a writing challenge to myself: write an origin story where the reader doesn’t realize they’re reading one. The book hasn’t been out long enough for me to find out if I’m really blindsiding people or they’re seeing through me. Time will tell.



TQWhich character in the Warlock Holmes series (so far) surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

G.S.:  John Watson surprised me most. As I conceived this series, it was centered around the arcane wellspring that was Holmes. In a way, it still is. Yet every adventure is narrated by John. He filters all the wonder through this veneer of normalcy. He’s the everyman character—he’s an extension of how the reader would feel if they were thrust into a world of monsters. I’m surprised by how much of this story has become about John and what he thinks and feels as the story swirls on.

As far as the hardest: the women. Most geek-readers, most Holmes fans and the bulk of my fan-base are women. But the original stories are from another age. Women are rarely important in the original stories—victims seeking protection, for the most part. Of course, there’s Irene Adler, who bests Holmes, but she is in only one of the 60 stories. I’m trying to build female characters we can relate to and root for. Read the descriptions of Violet Smith in book 2 and Violet Hunter in book 3 and you’ll see how much I’m trying to build in cos-play opportunity and (especially in Hunter’s case) fan-fic launch points.



TQWhat do you think is the ongoing appeal of stories. etc. based on Sherlock Holmes?

G.S.:  Oh man, there’s a bunch. We love the odd-couple friendship of Holmes and Watson—how this super-powered individual needs a tie to normalcy (and that’s true of Warlock and Sherlock in equal measure). We love the pace of the stories and the chance to guess along and match our wits against the greatest detective. We love the language and the exotic-yet-familiar feel of Victorian London. We love the cloying promise that adventure and wonder hide in this everyday doldrum we inhabit. Some of us just like John’s moustache. As much as people can talk about how dated and out-of-touch the stories are, there’s a reason these things have stayed in print in over 150 countries and 125 years.



TQSherlock Holmes has appeared in 60 stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. How do you pick which stories to use?

G.S.:  The horrifying-yet-wonderful thing is: if these books keep doing as well as they are now, I’ll eventually have to use all 60. I’m pacing myself so I don’t use all 4 novels too early (right now, book 3 hasn’t got one). I’ve been trying to start strong by using recognizable favorites like Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles and Speckled Band. I chose Baskervilles as the second story I ever wrote, because –duh- there’s a hell-hound in it. There was really no challenge introducing a supernatural element in to that particular story. Then again, I’m saving The Sussex Vampire, for the same reason.

The real hard part is creating an overall arch for the stories—the tale of how Moriarty came back to power from near-ruin and tricked Holmes and Watson into destroying the world. Readers have been very patient with me in book 1 and 2, where the Moriarty element is more in the background. Spoiler-alert: he comes to the fore in book 3.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles.

G.S.:

“No murder! Bad Horse! If you make a habit of it, I shall be cross with you!” –Warlock Holmes to Silver Blaze.

“In a proof that small words can have great import, I am holding a copy of Two Gentlemen In Verona. By this author’s interpretation, Verona is a down-on-her luck servant girl who finds herself sandwiched—quite literally—between the affections of a country squire and a poor groom.” –John Watson presenting an inappropriate gift to Mrs. Hudson.

“Aaaaaaaaaaiiieeah! Tears and wreck and wrack and ruin! The black one has returned! Prince of tatters! Prince of ash!” –Fasoul the Turk to… well… actually not Moriarty, but the person standing beside him.

“You cannot assume an animal’s behavior, based entirely on its breed.” –Warlock Holmes’s questionable advice on pre-judging hell-hounds.



TQWhat's next?

G.S.:  Book 3—My Grave Ritual—is underway and will be released May 15, 2018. It features the return of Moriarty to Holmes and Watson’s world and the growing sense that if Watson keeps meddling in the world of monsters and gods, he’s certain to die. There’s *ahem* a bit more romance, as well.

I’m realizing it would take between 8 and 9 books to finish the entire Holmes canon and I’m planning out my long-game. The Chekhov’s guns for both Holmes and Moriarty are already in place, but there’s a lot of maneuvering to be done before the final confrontation.

We’ve had two nibbles already for adapting Warlock to the big-or-small screen. Nothing really in the works yet, but I’d love to see my Holmes and Watson take their place amongst the other filmed adaptations and I’m doing my best to keep the writing screen-friendly.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

G.S.:  Are you kidding? Thanks for having me back. All authors ever want to do is drone on and on about their work and you’ve provided us with exactly that chance. You’re like super-heroes and therapists, all rolled into one.





The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
Warlock Holmes 2
Titan Books, May 16, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.



Previously

A Study in Brimstone
Warlock Holmes 1
Titan Books, May 17, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.





About G.S. Denning

G.S. Denning is an author, improv comic, and speaker. ​

Before publishing Warlock Holmes, G.S. performed improv comedy for 20 years with Seattle Theatersports and Jet City Improv in Seattle, and SAC Comedy in Florida. He was a writer/performer for live shows at Disney's Epcot Center, wrote comedic reviews for Wizards of the Coast, and worked as a translation editor for Nintendo, ensuring that humor/context translated appropriately from Japanese to English video game scripts.

G.S. is extremely knowledgeable about history and all things pertaining to the geekiverse. He now gives engaging and educational talks to schools, inspiring students to turn their love of comic books and video games into a creative career or enriching hobby. He speaks at conventions, teaching writers improv comedy techiques that will improve their storytelling. He loves chatting on podcasts and is a terribly friendly geek. He has The Best Wife and The Most Beautiful Children and lives in Las Vegas.

Website  ~  Twitter @GS_Denning  ~  Facebook

LaToya Morgan Joins Zenescope For Robyn Hood: The Hunt



Shameless Writer LaToya Morgan Joins Zenescope For Robyn Hood: The Hunt

Zenescope Entertainment has announced that TV Writer and Producer LaToya Morgan (Turn: Washington’s Spies, Into the Badlands, Shameless) will be handling writing duties for Zenescope’s newest Robyn Hood six issue mini-series entitled Robyn Hood: The Hunt with Salvatore Cuffari (Grimm Fairy Tales) providing artwork for the series. This comes on the heels of the announcement that Bane creator Chuck Dixon will be penning Zenescope’s upcoming Van Helsing Vs. The Werewolf mini-series.

EA Play 2017



EA PLAY 2017: Nas, DJ Green Lantern and Dave East to Perform at Player FanFest

Fans Can Get First Hands-On with Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II, FIFA 18, Madden NFL 18, Need for Speed™ and More at 140+ Game Stations

Tune in to 300 of the Best Content Creator Channels to Learn More about the Biggest Games at EA PLAY

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced today that EA PLAY 2017 in Hollywood will feature performances by the eight-time platinum recording artist Nas, DJ Green Lantern and Dave East. All three will perform on Saturday night, June 10th from 6-8pm PST, at the EA PLAY FanFest, one of the biggest pop culture events of the summer. The FanFest is at the heart of EA PLAY 2017, featuring more than 140 hands-on gaming stations where fans will be the first to play EA’s newest lineup of games including:

WYTCHES and more

Press Release


IMAGE+ MAGAZINE WELCOMES NEW ONGOING
WYTCHES COMIC, ED PISKOR COMIC STRIP,
AND AN INCREASED PAGE COUNT

PORTLAND, OR, 05/25/2017 — Image Comics is pleased to announce that the Diamond Gem Award-winning IMAGE+ magazine, Vol. 2 #1 will feature an overall increased page count, an original autobiographical comic strip from Ed Piskor, and the return of Scott Snyder and Jock’s smash hit WYTCHES. Vol. 2 of the magazine will hit comic book shops this August.

Nintendo Download - Week of May 25, 2017



This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers – The newest iteration of Street Fighter II in 10 years, the Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers game is now available for the Nintendo Switch console. The fighting game features the full Street Fighter II roster, plus two new roster additions – Evil Ryu and Violent Ken – as well as a host of new single- and multiplayer features. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers will be available on May 26.
    • Disgaea 5 Complete – In the Disgaea 5 Complete game, lead Killia and his tenacious army of rebels on their dark and dangerous path to vengeance. This strategy RPG offers hundreds of hours of over-the-top, award-winning gameplay, and marks the first time the core game is available on the go. The game includes all eight bonus scenarios, four fan-favorite characters and three character classes that were originally only available as DLC. For people who want to try before they buy, a free demo for the game is also available in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.
The newest iteration of Street Fighter II in 10 years, the Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final
Challengers game is now available for the Nintendo Switch console.

TEKKEN World Tour



Twitch and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. Announce TEKKEN World Tour

Twitch to manage league operations for TEKKEN 7’s official esports organization as part of exclusive multi-year partnership

SAN FRANCISCO & SANTA CLARA, Calif.--May 25, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE)--Social video platform Twitch and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., publisher of TEKKEN7, today announced an exclusive partnership to create the TEKKEN World Tour. In addition to being the exclusive broadcasting platform for this competitive gaming league, Twitch will manage TEKKEN 7 league operations, circuit events, and content on a global scale. The goal of the partnership is for Twitch to work alongside BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to build the community and infrastructure to sustain long-term growth of the historic fighting game franchise.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Castlevania - A Netflix Original Series - July 7th



In darkness, a hero returns. Castlevania, a Netflix original series, arrives July 7.

Watch Castlevania: https://www.netflix.com/title/80095241

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway


Please welcome Peter McLean to The Qwillery. Damnation, the 3rd Burned Man Novel, was published on May 2nd by Angry Robot. You should read this series!






Urban Fantasy: The YA Gateway Drug?

It has apparently been asserted on Twitter (I know, what hasn’t?) that urban fantasy makes for an easy crossover between Young Adult and Adult fantasy fiction, that it’s a “gateway drug” for teens to discover adult fantasy such as A Song Of Ice And Fire or The First Law.

Someone brought this to my attention, saying she thought it was hilarious that books like Ben Aaronovitch’s or mine should be read by young adults and citing the swearing and the violence contained in them as reasons why not. You don’t get violence and swearing in “kids’ books”, right? That’s an interesting point and I can see where she’s coming from, but consider this:

Category Young Adult fiction is marketed at 13-18 year olds, with Middle Grade being the younger market of 8-12 year olds. I’m sure there’s a degree of fudge factor in there depending which publisher’s marketing department you speak to, but that’s roughly how it works. Now, I certainly wouldn’t want an 8 year old reading my books, or even most 13 year olds, but 15+ is a different matter. When I was that age I was reading Stephen King and James Herbert and even Herbert Kastle when nobody was looking (yes, those are pure violence and filth, I admit it) and so was nearly every other lad in my year at school.

Teenagers do things we might like to pretend they don’t, but that doesn’t change the fact of it. Modern YA fiction doesn’t shy away from these things, either. The last YA novel I read was Sarah Pinborough’s brilliant 13 Minutes, and if you read that book you’ll see what I mean. Teenagers do swear and they do take drugs and have sex, and sometimes they kill people too, both in the book and in real life. You can debate whether or not they should until the cows come home, but that doesn’t change the fact that they do. Yes some 16 year-olds are still emotionally and developmentally “kids”, but some (in the UK at least) are already in the army at that age and they really aren’t.

So no, I don’t think swearing and violence makes a book unsuitable for (later) teens. The difference between YA and adult fiction isn’t the swearing and violence, it’s the underlying themes of the story and the life experiences of the characters. Protagonists in YA are usually the same age or a year or two older at most than the target market for the book, so are generally teenagers in the 15-19 year old range. There is a lot more to modern YA fiction than the tried and tested “coming of age story”, and to suggest otherwise does a great disservice to the genre, but not withstanding that YA stories are by definition about things that affect, or are relatable to their target audience. There’s some really great YA fiction about drug dependency, about teenage pregnancy, about self-harm and eating disorders, but as far as I know there is no YA fiction about going through a bitter divorce or trying to find a way to afford to put your kids through college.

Those are adult experiences, not teenage ones, and the themes they would explore (having wasted the best years of your life, social failure, financial stress, wanting your children to have a better life than you had) are broadly adult themes rather than teen ones. That, I think, is the underlying thread that makes my books and Ben’s firmly adult novels. My main character Don Drake is a seedy forty-something magician, not a hip young vampire slayer. His personal demons are long-term addiction, his deeply-buried memories of domestic abuse from a decade when it just wasn’t talked about, and a desperate need not to turn into the man that his father was at his age. Those are adult themes and while I’d be happy to let a 15 year-old read Drake or any of the rest of my books I’m not sure how much of it they would or even could relate to on a personal level.

So no, I don’t think adult urban fantasy is intrinsically unsuitable for teens but neither do I think it is necessarily their obvious first step into adult fantasy in general. These days, that gateway drug is television. Game of Thrones has been a phenomenal success worldwide, and I suspect that a good number of teens have been watching the show despite HBO putting an 18+ rating on it. For those who haven’t, there’s MTV’s Sword of Shannara, or “Beverly Hills 9021Elf” as I’ve heard some wag describe it, and of course the Lord of the Rings movies. Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is coming to television soon too, apparently.

If I ever write a YA novel, and one day I just might, it’ll be the themes that are the most different from my existing writing. I’ll probably swear a bit less, too, but only a bit.

They’ve heard it all on the Internet already anyway.





Damnation
A Burned Man Novel 3
Angry Robot, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.

With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step in to save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Fallen So Far | Smacked Up | Devil Don’t Care | Hell or Heaven ]




Previously

Drake
A Burned Man Novel 1
Angry Robot Books, January 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice the Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ One Last Hit / Both Ends Burning / Going Underground / London’s Finest ]


See Qwill's Review here.



Dominion
A Burned Man Novel 2
Angry Robot, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.

Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ The Devil You Knew / Deeped & Down / Great Irresponsibility / London’s Burning ]


See Qwill's Review here.





About Peter

Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories.

By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had begun studying since the age of 13. He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with studying martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and spent 25 years working in corporate IT. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.

You can find Peter online at his website, on Twitter @petemc666 and on Facebook.





The Giveaway

What:  Three sets (three winners - 1 set each) of the Burned Man Novels Drake, Dominion and Damnation by Peter McLean from the publisher. INTERNATIONAL

How:
  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ gmail.com [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “Burned Man“ with or without the quote marks.
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the novel(s) and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted by The Qwillery once the giveaway ends.
Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on June 4, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

BATTLE ANGEL ALITA - All New Translation



Announcing an All New Translation of the Iconic Battle Angel Alita manga from Kodansha Comics and comiXology Originals

Digital releases with Guided View of volumes 1 through 3 go on sale May 24, hardcover Deluxe Editions to follow in Fall 2017

San Francisco, Calif. (May 24, 2017)—Long after being out of print, Yukito Kishiro’s iconic and popular manga series Battle Angel Alita is available today for the first time in nearly a decade, with a stunning new translation of the first three volumes available exclusively as a digital release from Kodansha Comics via comiXology Originals. Kishiro’s post-apocalyptic science fiction story about an amnesiac cyborg named Alita has thrilled international audiences since it was originally published in 1990. James Cameron is currently producing a live-action adaptation of the acclaimed title.

MAGE Is Back

Press Release


MAGE IS BACK
The highly anticipated third and final story arc
THE HERO DENIED launches this July

PORTLAND, OR, 05/24/2017 — Legendary creator and indy-comics pioneer Matt Wagner returns to bring fans the highly anticipated third and final story arc to MAGE from Image Comics this summer. MAGE: THE HERO DENIED will kickoff with the intro-sized issue #0 in July and carry on as a regular, 15-issue series beginning with THE HERO DENIED #1 this August.

This long-awaited conclusion to the epic fantasy trilogy MAGE follows the adventures of the reluctant everyman hero Kevin Matchstick who—after encountering a shaggy and beguiling wizard—discovers he is the reincarnation of the legendary Pendragon and able to wield the power of the mystical weapon, Excalibur.

2017 Elgin Award Candidates


The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced the 2017 Elgin Award Candidates.
The Elgin Awards, named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, are presented annually by SFPA for books published in the preceding two years in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Chapbooks must contain 10-39 pages of poetry and books must contain 40 or more pages of poetry. (SFPA website)


Chapbooks
Apocalypse • John C. Mannone (Alban Lake, 2015)
An Assortment of Sky Things • Christina Sng (Allegra Press, 2016)
Corona Obscura • Michael R. Collings (CreateSpace, 2016)
Energy (or the Art of Keeping it Together) • Susan Gray (Burning Eye Books, 2016)
Ghost Skin by Wren Hanks (Porkbelly Press Press, 2016)
Ghost Tongueby Nicole Rollender (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
hiku [pull] by James A. H. White (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
In Favor of Pain • Angel Yuriko Smith (CreateSpace, 2016)
Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak • Stacey Balkun (dancing girl press, 2016)
Leviathan • Neil Aitken (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016)
Lost City Museum • Stacey Balkun (ELJ Publications, 2016)
The Mole People by Heather Cox (Bat Cat Press, 2016)
Moon Facts • Bob Schofield (Nostrovia! Press, 2015)
Notes on the End of the World • Meghan Privitello (Black Lawrence Press, 2016)
Prophet Fever • Wren Hanks (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016)
Quick Bright Things: poems of fantasy & myth • P.S. Cottier (Ginninderra Press, 2016)
Shipwreck Smiles • Lauren Andrei (Cozy Muse, 2016)
Shopping After the Apocalypse • Jessie Carty (dancing girl press, 2016)
Southern Cryptozoology • Allie Marini (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015)
Radio Heart, or; How Robots Fall Out of Love • Margaret Rhee (Finishing Line Press,2016)
Violet Hours • Jeanie Tomasko (Taraxia Press, 2016)
What Stranger Miracles • James Brush (White Knuckle Press, 2016)


Full-length Books
The Acolyte • Nancy Hightower (Port Yonder Press, 2015)request .pdf from nhightow@gmail.com
Apocalypse • Frederick Turner (Ilium Press, 2016)
Bone Confetti • Muriel Leung (Noemi Press, 2016)
The Book of Robot • Ken Poyner (Barking Moose Press, 2016)
Brief Encounters with My Third Eye: Selected Short Poems 1975-2016 • Bruce Boston (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2016)
Chemical Letters • Octavia Cade (Popcorn Press, 2015).pdf available as "Pay What You Want" on DriveThruFiction: http://bit.ly/ChemicalLettersDTF
The Crimson Tome • K. A. Opperman (Hippocampus Press, 2015)
Dark Parchments • Michael H. Hanson (MoonDream Press, 2015)
Dead Starships • Wendy Rathbone (Eye Scry Publications, 2016)
Field Guide to the End of the World • Jeannine Hall Gailey (Moon City Press, 2016)
The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor by Bianca Lynne Spriggs (Argos Books, 2016)
Ghosts Still Walking • Do Nguyen Mai (Platypus Press, 2016)
A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora • Jenna Le (Anchor & Plume, 2016)
House of Mystery by Courtney Bates-Hardy (ChiZine Publications, 2016)
I Am Not A War • Sophia Terazawa (Essay Press, 2016)
free online
In the Crocodile Gardens • Saba Razvi (Agape Editions, 2016)
Lost Gardens of the Hakudo Maru • Ryu Ando (a…p press, 2016)
Marginalia to Stone Bird • Rose Lemberg (Aqueduct Press, 2016)
On that one-way trip to Mars • Marlena Chertock (Bottlecap Press, 2016)
Poems of My Night • Cynthia Pelayo (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2016)
Poor Anima • Khaty Xiong, (Apogee Press, 2015)
The Primitive Observatory • Gregory Kimbrell (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016)
PseudoPsalms: Saints v. Sinners • Peter Adam Salomon (Journalstone, 2016)
The Role of Lightning in Evolution • David Clink (Kelp Queen Press, 2016)
Sacrificial Nights • Bruce Boston & Alessandro Manzetti (Kipple Officina Libraria, 2016)
The Seven Yards of Sorrow • David E. Cowen (Weasel Press, 2016)
Small Spirits: Dark Dolls • Marge Simon (Midnight Town Media, 2016)
Staying Alive • Laura Sims (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2016)
Turn Left at November: Poems • Wendy Rathbone (Eye Scry Publications, 2015)
Underwater Fistfight • Matt Betts (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2016)

Capcom Releases Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies for Android



Capcom® Releases Phoenix Wright™: Ace Attorney™ - Dual Destinies For Android Devices

Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games today announced  the release of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies for Android devices.  The fifth chapter in  the series sees the return of courtroom hero Phoenix Wright. Set eight years since his last appearance in the courts, the first case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies sees the action start in badly damaged courthouse. It’s down to Phoenix Wright and his team at the Wright Anything Agency to discover the cause of the destruction. Players will have to battle it out in court against tenacious prosecutors as they defend the accused.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FFBE Fan Festa 2017 - Paris

Press Release

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR FIRST FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS FAN FESTA EVENT IN PARIS

Official Website Allows Players to Register for Free Tickets to the European Fan Festa Event Hosted by Producers Kei Hirono and Hiroki Fujimoto


LOS ANGELES (May 24, 2017) – Starting today, fans in the US and Canada can register for the chance to attend the first of a series of Fan Festa events to celebrate the first anniversary of the critically acclaimed, free-to-play mobile RPG adventure, FINAL FANTASY® BRAVE EXVIUS®.

The Darkside Detective Coming July 27, 2017

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is Now Available in the West



Interview with Gregory Benford


Please welcome Gregory Benford to The Qwillery. The Berlin Project, an alternate history of World War II, was published on May 9th by Saga Press.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. You've written over 20 novels. How has your writing process changed over the years?

Gregory:  I started out writing terribly stiff stuff, which meant my first two stories did not sell. Then to compete in a story contest I wrote a wry, amusing story about a party—not my usual subject, i.e., science. It worked! So as I wrote more, moving to novels, I saw that you can’t think about that future in the dry light of science alone. Novels serve us deeply because we want meaning, and fiction creates meaning in concrete form. Scientifically minded people could perhaps conceptualize novels as case studies or thought experiments--both finer grained and wider ranging in their approach to meaning than cruder genres such as religion, psychology or common sense. A literary life is an ongoing moral education, a geography of the human world. I learned to include as much of life as I could, evoke the five senses and our fallible human selves. It helps to be humble.



TQWhat is, for you, the most challenging things about writing?

Gregory:  Learning to let yourself fly. Just go. Savants call it The Zone but to me it’s letting the unconscious come out to play. The murky origin of Freudian slips can help you!



TQThe Berlin Project is an alternate history of WWII. Why did you focus on the development of the nuclear bomb?

Gregory:  It was the crucial phase shift between the first 45 years of the 20th Century, dominated by the two biggest wars in history—into the rest, where wars were cold and a golden age bloomed. The problem of vast wars was solved not by the diplomats, but by the physicists. Make those wars impossible. I’m a physicist, know how weapons design works, and learned of the key historical pivot from Edward Teller, for whom I was a postdoc: We erred early in the war, neglecting the technology that would have given us the bomb a year earlier. Could that lead to a better world than ours? I couldn’t resist! I knew nearly every character in the novel, so I used my memories of them. It was huge fun, though it took 5 years.



TQWhat appealed to you about writing alternate history?

Gregory:  A chance to rethink the crucial turning years of the last century. To revisit many friends, long gone. To make WW II new again!




TQTell us something about The Berlin Project that is not found in the book description.

Gregory:  I had to rethink the whole last two years of the war. A million people died nearly every month, then!—colossal tragedies, every day.

        So suppose we do the Manhattan Project job right, first time.

        Next, how to use a bomb? There would be a fresh one every month or two, at best, so what’s the first target?

        In the novel, everybody thinks Berlin is the obvious target. I asked military types and they said no, you must leave in place the civilian authority that can surrender. This is standard doctrine. But in 1944?
        We now know that the Prussian wing of the German Army’s General Staff tried to negotiate through the British for at least a cease-fire, from 1943 onward. They tried to kill Hitler and nearly did in July 1944. The commanding generals were all on battlefields in 1944, not Berlin--where the Nazi Party types, whom the Prussians hated, were dug in.
        So… What to do with these elements?
        I researched many off-trail threads that really happened, but we forget: That both sides thought of using radioactive uranium as a pollutant, akin to poison gas and worked out details. That Eisenhower sent teams with Geiger counters to measure such use at Normandy. That we so feared a German nuclear program, the General commanding the Manhattan Project, Leslie Groves, sent in his top agent to assassinate Heisenberg if the agent thought Heisenberg’s team was getting close to a bomb.
        Blend these and many existing letters and memos, my memories from knowing most of the characters in the novel--season to taste, heat, stir.



TQIn addition to being an author you are a physicist and a professor of physics. How did your own background influence The Berlin Project?

Gregory:  I used my whole education—nuclear, weapons, and how scientists think. They’re hardnosed, sure, but idealistic, too. These counter-currents in their personalities made the drama work better, more furious.


TQWhat sorts of research did you do for The Berlin Project?

Gregory:  I must’ve read 200+ books, innumerable memoirs, once-classified documents, the works. I found the ID badges of Feynman and Fermi and others, at the Los Alamos lab—and put them in the novel! It has 45 photos, since I thought: This is a historical, why not show history? Much fun.



TQYou knew many of the people portrayed in The Berlin Project. How difficult or easy was it to write people you know?

Gregory:  Easier than inventing from whole cloth. I have a good aural memory, could recall how people like Fermi, Feynman, Teller, etc talked. I sat back and channeled them!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Berlin Project.

Gregory:  Freeman Dyson remarks, “All of science is uncertain and subject to revision. The glory of science is to imagine more than we can prove.”

The baseball player Moe Berg (a major character in the novel!) says, “
“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”



TQWhat's next?

Gregory:  Just turned into Simon & Schuster, a next novel, Rewrite—about reliving your life, better this time, and quantum mechanics. As characters, Phil Dick, Albert Einstein, and Robert Heinlein.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Berlin Project
Saga Press, May 9, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

New York Times bestselling author Gregory Benford creates an alternate history about the creation of the atomic bomb that explores what could have happened if the bomb was ready to be used by June 6, 1944.

Karl Cohen, a chemist and mathematician who is part of The Manhattan Project team, has discovered an alternate solution for creating the uranium isotope needed to cause a chain reaction: U-235.

After convincing General Groves of his new method, Cohen and his team of scientists work at Oak Ridge preparing to have a nuclear bomb ready to drop by the summer of 1944 in an effort to stop the war on the western front. What ensues is an altered account of World War II in this taut thriller.

Combining fascinating science with intimate and true accounts of several members of The Manhattan Project, The Berlin Project is an astounding novel that reimagines history and what could have happened if the atom bomb was ready in time to stop Hitler from killing millions of people





About Gregory


Gregory Benford — physicist, educator, author — was born in Mobile, Alabama, on January 30, 1941. In 1963, he received a B.S. from the University of Oklahoma, and then attended the University of California, San Diego, where he received his Ph.D. in 1967. Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, where he has been a faculty member since 1971. Benford is the author of over twenty novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape. A two-time winner of the Nebula Award, Benford has also won the John W. Campbell Award, the Australian Ditmar Award, the 1995 Lord Foundation Award for achievement in the sciences, and the 1990 United Nations Medal in Literature. Visit his website at http://www.gregorybenford.com/