Friday Quick Updates: F. Hampton Carmine’s Kindle Scout campaign; the Monster Mash 24-hour Flash Fiction Contest; the Bookmarks Festival in Winston-Salem; a news, interviews, and reviews roundup; upcoming events; and more

Friday, September 11, 2015: As of this writing, there are 23 days left (October 5) to nominate F. Hampton Carmine’s Kindle Scout submission of Destiny’s Handmaiden for publication: “Their birth began a time of endings and beginnings in Destiny’s prophesy for The Dragon Isles. Many would become her tools, all would be transformed, but none more than Aislin. She suckled at the same breast, crawled and walked in the same nursery, studied with the same tutors, and felt like a twin. Languages, academics, courtly manners and intrigues were learned together, but Caitrin was the Princess and Aislin was her handmaiden until Liadan reappeared in her life, exposing their true destiny.” While quite a few of us certainly have “it’s complicated” feelings about Amazon as a bookseller, this would be a huge thing for Hampton, as he’d get an advance, an editor, and marketing help that would be a big boost to his career. So! Please, go click and vote!

F. Hampton Carmine

F. Hampton Carmine

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Geeks are hosting their first ever 24-Hour Flash Fiction (1000 words or less) storywriting contest, starting this morning, so… get typing: “We will post the topic on Friday morning and then once posted give all participants 24 hours to write and submit their entry. The winning entry will be read aloud on our podcast Guardians of the Geekery and posted our website ( The winner will also receive one free ticket to this year’s Geek Gala on Saturday, October 24th.” The deadline is set at 9:15 AM on Saturday, September 12. Good luck! Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates: Upcoming events and NC author news

Friday, August 21, 2015: While many eyes (and authors and fans) from the Triangle have turned to Sasquan, there are things to do and talk about here at home as well. To change things up this week, I’ll start with two crowd-driven campaigns with NC ties:

Eastern NC author David Niall Wilson has entered his unpublished urban superhero novel Hoods into The Nerdist Collection Contest at Inkshares. Not exactly a “crowd-funding” campaign in the sense of Kickstarter or Indiegogo, Inkshares is a “crowd-driven publisher” with some aspects of crowd-funding (readers in essense pre-order books they would buy when available) and more traditional publishing (Inkshares commits editing, marketing, and distribution resources to successful campaigns). The Nerdist contest will result in 5 science fiction and fantasy novels being published, with one being selected by The Nerdist as part of its own “collection”, basically an “imprint” within Inkshares. Multiple Bram Stoker Award winner Wilson’s novel Hoods “is the story of four young men and women with remarkable abilities. They have one thing in common… they were born into bad situations with only themselves to rely on.” Think Marvel’s Avengers meets Cory Doctorow’s Homeland. The contest runs through September 30.

hoods_11923314_882263555192755_4550072103275877202_o Uncanny Magazine Year Two project video thumbnail

Second, another Kickstarter campaign to pass along with local ties, this time it’s Uncanny Magazine: Year Two with new fiction from NC authors Alyssa Wong and Ursula Vernon (among others as detailed at SF Signal) under $1,000 away from funding, though based on Uncanny Magazine‘s year one success, one guesses the stretch goals will fall like dominoes again this year. There will also be an open submission window, as the professional bimonthly magazine editors Lynn M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are “deeply committed to finding and showcasing new voices in our genre from around the world.” Funding through September 10.

In town this weekend? We’ve got you covered from kids to comics to poetry and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Here’s what’s coming up, including next weekend’s big reading by local debut author Sean Jackson of his post-apocalyptic NC novel Haw, just out from Harvard Square Editions:

9781941861066-PerfectHAW.indd Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates, Thursday edition: A weekend of Swanwick ahead, but first: Noir at the Bar, Valerie Nieman, and award and crowdfunding news

Thursday, August 13, 2015: I really should have done this yesterday so as to include the John Scalzi reading at Quail Ridge Books, but if I had, the standing-room-only crowd as pictured by Monica Byrne may well have been out the door, and Jay Posey’s Twitter quip about the length of the signing line may well have been a truth stranger than fiction. So instead, it’s a Thursday edition of “Friday Quick Updates”, to remind folks of not one but two fantastic events tonight, ahead of an extended weekend which affords us three chances to catch 5-time Hugo Award winning science fiction author Michael Swanwick.

But first…


First up tonight is Noir at the Bar Durham III starting at 6:30 pm at downtown Durham’s 106 Main. These events are pretty much a profanity and violence laden blast, at a bar. Where there’s beer. Hosted again by the always fantastic Tracey Coppedge, this one includes some familiar faces (Eryk Pruitt, author of Dirtbags and Hashtag, and David Terrenoire) and new, including SA Cosby (fantasy/crime author from VA), and a local artist who is about to publish his first sci-fi crime novel, Geraud Staton.

If instead a poetry duet between two of NC’s brightest — and speculative fiction-aware — poetic stars is more your speed, then get thee to Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books by 7 pm for Valerie Nieman (author of the post-apocalyptic sf novel Neena Gathering) and Richard Krawiec, as Nieman presents her new book of poems, Hotel Worthy, of which  some of the poems are speculative poems, and Krawiec his own latest poetry collection, Women Who Loved Me Despite.

And then! All attention turns to 5-time Hugo Award winning author Michael Swanwick, who has 3 appearances in the Triangle in 3 days:

Michael Swanwick 

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates: Red Adept, Brian Posehn, Noir at the Bar, and a crowdfunding roundup

Saturda, June 13, 2015: Upcoming events, books on sale, new podcasts, a new writing contest, and a crowd-funding roundup await you in this belated Saturday installment of “Friday Quick Updates”. But let’s be quick about it, because there are three (count ’em) events today alone:

  • June 13 (Saturday) 11 am to 2 pm — Raleigh’s Event Horizon Games hosts a multi-author book signing event for Garner-based publisher Red Adept along with publisher Lynn McNamee. Among those appearing will be local author Karissa Laurel, whose debut novel Midnight Burning is forthcoming from Red Adept.
  • June 13 (Saturday) 1 to 3 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts comedian and Deadpool comics writer Brian Posehn for an in-store signing.
  • June 13 (Saturday) 2 pm — The Burlington B&N hosts Samantha Bryant for a reading and signing of her debut novel Going Through the Change.

Meanwhile, on the latest episode of the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast, editor David Afsharirad hosts a discussion of his recently-released anthology The Year’s Best Military SF and Space Opera with authors Matthew Johnson, David D. Levine, Linda Nagata, and more. As Afsharirad says, “It’s a good one, if I say so myself.”

Speaking of that anthology, voting on the first annual Year’s Best Military Science Fiction and Space Opera Award continues through August 31. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates: Oak City Comics Show on Sunday, and Wake County Library’s “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series kicks off with Drake and Van Name discussing Heinlein

Saturday, February 28, 2015: A belated Saturday edition of “Friday Quick Updates” this weekend, ahead of several events today and tomorrow. First! Today Ultimate Comics hosts comics creator/author/illustrator Chris Giarrusso (G-Man Super JournalMini Marvels) for a day of signings and quick sketches:

This appearance is ahead of Giarrusso’s appearance at the Oak City Comic Show tomorrow (Sunday, March 1) at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown, with a fantastic lineup including Mick Foley, Tommy Lee Edwards, Dale Mettam, Richard Case, John Van Fleet, Daniel Way, Jeremy Whitley, Johndell Snead, Addy Miller, Amber Dawn Fox, and more. The show runs from 10 am to 5 pm, and admission is only $5 for adults and free for kids 10 and under, not to mention “the first 200 cosplayers get in for free!”

Sunday also marks the first event in Wake County Libraries’ month-long Let’s Talk Sci-Fi series, bringing pairs of fantastic local authors together to talk about classic works of science fiction: “Science Fiction & Fantasy authors discuss classic, iconic authors of the genres, including their body of work and influence. Take part in the discussion, share your thoughts and ask questions of the authors. Registration requested.” Events include: Read the rest of this entry »

“Friday” Quick Updates, Thursday Morning Edition: new Piedmont Laureate James Maxey this afternoon, Stephen Hren tonight, MWWA nominations open, and other news and events

Thursday, January 22, 2015: Two events today of interest and some big news to pass along merit a early edition of Friday Quick Updates this week.

First, at 3:30 pm, Chapel Hill Public Library hosts a Meet the Author Tea with newly announced Piedmont Laureate for Speculative Fiction, James Maxey. I’m looking forward to what Maxey does with this fantastic platform this year, as he’ll be tapped for a series of blog posts and appearances throughout the region, throughout the year. (Speaking of Maxey, he has also just unveiled new print and ebook editions of his Dragon Apocalypse series.)

Second, this evening at 7 pm, The Regulator Bookshop hosts Durham author Stephen Hren for a reading from his latest novel, Max’s Hungry Ghost. It’s a recommended Indy Pick and I’m looking forward to a lively talk, as Hren attempts to explain how his non-fiction work (Tales from the Sustainable Underground) intertwines with his speculative fiction. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates: Julia Elliott tonight, The Caroling Dead opens this weekend, A Browncoat Christmas on Sunday, three readings from Fred Chappell, crowdfunding roundup, and more

Friday, December 5, 2014: Readings, dark holiday comedy, and more await you, oh Triangle-area reader, starting tonight with multiple “Best Books of the Year” listee Julia Elliott at Durhams Regulator Bookshop at 7 pm for her collection The Wilds. If you missed her conversation with Bill Verner for’s “Coming to Town” series, here’s a pull-quote from one of Bill’s questions: “medically induced human molting or lovelorn robots”. I’m looking forward to it.

Starting tomorrow and running every Saturday through January, DSI Comedy Theater presents The Caroling Dead, “an original Sketch Comedy Revue inspired by the holidays and local news …and zombies (and more). What if Santa were quarantined? What if Cracker Barrel wasn’t safe? What if the police raided an Adam & Eve warehouse? What if UNC mismanaged another scandal? Well, come see the show and find out.”

Photo of The Caroling Dead

Sunday night at 8 pm, “It’s time for our [Raleigh NC Browncoats] annual”ish” Christmas screening of SERENITY at the awesome Colony Theatre! We are so happy to return again this year. Tickets are only $5. Our BiG Damn Movie will be shown in DCP Digital format! Doors are at 7:00. Movie at 8:00 on Sunday December 7th. Please come and enjoy the comfy lounge and enjoy a beer, wine, soda or soft drink before the movie if you can. No advance tickets to this event. Just $5 at the door. Please do bring cashy money as the theatre does not take cards. Hope to see you there!” Read the rest of this entry »