Friday, September 30, 2011

Bull Spec local events e-mailing list: October 2011

Vol. 1, No. 5, October 1, 2011:

Welcome to the October events and announcements newsletter from Bull Spec, this time just a day early for two last-minute September 30 reminders. The first is Durham author Stephen Messer's event tonight at 7 PM at Durham's Regulator Bookshop, to launch his new book for young readers, The Death of Yorik Mortwell. The second is the Bull Spec Year 3 Kickstarter fundraiser campaign, which ends today at 5 PM: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/830202652/bull-spec-year-three

Still up for grabs are signed book sets from local authors David Drake, Lewis Shiner, Mur Lafferty, and James Maxey, along with story critiques from Kij Johnson, original artwork from previous issues of Bull Spec, and more. Thanks to the amazing support so far, we've broken the $2,000 barrier, and I can't thank everybody enough for their support and for spreading the word about the campaign.

There's also a huge list of NEW events, from events for writers to finalized book release dates, to a slate of new readings and panels, some of which are this first weekend in October. Enjoy!



30 (Friday) 7:00 pm Durham author Stephen Messer will read from and sign copies of his new children’s novel, The Death of Yorik Mortwell, a mock-Gothic tale about Yorick, son of the Gamekeeper at Ravenby Manor, who meets an untimely demise. The ghostly Yorick haunts the manor and discovers many otherworldly creatures that inhabit the grounds, and that he has a part to play in saving not only his still-living orphan sister but also the manor and everyone in it. Messer is the author of a previous children’s novel Windblowne. More info: http://www.regulatorbookshop.com/event/stephen-messer-0


NEW: Oct 1 (Sat), 2-4 pm: Chapel Hill Comics is proud to announce a signing with CreatureBox (Dave Guertin and Greg Baldwin)We’ll have copies of Spider Island: I ♥ New York, which features an 8-page Spider-Kitty story with art by CreatureBox. It’s got fantastic art, and it’s just four bucks! We’ll also have copies of the Ratchet and Clank paperback collection, since CreatureBox illustrated the covers for the series! http://www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/?p=1428

NEW: 1: The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest will open to entries starting on Oct. 1st: http://www.williamledbetter.com/contest.htm

NEW: 2 (Sunday), 2-4 pm: John Kessel will be on a panel discussion of "The Writing Process" with the noted writers Sharon Ewell Foster, Lewis Shiner and Anna Jean Mayhew, moderated by D.G. Martin of NC Bookwatch. The panel will be from 2-4 pm at the North Regional library of the Wake County Library system, on Harps Mill Road off Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh. Free and open to the public.

NEW: 4 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: John Kessel will be giving a reading at Louisburg College in Louisburg, NC. The reading will be at 7:30 in Norris Theater on the Louisburg campus. Free and open to the public.

NEW: 5 (Wednesday), 7:00 p.m. -- The Winston-Salem Writers presents Teresa Frohock, author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale, at the Forsyth County Public Library, 660 West Fifth St., Winston-Salem, NC. This event is open to the public.

NEW-NEW: 7 (Friday), 7 pm: Hillsborough author John Claude Bemis reads from The White City, the last book in his The Clockwork Dark trilogy from Random House Books for Young Readers, at The Regulator Bookshop: http://www.regulatorbookshop.com/event/john-claude-bemis

NEW: 8 (Saturday), 10 am: James Maxey: “How to get past the first chapter and finish your novel,” at the Orange County Main Library on Saturday October 8 at 10am.

NEW-NEW: 10 (Monday), 7-8 pm: Join author Mark Van Name as he talks about “Characters and Setting” in your writing as part of the Wake County library's "Readers to Writers Workshop" series. This one at the West Regional Library: http://www.wakegov.com/images/Library/calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D96406577

NEW 15 Pittsboro by Gaslight https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174427262623261

18 (Tuesday), 7 pm: Regulator Bookshop: Durham author Stephen Messer will be part of a two children's authors in one (though I would argue he is a middle grade / young reader author to be specific!) for his September 27th published book The Death of Yorik Mortwellhttp://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/stephen-messer-kathleen-churchyard-two-childrens-authors-one-program

NEW-NEW: 18 (Tuesday), 7-8 pm: Continuing the Wake County "Readers to Writers" writing workshops, Mark Van Name talks "Plot & Conflict" at the Eva Perry Regional Library: http://www.wakegov.com/images/Library/calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D96373397

NEW-NEW: 19 (Wednesday), 6:30 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith talk "Plot & Conflict" as part of the Wake County "Readers to Writers" writing workshop series, at the Cameron Village Regional Library: http://www.wakegov.com/images/Library/calendar/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D96392404

NEW: Oct 22 (Saturday), 5-7 pm: Chapel Hill Comics is proud to announce that we will host a signing party for The Zombie Hunters Book One on Saturday, October 22nd from 5pm until 7pm. Come by and pick up the first collection of this zombieriffic webcomic and get in the mood for a spooky Halloween! Have your book or poster signed by creator Jenny Romanchuk and talk to her about creating, publishing, and marketing a successful webcomic! http://www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/?p=1465


1: Local author book release: John Kessel’s next anthology for Tachyon, Kafkaesque, collects “Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka”, including stories from JG Ballard, Terry Bisson, Borges, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, and more. More info: http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html

5-6 (Saturday and Sunday): NC Comicon at the Morrisville Outlet Mall.

NEW-NEW: 9 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books hosts L.E. Modesitt, Jr. for a reading of his upcoming novel Scholar (Tor, Imager Portfolio series).

15 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow, to present her latest novel Doc, a retelling of the life of "Doc" Holliday.

NEW-NEW: 26 (Saturday), 9 pm to midnight: The Blotter Magazine is celebrating its 100th issue with a Barbecue Bash from 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Pinhook, 117 W. Main St.DurhamNC. Storm Front, http://www.stormfrontlive.com, and The Gonzo Symphonic Presents,http://www.facebook.com/#!/thegonzosymphonicpresents, will perform. The public is invited. The Blotter Magazine, www.blotterrag.comexists to nurture underground, outsider literature and art, and to provide it to a wide audience. Our mission is to encourage and support new writers and artists. We hope to see you there.


NEW: 7 (Wednesday) at 7:30 pm: Quail Ridge Books: John Kessel and Ruth Gross for "An Evening with Franz Kafka and Friends", including Kessel's newest anthology, Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka -- http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html

NEW: 9 (Friday) at 7:00 pm: Quail Ridge Books: Cassandra Clare brings us her latest, Clockwork Prince.  In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting.Clockwork Prince is the sequel to Clockwork Angel, and part of theInfernal Devices trilogy.  For ages 12 and up.  Cassandra Clare is best known for her hugely popular Mortal Instruments series. SIGNING LINE TICKET EVENT - receive a signing line ticket with the purchase of any of Cassandra Clare's books. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/cassandra-clare-ya-novel-clockwork-prince

UPDATED: 13: Local author new novel: Natania Barron, Pilgrim of the Sky from Candlemark & Gleam, Late 2011. "A novel that might be best described as mythpunk. With elements of fantasy, science fiction, Romantic poetry, steampunk, and multiverse theory, well, it isn’t exactly the sort of book that finds a comfortable little niche to sit in." More info: http://pilgrimofthesky.com/

NEW-NEW: 31 (Saturday) 9 pm to 1 am: Pittsboro's Davenport and Winkleperry hosts a New Year's Eve Clockwork Cabaret Steampunk Masquerade: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179760945440352


UPDATED: 2: Local author new novel: JL Hilton: Stellarnet Rebel from Carina Press, early 2012. "A science fiction romantic thriller." More info: http://jlhilton.com/stellarnet-rebel/

3: Local author new edition: The David Drake onmibus Voyage Across the Stars collects his Hammer’s Slammers novels Cross the Stars and Voyage. From Baen. More info: http://www.baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451637717

13-15: New local SF convention illogiCon (January 13-15, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Joe Haldeman. More info: http://illogicon.com/

31: Local author book release: Solaris Books to publish the first book in a new fantasy series from Hillsborough author James Maxey, which starts with Greatshadow.

MARCH 2012

2-4: StellarCon (March 2-4, 2012) in High Point with literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss. More info: http://stellarcon.org/

JUNE 2012

1-3: ConCarolinas (June 1-3, 2012) in Charlotte with writer guest of honor Jack McDevitt. More info: http://www.concarolinas.org/

21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest. More info: http://contemporal.org/


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

With just about 48 hours to go, the final week push continues with books from David Drake and James Maxey

Two new rewards added to the Bull Spec: Year 3 Kickstarter fundraising campaign today, in this last desperate week of trying to raise as much support as possible.
The first is the 3-volume trade paperback Baen editions of Pittsboro author David Drake's "The Complete Hammer's Slammers", signed of course:

The second is another set of 3 signed books, being Hillsborough author James Maxey's "Dragon Age" trilogy from Solaris Books in mass market paperback, including Bitterwood, Dragonforge, and Dragonseed:
Whew! Just about 48 hours to go... can we make it to $2000? I would love to see it happen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Kickstarter final week push continues with: Mur Lafferty's Afterlife Series

Just added another limited, last-week award to the Bull Spec Year 3 Kickstarter fundraising campaign which ends on Friday: A complete set, signed, of the 5 hardcover Afterlife Series novellas from Durham author and podcaster extraordinaire, Mur Lafferty: Heaven, Hell, Earth, Wasteland, and War. These are beautiful (and darkly funny!) books, with a through-designed cover series that you really, really want:
Whew. Only 10 of these sets are available, and I can't thank Mur enough to allowing me to include them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kickstarter: Final week, final push!

Well, it's Monday of the last week for the Bull Spec: Year 3 Kickstarter fundraiser, which ends Friday at 5 PM EST. To try for some last-ditch, on the fence backers, I've added something to spice this week up: limited to 20 backers, a complete set, signed, of the 6 "definitive edition" trade paperback versions of Raleigh author Lewis Shiner's first six novels: Frontera, Deserted Cities of the Heart, Slam, Glimpses, Say Goodbye, and Black & White:

Tell me that wouldn't look great on your bookshelf?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bull Spec: Year 3 Kickstarter -- progress update!

With two weeks left to go, the Bull Spec Year 3 Kickstarter has met its "drop dead or not" goal of $1000! Thank you all SO MUCH for spreading the word and contributing to this effort.

But, really, we need to keep going. One of the scary things about the Kickstarter was trying to pick a number that we thought was achievable -- because if you don't make it, everything goes to $0 and the whole thing is canceled -- but also substantial enough to make it look like actually doing a third year is possible.

As I wrote in the Kickstarter project description:
This Kickstarter project is to help fund the 60,000 words or so of original fiction, 20 or so illustrations, the reviews, the poetry, and the serialized graphic short story (and more!) which will comprise the four issues of the third year ofBULL SPEC which will run from about Spring/Summer 2012 through Winter/Spring 2013. At $0.05/word for fiction and poetry and $100-$200 per illustration, the year's content budget will come to about $5,000. The printing budget adds another $5,000, giving a total budget for the year of $10,000.
That's the base financial cost -- and of course, some of that will come to Bull Spec in the form of continuing subscriptions, issue sales in bookstores, etc. And of course, if we can ever get on top of getting advertising, that would be great, too! I want to go ahead and put some numbers out there so folks know where we're coming from. Subscriptions are at about 100 people, bringing about $2,000 into the "good" side of the budget. Bookstore sales are about 100 per issue, bringing another $2,000 into that "good" side. That leaves us about $6,000 short. Advertising (thank you, advertisers!) brought in about $1,000 last year, bringing things up to just about $5,000, leaving $5,000 to come from ... well, thin air, mostly. (Here I must thank my in-laws, Valerie and Mike Montgomery, for paying some printing bills outright. And again my wife Kendra, for her unbelievable patience in allowing me to really do this the best way that I can.)

So we need to keep going. Two more weeks. Let's do this! If I had to pick a number, I want to grow to 200 subscribers and fill that "75 x $75" patron page as much as possible. Thank you so much for your support and for spreading the word!

Monday, September 12, 2011

This week's events: The Rift Walker and Dark Tangos, both at Quail Ridge Books

This week sees Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books hosting two events of note:

1. Thursday, September 16, 7:30 pm: Clay and Susan Griffith for The Rift Walker: Vampire Empire, Book 2:

So many links have popped up, but most recently a great review from Paul Goat Allen is a good place to get started. There's a Facebook event by which you can invite your friends, the Quail Ridge event page to send around, and the current fall events flyer to print out and post and hand around as well.

2. Friday, September 17, 7:30 pm: Lewis Shiner for Dark Tangos:

You can of course read Richard Dansky's review of the book, along with an at-length interview of Shiner, in Bull Spec #6. He also wrote a short essay for John Scalzi's Whatever blog's "Big Idea" series, about violence -- very much worth the read, and there's another (shorter) interview courtesy the book's publisher, Subterranean Press. There's a Facebook event with which you can invite your friends, the Quail Ridge event page to send around, and yes that current fall events flyer to print out and post and hand around.

There you go! Two reading events this week very much worth taking the time for.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Today (Monday) at Dragon*Con!

Though yet, yet again you should have a stack of flyers you're handing out, and likely have this stuff memorized and/or tattooed:


11:30am Clay and Susan Griffith: Supernatural Alternative History
11:30am Mark Van Name (SFLIT)1pm Gray Rinehart science of zombies panel (‎Hilton)

And the last of the The Missing Volume dealer room signings:

10:30 AM Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
2 PM Tim Zahn
That's it! It's the last day! Don't forget to check out of your room on time...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today (Sunday) at Dragon*Con!

Though yet again you should have a stack of flyers you're handing out, and likely have this stuff memorized and/or tattooed:


10:00am Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (AUTO)
11:30am Mur Lafferty (POD)
11:30am Gail Z. Martin (POD)
1:00pm ERIN HOFFMAN (Sword of Fire and Sea, PYR dealer room signing)
1:00pm Gail Z. Martin (SFLIT)
1:00pm Jason Morningstar (GAME)
1:00pm Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (ALT) -- Steampunk Expo with Von Slatt device!
2:30pm Lou Anders (SFLIT)
2:30pm Clay and Susan Griffith (Pyr Books Presents!)
4:00pm Clay and Susan Griffith (Vampires)
4:00pm Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (
The Missing Volume dealer room signing)
5:30pm Gail Z. Martin (EFF)
7:00pm Jason Morningstar (GAME)
7:00pm Ann VanderMeer (SFLIT)
7:00pm Clay and Susan Griffith Greyfriar Reading w/James Marsters (ticketed event)
10:00pm Gail Z. Martin (DFH)

Whew. Tune in tomorrow for the Monday schedule for those staying all the way through to the end!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Local events flyer for Fall 2011: version 4!

With the Lev Grossman event behind us (and it was awesome!) it's really time to set our sights on the fall events. Things get started with a bang this week with readings from Lewis Shiner and NY Times bestselling author Terry Brooks. Please! Help spread the word about these events by printing, posting, and otherwise distributing this flyer!

Today (Saturday) at Dragon*Con!

You know the drill by now. Though you should have a stack of flyers you're handing out, and likely have this stuff memorized and/or tattooed:


11:30am Mur Lafferty (READ)
11:30am Mark L. Van Name (READ)
1:00pm Clay and Susan Griffith (Plotting or Plodding)
1:00pm Erin Hoffman (PYR dealer room signing)
1:00pm Mark L. Van Name (The Missing Volume dealer room signing)
1:00pm Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (ALT)
2:30pm The Baen Books Traveling Road Show (Hyatt)
4:00pm Mark L. Van Name (SFLIT)
4:30pm Parsec Awards (doors at 4, reception to follow, Hyatt Regency V Ballroom)
5:00pm Clay and Susan Griffith (PYR dealer room signing
5:30pm Jeff VanderMeer (READ) (a "bring the house down" reading from his novel in progress BORNE!)
7:00pm Ann VanderMeer (WRIT)
8:30pm Clay and Susan Griffith (Collaboration panel)
10:00pm Gail Z. Martin (WRIT)

Whew. Tune in tomorrow for the Sunday schedule!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Two Wednesday Sep 7 events of note:

Wednesday September 7 will be a very good day to be able to be in two places at once.

7 PM: Lewis Shiner at The Regulator Bookshop. "Join us for a thrilling night of tango with local author Lewis Shiner who will read from his new novel Dark Tangos. Live tango dancers will perform following the reading. Robert 'Beto' Cavenaugh who relocates to Buenos Aires and spends his nights dancing tango meets mysterious Elena who exposes him to the brutal echoes of Argentina’s shameful past. "Shiner’s latest delivers its grim story line with artistic mastery and surprising punctuation by joy and hope... this is an absorbing and surprisingly action-packed tale based in the ugly truths of Argentina’s history" writes Booklist. Shiner is the author of several novels and short stories including Black & White and Deserted Cities of the Heart." The Regulator has a Facebook event to send around, though Shiner's own event page is the main link for critical mass.

7:30 PM: Terry Brooks at Quail Ridge Books. "Science fiction master Terry Brooks returns on Wednesday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. with The Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara. The fascinating chronicle of Shannara's prehistory reaches a thrilling new peak in the sequel to Bearers of the Black Staff." Quail Ridge Books has a Facebook event to send around.

So! Go forth, enjoy, and try your best not to bifurcate. It doesn't really work out that well in the end. Whether you pick compelling social fiction from local author Lewis Shiner or bestselling epic fantasy from Terry Brooks, you had best at least not stay at home!