April Cover Spotlight

  • Posted by Angela Craft on Apr 28 2016

Check out some of the newest covers from Harper Voyager!

Syndicate’s Pawns by Davila LeBlanc

Syndicate's Pawn by Davila LeBlanc

A month has passed since the eclectic crew of the Covenant Patrol vessel Jinxed Thirteenth endured a harrowing mission on the abandoned space station of Moria 3 and rescued its sole surviving crew member. During the mission, Moria 3’s deranged AI all but crippled the Jinxed Thirteenth, and the skeletal crew is now desperately trying to get it repaired. 

Waking from several millennia of cryo-sleep, Jessie Madison’s worst fears are confirmed. She is the last surviving member of the Human race. Surrounded by the descendants of mankind in a world she knows nothing about, not even the basic alphabet, Jessie finds herself only able to communicate with the ship’s medic, Marla Varsin, and its translator, Machina Chord.  

When the merchant vessel Althena arrives on the scene, its captain, a shrewd trader named Domiant, offers to sell Captain Morwyn the parts he needs. As guards are lowered on the Jinxed Thirteenth and repairs get underway, it becomes evident that a cunning foe has managed to infiltrate the ship. A deadly game of deception begins to play out, with a sinister foe setting its sights set on capturing Jessie. Captain Morwyn Soltaine, the crew of the Jinxed Thirteenth, and Jessie Madison find their mettle tested as they are dragged into a desperate battle for survival.

On sale July 5th.

The Celtic Crusades by Stephen R. Lawhead

theironlance The Black Rood Stephen R Lawhead The Mystic Rose Stephen R. Lawhead

Stephen R. Lawhead’s historical fantasy series has a bold new look! Learn more about this epic saga:

The Iron Lance
The Black Rood

The Mystic Rose

Available now

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FINAL FLIGHT and LOS NEFILIM on sale today!

  • Posted by Angela Craft on Apr 26 2016

Eonly 9780062411280 Cover

Final Flight, a new breathtaking short story from Beth Cato, set in the world of The Clockwork Dagger, is on sale today!

Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship Argus. But he was quickly proved wrong when his ship was commandeered by Caskentian soldiers. He is ordered on a covert and deadly mission by the smarmy Julius Corrado, an elite Clockwork Dagger.

Now Captain Hue must start a mutiny to regain control of his airship, which means putting his entire crew at risk—including his teenage son Sheridan. As the weather worsens and time runs out, it’ll take incredible bravery to bring the Argus down….perhaps for good.

Download Final Flight by Beth Cato for just $.99 today!

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Three brilliant novellas, one fantastic story. Los Nefilim by T. Frohock is available now.

Collected together for the first time, T. Frohock’s three novellas-In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death-brings to life the world of Los Nefilim, Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. In 1931, Los Nefilim’s existence is shaken by the preternatural forces commanding them … and a half-breed caught in-between.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.

Download Los Nefilim by T. Frohock today!

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Free SciFi Reads from Harper Voyager with Playcrafting, and instaFreebie

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  • Posted by CPerny on Apr 19 2016

Enjoy 15 different titles of science fiction and fantasy content whether or not you can attend PAX East! Harper Voyager has you covered this week.

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“Playcrafting empowers the game development community through education, networking, and collaboration. They help gamers and enthusiasts learn from and connect with developers and give more established developers the tools to succeed as businesses.”

 

We are excited to share this joint promotion powered by Harper Voyager and Playcrafting, which aims to share science fiction and fantasy content with readers to inspire them to be creative and connect with amazing authors. Thanks to Harper Voyager and Playcrafting, enjoy your free copy from 750 available copies across 15 different titles! Please claim one book so everyone may get a chance to enjoy this wonderful content.

 

Download your free copy by clicking on the links below, and become inspired to create your own game with Playcrafting!

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Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle

The Oldest Trick by Auston Habershaw

The Veiled Empire by Nathan Garrison

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

Shadow of Empire by Jay Allan

7 Sykos by Marshelia Rockwell and Jeffrey J. Mariotte

Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge

A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne

The Book of Forbidden Wisdom by Gillian M. Kendall

The Tides of Maritinia by Warren Hammond

The Rogue Retrieval by Dan Koboldt

Earth Strike by Ian Douglas

Chosen Soldiers by R.H. Scott

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

 

Download your free copy here and become inspired to create your own game with Playcrafting!

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The Everything Box and more new fantasy on sale today!

  • Posted by Angela Craft on Apr 19 2016

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The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey is the first in a new series from the Sandman Slim author. “A rolling bouncy-house of a caper tale” – Christopher Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Lamb, A Dirty Job, and The Serpent of Venice.

22000 B.C. A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll get a big promotion.

And now it’s time . . . .

The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word.

“Crap.”

2015. A thief named Coop—a specialist in purloining magic objects—steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him—and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of The Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him.

It’s a doomsday device. They think . . .

And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.

Buy The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey today!

 

Grim Tidings by Caitlin Kittredge is the second installment in the Hellhound Chronicles!

y648 (43)In this thrilling sequel to Black Dog—the first volume of award-winning Caitlin Kittredge’s dark urban fantasy series, Hellhound Chronicles—a soul catcher must stop demonic monsters from her past from infecting the world.

After winning her freedom from a reaper and facing off against a fearsome demon boss, Ava is now a masterless hellhound. Her friend, Leo, has found a new life after death: He’s returned as the Grim Reaper—the first in centuries. As both try to adjust to their new circumstances, Ava’s dark past comes back to wreak havoc on her . . . and the entire world.

A breed of monsters as smart as vampires—but who behave like zombies—has been sighted in Kansas. Ava can’t believe these “zompires” are back. She thought she’d kicked their asses for good when she first battled them in a Nazi death camp. Now, they’re spreading their infection across America’s heartland thanks to a nasty piece of business named Cain.

Free at last after being locked up in Hell for millennia, Cain has some scores to settle. To stop him, Ava must form an unholy alliance with some old foes . . . a bargain that will lead her to uncover deeply buried truths about her past—and Leo’s future.

Buy Grim Tidings by Caitlin Kittredge today!

 

Nettle King by Katherine Harbour is the mesmerizing conclusion to the Night and Nothing seriespart Buffy the Vampire Slayer and part Alice in Wonderland…

y648 (50)When her beloved Jack disappears, Finn vows to find him—even if it means a daring odyssey into the land of the dead. But saving Jack comes at a terrible price: a dangerous fissure has opened, giving the dead access to the true world.

The lines between worlds are more blurred than ever. Finn’s sister, Lily, recently returned from the Ghostlands, seems to bear no scars from her time there. But then their friend Moth returns from Sombrus, the magical house once owned by Seth Lot, bearing shocking news. Something evil—a fearsome creature bearing a striking resemblance to Jack—has escaped Sombrus and is now stalking Fair Hollow, killing everyone it encounters, transforming them into terrifying Jacks and Jills and recruiting the Unseelie.

It will not stop until it gets what it wants . . .

Finn.

Buy Nettle King by Katherine Harbour today!

 

The World Weavers by Kelley Grant is the spell-binding conclusion to the Desert Rising series.

y648 (59)It has been a year since Sulis Hasifel fled to the desert, narrowly escaping death at the hands of a vengeful god. The time of the final battle, the final confrontation with the deities of her world, is nearing. Lured by the call of their long-trapped powers, the deities will descend upon the Obsidian Temple, where the Chosen await.

But the war between gods and humans has enveloped the entire land. Sulis’s twin, Kadar, joins forces with the nomadic warrior tribes of the desert. Little by little, the desert armies draw the deities away from their stronghold in the north, towards their doom.

In the face of a battle that will reshape mankind’s destiny and the face of the earth itself, old friendships will be tested and new alliances forged. In this spellbinding denouement to Desert Rising and The Obsidian Temple, Kelley Grant brings her epic trilogy to a thunderous and powerful conclusion.

Buy The World Weavers by Kelley Grant today!

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Childhood Reading and the Adult Writer, or, Popular Fiction Ate My Kid-Brain

  • Posted by David Pomerico on Apr 11 2016

by Gillian Murray Kendall

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I used to read at the dinner table.  And in my room.  And, when I wanted no one to find me, in my closet—with the door slightly open for light to read by.  Writing comes from reading; writing is when we join the great storytelling tradition that has gone before.  When we join that tradition, we already have the patterns of childhood fictions in our brains.  All the books I’ve read, then, influenced my fiction—but it’s the books I read when I was 8 or 10, obsessively, over and over, that have probably laid down the basic tracks of plotting and theming and imaging that hold me in good stead now.  Like Ray Bradbury’s tattooed illustrated man, I carry the marks of stories past, and I am shaped seemingly down to the level of DNA by their power.  In particular, the fantasy and science fiction classics of the ‘50s and ‘60s exerted their spell, years after they were published, and I was helpless before their indelible prose.

Books from childhood are like talismans from a far off land. They have shaped my understanding of what a book is.  Good or bad, what fascinated me about fiction when I was 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 still holds sway.  Sure, I loved To Kill a Mockingbird, and, yes, it has great story power, but Robert Heinlein’s Starman Jones was what I read under the covers.  And while I read John Steinbeck’s The Pearl (perhaps before I was ready), it was heavy going next to the entire Tarzan canon and the Black Stallion series.  Best not to tell my Shakespeare or literature students any of this.  And now, here are 5 ½ of the books that invaded my kid-brain and hard-wired me as a writer.

Beware:  if you allow your children to immerse themselves in the following books, they may not be the same again.


 

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, 1950

 

Four children hide in a wardrobe and find themselves in a whole world called Narnia, which appears to be at the back of this venerable piece of furniture. Narnia is ruled by an evil witch who makes it always winter there; the children must defeat her so that spring, and Aslan, the great good lion, can come again.  Oh, yes, and the animals in Narnia can talk.

Luckily I didn’t recognize, at the time, that this was a Christian allegory.  Instead I saw the mundane world of the probable, and even the exciting world of the possible, displaced by the Otherworld of the incredible.  This is one of the books that made me determine, as a child, to be a writer.  Because, after reading this book time and time again, I was well aware that I wasn’t going to find a Narnia by looking in wardrobes or closets or cupboards.  I knew that, while I might have to wait a while before I could do it, I needed to build my own wardrobe. The Book of Forbidden Wisdom (Harper Voyager, 2016) is that wardrobe, and within it lies a fantasy world.  No actual furniture proves to be necessary.

Here are some caveats about my fantasy world in The Book of Forbidden Wisdom:  C.S. Lewis-like allegory is checked at the door.  No talking animals.  And the text has moved into the young adult realm, where my characters seek power in a book—only to discover that the real power lies in love.

 

2. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham, 1951

 

There were post-apocalyptic novels before The Day of the Triffids (Mary Shelley wrote the first one, The Last Man, in 1826), and there are, heaven knows, plenty after—including my own, The Garden of Darkness (Ravenstone, 2014).  When I was a child, however, The Day of the Triffids impressed upon me the loneliness of a group of survivors in the face of global disaster.  Those Triffids, deadly walking plants, may not now sound more threatening than rutabagas on the move, but to me, they terrified.  Later, when I read George Stewart’s great book, Earth Abides—perhaps the best post-apocalyptic book ever written—I realized that it didn’t always take lethal vegetation to end the world.  But John Wyndham could make Mr. Potato Head a sign of End Times.  His plot laid down significant tracks in my mind—patterns that surely assert themselves when I write.  Again, as in the high fantasy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was seduced by genre.

 

 

3. The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury, 1951

 

At a time before tattoos were sported casually—now even my oldest son has one (okay, more than one)—a man completely covered with tattoos might well be a carnival side-show freak. The marks on the illustrated man’s body, however, were placed there by a time-traveler, and, as the narrator gazes at the tattoos, they come to life and act out stories.

I can’t think of this uncanny book without become at least a little unsettled. The Illustrated Man, it occurs to me now, although it didn’t, consciously, then, is about the writing process, of course, and the way that fiction gets away from us to enact itself to the reader.  Imagination may be the time-traveler that inscribes our stories in ink on a page, like a tattoo on a body, to be read and interpreted. Having one’s book read by those who may be complete strangers is a kind of act of intimacy.  And we, as writers, along with the illustrated man, become part of the freak show.

 

 

3 ½. The October Country, Ray Bradbury, 1955.

 

The Illustrated Man remains with me, reminding me of what writers do—to themselves and others.  In The October Country, it’s the tales themselves that are indelible.  I remember them vividly: a man fears the bones in his body; an impoverished man buys a jar with something amorphous floating in it, and—

And we’re in the October country, from whose bourn no traveler returns—at least not unchanged. This collection is powerful and was probably too macabre for someone my age to read.  Maybe that’s why I remember the stories so vividly:  they were things of trauma that invaded my life.  That is, they showed me just what fiction could do.  What, perhaps, on a good day, I might be able to attempt.

 

4. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911

 

If Hodgson Burnett had been forced to send her publisher a synopsis of The Secret Garden as a condition of its publication, we might be short a classic in literature (editorial alert: Spoilers–kind of).  Ten-year-old Mary Lennox loses her parents to cholera while the family is living in India.  Mary is shipped back to England to live in the crumbling estate of her Uncle, Archibald Craven.  While there, she discovers, hidden away, her ten-year-old sickly cousin, heir to the estate—and she also finds a secret garden.  Bringing the now-wild garden back to life brings Mary and her cousin to life as well, and they thrive as the roses bloom.

The End.

No kidding. That’s it.

But the plot isn’t the point.

Doors are the point. The mansion has 600 rooms, many of them shut up, and as Mary passes through them, she discovers more and more about herself and the world around her.  One of the great pleasures to be found in reading The Secret Garden is to be a silent onlooker (onreader) as Mary opens the door into the secret garden itself, a fairy tale place of what the children think of as magic.  Plot has its place, and this book is, indeed, well-plotted, but this beloved children’s classic is strong in theme, in mystery, in the exploration of the unknown.  Like all good books, it’s a door too.

 

 

5. The Chronicles of Prydain: The Book of Three; The Black Cauldron; The Castle of Llyr; Taran Wanderer; The High King, Lloyd Alexander, 1967.

 

The Chronicles of Prydain are books of high fantasy, of deep enchantments, high quests, prophecies and the clash of good and evil.  There’s an evil horned king, the Cauldron Born (think zombies) who are almost impossible to kill (because they’re dead), and, as hero, a young man who starts in life as an Assistant Pig-Keeper. The Book of Three opens with the eponymous hero yearning to join the battle for good and evil, while his mentor turns him to more practical matters:  “Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.”  Taran’s hunger for the deeds of high fantasy (the sword) are made comic through the mundane reality of what he’s going to make (horseshoes).

Tolkien may be the king of high fantasy, but Lloyd Alexander, who writes for a young audience, has an ingredient to his work that Tolkien has only a small ear for: humor.  Lots of it.  The whole series uses humor as a kind of fuel for plot.  Hen Wen, the prophetic pig, sets the tone as she escapes her sty and takes to the woods, Taran following (and thus beginning his adventure).  From that moment, the distance between what Taran would be and what Taran is provides Lloyd with priceless moments of dramatic irony, until we are utterly ensnared by him.  The series ends well, of course:  “And thus did an Assistant Pig-Keeper become High King of Prydain.”

But it does not end before imparting to this child reader something I’ve never forgotten: the deeply serious carries within it great comedy.  High fantasy does not preclude humor—from wit to farce.  Alexander doesn’t take himself too seriously, and because of that, his prose charms.  To put powers of prophecy into a very piggy pig is high art as well as high fantasy.


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Gillian Murray Kendall is a professor at Smith College, where she specializes in Shakespeare. She is the author of The Book of Forbidden Wisdom (Harper Voyager, April 12, 2016) and The Garden of Darkness (Ravenstone, 2014). Gillian lives with her husband, Robert Dorit, in Northampton, Massachusetts and has two sons, Sasha and Gabriel.  You can learn more about her at www.gillianmurrykendall.com, or on Twitter:  @GillianMKendall

 

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