PsyBot, a Literate Cyber-Thriller

PsyBot e-cover (200x320)SF Canada member Nowick Gray has released a new speculative novel. PsyBot is every programmer’s nightmare: the bug that gets loose on the user side of the interface. Virtual reality, Joe Norton discovers, is not confined to hardware. Is the only way out, to go further in?

PsyBot, in the best “cyberpunk” tradition, is both speculative technothriller and character study. Its themes comprise both personal growth and corporate machination. The language aims for that balance of gritty description and eloquent quest that can satisfy equally readers of sci-fi or morality tale. The use of genre elements—alien abduction, offworld travel, astral projection—is effectively ironic, introduced by the antagonistic computer virus to tempt and tease, to call into question the arbitrary fabric of every virtual reality we yearn for or claim to inhabit.

PsyBot: A Novel of the Near Future is available from Amazon.ca in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Read a preview chapter here, and more about the novel here, at the author’s website.

Nowick Gray’s Rendezvous, an adventure novella with a paranormal twist, was published by World Castle in 2013. His short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in a wide variety of periodicals and anthologies. Reviewers have praised the “standout fiction” ( James A. Lee); “gripping story technique” (Frank Burnaby); “captivating forward momentum” (Sally Ross); and “fully fleshed-out characters, living and breathing” (S. L. Saboviec).

Connect with Nowick Gray and his writings at nowickgray.com.

The Leopard by K.V. Johansen Published June 2014

TheLeopard-Marakand1Released June 10, 2014

K.V. Johansen‘s latest novel, The Leopard, has been published by Pyr.

The Leopard was chosen for Kirkus Review‘s
Best Speculative Fiction Reads for June, and io9.com’s Most Astounding Must-Read Science Fiction And Fantasy Books In June.

Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.

To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.

Review: …the work highlights Johansen’s strengths. A surprising number of characters and plot threads are deftly interwoven…Publishers Weekly

Review: “An involving and deftly written novel of escape and capture, love and loss, and battles both mental and physical…. Johansen’s writing style is assured and elegant, subtle and powerful…”ForeWord Reviews

For more about the Marakand series and the author, see K.V. Johansen’s website at www.kvj.ca

Eileen Kernaghan launches Sophie, in Shadow

Sophie, In Shadow

Eileen Kernaghan’s new YA/teen historical fantasy, Sophie, in Shadow, will be launched on May 10 at the Arts Council of New Westminster’s gallery in Queens Park. The time is 1:30 p.m.

Sophie, in Shadow, set in India under the Raj, continues a narrative which began twenty-five years earlier in Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural. It’s 1914. Sixteen year old Sophie Pritchard, orphaned two years earlier by the sinking of SS Titanic, is about to begin a new life in British India. For Sophie, still devastated by her parents’ death, India proves a dangerous environment. Kidnapping, enemy spies and terrorist plots play their parts against the background of a world at war and growing unrest in the Indian subcontinent. Soon Sophie’s powers of precognition will be called upon to help thwart a conspiracy that could incite a bloodbath in Calcutta and deliver India into enemy hands.

Thistledown Press, March 2014, $15.95   Available in both print and e-book editions.

Sherry D. Ramsey launches One’s Aspect to the Sun

OATTS cover-smSF Canada member Sherry D. Ramsey’s debut novel, One’s Aspect to the Sun, launched recently at Hal-Con Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The novel is published by Alberta’s Tyche Books.

From the back cover:

Captain Luta Paixon of the far trader Tane Ikai needs to know why she looks like a woman in her thirties-even though she’s actually eighty-four. She isn’t the only one desperate for that information.

The explanation might lie with her geneticist mother, who disappeared over sixty years ago, but even if her mother is still alive, it’s proving to be no small task to track her down in the vast, wormhole-ridden expanse of Nearspace. With the ruthless PrimeCorp bent on obtaining Luta’s DNA at any cost, her ninety-year-old husband asking for one last favor, and her estranged daughter locking horns with her at every turn, Luta’s search for answers will take her to the furthest reaches of space–and deep inside her own heart.

Described as a “space opera with heart,” the novel tackles themes of immortality, aging, genetic engineering and family, across a galaxy-spanning backdrop of space traders, corporate interests, and wormhole travel.

The book is available in print and multiformat ebook at all major online sellers. For more information visit Tyche Books or Sherry’s website.

Third Person Press Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Grey Area front cover July112013Third Person Press, a small, independent press based on Cape Breton Island, NS, has recently launched an Indiegogo campaign in support of its upcoming release, Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories. SFC member Sherry D. Ramsey is one-third of the press’s editorial staff, and explains the signficiance of the campaign:

The benefit of crowd-funding platforms, like Indiegogo campaigns, is that they provide up-front funding so that small, independent creators can avoid heavy debt loads and reliance on funding avenues that may dry up in the future.

Third Person Press’s mission is to find, nurture, publish, promote and pay regional writers of speculative fiction. We think we’re filling a niche in a way that lets new and established voices share their stories with a wider audience.

The Grey Area campaign includes perks such as laminated bookmarks, spooky post cards (“ghost cards”), print and/or ebook copies of Grey Area and the other titles from Third Person Press, limited-edition handmade jewelry, and original artwork. Special rewards for writers include online writing courses, editing services, and cover art. All perks are transferable; supporters can double their good karma by donating and giving the perks to someone else as a gift. Everyone will receive an acknowledgement of thanks with their name listed on the Third Person Press website and Facebook page as well as having the satisfaction of having encouraged and literally supported regional SFF writers.

The campaign runs until September 15th. All the details and the campaign video are on the main page here: http://igg.me/at/grey-area/x/1156437