CONVENTION SCHEDULE – BALTICON


Hard to believe that Balticon is coming up in just two weeks. Once again, eSpec will be in the dealer’s room, when not on panels. We will also be holding our annual launch party on Sunday from 7pm to 9pm. Full schedule below.

How to be a Good Moderator    Room 8029          Fri 5:00 PM

Moderating a discussion panel at a convention is both easier and harder than it looks. Experienced moderators share their tips, tricks, and guidelines for getting the most out of the panel you’re moderating.

Writing Major Minor Characters    Room 8029    Fri 8:00 PM

They may not be your protagonists, but minor characters need to be fleshed out just as much as the heroes. How do minor characters enrich a story, and how can we make them interesting without letting them steal the spotlight?

Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading          Kent      Sat 1:00 PM

The authors of the Broad Universe writing organization share excerpts from their upcoming works.

eSpec Readings       St. George     Sat 7:00 PM

Authors Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Ken Schrader, and Michelle Sonnier read from their work.

eSpec Book Launch Party    Baltimore Ballroom A     Book Launches     Sun 7:00 PM   

Join eSpec Books for food, fun, and prizes in celebration of the release of their newest offerings of Paranormal Steampunk, The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier, Spirit Seeker by Jeff Young, and After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife.

Outlining vs. Pantsing     Mount Washington     Mon 10:00 AM

Some storytellers require a detailed outline to start fleshing out their story, but others prefer to write by the seat of the pants. What are some techniques to help you get better at one when you prefer the other? Authors and game masters welcome!

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COVER REVEAL – TALES FROM DRAGON PRECINCT (KEITH R.A. DECANDIDO)


Tales from Dragon Precinct 6x9.jpg
Cover design by Mike McPhail, McP Digital Graphics

Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff’s End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure-or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.

This volume brings together ten pieces of short fiction-some previously published, some brand-new for this book-featuring the Castle Guard: new cases for Lieutenants Torin ban Wyvald and Danthres Tresyllione to solve, as they deal with animated furniture, a hrancit demon, a closet spewing filth, a senile dragon, and more. Plus one of Lieutenant Iaian’s old cases comes back to haunt him, Lieutenants Dru and Hawk investigate a massacre committed by a vampire, the survivors of the heroic quest from Dragon Precinct return (and get into trouble), and the untold story of Danthres and Torin’s first case together is finally told!

Ten adventures of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard!


Keith R.A. DeCandido is a white male in his early forties, approximately 200 pounds. He was last seen in the wilds of the Bronx, New York, though he is often sighted in other locales. Usually he is armed with a laptop computer, which some have classified as a deadly weapon. Through use of this laptop, he has inflicted more than fifty novels, as well as an indeterminate number of short stories, comic books, nonfiction, novellas, and anthologies on an unsuspecting reading public. Many of these are set in the milieus of television shows, movies, games, and comic books, among them Star Trek, Cars, Doctor Who, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Orphan Black, Alien, Marvel Comics, and many more. We have received information confirming that more stories involving Torin, Danthres, and the city-state of Cliff’s End can be found in the novels Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and the forthcoming Mermaid Precinct, Phoenix Precinct, and Manticore Precinct, as well as the short-story collection Tales from Dragon Precinct. His other recent crimes against humanity include the urban fantasy novel A Furnace Sealed; the Orphan Black coffee-table book Classified Clone Report; the Alien novel Isolation; the Tales of Asgard trilogy of prose novels featuring Marvel’s Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three; short stories in the anthologies Aliens: Bug Hunt, the two Baker Street Irregulars volumes, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Nights of the Living Dead, The X-Files: Trust No One, among others; and writing about pop culture for Tor.com and Patreon. If you see DeCandido, do not approach him, but call for back-up immediately. He is often seen in the company of a suspicious-looking woman who goes by the street name of “Wrenn,” as well as several as-yet-unidentified cats. A full dossier can be found at DeCandido.net.

THE eSPEC BOOKS FLASH FICTION CONTEST RETURNS – MAY – CYBER WHAT?


Innovari_Fotolia_33655292_Subscription_Monthly_XL
(c) Innovari, http://www.fotolia.com

Wow…we have been gone a while, haven’t we? Life has been having a go at us, keeping us busy in unexpected ways. But it is beyond time we resurrect our monthly flash fiction contest.

So, this month’s topic is ‘Cyber What?’

What does that mean, you ask? Whatever you want, as long a something Cyber is involved. Give us an inventive story in 1500 words or less by May 31. Email your submissions to especbooks@aol.com.

One lucky winner will receive publication on the eSpec Blog and an electronic copy of the eSpec Books/Paper Phoenix Press title of their choice.

COVER REVEAL – GOBLIN PRECINCT


Goblin Precinct 2x3
Cover design by Mike McPhail, McP Digital Graphics

“A fascinating excursion in genre-bending; worth a try even for readers who usually take either their procedurals or their fantasies unadulterated. Booklist

Humans and elves, dwarves and gnomes, wizards and warriors all live and do business in the thriving, overcrowded port city of Cliff’s End, to say nothing of the tourists and travelers who arrive by land and sea, passing through the metropolis on matters of business or pleasure—or on quests. The hard-working, under-appreciated officers of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard work day and night to maintain law and order as best they can.

A new drug called Bliss is sweeping across the slums of Goblin Precinct. It makes people feel better—but if they take too much, they overdose and die. It doesn’t truly become a concern for the Castle Guard until one of the overdoses turns out to be a former elf lord who is wanted for war crimes.

The Captain of the Guard must put his best detectives, the half-elf Danthres Tresyllione and the ex-soldier Torin ban Wyvald, on the case to find out what happened to the elf. But when the magickal examiner discovers the truth behind Bliss, it becomes a firestorm of controversy that brings the Brotherhood of Wizards into the case—and that never ends well…

An all-new adventure of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard!


Keith R.A. DeCandido is a white male in his late forties, approximately 200 pounds. He was last seen in the wilds of the Bronx, New York, though he is often sighted in other locales. Usually he is armed with a laptop computer, which some have classified as a deadly weapon. Through use of this laptop, he has inflicted more than fifty novels, as well as an indeterminate number of short stories, comic books, nonfiction, novellas, and anthologies on an unsuspecting reading public. Many of these are set in the milieus of television shows, movies, games, and comic books, among them Star Trek, Cars, Doctor Who, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, Orphan Black, Alien, Marvel Comics, and many more. We have received information confirming that more stories involving Torin, Danthres, and the city-state of Cliff’s End can be found in the novels Dragon Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and the forthcoming Mermaid Precinct, Phoenix Precinct, and Manticore Precinct, as well as the short-story collection Tales from Dragon Precinct. His other recent crimes against humanity include the urban fantasy novel A Furnace Sealed; the Orphan Black coffee-table book Classified Clone Report; the Alien novel Isolation; the Tales of Asgard trilogy of prose novels featuring Marvel’s Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three; short stories in the anthologies Aliens: Bug Hunt, the two Baker Street Irregulars volumes, The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, The Best of Defending the Future, Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Nights of the Living Dead, The X-Files: Trust No One, among others; and writing about pop culture for Tor.com and Patreon. If you see DeCandido, do not approach him, but call for back-up immediately. He is often seen in the company of a suspicious-looking woman who goes by the street name of “Wrenn,” as well as several as-yet-unidentified cats. A full dossier can be found at DeCandido.net.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT


 

eSpec Books is proud to announce that Jack Campbell’s The Sister Paradox has won the 2018 EPIC eBook Award for the Young Readers category. Congratulations to the author for this well-deserved award. For a complete list of the winners visit the EPIC website.

Sister Paradox web

We are also proud to announce that the cover for Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Yesterday’s Dreams, with art by L.W. Perkins and Christina Yoder, has won the 2018 EPIC Ariana Award for Fantasy cover art. Again, ladies, congratulations for a well-deserved win. For a complete list of the winners visit the EPIC website.

yesterdays-dreams-2x3

COVER REVEAL – AMONG THE WILD CYBERS (CHRISTOPHER L. BENNETT)


We have had a lot of these lately. That justs means we have a lot of great titles coming up for your reading enjoyment. This book is by an author new to eSpec, but by no means a rookie. We hope you look forward to Among the Wild Cybers as much as we do.

Proof-WildCybers
(Robot and Cover Design by Mike McPhail, McP Digital Graphics)

Tales Beyond the Superhuman

When the line between life and technology blurs, humanity must adjust their understanding of the universe. From bestselling author Christopher L. Bennett comes Among the Wild Cybers, eight tales portraying a future of challenge and conflict, but also of hope born from the courage and idealism of those heroes willing to stand up for what is right.

  • An intrepid naturalist risks her future to save a new form of life that few consider worth saving.
  • An apprentice superhero must stand alone against an insane superintelligence to earn her name.
  • A cybernetic slave fights to save her kind from a liberation not of their choosing.
  • A seasoned diplomat and mother must out-negotiate fearsome alien traders to save a colony’s children.
  • A homicide detective serves in a world where curing death has only made murder more baffling.

These and other heroes strive to make their corners of the universe better—no matter how much the odds are stacked against them.

Includes the brand-new tale, Aspiring to Be Angels, prequel to the novel Only Superhuman.


Christopher L. Bennett is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, with a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati. A fan of science and science fiction since age five, he has spent the past two decades selling original short fiction to magazines such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and BuzzyMag. For the past dozen years, he has been one of Pocket Books’ most prolific and popular authors of Star Trek tie-in fiction, including the epic Next Generation prequel The Buried Age, the Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations series, and the ongoing Star Trek: Enterprise—Rise of the Federation series. His original novel Only Superhuman, perhaps the first hard science fiction superhero novel, was voted Library Journal’s SF/Fantasy Debut of the Month for October 2012. His short story collection Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy is available in e-book and print formats from Mystique Press.

Christopher’s homepage, fiction annotations, and blog can be found at christopherlbennett.wordpress.com, and his Facebook author page is at www.facebook.com/ChristopherLBennettAuthor.