Jennifer McMahon’s next novel: The Invited

Jennifer McMahon’s next novel is due out on April 30th, The Invited. It’s a ghost story about a couple who buy a property with a potential ghost of a woman who died more than a century ago.

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house–a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse–objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously. As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.

McMahon will be stopping by Bear Pond Books to celebrate the release of the novel. RSVPP here.

Bear Pond Books is holding a space prom

This looks like quite a bit of fun: Bear Pond Books is hosting an event called Once & Future Space Prom, to support an event for Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy’s new YA novel, Once & Future. The event takes place on April 26th in Montpelier.

The book comes out next week, and is the first book in a gender-bent duology that retells the story of King Arthur:

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

Here are the details for the event:

Cosplay! Music! Author Signing! Reader’s Theater! Cake!

Door Prizes! Costumes & Fancy Dress Encouraged!

Wear your favorite incarnation of a King Arthur genderbending character at this “Space Prom” event with VCFA authors Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy, co-authors of Once & Future.

Tickets $5 each. Click the ticket link to purchase. Ticket holders will receive $5 off the purchase of the book Once & Future at the event.

Brattleboro’s Mystery on Main Street bookstore is shutting down

Brattleboro’s bookstore Mystery on Main Street says that it will shut down for good on March 23rd.

In a post to Facebook, the store says that it’s selling off its inventory — signs in the windows say that it’s a “retirement sale.”

The bookstore focuses extensively on stocking mystery novels, and was named by Yankee Magazine as one of the best independent bookstores to visit in New England. I’ve shopped at the store a couple of times over the years, and it’s always been a fantastic place to browse and to pick up a good mystery novel.

Dartmouth announces Ann & Jeff VanderMeer as 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award judges

Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science has announced two heavy-hitters to judge its 2019 Literary Arts Awards: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The award issues a cash prize to three works of speculative fiction that examine the potential of computational sciences.

Last year, the awards went to Best Worst American, by Juan Martinez (debut author), while Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station, and Corinne Duyvis’s On the Edge of Gone shared the prize for the open category.

Ann VanderMeer is an award-winning editor of short fiction, and has edited for publications such as Weird Tales and, as well as anthologies such as The New Weird, The Big Book of Science Fiction, and the forthcoming Big Book of Classic Fantasy. Her husband, Jeff VanderMeer, collaborated with her on those anthologies, and has become well-known for his Area X trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), and his latest novel, Borne.

Submissions for the prize closed in December, and the short list of finalists will be released in the coming weeks.

Sen. Patrick Leahy wrote the introduction to Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman

It’s well known that Senator Patrick Leahy is a big Batman fan. He’s memorably appeared in films like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and donates the proceeds of his appearances to Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Now, he’s written the foreword to a new comic book that commemorates the 80th anniversary of the caped crusader.

The book is Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, described as a “celebration of Detective Comics‘ amazing eight-decade run and Batman’s 80 years,” and includes commentary from the likes of Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and others.

The Washington Post notes that Leahy said that he “couldn’t resist the opportunity,” when asked to contribute, and recounts his experiences filming the Nolan films, saying that he was terrified of Heath Ledger as the Joker. “I was scared. It wasn’t acting.” The Post notes that Leahy has provided introductions for comics before, such as in 1996, when he provided one for a charity comic,Batman: Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines.

Cadwell Turnbull event at Yankee Bookshop

Debut science fiction author Cadwell Turnbull will appear at an event at Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop on July 1st, to discuss his novel The Lesson.

Here’s what the book is about:

An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.

A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.

Turnbull has been a rising star in the SF/F world — his work has appeared recently in publications such as The Verge, Lightspeed Magazine, and Asimov’s.

RSVP here.

Former Vermont Author J.J. French has released his debut novel

A writer who grew up in Vermont has released his debut novel, Tea, Robots, and the End of the World. J.J. French says that he grew up in Vermont and Massachusetts, and now resides in England.

He self-published his debut novel in January, which is set in the year 2053. Here’s the description from Amazon:

In the early 2040s, we created the first simulated intelligence. A machine mind that could mimic the mental processes of the human brain. Not truly aware, but close enough for our purposes. It was a revelation. The world changed.

The first of these intelligences grew beyond its original design. It transformed itself to surpass its creator’s wildest expectations, and grew to think, to feel, to be creative. This process became known as emergence. And it started a war.

Two years later, stuffed in the equipment lockers of flight CR-2075, another artistic intelligence has emerged. It calls itself Rue.

Nobody knows about it, except for Commonwealth pilot Liam Hale, his crew, and a multinational conspiracy obsessed with commanding mankind’s destiny. With nobody to trust but himself, Liam will need all of his wits about him as he comes face-to-face with forces beyond his reckoning, competing truths about the nature of life, and some questionable cups of coffee. Ultimately, he will need to answer a simple question: how far is he willing to go, and how much is he willing to risk, to have a hand in shaping the future?

Here’s where you can watch Captain Marvel tonight

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel, is about to hit theaters! The film is slated to open tomorrow, March 8th, but a bunch of theaters will be screening it early, today, March 7th.

Here’s where you can catch it tonight:

  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00PM, 8:00PM, and 9:30PM (3D).
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00PM.
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 7:00PM (3D) and 8:30PM (3D).
  • Flagship Cinemas, Rutland. 7:00PM and 9:35PM.
  • Latchis Theater, Brattleboro. 7:00PM and 9:20PM.
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 7:00PM, 8:20PM (3D), and 9:20PM.
  • Merrill Theater, Burlington. 7:00PM.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury. 7:00PM.
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 7:00PM and 9:30PM.
  • Paramount Theater, Barre. 7:00PM and 7:35PM.
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 7:00PM (3D), 8:00PM, and 9:00PM.
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury. 7:00PM and 8:00PM (3D).
  • Stowe Cinemas, Stowe. 7:00PM and 9:15PM (3D).
  • Welden Theater, St. Albans.

Here’s where you it opens normally:

  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield.
  • Village Picture Show, Manchester.

Seven Days profiles local sci-fi comedy audiobook

Seven Days has a cool profile of local comedian and author Conor Lastowka, who recently published a science fiction comedy called The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe which was recently republished as an Audible Original title, featuring a number of well-known comedians, like Paul F. Tomkins, and Weird Al Yankovic.

The novel, according to Amazon, follows a high school girl named Kara Everglades, who is brought along on a strange adventure with her eccentric grandfather, Cornelius Everglades.

Here’s the full description:

Kara Everglades has just finished her first year of high school and is longing for an adventure. So far her only option is an invitation from some upperclassmen to watch them drunkenly race a bunch of bullfrogs in a ditch. To be honest, she was hoping for something a bit more exciting.

Her grandfather, Cornelius Everglades, is a renegade who founded his own island micronation. Unfortunately, the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge it (possibly because he’s gone about the nation-building process using wildly illegal and unethical means).

When Cornelius shows up at Kara’s door needing her help and promising an adventure, Kara agrees to go along with his far-fetched plan to put his micronation on the map, even though a) she thought Cornelius was dead, and b) his scheme depends heavily on Kara wearing a mascot costume.

If Kara had known about the giant alien spaceship currently speeding toward her grandfather’s country with the intent to subjugate and humiliate mankind, she might have reconsidered.

Lastowka is also a writer for RiffTrax, and performs at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington, and the profile digs into his career and interest in science fiction, noting that science fiction comedy is a hard genre to get right. Give the full article a read here.

Phoenix Books hosts Harry Potter Book Night

Harry Potter fans take note: Phoenix Books will be hosting a trio of Harry Potter Book Nights at its Essex, Burlington, and Rutland locations tonight, February 7th.

The event is an annual affair in its fifth year, designed to celebrate all things Harry Potter:

Share the Magic! Mark your calendars for Harry Potter Book Night, when fans young and old will be able to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series – and it’s a chance to pass the magic on to new readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books. The magical theme is ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ and as the scene of so many seminal moments in the Harry Potter stories we can’t wait to celebrate all things Hogwarts!

The events will begin at each of the stores at 6PM. Costumes encouraged.