Curated by Superheroes Anonymous author Lexie Dunn! Which lady did you get?
Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now, the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just Gail’s boyfriend Jeremy in disguise.
Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?
Yet, miraculously, the villains lose interest. Gail is able to return to her life…until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. Escaping, and now more than human herself, she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weakness) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.
Get the ebook today for just $2.99!
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we’d like to put the spotlight on our Harper Voyager authors who served in the military: Erik Williams, Ian Douglas, Nick Cole, and Henry V. O’Neil. They each described how their experiences serving have influenced the books they write. We thank them for their courage, as well as for their stories!
How has my experience in the military influenced my writing? Hell, I don’t know how it hasn’t. You see, you got to go all the back to the beginning: my birth.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a long story.
In 1978, I was born to two parents both serving in the Navy. My mom didn’t stay in but my dad did, doing close to thirty years. My youth was spent crawling around on aircraft carriers and under fighter jets and bombers. I went to the University of Southern California on an NROTC scholarship. I met my future wife in that unit. Upon graduation, I was commissioned as an officer and did four years on active duty, including a deployment to the Persian Gulf for the first four months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. My dad was still on active duty at the same time too, both of us were in the Gulf on separate ships. In 2005, I got out of the Navy (as did my wife) but we turned around and got jobs a defense contractors supporting – you guessed it – the Navy.
So as you can see, the Navy has been, in some form or another, part of my life since the beginning. Writers like to say, “write what you know.” Well, I know the Navy. So it’s only fitting my first novel Demon would feature a lot of military, including the USS Rushmore (the first ship I actually served on).
Of course, I wasn’t in the CIA. I’ve never encountered a demon (nor wish to). But I like writing about them. And thanks to my military experience, I’m able to ground m supernatural thriller like Demon in a very real world. I guess you can say it gives the story verisimilitude. Yeah, that’s a good writerly thing to say.
I was a corpsman, a “Doc” serving with the U.S. Navy, long ago and far away. We ran sick bays and labs and ORs for the Navy; we were medics for the Marines. And, yes, I draw upon those experiences in every book I write.
In his epic military coming-of-age novel Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein wrote movingly about a young recruit reaching “the hump” in his boot camp training … and then pushing beyond. That feeling is quite real and quite powerful. Suddenly, the recruit, his civilian attitudes and worldviews battered down by discipline, training, and a lot of in-his-face screaming, knows that he fits in, that he’s a part of a fraternity, that he belongs.
And he will never, ever be the same.
When I write military SF today, I’m constantly referencing that experience – whether I specifically mention it or not. U.S. military personnel live under a demanding and unaccustomed discipline – they sign away their civilian rights before they raise their hands and swear an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Usually, they find themselves entering a new relationship with their fellows; it’s well known that the guy in the foxhole fights and dies for his buddies in there with him before he fights for home, mom, and apple pie. That relationship is something most people who have not served in the military can never quite grasp.
Yes, there are exceptions: the cowards and bad apples, the moochers, slackers, and deserters. Humans are, well … human, and no two tick the same way. But in general, that Band of Brothers mentality forged in combat is as sharp and crisp and real as the blood on the sand at Omaha Beach … or the stink of death in Fallujah.
I became a Navy hospital corpsman partly because I hoped to apply my medical training to med school when I got out, partly because my dad before me was a corpsman. Turns out I never became a doctor. I did develop quite an insane love of, and respect for, the U.S. Marine Corps that has stayed with me throughout my life. The scientific, medical, and military training all stood me in very good stead afterward, particularly when I wrote a series for Harper Voyager (Star Corpsmen) about Navy corpsmen in the future. But what really stuck with me were details of life under military discipline and the chain of command, about shipboard life, about the vital need for a well-trained military to defend that afore-mentioned Constitution … and, always, about the goddamned U.S. Marines.
I’m proud to have served.
I’m proud of those with whom I served.
And I’m very proud to be able to bring just a taste of that experience, that fellowship of duty-honor-country, that history, that passion to my tales of the military in the future.
I joined the Army as a kid who had some immature ideas about life and writing. The Army changed me, as I’m sure it changes everybody. The Infantry unit I was in had a new 1st Sergeant. He’s the head enlisted man in the company. Even officers who outrank him are wise to listen to his sound advice and hard-earned wisdom.
He had the deadpan eyes of the late actor John Astin. He cut through lies, weaknesses, and youthful ignorance like a deli slicer. The patch on his shoulder told you he was the real deal. Vietnam, back in the day.
One morning he was going down the line, inspecting us. If you came up short it was back to the barracks. Some guy was bellyaching about an important job he had to do. The 1st Sgt dropped his tombstone gaze right down on top of that slacker. I was behind the guy. I heard it all, and it changed me forever. He didn’t light the guy up and smoke him like a cheap cigarette. No, he didn’t go straight to Heart Attack military-speak. He didn’t do any of that. Instead he just said: “You’re not ready for work.”
John Astin burrowing right into your pathetic soul.
He said, “You show up at the right time, in the right uniform, ready to work.”
Maybe a lot of you figured that out early on. I didn’t. I was young. I was perpetually messing up or not meeting people’s expectations or standards by trying to skate by on charm, mercy, and occasionally getting lucky. I was a kid.
In that one moment, trying to figure out what my major malfunction in life was, I finally understood something that would save me a lot of trouble. Show up in the right uniform, at the right time, ready to work.
The novel is a leviathan. Maybe Melville was really identifying more with Ahab than anyone else. When I wrote my first published book The Old Man and the Wasteland, I knew it had to be the best. I knew I’d get one shot with readers. It couldn’t skate by. This novel was going into the battle that is the marketplace and it needed to be ready. It needed to show up only when it was ready. I held myself to those words. I didn’t let myself say “good enough” until it was ready. It wasn’t done until it was prepared to show up at the right time, in the right uniform, ready to work.
A long time ago I was a young kid, waiting to get in trouble again. I learned something in the Army that would one day help me write a book other people might actually want to read. Thank God for whatever experiences that 1st Sgt had: Vietnam, life, an endless parade of clueless kids who thought life was something else. Thank God for him. And … thank you, 1st Sgt Bannon, wherever you are.
I graduated from West Point in 1985, and spent the next few years as an officer in the US Army Infantry. I was a platoon leader with the 10th Mountain Division at the newly-activated Fort Drum, N.Y. and then served as a company commander with the 1-508th Airborne Battalion in Panama.
During those years I got to meet just about everybody. One of the great things about military service is that the people you work with come from every part of the United States (as well as other countries) and from every walk of life. I quickly learned that there was a vast pool of talent all around me, and that it was important to foster an environment where individuals would step forward to offer their advice or special skills when they were needed.
I incorporated that lesson in my military science fiction tale of survival, Glory Main. In that story, four strangers find themselves marooned on a seemingly barren planet. Confronted with increasingly dangerous threats, their survival often hinges on the hidden talents and inner strengths of the group’s dissimilar members.
Another lesson from my time in the Army was the importance of building genuine, functioning teams. When a team member feels his or her contribution is unwelcome or unappreciated, it can cause that individual to stop trying, or even to withdraw from the group. The initial behavior of the castaways in Glory Main threatened to do just that, and it was an interesting exercise to come up with plot developments that overcame that problem.
Although I never went to the war zone, peacetime training exercises showed me just how complex a military operation can be. When different units act in concert, especially for the first time, there is a huge potential for confusion. Even with effective communication and the best intentions, things still get SNAFU’d all by themselves.
After Glory Main, I wanted to write a story that explored how minor miscalculations can have an enormous impact on a military operation’s success and dire consequences for the soldiers involved. A big battle scene in Orphan Brigade —the sequel to Glory Main—includes a chain of missteps that put the soldiers of the Orphan Brigade in an extremely dangerous situation.
The Human Defense Force depicted in this series is not meant to represent any existing military organization, but of course I was able to draw on my Army experience for the atmosphere and the tone. Both books are a testament to the toughness and resilience of human beings, which I saw demonstrated many times in my years with the Infantry. Whenever I capture that successfully, it’s a tribute to the dedicated men and women of our armed forces.
Metrophage, the cult-classic dystopian cyberpunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey, is now back in print in a special signed, collectible edition!
About Metrophage: Welcome to our future: L.A. in the late twenty-first century—a segregated city of haves and have-nots, where morality is dead and technology rules. Here, a small wealthy group secludes themselves in gilded cages. Beyond their high-security compounds, far from their pretty comforts, lies a lawless wasteland where the angry masses battle hunger, rampant disease, and their own despair in order to survive.
Jonny was born into this Hobbesian paradise. A streetwise hustler who deals drugs on the black market—narcotics that heal the body and cool the mind—he looks out for nobody but himself. Until a terrifying plague sweeps through L.A., wreaking death and panic, and no one, not even a clever operator like Jonny, is safe.
Read an excerpt:
We’ve got three new releases today, and they’re perfect for urban fantasy fans!
Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge is the first book of her dark Hellhound Chronicles series. Ava has spent the last hundred years as a hellhound, the indentured servant of a reaper who hunts errant souls and sends them to Hell. When a human necromancer convinces her to steal her reaper’s scythe, Ava incurs the wrath of the demon Lilith, her reaper’s boss. As punishment for her transgression, Lilith orders Ava to track down the last soul in her reaper’s ledger . . . or die trying.
But after a hundred years of servitude, it’s time for payback. And Hell hath no fury like an avenging Ava. . . .
Also out today is the last installment to the Final Asylum Tales – Inner Demon by Jocelynn Drake. Gage is a powerful warlock in Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, goblins, and vampires walk free alongside humanity. But there are two dangerous entities murdering parents and children, and Gage needs to stop them before anybody else gets hurt.
When Gage discovers a demon locked away, it offers him access to dark magic in exchange for its freedom—a dangerous opportunity, but one that could save his loved ones. Gage must choose between what is right and what is easy … except he’s running out of time.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the ever-after one last time in this never-before-published short story!
The origins of the elf and demon war have been shrouded – until now. Told from a demon’s point of view, join Al as he helps Newt spin the curse that caused the elven downfall… and perhaps holds the beginnings of their own reclamations.
Good Omens meets Office Space in this darkly humorous and suspenseful supernatural thriller by author Tim Lees. Get it today through November 14th for just $0.99!
There’s an art to capturing gods for electricity, and Chris Copeland is good at his job. Or at least, he was, until his insouciant partner accidentally loosed a pagan god on the world. Luckily, Chris had the good sense to smash the thing over the head with a lamp. It’s dead.
Or is it?
Six years later, Chris is contacted by Anna Ganz, a brusque, chain-smoking Hungarian detective with a penchant for misusing American profanity. A mysterious serial killer is stalking Budapest, and, in the name of profit, Chris’s company isn’t going to stop it. It’s up to the unlikely team of Chris and Anna to hunt down a god – but can they catch the killer before it’s too late?
Happy publication day to Jocelynn Drake for Demon’s Vow: Part II of the Final Asylum Tales!
Tattoo artist and warlock Gage is having a rough week. He’s trying to track down a mysterious murderer in Low Town while also chasing a powerful entity that’s been using forbidden Death Magic across the nation. When Gage discovers that the two forces may be trying to unite, the stakes get even higher. With Gideon’s help, Gage is determined to stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt—including his girlfriend, Trixie
Don’t forget Part I– Demon’s Fury – is still FREE.
And the conclusion, Inner Demon: Part III of the Final Asylum Tales, will publish next week. Pre-order your copy today!
Love fairy tales? Bored of the same old Grimms’ stories, and looking for something new? Check out ONCE UPON A RHYME by Jack Heckel and THE STOLEN by Bishop O’Connell, on sale now through 10/27 for just $0.99!
The dragon is dead. The princess has been saved. There is but one problem: Prince Charming had nothing to do with it.
In order to save his royal reputation, Prince Charming must begrudgingly enlist the help of accidental hero William Pickett. The two set out on an adventure that has them fighting trolls, outwitting a scoundrel, and drinking the foulest ale ever, collecting bruises to both body and pride along the way. Meanwhile, the rescued princess, Gwendolyn, turns out to be one dangerously distressed damsel, and an evil presence takes over Castle White in Charming’s absence …
Enter this rollicking world and discover just what happens when a fairytale leaves the well-trodden path of “once upon a time.”
Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries.
When her daughter Fiona is snatched from her crib, Caitlin’s entire world crumbles. Certain that faeries were only a fantasy, Caitlin must now accept that these supernatural creatures do exist-and that they have traded in their ancient swords and horses for modern guns and sports cars. Hopelessly outmatched, she accepts help from a trio of unlikely heroes: Eddy, a psychiatrist and novice wizard, Brendan, an outcast Fian warrior, and Dante, a Magister of the fae’s Rogue Court. Moving from the busy streets of Boston’s suburbs to the dark land of Tír na nÓg, Caitlin and her allies will risk everything to save Fiona. But can this disparate quartet conquer their own inner demons and outwit the dark faeries before it’s too late?
Happy publication day to Jocelynn Drake for Demon’s Fury: Part I of the Final Asylum Tales!
Next week part II – Demon’s Vow – will publish, be sure to pre-order now!
Jocelynn Drake continues her successful Asylum Tales urban fantasy series with Demon’s Fury, set in a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires walk free alongside humanity.
Powerful warlock and tattoo artist Gage has managed to escape the magical Ivory Towers who terrorize the rest of humans and monsters—but at a price. Now he must join forces with his nemesis, Gideon, to stop an unknown entity who is using old magic to commit gruesome murders. And as if that’s not keeping him busy enough, an investigator recruits Gage to help her track a killer … who may be targeting tattoo artists.
NYCC 2014 Complete Itinerary! And be sure to visit us right away to grab the very best merch and early on sale copies of books by Ilona Andrews, Richard Kadrey, and more!
Thursday, October 9
1:00 PM HARPERVOYAGER SCRATCH TO WIN/ HarperCollins Booth #2119
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM IN BOOTH FREE SIGNING: KIM HARRISON
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM PANEL: Coffee Talk with Monsters featuring Caitlin Kittredge, AREA: 1A18
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: Coffee Talk with Monsters in Autographing Area, Table 19
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM SPOTLIGHT PANEL: Kim Harrison in AREA: 1A24
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM SPOTLIGHT PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: Kim Harrison at Autograph Table #14
NYCC Super Week Event: Cross Publisher SFF Event—Round Robin Storytelling
Authors: Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me); David Wellington (Hydra Protocol, upcoming Harper Voyager zombie novel POSITIVE)
Location: B&N Union Square # 2675, 33 East 17th
Street, New York, NY 10003
Friday, October 10
11:00 PM HARPERVOYAGER SCRATCH TO WIN/HarperCollins Booth #2119
1:15 PM – 2:00 PM PANEL: Playing With Magic in AREA: 1A01
Ilona Andrews, Burn for Me, Avon
Kim Harrison, The Witch With No Name, Harper Voyager
2:15 PM – 3:15 PM PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: Playing With Magic at Autographing Area, Table 19
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM IN BOOTH FREE SIGNING, RICHARD KADREY/ HarperCollins Booth #2119
NYCC Super Week Event: Ask Me Another: Neil Gaiman Location: 92nd Street Y(Lexington Ave. @ 92nd St)
NYCC Super Week Event: Cross Publisher SFF Event—Family Feud
Authors: Richard Kadrey (The Getaway God); Caitlin
Kittredge (Black Dog), C.L. Wilson (The Winter King)
Location: B&N Union Square # 2675, 33 East 17th
Street, New York, NY 10003
Saturday, October 11
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM PANEL: These Are My People/Aliens/Zombies/Vampires/Dragons!: Building Community in the Sci Fi/Fantasy World with Richard Kadrey; AREA: 1A18
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: These Are My People/Aliens/Zombies/Vampires/Dragons!: Building Community in the Sci Fi/Fantasy World at the Autographing Area, Table 19
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM BOOTH SIGNING: ILONA ANDREWS, BURN FOR ME (early on-sale!)
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM PANEL: Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales
Harry Heckel, Happily Never After, Harper Voyager Impulse
Bishop O’Connell, The Stolen, Harper Voyager Impulse
Soman Chainani (Moderator), The School for Good and Evil, HarperCollins
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales at Autographing Area, Table 19
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM PANEL: Villains: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly /AREA: 1A18
AUTHOR/TITLE: Lexie Dunne, Superheroes Anonymous, Harper Voyager Impulse
4:00 PM HARPERVOYAGER SCRATCH TO WIN/ HarperCollins Booth #2119
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM PANEL AUTOGRAPHING: Villains: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Autographing Area, Table 19
Sunday, October 12
12:30 PM HARPERVOYAGER SCRATCH TO WIN/ HarperCollins Booth #2119
Happy publication day to Voyager Impulse author Erik Williams for DEMON – a supernatural thriller/military sf mash-up.
DEMON was one of the winning books selected from our Harper Voyager Digital Submission Contest!
Mike Caldwell is a CIA assassin who thinks he’s finally got a real case to work on. At a remote construction site in Iraq, something deadly and dangerous has been unearthed, and Mike believes he’s dealing with a powerful pathogen that turns the infected into primal killing machines. The truth, however, is far worse. The ancient prison of the fallen angel Semyaza has been uncovered, and for the first time in thousands of years he is free to roam the earth, possessing the bodies of the humans he hates. And everywhere he goes, Hell is sure to follow.
Now Mike is on Semyaza’s trail, hunting a demon whose mere presence turns every living thing near it into a weapon of mass destruction. Both merchants of death are on a collision course, while the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Read an excerpt of the book here.
From now until 10/6, Jocelynn Drake’s Asylum Tales series and Dark Days series are on sale! Get the ebooks for just $1.99 or less!
Get the deal here!