Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Debut Graduates of June

Now that I've been doing this for a year, there are more debut graduates to cover every month. I found four for this month. Here's a little snippet on each of them:  

A Fire in the North by David Bilsborough

This author lives in a tiny village in Java, and therefore maintains no Internet presence (he discusses it here). His first novel, The Wanderer's Tale, came out a year ago Here's the blurb for his second novel, which Tor provided to me as a review copy:

Five hundred years ago a huge force defeated an evil, supernaturally powerful tyrant who terrorized and ravaged those who cowered under his lash. Now, terrible news from the north suggests that someone or some thing is once again preying upon the northern lands, threatening to once again darken the lives of those whose forebears still remember the horrific past.Now, a small, motley band faces a daunting challenge. Led by a brave warrior and a visionary priest, they have finally reached the land to the north. They have seen wonders and endured terrifying experiences, barely escaping from a dizzying series of perils, magical and otherwise. But the direst perils lie before them as they approach the evil that has risen again, its dread power terrorizing and enslaving all who oppose it. Finally, the Wanderer, fated to face the ultimate test, will confront his destiny. A world and its trembling masses await the outcome.  

Escapement by Jay Lake

Jay Lake has published a slew (and I do mean a slew) of short stories, and his debut, Mainspring, was warmly received last year. I have not read it yet, but it's one of those that I'd like to read because it sounds so imaginative. Here's the blurb for the next book:  

In his novel Mainspring, Lake created an enormous canvas for storytelling with his hundred mile high Equatorial Wall that holds up the great Gears of the Earth. Now in Escapement, he explores more of that territory. Paolina Barthes is a young woman of remarkable intellectual ability – a genius on the level of Isaac Newton. But she has grown up in isolation, in a small village of shipwreck survivors, on the Wall in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She knows little of the world, but she knows that England rules it, and must be the home of people who possess the learning that she so desperately wants. And so she sets off to make her way off the Wall, not knowing that she will bring her astounding, unschooled talent for sorcery to the attention of those deadly factions who would use or kill her for it.  

The Cold Minds by Kristin Landon

I read Kristin's debut, The Hidden Worlds, last year, plus I interviewed her. I found it almost impossible to put down and somewhat disturbing. It is the type of novel that compels you in spite of yourself. I plan to snatch up this sequel sometime soon.  

After Earth's destruction by ruthless machine intelligences known as the Cold Minds, the remnants of the human race fled to the Hidden Worlds. Now, after six centuries of safety, the horrors of the past have returned to finish the extermination. Renegade jump pilot Iain sen Paolo and Linnea Kiaho know that the Cold Minds have found humanity again. To fight back, they need to recruit jump pilots. But the secretive Pilot Masters guard their knowledge—and their ships—jealously. They refuse to admit that the Cold Minds have returned or that anyone not of their number could possess the ability to fly a jump ship. Now, Linnea must prove the Pilot Masters wrong. On the run and desperately searching for allies to oppose the Cold Minds, Linnea and Iain face near-impossible odds. But they know that somehow, some way, they must succeed—or humanity itself will become extinct.…  

Spectre by Phaedra Weldon

Phaedra Weldon's Wraith was one of the first debuts that I announced. Back then, she didn't have a web presence, but now she has a nice website with links to her blog and a MySpace page. Turn up the sound! Here's the blurb for Spectre: 

Zoë Martinique has the extraordinary ability to travel outside her body at will. When she is drawn into an investigation of a series of bizarre murders, in which the victims are missing body parts, Zoë hopes to help her boyfriend, Atlanta homicide detective Daniel Frasier, stop the killer— one she’s sure is from the darkest levels of the astral plane—without letting him find out about her special abilities.Then danger strikes close to home when Zoë’s mother disappears, and Zoë must use all the powers at her command to save her—even though Zoë knows that, in doing so, she may make herself into something no longer entirely human.


Joe said...

Tia: Not to argue the point, but Mainspring was Jay Lake's third novel (or, as it gets called, his third debut novel.) You're not the only place to call it his debut, but...

Rocket Science (2005)
Trial of Flowers (2006)
Mainspring (2007)

This is how it went...

Rocket Science is the true debut but is from a very small press (Fairwood Press), so when Trial of Flowers was published (Night Shade), you could consider Trial of Flowers to be his debut since Rocket Science is less readily available and Night Shade is a small but reasonably well known press.

But then Mainspring was published by Tor and is his major publisher debut.

It works, sort of, but not exactly.


Janet said...

That first one sounds kind of over the top. Did his first book have this same comic book tone?

Tia Nevitt said...

I'm usually fairly generous in calling something a debut. I've featured novelists like David Anthony Durham and Janet Lorimer, both who found success in other genres or age groups before writing fantasy. Same goes for small presses.

Maybe I should have called it Jay's first major debut. In the last few years, however, Night Shade has become more and more prominent.

Janet, I have not read his first novel. That blurb does have a lot of adjectives, doesn't it?

Heather Massey said...

I just finished MAINSPRING--it has a lot going for it. The man can write!

THE COLD MINDS looks goood...going to look up Ms. Landon right now...thanks, Tia!

Tia Nevitt said...

I hope you like it, Heather! It's different, but good.

Maria said...

What I really like about this site is that you talk about books I just don't see elsewhere. All three of those sound very interesting!!!

Anonymous said...

I read David Bilsborough's first book. Wow! Was it bad. What made it really fun was reading it and then reading his self-important interview at SFFworld where he claims that past the Lord of the Rings, his is the first original and well written fantasy. How people that use the internet are simple followers of anything (in an openly online interview mind you).

The prose is so purple, you'll think you dropped acid or Prince wrote it back in the late eighties. the characterization is almost non-existent. And yes, this towering and ground-breaking foray into fantasy; the book to break all the triteness and cliched writings has a quest. A group of companions and really not much else.

Except some of the worst writing you will ever read.