On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in February

The Glass Arrow by Kristen SimmonsThe Eterna Files by Leanna Renee HieberOf Irish Blood by Mary Pat KellyFinn Fancy Necromancy

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in February! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

Elizabeth Bear, Karen Memory

Thursday, February 12
Pandemonium Books and Games
Also with Scott Lynch
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

James Grady, Last Days of the Condor

Wednesday, February 18
Politics and Prose
Washington, D.C.
7:00 PM

Thursday, February 19
Mysterious Bookshop
New York, NY
6:30 PM

Randy Henderson, Finn Fancy Necromancy

Tuesday, February 10
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 11
Liberty Bay Books
Poulsbo, WA
6:30 PM

Thursday, February 12
Eagle Harbor Book Co.
Bainbridge Island, WA
7:30 PM

Tuesday, February 17
The Wilde Rover
Also with Mark Teppo and Scott James Magner. Books provided by University Bookstore.
Kirkland, WA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 18
McMenamins Kennedy School
Also with Mark Teppo and Scott James Magner.
Portland, OR
7:00 PM

Thursday, February 19
Powell’s Books
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 21
Avid Reader
Sacramento, CA
7:30 PM

Monday, February 23
Books Inc.
Mountain View, CA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 25
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Friday, February 27
The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM

Leanna Renee Hieber, The Eterna Files

Wednesday, February 11
Word Brooklyn
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 PM

Friday, February 13
Barnes & Noble
Also with Alethea Kontis.
West Melbourne, FL
7:00 PM

Monday, February 16
Barnes & Noble
Also with Alethea Kontis.
Tampa, FL
6:00 PM

Tuesday, February 17
Barnes & Noble
Also with Alethea Kontis.
Orlando, FL
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 21
Barnes & Noble
Also with Alethea Kontis.
Tallahassee, FL
1:00 PM

Mary Pat Kelly, Of Irish Blood

Wednesday, February 4
Barnes & Noble
Upper West Side
New York, NY
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 7
Neil Shanahan Educators Seminar: Irish and Irish American Women in the Development of the Modern World
Panel Discussion with Irish Consul General Barbara Jones
991 5th Ave
New York, NY
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Wednesday, February 11
Brookline Booksmith
Boston, MA
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 14
Titcomb’s Bookshop
East Sandwich, MA
2:00 PM

Sunday, February 15
South Yarmouth Library
South Yarmouth, MA
2:00 PM

Monday, February 16
Blue Bunny Books
Dedham, MA
3:00 PM

Thursday, February 19
Chester County Books
West Chester, PA
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 21
Books & Co.
Beavercreek, OH
2:00 PM

Sunday, February 22
Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
1:30 PM

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Truth Be Told

Wednesday, February 18
Marlborough Public Library
Marlborough, MA
7:00 PM

Katie Schickel, Housewitch

Tuesday, February 17
The Harvard Coop
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Monday, February 23
Books-A-Million
South Portland, ME
7:00 PM

Friday, February 27
Jabberwocky Bookshop
Newburyport, MA
7:00 PM

Kristen Simmons, The Glass Arrow

Tuesday, February 10
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Cincinnati, OH
7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 11
Carmichael’s Bookstore
Louisville, KY
6:00 PM

Saturday, February 14
Barnes & Noble
Happy Valentine’s Day! Also with Jules Bennett, Lori Foster, Toni Blake, Jessica Lemmon, Jennifer McGowan, Donna MacMeans, and Patricia Sargeant.
West Chester, OH
1:00 PM

Tuesday, February 17
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Lexington, KY
7:00 PM

Saturday, February 21
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Crestview Hills, KY
2:00 PM

Carrie Vaughn, Low Midnight

Thursday, February 5
The Book Bin
Salem, OR
7:00 PM

Thursday, February 12
The Harvard Coop
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Death of Dystopia

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Written by Kristen Simmons

As a writer of dystopian fiction, I’m often asked about the state of the genre—where I see it heading, and if the market is oversaturated.

The problem as I see it is this: dystopian stories (and I’m speaking primarily about young adult dystopian fiction here) hit a wave of popularity several years ago when Katniss volunteered as tribute. This wasn’t the first in the genre (or rather, subgenre, as dystopian stems from science fiction), and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. But the widespread interest in that story seemed to broaden the definition of the genre, specifically in young adult literature, to include a wide range of themes, including, perhaps most notably, an emphasis on romance and an introduction of diverse protagonists. Young adult literature often has a focus on the raw expression of youth—emotions experienced for the first time clashing with the developmental identity crisis involved in figuring out where one fits in the world. Add to that the pressure of choosing a faction (Divergent), an oppressive government (Legend), or the walls literally closing in (Mazerunner) and you’ve got something pretty intense. I see why people are attracted to it. I am.

Let me interrupt this broadcast for a small confession. I am the first to claim my own ignorance on the subject. The Article 5 series is classified as dystopian. My next book—The Glass Arrow—is as well. Did I sit down intent on writing within those specifications? Nope. I wrote the story that came into my head, and was just lucky enough that someone wanted to read it. This means that everything I’ve said thus far could be completely out in left field. Or, I could be like a great many writers who do the same thing: Write the story, and let the people who are good at marketing do their jobs.

So what is the current state of dystopia? And where is it heading? Honestly, I think it’s doing all right. Yes, there has been a huge focus on it in recent years. Yes, there is a strong-voiced contingency who shout Fahrenheit 451! 1984! Brave New World! (I am the one shouting The Handmaid’s Tale and The Road, just for the record.)

Young adult dystopian fiction incorporates a melting pot of issues, topics, and voices, but if you strip it down to its roots, you’ll likely find the following major headings:

  • Problems with the government (too little or too much or much too much),
  • Economic or class issues (no money or an overwhelming divide between classes), and
  • Oppression in some form (in my new book, The Glass Arrow, women are oppressed.)

I’m not a historian, but I think the human race has bumped up against these issues before. I know every single time I turn on the news I see them. Do I think these things will be problems in the future? Yes. Is that bleak? Maybe a little. But I hope we’ll persevere. And that, my friends, is what dystopian literature is all about. Not the ugliness of our world, but the beauty of our resilience. Not the way we despair, but the fight that drives us to survive despite the circumstances.

The Glass Arrow continues on the path forged by The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a story about female persecution, where women are reduced to their ability to conceive. Aya, the protagonist, is caught, hiding in the mountains, by a hunting party of wealthy men from the city. Like other young adult stories, the pace is quick, the stakes are high, and there is an element of romance, focusing, like in Offred’s story, on the conceptualization of Aya’s identity as a woman in a highly discriminatory world. I cannot live up to Atwood’s greatness, but I’ll tell you this: Aya doesn’t let the bastards grind her down. It is my intention, after all, that this story be about hope.

Writers write about life and truth, despite setting, despite origin, despite genre. We magnify reality through a fictional lens. So do I feel the genre is on its way out? Not really. Even if the name changes, the concepts will still exist, and somewhere, someone will write about them.

Pre-order The Glass Arrow today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kristen on Twitter at @kris10writes, on Facebook, or visit her website.

Book Trailer: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom . . . if she can truly trust him.

The Glass Arrow is a haunting, yet hopeful, new novel from Kristen Simmons, the author of the popular Article 5 trilogy.

The Glass Arrow, by Kristen Simmons, publishes on February 10.

Pre-order The Glass Arrow today: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Powell's

New Releases: 1/20/2015

Arpeggio of Blue Steel Vol. 3 by Ark PerformanceBlood is Quicker Than Water by Kate WattersonCrystal Rain by Tobias S. BuckellMagical Girl Apocalypse Vol. 2 by Kentaro SatoMark of the Beast by Adolphus A. AnekweThree by Kristen SimmonsThree Princes by Ramona WheelerVicious by V.E. SchwabZero's Familiar Chevalier Vol. 4 by Noboru Yamaguchi and Yukari Higa

AND

I Don’t Like You At All Big Brother!! Vol. 7-8 by Kusano Kouichi

See upcoming releases.

Article 5 eBook is Now on Sale for $2.99

Article 5 by Kristen SimmonsThe ebook for Article 5 by Kristen Simmons is now on sale for $2.99!*

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Buy Article 5 today: B & N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

*sale ends January 30

Goodreads Sweepstakes: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow by Kristen SimmonsAbout The Glass Arrow: Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom . . . if she can truly trust him.

Glass Arrow: a haunting, yet hopeful, new novel from Kristen Simmons, the author of the popular Article 5 trilogy.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends January 16)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

The Week in Review

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.


 

 
The Tor/Forge Newsletter went out this week!

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

TOP SECRET: A Letter from the Resistance

Three by Kristen Simmons

Written by Kristen Simmons

Federal Bureau of Reformation
Archived Record: SECURITY THREATS
Subcategories: INSURGENTS, TERRORISM
Keyword: III
Personal correspondence, found in remains of III resistance stronghold

Becca,

It’s Tuesday night and I can’t sleep. Actually, that’s a lie. I have no idea if it’s Tuesday. Since we found the safe house, the days have sort of started to blend together. All I know is when I got in you were asleep, and I have no idea how to sneak into this kid-sized cot-bed without 1) waking you up, and 2) looking like a total creeper, which would likely lead to 3) getting punched in the face. So I’m sitting on the floor watching you because, let’s be honest, the tough guy black eye thing is more Chase’s style. I’m pretty enough as is.

I keep thinking about that night at the reformatory when you asked me to leave with you when you aged out. Do you remember that? You were waiting for me in the third floor linen closet. It was a Tuesday night – I remember because I always had inventory on Tuesday nights – and now whenever I look at you I think of Tuesdays.

And towels. Because we folded a lot of them after I said yes.

I wasn’t totally honest with you then. If I was, I would have said I didn’t think we should wait. We should have left right then. If I had, everything might be different. I guess I was scared you’d say no. We were good at blending in. We regularly applied our brain wash repellent. In the end it didn’t matter. We ended up together, in another place that feels suspiciously like Ms. Brock’s alter universe. (Good thing I hung on to the brain wash repellent.)

I’m glad you’re sleeping. You need to sleep so you can heal, and this place is going to heal you. I don’t care if they call themselves Three, or Five, or Seven Hundred and Eleven. I don’t care if they have more secrets than the Bureau, or if they look suspiciously cultish with their curtain-clothes dress code. This is the place that’s going to make you better. The doctor here is going help you. And if he can’t, I’ll find someone that will. I promise. I’m not going to let you down again.

I’ve got to go. Long hair or short, crutches or not, you’re beautiful, and I’m going to kick myself if I don’t kiss you right now.

Sean

PS. Don’t eat the stuff that looks like chicken. I’m pretty sure it’s either horse or human.

…………………………

From the Tor/Forge February 17th newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

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More from the February 17th Tor/Forge newsletter:

Book Trailer: Three by Kristen Simmons


 
Three by Kristen Simmons

Kristen Simmons’ fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series continues in Three.

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.
And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

Three, by Kristen Simmons, publishes on February 11th.