Browsed by
Author: Emily Mah

Rebecca Roanhorse Celebrates the Launch of Trail of Lightning with a Reading and Q&A

Rebecca Roanhorse Celebrates the Launch of Trail of Lightning with a Reading and Q&A

Rebecca Roanhorse-smallTrail of Lightning-smallNebula Award winning author Rebecca Roanhorse released her first novel this week.

Trail of Lightning takes place on the Navajo reservation, where Roanhorse lived with her extended family (she, herself, is Ohkay Owingeh and African American). Environmental apocalypse has drowned most of the rest of the world, but the Navajo reservation — now called Dinétah — survived with some supernatural help. The Sixth World has dawned, bringing back the gods and monsters of old.

Main character, Maggie Hoskie, isn’t sure whether or not she’s a monster herself, but she excels at hunting them. When a new kind of horror starts abducting and killing innocent people, only Maggie, with the help of an unconventional (and rather attractive) medicine man named Kai, can hope to stop it; but can she defeat this great evil before it destroys what’s left of the world or will her own demons consume her first?

I had the privilege of facilitating a Q&A session with Roanhorse at the Jean-Cocteau Cinema on the day of her book launch. During the hour-long session, she read excerpts from her book and took audience questions about her work and process.

The video below is a record of that evening — unedited for the most part. The only parts it lacks are the signing session and the amazing cake that Roanhorse brought to celebrate.

Read More Read More

Asphodel by Jane Lindskold, Out Now!

Asphodel by Jane Lindskold, Out Now!

Asphodel Jane Lindskold-smallI had the privilege of reading Asphodel by Jane Lindskold soon after it was written and cannot recommend it highly enough.

It’s surreal, but in a very grounded way, if that makes any sense. Lindskold weaves together deep myth and literary allegory with fabulist escapism, and manages to take the reader on a very real journey into human love, loss, and redemption.

The book is available as a trade paperback, and as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, i-Tunes , GooglePlay, and Kobo.

Here’s the jacket copy.

Prison or Refuge?

Nameless in a doorless tower graced with seven windows, she is imprisoned. Who is her jailer? What is her crime?

After she discovers the secret of the seven windows, the nameless one, accompanied by two impossible companions, sets forth on fantastical journeys of exploration. But, for the nameless one, learning her name may not be a welcome revelation, and the identity of her jailer will rock the foundations of a tower that has come to be as much refuge as prison.

Read on for Lindskold’s post on how this book came to be.

Read More Read More

World Weaver Press Open for Submissions, Both Novels and Short Stories for a New Anthology

World Weaver Press Open for Submissions, Both Novels and Short Stories for a New Anthology

solarpunk-banner-submissions_2_origCongratulations are in order for World Weaver Press. Their Kickstarter Campaign is funded! (But don’t neglect those stretch goals, they still have cool stuff they want to do.) This means the Brazilian anthology, Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastic Stories in a Sustainable World will be coming out in English. It also means that World Weaver will be releasing another solarpunk anthology of original stories written in English called Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers. They’ve posted their call for submissions, and in it they say:

Solarpunk is a type of eco-conscious science fiction that imagines an optimistic future founded on renewable energies. It might take place in a wind-powered skyscraper or on a solar-powered robotic farm, in a bustling green-roofed metropolis or in a small but tech-saavy desert village. Often coupled with an art nouveau aesthetic, and always inclusive and diverse, solarpunk stories show the ways we have adapted to climate change, or the ways we have overcome it.

For this anthology, I want to see solarpunk summers. Show me futuristic stories that take place in summer, whether that involves a summer night in a rooftop garden, or characters adapting to extreme heat and weather, or an annual migration to cooler lands. Keep it planet-based (Earth or other), and optimistic. Solarpunk worlds aren’t necessarily utopias, but they definitely aren’t dystopias.

We’re a northern hemisphere publisher, but southern hemisphere summers are also welcome!

Their site even provides suggested reading for inspiration.

Read More Read More

Call for Backers! Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastic Stories in a Sustainable World Campaign on Kickstarter, in Conjunction with a Video Interview with Sarena Ulibarri, Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press

Call for Backers! Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastic Stories in a Sustainable World Campaign on Kickstarter, in Conjunction with a Video Interview with Sarena Ulibarri, Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press

The Kickstarter campaign for Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastic Stories in a Sustainable World is now live!

What is this, you ask? Well, let me explain the history. Solarpunk is an emerging subgenre that focuses on sustainable energy, and many believe the rest of the world has a head start on the solarpunk movement. This anthology, being funded by the Kickstarter, was originally published in Brazil, in Portuguese, and is known internationally as one of the earliest examples of solarpunk. World Weaver Press wants to bring it to the northern hemisphere and the English language.

I sat down with Sarena Ulibarri, the editor in chief of World Weaver Press, for an interview that explores who she is, what World Weaver Press publishes, and a brief history of solarpunk and this anthology.

Read More Read More

Patrick Swenson on Talebones, Fairwoods Press, and the Bad Old Days of Print on Demand

Patrick Swenson on Talebones, Fairwoods Press, and the Bad Old Days of Print on Demand

Patrick Swenson-smallThe Ultra Thin Man-smallPatrick Swenson has been a major figure in speculative fiction for decades, first as the editor of Talebones, and now as the editor in chief of Fairwood Press. Many still remember his semi-pro magazine as the market to send to if you had a story that fit nowhere, but was nevertheless amazing. He has an eye for such things.

Nowadays, getting published by Fairwoods requires more than a good agent or query letter. It is by invitation only, and to be invited, one has to be on Patrick’s radar, and to be on Patrick’s radar, one has to be excellent.

He isn’t just an editor and publisher, though. He’s a writer as well, and his career is both exciting to watch, and an excellent snapshot of modern day publishing. His first book, The Ultra-Thin Man, was published by Tor, but when they passed on the second book, The Ultra Big Sleep, he elected to publish it himself.

Patrick explained this to me while I was standing at his table during the mass signing at Mile-Hi Con. There on the table were both books, and no one who saw them would have been able to say which was self published and which was published by Tor. The quality of their covers and bindings were identical.

On top of all this, Patrick also runs the Rainforest Writer’s Retreat twice a year. This retreat is where:

Writers gather at a location of minimized outside interference or influence, ready to spend an intensive four or five days on their own work, with others involved in the same who were present for support and interactive development of written creative work as art, craft, and science. Balanced against this is a schedule of events aimed at supporting this process, with the number of retreat guests and attendees kept to a limit.

Held in a resort village on the Olympia Penninsula, it’s an opportunity unlike any other to give an added boost to one’s writing career.

Read More Read More

Smoke and Mirrors by Jane Lindskold Released as an eBook!

Smoke and Mirrors by Jane Lindskold Released as an eBook!

Smoke and Mirrors Jane Lindskold-smallJane Lindskold is in the process of re-releasing some of her out of print books as ebooks, and the first of these, Smoke and Mirrors is out now. Below I’ve included the cover copy, but if you want to read more about this re-release, check out Jane’s release day post.

How do you fight an enemy who can, literally, change your mind?

From the moment she first senses the whispers of the alien mind within the thoughts of her current client, Smokey – touch telepath, industrial spy, and high-end prostitute – becomes an unwitting player in a conflict that may be as old as humanity.

Determined to protect herself and her young daughter, Smokey soon realizes that the stakes are much, much higher.

After millennia of setting up the field, the aliens may be making their final move. If Smokey is to defeat them, she must win the respect and trust of people who despise her – perhaps at the cost of those she loves the most.

This reprint of the 1996 science fiction novel features an original afterword by the author.

The book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo.


Emily Mah is a writer and the owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, a company that provides formatting and cover design services for independent authors and publishers. Her last interview for Black Gate was with German author Emily Bold.

Launched! The Future Chronicles

Launched! The Future Chronicles

The Jurassic Chronicles-smallThe Jurassic Chronicles is live, and $0.99 for a limited time! This is the latest installment in Samuel Peralta’s Future Chronicles anthology series, and was edited by Crystal Watanabe. Hugh Howey states: “The best place to discover new SF authors, I think, is any of the anthologies coming from Samuel Peralta.” Don’t just take his word for it, though. Check out the authors and stories included in this one:

“Fatal Mutation” (Anthony J Melchiorri)

A Baltimore beat cop is called to check out screams coming from a run-down laboratory. But when she answers the seemingly routine call, she finds herself embroiled in a deadly race to solve a terrifying mystery compounded by two hundred million years of evolution.

“Noble Savage” (Terry Maggert)

Other worlds are possible through the massive engine of The Point project, but where it leads will reveal that humanity is the alpha predator only as long as it remains on Earth. With the promise of unlimited power, one woman will make the decision to match wits with beings who are not our equal. They’re better.

“An Implant and a Hard Place” (Zen DiPietro)

To achieve her dream of becoming a cyberneticist, Brak had to fight everything it means to be Briveen. Now, she has to wrestle with her morals. Can she disregard them in order to help other people?

Read More Read More

Coming Soon: The Jurassic Chronicles

Coming Soon: The Jurassic Chronicles

The Jurassic Chronicles-smallThe next installment of Samuel Peralta’s Chronicles series is set to launch on January 29th — the theme of this one is dinosaurs.

Edited by Crystal Watanabe and featuring stories from: Piers Beckley, Zen DiPietro, Ed Gosney, Laxmi Hariharan, Phillip Harris, M.J. Kelley, Stant Litore, Terry Maggert, Emily Mah (yes, that’s me), Harry Manners, Anthony J Melchiorri, Seanan McGuire, and Dinosaur Knights author Victor Milan, it offers a broad range of stories from both established veterans and new up-and-comers.

If you haven’t taken note of these anthologies, you are missing out. They feature an impressive mix of indie, hybrid, and trad pubbed authors who write science fiction and fantasy.

And this one has dinosaurs. Need I say more???


Emily Mah is a writer and the owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, a company that provides formatting, cover design, and editing services for independent authors and publishers. Her last post for Black Gate was an interview with German author Emily Bold.

Emily Bold on Celtic Lore, Timeless Romance, and Accidentally Swearing in Gaelic

Emily Bold on Celtic Lore, Timeless Romance, and Accidentally Swearing in Gaelic

thumbAs many of you know, my alter-ego is E.M. Tippetts, an indie chick-lit author. This means I do my best to stay on top of the indie publishing scene. Most people think of the English speaking markets when it comes to indie publishing, but Germany actually had more market penetration early on by the self-published set. Up to half of the Amazon.de top 100 were indie at any given time in 2012 (as opposed to a quarter on Amazon.com). One such success story is Emily Bold, who I had the privilege of meeting online via my German translator.

When he suggested I try cross-marketing with her, I first looked up the one book of hers that was available in English at the time, The Curse, and was dismayed to see it was paranormal romance. This is not my favorite genre, but I downloaded it and began to read…

…and finished it about a day and a half later. It was that good. Forget everything you thought you knew about paranormal romance. Payton, the male lead, was cursed with immortality along with the rest of his clan hundreds of years ago, and has been in emotional stasis ever since. Not everyone in the clan considers this a curse; what could be better than living for eternity and never again feeling any form of pain?

Enter Samantha, an American exchange student who has no idea about her ancient, Scottish bloodline, nor the prophecy that she alone can fulfill.

Because of the wealth of background research in this series, and Emily posting on Twitter that she sometimes finds herself swearing in Gaelic without even thinking about it, I assumed Emily was a historian. But no, detailed background research is just another of her many talents.

Read More Read More

Taos Toolbox, a Two Week Master Class in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Taos Toolbox, a Two Week Master Class in Science Fiction and Fantasy

My project this month was to put together a promo video for Taos Toolbox, which is run by my longtime friend, Walter Jon Williams, and Nancy Kress. It will run from July 10-23rd this year. I remember when Walter put the first session of this workshop together, and right from the start, it has helped authors turn rough draft manuscripts into traditionally published novels.

A non-exhaustive list of Toolbox novels includes:

Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon
Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles Trilogy
Gail Strickland’s Night of Pan, the Oracle of Delphi Trilogy

Read More Read More