Last month I began a three-part editorial series, reminding the reading public of what we have in our current sales catalog. Perhaps, just perhaps, you may consider purchasing one or ten of them…or asking others to do the same. It is worth it.
This month I am looking at our 2011 publications.
First cab off the rank, coming out early in 2011, was Circle of Seven, a fantasy novel by MF Burbaugh, our most prolific of writers. We fell in love with this story as it had a sweeping epic fantasy feel about it, and yet it had a science fiction undercurrent. I wouldn't strictly classify it as a 'science fantasy' - fantasy it mostly is, what with original takes on many fantasy-style races, and quests - but Burbaugh paints this canvas beautifully and it is worth delving into this strange, mystical world.
MF Burbaugh did it again with us with the publication of We Were Legends, this time a science fiction with a smattering of fantasy. I think that the author has a strong leaning toward cross-genre writing. This story is about an astronaut, Jake, who crashes onto a dying world, and with the help of his on-board computer, integrates into a strange humanoid culture, but not before he profoundly influences them. Survival, and adventure. This story is the first of many in a series, the next, Blood Sabers, will be out this year.
Following hot from We Were Legends came Louis K Lowy's Die Laughing, a book that is hard to categorize, but science fiction it is. In this title, we have a story set in 1950s USA, with a secret alien invasion, the beginnings of a phenomenon called Vegas, and the mob. Aside from hilariously humorous scenes, and a great nostalgic trip, we also have a tragic protagonist who must face his own demons. This book is one of those 'everything' stories, entertaining and thought-provoking.
In the second half of 2011 we were very productive. We published Ian Hall's Opportunities: Jamie Leith in Darien, the largest tome we have produced to date, and also our only historical novel (non-speculative). We believe we will get the manuscript for its sequel over the next twelve months or so. We look forward to it, as it was a great seafaring adventure.
Four children's stories came out in quick succession: Brumbies, by Paula Boer and illustrated by Rowena Evans, was our first Australian English production, and a great adventure set in Australia's 'bush' - a classic horse tale. A sequel is already out (Brumbies in the Snow), and three more slotted over the next few years. Constellation Station by Gary Alexander Azerier and illustrated by Ioanny Dimov is a richly crafted book about learning astronomy from the point of view of a young boy taking a ride on a train that can travel the cosmos. This is a must-buy for all lovers of astronomy as well as insights into the imagination of children. A Magpie Called Will was written by Australian Peter Rondel and illustrated by New Zealander Frances Hutt - a wonderful tale about a talking magpie who befriends a young boy. Finally, we published Whirlwind (soon to be republished and retitled) by Jennifer R. Resetar, an important work for us, as it was not only entertaining as a children's work, but also has strong messages about bullying and respecting people with physical challenges.
Finally, late in 2011 we published Larry Ivkovich's The Sixth Precept, an action-packed tale set in two time periods - modern Philadelphia and feudal Japan, and how events affect each other, in many, wondrous ways.
That's all from me - next month I will conclude this series, outlining last year's publications.