Interview: Al Onia

11 Jan

A great bundle of science fiction books is currently being offered at https://storybundle.com/scifi, consisting of six titles from Bundoran Press and six by some great writers who have befriended the press over the years. As an added bonus, we will be running a series of interviews with the authors about their contribution to the Bundle.

Next up: Al Onia

What inspired you to write Transient City? How does this book fit into the rest of your writing career?

The “endless memory” phenomenon was the starting point for the lead character but it evolved into a noir SF setting and an homage to British popular culture of the 1960’s. Transient City was the easiest book I’ve written; the plot, characters and setting became intertwined with each other and added depth I couldn’t have reached treating them independently.

Who is your favorite secondary character in this book and why?

I have two, Shoes because she developed from “one of the cast” to a compelling character on her own (one I chose as co-star in Transient’s sequel Rogue Town). The other favorite character is the city itself. Once I began picturing the detail, it took on a life of its own as either a haven or an obstacle for many of the characters.

What themes appear most strongly in your writing? What makes you particularly care about those ideas?

The idea of an individual transcending circumstance and internal barriers to “do the right thing.” True heroes are often overlooked to focus on fame rather than substance.

Are you a plotter or a pantser or some combination of the two? Do prefer to writing or re-writing? Do you write every day or when the muse strikes you?

I am definitely a pantser. I revel in the ideas which appear once I start typing. I outline as I go, seldom more than a few chapters ahead. I know the overall arc most times but I don’t commit to anything until at least half way through the first draft. I do prefer the energy and idea flow which accompany the first draft of any project. Re-writing is hard but the reward in it is the resonance one can control to give the work more substance. I write every day, whether I’m creating, re-writing or editing. I strike a time balance which allows progress, ultimate completion but doesn’t drain the muse.

Do need privacy to do your writing or do you prefer the social ambiance of a coffee shop or writing retreat? How do you balance your writing with the rest of your life?

I prefer to work in private. I have a dedicated computer space with a door for word-processing and a sunny deck for editing and early note-jotting. When I’m working on a project (which is most of the time), I make it my top priority each day, no distractive reward activities until I’ve done a hour or two first thing in the morning. When I was still working in a paying career, I’d try for 30-60 minutes before work and the full hour at lunch.

If you could give one piece of advice to a budding writer, what would it be?

Seek therapy. If you’re not convinced there’s better ways to create than writing, then seek fellow writers to support and be supportive of. Oh yeah, and write with the goals of finishing what you write, finding your voice and learning from each effort.

 

To learn more about this great bundle of books, visit https://storybundle.com/scifi.

To connect with Bundoran Press, visit our web-site, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @BundoranPress

To learn more about Al and his writing, visit: http://ajonia.com/

 

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Interview with Robert J. Sawyer

10 Jan

A great bundle of science fiction books is currently being offered at https://storybundle.com/scifi, consisting of six titles from Bundoran Press and six by some great writers who have befriended the press over the years. As an added bonus, we will be running a series of interviews with the authors about their contribution to the Bundle.

First up is Robert J. Sawyer.

What inspired you to write Frameshift? How does this book fit into the rest of your writing career?

I’m very much a top-down writer. I pick a topic, research the heck out of it until I’ve found something worth saying on the topic — that is, until I’ve found my theme — and then devise the characters who will be most uncomfortable and at jeopardy as I explore that theme. I wrote Frameshift over 20 years ago, mostly in 1996, and back then the ongoing project of trying to map the human genome was a huge news story, so I chose genetics as my overall topic. And in digging into, it seemed clear to me, Canadian that I am, that the only thing that would make sense in the coming era of predictive genetic testing would be socialized medicine. That this issue is still front-and-center today in political and ethical discourse hopefully means that Frameshift is still relevant.

Who is your favorite secondary character in this book and why?

Avi Meyer, who is hunting for former Nazis who might be lurking in modern genetic research. In high school, I dated a Jewish girl, and her parents, including her father, who was a concentration-camp survivor, worked hard to break us up. I struggled then over why they would do that, and found some peace by walking many figurative miles in Avi’s shoes.

What themes appear most strongly in your writing? What makes you particularly care about those ideas?

Over and over again, two themes: rationalism and empathy. Rationalism because it’s the only way we’ll get out of the messes we find ourselves in, whether its the depredations of religious extremists or the existential threat of climate-change denial. And empathy because it’s the core value of fiction. As I said above, Frameshift let me walk in Avi Meyer’s shoes; modern fiction, with its structure based on one point-of-view character per scene, is the only narrative tool we have that places you firmly inside someone else’s head, and the whole point of that exercise is to realize that other people have value, too. It’s certainly a large part of Frameshift; it’s the main message of the book I wrote right after it, the Hugo Award-nominated Factoring Humanity, and it’s the core message of my latest novel, Quantum Night, too.

 

To learn more about this great bundle of books, visit https://storybundle.com/scifi.

To connect with Bundoran Press, visit our web-site, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @BundoranPress

A Big Bundle of the Best

9 Jan

THE BUNDORAN BUDDIES SCI-FI BUNDLE

The Bundoran Buddies Sci-Fi Bundle – Curated by Hayden Trenholm

Science fiction is our conversation with the future. That’s the philosophy of Bundoran Press Publishing House. But how can you have a conversation without friends? That’s why I’m curating this twelve-book science fiction bundle for www.storybundle.com, made up of eleven novels and one short story collection from established greats and rising stars. Half of the books were published by the Press and the other six come from some fabulous authors who have been our friends and supporters for years. As always, at StoryBundle, you decide what the books are worth and a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

The Bundoran Buddies Book Bundle includes a never before published collection of selected stories from Hugo and Nebula nominated author, James Alan Gardner, available nowhere else.

Award winners and nominees abound in this collection. Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer offers up his genetics-based near future novel, Frameshift, while Arthur C Clarke Award finalist, Alison Sinclair, presents the first book of her SF Plague Confederacy series: Breakpoint: Nereis. Aurora Award winning Edward Willett gives us a rousing space opera with Right to Know.

If your taste runs to near-future, Ramez Naam’s mind-expanding and globe covering Nexus is right up your alley. Or you might prefer, Madelaine Ashby’s vN, a gripping tale of designer self-replicating robots meant to both thrill and terrify.

At the other end of the temporal spectrum, we have military space opera, Valor’s Choice, from multi-award-winning author Tanya Huff – still producing best sellers after over two decades in the field or Stars Like Cold Fire from relative newcomer, Brent Nichols, both of whose novels from Bundoran Press have garnered Aurora Award nominations. Jennifer Rahn’s The Cyanide Process gives us a fun romp in a hard science thriller that includes robot ninjas and space Vikings.

But wait, there’s more. Fall from Earth is a far-future first contact novel set in an empire based on Chinese philosophies and traditions while Matt Hughes mystery SF novel, Template, spans multiple worlds and human cultures smeared across half the galactic arm. Mystery lovers will also enjoy Al Onia’s diesel punk noir, Transient City, with one of the most unusual and engaging detectives you will ever meet.

The Bundoran Buddies Book bundle only runs for three weeks. It’s a great deal and a chance to pick up books by some of your favorite SF writers and discover some new favorites at the same time. – Hayden Trenholm

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff
  • Template by Matthew Hughes
  • The Cyanide Process by Jennifer Rahn
  • Right to Know by Edward Willett

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus EIGHT more!

  • Frameshift by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Nexus by Ramez Naam
  • vN – The First Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby
  • Breakpoint Nereis by Alison Sinclair
  • Stars Like Cold Fire by Brent Nichols
  • Fall From Earth by Matthew Johnson
  • Organisms – Selected Stories by James Alan Gardner
  • Transient City by Al Onia
  • This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

A New Year Post from the Press with the Most

1 Jan

Welcome to 2019 — the last teen year you will ever need (unless immortality is right around the corner). Is that science fiction enough for you?

Speaking of which, the very first Bundoran Press publication, “The Best of Neo-Opsis,” appeared in 2006. So, sometime this year, we will officially enter our teenage-hood. We promise not to be surly (much) or spend too long locked in the bathroom.

We also promise to bring you the best of Canadian science fiction. After publishing just one book (Driving Ambition by Fiona Moore) in 2018, we will bring out four new novels this year from Al Onia (his fourth with the press), Jennifer Rahn (her second), Brad C. Anderson (his debut novel) and Ryan T. McFadden (his first with the press). Ryan’s book is the first of a planned duology, with the second coming out in early 2020. We don’t have an anthology planned for 2019 but watch this space, plans could change.

We also have a new web-site, which you might want to bookmark if you haven’t already done so. It is the primary source of print books though we are also regularly carried by Bakka-Phoenix in Toronto, Novel Idea in Kingston, Sentry Box and Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary and The YK Book Cellar in Yellowknife. We are also stocked by the travelling bookstore, Myth Hawker. We hope to add additional brick and mortar stores this year.

Speaking of Owl’s Nest, they will be hosting the launches of Al Onia’s The Sixth Helix and Jennifer Rahn’s Dark Corridor on May 23rd. Hope to see all my Calgary friends there. We will have an announcement soon about a Vancouver launch for Duatero by Brad C. Anderson. Ryan’s first book will be launched at CanCon in Ottawa next October.

The other big development is the imminent launch of more audio books. The Steele Chronicles by Hayden Trenholm and Fall from Earth by Matthew Johnson have been available for several years but 2019 will see a slew of new titles–we currently have eight titles in production and hope to have the rest of our novels contracted soon.

In a little more than a week, Story Bundle will be offering the Bundoran Book Buddies Bundle with 6 of our titles and six books by some notable SF writers who have befriended us over the years. Watch for further news next week.

Well, time to get back to editing…

What a Wonderful Deal

25 Jul

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I see Terrence Green, Van Belkom, too

I see books for me, and books for you

And I think to myself what a wonderful deal.

 

I see Sean Stewart and Robert J. Sawyer

Hayden Trenholm and Mike Rimar

And I think to myself what a wonderful deal

 

The Aurora Award Book Bundle

The best in Canadian Sci-Fi

Horror and Fantasy are also there too

Everything for me and for you

 

Read Derryl Murphy and Michael Rowe

Read Bedwell-Grime and S. M. Beiko

And think to yourself what a wonderful deal

Yes, think to yourself what a wonderful deal.

https://storybundle.com/aurora

 

Reasons to Bundle

14 Jul

Wondering whether you should invest a few bucks in a bundle of books. No doubt you should and here’s some reasons why.

Bundoran Press is currently involved in an ebook story bundle (you can buy it here) made up of books that won or were finalists for Canada’s Prix Aurora Award. For those who don’t know, the Aurora’s are Canada’s fan-voted award for speculative fiction—encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror and similar genres. They are out national equivalent to the Hugo. Many writers who have been nominated for or won an Aurora have also won Hugos, Nebulas, and World Fantasy Awards.

So we’re pretty proud to have had five novels nominated for Aurora Awards over the years, including the one included in this bundle, Defining Diana by Hayden Trenholm. Obviously, we’d like to see you buy the bundle—just based on the quality of the work. In doing so you would be supporting 11 writers (one of the novels is co-written), as well as a number of publishers, so they can produce more quality fiction.

But there is more to it than that. Book bundles have become an important way of introducing fans to new writers and of boosting the careers of those writers who are just starting out by linking their books to more established and well-known writers, such as, in this case, Robert J. Sawyer, David Duncan and Edward Willett.

From the reader’s perspective, finding a new favorite author is a great experience but can be a bit of a hit or miss endeavor, especially when you are paying $6-10 for a book by an unknown. With a bundle, you can get at least 5 books for $5 or 10 for as little as $15. Even if you only like 3 or 4 of the 10 books, you’ll have done all right and, since all of these books have already been pre-screened for you (through the awards nomination process), your chances of liking even more are even greater. Better yet, because most of these writers have numerous other books, if one catches your fancy, you can look forward to reading many more.

The Aurora story bundle might be of particular interest to non-Canadian readers. While most of the included titles and writers are fairly well-known to fans in Canada, some have had limited exposure in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia and beyond. What better way to get introduced to a different SF perspective, then by sampling 10 Canadian books for only $1.50 each?

Story bundles can also help the writers among you as well. This one has some great lessons for writers. Three of the books—Golden Fleece, Drowning in Amber and Defining Diana—are SF-mystery crossovers, all done in very different styles. For those interested in writing across genres, it’s a great writing lesson.

Doug Smith—who curated the bundle and whose collection of short stories, Impossibilia, is included—has sold more stories to more foreign markets than anyone. Reading through his stories, you’ll see why he has such broad international appeal. You’ll also get introduced to Doug’s useful advice on how you too can become an international star.

And if you pay close attention, you’ll see how story bundles are put together and maybe figure out a way to get your book included in a future one. The benefits are enormous. While a fan might buy the bundle to get access to Dave Duncan’s exciting novel, The Cursed, or Marie Bilodeau’s delightful Destiny’s Blood, they will also meet up with 8 other books that they might like even better. That book could be yours.

Every writer wants two things—to be read and to be paid. Story bundles are a great way to have both. New books get exposure to hundreds, even thousands of new readers, while older books get new life when young fans discover just how rich the heritage of speculative fiction is. And while the money has to be spread out over many writers, if the volume is high it’s not a bad payday. And that’s not a bad thing.

So buy the bundle for the enjoyment of reading and maybe pick up a few tips on how to expand your own writing careers as well.

 

Aurora Book Bundle

6 Jul

The good folks at Story Bundle are offering another ten book collection of Aurora winning or nominated works. A great deal — 10 books for as little as $15.

Our good friend, Doug Smith is curating the bundle so I’ll let him explain it in this guest blog. Doug includes the link in his blog but if we sold you at Aurora Award, you can cut to the chase here.

The Aurora Award Bundle #2

Curated by Douglas Smith

How would you like to own, at an incredible bargain, ten books that readers like yourself have already voted to be the best examples of speculative fiction published in Canada? Well, here’s your chance. I’m once again curating an ebook bundle for StoryBundle.com that contains more winners and finalists for Canada’s premier speculative fiction award, the Aurora Award.

The Auroras are awarded annually by the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (CSFFA) for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The award started in 1980 as the Casper and was renamed the Aurora for the 1990 awards. I’m honored to have won the Aurora three times and to have been on the final ballot another sixteen.

This Aurora bundle again delivers a great mix of SF and fantasy, adult and YA novels, as well as a selection of short fiction. The books included reflect the long history of the Auroras, with titles spanning a quarter century of Canadian speculative fiction from 1992 to 2016.

This time, the bundle provides a great introduction to several wonderful series, including the first book in four separate series and the second book in a series that can be read as a stand-alone title. It also lets you sample the rich tradition of Canadian short speculative fiction, with two acclaimed collections.

In Destiny’s Blood, Marie Bilodeau delivers action, romance, and mystery in an interstellar SF tale of two sisters fighting to save each other—and all life. And it all begins in a flower shop.

E.C. Bell’s Drowning in Amber is a fast-paced paranormal murder mystery featuring amateur detective Marie Jenner who can talk with ghosts.

Druids, by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston, kicks off a magnificent epic historical fantasy trilogy, set a thousand years ago when the Celts ruled Europe.

D.G. Laderoute’s Out of Time is a YA fantasy adventure combining time travel with First Nations lore as two fourteen-year-old boys—one white, one Anishinabe—join forces across time to battle a monster.

Dave Duncan’s fantasy The Cursed takes place in a fallen empire where a plague leaves its survivors ostracized but with magical powers, powers that might be the key to rebuilding their world.

In Defining Diana, Hayden Trenholm updates the locked room mystery to 2043, where nuclear war, biotechnology, and all-powerful corporations have changed the Earth we know.

Golden Fleece, which was the first novel by Canada’s best known SF writer, Robert J. Sawyer, is an SF mystery set on a colony ship as told by the artificial intelligence controlling the ship.

In Ed Willett’s Marseguro, modified humans on a distant water world finds themselves in a battle for survival with a future Earth ruled by a fanatical theocracy.

Hair Side, Flesh Side, Helen Marshall’s award-winning first collection of short stories, is a brilliant introduction to one of the brightest new lights in Canadian speculative fiction.

Finally, my own collection, Impossibilia, delivers a mix of SF and fantasy, including an Aurora winner, a finalist, and the story prequel to my novel, The Wolf at the End of the World.

And if you are looking for still more pedigree, the bundle includes two CSFFA Hall of Fame inductees (Sawyer and Duncan).

– Douglas Smith

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format worldwide:

  • Destiny’s Blood by Marie Bilodeau
  • Drowning in Amber by E. C. Bell
  • Druids  by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston
  • Impossibilia by Douglas Smith
  • Out of Time by D. G. Laderoute

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus five more:

  • The Cursed by Dave Duncan
  • Defining Diana by Hayden Trenholm
  • Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall
  • Marseguro by Edward Willett

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity.
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook. For press inquiries, please email press@storybundle.com.

Curator’s Notes

Destiny’s Blood:

One of several books in this bundle that get you started on a new series, in this case Marie’s Destiny trilogy. Destiny’s Blood won the Foreword Award and was a finalist for the Aurora. Destiny’s Fall (also an Aurora finalist) and Destiny’s War complete the series. Marie is an Ottawa-based writer who lights up a room the way her prose lights up a page. If you haven’t read her work before, this book is a great introduction.

Drowning in Amber:

I’ve included several books in series in this bundle, most of which are the first title. E. C. Bell’s Drowning in Amber is the second book of a trilogy, but it and all the books in the series can be fully enjoyed as a stand-alone work. The first title, Seeing the Light, won the BPAA award for Best Speculative Fiction Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Bony Blythe Award for Light Mystery. The third book is Stalking the Dead.

Druids:

An introduction to yet another series! This time, it’s the Druid trilogy by the writing team of Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston. I’ve never had the chance to meet Josh, but I’ve known Barb since I began writing, and it’s always a thrill to read her work. Captives and Warriors complete the trilogy.

Out of Time:

For a bundle that’s coming out shortly after Canada’s 150th birthday, it seemed appropriate to include a fun YA adventure (to remind us we’re still young) in an environment that many associate with Canada (the wilderness, specifically the shores of Kitche Gumi, or Lake Superior).

The Cursed:

Shortly after I started writing professionally, I sat on my first panel at a genre convention, an unknown among established pros. One of my fellow panelists was Dave Duncan, and I still remember his gracious welcome to a newbie. Dave is an international best seller and an acknowledged master of epic fantasy and science fiction, with fifty-plus novels and over a dozen series. In 2015, Dave was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association Hall of Fame. The Cursed is often cited by fans as a favorite Duncan title.

Defining Diana:

I’ve known Hayden almost since I started writing in the late 90’s. He’s been an Aurora finalist ever so many times and has won the award four times. He also owns Bundoran Press, so he knows the writing game from all sides: writer, editor, and publisher. Here’s your chance to read the first book in The Steele Chronicles, a near-future SF trilogy, each volume of which earned a spot on the Aurora Award ballot. Steel Whispers and Stealing Home complete the trilogy.

Golden Fleece:

I couldn’t  put together an Aurora Award bundle and not include a Robert J. Sawyer title. Rob’s won the Aurora fourteen times with another thirty ballot appearances. Rob is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial Award. In 2013, Rob was also inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association Hall of Fame. Golden Fleece was Rob’s first novel.

Hair Side, Flesh Side:

I first met Helen when she worked for the excellent Canadian press, ChiZine Publications, and edited my second collection, Chimerascope. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time. Helen has established herself as a master of the short form, and this, her first collection, is ample proof. Aside from being a finalist for the Aurora Award, Hair Side, Flesh Side also won the Sydney J Bounds Award.

Marseguro:

Here’s your chance to read the first entry in Ed Willett’s acclaimed two-book series of thought provoking SF adventure. Marseguro won the Aurora Award and its sequel, Terra Insegura, was a finalist for the award. It’s a series that will make you both feel and think, and is a great introduction to the work of an author of more than fifty books.