Curated by Joseph R. Lallo
Last November, as it does every year, the glorious madness of NaNoWriMo descended upon the literary world. In a business so often defined by its solitude—much of the task of being an author takes place entirely within his or her own head, after all—NaNoWriMo is an annual chance for writers all over the world to be a part of a single collective frenzy. During the event we challenge ourselves to wring every last drop of creativity from our minds and produce 50,000 words in just thirty days. For even the most seasoned author it can be difficult, and for those juggling a full-time day job with their writing habit it can be positively herculean. Every year some succeed and many fail. Even those who reach their goal seldom see their tale resolve into a polished manuscript ready for an eager audience. The elite few who push their project over the finish line deserve special recognition, which is why for the second time I've helped StoryBundle curate The Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle!
Writers young and old were invited to submit their sci-fi and fantasy stories from prior NaNoWriMo events, and from that pool of submissions I was tasked with selecting just a handful to feature in this bundle. In addition to two of my own NaNoWriMo projects, I'm happy to bring you stories from some of the most gifted authors with which I've had the good fortune of associating. The worlds crafted by these talented writers range from gritty, steam-driven worlds to dystopian societies stretching out into the fringes of space. You'll read fascinating tales that combine police procedural elements with high fantasy alongside haunting contemporary stories of the paranormal. So what sort of stories can spring to life in a single month? Name your own price and find out! – Joseph R. Lallo
And now some notes from our curator on the spectacular authors and books featured in this bundle:
Warrior Mage - Chains of Honor Book 1 by Lindsay Buroker
I've been familiar with Lindsay Buroker's work for quite a while, and I've been lucky enough to work with her in multiple capacities over the years. When I started formulating this year's NaNo bundle, I may have gently nudged her into making a submission. She did not disappoint. Warrior Mage showcases many of the things Lindsay does best. Her characters are brilliantly formed, her dialogue is loaded with personality, and her setting is top notch.
Bodyguard of Lies by E. M. Hartshorn
I think E. M. Hartshorn's submission was the first one I selected for this year's bundle. I enjoy a good sci-fi story where the nature of society is such that morality is at best vague and at worst a liability. Bodyguard of Lies is as gritty as it is futuristic, and ties its characters in complex and agonizing knots before the end. I was particularly fond of the descriptions of the world itself, a place where the population is divided into color-coded levels that more or less determine the quality of air and water, the nature of employment, and pretty much whether or not a person is allowed to be happy or successful.
Avarice - Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 1 by Annie Bellet
Thank heaven for Annie Bellet. I was already familiar with her writing when I picked up her initial entry to this year's bundle, A Heart in Sun and Shadow. When circumstances conspired to remove that story from contention, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fill the gap. Her prolific NaNoWriMo track record saved the day with another submission, Avarice. This is a delightful story, and one that proves my "Reese's Theorem." If you take two wonderful things and combine them in the right way, they become even more wonderful. Avarice injects a sword and sorcery setting with the elements of a police procedural. It was too brilliant not to include in the bundle.
Shafter: Seeds Among the Stars Book 1 by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
Shafter, another sci-fi entry to this bundle. Margaret McGaffey Fisk's story tugged at my heart strings something fierce. Futuristic elements like planet-hopping mix smoothly with the ruddy gutter-snipes and beggars more commonly found in medieval fantasy. I quite enjoyed it, and was pleased to find it was the beginning of a larger series.
Skykeep by Joseph R. Lallo
My own contribution to this bundle is a sequel to the story that began in the preceding NaNoWriMo, a story called Free-Wrench. After spending 30 days developing and exploring a steampunk setting and its people, I became hopelessly attached to the Wind Breaker and its crew. Imagine my relief when the fans seemed to share my attachment, voting for a second visit to the lands of Caldera and Rim when I asked what my NaNoWriMo project would be.
A Magic Dark & Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic
One of the things I love about the twin genres of sci-fi and fantasy is just how far and wide the borders of those literary kingdoms stretch. Jenny Perinovic's story reminded me that the mythic and mysterious doesn't need the backdrop of a distant extraordinary realm to be captivating. A good ghost story, unraveling the mysteries of a small community in our own world, can be just as enthralling and immersive. A Magic Dark and Bright grabbed me right away with its gothic mood and its skillful blend of romance and horror.
– Joseph R. Lallo
The initial titles in the 2016 Sci-Fi/Fantasy NaNo Bundle (minimum $3 to purchase) are:
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $10, you get all three of the regular titles, plus four more:
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.
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.