Inkwater Authors Night – Henry Alley, Peter Swan, Erik L. Welchoff

Join us for another night of readings from Inkwater Press authors! This month we have Henry Alley, Peter Swan, and Erik L. Welchoff.

Set against the background of the Measure Nine (anti-gay rights) crisis in Oregon in the early 1990s, Henry Alley’s Precincts of Light explore the combined quests of a brother and sister, both newly out, try to recover the lost affections of their children, from five points of view in a novel of continuously rich and poetic language. The voices of Joanne (poet and mother), Harold (minister and father), Appleton (retired law professor and grandfather), Eleanor (collectibles broker and grandmother), and Samuel (politician, father and secret member of the homophobic Oregon Protection Alliance) comprise a book that explores diversity, the possibilities of a potentially peaceable kingdom-the precincts of light. The characters move, each in his or her own faltering way, toward fighting not only intolerance toward gay and lesbian people but toward anyone who might be considered different. Thus the novel becomes the story of the American Family coming to new terms with itself after many shocks and surprises and affirming, ultimately, its own immense flexibility.

In Peter Swan’s Countdown to Contagion, a jihadi microbiologist with the lethal virus he has created is smuggled into Portland, Oregon, on a cargo ship. A river pilot sees more than he should and is murdered by a cell of “sleepers” based in Portland. The murdered man was the best friend of retired FBI counter-terrorism agent Tad Madison whose discoveries convince the FBI to mobilize. They have four days to stop the terrorists’ attack from infecting hundreds attending a national conference at the Portland Convention Center. Tad’s life is on the line, and his fiancé is kidnapped as the terrorists show they will stop at nothing to complete their mission. When he learns that the sleepers are controlled by a brilliant and devious Egyptian, Tad—now an FBI consultant—goes to Nashville, where he joins forces with the FBI and Mossad agents to track down the mastermind. They must stop the terrorist network before it can carry out an East Coast attack against passengers on a huge cruise ship.

Erik L. Welchoff’s Transformations is the story of super-human Warrior Anton Seven as he struggles to prove himself to his new friends in a new world filled with magic—a Wizard, a village of small people called Primords, a Djinni, and a small Faerie—in an effort to justify his existence. After meeting another Warrior of his own origin, he is whisked off to another dimension only to encounter even more strange creatures. Confused and enamored with his new friend’s trust, Anton begins to take charge as his own magical abilities begin to emerge. Yet he remains unsure of himself as he moves ever closer to confronting both his past and the ominous Necromancer. Never has any Warrior had to defy odds that would conceivably destroy even the best genetically engineered super-human. Never before has any Warrior met demi-gods and immortals and survived. The exciting next installment of Anton Seven awaits you in Book Two, “Transformations!”

Henry Alley is a Professor Emeritus of Literature in the Honors College at the University of Oregon. He has five novels, Through Glass (Iris Press, 1979), The Lattice (Ariadne Press, 1986), Umbrella of Glass (Breitenbush Books, 1988), Precincts of Light (Inkwater Press, 2010), Men Touching (Chelsea Station Ediitions, 2019) and a collection of stories, The Dahlia Field (Chelsea Station Editions, 2017). For nearly half a century, such journals as Seattle Review and Virginia Quarterly Review have published his fiction.

Peter Swan has practiced marine casualty and product liability law in a large San Francisco firm, worked as a tenured law professor, and served as General Counsel of the University of Oregon. His interests have included mountaineering, traveling abroad, investing, playing saxophone in a swing band, skiiing, and golfing. Upon retirement, he has turned his hand to writing mysteries and thrillers. His published novels are “Past Due,” “Unnatural Causes,” and “Forest Park” all in the Rick Conwright, PI series and “Fealder’s Choice” in the Parkinson Fealder, homicide detective series. He and his wife of 51 years live in Portland, Oregon.

Born in 1960 near Hayward, California, Erik L. Welchoff began his story after college. Over many years, it evolved in his thoughts, until finally it could be contained no longer. The second novel in a series, “Transformations” is the result of thousands of hours of character development and hundreds of snippets of Welchoff’s personal interests and life experiences, all wrapped together to produce a science fiction/ fantasy epic beyond your imagination. It is filled with new, fresh ideas and is gripping from cover to cover.

SFF Book Group – April

This month our book is Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. The Science-Fiction and Fantasy book group meets once a month to discuss works in this broad and varied category. All are welcome for the discussion.

AWP Offsite Reading with Ephraim Weisstein and Mark Schlack

AWP Offsite events are open to the public, so join the literary community in welcoming Ephraim Weisstein and Mark Schlack with their science fiction book Replay Earth.

Raefe and Lina are two twenty-somethings trying to start a life in the mid-21st century. He’s beset by crippling migraines, she’s trying to outpace the horrors of the genocide she escaped as a child. Their lives are upended by floods that turn 10 million people on the East Coast into refugees.

But all is not lost. Twenty light years away, a group of ancient and advanced alien civilizations known as the Guardians works to nudge intelligent life in the galaxy past the point of self-destruction that humans are teetering on. They realize that Raefe’s headaches stem from his particularly strong empathic nature, a clue that can be the key to human survival. They make contact with Raefe and begin to show him how to use those powers for good.

But all is not well among the aliens either. A rogue Guardian seizes control of the group, perverting its aims and sabotaging their mission on Earth.

What follows is a 30-year adventure in which Raefe and Lina ultimately lead a billion refugees around the world to gradually become a new kind of nation, with new kinds of economic and social relationships. Inside the Guardians, Diver and her allies lead a guerrilla campaign to restore the group to its mission and continue to mentor Earth. It all comes to a head in 2082 in an inspiring showdown that changes history forever.

https://anotherreadthrough.indielite.org/book/9781681144849

Authors Francesca Varela and Beth Kander

Join us for a reading from The Seas of Distant Stars by Francesca Varela, and from Original Syn by Beth Kander.
 
The Seas of Distant Stars
Agapanthus was kidnapped when she was only two years old, but she doesn’t remember it. In fact, she doesn’t remember her home planet at all. All she knows is Deeyae, the land of two suns; the land of great, red waters. Her foster-family cares for her, and at first that’s enough. But, as she grows older, Agapanthus is bothered by the differences between them. As an Exchanger, she’s frail and tall, not short and strong. And, even though she was raised Deeyan, she certainly isn’t treated like one. One day, an Exchanger boy completes the Deeyan rite-of-passage, and Agapanthus is inspired to try the same. But, when she teams up with him, her quest to become Deeyan transforms into her quest to find the truth―of who she is, and of which star she belongs to.
Original Syn
The world is divided into two populations, locked in a cold war after the Singularity: The Syns (“synthetic citizens,” human-computer hybrids with extraordinary enhancements and potentially infinite lifespans) and the Originals (those who did not merge their bodies with the machines). But the decades-long battle between Original and Syn is almost at an end, because the Originals are on the verge of extinction. One of the only young Originals left in the world, Ere, might someday be the very last of his kind. But when he meets a beautiful, powerful Syn girl called Ever, he questions everything he’s ever been told about his lifelong enemies. Original Syn is a rich, dangerous world of family secrets, free will, forbidden love, and the sparks that fly when aggressive technology meets stubborn humanity.
 

Francesca G. Varela was raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. In 2015 she graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing, and she then went on to receive her master’s degree in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah.
 
Francesca’s dream of becoming an author began in third grade, and her writing career had an early start; she wrote her award-winning first novel, Call of the Sun Child, when she was only 18 years old, and she wrote her second novel, Listen, when she was only 20.
 
When not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys playing piano, figure skating, hiking, identifying wild birds, plants, and constellations, and travelling to warm, sunny places whenever she can.
Beth Kander lives and writes in Chicago, where stories keep her warm. Her dystopian epic Original Syn debuts in September (Owl House Books). An award-winning playwright, Beth has an MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women, and also holds degrees from Brandeis University (BA) and the University of Michigan (MSW). ​She drinks too much coffee and enjoys a variety of activities, but her favorite time is spent going on adventures with her husband and daughter, or snuggling on the couch with their two geriatric rescue dogs and some good books.

Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Group – October

This month, for our one-year anniversary, we’re reading The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, which Samuel R. Delany called the single greatest SF novel. We meet the second Monday of every month to discuss science fiction and fantasy new and old.

Local Author Dora M. Raymaker

Join us for a reading from Hoshi and the Red City Circuit, a new novel from Dora M. Raymaker.

Due to their unique neurology, only the enslaved Operator caste can program the quantum computers that run 26th century Red City. When three of the caste are ritually murdered, it’s up to private investigator Hoshi Archer—herself a recently liberated Operator—to help the police solve the case. Things get complicated when one of the victims turns out to be Hoshi’s ex-girlfriend, and power-hungry bureaucrats and old rivals stir up new problems. An immortal, amoral alien may even be involved. To unwind the plot to take over the city, Hoshi must decipher a deadly computer program and learn to communicate with the alien, before it’s too late for the next victim—and the city.

Dora M Raymaker, PhD, is a scientist, writer, multi-media artist, and activist whose work across disciplines focuses on social justice, critical systems thinking, complexity, and the value of diversity. Dora is an Autistic/queer/genderqueer person living in Portland Oregon, conducting community-engaged research at Portland State University, knitting fractals, and communing with the spirit of the City.

Hoshi and the Red City Circuit is Dora M Raymaker’s debut novel. Dora’s short story, set in the same universe, “Heat Seeking Entities” is featured in the anthology Spoon Knife 3: Incursions, also published by Autonomous Press. Dora won the Sledge Hammer 36-hour short story contest in 2011 with the story “Butterflies and Thunder,” and is one of six autistic readers in Ralph James Savarese’s upcoming book See it Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor–wherein, among other things, they discuss Hoshi, and her neurodivergent way of being.

Local Author James Scott

Join us for a reading from The Electric Woman, the newest work from multiple award-winning author James Scott.

Woman in the making. Companion. Assassin. Holly is all of them. And more.

Los Angeles, 2031: Robotics engineers create Holly, a female android nearly indistinguishable from humans. Sent out into the world on a field trial as a housekeeper, but programmed with secret deadly skills even she is unaware of, Holly shocks her creators by becoming self-aware.

Seeking only love and companionship, Holly is unconcerned with the ethical dilemmas her independent consciousness creates. But as a deadly plague collapses the world around her and strikes the man she loves, the talents of an assassin, buried deep in encrypted files, begin to surface.

The Electric Woman is an unexpected love story set amid a very possible not-too-distant future, as Holly’s new skills spur her to find the deadly adversary responsible for the plague.

Local Author Erik Wecks

Join us in welcoming author Erik Wecks, who will read from Gravlander, the newest book in his Pax Imperium science fiction series.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Group – October

Join us for the inaugural meeting of Another Read Through’s new SFF Book Group! We’ll be kicking things off with Hello World by Tiffany Rose and Alexandra Tauber, a science fiction novel about Scott, a hacker who must use his skills to save his sister from human trafficking and corporate espionage. SFF book group meets on the second Monday of every month to discuss science fiction and fantasy books.