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SPFBO 2019 - Phase 1 - Third Booknest Semifinalist

Write on: Fri, 01 Nov 2019 by  in Blog Be the first to comment! Read 628

This is the second SPFBO I've participated in, and my first as a judge. I'd like to say thanks to Mark Lawrence, Petros, and all the bloggers who make this possible; from this seat, I can better appreciate how much work it is to coordinate and execute the contest. I'd also like to congratulate everyone who entered this year. Putting a book out in the world takes courage, hard work, and grit. Most people will never enter a novel into a book competition; like running a marathon, just making it to the starting line is a personal achievement.

But one of these books will achieve more than the others in the fifth Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off. Today, I announce my semifinalist.

I reviewed 5 books for SPFBO5. Here's a brief and entirely inaccurate summary.

  • The Thief and the Demon: A thief and a demon team up to bust out of prison and into the greater grimdark. Hijinks ensue.
  • Ghosts of the Sea Moon: The god of death founds a yachting club for ghosts. Can they beat the sea monsters in the annual boat race?
  • The Six and the Crystals of Ialana: Six teenagers from across a war torn fantasy land get together, find magical singing crystals, and form a K-pop band with an ill-advised name.
  • In Numina: On the cusp of manhood, young Felix struggles with feelings for the girl next door, a crush on her hot mother, and a curse that's murdering people all over ancient Rome.
  • The Charismatics: A Legalian sex-ninja and her shape-shifting battle ghost infiltrate the opposition party to assassinate the villainous Senator Rafe.

If you'd like to know what any of these fine titles are actually about, you should probably read the reviews. (Or better yet, the books!)

But now is the time for action! For announcement! Four books must fall! One must rise towards the top! And that book is...

 

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"Petros," I asked. "Do I really have to do that cheesy thing with all of the extra carriage returns and scrolling?"
"Oh yes," said Petros. "We go for maximum suspense here at Booknest."

 

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"I mean, it really doesn't accomplish anything!" I said. "It's just frustrating and silly to--"

"MAXIMUM SUSPENSE!" he screeched, flecks of spittle on his lip.

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"Surely this is just being mean," I said.

"Have you met me?" said Petros. "I have cruelty on toast for breakfast. Twenty more carriage returns."

 

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Again, blame Petros.

 

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In Numina cover

... In Numina!

Congratulations to Assaph Mehr for advancing to the Booknest semifinals! In Numina has to be one of the best-researched fantasy novels I've read, and it's unique setting and interesting story made it a truly fun read.

Again, hats off to Roderick Macdonald A.F. Stewart, Katlynn Brooke, and Ashley R. Carlson. Thanks for entering, and best of luck to all of you in your future writing careers and creative endeavors.

The fifth SPFBO is about to become a lot more interesting and fun, and not just because I won't have some dude from Greece pestering me about deadlines anymore. I can say from experience that the contest only gets more intense as it goes on. Good luck to Assaph and In Numina in the next round of the competition! 

 

Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2019 20:17
J. Zachary Pike

J. Zachary Pike was once a basement-dwelling fantasy gamer, but over time he metamorphosed into a basement-dwelling fantasy writer. His debut novel, Orconomics: A Satire, won a National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and the 4th Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO4).

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