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Finalist for the 2024 Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work

Winner of the 2019 Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work and a finalist in 2020, 2022, and 2023

Named to Feedspot’s list of “Top 60 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020

Welcome to the home of The Worldshapers, a podcast featuring interviews with science fiction and fantasy authors about their creative process, hosted by award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Edward Willett, and winner of the 2019 Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work.

Coming soon: Shapers of Worlds Volume V

The Kickstarter to fund the fifth anthology of short stories by some of the authors, including many major award-winners and international bestsellers, who were guests during the fifth year of The Worldshapers, has succeeded, which means later this year (2024), there’ll be a follow-up to four previous successfully Kickstarted anthologies: Shapers of Worlds (2020), Shapers of Worlds Volume II (2021), Shapers of Worlds Volume III (2022), and Shapers of Worlds Volume IV (2023) (see below).

Shapers of Worlds Volume V will feature stories by Brad C. Anderson, Edo van Belkom, J. G. Gardner, Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, Chadwick Ginther, Evan Graham, M.C.A. Hogarth, Mallory Kuhn, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Kevin Moore, Robin Stevens Payes, James Peet, Omari Richards, Lawrence M. Schoen, Alex Shvartsman, Alan Smale, Richard Sparks, P. L. Stuart, Brad R. Torgersen, Hayden Trenholm, Brian Trent, Eli K.P. William, Edward Willett, and Natalie Wright.

The cover art is by Tithi Luadthong, and for the second year in a row, the anthology will be illustrated, with a black and white image for each story, by artist Wendi Nordell.

Available in ebook and print:

Shapers of Worlds

Shapers of Worlds Volume II

Shapers of Worlds Volume III

Shapers of Worlds Volume IV

Shapers of Worlds features new fiction from Seanan McGuire, Tanya Huff, David Weber, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., D.J. Butler, Christopher Ruocchio, John C. Wright, Shelley Adina, and yours truly; plus reprints from John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, Julie Czerneda, Fonda Lee, Gareth L. Powell, Derek Kunsken, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, and Thoraiya Dyer. 

Shapers of Worlds Volume II features brand-new stories from Kelley Armstrong, Marie Brennan, Garth Nix, Candas Jane Dorsey, Jeremy Szal, Edward Willett, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Lisa Foiles, Susan Forest, Matthew Hughes, Heli Kennedy, Helen Dale, Adria Laycraft, Edward Savio, Lisa Kessler, Ira Nayman, James Alan Gardner, and Tim Pratt, plus fiction by Jeffrey A. Carver, David D. Levine, Carrie Vaughn, Nancy Kress, Barbara Hambly, and S.M. Stirling.

Shapers of Worlds Volume III features stories by Griffin Barber, Gerald Brandt, Miles Cameron, Sebastien de Castell, Kristi Charish, David Ebenbach, Mark Everglade and Joseph Hurtgen, Frank J. Fleming, Violette Malan, Anna Mocikat, James Morrow, Jess E. Owen, Cat Rambo, K.M. Rice, and Edward Willett and new poetry by Jane Yolen, plus stories by Cory Doctorow, K. Eason, Walter Jon Williams, and F. Paul Wilson.

Shapers of Worlds Volume IV has new stories by David Boop, Michaelbrent Collings, Roy M. Griffis, Sarah A. Hoyt, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Noah Lemelson, Edward M. Lerner, David Liss, Gail Z. Martin, Joshua Palmatier, Richard Paolinelli, Jean-Louis Trudel, James van Pelt, Garon Whited, and Edward Willett, plus previously published stories by James Kennedy, Mark Leslie, R.S. Mellette, and Lavie Tidhar. Each story features an illustration by Wendi Nordell.

About

FIVE STARS – “Great podcast! Incredible resource for writers and readers alike. Interesting and inspiring conversations about the science fiction and fantasy genres, the writing process and creative acts. My to-read list grows with every interview. Please keep going!” – E.L. Thomas, iTunes Store

All writers, when they set pen to paper or post pixel to page, are shaping a world: their own private world, created from their own thoughts and imagination, joys and sorrows, hopes and heartbreaks, triumphs and fears. It may mimic the real world, or it may be as different from the real world as, say, the world of Middle Earth is from the world of Blade Runner, but it is still a shaped world–a sub-creation, to use J.R.R. Tolkien’s formulation. It is not the real world; it does not have the depth or complexity of the real world; it is but an illusion…and yet, these fictional worlds, these illusions, though shaped by humans, not gods, can sometimes touch our minds and expand our spirits in ways nothing else can.

It is a kind of miracle, and every writer performs it in his or her own way. In The Worldshapers, Edward Willett, himself an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, talks to writers in a variety of genres (though with an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy) about their latest books, seeking to better understand this magical, mystical skill…the skill of worldshaping.

The Host

Above: Guest host E.C. Blake interviews Edward Willett
in a special episode of The Worldshapers

Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction for all ages, and the editor and publisher of Shadowpaw Press, a small traditional publishing company founded in 2018 that publishes new work by new and established authors, as well as new editions of notable, previously published work, not only of science fiction and fantasy but of many other genres, including poetry, literary fiction, creative non-fiction, and more. A second company, Endless Sky Books, offers publishing services for a fee; selected titles are invited to be distributed alongside Shadowpaw Press titles.

Shadowpaw Press is a member of the Association of Canadian Publishers and Literary Press Group (Canada), and its titles are distributed nationally and into the U.S. by LitDistCo.

A former newspaper reporter, editor, and radio and television host, Ed has interviewed dozens of fascinating people over the years, from authors to actors to artists to musicians to scientists to politicians, including celebrities running the gamut from Weird Al Yankovic to Atom Egoyan.

Ed won Canada’s top science-fiction award, the Aurora Award, for Best Long-Form in English in 2009 for Marseguro (DAW Books). The sequel, Terra Insegura, was shortlisted for the same award, as have been two instalments in his five-book young-adult fantasy series The Shards of Excalibur (Coteau Books). Other work includes the Masks of Aygrima fantasy trilogy for DAW Books (written as E.C. Blake), Magebane (written as Lee Arthur Chane, also for DAW Books), The Cityborn, a stand-alone science fiction novel (DAW, again), I Tumble Through the Diamond Dust, an illustrated collection of science fiction and fantasy poetry (Your Nickel’s Worth Press), and Paths to the Stars, a collection of short stories (Shadowpaw Press). Ed’s latest novels for DAW are the three books (so far) in the Worldshapers series (from which the podcast takes its name), Worldshaper, Master of the World, and The Moonlit World, and the far-future humorous space opera The Tangled Stars.

Ed lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng. They have one daughter, Alice, and much younger black Siberian cat, Shadowpaw.

Websites
edwardwillett.com
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Online store
edwardwillettshop.com

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Facebook
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Edward Willett’s Amazon page

The Book Series

The Worldshapers podcast gets its name from Worldshapers, the new book series by the host, Edward Willett.

The series takes place in the Labyrinth, an extra-dimensional space in which there are multiple worlds, each shaped by an individual from our world to be whatever he or she wishes it to be…much like the worlds shaped by the authors who are the focus of the podcast.

Book 1: Worldshaper

Long-listed for the 2019 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, in the Best YA Novel category

Amazon U.S. | Amazon Canada | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Penguin Random House

Read the first two chapters of Worldshaper

From the Publishers Weekly starred review:

“This rollicking secondary-world contemporary fantasy opens with a bang…(the characters) grapple with the ethics of changing the world, the question of what makes people ‘real’ when the worldshapers can change everything about them with nothing more than a thought, and the need to save the universe. Willett…meticulously includes small details that make the constantly changing scenery feel solid and real…This novel sets up a fascinating, fluctuating universe with plenty of room for growth for the main characters, and readers will eagerly join their journey.” 

Booklist says:

Willett’s series starter is fun, quirky, and highly enjoyable, nicely laying the groundwork for future volumes.”

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the first book in a new portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.

But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…

Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.

Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.

Book 2: Master of the World

Long-listed for the 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, in the Best YA Novel category

Amazon U.S. | Amazon Canada | Indigo Barnes & Noble | Penguin Random House | Indiebound

Read the first two chapters of Master of the World

Publishers Weekly says:

“This lively, action-packed follow-up sees (Shawna Keys) trapped in a world inspired by the works of Jules Verne…

“Willett takes full advantage of the fanciful premise to deliver a fun setting populated by fantastic vehicles, mysterious islands, and heroic and villainous characters, all drawn from classic literature. In this larger-than-life arena, Shawna is often out of her depth, a heroine slowly coming into her power and responsibilities who struggles with the weight and consequences of her actions…returning fans will find it contains thrills aplenty.”

Read the whole thing.

Booklist says:

“Watching Shawna navigate and understand the Verne world is highly amusing and fun for readers familiar with his oeuvre. The Verne references are not the only fun, geeky element of the book: Shawna is comfortable making numerous nods to fandom of all kinds, and the specificity of the humor will delight those who share her interests. Plus, watching Shawna and her friend and teacher, Karl, fight against the Adversary for the better of the Labyrinth—the means by which all of the worlds connect together—is great. This series is for fans of any piece or part of geek culture. With the infinite possible worlds in the Labyrinth, every book should be a new, enjoyable adventure. “

Read the whole thing.

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the second book in a gripping portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

Shawna Keys has fled the world she only recently discovered she Shaped, narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Adversary who seized control of it…and losing her only guide, Karl Yatsar, in the process.

Now she finds herself alone in some other Shaper’s world, where, in her first two hours, she’s rescued from a disintegrating island by an improbable flying machine she recognizes from Jules Verne’s Robur the Conqueror, then seized from it by raiders flying tiny personal helicopters, and finally taken to a submarine that bears a strong resemblance to Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. Oh, and accused of being both a spy and a witch.

Shawna expects–hopes!–Karl Yatsar will eventually follow her into this new steampunky realm, but exactly where and when he’ll show up, she hasn’t a clue.

In the meantime, she has to navigate a world where two factions fanatically devoted to their respective leaders are locked in perpetual combat, figure out who the Shaper of the world is, find him or her, and obtain the secret knowledge of this world’s Shaping. Then she has to somehow reconnect with Karl Yatsar, and escape to the next Shaped world in the Labyrinth…through a Portal she has no idea how to open.

Book 3: The Moonlit World

Amazon U.S. | Amazon Canada | IndigoBarnes & Noble | Penguin Random House | Indiebound

Read the prologue and first two chapters of The Moonlit World

Publishers Weekly says:

“Willett continues to use his innovative worldbuilding to play with genre tropes; there’s a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness to this desolate world that will please fans of dark fiction…entertaining.”

Fresh from their adventures in a world inspired by Jules Verne, Shawna Keys and Karl Yatsar find themselves in a world that mirrors much darker tales. Beneath a full moon that hangs motionless in the sky, they’re forced to flee terrifying creatures that can only be vampires…only to run straight into a pack of werewolves.

As the lycanthropes and undead battle, Karl is spirited away to the castle of the vampire queen. Meanwhile, Shawna finds short-lived refuge in a fortified village, where she learns that something has gone horribly wrong with the world in which she finds herself. Once, werewolves, vampires, and humans lived there harmoniously. Now every group is set against every other, and entire villages are being mysteriously emptied of people.

Somehow, Karl and Shawna must reunite, discover the mysteries of the Shaping of this strange world, and escape it for the next, without being sucked dry, devoured, or—worst of all—themselves turned into creatures of the night.

Beneath the frozen, gibbous moon, allies, enemies, surprises, adventures, and unsettling revelations await.

Contact

Interested in being a guest on The Worldshapers or advertising on the podcast, or just want to know more?

Email Edward Willett