Shadow Atlas Wins a Colorado Book Award

I’m pleased to announce that Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas took home the gold as the winner in the Anthology category at the Colorado Book Awards. This is the first win at the Colorado Book Awards for Hex Publishers, and it is also my first award as an editor.

When I had the opportunity to work on the project that became Shadow Atlas, my personal goal was to break down traditional boundaries by curating a diverse collection of voices and styles. I was also ADAMANT about moving away from the continuing (and frankly problematic) domination of cishet, white male writers in genre fiction anthologies. I’d like to point out that there are SEVEN women and only two men highlighted on the cover. (If you count the editors, those numbers change to NINE/three.) This not the norm in the industry.

I’d also like to point out that Shadow Atlas features 24 poems (written by 18 poets) and 21 stories (Note: Christina Sng wrote a suite of poems, and Angie Hodapp penned both a poem and a short story.} Out of these poems and stories, 28 of the 38 contributors identify as women or non-binary, and more than half of the contributors to Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas are people of color and/or LGBTQ+, This diversity was a significant focus and an intentional component of the curation of this book.

This book was a labor of love for me, and I feel incredibly blessed to have had the ability to explore this idea, which continued to evolve and grow throughout the process. I’m proud of the book and honored at the overwhelmingly positive reception it has garnered.

Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas was a Finalist in the Fiction: Anthologies category of the 2022 International Book Awards. It won first place at the Colorado Book Awards in the Anthology category.

Finalist readings for the Colorado Book Awards were held at the BookBar, which you can watch on YouTube HERE (34:00-54:100). Anthology was the first award given out at the awards ceremony. You can watch the 2022 Colorado Book Awards ceremony on YouTube HERE (12:50-18:10).

Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas was a Finalist in the Fiction: Anthologies category of the 2022 International Book Awards. It won first place at the Colorado Book Awards in the Anthology category.

Finalist readings for the Colorado Book Awards were held at the BookBar, which you can watch on YouTube HERE (34:00-54:100). Anthology was the first award given out at the awards ceremony. You can watch the 2022 Colorado Book Awards ceremony on YouTube HERE (12:50-18:10).

Reviews

“It’s woven together in such a masterful…tapestry of creative minds..seamlessly bound together. This book was quite magical.” Watch the review at Syn’s Book Nook HERE.

Laura Kemmerer at What Lies Beneath calls Shadow Atlas “a fantastic exploration of identity, landscape, and what happens when the two intersect…and the structure itself feels like a story that would be told around a campfire over the course of several nights.” You can read the full review HERE. Shout-outs for “Moon-Eyed Women” by Kay Chronister, “The Man Who Wasn’t There” by Betty Rocksteady, “Blood of Angels” by Owl Goingback, “Blood, Like Chocolate” by Stephanie M. Wytovich, “La Ciguapa” and “Yacumama” by Christina Sng, “Xtabay” by Julia Rios, “Door to Door” by Josh Malerman, and “Moon Under Mangroves” by Juliana Spink Mills. (Feb. 2, 2022)

 “The editors’ fictionalized-scholastic approach combines academia with spine-tingling creepiness and absolutely riveting adventure,” writes Queen Wysiwyg at Brain Matter. “It is my fervent hope that Bisset, Dodge, and Viola are already working on Shadow Atlas: Europe. This was a splendid ride.” You can read the full review HERE. (Dec. 1, 2021)

Shadow Atlas garnered special attention as an Editor’s Pick at BookLife of Publishers Weekly. “Dead serious in its horror, yet delightful and inviting in its design and conceit, Shadow Atlas is a rare, beguiling treat, a collective fantasy with teeth, vision, and grounded in urgent, ancient truths.” You can read the review HERE. Shout outs include “Xtabay” by Julia Rios, “Blood Sisters” by Christa Wojciechowski, “Moon Under Mangroves” by Juliana Spink Mills, and “Iara” by Kathryn Reilly. (Nov. 30, 2021)

“Think The DaVinci Code or Indiana Jones, but with more literary force, as it comments on mortals, immortals, and the intersection of worlds which holds them.” You can read the Midwest Book Review on the General Fiction Shelf HERE. Shout outs include “Sand and Salt” by Mercedes M. Yardley and “Diablo Ballena” by Jeanne C. Stein.

“A host of sublime writers and settings create an entertainingly macabre collection.”  You can read the Kirkus Review HERE. Shout outs for “God Spelled Backward” by (Tim Waggoner, “Door to Door” by Josh Malerman, “Xtabay” by Julia Rios, “You Ought Not Smile as You Walk These Woods” by Annie Neugebauer, “Diablo Ballena” by Jeanne C. Stein, and “The Massacooramaan” by “Christina Sng. (Nov. 22, 2021)

“If you’re the sort of person who likes books-as-objects, then I definitely recommend snagging a print copy of this one,” writes A.C. Wise. You can read this review for Shadow Atlas HERE. Shout outs for “Moon-Eyed Women” by Kay Chronister, “Things to Do in Playland When You’re Dead” by Gwendolyn Kiste, “You Ought Not Smile As You Walk These Woods” by Annie Neugebauer, “Xtabay” by Julia Rios, and “Blood Sisters” by Christa Wojciechowski. (Oct. 29, 2021)

“A host of sublime writers and settings create an entertainingly macabre collection.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Think The DaVinci Code or Indiana Jones, but with more literary force.”—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

“Dead serious in its horror, yet delightful and inviting in its design and conceit, Shadow Atlas is a rare, beguiling treat, a collective fantasy with teeth, vision, and grounded in urgent, ancient truths.”—BOOKLIFE REVIEWS

Ancient peoples knew there were lands given over to shadow and spirit. The world is full of haunted places that exact a terrible toll on trespassers. Our forebears paid a heavy price to earn the wisdom and the warning they bequeathed to future generations.

Time transformed their precious knowledge into superstition, but there are those whose hearts beat in rhythm with the past and whose vision is not clouded by modernity. Seeking to reclaim humanity’s early secrets, the Umbra Arca Society was forged. For centuries, this private league of explorers dedicated their lives to uncovering the oldest mysteries of the Americas. Armed with boldness and guile, and equipped with only a compass, a journal, and devotion to truth, these adventurers braved cursed landscapes, dared unnatural adversaries, and exposed hidden civilizations.

Many did not survive.

None were forgotten.

Their stories are maps revealing the topography and contours of landscapes unimaginable and dark. The Shadow Atlas collects their adventures.

Edited by Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge and Joshua Viola

Illustrations by Aaron Lovett

Release date: November 30, 2021

Published by Hex Publishers

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7365964-3-2

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7365964-1-8

eBook ISBN: 978-1-7365964-2-5

Published by cmariebissett

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Arterial Bloom, Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, Hath No Fury, NonBinary Review, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V and VI. In addition to writing, she also teaches online workshops at The Storied Imaginarium.

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