Welcome to Shadowpaw Press

Shaping words…shaping worlds

We publish science fiction and fantasy primarily (but not necessarily exclusively). Come explore entire worlds, all shaped from that most marvellous of building materials—words.

Why Shadowpaw Press? It’s named after our lovely Siberian cat (that’s him at left), because why not? (Besides, he’s already had a book dedicated to him—Shadows, Book 2 in E.C. Blake‘s Masks of Aygrima trilogy from DAW Books.)

Read more about Shadowpaw Press.

Launching March 9: Kickstarter to fund Shapers of Worlds Volume II, featuring short stories by award-winning, bestselling science fiction & fantasy authors

It’s almost here! The Kickstarter to fund Shapers of Worlds Volume II, a new anthology featuring writers who were guests during the second year of Edward Willett’s podcast, The Worldshapers, launches March 9 at 12 noon CST.

Go to the pre-launch page (which will become the project page) to sign up to be notified when it launches.

If it funds, Shapers of Worlds Volume II will feature new fiction from Kelley Armstrong, Marie Brennan, Helen Dale, Candas Jane Dorsey, Lisa Foiles, Susan Forest, James Alan Gardner, Matthew Hughes, Heli Kennedy, Lisa Kessler, Adria Laycraft, Ira Nayman, Garth Nix, Tim Pratt, Edward Savio, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Jeremy Szal, and Edward Willett, plus stories by Jeffrey A. Carver, Barbara Hambly, Nancy Kress, David D. Levine, S.M. Stirling, and Carrie Vaughn. Among those authors are winners and nominees for every major science fiction and fantasy literary award, plus several international bestsellers.

Backers’ rewards offered by the authors include some 100 signed books (including limited editions), Tuckerizations (a backer’s name used as a character name), ready-to-hang photographs, audiobooks, bookplates, and more.

Here’s the Kickstarter campaign’s pre-launch page, where people can sign up to be notified when the project launches, is www.kickstarter.com/projects/edwardwillett/shapers-of-worlds-volume-ii. This will become the project link when the Kickstarter launches on March 9 at 12 noon CST.

The goal $15,000 CDN. Most of those funds will go to pay the authors, with the rest going to reward fulfillment, primarily the editing, layout, and printing of the book, which will be published in both ebook and trade paperback formats by Shadowpaw Press. The special Kickstarter edition for backers will be followed by a commercial release this fall.

Shapers of Worlds Volume II is a follow-up to Shapers of Worlds, successfully Kickstarted one year ago and published by Shadowpaw Press in the fall, which featured authors who were guests during the first year of The Worldshapers podcast.

That anthology included new fiction from Tanya Huff, Seanan McGuire, David Weber, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., John C. Wright, D.J. Butler, Christopher Ruocchio, Shelley Adina, and Edward Willett, plus reprints from John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, David Brin, Julie E. Czerneda, Fonda Lee, Gareth L. Powell, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Derek Künsken, and Thoraiya Dyer.

Praise for the original Shapers of Worlds:

“One of the most wide-ranging volumes I’ve encountered in terms of sub-genre. It’s rather like a speculative fiction buffet, offering steampunk, fantasy, military fiction, magic, space opera, post-apocalyptic, hard science fiction, and others . . . Inventive and varied, the collection has a lot to offer for those seeking an interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking read.” – Lisa Timpf, The Future Fire

Now available: Blue Fire

From the author of the acclaimed fantasy trilogy The Masks of Agyrima, published by DAW Books, comes another epic YA fantasy adventure.

Centuries ago, the people of Nevyana were forced to leave their old kingdom across the sea after it was devastated by the War of the Twelve Gods. The only three Gods to survive that war, Vekrin of the Earth, Arrica of the Sun, and Ell of the Moon, agreed to leave the affairs of men alone–but not until they gave their followers a few final magical Gifts.

Vekrin and Arrica gave their followers the gift of Blue Fire, a powerful force that could provide light, heat, and protection–or be turned into a powerful weapon. But Ell chose instead to utterly transform her followers into the almost feline Nightdwellers, nocturnal creatures with fur, teeth, and claws.

Enmity quickly arose among the three groups, and now the Nightdwellers rule the night, killing any ordinary humans they catch out after sunset. Vekrin’s followers became the Citydwellers, retreating behind stout walls of stone, protected by the Blue Fire-powered firelances of the Priests. And Arrica’s followers became the Freefolk, able to travel through the wilderness protected by a Fence of Blue Fire, but always in danger of Nightdweller attack.

When sacred objects for channelling Blue Fire are stolen, three sworn enemies, Petra of the Citydwellers, Amlinn of the Freefolk, and Jin of the Nightdwellers, set out to find them, and their paths converge on a collision course with the truth. Can they bridge the centuries-old division among their communities? Or will their search for the truth and the explosive power of Blue Fire signal the end of Nevyana?

Now available: Peregrine Rising

This space-opera duology was originally published by the now-departed Bundoran Press. Cover art for both books is by Dan O’Driscoll.

Book 1: Right to Know

Right to Know is a fast-paced space opera about first contact–with a difference. When Art Stoddard, civilian information officer of the generation starship Mayflower II, is kidnapped by a secret military organization determined to overthrow the power of the Captain and Crew, he becomes embroiled in a conflict that tests everything he believed to be true, forced to choose between preserving social order and restoring the people’s right to know..

When Art is ripped from the safety of his ship by the mysterious residents of Peregrine, his problems only escalate. He becomes a pawn in a game that will determine the fate of both ship and planet. As he and his new found friends rush to save both, he faces questions of courage, loyalty and moral responsibility.

Praise for Right to Know

“An inspiring tale of redemption and courage, set in an all too plausible future in space. Well done!” – Julie E. Czerneda, author of The Clan Chronicles

“…a wildly entertaining read…the novel had romance, an ego-maniacal supporting antagonist, family drama, intrigue, and plenty of action…if you want a fun and rollicking SF yarn that I found to be pretty suitable for most age groups, Right to Know is a great selection.” – Jon Guenther, SF Revu

“This is a fast-paced SF novel, with jailbreaks, rocket-rides and wilderness adventures on a strange planet. It also features clear themes. Freedom of the press is foremost, and the need to prioritize freedom over security plays a part, too…Recommended for anyone who likes SF with a rapid pace and a clear message.” – Timothy Gwyn

Book One: Falcon’s Egg

Falcon’s Egg, the sequel to Right to Know, is a fast-paced action-adventure. Discovering a plot to reassert Imperial control over the recently rediscovered Peregrine, Lorn Kymbal tracks the conspirators into the deepest and most dangerous reaches of the planet and beyond. Kymbal, a veteran of the war of liberation that almost costs his life, fights killer robots and his own inner demons as he tries to win freedom for himself and his planet.

Praise for Falcon’s Egg

“In Falcon’s Egg, Edward Willett takes on the notion of heroism itself, exploring the casualties of war and the results of battle on the psychology of the protagonist who has endured the traumas of war. Falcon’s Egg is a text of revolution, a war narrative with a bit of frontier ideologies since it is set on an alien world that is in conflict with the more technologically developed centrist planets. However, unlike most exploration, war, revolution, and adventure narratives who uncritically cast the hero as a figure who is above trauma, Willett’s narrative explores the toll that heroism takes on the mind of the hero as well as the toll that it takes on human lives and society.” – Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada

Falcon’s Egg by Edward Willett is space opera/action-adventure novel in the grand tradition, full of interplanetary intrigue, chases through the abandoned bowels of giant spaceships, and shootouts with everything from shotgun shells to beam weapons. Oh, and there’s an army of evil robot spiders. This book is a fun, easy read, and I got through it in two nights.” – Ty Black, Dark Futures Fiction

New ebooks: The Shards of Excalibur series

The Shards of Excalibur is a five-book young-adult fantasy series originally published by Coteau Books. Orphaned when Coteau went bankrupt, the series is now available in new ebook editions from Shadowpaw Press, with new print editions to follow in due course.

Book 1: Song of the Sword

Cover design by Tania Craan

Long-listed for The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic for Best Young Adult Novel

“Every so often … a writer is skilled enough to utilize the stories of King Arthur and Camelot to significant effect. Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy is definitely on the list. So, too, is Song of the Sword, the impressive new YA novel from Regina writer Edward Willett … a taut, compelling narrative, well-drawn characters, and a keen sense of genuine peril and true wonder. It’s a powerful, fun, engaging read, and it’s the first of a series, so readers have much to look forward to.” – Quill & Quire

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Book 2: Twist of the Blade


Finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel

“A satisfying second installment…Twist of the Blade offers an enticing sense of danger and excitement as Ariane pursues her mission, but the narrative doesn’t shy away from the story’s human elements…It’s refreshing to read a story in which the heroes and villains are not cut-and-dried, and readers can look forward to three more installments in this genuinely entertaining myth-based series.” – Quill & Quire

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Book 3: Lake in the Clouds

“At the heart … is the evolving relationship between Ariane and Wally. In a world of absent parents…they must rely upon themselves and upon each other. They must learn to trust each other, for they are being changed by their contact with and use of old magic steeped in old conflicts, desires and mysteries — all of which become particularly vital in Lake in the Clouds. How Ariane and Wally deal with such changes, and with the increasing responsibilities of their quest, makes them truly admirable characters. Willett’s The Shards of Excalibur series…gives fresh life to the Arthurian legends, and there is, indeed, much to look forward to in the next two installments.” – Matthew Johnstone, Canadian Children’s Book News

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Book 4: Cave Beneath the Sea

“In Cave Beneath the Sea, Edward Willett has created as exciting a read as the earlier books in the series, continuing to develop his characters and their relationships while the action-filled plot carries the reader to intriguing national and international locales. Both Ariane and Wally feel the power of the sword, drawing them to its shards but also compelling their anger in those who have hurt them: parents, siblings, bullies, enemies. And while they struggle with those yearnings, they are finding their way to a hitherto-unknown girlfriend-boyfriend relationship that provides them the family they both crave. It’s hard for me to decide which is the stronger foundation for the story, the characters or the plot, as both are substantial and intricate. Regardless, Cave Beneath the Sea takes The Shards of Excalibur a fast-moving step closer to the Door into Faerie, the magical entity and Book 5 in the series.” – Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians

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Book 5: Door into Faerie

Finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel

I loved this YA fantasy. Willett wields his well-honed writing chops from page one, and my interest was maintained until the final word…I can’t imagine teens not enjoying this entertaining story, perhaps especially if they’ve read the books that’ve preceded it. This adult enjoyed it, too … ” – Shelley A. Leedahl, SaskBooks Reviews

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