No Gods No Monsters Cadwell Turnbull

Speculating Fiction

In September 2021, Stuff by Anna Beth AdcockLeave a Comment

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Raleigh resident and Wolfpack alum Cadwell Turnbull’s forthcoming novel No Gods, No Monsters is a page-turner you’ll want to get your hands on.

How would you respond if you discovered that your perception of fantasy was reality? Rising star in speculative fiction—and NC State creative writing professor (and alum!)—Cadwell Turnbull poses this compelling question in his highly anticipated second novel, No Gods, No Monsters, slated to drop Sept. 7.

The first book of his The Convergence Sagatrilogy, Turnbull’s latest immerses readers into a mysterious world of monsters and secret societies that examines the fracturing effect of grappling with the existence of these creatures (i.e. for or against)—and thereby pushes readers to likewise scrutinize the demons that afflict society today.

Cadwell Turnbull
Photo by Anju Manandhar

Inspired by reading urban fantasies with his wife, Turnbull—a writer of color who grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands—decided to try his hand at the genre. Once apprehensive, Turnbull has embraced authoring speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and horror, with his personal journey geared toward anchoring the speculative elements in human stories.

“Once I started writing, I started thinking about these [monsters] interjecting with areas of marginalization, race, gender and sexual orientation,” says Turnbull. “It seemed like the premise itself was a good starting point, but it needed to be anchored in real experience. I tried to borrow from [both] my own and then other people’s experiences, figuring out how that would gel with the greater parts of the story.”

Debut winner of the esteemed 2020 Neukom Institute Award for Speculative Fiction for his premiere novel The Lesson (an alien first contact novel set in the largely underrepresented-in-fiction U.S. Virgin Islands), Turnbull is garnering much praise for No Gods, No Monsters—one of the year’s Forbes’ 10 most-anticipated books, GoodReads’ most- anticipated SFF novels, and Marie Claire must-read book releases by Black authors.

The page-turner delivers on the captivating prose, formidable characters, perceptive social commentary and speculative elements readers and critics have quickly come to expect of Turnbull. (And eager fans will be thrilled to know his second book of the Saga is already in the works—with the storyteller adding, “It’s kicking my butt.”) 

And, paying it forward—when the Wolfpack grad returned to his alma mater last year to teach, he says the biggest lesson he wanted to impart to his students was something he learned himself: being confident in your passions without worrying about outside expectations. So, in essence, if you can see it, you can be it—and now they can. Hardcover $26.99, Quail Ridge Books; amazon.com; cadwellturnbull.com  

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