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Category Archives: Science Fiction

Release Day


Today is the release of the long-awaited first book of a brand new series I’m writing. Wraithkin is out and available in both print and e-format, and the early reviews is that all my hard work has come to fruition with this book. Run and buy, share, talk about it. Publicity never hurt a writer.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00045]

Book 1 of the Kin Wars Saga

No Time


T-minus five days and counting until Honorcon.

You might be wondering what panels I’ll be doing, or what I plan on talking about, but you may be surprised to know that I’m actually working this convention for The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association. Being the Volunteer Coordinator is, well, a job that nobody wanted so I volunteered (ha!). It’s been an eye opener, and I’ll definitely remember how hard the concom works leading up to any con that I will attend in the future. It’s not like I’m a difficult guest (at least, I don’t think I am… I have almost no requests for anything except a free ticket for my handler), but it’s always good to keep in mind the hard work that goes into running a convention.

Other than that, still writing, still reading various books and trying to find the time to review them. I have both Shattered Shields and The Baen Big Book of Monsters to review, plus a couple of Irene Radford novels. It’s not that I don’t want to review them, really. It’s just that I don’t have the time right now. Between finalizing the purchase of the new house and wrapping up Murder World: Kaiju Dusk and the con, time seems to have just zipped away. Ooh, there it went again!

However, Barb did manage to review Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold over the weekend (one of my favorite books of all time). I don’t think she was as enamored as I with the book, but she still gave it a very positive review. She’s pretty much carrying Shiny Book Review right now, for which I’m extremely grateful (how she finds the time is beyond me).

Of course, while complaining about a decided lack of spare time, I volunteered to help out with the Youth Bake Sale at church…

Also, the lack of time has been the primary reason I haven’t written anything about #GamerGate yet. I keep meaning to but then life happens, as it usually does, and internet fighting usually takes a backseat to real life for me. I might finally write up something next week, maybe. No promises. People are going to call me a “Johnny Come Lately” (they still use that phrase, right?), but whatever. I have more important things to worry about.

Like finding the time to finish this damn book.

Speaking of, there’s still time to purchase Murder World: Kaiju Dawn and help support My Generous Lords, the Great and Terrible Kittehs! in their world domination scheme.

Murder World: Kaiju Dawn - Published 2014

Murder World: Kaiju Dawn – Published 2014

Too Stubborn


Air! I can breathe!

In all seriousness, it feels like I’ve been drowning in my writing the past few months. Ever since Eric and I wrapped up Kaiju Apocalypse III, it seems like my head has been underwater when it comes to writing. I may have burned myself out a bit (writing 4 books in 4 months will do that to anybody) and needed a break, but I proscribe to the “Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 3:00” writing schedule. You know, treating it like a job? It’s a good habit to get in to, quite frankly. But because of my schedule, and the fact that I mentally cringe anytime someone says “kaiju” around me, I’ve been writing utter dreck lately. This is while I’m trying to prepare the first two Christian Cole novels for publication (The Green Jewel and The Midnight Crew) and get a few short stories I owe to John Manning off to him (which I haven’t done yet, FYI), and help promote an anthology which just came out that I have the first story in (Terror By Gaslight, which has the first Tobias Fox story in it, Nightwalker).

That’s… a lot. I can see why my creativity has been flat-lining as of late.

Today, however, I woke up sort of refreshed. I didn’t sleep particularly well, but it felt as if a cloud over my motivation had lifted. Of course, I’m a little pissed off at the states of Colorado and Virginia right now, and hate and anger usually fuels my writing, so there is that. But for the first time in awhile I’m able to actually sit down and focus on writing itself, and not simply putzing around pretending to be a writer (other writers know what I’m talking about). It’s produced some decent material, most of which will make it into the final submitted piece.

I’ve also been informed that, due to the high sales of the Kaiju Apocalypse trilogy, combined with the surprising success of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, I am no longer eligible to enter the “Writers of the Future” contest. Now, considering that I’ve never entered it any way, nor really considered entering seriously (those are some good damn writers, while I’m… meh), receiving that email was sort of surprising. I was wondering if it was a scam of some sort, but it seems to be legit, which brings me to the next question: who really gives a crap enough about me to be preemptive like that? Flattering, yeah, but spooky all the same.

I’ll have the second Murder World book (Murder World: Kaiju Dusk) ready by… Christmas? Which means publication in February? Hard to say right now. There is a lot going on in the publishing world that is making me a little nervous. And if I’m nervous, mid-listers who rely on writing as their only source of income have to be absolutely terrified. I know I would be, if I wasn’t so shallow and carefree in nature (heh).

No word on either Hand of God  or Wraithkin yet. I was hoping to hear something about the former by now, and I expect to hear something about the latter in the next few months. In the meantime, I’ve been toying around in the Wraithkin universe and am coming to realize that I created one complex universe, quite by accident. If someone ever says that I must really know politics to create such a nation like the Dominion of Man, I’m going to apologize and start laughing.

There was some other serious stuff I was thinking about talking about, then I remembered that I have an article due for the Mad Genius Club this Friday, so I figured I could save it for that. Nothing political (I think), more of a “this is cool” kind of thing. Who knows, maybe someone will learn something?

Won’t be me, though. I’m too stubborn to learn.

Good Enough


Before you freak out and grab your pitchforks, I’m hard at work on Murder World: Kaiju Dusk. Really, I am. It’s coming along nicely, and I think everyone will be pleased to know that Captain Vincente and his crew is back for a second round. Eric and I should have this novel done by the end of July. In the meantime, you can still pick up a copy of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn on Kindle for a mere $0.99. That’s way less than a cup of coffee, and less than a reprocessed cheese and “pink stuff” burger from a fast food restaurant. So pick up a copy of the book instead of another greasy cheeseburger. Your intestines will thank you.

That was a short pitch. Huh. Maybe I should try to offer something more? Ehh…. no, I think that’s good. A $0.99 book. Yeah. Good enough.

 

Murder World: Kaiju Dawn Deal


Murder World: Kaiju Dawn  is currently on sale for a mere $0.99 right now on Amazon Kindle (Prime members get it for free, as always). You really, really should buy it. Then review it. Then tell all your friends about how you’d sell your second born for the sequel (first born is a bit steep).

MW KD cover

Libertycon 27 AAR


So Libertycon 27 came to a close and all in all, it went tremendously well. I met new people, made new friends, ran into old friends, made a fool of myself (this is typical) and am now dealing with a very screwed up sleep schedule.

So I rolled into Libertycon about three in the afternoon after caravaning most of the way with the Docfather, Speaker to Lab Animals, Cubby’s Handler and Speaker’s kids. In case you didn’t know, most of my friends have way cooler nicknames than I. Check in went smoothly, and got to my room before my brain started to rot. Checked out the hotel and got my name badge early because I’m special (a recurring theme for the weekend). Ran into a few people whose names escape me at the moment and went out to eat with Doug Dandridge, Larry Southard and a few others at a pretty good pizza joint nearby called Lupi’s. It was fun, but I was exhausted and called it a night fairly early.

Naturally my body hates me, and I was up and ready to go at 6 am. I managed to laze about until 8 or so before my stomach reminded me who was in charge. I had some snacky food from the road trip left over and ate that, since ConSuite wasn’t ready yet. This surprisingly lasted me until lunch. Ran into a few Barfly’s, and then suddenly a wave of people arrived. 1 pm rolled around and Libertycon 27 was officially underway.

My first panel wasn’t a panel at all, actually. It was an autograph session in which I shared table space with Dr. Travis S. Taylor, book artist Kurt Miller and Peter Grant. Had to tell quite a few people “No, I don’t have any of my books with me at the moment. I’ll have them tomorrow, though” a few times but, overall, a fun little session. I did get to talk more with Kurt Miller later the next day, and he’s a really cool guy. We had more in common than I would have guessed.

I managed to sneak into ConSuite a grab a bit to eat at this point without making anybody annoyed (I think they were closed while prepping dinner) and then started to explore the Dealer’s Room. Lots of cool stuff from Michael Z Williamson, Mystik Waboose and The Missing Volume, as usual. The downside of being a poor, starving artist is that I have to budget myself and not go crazy. Next year, I always say. I did pick up a limited edition hardcover of Williamson’s “Freehold”, but that was on Sunday. Oh, it was also the last one. Muwahahaha!

After that it was opening ceremonies, where we got to meet everyone. Jim Minz did an excellent job of MC’ing, and the usual “John’s at the pool” call came out when John Ringo was introduced. Lots of fun for the crew when I was announced as they proceeded to boo me. All in good fun, of course, but it still caused a few frowns from people who don’t understand my friends.

I was free for a bit at this point, and I don’t remember what I did until my 9pm panel, “What’s New in Military Science Fiction”. No booze was involved, I swear. I just don’t recall what I did up to that point. But this panel led to my only complaint, as I was sitting next to K. S. Daniels. On the other side of her was… John Ringo. *sigh* John likes pretty women, loves pretty colleagues, and while absolutely 100% faithful to his wife, the man is a born flirt. So I’m listening with one ear on the panel and the other on John talk to Ms. Daniels… and talk… and talk… and pretty much talk some more to her. It would have been wildly amusing had I not been trying to listen to the panel and him at the same time (John’s a funny guy, and he has some great con and war stories). Walt Boyes moderated and kept everybody more or less on task (more or less) and we wrapped it up. Oh, and I also made a complete ass of myself during this panel. You see, we were talking about what sort of change we would like to see in MilSF and so on, and I proceeded to utter the absolutely brilliant phrase of “hope and change” in the midst of, up to that point, a pretty good speech. I realized what I had done the second it had happened, and everyone got a good laugh.

Afterwards I found myself in ConSuite with a bunch of Baen authors, notably Rick Boatright, Charles E. Gannon, and Walt Boyes. We talked a bit about me writing in the 1632 universe and came up with a story idea for me to run with. Now, to sit down and actually write it…

Finally went to be around 1:30 in the morning, since my sleep schedule was already screwed up. I had a lot going on the next day, and wanted to be awake for it and well rested. So of course I was up at 6 again…

Fortunately, Christine Dorsett had breakfast going when I woke up. Biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs, which was really good for the starving man. I had an 11 AM panel that I barely made it to (I almost forgot this one) and got to chat with Gail Z. Martin and a few others about what’s good in urban fantasy. I may have pissed off the steampunk fans in the crowd when I suggested that urban fantasy is all about how one interprets it and a compelling case could be made to call steampunk such. Oh well, not the first time I’ve pissed off a bunch of steampunkers, and it won’t be the last.

I had a reading at 4 PM, which I read the first two chapters of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, but since I was competing with the Baen Road Show, I think I had two people there. But afterwards came the cool part I didn’t talk about before. For the first time, I was invited to the Baen Books dinner. I got some face time with more of the authors, talked to Bill Fawcett some, finally figured out who Regina Kirby is (I’ve known her online for years, but never actually met her in person), and hung out with Kurt Miller. It was great and I had a lot of fun, and hope that I’ll be invited again in the future.

After that, I made it back to my 9 PM panel about Iron Clad Press, which was sparsely attended. We talked about our stories, the book I owe the publisher (I’m working on it!!!) and what we wanted to write in the future. Then it was over to the release party for Sha’Daa: Pawns, which went well. Helped get them set up and proceeded to talk story idea with editor John Manning and fellow author Chris Smith. Hung out for a bit, then went to bed. I was beyond tired.

Oh! I forgot to talk about meeting my coauthor in person for the very first time! Poor Eric… the guy was wiped out from his drive, and I was extremely hyper from lack of sleep, and I may have steamrolled him when we first met. On the plus side, he got to meet David Drake in person and a bunch of others as well.

Sunday I had another author session, which I was able to sign my books and sell them (I sold out, yay!). Brought new people into the Kaiju Awareness Foundation and picked up new fans. A quick bite to eat, then it was over to my Kaiju panel.

The Kaiju panel was… well, awesome. Eric had mentioned beforehand that he wasn’t sure he would offer much, and between the very engaged crowd and myself, we managed to get him to talk about a ton of books, Kaiju, MilSF and other stuff. We had a fairly crowded room for just the two of us, and the Libertycon fans made Eric feel right at home. We also got the crowd involved in future Kaiju novels when we decided to open the floor up for random cities to be destroyed by Kaiju. My favorite was Seattle, since the image of a Kaiju using the Space Needle as a javelin caused much laughter.

Overall, Libertycon 27 was a blast. I can’t wait until next year.

Guest Blogging Elsewhere and Libertycon Schedule


I guest blogged over at Sarah Hoyt’s site today. More on the Marion Zimmer Bradley issue, how it relates, and me asking why the SFWA hasn’t kicked out their 2013 Grand Master and open pederast Samuel Delaney. I, uh, kinda lost my cool a bit.

I’m going radio silent for the weekend. I won’t be around until Tuesday of next week. This weekend is Libertycon!

  • Friday, 3:00PM — Autograph signing — kicking off the weekend with some autographing, I might sign a few books. I’ll mostly be sitting back and plotting books while watching the more important authors be bombarded by their fans. I’m signing with Peter Grant, Kurt Miller and Travis S. Taylor. I dream of the day when I can have Kurt Miller do one of my book covers.
  • Friday, 5:00PM — Opening Ceremonies — Yada yada yada.
  • Friday, 9:00PM — What’s New in Military SF — This one should be fun, since I’ve written a ton of MilSF and Kaiju novels recently (6 in the past 10 months alone). I’ll be with Walt Boyes, K. S. Daniels, Bill Fawcett, Mark Wandrey, Charles Gannon (woot!) and John Ringo (woot woot!). That’s quite a large panel, which means someone (not me) has the unenviable task of trying to rein in John.
  • Saturday, 11:00AM — Urban Fantasies — This one… uh… okay, I can do this one, but I feel this is not my usual dog and pony show. Scott Baker, Louise Herring-Jones, D. Alan Lewis and Gail Z. Martin will be with me on this one.
  • Saturday, 4:00PM — Reading — Huh. Wonder what I’ll read to the people.
  • Saturday, 9:00PM –What’s New from Iron Clad Press — One of my publishers is rolling out a bunch of books this year, and I owe him a Tobias Fox novel. This one will be fun, but I’ll probably be late getting there due to prior commitments elsewhere.
  • Saturday, 10:00PM — Book Launch Party — Iron Clad Press, Moondream Press and Perseid Press are all having books come out this weekend, and are having a massive launch party. I’ll be there (since I have books from each publisher) and probably about ready to drop at that point (I get tired easily).
  • Sunday, 11:00AM — Autograph signing — another one, though most people are probably still recovering from the previous night’s drinking. I’ll be there, sleeping (or signing, whatever).
  • Sunday, 1:00PM — Kaiju – Why Do We Love the Big Monsters Who Stomp us to Pieces? — Eric S. Brown, and I are gonng talk Kaiju, lots of Kaiju, and nothing but Kaiju. This one should be fun.
  • Sunday, 2:00PM — What’s New from Moondream Press — Another one of my publishers and we’ll be talking Sha’Daa more than likely.

The Dilemma of Us


Late last night, while watching an absolutely atrocious movie, I had a thought experiment come to mind. I dismissed it quickly enough, since the whole point that the director tried to make was his attempt to cause the viewer to “think” (when, in reality, the message was more “I’m smarter and morally superior than you”, but whatever), but then I had a dream about it and how it correlates to the current dust-up in Science Fiction/Fantasy (yes, it’s coming full circle). I’ll pose the moral quandary here for you, and let you decide.

Let us begin.

  • There is a train coming. There are 5 individuals of varying nationalities (everyday Joe’s so to speak) tied to the train tracks who will most certainly die if they remain there. There is a lever which you can pull that will divert the train onto another set of tracks. On this second set of tracks, however, is  noted white English author Iain Banks (he’s still alive for this thought experiment). Iain Banks will surely die if you divert the train. Do you sacrifice Mr. Banks to save the five everyday Joe’s? Or do you sacrifice the average Joe’s to save the noted author?

Let’s take it up a notch, shall we?

  • There is a train coming. There are 5 white men tied to the train tracks who will most certainly die if they remain there. There is a lever which you can pull that will divert the train onto another set of tracks. On this second set of tracks, however, is noted African-American poet Maya Angelou (again, let’s presume that she’s still alive for this experiment). Maya Angelou will surely die if you divert the train. Do you sacrifice Ms. Angelou to save the 5 white men? Or do you sacrifice the 5 white men to save the noted poet?

Thinking yet? Well then, let’s not stop there. I want to keep going because, well, philosophy and sh*t.

  • There is a train coming. There are 5 impoverished minority children tied to the train tracks who will most certainly die if they remain there. There is a lever which you can pull that will divert the train onto another set of tracks. On this second set of tracks, however, is noted physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil deGrasse Tyson will surely die if you divert the train. Do you sacrifice Dr. Tyson to save the 5 impoverished minority children? Or do you sacrifice the 5 impoverished minority children to save the renowned physicist?

Let’s do one more, just to put some knickers in a twist.

  • There is a train coming. There are 5 wealthy, snobby, bratty white American children tied to the train tracks who will most certainly die if they remain there. There is a lever which you can pull that will divert the train onto another set of tracks. One this second set of tracks, however, is noted  author (and outed pedophile) Marion Zimmer Bradley. Marion Zimmer Bradley will surely die if you divert the train. Do you sacrifice Ms. Bradley to save the 5 insanely wealthy, snobby, bratty white American children? Or do you sacrifice the 5 insanely wealthy, snobby, bratty white American children in order to save the famed author and pedophile?

Some of you have already decided that the “Greater Good” trumps all, and that the 5 saved are always better than the 1 lost. However, do you really want to run the risk of losing such an established individual like deGrasse just to have, say three of the five kids you saved die from malnutrition or other diseases, before they’re 20? Think about the loss to humanity if someone like deGrasse were suddenly removed, and none of the five ever come close to his level of intellect or contribution to humanity. Do you save the physicist and murder five children?

Some of you immediately went to saving the noted individuals because you know them, and they’re famous. Much like how society now looks to those who are famous being more important that those who are not, you attached yourself to the idea of saving Maya Angelou and letting the five white men die. But ask yourself… did you put Ms. Angelou ahead of saving the white men because of her contributions to society, or do you feel that race and guilt made the decision for you?

The problem with a moral quandary like this is that there is no right answer (except for the last one, but that’s to come). How do you value one over the other? How does an individual choose?

Well, this is where your own perceptions of what is important come into play for this thought experiment. Your judgment is based on who you identify with, who you associate yourself with, and who your “tribe” is.

Part of what bothers me in this current dust-up is that the legions on one side are lashing out at the problem instead of addressing it, then fall into this sort of congratulatory mutual masturbation session in which they pat each other on the back while jerking each other off (inelegant, I know). The moral problems are still there, but instead of making a decision, they’re attacking the questions posed. They may even say that the root of the moral problems I posed above boil down to “RACISM!” and attack me for this. There may even be harsh language.

With the exception of the final problem (let the pedophile die, and pop up some popcorn so the children can enjoy the show is my vote), there isn’t an easy decision to make in the group. If you found any of them easy, then you may want to check your perceptions of what is important or not. If you picked Maya Angelou over the five white men, for example, did you just condemn five innocent men to die? Or if you picked to save the five white men, aren’t you worried someone may turn around and call you racist for not choosing the African-American woman (oh come one, you knew that was coming)?

But since 3 of the 4 questions aren’t really that “fair”, a Progressive minority might casually dismiss the philosophical implications of the decisions and instead attack me, the questioner. This would make sense to some, since after all, I’m the one who dared to include racial stats into the equation. But if that’s the case, would it make your decision easier? Would it make your decision simpler if it were just five men on the tracks versus Maya Angelou? Or five white kids versus Neil deGrasse Tyson? What do you, personally, place value upon when you look at life?

Take this all into comparison with the current dust-up in SF/F and you might… MIGHT… begin to understand. For some within the SFWA community, battle lines MUST be drawn. The very soul of science fiction is at stake, they’ll argue. It is their job to protect it from racism, sexism, misogyny and whatever other buzzword of the week is.

Finally… back to the philosophical questions posed above. Please, I want you to be honest with me (and yourself) in this matter… but did you even think of asking if there was someone else around who could help you save everyone? Because, despite your protestations otherwise, you are not the moral majority and you do NOT get to decide who lives and who dies. NOBODY has that right. You do not get to choose whether Neil deGrasse Tyson is more important that anyone else, or that anyone else is more important that Dr. Tyson.

Or, in the case of Science Fiction/Fantasy, you do not get to determine what is the heart, and what is the soul, and you definitely don’t get to decide what is good and what is bad.

Cover Reveal


Next book in The Kaiju Wars series. I like it. Thoughts?

Kaiju apocalypse 2

Murder World Complete


Finished Murder World today. Clocking in at around 52,500 words, it’s quite frankly one hellishly fun and exciting book. I love each and every one of the characters, and whenever I killed one, I almost felt bad for them (almost… I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones lately).

Right now the Super Awesome Beta Reader Team is currently tearing it apart, readying for their report about just how badly it sucks. I have awesome people, what can I say?

I also hope to have some very good news tomorrow as well. I’ve been bouncing around all weekend waiting to share it.

In the meantime, have you left a review for Kaiju Apocalypse? No? What’s wrong with you? Did your hard drive die or something?

Oh. It did? Sorry.