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Semper Malevolem

Category Archives: Sha’Daa

Two Cover Reveals!

I swear, I look down, get back to writing, look back up… and it’s almost been a month since an update.

How does time do this to me?

Well, this week I had not one but TWO cover reveals occur. The first one is the one that everybody has been waiting for, and HOLY CRAP it is beautiful! Here is Deathlords, Book 3 of the Kin Wars Saga.


Nice, isn’t it? Bonus quiz: can you identify the planet from the series that the suit is protecting?

Then, on Thursday another publisher released the final cover of Sha’Daa: Toys, the (from what I hear) final anthology in the Sha’Daa universe. This one will actually be out in a few weeks, but the cover is downright creepy.


They both are great, and shows once more while I will continue to support small press publishers. Both teams I work with are amazing people who put all their efforts into producing quality workmanship. I can’t ask for better people to write for.

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.

Coming Soon

Final proof copy of Kaiju Apocalypse was turned in late last night (I think I finished going over it at around 0045). There were some formatting issues (what is it with me and screwed-up formatting?) but nothing I couldn’t handle. It should be out any day now in ebook format (and maybe print). It’ll be my first novella as well, which is something I suppose.

Still waiting to hear back on Wraithkin. I’m actually working on the sequel (Darkling) and Murder World simultaneously right now. Murder World is pretty close to being complete, just have to wrap up the ending and one massive fight scene.

I’m not sure when the re-release for Sha’Daa: Pawns is coming out, though I’m guessing “soon”. My new story for this one, Paragon Idol, is about a fallen child actor and an offer made on behalf of the Darkness. Fun story, and should be out sometime in May (I think), because Sha’Daa: Facets will be out in June or July (and that one has A Promise Made).

Okay, back to writing. I have a deadline to meet.

Book Release v2.1

Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse was re-released this weekend. My short story, Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon, is in this one now (it started off in Sha’Daa: Pawns, remember? Paragon Idol, another short story I wrote in that universe, is replacing it).

Cool cover. You might like it. I did.

It’s been a busy week or so. Con this coming weekend. Meet me there.

ShaDaa Apocalypse

Another Story

Just sold another short story to Copper Dog Publishing. My short story, “Paragon Idol”, will be featured in the reprint of the Sha’Daa: Pawns anthology which is being re-released this year. If you remember, I already had a story in Pawns (“Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon”) which was bumped to the reprint of the Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse anthology coming out later this month.

That’s going to make my bibliography look weird

New Book

So an interesting development…

As you may already know, I had a story titled Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon published in a shared-world type of anthology called Sha’Daa: Pawns in 2012. It was pretty well-received all in all, and I created one my favorite characters to date.

Fast forward to this evening. The editor/creator of the series, Michael H. Hanson, sent me an email asking me if I would mind moving my story from Pawns (which was already released) over to his re-release of Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse, which he had originally published years ago. One of the short stories didn’t want to change publishers (over to new label Copper Dog), and Michael had an opening, so… yeah. I offered to write a new story for the series, and he tentatively agreed to allow me to write a replacement story for Pawns. So yeah, happy happy.

Here is the newly redesigned cover of Tales of the Apocalypse. I’m digging it personally, and I know my friend Ahren would love the gas mask.


What do you think?

End of Year Time

Tonight I’m going to celebrate the end of 2013 with panache and class.

Yep, I’m going to crack open a bottle of champagne, cook up some finger foods and pass out around 11:30PM. That’s just how I roll.

I’m so hardcore.

I’m looking back over 2013 and I must say I’m rather pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I passed my 2013 word count goal of 370,000 by a lot (501,200 is the rounded down number) and finished Wraithkin (100,000 words). I also wrote the sequel to Homeworld with Eric Brown in September (another… 75,000 words?), and saw four anthologies I’m in be published (What Scares the Boogeyman?, Dreams of Steam IV: Gizmos, Dreamers in Helland Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past). I’m writing a sooper seekrit project with Mark Wandrey right now, which should be done by March or April. I moved, which was a big deal (I liked Kentucky, but I love living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia). I got a dog. I joined my first fan club/organization. I kept my (relative) sanity.

Good things, all said in done.

For 2014, I have some very specific goals. First, I’d like to hit a word count goal of 500,000 words this coming year. Granted, this is going to be a bigger challenge than 2013’s goal, simply because I’ll have to average almost 1,700 words a day. That’s not a lot, per se, but it’s still enough to make me work. I’d like to finish Darkling, the sequel to Wraithkin, by September. I’d like to have my project with Mark done by April. I also owe my editor a bunch of Tobias Fox stories, as well as his first novel. I’d like to write a Star Trek novel, but I’d have to bug the agent about that one.

Things I’d like to get done: write the first Failsafe novel, titled A Banner Burned. That’s… probably not going to happen, simply because the amount of other projects I have to finish before then. I’d also like to write another novel in Eric Brown’s Homeworld universe, starring Saul, but that’s a “maybe sorta kinda” thing. I also would like to write Obliterator, the sequel to Corruptor, by the end of 2014, as well as begin Devastator. The Warp universe isn’t going anywhere, and with the advances in tech that have been sprouting up in recent years since I first wrote Corruptor (way back in… 2005? 2006?), I’ve gotten some awesome new ideas for the world (nice to see that my prediction of cloud-based free gaming came true) and really don’t want to waste the characters I have running around there (primarily Tori and Dylan). 

I’m hoping to get more reviews done for Shiny Book Review, but that might not happen. If I can manage three a month I’d be happy, but I may have to settle for merely two. 

I’m also looking forward to seeing more stories I’ve written be published. Anthologies such as Terror by GaslightHero’s Best Friend, Sha’Daa Facetsand Heroes All should be coming out in 2014, and all of them have stories I’ve written featured within. I’m also looking forward to the latest Dresden novel, Skin Game. I’m hoping that George R. R. Martin lives long enough to finish A Song of Fire and Ice.

I hope that my brother stays safe while finishing up his final rotation to A-stan. I hope my dad stays (relatively) healthy.

But most of all, I hope that everyone has a reasonably satisfactory 2014. I mean, there’s always some bad with the good. I’m hoping that the bad is outweighed by the tremendous good.

Contract Sent

Mailed off the contract for Dreamers in Hell today, which is a load off my chest. If you recall, In the Shadow of Paradise was supposed to be out in Rogues in Hell last year, but issues put it back a book. That’s okay, because it’s officially coming out this year. My Juan Ponce de Leon story is finally coming to life.

I have some exciting news coming up soon that I can’t quite share with yet, mainly because I only have a verbal agreement and nothing in the form of a contract. But rest assured, this is some very, very good news.

Unfortunately, with all this stuff going on (as well as gearing up for Libertycon 26 and moving in August), Shiny Book Review has fallen by the wayside. I have some books that need to be reviewed but I really do not have the time. With Barb fighting 13 different illnesses (I exaggerate — it’s only 4 but it must feel like 13 to the poor woman), plus with her own novel due to her publisher, SBR is getting set on the back burner for a little while. I know we’ll still be doing reviews, but (for now) just not as many as we had in the past.

Wake (Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past) should be coming out in July or August sometime. Nightwalker (Terror by Gaslight) should be around October (I think). A Promise Made (Sha’Daa Facets) should be out sometime in December (guesstimation). Anything after that? Who knows at this point. I do know that I have stories in anthologies coming out in 2014 and beyond, but a lot of that is in the air with firm publication dates (I typically don’t find out until a few weeks before it comes out… which is the way it is these days it seems). I do know I have a poem in Dark Corners as well, and possibly another Tobias Fox story (Collectibles) if I can ever get it finished and submitted in time. I also signed up to write five more Tobias Fox stories, though these aren’t set in stone (aka I don’t have a contract, just the interest of the editor).

I keep signing up for anthologies. Gah. Gotta quit doing that. Or at least, signing up and saying “Yeah, I’m on board” then realizing that you now owe stories to 14 different anthologies.


Lookout 2013!

The Preditors & Editors voting poll has opened and, as usual, people are having a hard time getting the pages to open. It’s almost like an 8th grade test website built in the 90’s. For someone who claims to have been involved with the first internet service provider, his internet providing seems to, well, suck.

I shouldn’t say anything though. He might sue. Or worse, get the SFWA to come after me.

A lot of people use the P&E website (including me, because it can be helpful), and whenever they have their annual Best Of (insert year) voting, it draws even more traffic. Traffic which invariably causes mass time out. Now, I don’t know much about the internet (except that it’s about cats and porn), but I do know that a first year college student can probably draw up something a little more efficient (and working) solution than what is up there right now.

*sigh* This is me, complaining, because I’m still bitter about my low finish with Corruptor in the voting back in 2010. I blame John Ringo, since we were in the same category (thriller).

Anyways, the P&E voting poll is up once more, and you can vote for me in Anthologies (Sha’Daa Pawns). Most of the other stuff I’ve written (i.e., just about all of it) is coming out in 2013, starting with the What Scares the Boogeyman? anthology in January. After that, I know that Dreamers in Hell is coming out either June or July; Dreams of Steam III sometime in the spring; Mental Ward II sometime this summer (an assumption); and Terror By Gaslight sometime later in the year. Then * drum roll please*…

The Midnight Crew is being released on October 15, 2013. I may have mentioned my Christian Cole books once upon a time, but this is the first book in that series (once it’s been reorganized, that is). It’s coming out from Bad Moons Press (which, if anybody knows anything, is the name of my company) and I am super excited about this book. It’ll be available in print and ebook, with a non-DRM format (because I feel that DRM is teh evil), and will have some bonus features inside (like a sneak peak of the sequel, The Green Jewel, which is coming out in 2014).

This was an agonizing decision to go the independent route, primarily because I am cautious by nature. However, the time is right (you can thank the Penguin/Random House merger) and I feel that these books are ready (eight in total… yeah, I had that same reaction when I realized how long the series was).

Anyway, if you’re tired of always reading about “The Chosen One” and his or her “destiny”, then you’ll love Christian Cole, because he wasn’t supposed to be anything important. — until the day he chose to be a hero.

2013 Onward!

Release Day Is Coming

The countdown for Sha’Daa: Pawns is now on. T-minus three days until the release. If you’re wondering why I’m so excited, it’s because my story Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon is featured in this little anthology. Be prepared to buy it. Why?

Why not?

Spread the word. Sha’Daa is coming!


This right here? It’s because I believe in fair and justified torture of the fans.

Привет товарищ! (or, Greetings Comrade!)

Hello to all my new Russian friends!

Well, at least my info says that all my more recent new visitors are from Russia. Considering I haven’t been there since 1999, they must be new friends, right? Besides, it’s not like I did anything wrong in Russia… or Israel… or Turkey… and we’re not talking about Italy, so hey: it was all Rex’s fault. Well, okay, it was my fault, but that was because I assumed Rex wasn’t more naive than I was.

All right, all right. It’s my fault. I led Rex astray. I wonder how that kid’s doing these days…

I’m alive. I’m buried in books right now, both reviewing and writing, plus work has gotten intense these past few weeks. It’s going to be like this until after the holidays, unfortunately, but I think I’ll manage. I just submitted another short story, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m working on Wraithkin as much as time allows, but I’m hoping it’ll be ready to go around Christmas. Still deciding what publisher I’ll be sending it to, though Baen Books and Tor are my top two choices. Primarily because I know both publishers and like their stuff. Go with what you know, right?

I know there are three books coming out in rapid succession that I am in sometime soon. All of them, mind you, are coming out just in time for Christmas. I also noticed that Corruptor is available on the Kindle now for $3.99, which makes me very, very happy. I always felt that $5.99 for an ebook was a little too pricey. But four bucks? If people are willing to forgo a trip to McDonald’s, they can easily afford my book (and get some nuggets without breaking the bank).

Mmm… chicken…


Wrath of the Book Gods

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the book review gods (because my reviewing schedule is as steady as the men in Kim Kardashian’s life), I plan on reviewing Sygillis of Metatron (The League of Elders, Book 1) by Ben Garcia tomorrow over at Shiny Book Review. It’s a strange name, yeah, but it’s a pretty good book. It had some WTF? moments but overall was fun. I just started the sequel yesterday (sorry Ben, I’m a procrastinator) and the prologue had me giggling a bit. Only a bit. More than a bit and a man of my…. stature becomes decidedly frightening.

So I found out that I have stories in three separate books coming out in the next 90 days. This makes me giddy because that means a lot of people should be buying the books for their loved ones for Chrishannakwanzaa. Sha’Daa Pawns (Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon), What Scares the Boogeyman? (The Cold), and Dreams of Steam III (The Finder’s Keeper) should all be out soon-ish. I’m particularly excited about The Finder’s Keeper and Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon, primarily because those are writing styles I have never tried before. Okay, I might have tried them, but I never really succeeded at them until now.

Also, for those of you who are curious, my younger brother Nick made it home safely from his first deployment to A-stan. He was able to keep in semi-reliable contact throughout his deployment (the wonders of Facebook). Operation Baen Bulk sent his brigade some much-needed supplies, as well as free books (which he has torn through; voracious readers run in this little strange family). Baen Books remains one of my favorite publishers to this day (even if they haven’t published any books of mine) due to their constant and unwavering support of our troops.

Ack. First day off in a while and I’m farting around instead of working on Nightwalker. It’s… almost… done… just… a… little… more…

Seriously. Maybe 500 more words and then it’s time to edit it.

Then off to the main editor after alpha reader tears it a new one.

The Book Gods must be appeased!


Oh wow, a day off from work. I think I remember what these feel like. I’m supposed to, uh… rest? I dunno.

As I mentioned the other day, I’m waiting on two more submissions I have out right now. One of them have great chances of being picked up by the editor; the other was an experiment in voice and point of view narrative that may not be what they’re looking for. I’m fine with that, though, because they were for the same anthology and the second was written on a whim. My Alpha Reader didn’t understand it when she read it, so I suppose it’s a true experiment.

I’m so far behind on reviews right now it’s pretty horrible. I’ve got to do James Enge’s A Guile of Dragons, Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Kingmakers, and Maurice Broaddus’s King Maker (sense a theme here? I did). After that I’ll have just enough time to pack and move into my new place.

Yay. Moving.


I think the pace of this crazy year should be slowing down soon. It was strange. One minute it was April, the next it’s August and I’m still trying to figure out how the hell that happened. They’re right, you know. Time, as a linear concept, gets all wibbly-wobbly once you add temporal physics and old age into the mix. I just hope that I’ll have time to enjoy it before it gets too wibbly-wobbly for me to recognize.

I mean, I haven’t even had time to play Civ. That’s a serious lack of time, people, when I can’t afford the luxury of crushing my enemy AI’s into historical ashes.