Jason Cordova's Website

The man, the myth, the legend.

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Changing With Every Read


While one would think that the lack of reviews for Kraken Mare (currently with two reviews only, even though both are good) I would be a sad camper. Except, as I said the other day, one cannot eat reviews.

The upside to the lack of reviews is that they don’t seem to be affecting sales in any way. Kraken Mare continues a slow, steady climb upwards, doing extremely well and actually taking the place of Kaiju Apocalypse as my highest ranking yet on Amazon. I can’t believe the positive comments I’ve received from people about the book. Chris and I thought it would be a crass and humorous book with lots of pop culture references and that was it. But people read books differently than you often intend, and see a deeper meaning or have an understanding of the book that you (the author) didn’t think of.

I hated The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter because, well, badly thought out sequel. But there was one comment in the movie that rang true with me then, and still does now. The bookstore owner (Mr. Koreander) says the following:

Ahh, but have you ever read a book twice? Books change each time you read them.

Surprisingly, they do change, because your understanding of the characters and the knowledge of the book within changes as well. You notice details that slipped by you the first time, and little changes can alter your perception of the novel on whole.

That’s why I always read a book three or four times. I always miss stuff.

Can You Eat Reviews?


Dream job? AWESOME!!!

Lone downside? Lack of writing time. But still, this is the job that I have been searching for since I quit teaching 11 years ago (holy crap… 11 years? Really??).

It’s great that I have the opportunity to help young boys become men and teach them how to go about it. I mean, one of the things society tends to do for kids in the system is be placeholders until they either go home or are emancipated. This is not conducive to child rearing. So my new job takes it one step further. We act not only as role models but also as quasi-parents, living in the cottage with 4-8 boys and just being there for them as they go on through school and towards adulthood. I really wish I’d had a place like this when I was 7-8 and bouncing around various group homes.

A lot of my friends have said recently that they’ve never seen me this excited before, not even for a book release. I remind them that while I enjoy writing, my first love is helping others. And this is the best way to not only help others but shape the future while doing so.

In other news, Kraken Mare is absolutely killing it over on Kindle. As of 5:45PM EST it’s looking like this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

This is AWESOME but there’s only one review. However, my buddy Leo reminded me that you can’t eat reviews.

(side note: I told him I was going to invent a dish and call it a review, just to spite him)

Reviews


One of the things I hate to sound like is a broken record.

One of the things I hate to…

You get the point.

Sarcasm aside, I really would like to implore readers to review the books they read over on Amazon. It helps spread the word and get the author noticed in the midst of the thousands of authors trying to gain an audience. Whether it’s a 5 star or a 1 star (or those pesky in-between stars), reviews help.

Of course, we authors prefer the “above 3 stars” reviews more than the 1 or 2 stars, but all reviews can be helpful if they’re actually pertaining to the novel. Complaining about the price of an ebook (which the author has no control over, usually) is akin to complaining to Peyton Manning about beer prices at Arrowhead Stadium (football analogy, woot!).

Right now, Kraken Mare is sitting pretty at #26,839 in overall rankings for ebooks. This is awesome! Except… there’s only one review. Granted, it’s a 5 star review (yay!) but it’s all by its lonesome (sad face here).

So get out there and vo– er, I mean, review.

 

Kraken Mare Is Live


Kraken Mare just went live over at Amazon. Read it, share it, review it. Support your local crazy writer!

…okay, disturbed writer?

…confused? Yes, confused writer!

Kraken-Mare-ebook-cover

Cover Reveal


So Chris and I are highly amused by this cover because his name is first (even though it should have been mine). Unfortunately for me, it works better aesthetically if his name is first. So I got to give Chris a lot of grief late last night when I showed it to him (many thanks to author Kacey Ezell for helping me out with the prank).

Anyway, without much further ado, here is the rough cover for Kraken Mare (rough meaning this should be the final version but it might change a little):

Kraken-Mare-ebook-cover.jpg

So, any thoughts?

Sponsor the Charity, Buy the Shirt


So I’m on a shirt!

Okay, some back story here…

I help out quite a bit with the charity Operation Supply Dropwhich helps get video games and other entertainment devices into the hands of deployed troops overseas who have no other way to relax in their downtime, as well as help returning veterans readjust back into social gatherings by taking them to gaming conventions and whatnot. One of our favorite thing to do to raise money is a 36 hour livestreaming event called Tanking for the Troops. This helps raise money for Operation Supply Drop while allowing viewers the chance to win prizes within the World of Tanks online game.

In appreciation of our volunteer efforts, OSD commissioned one of our livestreamers/graphic designers (AnIdiotMachine) with all of the streamers names on it to create an M4A2E8 Sherman tank. It’s a pretty cool design (my name is the cupola on the turret and the antennae) and all of the proceeds from the shirt go towards Operation Supply Drop.

Not 10%. Not 75%. All 100% of it.

If you are interested in buying one, click here. It comes in five colors, a women’s cut and a hoodie as well (I’m sorely tempted to get the hoodie except I already own a few and don’t need another).

Scary Tales in Publishing


(Warning: this contains spoilers for Ctrl-Alt-Revolt! Continue at your own risk)

As a writer, one of the things I dread more than anything else is the editor’s response to the finished product. Oh sure, gutting it on your own to clean it up and make it acceptable for publishing is hard enough. But having a professional who does it for a living? It’s terrifying.

However, as you become a solid producer of words, you are given a little bit of leeway within your story’s construct. Well, usually at least. There are cases where this is not the usual occurrence. Such as the case of Nick Cole.

Nick is a talented author, there is no denying this. His novels have been solid sellers for a few years now and he has built up quite a bit of backlist which, for any other, means better money. Living money. So one can assume that this is a guy who’s earned some credibility with his publisher and, as such, should be given some leeway when it comes to telling his story.

Except that it didn’t work out that way.

An editor somewhere along the line at his publishing house determined that his antagonist’s reasoning about why humanity had to die was not worthy of being published and was deeply offended by the idea. Now, traditionally SF is the place where “troubling” ideas go to be presented to the rest of the world as strange “what ifs?” It was the place where authors can test the boundaries of ideology without being set upon by the aggrieved masses.

Traditionally.

However, now it appears that some deeply offended editor is going to cost her company not only a lot of money but also the matter of public opinion, which in today’s social media/viral world can be a death knell for any publisher. Especially given as to how much traditional publishers and book stores are hurting financially.

His latest book, titled Ctrl-Alt-Revolt!, was not put out by his publisher and his contract subsequently torn up because of something minor that the villain of the story uses to justify the evil they wrought upon mankind. Something that really wasn’t even an issue (quite frankly, I would have balked at the ending if I was a publisher, but only because it was a little too pat for my tastes) and shouldn’t have even been commented upon really. It was a cast-off line, meant to show how fear can delude the minds of even a critical thinking machine (because SILAS’ response was based on fear, which makes for an interesting conversation of it’s own: that a sentient AI’s first emotion to anything is fear).

I thought it was well-done and very pragmatic. I also understand precisely what Nick is going through right now, because I’ve gone through the very same thing.

I’m assuming that the majority of people have read Corruptor by now (if you haven’t, well, I understand… but I’m going to spoil a bit of the middle of the book here). When I had first written it, I had two scenes in it that were very… difficult to write. The first was a rape scene that made me very uncomfortable writing about, given my past. The second was the emotional and mental collapse of one of my favorite secondary characters, which in turn led that person to betraying their friends.

One of the coolest things about this book was that it sold in six days. That’s freaking unheard of for an unknown author. I had submitted it on Feb 17, 2005 and it was sold on the 23rd. The publisher apparently liked it that much. Hey, I wasn’t going to argue. I was excited, the publisher was excited… for a first time author, that was a career-maker. I was given an editor to help me clean it up some and then it was scheduled to be released in Oct 2007.

To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.

However, when I received the very first notes from the editor, the two scenes that I had been concerned about weren’t even mentioned by the editor. No, the editor was freaking out about something that made her decidedly uncomfortable. I asked her what it was and she told me that the idea of grown men finding a 16 year old girl attractive while under the guise of an avatar in a video game disgusted her. She had a 16 year old daughter and the idea that grown men would find her attractive within a game made her sick. She demanded that I change it. I balked and said no.

It was obvious to me there (and remains obvious to me now) that my editor had never played any sort of MMORPG in her life. It was painfully obvious that she didn’t even grasp the basic idea of how an avatar can be changed, appearance-wise, at the gamer’s whim. She told me that I needed to change it, I said no. She went to the publisher and refused to edit my book, so another editor was brought on.

I kid you not, but the second editor did the exact same thing. Nobody had yet to complain about the rape scene (which I actually decided to tone back a little because it was bothering me) but the idea of men finding this character attractive disgusted them beyond measure. I told the publisher that I was not going to change that because it’s pretty much how a lot of gamers react when they find out that the other player is a Real Life Girl. Yes, immature and irrational thought, but still a common one.

Oh the fuss she raised. The publisher removed her and got a new editor for the book.

Meanwhile, we’re in 2009 at this point. Publishing date has been pushed back indefinitely. My life was in shambles at that time but was slowly starting to turn around. I was frustrated, angry, and tired with the publishing world. So I figured “Screw it. This is the last book I write.”

(Thank God I didn’t listen to myself)

The new editor simply went through and copy edited instead of asking me to change anything. She offered suggestions to sentence structure but the story as a whole she left alone. I was thrilled. I finished the recommended edits in about a week and sent it back in, excited over the prospect of finally seeing this book out in print.

2009 came and went… no book. I was unhappy but I understood how publishing schedules worked. You needed to schedule those bad boys a year or so in advance. So I queried my publisher and asked about a publication date.

Nada.

Much like Nick found out, I’d been put on a little list. The publisher stopped talking to me and communication dropped to almost nothing. Again, I figured it was all my fault and resigned myself to not ever seeing anything else out in print again. I had no idea when the book was to come out. It was a frustrating experience.

It grew worse when I received a message on Facebook from one of my friends yelling at me for not letting them know that my book was out. I was confused. It was the week before Christmas and I had no idea that it was out. I hopped over to Amazon and, sure enough, my poor lost novel had been published and released into the wild… on November 30, 2010.

At the time I was simply happy that it was finally out. After working with various publishers over the years since, however, I can say that what happened was a bit of a jerk move by the publisher. My understanding now is that this is how a publisher gets rid of a “problem writer.” No marketing behind the book, no news out, bad links on the website… there was a laundry list of issues that I had ignored early on but only became aware of later on. The book would have faded into complete and absolute obscurity (as would have I) if not for fans of a different publisher.

So now I’m rallying everyone I know. Go read this book. It’s an amazing and fast paced novel. I finished it this morning three hours after purchasing it. It’s only $0.99 on Kindle as well. It’s really good, and will probably join my Hugo shortlist for next year.

Now, I will be the first to say that my experience wasn’t that bad, all things considered. I received far worse treatment at the hands of people due to being on the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies Hugo lists last year than I ever did from that particular publisher. And I’ve reconciled with that publisher (sort of) by referring to them some great new authors whose books didn’t quite fit into the traditional publishing “norm”. But still, I can understand where Nick is coming from, his reaction, and his counter-move.

Which I loudly applaud.

Click here for the backstory of this in Nick Cole’s own words

The Theory of Everything is Revealing


I was going to finish Cân Rowan  this week and instead I got caught up in Darkling, the sequel to Wraithkin. Which is bad, because Cân Rowan has a check ready for me as soon as I turn it in (money!!!) while Darkling is still waiting on the publisher to decide what to do with the first book in the series (no money yet 😦 ).

…and then I added a new point of view character…

…and it’s easier to write than another point of view character I was planning on writing…

…which leaves me in the unenviable position of deciding which new POV character stays: the spy or the politician? The spy may be more fun to write and read about, but the politician can actually give more depth to the story and the overall situation at the time. *sigh* I can’t have both, though, because I don’t want to turn into A Song of Ice and Fire with 36 character POVs (no worries, I’ll never get that crazy… I have a hard enough time reading it and keeping track of every character while reading).

No word yet on Kraken Mare. I’m not too surprised, since they’re inundated with books right now (summer release season is almost upon us). One of my other coauthors (Eric S. Brown) has a new release out as well called Kraken (yes, we’re psychically linked… scary coincidence) and it has a pretty cool cover, so I’m hoping the delay is because they’re finding an awesome cover for it and they’re waiting for the big reveal.

That’s my theory, at least.

 

Kraken Mare


…is DONE!!!!

It’s now in my publisher’s hands. I’m about to finish the rest of Cân Rowan for another editor, then I’ll have… free time.

Man, I’d forgotten what that was like. Huh.

Hugo Season


So apparently it’s Hugo season again (didn’t we just do this?), though this year I’m thinking “Yeah, I lost a lot of time and energy last year dealing with that public smear campaign. I’m not even going to pay attention this year.”

Seriously. In 2014 I managed to get a ton of writing done. 2015? Jack squat. Oh, I wrapped up a few short stories, and got most of Kraken Mare done, but when it’s compared to 2014? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip.

I liked it better when I was beneath the radar of the most virulent Defenders of Justice and collecting many royalty checks. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciated being included on so many ballots for the Campbell Award. Yes, this is my second and final year of eligibility, but I really don’t care at this point. As I said earlier, too much energy was expended trying to defend myself and my friends from random attacks and accusations of racism (which still makes me laugh).

I hope my friends do well again this year. I truly do. When I get my voter packet, I’ll read all the works and vote, as I usually do. But getting involved? No thanks. Being nominated? No thanks.

I’d rather just continue to get paid.

The End Is Nigh!


…for Kraken Mare, at least.

Chris and I locked up the “end” of the main story (one more subplot to tie up) last night and now I’m filling gaps while he’s cleaning up the final fight scene. Which is fortuitous timing: publisher shot me an email today asking for a status update.

Whew!

My brain has been leaning towards Sellsword’s Valor, which would be my… second? third? foray into the realms of fantasy. Last time I *ahem* cheated and pretty much made it an urban fantasy set in 1918 (Hill 142, for those of you who are mildly curious). While I’ve got the main character down pat, I’m having a little trouble finding secondary characters I like in this world. It’s a harsh world, but a fractured one where realities blend together. Just… bizarre, really.

What’s preventing me from just jumping right in, you ask? I owe a short story to an anthology (it’s almost done as well, actually, but still…) and I need to get with Eric again to finish up the Murder World duology (it’s a word, I swear). Then… wow. There’s a lot of “and then there’s…” coming up.

How did I end up doing this to myself again?

A Rambling Note on Taxation and Stuff Because I Was Being Lazy and Avoiding Writing


You may all lament with me: I did not win the $1.5 billion Powerball last night.

Of course, I didn’t play it…

I’ve been watching the growing insanity associated with the lotto for the past few years and couldn’t help but shake my head at it. After reading about how Illinois isn’t paying out lottery winnings to cover the shortfalls in the budget (and considering just how high taxes are in Illinois, I’m wondering just where the hell all that money is going), it makes me distrustful of the entire process. Well, okay, I didn’t really trust it in the first place, but still.

My foster dad has a financial planner, a guy he pays about $100 a month (this is on average) to help manage his funds. He’s a long-term planner, and he’s always looking at the way the economy will move before it’s obvious to everyone else (it’s how he avoided the dot-com bubble of 1999-2000 and the real estate collapse in 2007… he’s like a freaking wizard or something). Lately he’s been grumbling about the “unsustainable Californian taxation policies” (that is a direct quote… I was nodding and wondering how we’d gone from talking about my future prospects in Virginia to California stuff) and wondering if he should pull all of his liquid assets out of the state as a whole. I was about to laugh at him until I recalled the Illinois situation. It made me wonder. Can a state legally prohibit a U.S. citizen who is not a convicted criminal from taking their money elsewhere?

The answer is, surprisingly, yes.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that. The state can’t stop the average Joe from taking his few hundred dollars and moving to another state. However, if you’re like my foster dad and you’ve got your retirement tied up in multiple businesses and investment properties across the state that are actually sorta valuable, the state doesn’t want to see that money leave. That means less taxable income for them, and a further lack of steady investing as well. But how can they prevent someone from taking their money? Simple: by tying the owner up in court and placing a hold on all assets.

“But Jason,” you might be saying, “why would the state waste it’s time to try and tie someone up in court? It’s frivolous!”

To which I say yes, yes it is. However, unlike criminal court (where the prosecution must prove the guilt of the innocent), a government suing an individual is not required to prove that there is guilt. Indeed, the burden of proof falls upon the shoulders of the accused. Which sucks for the average Joe, but is even worse for someone with a lot of assets. Why? Because, most people, that person is trying to find every tax loophole they can to pay less in taxes and, summarily, a lot of expenditures they claim are in a strange little gray area.

By the way, IRS? I promise that I do not do this. Really. I swear.

So by tying up all the assets in court, the state can prevent someone from removing their wealth and placing it elsewhere. That’s why whenever you see reports of multimillionaires going on trial, there’s usually a mention in the bottom of the news article that “all assets were frozen pending the outcome of the trial”, which means that even if they cannot prove you guilty, they can still take your money. I believe that it is called civil forfeiture.

Much like eminent domain, it is one of the dumbest things we allow our government to do to us.

Yes, we allow this. Much like the encroachment of the state upon our civil liberties, we continuously ignore this by electing officials who, in turn, pass laws which take away more and more. It’s kind of silly, if you think about it. We’re electing millionaires to represent the lower and middle classes, then bitch about it when they screw us over, then we go out and re-elect them. We elect lawyers to run this country, and who else is better at finding the loopholes in laws (or hell, rewriting them to suit their own needs) than lawyers?

People laugh at me when I say I hate having lawyers running this country. The usual saying is “How can the average Joe run this country? They couldn’t even begin to understand the layers of laws and all of the bills. It takes a lawyer to understand it all!”

To which I say “Bullshit.”

The laws are written in such a meandering and convoluted manner for a reason. By law, Congress must post the bills for the public to see before the vote (it’s why the Affordable Care Act was handed out a mere hour before the vote to pass it occurred… by the letter of the law, it was opened to the public before the vote). However, have you actually tried reading a proposed bill lately? Here is an example of H.R. 1644 — the STREAM Act:

Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act or the STREAM Act This bill amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to direct the Department of the Interior to make publicly available online and in the Federal Register, 90 days before publication, any draft, proposed, supplemental, final, or emergency rule, or any environmental analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance, and each scientific product upon which the Department has relied in developing the rule, the analysis, or the assessment.

A scientific product is any product that: employs the scientific method for inventorying, monitoring, experimenting, studying, researching, or modeling purposes; and is relied upon by Interior in developing any rule, environmental analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance. For scientific products receiving federal funds Interior must also make publicly available the raw data used for them (any computational process or quantitative or qualitative data not protected by copyright or containing personally identifiable information, sensitive intellectual property, trade secrets, or business-sensitive information). If Interior fails to make publicly available any scientific product for longer than six months, it must withdraw the rule, environmental analysis, or economic assessment policy or guidance. This requirement shall not apply, however, if a delay in the publication of a rule will pose an imminent and severe threat to human life.

So far as I can tell, this is to prevent the Department of the Interior from hiding scientific results regarding tests on public land from the public but giving them enough wiggle room to avoid doing so if they really have to. I think. With multiple college degrees, I like to think that I’m all sorts of smartified. But this? How the hell can we determine if our Congress is doing a good job when the typical bill is nothing more than gray matter and legalese?

Just remember: don’t create a law that you aren’t willing to kill for.

So if the Federal government is willing to do this to us (and they have the Dept of Treasury to back them up), just how far would a state government go to maintain the status quo? I know California has been suffering from a huge population drain of late, and is going to cost them some of the Representatives in Congress because of this (remember kiddies, the number of Reps each state has in the House of Representatives is determined by the Census… there’s a reason that high-population states seem to dictate policy in the House). How can a state prevent the population drain and, at the same time, keep the money in the state? By making it difficult to leave, that’s how.

Don’t think a state would stoop to such a level?

Really? Really?

This article isn’t exactly neutral-toned (one of the lines in it made me laugh out loud) but the gist of it is laid bare (I did like how the article’s author managed to bury the rise in sales tax and scurried on in the story, focusing instead on the rise in tax rates on those with $250,000 and up). It shows the different ways that states are trying to get money and the lengths they’ll go to in order to get it.

The big state tax news is that California voters said to sock it to the rich–specifically those with income of $250,000 and up. California Proposition 30, which Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget and public education in particular depended on, passed.

Proposition 30 creates three new upper income tax brackets for the next seven years. For example, folks with $250,000 to $300,000 a year in income will pay 10.3%, up from 9.3%. The new top income tax rate–for folks with income of $1 million-plus–will be 13.3%, up from a current top rate of 10.3%. That eclipses New Yorkers’ combined state and local top rate of 12.7% and Hawaii’s top rate of 11%. The income tax hikes are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, but the extra bill isn’t due until April 15, 2013. (See below for a photo gallery of the highest state and local income taxes on a $1 million income post election.)

Still, all Californians will be chipping in: Proposition 30 also raises the state sales tax from 7.25% to 7.5% for four years, starting Jan. 1, 2013. A competing initiative to raise income taxes in California, Proposition 38, failed.

and later:

Voters went both ways on sales tax hikes. Arizona voters nixed higher sales taxes when they rejected Proposition 204, “The Quality Education and Jobs Act,” which would have renewed and made permanent a soon expiring 1% temporary sales tax originally imposed in 2010 that brought the state’s sales tax to 6.6%. Note: 80% of the taxes raised would go to education, so this was in effect a vote against education, the opposite of California’s vote.

(Yes, that is the line that made me laugh)

Ugh. I’m getting a headache now. I’m supposed to be writing, damn it, not this. Still, this is an educational experience. I knew that states were shooting themselves in the foot, but I didn’t realize how bad they were doing it until I started this. The typical voter doesn’t see this, since they usually don’t research the bills or anything on what they’re passing, relying on so-called media “experts” to sift through the gray matter of the bills, read their chicken bones and decipher the meaning while ensuring that the stars are properly aligned. Politicians rely on our ignorance and laziness (yes, laziness) to slip laws into place that range from the truly strange to outright harmful.

Look, the only way to truly avoid this is to research bills and proposals and get involved. My foster dad is extremely pissed off about all this, enough so that he is considering moving to a lower tax state. I’d recommend Virginia to him except that he hates the cold and the suburbs outside of DC pretty much determined the laws for the entire state (which sucks even more).

Of course, the best way to reverse all of this is to get involved.

As Read By Ryan Reynolds As The Fictional Character Deadpool


I’ve been feeling under the weather the past few days, but that doesn’t really explain my sudden burst of productivity. Over the past four days (counting this morning) I’ve crushed out about 11,000 words on Kraken Mare. That’s pretty good, but this almost always happens whenever I hit a certain word count on a work in progress. I wrote  65,000 words on Corruptor over the course of 13 days, and the final 55,000 words of Wraithkin in 3 days (I don’t ever want to do that again… I slept for two days straight after that incident). I wrote the last 20,000 words of Murder World: Kaiju Dawn in a day (my hands hurt like hell afterwards). It just happens.

Granted, I hate relying on these spurts to close out a novel. I would much rather keep my nose to the grindstone and average 2-3,000 words a day, every day. This way I would, at most, finish a book in 2 months. Now, that doesn’t account for editing or anything like that. This is all first draft stuff.

I was talking with my coauthor last night about this book and I mentioned that we should probably have the title look something like this:

Kraken Mare

by

Jason Cordova & Christopher L. Smith

(To be read in the voice of Deadpool, as played by Ryan Reynolds)

That’s pretty much the only way to describe this book. It’s insane, but a good insane. I keep waiting for “Shoop” to come one during my writing of the book, for crying out loud.

Yes, both of us will readily admit that we may have watched the trailer to the Deadpool movie a dozen too many times or so.

Once this is done I’ll be shifting mental gears and I’m going to try knocking out Cân Rowan, the short story I owe for an anthology by one of my favorite authors out there. I probably should have made a list of what comes next, but it’s pretty much whoever is paying right now. Which is the way it should be, quite frankly.

I need to get back to work on 27 Lost for the anthology I’m editing, but I’m pushing that back a little due to a few authors having impending deadlines looming. Since I don’t want to lose any of them, I figured I’d be a little more flexible with the submission date.

Okay, enough of a break. My goal is 4,000 words today, and I’m only 25% of the way there.

Topical Agent for Boredom Seekers


“Hey Jason, you’re going to have Kraken Mare done before the New Year’s, right?”

“Of course!”

*snort* I should have known better than to tempt fate…

I had anticipated on my real-life job lessening the workload come the holiday season (traditionally, that’s what happens, according to everyone else). This year seemed to have been that rare exception, and it left me with little energy or desire to do anything other than sleep after I got off work. Couple that with sporadic days off (I’m in the midst of a 13 consecutive day work week right now) and writing really doesn’t seem too important to me.

Fortunately, I’m blessed with patient co-authors. Eric is working on his solo stuff and giving me space, while Chris is slowly adding more to Kraken Mare while doing other stuff of his own. I still owe a short story or three elsewhere, and the deadline for the anthology I’m editing is fast approaching and I haven’t even started working on my novella for it (though I think that 27 Lost is going to be a perfect fit for it)… man, being a writer and juggling life stuff is tough.

Hopefully I hear back about my background check in the next week and then I can start the new job I am extremely excited about. I finally can get back to working in an environment where I can both help people and teach as well. Plus, it’s not nearly as physically demanding, so I’ll have the energy to write on my days off (which will be consecutive days off, something which I vaguely remember having once upon a time).

No worries about Kraken Mare though… it’s at 75% done and it’s freaking awesome!!! It’s a dark and humorous book that I’m really proud of. I know Chris is excited about getting it out there as I am. Right now we’re probably looking at an April release.

The Preditors & Editors Annual Poll is currently live. The Hand of God, which Eric and I had published last year, is eligible for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel. Vote if you like, or nominate a novel you think is deserving. All you need to vote is a valid email.

40 days until Deadpool comes out… not that I’m counting or anything.

Pre-Orders Now Available


Eric S. Brown and I wrote a short story called “Best Laid Plans” for John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising anthology, due out next year (June 7, 2016). It’s available for pre-order now at Amazon, and I finally saw the final cover.

Looks good.

I’ve always wanted a Kurt Miller cover, even if it’s not precisely “mine”.

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