The recent lack of updates on the blog

It’s been a while since I updated the blog here, and my Twitter feed likewise has been unremarkable of late. I feel like I should give folks a heads-up, especially since I’ll likely not be as frequently seen online for a few more weeks yet.

I strive very hard to keep the personal and the professional separate on here, but I’ve had a personal issue over the past few weeks, and will have more stuff to do over the next several before all is calm once more. I’m fine, as are my wife and kid — healthy, solvent, loving, etc. I appreciate any concern, but I’m simply going to choose to leave it at that. Personal stuff is, well, personal, and I’ve never been an Internet over-sharer. My focus and attention are simply needed elsewhere.

Meantime, and most unfortunately, I will not be appearing at the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meeting on Saturday, August 9 at the Barnes & Noble in Paramus. The association’s been very understanding, and we’ll work on a rescheduled event as soon as possible.

As far as DragonCon goes, I still plan on attending and participating. I have my plane ticket in hand, and I should have enough cleared off my plate to not only make it happen, but to thoroughly enjoy it.

When I’ve had a bit more time to sort through stuff, I’m going to give this site a thorough update and catch people up on the various reviews, articles and podcasts that have come out over the past few weeks. Until then, Google is your friend.

Finally, thank you to all the folks who have still been reading and enjoying The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis. And a double thank-you to those who have taken the time to review them on Amazon, Goodreads and other sites, and have been telling folks about them. It means a lot.

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Signing at Borderlands in San Francisco cancelled

I’ve been off the blog for a bit, and unfortunately there have been some difficult things to contend with of late. I’m pretty private when it comes to such matters, but rest assured that I’m fine, as are my wife and kid.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel my scheduled reading at Borderlands Books, which was to take place on Saturday, July 26. I appreciate the interest folks have had in it, and I’m really disappointed I won’t be able to make it. I’ve rescheduled my trip out west for the first week of December, and I’m going to try to hang at the bookstore on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 6.

In the meantime, do go to Borderlands if you’re in the area. It’s a great store, and the folks there are incredibly wonderful.

The rest of my schedule is tentatively OK, but subject to change. I’ll do my best to give you notice in the days and weeks ahead should things change.

Again, we’re OK, but there are others who are going to need my attention in the days and weeks ahead, and I want to be present. So if the blog or Twitter go dark for a bit, don’t worry about it. I’ll be back.

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Signing in San Francisco, plus a new review of Enceladus

I’ve re-emerged from the wilds of Idaho mostly intact, though rather exhausted after a long work retreat. I had a flight cancelled out from under me, requiring a five-hour drive to get to my final destination. That was followed by three short, somewhat uncomfortable nights, then a red-eye. Yet I did have a lot of fun, mixing both hard work and hard play. And Idaho is really a pretty piece of country. I’m a lucky guy when it comes to day jobs.

I have a few notable items to throw out here. On Saturday, July 26, I’ll be at Borderlands Books in beautiful San Francisco starting at 3 p.m. to do a reading, Q&A, signing, whatever. I know there’s some Night Shade Books fans in San Francisco, so I hope to see you there. It’ll be a lot of fun. (And then I’m going to Mission Chinese Food, because it’s nearby and I hear it’s the best, but I digress.)

Secondly, while I was off in Idaho and well out of cell phone range, the Qwillery offered up reviews of both The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by TrinityTwo. On Enceladus, she writes:

The Enceladus Crisis … packs an astounding wallop of adrenaline. This is a smart, well-written and outstanding series; no sophomore slump here, Book Two is even more exciting than the first one.

And on Gravity, she says:

I must admit, I didn’t care for Horatio Nelson overmuch; he’s too pompous. But the author’s depiction of this historical figure rings true … It’s an excellent companion to Martinez’s series and gives readers a glimpse into events that shaped Nelson’s destiny before he became renowned as Britain’s most heroic sailor.

She pretty much nailed Nelson — he was brilliant and a true English patriot and hero, but he was most definitely pompous and not an easy guy for modern readers to like. Many thanks to TrinityTwo for her kind words, and to Sally at the Qwillery for her most excellent blog and the hard work all involved put into it.

Now that I’m back, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on The Venusian Gambit over the next three to four weeks or so, and perhaps blogging a little more regularly. The finale of the Daedalus series is coming along quite nicely, and the ending is deeply satisfying to me in terms of where the characters end up and how the worlds have changed. It’s also one heck of a ride. I was writing a particularly fun scene a few weeks ago on a plane, when my wife Kate looked over and saw me grinning as I wrote.

I consider this a very good sign.

It looks like Gambit will launch next May. The reception to these books has definitely exceeded any reasonable expectation, and for that I’m grateful to all the folks who’ve read it. I hope you enjoy the conclusion as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

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Going offline this week

Even though I’m freshly returned from my beer/bike/book adventures in Colorado, I’m off once again this week, this time for a retreat as part of my day job. It’s up in Idaho, and I do believe cell coverage will be spotty at best. So if you’re looking for me here or on Twitter, or you’ve sent me an e-mail, well…I’ll get back to you Friday-ish, most likely.

A few things before I go: My thanks once again to the awesome people at Boulder Book Store, and everyone who came out, for a great event last week with Sara Megibow and I. We had a good crowd and good questions about publishing, and I signed many books and met new fans. Thank you, one and all.

And if you missed me in Boulder, you can catch me in a few weeks in San Francisco. I’ll be doing a reading/signing/Q&A at Borderlands Books on Saturday, July 26 at 3 p.m. PDT. I’ll bring bookmarks. It’ll be fun.

Finally, I expect to show up on a couple of fresh podcasts soon, and although I don’t have direct links, I figured I’d throw them out there. I did a roundtable on Skiffy and Fanty where we dissected the first season of BBC’s Sherlock. (I generally love the show, others less so.) And I did a quick interview on the Reading and Writing Podcast, where I discussed my books and how they came to be. Totally unsure as to the exact dates for these, so keep an eye out.

Of course, if I’m able to get a signal out in the sticks, I might have a few fun Tweets or posts later this week. But otherwise, I’ll be back at you on the weekend. Have fun and be kind to one another.

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Amazon vs. Hachette is not traditional vs. self-published authors

I was going to write up a big post about Amazon-Hachette and how it was made, by some, into a self-publishing vs. traditional publishing brouhaha. But as usual, Chuck Wendig did it first, and did it better. I recommend his post wholeheartedly.

As for my opinions, I’ve stated my affinity for traditional publishing before, and I also believe that self-publishing is extraordinarily valid and awesome for those who really put the time and effort in. I also believe that Amazon vs. Hachette has very little to do with this. It’s a contract dispute between two large corporations that has inconvenienced readers and probably harmed authors in the short-term — and not just the big-name authors, but the mid-list and debut Hachette authors as well. Assign blame between the two companies as you will.

I happen to like Amazon as a company, and I think their hardball tactics here, while perfectly legal, really suck. Those are not conflicting opinions. You can really love Star Wars and still think Phantom Menace was horrible, after all. I also think Amazon provides great resources and a fantastic marketplace for self-published authors — and I’ll point out that The Gravity of the Affair is self-published through my literary agency.

I have no dog in the fight with regard to Hachette, as I don’t work with them. I have author-friends who do, and they’ve seen their books become pawns in all this, particularly Amazon’s tactics of slowing shipments and/or putting ads on book pages that divert consumers away from their books. Naturally, I tend to side with my friends on this one.

Anyway, read Chuck’s post. It’s worth the time, and it’s funny too. Because it’s Wendig. Duh. And although I realize this is the Internet, it’d be really cool if we could show each other just a touch more respect all around.

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Notes from the Rockies

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon in Colorado.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon in Colorado.

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed at all, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been in Colorado this week, and also that I’ve been having fun. If you haven’t been following that, I’ll do my best to catch you up.

I’m here visiting family, including my 4-month-old first-cousin-once-removed, who is now tied with my daughter for Cutest Baby Ever and don’t you dare tell me otherwise. This being Colorado, there’s also been hiking and biking and a goodly amount of beer, including a tasting of 22 different beers on Tuesday as part of a bike-tour of various Fort Collins breweries. Thankfully, tastings are in tiny glasses, which means over several hours, I wasn’t unduly wrecked.

Author and agent: Talking books in Boulder.

Author and agent: Talking books in Boulder.

Last night’s discussion and Q&A at Boulder Book Store with my agent, Sara Megibow, went really well. Ben and the rest of the store crew were awesome. We had a great crowd and lots of good questions about the writing life and publishing and getting your stuff out there in to the big wide world. I also saw a lot of copies of The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis head out the door, so thank you to everyone who bought them, and for supporting a fantastic independent bookstore as well.

And speaking of that support, Boulder Book Store still has autographed copies of both my books in stock, so if you’re around the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins area, go grab a copy!

The fermenters at Walnut Brewery, full of great beer.

The fermenters at Walnut Brewery, full of great beer.

Knowing that I’m both a beer aficionado and a home-brewer, Sara arranged a tour of Walnut Brewery‘s brewhouse before the signing last night. Brewmaster Rodney Taylor himself took us around the brewpub’s facilities, explaining his process and how he comes up with Walnut’s excellent brews. Rod has a pretty sweet 14-barrel brewhouse going, and he’s very into the art of brewing. It was a huge treat for me to see it. Many thanks to Rod for taking the time, and Sara for making it happen.

So yeah, when you’re done picking up my books at Boulder Book Store, go down the block and around the corner and have one of Rod’s beers (and some excellent food, too) at the Walnut Brewery!

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A new excerpt of The Enceladus Crisis out today in Apex Magazine

apexcoverHappy July! And given that it’s the first Tuesday of the month, today is when Apex Magazine comes out with their newest monthly issue. In this month’s issue 62, you can catch a brand new excerpt from The Enceladus Crisis in there, full of late 18th century sailing ship action. I don’t think this bit of the book has been put out there yet, so enjoy!

And do check out the rest of the magazine, which has brand new stories from Laura Davy, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Gillian Conahan and others. Plus poetry, interviews, essays and more. Apex is a 2014 Hugo nominee for best semiprozine, after all, so you know it’s good. You can buy individual copies on Kindle or Nook, or via the Apex site and at Weightless Books. Or you could subscribe, which is a great deal and supports a great magazine and darn it, just makes you a better person thanks to all the great, thoughtful fiction and commentary you’ll be reading.

Many thanks to Apex for the opportunity. Keep on being awesome.

While I’m here, a reminder: Tomorrow (July 2) at 7:30 p.m., I’ll be at Boulder Book Store with my agent, Sara Megibow, to talk about my books, getting them published, and a variety of other writing-and-publishing things. There’s a $5 voucher to attend, but you get to use it as a coupon to buy books at the store, including The Enceladus Crisis. So if you’re around, say, Colorado, and you want to come out, I’d love to see you! Here’s the event page with all the details.

Speaking of Colorado, it really is nice here. Exhibit A:

colorado

That was from a great hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Today, it’s bikes-and-breweries touring here in Fort Collins. If you follow me on Twitter or Untappd, you may see a lot of beer-related stuff today. You’ve been warned. (And don’t worry…if you see me logging a dozen beers today, it’s because I’m doing small tastings, not because I’m torturing my liver!)

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