I have a short story in the upcoming Cthulhu Fhtagn! anthology!

Don't worry...the final cover will be slightly more scary.

Don’t worry…the final cover will be slightly more scary.

I am exceptionally pleased and outright stoked to make my first short-story sale announcement, and doubly so because of the topic.

My story, “On a Kansas Plain,” will be included in Cthulhu Fhtagn! from Word Horde, due out in August. The anthology is edited by none other than Ross Lockhart, who did a fantastic job editing The Daedalus Incident for Night Shade Books. So make that triply pleased, because I get to work with Ross again.

This is a bit of a departure for me, as the Daedalus trilogy is very much four-color adventure, but I’ve been a Cthulhu fan ever since I first read Lovecraft’s works in college (and played some pretty intense Call of Cthulhu sessions). Having a go at Lovecraft story was very much on my authorial wish list, so naturally I’m thrilled to put a check mark next to it. I get to do a little homage, I get to stretch my skills a bit…it’s just a win all around.

As Ross put it, “the stars will be right this August” — i.e., that’s when the book comes out, but I don’t have a firm date yet. I’ve seen the list of authors, and while that hasn’t been released publicly, suffice it to say I’m honored to be among them. And the cover art is still preliminary, but I promise it’s suitably dark and foreboding and tentacle-y and has nothing to do with the image above.

I’ll be posting more about the anthology as the stars align and the time draws near….! Fhtagn!

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“Spacelanes” – music inspired by the Daedalus series

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive some really gracious emails from fans of my work, and I’ve even received art from a fan of the series. But this is a very pleasant first indeed.

Composer J. Anthony Allen‘s latest album, Aniscorcia, includes a track called “Spacelanes,” which J. tells me was inspired by his reading of The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis. He wrote:

It isn’t inspired by any single event in the book, but more about the world(s) depicted in the book. I really loved the old-world ships juxtaposed with the futuristic ships, and found it to be actually really in-line with the music I was writing: Modern electronic music with strings and orchestra instruments mixed in. It seemed really fitting.

It’s quite amazing and humbling knowing that my writing has inspired other art. I’m mighty grateful J. took the time to tell me about it. And we’re all fortunate in that the video to “Spacelanes” is out and ready for your viewing and listening pleasure. I loved it, and can’t wait to check out the rest of the album.

J.’s music is available on Spotify and iTunes, though if you’re interested in checking it out, I would ask that you visit J.’s Bandcamp page, as it’s a better deal for him.

Thanks for sharing, J! This totally made my day.

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Win an advance copy of The Venusian Gambit! Here’s how!

Want one? Enter to win!

Want one? Enter to win!

I have two extra advance-reader-copies (ARCs) of The Venusian Gambit and, frankly, I want to give them to people. So let’s do the very first Gambit giveaway right here!

You have two ways to win:

  • Follow me on Twitter (if you aren’t already) and use the hashtag #VenusianGambit in a tweet. It’d be nice if you said something cool about the book with the hashtag or let folks know about the giveaway, but that’s not required. Yes, a retweet with the tag will suffice. OR:
  • Subscribe to this very blog via WordPress or e-mail — there’s a widget on the lower right hand side of this page. That’s it. Just subscribe. If you opt for e-mail, I promise not to spam you.

You have until Monday, March 23 at 11:59 p.m. EDT to do either of these things. Or both. Yes, if you follow and hashtag on Twitter and subscribe to the blog — which, admittedly, is a whole lot of me in your online life — you’re entered twice, and you’ve doubled your chances of getting a free book.

Now, to be clear, the ARCs haven’t benefited from the loving ministrations of a copyeditor, which means there’s misspellings and a few grammatical snafus, plus my French leaves much to be desired. (Yes, the final version has been thoroughly scrubbed.) That said, Gambit doesn’t hit shelves until May 5, so you’ll be getting a first look early on. And you know what? If you win, I’ll sign and personalize it for you. Or someone else, if you’re so inclined. Even your cat.

On Tuesday, I’ll choose the two winners using a random number generator for each giveaway and reach out to the winners via Twitter, e-mail or WordPress.

Notes on eligibility:

  • It’s one entry per Twitter follower, no matter how many times you use the #VenusianGambit tag after the first time, though I appreciate your fervor.
  • Twitter followers or blog subscribers with whom I already have a professional relationship aren’t eligible. If you work for my publisher or literary agency, or if you’re a reviewer or podcaster…you’re out of luck. (But seriously, if you’re the latter, you should have already gotten the book, and ping me if you haven’t.)
  • If you win but don’t reply to my outreach within a week, I’ll pick an alternate winner. I need to know where to send the book, after all.
  • Yes, I will ship internationally if the winner lives outside the U.S. — I have followers in Iceland and England and a lot of cool places. That said, it’ll ship cheap and will probably take a while to get there.

There you have it. You have until Monday night. Get Tweeting and/or subscribing!

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Final cover of The Venusian Gambit — now with a blurb!

You’ve already seen the great cover art by Lauren Saint Onge for The Venusian Gambit (out May 5!), but there was just one thing missing…and now it’s there.

TVG-cover-final

That awesome blurb is from the super-talented writer Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger and, coming June 9, The Clockwork Crown, both from Harper Voyager. Here’s the non-squinting version:

“Everything the finale of a trilogy should be — constant suspense, genuine characters…. If you start this at bedtime, don’t plan on getting any sleep until you hit The End.”

Beth has been a fan of the Daedalus series since The Daedalus Incident came out, and readily agreed to give Gambit an early read. She’s been extraordinarily generous with her time and her recommendation here, and I’m very, very grateful. You should definitely check out her books and her blog, which not only features a lot of magical steampunk goodness, but also some of the best baking recipes on the Internet.

Seriously, she as a recipe for baked French vanilla mini-donuts up today. I’m hungry just looking at them.

Thank you, Beth, for your kind words and all your support. Everyone go buy her books!

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Using your platform: Speaking out on issues as an author

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, and I believe the opportunity is nigh. Should authors use their platforms — blogs, social media, panels and signings, whatever — to opine regarding the issues of the day? Apparently, the Romance Writers of America, in a recent magazine piece for members, advises against taking “extreme viewpoints.” Exhibit A:

What? No. Just no.

I firmly believe that anyone and everyone should feel free to speak out on the topics that are important to them. I live in the U.S., and freedom of speech is enshrined in the Constitution. Hell, I made my living via the First Amendment as a journalist with The Associated Press. I’m rather fond of freedom of speech. Advising people to bury their consciences and keep their mouths shut is just bad advice — period, full stop.

As is their wont, both John Scalzi and Chuck Wendig wrote about this quite eloquently, so I would direct you to their posts. To summarize both: Speak out if you’re so inclined. Your conscience isn’t worth keeping a book sale.

Here’s where I tend to trip up: I’m rarely so inclined. And I’m gonna tell you why.

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Two days to go for the Daedalus Incident giveaway on Goodreads

TDI-coverJust a quick and friendly reminder that you have two days left to register to win one of ten signed copies of The Daedalus Incident over at Goodreads. Even if you have the book, signed copies are cool, right? And if you don’t, now’s the perfect chance to get a copy ahead of the release of The Venusian Gambit on May 5.

Click here to register to win — and hurry up!

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Opining on a sequel to Good Omens in the latest SF Signal mind meld

Today I’m back on the fantastic SF Signal, mind melding with other authors and SF/F luminaries about the stand-alone books that we wish had sequels. My pick: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Now, I was slightly daunted when presented with this topic; to my great and everlasting shame, I’m simply not as well read in the genre as others, and catching up to the level of expertise shown by other authors could prevent me from writing ever again simply due to the time commitment.

Then I remembered Good Omens and the rest was easy.

Check out the mind meld here. Unfortunately, my footnotes — themselves a tribute to the book — didn’t translate well on the post, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out where they go.

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