How a Twitter conversation led to a nifty short story sale

It’s funny sometimes how things come about. Take this Twitter exchange from last year’s Book Expo America, which ultimately led to me being able to announce a new short story sale today. It all started when SF/F copyeditor Richard Shealy (a.k.a. SheckyX) talked about the books he scored at the event.

Yes, I brought homebrew for my peeps at BEA. I’m good like that. But his tweet was initially misunderstood.

As it happened, I had given Shecky The Enceladus Crisis , as well as a beer. So things got conflated a bit.

For those of you who are unaware, Pathfinder is a role-playing game by Paizo Publishing that’s built on the d20 license. It’s a fantastic high-fantasy setting with some really imaginative elements to it. Of course, I grew up on Dungeons & Dragons, and I really liked what I had seen of the Pathfinder setting to that point.

But it’s true, I hadn’t written a Pathfinder story. At the time, The Enceladus Crisis had just come out and I was busy working on The Venusian Gambit. The sentiments were super nice, though.

Then this happened:  Continue reading


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I have a story in the forthcoming Unidentified Funny Objects 4 anthology!

image descriptionWell, here’s something new and different. I’m quite excited to announce I have a short story in the upcoming SF/F humor anthology Unidentified Funny Objects 4, edited by Alex Shvartsman and due out in November.

My story, “Confessions of an Intergalactic Art Fraud,” will join new original stories by the likes of Piers Anthony, Esther Friesner, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt and the prolific and indefatigable Mike Resnick, and a couple of classic stories by Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin.

Yep, somehow I’ve ended up in an anthology with Gaiman and Martin and so many other exceptionally talented writers. The mind, it boggles.

The cover by Tomasz Maronski is just perfect, isn’t it? Here’s the complete table of contents:  Continue reading


Filed under Books, Publishing, Writing

A brief Venusian Gambit excerpt, and a new review of Daedalus

TVG-cover-finalThere were a couple of things that hit the Internet over the past couple days I wanted to flag for you guys, especially if you’re fans of the Daedalus series. The books keep chugging along, and yet again, I’m really pleased and humbled with the reception. Thanks for your support and your ratings and reviews! Here we go:

On the Page 69 Test blog, I talked about The Venusian Gambit and discussed some of the elements of the story found on — you guessed it — page 69 of the book. It’s a pretty neat exercise, and I think page 69 of Gambit doesn’t disappoint. Click here to read it, along with the entire page from the book.

TDI-bigcoverOver at SFFWorld, Rob Bedford reviewed The Daedalus Incident and had many nice things to say about it, such as:

The Daedalus Incident is a clear indication of a writer with an interesting and fun story to tell who possesses writing and storytelling skill. All three books have been well-received and I very much look forward to finishing my journey along with Weatherby and Jain through the Solar System in both (maybe more?) universes. Recommended.

Read the whole review here. My thanks to Rob, a man who knows his beer and books.

Finally, I did a guest post today for the New York City Writers Network on how my two decades of experience in journalism and communications prepared me for fiction writing far better than I had realized. There are definitely days where I still have to pinch myself when I realize this whole novelist thing is working out well, but in retrospect, I had been building toward it for a while. Check out the post here.


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The Gravity of the Affair free for a limited time

gravitycover-hiresHere’s a little incentive for folks to dive in to the Known Worlds of the Daedalus series: The tie-in novella The Gravity of the Affair is now free on Kobo Books, iTunes and Google Play until the end of the month.

This stand-alone story features British naval hero Horatio Nelson’s very first command as an inexperienced lieutenant — on the seas of Ganymede. It loosely ties into some of the events in the first novel, The Daedalus Incident, but is a complete stand-alone tale of adventure at sea and in the Void ’round Jupiter.

Why just Kobo, iTunes and Google Play? Mostly due to pricing policies at the various ebook vendors. If you’re a B&N Nook reader, we managed to get the price down to 99 cents — cheaper than your morning coffee! And for Amazon fans, the price remains at $2.99…for now. (We expect that to drop once Amazon’s hamster-powered algorithms notice the price change on other sites.)

Furthermore, if you want the Audible version, you can get it for just $1.99 — still cheaper than your morning coffee! — and have Bernard Sotero Clark read it to you. (He’s also one of the two narrators for the entire Daedalus series, and both he and Kristin Kalbli really knocked it out of the park.)

So maybe you’ve heard that The Venusian Gambit was pretty good, but you’re still weighing whether this whole sailing-ships-in-space thing is your brand of vodka. Here’s your zero-risk chance to find out. Enjoy!


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New interview at SFFWorld, and what’s next at the Qwillery (with giveaway!)

TVG-cover-finalCouple of new items came out today in the parade of all things having to do with The Venusian Gambit.

Over at SFFWorld, Dag Rambraut interviewed me about the series, publishing and writing — there was a great question about sensibility in writing that particularly caught my attention. When I first started, I tended to err on the side of characters making sensible decisions. While characters should, of course, behave according to their personalities and internal logic, the demands of the story often call for a bit more mayhem. Striking that balance is one of many things I’ve learned to do. Check out the full interview here.

And over at the Qwillery, I wrote a guest post on wrapping up the Daedalus series, and what might be next. I’ve had a few folks remark that they’re sad the series is over — which, really, warms my black writer’s heart to no small degree — but for me, it’s kind of been over now for a few months. So I got to riff a bit on what that means, and what’s next. Here’s the post; my thanks to Sally and the gang for having me on.

Speaking of the Qwillery, they’re giving away a signed copy of The Enceladus Crisis as part of that post; you have until May 28 to enter, so get clicking!

Finally, for those attending Phoenix Comicon, I wanted to point out that the now-traditional Drinks With Authors is a go. It’s happening Saturday, May 30, at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton in the Valley of the Sun room — which is possibly the best name a room could possibly have. There will be door prizes and raffles (including, perhaps, some books by yours truly), with all proceeds to benefit the Kids Need to Read charity. Come see authors in their natural habitat — i.e. where drinks are served — and help kids get books. No brainer, right?


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Reminder: Get to Scottsdale, Ariz., by May 27 to see 17 SF/F authors in one place!

A week from Wednesday, Scottsdale, Ariz., will briefly become the nexus of SF/F awesomeness — and you need to be there. Yes, YOU.

The Poisoned Pen is hosting a SciFi extravaganza signing on Wednesday, May 27, with a total of 17 authors you really, really want to see, myself included. Heck, there’s a few people on this list that I’m gonna fanboy over. Subtly, of course, because you really gotta be a pro at these things, right? (*squee*)

The list:

Seriously. SEVENTEEN authors. I’m still kind of amazed at how this particular signing is shaping up, and I’m pretty excited to be a part of it. If you’re a SF/F fan anywhere between, oh, let’s say Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City, this is absolutely worth the trip. And, of course, Phoenix Comicon starts the next day, so if you’re in town for that, you’re officially out of excuses.

The Poisoned Pen is at 4014 North Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event starts at 7 p.m., and I’m told it’ll basically spill out into the parking lot, since the store literally cannot contain the awesome of 17 SF/F authors in one place. It’s gonna be that good.

A huge thanks to Kevin Hearne for setting this all up, and to the store for putting up with an ever-increasing roster of authors (myself included). Yes, I’m bringing you beer, Poisoned Pen, because you deserve it and it’s how I roll.


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The Reddit AMA is now live! And I’ve invaded Chuck Wendig’s site, too.

Let’s kick this morning off right. The Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) on Reddit’s r/Fantasy is now live. Click here to post your questions, and I’ll circle back at 9 p.m. ET to answer. Ask about The Venusian Gambit, the Daedalus series, other writing, travel, beer, whatever. Note that I’m also doing a thing in this AMA where you tell me what you’re reading, and I choose a craft beer to accompany your book. Yep, book-and-beer pairings. This is how I roll.

**segue** And I’m also rolling through Chuck Wendig’s blog today! **/segue** The Great Bearded One offered me a full-blown guest post at Terribleminds, then wrote an incredible introduction that left me laughing so hard my kid gave me the stink-eye. So I’m over there talking about the writing process, and how mine different from yours and my wife’s and Chuck’s and how that’s OK.

So check out the guest post, and go ahead and ask me anything on Reddit. Be sure to swing by r/Fantasy later this evening for the answers.

EDIT: The Reddit AMA was a lot of fun. Click here to read through it. My thanks to the gang at r/Fantasy and everyone who participated!


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