You are never too old. Period. Full stop.

My cousin in Fort Collins, Co., could not help texting last night to call me out on picking the Panthers over Denver after the Broncos put the finishing touches on a defensive masterpiece in Super Bowl 50. And I told her I was, in this case, very happy indeed to be wrong — and not simply because I won the office pool on the final score.

It was gratifying for me to see Peyton Manning, a few weeks shy of 40, out there living the dream one more time. He could’ve retired in 2011, before all those neck surgeries forced him to sit out a season and change teams. It’s not like he needed the money. He’s one of the all-time greats at quarterback, period, and would’ve remained so had he decided to hang it up prior to this.

But he didn’t. Today, he’s nowhere near the same athlete he was even just a few years ago. That’s fine. Middle age, as Mycroft put it in a Sherlock episode, comes for us all. But Manning adjusted his game to compensate, especially during the playoffs. He stayed with the short-to-intermediate throws, leaned on the run game and, most importantly, used his computer-like football brain to outsmart defenses.

Youth, of course, has its charms, but as someone who’s firmly ensconced on the other side of 40 now, I have a deeper and greater appreciation of longevity and experience, as well as the perseverance of those my age — and older — to keep going or even try something completely different.

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NFL Geek Picks: Super Bowl 50

Let the Superb Owl take flight!

Really looking forward to this one. I think it has the potential to be one of the great classics of the game, so long as Denver shows up (unlike two years ago, when Seattle tap-danced all over them). As a storyteller, I can appreciate the various storylines here — the last ride of the Sheriff, the new face of the game, the dabbing.

Plus I’m going to make poutine. (Unless I can’t find the right cheese curds. So important.)

Anyway, without further ado, let’s break this one down and see what could happen.

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Check out the nifty digital thing created for The Daedalus Incident!

The people in my corner are awesome. Look what I have!

TDI-ad

It’s so pretty.

Please feel free, gentle readers, to grab this and post it on your favorite social media platforms. As part of Operation: DAEDALUS, you’ll be entered to win a signed Daedalus Incident paperback as well as an advance copy of MJ-12: InceptionSo use your social media superpowers and win my gratitude and, potentially, free books!

Remember, the paperback is out March 15. And there’s an excerpt of MJ-12: Inception in it, too. Really looking forward to seeing HMS Daedalus sail once more!

#SFWApro

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Operation: DAEDALUS is a go! Spread the word about The Daedalus Incident and win books!

TDI-mmpb-coverThe Daedalus trilogy is coming out in paperback, which is awesome on so many levels. For me, it’s really about reaching new readers who may not have had a chance to climb on board yet. And to do that — I’m going to ask for your help.

Yes, you. Stop looking around. Really. You.

See, chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve already enjoyed the books and that’s very gratifying for me. But there’s still folks out there who could use a kick in the pants to get in on the fun. And that’s where you come in. I’m calling it Operation: DAEDALUS.

I know. I couldn’t resist a bit of theater.

Here’s how it works. The Daedalus Incident comes out in paperback on March 15. I’m hereby asking you to tell folks about the book and this auspicious event by leaving reviews and posting to your social media. Each time you do that, you’re entered into a drawing to win not only a signed copy of The Daedalus Incident in paperback, but also a signed advance reader copy (ARC) of MJ-12: Inception when they’re made available to me later this spring.

The more you post, the greater your chance to win both books. There’s a tl;dr summary below if you want to skip the minutia, which now follows.

So what qualifies for an entry?

  • Social Media. I’d love to see more stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and whatever other flavor of social media is out there. So each social media post about The Daedalus Incident gets you an entry. I’m going to limit it to once every 48 hours per platform, though, because it’d be easy to throw down 100 tweets in about 20 minutes and try to stack the deck. (Not that you would do that.) You can Instagram or Pin the book cover, related images, whatever — just so long as you mention The Daedalus Incident is coming out March 15 in paperback and that your peeps maybe should check it out. You can link to stuff, too, whether it’s this blog or your favorite bookseller or whatever. Or not. All I ask is that you keep it clean and avoid spamming/trolling/etc. (Yes, reposts and retweets count. Likes or the equivalent don’t count, however.)
  • Reviews. I would love it if you added your reviews of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Books-A-Million, indie booksellers’ sites and, most especially, Goodreads and LibraryThing. Now, I’m asking for an honest review here. If you thought it was fun but worth just three stars out of five, do that. Feel free to quibble. (Now, if you thought it was a one- or two-star book…well, I suppose that’s fine, but I would then question why you’d want a signed copy. Just saying.) Reviews matter in aggregate, especially on Amazon, and I’d love to get some more going. Each review on each site is worth five entries because they take time to write, and I’m highly appreciative of it. And yes, if you write a review of The Daedalus Incident somewhere that’s linked to your Facebook and Twitter and whatnot, then…well, you’re a lovely person who just earned additional entries.

Feel free to game my system as you like, but remember the 48-hour rule. I don’t want your social media friends and followers to grow to hate you for this. You can post more, but I’ll only count one every two days. That said, you can end up with a goodly number of entries if you’re persistent and have a lot of social media going.

Note that if you’ve already written a review, I’m totally willing to give you credit for it. Just drop me an e-mail (which is here) and I’ll add it to your tally, but you’ll have to drop me that e-mail. Otherwise, I’ll only be looking at the Feb. 1-March 15 time-frame. No, you don’t get credit for old social media posts, sorry. Also, if there’s a platform you use for reviews or social media that I haven’t mentioned here, an e-mail will likewise help your cause.

You have until March 15 to do all this. After that, I’m going to take a couple days to search the various social media platforms and review sites for your handiwork, and then tally it up. (Hence, it’s important to use “Daedalus Incident” in your posts so I can find them!) After that, the random-number-generator will do its magic, and I’ll contact the winner via said social media platform or review site.

I admit, this is a little complex, so if you need clarification, drop a comment here and I’ll answer it. My advice is to not think about it too hard — just go out there, write reviews and spread the word, and I’ll let you know if you win. And this is just for The Daedalus Incident, by the way. I’ll do similar contests for the next two books as their launch dates approach, so yes, you’ll have two more shots on goal later on.

tl;dr. The idea here is that if you liked The Daedalus Incident, please tell folks about it by leaving reviews and posting on social media! And if you’re lucky and/or prolific enough, you’ll get a signed paperback and become one of the first people to read MJ-12: Inception. That’s my big thank-you to you readers out there, because I wouldn’t be here without you. You’re awesome.

That’s it. Get posting!

#SFWApro

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MJ-12: Inception now listed on Goodreads, up for pre-order on Amazon

MJ-12-Inception-titleThe funny thing is, we’re still working on the edits to MJ-12: Inception. Regardless, you can now add the first MAJESTIC-12 thriller to your Goodreads “want to read” pile and, if you’re feeling particularly inspired, get your Amazon pre-order in today.

I know, right? I’m mostly just bemused to find these pages so early. But hey, feel free to make use of them.

I should note that the Sept. 6, 2016, release date is correct but should be treated as tentative this far out. I definitely feel like we’ll make that with plenty of room to spare, but Night Shade Books could move that around if the need arises on its end.

And no, there’s no cover yet. I did receive this little logo here, which is cool. But I’ve seen the full cover drafts and, man, let me tell you, it’s going to be amazing. Just a great old-school thriller cover with some neat paranormal elements to it.

Meanwhile, I’ll be tinkering with MJ-12.net in the coming days and weeks. Right now, it’s very much a placeholder, but I’m hoping to add some content that will get folks excited about seeing super-powered espionage agents duke it out during the Cold War. Be sure to look out for excerpts of MJ-12: Inception in the Daedalus trilogy mass-market paperbacks this spring and summer, too.

#SFWApro

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The Daedalus trilogy is coming to mass-market paperback!

The new paperback cover! Click to embiggen!

The new paperback cover! Click to embiggen!

It’s hard to believe that The Daedalus Incident first set sail back in August of 2013, and it’s been a heck of a journey. Best part of all — it’s not over yet!

I’m super excited to report that Night Shade Books is re-releasing the trilogy — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — in mass-market paperback this year. For those not wholly conversant in publisher-speak, the books will come out in the smaller paperback format you’ve seen at the bookstore.

But wait, there’s more. Each paperback will have an exclusive excerpt from the forthcoming MJ-12: Inception, the paranormal Cold War spy-fi novel that’s kicking off the MAJESTIC-12 series this September. And yes, that’s a different excerpt for each paperback title, for added genre-blending goodness.

I’m stoked about this because it’ll give folks another opportunity to explore the Known Worlds of the Daedalus trilogy — and a cheaper opportunity at that — while also hopefully getting people excited about MJ-12: Inception too.

Here’s how it’ll work:

Back cover. Also click to enlargenate.

Back cover with MJ-12 teaser! Click to enlargenate!

The Daedalus Incident is coming out mid-March, with The Enceladus Crisis coming in mid-May and The Venusian Gambit finishing up in July. It looks like we’re going for a $7.99 list price, but I don’t know how Amazon or others will ultimately list it. (Here’s DaedalusEnceladus and Gambit on Amazon — expect those release dates to change slightly. I’ll be posting more sales links as I find them.)

I expect the price of the e-books to be adjusted as well, though I can’t say for certain because there’s some serious dark alchemy that goes into e-book pricing that I just don’t grasp. I also expect that if you’ve already purchased the e-books for the trilogy, you’ll be able to re-download the books after the paperback launch to get your hands on the MJ-12: Inception excerpts. I honestly can’t say how this affects Audible prices, but since a lot of that is on a subscription model anyway, I don’t know how much of an impact you’ll see there.

We’ve tweaked the covers for each book, though the stellar artwork by Sparth (Daedalus) and Lauren Saint-Onge (Enceladus and Gambit) will remain completely intact, because they are awesome in every way. We thought about including bonus materials based on the trilogy, but most of that material has already been featured on the blog and elsewhere; we ultimately decided that the MJ-12: Inception teasers would be a lot more fresh and fun.

And since we’re effectively reducing the price of the Daedalus trilogy, I thought I’d do the same with The Gravity of the Affair, the tie-in novella we produced back in December 2013. I mean, it’s not horribly expensive now at $2.99, but I’m going to go ahead and make it free, starting in mid-February. (Mostly free, I should add — B&N won’t let you drop it below 99 cents for some reason, but most other book vendors allow for freebies. Again, dark alchemy!)

Finally, I’m going to launch a contest where you can get your hands on a signed copy of The Daedalus Incident paperback and an early galley or ARC of MJ-12: Inception. Still working through the details at the moment, but it’ll involve you lovely people spreading the word about these fine books through social media and leaving reviews and whatnot. Expect more on that by early next week.

It’s great to see these books getting out there once more, and that’s largely due to all the wonderful people who’ve read and enjoyed them over the past couple years. My thanks to you, dear readers, for being so very, very awesome.

Sail on!

#SFWApro

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NFL GeekPicks: Conference championships

And then there were four. And for once, you can say they’re likely the best four teams in the NFL this season. No teams like the Giants squeaking into the tournament and then wreaking havoc en route to the Lombardi Trophy. Actually…that’s kind of a shame. I love it when stuff like that happens.

So when I think about the two games tomorrow, I’m torn between what I want to happen and what likely will happen. In the interest of fairness and my self-imposed duty as your geeky prognosticator, I’m going to base my picks on what likely will happen, all else being equal. I kind of hope I’m wrong on both these.

I know…I feel like the Doctor trying to explain why he can’t break time, then he goes and does it anyway. Doesn’t matter. On with the picks!  Continue reading

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