Kudos for The Enceladus Crisis cover

enceladuscover-frontIt’s that time of year when the “best-of” stuff starts coming out, and Shadowhawk (a.k.a. Abhinav Jain) saw fit to include the cover of The Enceladus Crisis in his roundup of the 12 best covers of the year. He says:

The cover for The Daedalus Incident was every bit as awesome as the cover for The Enceladus Crisis and what I find really amazing in this new one is that it is so different and unique from “typical” space opera where you have starships fighting it out in the void. Well, this is the same thing, but with sailing ships in space. That’s just too awesome for words really.

I agree. Lauren Saint-Onge did the fantastic cover art, while Victoria Maderna and Federico Piatti did the design work. Abhinav also reiterated a few nice words about the story, too:

Michael debuted last year on a very strong note with The Daedalus Incident and he carries forward almost all of the same energy and excitement of the debut, telling a new story with characters I’ve come to really care about, in a setting that is wildly creative unlike any space opera I’ve read before.

That is pretty darn awesome. Thanks, Abhinav!

By the way, we’re just about ready to unveil the cover of The Venusian Gambit, probably in the next week or two. I’m going to do a big splash on another web site (that gets more traffic than this one, because duh), but I’ll repost here as well. Lauren did the art again, and let me tell you, it’s crazy good. I can’t wait for you guys to see it.

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 15

I’m finally back in the greater New York City area after eight days on the West Coast, and despite the snow and cold that greeted me upon arrival, I’m glad to be home. And that means I can get this post done before the Thursday night game.

So you know how I said last week it’s officially panic time? There are definitely a few teams that were too busy playing Minecraft or binge-watching Red Dwarf to pay attention. Yes, I’m looking at you Cleveland, New Orleans, San Diego and especially San Francisco.

Niners…you lost to Oakland. Huge game, one you should’ve won, Bay Area bragging rights on the line — and you didn’t even show up. Granted, the traffic in the Bay Area is atrocious — worse than LA or NYC — and you might have stopped for coffee and fine SF/F novels at Borderlands Books on the way. Can’t blame you there. But still, that’s absolutely unconscionable. And it’s just going to get worse now.

Now that I’ve taken SF to task, on with this week’s picks! (Winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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Same agent, new literary agency

Even the most casual repeat reader of my blog knows the esteem in which I hold super-awesome-agent Sara Megibow, who has represented me since 2012 and helped me navigate some unique and troubled publishing waters. She’s tenacious, perceptive, sharp and a great negotiator — all while being a really kind, cool human. That’s a tough balance right there, and she does it effortlessly.

And now she’s opening her own shop, Megibow Literary Agency LLC.

Sara was with Nelson Literary for nine years. As Sara described it, it was simply time for her to hang her own shingle and make a real go of it. She’s doing it with Kristin Nelson’s support, too, which was great to see.

So because of all this, I have a new literary agency — and the same agent. Of course, I had the option to stay with the former agency or find a new agent entirely. That never really crossed my mind, though. Again, Sara is awesome.

For now, Sara’s agency site is under construction, and she’s not yet open to new queries. But if you keep up with her on Twitter, you’ll learn soon enough when she’ll be open to submissions again. If you’re in the market, I doubt you could do much better when it comes to agents.

Congratulations, Sara!

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The Gravity of the Affair on sale for 99 cents for a limited time

gravitycover-hiresJust in time for the holidays — and for that extra buck or so that invariably ends up remaining on your gift cards — my Daedalus novella, The Gravity of the Affair, is now just 99 cents through the end of the month.

Gravity is the story of a young Horatio Nelson, newly minted post-captain of HMS Badger, as he sails the seas of Ganymede and the Void around Jupiter in pursuit of privateers — and the consequences he faces for his brash actions. While set in the universe of The Daedalus Incident, the novella can be enjoyed independently of any of my Daedalus series books. It also makes a great intro for new readers to the setting of the Known Worlds.

You can purchase Gravity from all major ebook retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play. You can start reading in mere minutes. What an age of wonders we live in, right? And you can read the first bit here in case you’re still on the bubble.

After December, we’ll likely go back to the usual price, so get clicking.

FYI, it’s also available as an audiobook from Audible for $2.99, or free with your Audible subscription. Don’t want to leave the audiobook fans out, after all.

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Order signed copies of my books from Borderlands Books and Mysterious Galaxy while they last!

I’ve been fortunate enough over the past month to visit two of the world’s great independent SF/F bookstores – Borderlands in San Francisco and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. And because I was in those particular neighborhoods, I signed some books.

Signing books, by the way, never gets old.

Now, I’m not in everybody’s neighborhood, so the chance of finding signed copies of my books at your local bookstore is pretty slim. Thankfully, these two bookstores do a brisk business in mail order and e-commerce, so if you’re inclined to give the gift of Daedalus and Enceladus this holiday season, you’re in luck. And I’d be mighty grateful and flattered.

Here’s the thing, though. Both stores have a limited supply. I signed probably a dozen of each at Mysterious Galaxy, but that was back in early November. And I signed roughly half that at Borderlands on Friday. So you can certainly take a chance and order online from either place, but there’s a risk you’ll end up with an unsigned copy.

So here’s what you do: Drop them an e-mail or give them a call. It’s that simple. Just click on their sites (linked above) for the contact info, and ask if they have any left. If they do, go ahead and pull the trigger on that purchase.

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Inspired by the Winchester Mystery House

winchester1Imagine you lost your child, your spouse and your parents in the span of a few short years. You also inherited a massive fortune as a result. What would you do? How would you avoid sinking into a spiral of depression?

On top of all that, what if you thought you were cursed, haunted by all the people who died in the course of creating that family wealth?

Sarah Winchester was the heiress to the Winchester firearms fortune, and faced exactly that. Her response was…unique, shall we say.

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif., started out as a simple1860s farmhouse, purchased by Sarah in 1884. She began renovating – and renovating some more. When she died in 1922 and construction finally ceased, there were 160 rooms, including 40 bedrooms, two ballrooms, 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys, two basements and three elevators.

Plus, the architecture is haphazard at best. There are skylights in floors, staircases that go nowhere, cabinet doors that open onto bare walls, windows that were built over so they don’t allow in any light or air…it’s a crazy quilt of crazy.

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 14 (belated Star Wars edition)

I’ve been traveling this week and missed getting my picks out the door in time for Thursday night’s game, but I did throw out a pick on Dallas-Chicago last night via Twitter. And as you’ll see below, I got it right.

As for the rest, these are interesting times. The teams on the playoff bubble — and there are a lot — are looking like John Boyega in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. To wit:

Yep, it’s panic time. Specifically: Dallas (which took care of business), Philly, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Buffalo, Miami, the entire AFC North, Houston, San Diego and Kansas City. You all have a shot of going to the playoffs, but you all have to pick up your game. Time to make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs — every Sunday.

Now, on with the picks! (Winners in italics)  Continue reading

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