What is MAJESTIC-12? In short, it’s a series of paranormal Cold War spy thrillers. In long, well…here’s the press release:
SKYHORSE PUBLISHING’S NIGHT SHADE BOOKS IMPRINT ANNOUNCES WORLD RIGHTS DEAL FOR MAJESTIC-12 SPY-FI SERIES WITH CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED HISTORICAL FANTASY AUTHOR MICHAEL J. MARTINEZ
New York (Oct. 6, 2015) – Night Shade Books, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, announced today it has acquired three new novels – the first in the new MAJESTIC-12 series of paranormal Cold War thrillers – from Michael J. Martinez, author of the critically acclaimed Daedalus trilogy. The deal was negotiated with Sara Megibow at kt literary.
The first MAJESTIC-12 novel, titled MJ-12: Inception will be Night Shade Books’ lead title for Fall 2016, marking the beginning of a brand new historical spy-fi series following the shadowy trail of a team of paranormally empowered agents working on behalf of a top-secret government program.
“Mike broke new ground with the Daedalus trilogy, with its marriage of science fiction and Napoleonic Era space opera,” said Jason Katzman, editor at Night Shade Books. “And now he’s putting his unique, fantastical spin on the Cold War. We think this will not only appeal to fans of science fiction and fantasy, but readers of espionage thrillers as well. We’re proud to offer this new series as our lead titles for the next three years.”
MJ-12: Inception features the formation of the shadowy MAJESTIC-12 organization within the U.S. intelligence community to take advantage of people displaying mysterious powers. But whereas MAJESTIC-12 has long been a conspiracy theory for UFOlogists, Martinez is taking things in a very different direction.
“At the core of the MAJESTIC-12 series are a group of ordinary individuals who have manifested strange abilities for reasons unknown – and the government that wants to use them as weapons in the Cold War,” Martinez said. “In many ways, it speaks to the issues we still face in America in terms of government accountability. We don’t always put enough thought into the tools we use to further our national interests, and I think you’ll see that reflected in how the government uses the MAJESTIC agents in the books.
“Plus, I think it’s a pretty rip-roaring spy story,” Martinez added. “It’s like crossing James Bond with the X-Men. It’s been an absolute blast to write.”
Martinez is the author of the Daedalus trilogy, a multi-genre epic that marries Napoleonic Era naval adventure with science fiction and fantasy. His debut, The Daedalus Incident, was named one of the top five SF/F novels of the year by Library Journal. Publishers Weekly gave The Venusian Gambit, the final book of the series, a starred review and said Martinez “seamlessly blends popular elements from science fiction and fantasy, producing a work that raises the bar for both.”
His short fiction has been published online by Paizo and in the Cthulhu Fhtagn! anthology released this summer by Word Horde. His newest short story will be published this fall in Unidentified Funny Objects 4, alongside stories by Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Piers Anthony and Esther Freisner.
Oh, press releases. Never change.
So there you go. This time next year, MJ-12: Inception will hit shelves, and you’ll get to see what I’ve been up to, writing-wise, over the past year. Of course, you’ll have opportunities to catch some more glimpses beforehand — I’m hoping to have advance-reader-copies at Phoenix Comicon and DragonCon next year, and you can bet there will be giveaways, charity auctions, the whole bit.
Oh, and you may see some excerpts show up here and there…more on that later.
In the meantime, you can go back and see what all my cryptic photos were all about, and further educate your educated guesses. I’ll probably do a blog post next week explaining those in greater detail.
My thanks, of course, to awesome literary agent Sara Megibow for doing a great job bringing this deal home, and to Jason Katzman and Cory Allyn at Night Shade for agreeing to another tilt at the windmill. I’ve enjoyed my time working with Night Shade, and I’m glad we can properly launch this new series without, you know, all the near-bankruptcy stuff that we had when The Daedalus Incident launched two years ago.
The Variants are coming Fall 2016. Are you ready? Are they?