Category Archives: Books

Back for now, off again soon

Yes, it’s been a week since I returned from the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop — during which time I turned 45, had a very full week of work, and then did up some Father’s Day fun. So there’s some catching up to do, for sure. Here we go.

Launch Pad was, in short, amazing. Mike Brotherton and Christian Ready assembled an amazing bunch of writers to head to the University of Wyoming and get a crash course on astronomy for a week. We learned everything from planetary science to cosmology, star formation to colliding galaxies. I came out with some great ideas around exoplanets that have been added to the (neverending and exponentially increasing) to-write list. Just an amazing week.

If you’re an established science fiction writer, I cannot recommend Launch Pad highly enough. Just be sure to hydrate and take it easy at altitude for the first few days. (I hit the gym Monday morning and spent the rest of the day with a massive headache. Learn from my errors.)

For those who haven’t yet read MJ-12: Inception, the good folks at Skyhorse Publishing — home to my imprint, Night Shade Books — are running a giveaway over on Goodreads. You have until Saturday to enter for your chance to win one of five free copies. Go forth and enter!

I’ll be in Los Angeles for work starting this Saturday and all through next week, so apologies in advance if I don’t keep up on the blogging. But definitely keep an eye out on Twitter, which has become my more immediate go-to for news and such. I imagine I might hit up a few bookstores here in New York, as well as in L.A., to sign the new MJ-12: Inception paperbacks, so definitely keep an eye out for that if you want one!

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Some news bits from Wyoming and beyond

I’m enjoying the heck out of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop here in Laramie, Wyo. Seriously, it’s been amazing and educational and I’ve met some incredible writers on top of it all. Not to mention that I’ve been developing this really cool story idea all this week, which I probably shouldn’t tell you about quite yet. All in all, a very worthy and awesome program, and I’m grateful as heck to be here.

But while my head’s been in the (Magellanic) clouds, there’s been a few things that I should belatedly link to. So here you go.

First, I was a guest on the excellent Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog, wherein I discussed the five things being a journalist taught me about writing fiction. For those new to the blog, I spent the first 15 years of my post-collegiate career as a journalist, most notably for The Associated Press in Albany, N.Y., Seattle and New York. (If you read carefully, you’ll probably find this blog follows the AP Stylebook very closely, because that stuff’s burned into my DNA at this point.) And while there’s a world of difference between journalism and fiction, I still rely on some of my journalism tools in my books. So if you’re game, check it out.

I also saw a neat little listicle out this week on The Portalist — “10 Space-tacular Books Like The Martian” — that featured The Daedalus Incident alongside books by H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, among others. That is not at all shabby. And being here at Launch Pad this week, I can now say that I got the bulk of the hard SF science right in the Daedalus books, so I’m pretty proud of that.

Tonight we head up to the WIRO telescope, and tomorrow is our last full day here. I’ll probably do a post next week all about Launch Pad, but for now, suffice it to say that if you’re an science fiction writer, you really need to apply next year, because it is made of awesome.

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MJ-12: Inception out in paperback today!

Greetings from Wyoming! I’m about to embark on the second day of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop here at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and so far it’s been pretty incredible. But while we’re all busy here contemplating the vastness of the universe, I still have a book out today here on Earth, and I’m pretty stoked about it.

MJ-12: Inception hits shelves in mass-market paperback today, and I hope it’ll introduce the Cold War espionage adventures of the Variants to even more people. The paperback edition also has an excerpt from MJ-12: Shadows, out in September, tucked in the back. The ebook price at Amazon has dropped considerably with the new edition, and I expect other ebook vendors to follow suit soon, if they haven’t already.

I’m grateful to the folks at Night Shade Books for getting this one out there in mass-market. I know hardcover can be tough for some folks to swing, especially for a new series. We’ll also be issuing MJ-12: Shadows in mass-market right out of the gate, because when you think spy thrillers — superpowers or not — you tend to think paperback. And as much as the hardcover was super pretty and excellent, getting the books into readers’ hands is more important.

That said, I’m very grateful to all the folks who bought and read MJ-12: Inception in hardcover, and doubly so if you’ve taken the time to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever. That stuff helps a lot, believe it or not. And if you haven’t left a review or rating yet, please consider doing so. It matters.

All right, then. Back to astronomy! Enjoy the paperback!

MJ-12: Inception  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBoundBooks-A-Million Mysterious Galaxy

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Heading to Wyoming to gaze at the stars and learn a whole bunch

May was a particularly busy month, with trips to Pittsburgh for the Nebulas and Richmond, Va., for vacation — and, of course, work and writing and all that jazz. June is starting off on a very different note — I’m heading to the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop!

Getting accepted to the workshop was incredibly cool. It’s designed for established science fiction writers to get a crash-course in astronomy and space sciences, and our schedule looks amazing. We’ll be talking about planetary formation, various types of stars, galaxies, dark matter…you name it. And we’ll also be talking about how we might apply our newfound knowledge in stories.

Oh, and we get to go check out the Wyoming Infrared Observatory (WIRO), a 2.3 meter telescope, seen above. This is real-deal science, y’all. Not bad for an English and government major.

I’ve talked to past Launch Pad attendees, and they had nothing but excellent things to say about it. I’m honored to have been chosen to go, and I’ll be among quite a diverse and accomplished group of scribes. There will likely be beer at some point.

It remains an open question as to whether I’m going to blog much during the week, but you can bet I’ll be doing my thing on Twitter, so if you want to follow my antics, I’d try there first.

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MJ-12: Inception Kindle price cut ahead of paperback release

Wow, that headline reads like a press release. Sorry. But hey! Cheap books, amirite?

MJ-12: Inception, the first in the MAJESTIC-12 series of spy-fi thrillers, comes out in paperback June 6. I’ll be up in Wyoming for the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop that week, but I’ll do my best to blog and tweet and all that other stuff.

And because of that impending release, the Amazon ebook price just got hacked way down. It’s just $7.59 on Kindle right now, which is far better than the $13.99 price it had on release. (I swear, I had nothing to do with that, by the way. Even I balk at buying ebooks at that price.) The ebook is still running at higher prices on Barnes & Noble and Kobo, but I imagine — and fervently hope — that the price will be coming down soon.

And of course, it’ll hit bookstores in mass-market paperback in less than two weeks. I’m excited to see this book out there on the cheap, and I hope it continues to attract new readers. Plus, there’s an excerpt of MJ-12: Shadows in the Inception paperback, which is even more value for your money!

Of course, if you’ve already bought MJ-12: Inception at that higher price, I most definitely thank you for supporting my work. And if you enjoyed it, I would really, really appreciate it if you threw a review up on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you like. Facebook, Twitter, it’s all good. It really does help.

Finally, if you want to pre-order Inception in paperback, or Shadows before its September release, I got the links right here.

MJ-12: Inception  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBoundBooks-A-Million Mysterious Galaxy

MJ-12: Shadows  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | Mysterious Galaxy

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I’ll be at the SFWA Mass Autograph Signing in Pittsburgh this Friday

I’m heading to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Conference this weekend in Pittsburgh, and if you’re in the Pittsburgh area — or attending the weekend’s festivities or, frankly, just like road-tripping — there’s going to be a mass autograph signing this Friday evening, and I’ll be there with pen in hand.

The event starts at 8 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center’s Grand Ballroom, and it’ll likely go for a few hours, at the very least. You can expect most of the Nebula Award nominees will be on hand to sign their stuff, along with many others — click here for the details. I’m told there will indeed be books on hand for sale, including copies of the Daedalus trilogy in mass-market paperback and hardcover copies of MJ-12: InceptionOf course, you can feel free to bring your own, too.

And chances are, I’m likely to have some extra advance reader copies of MJ-12: Shadows to give away as well. Given that this one isn’t out until September, you’re getting your hands on it super-early (and with some typos, because it’s a pre-proof copy, which means it’s totally a collector’s item).

I haven’t been to the Nebulas since 2013, just before The Daedalus Incident came out. The event’s evolved considerably since then, with a lot of cool panels and information sessions. I’m still feeling like a newbie compared to some, so I’m planning on listening and learning as much as I can. And, of course, I’m looking forward to seeing my people again.

So if you’re going — for the whole conference or just for the signing — be sure to find me and say hello!

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The Enceladus Crisis on sale for $1.99 in ebook!

Thanks to a keen-eyed fan, I discovered that The Enceladus Crisis is on sale for just $1.99 across the major ebook retailers. When did it start? Dunno. When will it end? No idea. But for now, you can get the second book in the Daedalus trilogy for less than a latte at Starbucks.

And yes, Enceladus is the second book, but I wrote it in such a way that you can ideally pick up what transpired in The Daedalus Incident without getting too bogged down. So go ahead and plop down that $1.99 and check it out if you haven’t already. And if you have, tell your friends!

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play.
UPDATE: As of Saturday afternoon, it’s still on sale! At this point, it’s a mystery as to how long it’ll last, but given that folks really seem to be buying it, I’m quite OK with it.

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