Tag Archives: Daedalus Trilogy

Oh, hey. I’m moving to Los Angeles.

Yep, that’s a real thing right there. And you wonder why I’ve been slacking on the blog front this year. That’s a big reason why.

In about three weeks, I will be setting up house in Los Angeles, home of the Rams, movie stars, beach hipsters and some of the best and most creative cuisine around. (Yeah, that’s a real thing, too. Eating in L.A. is an absolute delight. Hugely underrated as a restaurant city.) I’m trading New Jersey for California, and it’s pretty exciting.

Why the move? Well, as some of you know, I do indeed have a day job, and the company is actually based in downtown Los Angeles. This year, they saw fit to promote me from senior writer to creative lead. That means I manage the creative aspects of our marketing efforts for a segment of our business. That segment is worth…well, a lot. I mean, it’s measured in billions of dollars in annual sales. And I’m leading a creative team tasked with figuring out what’s going to really work with that segment.

No pressure. None at all. 

Actually, I like the gig a lot. I’ve been in the role since March (another reason for the lack of blogging lately) and I’m rather pleased at how it’s going. We’ve had some wins. The team is coming together nicely. And when I’m finally out there with the rest of them — being just one of two people working out of our New York office presently — I think it’ll help even more.

The move is something we’ve been considering for years now, and between the new role and our daughter heading to high school in the fall, the timing was right. I’m proud to say that the kid got accepted to an exceptional high school arts program that’s going to give her opportunities I could only dream of growing up in Vermont. Plus, winter will become something that we now simply visit, rather than endure. I have friends and colleagues who will go skiing in the morning up in the mountains, and then end up on the beach in Santa Monica for dinner. This seems rather delightful and civilized.

What does this all mean for the writing career? In terms of my current work — nothing. MJ-12: Endgame is still coming out in September, and I’m still heading to DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend to celebrate. Believe me, spending several days geeking out, meeting fans and reconnecting with my fellow scribes is gonna be heavenly after this move is over and done with.

As for the future? I have an anthology project out on submission right now with another author, someone for whom I have a deep and abiding respect and who’s just a lovely person all around. If that sells, then that’s the big next thing and I’ll be sure to tell you about it. I also have two different novel projects now in advanced stages of development and drafting, but I readily admit to not having worked much on either in recent weeks. At the moment, I feel it’s likely that, for the first time since my debut in 2013, next year will not see a novel from me.

And that’s OK! I’ve had more success as a novelist than I expected thus far, and I will continue to tilt at that windmill for the foreseeable future; I’m half Spanish, after all. The various projects I have going are all very different from both the Daedalus and MAJESTIC-12 books, and that’s a very good thing. Taking some time to get the next thing right is perfectly acceptable. And even without a book out in 2019, I do plan to try to hit a few more conventions next year. The Nebulas, for example, are right in Los Angeles next year, which is terribly convenient. I’d be remiss if I didn’t go.

In terms of the city itself, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve been at my company since late 2007, and I’ve visited L.A. at least thirty times over the past decade. I’ve explored the city and I know the neighborhoods pretty well at this point. And because I’ve worked there for as long as I have, I’m fortunate enough to have a network of friends already in place, which makes things a lot easier. I wouldn’t be moving if I didn’t have a generally high opinion of the place, heat and earthquakes notwithstanding.

I’ll miss the Northeast. Not Jersey, in particular, though I will miss my Jersey friends. But I’m a Vermont boy at heart, and I have family and friends in upstate New York and Vermont whom I’ll miss, though there will undoubtedly be visits. This really isn’t good-bye to the Northeast, but more of a see-you-later thing.

So there you go. By the end of July, I’ll be firmly entrenched in Los Angeles and probably writing poolside. (Our new apartment complex does indeed have a pool — three, in fact. I mean, why live in L.A. and not have ready access to a swimming pool? Seems barbaric not to.) I’ll do my best to blog more once I’m there, but over the next three weeks, things may get slightly crazed as we head west. If you’d like to keep track, I’d suggest Twitter or my author page on Facebook, as I’ll likely update those a bit more regularly.

See you in L.A.!

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Hello from World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio!

A nice big Lone Star howdy to everyone at the World Fantasy Convention 2017 here in San Antonio! Got in yesterday, and have been playing tourist for much of today. But I have some things coming up that I want to get out there, so here goes:

  • I will be at the mass autograph session tonight at 8 p.m. in the Fiesta Paviliion here at the Wyndham Riverwalk. I know the good folks at Night Shade Books sent over a bunch of paperback copies of MJ-12: Inception to put in the swag bags, so I’ll happily sign them there.
  • Tomorrow at 8 p.m. in  Executive Salon 3 on the third floor, I’ll be doing a reading, most likely from MJ-12: ShadowsI also have a couple extra copies to give away for those attending.

Also worth noting: Larry Smith Booksellers now has signed paperbacks of all my books. They have the entire Daedalus trilogy as well as MJ-12: Inception and MJ-12: Shadows. So if you’ve not gotten a copy in your swag bag and miss out on freebies, please go visit them and pick ’em up. Larry himself is no longer with us, having passed away in January, but his legacy lives on in one of the finest booksellers on the conventions circuit. Please support this excellent seller!

Finally, I’m pleased as punch to report that the Night Shade Books Bundle over at Humble Bundle is doing really well — more than 3,000 bundles sold since Wednesday afternoon, roughly 48 hours. This is amazing and, dare I say it, humbling. The Daedalus Incident is one of the books available in the bundles, and the proceeds to go charity, so if you want a whole heap of great books, go check it out.

And if you’re at World Fantasy and have picked up a Humble Bundle, come find me at one of the events above and show me the receipts, so to speak. I have something special for the first person to do so. First come, first served.

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The Daedalus trilogy’s first translation sale!

Big in Budapest! Huge in Hungary! At least, one hopes, right?

I can now safely tell y’all that some of my books have scored my first international rights sale. The Daedalus trilogy will be translated into Hungarian by publishing house Főnix Könyvműhely.

I don’t really know yet when the books will hit shelves over in Hungary, nor whether they’ll use the same cover art, or how the titles will translate. I know I’m getting paid at some point, which will be lovely indeed, and that the rights to all three books were purchased. Of course, I’m quite happy to visit Hungary to help promote the books. That said, I imagine anybody footing the bill for that would be unlikely. Might make a fun tax write-off, though.

My thanks to superagent Sara Megibow and the good folks at Night Shade Books for reeling this one in. May it be the first of many to come!

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A LGBT shout-out for Maria Diaz in the Daedalus trilogy

A reader flagged this for me on Twitter, and I admit, it really made my day. The Alternate Historian — also known as reviewer and all-around good guy Matt Mitrovich — put up a YouTube video naming his top five LGBT characters in alternate history. And to my surprise and utter delight, the indefatigable Gen. Maria Diaz of the Daedalus trilogy was among them.

If you’ll recall, then-Colonel Diaz was in command of the mining colony on 22nd century Mars in The Daedalus Incident, was promoted to major general to lead Earth’s interdimensional defense in The Enceladus Crisis, then battled Napoleon’s zombies on 19th century Venus in The Venusian Gambit

The fact that Diaz is gay was certainly a conscious decision on my part, but Matt correctly understood that Diaz’ orientation not the primary focus of her character. My portrayal of her was to show the kind of inclusiveness in the future I hope we can all achieve, where one’s orientation is simply accepted for what it is. Matt even quoted me directly from this blog post, which has more details on the character and inclusiveness and why I did what I did.

I’m super grateful for the mention, and doubly grateful to have Maria Diaz placed among other great characters: Capt. Marian Alston from S.M. Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy, Sewer Jack from the George R.R. Martin-edited Wild Cards books, Scholar Wolfe from Rachel Caine’s Great Library series and — my favorite — Fenris from Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth and Call of Fire. (Beth’s books are among my favorites in general, so go buy them.)

For ease of viewing, I’ve embedded the video here. But you should totally subscribe to Matt’s channel on YouTube for all kinds of thoughtful alt-history goodness.

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New review for MJ-12: Shadows with an awesome pull quote

…completely bananapants insane…

You know, I can live with that. Especially since Luther M. Siler, in his review of MJ-12: Shadows, meant this as a compliment, one among many he graciously wrote. The review was pretty darn positive, for which I am grateful and, if I’m being honest, relieved. It’s always weird to put a new book out there to see what people think, even a reviewer like Luther who’s been a fan of my stuff in the past. You just hope you don’t mess up all that goodwill, you know?

Here’s a bit more from what he had to say:

…we’ve got a great spy novel involving dueling world powers with superpowers against the specific setting of the CIA interfering with early independence movements in Syria and Lebanon, with a little stop in Kazakhstan along the way, and I’m not going to tell you what happened there because it counts as a spoiler if you don’t know the history.

Well, then. Luther also states that his favorite book of mine remains The Enceladus Crisis, but that MJ-12: Shadows may be the best one I’ve written. So yeah, that’s very cool. Thank you, Luther!

Oh, and the completely bananapants insane thing? There’s a spoiler involved if you want context on that. So click here to read the review, but You Have Been Spoiler Alerted. And as always, here are your handy pre-0rder links!

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

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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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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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