Tag Archives: DragonCon

Goodreads giveaway for MJ-12: Inception, now on io9’s fall must-read list

MJ-12-newcoverI’m back from Los Angeles and (mostly) recovered from jet lag…and I have news!

The official Goodreads giveaway for MJ-12: Inception is now live! Click here to enter! You must be a Goodreads member to enter, but it’s relatively quick and painless, I promise. We’re giving away ten freshly-printed hardcover copies, and you have until August 31 to sign up.

And why should you enter? Well, besides reading this and possibly being predisposed to liking my work, MJ-12: Inception has been listed among of io9’s “All the New Scifi and Fantasy Books You Absolutely Must Read This Fall.” I mean, that’s practically an imperative, right? So excited to be on a list with so many fantastic authors. Check it out.

If you don’t win the Goodreads thing, well, I hope you’re heading to DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, because that’s your next best bet. I’ll be there doing panels and readings and beer pairings (the latter by request only), and I’ll have a few copies to give away. There will also be limited quantities on sale in the vendor room, because we love DragonCon.

There may yet be another giveaway before the book launches Sept. 6, but since it’s not live yet, I can’t announce it. But it’s also cool.

Of course, if you can’t go to Atlanta and don’t want to leave things to chance, you can always pre-order MJ-12: Inception from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionMysterious GalaxyBorderlands Books, and/or through your local bookstore via Indie Bound. You can also order your KindleNookKobo, Google Play and Apple iBook editions, too.

Finally, if you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, I hope you’ll come out and celebrate with me at Borderlands Books on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. I’ll be doing a reading and a talk and signing and all that good stuff. I may very well bring beer. Plus, you can support one of the best independent bookstores ever. Hope to see you there!


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It’s August! Time for an update!

Where does the time go? Already August, and there’s a heap of stuff happening in the coming weeks. I figured it was high time to start letting you know what’s up.

Obviously, the biggie is the release of MJ-12: Inception on Sept. 6. Night Shade Books went all out on the printing with this one — really cool interior design, spiffy hardcover, even some embossing on the jacket. Of course, the jacket also has blurbs from Harry Turtledove, Chris Roberson, Beth Cato and Mike Underwood, along with some reviews that haven’t hit yet. Overall, I’m very, very happy with the reaction thus far.

You’ll start to see a lot of reviews and guest posts and interviews crop up in the weeks ahead, especially as we get closer to Sept. 6. There’s a lot of gracious folks out there willing to have me show up in their digital space, and I’m very grateful for it. (And I pay it forward, too: If you’re a creative type, here’s how you get a guest post on this blog.)

And then there are events! Online and off! Here’s the three big ones I have coming up.

DragonCon: Yes, I’m heading down to Georgia for the third straight year, which means I love me some DragonCon. The people are great, the panels are top notch. I just got my preliminary schedule today and I’m pretty jazzed about what I’ll be doing. More to come on that, but you can certainly count on a reading at the con, some great panels and as many giveaways as I can stuff into my suitcase.

Launch night reading at Borderlands Books in San Francisco: After DragonCon, I go home for an evening, then promptly head off to San Francisco (after dropping my kid off for her first day at school, because priorities). On Sept. 6 at 6 p.m., I’ll be celebrating the launch of MJ-12: Inception at Borderlands Books in the Mission District. It’s such a great store and totally worthy of your business. If you’re in the area, I hope I’ll see you there.

Reddit r/Fantasy AMA: And on Sept. 13, I’ll be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything for the Reddit newbies) over on r/Fantasy. Bring your questions and I’ll bring my answers.

There’s more, of course. There’s always more. I’ll definitely keep you posted. In the meantime, you can pre-order MJ-12: Inception from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionMysterious GalaxyBorderlands Books, and/or through your local bookstore via Indie Bound. You can also order your KindleNookKobo and Apple iBook editions, too.

And if you’re among the few who’ve got your hands on it already, I’d ask that you give it an honest review over at Amazon and/or Goodreads. That sort of thing really does help, and it’s greatly appreciated.


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The calm before the storm

MJ12_FinalIt’s been quiet here on the blog because, well, there hasn’t been too much to report, really. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy — quite the contrary. You just haven’t seen the results yet.

MJ-12: Inception comes out in just over two months. (Have you pre-ordered it yet? It totally helps when you do. Check out Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Mysterious Galaxy,Borderlands Books, and Indie Bound.) So when I’m not day-jobbing, spending time with the family and writing the next MJ-12 book, I’m laying some serious groundwork for September.

What’s that entail? Well, we have some blurbs from fellow scribes that are pretty amazing and humbling and just wow, for starters. It’s always a little awkward to ask folks for a blurb, but always gratifying when they send you something lovely and thoughtful. So I’ve been gathering those. Also got some sneak-peeks at reviews, too, which are likewise gratifying. More on those soon.

Then there’s guest posts, interviews and podcasts and all that good stuff. Already have some stuff lined up in that regard, including a magazine piece that I’m pretty excited about. (Magazine as in newsstand, national circulation magazine, which is pretty sweet.) Lining that up takes some doing. I’m trying to schedule everything neatly so that A) I’m writing and/or saying something compelling, and B) I don’t unduly repeat myself.

Then there’s DragonCon! Yes, I’ll be attending again, because it’s just plain fun. But it’s also the weekend before launch, so we’re trying to pull out the stops and do some fun things. We’re working to have MJ-12: Inception available to the booksellers in the vendor hall so folks at the con can buy it before the Sept. 6 release date. I’ve been working with Doctor Q, the Alternate History track director, to come up with some nifty panel ideas, too. And there will be giveways and swag. It will be majestic. 

And finally, I’ve lined up a pretty nice launch night event. Since the venue hasn’t announced it yet, I’m holding my powder. But I’m pretty excited about it.

So yeah, that’s kind of what’s been going on. This is my fourth (oh wow fourth) release, and some of this has become standard operating procedure. But this is a new series, too, so we’re working really hard to make it something special. It’s kind of like making a first impression all over again. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and it’s most certainly worth mentioning that The Venusian Gambit lands next week in mass-market paperback, with a whole new MJ-12: Inception excerpt inside. And there’s a couple of short story announcements waiting in the wings too.

Wish I could say more; there’s some stuff coming that I can’t wait to tell you about. Soon!


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DragonCon announces new Dragon Awards for science fiction and fantasy

The-New-Dragon-Con-LogoSo…I like this. Rather a lot.

I’m a big  fan of DragonCon — I’ve attended for the past two years and will take the pilgrim’s road (i.e. United) to Atlanta again this year. The DragonCon community is wonderful, and I’ve met a lot of fans, and made a lot of fans, by going.

This week, DragonCon launched the Dragon  Awards to showcase the best in science fiction and fantasy — books, comics, graphic novels, television, movies, video games, board games and table-top games. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Why so happy, you ask? Because DragonCon has a huge, well-informed fan base. There’s a great opportunity to bring together fans of different media to really look at a wide range of stuff. TV fans may find books they love. Book fans may find a great new table-top RPG. Gamers could discover new young-adult novels.

Yes, there are other fantastic awards for science fiction and fantasy literature, with long and storied traditions behind them. The Hugos and Nebulas will always have a place of pride, and they both honor areas of SF/F literature (smaller works in particular) that the Dragons don’t. So I don’t see the Dragons trying to replace them one bit. What I see is a great opportunity to cross-pollinate fans of SF/F and introduce new stuff to a huge, eager audience well disposed to check ’em out.

Is this perfect? No. I’d love to see short written works (short stories, novelettes, novellas, etc.) up for consideration as well. I’d love to see entire TV series nominated alongside individual episodes. But honestly, it’s pretty nifty.

Best part? You can nominate. Anybody can nominate. Anybody can vote. It’s as egalitarian as it gets. Given DragonCon’s fan base, any attempt to game this system — whether by a single would-be nominee or any sort of ideological slate — would be laughable.

So do it. Embrace the stuff you love. You can nominate right now through July 31. The categories are:

  • Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
  •  Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
  • Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
  • Best Alternate History Novel
  • Best Apocalyptic Novel
  • Best Horror Novel
  • Best Comic Book
  • Best Graphic Novel
  • Best Episode in a Continuing Science Fiction or Fantasy Series, TV or Internet
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectable Card / Role-Playing Game

Go forth and nominate by filling out this form. Voting starts in early August and wraps up September 1st. Register to vote here while you’re at it — I already have. Seriously, this costs you nothing other than a few minutes and a few confirmation emails.

And while you’re at it, I might humbly suggest that The Venusian Gambit would indeed be eligible for a Dragon Award, likely in the Best Alternate History Novel category. If you’re so inclined, of course.


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A little 2016 preview


The new series comes out this year!

I think everyone should be well and truly recovered from the holidays and such, so I figured it was a good time to let you know what you can expect out of me in the coming year, words-wise. And it’s going to be pretty cool.

Obviously, the Big Thing™ will be the release of MJ-12: Inception in September. This is the very first volume in the MAJESTIC-12 series of fantastical Cold War spy thrillers, because that kind of genre-blending is how I roll.

Now, the conspiracy theory states that MAJESTIC-12 is a cabal of government honchos hiding proof of extraterrestrial life from the general populace in order to leverage alien technology on behalf of the United States military. I’m taking that historical theory and running with it, but in very, very different directions. So you’ll see a lot of action and adventure, some truly fantastical elements, a decent dollop of mystery and suspense, and a couple of big question marks in MJ-12: Inception that’ll hopefully have you coming back for more.

So that’s out in September in hardcover. Where do things stand with it now?  Continue reading

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DragonCon: The last word

Going from DragonCon directly back to work is kind of jarring, but I managed to get through the day without mistaking colleagues for Wookies or superheroes, so I’ll chalk that up as a minor achievement. And with a touch of distance behind me, I can sum up my DragonCon experience a bit better.

I don’t go to too many cons each year, but I think DragonCon will be on my schedule for the foreseeable future. It’s big, but it’s also organized well. I like the topic tracks, and this year I did a panel on the Horror track (yay, Cthulhu!) as well as several on my “home” track, Alternate History.

The tracks are run by passionate volunteers who do such an awesome job. (Thank you, everyone who volunteered!) Because they’re run by fans who know the topics well, you definitely get the sense there’s a lot of heart that goes into it. It’s really great to see that.

My favorite panels this year were the ones on multicultural alt-history, which had some pretty intense and fruitful discussions, and the steampunk homebrewing/distilling panel, which had lovely drinks brought by really talented brewers. I have to figure out a way to bring my brews next year! The latter was also the first panel ever where I walked away somewhat unsteadily. (Two words: Lavender mead.)

I also let slip some details about the Secret Project during my reading and on some panels. The reception was most definitely encouraging.

Other highlights: Seeing such fantastic folk as Myke Cole, Richard Kadrey, Terra LeMay, Cherie Priest, Fran Wilde and my beard-bro Chuck Wendig, who was becoming a New York Times bestselling author right before our eyes thanks to Star Wars: Aftermath. I also met Bill Bridges, who developed Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension for White Wolf back in the day, which made me happy indeed. It’s folks like him who helped shape me into the writer you see before you now.

And of course, there was Tom Mison. I’m totally rooting for this guy now. I want him to win an Emmy and an Oscar and whatever else they got. Hell, I want him to play Thomas Weatherby in a Daedalus Incident movie. Hollywood, make this happen.

Finally, there were the fans, both old and new. Meeting you guys is like writer-fuel; you keep me going. I deeply appreciate the time you’ve spent with my work and the excitement you have for it. I hope I live up to all that goodness down the road.

I’ve got some hunkering down to do over the next several weeks in order to tackle a full slate at work along with the finishing touches on the Secret Project. This year’s NFL GeekPicks will kick off Thursday, but other than that and the occasional news tidbit, I’m probably gonna go light on this blog for a while. But October and November…that’s gonna be fun. There will be News. I can’t wait to share it with you.



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Last day at DragonCon, and it’s been a blast!

Geez, mention Tom Mison on the blog and, boom — your highest-traffic day ever. So hello, new people. I write books. Check ’em out!

I don’t have anything official planned today here at DragonCon except a stint at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth in the Hyatt on the Exhibit level. I’m there from 10 a.m. to noon. I may also stop in at the Alt-History podcast wrapup at 2:30 p.m. at the Westin in the Augusta 1-2 room.

But after that, I head to the airport to catch my iron bird northward.

It’s been a fantastic con, and I’ve a lot to say about it, but right now I have to get my butt over to the Hyatt. I’ll blog more about it later this week. But for now, rest assured I’ll be back!


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Tom Mison is a great guy, plus here’s my DragonCon schedule today

With some time to kill yesterday, I took a stroll through DragonCon‘s walk of fame, where celebrities have autograph and photo tables so the fans can meet them, gush awkwardly, etc. While there, I texted my wife Kate to say, “I’m standing 10 feet away from Tom Mison.”

Tom Mison plays Ichabod Crane on the FOX show Sleepy Hollow. Both Kate and I love how the show is unapologetically over-the-top and fun, and I knew that she also had a little thing for Mr. Mison. I mean, heck, objectively he’s a handsome fellow and has that British-actor accent that has been proven to cause swooning in certain folks.

She quickly texted back to say I needed to get his autograph for her. This text was followed by: “And tell him your wife finds him hot.” “And that your wife’s name is Katrina.” “And that he put up with too much in that TV marriage :)” (For those who don’t follow the show, Katrina was the name of Crane’s wife, a good witch who later went bad.)

I normally don’t do the fanboy thing, but for Kate, I got in line. It took about 20 minutes to get to the front of the table, where I picked out a suitably smoldering head-shot for Tom to sign. Then it was my turn. We shook hands, chatted briefly about the show, then he asked to whom he should autograph the picture.

Saving myself the awkwardness of repeating all of Kate’s texts, I simply handed him my phone with a screen shot of the relevant information above. The dude starts smiling and laughing, calls one of his handlers over to read it, and I swear he may have blushed slightly. Then he looks up at me with this grin on his face and says. “Oh, that’s lovely! Do you think we can call her?”

Why yes, Tom. Yes we can.

After waiting what seemed like forever for her to pick up — with me standing there thinking Pick up! Pick up! Pick up! — Kate answers and Tom says, “Katrina…I’ve commandeered your husband’s phone.”

They chatted for a few minutes, and Tom even mentioned what a wonderful husband I was while giving me a thumbs-up and nodding in that universal guy way that says, “I got your back.” And after the call, he signed the photo and I thanked him profusely for all the relationship points I just earned. I would’ve given him a copy of The Daedalus Incident, but they were all gone, so I had to settle for giving him a bookmark.

I’ve interacted with some famous folk through the years as an author and journalist, and Tom Mison is one of the most genuine I’ve seen. He didn’t need to call. He didn’t even need to read the texts on my phone. But he did, and in doing so, earned two fans that will follow his career well beyond Sleepy Hollow. He’s a stand-up guy.

Plus, the whole thing was a great lesson in how to interact with fans. Fans are awesome — I’m lucky enough to say that my books have a few. And this is exactly how I hope I treat my own fans: with grace, kindness and gratitude.

(segue) And speaking of fans, it’s still DragonCon, and I have stuff going on! (/segue)

  • 2-4 p.m., Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth, Exhibit level, Hyatt. Sadly, I’m out of books — and in fact, I’m running out of bookmarks. But I’m still there, and happy to chat about my work, SFWA or anything, really. Plus, you can buy the SFWA 50th anniversary cookbook. Naturally, I have a beer essay in there.
  • 7 p.m., World Building: The Multicultural Universe panel, Westin, Augusta 3. A panel on the Alternate History track talking about the wide world of history beyond our own and England’s.

I hope to see you there. I’ll even be happy to call your spouse, but only on request, because otherwise…awkward.


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The last of The Daedalus Incident giveaways at DragonCon, plus what I’m up to today

So here I am thinking that 100 copies of The Daedalus Incident would be enough of a substantial giveaway to last the entire weekend here at DragonCon.

Silly me. I’m gonna have to bring more of the Secret Project books next year…

…wait. I’ve said too much. Anyway.

The Daedalus Incident went fast yesterday — in fact, we burned through nearly our entire shipment at the SFWA booth, and it’s only the first day of the con! Thanks to everyone at DragonCon who showed such interest in the book. If you grabbed one and enjoyed it, I’d mightly appreciate it if you took the time to tell your friends and/or put up reviews on social media, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

And of course, if you really liked it, I hope you’ll think about buying the second and third books!

If you didn’t get one at the SFWA booth, your last chance for a free copy will be today at 1 p.m. at the University room at the Hyatt. I’m doing a reading and I have two copies to give out there. After that, they’re gone.

Today’s another day, so here’s where I’ll be at DragonCon if you want to hunt me down…er…as in hunt me down to say hello, get a book signed or buy me beer. You know, no actual hunting.

  • 9-10 a.m., Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth, Exhibit level, Hyatt. Just doing my part for SFWA. Come learn about what the organization does, get free books from great authors like Naomi Novik and Jason M. Hough, and hey, there’s a cookbook for sale, too!
  • 1 p.m., Michael J. Martinez reading, University room, Conference level (one floor below the Art Show), Hyatt. I’ll read from The Venusian Gambit, possibly from Cthulhu Fhtagn! and maybe even talk about the Secret Project. Also, it’s your chance to grab those last two freebies.
  • 8:30 p.m., Alternate Armed Conflicts panel, Augusta 3, Westin. A look at the various wars and conflicts throughout history, seen through alt-history authors’ warped lenses.
  • 11:30 p.m., The Steampunk’s Guide to Home Brewing and Distilling panel, Augusta 1-2, Westin. Aww, yeah. Stay up late with us as we talk brewing and distilling for the Steampunk crowd.


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What I’m up to Friday at DragonCon

It’s the first day of DragonCon where everyone is excited to be there and energized and still healthy and smelling good! And I’m all those things too. Here’s what I’m doing today:

  • 11:30 a.m. — The Beginner’s Guide to Alternate History, Steampunk & Other Subgenres, Augusta 1-2, Westin. Kicking off the Alt-History track with a refresher for the newbies.
  • 2-4 p.m. — Science Ficiton & Fantasy Writers of America booth, Exhibit level, Hyatt. I’m holding down the fort — and giving away copies of The Daedalus Incident. Come get a free book!
  • 7 p.m. — Cthulhu: New Spins on Old Mythos, Peachtree 1-2, Westin. Come get your Lovecraft on with us as we talk about fresh takes on the Great Old Ones.

If you’re in town, hope to see you there!


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