Tag Archives: Enceladus Crisis

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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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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Only one more day to bid on signed copies of the Daedalus and MAJESTIC-12 books

Here’s your obligatory time-is-running-out notice: The charity auctions to benefit Con or Bust — an organization that sends lots of awesome people of color to SF/F conventions — end tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT. That means you have a little more than a day to bid on stuff, including signed copies of all my books to date, including a never-before-seen advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows.

I have two lots in the auction. The first is all three Daedalus paperbacks — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — signed and sent to your door if you win. The other is a signed hardcover of MJ-12: Inception and, as previously mentioned, that signed advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows, which doesn’t come out until September.

So there you go. Click here to get bidding! As of this posting you have 24 hours — GO!

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Signed copies of all my books up for auction to benefit Con or Bust

Now you can get all my books — including an advance reader copy (ARC) of MJ-12: Shadows — via the charity auctions set up by Con or Bust starting today.

I’ve got two lots up for bid this year. The first consists of signed mass-market paperback copies of the full Daedalus trilogy — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — which you can bid on here. The second is a hardcover copy of MJ-12: Inception and the ARC of MJ-12: Shadows, which you can bid on here. And yes, I’ll sign every book.

This is the first time anywhere you can get your hands on MJ-12: Shadows. We haven’t even released the cover images yet — though stay tuned for that soon — so you can get a good jump-start on the series before Shadows comes out in September. And of course, I remain super proud of the Daedalus trilogy and the reception it’s received over the years.

This is the fourth year I’ve supported the Con or Bust auctions. Con or Bust provides free SF/F convention passes to people of color, which is a beautiful thing indeed. Science fiction and fantasy needs more voices and different perspectives, and this is a really solid way of bringing more people into the fold.

The bidding started this morning and will last until Sunday, May 7 at 4 p.m. EDT. So you have some time. That said, the money goes to a most worthy cause, so bid early and often! There’s some super-cool stuff up for bid — lots of signed books, some manuscript critiques, jewelry, art, a signed Farscape script, delicious treats…just check it out. Support a great cause and maybe get some awesome SF/F swag!

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Fantastic independent bookstores for all your holiday gift-giving needs

Found by a friend at Powell's up in Oregon. One of many reasons indie bookstores rock.

Found by a friend at Powell’s up in Oregon. One of many reasons indie bookstores rock.

Let me start by saying that I realize Amazon and Barnes & Noble are the two big choices for book buying, and honestly, I have a lot of respect for both of them. Both companies have been good to me and my work, and I deeply appreciate that. I’m glad they’re there.

But you know what’s awesome? Independent bookstores. I love indie bookstores, man. They are an absolute labor of love for the people that own and run them, and they are vibrant and, dare I say, critical pieces of community life around the country. So this holiday season, I would encourage you to check out independent bookstores in your area for all your gift-giving needs.

Or maybe check out the ones I have listed here if you don’t have a local indie close to you. These are the independent bookstores that I’ve enjoyed visiting around the country, and if you’re in the market for books this holiday season — whether it’s my books or just any books — I would strongly encourage you to check them out. The vast majority of these offer online sales and shipping, and many offer ebook sales via Kobo, too.

I totally get that indie books are more expensive — they’re generally full list-price, plus shipping. And sure, Kobo is a little more expensive than Kindle or Nook. Given the huge impact a good bookstore has on its community, I would urge you to shop indie anyway, if you’re able to do so. It’s fantastic karma.

Finally, I’m highlighting the stores that are offering the Geeky Giving charity anthology, which I was proud to be a part of this year. There are some great stories in there, and proceeds go to the Barrow Neurological Institute. Buying it is a win all around, y’all.   Continue reading

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Thinking about how to define authorial success

What makes a book successful? What makes an author successful? What makes some books and/or authors more successful than others? All fair questions. I saw some discussion of this among my colleagues and friends on Twitter this past week, prompted by these thoughts from the amazingly talented Delilah S. Dawson. and it gave me some things to think about.

My first novel came out in 2013 — just three short years ago! I started writing it in 2010, got my agent in 2011, and nabbed a book deal in 2012. So I’ve been at it for six years now, and a published author for just half that time. My fourth book comes out Sept. 6 in hardcover.

Have I been successful? Abso-freakin-lutely. But that’s in terms of my vision of success. And I think it’s important to define your own measures for success going in — and to keep them realistic.

(This is a long-ish post. Get comfy. Go grab a beverage if you like. I’ll be here.)

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Yes, I actually read the reviews

TDI-mmpb-coverWhile on a panel with other authors at Phoenix Comicon, an audience member asked us whether we read the reviews of our works. At least half of the authors there said no. And I totally get that — kindness and constructive criticism is in short supply on the Internet. It can be hard to read how all your hard work resulted in someone despising the book.

I piped up and said yes, I do read reviews. I don’t really seek them out, but when they’re brought to my attention via Twitter or Google alerts, I’ll give ’em a read. I’ll also occasionally look at what folks are saying when I link to Goodreads or Amazon.

Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe. But then, I’ve been writing professionally for 23 years now, in one form or another. I used to be a journalist, and I’ve been taken to task not only by editors, but by the people I wrote about. I’ve had to defend my work repeatedly. It tends to give one a thick skin.

Yes, I’ve received negative reviews. I’ve had my ability to form coherent sentences called into question. I’ve been accused of crimes against the English language. There have been a few folks who considered the publication of my fiction yet another indication of the death knell of my publisher, or even the entire publishing industry. There have been screeds.

And you know what? All right then. I hope the screed made the reviewer feel better. Catharsis is good.

I’m really, really fortunate that my works have been generally well received — 4 stars or better on Amazon, at least 3.5 or better on Goodreads, with 4- and 5-star ratings well outnumbering the 1- and 2-star reviews. I got a couple starred reviews from major publishing sites. At this point, I’m reasonably confident that I can write enjoyable fiction.

That said, I certainly notice common threads in reviews, and there have been some dings that I’ve no doubt earned. And that’s actually helpful — that’s something I can take away and learn from, and I have. That could be one of the reasons that The Venusian Gambit was the best reviewed book in the Daedalus trilogy, and that early word on MJ-12: Inception has been really positive. I want to get better as a writer, and feedback helps.

I would never fault a fellow scribe for avoiding reviews. Folks aren’t kind sometimes, and having one’s parentage or even existence called into question ain’t a walk in the park. And some of those reviews are by no means reasonable or warranted — fellow beard-o Chuck Wendig was heartily thrashed in some quarters for Star Wars: Aftermath because folks were furious that the old Expanded Universe novels were consigned to non-canon status. It’s not like Chuck forced Disney to do that, y’all. (I shudder to think of what he would actually do with that kind of power.)

He was also ripped into for introducing a gay character into Star Wars, which the worst sort of mean-spirited, specious criticism. It’s 2016, people. Honestly, it’s about time we saw LGBTQ+ folks represented in popular fiction, and I’m proud to call the guy who brought the rainbow to a Galaxy Far Far Away a friend.

Anyway, I digress. I read the reviews, good or bad. The good ones are a nice little ego boost, and give me a nice hit of writer fuel to tackle the next book. The bad ones? Eh. I’ve had Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, rant at me over something or other — and he was six inches from my face. And he was eating at the time. If I could stand my ground then — and I did — I’m pretty OK with someone not liking my books.

And speaking of reviews: I saw a couple that were pretty nifty keen. Rob Bedford reviewed The Enceladus Crisis over at SFFWorld and had some really nice things to say about it. And a fine person named Magilla Gurilla (how awesome is that nom du plume?) over at The Veteran Gamer “absolutely recommended” The Daedalus Incident. Glad you folks liked the books. And I’m glad I read your reviews!

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