Tag Archives: MJ-12: Shadows

io9 and The Verge say MJ-12: Shadows should be on your radar

I mean, don’t take it from me. Of course I think you should totally look out for MJ-12: Shadows when it releases Tuesday, unless you were wise enough to pre-order.

But it’s totally awesome when other people think it’s worth noting, too.

Cheryl Eddy over at io9 says MJ-12: Shadows is one of the science fiction and fantasy books to keep on your radar this fall, while Andrew Liptak of The Verge says it’s one of the 16 science fiction and fantasy books to read this September.

It’s always cool to be on lists like these, but even better when you consider the company. Both lists have tons of authors I admire, respect and have gotten tipsy with. Some of these works are just insanely good. I’m always excited and humbled to be in their company.

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

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One week until MJ-12: Shadows is out!

It’s been a busy summer, full of travel and work and writing the third MAJESTIC-12 novel, a trip to Wyoming for Launch Pad and, most recently, taking two 13-year-olds to see Lady Gaga in Queens. (The Storify here is mildly amusing, I’d like to think.)

So let’s kick autumn off in style with the release of MJ-12: Shadows next Tuesday! (OK, it’s still technically summer. Work with me.)

The second in a series seems to be a sweet spot for me. The groundwork and exposition is already laid, the plots can be furthered and character arcs…arced?…without worrying about aiming for the finish line quite yet. Plus, MJ-12: Shadows’ setting in 1949 Syria really lent itself to the MAJESTIC-12 concept. (More on that later…)

I’ve scattered some previews and such around the blog over the past few months. For your convenience, here’s everything on Shadows thus far:

There will be more, of course. I’ve got some guest posts, interviews and podcasts coming up in the weeks ahead, and likely more reviews as well. But hopefully this will get you started, along with the reminder that Shadows is available for pre-order. And if you haven’t caught up with the first novel in the series, MJ-12: Inception, the order links are below!

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

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

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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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A excerpt from MJ-12: Shadows, on shelves next month!

Where does the time go? Actually, I know damn well where it goes — a summer full of hard work, home improvements, family time and various other things. Oh, and writing the third MAJESTIC-12 book in between. (Ha.)

But the second book in that superpowered Cold War spy series, MJ-12: Shadows, is out September 5, and it’s high time I begin letting you folks know what the heck’s going on with it. To be fair, I did give you a sneak peek at some of the cool faux documents we ginned up again — click here if you missed it. And if you want the basic synopsis, here you go:

It’s 1949, and the Cold War is heating up across the world. Operating in the shadows, the Variants–once ordinary US citizens, but now imbued with strange paranormal abilities and corralled into covert service by the government’s top secret MAJESTIC-12 program–find themselves on the front lines of an international crisis.

In Syria, Variant agents have been sent to support a coup by a pro-American army officer. In Washington, a shocking suicide has them fighting for their very freedom. And at Area 51, the operation’s headquarters, the strange interspatial phenomenon which originally granted Variants their abilities has yielded disturbing discoveries.

All the while, dangerous figures flit among the shadows, and it’s unclear whether they are threatening to expose the Variants for what they are . . . or completely destroy them. Are they working for the Soviet Union, or something far worse?

In addition, there’s a couple of reviews up on Goodreads — including one from the gloriously talented Beth Cato (preorder Call of Fire now, it’s really good and it’s out next week). I’m expecting some reviews to land soonish, probably after everyone gets back from WorldCon in Helsinki, which I didn’t get to go to this year, sadly. So far, I’m pleased with what I’m hearing from the people who’ve read it, and there’s a decent consensus going that it could very well be better than the first one, MJ-12: Inception.

But hey, you should judge for yourself. So here’s an excerpt of MJ-12: Shadows to whet your appetite.

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Communications fail

No, I’m not talking about this blog, which hasn’t been updated in a good long while, sad to say. Between travel and work and getting MJ-12: Endgame off the ground — plus preparing for the launch of MJ-12: Shadows  in September — it’s been rather busy.

Plus, there have been distractions. I know I’m not the only writer grotesquely entranced by the insanity coming out of Washington, from TrumpCare to climate change denial to God-knows-what. But the train wreck that never ceases to amaze me is the utter lack of sensible communications from the White House.

In short — the font of self-inflicted damage is amazing. And so easily avoided, too.

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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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