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Barsk Blog Tour

No Comments » Written on December 27th, 2015 by
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And so it begins…

As part of the celebration of the release of my novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, for the last few weeks I’ve been crafting a seemingly endless series of interview and essays for assorted blogs* and other venues throughout the web. Some are insightful, others just silly. Some are serious and others may make you say, “huh?”

In any case, you’ll find the list of them below, because it’s time for

Barsk Blog Tour

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My Tentative 2016 Mysticon Schedule

No Comments » Written on December 26th, 2015 by
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Mysticon 2016

February is promising to be busy. Along with a book signing tour into North Carolina and a convention visit to Texas, I’ll be finishing the month off with a trip to Roanoke, Virgina and my first visit to Mysticon. To no one’s surprise — given that the GoH is GRRM — the convention has been sold out for months and promises to be exciting.

Here’s my current best guess regarding my schedule, but as we’re still two months out it could change. If it does, I’ll post a update.

Friday, February 26th
03:00 p.m. (Ballroom D) Anthology Don’ts
There are always rules for submitting in anthologies: length, subject matter, etc. Our panelists discuss the common errors they see (or have been guilty of) in anthology submissions.
With Anita Allenm Alexandra Christian, Tera Fulbright, John G. Hartness, Faith Hunter, and Michael A. Ventrella

Saturday, February 27th
01:30 p.m. (Rm 533) Reading
To absolutely no one’s surprise, I’ll be reading from my shiny new novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, and possibly drop some hints about a new book I’m working on.

02:00 p.m. (Dealers’ Room) Signing
That’s right, I’ll be going straight from my reading to Signing Table A. Meanwhile, somewhere nearby in the convention, the Mysticon GoH, George R. R. Martin will also be signing. Please do not get us confused. Hey, it could happen.
With Baine Kelly

Sunday, February 28th
09:00 a.m. (Ballroom C) Building Your Brand
Done properly, self-promotion is an important part of building a career. Poorly executed, self-promotion can do more harm than good. Our panelists will discuss what works and doesn’t work along with these common questions: Do book-signings really help a small author? Are bookmarks and/or postcards effective at garnering attention? Does a blog help or hurt an author? Does an author have to have a website?
With Alexandra Christian, Faith Hunter, Baine Kelly, Chris Kennedy, Pamela K. Kinney, Jim Lavene, Michael A. Ventrella

10:00 a.m. (Board Room 1) Writing, Up Close and Personal
This panel will cover point-of-view choices and how to “write close” to your point-of-view characters. Do certain points of view only work with certain types of stories? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each form?
With Alexandra Christian, Emmy Jackson, Pamela K. Kinney, Michael A. Ventrella

Please note that some of the people listed on the items above may vanish from a particular panel. I’m posting this schedule on based on what I’ve been told, and it’s all still technically in flux.

See you at Mysticon!

My 2016 Arisia Schedule

No Comments » Written on December 21st, 2015 by
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Arisia 2016

My first convention of 2016, and my first following the release of Barsk, will involve a train trip to New England (assuming the weather cooperates) as I make a long overdue return to Arisia. It’s a four day convention, but most of my programming happens on Saturday so I should have a lot of downtime. Look for me in the Westin’s lobby bar.

Here’s my schedule of what I’ll be doing, where and when:

Saturday, January 16th
10:00 a.m. (Bulfinch) Constructing Languages
Many SF/F worlds have their own languages, Elvish and Klingon being two of the best known. How do you create languages that make sense? From etymology to grammar to culture, there are many aspects to consider. How does a language reflect the identities of its speakers? How do we make our languages and vocabularies believable?
With John Chu, Anne Nydam, and Cecilia Tan

11:30 a.m. (Burroughs) Star Trek at 50!
Fifty years ago, Gene Roddenberry introduced us to the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Since then, the crew has boldly gone where no human had gone before in five live-action TV series, one cartoon, ten movies in the “original” universe, and two movies in rebooted universe (with a third due out this year). Join us as we celebrate one of the most iconic and important science-fiction franchises of all time.
With Glenn Hauman, Woodrow Hill, Cassandra Lease, Liz Salazar, and Ken Schneyer

01:00 p.m. (Marina 2) Shifting the Language of SF
Very few SF authors of the many who set stories in the far future ever speculate what language may sound like in following centuries and distant stars. Some formative works, like Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange and Orwell’s 1984 include this as a theme. Who else? What are the dangers of speculating vernacular? How might the language our descendants speak differ from ours? What works in SF imagine how the kids talk in the far future?
With Heather Albano, John Chu, Debra Doyle, and Greer Gilman

Monday, January 18th
10:00 a.m. (Hale 1) Reading
Arisia does readings a bit differently. Come join me and three other authors as we dazzle you with selections from our fiction. I’ll be reading from my newly released novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard,and you know you don’t want to miss that!
With John Chu, Nalin Ratnayake, and Ken Schneyer

If you have any pull with the weather gods, please put in a good word for me. Not only do I need to arrive in Boston on the 15th, but I have to get back to Philadelphia late on the 18th so I can go to the Day Job the next morning, attend my formal book launch downtown on the 20th, and board a plane the morning of the 21st for a convention and bookstore signings in Michigan. Ah, the life of an author!

See you at Arisia!

Klingons and Elephants and Audiobooks, Oh My!

No Comments » Written on December 14th, 2015 by
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J.G. Hertzler

I’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, but now the tale can be told: The audiobook version of my novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, will be read by none other than the brilliant actor and director, J. G. Hertzler. That’s right, folks, Martok, the galaxy-renowned one-eyed Klingon General, spent much of last week in the studio, tankard of bloodwine close at hand, to record the tale of prophecy and intolerance, loyalty and conspiracy, friendship and the dead. And when you think about it, who better than the Klingon warrior who survived the Dominion War and emerged to lead his people to glory.

Now, I’m not saying that Barsk should necessarily be seen as a Klingon story, but it surely just took a huge step closer. Hmmm… I wonder if there’ll be songs…

#SFWApro

Barsk Bookplates

1 Comment » Written on November 24th, 2015 by
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Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

So here we are, barely a month until the release of my shiny new novel. Many of you have been with me on this journey for a long time, following my posts, the reviews, and the ever-increasing excitement. In just five weeks’ time you’re going to get a very special book, but I wanted to do something extra-special, particularly for those people who pre-ordered the book.

That’s why I commissioned famed anthropomorphic artist Allison Hershey (Inherit the Earth) to design a custom bookplate.

To get yours, here’s what you do:

Step 1: Simply pre-order Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by December 28th, 2015.

Step 2: Send email to: barsk.preorders@gmail.com, and include:

  • your mailing address (US addresses only)
  • and an image/scan of the receipt showing you pre-ordered Barsk

And that’s it. In return, I’ll mail a bookplate to you before the end of the year.

Not sure where to pre-order a copy? No problem, I’ve got you covered. Any of these links should work just fine:

Amazon ][ Barnes & Noble ][ Books-a-Million ][ iBooks ][ Indiebound ][ Powells ][ Wal-Mart

That’s it. Really, the hardest part will be waiting for it to show up in your mailbox.

My 2015 Philcon Schedule

No Comments » Written on November 11th, 2015 by
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Philcon 2015

November is here, and this time around it’s a three-convention month for me. The first of these, the World Fantasy Convention, has come and gone. Next up is Philcon, running from the 20th to the 22nd.

I have a fairly light schedule, the highlight of which will be my reading featuring chapter two from Barsk. I read this for the first time last weekend at WFC, and I have to tell you it was the single best reading that I have ever done!. So, if you missed it, join me at Philcon and we’ll see if it gets better the second time around.

Here’s my full schedule:

Saturday, November 21sr
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (Autograph Table) Signing
Bring me something to scrawl my name on. Novels. Magazines. Small children. My signature is yours to command.

12:00 – 12:30p.m. (Executive Suite 623) Reading
As promised above, I’ll read from chapter two of Barsk. Meet the protagonist, Jorl, and hear him talk to his dead friend, Arlo. Yeah, that’s right, Arlo’s dead. Not a problem.

01:00 – 02:00 p.m. (Plaza IV) Using Language Creatively
From Hemingway’s spareness to Lovecraftian atmospheric density to Chandleresque similes, there are a variety of ways language can be used to enhance the worlds you write. How do language and syntax choices affect the way a story is perceived?
with A.T. Greenblatt (M), Christie Meierz, Joseph Berenato, L Hunter Cassells

Sunday, November 22nd
01:00 – 02:00 p.m. (Plaza III) The Uses of Time Travel
Why do you want to travel into the past or future? Knowledge? Loot? Talking yourself out of bad decisions? Setting up the best prank ever? If given the opportunity would you, or wouldn’t you?
with Lawrence Kramer (M), Michael A. Ventrella, John Ashmead, Michael L. Brachman, JJ Brannon

Also, on Saturday night, I’ll be hosting a party for the San Marino in 2019 Worldcon Bid. Check out the link, support the bid, and come to the party to celebrate the many incredible authors who have been nominated for the Campbell Award. Eat cake! Be audacious! And never, ever settle for just a city.

See you at Philcon!

My *Updated* 2015 Chessiecon Schedule

No Comments » Written on October 16th, 2015 by
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ChessieCon 2015

As mentioned four weeks ago, I’ll be spending the post-Thanksgiving weekend in Timonium, MD attending Chessiecon.

My schedule has changed a bit from the initial posting, but you’ve still got a month to put the following particulars into your calendar if you’re determined to stalk me there (and I hope you are). Here’s the shiny new version of what I’ll be doing, where and when during the con:

Friday, November 27th
3:00 p.m. (Greenspring 2) Alien Language Q&A, Led by The Klingon Guy
Aliens. How can authors better walk the tightrope between making them sound understandable while at the same time keeping their language, well, alien. Lawrence M. Schoen, author, former professor of psycholingustics, and founder of the Klingon Language Institute, will help you make some sense of it all..

Saturday, November 28th
10:00 a.m. (Greenspring 2) Reading
To no one’s surprise, I’ll read from my forthcoming novel, Barsk

11:15 a.m. (Atrium) Signing
This is your chance to have me sign all the things! Seriously, all of them!

6:45 p.m. (Atrium) Mass Signing
Authors, artists, and musicians gather in one room for signing/book-selling/chatting with fans. This is your chance to have me sign all the things you didn’t have me sign earlier in the day!
with Ursula Vernon, Steve Kozeniewski, TJ Perkins, Cathy Hird, Heather Rose Jones, Intisar Khanani, Kim Headlee, Cristin Kist, Jeff Gritman, Tamora Pierce, Steve Haug, Margaret Carter, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, D.C. McLaughlin, Mary Fan, C.S. (Celia) Friedman, Tom Smith, Roberta Rogow, Harrison Demchick, Karen MacLeod, Seanan McGuire, Charles Butler, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon

Sunday, November 29th
10:00 a.m. (Chesapeake 6) KaffeeKlatch
Sign up for this intimate chat and ask me all the stuff. We’ll talk about Life and Death, Klingon, Hypnosis, Language, and anything else you want. And, if I can convince my publisher, there’ll even be prizes!

1:45 p.m. (Greenspring 1) How Much Do I Worry About My Own Canon?
Writing a series? Sure, you don’t want to get major things wrong, or contradict yourself. But are you creating a work of art for which you have to bend the rules sometimes — or even do so deliberately, for effect, as M. John Harrison does in his Viriconium stories? Or is our increased awareness, through the internet, of fan readers, their concerns and reactions (and their attempts to write coherent fanfic) boxing us in? As major franchises mess with their Canon, what about us writers?
with Harrison Demchick, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Don Sakers (M), Steve Kozeniewski

This convention marks the one-month-to-launch date for Barsk. So, yeah, I’m more than a little excited.”

See you at Chessiecon!

Now available for purchase: PANGAEA

No Comments » Written on September 29th, 2015 by
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Pangaea

From the mind of editor Michael Jan Friedman, made possible by the generosity of more than three hundred Kickstarter backers, and featuring the talents of fourteen experienced authors, I am beyond pleased to inform you that Pangaea is now available!

From the back cover:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together to form a single mass—a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea. Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, different portions of mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we were living on one of the super-continents? What if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass… and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

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