Wait, what? Halo? As in the video game Halo?
Yep, it's true. I wrote a Halo novel called Halo: Battle Born, and it has just been officially announced! It's Halo's first ever young adult novel, and I was honored to be chosen to write it! All those hours playing video games in college have finally paid off. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
Here's the official summary:
Saskia, Dorian, Evie, and Victor aren't exactly friends at their small high school on the middle-of-nowhere colony world of Meridian. Each has their own problems, from absent parents to supporting their family, getting into a good college to making the next hit holo-film. But those problems were nothing next to the threat now facing their world: The alien alliance known as the Covenant is laying siege to Meridian, for reasons that aren't so easily explained.
Here's the cover, which is AWESOME by the way:
As the year draws to a close, thousands of awkward posts pop up all over the Internet: writers dolefully reminding you of the work they released during the past twelve months. This is one such post.
Well! I certainly had a lot of books come out this year!
Of these four, Star's End is the only one that's one hundred percent new, and as such is (I'm pretty sure) the only one that can be nominated for an award. It received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly and a glowing review in Locus, so check it out if you haven't already!
Magic of Blood and Sea collects The Assassin's Curse and the Pirate's Wish, both of which were previously published by Strange Chemistry. Magic of Wind and Mist collects The Wizard's Promise, also previously published, and The Nobleman's Revenge, which is TOTALLY NEW.
The Witch Who Came in From the Cold is another re-release. It was previously published in installments through Serial Box, and was released this year in beautiful book form! This edition collects all the Season One episodes and was also give a starred review from Publisher's Weekly.
Thanks, Publisher's Weekly! I love you too.
While Season One of Cold Witch was busy coming out in book form, Season Two was being released in its true serialized form via the Serial Box website. The three episodes I wrote are eligible for awards in the somewhat amorphous "Novelette" category (works between 7500 and 17,500 words), as are any of the Season Two episodes, which are all worthy of your consideration. Here were my contributions:
I do want to say, however, that the best way to read these there episodes is as part of the whole--Cold Witch is extremely serialized, and the individual episodes don't really stand on their own. Fortunately, you can purchase an ebook of all of Season Two through Amazon or Barnes and Noble!
Perhaps one of the more surprising turns for me this year was that I started publishing poetry! While I had written poetry in college (who didn't, let's be real) I finally started submitting it last year, and this year saw my first publications! Exciting!
Sadly, I don't have fancy covers for any of these, so we'll just go in for a list and some links:
Chrysalis - Strange Horizons
Refraction - Eye to the Telescope
For Preserves - Star*Line (For Preserves was also selected as one of Star*Line's Puschcart Prize nominations!)
Five years ago, almost to the day, my first novel, The Assassin's Curse, was released. It was followed by a direct sequel, The Pirate's Wish, and then a sequel set in the same world but following different characters, called The Wizard's Promise. Sadly, the publisher, Strange Chemistry, shut down a month after The Wizard's Promise was released, and its direct sequel, The Nobleman's Revenge, never saw publication.
All of The Assassin's Curse books were picked up by Saga Press and released in two volumes. The first, which collected The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish, was released last year as Magic of Blood and Sea. Now The Wizard's Promise and the Nobleman's Revenge are getting their second shot at life, with Magic of Wind and Mist!
All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman.When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before. As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy named Isolfr begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.
But when Hannah’s fishing boat is attacked by the evil Lord Foxfollow, a failed protection spell sends Hanna and Isolfr across the boundaries into a mysterious realm known as the Mists. Now they’re trapped together in a strange new world where they have no way of telling friend from foe. Unfortunately, Lord Foxfollow hopes to gain control of Hanna and Isolfr's world, and he's getting closer and closer to gaining permanent access. The only way to stop him is to make their way through this dangerous, mysterious realm together.
And for those of you who are wondering: Naji and Ananna do make an appearance in the second book.
The 2017 Worldcon is coming up in Helsinki, Finland--and I will be there! I've never been to Finland and I am super excited to leave the swampy morass that is Houston in August for the crisp Nordic heavenscape.
I'm busy packing and getting swag together--I'll have two chapbooks, one a sampler of Stars' End and the other a full-color (fancy) zine featuring my flash piece Those Who are Left--which sadly means I don't have time to do a full blown gif post. But I did create a handy graphic with my pleasingly staggered schedule:
If you're going to Worldcon, let me know! And hopefully I'll see you there.
Do you like SPIES?
Do you also like WITCHES?
Well then, I have a treat for you! Season One of The Witch Who Came In From the Cold is now available as a massive compendium of all thirteen episodes!
Welcome to Prague, 1970: ground zero in a Cold War of spies and sorcerers. The streets are a deadly chessboard on which the CIA and KGB make their moves, little dreaming that a deeper game is being played between the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame, ancient organizations that seek to harness elemental magic.
Tanya Morozova is a KGB officer and the latest in a long of Ice sorceresses; Gabe Pritchard is a CIA officer and reluctant Ice recruit. Enemies at one turn, but forced into alliances at the next, their relationship is as explosive as the Cold War itself.
Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review, saying, "The installments are easy to read one at a time, but the tangles of alliances, secrets, and shocking double-crosses will have readers up all night mumbling, 'Just one more.'"
Barnes and Noble
Houston's own comic con, Comicpalooza, will be happening May 12-14 and I'll be gracing some of the literary track panels with my presence. My schedule (in lieu of descriptions you get gifffffs):
The Storytelling of Star Wars
10:00 - 11:00 AM
With Alan Cerny, Laura Liddell Nolen, D. L. Young
ETA: Reading Confirmed!
I will have a reading at the Barnes & Noble table on Friday from 1:00-1:30. Feel free to stop by and chat.
Boredom-Proofing Your Story
1:00 - 2:00 PM
with Lev Grossman (!!!), Andrea Barbosa, Holly Lyn Walrath, Stacey Berg, Laura Liddell Nolen
Creative Collaborations: How, Why, and With Whom?
2:30 - 3:30 PM
With Marianne Dyson, Ammar Habib, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Jessica Reisman
4:00 - 4:45 PM at the Barnes and Noble booth
With Marianne Dyson and Ammar Habib
Finding an Agent: When, How, and Why
10:00 - 11:00am
With Wren Michaels, B. Alan Bourgeois, Mari Mancusi, Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Star's End is out in the world today!
If you ever wanted a reminder of how sloooooow publishing can be, I wrote the first words of this novel on January 1, 2013. It was part of an experiment to see if I could juggle multiple projects--a major project, which I would spend most of my time on, and a minor project, where I would write 500 words first thing every morning. Star's End was the minor project.
Now, over four years later, you can buy it in a bookstore. Just more proof that probably the most important skill you'll ever need as a writer is persistence.
So what exactly is Star's End about? Well, I shall tell you... in gif form.
First off, there's a lot of this
By which I mean SPAAAAAAAACE. The book focuses on the relationship between four sisters...
...who have the worst dad you can imagine. Like, this guy...
crossed with one of these guys:
Only we're talking, like, dickish early TNG-era Ferengi, not adorable DS9 Ferengi. Then throw in a Xenomorph for good measure.
Yes, a xenomorph.
Curious how this all ties together? Well, you'll have to read the book, won't you! Publisher's Weekly gave it a starred review, saying “the well-developed characters enhance this novel of grand ideas, bringing relatable human motives and vulnerabilities to a world in which industry, government, warfare, and space travel are inextricably intertwined."
Here's the official summary:
The Coromina family owns a small planet system, which consists of one gaseous planet and four terraformed moons, nicknamed the Four Sisters. Phillip Coromina, the patriarch of the family, earned his wealth through a manufacturing company he started as a young man and is preparing his eldest daughter, Esme, to take over the company when he dies.
When Esme comes of age and begins to take over the business, she gradually discovers the reach of her father’s company, the sinister aspects of its work with alien DNA, and the shocking betrayal that estranged her three half-sisters from their father. After a lifetime of following her father’s orders, Esme must decide if she should agree to his dying wish of assembling her sisters for a last goodbye or face her role in her family’s tragic undoing.
And here are some purchase links:
Barnes and Noble
Thank you all for reading!
The second season of The Witch Who Came in from the Cold begins today! When last we left our heroes, they had just used magic to blow up a traitor-carrying airplane somewhere over West Germany. Who knows what arcane shenanigans they'll get up to this time around?
You can purchase the first episode of season two here, or you can subscribe to the entire season here. Either way you'll get both an e-copy AND audio copy. Pretty sweet deal. Plus, we update every Wednesday.
To celebrate the release, I wrote a guest post for The Qwillery about my experience writing a story set in Prague despite never having been there. I might slag off on Stephen King a little? Lovingly, of course.
I was also interviewed for the Houston Chronicle about Serial Box and the new season!
Both The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish have been bound together in one brand-spanking new edition called The Magic of Blood and Sea:
A pirate princess and a cursed assassin find their fates intertwined in this gorgeous and thrilling adventure.
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an ally pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to a handsome and clueless man. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns that her fiancé’s clan has sent an assassin after her.
And when this assassin, Naji, finally finds her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse—with a life-altering result. Now, Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work to complete three impossible tasks that will cure the curse...
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Books a Million!
So this ungodly monster of a year is in its final death throes. Perhaps the less said about it the better, but as a writer, I do feel mildly obligated to provide you with a year-end wrap up of publications and other assorted sundries.
The Mad Scientist's Daughter was rereleased through Saga Press, as was the paperback edition of Our Lady of the Ice.
I also published a short story, "A Night in New Veroshtin," in the Women in Practical Armor Kickstarter anthology.
Probably my biggest project this year, however, was the first season of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, a serial which I cowrote with Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Ian Tregellis, and Michael Swanwick. It was released by the awesome new publisher Serial Box. I wrote three of the thirteen episodes: Episode 2, "A Voice on the Radio," Episode 8, "Cover the Silence" (which incidentally is one of my favorite things that I've written!), and Episode 12, "She'll Lie Down in the Snow". If you are a nominating sort, individual episodes are eligible for the Hugo and Nebula Best Novelette categories, and the entire season is eligible for the Best Novel category.
I spent much of 2016 working on revisions and copy-edits for my 2017 publications. I did finish a fantasy novel (which I will be revising in 2017!) and a novella (which languished in revision hell for an embarrasingly long time--but I'm finishing it before 2016 ends, mark my words).
I also started dabbling in short fiction again--not just writing, but actually sending work out! I got better about revising and submitting short fiction, and I currently have a handful of stories out on submission. In addition, I began writing poetry (!), something I haven't done since college.
Plans for 2017
I have two books coming out in 2017:
In February, look for The Magic of Blood and Sea, the omnibus edition of The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish! That's right, Ananna and Naji are back and better than ever, thanks to Saga Press. I'm also planning on releasing three related shorts (which were previously available thorugh Strange Chemistry) over on Wattpad.
And then in March, Star's End will be released into the world! Star's End is a space opera family drama that started its life way back in 2013 as Alien/Prometheus fanfiction (seriously; it was a fanfic idea that I decided to turn into original fiction). Now it's coming to you via Saga Press. PREPARE THYSELVES.
And of course the second season of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold will be starting up February 8. Come for the spies and magic, stay for the boxing and romance.
All of these publications are currently available for pre-order, if you're so inclined!