Shortly after The Assassin's Curse was first published by Strange Chemistry (my very first book release!), SC asked me to write a trio of prequel stories exploring three of the non-viewpoint characters in the story: Naji, Marjani, and the manticore. They were available for a short while, until Strange Chemistry shut down. The Assassin's Curse was later re-released by Saga in a bound copy called Magic of Blood and Sea, but nothing was ever done with those three short stories.
I teamed up with poet, short story writer, and my good friend Holly Lyn Walrath to release "The Manticore's Vow", "The Automaton’s Treasure", and "The Witch’s Betrayal" with her new speculative fiction venture Interstellar Flight Press! I'm so proud that my collection of little tales is their first book-length release.
You can purchase The Manticore's Vow at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite indie bookseller. And don't forget to add it on Goodreads!
2019 is here, and so is Halo: Battle Born!
2018 was certainly A Year for me. There were a lot of major changes life changes, and I didn't have a book come out this year. Let us not even touch on the Political Situation (TM). But I did have some celebrations and publications in 2018, so let's take a looksee, shall we?
In July of this year I learned that my poem "For Preserves" placed 2nd in the Rhysling Awards Long Poem Category! While I've been nominated for awards before, this was the first time I'd ever won anything (and coming in second place to Neil Gaiman definitely counts as winning in my book.)
Short Story Publications
This year also saw my first publication in one of the Big Three SFF magazines. My story "The Adjunct" came out in the July/August edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which makes it eligible, for those of you who partake in such things, for the Hugo and Nebula Award in the short story category. You could also nominated for the Stoker Award, I suppose.
In "The Adjunct" I combined Lovecraftian fiction with my experience teaching freshman composition as a college adjunct. Citation systems play a significant role.
I had EIGHT poetry publications in 2018, which is, frankly, amazing! I hadn't realized how many I had until I started writing up this post. Here are the poems and where you can find them:
Summer Rain in Mythic Delirium (January)
Swarmers in Inwood Indiana (February)
Porphyria's Other Lover in Mythic Delirium (March)
Chthonia in Illumen (April)
Chronology of the Devouring Queen in Illumen (April)
The Collaborator in Illumen (April)
Wildfire in Liminality (December)
Looking into 2019
I'll be kicking off 2019 with a book release! My first-ever tie in novel, Halo: Battle Born will be released on January 1st. It's the first YA Halo novel, and it's written in such a way that it introduces the reader to the Halo universe--so if you've never shot a Grunt in your life, you can still enjoy the book! Here's the summary:
My other big 2019 news is that I plan on launching a Patreon sometime in January. Every month, I'll be sharing one short story and one poem, both of which have never been published before. If you've ever downloaded my books illegally (no judgement!) you can now easily undo your bad karma for a dollar a month. I'll be sharing more information about this soon!
I'm delighted to announce that my poem "For Preserves," originally published in Star*line, has placed second in the Long Poem Category of the Rhysling Awards! I'm beyond thrilled that my foray into the world of poetry has led to my very first award win!
Congratulations to all the Rhysling Award winners, and thank you to everyone who helped "For Preserves" make it to second place!
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