Stuff I’m Up To

So here in a few days my wife and I will be greeting our first child, and that’s dominating everything right now – and will for a while, of course, before things settle down a little. So! For those of you who’ve been asking what I’ve been doing, and haven’t gotten up to speed with the posts that I make here, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.

Wonderland Cycle Novels: The third novel in the Wonderland Cycle, title of GATHERING ASHES, is in edits as we speak. Publication may be late this fall, but more likely will be beginning of 2016. The fourth and final novel of the Wonderland Cycle is already well into production and will likely to be released at the end of 2016. Hooray for that. That means that I’ll have had five novels published in roughly five years, and that’s not bad at all.

Short Stories: I’ve been cranking out a number of these, some of which are going out to various small publications. I’m also writing some short fiction for the Imperial News Network, which is a fansite for the upcoming Star Citizen game – I love the game, and I love writing, so why not, right? I’m also writing a lot of horror stories, which may well lead to…

New Novels: Past the fourth Wonderland novel, I’m going to be working on new work. It may or may not be future noir/cyberpunk; I feel like I want to go into a new direction albeit one that readers of my particular fiction will still enjoy. Still dark, likely, or if not, still appealing to general nerd interests. I have ten different projects on my desk as we speak; I can’t imagine that I’ll have a problem bringing a few to fruition in relatively short order.

Web Serial: I’m still working on my sci-fi web serial. With GATHERING ASHES on its way to full completion, I can really pour my energy into getting that going. Looking forward to that.

So that’s where we are right now. Questions? Concerns? Ideas? I’d love to hear from you.

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Star Citizen, and the Queen of the Void

Hey there, folks!

So if you follow my posts at all, you may know that I’m a huge fan of the upcoming Star Citizen game being developed by Cloud Imperium Games.  Having grown up with Wing Commander, Starlancer and Freelancer, creator Chris Roberts is someone whose work I’ve always loved – and given the dearth of space simulators over the last fifteen years or so, the concept of a whole interactive universe combining aspects of space travel, trade, exploration and more…well, what’s not to love?

So when the founder of the Imperial News Network, one of the foremost sites devoted to the game, asked me to contribute the occasional (very) short story to its growing corpus of fiction, I thought…well, why not?  And so it is that today my first contribution, a short tale that I call Queen of the Void, appears on INN.  It’s a short tale, being the reflections of a mercenary pilot as she is left for dead, without hope for rescue, before her oxygen runs out – remember, it’s me here, not a sunny summer child – and it features, among the more traditional elements you’d find in my fiction, the first space battle I’ve ever penned!  A short, brutal scrap, but I’m told that it’s enjoyable.  I’ll be producing several more of these as time allows, collecting them into a loose series known as the Underverse.

So why not give it a read, and tell me what you think over on INN.  Who knows?  You might end up liking it enough to give the game a shot.  Even in its barest incomplete, pre-alpha state, it’s still remarkably entertaining.

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So Here’s The Deal About Tor.

You may have heard about the open letter from Tor founder, Tom Doherty, publicly distancing the company from the remarks that one of its staff, Irene Gallo, made about the ‘Sad Puppies’ and ‘Rabid Puppies’ camps of sci-fi authors.  To me, this is heinously unacceptable.

You may already know that I have very specific thoughts about the whole Hugo situation and the camps of authors involved – but my anger towards Tor has absolutely zero to do with that.  Everyone involved here has a right to voice their opinion, and that should be respected, whether you agree with it or not.  What this has to do with is a publisher – the largest, oldest, and most famous publisher of science fiction in this country, perhaps even the world – absolutely fucking failing to stand behind their employees and their right to their own opinions.

I understand that a company needs to protect itself.  If Ms. Gallo tried to say that this was the stance of the publisher itself, and would not deviate from this, I would be more comfortable with such a response.  It would be pertinent to speak up as a company, especially one which claims that neutrality in social issues is important.  The fact that she’s staff – not an author, mind you, but staff – making such comments is naturally a fact that would make any company pay attention to the situation.  I’ve spent a lot of time as  web developer; if I got on Facebook and started screaming that the Internet was the Devil and that people should go back to doing all their work over the phone, and that this was the absolute opinion of my company as well, you can bet that my various employers would have taken exception.

However, when Doherty stated in the beginning of the letter that the employee herself had already made clear that these remarks were her own, and not that of Tor itself, that this ceased to be a measure of protection and became a poorly masked document censuring one of its own employees for speaking her mind, if not calling Tor’s supposed neutrality on the issue – which that very letter was supposed to cement – into serious question.

Now keep in mind, it isn’t as if Ms. Gallo hadn’t already apologized herself, and it isn’t as if there have been others associated with Tor who have made similar comments on both sides of the issue.  And it isn’t as if these comments are brand new; they’re over a month old.  But they have been brought to light by others in a very public light of late by members of the offended camps, and that’s what’s spurred the penning of this letter.  Everybody involved has the right to give their opinions, and to be offended by the opinions of others.  Tor has the right to enforce its own policy – which, by its own admission, Ms. Gallo has already amended her statement to follow. So even if Tor did want to keep its hands out of that particular puddle, Doherty’s hamfisted attempt to do so has guaranteed that many will assume the worst.

And really, who wants to deal with a company that will throw its own people under the bus like that?

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