Friday, April 7, 2017

Myth of the Maker is now available!

I wanted to write a science fiction novel that treated Fermi's Paradox. Why in this vast universe filled with billions of other galaxies is there is no evidence for any other intelligent alien life?

Myth of the Maker has an answer. It's related to what scientists call dark energy, a medium that my protagonists learn to call the Strange.

In Myth of the Maker, computer programmer Carter Morrison sacrifices himself and his friends, killing them and locking them in a virtual world—all to save the rest of the planet from certain destruction. Morrison’s friends have no idea what he’s done—but as the “planetvores” approach, they must come to terms with the fictional worlds they now inhabit, which serve to insulate the real world from the horrors without. Not all of them are satisfied with their forced martyrdom, either, and a man named Jason Cole—known as The Betrayer—seeks a way out of the fiction and back to reality, no matter the cost.


Angry Robot (the publisher)

Barnes & Noble

Powell's Books

Deluxe hardcover at MCG

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Long, Strange Trip to Myth of the Maker

I started writing the novel Myth of the Maker a long time ago. It's been at least 4 years of actual writing, slow though that writing was, beginning in 2013. But the initial, flailing stages of conception probably go even further back. Maybe even to right around the time I decided to walk away from the third book in the Sword of the Gods series after the publisher decided to print the second in the series (Spinner of Lies) in e-book only, which wasn't part of my contract. ("Walk away" means I asked the publisher for a stay on writing the third book in my contract, and they agreed.)

Don't get me wrong; what happened wasn't personal. The same thing happened to most of the Forgotten Realms novels coming out at the time (unless your name rhymed with "are aye suave-a-boar*"). It was a business decision. I remain grateful and honored to have been part of the author bullpen writing books set in FR during that period. I wouldn't do anything different if I had it to do over.

But we can't get around the fact that publishing almost every novel previously slated for print as e-book-only effectively put paid to the Forgotten Realms novel line as it existed at that time, and signaled and end to my nine-book career as an FR author.

So I started working on something different, thanks in part to encouragement from editor and writer Torah Cottrill. I decided to write a science fiction novel. But well before finishing, the ideas underlying it spawned a game line called The Strange that Monte Cook and I co-wrote. Maybe you've heard of it? (If not, check out the video here.)

And now, at long last, Myth of the Maker is finished!

In a universe as vast as ours, with tens of billions of planets potentially supporting life, Enrico Fermi’s famous question—"Where is everyone?”—has never been more relevant. That’s what Katherine Manners learned when she discovered, in a secure server room, the melted form of an unknown man clutching a message of doom from another world. 
A world, it turns out, in orbit of our own. Hidden in the dark recesses of a nether dimension called The Strange. A dimension that hosts countless other micro-worlds, many copies—or recursions—of Earth itself. 
Worlds home to beings sometimes jealous of our own. Worlds filled with dangers and riches, mysteries—and answers. 
But the opening of these worlds also draws the attention of creatures capable of devouring the Earth. Creatures that may have been the doom of every civilization that advanced enough to discover The Strange. Creatures that hunger—and now know we exist.

I read an excerpt of the first chapter of the novel here. Get prepared to be AMAZED at my reading-in-front-of-the-camera abilities ;).

You can read an excerpt of the novel here. I believe it's the entire first chapter!


Angry Robot (the publisher)

Barnes & Noble

Powell's Books

Deluxe hardcover pre-order at MCG

*No disrespect intended to Bob Salvatore, of course! He's a mensch. It was his first FR books first few FR books that helped crystalize the realization that maybe I could try to do the same one day.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Get Your Strange Box on Kickstarter through March 17th!

One of the first questions we get asked at every convention is whether we're going to do a boxed set for The Strange like we did for Numenera. Because of that, we asked fans of The Strange to let us know how much they'd like to see this. They responded enthusiastically. Since we love The Strange and its fans, we decided to give them the most spectacular experience with The Strange that we can create with a deluxe boxed edition.

As you can probably imagine, we want to make it absolutely beautiful and crammed full of all the coolest extra content we can come up with: character sheets, XP cards with a brand new design, and maybe even a gorgeous cloth version of the Ardeyn poster map, if we hit some stretch goals. We did it once before, and with your help, we’re going to make that dream a reality again, this time to create a deluxe boxed edition of The Strange!

(Already own The Strange? Don't worry—we've got some things that will interest you as well as those new to the game.)

Check it out here:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Power Out, But My Prius Is A Mini-Generator!

When the power went out in my house yesterday, this inverter turned my Prius into a sort of mini generator. It was able to power lamps, and more importantly, charge up my computer and phone. The phone I used as a wifi hotspot to get my computer online, which allowed me to stay up to date about weather conditions and outage forecasts, plus the ability to keep working from my home office.

(I normally use this device to keep my phone charged when I drive to locations using the phone google Maps to navigate).

If you ever want to turn your Prius into a mini generator, have an inverter like this one handy. Turn the Prius on, but only after you put it outside or at least hang its butt out the open garage door, because the car needs to run about 10 minutes out of every hour to keep itself charged up.

Run an extension cord out the cracked window and under your front door and into your office (or wherever). Voila! You've got a bit of power. Though word to the wise: if you try to power something that requires too much, it won't work. Stick with lamps and charging personal electronics.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Drain The Swamp

News of regulation rollbacks meant to save the average Americans about 17 billion in unnecessary fees to Wallstreet might make you think that the POTUS has a weird way of following through on his campaign promises to "drain the swamp" when it comes to Wall Street.

But if you think about what a swamp actually is, you'll see his promise makes sense.

A swamp is the very definition of a wetland. And you know what wetlands, do, right?

Wetlands "mitigate the impacts from storm damage and flooding, maintain good water quality in rivers, recharge groundwater, store carbon, help stabilize climatic conditions and control pests."

So yeah, the POTUS is draining the swamp alright, as he promised. Yay?

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Should it be considered a 'privilege' to *not* have to face constant discrimination based on your race, sex, gender identity, disability, or age? I mean, that's sort of implying that discrimination should be considered normal.

(It should not be considered normal.)

Which makes me wonder, is employing the word 'privilege' in this case helpful? Maybe, maybe. I totally get why it might be the correct term to employ, because it frames things in a new way. But I don't think lots of people with this privilege understand that framing.

Then again, what *would* they get?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"When The Night Stole Her" teaser from Tales Beyond The Ninth World

The wonders of the Ninth World—our Earth, a billion years in the future—aren’t bounded by worldly shores. The ancients built their empires into the seas, the stars, and even into other realities. Go beyond the Ninth World’s shores in Tales Beyond the Ninth World, an anthology of three short stories, including "When The Night Stole Her" that begins as so: 
Kalice’s daughter Neela used to sleep on the terrace on warm nights, the small girl’s hands and head poking out of the blanket. Seven years old, Neela hadn’t yet learned to be afraid of the dark. She loved the stars. Kalice used to point out constellations to her daughter, making up names for the ones she didn’t know. Kalice had loved the stars, too, until the night Neela was killed.
Kalice started awake from a dream of a black sun and smoking furrows extending long, tumbling scratches across the sky. Grey-haired Lthermo was across the room, bent over his scintillating device of synth and kinked wires that he’d assembled in her foyer. 
Why was he—? Oh. Sleep lifted its cloak of un- remembering. Her daughter was gone. The emptiness of her loss seemed to widen as she rediscovered its depths, like an actual pit in her chest carved through her ribs and heart. Kalice gasped in real pain. 
Lthermo heard her. Seeing that she was awake, he gestured at his mechanism. “It’s fixed. I’m sure of it this time. The power source was weak. I’ve replaced it.” He opened his mouth again, then closed it, leaving something unsaid. He did that sometimes. 
Kalice didn’t have the emotional space to wonder what he wasn’t saying, because anguish filled her. She massaged her neck. He presumably had a whole house of secrets. To her, it was sorcery. Before Neela had gone missing, Kalice didn’t wonder about the magic of the ancients. Now, it was the only route to her salvation. She had to find her daughter. She had to! Nothing else mattered. Not even the fact that her daughter was dead.
Dead here, but not dead everywhere.

And so Kalice goes looking for her daughter in parallel dimensions where Neela wasn't killed, which is just one of three new short Tales Beyond The Ninth World.