Cimarronin Issue 2

Books

The second issue of Cimarronin is out this week. You can find it at Comixology or if you bought it direct from Jet City Comics via Amazon.com, you should have it on your Kindle already (via the magic of serialization).

We—meaning your earnest team of myself, Ellis Amdur, Charles C. Mann, Neal Stephenson, and Robert Sammelin—take you, our devoted reader, to New Spain, where we discover a bit more of the big picture that Luis is hinting at. His family—scions of Spanish nobility—have a silver mine in New Spain, and it’s constantly being robbed by local bandits. Part of Luis’s job in Manila was to have been hiring masterless samurai (ronin) to help guard the silver caravans. Luis comes back with one: Kitazume. Which doesn’t go over so well with Luis’s brother. But that may be all part of Luis’s clever plan . . .

And then El Gato shows up, and things get complicated . . .

[The whole samurai guarding the silver caravans? That’s all true. It’s the genesis of the project, and you can read about it in Charles C. Mann’s awesome book, 1493.]

Pipedream Comics reviewed the first issue. Their summary: “While not groundbreaking enough to receive full marks, Cimarronin is still a truly outstanding book made from a great script, fantastic art and inhabited by genuinely interesting, three dimensional characters. While it has some flaws in places, these can’t prevent this first installment from being an epic tale which deserves to be read.”

Escapist Magazine says: “It’s not the most outstanding debut issue (a little more background would go a long way), nor it the most deep story, but it is solid fun.”

Both of which I find to be interesting commentary from the comic book world. Novel readers are a little more lenient, it would seem, in waiting for backstory to be presented. We’ll have to see how folks feel as we move along because we dole out the backstory quite regularly as we progress.

Leaving 2013

Ruminations

We’re a few days into the new year now, and I’ve already got a dozen lists of things to do, which is better than a box full of “things partially attempted and mostly unfinished,” isn’t it? I considered making resolutions and posting them to various social media places so that folks could call me on them later, but I realized that my list would be short.

  1. Let go of fear.
  2. Seize opportunities as they present themselves.
  3. Make creative mischief.

Which is pretty much the list that led me to founding Resurrection House, and that seems to have been one of my better ideas last year. I’ve acquired almost twenty books already (though, only four of them are front list). I have more than thirty novels in the submission queue. I announced a reading period for the XIII anthology about three weeks ago, and I’ve already received more than a hundred submissions (pushing 450K in total word count). It’s only going to get crazier, I suspect.

2013 was a pretty good year for creative work for me, too, and so perhaps it isn’t a bad thing that I spend 2014 working behind the scenes. Earth Thirst came out in January, and then promptly disappeared into the morass surrounding the sale of Night Shade Books. Mongoliad Book 3 came out in April, which was a nice cap to that arc, and then Katabasis came out in October, and no one seems to have noticed yet.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Sales have been good on the fourth Mongoliad book, but there’s a certain strain of ‘I didn’t know it was even out/planned’ in the commentary. For the record, Siege Perilous—the final Mongoliad book—is out at the end of the month.

There were two Foreworld novellas last year: Beast of Calatrava and Seer. Beast, along with The Lion in Chains (co-written with Angus Trim) and The Shield-Maiden (written by Michael & Linda Pearce) were collected in print as the first volume of SideQuest Adventures, back in August.

Fairwood Press and I assembled my short fiction into three ebook editions: The Queen of Faith, The Hollow Prince, and The King in Scarlet. A combination of factors prevented us from getting the last one into all of major outlets before Xmas, which is unfortunate as the final story in that volume is the long awaited Christmas story that I’ve been sitting on for many years.

That’s a lot of words. No wonder my brain is tired.

I’ve been waking up recently with my head filled with half-remembered narratives though, which is a sure sign that my brain wants to get back to story-telling.

Katabasis Release Day

Book Talk

It’s new Foreworld book day around here. This is Katabasis, the fourth volume in The Mongoliad Cycle, and the one that I will look back upon as being one of my favorites. The three volumes of The Mongoliad were a thrilling rollercoaster ride, but Katabasis holds a special place in my heart because it’s the book where there’s a lot of payoff. Not just for those who have been following The Mongoliad, but there are a number of little rewards for those who have been reading the SideQuests as well. Everything comes together—for me, at least—in Katabasis.

There’s one more to follow. Siege Perilous, written by our favorite stand-in, E. D. deBirmingham. There are a few loose ends regarding the Church and a mysterious cup that need resolving . . .

While we’ve been tumbling toward this date, I’ve been quietly getting things done on the Resurrection House front. The latest news post takes about getting distribution taken care of (PGW, for those who are following along), as well as news of a few acquisitions: two books by Darin Bradley and one by Forrest Aguirre. Fall 2014 is starting to shape up nicely. Now, to do editorial letters, source cover art and design, get the books into the system, and start the marketing machinery. Ah, there’s nothing like the “can do!” entrepreneurial spirit.

Clean Slate

Book Talk

I’m in the weird post-project stage. I’ve turned in Katabasis, which is the next volume in the Medieval Cycle of the Foreworld Saga, and the Foreworld SideQuests are ticking along without my direct involvement (read I’m not the one doing all the writing). The Skyhorse/Start asset acquisition of Night Shade Books has closed, which means the CODEX books and Earth Thirst will stay in print (yeah!), but I’m waiting for the dust to settle over there before we start talking about the next books in either of those series.

[Oh, yeah, NSB sold their assets. The pertinent details can be read at io9.com. If you wish to get a glimpse of how that sale went down, check out the related articles at io9. Given my personal relationship with the folks at Night Shade, I have no further comment about the deal.]

Over the weekend, I mailed off a pitch for a new project, and so I’m in wait mode there. Foreworld TV/movie negotiations continue at a pace that is near glacial (more waiting). I’m working on putting together a collection of short stories. Yes, I was surprised to find that I had more than 100,000 words worth of short stories that have published. They add up after awhile. I’ve got an interested publisher and we’re looking at doing something a little different with that release. Beyond that, I’m still mulling over how to make a print edition of The Potemkin Mosaic. That may be my first Kickstarter project.

Yeah, Kickstarter. After CLANG last summer, I became a bit of a Kickstarter junkie. It feeds my desire to be around creatives. It’s really fun to get updates from all these projects and to be a part (albeit a fly on the wall more often than not) of the process. I n fact, one of the ones that I hope will reach its goal is the Radio Free Albemuth theatrical release project. I’ve missed two opportunities to see this edition of Philip K. Dick’s book. Help me out, would you? I figure if it actually gets theatrical release, I might be able to get my act together enough to go.

The Crest of the Content Tsunami

Book Talk

I’ve been a delinquent blogger but a dutiful writer and at the end of the day the latter is more important. That isn’t to say that posting the occasional note to the world isn’t useful; otherwise how else does everyone know what I’ve been up to? Time management is a bitch, and I lose track of time more often than I would like. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? You get done what you can, and keep working.

Next week is the big finale of a year’s worth of work. I have three books being released on Tuesday. One’s a story reprint, but I’m happy to see the story get wider recognition, the second is one of the Foreworld SideQuests, and the third is the last volume of The Mongoliad—a book that is nearly as big as the first two volumes put together. Lots of reading material for folks to enjoy. Between the three volumes of The Mongoliad, the half dozen SideQuests that I either wrote or assisted with, Earth Thirst, and the cyberpunk story reprint, there’s more than 2000 pages worth of content that have come out in the last twelve months.

Oh, and we’ve launched foreworld.com, the official Foreworld churn. Expect a regular stream of talking points to come from there as we expand Foreworld into new eras.

It’s no wonder updates to the blog have been few and far between, and because I am behind on my latest deadline, I’m going to leave you with links to the last few releases.

Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Evolution and Revolution. Edited by Victoria Blake, it’s a collection of classic cyberpunk stories. I’m thrilled that my story, “The Lost Technique of Blackmail,” is included alongside some of the luminaries in the SF field.

Seer. The last of the “prequel” SideQuests. 47North is getting away from the term “prequel” as it suggests you need to read these before you read The Mongoliad, but unlike some of the other SideQuests, Seer leads directly into The Mongoliad: Book One as it tells the story of what Andreas was doing shortly before the events of 1241.

The Mongoliad: Book Three. Yeah, that thing.

The Beast of Calatrava. One of my favorite SideQuests to date, and yes, it could have been a full novel. It really wanted to be.

Earth Thirst. My vampire eco-thriller. Reviews are saying that it is more of a thriller than a vampire novel; frankly, how could a vampire novel not be a thriller? Oh, well, yes, if it’s all about mopey vampires, but I don’t have the time for mopey vampires. Do you?

SideQuests

Author Stuff

I’ve been in deadline hell for the last few months. For a brief moment, I am surfacing to clear my desk and try to reply to a bunch of emails and figure out where I live still before I get sucked back in to various projects. Let’s see what has happened since the last time I wandered through.

The Mongoliad Book Two came out. As did Dreamer, the second Foreworld SideQuest. As did The Lion in Chains, the third SideQuest. I didn’t write the fourth, The Shield-Maiden, but it is out too. The fifth, The Beast of Calatrava, is scheduled for early January of 2013 (me, again), and the sixth, Seer, is dropping in February when The Mongoliad Book Three comes out. The cover art for Seer has just gone up.

Oh, and Earth Thirst comes out in January too.

This is what deadline hell for nearly a year translates to: lots of content. I can’t complain, but it’s nice not to have that clock ticking. I say that now, but it is going to start up again in a few weeks. Other than that, I’ve been catching up on my reading. A couple Lisa Lutz Spellman books; a huge chunk of the Walt Longmire series (by Craig Johnson), a couple of Robert B. Parker books, and some of the Parker novels (in order, mind you).

And yes, I’m looking forward to the new film version in January. Jason Statham could use a good franchise, and he’ll do just fine as Parker.

Sinner, a Foreworld novella, is out

Book Talk

The first Foreworld novella, Sinner, is out today via 47North.

This is a story that takes place a half dozen or so years before The Mongoliad, and explores a meeting between Andreas and Raphael, two members of the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae who didn’t meet during The Mongoliad. There’s a reference to Andreas early in the first book, when the hunting party that is going east is being selected. It was the sort of passing reference that is there as part of world-building; at the time, none of us expected we were going to need this character.

“But do you suppose we ought to wait a few days until some of our other Brothers can arrive?” one of the characters says. “Brother Andreas, for example. His spear would be a fine companion on a Khan-hunting journey. Plus he knows how to cook and he doesn’t snore like Brother Eleázar.”

But once we started developing the storyline of those who stayed behind at Legnica, we needed a good strong character. We went back to this scene, scooped up the name and the tiny bit we knew about him, and dropped Andreas on the page, and he turned into quite a handful. He was one of those characters who had their own idea about their presence in a book, and the Legnica storyline was the better for it.

When it came time to do the first batch of Side Quest novellas, we wanted to explore the back story of some of the characters, and I leaped at the chance of telling a story about Andreas and Raphael, two of my favorites.

Click here to buy a copy of this story.

Mongoliad Book One Release Day Blitz

Author Stuff

Well, here we are. The Mongoliad Book One came out today. You can buy it in the more discerning brick and mortar stores or through a variety of online retailers. If you have an option to buy it in a physical store, please do so. That’s the extent of my weighing in on all the recent flap about the new age of publishing. Go to a bookstore. They’ll appreciate it. If you live in the Seattle area, Duane at the U Bookstore, up near the University of Washington campus, is stocking the book.

In fact, Duane has arranged for a mass signing of all the authors on May 17th. 7:00pm. Upstairs. Where the crowd will be. We will have all SEVEN authors present. This is, to my knowledge, the only time that we’ll have all seven in the same room for the near future.

Before I get to the obligatory launch day link-o-rama, I would like to highlight the addition of the Collector’s Edition of Book One. The Amazon page has lovely cover art now (which, I am told, may not be final, but I’m pretty pleased with it as it is, since it wouldn’t hurt my feelings any if it ended up being the final cover).

You’ll notice, in the fine print, that the Collector’s Edition contains the prequel story called “Sinner,” which is one of the pieces of our next phase in world domination. The Collector’s Edition may also contain some additional materials which we’re still wrangling.

Okay, to the link list.

There are a number of excerpts that have been posted online as part of the marketing blitz.

Also, a couple of guest posts/interviews on blogs: