guide to my reviews of new Star Trek — I’ve been reviewing the new Trek TV series (Discovery,Short Treks, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, Strange New Worlds) on Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) for Tor.com, and this post is regularly updated with each new review as they go live
guide to KRAD COVID readings — during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, I started up the YouTube channel “KRAD COVID readings,” and this post is a guide to all the stuff I’ve been reading as part of it, regularly updated with each new reading
guide to 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch — I rewatched every live-action movie based on a superhero comic book each week from August 2017 to January 2020 for Tor.com, and now the feature is occasional, with me looking back at new movies that have been released every six months to a year or so; this is an alphabetical guide to all the movies I’ve covered or plan to cover
the Dragon Precinct chronology — a listing of the chronological sequence of the stories, vignettes, and novels in the world of my fantasy/police procedural series that started with Dragon Precinct
guide to the tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet — I’ve written a cycle of urban fantasy short stories taking place in Key West that involve scuba diving, Norse gods, folklore, rock and roll music, and beer drinking, not necessarily in that order; they’ve been published in a variety of sources, and this post gathers them all in one place, complete with links that give you the means to acquire/read them
If you want to get a wonderful gift for a loved one, how about one of my books, autographed! I’ve got a mess of books available!
If you want one sent to you with my scribble on the title page, simply send the appropriate amount of money to me with a shipping address, and I’ll send it posthaste! If you’re in the U.S., please send the cover prices of the books you want (listed below) plus $8 for shipping. If you’re not in the U.S., please just send the cover prices, and I’ll ask you for the postage (whatever it is) after I ship it.
Money can be sent via the following means:
PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Zelle to email@example.com
Venmo to @keith_decandido
Google Pay to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check or money order made out to Keith R.A. DeCandido to PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10148-4976
Here’s what’s available:
A Time for War, a Time for Peace — $10
A Singular Destiny — $10
I.K.S. Gorkon: A Good Day to Die — $10
I.K.S. Gorkon: Honor Bound — $10
I.K.S. Gorkon: Enemy Territory — $10
Klingon Empire: A Burning House — $10
Spider-Man: The Darkest HoursOmnibus (w/Down These Mean Streets) — $16
Thor: Dueling with Giants — $10
Other tie-in books
Alien: Isolation audio CD — $20
Serenity — $10
Young Hercules: Cheiron’s Warriors — $5
Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars — $10
Supernatural: Nevermore — $10
Supernatural: Bone Key — $10
Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon — $10
all 3 Supernatural books — $25
Dragon Precinct — $16
Unicorn Precinct — $16
Goblin Precinct — $16
Gryphon Precinct — $16
Mermaid Precinct — $16
Mermaid Precinct signed & numbered hardcover — $50
Phoenix Precinct — $16
Tales from Dragon Precinct — $16
3 Precinct books — $45
4 Precinct books — $60
5 Precinct books — $70
6 Precinct books — $85
all 7 Precinct books — $95
Other original books
A Furnace Sealed — $16
Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet — $16
Systema Paradoxa: All-the-Way House — $13
Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido — $16
The 18th Race
To Hell and Regroup (written with David Sherman) — $16
The 18th Race Omnibus (written with David Sherman) — $35
Across the Universe: Tales of Alternate Beatles (w/”Used To Be”) — $16
Bad Ass Moms (w/”Materfamilias”) — $16
Devilish and Divine (w/”Unguarded”) — $16
Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds, and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly (w/”‘The Train Job’ Didn’t Do the Job”) — $16
Pangaea Book III: Redemption (w/”Journalistic Integrity”) — $16
Phenomenons: Every Human Creature (w/”The Light Shines in the Darkness”) — $16
Turning the Tied (w/”In Earth and Sky and Sea Strange Things There Be”) — $16
X-Men Legends (w/”Diary of a False Man”) — $20
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, just reply to this blog post or e-mail me at email@example.com.
It’s very easy to love Thanksgiving, and it’s also very easy to hate it. Love, because showing gratitude for the things you have is never a bad thing, and neither is the notion of community and sharing food. Hate, because the American iteration of the holiday is rooted in a history of genocide and mistreatment of the people who lived on this continent before the Europeans showed up.
I choose to go for the former — giving thanks is always good, and, I think, very important.
I am thankful for my writing career, which has enabled me to make a living doing something I love, and have wanted to do pretty much since I was six. This year in particular I’m thankful to my assorted editors on the stuff I’ve worked on in 2022 or will be working on in 2023: Christopher D. Abbott, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Emmet Asher-Perrin, Lena Attanasova, Peter & Kathleen David, Joseph Dilworth Jr., Michael Jan Friedman, Deborah Grabien, Robert Greenberger, Marco Guerrero, Rich Handley, Tina Jens, Jim Johnson, Jonathan Maberry, Bridget McGovern, Mike McPhail, Audrey Parente, C.T. Phipps, Paul Simpson, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Stacey Smith?, Lou Tambone, and Michael A. Ventrella. I’m also thankful for my amazing agent Lucienne Diver, who is both a wonderful agent and a dear friend.
I am thankful for my readers, without whom that writing career would be less impressive. The feedback I continue to get for my work, past and present, continues to delight me and fill me with joy and fulfillment.
I am thankful for all the conventions that had me as a guest this year, whether on my own or through the auspices of Bard’s Tower. In particular, I want to thank Philcon, Bubonicon, and InConJunction, who all had me as a Guest of Honor this past year. I also want to thank all the folks who’ve been with at Bard’s Tower, who are a great bunch of humans.
I am thankful for everything related to my now-eighteen-year career as a martial artist. I’m especially grateful to Shuseki Shihan Paul, who is the finest teacher you could ask for, and an inspiration to us all; to my fellow senior black belts at our dojo, Kyoshi Gustavo, Sensei Dorian, and Sensei Charles; to my wonderful students at my afterschool program, who keep me on my toes and whose karate journey is tremendous fun to guide; and to all my fellow karateka both at honbu — our dojo is the headquarters of our style — and at our dojos around the world.
I am thankful for our landlords, who have provided us with a wonderful home lo, these last six years. The place has some issues, but it’s a great home for Wrenn and I, and we are incredibly happy here. It’s a great place to be able to work from home, and it’s also right down the street from my aging parents, which is wonderful on many levels.
I am thankful for my friends and family. I’m lucky to have a wonderfully supportive and loving family (they’re pictured above at our Thanksgiving dinner at Madeline’s Petit Paris in Northvale, New Jersey), and I have the most wonderful friends in the entire universe. I’m especially grateful for the gang I play poker with — the weekly poker games over Zoom have been a tremendous balm — and have made wine with (the two groups overlap). I’m also thankful for the lightening of the pandemic to the point where we can have parties and gatherings again.
I am thankful for the New York Yankees, who were fun to watch this year, even though they were once again stymied by the Astros in the post-season.
I am thankful for the various online places where I interact with folks virtually — yes, even Twitter, at least for now.
I am thankful for the City of New York, which remains the greatest city in the world and which — contrary to the bullshit propaganda on Fox News — is not a crime-ridden hellhole.
I am thankful for my fellows in the Boogie Knights, with whom I was able to perform with for the first time in two-and-a-half years at Shore Leave.
I am thankful for ToniAnn and Kyle, as well as Professor Zoom, Tempura, Jazz, Thor, and Loki, for so very many things.
I am thankful for my parents, who are the best in the universe.
And I am thankful for my wonderful wife Wrenn and our two loving felines, Kaylee and Louie.
Now that Phoenix Precinct is an actual book — and officially going to be published by eSpec Books in March of next year — I thought I’d provide an updated list of how to get the entire set of books in my epic fantasy/police procedure series. Pick up all the adventures of the passionate half-elf Lieutenant Danthres Tresyllione, the ex-philosopher/ex-soldier Lieutenant Torin ban Wyvald, and the rest of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard as they attempt to maintain law and order in the largest city-state in Flingaria.
Here’s how you can order the books in either trade paperback, eBook, or (for the first four novels) audio form online:
If you want an autographed copy of any of the above in trade paperback, you can order them from me. It’s $16 for one book, $32 for two, $45 for three, $60 for four, $70 for five, $85 for six, and $95 for all seven, plus $8 for shipping. You can pay me via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org), Zelle (email@example.com), Venmo (@keith_decandido), or Google Pay (firstname.lastname@example.org), or send a check or money order to PO Box 4976, NYC 10185-4976.
Last night, we had our memorial workout in honor of Shuseki Shihan William Oliver, the founder of our discipline who passed away in November 2004. One of the things Shuseki Shihan Paul said at the end of the workout when he was reminiscing about Oliver was a brief mention of the fact that he was a really big Paul Simon fan.
In honor of that, here are two live versions of my favorite of Simon’s songs, “Late in the Evening.” The first is from the concert in Central Park that Simon did with his erstwhile partner Art Garfunkel in 1981, a concert I attended as a twelve-year-old. The second is from a 2012 concert Simon did in Hyde Park.
This episode reminds me of two prior Trek episodes, both of which handled this slightly better: TNG’s “Half a Life” and Voyager’s “Thirty Days.” In the case of the TNG episode it worked because the person who is trying to effect change in an entire society because she doesn’t like the way one person is being treated is Lwaxana Troi, an eccentric, and very self-centered, civilian. And even there, Lwaxana comes around to understand that there’s not really anything she can do. As for the Voyager episode, it’s also got a dumbshit Starfleet crewmember acting on too little information and causing major problems, but at least Paris got a month in the clink and a demotion.
Another one from the Montserrat concert in 1997, this is Mark Knopfler, backed by a full orchestra, doing a lovely rendition of “Brothers in Arms,” the title track of the 1985 album Dire Straits recorded at George Martin’s studio in Monterrat.
At our dojo’s 30th anniversary shindig earlier this month, Shuseki Shihan Paul and his senior black belts — which includes Kyoshi Gustavo, Sensei Dorian, Sensei Charles, and myself — performed a sai kata called Chatan Yara No Sai. It’s a very old kata — Chatan Yara was a martial artist who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries — and very nifty. Learning it over the past year has been a great privilege. And here it is for y’all to see…..
My friend, colleague, and collaborator David Sherman has died.
I first met David at conventions in the 2000s. In 2012, he turned in his manuscript for Issue in Doubt, the first book in a military SF trilogy called “The 18th Race,” to the DTF imprint of Dark Quest Books. Mike McPhail ran DTF, and he hired me to edit the book, and also its sequel, In All Directions a couple years later. The trilogy is about a force of Army, Navy, and Marines sent to a human colony that has been invaded and wiped out by some nasty aliens. David brought both his long experience as a writer of speculative fiction and his experience serving in the U.S. Marine Corps to bear in writing those two books.
When the third book rolled around, DQB had pretty much fallen into the swamp, Mike, his wife Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and Greg Schauer had formed eSpec Books, which took on a lot of DQB’s former projects, including “The 18th Race.”
However, as David had gotten older, the PTSD from his time in uniform had gotten worse, and he found he could no longer write military fiction. Book 3, To Hell and Regroup, was partway finished, and he specifically requested that I be the one to finish it, as he was quite pleased with the work I did editing the first two.
I was honored to do so. Working with David forced me to up my military SF writing game — I’d played at it before, but this time, I was forced to maintain sincere fidelity (one might even say semper fidelity) to Army, Navy, and Marine life and service.
One thing I didn’t realize until I started working on THAR is that David did a very nifty thing with this trilogy: every single character in the three books is named after a U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor winner. He was a joy to work with, both as a writer I was editing and as a collaborator. We had a grand old time plotting out the back end of the book together, and he loved everything I added to his world and how well I finished the story he started.
David died earlier today, and after his years of service both to his country and his readers, if he had to go, that was the way to do it: peacefully. I’d say he’s earned that peace.
Here’s another one from the Music for Montserrat concert in 1997. The island of Montserrat had a studio on it owned by George Martin, and several great rock musicians have recorded there. The island suffered some nasty volcano damage in ’97, and Martin put together a benefit concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Here’s another one from it, with Sting and Mark Knopfler reuniting to perform the 1985 Dire Straits mega-hit “Money for Nothing” — still one of the ten best rock guitar riffs of all time — backed up by Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Ray Cooper, and more. (Though I’m disappointed that the gospel choir didn’t join in the “I want my MTV” chant…….)