Avengers: Infinity War trailer!



The only thing I don’t like about this trailer is the Black Widow as a blonde. But I can forgive that if I must, and everything else about this trailer is the best thing ever, from proving that Loki really did nab the Tesseract in Thor: Ragnarok like we all thought to “get this man his shield” to Peter Parker seeing the big portal thing from his school bus to Captain America, Bucky, Black Panther, the Hulk, and Nakia leading Wakandan troops into battle to Dr. Strange, Wong, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner in Strange’s house to the very last bit (Mantis’s wave is what makes it). Just fantastic. Cannot wait for this movie!!!!!

cyber Monday: buy my books!

I have a bunch of my books for sale and they make dandy gifts! I’ll gladly autograph them and send them to you. Just PayPal to krad at whysper dot net the cover price of the book(s) plus, if you’re in the U.S., $6 postage. (If you’re out of the U.S., just send the cover price, and I’ll bill you for the postage once I find out what it is when I send it.) If you don’t do the PayPal thing, send a check or money order made out to Keith DeCandido to PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976. Be sure, regardless of how you pay, to give me a shipping address and let me know to whom I should inscribe the autograph.

(And yes, I know I owe some of you books. My plan is to get them out this week…..)

Here’s what I got:


Aliens: Bug Hunt (anthology with my story “Deep Background”) — $17

Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars — $8

Marvel’s Thor: Tales of Asgard (omnibus of the trilogy featuring Thor, Sif, & the Warriors Three) — $25

Orphan Black: Classified Clone Report — $50

Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet — $17

SCPD: The Case of the Claw — $15

Star Trek: Alien Spotlight Volume 2 (graphic novel collection with my story “Klingons”) — $20

Star Trek: Captain’s Log (graphic novel collection with my story “Jellico”) — $18

Star Trek: Klingon Empire: A Burning House — $8

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A — $8

Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Homeworlds (anthology with my story “Sun-Breaker”) — $10

Supernatural: Nevermore — $8

Supernatural: Bone Key — $8

Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon — $8

V-Wars (anthology with my story “The Ballad of Big Charlie”) — $10

V-Wars: Night Terrors (anthology with my story “Streets of Fire”) — $20

The X-Files: Trust No One (anthology with my story “Back in El Paso My Life Will Be Worthless”) — $20

Young Hercules: Cheiron’s Warriors and Young Hercules: The Ares Alliance — $5 for both


Please note that the “Precinct” books are temporarily unavailable, as that series is in the process of switching publishers. Ditto Without a License.



cover reveal: Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot

Earlier this year, Diversion Books published Baker Street Irregulars, an anthology of alternate takes on Sherlock Holmes edited by Michael A. Ventrella & Jonathan Maberry. It included my story “Identity,” which introduced Shirley Holmes, a young woman in modern New York City, who meets a med student named Jack Watson, who takes a room in her Riverside Drive home and together they solve a mystery.

Shirley and Jack will be back in the spring of 2018 in Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot, in a story called “Six Red Dragons,” in which Detective Guillaume Lestrade of the 24th Precinct brings an odd case to Shirley’s door.

Jonathan revealed the cover today, and here it is for y’all:


Isn’t it great? Can’t wait to read the other stories……….


a nice review of SCPD: The Case of the Claw


Over on the United Federation of Charles blog, C.T. Phipps has very kindly reviewed my 2011 novel SCPD: The Case of the Claw. He has also expressed an interest in reading the three followup novellas, under the Super City Cops banner. Let’s hope he likes them as much as he did the novel……

An excerpt:

In conclusion, this is a great book for those who love superhero novels and something I recommend to people who enjoy taking advantage of prose fiction. In this universe, superheroes and villains can die or change or be disgraced forever. It’s not limited by the conventions of the unlimited comic publishing cycle and all the stronger for it.

Friday fanfare: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the Muppets

First discovered this Muppet version of one of Queen’s greatest hits on this day eight years ago, and it remains one of the best things ever. Just perfection in every way, all the way down to the guitar Janice is using being a left-handed version of the guitar Brian May plays. (All the Muppets are left-handed, one of my favorite quirks that Jim Henson introduced early on.)

What I love about this video is that it starts out fun with Gonzo and the chickens, and you think that’s it, but with each segment it gets better and better and adds more Muppets and gets funnier and funnier. (I’m also amused that all the lyrics that are in any way not good for children are edited. Yay Disney….)

a nice review of the Tales of Asgard trilogy on Amazon!


I don’t often quote Amazon reviews, but this one made my evil little heart proud:

on November 16, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Supposedly this work is for young adults. I like Keith R.A. DeCandido’s work so much I picked it up! He has a great knowledge of the characters and you know he must of read the comic books. Keith has a knack for picking up the nuances and quirks of each character. If you are a fan, pick it up! You won’t be sorry! Keith also wrote fantastic novels for Star Trek. The Klingon ones in particular were his best. He did the same with Thor’s universe! This guy is a master of crafting a crackling good story…..so if you like Thor this is a must have book!

from the archives: thinky thoughts on the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special

In 2013, following the broadcast of “The Day of the Doctor,” the special done for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, I wrote the following piece about the special in question. It was later reprinted on Tor.com under the title “A Moment of Heroism: Thinky Thoughts on Doctor Who‘s ‘The Day of the Doctor’.


Steven Moffat hasn’t always been successful as a show-runner of Doctor Who. I’ve enjoyed his work more than some others have, but it’s obvious he’s sometimes struggled with keeping it all together. I think he’s been done in by modern television’s insistence on “seasonal arcs,” which is excellent for some shows, but it’s something that far too many shows that are ill-suited to it have forced themselves to adopt rather than just stick with standalone episodes and progressing character arcs. (This need for ever-escalating seasonal arcs pretty much killed Burn Notice in its final two seasons, and severely damaged later seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just to give two examples.)

Part of it is Moffat’s own ambition — he’s not satisfied with just dropping a phrase (“bad wolf”) or a reference (Torchwood, Prime Minister Saxon) into every episode, he needs there to be a big Rubik’s cube of stuff that has to come together with each color on the right side at the end. The problem being, of course, that he doesn’t always succeed in that. (The whole impossible astronaut thing, for example, didn’t quite come together as well as it should have.) I think the arc in this most recent season worked well in part because it was scaled back somewhat to simply the mystery of one character, as well as paying tribute to the show’s history (in its 50th anniversary year) by bringing back an old bad guy in the Great Intelligence.

But Moffat’s hit-and-miss ability to manage an entire season’s worth of shows has made it very easy to lose track of the fact that, holy shit, the man can write, and when he’s on, he’s as good or better than anybody at writing a Doctor Who story. He’s been responsible for some of the absolute best stories of Who‘s 21st century iteration, starting with “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances,” the high point of Christopher Eccleston’s lone season (against some fairly fierce competition, as that 2005 season had really only one or two duds), and continuing to masterpieces like “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “Blink” — but even before that, there’s “The Curse of the Fatal Death,” the 1999 comedy piece that managed the neat trick of parodying Who while exemplifying it at the same time, and there’s Moffat’s very first story in the mythos, a magnificent little short story called “Continuity Errors,” which appeared in Decalog 3: Consequences in 1996 (and which is being fiercely bid upon on eBay right now….) [NOTE: obviously that’s no longer the case, as it was purchased shortly after I posted this], which was in many ways the first draft of “A Christmas Carol,” the best of the Christmas special episodes (for which the competition is actually not at all fierce as the Christmas specials have mostly been awful).

There are two things that Moffat in particular excels at. One is that he’s the only writer of televised Who who makes the time travel an active part of the storytelling. Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, a Who writer will use the time travel element solely as a means to get the Doctor and his companion du jour into and out of the adventure. The TARDIS is treated as a vehicle only, no different from Bessie, the roadster that Jon Pertwee’s Doctor used so often.

Moffat, though, often makes time travel part of the story, probably best on display in “Blink” and “The Girl in the Fireplace,” but also in the arc of Amelia Pond’s first year on the show, Clara Oswald’s purpose in the Doctor’s life, and the Doctor’s entire interaction with River Song from “Silence in the Library” all the way through to “The Name of the Doctor.”

But the other thing he is great at is knowing the most important part of the Doctor, and it was perfectly summed up in the phone conversation between the Doctor and the Master in “The Sound of Drums”: he chose the name “the Doctor” because he helps people. The Doctor at his heart(s) is a hero, and he always helps people.

One of the hallmarks of the 21st century iteration of the series has been the Time War. We’ve caught glimpses of it here and there, probably most aggressively in “The End of Time” (one of those mediocre Christmas specials), and it’s been such an important part of what’s made the Doctor what he is in this version, the thing that’s set him aside from the 20th century version.

But it’s also really problematic. The Doctor committing genocide twice over is something totally antithetical to what the Doctor is. Indeed, that was the point — that the Doctor who refused to kill all the Daleks in “Genesis of the Daleks” (with one of his reasons being the good that came from the Daleks’ evil, a line echoed by John Hurt in this story when he sees the good that his successors have done in the wake of his destroying Gallifrey), the Doctor who powerfully lamented at the end of “Warriors of the Deep” when surrounded by corpses that “There should have been another way,” that Doctor would never kill so many unless he had absolutely no other choice, that there was no other way.

“The Day of the Doctor” is Moffat’s way of addressing that without at all negating what happened just before “Rose.” The actions the Doctor took were sufficiently problematic that it was etched on every pore of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, and David Tennant’s Doctor still had it etched on every other pore — but by the time we get to the latter portion of Matt Smith’s Doctor, who’s been around for some four centuries, he’s tried to forget it, to move on. And then in this episode — set up by both the end of “The Name of the Doctor” and the minisode “The Night of the Doctor” (which you you really need to watch if you haven’t) — we learn that those actions were sufficiently horrible that the Doctor has basically wished the incarnation of the Doctor responsible for them into the cornfield. John Hurt’s Doctor’s crimes were so awful that none of his successors even are willing to acknowledge that he exists (at least not until Clara had to rescue the Doctor from the Great Intelligence’s meddling in his personal timestream).

And then that glorious wonderful ending when Clara does the thing that the companions have always done, from Ian and Barbara all the way through to whoever comes after Clara: reminding the Doctor of humanity. It’s the companion who has the perspective, the companion who reminds the Doctor who he is, and that’s someone who can use the fact that he’s a) 400 years older and b) a time traveller to go back (along with his previous self) to be there for the final moment and fix it. To find that better way that’s been staring them in the face since Kate Stewart took them into the secret art gallery. To save the billions of children on Gallifrey, who deserve to live (especially since “Doomsday” established that a mess of Daleks managed to survive the Time War).

He gets to go back and fix it. He gets to save people. Just as in Moffat’s first storyline for the 2005 season, the Doctor gets to dance and joyfully cry out that “Everybody lives!” Because the Doctor’s job is to make sure that that is the outcome.

And that’s why this is the perfect 50th anniversary special. Not because it acknowledged all fifty years of the show, though it did do that, and more, starting with the use of the original opening titles and same opening shot as “An Unearthly Child” in 1963. Not because there were cameos by all thirteen people who will have played the role by the time 2013 ends (thanks to a cameo from Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows), though that too was wonderful (not to mention the appearance by a deep-voiced fellow with a big nose). But because it reinforced what the Doctor is about: a person who travels through time and space saving people.

stuff for what I’m thankful

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I’m thankful for a great deal this year. This is only a partial list:

My family, which includes both biological and chosen family, a list that is numerous, but which starts with Wrenn, and continues with Meredith, Dale, the Forebearance, Anneliese, Sas, Matthew, Lilly, all the aunts and uncles, and all the cousins and their SOs and children.

My friends, who are too numerous to list here, and I’m not even going to try to. But if you’re someone who is part of my life in any way, who has been to my house, whose house I’ve been to, whom I’ve hung out with at a convention or other gathering, with whom I chat regularly over text, e-mail, and/or Facebook chat, with whom I play poker regularly, with whom I do wine nights, then you’re my friend and I’m there for you and I’m thankful for you.

The folks who stood by Wrenn and I when we got married in April: Laura Anne, Alex, Meredith, Zan, Lilly, Catelynn, Dave, Dale, and Glenn. Also thanks to Mario’s in Little Italy for doing such a great job hosting the wedding. Not to mention everyone who attended what turned out to be the bestest wedding ever. I’m so happy to be married to Wrenn and so glad that we got to celebrate our more formalized union with so many of our loved ones.

Shuseki Shihan Paul and the rest of the folks at the dojo, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and at which I achieved my third-degree black belt last month. Also all the kids I teach both in the afterschool programs and at my Friday fighting class. Karate has seriously improved my life and enriched my spirit and made my body way healthier, and I’m supremely thankful for the decision I made to walk in there thirteen years ago.

JoAnn and Joe, our landlords, who have provided us with the best home we could ask for. I can’t say enough about how much we love our new place. It is a home in every sense, and also a place where everyone and anyone is welcome any time.

My fellow Boogie Knights, John, Dave, Sharon, Kate, Linda, and Lynn, with whom I have been fortunate enough to make wonderful music for more than a decade now.

All the people I work with, from the folks at Tor.com to all the editors (especially Jonathan Maberry, who edited or co-edited four anthologies that I have stories in this year, as well as Kelly, who keeps throwing bits of work at me) to Munish (I’m almost done with the latest revision, honest!). And, most importantly, my amazing agent Lucienne (not to mention Pete and Abby), who has been particularly amazing this year.

All the people who have had me at conventions, festivals, and workshops this year, from the big-ass events like Dragon Con and New York Comic Con all the way down to the smaller gatherings like Atomacon and the Providence Literary Festival, and everything in the middle. I love the opportunity to interact with my readers as well as make new ones.

Additional and necessary thanks to Wrenn and Meredith and Lilly.

And most especially my readers. I have been lucky enough to have some of the finest fans in the whole history of the whole history. I get e-mails and Facebook posts and blog replies and tweets from y’all on a regular basis, and I get to meet you at conventions, and it’s just so gratifying. Thank you all.

And whoever else I may have left off, please accept both my thanks and my apologies for forgetting you in the torrent of people to whom I feel grateful on this holiday.

my review of Marvel’s The Punisher Season One

I provide my full review of the entire first season of Marvel’s The Punisher over on Tor dot com. It’s very well acted and well written and generally a good series. It certainly holds its plot together over a baker’s dozen of episodes better than any of the other thirteen-episode seasons of a Marvel Netflix show. But it falls short of greatness thanks to an inexplicable running away from its presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is both unfair to the viewer (it says “Marvel” right there as part of the title, and that comes with expectations that are not fulfilled) and makes the story significantly less interesting.


An excerpt:

Bigger than that, though, is the fact that this show raises all kinds of issues about taking the law into your own hands, and about gun control, and about the struggle between danger and safety. But those arguments—which we see a lot of particularly in “Front Toward Enemy” and “Virtue of the Vicious”—are exactly the same as we’d hear in the world today, and are hearing quite a lot of. In fact, they’re depressingly simplistic ones, particularly Walcott and O’Connor’s fear of having their guns taken because then they won’t be able to overthrow the government if it gets too corrupt. (I wish someone would have pointed out that that particular interpretation of the Second Amendment is one that became useless around World War II. The government has tanks; the government has missiles; the government has drones. There’s really not much you can do against that with a few assault rifles and bullets…)

Here’s the thing: that argument would have to be much different in the MCU. This is a world in which a lot more people take the law into their own hands. It’s a world in which people have, without any legal authority, taken down the likes of Fisk and Willis Stryker and the Hand and Kilgrave and the Vulture—not to mention the Chitauri invasion—and that’s just in New York! Vigilantism is much more of a thing in the MCU, and a story that actually examined how that would affect the gun-control debate would have been much more interesting than the warmed-over treatment it gets here.