Friday fanfare: “Speedway at Nazareth”

One of my absolute favorite songs is this Mark Knopfler number from his 2000 solo album Sailing to Philadelphia, which then became a staple of his live shows after that. It’s a great song, about the life of a mid-range stock car driver going from race to race. Knopfler’s songwriting excels at creating characters, and many of his greatest songs end with a killer lengthy instrumental. Indeed, that was the hallmark of Knopfler’s work with Dire Straits, and there’s a lot this song has in common with “Telegraph Road,” my favorite Dire Straits song.

Anyhow, here’s one of many stellar live performances of the song from a 2010 concert in Cordoba:

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Bride of Chaotica!”

BEWARE the fiendish plot of Doctor Chaotica! TREMBLE at the photonic aliens from the Fifth Dimension! MARVEL at the desolate landscape of Planet X! LAUGH at the magnificent tribute to old movie serials, complete with gloriously OTT acting from everyone! Tune in next week for the latest glorious adventure of the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Bride of Chaotica!”

An excerpt:

Plus, of course, the actors are all having a great time, whether it’s Robert Duncan McNeill trying to get everyone to think like they’re in a movie serial, and also growing frustrated with his own program, or Tim Russ’s ongoing disdainful commentary on the entire proceeding, or Jeri Ryan’s more direct disdain, or Robert Picardo’s diving into the part with both feet, or the magnificently over-the-top performances by Martin Rayner, Nicholas Worth, and Tarik Ergin as the holodeck characters. Ergin deserves special credit for pretty much stealing the episode with his flailing robot, a delightful sendup of robots through old-timey sci-fi screen presentations from Flash Gordon to Forbidden Planet to Lost in Space.

new Story Bundle: Pulse Pounding Thrillers!

The mighty Kevin J. Anderson has curated a new Story Bundle, this one a bunch of pulse-pounding thrillers, including Animal, my collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra. Here’s Kevin with more about the Bundle…..

Take a breath and hold on. I’ve curated a new “Pulse Pounders” StoryBundle, thirteen action-packed books, plus a bonus, guaranteed to put you on the edge of your reading chair. Thrillers, suspense, action, dark fantasy, adventure—the common denominator is that they are all page turners—the whole grab bag for as little as $15. Name your own price, and the proceeds go to support indie authors and publishers, and a portion goes to support the Challenger Learning Centers.

A few years ago, I edited an anthology series from WMG, Pulse Pounders, and one of those collections is the cornerstone of the bundle, a collection of intense stories in a variety of genres. But that’s just the start of this batch of excellent books.

D.J. Butler offers an omnibus of six complete novels in his Rock Band Fights Evil series. Heaven doesn’t want them. Do they have a chance in Hell?

In Animal, Dr. Munish K. Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido present an edgy, intense thriller of a serial killer who targets those who torture innocent animals—who is the real animal?

Ignition, by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason, is a tense terrorist hostage crisis at the Kennedy Space Center.

New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and Rachael Lavin take you right into the zombie apocalypse in Still of Night. The dead rose. We fell. But not everyone thinks the war for survival is over. Heroes rise in times of crisis, and these are their stories….

As a StoryBundle special sneak preview, before the book is released to the general public, we’re including Mike Thorn’s Shelter for the Damned. While looking for a secret place to smoke cigarettes with his two best friends, troubled teenager Mark discovers a mysterious shack in a suburban field. Alienated from his parents and peers, Mark finds within the shack an escape greater than anything he has ever experienced. But it isn’t long before the place begins revealing its strange, powerful sentience. And it wants something in exchange for the shelter it provides.

Wardenclyffe by F. Paul Wilson takes readers into the mind of genius inventor Nikola Tesla, in a 1906 experiment with a giant electrical tower to transmit power worldwide…but Tesla abandoned his experiment. Was it a conspiracy…or a terrifying discovery?

In Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s River Runs Red, teenagers Molly, Byrd, and Wade faced inconceivable evil in an underground labyrinth on the banks of the Rio Grande. Reunited as adults, they discover that their terrifying experience was only the beginning.

In Craig Martelle’s political thriller People Raged and the Sky Was on Fire, a terrorist plotting an attack on Washington, DC stays one step ahead by hiding in plain sight, always there, but never seen. Rick Banik—a patriot for the new age. A race against time. A fight against bureaucracy. A maze of red tape and dots that don’t want to be connected. How many people must die for the plot to be uncovered? How many will die if it isn’t?

Richard Fox offers a tense Iraq War thriller, Into Darkness. After a deadly ambush in Iraq leaves two soldiers in terrorist hands, intelligence officer Eric Ritter journeys into hostile territory to rescue them.

Turning farther from our normal world, in Michelle Cori’s Convergent Lines, human-fae hybrids have existed alongside humanity for thousands of years. With long lives and magic, they shaped the world. Until a curse …

Dean Wesley Smith shares a Cold Poker Gang novel, Freezeout, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch presents a new Diving Universe novel, Squishy’s Teams and a bonus—a previous novel in the series, Boneyards.

That’s fourteen books total that will keep your pulse racing, your eyes darting across the sentences, and your imagination engaged. Available for three weeks only. 

—Kevin J. Anderson

* * *

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Convergent Lines by Michelle Cori
  • Into Darkness by Richard Fox
  • Freezeout by Dean Wesley Smith
  • Pulse Pounders: Countdown by Fiction River
  • Ignition by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular books, plus NINE more! That’s 14 books total!

  • People Raged and the Sky Was on Fire by Craig Martelle
  • Wardenclyffe by F. Paul Wilson
  • Shelter for the Damned by Mike Thorn (StoryBundle Exclusive)
  • Still of Night by Jonathan Maberry and Rachael Lavin
  • Squishy’s Teams by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Boneyards by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Animal by Munish K. Batra M.D., FACS and Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • River Runs Red by Jeffrey J. Mariotte
  • Rock Band Fights Evil 1-6 Boxed Set by D.J. Butler

This bundle is available only for a limited time via It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards—which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle—and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Challenger Center for Space Education!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for and

For more information, visit our website at, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

KRAD COVID reading #92d: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Cold Fusion Part 4

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we conclude the S.C.E./Deep Space Nine crossover, Cold Fusion. This story takes place between Avatar Book 2 by S.D. Perry and Section 31: Abyss by David Weddle & Jeffrey Lang. Deep Space 9 needs a new fusion core, and the U.S.S. da Vinci meets up with Lieutenant Nog to salvage one from Empok Nor. In the final part, the Androssi threat is neutralized, but that’s only the beginning of the problem, as the original plan for salvaging Empok Nor is no longer viable, and the S.C.E. and Nog must put their heads together to find a way to save DS9!

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Latent Image”

The EMH has a gap in his memory, and his attempts to find out why are stymied by a source frighteningly close to home. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch finds a “Latent Image.”

An excerpt:

There are so many clichés being turned on their ear here, starting with one of the oldest tropes in Trek’s playbook: human fallacy confusing the crap out of a machine, causing it to self-destruct. The ethical conundrum the EMH faces here is just like the ones foisted by Kirk upon Landru in “The Return of the Archons,” the androids in “I, Mudd,” and Nomad in “The Changeling.” And Janeway is forced to shut him down before he goes the way of those mechanical beings.

Systema Paradoxa cover gallery

The fine folks at eSpec Books, in association with Cryptid Crate, have created the NeoParadoxa imprint, which will be publishing novellas that focus on various cryptids. The first one, When the Moon Shines by John L. French, is on sale now, and there are at least a dozen or so planned, including one by me! I’ll be doing Volume 4, which is entitled All-the-Way House, and which will feature several cryptids, but mainly the Jersey Devil. The novella will take place in the same universe as the Adventures of Bram Gold (the novels A Furnace Sealed and the forthcoming Feat of Clay, as well as the short stories “Under the King’s Bridge” in Liar Liar, “Materfamilias” in Bad Ass Moms, and “Unguarded” in the upcoming Horns and Halos), but feature new characters.

The books can be ordered directly from eSpec, or from your favorite online dealer….

Here are the absolutely stupendous covers that have been released so far:

one shot down, one to go

Today, Wrenn and I trekked down to Yankee Stadium to get our first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. This is being managed by Somos, a network of healthcare providers all throughout New York City. The vaccination station at Yankee Stadium opened up in January, and is specifically there to service Bronx residents.

The process was very orderly, very efficient, very organized, and very friendly. We have absolutely no complaints about any aspect of it, and tons of compliments. Somos is to be commended for what they’re doing here, trying very hard to make sure that the people of the Bronx get vaccinated. Speaking as a lifelong Bronx resident, I know that we’re historically left behind and underrepresented and ill-served, compared to the rest of NYC, so I appreciate the effort. Kudos also to the U.S. Army personnel, who supplemented the Somos staff

Amusingly, the one thing they did constantly was check our ID to make sure we were Bronx residents. They really are committed to making sure that the Bronx gets safer.

The process itself was straightforward. They verified our appointment, which I made Monday morning, then we had to go through the metal detector (because Yankee Stadium), then we registered, and they put us in the computer, and then we went to get our shot. The shot itself was as fast as humanly possible — the guy giving the shot checked our IDs, applied alcohol to our arms, stuck the needle in (it barely even hurt), put on a band-aid, gave us our CDC card that we will now carry around saying we got our first shot, and then we went to the waiting area. Generally, one waits for fifteen minutes to make sure there are no nasty side effects, but because Wrenn is an allergy-induced asthmatic, she had to wait for half an hour.

There were no side effects — though we were both pretty tired when we got home — and we drove home and ate lunch and took well-deserved naps.

We get our second shot on the 12th of March, and by the 26th of March, we’ll be fully vaccinated against this awful virus.

Please, if you’re eligible in your state, make an appointment. If you’re not eligible, be patient — with new vaccines on the verge of being FDA-approved, the number of slots should increase in March. Keep checking for appointments. The sooner everyone gets vaccinated, the safer we’ll all be.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Counterpoint”

Voyager has to go through a totalitarian state to keep going home, and on the way they help some refugees, offer asylum to a soldier, and play cat-and-mouse with Devore authorities. Plus Janeway kinda gets a romance. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch offers a “Counterpoint.”

An excerpt:

Of all the Trek shows, Voyager is the one that most often loses track of the fact that our heroes are supposed to be, well, heroes. They sometimes (only sometimes, mind you) are so focused on their journey home that they forget that their first duty should be compassion and helping those that need it. There’s a reason why so many Trek stories start with a response to a distress call.

Turning the Tied blog tour commences!

We’re doing a big-ass blog tour to promote Turning the Tied, the charity anthology being published next month by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers to benefit the World Literacy Foundation.

It actually started last month, so I’m catching up a bit, but we’ve got:

Here’s an excerpt from Jean’s interview with me:

What is the most difficult aspect of tie-in writing?

Being the first (or one of the first) projects in a new license when everyone’s trying to figure out what they can and can’t do and what works and what doesn’t. The first several projects in a tie-in license are always the most fraught as you go through the growing pains of working together.

There will be plenty more to come in our blog tour as we barrel toward the 13 March pub date, so keep an eye on this here blog…..

KRAD COVID reading #92c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Cold Fusion Part 3

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we continue the S.C.E./Deep Space Nine crossover, Cold Fusion. This story takes place between Avatar Book 2 by S.D. Perry and Section 31: Abyss by David Weddle & Jeffrey Lang. Deep Space 9 needs a new fusion core, and the U.S.S. da Vinci meets up with Lieutenant Nog to salvage one from Empok Nor. In Part 3, Lieutenant Nog and the S.C.E. team are pitted against the Androssi, who want to turn Empok Nor into a mobile weapons platform…

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!