irons in the fire update

While putting this together, I realized I’m approaching two writing milestones…

When Feat of Clay and Phoenix Precinct are finished, I’ll have written 60 novels (or novelizations) for publication. That’s pretty fabulous. (I’m not counting my second collaboration with Munish K. Batra until it’s sold, nor am I counting two movie novelizations I wrote that were cancelled and will likely never be published.)

I have six short stories in the queue to be written, and once they’re done, I’ll have written 100 short stories for publication.

That’s pretty cool……..

Anywho, here’s what I’m working on:

Precinct series. The plan is for eSpec Books to do a three-way Kickstarter for Phoenix Precinct and novels by Ef Deal and Aaron Rosenberg this fall. This means I have a 1 October deadline for Phoenix Precinct. It’s pretty much plotted, so I just have to, y’know, sit down and write it. It should be out either by the end of 2022 or in early 2023, depending on how eSpec wants to handle the release. In addition, I need to start thinking about assembling More Tales from Dragon Precinct.

Bram Gold Adventures. I’m still halfway through Feat of Clay. Sigh. Really will finish it one of these decades. Hoping to have the book out this year, but 2023 is looking more realistic. In addition, I’m going to be doing another Systema Paradoxa novella that will take place in this setting.

Science fiction novellas. I’ve written five of the novellas in this series, and just starting on Book 6 now. I promise to say more about this as soon as the guy who hired me to write them says it’s okay…..

Phenomenons. With the successful crowdfund of the second volume, Season of Darkness, I’ve started brainstorming my second Luminosity story with editor Michael Jan Friedman and a few of the other writers. This is gonna be fun….

Anthology editing. Wrenn and I have been struggling to get moving on The Four ???? of the Apocalypse, but it’s gonna happen in July, dagnabbit. If all goes well, we’ll have copies of the book ready to go in time for Dragon Con. In addition, I’ve somehow been talked into co-editing two more anthologies, one of which will be announced soon, the other of which is being shopped around to publishers. I will also have stories in both of those (which will be edited by my co-editor in each case).

Medical thriller. This collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra is being shopped around by our agent. Cross fingers, please! Also, Munish and I are going to be doing more collaborations…

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning. I’ve written all my scripts for this one. The art is coming along nicely. Looking forward to seeing this in print….

Star Trek Adventures: Incident at Kraav III. I’ve done what should be all my work for this. Just waiting for CBS to approve it and Modiphius to publish it. I also have some mission briefs to write for them…

Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. I still have to write this collection’s one original story, “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” but once that’s done, it will go off to Plus One Press for publication. The rest of the collection is reprints.

Short stories. I’m doing a story for another Crazy 8 Press anthology, which will be announced (and set up for crowdfunding) soon. That’s due at the end of July, and I’ve already outlined it. I’ve written my story for The Eye of Argon and the Further Adventures of Grignr the Barbarian, edited by Michael A. Ventrella, which Fantastic Books should have out in time for Philcon in November. I’m slated to write a tie-in short story for an anthology, assuming the publisher is able to work out the contract with the rights-holder. I’ve also sent several short-story pitches to a magazine that is publishing tie-in work, and waiting to hear back from the licensor.

Nonfiction. Currently have three weekly things going on Tor.com: the Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch, reviews of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and the summer revival of “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch.” I’m in early season 2 of Enterprise, there’s just one episode to go of SNW and then the first-season overview, and I’ve still got five movies to cover for 4CT35MM: Spider-Man: No Way Home, The King’s Man, The Batman, Morbius, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I also have a piece to write for another of the Outside In anthologies, and my usual monthly TV and movie reviews for my Patreon.

There’s other stuff that’s way in the background, as it were. This is what’s in the foreground. Wheeeeee!

2022: the year of the short story

For whatever reason, this has been a major short-story year for me. With today’s official release of both Zorro’s Exploits and Tales of Capes and Cowls, I now have six stories published this year, with another five planned between now and the end of 2022.

Of the five remaining for this year, I’ve written “The Rat’s Tail,” I’ve outlined “Ticonderoga Beck and the Stalwart Squad,” I have a basic idea of what both “What Do You Want from Me, I’m Old?” and “Stop Dragon My Heart Around” will be, and I only have a vague idea what the Luminosity story will be, though I can say that it will involve several other characters in the Phenomenons milieu including Sarcastic Fringehead, Red Sky, and La Colosa y La Particula.

By contrast, I haven’t had a novel out this year, and may not unless we get Phoenix Precinct or Feat of Clay out by year’s end, but I’m not entirely optimistic about that. Sigh. Though I guarantee that both will be out before the end of 2023…..

(I still will have a graphic novel — Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning — and a short story collection — Ragnarok and a Hard Place — out this year, at least….)

preorder link and table of contents for Zorro’s Exploits

Bold Venture Press has put up an ordering page for Zorro’s Exploits, the new anthology of stories featuring Johnston McCulley’s swashbuckling creation. Editor Audrey Parente has also revealed the full table of contents:

  • introductions by Audrey Parente, Jan Zbicinski, and Bill Cotter
  • “The Alcalde’s Last Try” by Tekla Cichocka
  • “Courage by Firelight” by Aaron Rosenberg
  • “Fray Felipe’s Dilemma” by Michael Kurland
  • “A Fox in the City” by Jim Beard
  • “Out of the Night” by John L. French
  • “The Shepherd” by Susan Kite
  • “Life and Death” by Scott Cranford
  • “Fox Hunt” by Bobby Nash
  • “Los Hombres Buenos” by Patricia Crumpler
  • “M for Murrieta” by Francisco Silva
  • “The Road to Penance” by Ron Fortier
  • “Zorro and the Red Devil” by Teel James Glenn
  • “The Gold Bell of Canfield Featherstone” by James Mullaney
  • “A Lovely View” by Keith R.A. DeCandido (that’s me!)
  • “A Wolf in the Land” by Don Everett Smith Jr.
  • “The Kindness of Strangers” by Patrick Thomas
  • “Z” by Bret Bouriseau

The book officially goes on sale on Thursday….

buy an eBook and help pooches!

Ludlow Charlington’s Coffee House in Chicago has a nifty decorative feature: eleven ornate portraits of contemporary dogs dressed in historical costumes.

Editor Tina L. Jens has put together a nifty charity anthology, Ludlow Charlington’s Doghouse, which goes on sale today, in which nineteen writers — including me! — have taken one of those eleven portraits and built a story, poem, drabble, or play around it. All proceeds from this anthology go to benefit Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control.

For my part, I wrote a drabble, based on the pooch in the image below, called “History Lesson for Royal Puppies in the Castle Portrait Gallery.”

The full author list includes:

  • Alexandria Baisden
  • Sue Burke
  • C.B. Channell
  • Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • Jaym Gates
  • Tazmania Hayward
  • K. M. Herkes
  • Rhys Hughes
  • Joe Janes
  • Tina L. Jens
  • Lauren A. R. Masterson
  • Charissa Menefee
  • Beth W. Patterson
  • Steven H Silver
  • Jeffrey Thomas
  • Scott Thomas
  • J9 Vaughn
  • Sean Margaret Wagner
  • John Weagly

So buy a doggone good book and do some good for dogs!

just one week left to support Phenomenons: Season of Darkness!

There’s just one week left in the crowdfund for Phenomenons: Season of Darkness, the second volume in the superhero shared-world anthology series created by New York Times best-selling author Michael Jan Friedman.

It’s an alternate present where the U.S. never really recovered from the economic crash of 2008 In the wake of corporate greed more and more taking over the fabric of the nation, the Phenomenons rise to prominence — heroes who fight for the ordinary citizen in a world where they are more and more forgotten and/or oppressed.

Grey Guardsman was the first. He was followed by many others. Better Angel. Black Hat. La Colosa y La Particula. Darya, Benny, Layal, and Qumadah. Lipstick Lilly. Luminosity. <null>. Penny Trouble. Professor Paracelsus. Rascal. Red Sky. Reese & Rodriguez, agents of the CED. Revek. Sarcastic Fringehead. Scopes. Syntax. Torque. Traction. Yoga. And lots more….

Support the Kickstarter and you have access to all kinds of cool rewards, including being a character in one of the stories!

Please check it out and consider supporting this wonderful project. I’ve had so much fun with this one, as Luminosity is a hero I’ve been toying with for years and I’m thrilled to get the chance to finally do something with her in what is turning out to be a fantastic universe to play in.

now available for preorder: Tales of Capes and Cowls

The Phenomenons series isn’t the only superhero anthology I’m involved in this year (and hey, Phenomenons: Season of Darkness is still crowdfunding for another week!). I’ve also got a new Super City Cops story in Tales of Capes and Cowls, edited by C.T. Phipps, published by Crossroad Press. It’s called “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and it’s sharing the space between the covers with C.T., Matthew Davenport, Richard Roberts, Michael Suttkus, my good buddies David Niall Wilson and Aaron Rosenberg, and actor/author Michael Boatman!

It’s available for preorder from Amazon (both Kindle and trade paperback), Barnes & Noble (just Nook at the moment), and Kobo.

Check it out!

irons in the fire update

Working on all the things…….

Medical thriller. My second collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra is in the midst of revisions requested by our agent. I’m hoping to have those revisions done in the next week or so said agent — who absolutely loves the book, but says it’s too short to be saleable, which has been an issue throughout my career — can start shopping the book around.

Space opera novella series. I’ve completed the first four of these novellas. Not ready to announce what it is yet in any detail. The current plan has Books 5 and 6 done by mid-June.

Precinct series. Phoenix Precinct now has an actual deadline from my publisher: 1 October! So I damn well will write it by then….

Cassie Zukav. I still have to write “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” which will be the final story to go into Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. It’ll be the only wholly original story in the collection, which will otherwise include all the stories that were published in magazines and/or anthologies and/or collections since 2013, as well as all the Cassie vignettes I posted to Patreon.

Bram Gold. I’m still halfway through Feat of Clay. Sigh. Hoping to get this done before summer is over. Blorfle. Meantime, I’m also scheduled to write another Systema Paradoxa novella in this universe.

The Four ???? of the Apocalypse. One of the two stories we were waiting for has been turned in. Hoping to finally make progress on this…..

Various bits of short fiction for anthologies. Waiting for the go-ahead on one tie-in anthology that I’m really looking forward to. The stories for Zorro’s Exploits and Three Time Travelers Walk Into… are done and awaiting, respectively, proofreading and publication. My stories for the upcoming Tales of Grignr and Ludlow Charingtons charity anthologies are both turned in. I have forthcoming stories to write for Phenomenons: Season of Darkness (which is crowdfunding right now!) and Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022. And finally, I’m co-editing and writing a story for a tie-in anthology that’s going to be incredibly cool. It’s being shopped around to publishers right now.

Nonfiction. I’m still doing the weekly Enterprise Rewatch for Tor.com, as well as reviews of each new episode of Trek (currently Strange New Worlds) as they air also. On top of that, I’ll be reviving “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” in June and July with eight new movies (well, five new movies and three older ones), and I’ll be reviewing The Umbrella Academy season three when it drops near the end of June. I’ll also be doing a piece for Outside In Regenerates on “The Curse of the Fatal Death.”

Star Trek Adventures. Still waiting for the final approval on Incident at Kraav III. Meantime, I have ten mission briefs to write for this…

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning. I’ve done all my script work for this, and I think it’s all been approved. At the very least issue #1 is approved. I’ve seen some of the artwork for #1 and it looks fantastic. The series should start being published this summer.

There’s other stuff, too, but it’s all back-burnered while I get the above stuff done. Wheeeee!

new on Kickstarter: Phenomenons: Season of Darkness

For a while now, Michael Jan Friedman has been teasing folks on Facebook and Twitter with images from the above artwork — it’s the unique heroes of Phenomenons, the shared-world superhero universe MJF created for last year’s anthology of that title, subtitled Every Human Creature.

The book was such a success that a second volume is now being crowdfunded by the fine feathered finks at Crazy 8 Press: Phenomenons: Season of Darkness.

All the heroes in the artwork will be there. Clockwise from the left, we have Penny Trouble (created by Russ Colchamiro and Hildy Silverman), Better Angel (created by MJF), Syntax (also created by Russ & Hildy), Lipstick Lilly (created by Marie Vibbert), and Luminosity (created by me!!!!).

I’m very much looking forward to writing more stories about Luminosity, her best friend De’Andre, and their adventures defending the people of the Bronx. As I type this, we’re already at $1568 of the $8500 goal, and there’s lots of cool rewards and nifty add-ons and, if we make the funding goal, fabulous stretch goals!

Among the rewards, by the by, are Tuckerizations — you (or someone you care about) can be a character in one of the stories! I’ve got three such slots in my own tale, and they’re still available as of this writing…..

So check it out, and please consider supporting!

now on sale: Unauthorized Offworld Activation: Exploring the Stargate Franchise

The collection of essays about the Stargate franchise (three movies! five TV shows! tons of tie-in stuff!) is now on sale from the silly sods at Sequart! You can order the book in print or eBook form from Amazon at this link.

(You can find the full table of contents, including my essay about the three leaders of the Atlantis expedition on Stargate Atlantis and how the show didn’t do right by any of them, in this prior blog post.)

cover reveal: Zorro’s Exploits

Bold Venture Press has revealed the cover to next month’s Zorro anthology Zorro’s Exploits. Edited by the mighty Audrey Parente, this anthology will have seventeen new tales of the Fox as he defends the downtrodden in 19th-century Alta California.

I am one of the seventeen authors, and my story is called “A Lovely View.” Other pals o’ mine who are in this book include Jim Beard, John French, Teel James Glenn, Bobby Nash, Aaron Rosenberg, and Patrick Thomas, plus ten other great authors!

More info to be released soon…….