Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog

i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
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  • Kevin J. Anderson


    Posted By on October 4, 2017

    Strap into your cockpit, fire up the faster-than-light engines, and set course for the nearest star. I’ve got a grab bag of 13 excellent science fiction books all in one new Adventure SF storybundle. Get them all for as little as $15, and help out a great charity, too!

    I put in a brand new action-packed story, The Blood Prize, featuring the popular character Colt the Outlander from Heavy Metal magazines, with all new art by the Aradio Brothers. Robert J. Sawyer offers his classic novel Far Seer (a planet of intelligent dinosaurs!). Raymond Bolton’s Awakening shows a fantasy civilization on the cusp of the industrial revolution faced with an alien invasion.


    You’ll read different adventures on very different lunar colonies in Gray Rinehart’s Walking on a Sea of Clouds, Lou Agresta’s Club Anyone, and T. Allen Diaz’s Lunatic City, as well as Louis Antonelli’s alternate space race and murder on the moon in Dragon-Award nominee Another Girl, Another Planet.


    Jody Lynn Nye’s Taylor’s Ark follows the adventures of a star-traveling MD with a specialty in environmental medicine, and Brenda Cooper’s Endeavor-Award winning The Silver Ship and the Sea is a gripping story of prisoners of war abandoned on a rugged colony planet. Acclaimed, award-winning author Paul di Filippo gives a collection of his best stories in Lost Among the Stars.


    And for thrilling military SF, the bundle also has Honor and Fidelity by Andrew Keith and William H. Keith, Recruit by Jonathan P. Brazee, and the hilarious adventures of Phule’s Company in Robert Lynn Asprin’s Phule’s Paradise.


    The Adventure SF storybundle runs for only three weeks. You can get the base level of five books for $5, or all 14 for as little as $15. Pay what you like, and a portion goes to support the great efforts of the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.


    Truly EPIC 2017

    Posted By on August 31, 2017

    Once again, it’s time for our annual TRULY EPIC FANTASY StoryBundle, with tremendous imaginative novels that will draw the sword right out of your stone!

    This year we have some amazing work by world-class fantasy authors as well as the best of the up-and-coming indie authors in the genre. We’ll start with a triple play by legendary and New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, three novels: The Sword of Bedwyr, The Woods Out Back, and The Education of Brother Thaddius. Famed Brandon Sanderson adds his incredible Sixth of the Dusk to the mix, and Michael A. Stackpole delivers A Hero Born.

    If you like your epic fantasy in a historical vein, we have Blood of Akhilles by R.M. Meluch, Joanna Crusader by Hilary Benford, and Obstacles by Ryan English. For outside-the-box fantasy, the bundle includes Knight of Flame by Scott Eder, Blood Curse by Quincy J. Allen, Shadowcurse by Gama Martinez, Unwilling Souls by Greg Little, The Moonflower by Kim May, Warrior of Light by William Heinzen, and The Fallen by Erik Kort and Lee French.

    This is enough to fill your e-reader with epic stories for the next half year, for a bargain-basement price. You name your own price, and a portion of the proceeds goes to a worthy cause, to support the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.

    Pick up a copy of all these books now, while they last. The bundle is available for ONLY THREE WEEKS at

    The initial titles in the The Truly Epic Fantasy Bundle 2017 (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

    • Knight of Flame by Scott Eder
    • A Hero Born – Realms of Chaos Book 1 by Michael A. Stackpole
    • Joanna Crusader by Hilary Benford
    • The Fallen – The Greatest Sin Book 1 by Lee French and Erik Kort
    • The Education of Brother Thaddius and Other Tales of DemonWars by R.A. Salvatore

    If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus NINE more!

    • Obstacles by Ryan English
    • Blood of Akhilles by R.M. Meluch
    • Blood Curse by Quincy J. Allen
    • Warrior of Light by William Heinzen
    • The Moonflower by Kim May
    • Shadowguard by Gama Ray Martinez
    • Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson
    • Spearwielder’s Tale – The Woods Out Back by R.A. Salvatore
    • The Sword of Bedwyr – The Crimson Shadow by R.A. Salvatore

    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 and .mobi) for all books!

    AND a portion of the proceeds will go to support the wonderful Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.



    DRAGONCON schedule

    Posted By on August 30, 2017

    My Dragoncon schedule. Exact rooms in the program book. Be sure to come to my reading of the new Dan Shamble story on Saturday!
    1 PM X-Files panel
    4-6:30 at Bard’s Tower booth 817, America’s Mart bldg 2, floor 3
    7 PM Masculinity in Star Wars
    10-12 at Bard’s Tower booth 817, America’s Mart bldg 2, floor 3
    1 PM Reading NEW Dan Shamble Story!
    2:30 NYT Bestsellers Tell All
    4-5 at Bard’s Tower booth 817, America’s Mart bldg 2, floor 3
    5:30 Star Wars authors
    10-Noon at Bard’s Tower booth 817, America’s Mart bldg 2, floor 3
    1 PM Dragon Awards presenter
    2:30 Magnificent Men of SF/F
    4 Mentoring sessions
    10 AM Things I Wish Some Pro Had Told Me


    Posted By on August 29, 2017

    It took me completely by surprise. Rebecca and I made plans to drive three hours out of Colorado into the foothills of Wyoming to find a place where we could watch the total solar eclipse. It was a bucket-list item for both of us. I’ve been to six of the seven continents, seen the Grand Canyon and the Sahara Desert, Inca ruins in the Andes, Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan. My undergrad degree was in astronomy, and a total eclipse was something I didn’t want to miss.

    We found an isolated reservoir, open water, sparse crowds compared to the traffic jams elsewhere on the path of totality. We set up our lawn chairs at the water’s edge, donned our eclipse glasses, and watched the bite being taken out of the sun, a perfect arc that grew larger and larger over the course of an hour and a half. Soon the sun was half gone, then just a crescent like a thin moon near the horizon at sunset.

    But even a thin crescent of sunlight is still bright. Taking off the glasses, I could see what looked like a dim, overcast day. About a hundred other people were gathered around at the reservoir, eating picnic lunches, staring up at the diminishing sun, chattering and pointing. I was filled with anticipation.

    The shadows around us were strangely razor sharp, and we played, holding out our hands, waggling our fingers. I found it an intriguing effect. Then as the last minute approached, the sky grew darker. We stared through our glasses as the thin arc of remaining sunlight vanished like a candle flame going out, swallowed up by the moon. In an instant everything changed.

    We took off our glasses and stared at an ominous and terrifying black hole in the sky surrounded by a pearlescent whitish-blue glow. We could see solar flares peeping out from the surface of the sun. The other spectators around us cheered and whooped…and then strangely fell into an uneasy awed silence. I, Mr. Astronomy Degree, smiled at the celestial event and then felt a chill go down my spine. I could barely breathe. The temperature dropped fifteen degrees. The sky was dark and stars came out. The glow of orange twilight ringed the horizone in all directions, not just the east or west. The black hole remained overhead, as if swallowing up the universe.

    The world was plunged into an eerie silence, holding its breath. I felt unsteady on my feet. I felt awed with the majesty of it. This wasn’t just a sight to see, but a profound experience. Even though I knew exactly what was happening, I felt like a primitive tribesman staring in terror. This was something entirely different from Niagara Falls or Mount Vesuvius. My entire body was covered with gooseflesh.

    Then the two minutes were over and the sun reappeared with a flare that flooded light back into the sky, showing us that the world was right again. The people laughed and cheered, letting out a collective sigh of relief. Rebecca and I talked excitedly with each other, and my legs felt unsteady as we headed back to the car for the long, traffic-clogged drive home.



    Posted By on August 27, 2017

    My friend Jeff Sturgeon is an amazing artist with an amazing imagination. I have watched him exhibit at science fiction conventions with his gorgeous and innovative paintings on burnished metal, but over the past several years Jeff has been possessed by a very energetic and demanding muse.
    He’s developed a breathtaking science fiction concept, THE LAST CITIES OF EARTH, a future after the explosion of the great Yellowstone caldera makes the surface of the world uninhabitable, but with enough forewarning, the major cities have used new technology to levitate themselves above the clouds. Now, centuries have passed, and each city has developed its own culture, its own airships, and a new trading network is evolving. The ideas abound, and Jeff has created painting after painting of city after city.
    With his new project, Jeff is opening it up to other authors, so that we each write a story based on a particular city. John Pitts, Jody Lynn Nye, Ian Douglas, Brenda Cooper, Mike Resnick, David Gerrold, and others. I am going to write about glitzy and seamy New Las Vegas and a group of genetically modified avian airship navigators.  Each painting inspires a story, and all stories will be collected in an anthology.
    But that only happens if the Kickstarter funds.  Less than a week remains, if you’d like to contribute. Help us meet our goal at LAST CITIES Kickstarter

    The Highest High—Reaching the Summit of Mount Sherman

    Posted By on August 7, 2017

    “It’s a test of ultimate will, a heartbreak climb uphill”—Rush, “Marathon”

    Yesterday, I led a group of dedicated Rush fans up to the summit of Mount Sherman (14,036 ft) in Colorado. It was a hard climb, especially for the flatlanders—members of our group came from all across the country, from Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, California, and Colorado. This was our second year in a row, reaching the top of the world.

    In 2011, I climbed a mountain with my long-time friend, Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for legendary rock group Rush, when they were in Denver for their Time Machine Tour. During that climb to the summit of Mount Evans (14,265 ft), Neil and I plotted the characters and storyline of our novel Clockwork Angels, based on the Rush concept album Neil was writing at that time. When released in 2012, the Clockwork Angels album became the #1 bestselling album in North America and our novel Clockwork Angels hit the New York Times bestseller list and won several awards. We followed that up in 2015 with Clockwork Lives (a novel we both think is even better), which won the Colorado Book Award.


    The story of how Neil and I plotted the novel while climbing a mountain became well known in Rush fan groups. Last year, my friend and fellow Rush fan Chris Reed asked if I might be willing to lead a group of fans on a repeat of the hike up Mount Evans. I was a little skeptical—this is a hard hike if you aren’t used to it—and I asked if he could gauge the interest to see if we might get a few fans willing to sign up, fly out to Colorado, and do the climb. If we got five I would do it. More than a dozen jumped at the chance within the first hour, at which point I frantically cut it off. That’s a very large group! We succeded, and not only had a great and exhilarating climb, we also formed a powerful bond of friendship we hadn’t expected. This diverse group of climbers was bound together by our shared love of Rush, and now we had a personal connection as well.

    “I wish that I could live it all again.”—Rush, “Headlong Flight”

    Not satisfied with climbing only one peak, the group wanted to do it again and soon began pestering me about what mountain I was going to choose for 2017. I tried to find another Fourteener (peaks over 14,000-ft) that might be doable. I have climbed all 54 of the Fourteeners, and I needed to select one that was within the abilities of our diverse group. Last September, on a scouting expedition, I climbed Mount Sherman myself (my third time up to that summit), and I decided this one was it. We began to make our plans. We picked the date in early August 2017, so we could be confident the snowpack would be gone. We reserved our hotel rooms in the only hotel in town (Fairplay, the actual town of “South Park” as satirized in the cartoon). Fifteen people wanted to come, nearly all of last year’s group plus some new climbers. In June, to prepare for the season, I climbed Mount Sherman again (my fourth time), checking the trail, taking video and many photos so the team would know what they were getting into.

    Finally, the first weekend in August arrived. The entire group met in Fairplay after flying in to Denver International Airport, and we immediately rediscovered our fellowship. We had a great introductory dinner in the South Park Brewery while we made our plans for the next day. My brother-in-law Tim, my frequent hiking partner, also joined us as he had done last year. Tim was our co-guide, bringing up the rear. We had brought spare hiking sticks, daypacks, windbreakers, hats, and shared them around to anyone who needed them.

    One of our climbers, Tracy, a longtime friend of mine, went with us last year for Mount Evans, but had suffered serious altitude sickness and had to turn back early on. This year, he was absolutely determined to make it to the top. One of our other hikers, Tara, suffered from severe agoraphobia and couldn’t face the climb last year, although her husband Brian and 11-year-old son Alex made it to the summit of Evans; this year, she was sure she could do it. We were all cheerleaders for each other.

    We met in the hotel lobby the following morning at 5:45 AM, and the hotel desk clerk generously opened the breakfast room for us so we could load ourselves with coffee, orange juice, and carbs for the climb. We packed the cars, managed to fit all fifteen of us into three SUVs, and headed off into the brightening dawn down a 13 mile bumpy dirt road, climbing up to road’s end at 11,680 ft, a gate, some old mining ruins—and about 25 other vehicles parked there, climbers who had gotten an even earlier start. This is a very popular climb.

    After getting out into a chilly and breezy 40°F, we donned jackets, gloves, backpacks, sunscreen. Fifteen of us trudged up the dwindling road, past mine ruins, streams, always ascending. We were starting well above treeline, and kept going higher. We still had about 2300 ft of elevation to gain.

    We spread out as we climbed, and puffed, and panted, at our own pace. Gradually, the group separated into the faster hikers and the slower hikers. I led the first pack, while Tim shepherded the others. We climbed a relentless trail, up to another set of high mining ruins—an amazing and extensive operation, which made us all wonder about the thriving settlement from more than a century ago. The fast hikers waited, trying to spot the rest of the group with Tim, Tracy, Tara, Brian, and 12-year-old Alex, but we couldn’t find them even though we could see the dirt road many miles behind us. Did they turn back? We couldn’t get a cell signal, couldn’t stay in touch. We waited, but saw no sign of them, and finally pushed on. I was rooting for Tracy, hoping he hadn’t suffered altitude sickness again, and for Tara to see how far she could climb, but they were far behind. We were sure they had given up and gone back to the cars to wait for us.

    My group of ten left the mining ruins and climbed up steeper switchbacks to a glorious saddle between Mount Sherman and Mount Sheridan (13,748 ft—still one of the highest peaks in CO). Suddenly the view opened up for countless miles and mountains in the other direction as well—and the winds roared even harder. We didn’t take time to rest. Ahead of us, we could see the miles-long relentless slope that led to the summit of Sherman. We trudged onward, ever ascending.

    More than an hour later, we reached an elevation of 13,700 ft, where the terrain took a dramatic turn, growing much steeper, rockier, and narrower. Some of our hikers were getting exhausted, lagging behind, and we spread out even more. I tried texting and calling Tim again, but got no response. We still hadn’t seen him, Tracy, Tara, Alex, and Brian. Two more of our group stopped there, feeling altitude sickness, and a couple of others were really lagging, getting exhausted. The rest made the final push to the summit, and when five of us reached a wind shelter near the top, I called a halt, hoping the others would catch up so we could all celebrate together at the summit. Only five of our original 15 had made it this far.

    One member of our “final five,” John, volunteered to head back down the trail to see if he could round up any of our stragglers. At this altitude, he and I could text each other, so he promised to report back as soon as he saw anybody. He headed off back downhill (knowing he would have to climb up all over again!). The rest of us sat down among the rocks out of the wind and ate some snacks and rested. About fifteen minutes later, I received a shocking text from John: “All here! Even Tracy and Tim! Alex, too!” The whole group had made it up after all and were only a few minutes behind us. [It turns out Tim’s group had taken an alternate route to the saddle, where we couldn’t see them. They had made it up by supporting each other, calling themselves Team Dory, by calling out “Keep climbing, keep climbing!”]

    Two had turned back from the altitude sickness, and Tara and Brian had reached the 13,700 point and decided to stop where the terrain grew much more extreme. (It was by no means a small accomplishment and a very tough hike up to that point; they had climbed higher than most peaks in Colorado.)

    The eleven of us pushed to the top. The last few steps were hard, but the group stood on the summit. Tracy had made it, and Alex, to much rejoicing, along with Warren, James, John, Melissa, Ronald, Kelly, Jim, and Tim. We took the requisite pictures, shared snacks, but by now nasty-looking clouds were closing in and we decided to start the descent. Climbing down 2500 feet is just as tough as climbing up.

    We finally made it back to the car a little after 1 PM and drove down the bumpy dirt road to our hotel, just as it started to rain. Taking a hot shower after a tough climb is almost as exhilarating as reaching the summit!

    We gathered at a small restaurant for our celebratory dinner (very delicious after only granola and beef jerky all day), passed out certificates and special awards, took more photos and said very heartfelt goodbyes. Chris, Jim, and Ethan from northern Virginia, Ronald and Kelly from southern Virginia, Warren, James, and Melissa from Missouri, Tracy from Salt Lake City, Tara, Brian, and Alex from Raleigh, NC, and John, Tim, and me from Colorado. Some people were departing right away. Others would leave at the crack of dawn. I—wisely—had decided to sleep in!

    We’re already planning for next year.


    Chills in the Heat of Summer: the Bump in the Night Thriller bundle

    Posted By on July 26, 2017

    If you’re ready for summer thrills and chills (ones that don’t even require air conditioning), I’m happy to show off the brand new “Bump in the Night Thrillers” storybundle, which just launched today. Sixteen suspenseful, fun, and entertaining reads.

    You name your own price, get the eBooks via instant download in your preferred format. You support indie authors, and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to charity, to support the worthy cause of the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.

    The bundle books include compelling urban fantasy reads with some of the strangest detectives you’ve ever met, including Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. in my own Unnatural Acts, as well as ghosts, elves, vampires, sorceresses, modern-day dragon slayers, immortal Shakespearean characters, and more in Dean Wesley Smith’s The Deep Sunset, R.R. Virdi’s Grave Beginnings, Patrick Hester’s Into the Fire, Susan Sizemore’s Living Dead Girl, J.A. Pitt’s Night Terrors, L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Prospero Lost, Alex Berg’s Red Hot Steele and Cold Hard Steele.

    For thrilling adventures in other times and places, there’s Death Wind by Travis Heermann and Jim Pinto and Lady Sherlock by Brooks Wachtel. For straight suspense with a high-tech or a darker edge, you’ll enjoy the Daredevils Club novel Artifact written by me, F. Paul Wilson, Matthew J. Costello, and Janet Berliner, and The Demon in Business Class by Anthony Dobranski, Whack Job by Mike Baron, and The Devil’s Churn by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. If you like all kinds of fast-paced fiction, there’s the new anthology Pulse Pounders 2: Adrenaline.

    The bundle is only available through August 16. Get a huge bundle of reading material, help support indie authors, as well as the Challenger Center.


    The Doomsday Cascade

    Posted By on July 24, 2017

    I’m thrilled to announce the sale of THE DOOMSDAY CASCADE, a new high-tech thriller with my frequent coauthor Doug Beason, which deals with the growing international crisis of nuclear waste storage. Bob Gleason, editor at Tor/Forge Books acquired the book via John Silbersack at Trident Media Group. Film and TV rights are being shopped by Eric Williams of Zero Gravity Management.

    THE DOOMSDAY CASCADE is a gritty survival story of people trapped inside a high-security nuclear waste storage facility deep inside a mountain, trying to escape as security systems break down, possibly leading to a nuclear disaster.

    The novel is meticulously researched and extremely plausible. Both Doug and Ihave direct first-hand experience with government bureaucracy, the military, and the nuclear industry.  Recent headlines such as the collapse of a nuclear storage tunnel in Hanford, WA, and numerous nuclear-industry mishaps make the novel’s scenario frighteningly realistic.

    If you need to catch up in the meantime, check out some of the other high-tech thrillers Doug and I have published, including the Nebula-nominated ASSEMBLERS OF INFINITY.



    Finding the Way

    Posted By on July 16, 2017

    (Found some unposted blogs from last year’s hikes!)

    On some of my mountain climbs, there isn’t always an obvious trail. The way is marked with cairns, piles of stones that tell hikers they are on the right track. The problem is that not all those who build cairns know where they’re going. You can be easily led astray.

    My hardest hike of the year, circling the beautiful but rugged “Halo Ridge” in the Holy Cross Wilderness, was a 15-mile hike that carried me over four separate 13,000-ft peaks. In order to descend, I had to take a straight shot down off the ridge to a pair of mountain lakes more than a thousand feet below. I had to descend an interminable steep slope of scree and talus that required a lot of route-finding and balance.

    Due to the steep angle of the descent and the jumble of rocks, I couldn’t really see what was ahead of me, but I picked my way. I zigzagged, looking for solid rock, and then I found a cairn, a blessed cairn!, which reassured me I was on the right path. From that cairn I spotted the next one, and the next, happily and faithfully following the marked route.

    And those bogus cairns led me right over a cliff.

    Suddenly rock ledges appeared in front of me, and I was forced to work my way down loose rock, sharp dropoffs that required all my mountaineering skills to negotiate. Now I was committed, thanks to the “helpful” other hikers. Rather than judging the best route myself, I had trusted that those hikers knew where they were going. They didn’t.

    What should have been a simple Class 2 hike became a harrowing Class 4 descent that exhausted me further and took me an extra two hours. I had learned my lesson that not all those who lead the way know where they’re going.


    TALES OF DUNE just released

    Posted By on July 10, 2017

    Brian Herbert and I are pleased to announce the release of TALES OF DUNE, the expanded edition that collects all of our published Dune short stories, ranging from “Hunting Harkonnens,” the earliest chronological tale in the Dune timeline all the way to “Treasure in the Sand,” which takes place at the very end of the long Dune history.


    The Butlerian Jihad time period

    •  Hunting Harkonnens

    •  Whipping Mek

    •  The Faces of a Martyr

    •  Red Plague

    The Dune time period

    •  Wedding Silk

    •  A Whisper of Caladan Seas

    After the Scattering

    •  Sea Child

    •  Treasure in the Sand

    Available in trade paperback and all eBook formats.  A hardcover edition is forthcoming the next couple of weeks.