Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog

i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
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  • August 2015
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    This could be a disaster!

    Posted By on August 27, 2015

    Every time you turn on the news, you see a different possibility for how the world might end—and imminently! Climate change, Ebola, asteroid impact, nuclear war … zombie apocalypse. How will you prepare? How will you save your family? How will you help save the world for your children and future generations?

    Obviously, the best preparation is to read up on every possible disaster scenario. And a great way to start is with the Disasters Storybundle, which just launched at storybundle.com.

    I have just curated a new bundle of 11 epic disaster novels that cover the gamut of What Can Go Wrong. Think of it as 50 Shades of Doom. These aren’t just tales of disaster…but tales of heroism, persistence, ingenuity, and survival. These are truly the best things to read while you’re huddled underground in your bomb shelter (or just in your living room, in the meantime).

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    The New York Times bestseller FIRE by Alan Rodgers has it all, the brink of nuclear war, religious fanatics taking over the country, a mysterious virus that raises the dead… ATLANTIS by Bob Mayer takes you to the Bermuda Triangle and the fate that destroyed Atlantis may be moving on the rest of the world.

    In STORM WORLD by New York Times bestseller Brian Herbert and Bruce Tayler, a group of survivors after a global climate catastrophe fight to defend the last seed bank, which holds hope for the future. David Sakmyster’s FINAL SOLSTICE has a different explanation for disastrous climate change—Druids! Bill Ransom’s VIRAVAX and Laura Anne Gilman’s DRAGON VIRUS both tell of species-altering genetic plagues…but in dramatically different fashion.

    Brian Herbert and Jan Herbert turn to the seas, where the lifeforms of the ocean finally rebel and turn against the land dwellers after centuries of destruction and pollution. My novel ILL WIND with Doug Beason is about a gigantic oil spill in the San Francisco Bay…and efforts to mitigate it release an oil-eating virus that brings about the fall of civilization. Hugh Howey and John Joseph Adams have covered it ALL in their anthology THE END IS NIGH, with stories about every kind of end-of-the-world imaginable. THE HIGH EDGE by Dean Wesley Smith, a novel in his popular Seeders universe, describes a huge population die-off, and the survivors who must reach for the stars. And SEEDS by Chris Mandeville takes place half a century after a catastrophic solar event destroys life and technology on Earth’s surface, and it is now time for the underground survivors to emerge.

    Trust me, this batch of books will stiffen your backbone and give you hope (or at the very least prove to you that your Bad Day could have been a lot worse!)

    At storybundle.com, you pay whatever you feel the books are worth and you’ll get the six basic books. If you pay above $15 you get the original six books, plus five more. That’s only a little more than a dollar per book! The bulk of the earnings goes *directly* to the authors, with a portion also going to charity—the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education, in this case.

    Available in all eBook formats. But this bundle is available for only a limited time—don’t miss the disaster! https://storybundle.com/disasters

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    New Writers of the Future Workshop—Open to the Public

    Posted By on August 20, 2015

    For over 30 years, the Writers of the Future Contest has been one of the premier writing contests in the science fiction and fantasy field, known not just for the awards ceremony and the prize money, but especially for the intensive week-long writing workshop taught by some of the biggest names in the field. This workshop is available only to the winners.

    Until now.

    Next weekend, a condensed version of the Writers of the Future workshop will be made available to the public. Held in Hollywood at Author Services Inc., August 29-30, this workshop is led by New York Times bestselling author David Farland (The Runelords), and with a special session by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), and special guest instructors, successful indie authors the Winner Twins, as well as Rebecca Moesta and me.

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    It’s a great opportunity if any of you can get to Hollywood next weekend. Attendance is limited to 100.

    For more details see http://www.galaxypress.com/wotf-writing-workshop/

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    Pre-release of Neil Peart: CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS—only Two Days Left

    Posted By on August 10, 2015

    Next month WordFire Press will release an insightful new book about the work, influence and legacy of legendary Rush lyricist and drummer Neil Peart. CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS is written by well-respected professor and literary critic Brad Birzer, who has also written similar analytical books on JRR Tolkien, Charles Carroll, Christopher Dawson, and Russell Kirk

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    from the back cover:

    “Though Neil Peart is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest living drummers, few studies have been devoted to his writings. Yet, Peart is very much a man of his words. He writes lyrics, travelogues, short stories, essays, and books of cultural criticism. In terms of his cultural impact, he is also one of North America’s greatest living men of letters. The themes he offers in his writings are timeless: philosophy, journeys, growth, exploration, excellence, art, satisfaction, happiness, religion, politics, individualism, expression, natural history, cultural criticism, life, love, loss, redemption, and beauty.”

    CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS is not yet released, BUT for two more days only you have a chance to get a sneak-preview Advance copy as part of the Humble Bundle music/books bundle. Name your own price, but bid $15 or more and get this along with 20 other books.

    It ends Tuesday, so if you miss this, you’ll have to wait until the actual book is released in a month.

    click here for Humble Bundle music bundle

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    Modern Day Warriors: Rushcon and Grand Finale of R40 Rush Tour

    Posted By on August 8, 2015

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    The word “awesome” is overused, but last weekend was truly an awesome weekend. Rebecca and I flew out to LA, where I was a guest speaker at the 15th Rushcon (the international convention for Rush fans, of course), and then the final Rush concert for their R40 tour (possibly the final Rush concert ever).

    Awesome, as I said.

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    Raccoon started with a fun mixer and really-tough Rush trivia games at the Nokia Lounge by the Staples Center. (Yes, my team won one of the prizes!) and then the next day the actual con began at the Belasco Theater. I gave a keynote speech about growing up with Rush and how their songs have inspired me, which led to (I think) some of my best books ever, Clockwork Angels and the forthcoming Clockwork Lives.

    Then I was joined by Matt Scannell, frontman of Vertical Horizon, who has also worked with Neil Peart. Matt performed an acoustic set, and then he and I did a Q&A for the audience.

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    The main event, though, was the Rush concert that night at the Forum in Inglewood. Rebecca and I were invited in early to see the soundcheck (I think I’ve used the word “awesome” too much already), and watching Rush practice the heart-wrenching “Losing It” with violinist Jonathan Dinklage left me a wreck and in tears (If you don’t know the song, go listen to it now. It’s on the Signals album. Go on—now.  I’ll wait.)

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    After dinner, we went to our seats with our friend and guest Jeramy Clark. Center stage, eight rows up. Perfect. Just perfect.

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    And then…the concert. Everyone in the audience had the feeling that this might be the last concert ever, after forty years of performing together. Anticipation, bittersweet excitement, but amazing music. I will let the pictures speak, instead of the words:

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    As Neil’s drum solo began, I had a heavy heart, again thinking this might be the last one I would ever hear…but after that I was watching Neil’s face. He normally has a studious full-concentration expression, entirely into his drumming, but he began to SMILE. He actually grinned for the last songs, and I guessed it was because he knew he was in the home stretch. And then the finale, an amazing incredible performance of their very first single “Working Man”—wow.

    Afterward, he emerged from the drum kit and stood with Geddy and Alex, his bandmates for more than four decades.  The first time *ever* in forty years he had emerged to stand with them.

    We went to the afterparty following, spent time with Matt Scannell, Doane Perry (from Jethro Tull), and Jonathan Dinklage. And great congratulations for Neil.

    I can’t express how much effect Rush has had on my career and on my imagination. They have inspired me, motivated me, and raised the bar for everything I wanted to do. Listen to their music. Hear what it can do. There’s something here that’s as strong as life. I know that it will reach you.

    And for anybody interested in reading the novel Clockwork Angels I wrote with Neil Peart, plus a sampler from our followup Clockwork Lives, and a book about the influences of Peart’s work, they are all part of a new rock-themed Humble Bundle, which only runs for FOUR MORE DAYS. check it out at https://www.humblebundle.com/books

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    Rock on Rush Fans: new Humble Bundle full of music-related books

    Posted By on August 3, 2015

    I’m very pleased to be part of a unique new grab bag of books from Humble Bundle, all related to music. This bundle includes the bestselling and award-winning CLOCKWORK ANGELS, my steampunk adventure novel based on the most recent Rush concept album, which is cowritten with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. And there’s  the sneak preview “The Bookseller’s Tale” from the forthcoming companion novel, CLOCKWORK LIVES, also cowritten with Peart.

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    And if that isn’t enough Rush for you, the bundle also includes the advance reader copy of Neil Peart: CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS, a study of the lyrics and philosophy of Peart by a scholar who has also written similar books on Tolkien and Russell Kirk.  This book has not yet been released and won’t be available anywhere else until mid-September. The only printed preview copies sold out in hours at Rushcon in LA last weekend.

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    If you want to read these plus fifteen other titles, name your own price, and a portion goes to charity. *Only nine days left*

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    CLOCKWORK LIVES Tarot Card sets available for order

    Posted By on July 7, 2015

    As a unique companion to my forthcoming steampunk “Canterbury Tales,” CLOCKWORK LIVES—co-created with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart—ECW Press has released a limited-edition set of Tarot cards. Each of the 13 cards contains a line illustration of one of the Clockwork Lives characters by Nick Robles, the artist who did such a fabulous job on our CLOCKWORK ANGELS graphic novel.

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    Only 300 sets of cards exist (I know, because I have them all right here in a box!). I will be selling them at the Hard Rock Cafe in Denver this Thursday night (two days before the Denver Rush concert!) and also at Rushcon in LA at the end of the month.

    For those of you who can’t make either of those appearances, though, I am making the card sets available for $15 each, plus postage.  The following links are for US orders, Canada/Mexico, and International. Limit of 3 per person, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

    US orders $15 + $2.50 postage
    Canada/Mexico  $15 + $4 postage
    International  $15 + $8 postage

    “All this time we’re shuffling and laying out all our cards”
    The Alchemy Miner, the Astronomer, the Bookseller, the Fisherman, the Fortune-Teller, the Inventor, the Percussor, the Sea Captain, the Seeker, the Wrecker, the Pickpocket, the Strongman, and the Steamliner Pilot. Here’s just one sample, from The Sea Captain’s Tale:

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    The novel CLOCKWORK LIVES will be released in September by ECW Press. A signed, numbered, slipcased edition of 500 copies sold out in a day (sorry!) but you can preorder one of the red-leatherette hardcover illustrated first editions now. PREORDER

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    One Horn to Rule Them All—Many Authors to Tell the Tales

    Posted By on June 15, 2015

    Every time I tell someone the main idea behind One Horn to Rule Them All, “A Purple Unicorn anthology,” they all get this odd look in their eyes. And I know exactly what they’re thinking. “Purple unicorns? Really?” And then they get that same glint of, “Neat!”

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    When Rebecca and I teach writing classes, Purple unicorns were our way of telling other writers that they need to bring their A-game to the story, no matter what the subject is, no matter how silly the idea might sound. And when we invited a bevy of Superstars Writing Seminar alumni to submit stories all involving purple unicorns, they all brought their A-game! Every single story in this book features a purple unicorn in same shape or fashion, from literal beasts to graffiti and beyond.

    The best part? Every sale of this book goes toward funding scholarships for future Superstars Writing Seminar attendees, helping our community of all-star writers grow and support itself.

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    When you bring this many talented people together in a single volume, rest assured the creativity is going to astound you. Edited by Lisa Mangum, this anthology is as unique as it gets. Not only are you able to enjoy the tales themselves, but you also know every copy goes to a worthy cause—supporting the careers of authors from all over the country and the world.

    You can pick up One Horn to Rule Them All in all eBook formats and in trade paperback, but right now you have a special opportunity—for four more days. As part of the current Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle, a mere $15 will get you 13 titles, including One Horn to Rule Them All and many others. But the Storybundle ends Thursday, so spread the word! We’ve already funded one scholarship from the bundle, and a hundred more bundles will put us over the limit for a second scholarship!

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    Goodbye to Linus, 2000–2015

    Posted By on June 13, 2015

    Today my heart is too heavy to do any writing. Goodbye Linus, my dear friend for fifteen years.

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    Owen Hardy, and the readers of Clockwork Angels, got a brief chance to meet Linus in the quiet town of Barrel Arbor. I hope that’s where he’s gone now. “He remembered a plump, orange cat that had frequented the Paquettes’ newsgraph offices. The lazy cat curled up in any patch of sun, sleeping away the day, content with its sluggish dreams. Everything had its place, and every place had its thing.”

    Now my place no longer has its Linus.  :(

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    When the RPG fights back! GAMEARTH

    Posted By on June 11, 2015

    My second published novel Gamearth is a fast-paced and fun story that takes place inside and out of a Dungeons & Dragons style role-playing game, where a group of players have grown tired of their game and decide to shut it down…which is tantamount to a declaration of war against the characters inside the game—who then need to go on a quest to save their own world from falling apart (complete with dragons, magic swords, ogres…just what you’d expect).

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    The entire Gamearth trilogy is available in print and eBook format, as well as a large omnibus edition from WordFire Press.

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    When I was in college, I used to play D&D every Sunday night with a group of friends, including award-winning SF author Kristine Kathryn Rusch (of course, at the time, neither of us were published authors!). Kris used a lot of those gaming experiences in her first novel, The White Mists of Power, just as I used them in Gamearth.

    Gamearth is also one of 13 Fantasy titles that are currently featured in the Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle at http://storybundle.com. You can get ALL those books for $15…but it runs for only one more week.

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    The Denver and Dallas Comic Con Retrospective

    Posted By on June 10, 2015

    We’ve been on the road quite a bit lately with the WordFire Press team, and now Rebecca and I are going even further, hopping down under to Australia for Supanova in Sidney and Perth! But before we go, I wanted to let you know how the last couple of conventions have gone for us.

    In short: Fantastically.

    Now for a little longer review…

    At the end of May and beginning of June, we had our usual big booth set up at both Denver Comic Con and Dallas Comic Con. Denver Comic Con is our hometown convention, and we always love seeing the locals and any out-of-state fans who make it by. Every year, this con has grown, and 2015 was no exception.

    The schedule was a little odd with the 3-day weekend—the con started on Saturday and went until Monday—but that didn’t stop it from being a big success. Set square in the middle of downtown Denver, at the convention center with the big blue bear, we got to be surrounded by over 80,000 people.

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    The booth was crowded with authors, including myself and Rebecca, Dan Wells, Sarah Hoyt, Peter Wacks, Aaron Michael Ritchey, Dave Butler, Josh Vogt, David Boop, and a great team of volunteers. We also had three WordFire Press authors launching books during Denver CC, including Quincy Allen’s Chemical Burn, Mario Acevedo’s Rescue From Planet Pleasure (the return of Felix Gomez!), and Josh Vogt’s Enter the Janitor (which sold out). Sunday night, WordFire Press hosted a launch party, where more than 60 people showed up to meet the authors, buy their books, and get them signed. Thanks to everyone who attended!

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    My novel The Dark Between the Stars got a lot of great attention, especially with its Hugo nomination. And I got to distribute “The Bookseller’s Tale,” a sneak preview of my new steampunk novel with Neil Peart, Clockwork Lives, which takes place in the same world as Clockwork Angels. Keep an eye out for “The Bookseller’s Tale” at future cons as well.

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    Next weekend, I had a little adventure getting to Dallas Comic Con, thanks to torrential rains and flooding. After a redirected flight to Tulsa, sleeping on a bench in Baggage Claim, and a crack-of-dawn rental car drive for four hours, I finally arrived and joined in the fun.

    In Dallas, Chemical Burn quickly sold out—as did the few Rescue From Planet Pleasure and Enter the Janitor copies we were able to scrounge up in-between shows. Josh Vogt also had his Pathfinder tie-in, Forge of Ashes, at the booth, and that was easily gone by the end of the weekend.

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    Our author guests for Dallas included Rhiannon Paille, Cie Adams, and Kathleen Baldwin, all of whom were a hit with the crowd! Everyone had at least a panel or two, though for my “Building My First Lightsaber” talk, I did have to explain that I wasn’t teaching people how to build an actual lightsaber. (To avoid any future confusion, remember that it’s just a metaphor for how my passions and career have intertwined.)

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    with Tor authors Cat Adams (top) and Kathleen Baldwin

    That’s it for now. Huge thanks to all the volunteers who helped out over the weekends, and we all look forward to seeing many more of you as we continue popping up at cons throughout the rest of the year!

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