Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog

i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
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  • July 2015
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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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    Get Your Signed Limited CLOCKWORK LIVES Booklet (and a CLOCKWORK Tarot Card!)

    Posted By on June 6, 2015

    To celebrate the upcoming release of CLOCKWORK LIVES, the second “Clockwork” novel written with Neil Peart and based on the fabulous steampunk universe from the Rush album “Clockwork Lives,” ECW Press created a lovely sneak-preview booklet containing The Bookseller’s Tale…one of the stories from CLOCKWORK LIVES.  That book is a novel in its own right, intertwined with a sequence of steampunk “Canterbury Tales” featuring familiar and new characters.  The Bookseller’s Tale features the story of the strange interdimensonal bookseller Mrs. Courier, one of the most popular and mysterious side characters from CLOCKWORK ANGELS, as well as an afterword on how the book came to be written.

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    We debuted the sneak-preview booklets at Denver Comic Con two weeks ago, and gave out hundreds more at Dallas FanExpo last weekend. But countless Rush fans also wrote and posted, asking how they could get one, even if they couldn’t attend one of my appearances.  I promised I would figure out a way.

    I keep my promises.

    If you’ll pay for postage and envelope, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the booklet. No other charge.  Worldwide.  Here’s a direct link to order the booklet via PayPal:

    In US  $3  https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=TDJA2P549UBXS

    In Canada $5 https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=C7CT8XE2P3FXC

    Worldwide  $8 https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5SY2VB2KC9LFG

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    But, wait! There’s more!  ECW also created a set of 13 CLOCKWORK LIVES tarot cards, featuring the main characters in the interspersed Tales. The Inventor, The Astronomer, The Steamliner Pilot, The Strongman, The Fortune Teller, The Alchemy Miner, The Bookseller, The Fisherman, The Percussor, The Sea Captain, The Wrecker, The Seeker, The Pickpocket.  If you send for one of the Booksellers Tale booklets, I will include one Tarot card at random in your packet—see what your fortune is!

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    And if you love this teaser as much as I think you will, please PREORDER the book from your favorite bookseller (maybe not from Mrs. Courier at Underworld Books…)  That’s what helps us make the bestseller lists when Clockwork Lives is released in September.

    All is for the best!

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    Time for a Truly Epic (Fantasy) StoryBundle!

    Posted By on May 27, 2015

    You know how much I love epic adventure of the fantastical sort, which is why I’m so pleased to announce a new Truly Epic Fantasy StoryBundle! This one will include the first volume of my role-playing game trilogy, Gamearth, where self-aware fantasy game characters engage their own players in a fight for control and survival. AND it includes as a free bonus the standalone steampunk fantasy story The Bookseller’s Tale, a sneak preview from my upcoming novel Clockwork Lives with Neil Peart from Rush.

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    As always, StoryBundle lets you name your own price to get a whole bunch of epic and excellent titles. A minimum bid of $5 gets you the basic set of six books:

    • The Magic Touch, by Jody Lynn Nye
    • Gamearth, by Kevin J. Anderson
    • The Crown and the Dragon, by John Payne
    • One Horn to Rule Them All, edited by Lisa Mangum
    • Invisible Moon, by James A. Owen
    • Beasts of Tabat, by Cat Rambo

    Even better, if you pay $15 or higher, you unlock a bonus set of incredible books.

    • A Stranger to Command, by Sherwood Smith
    • Hard Times in Dragon City, by Matt Forbeck
    • The Alchemist, by Paolo Bacigalupi
    • The Executioness, by Tobias Buckell—two great companion works!
    • The Ghosts of the Conquered, by Matthew Caine
    • Glamour of the God-Touched, by Ron Collins

    The Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle will be available for only three weeks, and then it’s gone. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to charity—in this case, the Challenger Learning Centers.

    Last year’s Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle broke all Storybundle records. Let’s see if we can do it again. Help us spread the word so we can all go on some epic adventures together!

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    WordFire Press Books to Appear in Australia Through Satalyte Publishing

    Posted By on April 28, 2015

    Some news to share about our publishing company, WordFire Press. This way we’ll be ready for Supanova in Sidney and Perth in June!

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    In a major deal, WordFire Press—owned by international bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta—signed an agreement with Australia’s Satalyte Publishing to print and distribute their novels in Australia. The first titles will be available at Supanova Sydney June 20–21, where Anderson and Moesta are the two featured author guests.

    WordFire Press books are available in electronic form worldwide, but shipping and long-distance printing issues have made it problematic and prohibitively expensive to distribute their print editions in Australia. The partnership with Australia’s Satalyte Publishing, however, will smooth the way. WordFire publisher Kevin J. Anderson says, “We’ve been discussing the possibilities with Satalyte for some time, but our upcoming appearance at Supanova is an opportunity we just can’t pass up. This partnership gets our books out to Australian and New Zealand readers, with Satalyte operating as our contact there.”

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    Satalyte publisher Stephen Ormsby says “That is a great arrangement for us. Supanova will see some never seen before titles in Australia by these Supastars, and WordFire has a back catalogue that features many of my favourite authors, and to be bringing them out to Australia in print is a thrill.”

    WordFire Press publishes over 200 titles by bestselling and award-winning authors, including well-known works by both Anderson and Moesta, as well as books by science fiction legends Frank Herbert (author of Dune), Jody Lynn Nye, Tracy Hickman, David Farland, Mike Resnick, as well as hot new writers. Specifically for release at Supanova, Satalyte will produce books featuring Anderson’s popular humorous zombie PI, Dan Shamble, as well as Anderson and Moesta’s “Crystal Doors” fantasy trilogy.

    In an ongoing arrangement, Satalyte Publishing will continue to roll out print editions of selected WordFire titles for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

     

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    Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award Ceremony 2015: Always an Inspiring Event

    Posted By on April 22, 2015

    Rebecca and I just got back from the Writers and Illustrators of the Future weekend. This event never fails to fill me with huge hope, seeing so many talented people being honored for their amazing work and setting the standard for the next generation of science fiction and fantasy writers and artists.

    We were well-taken care of by the Galaxy Press and Authors Services team, who brought us in from the airport and made sure we had our schedule laid out. The writer and artist winners got a full week of workshops and presentations, teaching them how to grow their talents and careers in the years to come. Rebecca and I arrived Friday to give our two-hour talk on being professional writers, and we handed out a bunch of free books from our Million Dollar Writing series to the winners.

    In-between everything, I managed to grab lunch with Doug Beason and Jethro Tull drummer Doane Perry. And, in light of my Hugo nomination, I got approached by Jerry Pournelle, who clapped me on the shoulder and said, “Congratulations on the Hugo Nomination. And it’s ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!”

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    Kevin J. Anderson, Doane Perry, Doug Beason

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    with Dr. Jerry Pournelle

    I was especially pleased that my publisher Tom Doherty, of Tor Books, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognition well deserved for the man who did a tremendous amount to make my career what it is today.

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    with Tom and Tanya Doherty

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    WordFire Press on the red carpet, with Peter J. Wacks, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Alexi Vandenberg, Josh Vogt

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    Setting up for the big show

    Then it was time for the ceremony itself. Past and current judges (including Rebecca and myself), include: Dr. Doug Beason, Dr. Gregory Benford, Algis Budrys, Orson Scott Card, Hal Clement, Eric Flint, Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Dr. Yoji Kondo, Nancy Kress, Anne McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, C. L. Moore, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Frederik Pohl, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Brandon Sanderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Dr. Charles Sheffield, Robert Silverberg, Dean Wesley Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, K. D. Wentworth, Sean Williams, Jack Williamson, Dave Wolverton, Roger Zelazny, Edd Cartier, Robert Castillo, Vincent Di Fate, Leo and Diane Dillon, H. R. Van Dongen, Dave Dorman, Bob Eggleton, Wil Eisner, Larry Elmore, Frank Frazetta, Laura Brodian Freas, Frank Kelly Freas, Stephen Hickman, Jack Kirby, Paul Lehr, Ron and Val Lindahn, Stephan Martiniere, Gary Meyer, Judith Miller, Cliff Nielsen, Sergey Poyarkov, Shaun Tan, and Stephen Youll.

    It was a glitzy, packed event as always, with wonderful performances, tear-jerking award speeches, and a great deal of satisfaction all around. I am so happy Rebecca and I are judges for this contest.

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    me presenting the award (along with artist judge Sergey Poyarkov) to Daniel Pantazis

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    Rebecca and Illustrators of the Future Judge Dave Dorman (and our Young Jedi Knights cover artist!) to Tim Napper

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    And here’s the official list of the 2015 winners and finalists:

    Authors

    Kary English, Michael T. Banker, Amy Hughes, Daniel J. Davis, Zach Chapman, Krystal Claxton, Steve Pantazis, Sharon Joss, Scott R. Parkin, Martin Shoemaker, Auston Habershaw, Tim Napper, and Samantha Murray.

    Illustrators

    Tung Chi Lee, Michelle Lockamy, Emily Siu, Shuangjian Liu, Taylor Payton, Amit Dutta, Alex Brock, Quinlan Septer, Choong Nyung Yoon, Nyung Yoon, Megen Nelson, Megan Kelchner, and Daniel Tyka.

    The Golden Pen Award went to Sharon Joss while the Golden Brush Award went to Michelle Lockamy. And the whole book was edited by Dave Wolverton.

    Congratulations to one and all!

    If you missed the live stream of the event, you can still catch every spectacular moment online here:

    Well, the weekend is over, but the work is never done. Time to get back to writing and editing, including editing the first draft for Navigators of Dune!

    And if you’re a writer or artist of any sort, take the advice many of the winners echoed: Keep on submitting to the contest. Submit, and submit, and SUBMIT until you’re the next one up on that stage.

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    Yes, WonderCon was full of wonder!

    Posted By on April 18, 2015

    What a con! First off, how can a con weekend not go well when it starts with a visit to Disneyland? Our hotel was literally across the street from the theme park in Anaheim, CA, and Rebecca and I enjoyed a little “stroll,” getting back in touch with our inner children (yes, they’re still there).

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    Then I got to enjoy being a special guest for WonderCon. By the time I got to the convention center, the WordFire Press booth was standing tall and proud. We were all ready to conquer the con once the doors opened and the crowd rushed in.

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    During the event, Rebecca got a spotlight panel to talk about her career while I presented on The Secret Origin of Good Readers, Working in the Star Wars Universe, and my popular talk: Building My First Lightsaber! Packed rooms during all of those, I’m happy to say.

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    As usual, we had an incredible team at the WordFire Press booth, including Rebecca (and a few of her nephews), Quincy J. Allen, Lissa Jensen, Darin Calhoun, Eva Eldridge, Peter Wacks, Michelle Corsillo, and Josh Vogt. Some of the Galaxy Press folks also came over and got involved in engaging the crowd and selling books—they said they had a great time, so we have to believe them!

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    Author Greg Van Eekhout also joined us for most of the weekend. His books—California Bones and Pacific Fire—sold out quickly, and we loved having his smiling face there.

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    Alongside all that, we hosted space for a new charity, Stories for Students, a nonprofit working to get more books and ebooks into classrooms, libraries, and more. We gave away a bunch of fun steampunk-styled, illustrated stories and coloring books while signing up teachers, librarian, and others in the education system for future charity newsletters.

    I often run into tons of people I know, and this weekend was no exception. I saw Bill Morrison, of Simpsons and Futurama fame, Sergio Aragones, Patricia Tallman, and also met a dazzling duo, the Winner Twins, Brittany and Brianna.

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    Oh…and this happened!

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    I’m very pleased by the honor, and we’re already making plans to be out at Sasquan for Worldcon in August 19-23. Hope to see many of you there, plus at all the other cons we’ve got planned along the way.

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    First Hugo Award Nomination

    Posted By on April 10, 2015

    Politics aside, please.

    I am very pleased to announce that the first book in my Saga of Shadows space opera epic, The Dark Between the Stars (Tor Books, June 2014) is a finalist for the 2015 Hugo Award to be presented at Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention.  Over the course of my career I’ve published over 120 books and I’ve won or been nominated for the Nebula Award, Bram Stoker Award, Shamus Award, and others, but never the Hugo Award.

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    I grew up in science fiction and I’ve pretty much spent my entire life and career in the field. When I was a kid in a small town in Wisconsin, making regular trips to the science fiction section in the local library, the “Hugo Award Winner” label was synonymous with “You Must Read This”—the big deal, Academy Award in the field. Starship Troopers, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dune, Lord of Light, The Left Hand of Darkness, Ringworld, Rendezvous with Rama, The Forever War...

    My Saga of Seven Suns universe is my love letter to the genre, a big canvas that allows me to play with all the beautiful shiny objects that captured my imagination. Galactic empires, alien races, deserted cities, space battles, killer robots, romance, politics, and a sweeping cast of characters cutting across all races, genders, and social station. I have commuted to work there in my imagination for the past eleven years, and I couldn’t be more pleased that The Dark Between the Stars is the book put up for consideration.

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    I’m up against some excellent competition, and I look forward to reading them all:  Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos, and Skin Game by Jim Butcher. If you are interested in attending Sasquan, or buying a supporting membership to vote on the awards, see their website at http://sasquan.org.  And if you do vote, I very much hope you will read all the candidates before you make your choice.

    In the meantime, if you want a much shorter introduction to the Seven Suns universe, I’ve written a prequel novella, Veiled Alliances, published by WordFire Press. It’s available in print and in all eBook formats.

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    Veiled Alliances is now featured as part of a science fiction bundle from Humble Bundle, seventeen books all DRM free, pay what you want, including titles by myself, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, Jody Lynn Nye, Brian Herbert. Doug Beason, Neil Peart, Peter J. Wacks, James A. Owen, Michael A. Stackpole, Frank Herbert, Bill Ransom, Mike Baron, David Farland, and Rhiannon Paille.  Only six days left before it gets taken down.  A portion of the proceeds goes to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

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