Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog

i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
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  • October 2015
    M T W T F S S
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    Special Signed/Numbered Edition of Dan Shamble WORKING STIFF

    Posted By on October 4, 2015

    Attention, Dan Shamble fans! A new expanded, special edition of the Zombie P.I. Collection WORKING STIFF is just out from Gauntlet Press, hardcover, signed, numbered, even some high-end editions in slipcases or special trays. Perfect for the zombie collector!

    WorkingStiff Special

    The Gauntlet Press special edition of WORKING STIFF has a new introduction by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry—and signed by him, too!—an afterword by me, AND a very cool bonus, the complete never-before-published 42-page comic script of “Unnaturally Normal,” written with Richard Dean Starr—the comic team-up between Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., and Kolchak the Night Stalker!  The comics will be coming out next spring from Moonstone comics, but right now this is the only place you can get it.

    All copies are signed by me and Jonathan Maberry, numbered or lettered, in various states. Available now. Order direct from Gauntlet Press.



    FIVE Scholarships available for the 2016 Superstars Writing Seminar: the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund

    Posted By on October 2, 2015

    This year, through sales of our benefit anthology ONE HORN TO RULE THEM ALL, as well as generous donations from individual benefactors, we have funded FIVE scholarships for the Superstars Writing Seminar (February 4-6, Colorado Springs).


    You have only thirty days left to submit your application for a chance to be granted one of those five paid admissions to Superstars. Thirty days.

    You can do lots of things in thirty days like be a NaNoWriMo winner, travel 3/8ths of the world in a hot air balloon alongside Phileas Fogg, or survive a ravenous vampire clan in a small Alaskan town during the dark days of winter. All cool and groovy to be sure, but if you want to up your writing game, to learn from the masters, to understand what being a professional writer truly entails, and to join a creative Tribe of supportive writers, then focus your energy on crafting your scholarship application for the Superstars Writing Seminar.

    If you’re serious about taking your writing career to the next level, this business seminar is a must—three days and nights immersed in a heightened atmosphere of real-world wisdom and professional advice dispensed by best-selling authors Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, David Farland, Eric flint, and James A. Owen. Some of the guest speakers for the 2016 Seminar include Jody Lynn Nye, Penguin/Putnam editor Ann Sowards, and some urban fantasy author named…Bisher…Bonger…no, uhm…Butcher. Yeah, that’s it. Jim Butcher.



    From the lecture hall, to breaks, to meals, to after-hours literary/gaming shenanigans, the Superstars make themselves available. We are all one Tribe within the Hilton Antlers hotel in Colorado Springs, sharing stories of struggles and success, helping one another take the next important step along the ever-shifting path to publishing success.

    If you’re a writer ready to leap into publishing for the first time or a seasoned pro looking for advice on how to build an audience and grow a career, the Superstars Writing Seminar is for you. From self-pub, to Indie, to traditional, whichever your publishing flavor, you’ll have the chance to connect with others striving alongside you. Sign up today.

    Open to new attendees only, the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship is geared to help those writers who, without the aid of the scholarship, could not afford to attend. Application details can be found at

    The Superstars Scholarship Fund is financed by donations as well as all profits from our benefit “purple unicorn” anthology, ONE HORN TO RULE THEM ALL, published by WordFire Press. We are on the verge of releasing a follow-up “red unicorn” anthology, A GAME OF HORNS, and all profits will go into the scholarship fund for next year.

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    Don Hodge was a four-time attendee of Superstars, and a tireless supporter of our Tribe. He passed away two months ago, after writing us all a long and heartfelt farewell. Immediately upon his passing, we decided to rename the Superstars Scholarship in his honor.


    Early-bird pricing for Superstars 2016 is only in effect for a few more days. We hope you’ll join us for this great opportunity.


    Superstars 2015 Audios Now Available—as well as the whole shebang!

    Posted By on September 30, 2015


    For those of you who couldn’t attend the Superstars Writing Seminar in person, you can now listen to all the lectures and workshops, and experience the seminar vicariously. The complete set of 20 lectures over the three-day workshop is now available in MP3 files for $350. You won’t get the networking and the connections from the seminar, but you will get the knowledge


    The Superstars Writing Seminars are one of the most influential and motivating experiences for up-and-coming writers to learn about the business side of writing and network with incredible guest instructors.  Over the last six years, partners Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland, Eric Flint, Rebecca Moesta, James A. Owen, and Brandon Sanderson have been joined by some of the biggest names in publishing including Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jody Lynn Nye, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Todd McCaffrey, Diana Gill, Jim Minz, and Toni Weisskopf.  The insights and information given through Superstars over the years is priceless.


    But wait…not completely priceless, because you can get the audio versions of ALL SIX YEARS of Superstars as downloadable MP3s.  From understanding contracts to embracing new applications for audience building and everything in between, these workshops distill decades of publishing experience for up and coming writers.  Since the beginning, Superstars Writing Seminars have recorded every single workshop session and panel discussion and made those available for purchase for alumni from each year.  For the first time, we’re offering a complete set of all six years’ worth of workshops and discussions for one package price of $500.

    To take advantage of this unique opportunity, order from the Superstars website.

    NOTE: Early Bird rates for Superstars 2016 go up on October 1, so don’t delay. Instructors include Jim Butcher, David Farland, Ann Sowards (Penguin/Putnam), Mark Leslie Lefebvre (Kobo), Eric Flint, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, James Artimus Owen, Jody Lynn Nye, and Todd McCaffrey.





    DragonCon and Rose City Comic Con

    Posted By on September 29, 2015


    As you can see, I am falling behind. Catching up on my cons!

    With all the traveling and shows I do, you might think they all blur together—but each convention has its own distinctive character and special memories.

    DragonCon, held in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, is probably my favorite convention of the year, every year. Rebecca and I counted, and we’ve now been to 21 DragonCons. On the flight in, traveling with Peter Wacks, we also found Timothy Zahn sitting just behind us. (All three of us are writing for the new HEROES REBORN TV show.) I was on several big panels on science fiction, Star Wars, writing, and publishing.


    Timothy Zahn, Peter J. Wacks, KJA


    Clockwork fans!

    Our WordFire booth had our most successful show to date, featuring myself and Rebecca as well as guest authors Carrie Vaughn (courtesy of Tor Books), Larry Correia (courtesy of Baen Books), Jody Lynn Nye, Jonathan Maberry, Mike Resnick, Peter Wacks, Josh Vogt, Quincy J. Allen, and a lot of wonderful helpers from among the WordFire crew. SF author Peter F Hamilton (the DragonCon guest of honor) also stopped by to chat…and got mobbed by fans for half an hour. We debuted my new novel CLOCKWORK LIVES—a magnificent example of the art of book-making—which the publisher ECW allowed us to sell a week before actual release. We had brought 60 copies for the four-day show, but sold out in a little more than 24 hours.

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    with Carrie Vaughn and Larry Correia

    The DragonCon parade was an amazing event, as usual. The banquet was particularly moving, in which Nichelle Nichols received an award, handed to her by Congressman John Lewis.     And as a special treat, I got to meet Carroll Spinney, the real Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. We went to a lot of parties, had meals with friends and editors (sometimes they fit in both categories) and had a great time, as always.


    DragonCon Parade


    With Ivy Cosplay


    Jonathan Maberry and Jody Lynn Nye


    with Peter F. Hamilton


    with Mike Resnick


    Carroll Spinney—the real Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch!


    Nichelle Nichols receives a plaque from Congressman John LewisIMG_4974

    Magnificent Men of Fantasy—John Ringo, KJA, AJ Hartley, token non-male Nancy Knight, Jim Butcher, and Jack McDevitt


    The audience for Magnificent Men of Fantasy

    Two weeks later, I was off to Portland, OR, for Rose City Comic Con, a much smaller show with only 30,000 attendees, but which is growing significantly. For our WordFire booth there, Larry Correia, Josh Vogt, and Peter Wacks rejoined us, and we also featured David Farland, Peter Orullian, Ken Scholes, Cat Rambo, DJ Butler, RJ Terrell, JR Boyett, and the incredible painting-on-metal artwork of Jeff Sturgeon.

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    Jeff Sturgeon and his wonderful art!

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    Peter Orullian!

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    Ken Scholes and Cat Rambo


    showing off Clockwork Lives!

    On Saturday night we hosted a very well attended book-release party for the new DANDY BOYS MYSTERIES by Peter J. Wacks and JR Boyett. On Sunday, Allyson Longueira from WMG Publishing joined us for breakfast (and to talk business and swap advice), then she hung out with us for much of the day, before she gave Peter and me a ride to the airport. I had all of two days at home before heading out to Salt Lake City for Salt Lake Comic Con.

    But that will be in another report.




    Posted By on September 25, 2015

    All right, I publish a lot of books. I love to write, I love to tell stories, and it seems I always have some new novel out.

    This one is special.

    I’m not kidding when I say that of my 130 books so far, I really believe CLOCKWORK LIVES is one of my very best. It’s a novel where all the pieces fit together just perfectly, that throughout the writing I felt that I was achieving my best work, every single day. Yes, I’m proud of it.


    CLOCKWORK LIVES is a steampunk fantasy novel, sort of a clockwork Canterbury Tales set in the same universe as my 2012 bestseller CLOCKWORK ANGELS. And like ANGELS, I wrote this novel with Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist from Rush. He and I created the colorful and wondrous universe of Albion, the Watcmaker, the Anarchist, the Seven Cities of Gold, Poseidon City, and much more, and we wanted to return to explore the people and places more. CLOCKWORK LIVES consists of thirteen Tales, all of them bound by an overall story—and some of the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming prose I have ever written.

    The physical book itself is something to pay attention to, as well. ECW Press released the trade edition with a red leatherette cover complete with embossed designs and gold stamping, marbled end-papers, color printing, parchement-style papers, as well as thirteen exquisite illustrations done by Nick Robles, the artist who so masterfully did all of the work on CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Graphic Novel.

    It’s a beautiful book and (I think) a beautiful story inside. I hope you’ll get a chance to read it. CLOCKWORK LIVES is available at your local or online book retailer. If you’d like to order a copy autographed by me, they are available at WordFire Shop


    At WordFire Press, we are also pleased to release CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS, a new book about the work of Neil Peart, written by Bradley J. Birzer, a well-respected literary scholar who has also published critical works on Tolkien, Carroll, and others. A lifelong Rush fan, Birzer decided it was about time that Neil Peart received the recognition for his lyrics and writing, hence the subtitle, “An in-depth examination of the words, ideas, and professional life of Neil Peart, man of letters.

    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.

    Peart wants every person to persevere through individual trials, and find his or her unique gifts and abilities and, ultimately, true happiness. Most tellingly, Peart does not just profess such things, he has lived them and continues to live them.

    Never satisfied with second best or any form of defeat, Peart challenges himself time and time again to live up to his own philosophy. And he has succeeded through great personal adversity and, at times, irrational professional jealousy of and hatred toward him, and he has always succeeded through grace.

    This book carefully examines the influence his life, his witness, and his words have had on others. Neil Peart has lived life to the fullest, and he has made us each better for it.

    CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS is available in trade paperback and in all eBook formats.



    Anniversar-Week Festivities: The Full Rundown

    Posted By on September 24, 2015

    September 14 was our 24th anniversary, two dozen years of being married to the wonderful, beautiful, and talented Rebecca Moesta. And as with previous years, instead of doing one “big” thing, we make a whole week out of it, writing up a bucket-list of activities and special things we’d like to do.


    On the Saturday before, we had a big party at our house, inviting about 30 friends over for a “movie night” (which really means a movie playing in the background, while everybody pretty much just talks to one another). The main excuse for the get-together was to celebrate the birthday of Peter Wacks, our WordFire Press Managing Editor (but Reb and I decided we wanted to have all he friends over as part of anniversar-week anyway). I even baked a turkey for Peter’s birthday.


    For another night, we fixed one of our special meals, a “love feast” of little finger foods, cheese, fruits, meats, caviar and crackers, and then we topped it all off by watching Mad Max: Fury Road (it was Rebecca’s choice, really.)


    On our actual anniversary, we spent the day out at Glenwood Springs in the mountains, first touring Glenwood Caverns and then soaking in the hot springs, a brand new facility that was top notch.

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    Another night we went out to see the new MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie and had a fondue dinner at the Melting Po. Another night we went out to our favorite Moroccan restaurant, with the kids and grandkids, and grandsons Harrison and Xavier were particularly confused and then thrilled. “You mean we sit on the floor and eat with our hands?”

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    Because I had to head off for Rose City Comic Con, we still have to schedule two more anniversar-week events, a tour of Seven Falls in Colorado Springs, and then a microbrewery pub crawl for me. But we’ll find a way to fit them in…and then start thinking up our list for next year.


    The Loss of a Dear Friend, Deb Ray

    Posted By on September 22, 2015

    It’s taken me more than two weeks to write this. On Friday, September 4, Rebecca and I lost one of our closest friends, Deb Ray, after a very long battle with cancer.


    We met Deb when we were all working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and involved in the science fiction club there. Once, Deb called Rebecca at work, and Rebecca—thinking it was me—inadvertently answered the phone, “Hello, Sweetheart.” Henceforth, we always called her Sweetheart.

    Deb suffered from increasingly difficult health issues and was, repeatedly, misdiagnosed as having Crohn’s Disease and treated for that without success, even though she really had a rare form of cancer, slow-growing carcinoid tumors. Actually, her symptoms were textbook carcinoid symptoms and the real disease could have been diagnosed with a $20 urine test, but nobody thought to do that or “waste” the $20. Finally, they did exploratory surgery, found the tumors, closed her up, and gave her five years to live.

    That was almost 20 years ago. At the time, we were watching the final season of Babylon 5, in which the Bruce Boxleitner character saves the universe, but at the cost of most of his lifespan. He is given five years to live, and Deb remarked to me that she wished she knew she had five good years left. It turns out she did.

    Rebecca and I moved out to Colorado, but we remained in touch. When her health was good for a while, she came out to visit us and spent a Christmas here. Other times, when my book tours took me to the Bay Area, we would always make a point to visit.

    Deb was a constant telephone companion, and I made a habit of calling her on the drive home from all my epic hikes; we would talk for an hour or more as I told her about the mountain climb or the canyon exploration, and she experienced it vicariously.

    Deb was my fan club president for years, and was always ready to do any emergency typing or to help send out mailings. She read all my books, and I even dedicated several to her. We could talk about TV shows, books, authors, comics, politics, and it was endlessly fascinating. She loved the Dan Shamble books and always got a draft manuscript. Her favorite was Clockwork Angels, but her condition had degenerated so severely over the past few years that she couldn’t read anymore. Her eyes were too bad.

    She was especially excited when I told her we were working on Clockwork Lives, and even though she couldn’t read it, I told her the full story, from the idea to the final, and brought her to tears. We wept together over the loss of our pets when Rebecca and I lost Tycho, then Curie, then Linus, and Deb did the same when she lost Frankie (unexpectedly) and Faith after a long illness.


    But in the last year she was clearly fading, too tired to talk long on the phone, and sometimes on too many pain meds to be able to hold her concentration. Just last month, Rebecca and I put our other plans aside and flew out to visit her, just to be sure we could be there. The cancer had done its terrible work on her, and she had lost a great deal of weight, but we sat at her side, even though she only had the strength for visitors for an hour at a time.

    For the Labor Day weekend, Rebecca and I went out to DragonCon in Atlanta. The night before we left, Deb called for a last conversation with Rebecca, but I wasn’t home. When we got to Atlanta the next evening, and we had gone out with some friends to a restaurant, my phone rang, and it was Deb. I went outside, because the restaurant was noisy. She was very tired and distant with pain killers, but she wanted to talk to me. She told me she loved me and made a point of saying goodbye. She went to sleep and passed away a few hours later.

    Right now there is a sad hole in our hearts, but only because Deb was such a big part of our lives. We love you, and miss you, and remember you.


    CLOCKWORK LIVES art reveal!

    Posted By on September 12, 2015

    Artist Nick Robles, who did such a fantastic job on CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Graphic Novel, has done thirteen amazing line drawings for the new novel, CLOCKWORK LIVES (as in, plural of “Life”).  ECW Press will release the book next week, and they have been revealing the art, one day at a time.


    Some lives can be summed up in a sentence or two. Other lives are epics.

    In Clockwork Angels, #1 bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and legendary Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart created a fabulous, adventurous steampunk world in a novel to accompany the smash Rush concept album of the same name. It was a world of airships and alchemy, clockwork carnivals, pirates, lost cities, a rigid Watchmaker who controlled every aspect of life, and his nemesis, the ruthless and violent Anarchist who wanted to destroy it all.

    Anderson and Peart have returned to their colourful creation to explore the places and the characters that still have a hold on their imagination. Marinda Peake is a woman with a quiet, perfect life in a small village; she long ago gave up on her dreams and ambitions to take care of her ailing father, an alchemist and an inventor. When he dies, he gives Marinda a mysterious inheritance: a blank book that she must fill with other people’s stories—and ultimately her own.

    Clockwork Lives is a steampunk Canterbury Tales, and much more, as Marinda strives to change her life from a mere “sentence or two” to a true epic.

    Here are the first ten illustrations from Nick:


    The Seeker


    The Sea Captain


    The Percussor


    The Alchemy Miner


    The Strongman


    The Astronomer


    The Fisherman


    The Bookseller


    The Fortune Teller

    CN64KIYVAAALHM_The Wrecker

    You can order a signed (by me) copy of CLOCKWORK LIVES at  (The button is for US orders only; outside the US, see the email address on the bottom of the page.)


    Guest blog: Bruce Taylor on STORMWORLD

    Posted By on September 9, 2015

    STORMWORLD, written by Brian Herbert and myself, was begun on 9/11.  Indeed it was frightening and apalling to watch the trade towers explode and crumble into billowing clouds of flame, smoke and ash.

    Such a disaster.  But in context to the book we began that morning, STORMWORLD, in retrospect, reflects upon the question of what the greater disaster?  That? Or the (recently revised) 70,000 who died in the heat wave the broiled France in 2003? Or the 58,000 Russians who died from stiffling heat and suffocating smoke from burning peat bogs around Moscow several years back?


         Climate disasters are mounting and back in 2001, after something of a fruitless search of the subject in the American mass media, I stumbled on the BBC website and read, in shock, story after story of climate horrors that had either been under reported or not reported at all in the American press. How much we weren’t told then and how much we are not told now (to TRULY understand what it is we face, try going to

    But with this information, I felt we were on solid ground as we depicted what the world might look like in the year 2019, as men and women in the Cascade Seed Repository fought hunger and interpersonal turmoil in effort to protect a world’s cache of seeds from the raw elements of weather and marauding, starving people.

    Little did Brian and I know, at least as far as the accuracy of getting the extreme weather events at play as well as the potential politics, how much  the story now reads more like a documentary rather than fiction, and the world of 2019 looks an awful lot like the world of–today.

    All Covers Large


    OCEAN is one of eleven great disaster novels in the current Disasters! Storybundle at—all eleven books for as little as $15, name your own price, and a portion goes to charity.  It only runs for another week, so don’t wait too long!


    Guest blog from Brian Herbert: when the OCEAN fights back

    Posted By on September 9, 2015

    One day several years ago, my wife Jan returned from a trip to Hawaii, and she had an idea for a novel that was simple yet large in scope—as many great ideas are—a story about problems in the ocean that she’d been wanting to write for years.
    I spent some time brainstorming with her, and in a spiral notebook I made notes about the setting, characterizations, and plot.  Then I began typing it up—a story set in Hawaii that had the ocean (and its problems) in the background.  She read what I handed her, and then said, diplomatically, “This is good, Brian, but I was thinking more along the line that the ocean is fighting back against humans.  What if the ocean is an entity in itself, and is not going to put up with any more abuse from human beings, and decides to take strong action against the violators?  What if it declares war on our civilization?”
    And she had a title in mind, one that was simple and clean: Ocean.
    “Oh,” I said, finally understanding.  So I set about creating a new main storyline centered on the ocean, discussing it with Jan as I worked on it, showing her chapters that I had written, and obtaining her suggestions.  As I got into the book, discussing it with her constantly, the characters and plot seemed to come alive, and I wrote more than 165,000 words in only a few months of intense work—quite a pace for me.  You have before you a slightly longer version than that, after the manuscript went through several drafts, improving it each time.  
    Over the years, I have dedicated many books to Jan.  She has always read my material when it was in progress and commented on it, and she did that on this novel as well.  But this time I knew in my heart that it was not enough to give her yet another dedication, or even a long introduction such as this one.  Truly, she deserved to be the co-author of the book, because this was her book, her fantastic concept.  These pages reflect the love Jan feels for the ocean and the incredible creatures that inhabit it, marine animals that have sentience, feelings, and souls.  She was the inspiration for this project, and the continuing light that enabled me to proceed with it, and to stay on the right track.
    I have often said that I could never write unless Jan permitted me to do so.  She has always given me the space for my creativity, has always said that it didn’t matter if we had any money at all, that if I ever wanted to sell everything and live somewhere simple, without the daily pressures of owning things and paying bills, she would support me.
    For years we have been a creative team—Jan with her painting and photography and me with my writing.  On trips to distant lands, we often find places to go where she paints and I write.  We sit outside, or in some other place where the creative energy is good around us, and we do our separate projects, with me critiquing her art, and her critiquing my writing.  I’ve always known that she was intelligent, but after she brought me the idea for this novel about the ocean, I realized that she is brilliant.  Jan is not only the shining light in my life; she is much more.  And truly she deserves credit for this novel, because Ocean is her story.
    -Brian Herbert
     Seattle, Washington
    All Covers Large
    OCEAN is one of eleven great disaster novels in the current Disasters! Storybundle at—all eleven books for as little as $15, name your own price, and a portion goes to charity.  It only runs for another week, so don’t wait too long!