Monthly Archives: August 2015

This could be a disaster!

Published August 27, 2015 in Advice - 0 Comments

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

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, 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!

New Writers of the Future Workshop—Open to the Public

Published August 20, 2015 in Advice - 0 Comments

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

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

Published August 10, 2015 in Advice - 0 Comments

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


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

Published August 8, 2015 in Advice - 0 Comments


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.


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.


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

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