Monthly Archives: August 2017

Truly EPIC 2017

Published August 31, 2017 in Advice - 0 Comments

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

Published August 30, 2017 in Advice - 0 Comments
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


Published August 29, 2017 in Advice - 0 Comments

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.


Published August 27, 2017 in Advice - 0 Comments
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