Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to. Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:06:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog 32 32 62963732 Finding the Way Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:06:26 +0000 (Found some unposted blogs from last year’s hikes!)

On some of my mountain climbs, there isn’t always an obvious trail. The way is marked with cairns, piles of stones that tell hikers they are on the right track. The problem is that not all those who build cairns know where they’re going. You can be easily led astray.

My hardest hike of the year, circling the beautiful but rugged “Halo Ridge” in the Holy Cross Wilderness, was a 15-mile hike that carried me over four separate 13,000-ft peaks. In order to descend, I had to take a straight shot down off the ridge to a pair of mountain lakes more than a thousand feet below. I had to descend an interminable steep slope of scree and talus that required a lot of route-finding and balance.

Due to the steep angle of the descent and the jumble of rocks, I couldn’t really see what was ahead of me, but I picked my way. I zigzagged, looking for solid rock, and then I found a cairn, a blessed cairn!, which reassured me I was on the right path. From that cairn I spotted the next one, and the next, happily and faithfully following the marked route.

And those bogus cairns led me right over a cliff.

Suddenly rock ledges appeared in front of me, and I was forced to work my way down loose rock, sharp dropoffs that required all my mountaineering skills to negotiate. Now I was committed, thanks to the “helpful” other hikers. Rather than judging the best route myself, I had trusted that those hikers knew where they were going. They didn’t.

What should have been a simple Class 2 hike became a harrowing Class 4 descent that exhausted me further and took me an extra two hours. I had learned my lesson that not all those who lead the way know where they’re going.


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TALES OF DUNE just released Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:58:00 +0000

Brian Herbert and I are pleased to announce the release of TALES OF DUNE, the expanded edition that collects all of our published Dune short stories, ranging from “Hunting Harkonnens,” the earliest chronological tale in the Dune timeline all the way to “Treasure in the Sand,” which takes place at the very end of the long Dune history.


The Butlerian Jihad time period

•  Hunting Harkonnens

•  Whipping Mek

•  The Faces of a Martyr

•  Red Plague

The Dune time period

•  Wedding Silk

•  A Whisper of Caladan Seas

After the Scattering

•  Sea Child

•  Treasure in the Sand

Available in trade paperback and all eBook formats.  A hardcover edition is forthcoming the next couple of weeks.


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A Day in the Writing/Publishing Life Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:39:53 +0000 Several people have asked what my typical day is like. And the appropriate answer is “what’s a typical day?” I wear many hats, work on various projects, and wrestle with countless distractions. So, yesterday I kept a log of my activities from the time I got out of bed to when I went back to bed (i.e., the “work day”).

  • 7:30, get up, coffee and breakfast. While eating breakfast, read and answer the overnight email. (Nine emails since midnight, which was the last time I checked mail: 2 of them about writing projects, including one from my coauthor Doug Beason about revisions to our new high-tech thriller, The Doomsday Cascade; the other 7 are WordFire Press matters, book schedules, author orders, cover questions.)
  • An hour workout in the gym while listening to a writing/publishing podcast. Right now it’s The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn (highly recommended).
  • Write two script pages for Clockwork Lives graphic novel (Insight Editions). Right now I’m working on The Sea Captain’s Tale.

  • Clean up cat barf (keeping it real).
  • Go out on the trail to dictate two chapters in Tastes Like Chicken, the new Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. novel in progress, which WordFire Press will publish.
  • Come home for lunch with Rebecca. Check email. Sigh, in the two hours I’ve been out dictating, I received 29 emails: 2 from my coauthors about writing projects, 3 newsletters, and the other 24 emails are about WordFire Press stuff.
  • After dealing with all the email emergencies, write two more pages in Clockwork Lives graphic novel script, which finishes The Sea Captain’s Tale.
  • Business phone call. Repair guy shows up. Brief surprise visit from another author driving by on the way to Denver Comic Con. Another email flurry. Take out pork chops for dinner.   It’s now 3:45.
  • Edit Chapter 61 in Spine of the Dragon (while sitting out on the back porch as afternoon thunderheads gather overhead).

  • Meet with the gardener who drops by to ask about yard work.
  • Upload four Jody Lynn Nye WFP titles and one KJA title to the BundleRabbit site. (I’m slowly adding WordFire Press books to the site, to make them available for other bundlers and boxed sets.) Not a complicated process, but it takes 5-10 minutes for each title.
  • Ahhh. Enjoy an Elephant Rock IPA as I cook dinner, pork chops and sweet corn on the grill. Then dinner together as we watch an episode of Veep.
  • A last stint of work after dinner, wearing my WFP art director hat. Contact artist to commission two cover paintings, one for the new Dan Shamble novel, another for a cool “Goonies meets Jurassic Park with monsters” adventure we’re publishing this Halloween, Monsterland by Michael Okon.
  • Review orientation materials and set up login credentials for the new online MFA classes I’ll start taking in a couple of weeks…another thing to do, but if I don’t have an MFA I apparently am not qualified to teach creative writing at a college level. Sigh.
  • Then, 8 PM, kick back to watch a couple hours of TV with Rebecca and the cats (standup comedy, an episode of Dr. Who, and another episode of Veep).
  • 10:30, hit the Jacuzzi tub for an hour of reading (or rereading—Slimy Underbelly, the fourth Dan Shamble novel, to stay up to speed while writing Tastes Like Chicken).

  • Put the cats to bed and put myself to bed, around midnight.


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Start your day with a bang! New Military SF Mega Storybundle Thu, 18 May 2017 16:19:19 +0000 Stay on target!  Game over, man! It’s a bug hunt!

Military science fiction is one of the most gripping subgenres in the field, and now we bring you 15 books in one storybundle, the Military SF Megabundle from, which runs only through June 8

Nsme your own price for a big grab-bag of Military SF stories. $5 for the basic six books, or $15 for all fifteen books in the bundle.  Baen Books, the preemininent publusher of military SF, contributed four books to the bundle, with Better to Beg Forgiveness from Michael Z. Williamson, One Day on Mars from Travis S. Taylor, Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo, and the Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF edited by David Afsharirad.

Indie authors LJ Hachmeister contributed TRIORION, which I compared to Ender’s Game, and super-successful ex-marine Jonathan P. Brazee added his novel SNIPER.

At WordFire Press, we contributed the first book in Robert Asprin’s hilarious military SF spoof (and New York Times bestseller) PHULE’S COMPANY, Jody Lynn Nye’s action-packed Wolfe Pack novel STRONG ARM TACTICS, Brad R. Torgersen’s landmark collection LIGHTS IN THE DEEP, as well as Takamo Universe novel EMPIRE’S RIFT, my own COMRADES IN ARMS and the collection of five military SF novellas, FIVE BY FIVE.  Colonel Doug Beason contributes SF thriller ASSAULT ON ALPHA BASE, David Farland gives THE GOLDEN QUEEN, first book in his military SF space opera series, and Andrew Keith and William H. Keith, Jr. offer the first novel in their bestselling Fifth Foreign Legion series.

Not only do you get this grab bag of wonderful pulse-pounding books, but a portion of the proceeds goes directly to benefit the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education.  Great reading, great price.  Please help us out.


Witness the Birth of a Novel! SPINE OF THE DRAGON draft chapters Sat, 08 Apr 2017 21:10:26 +0000 I’ve never done anything like this before: You can read my new epic fantasy SPINE OF THE DRAGON *as I write it*.

I’m giving unprecedented access to my fans and to aspiring writers who want a deep inside look at the process of creating a novel. As a special Sneak Preview, I will grant subscribers access to my first-draft chapters, one at a time, as I write them. For $30, about the price you’d pay for the published hardcover, you will read each chapter as it comes back from the typist, and you can also participate in a forum discussion as the book develops, where I will interact directly with readers and talk about the changes I am making.

At a higher level ($150) VIP All-Access Subscribers will have access not only to the draft chapters and the forum, but also my raw audio files each day as I dictate new chapters, whether out on the trail, up in the snow, in the rain, or in the car. No one else has heard this work until the typist gets it. As an early VIP supporter, I will include your name in the acknowledgments of the book and send you a signed copy once it’s published.

I’ve never done anything like this before, and it feels like walking on a tightrope in my underwear. But you’ll get to see exactly how my process works…and fans will be able to read Spine of the Dragon a full year or more before it’s published.

When you sign up, I will send you the link and password to the private page. At present, I have 55 of the audio files up, and 35 of the draft text chapters, so you’ll be able to get a good start. I hope you enjoy the story.



CLOCKWORK LIVES Graphic Novel Tue, 04 Apr 2017 17:16:43 +0000 Some lives can be summed up in a sentence or two. Other lives are epics.

And some graphic novels are really epic.

I am pleased to announce the full graphic novel adaptation of CLOCKWORK LIVES, our companion novel to CLOCKWORK ANGELS. The publisher will be Insight Editions, who have produced some exceptionally fine books—and LIVES needs to be a lavish, impressive book (and not just because Neil Peart says so).

Insight’s Senior Editor Mark Irwin has always been a huge Rush fan (and in fact that’s how I got to know him years ago). He sees this as the perfect opportunity for us to work together. I will be writing the full script with input from Neil. We don’t have the artist(s) chosen yet.

CLOCKWORK LIVES is a very personal story to me, sort of a steampunk Canterbury Tales featuring many of the best-loved characters from CLOCKWORK ANGELS, but it has a terrific story of it’s own. The book won the Colorado Book Award, but more importantly Neil told me he feels this is the best work I have ever done.

Obviously, it needed to be a graphic novel. I’ll start working on the full script in the next month. Stay tuned for more information. (In the meantime, you can read the novel, or the unabridged audiobook.)


Superstars Writing Seminar 2017 schedule Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:58:09 +0000 Less than three weeks before Superstars 2017 launches, with a schedule and speaker list that’s quite impressive.  This year’s speakers include Jim Butcher, Jonathan Maberry, David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson, James Artimus Owen, Jody Lynn Nye, Rebecca Moesta, Todd McCaffrey, Claire Eddy (Tor), Steve Feldberg (Audible), Mark Leslie Lefebvre (Kobo), Kristin Nelson (Kristin Nelson Agency), Lisa Mangum (Shadow Mountain), and many other experts on specific topics.  For  eight years, Superstars has been the best intensive seminar focusing on the business of writing and publishing, and for the first year ever, we are also adding an “Advanced Craft Day” on Wednesday Feb 1, before the main seminar begins.

You can still register last-minute online at


Here is the schedule for the four days:


8:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30 World-building with Kevin J. Anderson

9:30 Plotting, Outlining, and Story Structure with James A. Owen

10:30 Step One: Blowing Things Up with Jim Butcher

11:30-1:00 LUNCH “on your own”

1:00 Step Two: Making People Care About It with Jim Butcher

2:00 Character-building with Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta

3:00 Writing Action and Fight Scenes with Jonathan Maberry

4:00 How to Enchant Your Reader with David Farland

5:00 Revising Your Manuscript with Jody Lynn Nye

5:45 – 6:15 Open Q&A



8:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30 The Harder I Work with Kevin J. Anderson

9:30 Traditional Publishing panel with Claire Eddy, Kristin Nelson, Lisa Mangum

10:30 Listen Up! with Steve Feldberg

11:30-1:00 LUNCH “on your own”

1:00 (3 options)

  • The Art of the Pitch with Jonathan Maberry
  • Adventures in the Trenches of Game Writing & Editing with David Farland and Josh Vogt
  • Scrivener – Beginning Level with Patrick Hester (not recorded)

 2:00 (3 options)

  • Ebooks and Indy Publishing with Mark Lefebvre
  • Dissecting a Contract with Scott Boone and Nancy Greene
  • Pitch Practice Speed-dating with Jonathan Maberry, Lisa Mangum, Joshua Essoe, Chris Mandeville (not recorded)

 3:00 (3 options)

  • Traditional, Indy, and Hybrid Author panel with Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, James A. Owen, David Butler, Mark Lefebvre
  • Working with a Freelance Editor panel with Rebecca Moesta, David Farland, Joshua Essoe, Pam McCutcheon
  • Manuscript Formatting/Styles Management with Quincy Allen (not recorded)

4:00 Agenting in a Changing Industry with Kristin Nelson

5:00 Open Q&A with faculty (TBD)

6:00 OPENING MIXER/RECEPTION (Sponsored by Kobo Writing Life)



8:30 Self-promotion and Tribe Building with Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, Mark Lefebvre, Jody Lynn Nye

9:30 (4 options)

  • Building Your Personal Brand with Jonathan Maberry
  • Ergonomics with Rebecca Moesta and Lisa Mangum
  • Uploading Ebooks with Mark Lefebvre, AJ Mayall, Quincy Allen (not recorded)
  • One-on-One Pitches with Claire Eddy (by appointment, not recorded)

10:30 Discoverability panel with Kristin Nelson, Jim Butcher, David Farland, Pam McCutcheon

11:30-1:00 LUNCH “on your own”

1:00 (3 options)

  • What Editors Are Looking For panel with Claire Eddy, David Butler, Lisa Mangum
  • Booksignings, Social Media, and Other Promo panel with David Farland, Alexi Vandenberg, Jody Lynn Nye, Kevin Ikenberry
  • Scrivener – Intermediate Level with Patrick Hester (not recorded)

 2:00 (4 options)

  • An Agent Reads the Slush Pile with Kristin Nelson
  • Bookbub with Kevin Ikenberry and Pam McCutcheon
  • Formatting for Print with Quincy Allen – Part 1 (not recorded)
  • One-on-One Pitches with Claire Eddy (by appointment, not recorded)

 3:00 (4 options)

  • Jim Butcher Saves the World (or something like that) with Jim Butcher
  • Dirty Secrets of Publishing with Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
  • Formatting for Print with Quincy Allen – Part 2 (not recorded)
  • One-on-One Pitches with Kristin Nelson (by appointment, not recorded)

4:00 Open Q&A with faculty (TBD)

4:45 Drawing Out the Dragons with James A. Owen

7:00 VIP Dinner (ticketed event – now sold out)



Eggs Benedict Breakfast (ticketed event, now sold out; not recorded

8:30 The State of the Industry & What’s Next with Claire Eddy, Kristin Nelson, James A. Owen

9:30 (4 options)

  • Comics & Graphic Novels with Jonathan Maberry, Kevin J. Anderson, James A. Owen
  • Writing for the Ear with Steve Feldberg
  • Live Editing with Lisa Mangum (not recorded)
  • Small Group Critique (pre-registration required, not recorded)

10:30 Editing, Publishers, the Industry, etc. with Claire Eddy

11:30-1:00 LUNCH “on your own”

1:00 (4 options)

  • Hollywood Gotchas with David Farland
  • Pros & Cons: How to Make the Most of a Convention Appearance with Jody Lynn Nye
  • Scrivener – Advanced Level with Patrick Hester (not recorded)
  • Small Group Critique (pre-registration required, not recorded)

 2:00 (4 options)

  • Collaboration panel with Rebecca Moesta, Jody Lynn Nye, Todd McCaffrey
  • Podcasting panel with Jonathan Maberry, Steve Feldberg, Patrick Hester
  • Productivity with Kevin J. Anderson (not recorded)
  • Small Group Critique (pre-registration required, not recorded)

 3:00 (4 options)

  • How to Build an Intellectual Property panel with Jim Butcher, Kevin J. Anderson, Todd McCaffrey, Jonathan Maberry
  • Ask A Lawyer panel with Nancy Greene and Scott Boone
  • Small Group Critique (pre-registration required, not recorded)
  • Small Group Critique (pre-registration required, not recorded)

4:00 Finding the Balance: Being a Writer in the Real World panel with all faculty

4:45 Open Q&A with all faculty


Final price increase takes effect Jan 15, so don’t procrastinate!


New DUNE film/TV announcement from Legendary Tue, 22 Nov 2016 15:56:52 +0000

And here is the big official announcement, fifteen years in the making! This is the real deal, and we are all very excited


Burbank, CA – November 21, 2016 – Legendary and the Frank Herbert estate have reached an agreement granting the production entity the film and television motion picture rights to the beloved novel DUNE, one of the most revered science fiction novels of all time. The agreement calls for the development and production of possible film and television projects for a global audience. The projects would be produced by Thomas Tull, Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers. Kevin J. Anderson will be either a Creative Consultant or a Co-Producer, depending upon which book is filmed.

Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.

Dune has long been considered the crown jewel of science fiction properties. Its legacy and influence is witnessed in everything from STAR WARS to THE MATRIX and often referred to as the science fiction version of LORD OF THE RINGS with its sprawling world and multi-dimensional politics.

The agreement was negotiated by Mike Ross and Jen Grazier on behalf of Legendary and Marcy Morris and Barry Tyerman of JTWAMMK on behalf of the Herbert family.

About Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to worldwide audiences. Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $13 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit:

LEGENDARY is a global entertainment company with a passion for transportive storytelling across film, television, digital media, virtual reality and comic books. Towering monsters. Inspirational heroes. Thrilling adventures. Legendary is driven…


Announcing Scholarship Winners for Superstars Writing Seminar 2017 Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:09:28 +0000 We’re pleased to announce the five winners of the 2017 Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship for the Superstars Writing Seminar: Courtney Farrell, Lehua Parker, Blair McGregor, Aubrey Pratt, and Liz Colter! The scholarship entails full tuition of $749 for the three-day seminar, plus $275 for the additional Advanced Writing Craft Day.


Superstars offers scholarships every year to writers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend due to financial circumstances. We have so far funded 12 scholarships through donations and the sales of our three anthologies, One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn AnthologyA Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology, and The Dragon Writers Anthology. These anthologies are published through WordFire Press. Supporters can also donate via PayPal at All funds received for the Don Hodge Scholarship Fund are distributed to scholarship winners in the form of registrations for the Superstars Writing Seminars, without a cent going to administrative costs.
558cover  558cover  558cover
The 7th Superstars Writing Seminar will take place Thursday through Saturday, February 2-4, 2017 at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs. An Advanced Writing Craft Day is offered on Wednesday, February 1st. Superstars focuses on the business of writing and career building, with workshops instructed by the top authors, editors, and professionals in the industry. For more information, a list of guest instructors, and to register please head over to Superstars Writing Seminars.


An Exciting Launch for Kevin J Anderson Presents “Empire’s Rift” by Steve Rzasa! Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:34:38 +0000 We had a great time Saturday night at the book release party at Hard Rock Cafe in Denver for the new novel Empire’s Rift, released by WordFire Press. This epic science fiction novel is based in the Takamo gaming universe, the first in the “Kevin J. Anderson Presents” line from WordFire.
Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us and pick up a copy of “Empire’s Rift” at the party. Anyone who purchased the novel also received an X Files paperback. We signed lots of books and enjoyed some great food! Special thanks to John at the Hard Rock Cafe, which was a cool downtown venue for our book launch.
Kevin J. Anderson with Steve Rzasa and Randall Ritnour from Takamo Universe games.
Congratulations to Steve Rzasa and the group at Takamo Universe. Best of luck! There is also a Kickstarter currently running, which has already met the basic goal and now we’re trying to fund the second novel in the series. Some great reward levels still available. You can check it out at the Takamo Kickstarter.
About “Empire’s Rift”–
The Naplian Empire’s war of expansion against the Grand Alliance has taken a turn for the worse. With vital serjaum fuel reserves wiped out by a surprise attack, Admiral Daviont of the III Corps makes a long, desperate journey to the fringes of Terran space for a massive undeveloped source of serjaum—the Baedecker Star System. But his action does not go unnoticed. Their mortal enemies, the Briddarri, send their own task force to intercept.
At Baedecker Four, starfighter pilot and governor’s son Taggart “Tag” Wester has his hands full steering clear of his wing commander’s wrath. When an emergency call unearths a dangerous foe from the past, he’s put to a test unlike any he’s ever face—one of courage, and leadership. Elden Selva is on a mission to restore power to the defeated Northern Alliance, by retrieving the remains of Truppen cybernetic soldiers. What he finds is far more than he anticipated, and the ensuing conflict changes both him and the woman he loves.
The invaders and defenders collide in a struggle that will not only shape their lives, but have dire consequences for the entire galaxy.