Kevin J. Anderson’s Blog

i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
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  • Kevin J. Anderson

  • DRAGON WRITERS!

    Posted By on November 8, 2016

    We’re happy to announce the release of a new anthology, DRAGON WRITERS, including stories by Brandon Sanderson, David Farland, Jody Lynn Nye, Todd McCaffrey, and many others, edited by Lisa Mangum and with original cover art and introduction by James Artimus Owen.  All proceeds go to fund the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship for Superstars Writing Seminars.

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    This is the third anthology put together by Superstars Writing Seminar instructors and alumni. The first two—One Horn to Rule Them All (about purple unicorns) and A Game of Horns (about red unicorns)—were also edited by Lisa Mangum and published by WordFire Press. Harnessing the creativity and imagination of Superstars attendees, these books generated a lot of attention, and raised enough money to fund ten total scholarships for Superstars.

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    We decided we just had to do one more.  Superstars instructors Brandon Sanderson, David Farland, Jody Lynn Nye, and Todd McCaffrey offered stories, but then the Superstars alumni submitted their best, to be selected by Lisa Mangum. The other contributors include Adric Mayall, Frog Jones, Josh Vogt, Scott Parkin, Kristin Luna, John D Payne, Joy Dawn Johnson, Michael Angel, Brandon M Lindsay, L.J. Hachmeister, Kevin IkenberryFrank Morin,  Mel Koons, Jace Killan,  Greg LittleNancy GreeneTristan Brand, Robert J McCarter, Aaron Michael Ritchey, Mike Jack Stoumbos, MJ CarlsonPeter E Sartucci

    Pick up your eBook or print copy now and help us fund the *next* batch of Scholarships for Superstars!  Percival the kitten approves.

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    Guest Interview—JODY LYNN NYE

    Posted By on November 5, 2016

    Here’s an interview on writing and books with my good friend Jody Lynn Nye. I thought you might enjoy it—and read Jody’s books! Her new nonfiction book, with Bill Fawcett, is Pros and Cons, and her novel Taylor’s Ark, were both just released by WordFire Press.

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    Do you have a pre-writing routine or ritual?

    Every morning, when I get up, I feed the cat, then make my cocoa, check out Facebook, update my computer programs and game apps, and watch a few minutes of TV with my husband or stare out the glass doors at the local wildlife (we live on a thickly forested lot). I flip open my laptop and start on the project I left off the night before. Sometimes that means I spend a lot of the day in pajamas, but I understand from my friends that it’s not too uncommon a practice among writers. I am most productive in the morning, so I don’t even look at my e-mail until noon or later.

    I see you have cats. Are they helpful when writing your books?

    At the moment, we have only one cat, Jeremy, a black Texas longtail. He’s very helpful, if by helpful you mean coming in to yow at me that he’s getting insufficient attention just as I’m trying to concentrate on a scene. I always threaten him that I’ll take my computer and go to the library to work. He stretches out on the carpet as I stroke him, eyes slitted, purring, because he knows I hardly ever make good on that threat.

    What do you have to have in order to write? A favorite beverage, warm cat on your lap, candles, heavy metal rock blasting in your ears, or . . . ?

    No music, no TV. Too distracting. If I have snacks in reach, I’ll nibble, so I limit what’s in reach. The cat is not much help (see above), but sometimes he lies on my legs on the other side of the laptop. When I hit a knotty moment, I’ll play a few hands of solitaire or check in on FB, then go back to it.

    Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

    I like to be challenged. I’ve taken on a few projects because they made me stretch. I don’t write horror or dystopia as a rule, but I have recently written stories in various friends’ literary worlds that involved those themes. I learn a lot about myself when I try new things. When I hit a snag, it means something is fundamentally flawed in my project. I need to get away from it for a while to see where the failing lies. That can take a while, and often I don’t have a while. I have a problem writing short. My husband teases me that I will “write no book before it is long,” paraphrasing the Paul Masson wine commercials. I can edit down if I need to, but I hate to have to do that.

    Are you as funny as your books?

    I like to think I’m funny. Contrariwise, I like people to take me seriously.

    Favorite food?

    Chocolate, dark, 73% cocoa solids or better. I lose more of my tolerance for sugar every year.

    Favorite book?

    Several. Dorothy Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey novels, particularly Murder Must Advertise or Gaudy Night. Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books, especially The Black Mountain and The Doorbell Rang. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Nine Tomorrows by Isaac Asimov. I could go on and on.

    Favorite color?

    Ruby red and amethyst purple.

     Night or day?

    Day.

    Coffee or chocolate?

    Chocolate. I don’t drink coffee.

    Dogs or cats?

    Cats, now and forever. Dogs are nice people, but I prefer cats.

    Fish or gerbils?

    Fish. Gerbils are terrible gossips.

    What was your inspiration for Taylor’s Ark?

    My inspiration for Taylor’s Ark was curiosity about the future of medicine in space, and how a doctor could make a living. I have a family predilection for medicine, with an emphasis on neuroscience. My brother’s a neurologist, my uncle’s a psychiatrist, my mom’s a psychiatric nurse, my cousin’s an OB-GYN, another cousin just retired as the head of surgical education at a nearby hospital, and yet another cousin is a dentist who doubles in paleontological dentistry. He diagnosed Sue (the T. rex at the Field Museum) with an abscess that probably led to her death. I might have gone into medicine if I hadn’t been more interested in pursuing a career in media. I read medical journals and watch a lot of shows like Untold Stories of the ER.

    At the time Taylor’s Ark was written, environmental medicine was starting to take hold as a specialty. It’s my belief that it will become even more important in the future as humankind steps onto new worlds and finds new things that could potentially make it sick or kill it. Genetically speaking, we can’t get infections from alien germs, because we don’t share any common microbes, but they can poison us or give us rashes.

    Being a romantic at heart, I also gave Shona a husband she loves and who loves and supports her. They may be one of the few happily-married couples in space. I thought it would be fun to give Shona animals to supplement her diagnostic devices. Harry the cat and Saffie the dog have their own very distinct personalities as well as their talents. Shona is also responsible for the well-being of an alien visitor who mooches her candy supply and is writing a scholarly dissertation about human foibles. Chirwl is the small being on the ground next to Shona’s right foot on the cover. I hope to go on with the series one day.

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    Your Writing Tools for Nanowrimo

    Posted By on October 28, 2016

    If you’re a writer, you know about NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, every November when aspiring authors scramble to try to write the first draft of a new book in one month flat. There are challenge groups, sprint partners, lots of blogs, advice from writers.

    Each year for NaNoWriMo, I curate a StoryBundle of books on various aspects of the craft and business of writing, and for 2016 I’ve got eleven titles—your complete toolkit for getting through NaNoWriMo and increasing your own writing knowledge.

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    To improve your craft, there’s The Writer’s Brainstorming Kit by Pam McCutcheon and Michael Waite, Managing Your Inner Artist/Writer by M.L. Buchman, Mastering Place and Setting in Your Writing by Eric Maisel, as well as the amazingly inspirational Drawing out the Dragons by James Artimus Owen. To understand the industry and manage your career, there’s Closing the Deal on Your Terms by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, The Everyday Novelist: Business 101 by Daniel Sawyer, From Dreamer to Doer by Jude Wilhoff, Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith, Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author by Bob Mayer, Pros and Cons by Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett, and The Science Fiction Professional by Mike Resnick.

    This bundle is a real grad-level course on becoming a writer—just the inspiration and information you need, not just for NaNoWriMo but for your entire career.

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    As a bonus, if you are looking to build your computer toolkit for writers, this bundle includes 50% on Jutoh, Digital Publishing Made Easy, and 80% off Writer’s Café software. Two apps that help you write and format your novel!

    The way StoryBundle works is simple: Name your own price, pay what you feel the bundle is worth. For a minimum payment of $5, you get the basic list of five books. If you pay $15 or more, you get the entire batch of books, all eleven titles.

    A portion of your payment goes to support two great charities: The Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Superstars Writing Seminar and actress Pat Tallman’s pet project Be A Santa, which benefits needy kids so they can have a real holiday.

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    The NaNoWriMo Writing Tools StoryBundle runs for only a limited time, from October 26 to December 22, and then it’s gone.

    And if you’re looking for good fiction to read, you have only a few days left to pick up the Pulse Pounders Thriller bundle or the Political Thrillers bundle; I’ve got books in both.

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    To the Stars: Bundles Raise Nearly $100K for Challenger Center

    Posted By on October 25, 2016

    Several times a year, you see me posting (yes, even haranguing you) about a new book bundle I’m part of—whether it’s thrillers, monsters, adventure SF, epic fantasy, writing tools, political thrillers.  You name your own price and get a big grab bag of books.

    But the really cool thing about the bundles is that a portion of the proceeds goes directly to a selected charity or non-profit. Most of the time, I designate the Challenger Learning Centers for Space Science Education. Founded by June Scobee Rodgers, whose husband was Commander Dick Scobee of the final flight of the Challenger, the Challenger Centers promote interest in science and space, raising a new generation of forward-thinkers and problem solvers for humanity’s future.  I am a Board Member of Challenger, and I fully support their mission.

    So far, my book bundles—you know, the ones I always pester you to buy—have raised nearly $100,000 for Challenger. I think that’s pretty darn impressive.  If you’ve picked up one or more of the bundles, pat yourself on the back.

    And if you’re interested, my Pulse Pounders Thriller bundle is running right now at storybundle.com   Only about a week remaining—get eleven books that will keep you at the edge of your seat, and also help out the Challenger Centers.

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    Pulse Pounding Stuff!

    Posted By on October 13, 2016

    The Pulse Pounders Thriller Bundle

    Tick. Tick. Tick.

    Do you feel your pulse pounding? Time is running out.

    Sometimes it feels as if life is like a nuclear reactor overheating, a race car with a stuck pedal, accelerating out of control. Your “To Read” stack grows higher and higher, while your reading time decreases each week. Too many responsibilities. Too many distractions. Too little quiet time.

    Tick. Tick.

    Who has time to spend hours in an afternoon slowly sinking in to the languidly paced prose of an author who feels he has all the time in the world to engage your interest? For a reader who has all the time in the world and nothing better to do?

    Tick. Tick.

    In a fast-paced world, you want a story that grabs you from the beginning, stomps on the accelerator, and hits sixty miles an hour in two paragraphs or less. You want a ride in a super-sonic jet, not a casual Sunday bicycle ride around the park.

    Tick. Tick. You need a lot of thrillers. Now.

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    The books I have selected for the Pulse Pounders Thriller Bundle for StoryBundle really cut to the chase. This is a death-defying rollercoaster, not a kiddy storybook ride. I selected these books from across the spectrum with the criteria that they be EXCITING and PULSE POUNDING.

    As a perfect sampler, I edited the Pulse Pounders anthology for WMG, packed with short stories that put me on the edge of my seat. I’m also including VIRTUAL DESTRUCTION, a high-tech thriller I wrote with Doug Beason about a murder inside a top secret nuclear design lab…exactly like the one where we both met. Jonathan Maberry’s V-WARS launches a shared-world epic where an epidemic has unleashed monsters on the world, and humanity’s survival is at stake.

    Also included are two edgy serial-killer thrillers, EMPTY ROOMS by Jeff Mariott and THE FLY GUY by Colum Sanson-Regan. You want demon possessed rock bands back from the dead? There’s BANSHEES by Mike Baron. Science fiction thriller? FORCED CONVERSION by Donald J. Bingle. Urban fantasy demon hunters? Falchion-Award nominee POCKETS OF DARKNESS by Jean Rabe. Frightening revenge? GATES OF HELL by J. F. Penn. Matt Buchman’s TWO CHEF and Dean Wesley Smith’s AN EASY SHOT even make cooking and golfing terrifying!

    Eleven books for a bargain price, but it only runs for three weeks and this bundle will go away. Don’t miss it. You get great books to read, a portion goes to charity, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat.

    Do you feel your heart racing yet? Time is running out. You’ve got stories to read.

    Tick. Tick. Tick.

    The initial titles in the Thriller Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

    • Banshees by Mike Baron
    • Virtual Destruction by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
    • Empty Rooms by Jeffrey J. Mariotte
    • Pockets of Darkness by Jean Rabe
    • The Fly Guy by Colum Sanson-Regan

    If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus six more:

    • Two Chef! by M. L. Buchman
    • Gates of Hell by J.F. Penn
    • Pulse Pounders by Fiction River
    • Forced Conversion by Donald J. Bingle
    • An Easy Shot by Dean Wesley Smith
    • V-WARS by Jonathan Maberry

    This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. 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!

    It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

    Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

    • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
    • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
    • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
    • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Challenger Center for Space Education!
    • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

    StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

    For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

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    Truly Epic!

    Posted By on September 3, 2016

    For the third year in a row, I have curated a batch of truly epic fantasy books for storybundle.com—eleven books that will take readers to the edges of the map of their imagination.

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    For traditional epic fantasy readers, we have A HERO BORN by Michael A. Stackpole, ECHOES OF A SHATTERED AGE by Ramon Terrell, THE FEATHER AND THE MOON WELL by new author Shean Pao (the first “Farland Discovery” specially chosen and mentored by New York Times bestselling fantasy author David Farland), HEART READERS by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL by Brandon Sanderson, as well as a host of imaginative stories in the Fiction River anthology UNNATURAL WORLDS.

    Playing a little with history, we also have LINCOLN’S WIZARD by Tracy Hickman and Dan Willis, a magical take on the Civil War, SPAWN OF LOKI by Jason Henderson, a fantasy follow-on to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, and a skewed reimagining of Red Riding Hood in A TALE OF RED RIDING: RISE OF THE ALPHA HUNTRESS by Neo Edmund. I even included to impressive epic and exotic historical novels, SISTER OF THE LIONHEART by Hilary Benford, the amazing tale of Joanna, sister of Richard the Lionheart, as well as A GOD AGAINST THE GODS, an epic story of turmoil in ancient Egypt, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Allen Drury.

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    At storybundle.com, you can pay a minimum of $5 and receive the base group of five titles, or for as little as $15, you receive all eleven books in your preferred eBook format, delivered immediately. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education. The Truly Epic Fantasy bundle runs for a limited time, ending on September 22. Fill up your reading device with all the worlds you can imagine, help indie authors, and also benefit a great charity.

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    A Galaxy Full of Adventure SF

    Posted By on June 23, 2016

    Science Fiction is the literature that always set my imagination on fire, sparking my sense of wonder, taking me on adventures into the future, off to the most distant parts of the universe, to alien cultures, and the frontiers of the human mind.

    I’m curating a new Adventure SF bundle for storybundle.com that contains fourteen great books guaranteed to set your imagination on fire, and it launches today, June 22—for only a little more than a dollar a book.

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    If you like grand space opera, we’ve got DARKSHIP THIEVES by Sarah A. Hoyt, TIMEWEB by Brian Herbert, FIRE WITH FIRE by Charles A. Gannon, THE WORKER PRINCE by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, and even TALES OF DUNE, the previously uncollected Dune short stories written by Brian Herbert and me.

    For hard SF, there’s LAUNCH PAD, an anthology of science fiction stories edited by Jody Lynn Nye and Mike Brotherton. In traditional fast-paced science fiction, the bundle has HER BROTHER’S KEEPER by Mike Kupari, MORNING SONG by Dean Wesley Smith, and BURIED DEEP by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

    In post-apocalyptic adventure, Aaron Michael Ritchey’s DANDELION IRON fits the bill. For gritty cyberpunk, Todd J. McCaffrey has CITY OF ANGELS. Alan Dean Foster has the undersea epic OSHENERTH. And THE CAULDRON by Jean Rabe and Gene deWeese offers mind-bending, thought-provoking future speculation.

    I’m also very pleased to include 2113, a new anthology edited by me and John McFetridge—a collection of stories inspired by legendary rock band Rush (and it includes my sequel to the classic epic “2112”).

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    With storybundle.com, you name your own price for this grab bag of Adventure SF books. For as little as $8 you get the basic bundle of seven titles, and for as little as $16 you get them all. A portion of the money goes to charity—the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education—and, other than a small admin percentage, the rest of the earnings is directly divided among the titles.

    For this Adventure SF bundle, I’m adding an exclusive sneak preview for all customers—a first-hand look at the first few chapters of NAVIGATORS OF DUNE (due out September 13), the grand finale of the Great Schools of Dune trilogy, as well as the first few chapters of ETERNITY’S MIND, the climax of my Saga of Shadows trilogy.

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    This is available for a limited time only, running for three weeks. The bundle ends on July 12. Shoot for the stars!

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    A Clockwork Climb for RUSH Fans—Mt. Evans

    Posted By on May 26, 2016

    UPDATE: Due to overwhelming response, our climbing group is at capacity. If you want to be placed on a waiting list, please email reed (at) via (dot) com.

    In August 2010, on a day between two Rush concerts at Red Rocks Theater near Denver, Neil Peart and I climbed a mountain—Mount Evans, 14,265 ft, and on that climb we plotted the story and characters of CLOCKWORK ANGELS (a hike described in detail in Neil’s afterword to the novel).  Now, some Rush fans want to re-create that climb this summer, and I have agreed to lead them.

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    Mount Evans is a fairly easy climb, as such things go—non-technical, and with a good trail all the way to the top. But no 14,000-ft peak is “easy” and even though the hike is short, only 2.5 miles from the trailhead at Summit Lake to the top of the mountain, it does gain almost 1900 ft of elevation. And the air is thin, so I won’t kid you. You need to be in fairly good shape.

    It will be a tremendous experience, and some of the most breathtaking beauty you’ve ever seen.

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    On Mount Evans, the road goes all the way to the top, so we’ll arrange vehicles to pick us up at the summit (thus, you only have to climb one way). For those who don’t want to make the climb at all but want to participate in the group at the top for a fine photo, we can arrange to drive you to the top, without exertion.

    We plan to climb on Saturday August27. The Mount Evans Road is in the quaint western mining town of Idaho Springs, just outside of Denver. We’ll stay in one of several inexpensive motels in Idaho Springs the night before, climb on the Saturday, and even relax in the Idaho Springs mineral hot springs afterward. You are responsible for your own travel expenses to get there, and we’ll collect an additional $50 per person to cover other expenses.

    ***NOTE: the date has been changed to August 27 to avoid the post-Labor Day road closure.

    If you are interested, please contact Chris Reed at reed (at) vika (dot) com.  We hope to get ten people for the group.

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    A Grab Bag of Sci-Fi Specials from WordFire Press

    Posted By on April 6, 2016

    (AI) LS Word Fire Press

    WordFire Press just teamed up with Humble Bundle for an exciting “Sci-Fi Specials” bundle of our titles, a full sampler of 18 of our books, and you pay what you want. Unlike other bundles I’ve run, fully half of the titles here are not available to the general public at the launch of the bundle, and the other half have never appeared in bundles before. You can get ALL of the titles for as little as $15—worth $106 if you bought them separately.

    KJA fans will find a new reissue, Artifact, a high-tech thriller featuring the Daredevil’s Club, which I cowrote with F. Paul Wilson, Matthew J. Costello, and Janet Berliner. There’s Virtual Destruction, my first Craig Kreident thriller with Doug Beason, about a murder in a high-security government nuclear design lab; and there’s my first novel, Resurrection, Inc., a SF novel inspired by the Rush album Grace Under Pressure.

    You’ll also find four previously unpublished novels by Dune author Frank Herbert, a new fantasy adventure by Alan Dean Foster, a fantasy sequel to MacBeth by Jason Henderson, a steampunk adventure City of Saints by D.J. Butler, epic fantasies by Ramon Terrell, Neo Edmund, and Shean Pao, post-apocalyptic dystopia by Aaron Michael Ritchey, science fiction time travel by Andrew Mayne, Gothic mystery by Peter J. Wacks and J.R. Boyett, noir SF by Quincy J. Allen, a sexy thriller featuring vampire detective Felix Gomez by Mario Acevedo, urban fantasies by J.A. Pitts and Josh Vogt, as well as a new science fiction anthology edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt featuring a never-before-collected “Ender’s Game” story by Orson Scott Card.

    The Sci-Fi Specials Humble Bundle runs for only two weeks—ends April 20—and a portion of the money raised goes to two non-profits I’ve selected, the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education and the Emergency Medical Fund for the Science Fiction Writers of America. Please help us out, and you’ll get a lot of great books to read!

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    Sample booklet from 2113: Stories Inspired by Rush

    Posted By on February 18, 2016

    In April, ECW Press will release the epic anthology 2113: Stories Inspired by Rush. It’s available for Preorder Now, from online booksellers as well as your favorite bookstore, so you can be sure to be the first kid on your block with a copy. 18 epic stories—science fiction, fantasy, thriller, dystopia, adventure—inspired by the music of Rush. Edited by me and John McFetridge, and it includes 16 original works, as well as reprints of “A Nice Morning Drive” by Richard S. Foster (Neil Peart’s original inspiration for “Red Barchetta”) and “Gonna Roll the Bones” by Fritz Leiber (original inspiration for the album “Roll the Bones”).

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    To build excitement for the highly anticipated release—you know, like a high-energy warmup band!—ECW has produced a limited sample booklet that contains the complete gritty short story “Random Access Memory” by my co-editor John McFetridge, inspired by the song “Lakeside Park.”

    I will be signing and handing out free copies of the booklet at my convention appearances throughout the year, beginning with Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida this weekend. If you would like a FREE copy of the booklet, signed by me, just pay for the postage and envelope. You can order a copy direct from me at http://www.wordfire.com/?page_id=50815.

    And please please please pre-order your copy of the book—I would love to see the Rush fans rally and preorder 2113 copies of 2113.

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