My first novel is back in print, and to mark this event, I’ve worked with visual designer and artist Aura Castro to give it a new cover. I loved the original cover and will be eternally grateful to Crystal Larson for her art, but it was time for a change.
Here is the full print spread:
This novel is set in the Earthdawn fantasy world. Earthdawn is, as its name implies, a re-emergence of life into a world that has been destroyed by monstrous magic and creatures of inconceivable power. Most of them are gone now, and the sentient, magic-wielding races of Barsaive are venturing forth again.
Visit FASA Games for more about the Earthdawn universe. It’s a detailed, unique fantasy setting with many novels and role-playing game sourcebooks. If you like role-playing games, pick up the free quick start guide.
The adventure takes the reader across Barsaive, but it’s primary focus is the fascinating culture of the Obsidimen race. Quiet and strong, patient and brave, Obsidimen have a deep kinship with each other and the earth from whence they are born.
The novel is as thematically relevant today as it was when I wrote it in 1993. That was the year of the Waco siege that resulted in the fiery deaths of 76 Branch Davidian sect members, including 25 children. The toxic nature of fanaticism has not waned in the intervening years.
I wrote the book in the same year as my first child was born, and it’s not a coincidence that it explores themes of getting your crap in order to pave the way for a once-in-a-lifetime event. The main character has to clean up his family’s disfunction so that he can be Named. You might say the same thing happened to me… without the magic and death, but still.
You’re like me — you crave deep and intimate connection. It’s a profound need. A desire. A passion. You’ll do a lot to get that feeling. Maybe even sacrifice a bit of yourself.
How much is too much to get what you crave?
Also, you’re an insect…
Because that makes perfect sense, right? Are you interested yet? Laughing?
* * *
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree:“
Morphosiscame to me in a dream, fully formed like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. And I didn’t just dream the concept and the characters; I dreamed all the words.
This story has been published three times in small or niche anthologies, most recently in Geek Love — an awesome, kickstarter hardcover edited by Shanna Germain. I’m proud of this story; it deserves a bigger audience. So here it is for free.
Morphosis is about the forms we take to please our partners. It’s about identity and connection. And sex… and love.
I’m happy to announce that my novel, Beyond the Pale, is now available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Yay!
The timing is possibly fortuitous because the original paperback of the novel was published twenty years ago this month. Twenty!
1998 was before my younger daughter was born, and now she’s graduated from high school. So yeah, my world has changed a lot since then. The world wide web was barely a thing then. Ebooks didn’t exist. Amazon.com was a small, barely known web store that only sold books. There were no iPhones. I wrote using an Atari ST with a Mac emulator. My 20 megabyte hard drive cost $500.
In some ways it’s a surprise that Shadowrun is still around. Yet, it is such a rich universe with larger-than-life characters and a detailed future history. I couldn’t have asked for a better world in which to tell stories. I loved cyberpunk and had read a ton of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, and others.
My main drive at that time was to be a full-time fiction writer… never realizing how hard that would be. Even while I was writing novels, I had to work a day job. Despite the relative popularity of my Shadowrun books, they never earned enough for me to stop working. So I wrote the books during my spare time, and now I look back and marvel at how much energy and drive my younger self had to spare. Incredible!
Beyond the Pale is the final book in my trilogy – The Dragon Heart Saga – about the events that occur in the aftermath of the death of the great dragon Dunkelzahn. Beyond the Pale completes the saga, and I’m really happy that people can now get all three as ebooks – because the paperbacks are really difficult to find these days.
I’ve been working on a project for a while now, mostly in between life issues like moving to Mexico and holding down a day job. The Trulon project is the brainchild of Johan Lillbacka who contacted me several years ago now about a collaboration. I liked the idea and wanted to work with him and so we embarked on fleshing out his fantasy universe, creating a story arc for a series of novels, and ultimately laying the foundation for other creative outlets for characters in this steampunk-with-magic style world.
Soon you will be able to experience some of what we’ve built by playing the game – Trulon: The Shadow Engine. It’s designed for young adults, but should be fun for adults too. For this, Johan worked with Finnish game makers Kyy Games, the creators of Trouserheart and Rimelands: Hammer of Thor. And later this summer, the first novel – coauthored by me and Johan – will be out. And if you’re in Finland, you’ll be able to see a live performance at Powerpark!
Well, I need to get back to writing! Meanwhile here are couple of links if you’d like more information.
If you’ve been paying attention to publishing news, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the new platform that Barnes and Noble trotted out today. Nook Press is their latest attempt to move ahead of Amazon.com’s Kindle Desktop Publishing. At first glance it looks like it’s got a lot of features that might appeal to individual writers.
Frankly, when I got the email this morning with the “great news” that I was going to have to move the Per Aspera Press books from PubIt to Nook Press I was not looking forward to it. What a hassle, I figured. And this perception only deepened when I started looking at the news articles and watched the tutorial videos of creating a publisher account.
Yes, all this new functionality is cool. Yes, isn’t it great that I can now use their platform to actually write my manuscript? Actually it’s not. Even though they give me the option to invite collaborators to comment and review, I would never write a draft using a tool like this. Just doesn’t have all the functionality I need.
So I was dreading transitioning my books to this new platform. And that fear wasn’t assuaged by the nookpress.com site being down (or more likely overwhelmed) for much of the day. But when I actually did walk through the steps — not of setting up a new account — but of transitioning my PubIt account over. The process was …
Smooth. Easy. Almost perfect.
Seriously, I entered my old account information, and my new account information. Clicked once. Verified my email. Done.
All my books transitioned. All metadata. All my payment and company information. Seamless. Impressive.
This sort of experience is so rare that I took the time to blog this. Good job, Barnes and Noble. Please don’t let Nook die. We need you around.