new Wild Cards reprints!

November 23, 2021

Tor Books is steadily working on reprinting all the Wild Cards substantial backlist, with fantastic character-centric artwork. Some of these books have been out of print for decades, so this is a cool and good thing.

The latest are two of the solo novels: Turn of the Cards by the great Vic Milán, who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago. He would have loved this cover of Jumpin’ Jack Flash. And Death Draws Five, by John Jos. Miller. The links go to Bookshop .org. Please support indie bookstores whenever you can.

Here’s a story: The company that originally published Death Draws Five went under right around the time of its publication date. (This was before I joined the Consortium, so I learned about all this later.) As a result, the warehouse and all the stock got caught up in bankruptcy proceedings, and only a few hundred copies ever made it out into the world. The original edition of this book is rare.

You want to know how big a fan of Wild Cards I was back in the day?  I have a copy of that first-edition of Death Draws Five. I think I picked it up at a Barnes and Noble right when it came out and had no idea there were any problems. Lucky me! But yeah. I have all the rarities. I’m pretty pleased about that.

And of course I’m getting the new editions. Of course I am!

And now for something completely different.

Wondercon is all online this weekend, and free!

And I’m involved. Specifically, I’m involved in a Wild Cards RPG that you can watch. GMed by Walter Jon Williams, with a few of us Wild Cards authors as players.

A gotta tell you, this is A HOOT. I’ve never done anything like this before. My career is SO STRANGE sometimes, and amazing.

You can watch it all through LegionM’s channel, the links and schedule are all right here. Main events are Friday and Saturday. All in support of the Stagecoach Foundation’s fundraising auction. Check it out!

Wild Cards: Deuces Down

December 18, 2020

There’s a new Wild Cards book due out in January 2021!

Deuces Down

Well, sort of new. This is a re-release of an earlier anthology, but it didn’t get a lot of attention the first time around so I’m happy to see it get another chance.

Plus, it has a bunch of new material. Originally, this was an anthology of unrelated stories about deuces, those in the Wild Cards world who have powers — but not great ones. Like Father Henry, who can turn water into cheap merlot.

I was tasked with writing a new interstitial that ties all the stories together. So you’ll meet my character Raleigh, a journalist tracking down stories from the archives of Aces! Magazine. Mary Anne Mohanraj and Caroline Spector also contributed new stories.

And that’ll be my first thing out in 2021. Here’s hoping it’s the start of a great year.


link roundup

August 31, 2020

Lots to share this morning:

“Dirt and Destiny: A Regency Tale.” I posted this to Curious Fiction — never before published! I wrote this a long time ago and read it out loud at a couple of events, but it’s never seen print. Until now! What happens when you cross Jane Austen with Robert E. Howard? And why has no one asked this question before? If you feel like contributing to my Irish whiskey fund, please consider adding to the tip jar!

“The Hunstman and the Beast.” My genderflipped retelling of Beauty and the Beast is reprinted at Lightspeed Magazine.

Also at Lightspeed this month is my long review of the Amazon TV series “Upload,” which I liked a whole lot.

Over at I write a bit about my current pile of reading.

You have four days left to get in on the Kickstarter for Uncanny Magazine Year Seven — which will include a story by me!

And… Wild Cards XI: Dealer’s Choice is back in print after thirty years, with a new cover. I love these Michael Komarck covers so much…

Virtual Worldcon!

July 17, 2020

I’m going to be participating in this year’s virtual Worldcon:  CoNZealand. I’m still incredibly sad I won’t be going to New Zealand this year. I had just made all my reservations when the lockdown hit. Argh. Wear your masks so we can maybe get this under control so I can maybe make the trip next year, just for fun.

In the meantime:  NO PANTS WORLDCON. We’ll all be online. Are we wearing pants? WHO KNOWS.

I’ve just gotten my schedule — I’m on a number of panels, and I have a reading and kaffeeklatsch as well. Yes, you have to have a Worldcon membership to take part. The con starts in two weeks.

But I’m posting about it this week because I’m part of pre-convention programming, a kind of dry-run to practice how it’s all going to work. Today, in fact (tomorrow New Zealand time… gah, this is going to get weird), I’m on a Wild Cards panel:  Wild Cards as Alternate History. Let’s do this thing!


a great big promo post

March 4, 2020

I have a bunch of links and news and things to share. Things are getting busy around these parts.

The deadline for applying for this year’s Odyssey Writing Workshop is April 1. Scholarships are available. This is the workshop I attended in 1998, that I credit for kicking me out of the “almost published” rut into having an actual writing career. Give it a look over. Bonus:  I’m dropping in this year as a video guest.

Waaaaay back when we released Wild Cards: Inside Straight, we also put together an in-universe blog that gave the whole run-down on the first season of reality TV show “American Hero.” I think that was even before I had started this blog. Whew! Now, Tor has released American Hero as an e-book, compiling the blog entries and preserving them for eternity, which is awesome. Since American Hero was my fault idea, I did a bunch of the writing on this — all the weekly summaries, and so on. Most of the confessionals were written by that character’s creator. Group effort! If you didn’t have a chance to see this the first time around, this is a great chance to catch up.

Here’s a lovely review of The Immortal Conquistador, which will be out in less than two weeks. Edit:  My contributor copies have just arrived! It’s a real book!

Reminder:  March 13 (Friday the 13th, appropriate!) at 7 pm, I’ll be reading from and discussing The Immortal Conquistador at the BookBar in Denver. is collecting the flash fiction series Nevertheless She Persisted as a free e-book. This will be out March 8, and includes my piece, “Alchemy.”

I wrote an essay for Speculative Chic marveling at the influence of the show Robin of Sherwood: “In Which Out Intrepid Author Rediscovers the Most Influential Robin Hood Since Errol Flynn.”

Getting back into the swing of the book promo thing. Meanwhile, I’ve got two novel manuscripts to revise? How the heck did that happen? Wuf.


checking in

September 16, 2019

Just checking in. Don’t really have more to say because what I really need right now is a nap. This was one of those weekends, flew out early Saturday morning, arrived at the event, did several hours of programming in a row, finally checked into the hotel and collapsed, then flew out the next day. But I did see a merganser on the Truckee River in the middle of Reno, and that was cool.

It was a good weekend, just tiring. Which might be a good time to mention that when you see your favorite author at a literary festival or convention or the like and they seem a little frazzled… it may be they’re on a tight travel schedule and they haven’t had a chance to get to the hotel yet or eat and they’re trying their best to keep it together because we really do like these events and love talking to readers about books.

So yeah. Nap and lunch. More later.


Well, today I’m celebrating by coming down with a cold. And it’s snowing. Was in the 60’s yesterday. I should nap.

In the meantime, my latest movie review is in this month’s Lightspeed — I analyze Downsizing, a movie that pretty much nobody saw. I’m hoping to get to Ready Player One this weekend. I’m not particularly looking forward to it, oddly enough. My mistrust of nostalgia runs deep on this one.

Over on Wild Cards World, I write about That Time My Brother and I Did Wild Cards Cosplay but Couldn’t Leave the House. And can I just say that I’m so pleased to be getting back to cosplay, even just a little?

Ugh. Tea and naps.


fallen ace

February 15, 2018

Wild Cards writer Victor Milán passed away on Tuesday. George’s announcement is here. He was there at the start of the series and the creator of Capt’n Trips, and he will be badly missed.

And in one of those fits of cosmic strangeness, his newest story, “Evernight,” went live on yesterday. (He has a couple more stories in the pipeline as well).

Go have a read, so that the words will live on


my collection

March 24, 2017

So I recently lined up all my editions of the first six Wild Cards books. The reissue of #6, Ace in the Hole, just came out from Tor. I’ve got mine!

So awesome. Up top are the original, wacky airbrushed collage covers. I love those so much. I realize they’re a bit dated now, but they’re very 1980’s and I think they really evoke the tone of the books:  stylish, moody, full of intriguing characters and surreal hints of darkness. The reason I picked up Wild Cards in the first place was because of those covers, which didn’t look like anything else on the shelves at the time. Credits say the art is by Stan Watts while the border is by Frank Riley.

On book 6 the series changed to a more comic-book style illustration depicting more literal scenes. I was never a fan of these. Too cartoonish to me, and they never captured the mood the way those earlier covers did.  These are by Timothy Truman.

I understand I’m in the minority opinion on this, and that a lot of folks never liked the first edition illustrations as much. Bantam re-issued the first five books with new covers by Truman. I don’t have those. But I pick up copies of the originals whenever I stumble across them in used bookstores, and then give them away with impunity.

Next row:  the British editions, and the amazing covers by Brian Bolland.  Such great character pieces, with enough mood to evoke what you’ll find inside.

And now, the Tor editions with the really amazing art by Michael Komarck. And what’s so interesting is that, like the original UK covers, these feature individual characters. But they’re action shots, not portraits. They combine all the impulses of the previous iterations of covers.

And isn’t it interesting that Wraith is the only one who has two covers? Something about chicks in bikinis, I guess.  Wait, no!  Puppetman also has two. Almost three!  (The new volume six is almost another portrait of Gregg Hartmann. Except that’s actually the horrible Mackie Messer emerging through his campaign poster. I hate that guy.)