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.)


lots of Wild Cards news

December 21, 2016

I have a new Wild Cards story up at  “The Thing About Growing Up in Jokertown” is essentially a YA story, which I’m not sure has been done before in Wild Cards.  I hope it’s a fun read for people.

Lots more ahead for Wild Cards.  Over on his Not a Blog, George has announced what we’re calling the American Triad, exploring parts of the Wild Cards world outside of New York City.  First up there will be Mississippi Roll, in which I have a story.

And did I mention there’s a brand-new official Wild Cards website?  This will be the place to go for news and awesome content, like the comic strip I did to commemorate writing my first Wild Cards story.





At long last, here it is.  Most of my stuff is concentrated on Thursday and Friday, but I’ll be around all weekend.  It’s a big weekend:  we’re celebrating the launch of Amaryllis and Other Stories as well as the newest Wild Cards novel, High Stakes (I’m not in this one, but Earth Witch is!).  I’m looking forward to seeing people with new books in hand!


1 pm:  Signing at the Fairwood Press table in the Dealers Room.  I’ll be dropping in throughout the weekend to sign Amaryllis and Other Stories.

3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00):  Kaffeeklatsch, 2211 (KKs) (Kansas City Convention Center)  Folks generally need to sign up for these ahead of time.


10-10:30 am:  Reading, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)

12-1 pm (12:00 – 13:00):  Adult and YA Fiction: The Once and Future Teen Friday, 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)

2-3 pm (14:00 – 15:00):  The Steampunk Explosion, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)

5-8 pm (17:00 – 20:00):  Rainy Day Books Wild Cards Signing Event for the release of High Stakes.  Count Basie Ballroom (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)  REQUIRES ADVANCED TICKET, which includes purchase of High StakesSee the website for event procedures.  (Note — I’m going to have to leave early so won’t be there the whole 3 hours.)

8 pm:  Fairwood Press Book Release Party, in the party area of the Exhibit Hall.  You can buy Amaryllis and all of Fairwood’s new titles here, and I’ll be on hand to sign.  Secret:  I’m also baking a bunch of cookies.  Come and partake!


10:00 – 11:00 am, The Place of Bookstores.  2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)

3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00), Superheroes: Oversaturated or Raising the Bar?  2503A (Kansas City Convention Center).  So, it turns out Kurt Busiek is also a panelist on this one.  Talking about one of my favorite topics with one of my favorite creators of said topic?  MASSIVE SQUEE.

5-6 pm (17:00 – 18:00), Lightspeed Magazine Group Reading, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)


3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00), Autographing, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

And I think that’s it.  Please let me not have forgotten anything or left anything out…



Hey guys!  Next week, we’re having a big Wild Cards group event at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Sunday July 24, 2 pm.  I’ll be there!  So will George R.R. Martin and I think 19 authors total. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with everyone.  There is a ticket fee — or, you can buy a book!  There’ll be plenty for sale and this will be an excellent opportunity to get as many signatures as possible.  Check the event link there for details.

It’ll be a zippy whirlwind weekend away for me, and the start of about four weeks of travel.  I’m actually looking forward to it — many adventures await.  I just hope I can get everything done this week like I need to, like revise my newest Wild Cards story, get my next newsletter out, vote for the Hugos, and so on, and so on…

And I’m so glad the new Ghostbusters film did well this weekend.  Maybe we’ll get more, now that the origin story is out of the way…


October 17, 2014

Hey!  So it turns out the first of the string of Wild Cards stories I have coming out went live this week!  “Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza” is up at  Check it out!  I’ve been wanting to do this topic for a while now:  deal with the Wild Card virus being passed along through the DNA of victims — people who’ve inherited the virus rather than been newly infected, and what it looks like to have a family with a Wild Cards heritage. (Very rare, granted, given the fatality rate.  But still, it happens.)

In other news:  I made part of my niece’s Halloween costume this year:


I’m thinking back to when my Mom made me a Wonder Woman costume when I was about 5, and it was all felt because that’s what was available.  Now, we’ve got gold lamé, sparkly stickers, all kinds of fancy fancy things to make costumes with.  I’m wondering how much of the cosplay revolution is due to the availability of great materials — or if cosplay is driving the availability of great materials?  I don’t know.

Speaking of cosplay, I’m making a Thing that I hope to have finished by Mile Hi Con next week.  I decided to try to adapt an existing pattern, and it’s kind of kicking my ass — it’s just ever so slightly beyond my skill set.  Which I guess is good, because I’m learning something.  We’ll see if I can figure it out this weekend.  If I can just get the collar to work, the rest will be cake.  *rolls up sleeves*