First of all: Happy New Year, folks! I hope you've all had a great start to 2019. Life has been hectic for me of late. I'm running behind on a number of things but I'm starting to get caught up bit by bit so there's that. I'm now doing a series of limited chapbooks color-illustrated by Luke Spooner over on my Patreon. Luke did the interiors for the first chapbook in my Hex serial novel last year and I'll be continuing that serial. In between each part of Hex, though, I'll now be putting together a chapbook consisting of either a standalone novelette, a novella, or a short collection. Like with Hex, each will be signed by myself, numbered, and illustrated by Luke Spooner.
My weird novelette Through the Mindhole will kick off this year's subscription. The formatting is complete, though I'm still trying to decide between two different versions. Then I'll be immediately having copies printed off, so if you want one of these, you can join my Patreon at the $10 tier and I'll ship yours out. And Hex 2 will be coming up immediately afterword!
Here's the cover and some illustrations all by Luke Spooner:
Here's the tentative schedule I have in mind (if you sign up for my Patreon at the $10 tier or higher and don't have Hex Part I: The Eye of the Hexagon, let me know and I'll ship it along with the other two January chapbooks!):
January: Through the Mindhole (Novelette), Hex Part II: The Mouth of the Hexagon
February: Exit Reality
March: Hex III: The Flesh of the Hexagon (serial novel)
April: A Light That Could Only Shine On the Dead and Other Weird Tales (short collection)
May: Hex IV: The Blood of the Hexagon (serial novel)
June: The Quiet: Reimagined (new re-imagining of my 2011 short novella. There is a chance this will turn into a novel, if so, I will publish the first part and this schedule will change quite drastically)
July: Hex V: The Mind of the Hexagon (serial novel)
August: Flashes in the Dark (flash fiction collection)
September: Hex VI: The Light of the Hexagon (serial novel, final part)
October: The Orloge (Currently unfinished novelette/novella)
November: Dead Synapses: A Collection of Bleak Science Fiction (short collection)
December: The Knowing Inside John Part I: Beasley Hollow (serial novel)
There will be six parts in total, each with six chapters (chapters 1 and 2 of Part II: The Mouth of the Hexagon are already up on Patreon and Wattpad, actually), and each will have its own Kindle eBook and limited edition chapbook once all of its chapters have been unveiled online. The plan is for a new chapter to go up every week until the entire book is up. Then I might do a single volume limited edition hardcover. I haven't decided yet.
I've also been posting short fiction and novelettes on my Patreon and will be including more as time goes on. Almost everything is freely available but I plan to post some Patron-only material soon including a revamping of my series on fiction writing called The Subtle Balance.
In other news, Nightscape Press is in the process of relaunching. Our first new title is Tim Waggoner's new short fiction collection DARK AND DISTANT VOICES and it's absolutely lovely and exquisitely bizarre. It's currently available for Kindle and in a trade paperback edition on Amazon. Each story includes a gorgeous illustration also done by Luke Spooner. Here's the cover copy:
"This is every card in the horror deck, played by someone who knows the game better than most of us ever will."—Stephen Graham Jones, author of MONGRELS, AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF, and THREE MILES PAST "'Hell is other people,' Jean-Paul Sartre tells us. 'Especially the one we see in the mirror,' implicitly says Tim Waggoner. Both give us the theme of Waggoner's splendid Dark and Distant Voices. Our children we don't quite recognize, colleagues not all that collegial, ghosts who silently speak the Truth ... They're all here and more in Waggoner's brilliant story collection."—Mort Castle, author of THE STRANGERS and CURSED BE THE CHILD They come to you at night. The voices. Spinning tales of blasphemous wonder, terrible wisdom, and unspeakable truth. You try to shut them out, try to get away, but you can’t. For the voices you thought were coming from so far away… they’re inside you. And they won’t stop screaming. Ever. Nineteen stories of the bizarre and fantastic from the mind of Bram Stoker Award-winning author Tim Waggoner, “horror fiction’s leading surrealist” (Cemetery Dance Magazine).
Nightscape Press will have two novels out this year, THE COMING by Bryan Hall (an incredibly creepy novel of unorthodox demon possession!) and TALONS OF THE GREEN by Jonathan Templar (fans of Jonathan's THE ANGEL OF SHADWELL will be delighted to know this is the first Inspector Noridel steampunk horror novel!), before we transition into our new charity publishing model which... speaking of...
If you missed them on my Facebook page, another couple of big Nightscape Press announcements were made. This summer we'll be publishing a brand new Dunnstown-based novelette by one of my absolute favorite new writers, Jon Padgett, called THE BROKER OF NIGHTMARES in an illustrated, signed trade paperback edition and later on in a Kindle edition as well. This will be the debut release in our new charity limited edition line of books and will contribute a significant portion of its net sales to the ACLU.
If you haven't already, you owe it to yourself to read Jon's groundbreaking horror collection The Secret of Ventriloquism. I highly recommend the audiobook as Jon reads it himself and is also an incredibly talented voice actor and one of those rare writer/narrators that enriches his material greatly in the way that he breathes life (or in this case something far darker) into his own material. I would easily put him up there with Gaiman and Ellison in this regard, but with a bleak and creepy result.
The second piece of NSP news is that we'll be opening to new submissions for our charity novel line in September of this year. Some more details about both can be found on this post and more details are still to come.
That's it as far as news goes for now, folks! But remember... #meatbleeds
I hope we find his corpse floating in orbit. Tahlia imagines Jason tumbling among the rocks and ice within those vast majestic rings, those beautiful hazel eyes staring out at nothing behind a transparent face shield. Her fury chills to anguish and then freezes into a deep heavy guilt. She shields her eyes from a bright glint of sunlight reflecting off of Ring F.
The sight of the planet takes her breath away and she lets her eyes wander to the giant hexagonal-shaped storm that crown's the gas giant's north pole. A living dynamo of gas and wind and gravity. The subject of her life's work. She smiles. She's really here.
She subdues any sign of outward excitement. They're not officially here for science, much as that hurts deep inside her. They're here to find out why Zazel went silent. If the crew is alive or dead.
Her own crew of five sit silent as the tiny dot of Zazel grows steadily closer in the viewscreen. Adrenaline and anxiety swirl into one another and Tahlia has to fight to keep from holding her breath.
"Still no sign of radio activity," Brothers says into the empty silence.
Ahmed turns to Tahlia, a flash of pity in his otherwise emotionless face. A nervous swallow. "On course for docking. We should make contact in 56 minutes and 27 seconds."
Tahlia nods. "Brothers, any other signs of activity?"
David clatters away at the keyboard in front of him, face scrunching with focus and then he shakes his head. "Power's on and life support is running but nothing independent."
Minutes stretch into eternity and then the dot resolves itself into a sleek tiny shuttle floating just along Saturn's western ring plane. White base, wings covered in golden solar panels, cockpit glowing yellow with inner light. There's nothing visible in that glow. It's still too far away. Tahlia taps her fingernails against the console in front of her. A collage of moments floods her memory.
Jason lying naked in bed, watching her dress in front of the mirror, a sly smile arching up the side of his mouth, black hair tossled at the top of his head.
Holding hands under the stars on the hood of his newly restored bright cherry red '57 Chevy, cold metal sticking to the small of her back.
Getting lost for hours, hiking in the autumn-colored trees of Lieber State Park.
The blinding afterglow of her laptop screen after reading the recovered emails Jason deleted between him and Johanson.
Nearly breaking her hand beating on the door of his apartment, screaming for him to let her in.
The clean-typed formal letter from Brizen Aerospace Command informing her that she had been "dismissed" from the crew of Zazel, Jason's familiar signature scrawled at the bottom.
Watching Zazel launch from a nearby parking lot, fingernails digging into her palms and drawing blood.
She exhales, letting the poison in those memories leak out of her in one long release, fixes her stare back on Saturn. Something big begins to overtake the left side of the screen. Ahmed gasps as Zazel's payload doors crack open. "Uh. I didn't initiate the docking procedure yet." He looks back at Tahlia with a mixed expression of excitement and... fear?
Tahlia nods and Ahmed turns back to his terminal.
He shakes his head. "Nothing. I've had the hailing beacon on repeat ever since we first made visual." The doors continue to stretch open in one long flowery bloom. Zazel's docking arm slides gently into the gap between them.
Her petals fully extended, the docking arm rises to meet Perseus. For the first time in weeks, their vessel makes a very loud noise and shimmies unsteadily for a moment as the docking arm attaches itself to the ship's hull. "Docking complete. The ships' computers are talking to each other." Ahmed looks up from his terminal, a disquieted look on his face.
All eyes are on Tahlia now. "Anything about who set up the docking procedure? Why we're not hearing anybody on the radio?"
Ahmed shakes his head. "Nothing yet. The ship's log data is transferring now. I can search through them once they're fully downloaded."
Tahlia stares out at the open cargo hold of Zazel and lets out a long sigh. "I suppose we had better take a look. Ahmed, stay here and keep monitoring the data transfers. Brothers, Melton, Chambers, you'll suit up with me... Someone is in there. Has to be." ***
Read the rest of Chapter 1 for free on my Patreon page (new chapters will be posted there every week).
...and you know what that means! KINDLE EBOOK SALE! Wait, you were expecting me to talk about Fall, leaves, comfy flannels, fluffy hats, hot pumpkin spice lattes, jack O' lanterns, bobbing for apples, maybe? Hahahahahahah! No! I mean, yes, those things are awesome and part of Halloween. But for the sake of I have limited fucking time right now, I'll have to discuss those at more length another time. Alas, no, today I come to you to talk of sales and schedules and pretty bookly things.
I have free stories and 99 cent deals this month:
ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY FREE SHORT STORIES, NO STRINGS ATTACHED:
My latest novella DREAM STATIC is now available as an audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Maye Henley narrated this one and she did an exquisite job of it! Here's the details:
When successful environmental prosecutor Angela Bane goes in for her annual synaptic backup, she's just as reluctant as always. After all it's just a routine procedure. Until she wakes up 22 years later in a chaotic surgery room, disoriented and unable to speak. As she slowly recovers from the Resus operation and learns about her fate, she struggles to deal with a world that's gone on without her. Her father's dead, her fiancé, Jordan, has become an old man in her "absence", and her body hasn't aged at all since the day it was littered with bullets. With no memory of her murder and no bearings in this place and time, Angela begins both physical and emotional therapy to try and adjust. Unable to deal with the chasm of time that's opened up between them, she sends Jordan away determined to suffer in solitude. Then the dreams begin. A dark parking garage, a close colleague, and the obscured face of a man lifting his gun and pointing it in their direction. Could she actually be remembering something that happened after her backup? "It's called Dream Static. Sometimes the old brain tissue still retains bits of memories and, upon reanimation, those synapses can connect and reincorporate with the ones that were backed up." Before long, someone comes to visit her in the hospital. A dark brooding presence, Maddox was the original detective assigned to her murder. And now that she's alive, maybe, just maybe she holds the key to bringing the man responsible to justice. Over time, the dreams bring Angela closer and closer to finding the identity of her killer. As her heart draws her closer and closer to Detective Maddox. And in the end the killer might just find her.... Again.
I intend to post something other than just the typical promotional post about sales and news and blah blah blah, but unfortunately... today is not that day! There are two big sales going on right now and I figured it might be a good time to share them here on the dusty old blog and clue you folks in on some big news for the future.
First of all, right now I'm running a Kindle countdown deal through Sunday May 21st for the entire EMPIRE OF BLOOD trilogy for Amazon.com for only 99 cents! Many of you already own copies of these books and I apologize for boring you and that you weren't able to get in on this deal but it's time the series got a larger readership, and this is one of the only ways to do that now a days. So, please, please, please share the news on your Facebook, your Goodreads, your Twitter pals, with your neighbors, with their dogs, with their dogs' doggy friends, with your dentist (God knows that fucker likes blood!), with your friends who read, maybe even your mailman if you're not too afraid of him shunning you for the rest of existence.
A lot of development has been happening for several books I've been working on for a while now. I've made some huge leaps for the sequel series to Empire of Blood as well as a couple of standalone novels I've been working on.
First of all, for you Empire of Blood fans, there will definitely be a new trilogy and here's the scoop on that:
Introducing APOCALYPSE OF BLOOD: AN APOCALYPTIC VAMPIRE TRILOGY!
The series will consist of the following three novels:
RISE OF THE DEAD: APOCALYPSE OF BLOOD BOOK II
FALL OF THE WORLD: APOCALYPSE OF BLOOD BOOK III
Here's the work in progress synopsis for book one:
Diana's life is strange. She's part human, part... something else. Raised by vampires and sick of her diva twin sister who also happens to be the vampire hive queen, she ran away from home to lead a normal life at the age of twenty-two. But the visions followed. Vivid and terrible and recurring since birth, they were bad enough when they were only about her dead father but now... They show her something new... Bodies pile in the streets, hospitals turn away once-human withering husks, their blood all but dried up in their veins. The Blood Plague is born and it hungers. And not just for human blood.
Now, for you folks who have never read EMPIRE OF BLOOD, this series will stand on its own. You will not need to go back and read EMPIRE OF BLOOD, though with the sale going on today, it might be time to give it a shot anyway (amirite?!?! ((I fucking hate that one but I couldn't resist using it here!). So there's that.
I'm on course to finish ORIGIN OF BLOOD, my collection of EMPIRE OF BLOOD origin stories in time for a December release and then you should expect a flood of news about APOCALYPSE OF BLOOD. My projection for release for book one is December 2018 but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen sooner as this one is practically already writing itself.
Also, keep an eye out for other new stuff. I'm still working on the sequel to MINDLINK which will be called MINDCORE, though I've slowed drastically on it lately. I've also made gigantic strides with development on a little standalone novel I've been working on the past two years initially called DEVIL'S CREEK, then renamed to BEASLEY HOLLOW, and now potentially about to be renamed to something else entirely. We'll see. Suffice it to say that it will be a massively different novel than my vampire stuff. A supernatural horror/weird fiction tale about crows who are a bit too big for their britches, marital separation, bisexuality, teenage cutting, missing persons, and strange, unearthly phone calls in the middle of the night. So, keep an ear out for more details on that one.
Anyway, I'm really excited about all of these and I hope you are too. With all that unleashed, it's time for me to go and do the day job thing. Take it easy, folks!