Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Unleash .... THE HEROES

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Today I would like to give you some blessed relief from me talking to you about my books....

.... So I can talk to you about other people's books.

Superheroes are in.

You may have noticed.

Well, Silver Empire has. 

They've been working on a project for the past few months to feed the public's ever growing interest in Superheroes: Heroes Unleashed. 

What is it? Glad you asked. It's actually a shared world on the scale of old-school Marvel or DC -- think of Crisis on Infinite Earths or Secret Wars, first edition. One superhero world, in one superhero city....

With five authors.

This is the brain child of Morgon Newquist, my editor, and one of the better authors in some of the anthologies I've been in.

Kai Wai Cheah, 2017 Dragon award nominate author
JD Cowan, who has reviewed ... most of my books.
Jon Mollison, of the late "Sad Puppy Book Club" website.
Richard W. Watts who ... I should know, but don't ask me for his credits right now.

But today, my publisher Silver Empire brings you -- The Kickstarter Campaign.
Five Amazing Authors, Five Super Novels!

Here at Silver Empire, we've been waiting nearly a year to bring you the exciting Heroes Unleashed project! We've collected the best up and coming authors to bring you this amazing, first of its kind collection of new, interlinked superhero novels! No, these aren't comicbooks or graphic novels, these are straight up novels, packed with all the superhuman action and goodness you could ever ask for!

Authors Morgon Newquist, J.D. Cowan, Kai Wai Cheah, Jon Mollison, and Richard Watts bring the Heroes Unleashed universe to life with their five Phase I novels. Each novel will begin a series of its own that will continue for at least three books.
I'd go into details on these books, but you can see it here, on the Kickstarter page

On the Kickstarter, today, as well as while the campaign develops, they intend to add more and more art and samples from the novels throughout, so if you're not impressed by what's there today (and I think you should be, it's kinda awesome) come back every so often over the 21 days the Kickstarter will run.

The backer rewards are as follows
* $1 - the first 100 pages of Heroes Fall right now (don't even have to wait for the Kickstarter to end).
* $5 - pick 1 ebook from the Phase I selection
* $15 - pick 1 paperback from the Phase I selection (signed)
* $20 - the complete Phase I ebook selection
* $30 - a limited edition Heroes Unleashed "Phase I Backer" t-shirt
* $40 - pick 1 hardcover from the Phase I selection (signed, limited edition, Kickstarter only)
* $90 - complete Phase I paperback collection (signed)
* $190 - complete Phase I hardcover collection (signed, limited edition, Kickstarter only)
* $1000 - YOU get to be a minor hero or villain in a future Heroes Unleashed book. Includes custom art. Limit 5. 
Each of the rewards are limited, so, keep that in mind. Sooner would be better.

Keep in mind, this is only Heroes Unleashed PHASE 1.  Yes, phases. The new Marvel Method ... the one that makes money, not the current batch of comic books with art so bad, it even makes my cover art looks good. (Not that it annoys me or anything....)

There will probably be even more data on the future of the project during the campaign. Just a guess.

Now, I'm sure there will be some people who are wondering why do this now. "But Declan," I hear you say, "they already publish books ... like yours ...without needing outside cash."

As they point out
What we need
To be honest, we don't need a whole lot. Four of the five books are already basically done (first drafts are finished, editors have had a crack at them). All we really need at this point is covers and promotional artwork.

What your pledges support  
Your pledges support getting us those covers and promotional artwork, they'll help us promote the books, and - most of all - the authors will get paid at their respective royalty rates, which will help ensure that they keep writing more Heroes Unleashed stories!
You will note in the kickstarter page, everything is co-authored by the little man who wasn't there. This of course brings us to one nifty little trick that more than a few publishers employ -- a shared co-author on all of these books. Like "Richard Castle" of the real life Nikki Heat and Derek Storm novels has one name, multiple authors, this has a similar track. In part, it's a way to mess with Amazon's algorithms. According to an author at I-Con, back when it was my local con, Baen would have senior writers work with junior writers, so the bestselling author name would confound Barnes and Noble's purchasing algorithms (for example, back when March Upcountry came out and Ringo was relatively new, the computer for the bookstore thinks "David Weber sells millions of books. We should order millions of books. Ignore that John Ringo name, Weber sells millions of books.")

Again, that's just what I heard at I-Con. I may be wrong.

In the case of Heroes Unleashed, Amazon will give higher priority to authors who sell books more often. I heard that about a year ago, I think. Anyway, now, HU has a single co-author on all of the books, even the ones that aren't written yet.

It's a little meta.

Anyway, look over the kickstarter, see what you think. And, frankly, give at least one dollar. At least one. Why? Because for one dollar, you get the first hundred pages. And if you like them, kick in more so you can get more stuff.

I'm a cheap bastard, and that's a good deal even for me.

Kickstarter here.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

On the Latest Catholic Scandal (2018)

You know, I saw the most recent headlines on the current Catholic scandal out of Philadelphia, and I felt like I was back 20 years ago when they basically ran the same headlines word for word about Boston.

My reaction?

Well, I wanted to scream, and rant, and rave.


I wanted to point out that almost all of the priests involved (probably all of them, really) might as well be time-stamped with "The Sexual Revolution" intended into their foreheads.

I wanted to point out that there are 30,000 child molestation cases a year with the Public School system, where the hell are all of THOSE stories?

But you know what? I literally wrote this blog already. Right here.

And the facts have changed so little, I don't even need to change anything.

So I'm going to not waste my breath.

Though I am curious about what the PA AG thinks he's doing, when the statue of limitations are over, and most of the abusers are 80 years old. Does he think he's distracting from the Democrats raping each other over and over again? Does he think he's actually adding anything new? Or does he just want to grab headlines and the media are desperate to grab at something?


Not like anyone's going to listen anyway.

Here, have some fun Catholic books.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Honor at Stake: The Paperback Edition

Honor at Stake is back!

.... Again.

For a third time.

The 2016 Dragon Award finalist for best horror is finally back in Paperback.

And we are ready to kick some ass! Yee haw...


The paperback is out just in time, really. It gives everyone time to purchase one of these snazzy new covers for DragonCon. Heck, it gives me time to get some for DragonCon. Either way, it works.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone is ready for the upcoming rerelease of the novel Good to the Last Drop. The grand finale of the series should be fun.

Heh heh heh.

Also, coming soon: Silver Empire is nearly ready to unleash something massive. I'll discuss that when there are more details.

But right now, here's Honor at Stake, in paperback.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Enter: The Dragon Awards 2018

The nominations are in and counted. Time to see who the current Dragon Award nominees are

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Gareth Worthington and Stu Jones
  • Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
  • The Mutineer’s Daughter by Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays
  • Win by Vera Nazarian
  • Sins of Her Father by Mike Kupari
  • Artemis by Andy Weir

I'm happy to see Chris Kennedy on the list again. And Mike Kupari. Chris is good people, and I've liked some of Kupari's other works.

Though at the end of the day, I think we can all lay money on Andy Weir getting it. Because he's Andy Weir.

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta
  • War Hammer by Shayne Silvers
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Land: Predators by Aleron Kong
  • The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
  • A Tempered Warrior by Jon R. Osborne

I'm relatively certain this one goes to Brandon Sanderson. Not because I like the man (I've never read anything by him) but because many people seem to like his stuff.

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Cold Bath Street by A.J. Hartley
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • When Tinker Met Bell by Alethea Kontis
  • Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I'm going to take a shot in the dark that this one goes to Sarah J. Maas. Why? Because most of my internet tribe have heard of her, even people I don't consider "readers" (granted, by my lights, "reader" means that they have a library that outstrips the local lending library)

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Communications Failure by Joe Zieja
  • Points of Impact by Marko Kloos
  • Ghost Marines: Integration by Jonathan P. Brazee
  • Price of Freedom by Craig Martelle and Michael Anderle
  • Legend by Christopher Woods
  • A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Oh, look. Timothy Zahn writing in the David Weber universe.

I wonder who will win Best MilSFF this year?


Best Alternate History Novel

  • Dark State by Charles Stross
  • The Sea Peoples by S.M. Stirling
  • Witchy Winter by D.J. Butler
  • Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese
  • Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell

Oooh. Four way split between Stirling, Kroese, Anderson and Ezell. That's going to be tough.

I think I'm going to place money on Kroese. Why? I expect the other three to cancel each other out among an overlapping fan base. That's why.

Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
  • Before the Storm by Christie Golden
  • Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
  • Fear Itself by James Swallow
  • Legacy of Onyx by Matt Forbeck
  • Desperate Hours by David Mack

Who cares?

Best Horror Novel

  • Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • A Time to Run by Mark Wandrey
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
  • Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry

Now that's a tough one. First of all ... did I know that Mark Wandrey was in horror? (checks last blog post) Yes, yes I did. Nice going, Mark. Two categories this year. Well done. I know exactly how you feel, since I was in two last year myself.

Best Comic Book

  • Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics
  • Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, DC Comics
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe, Dark Horse Comics
  • Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, DC Comics
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Image Comics
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles D. Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marvel Comics

And ... yup. We're now back to I don't care. Next.

Best Graphic Novel

  • Chicago Typewriter: The Red Ribbon by Brandon Fiadino, Djibril Morissette-Phan, and James Greatorex, Dark Legion Comics
  • Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment
  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
  • Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Image Comics
  • Vision (The Vision) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Marvel Comics
  • Paper Girls Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang, Image Comics

This might be the year of Brandon Sanderson.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • The Expanse, Syfy
  • Game of Thrones, HBO
  • Lucifer, Fox
  • Supernatural, CW
  • Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access
  • Altered Carbon, Netflix
  • Stranger Things, Netflix

I'm voting Lucifer. I can tell you that I don't think STD will win.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Incredibles 2 directed by Brad Bird
  • Thor: Ragnorok directed by Taika Waititi
  • Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Avengers: Infinity War directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
  • Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler
  • Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Deadpool 2 directed by Dave Leitch


I don't have anything to say to this aside from

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Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Fortnite by Epic Games
  • Cuphead by Studio MDHR
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions
  • Destiny 2 by Bungie
  • Battletech by Harebrained Schemes
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus by MachineGames

Well, I at least called it that Cuphead would be in the lineup here.

While I was a fan of the game before Middle-earth: Shadow of War, there was a lot of anger around SoW's microtransactions and end of game gameplay that encouraged in game purchases. Destiny 2 has had mixed reviews. While Battletech and Wolfenstein are classics, I didn't hear of this new Battletech, and reviews for Wolfenstein II were disappointed in the gameplay and execution.

My money is that this is between Fortnite and Cuphead.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Planescape: Torment by Black Isle Studios
  • Nocked! by Andrew Schneider
  • Lineage 2: Revolution by Netmarble
  • Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition by Square Enix
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Final Fantasy XV. Why? Because at this rate, Harry Potter is for old people.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
  • Rising Sun by CMON Games
  • When I Dream by Asmodee
  • Mysterium: Secrets and Lies Expansion by Asmodee
  • Azul by Plan B Games
  • Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games
  • Photosynthesis by Blue Orange

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

  • Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition by Games Workshop
  • Force and Destiny Role-playing Game: Knights of Fate by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Bubblegumshoe – RPG by Evil Hat
  • Cooking with Dice: The Acid Test by Oddfish Games
  • D100 Dungeon by Martin Knight
  • Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast

I have nothing for you in either case. I'm generally out of those scenes.

.... What's that? Why didn't I mention Good to the Last Drop not being nominated? Duh. It was off the shelves months ago. It's kinda hard to push a nomination of a book that no new readers can get into, now isn't it? It was a long shot even if the books were on the shelves.

This should be an interesting year for the Dragon Awards.

Non illegitimi carborundum.

GenCon: This Won't Stop

I generally dislike discussing politics, but enough is enough.

In a move that will shock no one, after months of Anti-FA violence and rioting in the streets, calls for right wingers to be harassed and assaulted...

A right winger was harassed and assaulted at Gen Con. Shocking, huh?

Brian Niemeier has the details on the incident in question.

Richard Paolinelli has called for sanity to reign, saying clearly that This Must Stop.

I'm here to tell you that it won't stop.

To look at the history of Leftism is to look at the history of mass slaughter and bloodshed.

The French Revolution? Tens of thousands dead. Check.

Slavery in America? Tens of thousands dead. Check.

National Socialism? Tens of MILLIONS dead. Check.

Any Socialist movement? HUNDREDS of millions dead. Check.

Abortion movement? Tens of millions in America alone, God knows how many worldwide.

I don't know why, but Leftist psychopaths never really know when or where to stop. Even at the beginning, with the French Revolution, it devolved into purity tests and the Committee of Public Safety. Ultimately, the Committee itself was fed to the guillotine.

Today? Well, the Leftist nutters of today don't know where to stop. Part of it is the higher ups in the Democratic party encourage violence ... possibly as a way of keeping the base engaged.

But looking at violence spreading to Gen Con, I'm here to tell you this: the only way to make the violence stop is to force them to stop. Psycho Leftists won't play this game if they know they're going to lose.

  • Step one: When they attack, hit them fast and hit them hard.
  • Step two: Press charges.
  • Step three: Sue them for everything they're worth.

Let me explain.

Step one: The will to self defense.

First and foremost, keep your head on a swivel. Keep aware. And be ready to hurt someone if they take a swing at you. The first step to stopping attacks by Lefty psychos is to make sure that every time they try to hurt someone, they're the ones who are left bleeding in the gutter.

Get self defense training. Carry knives where legal. Carry guns where legal.

But most importantly, if you wish to defend yourself? Reconcile yourself to the fact that defending yourself will require harming someone else. Because defense training and weapons will do no one any good if the owner doesn't have the will to use them. If you punch someone, punch through them. If you shoot, shoot to kill. If you draw a knife, be willing to draw blood, or don't bother.

And frankly? Given that these people attack people from behind, or attack people only when they're in mobs? I suggest that if you find yourself in this situation, reconcile yourself to using deadly force. Because if more than one person tries to corner me, I expect to have to kill at least one of them before the attack will stop.... and since most police will probably arrest everyone left standing until everything is sorted out, expect to spend some time in cuffs, even if you're 100% in the right, and you can prove it with video footage. I also recommend body cameras / cell phone cameras, just to make sure that the gang of idiots don't foot, then edit, their own footage.

Because if two or more people come up to attack you, and you AREN'T in fear for your life, I sincerely worry about you.

Step two: Press charges

There is no such thing as a friendly bar fight anymore. I know that for some people, they can take a couple of swings at each other and end up with drinks in the back of the bar. But these lefty nutcases? No. They only exist to hurt people. First, hurt them fast and hard, preferably with blunt objects.

Then, after the attacker is on the floor, if he's still alive, don't walk away. Don't try to have a friendly chat. Don't try to convince him that he's in the wrong, and you understand that he's insane. No. Call the cops, have the cops haul his ass away and throw him in jail. Because not only will these Lefty psychos stop when they risk getting hurt, but they will also be unable to hurt anyone else when they're in jail.

And once they start getting thrown in jail? Well then, that'll make the average human being think twice about starting a fight.

Step three: Sue them.

Most street cops have better things to do than to try and sort out the details of a fist fight. Most prosecutors have better things to do than to spend countless hours prosecuting an assault.  You may never get to the trial stage. The attacker may plead down to a misdemeanor.

That's when the civil suit comes out. And pick your charges with your lawyer. Mental injury. Physical injury. The short version is that by the time you're done, you will own them.

Jim McCoy has also touched on this a little. The right to self defense. Because the Gen Cons and the 770s of the world want people who disagree with them DEAD. Not converted, dead. They label any dissent as the work of "Nazis," and claim it's time to punch "Nazis," because "Nazis" are untermench. They are subhuman. Are you a Jewish Libertarian like my friend Jason Garrick? "Nazi." Do you support Israel over Palestine? You're a "Nazi." Are you a Democrat who believes in conversation and discussion with people who disagree with you? "Nazi." Are you a woman / black / homosexual who wants to #WalkAway from the Democrats? "Nazi."

I disagree with almost every -ism of Lefists, and a good chunk of those among the right. So, yeah, I expect them to come after me sooner or later, because they don't believe in my right to exist.

So, I hate to break it to Richard, but yes, this has to stop ... but we'll have to stop them. By force.

Because we talked about peace.

They don't want peace.

We talked about cooperation.

They don't want cooperation.

They. Want. War.

I only suggest that we acknowledge that the lefty psychos have already started this fight, and that we should be the ones to finish it. And we should finish this fight by putting the violent ones in the hospital, before they start putting people in the morgue.

Non illegitimi carborundum.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Declan Finn's DragonCon schedule.

So, guess who's going to be a guest at DragonCon?


My tentative schedule is as follows:

Title: Vampires in Legend, Folklore, and FictionDescription: Long a staple of urban fantasy, vampires first appear in folklore, often unrecognizable from the versions contemporary readers and viewers are familiar with. Our panel explores how those early stories have influenced the fictional depictions they create, and others they admire.
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Melissa F Olson, E.J. Stevens, Declan Finn, Clay and Susan Griffith, J.F. Lewis, Dacre Calder Stoker)
And yes, that Stoker is a relative of that Stoker.

So ... yeah.
Title: Autograph Session:Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: International Hall South 4-5 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Declan Finn, Walter H. Hunt)
Title: The Isms: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of TodayDescription: Social consciousness changes, but books are forever. Something that was once progressive today may seem anything but. Are these works simply products of their time or true reflections of the person? Let's not toss the dragonet out with the Hatching Sand and shells. *Trigger Warning*
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy EF - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Jody Lynn Nye, Toni Weisskopf, Larry Niven, Declan Finn, Lisa Manifold)
Title: Meet the Authors: Dragon AwardsDescription: Listen to the nominees of the Dragon Awards. Maybe we will even have this year's winner sitting with us. We will have past year nominees.
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: International North - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Declan Finn, Marina Fontaine, Larry Correia, Bill Fawcett, Mark H Wandrey, R.R. Virdi, Jonathan P Brazee, Aleron Kong)
So, I only get to be on panels with the queens of short stories, the head of Baen, one of the greats of SFF, the bestselling author in military UF, and two of my friends.

No pressure.