Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Double Dragon (Award)

 If you’ve tracked … any of my movements on social media lately, you’ll know that I’ve talked often about the Dragon Awards.

What I have spelled out lately is… well… why I care. And why you should care.

Many on the right will cite the old adage “Politics is downstream from culture.”

If that’s the case, our culture is heading for a sewer.

Frankly, we should fight back. And I mean on every conceivable level.

Before you think I’m saying “Fight them except for…X.”

I’m not. But that’s another post, probably hidden behind a paywall so people who want to cancel me will have to pay for the privilege.

Why are the Dragon Awards a front in the culture war? Nerd culture is important. If you don’t believe me, look up “GamerGate“ sometime. While GG has been out of action for years (at least five years, IIRC) you’d think that it was a massive conspiracy theory on par with the Illuminati. It left a mark. You’d think the line was that “the Geek shall inherit the Earth.”

In 2020, no one cared. That front was ignored entirely. The Leftist dirtbags who are interested in taking over every aspect of American life moved in. And while DragonCon is not a bastion of the Right (just look at the parade of Handmaiden cosplayers a few years ago) it has always been a place where everyone can show up, do their own thing, and be left alone.

From my varied and sundry sources, people are trying to make it not that.

So yes, we need to push back.

Voting in the Dragons is a way of making sure that we can all push back without any investment … aside from a little bit of time.

Nominate here

Yes, the nominations are already open! I'm not even joking.

Yes, I have a list of who I’m voting for. Here, for you folks, I’m also going to give you my reason for why I’m voting for each, and why I think it’s important.

But first…

My thought process

I'm not nominating anyone who already has an award. Most of those who have won already have the attitude of “Oh, I don’t need more dust collectors.”

I’m leaving out Big Name Authors. Frankly, if you're Jim Butcher or a Baen author, you don't need my help.

If I leave the categories blank, it means I STILL got nothing.

You may wonder why I’m not having a full, massive, months-long discussion, gathering up every eligible author and product.

Been there, done that. It turned into an unmanageable mess. Authors came in a hit and run to my posts, screamed "ME ME ME" in the comments, then dropped links to their book and ran. There was no discussion. That’s it.


Best Science Fiction Novel

Image

Karl Gallagher: Storm Between the Stars.

I read it. I reviewed it. It's really quite awesome. It's like if 1984 were written by David Weber.

(My problem is that book 2 is even better... but it's probably best to nominate book ones whenever possible.)

Why is it important to nominate this?

Because 1984 should be a warning, not an instruction manual. And I think shoving it in the face of the Left would be absolutely perfect.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that my friend Richard Paolinelli also has a book up for nomination, Galen’s Way. I’ve reviewed it over here. It was a hard-run thing, but Karl won out.

Buy it here

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Overlooked Again, by Jon Mollison 

Buy from the publisher

My review

Buy at Amazon

Why is it important? Because of the enemy. If you’ve read the first one, you know that they make the Illuminati look like a childish fantasy…

In part because this one looks like a very realistic nightmare. Jon even has a rigged election. And this book came out before November 2020.

You’re probably wondering: why is this in fantasy? What’s the first one a spy novel?

Our villains include a wizard and someone wielding an Atlantean artifact. Trust me, there’s plenty of fantasy in here.

Another option is from an acquaintance of mine, NR LaPoint. Since he did the graphics, I figure I should at least mention him. :)

Image



Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Image

Paula Richey, Penance

My Review

Buy Penance

Buy from Amazon

How do I put this … do you miss the days when science fiction didn’t automatically turn into “atheist fantasy“? I’ve seen very few who have Christian SF, and I see even fewer who do it this well. And those I know who do it this good … haven’t come out with anything eligible.

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

Image

Kai Wai Cheah, Unmasked. Half of this is a military engagement of one sort or another. And he gives Larry a run for his money in the gun porn.

My review

Buy at Amazon

By from Publisher

Why nominate it? Because the last thing we want is for John Scalzi to get it. Ugh. He already won last year, which was bad enough.

Maybe the 2020 Dragons can have an asterisk next to it. It would only be fair. Heh heh heh.

Best Alternate History Novel

Educated Luck, Mel Todd. Heavily magic, heavy on alternate history and the development on the world. It would probably be best in fantasy, but I like it here.

My review

Amazon

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Everyone, feel free to suggest something.

Someone has suggested a Warhammer 40K novel: Penitent

Best Horror Novel

Image

Hussar, Declan Finn 

Amazon link

Publisher link

Best Comic Book

Image

Soulbound, #2, Paula Richey

Amazon

Yes, this is the same author as Penance. But just take a look at this comic, seriously.

Best Graphic Novel

Best Graphic Novel Demon Slayer, Koyoharu Gotouge Suggested to me by @ArchivistPulp on Twitter

It's Japanese, but I also get the impression it's also very Christian. Also…

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Demon Slayer is also a TV show. Heh Heh heh

But wait, it gets better.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Demon Slayer.

Yes, Demon Slayer is also a movie. And it’s doing pretty damn good, really.

Next year, it’ll also be a video game.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Hades

Steam Link

This one was suggested to me. But from what I’ve seen, it looks kinda awesome.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

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

I have nothing. For any of the above elements. So if you have anything, you let me know, would you?

However, I must stress a few things

1) The eligibility window for the 2021 Dragon Awards is from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021

2) The Nomination Deadline is July 19, 2021. It’s two months away. If you you have a suggestion, or want in on this conversation, now would be a good time.

But if you’re ready to go right now, click here

Vote here

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Two announcements

To begin with, you may already know that I've moved on to Substack. Largely, I'm using that in place of my mailing list. But I've discovered it doubled as a blog. And with Blogger no longer mailing out to my readers, I may move there lock stock and barrel.

While that's happening, I have an announcment.

I'm in a new anthology.

Has anyone ever heard of Starflight?

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES? THREE RAVENS PUBLISHING IS HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE, STARFLIGHT: TALES FROM THE STARPORT LOUNGE ANTHOLOGY!

In 1986, Starflight, a video game so profound and cutting edge for its time was released, and the world of gaming was forever changed. Starflight was the first open sandbox game, where you could wander the entirety of the game, and never finish it. You could explore to your heart’s content without ever touching on the game’s primary storyline.

For me as a fan, it inspired my sense of adventure and exploration. I would imagine myself exploring the unknown like Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Not only that, the game inspired me to learn more, about things like the elements of the periodic table and chemical compounds encountered on these planets. It inspired my imagination with images of these alien worlds, their landscapes, and the life forms inhabiting them.

One day a few months ago, I had this thought pop into my head. Why hadn’t anyone written stories in this amazing game universe? After some searching on the internet, I hadn’t found anything, even fanfiction, so I went on the hunt to ask that exact question to the creators of the game.

Soon after I had managed to track down Rod McConnel and Greg Johnson, part of the original game development team from Binary systems. And before I knew it, I had struck a deal that allowed Three Ravens Publishing to write stories and create official content for the Starflight Universe. Thus was born the first anthology of short stories, Starflight: Tales From The Starport Lounge, to kick off a series of novels that I’m sure any fan of the original games, or good old-fashioned science fiction will enjoy.

We have gathered a team of talented authors from a wide range of experiences and genres to flesh out the universe in its entirety. From pirates to smugglers, to colony ships and the seedy underside of Arth society, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

So join us and the Starflight Series team in bringing this beloved classic to life for us, the fans of the original games, and the generations of science fiction gamers to come.

Like, follow, and subscribe to any of our social media pages or sign up for our newsletter at https://www.threeravenspublishing.com to keep up to date on the Starflight series of stories.

Stories by:

Robert Silverberg
D.J. Butler
Michael J. Allen
Christopher Woods
Bart Kemper
Benjamin Tyler Smith
Brisco Woods
David A. Tatum
Declan Finn
J.F. Posthumus
Marisa Wolf
Michael Gants
M.J. Ciaravella
Nick Steverson
Philip K. Booker
R.J. Ladon
William Joseph Roberts


Monday, April 5, 2021

Enter: the Dragons



Last year for the Dragon awards, many people in my circles hated the finalists.

And trust me, I mean it when I say that they hated the finalists. There was one caveat to that, but that's all I recall.

My response was simple

"DUH! Why do you think I try to have this discussion EVERY MONTH FOR HALF THE YEAR? YOU THINK I LIKE THIS? IF I WANTED IT FOR MYSELF, I'D ONLY TALK ABOUT MYSELF." [Insert sound of hair pulling and rage]


Ahem.


So, anyway, let's talk.


Why talk?


Because the nominations are already open! I'm not even joking. Click here, you'll see! And they're only open for less than three more months 


So, I have put together things **I'm** considering voting for. (Because we all know it's going to change in the next few months).


To share some of my thought process on the matter: I'm not nominating anyone who already has an award. And frankly, if you're Jim Butcher or a Baen author, you don't need my help.


If I leave the categories blank, it means I STILL got nothing.


Fair warning: if you come to my blog and screaming "ME ME ME" in the comments before you drop links to your book and run, to Hell with you. I am NOT having another Dragon Awards discussion that rolls like that. It's happened every damn year, and I'm DONE playing those games. I tried to be nice about listing EVERY LAST THING that's eligible, because I though that would mean we'd all have a discussion about it. It never happened and I'm sick of it. 


Best Science Fiction Novel


Karl Gallagher: Storm Between the Stars.

I read it. I reviewed it. It's really quite awesome. It's like if 1984 were written by David Weber.

(My problem is that book 2 is even better.... but it's probably best to nominate book ones whenever possible.)


Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Overlooked Again, by Jon Mollison 

Amazon link 

Review 


Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Paula Richey, Penance

Amazon Link

My review


Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel


At the moment, my best guess is Kai Wai Cheah, Unmasked. Half of which was a military engagement of one sort or another. And he gives Larry a run for his money in the gun porn.


Best Alternate History Novel


Educated Luck, Mel Todd. Heavily magic, heavy on alternate history and the development on the world. It would probably be best in fantasy, but I like it here.


Best Media Tie-In Novel

Everyone, feel free to suggest something. I'm going to just assume hat Timothy Zahn is going to get it. After all, he wrote a Thrawn novel in the past year.


Best Horror Novel

Hussar, Declan Finn 

Amazon link

Publisher link

Best Comic Book

Soulbound, #2, Paula Richey


Best Graphic Novel

Demon Slayer, Koyoharu Gotouge


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Demon Slayer


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Fatman? Maybe?


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

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

Thursday, April 1, 2021

You don't want to be a writer.

Inspired a bit by a recent post by fellow author Ben Cheah. Check his stuff out, btw.


 People tell me they **want** to be a writer.


No, you don't.


Seriously, you don't.


Look, you can hotwire your brain to write. It's relatively easy. I did it to myself when I was 16. I wasn't even trying. I just wanted this idea out of my head. Half a million words later, I had novels on my hands.


To be a writer, your brain is basically ON all the time.


You're (re)writing TV shows and books. You're calling plot twists.


When the story goes a different way, you want to rewrite it because your idea really was better.


That news story is now part of your thriller.


Your demonic plot to destroy a city becomes current events within a year or two.


You're basing people on friends. 


If you're male, you ask the women you use as models what their bust size is, because bra holsters are dictated by boob size.


Then your friends are asking how you came up with this great character... that they don't recognize as themselves.


You didn't pay attention to that conversation with friends / family about something really important to them, because something they said ten minutes ago started a plot outline in your brain.


Your brain occasionally overclocks from writing from 8-6, occasionally remembering to eat.


You take a break so  your brain can cool down, but then the compulsion to keep writing presses on your brain like a heavy blanket.


You need a notebook next to your bed so you can make notes--because the ideas don't let you sleep until you write them down.


It's why I tell people that there's a difference between "I want to be a writer" and "I have to be a writer." Because there is.


If you want to be a writer ... no, you don't. If I had my druthers, I'd have been an electrician or a plumber. I'd probably be using electricity to kill people in murder mysteries, but I'd have a 9-5 I didn't have to take home with me.


If you HAVE to be a writer, you don't have a choice. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

But it's binary. You are a writer, and you write, because you have to. 

Or you WANT to be a writer, and you don't write.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

How writing doesn't go to plan

I have been writing for 32 years.

Some of my earliest stuff holds up surprisingly well. 

See my Williams and Miller series. I wrote it in 2000. I did a mild rewrite. The biggest flaw was gun stuff I thought I had fixed (apparently, I didn't catch everything. And the website I was using at the time lied to me. Damn Russians.) The biggest issue is that it was three times my usual novel length. That solution was easy-- break them up into parts.

And now, there's "HT." 

Those who know the parlance knows it means Hostage Taker. If you didn't, you do now. It was a hostage novel I had written after reading Deaver's "A Maiden's Grave." It is the only case I can point to where I read a book and said "I have my own spin."

Funny thing is that HT was basically the first book in my thriller universe. 

Yeah. You know how I published the MurderCon book, then Pius, then Miller and Williams? Thing is that this is the nearly the exact OPPOSITE order of publication.

Originally I had written my thrillers as...

It Was Only on Stun!

HT

Williams and Miller 1, 2 & 3 (the latter of which isn't published yet).

A Pius Man 1, 2, 3

Yeah. The Pius Trilogy was supposed to be the crowning moment of a massive cast spread out over four other books.

Remember the Kraft Brothers? Merle and Dalf? From my Vampire novels? They debuted in Dances With Werewolves, the second Williams and Miller book. There was also the third brother, Tal. 

Scott Murphy? Showed up in the third Williams and Miller.

For those of you who remember Father Frank Williams in Pius? Brother to the Williams in the thrillers.

Everyone was in this damn series.

Merle was also supposed to make an appearance in The Pius Trilogy, and had appeared in all but the last few drafts. If you wondered why Sean AP Ryan ended up hearing everything by coincidence, that would be because SOMEONE had to know what Merle knew. 

Why did I cut Merle? You mean aside from there being too many people in Pius in the first place? Because when I wrote him in Pius, he had been following up on a lead ... from Dances with Werewolves.

 Which I hadn't released yet.

And then there's HT....

I have a serious problem. Most books of mine that I reread, I hate. I want to spike the whole thing, and kill it with fire. 

I'm reading HT and wondering if I should just forget this one exists.

I think this is why most indie authors have street teams. In part to provide a slightly more objective look.

But yeah, I'm going to have to work on this for a while and see if I shouldn't just throw this down a memory hole

[For the record, all covers are done by my beautiful wife, Vanessa Landry]

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Catholic Geek, Reloaded, Penance with Paula Richey

Join host Declan Finn as he interview's author Paula Richey as we discuss Indie publishing, Soulbound, her latest release, the superhero novel Penance, from Silver Empire Press. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

Review: Penance, by Paula Richey

What can I say about Penance that I haven't already said about the rest of Silver Empire's Heroes Unleashed universe?

Quite a bit, actually. Much to my surprise.

The Story.

The "Prime" (The HUU's version of someone with powers) in this case is Penance Copper. At 17, she's been on the streets for most of her life. She's been raised by a street thug named Acid her entire life. Then the day comes that Acid asks her to take out a local hero named Justice. 

That's the last straw.

Unfortunately, this last mission from Acid leads Penance in the middle of an interstellar invasion by Kail-- a supply sergeant from another planet. His men need food and they need water. And the nearest planet to raid? Earth. And they have a place full of food and water. It's called a football stadium, and there's a game on, so there are plenty of hostages. 

And Penance is the only one who can get inside.

Hilarity ensues.

This story was just so well told, I breeze through more than half of it in a single night. Good plotting, action, and character. It's all well put together. 


The Characters

Penance is interesting. Because she's the Artful Dodger with superpowers, working for Fagan-as-super-villain. She's a character that has to think about using her superpowers--like used her electromagnetic powers and abilities to copy anything with an RFID chip (electronic keys, alarm system codes), or her plasma abilities to cook microwave popcorn in her hand. Also, the ability to shock someone back to life, something I want more electricity-based heroes to do (I think Endgame may have been one of the few times someone tried it). Paula even highlights how Penance can have these powers without cooking herself.

She's also stronger than the average bear (a literal bear). And she's Southern...By the time we get a quarter of the way through the book, Penance sounds and looks like Rogue, with additional powers that feel like "What if Jubilee was useful."

And yet, Penance isn't so overpowered that she overcomes anything that gets in her away. At least four times in the book she gets her ass kicked fairly thoroughly--once by simple science.

With Kail, our alien, it's interesting that his story could be easily summed up as "the quartermaster needed some lousy supplies," but boy, does that spiral. Seeing things through his eyes tells the reader more about his planet, his culture, and him, more easily than a chapter-long data-dump on societies. And the culture clash is as effective as Crocodile Dundee, if sometimes less funny.

Not to mention that limiting the POV to these two main characters highlights just how much one knows about the other, that even the other isn't aware of about themselves....

Yes, I think that sentence made sense. Honest.

And I like that Kail, as supply sergeant, makes his own clothing. And bookshelves. 

And the nicest thing? Kail even thinks like an alien. 


The World Building

Separating out the world building from the characters and the story required a crowbar in this instance. There are no data dumps here. There are no exposition paragraphs. There isn't even a chapter where Kail regales Penance with the exact nature of their cultural and societal differences. 

And it's unnecessary. Paula Richey spent the entire book worldbuilding. It's shown in almost ever interaction between the two, and their actions.

If David Weber could do this in his novels, they'd be at least 20% shorter.

The impressive thing is that Penance created and explained an entire alien civilization with stopping to spell out how it worked. And it works like Ming the Merciless learned to make an entire generation put themselves in debt, and be in chains forever. I didn't know he was a Democrat. Paula does a great job of making and unrepentant SOB you just want to see have a stake rammed through his heart.

And, at the same time, Penance spells out a lot of life on the streets for Heroes Unleashed. Every time I expect them to go bigger, they manage to do a lot with very little. Paula manages to take one element and write a good chunk of the book around it.

There are also at least two threads that tie Penance back to the original Heroes Fall book. 

Not to mention that I enjoyed having the alien invasion spun by the Men in Black as "he's a new supervillain. Nothing to see here." Seriously, if John Ringo did the politics of superpowers, this would be the series he lifted it from.

Not to mention that Paula has a grasp of technology no one points out. For example "your invisibility suit is nice, but what happens if it's really dusty?"

What's the politics?

There is only one way there is a political angle to this novel. Penance is reading a Bible throughout, because she's trying to learn about this Jesus person. I think that along will turn off certain readers. And we all know some of them, don't we?

Imagine if "Christian Fiction" only started having conversations about Jesus at natural points in the story.... like if an alien asked questions.

TLDR

Penance was just plain fun. I can usually tell what writing tricks are executed when "This is the data dump. This is act one finale. This is how the slip in backstory." Not here. It's all smooth and effortless and makes writing look easy. Why couldn't I have written like this when I started.

And yes, this is labeled "YA." How? Why? Aside from the age of the characters, I can't really tell you. It's not like anything in the rest of the HUU has had egregious violence, or sex, or foul language. (And nothing has been as bad as the icicle in Die Hard 2, not even John Wick's pencil.) And, as one reviewer said of Narnia, "This is too good for children."

Anyway this book is fun, it's awesome, and you should buy it. Links are below.

Publisher link: https://silverempire.org/product/penance/ref/274
Amazon link

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Review: Galen's Way, by Richard Paolinelli

 From the Dragon Award nominated author of Escaping Infinity, as well as the author of When the gods Fell, we have Galen's Way

A KIDNAPPED PRINCESS.

THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY'S MOST FEARED MERCENARY.

AN EVIL EMPIRE ABOUT TO BE BORN.

The Princess Rhiannon of Salacia has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom on the fortress planet Nammu. Galen Dwyn, the most feared mercenary in the Andromeda Galaxy has been hired to rescue her and bring her home.

But even as his rescue mission succeeds, Galen will soon find himself on the run with the Princess. Caught in the middle of a web of political intrigue, even as he begins to fall for the Princess, he will have to use every ounce of his skill and cunning to keep them both alive as forces from several planets seek them out.

For her love, he will stand alone against the forces looking to establish a new, and very evil, empire.

Galen will look to keep her safe and bring the budding empire to a halt before it can gain a foothold in the galaxy. He will choose to do so the only way he knows how.

Galen’s Way.

Dragon Award finalist Richard Paolinelli takes us on a grand adventure in this Space Opera offering set in the first book of the Starquest Saga. Set in the 4th age of Dragon Award winner John C. Wright’s Starquest universe that will feature several books by Paolinelli, Wright, and other authors in the months and years to come.

Just to make that clear, yes, Richard is writing in a John C. Wright universe.
 
Galen's Way is very much what Star Wars used to be, only with more of the interstellar scheming of Dune

Here and there, you can see how there are early Star Wars influences sprinkled throughout the book. There's a Totally Not a Death Star ... that makes more sense than the actual Death Star. There's a backwater planet that everyone wants to get away from, and uses it to bolster the local economy by acting as an interstellar dead drop for criminals -- which explains the economy of Tatooine, and Mos Eisley.

However, this is a long time from now, in a galaxy very far away. Because we don't have an Earth anymore. It's quite gone.

Overall, this was a fun book. Despite being set in a John C Wright universe, and being written by Richard, it was not as deep or as involved as Infinity or When the Gods Fell. It's odd. When compared to Richard's other books, it almost feels like a comic book-- but better than anything by Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman.

And going through the book, there are great bits of world building and technology. And you know what? It was just plain fun.

Let's make this ... 4/5? Maybe a low 5/5. It it helps, it's better than any other attempt I've read lately to join the ranks of space opera.





Monday, February 22, 2021

The Catholic Geek Reloaded, God, Guns and Texas, with Denton Salle





Host Declan Finn returns to discuss Texas Urban Fantasy with author Denton Salle. ... during the great Texas freeze, and right before the rolling blackouts started in earnest. Salle's Amazon page: https://amzn.to/3bftvsj

Monday, February 8, 2021

Dragon (Awards) Rising

Here we are again.

As I said last time, I've had people asking me about what I want to nominate for the Dragon Awards since November.

Yes, really.

And the people asking me aren't writers. They're people who just care a lot about the Dragons.

So, I have a little list.

At the moment, these are what I, personally, am voting for in the Dragons. Full stop. I've read them. I've enjoyed them. If you don't like it, then fine. I'm going to plug in suggestions I have gotten for categories I have no nominees for, but that is IT.

But I am no longer going to solicit suggestions. I'm not even going to try for a discussion this year. Why? Because every time I've done this, almost everyone who comes by drops a link in the comments going ME ME ME, and disappears. When I last tried this, I had people who came by, asking me to to add them to the list ... and they didn't realize they were already on it, because they didn't read it.

So, who's the best of the best this year?


Best Science Fiction

Karl Gallagher, Storm Between the Stars: Book 1 in the Fall of the Censor 

If you haven't read my review of this book, you really should. This book was quite amazing, and blew me away. Right now, the only contender at the moment is the sequel, which I have an advanced copy of. But let's stick with book one for the moment. Since Karl really is a rocket scientist, his physics are awesome. And his worldbuilding is, as always, amazing.

You might want to at least try out book one here.

I am sorely tempted to just nominate Karl Gallagher's second book, but it's probably easier to get book 1 nominated ... besides, the world building along is perfect. 

(At the moment, there is a potential future contender: Richard Paolinelli is working on a MilSF -- and since Escaping Infinity and When the gods Fell were amazing, I'm not betting against him.)


Best Fantasy

I'm going to hold off on this one right now. Why? Because I don't think Jim Butcher wants a third Dragon Award, and I haven't read anything recent in fantasy.

I've also been told to look up Chris Nuttal, and his fantasy ... or military fantasy? Either way, I'll look at it and see if I can fit it in here.


Best Alternate History

Educated Luck, by Mel Todd

I literally reviewed this one yesterday. While it takes place in a fantasy world, there's so much history there that I feel it could hold its own against most of the Alt-History crowd.

Damn sure better than yet another Turtledove. Yes, I am sick of his stuff. So shoot me.

Best Mil SFF

Kai Wai Cheah, Unmasked.  

"But Declan," I hear you say. "That's superhero. Not military!"

Well, if you've read the review, you'd note that there is so much strategy and tactics, the last half of the book, at least, is military. And the front half is building to urban warfare.

Best Horror

I'm going to shoot for it: Hussar, by Declan Finn. (Amazon link here)

.... why? Well, several reasons.

1) I've never fit well into other categories. And after the first hundred zombies, I think I fit.

2) I don't read horror. I don't read horror so much, I had to write my own. So there.


Now, you'll notice, I left out more than a few things.

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel (L. Jagi Lamplighter hasn't written anything in the eligibility window): Chalk by NR La Point has been recommended to me, but I haven't read it yet. 

Also recommended to me is The Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking. 

Best Media Tie-In Novel (I naturally assume Timothy Zahn is going to win this, since he's come out with a Thrawn novel. But I've been wrong before.)

Best Comic Book (Has anyone read a comic book lately?)

Best Graphic Novel (Ibid)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series (I have not seen Mandalorian Season 2. And right now, I don't see a lot on TV right now in SFF. People have told me the Expanse is good, but I can't get into it)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie (There were movies this year? That were good? No, WW84 does not count)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game (I'm sure someone wants to give this to Cyberpunk 2077. Given what I've heard of the game's bugs, I'd bet against it. However, I don't know of any competitors. So it wins by default? Or is the Miles Morales game going to take it?)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game (haven't played a mobile game in years.)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game (Couldn't pick them out of a lineup.)

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game (Someone else? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller? )

And the 2021 awards are already open. You can nominate here. But I think it's too early. Too few categories are really worth while right now.

Monday, February 1, 2021

What makes Urban fantasy?

[EDIT: I've been corrected. Anita Blake took place in Saint Louis. Which tells you exactly how little of an impression it made]


What makes Urban fantasy?

If you said "It's Fantasy in a city, duh" you'd be right.

Then where's the city?

You see, one of the things I've always taken into account when writing my UF novels is that the city is a character. Like the Enterprise in Star Trek, the city itself plays a significant part in the story. It was one of my big problems with Anita Blake novels -- before they became porn-- I never got a sense that the city was a part of the story. The novels took place in Seattle Saint Louis, but they felt like they could have taken place anywhere. The same with Larry Correia's Monster Hunters or Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series.

They felt like modern fantasy, but not necessarily urban fantasy. 

For example, when I think of a sense of place, Correia's Monster Hunters live in a southern compound. There are forests. There are swamps. There aren't many cities, except in Monster Hunter: Legion, where he trashes Las Vegas, and sections of Siege that took place in Russia. With Carrie Vaughn, Kitty Norville's town could be any town with a radio station on one end, and wilderness on the other... even though it's supposed to be Denver, nothing felt that distinct. My memory may be failing me, but to be honest, if there were distinct elements of each city, they left no impression with me at all.

At the very start of Urban Fantasy, Fred Saberhagen set Dracula in Chicago. Saberhagen's Old Friend of the Family ended with a vampire throwdown, on top of the frozen river running through the city. For Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, Chicago is deeply relevant for the setting, especially in his most recent novel, Battle Ground.

On the other end of the scale, Urban Fantasy makes the setting seriously matter. 

Correia's Grimnoir series makes each city feel distinct, especially as he trashes it. 

Despite the fact that she's often listed under romance, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters world usually did a fairly good job capturing the setting of New Orleans and getting a feel for the city as a whole--from the atmosphere to the accents. 

John Ringo did much the same for Monster Hunter Memoirs, both in New Orleans and the other cities his hero Chad was stationed

Russell Newquist's War Demons gave me a good sense of Georgia--up to and including a final fight in a football stadium.

Even in fictional cities like Silver Empire's superhero novels, each city has a unique tone and feel to it. Morgan Newquist does a great job in building her Serenity city--which feels very corporate, with put-on sophistication that reminds me of Manhattan elitists. Kai Wai Cheah's Hollow City vividly reminds me of San Francisco culture with Chicago corruption. It was much the same in Kim Harrison's Hollows series -- she's altered the world so much that I have not idea how much of her Cincinnati is real and how much is fictional, but it is distinct.

This was very much my own thought process when I wrote Saint Tommy NYPD or Love at First Bite. And they're both less "New York City" novels as they are local neighborhood novels. New York City is made up of local areas that are as distinct from each other as cities are from one another. With Love at First Bite, Manhattan vampire bars feel different than fighting vampires in a Queens cemetery, which feels different than working around San Francisco (even before San Francisco streets turned to feces and needles). The vampire bar near Mount Sinai isn't the bar near Alphabet city. 

For Saint Tommy, he doesn't have to deal with mafiosi or a heavy street gang presence, because they're in different neighborhoods... except for MS-13, which is closing in on several fronts. Heck, even the tactics of fighting in each neighborhood is different. In Brooklyn, you can launch an armed ambush by hiding armies down side streets. In King's Point, individual homes have their own personal docks. When I wrote the books, I was certain that committing a crime in broad daylight would earn the perp a good stomping by a passerby, then move along. (... since then, my faith in the ornery average New Yorker has been massively shaken) In later books, I make use of local geography and sites that you don't have in any tour book. 

Of course, I have a car chase that requires not only knowing traffic patterns, but also ways around them. 

In fact, that's part of what gives many of the above UF novels their feel--the city has an overall feel, and each neighborhood has their own feel. A major plot point of Battle Ground involved a fae army walking into the wrong part of Chicago, as well as local architecture being tactically useful... even Chicago pizza is a plot element. No two parts of Kim Harrison's Cincinnati are alike, but the overall feel of the city is consistent. Monster Hunter Legion could only have taken place in Las Vegas for multiple reasons. The same with Fred Saberhagen and Chicago.

So, TLDR: in Urban Fantasy, the city should be a part of the story, a player in its own right, with its own feel and own distinct areas. Otherwise, it's contemporary fantasy. Don't get me wrong, all but one of the authors mentioned here have written great books. But are they urban fantasy?

I'll make you a challenge. Read any of my UF to get a feel for what I mean, then read the others. Then tell me if I'm wrong.**

**Publisher links below.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Fisking 1 star reviews

It's time for me to have some fun with one star reviews. Mostly by making fun of them. I already started a week ago by pointing out the review that bitched about how a saint made fun of other Catholic orders. No, seriously, look up Saint Jerome sometime guys.

Apparently, the holier-than-thou holy rollers are also illiterate. Because they apparently can't read that the genre on the books is CATHOLIC **ACTION** HORROR.

I've had people bitch whine and moan that my novels portray a Saint as violent.

"Oh, he's so vengeful!"

Apparently, no one has an idea of what vengeance looks like.

No, seriously, people. "Vengeance" isn't "this a-hole is shooting at me, I'm going to put three in his head."

Heck, that's it's not even retribution--which is a form of justice, to repay, to pay to someone what they are owed.

Vengeance is more like getting alone time with someone you hate, wielding a blow torch and pliers.

"He's a Saint! He should be forgiving and trying to save souls!"

.... I'm sorry, dumbass, Tommy couldn't hear you over the sound of MS-13's ROCKET LAUNCHER.

No, seriously, MS-13's slogan is "Rape, Control, Kill." They do everything but rip hearts out while screaming KALI MA! Their livelihood is drugs and sex trafficking. Tommy can't even scream POLICE, FREEZE! without being shot at.

But somehow, he's supposed to have a good sit down with them? How stupid are you? It says ACTION on THE COVER.

So, if you want a badass taking down the forces of darkness and sending them back to Hell, you want to read my books. Pretty much any of my books.

You want a spineless simp, you go read someone else.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Writing Horror: Hell Spawn

When I was writing Hell Spawn for Silver Empire, I knew it would be something horror based by the time I was done with the first corpse.

I didn't know it was actually scary until I got into Tommy Nolan's home.

If you haven't read the book, at this point, our Detective has been working his butt off on the murder inquiry for over a day. He hadn't gotten sleep for about 48 hours by the time he went back home to collapse.

Then he came home and discovered that his son's best friend in school had been murdered.

Yes, that was Nolan's victim.

Then night fell, and everyone tried to go to bed.

Then it REALLY got dark.

I will not go into all of it here, but I can tell you that as part of the writing process, I did some research. Hell Spawn went as dark as it did because I had researched serial killers in high school, and demonic possession and infestation for this book. For the record, look up John Douglas for serial killers, and demonology included Father Amorth and Deliver Us from Evil (the book, not the lame Eric Bana film).

By the time I was done with the scene, I think my immediate email to my publisher was "I know you wanted UF (Urban Fantasy) but I think I'm writing a horror novel."

Thankfully, Russell liked it anyway.

But after that, the entire novel got dark. There were times I had to remind myself that "this scene was written in daylight." It felt like this freaking demon was everywhere.

And all it wanted to do was kill Nolan.

Confronting the demon in its lair became interesting on a pure human level. It knew things it shouldn't. It turned furniture into deadly weapons.

Then there's the Rikers Island riot. But that's another story.

From there, I felt like the series settled down, but with the occasional dark moment where you thought, "Well, that's not good." Granted, I may have a warped point of view. I know what's in the dark. Perhaps zombies with automatic weapons are scary to some people. Perhaps going one one one with a Terminator-like bokor might be creepier than I had in my head at the time.

... Maybe I shouldn't say the story settles down, but that the sense of omnipresent dread is gone for Death Cult and Infernal affairs (books 2 and 3).

I decided we needed it back for City of Shadows.

... Okay. By the end of Infernal Affairs, the showdown with the ultimate villain involved some cool ideas that hadn't occurred to me before. So I made it the element of an entire novel.

Because I can, so there. But a little ombramancy never hurt anyone.

The Complete Works of Declan Finn (January 2021)

 The other day, I saw an old Twitter thread where I posted all the books I wrote.

Which reminded me that I should probably edit the list for 2021.

I started in 2012 with It Was Only On Stun! It was just a test run for what was to come, thought there are readers of mine who've read it repeatedly-- the high number being six times.

But over 9 years, it's ... quite a list.

This is a bit of a chart of "if you were reading things in publication order" ...

We'd start with...




If you don't recall, It was Only on Stun! introduces the professional security specialist Sean A.P. Ryan being dumped head first into an SFF convention.

He is hip deep in nerds, genocidal madmen, terrorists, IRA gunmen, and a cartel that has a grudge with him.

So it acts as a nice prologue to ....




It was a book a long time in the making. One part history paper, and one part "f*** Dan Brown" (okay, it was a different author that pissed me off), this was a mystery, an 80's action movie and a small war rolled into one.

You can find the Silver Empire Link here.

Then I did A Pius Legacy, then A Pius Stand.

Because nothing says "epic" like kidnapping the Pope, leading a jail break, and declaring war on the Vatican.

 


Then there was Pius History and Pius Tales -- basically, the footnotes and the short stories. These were also pulled from the shelves in order to be rereleased by a publisher. But I ended up with books of The Pius Trilogy. Because I'm apparently doing the Dune "trilogy" of a dozen novels.


Pius History: The Facts Behind the Pius Trilogy by [Finn, Declan] Pius Tales (The Pius Trilogy Book 4) by [Finn, Declan]

If you're new here, The Pius Trilogy is my answer to every Smrt Story who thinks they can jam history into a thriller so they can spread whatever Orwellian rewrite of history they like among the populous. In this case, there's a secret about the Catholic church that people are willing to kill to cover up. The only question is: who do you trust?


For those who want to purchase from the publisher directly


The Silver Empire links for


Then, in a post-Pius universe...






This is the return of Sean AP Ryan, after he appears in Pius, and it's more of a postscript to Pius than it is a sequel to Stun! 

This time, Sean ends up in the political end of the SFF spectrum, hip deep in lunatics, armed authors, all set in the city of Atlanta for WyvernCon.

No relation to DragonCon, which takes place in Atlanta.

And this is the companion piece. Sort of.





Long.... long story. It's insane comedy. If you don't know what the title references, you're probably better off without trying this one.

And with mustn't forget my solution to dystopias ... with gun fire.




This one is particularly interesting, because it's nothing like anything I've ever written. In fact, it's unlike anything I've ever read. I don't like dystopia. I think they're boring, filled with the exact same cliche.

Winterborn and UnSub -- the Dragon Award nominated work -- are set in a San Francisco that ... sadly, looks much like San Francisco of today, only a little worse. Add a spy of unstable temperament, a flaky assassin, and an unstoppable serial killer, and a collection of mercenaries who are increasingly enamored of the almighty dollar.

And, of course, the series everyone likes....


Take everything from Dracula about vampires.

Add philosophy and microbiology to explain how vampires work.


Add faith, redemption, a love story, Vatican ninjas, and lots of gunfire.

Shake well.

The first book is possibly my more published novel... because it's been killed by one publisher, resurrected in self publishing, then republished by a second publisher.

Oy.




My first Dragon Award nominated work. For best horror, as it says on the cover.

Kick ass vampire.

A romance that works.

Three-dimensional characters, even among the side characters.

And then there's Vatican ninjas.

One is a heartless, bloodthirsty killer. The other is a vampire.
College freshman, Amanda Colt knows few people and wants to know fewer still. She enjoys fencing and prefers facing a challenge every once in a while. She is beautiful, smart, and possibly the most interesting person on campus.
Then she finds tall, intense Marco Catalano in her fencing class. With a mind like a computer and manners of a medieval knight, he scares most people - but not Amanda. They both have secrets, for they are both monsters.
As they draw closer, they must find the line between how much they can trust each other, and how much they can care for each other. Each carries a secret that can destroy the other. But they must come to grips with their personal drama soon because a darkness rises around them. Bodies keep turning up all over New York, and an army of vampires closes in on all sides.
They have only one hope - each other.





Obviously, the sequel to Honor at Stake.

Take everything from book one... add in a demon that just won't die.


After saving Brooklyn from a nest of vampires, Amanda Colt and Marco Catalano are a little banged up. He's been given a job offer to deal with vampires in San Francisco, and it's a tempting offer - it would get him away from Amanda, his feelings for her, and get her away from the darkness inside him. When a death in the family compels Marco to move to the West Coast, they're both left to fend for themselves.

Then the creature known only as Mister Day leaves their world in tatters, and they must once more join forces against the darkness. Only Day is no vampire, but a creature beyond their experience. It will take the combined might of Marco, Amanda, and all of their allies just to slow it down. They have no weapons that can kill him. They have no way to imprison him. To even fight him is death.

But they have to try - or face the end of everything they love.



Book three of the vampire series.

And the 2017 Dragon Award Nominee for best horror.


A 2017 Dragon Award Nominee for Best Horror Novel!
Marco is spiraling out of control.
He knows it. His team knows it. Everyone around him can see that he’s just a bomb waiting to explode.
The only woman who can bring him back from the edge is also the woman who lit his fuse. Ever since the demon Asmodeus tried to murder Marco, Amanda Colt has been hunting down every lead to find the true evil behind the attack. Her investigation uncovers a vampire assassin that Amanda has faced once before - and she lost. Stronger than anything they’ve face before, the assassin isn’t alone. As Marco flirts with self-destruction and the armies of Hell prepare to descend, they must come together to stop a thousand-year-old assassin that has never failed.
Even worse, they must finally face up to their feelings for each other!

Then there's book 4.




The epic conclusion to the Dragon Award nominated series!


The final war begins.

Merle Kraft, Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt have battled against the mythical Council, a supernatural conspiracy that monsters fear. This war has brought them up against vampires, minions, and demons from Hell.. Along the way, they have accumulated allies among the police, the military, the mafia, college students, lowly street gangs, and even other vampires. Marco and Amanda have overcome their biggest terror - their passion for each other.

But now, they face the final threat, one that is the culmination of every threat before them. This creature from Hell has powers beyond anything they’ve ever seen before, and has allies of his own: including SpecOps minions, an army of vampires, and packs of werewolves.

And that was before Marco got bitten.
And there are some shorts...





One is a bloodthirsty monster. The other's a serial killer. 

This is going to get messy.

Blood Stained Cliffs of Dover
a Love at First Bite short story


In World War II, the allied invasion of the continent hinges on keeping one secret absolutely secure. No one must find out, or all hope is lost.

Tonight, German spy Konrad Achterberg is about to discover what that secret is.

He's also about to find out that the Nazis aren't the scariest predators in the night. 

Because something in the dark is colder than the dark. 

And it is hungry.


The Silver Empire Links


And, of course, my other nonfiction.




And, then, of course, there's



Thomas Nolan has a new found talent for smelling evil... And bilocation. Powers associated with Saints. His family isn't surprised. He attends every church function. He tries to reform every criminal he arrests. He is a good man.

But when the legions of Hell discover Nolan, he becomes a target for a possessed serial killer, a cult, a Warlock, Jihadi X-Men, sex trafficking succubi, a Lovecraftian Bond Villain, and a Kaiju demon.

But all of them are about to learn that "good" doesn't mean "harmless". And Tommy Nolan is going to send them all back to Hell, or die trying.

As of this minute, books 1-8 are published, books 9-12 are turned in to the publisher. And book 9 and 10 are edited. We're in the home stretch of the series.


My name is Officer Thomas Nolan, and I am a saint.

I can smell evil. I show mercy to the lesser criminals - the desperate. Even those I've put behind bars seem to like me. But now there's a serial killer bringing darkness beyond imagination to my city. I can smell his stench a mile away. But how can I prove it?

How do you do forensics on a killer possessed by a demon?

And I don't think the reviews get much better than this one.




All saints are dead.
Detective Tommy Nolan is no stranger to bizarre events. After all, he's a New York cop. And after the demon, he thought he'd seen it all.

When home invaders threaten his family, he was prepared to take it as a risk of the job. When it turns out the intruders were covered in the mark of the demon, he knew the trouble was just beginning.

Now, it's a race against time as the cult who raised the demon take their revenge. They know that Tommy is not yet a saint. Because all saints are dead.

Detective Tommy Nolan is having a bad day.

First, the celebrant was murdered during mass. Then the SWAT team knocked down his door trying to kill him. 

With the million dollar bounty on his head, every gunman and demonic monster is coming out of the pit to collect it.


Tommy has to discover who's out to make him a martyr before he becomes a saint for real.





London is alive with the sound of shadows.
When Tommy Nolan was sent abroad to avoid being made a saint too soon, he thought he'd be a glorified tourist. But when an impossible prehistoric artifact the Vatican is looking at is stolen from the British Museum, they do the first thing that comes to mind -- they call the cops.

But Tommy is soon convinced that the artifact is more than it seems. The crime scene looks like a war zone. The owners of the stolen merchandise eye him with suspicion. His new partner has a shady, mysterious past. The police are ready to arrest him. The city itself seems primed to explode.

Worst of all, the darkness itself is closing in on Tommy, the city, and everyone who lives there.

But Tommy isn't one to curse the darkness. The darkness curses him.





He might be on his last crusadeStill working abroad, Detective Tommy Nolan has a hot tip that leads him to Germany. Women and children are disappearing from Catholic Bavaria. The local police have their hands tied. Tommy is the last hope for answers.

Yet again, Tommy is in over his head. What starts as a sex trafficking ring turns into a terrorist conspiracy to unleash Hell on Europe. To stop it, Tommy must fight Nazi vampires, terrorists, and a swarm of succubi who want him as their next meal. Tommy has always crusaded for justice. But now he might be on his last crusade.







God wills it. A Saint must find a way.All Tommy Nolan wants is some peace to enjoy his family. He’s been to hell and back, and now he needs a break.

But evil doesn’t need to take a breather, and now the Vatican is back on his doorstep asking for help.

A nearby monastery has been desecrated and the exorcist monks murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable. A legion of demons is gathering for something big, and Tommy’s the saint they need to help.

An old enemy is the ally he needs, but can Tommy trust him? Can they track down all of the demons in time?

And what does the Necronomicon have to do with it all?


Detective Thomas Nolan has finally returned home. In typical police fashion, he is welcomed home with a murder case and gunfire.

After one arrest goes spectacularly wrong, Tommy is assigned another case and another dead body.

But everything goes wrong from the start of the case. The deceased is a member of a nearby military base, and no one wants to answer his questions. A local bodega gives him mind-splitting headaches. 

To make matters worse — Tommy no longer has his charisms.
 
Worst of all, someone is after his children. 



Lt. Tommy Nolan has enjoyed a relatively quiet life for the past three years. His promotion has taken him away from the streets and away from the line of fire.

But when a training camp for terrorists threatens his city, he's dragged back into the sulfur. Creatures of the damned are rising, and he's the only man who can stop them.




Silver Empire Links


And then there's


James is a college philosophy professor with too much time on his hands. When an old classmate asks for a favor, he drops in with little notion of what’s ready for him.

The year is 1976, during the dark times – for both the Catholic Church and New York City.

James’ college classmate is Father Gus Sadowski, the pastor of Saints Gabriel, Columcille, and Rocco church in the middle of Bed-Sty, where the drive by criminals are on one side of the parish, and the mob is on the other. Father Gus is all alone to run the parish, and needs help – because the live-in priest in the attic, Father Timothy A. Lessner, is worse than useless.

When Lessner takes a tumble down the stairs in the middle of the night, the casual favor has turned into a nightmare.

Can James solve the mystery of who killed Lessner before he finds himself the main suspect?


FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE EPIC THRILLER IS HERE, WHOLE AND ENTIRE -- AND IN PAPERBACK.

Wayne Williams is a Secret Service agent sentenced to the outer darkness because his family pissed off the wrong president.

Catherine Miller is a CIA assassin who specializes in becoming anyone.

When terrorists threaten to nuke every spot on the President's world tour, they are both called in to handle the threat.

To stop World War Three, they must travel from Ireland to Rome to Israel. They will have to face terrorist gunmen, professional assassins and nuclear suicide bombers... and perhaps even a threat from within.

But first, they must survive each other.

My first serial novel, originally in three parts. The Omnibus edition is now available, but only in paperback. Sorry if you prefer e-books. But those you can get in the links below

Part 1 
Part 2
Part 3 




Secret Service Agent Wayne Williams is dead. But he has to keep busy somehow.

When a coven of witches reports a threat to the President of the United States, it's the sort of threat that must be investigated. But it sounds like a vacation for Wayne.

CIA Assassin Catherine Miler is on a mission to kill "Baron Samedi," a Haitian Prime Minister sacrificing American Tourists, with a sideline in drug dealing.

Author Matthew Kovach is looking for his own version of Derry, Maine.

All three are about to find themselves embroiled in San Francisco pagans, want to be vampires, pharmaceutical zombies, and New Orleans.

And all three have to survive their consultants on this case -- the Kraft Brothers.

For this one, the Omnibus is both electronic and paperback.

part 2 


Short stories

Well, this will be odd, considering that many of these are from out of print sources. So some of these are here for my edification. Don't worry, I'll try to track them for you.


This one SHOULD be out of print. It's from a press that no longer exists. Which means the remaining copies might be collectors items at this point.

This story hasn't been rereleased yet. Give me time.

Arresting Merlin: A Magical Short Story by [Declan  Finn]

Now, at one point, there was an anthology of the Tales of the Once and Future King. It had a poorly edited frame tale, and had a lot of selections that I've heard mixed reviews over. No, I never got a chance to read it, and the reviews talked me out of trying.

However, the people who left reviews liked my short story, Arresting Merlin, where a beat cop has no idea what's in story for him.


(Out of print)

The short story I published here was Zombie Jamboree, where a consultant who is prepared for everything gets to put his contingency plans to the test.




The Pirate King: An AP Ryan Short Story by [Declan Finn, Dawn Witzke]



Mad Dog Moon: A General Mattis short story (Love at First Bite Book 5) by [Declan Finn]

Once upon a time, there was another defunct anthology called MAGA 2020 and Beyond. The anthology is dead, but the short story is not.

Let's just say that I took the nickname of General Mattis a little too literally.
(Should be out of print)


Long before the Heroes Unleashed universe, the Newquists were working on superheroes. 


(Temporarily out of print... we hope)

Places Beyond the Wild: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Anthology (Z-Day Book 4) by [Humphreys, Daniel, Corcoran, Travis J.I., Finn, Declan, Piatt, P.A., Schantz, Hans, Del Arroz, Jon, Anjewierden, J.M., Brumley, Bokerah, Paolinelli, Richard, Beckwith, J.D.]


My short story here is "Last Stand of the Mad Dog." 

Let's just say that Dan liked Mad Dog Moon.

Silver Empire link.



Short Story: Lupus Dei





This one is free if you sign up for the Silver Empire Newsletter.

And yes, It's a Saint Tommy short. It's Tommy's first day in Rome after Infernal Affairs.


Then we have the Planetary Anthology books I'm in 




Storming Area 51 (A Bayonet Books Anthology Book 2) by [J. R.  Handley, C.J. Carella, J W Kiefer, Walt Robillard, Michael Gants, Sarah A. Hoyt, Alice Peng, Jamie Ibson, Tim  Niederriter, Phillip  Ginn, E. A. Shanniak, Chris Winder, Marisa Wolf, Aaron Seaman, Doug Burbey, Nathan Pedde, Tim C. Taylor, Casey Moores, Cisca Small, I. Ronik, Michael J. Allen, Alex C. Gates, Declan Finn, IQ Malcolm, Milissa L. Story, J. William Adler, Joshua M. Young, Sophie J. Shepherd, Lawrence N. Oliver, Mel Todd, Drew Avera, Philip K. Booker, Tamsin L. Silver, Robert W. Ross, Daniel Medrano, R. Max Tillsley]

The short story here is Area 51 is Not Enough.

Let's just say that Marco and Amanda are back. And they think the government may just be up to something. 


Supernatural Streets brings together 14 Urban Fantasy authors to explore mysteries with a touch of Magic. The collection includes stories of psychic FBI agents, werewolf detectives, monster hunters, and an ordinary cop just trying to survive when the ritual daggers come out.
Urban Fantasy detective fiction. I think it works. 

My story stars Alex Packard... without Tommy.

Let's just say my story is the last one in that paragraph. :)

Current tally of published works.
  • 27 books total
  • 9 general anthologies 
  • 7 Short stories published by themselves.
And then, coming up the fun continues.
  • Destiny (St. Tommy NYPD #9)
  • Lightbringer (St. Tommy NYPD #10)
  • Dark Web (St. Tommy NYPD #11)
  • Blue Saint (St. Tommy NYPD #12) 

Not bad for only having done this for barely 9 years. Not bad. Obviously, I've been catching up recently, making up for the years that I wasn't publishing more than one a year.