The Aleph Extraction moves to May

We’re on the move! As mentioned on Twitter and in my newsletter yesterday, The Aleph Extraction, which was previously due in March of next year, has moved to May 2020.

This came out of discussion with Angry Robot; we agreed that the schedule for getting the book out the door was a little tighter than we liked, and that adding a bit more time would ensure that Aleph would be the best book it could possibly be.

I know many of you were looking forward to something to perk you up in the dreary days of March, but I think we can all agree that the superior weather of May means a great opportunity to lounge in the newly warm weather with a good read. My thanks to all of you who have already pre-ordered—it makes a huge difference to not only the success of Aleph, but also to helping advocate for further books in the Galactic Cold War series, which I’d love to continue writing. So, if you haven’t pre-ordered yet, well, what are you waiting for?

Oh, and if you are a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll have also gotten a treat with that aforementioned email: a never-before-seen deleted scene from The Bayern Agenda. I’m hoping to share a few more of these here and there, but I figured that might be a fun little extra. Interested in seeing that and more? Sign up for the low-volume newsletter.

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Aleph’s well that ends well

What’s that, another book? Damn skippy.

Get ready for THE ALEPH EXTRACTION, book two of the Galactic Cold War series.1 Coming in March 2020, we follow our intrepid band of covert operatives as they infiltrate the luxurious starliner of a notorious gangster, attempting to track down a mysterious artifact that could have major implications for the fate of the galaxy.

Things certainly don’t look great for our heroes, if that spaceman below is any indication, but you can check out the lovely full cover designed by Georgina Hewitt, along with an exclusive excerpt, over at Barnes & Noble’s Sci-Fi Blog. And rest assured that there will be a lot more info to come over the next several months.2


  1. This time for real!

  2. Although I’m getting married this weekend, so it may have to wait a little bit.

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Get around, get around, get around the Internet

The Bayern Agenda has, like the kraken, been released!

It turns out book release weeks are quite the trip. Because in addition to doing the old tweetin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’, I’m also traveling around this wide Internet of ours, scribbling posts on others’ blogs, answering interview questions, and spontaneously showing up on podcasts. I know, it’s kind of a lot.

Anyway, should you have somehow not had your fill of me yet, you can check out the following places to get your fix.

Guest Posts

  • Five Things I Learned – Writing a book teaches you a lot, even when you’ve done it before. So I hijacked Chuck Wendig’s blog to enumerate five specific lessons I learned while writing The Bayern Agenda.
  • My Favorite Bit – Want to know which part of The Bayern Agenda was my favorite to write? Head over to Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, and I’ll tell you what it was and why. (Don’t worry, no spoilers.)
  • Annotated First Chapter – Ever wonder what was running through my mind while I wrote something? Well, now you can take a peek. I’ve annotated the first chapter of The Bayern Agenda for Civilian Reader.

Interviews

  • Interview with Paul Semel – Over at Paul Semel’s blog, I talked about the books, movie, and TV shows that inspired The Bayern Agenda, as well as discussing some fantasy casting.
  • Interview at My Life My Books My Escape – I’m talking about my favorite characters to write (it’s so hard to pick!), what people will be talking about after they finish The Bayern Agenda, and my feelings on “theme.”
  • Interview with Amanda Bridgeman – Fellow Angry Robot author Amanda Bridgeman interviews me about my formative writing experiences, my myriad podcasts, and my secret dream job.

Podcasts

  • The Incomparable – My friend and colleague Jason Snell and I talk about how The Bayern Agenda came to be and answer questions from readers and listeners around the Internet.
  • Alan & Jeremy vs. Sci-Fi – I chat with the dynamic duo about sci-fi, my book, and the art of swearing; we also discuss Brooke Bolander’s excellent short story, “And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead.”
  • Narrated – I give host Scott Ullery the behind the scenes look on authors’ involvement with audiobooks, and then he turns around and quizzes me about movie mashups. Hardly seems fair.
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Now hear this: The Bayern Agenda audiobook is available for pre-order!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the audiobook version of The Bayern Agenda, and I’m delighted to let you all know that a) there will be an audiobook version, b) it’s now up for pre-order on Amazon (and hopefully soon to follow on the Apple Book Store and elsewhere), and c) it should arrive on the same day as the print copy!

The audiobook is being produced by Audible Studios and narrated by Victor Bevine, whose dulcet tones you may have heard on the likes of Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk and many books in R.A. Salvatore’s oeuvre, which is some truly illustrious company.

So if you’ve been waiting for a version of the book you can read with your ears, well, there’s no reason left to wait.

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My writing finances, 2018

Writing is big business, right?

I’m always interested when writers like John Scalzi, Jim C. Hines, and Kameron Hurley talk about the economics of the writing business. I’m certainly not at the same place in my career as any of them, but maybe somebody out there is interested in what the finances of someone just starting out in fiction writing—but who’s also spent the last four years as a professional freelance writer and podcaster—look like. And, well, the only numbers I have at my disposal are my own.

As a freelancer, I have to keep a close eye on my finances as it is, because nobody else is going to do it for me.1 So since I already have those numbers, I thought I’d share this chart:

Yep, that’s my income breakdown from 2018. I’m not going to break out dollar figures here, as that’s just something I’m not comfortable with right now, but to put this overall chart in context, my gross income does not reach six figures.

This marks the first time I’ve made more from podcasts—which includes ad revenue from Clockwise and The Rebound, as well as memberships fees for Clockwise and my various Incomparable shows—than from tech writing, which is a fascinating swing for me, even though my overall income was still split evenly between writing and podcasting.2 In large part, that change is because I took on fewer tech writing gigs this past year, but also because podcasts have been doing well recently. I certainly hope that trend continues.

Fiction writing also made up the biggest percentage to date of my writing income, in part because last year I signed a two-book contract with Angry Robot, as well as seeing the first royalties from The Caledonian Gambit, which was published in 2017. Comparatively, fiction writing made up 2 percent of my income in both 2017 and 2016. In raw terms, I netted just slightly more from fiction writing in 2018 than I made in 2017 and 2016 put together.

I’ll take that as a pretty good trend, and while obviously I can’t insure that it continues in that direction, my goal has always been to slowly increase the percentage of my overall income that fiction writing brings in. But fear not, I’m not about to stop writing about technology or shutter my podcasts; they’re still bringing in the lion’s share of my income and, besides the fact that it would be economically foolish of me to toss them aside, I really enjoy those parts of my work and am extremely gratified that I can make a reasonable living off them.

As for 2019, I’ve already got a couple things lined up on the publishing front that I’m excited about, and I hope to develop more as the year continues.


  1. Without me paying them to do it, that is, which isn’t something I can afford at present.

  2. The miscellaneous income, if you’re curious, is mainly a tiny bit of Amazon affiliate revenue, and sales of my t-shirts and pins at the Cotton Bureau.

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Join the Commonwealth of Pin-dependent Systems

As promised, you can now get yourself a fancy—dare I say schmancyCommonwealth of Independent Systems insignia pin via the fine folks at the Cotton Bureau.1 It’s suitable for lapel-wearing, putting on your bag, or wearing on a jean jacket in the 1980s.

Unlike the Commonwealth and Illyrican t-shirts which are only available for a limited time (including now, as of the writing of this post!), the pins are available until my supply of them runs out. They should also arrive by Christmas, if you’re looking for a good stocking stuffer. (Please do not stuff any stockings that are currently being worn by anybody else.)

This is an experiment on my part, so whether I do further Commonwealth pins (or additional designs) will largely depend on how this first batch fares. Or, in other words, get ‘em while they’re hot!


  1. No, the pin isn’t cotton. I asked.

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The Bayern Agenda gets covered, in more ways than one

As I write this, I’m sitting in the open air, right off the beach in Tulum, Mexico. It’s a pretty striking contrast to the opening of The Bayern Agenda, which I don’t think I’m spoiling too much by saying takes place in a somewhat colder climate, in every sense of the word.1

But you’re not here for me to wax rhapsodic about my vacation. No, you’re here for book news, and book news I have. Over at SciFiNow, they’ve got a first look at the brilliant new cover to Bayern—a taste of which you can see right here—designed by the folks at Amazing15, who definitely live up to their name. I’m hopeful that the book will pop off the shelves just as much as the cover seems to.

Now, Bayern is equal parts sci-fi and espionage story, and so I couldn’t resist also talking about the most famous fictional spy around, James Bond. Look, I’ve watched quite a few Bond movies and if there’s one thing that popped out at me as I was revisiting several recently, it’s that Bond is just a terrible spy. Hit up the SciFiNow link above to see five reasons why 007 is just the worst.

As a reminder, The Bayern Agenda will be hitting shelves, physical and virtual, on March 5th, 2019. There’s still plenty of time to pre-order your copy from your favorite bookseller, whether they’re brick or mortar or online.


  1. I must be allowed my little cold war jokes.

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Put a pin in this: The shirts are back in town

Ah, the holiday season: A time to celebrate with family and loved ones, eat a lot of food, and possibly even buy gifts for people.

Gifts, you say? What to get that discerning person on your list. Well, it just so happens I’ve got a few suggestions for you.

Shirts

I’m pretty psyched to be offering, for the first time, this fantastic Illyrican Empire shirt. In your choice of red (on tri-blend or 100% cotton) or heather gray (tri-blend only), this fetching piece of attire emblazoned with the crest of the Imperium and makes a wonderful addition to any wardrobe. Suitable for everything from casual get-togethers to formal royal events to undercover spy missions.

And, if you missed out on my earlier Commonwealth of Independent Systems shirts, well, you’ve got another chance to pick one up for a song. (That song is “Sleigh Ride.”) We’ve got blue, indigo, and military green on tri-blend, as well as a blue 100% cotton option.

Both shirts are on sale at Cotton Bureau until December 3rd; if you do buy one, be sure to use code ALLTHETEES at checkout to be entered for some fun prizes, including AirPods, an iPad, and even an iMac. (Full disclosure: I also get entered for those prizes if you do.) If we hit the necessary sales thresholds, I will also be giving away some free shirts to lucky folks on my newsletter list, to which you can subscribe on the front page of the site.

Pins

One more new addition coming soon: a Commonwealth pin! This is particularly exciting to me, because as a kid, I used to collect pins. (I think my first was Michaelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which I got with tickets from Skee-Ball at an arcade and hoo boy, I am totally dating myself, aren’t I?)

Anyway, pins seem to be all the rage now, which is a little bit of a bummer because why couldn’t they have been cool like thirty years ago, huh? Anyway, this pin will fit on your lapel or your bag or anywhere else you want to stick it. (Please do not stick pins in any other living beings—I know your little brother is annoying, but that’s not the answer.)

Anyway, the pin should be available in a couple weeks from Cotton Bureau, at which point I’ll be sure to provide more info about ordering.

Free Bookplates


And just a reminder: if you want a free—totally free!—customized and signed bookplate to throw on your copy of The Caledonian Gambit or save for your upcoming copy of The Bayern Agenda, I’ve got a form where you can request one.

Just hit up that page using the password sabaea, put in your address and any customization you want (honestly, I will write pretty much anything), and I will mail one out, at no cost to you. It’s my easy (and free) gift to you, or to your loved one.

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The Bayern Agenda unfolds in March 2019

I hope you’re sitting down, because well, I’m sitting down for this news, which has been a long time coming: my next book, The Bayern Agenda, will be available for your reading pleasure in March of next year!

I’m delighted to say that I’ve teamed up with the merciless killbots fine folks at Angry Robot for this new Galactic Cold War series, of which Bayern is the first installment. You can read more about my inspiration for the book and its setting in the announcement over at Unbound Worlds.

So, I imagine you have some questions. Let me do my best to not only imagine what those questions are but perhaps even answer them:

Q: When exactly—give me the hour and minute!—does The Bayern Agenda come out? 

A: Okay, look, I’m not an atomic clock. But I can tell you that March 5, 2019 is the day to mark in your calendar.

Q: Where can I find said book? How can I get it into my hot little hands? 

A: Are your hands, like, weirdly hot? Because maybe consult a physician about that. But assuming that was just a fanciful turn of phrase, you’ll be glad to know that you can find The Bayern Agenda for pre-order at all your favorite online bookstores and I’m sure were you to walk into your local bookshop and ask them to order it for you, they would gladly oblige.

Q: I prefer to read with my ears. Will there be an audiobook version? 

A: I have nothing official to announce about that at present, but I can say that I have a good feeling about it and if you find yourself in Vegas in the next few months, I would not place a bet against it. Audio versions of books definitely being something bookies will take some action on.

Q: Okay, level with me: Is this a sequel to your stunning and auspicious debut, The Caledonian Gambit?

A: Aww, thank you. Such kind words. Here’s what I’ll say: The Bayern Agenda is set in the same universe as Gambit, and readers of that book will recognize some familiar faces. But this is officially the kickoff of a whole new adventure and a great place for new readers to jump right in. You can tell ’em I said so!

You know in TV when they make a pilot episode and sometimes they say, hey, this part worked really well, but we really need to make a few tweaks here and there, nips and tucks, rejiggering, and so on, before we go to series. Consider The Caledonian Gambit that pilot episode. Or, if you prefer, consider it the prequel to The Bayern Agenda. (Ehh? Ehh? See what I did there?)

Q: Sold. How can I help? 

A: “Sold” is exactly the right word. I’ll just casually mention those pre-orders again; they’re a huge help to a writer. Spread the word: tell your family, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, associates, frenemies, friendly rivals, enemies, FedEx delivery person, and everybody in between. If you’re so inclined to ask your local bookshop to order it, you have my eternal undying gratitude.

Q: Anything else you want to tell us?

A: So many things, but chief among them: Thank you all so much for your support over the past year. Because of you I made the Goodreads Choice Awards semi-finals; because of you The Caledonian Gambit won the best cover art for a debut novel in 2017! It would not be overstating it to say that your enthusiasm for TCG helped The Bayern Agenda become a reality. I literally could not have done any of this without you, because, seriously, who would have read the book?

This is getting a bit metaphysical.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to sharing The Bayern Agenda with you next year, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Or perhaps even more, if such a thing is possible.

Stay tuned! Much more to come.

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Award season eligibility 2018

I’m not sure if it’s Duck Season or Rabbit Season, but apparently it is the time of year when people start nominating things from last year for awards. The nominees for the Nebulas recently came out, but there’s still time for a couple to nominate works for a couple other awards.

And, hey, last year I had my first novel published. So if you enjoyed The Caledonian Gambit and would like to see it potentially win an award, well, that may be within your power. Here’s the details:

First, the Locus awards are accepting nominations through April 15, 2018. Anybody can submit nominations, but if you’re a Locus subscriber, your votes count for double. The Caledonian Gambit would be a write-in vote, but it’s eligible for two separate categories: Best Novel and Best First Novel. You can actually even vote for it for both at the same time! It’s allowed!

And, of course, the Hugos, for which nominations are open until 11:59pm PDT on March 16, 2018. You can nominate works if you’re a member of the 2017, 2018, or 2019 Worldcons as of December 31, 2017. The Caledonian Gambit is eligible for the Best Novel category, while yours truly is eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer.

I’d be honored and humbled to be nominate for any of these awards, so if you find yourself so inclined, thanks.

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