Superhero Universe Spotted In The Wild!

My latest short story is out in the wild! I spotted copies of Superhero Universe at McNally Robinson which is pretty cool.

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WOO! Still love that cover.

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Back to back with Corey Redekop!

Corey was kind enough to interview me (and many of the other contributors) as a part of the launch of the anthology. Very excited to dig into everybody else’s stories.

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I’ve done a brief reading from this story prior to its release, and I had a blast, so I think if you’re coming to see me at a convention this year, you’ll be hearing Midnight Man.

From the publisher’s description:

Superheroes!  Supervillains!  Superpowered antiheroes!  Mad scientists!

Adventurers into the unknown.  Detectives of the dark night.  Costumed crimefighters.  Steampunk armoured avengers.  Brave and bold supergroups.  Crusading aliens in a strange land.  Secret histories.
Pulp action.

Tesseracts Nineteen features all of these permutations of the superhero genre and many others besides!

Featuring stories by: Patrick T. Goddard, D.K. Latta, Alex C. Renwick, Mary Pletsch & Dylan Blacquiere, Geoff Hart, Marcelle Dube, Kevin Cockle, John Bell, Evelyn Deshane, A.C. Wise, Jennifer Rahn, Bevan Thoma, Bernard E. Mireault, Sacha A. Howells, Kim Goldberg, Luke Murphy, Corey Redekop, Brent Nichols, Jason Sharp, Arun Jiwa, Chadwick Ginther, Leigh Wallace, David Perlmutter, P.E. Bolivar, Michael Matheson.
The Tesseracts anthology series is Canada’s longest running anthology. It was first edited by the late Judith Merril in 1985, and has published more than 529 original Canadian speculative fiction (Science fiction, fantasy and horror) stories and poems by 315 Canadian authors, editors, translators and special guests.

Some of Canada’s best known writers have been published within the pages of these volumes ― including Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Robert J. Sawyer, and Spider Robinson (to name a few).

Purchase your own copy of Superhero Universe (you know you want one) at:

Write on!

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Superhero Universe Table Of Contents

Just found out that the table of contents for Superhero Universe, the nineteenth iteration of the Tesseracts anthology series, is live. EDGE has made a nifty little promotional video too, so now I’ll know what all of my co-contributors look like when I’m trying to get them to sign my copy of the book.

EDGE also has a Superhero Universe Reading Sampler (PDF) for you to check out.

From the publisher website:


Superhero Universe: Tesseracts Nineteen

Superhero Universe (Tesseracts Nineteen) (2016, EDGE)

Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! 

Twenty-four short stories and one poem featuring:

Superheroes! Supervillains! Superpowered antiheroes. Mad scientists. Adventurers into the unknown. Detectives of the dark night. Costumed crimefighters. Steampunk armoured avengers. Brave and bold supergroups. Crusading aliens in a strange land. Secret histories. Pulp action.

Superhero Universe (Tesseracts Nineteen) features all of these permutations of the superhero genre and many others besides!

Edited by Claude Lalumière and Mark Shainblum, Superhero Universe features some of Canada’s best fantasy and science fiction writers:

I loved writing “Midnight Man versus Doctor Death” and it’s a blast to read live, so I can’t wait for folks to be able to tuck into this book.

Write on!

Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe!

For me Wednesday is “New Comic Book Day.” Comics are a big reason why I am a reader, and so they’re a big reason why I’m a writer. That’s why I’m super-stoked to have a story in Superhero Universe: Tesseracts Nineteen.

At some point while I was away on book tour, the anthology got a cover. And it is a sweet cover–bristling with energy (and Kirby Krackle!) This is my second time ringing the Tesseracts bell, and second time I’ve landed in one of Claude Lalumière’s anthologies. Always nice to be welcomed back.

“Midnight Man versus Doctor Death,” an ode to pulp heroes like The Shadow, will be called into action Spring 2016. It’s great to share a TOC with Corey Redekop and Alex C. Renwick again. And particularly cool to join A.C. Wise and Michael Matheson, whose writing I admire, in a book at long last. Looking forward to reading everyone’s stories soon!

Write on!


From the Amazon.ca description:

Superhero Universe: Tesseracts Nineteen

Superheroes!
Supervillains!
Superpowered antiheroes.
Mad scientists.
Adventurers into the unknown.
Detectives of the dark night.
Costumed crimefighters.
Steampunk armoured avengers.
Brave and bold supergroups.
Crusading aliens in a strange land.
Secret histories.
Pulp action.

Tesseracts Nineteen features all of these permutations of the superhero genre and many others besides!

Featuring stories by: Patrick T. Goddard, D.K. Latta, Alex C. Renwick, Mary Pletsch & Dylan Blacquiere, Geoff Hart, Marcelle Dubé, Kevin Cockle, John Bell, Evelyn Deshane, A.C. Wise, Jennifer Rahn, Bevan Thoma, Bernard E. Mireault, Sacha A. Howells, Kim Goldberg, Luke Murphy, Corey Redekop, Brent Nichols, Jason Sharp, Arun Jiwa, Chadwick Ginther, Leigh Wallace, David Perlmutter, P.E. Bolivar, Michael Matheson.

The Tesseracts anthology series is Canada’s longest running anthology. It was first edited by the late Judith Merril in 1985, and has published more than 529 original Canadian speculative fiction (Science fiction, fantasy and horror) stories and poems by 315 Canadian authors, editors, translators and special guests. Some of Canada’s best known writers have been published within the pages of these volumes — including Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Robert J. Sawyer, and Spider Robinson (to name a few).

(I’m In) Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe!

Very excited to finally be able to announce that my story “Midnight Man versus Doctor Death” will be appearing in Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe edited by Claude Lalumière & Mark Shainblum. This will be my second time dinging the Tesseracts bell, and my second time in one of Claude’s anthologies. I love selling to the same market again. It helps one feel like the first time wasn’t a fluke.

This sale also means a lot because superhero comics were my gateway to reading way back when. Between wishing I could draw better and playing various superhero roleplaying games, I have created more superheroes and supervillains than I can easily remember, so it’s a thrill to have one out there in the world officially.

I do hope readers will like Midnight Man (obviously), as the story ties into a couple of my other works-in-progress.

Here’s the complete list of contributors:

John Bell ~ P.E. Bolivar ~ Kevin Cockle ~ Evelyn Deshane ~ Marcelle Dubé ~ Chadwick Ginther ~ Patrick T. Goddard ~ Kim Goldberg ~ Geoff Hart ~ Sacha A. Howells ~ Arun Jiwa ~ D.K. Latta ~ Michael Matheson ~ Bernie Mireault ~ Luke Murphy ~ Brent Nichols ~ David Perlmutter ~ Mary Pletsch & Dylan Blacquiere ~ Jennifer Rahn ~ Corey Redekop ~ Alex C. Renwick ~ Jason Sharp ~ Bevan Thomas ~ Leigh Wallace ~ A.C. Wise

Write on!

December Goals and Year End Check In

So November has come and gone, and it’s taken the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month with it.

How’d I do?

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  • NaNoWriMo: I decided what I’m going to write and I’m going to put words on the page dammit. It feels like a long time since I’ve had steady, big word count days, and I’m hoping this will kickstart my routine back into shape.

It’s hard to tell how the book turned out, as I haven’t sat down to read any of those November words yet, but I feel like this was my most successful NaNoWriMo of the three I’ve participated in. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve had this idea for the last two years, and kept meaning to get to it (2009’s idea showed up three days before November and quickly dissolved into a morrass of nonsense), but was worried I was talking about it more than I was writing it or because I managed to type the words without actually re-aggrivating my tennis elbow and pinched nerve (which was 2011’s problem). And I do know it’s not really a book yet. It needs about 25000-30000 more words to finish or flesh out existing scenes, and to create the scenes I didn’t get around to writing. The real win will be when I actually take the scattered mess, rewrite it and hone it and send it out, but this time it feels like that will be easier than my 2009 project (which I’m still revising) or my 2011 project (which I’m still writing).

We shall see.

I didn’t have steady, big word count days. I probably averaged around 1000 words most weekdays, and tried to make up for it on the weekends (which I usually didn’t). Having a book tour in the middle of the month and a week away from home hurt my word count for sure, but I managed some words in airports, and while I was a guest in Edmonton and Saskatoon. Not a lot of words, mind you, but enough that I was able to catch up again on my return. I did notice a shift towards the middle of the month when I was back to work where I was getting closer to my old word count goal of 2000 a day, even if those words were broken up in three tightly focused shorter sprints rather than one long sitting. I even had a near 7000 word Saturday while trying to catch up (I paid for it the next day) which I haven’t done in a long time.

I almost made the same mistake I did in 2009, which was getting distracted by a shiny new idea shortly before NaNoWriMo, but I held firm to what I planned to write this year. But on the plus side, I may already have next year’s project kicking around in my brain.

So that was last month. What’s on deck for this month?

December Goals:

  • Reread the completed Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues novels and make some notes before diving back into Book 3.
  • Reread everything I’ve already written for Book 3 so I’m ready to start drafting again in the new year.
  • Write a story for Tesseracts 18
  • Get a rewrite request on a short story done for On Spec (and maybe get a new story in to them too).
  • Clean my office before all the loose papers and teetering stacks of books come for me in the night and I’m never seen again.

Rereads are definitely required, because I want to make sure I resolve what needs to be resolved and leave some story for readers to imagine, should I decide to return to Ted’s world after the trilogy is done. Also, between edits, production, and promotion of Tombstone Blues, my head hasn’t been in Book 3, and I’d hate to write a scene I’ve already drafted!

This year the theme for Tesseracts is “Wrestling with Gods: Faith in Science Fiction and Fantasy”. I took in the Pure Speculation panel hosted by editors Liana K and Jerome Stueart and it was quite informative as to what they were looking for, and while I don’t know if I started writing my Tesseracts story in that panel, I definitely had an idea for a story. I’m hoping my word count momentum will allow me to draft this story a wee bit faster than is my norm for short fiction and get it revised and out the door.

The last time On Spec was open to submissions, they rejected one of my stories, asked for a rewrite on a second, and bought the third, “Runt of the Litter” (itself a rewrite request from their previous opening and a story set in the Thunder Road ‘verse if such things matter to you.). On Spec is a great magazine, and I’m thrilled that they were my first sale, which is one reason why I keep submitting stories to them (and they seem to like my writing, so that doesn’t hurt). I have three short stories completed that need at least one more round of revisions before being submitted again and of course the rewrite request. I’m not sure I’ll get them all off, but I’m going to try.

No, I will not be posting a picture of my office to show you how cluttered things have become in the last year. Nope, nope, nope.

As for those yearly goals:

  • Finish Tombstone Blues
  • Start writing the as-yet nebulously titled book 3 in the Thunder Road Trilogy (I’m thinking this will be a good year to return to NaNoWriMo).
  • Attend at least one SF&F convention in a city that I’ve never been to.
  • Revise at least one of the three drafted novel manuscripts I’ve been letting lie fallow until it is in submission shape and then send it out.
  • Start a new writing project, just for the fun of it.

Only two left to go, one is definitely not going to happen, and the other is very unlikely to happen, but I’m still going to make a run at it. The SF&F convention goal was on my list because I think it’s a good excuse to travel and see some new things and meet some new people, which is not my natural inclination. When I’d added that goal, I was intending on attending World Horror Convention in New Orleans (another goal of mine is to get that city, even if its reality might never live up to the magical place my high school self built it up into. Also, GO SAINTS!), but of course, life happened. I changed jobs and the trip wasn’t feasible anymore.

While I’ve been to Ottawa a few times before, I’ve never been to Can-Con, Ottawa’s SF&F convention. And taking in that convention did what I’d hoped for in New Orleans. I saw some new things and parts of Ottawa that I hadn’t experienced and met some great new people. I also was able to finally meet some people that until October, I’d only known from Twitter or Facebook, and I love when that happens. So the spirit of the goal was achieved, even if the letter of it was not. I won’t have a chance to get to a conference in December, so this one won’t be getting crossed off, but you will see it pop up again in January’s Goals for 2014 post.

You’ll probably see my revision goal there too, if I don’t finish another draft on an old manuscript in December. Currently, I’ll have to rewrite more than a chapter a day to succeed. But for the first time in twelve years, I won’t be dealing with a Christmas in retail. So with apologies to my friends who used to come visit me to see my infamous “Christmas Face”…

This:

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will be replaced with this:

Write on!

Central Canada Comic Con Roundup

This was not my first time attending C4, but it was my first time there as an author.

In the past, I would get a day pass, swing through Artist’s Alley and the back issue bins, drop too much money, and be gone in under an hour or so. Big crowds always have a way of making me want to start throwing elbows. It’s been a number of years since I’ve even attended, as C4 almost always conflicts with World Fantasy Con and WFC is probably my favourite model of conference. Given the amount of editors and agents that attend, more likely to advance my career in the long run than selling a box of books. But WFC was in Brighton, England this year, and unfortunately, just not in the cards.

IMG_0401 My table, tarted up with books and props.

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But I had a great time! In fact, I found C4 far more enjoyable as a vendor than I did as just an attendee. Having a table allowed me to avoid the lines getting in, gave me a place to sit and leave my jacket, toque, and gloves (I mean, it is held in November in Winnipeg, if you feel me), and to have a place to go if the crush of people became too much. Aside from having fun, how’d the con go?

Great!

I sold enough copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues to pay for the cost of my table and the crappy pizza and hotdogs that the Winnipeg Convention Centre offered up (I’ll need to sell a lot more books to cover the cost of all the swag I bought). I talked to a lot of people, handed out postcards, magnets, pens, journals, and t-shirts.

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I thought a varied table might help me out, so I brought copies of all the anthologies and magazines containing my short stories. I sold a couple copies of the Fungi anthology. Talked up On Spec, and the forthcoming Tesseracts anthology The reaction the passersby had to Fungi was awesome to see, and allowed me to chat up people who would have otherwise have kept walking. I’ll definitely keep bring the short stories along to play if I do more of these cons.

I was located in a makeshift “Author Alley” row inside of the general Artist’s Alley along side a bunch of my writing pals, Sierra Dean, Samantha Beiko, Clare C. Marshall, and the Burst Books crew of Graeme Brown, L.T. Getty, Ronald Hore, and Cameron D. James.

I tracked down Donovan Yaciuk, creator of Spacepig Hamadeus, and talked a bit about my short comic for his upcoming anthology, introduced him to Samantha, who in addition to being a great writer, is a kick ass artist. One of the big attractions for me of this year’s C4 was picking up a limited print edition of GMB Chomichuk’s Aurora Award nominated comic, Raygun Gothic.

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Once I found the Alchemical Press booth I dropped all of the coin! I picked up some prints, buttons, and of course, that limited print edition which is now customized and rather than 1 of 200, is one of a kind!

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Also, it can pay to be a Secret Society (TM) member, and there are some cool things coming up that I can’t talk about yet.

But what you really want to see is the costumes, isn’t it?

“Aww, Ice King!”

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How do you spell the repulsor noise?

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Enchantress and Red Sonja!

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Sweet classic Loki costume!

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Another great Loki. IMG_0395

Not pictured: the mini donuts this Loki has tucked behind her back.

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One of many Thors. I wish I could have caught them all (like Pokemon).

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My lovely assistant was having some fun while I was gadding about.

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Probably the best Ash costume I’ve ever seen. This guy rocked it. Groovy.

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Unless these guys are about to reenact an “Acts of Vengence” storyline, I find it very dubious that Magneto and The Red Skull would be so buddy-buddy.

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Captain America might need to separate those two…

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Batman knew what we wanted to see.

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One of my favourites! Castle and Beckett. The guy in the Castle costume made the vests.

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TONS of Adventure Time cosplay, and lots of Marceline the Vampire Queen. This Marceline traveled with Marshall Lee the Vampire King.

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I don’t know who these guys are, so it must be a video game thing, but awesome costumes.IMG_0457

Ghost Rider knows who you are and what you’ve done (especially you, Nicholas Cage).

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Write on!

Brandon Bound!

I’m off to my old stomping grounds of Brandon, Manitoba today to join fellow Manitoba fantasy and science fiction writers Shen Braun, Patrick Johanneson, and Craig Russell in what is shaping up to be a really fun event.

We’ll be reading from our work (some published, some you won’t see anywhere else–at least not yet) at 2:00 PM and there will be snacks and limited edition chapbooks! The BU bookstore will be on hand selling copies of Thunder Road, Black Bottle Man, and Tesseracts 14, 15, 16. Come by Brandon University and join us! We’ll be in the Elephant Room (top floor of the Brandon University Students’ Union building). There’s an elevator if you go in the side (north) door, or you can climb the stairs if you go in the front (east) door. Parking on campus is free on the weekend, so you don’t need to feed the meters.

It’s been too long since I’ve been back to Brandon, another commitment kept me from attending this year’s PrairieCon out west, so I’m hoping to see some of my gaming pals out today. If you catch me inexplicably playing Rock-Paper-Scissors in a corner somewhere, it’s probably part of a Vampire the Masquerade grudge match from 1996. Move along, nothing to see here.

Write on!