Production notes and trivia from my experiences on comic books, fiction, and games including
Star Wars: A New DawnStar Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star TrekMass Effect Overdraft Iron Man & more!

Order the Star Trek Prey trilogy here!

Monday, January 27, 2014

More on Star Trek Titan: Absent Enemies -- and a new Trek novel for 2015! 2/13, with the Absent Enemies cover!) It's been as cold as Mars (or Hoth, or Rura Penthe, or whatever chilly world you care to imagine) in Wisconsin this winter, but it's been good weather for writing. As always, I have a number of different projects on the desktop, both original and licensed — and I'm now able to share one of them, just announced by Simon and Schuster editor Margaret Clark on today's Trek Collective podcast. Following my debut in the Star Trek universe with next month's Titan: Absent Enemies e-novella, I have a full-length Star Trek novel releasing in 2015!

It's as Margaret describes: I had a lot of fun writing the novella, and was struck with a great idea for a stand-alone adventure novel set in the 24th Century era. It turned out to fit in well with Pocket Books' plans to focus on missions of exploration, as Margaret describes in the podcast, so I'm pleased to be doing it. 

As she says in the interview, it involves the Aventine, the ship of Ezri Dax (who you may recall from Deep Space Nine and many fine Trek novels); there are also many characters familiar to viewers of The Next Generation with major roles. Far too early to say anything else, other than it should be a blast to read!

But — I can now share more about Absent Enemies, which releases February 24, as Simon and Schuster has posted the official description of the novella:

A thrilling e-novella based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, following the dramatic events as chronicled in the New York Times bestselling story arc The Fall! 

Newly promoted Admiral William Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are ordered to race to Garadius IV—a planet Riker knows all too well from an unsuccessful peace mission when he was still first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But this time, he finds a mysterious new situation: one with the potential to imperil the entire Federation. One of the warring parties has simply vanished… 

That's right: we've got both TNG-series era Enterprise scenes in Absent Enemies as well as "present day" moments for recently-promoted Admiral Riker, in what really was an enjoyable story to write. I expect to be able to share the cover soon, but in the meantime, you can preorder Absent Enemies, which is e-book only, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at iTunes, among other retailers.

That's the news of the morning: now, back to work for me. It's already a busy year!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Star Wars comics return to Marvel

I'm sure you have seen the news today that Lucasfilm will be moving the Star Wars comics license from Dark Horse, where it has been for 22 years, back to Marvel, where it began back in 1977. The shift happens in 2015: Dark Horse's statement is here.

Star Wars #1 at Marvel was the first "grown-up" comic book I ever read and aggressively collected, and Marvel gave me my start as a professional comics writer in 2003 with Crimson Dynamo and Iron Man. Dark Horse gave me my start writing Star Wars comics not long after that -- and Dark Horse has published the majority of my comics work. My life wouldn't have been the same without Star Wars, or Marvel, or Dark Horse -- so the news prompts a variety of observations, both personally, and in the context of comics history. Horse's tenure as publisher, which began with Dark Empire #1,  is almost without parallel in the modern era of licensed comics: not simply for its duration, but also for the sheer number of releases. All of which were tightly coordinated with Lucasfilm, and several of which involved cooperative efforts with other licensors. Dark Horse helped make possible my own hybrid comics/prose series in Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith -- and my 2013 Kenobi novel for Random House even began as a graphic novel proposal for Dark Horse. And, of course, it gave me the title I'm most associated with, Knights of the Old Republic. Starting with the first page on planet Taris, we got to take a young hero on a grand tour of the Star Wars galaxy that lasted nearly five years; it's a rare thing in licensed comics for a writer to work on such a long series from start to finish, and I will forever be indebted to Dark Horse for both the opportunity and for the confidence they showed. Dark Horse's editorial team is top-notch, and they've every reason to be of the vast library of work they've created over the years.

Marvel, again, is a return for the license: as I have written at various times on my comics history site Comichron and in articles for various magazines and guides, the comics industry was in dire straits when Star Wars was released in 1977; Roy Thomas through great determination brought the title to Marvel, and it was a boon to both it and the comics business. The first issue, released well before the movie came out, was not only a million-copy seller, but according to my research, was the first book to reach that figure since 1960! The comics industry has rebounded in countless ways since then, of course -- and now Marvel has the chance to develop comics again for Lucasfilm, this time as a sister company of Disney. It's a new era, and I know everyone will be interested to see what Marvel has in store.

So as we all look with interest to the future, a fond salute to the past. Thank you again, Dark Horse, for lots of great comics. We'll always have Taris.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Overdraft short story in Apollo's Daughters Kickstarter anthology

Happy New Year!
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me talking about the Apollo's Daughter's anthology, an add-on to the Athena's Daughters Kickstarter. Athena's Daughters: Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy is an anthology featuring short speculative fiction by top female authors, including Mary Robinette Kowal, Janine Spendlove, Sherwood Smith and Gail Z. Martin, among many others. The Kickstarter did so well that the anthologists, Silence in the Library, added a companion volume by male authors about female protagonists: Apollo's Daughters includes stories by Michael Stackpole, Aaron Allston, David Mack, Bryan Young and many more.

I'd announced my participation a little in the anthology over the holidays, but I can now add that my contribution to Apollo's Daughters will be a Bridget Yang story from the Overdraft universe, as seen in Overdraft: The Orion Offensive and in Human Error. It was that latter Bridget short story in Baen's Armored anthology that kicked off the Overdraft world, so I'm pleased to have another one out there.

Like the companion volume, Apollo's Daughters is edited by Jean Rabe and is expected to release later this year. At the $31,000 funding level, it'll have a cover by Joe Corroney, who drew my first comic book, Crimson Dynamo. Small world!

There are still a few days left to support the Athena's Daughters Kickstarter; to get the Apollo's Daughters anthology, you simply need to do an "add-on" to the pledge for $5 for the e-book and $20 for the physical book. Folks who have already supported the Kickstarter can add the book to their purchase in the same way, by revising their bid. (That's as near as I understand it, anyway!) Thanks for your support!
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