Kirk Fu preview pages!

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-coverY’all need to start limbering up. Kirk Fu is coming.

Oh yeah, it is.

That’s right, kids! Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is heading to bookstores on March 3, 2020, from Insight Editions, with words by me and awesome art by Christian Cornia. The book is being distributed by Simon & Schuster, and wouldn’t you know they’ve loaded up some preview pages to the book’s page?

Oh yeah, they did.

Go to the book’s page and tap on the “Look” button in the upper lefthand corner and you’ll get to leer at six spreads from the book, showcasing some fun examples of Christian’s work. Here’s a couple from one of twelve signature Kirk moves you’ll learn about in the book:

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-9781683835219.in05(Click to biggie size these.)
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Head over to the Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual page on SimonandSchuster.com to check out the rest of the preview. Just be sure to stretch beforehand. I don’t want you pulling any muscles when you try to take on a Gorn or whatever.

Pangaea III: A new SF anthology that needs you!

My friend Michael Jan Friedman is causing mischief. You know…again.

pangaea-logo

Among the various successful crowdfunding efforts he’s shepherded in recent years is a pair of anthologies focusing on a shared-world he created, Pangaea.

The first anthology debuted back in 2015, featuring stories by Michael Burstein, Adam-Troy Castro, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Geoffrey Thorne. Kevin and I also teamed up for a story, “The Ardent,” which introduced Ames and Grinnoj, an unlikely pairing of cops who find themselves caught up in all sorts of shenanigans.

Pangaea II: The Rise of Dominjaron came along in 2016, pulling together a new collection of stories by Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, and Marie Vibbert. This time, Kevin flew solo while penning a second tale with Ames and Grinnoj.

And here we are, three years later, and Mike’s decided the time’s right for a third (and final?) visit to Pangaea. Kevin and I have signed off to give our boys A&G one more at-bat, joining a stellar line-up of word pushers…most of whom wrote for either or both of the previous anthologies. That said, Mike still found a few new voices to spice up things.

What’s it all about? Well, in the words of Mr. Friedman himself:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together. Over millions of years, separate and distinct landmasses have crawled across the planet’s surface on immense tectonic plates to form a single mass–a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we twenty-first century types were living in one of the super-continental periods–those characterized by “lid tectonics” rather than “plate tectonics?” What would it be like if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass…and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

That’s the ever-so-tantalizing axis on which our Pangaea anthologies turn.

It’s an exciting and original idea, one that deserves the best shared world-building talent available. So to explore this world on your behalf, we’ve harnessed the word-smithing abilities of some of science fiction’s most inventive writers.



As with his previous projects in this vein, M
ike is once again turning to Kickstarter in a quest to secure some modest funding for this newest effort. There naturally are a number of rewards and add-on incentives to be had…far too many to describe here without resorting to copying and pasting everything Mike took the time to write. However, I will call out one backer reward in particular:

Pledge US$ 100 or more

Tuckerization by Dilmore and Ward!

At this level Kevin and Dayton will include you or someone you love (presented phonetically, of course, since this is not our world) as a character in their story. You will be thanked by name on the anthology’s acknowledgements page. Additionally, you will receive a trade paperback copy of Pangaea III, signed by at least three of its featured writers, as well as a DRM-free e-pub version of the book suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. Finally, you will receive an e-mail from one of our authors thanking you for your generosity.

 

For everything else? Let’s just point you to Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page:

Pangaea III, by Museworthy, Inc.

So, who’s writing stories this time around? Kevin and I are happy to say we’re joining this pretty nifty line-up:

Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Ron Marz, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, Tiffany Trent, and Marie Vibbert.

I’m proud to call most of the people on this list friends so of course this is gonna be hella fun, and hey! You can help! Check out Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page, and if it sounds like something you want to support, please pledge as you see fit.

Thanks to Mike for inviting us to play one more time, and here’s hoping we can all get to work spinning some more crazy tales.

PangaeaIII

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: V!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I know I said it would be an irregularly recurring series of self-indulgent babbling, but it’s been a little more irregular than I originally planned or would’ve preferred. So, let me try to get back on the horse here and see what happens.

V-SeriesLogoA short while back on Facebook, I made a post mentioning the 1983 miniseries V. This four-hour “limited” or “event series” (as it’d likely be called today) depicted the arrival of aliens on Earth with seemingly benign motives. They show up in massive, saucer-like spaceships that hover over every major city around the world and proceed to make all sorts of awesome, too-good-to-be-true promises while asking for a comparatively minor favor in return: help with engineering a special compound for use fighting environmental contamination on their home planet.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: V!”

The cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu!

I was holding off on this until they pimped it at the big Star Trek convention that’s still going full-tilt boogie out in Vegas. But, there was an apparent technical glitch during the publishing panel which saw to it this wasn’t one of the titles highlighted. Add in the fact it’s been up on the Simon & Schuster website, Amazon.com, and other bookseller sites as well as various Trek fan news sites for the past several days, I figure I should join the party.

Oh, the hell with it. Enough ado. Behold the cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual, coming March 3, 2020, from Insight Editions!

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-cover


As captain of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk engaged in his share of fisticuffs, besting opponents with a slick combination of moves and guile that remains unmatched. Is there anyone you’d rather have watching your back as you take on Klingons, alien gladiators, genetically engineered supermen, and even the occasional giant walking reptile?

Kirk Fu is a series of unarmed combat techniques developed by one of Starfleet’s most celebrated starship captains over several years of encounters with alien species on any number of strange new worlds. A blend of various fighting styles, Kirk Fu incorporates elements of several Earth-based martial arts forms as well as cruder methods employed in bars and back alleys on planets throughout the galaxy. It is as unorthodox in practice as it is unbelievable to behold. Including excerpts from Kirk’s own notes and personal logs, the Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is the perfect training guide for surviving the depths of space. With proper training and practice, every Starfleet cadet can become one with Kirk Fu.


For those who’ve been with me here in this space for a while, you know Insight Editions is the publisher behind the two Star Trek travel guides I wrote as well as — through their IncrediBuilds imprint — the Star Trek and Toy Story book/model kits to which I contributed…you know…the book part of those projects.

With text by me and illustrations by artist Christian Cornia, Kirk Fu is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for years. This little 64-page slice of awesome also holds the honor of being my first ever hardcover Star Trek publication.

Because that’s just so damned perfect, isn’t it?

KirkFu-concept2

I know I’m hopelessly biased, I am honestly giddy with anticipation for the release of this thing. I’ve seen the finished book’s layout and it turned out even better than I’d hoped when I pitched the thing. The combination of Christian so hilariously illustrating the absurdity of some of these moves when combined with the text I wrote is exactly the tone I was going for. He had me laughing pretty much all the way through. I can’t wait for the green light so I can start teasing some of the finished pages.

Stay tuned for more info about Star Trek: Kirk Fu as I’m able to share.

KirkFu

(WARNING: Don’t actually try any of this shit.
I mean, for real. You’re just gonna get your ass kicked.)

All kinds of Star Trek novel action coming your way, this year and next!

It was a busy day at the big Star Trek convention out in Las Vegas. In and around all the cool Q&A’s, photo ops, and autograph opportunities with celebrities from the various Star Trek series and films, a quiet little panel with a small yet loyal and enthusiastic audience very smoothly laid out a bunch of news about upcoming Star Trek publications in various formats.

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Continue reading “All kinds of Star Trek novel action coming your way, this year and next!”

Footprints in the Stars

FootprintsInTheStarsBeyond the Cradle

To follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before, first we must find them.

Dreaded hope settles over mankind as we stare into the heavens, looking for a sign we are not alone. Fearing we will find it, puzzled when we don’t.

Among the stars or in our own backyard, lose yourself in the wonder of these tales as we humbly posit mankind’s reaction to the awesome certainty that ‘they’ are out there…or at least, they were…

Footprints in the Stars

With stories by Gordon Linzner, Ian Randal Strock, Robert Greenberger, Dayton Ward, Aaron Rosenberg, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jody Lynn Nye, Christopher L. Bennett, James Chambers, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Russ Colchamiro, Judi Fleming, and Bryan J.L. Glass

Trade Paperback or Kindle e-Book from Amazon.com
Trade Paperback or Nook e-Book from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback from Books-A-Million


When eSpec Books editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail invited me to participate in this new collection, she described thusly: “…all of the stories will revolve around the central theme of humanity discovering evidence that we are not alone in the universe.” She stressed that she wasn’t looking for “first contact stories,” so we were going to have to dig a little deeper and come up with something else.

When I started on what I thought was going to be my story, I had what I thought was an interesting premise. Then, as time passed and I started playing around with writing it, an idea for a completely different story began to take shape. Before I knew it, I realized this newer idea that ended up calling “Lost and Found” was something I wanted to dig in on, not just for this story but perhaps setting things up for a novel at some point. To her credit, Danielle did not, in point of fact, beat me with a tire iron when I changed lanes on her, and instead welcomed not just my idea but also the possibility of me exploring this notion further with eSpec.

I guess we’ll see.

As for the original idea I had? Well, I realized as I was writing that it was too much for a short story and I wanted to do more with it, as well. So, who knows? Maybe I’ll end up with two long-form projects out of this. Are the two entities separate or related? To be honest, I haven’t decided just yet. I guess we’ll have to see about that, too.

Huh.

Boosting the Signal: Save Novel Books!

Eight years ago, Patrick Darby opened Novel Books, a small independent book shop located in Clarksburg, Maryland. Every summer during these past eight years, Patrick along with his family and staff have brought their small-town bookseller charm an hour east to the Shore Leave convention, which convenes every July in Hunt Valley.

As part of their preparation, Patrick and his team see to it that each of the convention’s author guests is represented by stock from their respective backlists, which he makes available for sale to con attendees looking to get a book signed. This is especially helpful on Friday night when the annual “Meet the Pros” mass autograph signing takes place with all of the author guests. Most years, Patrick and company are able to “debut” at least one new title at the convention, including releases which aren’t due in bookstores for a week or more. I’ve benefited from this little bit of publicity myself, with both my Vulcan and Klingon travel guides along with Summon the Thunder, the Star Trek Vanguard novel I wrote with Kevin, premiering at the con. The Novel Books gang is just as much a part of Shore Leave as any long-time attendee. For them not to be there would be disappointing, to say the least.

But, that’s exactly what’s in danger of happening, and that’s just a small part of a much larger concern.

Most people know running an indie book shop in this day and age is a hard road to travel. The hours are long, the profit margins are slim, and the behemoth that shall not be named here looms over your shoulder every minute of every day. It doesn’t take much to send things off track, and in the case of Novel Books several things happened which now threaten to take the train right off the tracks. They’re in something of a financial bind and could use some help. From the GoFundMe page they’ve established:


Novel Books opened 8 years ago in Clarksburg, MD. The store was growing each year, until last year, when very large, unexpected costs put the business in jeopardy. The losses are hard to recover, and the store is on the verge of closing.

Patrick, the owner, is a dedicated bookseller, who wants to provide a space, and selection, for the families of the Clarksburg area to enjoy books, events, and classes. Novel Books currently offers Story Time for toddlers, space for local books clubs, and gaming tables for chess clubs and Magic: the Gathering card tournaments. New programs include multi-week courses on music for toddlers and using Legos to teach science and engineering.  A goal is to bring authors to the store for signings and new release events.

Patrick has been a successful advocate for infrastructure in the historic district. He hosted a nine-month-long candidate forum for the recent midterm elections. Novel Books has been a champion for small businesses in the shop local movement.

Patrick uses an RV for multi-day off-site events. The vehicle left him stranded in Tennessee last year for over a month, with a major engine overhaul. It is also intended to be used for pop up sales at local events, and communities. 

The other, more personal, problem from last year is medical expenses for an undiagnosed problem with Patrick’s right arm.  It’s progressively harder for him to use his hand to carry things, and do daily activities. He has no insurance.

The requested funds would go to catching up with debt for rent, and vendors. It would be applied to medical expenses and further tests. And finally, to make additional repairs to the RV. If the goal is exceeded, Patrick would like to hire someone to help plan more events and programs at the store, especially if his condition worsens.

Novel Books can grow again, just like the book industry has been doing over the last five years, but is asking for your help to be strong again.

Thank you for your support. 

NovelBooks-Shop

 


It’s an uphill climb, to say the least, but the farther their signal can be boosted, maybe the more help they’ll receive. So, I’m hoping my fellow Shore Leave peeps of every stripe will help attract attention to the cause so Patrick and the Novel Books family can get the help they need, and the store can stay open and continue to play a valuable role in its community…and return to the con each year. So, if you’re a lover of indie booksellers, authors, and conventions like Shore Leave where such folks tend to gather, please check out the Novel Books GoFundMe page, consider supporting their effort, and sharing their info:

Save Novel Books
https://www.gofundme.com/f/do-you-want-your-community-bookstore-to-fail

Thanks for reading!

Full cover reveal: Footprints in the Stars!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

If you’ve been reading my (admittedly infrequent) updates the past couple of months or so, you know I was invited by editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail of eSpec Books to contribute a story to a brand-spankin’ new anthology she was editing, Footprints in the Stars.

According to Danielle, the book is “put to bed” and is now at the printers, which means we get to share stuff like the book’s full front and back cover. Behold, yo:

FootprintsInTheStars_fullcover

As the back cover copy states:

To follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before, first we must find them.

Dreaded hope settles over mankind as we stare into the heavens, looking for a sign we are not alone. Fearing we will find it, puzzled when we don’t.

Among the stars or in our own backyard, lose yourself in the wonder of these tales as we humbly posit mankind’s reaction to the awesome certainty that ‘they’ are out there…or at least, they were…

Footprints in the Stars


Sounds pretty cool, amirite? The book will contain all-new stories by the likes of Gordon Linzner, Ian Randal Strock, Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jody Lynn Nye, Christopher L. Bennett, James Chambers, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Russ Colchamiro, Judi Fleming, and Bryan J.L. Glass.

Oh, and me.

When Danielle invited me to submit a story, she described in her original pitch, “all of the stories will revolve around the central theme of humanity discovering evidence that we are not alone in the universe.” She stressed that she wasn’t looking for “first contact stories,” so we had to dig a little deeper and come up with something else.

When I started, I had what I thought was an interesting idea for a story. Then, as time passed and I started playing around with writing it, an idea for a completely different story began to take shape. Before I knew it, I realized this newer idea was something I wanted to dig in on, not just for this story but perhaps setting things up for a novel at some point. To her credit, Danielle did not, in point of fact, beat me with a tire iron when I changed lanes on her, and instead welcomed not just my idea but also the possibility of me exploring this notion further with eSpec.

I guess we’ll see.

You can check out the full deetz about the anthology over at the eSpec Books blog. As for the book itself? It’s due to premiere at the upcoming Shore Leave convention the weekend of July 12-14, which is when I’ll be able to get my grubby paws on my very own copies. Awwwwwww, yeah.

Many thanks to Danielle and Mike McPhail and eSpec Books for inviting me along for the ride!

Talking about Available Light with the Trek Geeks!

Having failed to learn their lesson the last couple of times I was on their show, hosts Dan Davidson and Bill Smith of the Trek Geeks Podcast invited me back for another sitdown chit-chat.

Suckers.TrekGeeks-Banner

Of course I kid. I’ve known Dan and Bill for a couple of years now thanks to the wonder that is social media along with a few chance encounters at the annual big-assed Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. They do a stellar job representing Trek fandom in the best possible way by bringing people together to celebrate that which we all love so dearly. They do this through their “Camp KhitomerStar Trek fan group on Facebook as well the array of podcasts they host or support through the Trek Geeks website.

They’re good eggs, that Dan and Bill.

This time, they invite me back to talk about Available Light, my recently released Star Trek: The Next Generation novel. We dig in a bit about how the book came to be, not just as its own thing but also how it picks up and runs with story threads that have been weaving in and out of the “expanded universe” continuity Star Trek novels have been building for well over 15 years at this point.

This is particularly relevant here, as Available Light not only takes the baton from David Mack’s Star Trek: Section 31 novel Control from 2017, but like that book also reaches all the way back to events Dave chronicled in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal from the 2004 Star Trek: A Time to… mini-series. Plus, I get to set the stage for Dave and his upcoming novel Collateral Damage, which will be out in October. So, yeah, we talk some about how it works when collaborating with other writers to keep things consistent, how to keep readers new to the novels from feeling overwhelmed, and all sorts of other neato things.

Yes, we even delve a bit into my favorite ever Star Trek word, “canon.”

(Spoilers: Grr. Argh.)

Have a listen, whydontcha?

Trek Geeks #179: Available Light

TG179

Many thanks to Dan and Bill for having me on again. It’s always a blast hanging out with you two. Maybe we can do it again soon!

Do you have your towel?

May 25th: Happy Towel Day! Did you remember yours?

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“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Towel Day: Celebrating the Life and Work of Douglas Adams

don't panic