Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ask Me Anything on Reddit this Sunday the 12th

I’ll be attending an internet chat today over at ( as part of their Ask Me Anything series.

Reddit’s a huge web site, and throughout the day anyone who wishes (well, you do have to join the site, but it is fairly painless) can ask me anything they want about my writing, publishing, editing, and so on. I’ll log on between 7 and 9 central and be answering the posts live.

I hope I’ll “see” some of you there!

Locus Poll and Survey

I learned the other day that The Desert of Souls made the Locus recommended reading list for 2011 in the First Novels category. What’s more, balloting for the annual Locus Poll and Survey is now open.

The winners of the poll are given the prestigious Locus Awards each year. Categories include Best SF novel, Best Fantasy novel, Best First novel, Best Anthology, Best Magazine, Best Editor, and Best Artist.

I hope you’ll swing by and place your own vote, and while I surely wouldn’t mind a vote for Desert, I hope that you’ll remember Black Gate magazine. John O’Neill, publisher of Black Gate, has been fighting for more than a decade to bring adventure fantasy to the forefront in short fiction, but I believe he’s been unjustly overlooked and underappreciated. Many of the authors who had their start at Black Gate are launching careers, thanks in no small part to the nurturing John’s given us. In addition to me, there’s John Fultz, who’s just received glowing praise from influential reviewer Paul Goat Allen for his novel Seven Princes. And there’s the critically acclaimed James Enge, nominated for a World Fantasy Award for his first Morlock novel Blood of Ambrose just a few years ago. And there are others besides, all helped and encouraged by O’Neill, who, in addition to being a gifted editor, is one of the most generous men I know, both with his time and his talent.

Anyway, as to the voting, it’s open to all, subscribers and non-subscribers, per the instructions:

In each category, you may vote for up to five works or nominees, ranking them 1 (first place) through 5 (fifth). Listed options in each category are based on our 2011 Recommended Reading List [this link will open a new window], with options in categories for editor, artist, magazine, and publisher including results of the past two years.

You are welcome to use the write-in boxes to vote for other titles and nominees in any category — if you do, please try to supply author, title, and place of appearance, where appropriate.

The ballot is here. The deadline is April 1, 2012. I hope you’ll make sure your voice is counted.

Throne of the Crescent Moon

There are a number of books I’ve been meaning to recommend, but today I’m just going to talk about one, released yesterday.

There’s not a whole lot of sword-and-sorcery out there, and there’s not a whole lot of fantasy set in non-western realms, but when it comes down to sword-and-sorcery in an Arabian setting there’s really only three or four of us actively writing the stuff. Odds are you’ve already heard of the talented Saladin Ahmed, but if you haven’t, I want to point you to his work straight away. He’s a gifted prose stylist who writes complex characters, and has no patience for slow exposition — his pacing crackles! His first novel (the first of a trilogy, although the first book can stand on its own) was just released this Tuesday, and it’s already receiving a great deal of positive buzz, all of it justified. If you liked my stuff, I urge you to check him out, immediately.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. The talented devil is getting starred reviews from left and right! Here’s what two well-known venues had to say about Throne of the Crescent Moon:

“Ahmed’s debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut.”
–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

And remember, because of the antiquated way the book industry works, it’s better for an author if you purchase a book from a physical bookstore, although I’m sure Saladin would happily endorse you buying it from an online venue if you can’t get to a brick-and-mortar location!

Crossing the Streams

Regular visitors might note I’ve temporarily added a new page to the web site, the Contest page. That’s because I’ve joined a gargantuan, huge, inspiring, fantastical multi-author book giveaway! I, and over a dozen other speculative fiction writers–mostly novelists, but some comic writers as well–have thrown in together to create something huge for our readers

Here’s how it’s going to work. Each individual author is running a contest on his/her own site, and each contest has its own rules. Each contest will also have TWO winners who will both receive ONE signed book, free, from that particular author. So, for instance, if you win here, you’ll win one of my books. If you win on Scott Oden’s site, you’ll win one of his books, and so on.

Second, and even more exciting…once the individual contests have ended, all the authors involved will get together and choose one single “SUPER WINNER” from all the entries on all our sites combined. This one lucky individual will receive a signed book, free, from each and every one of the authors involved.

You read that right. Somebody out there’s going to win over a dozen FREE books!

You can only enter each author’s contest once, but you may enter multiple contests. So you could enter here, on Nathan Long’s site, on Eugie Foster ‘s site, etc. Heck, you can enter on everyone’s site, if you want (and I really think you should, because these are some great books we’re giving away)! And even if you aren’t selected as the “SUPER WINNER,” you could very well win more than one of the individual contests. You never know.

You can find a complete list of the authors involved, as well as links to their sites, below. But first…

How to Enter MY Contest

Mine’s going to be simple. All you have to do is reply to me here on my website, on my FB page, on my twitter feed, or e-mail me at joneshoward AT (with an ampersand in place of the AT, and no spaces before and after), answering this question:

“Who is your favorite heroic fiction character – and why?” Note that I don’t make it straight sword-and-sorcery, in case you want to mention, say, D’artagnan, or Leigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark.

Your answer can be as long or as short as you like. Just make sure you reference “Crossing the Streams” when you enter (or cstreams on Twitter), so I know you’re officially entering.

I will select TWO winners: one for the answer I think is the best, and one at random. That way, even if you don’t think your explanation is very interesting, you’ll still have a shot at winning. And of course, everyone who enters is also in the running for the big “SUPER WINNER” prize at the end of the contest.

Entries must be received (via one of the methods mentioned above) between February 1st and February 29th, 2012.

Easy, right? My two winners, and the “SUPER WINNER”, may choose any ONE of the following prizes.

  • The Desert of Souls (the new trade paperback)
  • Plague of Shadows
  • Unfortunately, I can’t give away e-copies, which means I can’t send out The Waters of Eternity to any winners, either. If you have any questions, drop me an email and I’ll do what I can to clarify.

    My Partners in Crime

    As I said, there are over a dozen of us involved in this. You can find names, and links, here.

    But do me (and yourself) a favor. When you go to enter their contests, don’t just look at the contest page. Everyone involved in this contest is a great author or artist. If you like my work, you’re sure to like at least some of theirs. So take a few minutes. Browse a bit and see if anything catches your eye. Then, you know, maybe buy it? I know they’d all love you forever for it, just like I do. 😉

    Thanks, and good luck!

  • Keith Baker
  • Elaine Cunningham
  • Matt Forbeck
  • Eugie Foster
  • Kevin Hearne
  • Paul S. Kemp
  • Katharine Kerr
  • Nathan Long
  • Ari Marmell
  • Scott Oden
  • Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate
  • Marsheila Rockwell
  • Aaron Rosenberg
  • Steven Savile
  • Jon Sprunk
  • Jason Bradley Thompson