Archives: News

Conventions and Releases

Reviews for the next novel are starting to trickle in. Publisher’s Weekly released a glowing account of Upon the Flight of the Queen last month, and other reviews are coming in to Goodreads via Netgalley.

My first born has graduated college with a degree in animation, and I’ve hired him to create a book trailer for Upon the Flight of the Queen. Over the next two months I’ll be showing the occasional sneak peek.

Below, find some character design sketches of Kyrkenall.

Oh, and I will be turning up at Archon in St. Louis this year, the first weekend of October. I’ll be on at least four panels and circulating a lot, so I hope to see some of you there!

ARCs are Here! The New Book is REAL!

Yes indeed, here’s a shot of the ARCs that arrived for Upon the Flight of the Queen. If you’re a reviewer, I hope you’ll contact me here or drop me a line via e-mail or FB or Twitter, because I’ve got a bevy of copies of the newest book. This is, in fact, book 2 of the Ring-Sworn trilogy, the first of which, For the Killing of Kings, appeared in April. This is slated for November!

If you don’t see me here much that’s because I’m working hard on book 3, on some short stories, and on editing Tales From the Magician’s Skull, the third issue of which is back from the printer and should be headed your way shortly — providing you were wise enough to subscribe!


The Mystery of Todd McAulty, Part II

As I mentioned in my last post, I had begun suspecting that Black Gate’s well-reviewed and entirely absent Canadian (absent apart from a photo with a truly phenomenal beard) Todd McAulty was someone else writing under a pseudonym. There were a lot of familiar elements in his prose, so I deduced it had to be some modern author I was reading in other venues. Todd’s writing had the same energy and love of adventure as that talented bunch from Black Gate — but I couldn’t figure out WHY any of them would use a pseudonym.

I reluctantly checked in with John O’Neill but he, being Canadian himself, refused to acknowledge anything odd about the situation at all, and then got off the phone, claiming that he had left the stove on and had a dental appointment.

I had one more slim lead. Black Gate had published several author photos of McAulty, and I noticed that all were credited to the same person: Alice Dechene. I knew Alice – she’d written several fine reviews for us, including one which Neil Gaiman had proudly blurbed on the back of Stardust. She was also married to John.

Spread the Word

Joseph Goodman and I owe a collective thank-you to a few friends who helped promote the Kickstarter for Tales From the Magician’s Skull. Now we are returning the favor by bringing their projects to your attention. These are all publishers of fiction much like that which you find in Tales From The Magician’s Skull. (In fact, you may have seen their advertisements in the magazine.) We think you’ll enjoy their work. So without further ado, please check these out when you get a chance:

Cirsova Presents: 35th Anniversary Edition of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars Books

Cirsova Publishing is teaming up once again with Michael Tierney to publish his all new SFF time-travel adventure set in his Wild Stars universe, Wild Star Rising! You can back their Indiegogo here.  Plus, to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Wild Stars, Cirsova will be releasing all-new premium magazine-style editions of the Wild Stars graphic novel, Book of Circles, and the hybrid comic/novel, Force Majeure. They’ll also be reprinting a new 2019 edition of last year’s Kickstarter-exclusive illustrated novella, Time Warmageddon.

Sword-and-sorcery from DMR

DMR has just released a free e-book, The Infernal Bargain and Other Stories, which you can download simply by signing up for their mailing list. Check out this page for more info!

DMR has also just released a sword-and-sorcery compilation titled Death Dealers & Diabolists. This anthology will take you from fifth-century Constantinople to Dark Age Finland to places beyond imagining. You will encounter a former gladiatrix in the employ of demon summoners, an overly ambitious barbarian chieftain, a doddering pyromancer, and incarnations of holy warriors of India.

Death Dealers & Diabolists contains eight exciting tales of swords and sorcery by an assortment of talented authors, including Buzz Dixon (writer for the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Thundarr the Barbarian cartoons) and Keith Taylor (author of the Bard series). You can read an interview with author Buzz Dixon here. And you can purchase the book at the DMR site!


The Mystery of Todd McAulty, Part 1

Todd McAulty (apparently in Venice, or something)

If you’re a regular to my blog, you’ve probably seen me talking about my early days in the industry, and how John O’Neill invited me aboard the Black Gate staff after my work for Flashing Swords magazine. I quickly grew to know the rest of the staff, and many of the regular writers. Over the years I’ve met an awful lot of the magazine’s mainstays, especially those with whom I maintained regular correspondence — apart from one reclusive, hirsute Canadian: Todd McAulty.

I first noticed his name attached to several popular stories in the early issues of Black Gate, and he was a noted reviewer — his long review of Lords of Swords in Black Gate 8 was the first to draw real attention to that worthy book, the first I was ever anthologized within. Following on that review we struck up a lively email correspondence, which carried on for years.

Yet Todd never appeared in person at any conventions, and when I turned up twice in Canada, he was notably absent. I began to suspect something strange was afoot, especially after I noticed a couple of stylistic details in the writing he’d been submitting to Black Gate. More on that in a minute.

Locus Review

My new book, For the Killing of Kings, received a glowing review from Locus, courtesy of reviewer Rich Horton. Click here for all the specifics.

I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I blogged here. As is always the case with me, silence here generally means I’m really busy elsewhere. It’s pretty much the same activity that occupied me last month, but now some of it is wrapped up:
1. Copyedit changes are now back to the copyeditor, and the sequel to For the Killing of Kings (now firmly titled Upon the Flight of the Queen) won’t be seen again by me until I look over any proofreader concerns. And it will be published in November. You can even pre-order it! I don’t think the cover copy on the pre-order version is final — it certainly isn’t quite correct, as it mentions 9 realms, and there are only 5. Not sure how that happened…

Off to the Races

My promotions tour continues as I revise book 2, slated for November of this year!

Today I was over at the site of the illustrious Mary Robinette Kowal, talking about my favorite bit from my novel.

Tuesday I was at Black Gate, sitting down with John O’Neill to talk about writing and reading and editing and nearly everything I love.

Wednesday Paul Weimer reviewed my new book for

Monday I talked with Paul Semel about the book and my life in general.

There’ve been some lovely additional reviews from more lovely places, like The Quill to Live, and the UCReview, and Color me Read, and Infinite Free Time.

And, of course, a few weeks ago I sat down with the Little Red Reviewer.

I’ll be appearing in more places around the web in the coming days. For now, I must return to my writer’s garret!

Ask Me Anything

Tuesday, February 19th, I’ll be over at Reddit Fantasy holding an AMA. Which means that you can swing by at any time of the day or night and ask me about writing or editing or reading or nearly anything I like to do and I’ll be on hand to talk about it. I hope to see you there! Once the interview thread goes live I’ll post a link, but for now all I have is the link to the site.

In other news, I recently learned that For the Killing of Kings is the top pick for BookPages’ Fantasy and Science Fiction category this March, and I got a nice review of the book in the Philadelphia Free Press.

Tomorrow is book launch day! I will probably be too busy promoting the book to be nervous. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Better yet, buy the book and help spread word about it!


Hardback Copy

The update is nearly complete, and the new face on the web site is working smoothly, thanks to MeanThemes, who supplied this great new look and helped me get it up and running.

I’ll write more about them soon, but for now I wanted to share the brand new copy of For the Killing of Kings. I’ve been showing the paperback advanced reader copy around, but this is the first actual hardback I’ve had in my own possession, and it is a nice thing to have. Here’s hoping many other people think so as well!

Here’s a new review that came in last week, as well.

Behind-the-scenes, much prep work is underway for the book’s debut on February 19th. Revisions are afoot on its sequel, and I’m making copious notes on a brand new idea I had the other day that might turn into a follow-up series of books. Once I finish revising book 2 and writing book 3, I mean.


I’m not entirely sure I “get” the purpose of a pure horror story. I usually feel like my enjoyment of it is one level removed. Oh, sure, there are some great horror stories I really like — a handful of Lovecraft’s, and maybe a dozen by other writers (like Bierce’s “The Damned Thing”), but I always feel like I’m not quite the target audience.

The odd thing is that I love some horrifying monsters and dreadful, dire spells and have them in the tales I write. They frequently turn up in the stories I most enjoy. But in sword-and-sorcery and heroic fiction the characters can fight back, or, at the least, flee.

I mention all this because I’ve been watching Hill House with my daughter. We just finished watching the 6th episode last night. Let me share some spoiler-free observations.