Clicking on the cover takes you to an Amazon page. Do it. Buy a book.
THE QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS (pre-order only, coming this fall)
Cait MacReady spends her days in the Special Collections library at UCLA, restoring old books and saving them from the ravages of age. By night she's either catching a show or working her real job, making copies of antique and forbidden texts. But don't call them forgeries. She only gives the customers exactly what they want.
When her old lover and current business partner shows up on behalf of some customers who want a book that isn't written yet, Cait becomes suspicious. When she discovers they're from the organization No Tomorrows, she becomes afraid. And when she finds out that their leader, the enigmatic woman-child known as the Queen, wants the book that only Cait has, she begins to wonder what's real and what she's manufactured on her own.
Part crime novel, part ashes-of-the-past romance, part weird horror, The Queen of No Tomorrows takes readers through dirty alleys and the pounding industrial fever dream of the Last Prayer club, where Cait tries to stay one step ahead of the Queen, who seems to know the future before it's even happened.
A future that Cait would give anything to cut off.
Cover art by Gabriel Hardman
"A Fifth World" in GASLANDIA: A DIESELPUNK ANTHOLOGY
Radiant Crown Press, 2017
Gaslandia: A Dieselpunk Anthology is the inaugural volume of the Subterranean Anthology Series featuring retro-futuristic short stories that cut across time and space: In Site 78, a diabetic and an airship pilot search for insulin and come across the tome of Shanur. A marine navigates close quarters in his wheelchair and the threat of joblessness due to mechanical men. A wife, and mother, flees her abusive home in the Galilean cluster and finds refuge in the airborne craft, Hermes. A Mexican-American war veteran rallies Samalayuca refinery workers to stop a Soviet invasion. An adventurer who craves notoriety is consumed by cosmic horrors. The Lunascraper Tower is the only thing standing between humanity and the deadly mist. The floating country of Pangea awaits the final strike by Continental soldiers. Colossal war robots trap military specialist in a government lab within the Cyan Desert. Captain Rex Kane makes an emergency landing on the Martian moon Phobos only to discover a hole had been blown through its core, and the Mars police believe Rex and his crew are responsible. A disabled Native-American onboard the Current of Eagles confronts prejudice and radio-powered warfare.
THROUGH THE LIMBS, Highway 62 Press 2017
Raisha Burke is an Isolate, a psionic sensitive survivor of the disaster that claimed the city of Baltimore. The same disaster unleashed the phenomena known as the Qloud, a psychic storm that is mined and refined for both its narcotic and destructive qualities. Red House is the largest of the companies that has sprung up in the Qloud-mining field.
And Raisha has been asked to save the company from hostile takeover.
Torn between obligation to the company that adopted her after the disaster and those who died in the fires that consumed Baltimore, her friends, her family, Raisha is forced to choose. But in the face of what she's learned about the Qloud and the drug Qlip, how can she?
TOMORROW'S CTHULHU, Broken Eye Books 2016
Featuring the short story "Chunked," my first unsolicited sale. Weirdly, my first short story sales were solicited. But I'll explain those later.
"Chunked" is set in a world not so different from our own, with its own needs and hungers, a humanity that has exhausted natural food sources, so it has turned to...less natural harvests. Fiction and dream become fodder, sliced up and packaged neatly. But it doesn't grow on trees. It has to be hunted down.
THE HOWLING PIT, Highway 62 Press 2015
Subtitled "A Samizdat Record and Self-Help Guide"
Written as an overview of the media and self-publishing ecosystem, THE HOWLING PIT collects a few of my columns as posted at my old blog, but is predominantly original material looking at audience and expectation, writing advice, success and other lies we tell ourselves. It's not for the faint of heart or the true believer. Largely nonfiction. Mostly.
WAR STORIES, Blizzard Entertainment
Featuring the short story "The Teacher," set in the STARCRAFT universe. Originally solicited as a standalone story, this got integrated into the Project Blackstone storyline that came out around the time the first STARCRAFT 2 expansion was being released.
"The Teacher" is a fun little story about loyalty and subversion featuring the sweetest double-double-cross that I think I've ever written or will ever write. It also stars an adorable Hydralisk named Kevin. If any of this makes any sense to you, you might want to order a copy (though I won't see any royalties, as my writing was strictly WFH, and I had a blast writing in and contributing to a fictional universe that I had a great deal of fondness for.
DUSTBEARER, Highway 62 Press 2014 I think.
I do write fantasy. I suppose it could even be considered epic, but I'm pretty dubious on the distinction. DUSTBEARER tells two somewhat-related stories, both relating to the incursions of undead and unstoppable armies into the realms of humans.
The first focuses on one of the lieutenants of the G'Dun as she seeks an object of terrible power, guarded by one whose power mirrors her own. But was she sent there to succeed or to fail?
The second is a story of love and betrayal: two men who grew up close as brothers but let the love of a woman come between them. In pursuit of this woman, the rejected man finds himself digging through depths he did not think possible, to make a wish that was unthinkable.
THE BLACK MASS VARIATIONS, Highway 62 Press 2013
My answer to the apocalypse, well, an apocalypse, as seen through the eyes of a mostly typical central Californian teenager.
A piercing shriek swept over the whole of the earth, leaving most dead and those who survived mostly insane. A handful made through it with their minds intact.
Some of them just played the new CALL OF DUTY and waited for the world to end. But the world wasn't going to go out so easy.
Part Lovecraftian apocalypse, part subversion, part teenage confession and whatever room is left over, stubborn refusal to go quietly. Even in the face of the unknowable Black Mass.
RAGNAROK SUMMER, Highway 62 Press, 2012 maybe
Thor and Loki take a deranged road trip through the world that the Norse gods made after winning the battle of Ragnarok, vanquishing the jotuns forever and everyone living happily ever after.
You read that right. The gods won and paradise reigned.
Only paradise is stasis, and some beings don't take to that too well. Thor found himself no longer welcome in Asgard and Loki was chained again for the gods' amusement. When Thor returns and is confronted with an addled and failing Odin, Loki promises a solution. One that he'll give only after his release from servitude.
Part fantasy, part science gone horribly wrong, all mythology.
TUG ON THE RIBBON AND OTHER STORIES, Highway 62 Press 2011
"My spirit animal is a cassette tape."
That's from "Tug on the Ribbon," the first of a handful of stories that range from near-future science fiction set in the dusty neighborhoods of the post-Deflation to the science/sorcery of an imagined Mexico City reclaimed by the Azteca and their genetically-modified bat-servants to a thinking machine whose only answer to the question of nothing is to dig and keep digging until it finds an answer.
Oh and there's a delightful story about the apocalypse, zombies and office supplies.
HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED, Highway 62 Press 2013
It turns out that when you run a near-daily weblog for a few years, you generate a lot of material. This collects just about all of that, including my short-lived writing for Dark, But Shining. The subjects here range from comics of the day to film to digging deep into horror and seeing what trickles out. And if you look carefully, there's a STRANGEWAYS prose story that likely won't be printed anywhere else.
This one's a heavy beast, though, at least in print. Don't strain yourself.
THE COLLECTED FULL BLEED, Highway 62 Press 2012
Like it says on the label, collecting all of my FULL BLEED column work, starting in 2003 as printed at Broken Frontier and then again a few years later on at the Comics Waiting Room. Mostly comics, basically all comics, including interviews with a few of the creators I really dug back then. Hefty, but not the back-breaker that HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED turned out to be.
BLINK AND OTHER HORRORS, Highway 62 Press 2013
A trio of short horror stories. Early work. I'm including it here out of a sense of misguided duty, I suppose.
Yeah, I know. You can hardly wait to read it.
Why do you think it's on the bottom of the list?