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I know. It's been a little while. Sorry. Real life threw a couple of big curveballs and it took a fair amount of time and energy to sort them out. The fallout from one continues, involving a big job that's fallen apart. That one's kind of a bummer, though it's also not a thing that I can talk about directly, sorry.

Settling back to work, or attempting to. A familiar refrain, I know.

Wanted to post a little thing about my upcoming novella from Broken Eye Books, entitled THE QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS. You might've heard of it, or at least me chattering about it. Well, I can show you a little something new. Note that this is nothing near the final cover design, though the art is more or less set. Maybe you'll recognize the artist's work.

Note the t-shirt.

Art by Gabriel Hardman, title design by, uh, me.

I've known Gabriel for a pretty long time and his art jumped out at me longer ago than that. Maybe you've seen it in AGENTS OF ATLAS or THE INCREDIBLE HULK or maybe INVISIBLE REPUBLIC. If you're paying attention to comics, you probably saw it in the previews for GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE which he drew (and co-wrote with Corinna Bechko). I first noticed his work when I saw previews for THE CROOKED MAN which was supposed to come out from Zuna/DC (you remember Zuna, right?) He has a great storytelling sense and rendering style, both crucial backbone skills for comics though often overlooked in favor of fancy crosshatching or exaggerated anatomy. There's a time and a place for those, I know.

Anyways, I asked Gabriel to do the cover for QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS and I'm grateful that he consented to. He's a busy guy. So, thanks Gabriel. It looks wonderful.

Here's a little bit of the prose. I'm not going to offer any context whatsoever.

"For all the shadow outside, the interior of the club was cast blinding in light so white that the edges of it burned blue or pink or purple. Cait's eyes couldn't adjust quickly enough to the glare from so much PVC and tarnished chrome. The hammering, droning beat of the music was solid enough to rattle the fillings in her teeth and make her eyeballs hurt. She'd been to countless shows and never felt anything like this. The crowd was riding the beat right to a pulp."

I'd love to tell you a precise date for QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS, but all I can say now is late spring or early summer.

Oh, what actually is it? I'm glad you asked.

QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS is a cosmic horror/crime/failed love story that takes place in Los Angeles past, probably sometime during the eighties. Maybe later. Certainly not earlier. It centers around Cait MacReady, who is a librarian, book seller and ah, forger of antique books. Her latest acquisition, THE SMOKING CODEX isn't what Cait thinks it is at all. And when her ex-lover gets involved with the group known only as No Tomorrows, the troubles really begin. Because what the Queen of No Tomorrows wants, she gets. No matter who pays the price.

You'd read that, right? Seriously, it'll make Lovecraft spin in his grave. I mean, more than he already is.

I'm curtailing my show attendance this year. Probably just a handful of them, including FOGCon in Walnut Creek, Wonder-Con in Anaheim, (probably) Wizard World Portland (where I'll be glad to entertain offers from Sony Pictures as to options for my many works, ha ha) and Rose City Comic Con (also Portland, in September.) That's likely it. Maybe a Sac-Con, or Stockton Con to just wander. If someone wants to offer me a table, I certainly wouldn't turn it down.

In terms of reading/watching, of late.

BEHOLD A PALE HORSE, by Bill Cooper. Which became kind of the ur-document behind THE X-FILES, and marked a real dividing line between when conspiracy culture was fun for me and when it became a mask for right-wing nutjob politics. I don't mean regular, I mean the whackadoodle. I've got a longer piece brewing about this one.

FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL, by Jack Womack. A perfect antidote to the above, chronicling the UFO memetic virus as it ran through America post WWII to the early 90s. Taken from his own (extensive and impressive) library of UFO literature, it's a treasure of design, both professional and endearingly amateur. It gives a real sense of the sort of PG-rated danger and thrills and wonder that the culture reveled in. Well worth a look if you're into that sort of thing.

WORMWOOD, Errol Morris directing. This Netflix limited series is pretty wonderful, both in manipulation of the documented past via clippings and stock and dramatic re-creation and in examining the universal/deeply personal realms of this event. That being the death (suicide, accident or likely murder) of Army scientist Frank Olson in 1953, while working on the MK-ULTRA program, or at least in affiliation with it. To say that this is extremely my thing is a vast understatement. Maybe it's yours, too.

I'd love to tell you that there's news about THE FUTURE AMERICA, but there isn't. Maybe it's just best to let that one go for awhile. Too bad, as a lot of work and love went into it.

Oh, did I end on a bummer? I'm sorry. Here's a grace note instead.

Chrome always makes me feel better.

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