The Secret of the Universe

OK. I'm not actually going to reveal the secret of the universe. Instead, this post will be devoted to bringing you, my faithful readers, up to speed on recent developments in my self-publishing odyssey.

And boy, have I got a lot to share!

Up and Coming
Up and Coming Campbell anthology
There's a venerable SFF tradition of publishing yearly anthologies of works by authors who are eligible for that year's John W. Campbell Award for Best new Writer. Author SL Huang and friends are continuing that tradition this year.

I'm on the official list of Campbell eligible authors, but it still came as an unexpected honor when they invited me to participate in the anthology. I sent them the story that ensured my eligibility in the first place, "Strange Matter" from Sci Phi Journal #3, plus the first seven chapters of Nethereal.

NB: the novel excerpt is from the upcoming revised and expanded 2nd edition, so folks who download the anthology get a sneak preview of Nethereal 2nd ed.

Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors is available now, free of charge. But only until March 31, so pick it up today and make your Campbell vote an informed one.

Cover by Marcelo Orsi Blanco
Last month I launched my second novel, Souldancer. I'm super excited about this book. Although it's the sequel to Nethereal, I actually wrote the initial drafts of SD first; then went back and wrote its precursor.

Souldancer is everything that's awesome about Nethereal, but more of it. Plus a bunch of new, even cooler elements. It's the book I wanted to write from the start, and I think it does what every sequel should: expand on the first story, bring out themes that were only implicit the first time, and play for even bigger stakes.

Well, the first reviews are in, and long story short, my readers and I are on the same page.
Another fine entry from Brian Niemeier. While the previous book was a space pirate story tinged with 1990s anime influences, Souldancer...feels like something from the golden age of JRPGs. It's loaded with big set pieces that I can just see rendered in the Playstation or Dreamcast's primitive glory, from giant tree-cities to a labyrinthine home of the gods beyond time.
--Joshua Young 
Keep your eye on Josh; he's a perceptive one. He totally nailed both books' main influences.

Souldancer manages to combine epic fantasy science-fiction and horror together in one strange and wondrous whole.
The tale takes place after a cataclysmic fire has swept across whole worlds, and left a shattered, savage ruin of civilization. A band of unlikely adventurers...set out to discover what is behind the mysterious and savage murders wiping out caravans... Before they are done they will travel worlds, face treachery, werewolves, ghosts, strange cults, starships, demons and even the gods themselves.
At heart it is an adventure story, but the adventure is not to acquire fame or fortune. Rather, it grows from a desire to protect the innocent, to protecting love, to protecting the very universe itself.
--David Hallquist
Best synopsis ever.

Full disclosure: it's been a challenge coming up with tantalizing yet spoiler-free blurbs for SD. Now these guys come along and leave reviews that knock it out of the park!

It would be insulting not to steal from them.

By the way, I have it on good authority that both of these fine wordsmiths have books of their own coming out in the near future. Lovers of fun, superversive SF are well advised to be on the lookout for both novels' release.

But first, buy Souldancer now.

And buy Nethereal before that.

Sad Puppies 4
Sad Puppies 4

My readers, who are awesome, did me the unfathomable honor of turning out in droves to suggest my work for the Sad Puppies 4 recommended Hugo reading list.

Suggestions are now closed. By my admittedly fallible calculations, my works were still serious contenders in two categories (Nethereal in Best Novel and "Strange Matter" qualifying me for the Campbell) when polling ended.

Sincere thanks to everyone who voiced support for my writing. I honestly had no idea how my work would be received when I decided to take the plunge and offer it to the public. Thanks to my readers (I'm still wrapping my head around the knowledge that I have those), I now have a much clearer idea.

Rest assured, I'll hasten to inform you all of the SP 4 results when they're released.

Huge top secret thing
Loyal fans deserve their reward, so here's a small token of my appreciation: a tiny hint of something unspeakably huge on the horizon.

I'm serious. Something is coming up soon that is bigger than anything yet announced on this blog. Professional courtesy prohibits me from telling you what it is for now, but think of the biggest news item in this post. Now triple it. Now add a zero at the end.

Still not even close.

Bear with me. All will be revealed in the fullness of time. Suffice it to say, what's about to go down will be visible from outer space.

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