Action #902 and Russian Hamilton

The second issue of the finale to Action Comics is in your comics shops today. You can check out the first few pages (and see the alternate cover) here.

Meanwhile, if there are any Russian speakers amongst you, you may be pleased to learn that the new issue of Esli magazine (here's their website), #6 of the 2011 volume, features a translation of my Jonathan Hamilton story 'One of Our Bastards is Missing', which they're retitled 'Extinct Prussian'. I share the issue with stories by Mike Resnick amongst others, including one by Eugene Mirabello that I appreciated a great deal in its English version, so it seems I'm in good company.

Here's the cover:

And they have a rather lovely metaphorical illustration for my story inside.

As you might realise, I'm rather in love with all this. It's the sort of thing I imagined might happen when I became an SF writer, and now it has. Cheerio!

Fort Freak is Here

The hardcover of Fort Freak, the twenty-first volume in George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series, is out today, and I've got a story in it! Wild Cards is a shared super hero universe, a world where certain individuals drew the genetic card for super powers (they're known as Aces) and certain individuals... weren't so lucky (they're called Jokers). It continues in real time, starting in 1987 with the release of the original Wild Cards anthology, with this year's stories being set this year. George edits the volumes himself (with Melinda Snodgrass), fitting stories into an arc plot within each book, and I was delighted when this time round he approached me to contribute.

Fort Freak is the story of the cops and crooks of the 5th Precinct of the NYPD, the Jokertown precinct, where the issue is law enforcement in a super powered ghetto. But it's not all doom and gloom: Jokertown is the location of a historic theatre, and that's where my new character, Abigail, is working on her performing arts degree. It's where she'll discover something about herself, and where she begins a relationship with one of the series' most popular and beloved characters. With quite a lot of being arrested and public nudity.

As well as George and Melinda, the other contributors to Fort Freak are Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Victor Milan, Cherie Priest, David Anthony Durham, Mary Anne Mohanraj and Ty Franck. It's a great combination of police procedural, murder mystery and super powered action. You can find George talking about it here. You can read Melinda's story about her rookie cop Francis Xavier Black on his first patrol in Jokertown, 'The Rook', here. (Abigail pops up briefly.) And Cherie Priest, who wrote the arc plot for Fort Freak, has a sample from it online here.

It's great to be part of such a talented team, and to have our stories weave together. Do go find a copy. Until tomorrow, then, Cheerio!

The Joy of Alt Fiction

I've been having a really weird week, meeting my comics deadlines and preparing to move house, while coming down from having finished the novel, and thus feeling kind of lost and floppy. I haven't yet had a feeling that something was wrong in the plotting or left undone, and that's probably a good sign. It's now with my agent and various coppers who are kindly offering me research notes, before being sent to my editor at Tor. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, halfway through moving house next weekend (the movers pack on the Friday, then move on the Monday), I'll be attending Alt Fiction at the QUAD in Derby, which, if last year was anything to go by, will be excellent. There are loads of authors going (with Dan Abnett and Alastair Reynolds as Guests of Honour), and an impressive video programme too. If you're a Doctor Who fan, there's a panel devoted to the books, including authors such as Mark Morris and Sarah Pinborough. And there's also a big workshop component involved, with such luminaries as Graham Joyce helping out newbie writers. Here's my schedule:

Saturday, 10pm: Memory Lane (Your Favourite Genre Books) with Mark Morris, Pete Crowther and Juliet McKenna.

Sunday, 11am: Who Reads the Genre and Why? With Damien Walter, Jon Weir and David Thomas Moore.

Sunday, Noon: Has Genre Conquered the Mainstream? A podcast with Ian Whates, Damien Walter, Paul Kane and John Weir.

Sunday, 2pm: Comics Panel with Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and Pat Kelleher.

Sunday, 3pm: Reading (me and Shearman!) I'll be reading from my Wild Cards story, and maybe a bit of the novel.

You can find out more about it, and buy tickets here, and check out a PDF of the full schedule of delights here. It really is one of the most impressive genre events in Britain, and if you're in range of it, it's well worth coming along.

In SF news, Sheila Williams at Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine tells me they now offer a digital subscription for Ipad users via Zinio, at only £18.16 for a year's ten issues (which is 14% cheaper than cover price), so there's another way to get the cutting edge of SF delivered to you. Check it out here.

James Bacon, the Hugo-nominated instigator of the SF Outreach project, which takes him to media conventions where he gives away hundreds of SF books and promotes Worldcon, popped over to my house the other day to take a bunch of comics and collections off my hands. These are going to go into the teen lounge at Worldcon in Reno to spread the word about the medium. Kudos for him for hauling so much stuff around the world.

And in the world of comics, that Demon Knights interview I did with CBR is up. There'll be lots more of that as we approach September, with some cool podcasts and media chats being sorted out now.

And I'm interviewed while at the Phoenix Comic Con on this edition of the esteemed Retcon Podcast. Do check it out.

There's a lot happening in the next few weeks, so, once my lethargy has left me, I'll be popping up with all sorts of things. (You should see my schedule for Reno! I'm doing some great stuff! But I can't tell you yet.) In the meantime, and I hope to see you in Derby, Cheerio!

Stormwatch and Demon Knights Interviews

Just popped in to keep you up to date. Here's a Demon Knights interview at Comic Book Resources, and here's one about Stormwatch at Newsarama. I've seen some odd reactions to that latter interview on the net, quoting me as saying the book will 'explain' why the Wildstorm and DC Universes are now the same one. But that doesn't need explaining. Stormwatch has always been part of the DCU. And I'll leave it at that.

In other comics news, the Spirit of Hope anthology is now available to pre-order. It's a charity collection by some great names in the industry, including Liam Sharp, Henry Flint and Mark Buckingham, all proceeds of which are going to help disaster relief, via the Second Harvest charity and the New Zealand Red Cross. There's a choice of two lovely covers, by Knight and Squire's own Jimmy Broxton and by Mike Allred. It's a great way to help a great cause, so do take a look. Cheerio!


My second title for DC's September relaunch is Stormwatch!

That's Apollo, The Midnighter and, hey, the Martian Manhunter on the lovely cover to issue one. I can say very little else so far except that Apollo is also in the book, as are other characters, old and new, and yes, Apollo and The Midnighter remain out and proud. It's going to be a very exciting book, and, put together with Demon Knights, I think I've found a new playground I'm very happy with. More as the release date approaches, obviously.

And talking of Demon Knights, I've done an interview with Newsarama about the book, and just got off the phone with poor Vaneta for another one coming up soon about Stormwatch.

In other news, I'm very excited to have a story in George R.R.Martin's new Wild Cards anthology, Fort Freak, which is out very soon now. As a trailer for the book, an entire story from it, by Melinda Snodgrass, 'The Rook' is now online, and it happens to feature, in passing, my own new character for that lovingly-developed super hero universe. See if you can guess which she is.

Finally, the event concerning time travel that I'm appearing at tomorrow night at the British Library has sold out, so if you have a ticket I'll see you there! Until next time, phew, an exhausted Cheerio!

Demon Knights!

Hooray, I can finally talk about this! It's part of what I'll be doing in DC's relaunch of 52 first issues in September! May I proudly present:

Demon Knights. The art's by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert, so you know it's going to look good. It's the Demon, Etrigan, leading an unlikely team of heroes in medieval times. Swords and sorcery and super heroes! And that lovely cover is by Tony Daniel.

Like all of the DC launch books, Demon Knights will require no previous knowledge of any of the characters involved, or anything else. New readers start here! And it'll be digitally available the same day it's in the shops. Much, much more to say about that as we approach the launch date. Wish me luck!

And talking of comics, various panels from the Phoenix Comicon are now available online, including Just A Minute with John Scalzi, Cherie Priest, Rob Sawyer and Sam Sikes on audio. You can find many other panels from the con on that site. And then there's this...

We just goes to show, I shouldn't be allowed near a lectern. At any rate, in short, Demon Knights, excitement, hooray! Cheerio!