Archive for May, 2010


Friday, May 14th, 2010

Well, over at Autumn Rain HQ we’re restringing the axes and revving up the Marshall stacks… yes, it’s almost time to hit the road in support of trilogy finale THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT. And here are the dates—if you’re in the neighborhood, then swing on by…

Fri.-Mon., May 28-31: Balticon, Baltimore, MD
Wed., June 2nd, 7:00PM: Borders, Washington, DC (reading),
followed by 8:00PM: The Science Club, Washington, DC (book launch party)
Sat., June 5th, 5:00AM: Hour of the Wolf, NYC (show will be taped)
Sun., June 6th, 3:00PM: Flights of Fantasy, Albany, NY
Mon., June 7th, Pandemonium Books and Games, Boston, MA
Sat., June 12th, 3:00PM: Bakka-Phoenix, Toronto, CA
Thu., June 17th, 8:15PM: LASFS, Los Angeles, CA
Sat., June 19th, 3:00PM: Borderlands, San Francisco, CA
Wed., June 23rd, 7:00PM: Powell’s, Portland, OR
Thu., June 24th, 7:00PM: U Bookstore, Seattle, WA

And while you’re waiting for the loudest guitar attack this side of science fiction, why not pre-order MACHINERY OF LIGHT?

Traveller: revisiting the old school RPGs

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

I’ve started a series of posts over at to talk about an obsession of mine, namely old school RPGs. (Thanks to the illustrious John Joseph Adams for suggesting that I get involved with Tor’s online community, though I should note I have no plans to stop blogging at the awesome Suvudu.)

First up is Traveller. Go over there and say hi, or comment here on what game you want to see me talk about next….


Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Two weeks out from launch, and here we go….

Iron Man 2

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Well, Marvel has done it again. Iron Man’s sequel pulled in more than a hundred million this weekend, on top of its stellar international opening. The film stuck to the formula that worked so well for the first one: lots of explosions, plenty of action and Tony Stark’s charisma on display throughout. Wisely, they didn’t include the Mandarin as villain, instead wheeling out a rogue Russian physicist, played by Mickey Rourke, supposedly the son of the original Crimson Dynamo. Rourke pretty much stole the show for me, and I can only scratch my head at the reports that he was offered a mere quarter million for the role initially. The scene where he just calmly walks onto the Grand Prix track and then starts lacerating cars with an electric bolo is pure genius–so good, in fact, that the movie has trouble producing anything better till the very end. Kudos also go to Scarlett Johansson’s stunt double, the aptly named Heidi Moneymaker, who’s just pure hell on wheels. I wasn’t initially convinced by Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, but he ultimately won me over, and hey, I get it: if this is going to be an enduring franchise, then it’s got to start expanding our view into the Marvelverse.

Meanwhile, a lot of people keep writing in to ask me how Iron Man’s exoskeleton differs from the powered armor worn by the mechs in my Autumn Rain books. The answer, of course, is it really doesn’t, except that I’d envision the armor as being, realistically, a lot bulkier, partially because it’s, hey, ARMOR, and also because it needs to contain a lot of ammo and fuel. It’d also be a damn sight harder to get on then just flicking open a briefcase. But ultimately, the main requirement of powered armor is that it kick ass, and that’s something that the Iron Man movies deliver on in full. No surprise that the third one is already in development…

And if those movies have left you jonesing for more combat involving guys in battlesuits, then you know where to look….


Friday, May 7th, 2010

The inimitable Patrick St. Denis over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist has posted an exclusive excerpt from THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT. Tune in as both Carson and Haskell find themselves in very deep piles of you-know-what.

And if you like what you see, then pre-order Machinery of Light and/or buy the previous books. (Or just send me dough…..)

Pitch Black

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

My reaction to (re)watching Pitch Black is over at Suvudu, the Bantam/Del Rey website. So check it out.

(For a recap of my previous thoughts on the Riddick-verse, see here and here.)

The best spaceships in written SF

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

My analysis of Pitch Black is going to have to wait another day, as my thoughts on another weighty topic have appeared in SF Signal, alongside those of Alastair Reynolds and Allen Steele, among others. Thanks to John De Nardo for the invite. . .

Still another place you can win MACHINERY OF LIGHT

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review is giving away one copy of MACHINERY, and one copy of MIRRORED HEAVENS.

Have at it, people. This could be your last chance before you have to, yanno, resign yourself to buying the damn thing.

Meanwhile, I have been watching (and rewatching) PITCH BLACK. Tomorrow you’ll have my detailed analysis.

The X-37

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It’s up there right now.

Circling over your heads.

The X-37.

Besides the Shuttle, it’s the only operational spaceplane in existence. It was launched last month atop a USAF rocket from Vandenberg, and is scheduled to stay in orbit for….for…well, that’s classified.

Along with its mission.

And its specific capabilities.

But it’s got potential adversaries worried. And with good reason, because a spaceplane has what’s called cross-wing capability . . meaning it can reenter the atmosphere with considerable maneuverability, thereby bringing the military that much closer to its goal of global strike: being able to hit any target on Earth within hours. (That’s why the Space Shuttle made the Soviets so damn nervous back in the 1980s that they had to build their own.)

Furthermore, the X-37 has the potential to be a far more precise antisatellite weapon than the kinetic kill vehicle the Chinese launched back in January of 2007. Its fuel reserves are unknown, but the whole point of a craft like this is that it would have more orbital maneuverability than your average satellite. Nor do we know what weapons it might be able to pack into its cargo bay. All we know for sure is that, right now, Russia and China have nothing in their arsenal to touch it. Not yet anyway . . .

More on spaceplanes later this week. Meanwhile, why not pre-order the MACHINERY OF LIGHT, in which thousands of spaceplanes kick the shit out of each other.