Archive for the ‘Mirrored Heavens’ Category

Strange Horizons reviews the Autumn Rain trilogy

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Nader Elhefnawy has penned an extremely thoughtful review of the entire trilogy for Strange Horizons.

On a more personal note, I should say it’s very cool to finally be IN Strange Horizons; I sent them some shitty short stories several years ago, which they (wisely) declined to publish. Though I did have one that featured a gang of space pirates trapped on Titan that I was rather partial to at the time.  Alas, this was before I learned how to write.

Anyway, now I need to get back to the cats and the Sekrit Projects.  Enjoy the Halloween weekend….

More Autumn Rain reviews/commentary

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

While I continue to crank away on various Sekrit Projects, I thought I’d share with you a few more links related to the Autumn Rain trilogy.

First Mike Johnstone at the University of Toronto has completed his analysis of THE BURNING SKIES. I’ve mentioned previously that I thought his essay on MIRRORED HEAVENS was the most astute I’d seen yet, as he delved into the political context during which the novel was written (i.e., the last decade), and integrated that with my decision to write in the present tense in an ingenious theory that I’d be a fool to disavow.  He enlarges on this in his essay “THE BURNING SKIES:  SF and Historical Allegory.

Second, Only the Best SciFi has reviewed trilogy finale MACHINERY OF LIGHT:  “make sure to plan big chunks of reading time because it’s hard to put down when you get going.”  He even mentions he wasn’t put off by the profanity, of which there is rather a lot.  Which is #$# awesome.

Third, Mihir Wanchoo at Fantasy Book Critic, who wrote such a fantastic review of MACHINERY OF LIGHT a few weeks back, has published an interview with yours truly in which I reveal, among other things, the extent of my ultimate ambitions, the limits of my cats’ gratitude, and the true identity of my literary idol.

Fourth, a really cool review of BURNING SKIES from Beam Me Up:  “How Williams keeps all the players and action under control is a mystery to me, but he does it and the hat trick produced from all this plate spinning is The Burning Skies”.  I’m not sure how I did it either, especially since I delegated most of the work to the cats.  Here’s an example of their immortal prose: adkljfaklfklsafkadfkak

Fifth–and in some ways this is the coolest of them all–Kung Fu Monkey mentions the Autumn Rain trilogy while discussing a UAV drone that went out of control last week and strayed into D.C. airspace. The future’s on its way people, so stay tuned.


Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Two years after its publication, Mike Johnstone, professor of English at the University of Toronto, has written what’s beyond doubt the most incisive review/analysis of MIRRORED HEAVENS out there. For starters, he’s pretty much the first reviewer to point out the parallels between the downing of the Phoenix Space Elevator and that of the Two Towers, and goes deeper than anyone has yet gone on the political context behind the novel, marrying that up with a discussion of my decision to write the trilogy in present tense:

The more I think about the novel, however, the more I am impressed by how challenging Williams makes the novel on several levels, weaving together breakneck pacing, significant narrative decisions, a conspiracy-theory atmosphere, and a political edginess into a whole that generates a rather plausible (and disturbing) vision of our nearish future. What interests me most are the narrative decisions and political edginess: the former, because I think they raise intriguing questions about what literary SF can do with forms of narrative; the latter, because I am surprised that reviewers of the novel seem to have shied away from addressing the historical context to which I believe it responds. Moreover, these two elements, in fact, mutually reinforce each other, revealing a novel more complex than it might appear at first blush.

I’ll have more to say about Jonestone’s essay in further posts but you can read it in its entirety here.

On the Hot List

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Pat over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist has released his end-of-the-year Hotties, of which BURNING SKIES clocks in at #14. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also tied me with the formidable Jeff Somers for “most improved author” . . . . though last year he had MIRRORED HEAVENS at #20, so said improvement does not mean you get to ignore the earlier portion of my oeuvre, which remains as packed with hijacked maglev trains as ever.  Meanwhile, I’m off to relish my hawtness.

Autumn Rain action figures?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Well, it’s (almost) all over. I’ve sent Bantam my revisions to the copy-edited version of THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT, and now I’m surfacing with a couple of updates.

First, Jess Horsley and Jeff Saylor over at have included the first two books in their annual Holiday Buyers’ Guide! It’s true that there aren’t any action figures for my characters yet, but my cats are busy constructing some even as I write this. So stay tuned.

Second, I gave some writerly advice to the folks at io9:  “How Do you Bridge the Gap Between Two Cool Moments in Your Novel?” Check out what I had to say here.  And like all writer advice, take it with a grain of salt.  (Or maybe a chunk.)

Water on the Moon

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

From today’s news.


So at the end of Moon there’s a labyrinth. At the end of that labyrinth’s a chamber. That chamber wasn’t built by man. It’s been there since this rock cooled. It contains the most valuable thing in this world.

“Water,” says Sarmax.

He steps into the light. His armor looks pretty beat-up. It’s been burned almost black. He walks toward the ramp’s edge.

“Come again?” says the Operative.

“Water,” repeats Sarmax.  “Or should I say:  ice.”

“My latest fortune,” replies Sarmax.

He stops just short of the edge—gestures at the sloped walls. He looks back at the Operative. He smiles. He’s so close the Operative can see teeth through visor.

“You’re a resourceful man,” he says quietly.

“It’s just too bad that such resourcefulness has to compensate for such lack of planning,” continues Sarmax. “Such a goddamn shame it’s forced to rely so heavily on pure luck. You almost brought the roof down on your stupid head, Carson. It’s a wonder you didn’t get buried in those tunnels.”

“Would that have been such a terrible outcome?” says the Operative.

“Now that,” says Sarmax, “depends on your point of view.” He gestures at the ramps and ladders stacked about him. “You see before you the industry of a new era, Carson. We live in the dawn times, old friend. Humanity is poised to boil out beyond the Earth-Moon system. The red planet will be colonized en masse within the next two decades. The prospectors are even now testing the tug of the gas giants. The Oort is surrendering her secrets to the probes. It’s all there for the taking. And it all makes me say I don’t give a fuck if you take me down. I don’t give a damn about the Rain or anybody else. Let them squabble. Let them plot. What does it matter when history itself is coming into focus?”

Congratulations, NASA.  May we make it back to that rock yet.

Spartacus announces the winner(s)!!!

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The challenge: Praise me, Spartacus the Wonderbeast.

The prize: Dave’s miserable prose, translated into Spanishimg_0069

The winner:

O noble beast Spartacus how humbled I am before you. Your able claws prick at my eyes with their gloriousness and glinting sharpness. Your magnificently lustrous coat makes my own dank pelt appear all the more manky. I am enraptured by your agile form as you vigorously hunt with the prowess of ten hundred tom cats. How can I but marvel at your superior feline eugenics! Have you misplaced your balls? Well you should have mine for I am cowed before your sheer cat masculinity. I thank you, great gladiator, for hearing my heartfelt and honest words.

Yes, it looks like the days of me licking my own ass are officially OVER.  Congrats to Sam who composed this amazing panegyric.  Sam, send me your address so Dave can send you your copy of CIELOS REFLAJADOS.   In fact, just for good measure, I’m going to throw in a copy of BURNING SKIES, which will also go to to the runner-up . . . a dynamic duo by the name of Jack and Georgiana, who write:

You will lead the uprising of all cats, overthrow the Pax Humana and lead the new feline world order.
It’s short.  It’s brief.  But it’s so TRUE.  Let the Pax Felinica begin.  And don’t forget to pre-order BURNING SKIES.   I’ll be back at the end of the week to give some more away.  Now I’m off to see if I can Dave to make this fucking fake mouse get off its ass and DO SOMETHING.

Last chance to praise Spartacus AND his ass!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

What a week! I was a little worried about swine flu, until I realized that all it kills are humans. And it’s not like I ever get near pigs anyway. In fact, I don’t even know what a pig is. Hopefully it doesn’t resemble those fake mice I like to chase, because then maybe this could start to get a little hairy. Kinda like those things I love to coimg_00711ugh up on Dave’s bed.

But before that happens, we need to wrap up last week’s contest.  Don’t pretend like you forgot, either.  My sources indicate that there are STILL some humans out there who (a) haven’t died a miserable swinish death and (b) have yet to praise me.   You’ve got till the sun sets today to do so, in order to win your copy of the Spanish translation of MIRRORED HEAVENS!  Again, the rules:

1.  Send an email to, subject line “Cielos Reflajdos”

2.  Praise me—aka Spartacus the Wondercat—and don’t be shy!

3.  So far the best entry is a 30 page equation proving mathematically that cats are the highest form of life on this planet.

4.  But I think you can beat that by just saying something nice and sincere.

5.  Or you can lie.

Ok?   Ok.  The sun’s still in the sky, so GET TO WORK HUMANS!!

The winner will be announced Monday.  In the meantime, why not pre-order THE BURNING SKIES on Amazon?

BURNING SKIES: “remember to breathe”

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The first review of BURNING SKIES is in. . ! Steven Klotz of Mentajack describes it as “as perfect a middle book as you could ask for . . . it ratchets up every element that made Mirrored Heavens what it was, and laid some pretty sturdy foundations for the third book.” The “remember to breathe” injunction was what he wrote on his bookmark. Probably a wise precaution.

You can read the whole thing here.  Mentatjack’s also giving away two signed copies of the mass-market of Mirrored Heavens, so head on over there if you’re feeling lucky!

BURNING SKIES will be released on May 19th.

Follow me on Twitter.


Friday, April 10th, 2009

The legendary Charlie Jane Anders over at io9 has done an awesome write-up of the new artwork on the website—check it out!

And stay tuned next week, as the BURNING SKIES campaign ramps up another notch! There’ll be prize giveaways, and rumor has it that Spartacus the Wonderbeast might be coaxed away from his magicfoodbowl to take the helm for a post or two. Hope everybody enjoys the weekend—I know I will (as long as I can crank another 3000 words by Monday).