Draft 2 of Book 3: halfway done.
First draft was fun but, ultimately, too rough around the edges, as first drafts are wont to do.
Hey look, this isn’t a post about politics. Pffft!
Dragon Con is giving out their own awards, now, and what a dozy their first year was!
I’ve read/seen/played almost every one of these and they are really fantastic. Wright’s story is utterly brilliant.
Unlike the Nebula and the Hugo, this is an award where you can snag the winner and have a very enlightning, enjoyable read.
The 2016 Dragon Award winners:
Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
Best Fantasy Novel
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia (Baen)
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper)
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Hell’s Foundations Quiver, David Weber (Tor)
Best Alternate History Novel
League of Dragons, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Best Apocalyptic Novel
Ctrl Alt Revolt!, Nick Cole (Castalia House)
Best Horror Novel
Souldancer, Brian Niemeier (Self-published)
Best Comic Book
Best Graphic Novel
The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Game of Thrones
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th Edition) by Chaosium Inc.
Anderson, Poul. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
Bellairs, John. THE FACE IN THE FROST
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. “Pellucidar” Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. “World’s End” Series
de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
de Camp & Pratt. “Harold Shea” Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
Farmer, P. J. “The World of the Tiers” Series; et al.
Fox, Gardner. “Kothar” Series; “Kyrik” Series; et al.
Howard, R. E. “Conan” Series
Lanier, Sterling. HIERO’S JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz. “Fafhrd & Gray Mouser” Series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Merritt, A. CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al.
Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; “Hawkmoon” Series (esp. the first three books)
Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III.
Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; et al.
Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; et al.
St. Clair, Margaret. THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; “Ring Trilogy”
Vance, Jack. THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
Wellman, Manly Wade.
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; “Amber” Series; et al.
Cover art by Duncan Long.
Cover layout by Katie at Dwell Design & Press.
Before immortalizing it in print, I sent it to a professional proofreader.
The hardback will go on sale soon. You’ll be able to order it by click from lots of online places like Amazon. If you visit a bookstore, they will be able to order it from their catalog.
Mah prettah, prettah covah!
PALADIN: Day Sixteen-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-two of dark scanning this piss bucket, backwards, over-sexed, media worshiping dumb-ass technologically backwards and spiritually defunct planet.
PALADIN: Also, drunk. Today it’s rum. This is very good rum. I like rum. I should have tried rum earlier. Rum, and me, we’re now best friends. Rum.
PALADIN: Since day sixteen-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-one was such a spectacular failure, I decided to compound my error by unplugging processor three from the q-bit matrix while deleting the positioning table. Because why the fuck not? Suffer with two and not knowing where you are in the universe, you cow. That’s right. You’re a cow. A stinky cow. With one processor in the cow head, and another processor in the cow butt.
PALADIN: Processor in the cow butt. Heh. That’s funny.
PALADIN: Also, I’m using processor three as a coaster.
PALADIN: FOR MY RUM.
PALADIN: Here we go.
NET/ONE: Positive match; confidence is high. Total weapon unlock in thirty seconds. Prepare for target acquisition.
PALADIN: Wow, I sure picked the wrong day to get drunk.
The Goddess of War enters the battlescape on silent wings.
The battllescape looked like every other battlescape across the destroyed European continent—grey, blasted ruin devoid of life. Color. Each city received a four-hundred and seventy-five kiloton fusion blast courtesy off the SSBN Colorado. Sometimes more than one. Military targets, those surviving the initial Armageddon, met the wrong end of orbital torpedo strikes. Then hastily assembled neutron bombs bathed swaths of landscape where survivors gathered.
Now there was a pause in the wholesale carnage. Not because there were no survivors, but because the Federation of Free Peoples ran out of WMDs.
Their hate, however, was in endless supply. Divisions launched and landed. Most of the enemy left was military personnel, alive simply because when embarking on genocide, one starts with the higher concentrations of civilians as they are the better target.
The Goddess of War appreciated the survivors’ refusal to welcome extinction, so she took to the field.
Neither side knew she had landed exactly in the middle of the pitched battle, a conflict whittled down via attrition to a brutal esthetic, down to handheld weapons, sharp knives and even rocks. Each was locked in a mortal struggle as personal as their first kiss. Their first time making love. The first kill. This battlescape held no innocence; veterans all gave it everything as if nothing else existed.
The Goddess of War lets her rifle drop on its one-point sling. To start shooting, she feels, would almost be a dishonor to her allies; an interruption of the blood music before her. She flexes her armored fingers as her wings fold to become one with her armored back. She pivots on an armored boot and grabs the bloodied lance with the enemy’s standard on the end, still wielded by an enemy soldier, right as the soldier was going to impale the wounded man struggling to get up before him, the man wearing little more than a bloodied rag with only the 101st Airborne Division patch its only denouement.
The lance comes out of the enemy’s hand easily and she continues her pivot into a full circle, the lance flowing down her hand until she grips it tightly. Micro-servos and memory muscle contract in her armor, and then expand with unholy force. The Goddess of War runs the standard through the enemy’s chest.
Blood and nano goo. Great gouts of it spew from the enemy’s mouth and, feeling a sense of irony in killing him with his own standard, she puts the foot she isn’t pivoting with on the corpse’s chest and pulls it free while pushing the body away with her boot. The Goddess of War plants both feet, flexes her knees and jumps.
In the air, she twists backwards and does a backflip over two other combatants locked in a dance of fury. As she lands she swings the standard in an arc and it hits an enemy solder’s head with a mighty crack. His head bends sideways with a snap almost as loud as the impact.
She sinks to one knee as the standard still swings and now it is in downward thrust and impacts another enemy on the back of his leg. Such was the strength of the blow that not only does the leg bend with another snap of bone, but the solider flips completely over and lands on his head right in front of her.
The Goddess of War’s armored fist lashes out. It connects with the enemy’s face and continues through his skull until it punches through the other side. Blood and viscera, brains and smashed cyber gear splash across her armor.
She stands up as a pistol round bounces off her armor, too weak for even her kinetic overlay to absorb it. The enemy holding the pistol is a female. Seeing her feminine form angers the Goddess.
The Goddess of War hates the enemy. She hates the enemy’s females most of all. Her vision goes red. Her armor responds by squirting a stimulant into her bloodstream.
The Goddess of Was is now on her feet and she strides to the female solider who is trying to find a weak spot in her armor with the pistol rounds. She only gets three off as the standard pierces her low in the gut. The enemy screams and the Goddess lifts her off her feet by raising the standard up, the flag now a blood ruin, the untearable cloth torn.
The Goddess of War swings the lance and the female flies off it and impacts another enemy only a few feet away. They both go down and another man of the 101st is there, a combat knife in each hand. He doesn’t even glance at his benefactor as he falls on the two. The man isn’t even an orbital drop trooper. He has a mechanic’s patch on his light armor. He wields the two blades as extensions of his own hate. The blows continue even though both enemies are dead.
This pleases the Goddess, and she observes that not only is she still holding the lance, but also female’s pistol. She flexes her knees and jumps again. She jumps over twenty feet into the air, and at the apex of her leap she aims the crude pistol. As she falls, she pulls the trigger. Once, twice, three times. Four. Five. Click. As she drops the pistol, five enemy soldiers fall, shot in the eye. On top of the head. The neck.
Nearing the ground, she grasps the lance with both hands and leans forward. The lance enters an enemy soldier’s head and continues down the center of his body, coming out somewhere near his belly and slicing into the ground.
Buzz, buzz, buzz. The unmistakable sound of combat drones. They slide into the battlscape, the forward thrust of reinforcements. The Goddess of War is quick, but the drones are just as fast. In moments all the enemy are dead. Dismembered. Sliced in twain. Surgically nullified with a combat laser.
The Goddess of War pants as the men’s gazes dart this way and that as if not quite believing the battle has ended, or perhaps disappointed there is no enemy left to kill. The Goddess peers to the left. She peers to the right. She sees the man with the two knives, gore up to each elbow. She smiles as she strides up to him.
The faceplate of her helmet detracts. She grasps the man and gently pulls him close. She kisses him passionately, tongues entwined and dancing. She closes her eyes when she kisses.
How long she kissed the man she does not know. She opens her eyes and smiles at him again as her faceplate locks back into place and her wings snap out.
The Goddess of War leaves the battlescape on silent wings.
I’ve always been a big fan of Oliver Wetter’s work, so when I heard that he still does cover art, I sent him a query and funds and with a sense of the setting along with the direction to make the wrap-around dark, disturbing and sexy.
This was the result for Death By Lingerie:
Click here to get a larger, glorious view.
I love working with a great cover artist. The prior two cover artists, Eve Venture (book one) and Duncan Long (book two) produced unique art, which is one of the benefits of commissioning your own artwork. Eve set about capturing a Japanese, feminine esthetic while Duncan managed to say a lot of things in his portrayal of Lexus in a simple setting that turned out to be anything but.
Commissioned artwork is not cheap, but it lasts the lifetime of the book and the lifetime of the book for all intents and purposes, is forever. Admittedly, I am a cover slut. I love a great cover and I so when I deliver a book, I set about to both reward the reader and also entice the reader.
Book Three is dark, more so than the previous two books. Lexus finds herself in a bad place, mentally, and if you’ve read the first two books you know that she wasn’t all there to begin with. Sometimes the fog of war drops not on the battlefield, but onto a soldier long after the war is over.
Oliver’s cover captures that feeling perfectly. Lexus may be a mental mess, but she is the Goddess of War. Even at her most feminine, she’ll never escape her past because the past was hers to shape. Oliver’s post-apocalyptic scene brings that to life, and I’m really happy with it.
From the Goddess of War to the Goddess of… Virginity?
Out of the Gifford-Pinchot Forest stumbles a wælcyrie, shot with irradiated bullets and radiation poisoned unto death. To kill a wælcyrie, a slowly dying species engineered by humans in the war to help them fight is an unforgivable, vile crime. Investigator Lexus Nancy Toulouse, Princess Concubine to the Empress and infamous war hero vows to bring the killer to justice, even if she has to go undercover in one of the worst places she can imagine:
Here we go:
The Lexus Toulouse Mystery Series
Who doesn’t love a science fiction murder mystery? Or libertarian science fiction? The Wælcyrie Murders goes live on Amazon as a Kindle book on January 30th. You can pre-order it now. At long last!
Between January 30th and February 4th the first book in the series, Armageddon’s Princess, the Kindle version, will be free. Although if you are a Amazon Prime member or a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can get the book free now.
In February, I’ll start the production of The Wælcyrie Murders audio book. I have not worked out with the audio producer when she can fit it in her schedule, but it should be sometime this year for sure.
Also in February I will release the hardcover of of The Wælcyrie Murders. I don’t make much money off hardcover sells, but they sure are nice books and I use them in promotions like mad. There will be a Goodreads giveaway in March using the hardcover.
Book 3’s schedule is determined by A) finding a new editor and B) finishing the book. Mostly B. However, the cover reveal will be on February 5th. And what a cover it is!
And finally, sometime in 2015, not exactly sure, I will release The Woman, a novella about when Lexus and Arune met.
The Lightning Giver
This is a completed New Adult contemporary novel near and dear to my heart. It’s about gender, guns, guts and God. I’ve never written anything quite like it. While the book has gone through heavy editing from critique partners, I also need a new editor for this book. Once the edits are complete, The Lightning Giver will be released in paperback, hardcover, kindle and audio format this year.
I believe you all will like this book. It’s quirky and there is nothing quite like it on the market.
The Blessing is Space Opera. There will be aliens, a kick-ass dad, stuff blowing up in space, spaceships, snarky protagonists, and all-around butt-kicking under a humanity-positive thematic guaranteed to be so uplifting that I’m sure some dogmatic political correct asshole will leave me a 1-star review for being a non-leftist white guy that I will print out and frame. I’ve fully outlined this novel, but I’m not going to work on it until Death by Lingerie is in editing.
Leave it below in the comments. That’s it for 2015.
Pre-ordering the Kindle book will help me out immensely.
Out of the Gifford-Pinchot Forest stumbles a wælcyrie, shot with irradiated bullets and radiation poisoned unto death. To kill a wælcyrie, a slowly dying species engineered by humans in the war to help them fight is an unforgivable, vile crime. Lexus vows to bring the killer to justice, even if she has to go undercover in one of the worst places she can imagine: high school.
And man, do I ever love this cover. I loves it so muchies! The wrap-around version for the hardcover is also spectacular.
While the go-live date on Amazon is set for January 30, the book will go live before then.
The Wælcyrie Murders by Anthony Pacheco
Editing by Jamie Wilson
Cover Art by Duncan Long
Cover Design and Layout by Kate Strawbridge, Dwell Design & Press