Archive for the ‘Richards & Klein’ Category

Brexit had me hiding from social media these last few weeks. It’s precisely the sort of complicated issue that is impossible to discuss on the confirmation bias machine that is the modern web, so I’ve steered well clear. Potted version of my opinion runs thusly – I can see both sides of the argument, and although I was shocked and very saddened by the result, it won’t be the end of the world. Life goes on.

And so moving on. Commercial necessity brought me down from my ivory tower (well, it looks like an ivory tower, but it’s constructed from papier-mache made of the torn up drafts of rejected stories and the glue of scorn) with the release of The Ghoul King last week. I thought maybe it would be a good time to talk about what’s coming soon.

Last month I went to Nottingham to visit Black Library and discuss my schedule for the next couple of years. The upshot of this is that I’ll be writing plenty for them throughout 2016-2017, including a fair bit of Horus Heresy. We made some further, tentative plans for 2018. If you like my Warhammer stuff, you should be happy. I’ve finished Dante, and am literally about to start typing my next project for them today.

Coming out from BL over the next few months are Shadowsword, the sequel to Baneblade. Crusaders of Dorn collects all my Black Templars fiction thus far except The Eternal Crusader. It includes a text version of my audio drama “The Glorious Tomb” and a brand new story, “The Uncanny Crusade”. And of course there’s The Beheading, the Terra-shaking conclusion to The Beast Arises.

In not-Games Workshop land, I’ve three short stories coming out in anthologies; one which I don’t think I can talk about yet. The second is “The Reckoning”, a mythos-slanted take on Christopher Marlowe’s death for Jonathan Green’s Shakespeare versus Cthulhu.

The third should make a few of you happy. I can reveal that I’m finally writing another Richards & Klein story (though this is more Richards than Klein), which will be actually published in an actual book. I did start a novella for self-publishing purposes, but I’ve been held back by my massively packed schedule and a narrative problem – to advance the story, I need to write about what happened to Klein’s wife, which needs a novel, and the novella wasn’t about that so there was an odd jump in the story and well, you know. Time, never enough time. The novella stalled. I will get back on it at some point.

I’m also writing another top-secret fantasy book which I can say nothing about, and finally, I’ve been working on a collaboration with a certain other SF author. We’re close to getting that to publishers, so will announce it when there’s something concrete to say.




I’ve been having some consultations with proper pro people about my online life. One thing that came up was me asking you to rate my books on Amazon and Goodreads. Really? You actually, really think I should ask that? Holy cow.

I haven’t done this very much because I’m British. The very thought of saying “Go! Go rate my books! Tell me how marvellous I am!” to people I’ve never looked in the eye over a teacup makes me shudder in my boots. It fills me with such a profound sense of shame I imagine slipping away from my life in the dead of night to join the Foreign Legion, leaving nothing but a poignant confessional on tear-stained notepaper. It’s just not the done thing.

But, you know what? To an extent sales are driven by ratings. Internet algorithms are. So I’m going to fight down the nausea and say, “If you enjoy my work, please take the time to rate it online.”

This is of course self-serving. Fundamentally it’s about my bank balance. But it’s not just about me (except it is. Shush now me!). It’s about you too. If you like my books and rate them, that encourages other folk to buy them. If people buy enough, my publishers are happy and I get to write more. So if you’ve wanted more Richards and Klein stories, or a sequel to Crash, or you want the Black Library to make me chief goblin wrangler, click a few star buttons. It’ll help.

God, I feel dirty now. Horribly dirty, and not in a good way. I need a lie down and some absinthe just to wash the taste from my mouth. I may be away a while.

Tomorrow is the great Facebook reorganisation! Keep in touch, like my official page.

81FWmsjEISL._SL1500_Champion of Mars, still 99p! Also on offer in America!

Afternoon. I’m in-between projects right now (no, not like a “resting” actor, cheeky. I’ve an original novel to finish, but don’t want to start on that until the very last bits of my most recent BL works are all done and dusted, okay?).   I am therefore pratting about on the internet. There’s a lot I’ve been meaning to do online, and now seems like a good time to do it.

One of those things is self-publishing, specifically of Richards & Klein material. It is, as they say, where all the smart money is going these days.  So I thought I’d write a couple more stories concerning our favourite future detectives and see what happens.

Today is the start of that. I’ve put Richards & Klein: Ghost up on Amazon kindle. Yeah, I know this was freely available (not any more, I’m afraid), but I had to start somewhere. On the plus side, it is now available in a popular ereader format rather than as just a word doc, and I have rewritten it ever-so-slightly. It’s up for $1.28, the lowest price I could put it on for. Show your support of R&K! It’ll help me gauge interest.

But for those of you who are disappointed – and this is a big ‘but’ – I am writing that Richards & Klein story I posted about a while ago, wherein Richards and Otto look for a lost dog. This will set up the next major R&K story, and be a sizeable story of novella length in its own right. It is a substantial investment of time, but if it makes me £200, I’ll write another. And then another. Deal? This is not flim-flam. I have the bit between my teeth, and wrote over 2000 words of it today already, despite my various muckings about. I plan to get it finished by the end of the month, but my effort will almost certainly correlate with how many copies of ‘Ghost’ I sell. Sorry about that, but one has to eat…

I’ve been offline for the last couple of weeks. I’m still moving, I’m still on my own, I’m slowly going potty. Eight weeks this has taken! When will I get to move?

Ahem. Sorry.

My lad has had another week off school, shunting all my work into the evenings. Resultantly, blogging rather went down the list of priorities.

But as I’ve just completed my rough draft of my next Black Library novella, I will get back into the swing of burbling on to no really good end right here, and have a little time to bring you this.

Here’s something a bit different. A few people (and I mean primarily you, John Salter) have asked if I’ll be doing more Richards & Klein. The answer to this question is, as always, yes, but I have to prioritise immediately paying work, and any further stories featuring our near-future detective duo will probably be self-published. In short, you may have to wait.

However, I have been working on something. Below is a very, very rough draft of the opening to a new Richards & Klein novella entitled “His Master’s Voice” (alternate titles could include “Richards & Klein Go Dogging”), in which Otto and Richards go looking for a lost dog. Let me know what you think. Inspired by The Island of Dr Moreau and the excellent Dogfellow’s Ghost by Gavin Smith, this will be the last R&K story for some time with verbose animals in it, I promise. If enough people bug me about it, I’ll finish it off this summer, okay? If enough people buy it, I’ll write another R&K book. I’ve ideas for three further, long stories: one set on the Moon, one set on Earth (emphatically not in the Grid), and one that takes in Japan and in the outer solar system. Bear in mind, I started writing this two years ago, so if you want to see any of that, you really are going to have to bug me.

Rough draft-y things here include no proofing, unfinished writing, shortened scenes, and obviously no ending. I also haven’t decided when to set it. I’d like it to go after Omega Point, but if it does then one has to wonder why Otto isn’t fretting about his, um, problem more. We’ll see.

Click “read the rest of this entry” to, pretty obviously, read the rest of this entry. In this case, the story. Look! Here it comes…


Seasons greetings all!

Yep, snow is falling on my blog. It looks like dandruff, but it is supposed to be snow. That means Christmas approaches, and so do many deadlines… Ulp.

But I’ve been so remiss in not blogging, so here’s a short message.

For your delectation today, I have three marvellous pieces of news. First, here’s the cover of The Crash, my second book for Solaris, out next June:


It’s a work in progress right now, but it’s nearly done, I think. For a description of the book, see my previous post.

Another announcement – I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked to write a short story for the Black Library’s advent calendar this year! I can’t tell you what it is about, because it’s Christmas and Christmas is all about surprises, but I can tell you that it will be available on 17th December. Click on the link to find out more.

Lastly, if you go here to Whatever, John Scalzi’s blog, you can see me dance like a monkey on an electric wire (figuratively speaking), trying to get people to consider  Reality 36, Omega Point, and Champion of Mars as Christmas presents. You mean you hadn’t thought of that yourself? Then think about it. It’s a great idea. Really.

Ahem, I should mention that Mr Scalzi has thrown open his blog to all authors,  other books are available, and indeed, there are many other writers in the thread talking about their own books, many of which sound pretty damn fine.

If you’re a writer yourself, I heartily advise taking advantage of Scalzi’s generosity and join in the festive PR frenzy.

Later this week, I’ll be posting the cover for my next 40k book, The Death of Integrity.  Till then, stay frosty, it’s cold enough to do so, even if it is unfashionable to say so (at least it’s not raining any more here in England. And it has been raining ALL YEAR).

So I said that I’d publish something new every weekday, I lasted a fortnight, and then fell away. Sue me! (No actually don’t. I have no money, and you will ruin me).

In truth I’m waiting on the pieces on a few projects to slot into place, because then I should have a number of excellent announcements to shout about. I’ve been waiting thinking “Oh, that’ll make a far more interesting post than what I had in mind,” and of course they have not been quite ready, and time has slipped on. I’m also stretched right now, as I’m editing a magazine for SFX and writing a novel for [CENSORED]. Normal service will resume soon.

In the meantime, there have been a number of nice reviews of Champion of Mars, at Fantasy Bytes, The Founding Fields, and Starburst, also a good one of Omega Point at Kate of Mind.

Actually, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has reviewed my books, good and bad scores both. The biggest single problem with being a new writer is that no one knows who the hell you are. I’ve been thinking about getting your name “out there” and finding your audience, and the problems and opportunities modern tech gives us in fulfilling that aim. I may well blog on it soon. For now, thanks very much to everyone who takes time to post their opinions after reading the books. Each one helps me reach new readers.

There’ll be another one of my irregular Monday short stories on (surprise!) Monday, next week; a fantasy. Let me know what you think. I’ll try to get a bunch of reviews and that up here too soon. Honest.

Now back to twiddling my thumbs, waiting to tell you the exciting stuff I know… I mean, writing furiously to get this book for [CENSORED] finished.