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Look Ma, I’m a reviewer!

August 22, 2018

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I’ve had a lot of reviews written *about* my books, but I’ve never written any myself, at least not officially. Until now! I’ve started writing for the New York Journal of Books as a science fiction and fantasy reviewer. Here’s my first review:

(Spoiler: it’s a good one!)




The Campbell Award!

June 24, 2018

winning-the-campbell.jpgIn an astonishing turn of events, THE GENIUS PLAGUE was just named the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best Novel of the Year!  I am now in Lawrence, Kansas (a hub of SF appreciation and scholarship) to accept the award, which has been given over the last 45 years to some of my favorite books and authors.  The large award next to me in the picture is the permanent award, which has the names of every winner engraved on it… including now, me.  I can’t express what an incredible honor this is.  I can vividly remember as a young man staying up late to finish Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke, and sitting straight up in bed with a rush of goosebumps at its astonishing last line.  That book won the 2nd Campbell Award in 1974.  Other winners stand out in my memory: The Postman, by David Brin and Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress, both books that showed me how powerful science fiction can be to speak to the human condition, both in our tendency to choose to hate or harm as well as our capability for heroism and self-sacrifice.  The list of authors and books is long and awe-inspiring, and for my name to be permanently etched among them is an honor beyond words.

(Picture taken by Charlie Jane Anders, who received the Sturgeon Award for best short fiction at the same ceremony.)



Best of 2017!

December 21, 2017

wsjAmazing news: The Wall Street Journal named The Genius Plague one of the best science fiction books of 2017!  They listed only five books.  The other four were:

  • All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai
  • The Berlin Project, by Gregory Benford
  • Change Agent, by Daniel Suarez
  • Artemis, by Andy Weir

I’m blown away that they picked mine, of all the books that came out this year.  Thanks, WSJ!



Back For More Plague

November 28, 2017

THE GENIUS PLAGUE is back for a second printing already!  This is great news — it means the book is selling well and they’ve already had to print another batch to keep up with demand.  It also means the book has been out of print on Amazon for the last week and a half, because the distribution warehouses ran out of copies.  (If you want to grab a deal, the paperback is only $9.91 on Amazon right now, and I’m sure the price will jump back up again once the book is back in stock.)

The Continuum

November 22, 2017

Contiuum Front CoverI invited author Wendy Nikel to my blog to answer a few questions about her new time travel book (coming out in January) called THE CONTINUUM.  It tells the story of a professional time traveler whose job involves keeping tourists out of trouble on their trips into the past. Despite her expertise, she finds herself in over her head when she’s sent a hundred years into the future.  Unfortunately, you can’t leap forward in time to buy the book, but you can preorder it!  Now, here’s Wendy:

1. Many time travel stories have been written over the years.  What makes THE CONTINUUM different from the others?

THE CONTINUUM grew out of a short story that I wrote in the summer of 2012. My local library district was sponsoring a writing contest, and even though it’d been years since I’d written anything, I had the idea of a time travel company where people could take “vacations” into the past when they just need to get away from the stresses of the present-day. In my short story, I also played with the idea of memory — that the very act of time travel might affect the way the human mind processes their “out-of-time” experiences. Some of these ideas eventually made it into THE CONTINUUM.

In my story, time travel takes place in our world, but those who use it go to great lengths to ensure that it’s kept secret, knowing that it would cause major issues if everyone knew what was possible. For Elise, my main character, time travel is a normal part of her life, but it’s not something she can share with anyone else, which isn’t an easy.TimeTravelTues

2. What time travel stories are your favorites?

I’m a huge fan of Jack Finney’s About Time anthology, which contains a dozen stories featuring time travel.

I’ve been posting some #TimeTravelTues discussions on twitter in anticipation of THE CONTINUUM’s release, and in one of them, I listed a dozen or so more recent time travel stories I’ve read and enjoyed as well. You can check them all out in the thread beginning here:

3.  Time travel stories always struggle with paradox problems, and authors take different approaches to address them (or ignore them!)  What approach have you taken in THE CONTINUUM?

One of the reasons I love time travel stories is because so many of them contain these little logic puzzles, and it’s fun to sort out how the time travel “works” in each story.

In THE CONTINUUM, different characters have their own theories about how time travel works. Because time travel is such a recent development, no one knows for sure, but Elise and her coworkers operate on the assumption that the timeline could be dynamic, and that it’s their job to prevent any ripples if that’s the case. Throughout the story, however, her theories are challenged and put to the test in ways she’d never expected.


Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionNature: Futures, and elsewhere. For more info, visit or sign up for her newsletter HERE and receive a FREE short story ebook.

THE CONTINUUM is available for pre-order via World Weaver Press.

Release date: January 23, 2018. (LINK)


Prometheus Award

November 14, 2017

The Genius Plague was nominated for the Prometheus Award! It’s one of 9 nominees, and the winner won’t be announced until next summer, but still very cool. The Prometheus Award has been given every year since 1979 by the Libertarian Futurist Society for science fiction that “dramatizes the value of freedom and human rights, exposes the dangers of tyranny or explores the perennial tensions between Liberty and Power.” So…um…I guess I did that!

Goodreads giveaway of The Genius Plague!

November 2, 2017

My publisher is giving away copies of The Genius Plague on Goodreads!  Enter the giveaway here:

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