Shadows of Our Fathers Update

Shadows-of-our-fathers_4AWe’re in the home stretch on Shadows of Our Fathers. I have received a cover from Damonza that I absolutely love. Damonza has been an absolute delight to work with. Anytime I have asked for changes, they have delivered, and I am not the easiest person to please. I really do appreciate the three covers they have done.

I plan to do another readthrough of Shadows of Our Fathers this weekend, after the Nebulas, and see if there is anything I can see that needs to be tightened up before release. As with The Goblin Rebellion, there is a lull in the action at the beginning where the plot is being setup for the book. After the devastation of The Goblin Rebellion, I think readers need this kind of lull and rebuild. But I could be wrong. If you’d like to be involved in the final beta reading before launch, let me know. To see how the covers will look together, I’m including small versions below.

What do you think of the third cover? Like it? Love it? Dislike it? Let me know!

Going to the Nebulas!

I have been invited to attend the Nebula Awards Mass Autograph Signing event here in Pittsburgh, and I plan to bring copies of my newly released Sixth Edition and Second Edition paperbacks for Lucifer’s Odyssey and The Goblin Rebellion, respectively. If you’re in Pittsburgh, and you’ve got an hour or two to burn, please stop by and see me and some really fantastic Science Fiction and Fantasy authors. You can find more information here:

http://nebulas.sfwa.org/nebula-conference/2017-mass-autographing-event/

Primal Patterns Series Re-launch

In preparation for the release of Shadows of Our Fathers, I have added new content to Lucifer’s Odyssey and The Goblin Rebellion, and I am redoing covers and blurbs. Because the books will be different, including a new author’s note for Lucifer’s Odyssey to help explain how the series differs from biblical canon, I have taken the series down for now.

To give you a glimpse into these new changes, I wanted to show you the new covers and blurbs for the first two books.


Damonza_Lucifers_Odyssey_1BWhat if Earth was not the only planet Jehovah cared about? What if humanity was not the only intelligent race that Jehovah had created? What if the war between angels and demons had a much more ancient history that spanned three universes and many billions of light years of space?

The Lucifer’s Fall trilogy of the Primal Patterns series is the story of the most celebrated demon warrior and king in history, and the birth of a moral and intellectual renaissance in the Chaos Universe. The first book, “Lucifer’s Odyssey”, traces the demon prince Lucifer from his imprisonment by Jehovah on Earth to the betrayal of his parents in Chaos and a shaky alliance with the Elven people. Filled with irreverent humor and fast paced action, Lucifer’s Odyssey beckons you to take a journey through space and time into a story where elven technology meets the ruthlessness of the demon race and the potential of Jehovah’s great creations.

“Lucifer’s Odyssey” is the first book of the Lucifer’s Fall trilogy, and book one in the Primal Patterns series.


The-goblin-rebellion_4_BLucifer has become King of Chaos, and the elves and demons have repaired their relationship. To those on the outside, Jehovah’s plans for the multiverse may appear to be in peril. But the Lord works in mysterious ways…

Jehovah imprisons Lucifer’s son and enlists the support of elven dissidents who have lost loved ones to Lucifer’s past deeds. Lucifer’s reforms in Chaos spark controversy at home and abroad, and the bond between the elven king Elandril and the demon king Lucifer grows stronger despite the protests of political elites in the elven capital of Arnessa. To get at the demons, Jehovah must isolate them. An enemy alliance is only as strong as its weakest link.

“The Goblin Rebellion” is the second book of the Lucifer’s Fall trilogy, and book two in the Primal Patterns series.


The cover for Shadows of our Fathers is still being worked on by Damonza. Once I have that ready, I’ll post that too. Do you like where things are going? What do you think of the changes?

Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell

ghost-in-the-shell-scarlett-johansson-600x324

Let me give you the short version first. I have no idea what is wrong with audiences or critics who have been complaining about this film. It is very timely. It is gorgeous, and it is a good movie.

Actually, I can very directly tell you why this movie has been torpedoed by critics. It has essentially been plagued by issues with typecasting, whitewashing, etc. that have been blown way the heck out of proportion, e.g., in reviews like this. I’m not going to go into that. It’s a waste of time. Instead, let’s focus on the film itself.

My first point is that the film is timely. It’s about your personality and your privacy in the digital age. Republicans are pushing a bill that allows for your personal data, history and possibly even content to be sold by ISPs. Similar to how Major has no real rights to her mind, her thoughts, and even her own body. We’re incorporating devices into our lives that are going to be even more personal than smartphones. Implants, though they seem so farfetched, are not that far off in our future. There is already so much pressure on teenagers and young people to conform to a certain type of beauty and a certain type of online, social intelligence, that it is not farfetched to believe that a social pressure might be exerted to enhance beauty with implants. In South Korea, the rate of plastic surgery is astronomical to conform to beauty standards within the society.

As more of our job market is taken over by robots, there is going to be an incredible amount of pressure on the next two generations to push themselves scholastically to be able to get a job. Is it so farfetched to believe that people might resort to implants to store more information, help them process data faster, and learn faster? Do jobs faster? Be stronger? Be smarter? Be better? And who owns that data? According to our current congress, it’s going to be the companies. So, this movie is extremely timely. You should watch the movie if for no other reason than to keep that idea fresh in your mind.

Second, the movie has a solid flow and is comfortable to watch. The characters are reasonably well-defined on a sci-fi concept that is markedly different from our world today. World building in a 2 hour movie can be a hard thing, but the director did a good job of not just world building but also character development and story plotting (editors I’m sure had a lot to do with that).

Third, the movie is downright beautiful. The robots, such as the geishas, are really well done. It presents the ugliness in humans as well as our softer features and beauty, in a way. It presents the scenery of a Shanghai or Hong Kong or Tokyo built to the extreme that all anime and cyber punk books have pushed since the 80s. My wife didn’t like the 3D projections on buildings, but it’s not that far off from what you would expect to see after visiting a major Asian metropolis right now.

The movie is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. There is absolutely zero reason to avoid it in theaters. My wife and I both enjoyed it, and she absolutely hates anime. I doubt she could have sat through the original movie. This movie SHOULD have opened up American audiences to these important themes about digital privacy and self in an age of implants and cybernetics (which is fast upon us), but because of whitewashing conversations run amok, we’ll have to wait longer to have that conversation on a large scale. I would still recommend seeing it.

Covers and Updates, oh my!

If you’ve been following my blog here, then you are probably aware that I’ve been looking lo_oldcoverfor a new cover artist to finish my novel series. Believe it or not, this has stressed me out since 2012 and was one of the reasons I had put Shadows of Our Fathers on the backburner. On that note, I’m still looking for a beta reader or two, so if you would like to get an edited draft in your hands, please let me know.

Anyway, foDamonza_Lucifers_Odyssey_1r the cover redesigns, I’m going with Damonza as they are very reputable, have great work, and I took the plunge. So far, I’m extremely impressed with their work. Let me show you one of the first designs they sent and the design I am moving forward with (but with adding Lucifer’s wings).

I cannot speak more highly of working with Alisha and Chrissy at Damonza. Since this first image, I’ve asked for modifications to make it fit with the book, and they’ve come through with flying colors. It’s amazing what they can do with images these days. I seriously couldn’t be more impressed, and I’m looking forward to the designs for The Goblin Rebellion and Shadows of Our Fathers.

There are two other big updates to make. The first is that I plan on writing different prologues for the release of the third book Shadows of Our Fathers. These will be notes from Archimedes lectures to his students on primal patterns and will help readers visualize the primals and how they project universes, shadows, souls, etc. I may put some drawings in here to help.

The second update is that my short story “Remembrance Day” was accepted into the final consideration list for the PARSEC Short Story Contest covering “A hidden underlying truth”. I’m really excited about this hard sci-fi short story, and I hope it reaches a good audience. In bad news, my story “Shelly and the Contessa” was rejected by the Triangulation Short Story Contest for “Appetites” theme. The rejection letter was really generic and literally just said “Thanks for sending ‘Shelly and the Contessa’ our way, but I’m going to pass”. “Shelly and the Contessa” was written specifically for the contest, and was sort of written more for a female audience so my wife would read it ;D. I’ve included the short story below. Who knows, maybe I’ll make the story into a novel one day. Hope you enjoy!

ShellyAndTheContessa (complete short story submitted/rejected from Triangulation)

Help! Need back cover advice!

My cover artist stopped responding to requests for new work, and I am in the process of redoing all of my novel covers in the series. I plan to go through Damonza for the cover design, but I am also planning on redoing the back cover content as well as the bookseller descriptions at Amazon, B&N, etc. Here is what I’m working right now. Feedback/guidance is appreciated.

Lucifer’s Odyssey

lo_oldcoverWhat if the war between angels and demons had a much more ancient history that spanned three universes and many billions of light years of space? What if humanity’s vision of apocalypse was really a glimpse into the mind of a god whose thirst for vengeance was only matched by his unique, omniscient intelligence?

The Lucifer’s Fall trilogy of the Primal Patterns series is the story of the most celebrated demon warrior and king in history, and the birth of a moral and intellectual renaissance in the Chaos Universe. The first book, “Lucifer’s Odyssey”, traces the demon prince Lucifer from his imprisonment on Earth to the betrayal of his parents in Chaos and a shaky alliance with the Elven people. Filled with irreverent humor and fast paced action, Lucifer’s Odyssey beckons you to take a journey through space and time into a story where elven technology meets the ruthlessness of the demon race and the potential of Jehovah’s great creations.

“Lucifer’s Odyssey” is the first book of the Lucifer’s Fall trilogy, and book one in the Primal Patterns series

The Goblin Rebellion

thegoblinrebellion_webLucifer has become King of Chaos, and the elves and demons have repaired their relationship. To those on the outside, Jehovah’s plans for the multiverse may appear to be in peril. But the Lord works in mysterious ways…

Jehovah imprisons Lucifer’s son and enlists the support of elven dissidents who have lost loved ones to Lucifer’s past deeds. Lucifer’s reforms in Chaos spark controversy at home and abroad, and the bond between the elven king Elandril and the demon king Lucifer grows stronger despite the protests of political elites in the elven capital of Arnessa. To get at the demons, Jehovah must isolate them. An enemy alliance is only as strong as its weakest link.

“The Goblin Rebellion” is the second book of the Lucifer’s Fall trilogy, and book two in the Primal Patterns series.

Shadows of Our Fathers

Angels and demons fall as the Great War between Order and Chaos comes to a close. For those who thought Jehovah’s days of smiting stopped in the Old Testament, it’s time to give the devil his due.

In the face of democratic and social reforms, the Chaos Universe struggles with its past while pursuing the future that King Lucifer promises. While the demons thrive, the creator of the Elven universe looks to his own past for the salvation of his favorite immortals. Jehovah’s wife Gaea and son Isaac seek asylum in Chaos as Lucifer and Jehovah have their final, apocalyptic battle.

“Shadows of Our Fathers” is the last book of the Lucifer’s Fall trilogy, and book three in the Primal Patterns series.

What do you guys think?

Updates on the workshop and Mary’s talk

So, if you missed me and Mary Robinette Kowal at CMU in Pittsburgh yesterday (Sunday, 2/12/2017), then you missed a really great time.

At 1:00 p.m., I gave a writing workshop called “The Art of the Character Study”, which talked about a technique I use to break out of writer’s block, deal with the dilemma of show vs tell, and write interesting characters. We had 16 people signed up, and I think the workshop went really well. If you missed the workshop, but you’d like to see the slides (not the example Character Studies I brought, which I think everyone liked), you can see the slides here:

The Art of the Character Study (PPT | PDF)

kowal1-500x496At 3:00 p.m., I introduced Mary and she talked about her career in puppetry and how it has influenced her science fiction and writing career. She also talked about diversity in science fiction, the obligations of being a writer, and a lot about the industry. Afterword, we had a book signing with both authors, and I gave away several paperback versions of Lucifer’s Odyssey and The Goblin Rebellion (if you haven’t picked up these covers, know that I am going to be changing these very, very soon). We then had dinner at the Union Grill with students, writers, and artists and talked about all kinds of fun subjects. Topics ranged from the Nebula awards to the future of robotics in science fiction and the real world. It was a lot of fun, and Mary is of course a fascinating thinker and speaker.

Other updates: I submitted a short story called “Remembrance Day” to the Parsec Ink – 2017 Parsec Short Story Contest – A Hidden Underlying Truth contest. The story is about a boy who learns about the real reason behind humanity’s collaboration and harmony in the near future. If you have your own ideas about “a hidden, underlying truth”, feel free to submit your own!

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