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Archive for the ‘Craft Sequence’ Category

Author Duels and AMAs and Kickstarters Oh My

Hello friends!

I’m recovering from the Odinsleep here, but here are some fun things to share!  If you want the full Tor Tour experience, it turns out that our entire Author Duel at Phoenix Books in Burlington, VT was filmed and has made it onto the web.  Check out Elizabeth Bear, Brian Staveley, Jim Cambias, and I in full high-def and well-miked glory!

I’m pretty excited by this—it’s not often that I hear my own voice on a recording without flinching.

I’ve embedded the video above, but embeds don’t seem to transfer very well to the RSS feed or to Goodreads—if you don’t see a video, try watching on Youtube via this link!

Also last week I did an epic four hour long AMA on the fantasy subreddit.  I’ve done one of these for each release so far, and it’s been enormously entertaining each time.  This round the questions (and answers) were off the wall, and included some excellent speculation on skeleton sex.  Tor.com did a roundup here, and you can read the full AMA here.

Outside of that I’ve been catching up on the many, many balls I dropped while on tour, and starting edits on The Highway Kind, which feels pretty great.  I enjoy travel, meeting readers, catching up with friends—but there’s no feeling quite like getting back to The Real Work.

Speaking of The Real Work: Uncanny Magazine is Kickstarting its second year!  Lynn and Michael Thomas and their team put together a really fantastic first year of the magazine—I mean, yes, they published a short story by me, so they have that flaw in their judgment, but otherwise Uncanny’s first year collected a great, expansive cast of fantastic writers and poets and artists, and I’m proud to be supporting their second year’s run.  I can’t wait to see their plans for Year Two.  Check out the Kickstarter! I’m part of two backer rewards: I’m offering a 5,000 word manuscript critique—warning: I ain’t gentle—and a dinner sort of thing—check it out!  Uncanny feels to me like a bright vision of where SF is going.  Scan their first year if you’re interested, and do consider backing the Kickstarter.

A Bit of a Love Letter to Kip Thorne Honestly

Hi everyone!  I’m back at Tor.com this week, with a post about Interstellar and Kip Thorne.  Behold: an essay in which I get excitable and incoherent about science writing!  Read the rest here!

Or, if you’re interested, I’m trying a strange experiment: video!  What experiment is this, you say.  Here, says I:

What do you think?  Worth doing more?  Oh my god Gladstone stay off our video internet?

Other news: I’ve published a rare Craft Sequence short story, as part of the Shared Nightmares anthology.  It’s available right now wherever fine books and ebooks are sold, stars Tara and Abelard, and is a piece of good clean fun about nightmares and office technology.  Enjoy!

Oh, and though it should go without saying: it’s Christmastime!  Have you considered possibly acquiring a nice new book for you and / or your friends?

Indiana Jones, Tor.com Column, Website Updates!

First things first: for your regular weekly dose of crazy Max thoughts about weird geek stuff, go check out this article I wrote for Tor.com on why Indiana Jones isn’t that bad of an archaeologist really:

Indiana Jones isn’t that bad of an archaeologist.

I mean, okay, the low relative quality of his archaeological expeditions is so notorious it’s become a bit of a truism. There’s a great McSweeney’s list of the reasons Herr Doktor Jones was denied tenure. Even as I make this argument, I can hear friends of mine who spent their summers on digs cringe inside, across the continent. (Hi, Celia!) But hear me out. This won’t take long.

(Looks at rest of essay)

Um. Maybe it will. Keep reading anyway.

This brings us to an important housekeeping issue: starting with this post, I’ll be over at Tor.com once every other week, posting weird off-the-wall essays on geek madness.  Since blog post writing (especially at this length) cuts into fiction-writing time, I’ll be restricting myself to brief posts on this site on the weeks a Tor.com piece goes live—mostly pointing your way to the Tor.com column.  I have Grand Schemes about multimedia elements to complement the Tor.com pieces, but that will take shape when I have more time than I do at the moment.

Speaking of which: second important housekeeping issue!  Due to Deadline Confluence, I’ll be less available on social media and the like than usual for the rest of the year.  Basically I’ll be keeping old-fashioned Visiting Hours—I’m At Home to Friends or Reasonable Facsimiles Thereof on Twitter and Facebook Monday and Wednesday afternoons.  All other times, my currently live Schemes require above-average levels of Brutal Focus.  Plus side: if I come through this alive, you’ll have a book, and a game, and I might be able to play Dragon Age: Inquisition!

Third important housekeeping issue!  I’ve done most of the website redesign I’ve planned.  The site doesn’t look much different, but I’ve created individual book pages, added a description for the Craft Sequence, and given you a menu of delectable and free short fiction upon which to browse.  Also, my Events page is up to date with confirmed Con appearances through August!  Coming soon: fan art gallery.

Fourth—ah, no, this really isn’t a housekeeping issue, it’s just that Breaking Bad / Frozen video you’ve seen elsewhere.  Still great though!

Craft Sequence Gaming at AnonyCon!

Hello, dear friends, and please take care not to fall into the enormous pit in the center of my website!  Also, be careful when sampling the cream-filled pastries, some of which may have been filled with Grimwald Variegated Industries Nanite Superweapon Lifelike Cream Substitute [tm, pat. pend.] due to a catering mishap.  All of which is to say: I’ll be updating the site over the course of the next week or so, and as Wordpress hackery goes, I’m one hell of a hack.  I’ll do my best to offer a seamless transition, but I’m not exactly the Lord King of UX Testing, so if something breaks for your edge-case browser, please do let me know.

I had a wonderful time at the World Fantasy Convention this year, though I think I’ll be the next week or two recovering from the sleep debt incurred those four days.  Cons, as I may have observed on this site before, are ritual spaces—for three days a dedicated corps of acolytes creates a space which is by definition tangent to all other ritual spaces of the same tradition.  (Though it occurs to me that this view of ritual space may be particularly Abrahamic, or maybe even post-Christian—the opposition of ritual space and holy place… Fruit for further research & / or blog entries.)  Cons transform otherwise unassuming Marriotts to lands of adventure—or at least to places where staying up until 4 AM talking about social dynamics in live action roleplaying makes sense.  I had a wonderful time with too many people to list—though I tried on Facebook as soon as I came back from the con, and of course left out a bunch of people and as a result now feel kinda like a heel.  Anyway!

My next con follows hot on the heels of World Fantasy: AnonyCon in Stamford, CT, from Dec. 5 – 7.  AnonyCon is a gaming convention I’ve attended with friends off and on since college.  For the last couple years we’ve been working on games in the Craft Sequence universe—an announcement I’m happy to make today!

Michael Seidman has been working on a Craft Sequence d20 system which we’ll be road-testing this con—and I’ll run a God Wars game using, naturally, Mythender, the only con-weight system I know with a power level high enough.  If you’ve ever wanted to game in the Craft world, this is your chance.  Here are the games!  The Mythender game’s on the schedule already, and the d20 games should be there soon:

God Wars – Mythender

2-6 PM Saturday, Dec 6

Max Gladstone

Welcome to the God Wars. You and your teammates are Craftsmen, once-human magic-users fighting for human freedom from the dark gods that rule the world. Create a lich king, a demon accountant, a bankruptcy necromancer—and go punch a God of Thunder in the face. But will the destruction you wreak loose your already-fragile hold on humanity? Characters created at session. Come with concepts. Some familiarity with the Craft Sequence preferred; general desire to murder gods a plus.

God Wars is a game using the Mythender system. If you prefer to use your own dice, bring d6s. Bring lots of d6s. You may not own enough d6s for this game. The rulebook suggests a four-player group can get by with 170 dice. The GM will bring dice cubes.

So Sue Me

(Not yet scheduled)

Mike Seidman

Your team has been hired to represent a local colony of intelligent worms in a lawsuit against one of the most powerful firms in the Iskari Empire. What could possibly go wrong?

The next two games may or may not be run, depending on schedule—

Are You Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

An office building in the city of Kol ‘ir, built by the Iskari architectural firm Koralli Consolidated, has suffered significant fire damage despite being warded against such events. Koralli has sent the team to investigate what happened, why the wards failed, and what needs to be done to repair the place and ensure it stays safe. Pre-generated characters provided.

The Iskari Treasure Fleet

The great nation of Iskar is bringing the riches home from its diverse colonial holdings. Despite the powerful magics, curses, and blessings designed to ensure a safe voyage, the trip is not without risk, especially for those newly drafted into service with the Iskari Merchant Marine.

There’s a chance Mike will run revised versions of two other Craft Sequence games, depending on demand and his own availability.  So, yeah—if you’re in the Connecticut area and want to game in the Craft world, hie thee hence!  Also I’ll be hanging around signing books and stuff, so there’s that.

I’ll be updating the con appearance section soon with confirmed dates for 2015.  Stay tuned!  And take a pastry on your way out

Wait, no, not that

-static follows-


Full Fathom Five Cover Reveal!

Hello, friends and neighbors! I have emerged from the Editorial Mines, covered in word-dust, to share with you the cover for my next book, Full Fathom Five.  Get ready:

Full Fathom Five


Awesome, non?  This is a draft of the cover—text isn’t final yet, for example—but I love it.  I’ve pushed the story into new territory—this book is the Craft Sequence by way of Black Diamond Bay, featuring new characters as well as a few returning favorites from Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise.  Skulduggery, slam poetry, offshore banking, spy shenanigans, the nightmare telegraph, and more.  On the island of Kavekana, caught between the gods that rule the Old World and the undead wizards that rule the New, a defrocked and godless priestess struggles to save her career—and her soul. Coming this July!