A pair of cosmic engineers, responsible for constructing The Earth, have misplaced a jar of Cosmic Building Material, essentially, the universe’s DNA. And with the inventory due to be taken, they need to get it back quickly or face the ultimate punishment.
Meanwhile on Earth, a pair of young backpackers are travelling across Europe, looking for someone who can tell them about a mysterious jar found in a cave in New Zealand, unaware that others, exiled from Eternity, will stop at nothing to take it from them.
It’s a entertaining story, broken into small chunks which can be read as time allows (helpful if you find it difficult to carve out an hour or two at a time). Even the minor characters are fleshed out enough to make them part of the story instead of props. And as the story wraps up with some surprising twists, even the most villainous of the characters begins to show signs of redemption.
The usual rule with a scandal is that when it first breaks, you start off with the angry denials. This goes on for a few weeks, with increasingly intense press coverage, until at last you get to the next stage, the tearful confession. Well, let’s skip over all that and go straight to the part where the accused becomes the prosecution’s star witness and throws his co-conspirators under the bus in exchange for leniency….
At the 2017 Farpoint convention, I attended the panel for Crazy 8 Press. As nearly as I can remember, most of the Crazy 8 authors were present: Peter David, Robert Greenberger, Michael Jan Friedman, Russ Colchamiro, Aaron Rosenberg and Glenn Hauman. Only Paul Kupperberg was missing (Mary Fan hadn’t yet joined the collective). Kathleen David was sitting in the audience.
The panel started off with comments that the group is looking for ways to boost their book sales, with some dark humor thrown in about how Peter’s book sales skyrocketed after his stroke several years ago. So naturally the question was raised of who was willing to “take one for the team” and boost book sales by having a stroke.
Somewhere in there, the suggestion came up, “Maybe we need to kill someone” to which Glenn replied, “We’re writers. We’re always planning to kill people.” My recollection is that it was Aaron who responded, “Yes, but it’s usually you.” Pandemonium ensued as one author after another took turns suggesting ways Glenn might die.
In short order, they decided to publish an anthology of short stories in which Glenn would die. Once Peter announced the title should be, They Keep Killing Glenn, I knew what I had to do. I pulled $20 from my wallet, marched to the front of the room, and offered it as my contribution to the expected Kickstarter campaign.
And that’s why Glenn says it’s my fault the book was written.
This next part kind of boggles my mind. They Keep Killing Glenn is now available, and this is the list of authors from the book’s back cover
I mean, look at that list of names:
David Gerrold – that’s the guy who wrote one of the most popular Star Trek episodes ever, The Trouble with Tribbles.
David Mack, Robert Greenberger, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Keith R. A. DeCandido – These are Big Names in the world of Star Trek writers. They’ve all been on the New York Times best sellers list. Multiple times.
Paul Kupperberg – that’s another Big Name. He’s the guy who writes the current incarnation of the Archie comics.
As far as I can tell, almost everyone else on that list has been published multiple times and most of them have authored multiple books.
And then there’s that name circled in red. Blair Learn. What’s that name doing there?
Most of what I write is software documentation, describing how the pieces fit together, explaining processes to other developers. And yet somehow, a story I wrote has been included in an anthology with all those big names.
In February of this year, they announced that yes, they really were going to publish the book. And in addition to gathering submissions from professional authors, they were also going to accept up to three submissions from fans. I’ve spent a little time chatting with Glenn over the past several years, and having a story published professionally has been an entry on my bucket list for a while… So I submitted a story titled “R is for Roadster.”
Writer-pal Michael Jan Friedman is in the final days of a KickStarter campaign for a new book titled Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse.
From the descriptions, it sounds like a fun assortment of Science Fiction and Fantasy. There’s one story, which defies classification (Mike says it belongs in every section of the bookstore): it’s a police procedural set in an alternate universe, modern-day, Aztec empire, and features a detective named Maxtla Colhua — the very same character whom Maxtla is named for.
If any of this intrigues you, please do check out his KickStarter campaign. I’d really like to read this.
(Image via MichaelJanFriedman.Net)