“The Black” 2nd Edition Cover Reveals

I’ve been taunting folks on twitter, giving y’all bits and pieces of the cover design, promised to do a cover reveal, and then didn’t. Why? Who knows.

But here it is. I’ve got the gorgeous full sized trade paperback cover for the 2nd edition of The Black. Below that is the ebook cover and when I get permission, I’ll post the audiobook version, too.

I’ll have another update real soon regarding sales of signed trade paperbacks and general availability of the ebook.

For now, enjoy feasting your eyes on the deliciously evil work of art Scott Pond has made.

“The Black”–RIP

Many years ago, The Black podcast resulted in my first Parsec Award and the novel itself was my first bestseller. It brought a lot of people to my work and still does. Today, I nuked the podcasts and the YT vids in prep for the new editions. It hurt. It really hurt.

I hadn’t expected that, to be honest. Ever since I immersed myself into The Derelict Saga, my favorite mistake of all time, The Black became this series I was associated with, loved for, and didn’t want to write anymore.

Wait. I didn’t want to write it anymore?

No. I didn’t.

The challenge of a series like The Black is finding ways to constantly raise the stakes, do something new with the creature the audience hasn’t witnessed in previous volumes, and make it all advance both the mythos of the creature and the characters caught in its maelstrom.

At some point, you feel like your plumbing the ridiculous just to put out another book. I didn’t want to be that person. Still don’t.

Fear of failure is a special neuroses that all folks have at some point or another. You’d think after so many years of writing books that didn’t sell, but were well received, I’d be completely immune to that kind of self-doubt. I’m not. Probably never will be.

It wasn’t until after I struggled my way through Evolution that I saw a new book that could successfully wrap up the entire series. I started work on it, but Derelict: Trident demanded to be written, and therefore, I abandoned Extinction yet again.

However, Oceania popped into my head. A chance to do something new, something cool, and drag one of my favorite characters from the series into a new and hazardous situation that spawns new horrors, new possibilities, and more importantly, would add significant portions to the mythos that will help Extinction become an absolutely incredible finale for the series.

I think the series is well served by my extended absence from it. Perhaps it will do even better with someone else’s voice reading my words and adding their non-mush-mouth performance to the tales.

For better or worse, the deal is done, and it’s time to move forward into an uncertain future.

RIP, old me.

Fireside Audio Takes Over “The Black”

Hello, Fiendlings, how the hell are ya?
Have a couple of announcements to make and then I’ll let y’all get on with your day.

I have inked a deal with Fireside Audio for them to take over The Black series. Joe Hempel, a fantastic narrator, will be taking the helm in performing and producing The Black, Arrival, Outbreak, and Evolution. This will coincide with the re-release of the books in the series, published by yours truly.

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Fiendmaster Minutes 2022-05-23

Howdy, folks. I have a few announcements regarding the podcast, The Black, and my professional narration career.

TLDR Summary

  • Station 3 is now available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook
  • The Black audiobooks will be re-produced by Fireside Audio
  • All public versions of The Black (podcasts/YouTube episodes, etc) will be removed by June 15th
  • The new versions of The Black audiobooks will be podcasted again in the future
  • Station 3 podcast begins June 1st, 2022
  • I am retiring from professional voice narration

New novel Station 3 Released

My new standalone novel, Station 3, is now available in audiobook (directly from me), as well as ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. Go to the links for a description of the book.

The Black Rights and Re-release

First off, the good news–I have my rights back for the series.

Secondly, I’ll be re-releasing all the books in the series, including releasing Evolution,(2023), Oceania (2024) (in serialized progress), as well as the final book, Extinction (2024), which have never before been published in any retail locations.

Thirdly, new artwork is being designed by none other than Scott Pond and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Fireside Audio will produce the new audiobooks

Audiobook production house Fireside Audio will be producing new versions of the books, narrated by Joe Hempel. This is the first time in many years I’ve outsourced one of my properties, especially something as popular as this series, and I’m quite excited to hear how the series turns out when voiced by a real professional.

Series Podcasts and Youtube Videos Removed

In the coming weeks, I’ll be removing the entire The Black series from both my podcast feeds, itunes channels, and YouTube. If you’re still burning through the publicly available episodes, I suggest you download and archive them because once they’re gone, you’ll never see them again.

Is the podcast dead?

No. In fact, the current plan is that once The Black audiobooks end their Audible exclusivity, I’ll be able to podcast them an episode at a time, in order, as one, long, complete, story. The entire series. The entire f’ing series!

But before we jump down that hole, let’s talk about what’s coming up in the too near future: Station 3.

Station 3 Podcast Schedule

Station 3 will begin its podcast run on June 1st, 2022. It’ll run for roughly thirty weeks. I’ll post the links for to the podcast when it comes time.

End of the road for my voice…sort of

I’ll be honest with you–my health has been declining for some time. I have COPD, suffer from severe allergies, and my hearing is diminishing by the year. These bad days suck all the life out of me and about the only productive thing I can do is write, nap, and write some more.

These attacks, which usually leave me wheezy for days, make it next to impossible to record. For someone whose livelihood has mostly lived and died via his mediocre audio production skills and narration, it’s a terrifying reality. Since we’re being honest, I’ve heard I needed to stop a long time ago. Why? So I can write. And write. And write.

In addition to the breathing issues, I can no longer hear in certain ranges. This makes audio editing a stressful, fucking nightmare. I just can’t do it anymore. Not for a professional product that I want to stick my name on. It’s time to move on.

For as long as I’m able, I plan to continue narrating for my Patreon Patrons, Ko-Fi subscribers, and Buymeacoffee members. They’ll continue to get more or less the final draft narration of new works as well as the serialized version of the unpublished The Black novels (Oceania and Extinction).

I’ll continue to voice the intro/outros for the podcasts, as well as the occasional essay, and review, but expect more blogging from me than those podcasts. I’ll do my best to continue as long as I can.

Talk to you June 1st!

As I mentioned earlier, Station 3, begins its podcast run on June 1st. On that day, you’ll get all the obnoxious details. Also, I might have a surprise for you. We’ll see.

Cheers.

ps: Please leave comments here on the site rather than social media.

Outbreak Se Finé

Scream it from the rafters, folks. I have finished the penultimate draft of The Black: Outbreak. This book has taken longer to finish than the first two books combined. It’s larger, more complex, and sets up a ton things for the next book. Boy, howdy is book four going to be a humdinger.

So what does this mean? Well, there are still some items to take care of. For instance, I need to figure out the verbiage for the dedication, the acknowledgements, and possibly an afterword. But the difficult step is done. Finished. Adíos!

So tomorrow it will be off to the publisher. That’s when things get interesting. Severed Press will take a look, edit the heck out of it, and then send it back to me. Once we agree on the changes, the book will be that much closer to production. In other words, all that’s left is the ebook design, book layout, and book production. Then all hell breaks loose. I hope.

Continue reading “Outbreak Se Finé”