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.

This is a big deal, folks, and a good deal for me. However, it does mean there are some changes on the horizon you need to prepare for.

First off, all the podcast and YouTube versions of The Black series will be removed in the coming weeks. So if you want to experience the first four books in The Black series with my voice, you’ll need to mainline those books pretty soon or purchase them while you can. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Secondly, The Black WILL be coming back on the podcast and YouTube sometime in 4th quarter of 2022. However, it will not be voiced by me. I will be responsible for intro/outro nonsense and whatever jibber jab to introduce the episodes and whatnot, but it’ll be Joe’s voice doing the narration. So it’ll essentially be the same format, but someone else handling the narration duties.

The “new” Black podcast series will continue until it runs out of episodes and by then I’ll have run out of story. Seriously. Why is that, you ask? Well, because…

If you’re a paying Patreon/Kofi/Buymeacoffee supporter, You’ve already been getting episodes for the serial version of the Oceania, the fifth Black book with my voice. That’s not going to change.

Due to my COPD, my failing hearing, and the fact I need more time for writing and less stress in my life, I’m bowing out of the professional audio game, but will continue performing my books for supporters. They will be the best I can make them with my meager skills and waning vocal talents, but they will not be for sale, and these versions will not be podcasted to the public. Ever.

So if you still want to hear the ‘ole Fiendmaster narrate his books and get weekly episodes of new, unreleased work and serials (such as The Black: Oceania and The Black: Extinction) and the like, visit and choose one of the three services available. I’d love for you to join and catch up on The Black: Oceania as well as get early episodes of Station 3. More on that soon.

I’ll be adding a faq to the website, but let me answer a few of the obvious questions.

Where does this leave the weekly podcast?

For now, and as long as the audience continues to show up, the podcast will continue to serve weekly episodes of content. Old time listeners will most likely get a lot of repeat episodes, but with a new performance. For new folks, they’ll get to enjoy the series from the very beginning with that new performance.

Am I ever going narrate anything else again?
I’m currently recording the audiobook version of Station 3, my latest published novel. Once the audiobook is out in the world, It’ll begin its podcast run. I don’t know if this will be my last publicly voiced podcast novel or not. I’ll make that decision on the next book.

As I said, I’ll continue narrating for my subscribers, but that version will not be from the final draft and should be considered a serial. The performance and words will obviously differ from the final commercial version, but you’ll get the unique experience of getting what’s essentially my final read through before I send the manuscript for professional editing and publication. Hell, you might even spot a plothole before the book is published and thus save me extreme embarrassment.

Where will The Black audiobooks be available?

The Black audiobooks will at first be released exclusively to Audible. After a quarter or two as Audible exclusives, they will be distributed to all outlets that Fireside Audio currently supports. You can see the list at their website.

Will you still be selling audiobooks?

Yes, and no. At present, I still have the audiobook rights to all my other properties including The Derelict Saga. Depending on how The Black release goes, I may send some of my other properties to Fireside or a similar company to reproduce the audiobooks. I’d especially love to see what they could do with Ghere’s Inferno or the Garaaga Series. Regardless, I’ll be setting up a more intuitive and integrated store front for all my other series and books that are narrated by me. You’ll be able to get them from me directly in the near future.

I still have a question!

Oh, you still have a question? Well, toodle on over to and leave a comment on this post and I’ll update the FAQ accordingly.

I know this is a big change and I’ve no doubt some folks will quit the podcast the moment I’m no longer narrating things. I understand that completely and perhaps that will ultimately drive the podcast into extinction, but I need to try something new to generate sales and save my sanity.

Until these changes go into effect, however, I’m still your Fiendmaster, still kicking out the words, and still screaming them into your ears.

Be safe, have a great week, and look for new content real soon.

2 thoughts on “Fireside Audio Takes Over “The Black””

  1. Hi Paul, looking forward to this.

    Quick numbnutz question – what do you mean by ‘mainlining’ and how would I do it?

    1. As in “download all the episodes.” Your podcatcher should be able to download all the audio for the books. Then no matter what happens, you’ll have them.

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