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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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McOops and McAwesome

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 27, 2022 09:56:06

We’ll start with the oops. Last week I embedded two videos I thought you might enjoy. And, for about thirty percent of you, they were appreciated. Sadly, for the remaining seventy percent, email providers ripped the videos out for fear they might ….. I have no idea why. But they did it. So, if you want to see the videos, just CLICK HERE, scroll to the bottom and enjoy. The first video is a look at upcoming comic book releases and the second is a nice look at the pretty novels I have written.

Speaking of novels, I wrote one called SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY. It won an award, got some amazing reviews, and has been developing new fans every week. Not really bad things to happen to a book. Or to most anything, if you think about it. You can see everything when you click the link.

All that being said, as many of you know, I have been getting some attention from humans who have stupid amounts of money and seem to think I know how to string words together in ways other humans will find pleasing. Or entertaining. Hopefully both. And, although SPLICE is exclusively owned by ©Watchdog Entertainment® LLC it is still listed on my site as something I wrote and, because of that, has started getting attention too.

Which is a good thing.

I’m sure if someone wants to throw money at them to get SPLICE made into a motion picture, especially since the script already exists, the nice people at ©Watchdog Entertainment® LLC will listen.

That said, you can’t gussy up one title without gussying them all up. So, SPLICE got a brand new edit, a tighter table of contents which got winnowed down to five chapters instead of eighty, and a spanking new promoter who’s pushing the book on various sites aimed at book buyers who like sci-fi and action stories. To make all that work we loaded the Kindle version first, which you can get when you CLICK HERE. That link is updating internationally so it may not be live in your neighborhood as of this moment, but it will be soon.

For those of you who already own the Kindle version, your copy will revise automatically. Think of it as getting a free novel just because you’re awesome.

While I’m pleased with all my novels, SPLICE holds a special place in my heart. It came to me via an unexpected set of circumstances and the amount of trust I was shown as I dabbled in the IP of another creator was unprecedented. The end result was a character readers can sympathize with who lives so far outside the law no one knows his real name. That was not an easy tightrope to walk. But I did and people got it. That’s all any author can really ask.

McCormick offers a blood-soaked tale of upward mobility … An engaging dark comedy rife with retribution.
– Kirkus Reviews

SPLICE is a non-stop thrill ride, taking the reader on an edge-of-your-seat experience through the military and organized crime worlds. Bill McCormick absolutely captures the senses of the military and combat from sight to sound to smell and leaves you only wanting more at the turn of every page. This book gets it right and keeps it coming!
– Josh Grenard, Former Infantry Captain/Combat Veteran, U.S. Army

Until next week, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

McPrepping for the McFuture

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 20, 2022 08:28:16

I know that many of you think that being a science fiction writer is a life filled with scantily clad amoral groupies, waterfalls of booze, and crazed publishers who launch money at you every day from a T-shirt cannon. And, while that may be true or an elite few, I’m looking at you Neil Gaiman, the rest of us toil through lives far more mundane. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Someone has to shop at Aldis. May as well be me and mine.

Right now a large art of my work effort has been tied up in rebuilding every release and prepping them for relaunch. And that, it seems, is more work than actually writing the damn things. I’m astounded at the details that need to be examined, reexamined, worried over, and then discarded or enhanced. I’ll give you one example. SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY is being revamped from eighty hard hitting, short, chapters, into five that form the story arc.

And that’s just one book.

That kind of effort is being put into every title I’ve written. Bonus? The Brittle Riders is getting completely repackaged with new art by Ian Bristow, and a new box set for Kindle users.

And none of that even begins to touch the comics I’m working on.

Over at Hadithi Sambamba Comix they’re burning the midnight oil. Legends Parallel is getting pencils done as I type and Alokia the Kaiju Hunter is getting new character art and, hopefully, a new artist for the complete story. Other titles are in various stages of development.

As a quick overview for those who don’t know how comics get made, there are stages; (1) character design (so we know what everyone will look like), (2) pencils (this allows the creators to make changes to layouts with an eraser, which is much easier than it would be later), (3) inks (this is where the pencils get set in stone and shading gets added), (4) colors (this is where the art comes to life, (5) lettering (this is where the voices become real), and, finally, (6) assembly (so you can hold it in your hot little hands).

Each of those stages cost money and each requires an attention to detail normal humans find maddening. Yet, it all gets done.

Anyway, yes, I turned sixty-one yesterday. Kim and I celebrated by going grocery shopping. I had a blast. I regaled strangers with stories of the joy I found when I married Kim, sympathized with the overworked check out clerks, and spent quiet time with the woman I love. I don’t like celebrating my birthdays or any holidays, so a day like yesterday was perfect for me.

Until next week, here are a couple of short videos to give you an idea what’s coming.

My McMags Aren’t McRags

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 13, 2022 10:04:32

I get so caught up telling you about this cool thing or that cool thing that I forget to tell you about these cool things. And these cool things are things you can subscribe to, read regularly, and enhance your standing in the gene pool just by knowing about them. They’re that cool.

First up is the wonderful, dark and twisted, world of Sci-Fi Lampoon. As the name suggests, it is a lampoon. As such it ridicules things. In this case, it uses the rich tapestry of phobias and fears known as science fiction as its rapier. Because of that it’s edge is sharper, smarter, and more in need of psychotropic meds than your traditional lampoons.

I remember way back in the halcyon days of the before-times when I walked into their office and said “If it pleases my masters, I would like to strip naked and festoon my loins in emu jerky.” They thought that was a lovely way to present them with a new story and thus was our relationship born.

As time as meandered on I have worked my way up from ‘in office entertainment’ to regular contributor. It is in that capacity that I can now present you with Issue #7 of Sci-Fi Lampoon. This is not some paltry rag you pick up at the supermarket either laden with recipes and disappointing pseudo porn. Nay, Sci-Fi Lampoon is 115 glorious pages of brain bending fiction and media commentary, fleshed out with deep dives into the forbidden wells housing festering waters and the broken minds of its creators.

In other words, it’s a lot of fun. And, when you’re done with that and begging for more like you’re using the company credit card to pay for a pro-dom, you’ll be thrilled to discover that all the previous issues of this quarterly tome are available online and all you need is money to own them.

Scroll down to keep reading.Bill McSciFi

In less salacious news, I’m the assistant editor for ICC Magazine. This celebration of all things indie, from cosplay, to conventions and creators was begun by Terance Baker to provide a showcase for people who, otherwise, might languish in obscurity. Issue #18 is out now and is filled with the hottest Indie comics and graphic novels, apparel, art supplies, toys, games, and more!

Just like Sci-Fi Lampoon, it’s a slick quarterly magazine. And that’s where the similarities end. ICC Magazine provides long form articles focused on established, but still underground, creators you need to know, spotlights on artists who are on the up, and useful resources for anyone who wants to dabble in the world of the arts.

I got my start there in the mail room but quickly caught a break and wrote the cover story for Issue #2 that people actually read and said nice things about. After that I was able to interview artists from all over the world at varying levels of success. Barbara “Willy” Mendes has her art featured on multiple murals and in museums. She was a delight to get to know. Others are just emerging from the ether to plant their flag and claim their place amidst the universe. No matter what, ICC Magazine treats each and every one like a rock star. That is especially true for our upcoming issue featuring Marvel Comics legend, and actual rock star, Thomas Tenney. He got his start drawing pictures of Ronald Reagan and now you know you desperately need to know more.

No matter who we write about you’ll learn a lot, discover cool new things, and be happy to share your copy with like-minded homo-sapiens.

ICC Magazine is distributed nationally by Diamond Distribution to book stores and all other venues where quality magazines are sold.

As always, you can contact Pam Harrison at ICC Magazine @ (remove the spaces to get a working address) for any bulk discounts or library subscriptions. She’s a joy to work with and, if you’re extra nice, she’ll even share pics of her wife and their pets. But she’ll also get your order right, so that’s a nice bonus.

Until next week, consume all McSciFi related media voraciously and joyfully and remember to stay safe and sane.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Checking in with the McAnswer Man

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 06, 2022 10:19:42

This has been a fun week and there are bunch of flaming bowling balls I need to keep airborne. Which is fine. I just have to make sure I keep paying attention. Before we get to the fun stuff there are a couple of important anniversaries to note. First, and vitally important to me, it was six years ago this week Kim and I had our first date. Given that it was not my finest moment, I was kind of drunk by the time she arrived, the fact that she married me this summer still has left a few people confused and curious. Which is fine. That day we took the first of, what would become, many selfies together.

Thanks to having her in my life I was finally able to calm down enough to truly focus on my craft and not react like a toddler on meth every time I saw a pretty girl. And that’s good, since apparently I have some good looking fans. One, a fetish model and comic book fan, Sabrina Zaremba posted some risqué shots showing off her Legends Parallel collection, among other things. One year ago this week, LP‘s artist, Leslie Tejlor celebrated that by creating a pin-up poster of her in all her glory reading Issue #1 of Legends Parallel. Try not to click that link if your boss is looking over your shoulder. Save it for your alone time.

Welcome to my world. You’re going to like it here. Keep scrolling for more adventures.Bill McSciFi

Over the last couple of years, in part due to the pandemic, I have crossed paths with some publicists who took pity on me and tried to help me not look like the forgotten step-child who keeps missing the bus. Thanks to them I was introduced to a company whose sole purpose in life is to sell books. They don’t care about social media impressions, they sneer at “popular posts,” and not much else seems to impress them other than sales. I proudly sent them everything I had hoping they would be dutifully impressed and jump right in to make me rich. They jumped in, all right, mostly to ask if I was inebriated twenty-four hours a day. Then they sent me a list of what the real world needed. All of it is within our grasp, so Azoth Khem Publishing and I are busting a move or two to get it all together. Everything, from wholesale price breaks to color schemes, has to be assesed, altered, and brought up to their standards.

All of this means that, starting around September 19, promos for SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY will begin appearing in places where people buy books like SPLICE. And only those places. It won’t be paired with Costco or Victoria’s Secret ads. Their motto, “We don’t care who sees the book, only who buys it” is more focused than I could ever be.

As I work with them I realize why they don’t advertise. While there are many authors who could afford their services, they aren’t nearly as expensive as you might think, they require a solid infrastructure to insure that all sales will be fulfilled, large quantity orders won’t be a problem, that there’s a guaranteed method for returns, and so on. That “and so on” part is the most daunting. You really can’t make those guarantees without having many ducks in a row.

Fortunately, thanks to the diligence of the nice people at Azoth Khem, our quack-quacks are quacking quite nicely.

The goals here are simple; (1) sell more books, and (2) make this an ongoing relationship.

Bonus for the fans? Later this year there will be a repackaged edition of SPLICE, a box set of The Brittle Riders, book two of Goptri of the Mists, and a new head shot of me which I have been promised won’t make me look like a bridge troll.

Yeppers, it’s an exciting time to be in McsciFi-Land. Still the best amusement park you’ll never visit. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and occasionally sober.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

It’s the McLittle Things

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 30, 2022 07:00:00

Okay, before we begin, if you’re offended by a naughty word here or there you might wish to go to my blog and relive happier times.

Everyone else have their weapon of choice, a/k/a morning beverage? Good. Here we go.

While the big, sexy, stuff, a/k/a the bikini models at the car wash, are my novels, the greasy ladies in the diner, a/k/a my short stories, are often what keep my family fed.

Thanks to the nice people, a/k/a off their meds and violating gender norms, at Sci-Fi Lampoon I will be appearing in two different releases. The first is an incredible anthology with the gloriously self explanatory name, The Fuckening. My story, The Writer’s Stuff, follows the misadventures of Layla le Lips and Thor Liebenhammer as they dare the unthinkable in the self-published fantasy-land they live in.

As to the rest of the anthology, The Fuckening is finding out, thanks to some idiot at the train depot, your plans of world domination are in ruins and the police would very much like a word. Told by twenty-three award-winning and critically-acclaimed authors who also happen to be world-renowned experts in the field of general fuckery.


Oh, you knew that since I said there were two, which is more than one, releases.

The second is my classic, THE SPACE CLOWNS OF ZOIMBA PRIME. Originally published by the late, lamented, SciFi-Fantasy Hub, this slightly updated, possibly grammatically correct, version will grace Sci-Fi Lampoon Issue #7. Make sure to bookmark that link so you don’t miss a thing.

Slappy McClownDick thinks he’s the best clown in the history of clowns. Sadly, for him, all the other clowns think he’s just a clown, and not in a good way. But Slappy’s got a plan to show them all and earn the respect he so richly deserves. It involves juggling nuclear bombs. Because …. reasons.

Scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’ keep ya fingies scrollin’ ….

Bill McSciFi

On Friday, August 26, 2022, the end of an era happened when the final episode of The Big Wakeup Call aired on WBIG 1280 AM. Begun in July of 2010 by Ryan Gatenby the show featured everyone from the Sex Pistols to Dick Van Dyke. If you know the history of Penis van Lesbian that could have been a single episode.

On October 12, 2010, I got dragged into the fray as a the official something or other to support an existing guest host. Other humans came and went but over the next decade and change, but Ryan and I remained Friday morning constants knocking out over 600 episodes during that time. The first time I met a listener in the wild she yelled into her house; “Hey, Larry! It’s that libtard you love to hate!.

Good times.

In all seriousness, Ryan took a throw away time-slot stuck between morning traffic and afternoon sports and built it into a regional juggernaut of 40,000 listeners per episode. While I’m happy to have been along for the ride, and part of some of the odder moments such as the Fan Club in India and the nice lady on Facebook who informed me I was “much uglier than (I) sound,” none of this could or would have happened without Ryan.

He’s moving on to new opportunities and those are his stories to tell, not mine, but we are in negotiations to make The Big Wakeup Call a commercially supported podcast. No matter what happens, it has been an honor just to be there.

I think that’s enough excitement for one day. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and healthy.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Snappy McPatter

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 23, 2022 10:17:25

Apparently my not offering critiques on various and sundry popular offerings makes me less of a sci-fi writer. I can live with that. I’ll be honest here, there are many entertainments spewed forth that I simply don’t like. Millions of other people do. These things make stupid amounts of money. And I think that’s great. I want everyone to succeed. It’s not pie, there’s something for everyone. But there is no part of my saying “Sorry, I don’t like this” that’s going to help anyone in any way. I understand that social media has allowed everyone to have access to a megaphone without any filters attached. That can not, and should not, mean everyone has to use it. Otherwise the resulting cacophony blurs into meaningless background noise. Which, as I type this, seems to be where we’re at. No matter how I look at things I can see no positives if I add my voice. So, I stick to what I know and hope everyone has fun watching whatever they watch.

Back in the day when I was first hired to write a script for SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY I was given the kind of free reign authors can only dream of. The only rule was that Splice had to be high tech super villain. After that I was on my own and I had a blast. I sat with my thoughts and started figuring out how to introduce him to the world. Originally I wrote an action scene, you know the kind – car chases, guns, well dressed Olympians uttering pithy one liners at just the right time. As trite as that sounds, and it was trite, it read well and was propulsive. But it didn’t get me anywhere. Short of innumerable flashbacks there was no way to tell any sort of story. So, I tossed that into the hopper and rethought my plan. I think I tried four or five alternate beginnings before I hit on the one I used. I decided to tell Splice’s story from the beginning. Him as a ten year old boy, abused and beaten, tossed to the side of the road (literally), and forced to make a life for himself or die trying.

Over the next few months it all came together. Some characters I wanted to add did nothing to advance the action so I left them in a folder for later. I ended up using a couple of them in the novel later, but the script was becoming a well honed entity all on its own and I didn’t want anything to hamper that. The final script left beta readers breathless. Many commented on how the ending made them gasp out loud. In once case causing them to scare the family pet.

When this gets made, and thanks COVID for seriously screwing up our time-lines, the production team, once assembled, may have to make some changes in locales to bring this in at budget. But the story is there and I’m convinced it will survive any minor alterations like that. God knows the resulting book caught people by surprise. It was voted The Best Sci-Fi Novel of 2020 by the Critters Readers Poll and followed that up with a highly laudatory review from Kirkus Reviews, which is the industry standard when it comes to what distributors and libraries will, or will not, purchase.

Scroll down for more fun.

Bill McSciFi

On the other hand, The Brittle Riders has been a completely different experience. First, and this seems important, it was never meant to be a film. Oh, sure, I’d joke with other writers about my dreams of Spielberg helming the director’s chair and, at least, one Kardashian doing a gratuitous nude scene, but that was about as serious as things got. Then, one day, I was chatting with a nice human who makes films and they said nice things about The Brittle Riders and went so far as to claim it could make a quality movie or streaming show. So, in 2022, with their help, I enlisted a few film professionals to read the Omnibus. In return they agreed to grade it on a lengthy set of criteria with the understanding that anything above a 60% would be considered a good score. As you can see by the screen shot below, they gave it a 97.92%.

That’s more than 60% never mind what form of math you use to measure results. And now some very important people are saying nice things about it and meaning them.

That has led me deep into a world I know little about. While there are similarities from my experiences in the music industry, I find myself relying on advice from professionals who have taken pity on me and keep me from doing anything egregiously stupid.

While there are no guarantees that any of this stuff will ever grace a silver screen or two, I do know now my writing has value. Like many writers, that was something I doubted. I’ll never be the jerk who starts every conversation with “Do you know who I am?” but it does take some weight off my shoulders. And, I find myself writing more often and feeling better about the results. Oh, yeah, there are days I cough up a smelly hairball or twelve instead of a story, but that happens to all writers. And those days are fewer now.

Until next week, light some sage, toss a prayer my way, wish me luck, or just buy me a drink. Everything’s appreciated.

Take care and stay safe.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Saying McWelcome

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 16, 2022 10:48:39

A couple of happy events led to today’s missive. First, there’s nothing urgent burbling up that requires my immediate attention and, second, it seems that signing up for this mailing list has become the hot new fad. No complaints from me, but it does mean there are more than a few people who are looking around the inside of my squishy brain and wondering what the heck is going on. So today will be like one of those refresher courses you took in college. Sure, you know this stuff, but dusting it off and giving it a quick once over can’t hurt.

And Away We Go!

SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY is the complete package. There is a novel, a movie script, a wildly laudatory Kirkus Review, and it was voted the Best Science Fiction Novel of 2020 by the Critters Readers Poll. The book is continuing to spread across the globe and even got a four star review from Readers Judge in India. Now is as good a time as any for you to take a moment out of your busy day and get your copy.

Next up on our nostalgia tour is The Brittle Riders. When writers say “I don’t care if it sells, I just hope to make an impact” they are summing up my experiences with The Brittle Riders trilogy. While always a steady seller it has never topped any sales charts. But, it still managed to get banned outright in Russia and shadow banned in China, where they won’t even admit I exist. The good news is that dictatorships, no matter their name, tend to be slow and stupid. Which means smart people can figure out ways around any limitations. If you want to know how to smuggle some McSciFi into those countries, and a few others, just click here for a complete primer from How I Travel magazine. In the meantime, The Brittle Riders, click to get your copy, has found new fans in the ranks of Hollywood producers and has been slowly wending its way from a fun fever dream into something much larger. By “larger” I mean there now exists a treatment for a pilot, verified reviews from all walks of life, and supporting materials for a full presentation are currently being developed in two different countries. Even if nothing comes of this, we’re positioned far better than we ever have been before.

You’ll note I said “trilogy” when referring to The Brittle Riders. That specific term has lost it’s meaning as Book IV of the trilogy, entitled Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek has hit bookshelves the world over and is picking up steam. Oddly, and everyone is fine with this, people are discovering Goptri, liking it, and then going back and picking up The Brittle Riders to fill in the gaps. This is not how things were planned on the old drawing board, but it works. While Goptri is firmly planted in The Brittle Riders’ universe, it has all new characters, new locations, and a villain that shocks even the most dedicated readers. That’s the kind of compliment writers love. Well, that and “You have such pretty eyes, here’s a million dollars.” Like all my books, it’s being sold on two continents and has fans on both. Book V of the trilogy is currently being edited and Book VI is on my computer looking for an ending. Don’t worry, I’ll find it … eventually.

Keep scrolling.

Bill McSciFi

In comic book news, the happy elves over at Hadithi Sambamba Comix have been working overtime. Legends Parallel has emerged from pandemic hell and issue #4 is on its way to you. The critically acclaimed comic was also a best seller for Nerdanatix Distribution for three solid years. Now that Nerdanatix is also emerging from pandemic hell, they closed their doors in June of 2020, the band is getting back together and is ready to rock.

In the fun multiverse of Hybrid Zero there’s a ton of stuff happening. Book #3 in the Juggernaut saga is scripted and being laid out. The story of little Zoe, genetically enhanced super soldier, and her family of violently weird misfits, has garnered rabid fans and is spreading like COVID without the ugly side effects. A new title, Neutrinos is being inked as I type and should be in your sweaty hands this fall. The happy tale of the multiverse’s first all silent, NC-17, rock opera is exactly the kind of comic you need in your life.

Above and beyond all of that there are several other projects in development that will be coming to you in 2023. I will share more info once I have it.

Just a skosh more.

Bill McSciFi

I keep getting asked if I’ve seen this or that public entertainment and the answer is usually yes. Then I get asked why I don’t write about them. That answer is simple. First, I can’t imagine a multiverse where anyone would give a damn about my opinion and, second, it’s not like any of these shows or books need the publicity.

If you’re looking for reviews to help you know what to think about this week’s most important thing ever, I’m not a good choice. If you want to buy me a drink and let me regale you with my opinion, we can make that happen.

Until next week, stay safe and sane.

Going McGlobal

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 09, 2022 07:00:00

We recently received an offer to have hard copies of SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY and The Brittle Riders released in the United Kingdom. That’s the good news. But, and you knew there was a “but” hiding in here somewhere, many chains in the U.K. pay differently than they do in the states. Enough so that, were we to offer the wholesale discount needed in the U.S. we would be paying them to shelve the books.

“Thank you for carrying these titles, here’s ten quid apiece for your troubles.”


U.K. wholesale prices are higher than U.S. ones so there is now room to make a profit. But, there’s that sneaky word again, the way our manufacturing and distribution is set up we are only allowed one price structure per title.

So, we had to make a choice. Do we keep our wholesale prices at the American level, or do we increase our wholesale costs so we can all eat while shipping to the United Kingdom?

Pip, pip, cheery o, and all that English speak I learned from Mary Poppins.

Yeah, not that hard after all.

Not to worry, you’ll still be able to buy online from all our U.S. affiliated stores. And there will still be autographed copies you can order, and so on. Honestly, not much will change. Over ninety percent of our U.S. sales are online based at the moment. As things develop, and related projects become more public, that could change. In fact, we all hope it will.

The whole process is going to take a couple more weeks, but you’ll soon be able to buy SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY and The Brittle Riders off shelves in England. All the money talk aside, this is not some weird “get rich quick” scheme. More of an exciting way to break even for a bit. Still, it is a viable way for us to have a legitimate presence in a foreign market and to build on an existing fan base. That’s not something to be sneezed at. You can already order my books at Waterstones in the U.K. and they’ll hold them at a desk for you without judgment.

Fun fact, Waterstones discontinued selling the Brittle Riders Trilogy separately and instead will only sell you the Omnibus version.  This has nothing to do with them being greedy jerks. People were only buying the Omnibus so they saw no need to keep stuff around no one wanted. You can also get your personal copies of SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY and Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek at the same locations.

God bless English people.

Also, God bless the Japanese. If something sells semi-well they’ll print and store copies simply because it will make the next customer’s life easier. So, if you’re in Japan, you can order the Omnibus edition now but you need to do it fast. There is only one copy left.

In the real world if you have the budget to print a few thousand copies and a place to keep them so you can ship them out as needed, being a publisher is a good deal. You can get printing discounts, offer reduced wholesale pricing, get bulk shipping rates and so on. That is the goal and it’s one we can now see, we’re just not there yet.

When The Brittle Riders came out in September of 2016, it was to little fanfare and fewer hopes. I had no family to pawn copies off to and there was no guarantee the small, but mighty, legion that liked my short stories would want something as dense as this. While it was true beta readers had said nice things and promised to tell their friends when it came out, that’s not really the kind of stuff you impress your landlord with.

The first person to offer me a chance to mad pimp my book in public was, fellow author and eventual groomsman at my wedding, Steve Silver. I walked into a room that had a few people I knew and many more I did not. I spoke for a bit, told the funny story of how I’d just been bootlegged in Russia, and took my seat near the front door of the bar. My shiny new girlfriend, who is now my wife, Kim sat with me, made my array of comic books and novels (one issue of each) look good, and we hoped and prayed to make enough money to afford a couple of drinks. By the end of the night we’d not only crossed that incredible threshold, we’d sold out of everything. The next day found me delivering the last two copies of The Brittle Riders that could be found anywhere in the world, to a customer who’d ordered them over the phone the night before. That meant I had to call Nancy, the owner of Azoth Khem, and see if I could get a few more author copies. She said yes, because she’s nice that way, and we both beseeched our personal gods that people would actually like this thing.

They did and were even willing to say so in public. Since we were still arguing with the Russian government over the bootleg it was hard getting any reviews published on Amazon. It seems they weren’t convinced we, or the reviews, were real. However, humans are resourceful creatures. They posted on Facebook, added their thoughts on Goodreads if they were members, sent emails, took pics, and then told their friends, “Yo, home-slice, ya’ll need to read this shit!” And their friends, God bless them, did just that.

As the dust from our Russian misadventure cleared, the original art by, internationally renowned artist, Jiba Molei Anderson got flagged as “adult content” and no one would carry the title. Long story short, after many profanities we got new covers and set about marketing this to wider audiences. And they told two friends, and so on.

In 2020 SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY came out and people did more than just say nice things. They helped it get voted the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year on the Critters Readers Poll.

All of that laid the groundwork for a couple of film deals to move their way out of the “pure fantasy” camp into the “we should talk” camp. Those are baby steps, I’ll admit, but they’re exciting baby steps. And those baby steps have now led us to talking to stores in foreign countries and figuring out how to make it all work.

As I’m typing this some very frantic people are crunching numbers, parsing out gummies, and making the haunted spreadsheets stop their infernal screaming.

It will all get done and my multiverse will be a slightly better place.

Until next week, stay out of jail, don’t catch monkey pox (it seems like it hurts like foaming hell), and make sure to tell your friends so they can tell two friends and …..Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

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