Hey, everybody. It’s been about a month since I submitted the manuscript and wanted to dash off a quick note. I’ve yet to hear from the publisher, but when Disintegration’s moment comes up in the production queue, they’ll surely be in touch.

In the meantime, please check out Integration. Spend a little time in utopia before it all goes to hell. ;)

Yes, I’ve been quiet for a while. Didn’t feel like blowing you guys up with the same old "stuff is happening, *clickety clack*" even though I’ve been diligently at work.

I was awaiting the final round of feedback, and it was monstrously wonderful. Michael Haase provided it. He’s the author of The Madenss of Mr. Butler and an all around swell dude. Having incorporated many of his fine suggestions I can say ...

Bombs away!

That is: I’ve submitted the manuscript to Inkshares!

What does this mean? It means that I cannot tinker and putter any longer. It means that however long it takes Inkshares to copyedit it, for me to approve the changes, and then for them to send it to press is how long you’ll wait to have it in your hands. It means that it’s finally happening. This book that seemed like it might never exist is coming. It’s real. It’s happening.

And it feels wonderful.

Thanks to all of you for all you’ve done for me. I’m grateful.

Hey, everybody. I was browsing the interwebs this morning, looking for things to distract me from what I’m sure all Americans and probably everyone else in the world knows is happening today ... 


No, no, just kidding. Kind of.

In my browsing, I came across a story about a child being born to three parents, and it made me think of James Holden, whom I know from The Expanse television show. The character, however, originated in the book Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (a pen name shared by two authors) and is referred to as "Jim."

But that’s not the only difference between the book and the series. I’m loath to admit I still haven’t gotten around to reading Leviathan Wakes (it’s next on my list), but I just discovered today that, in the book, Holden had a relationship with a fellow crew member of the Canterbury, just as he did in the show. Except, in the book, his lover is of Nigerian descent and, in the show, they whitewashed her into a blonde Scandinavian.

I’d say this boils my blood, but that would be melodramatic. I disappoints me, though, certainly. Significantly. For many reasons.

For one, a role that could and should have gone to a black actress was eliminated in favor of a white, blonde woman. For another, the depiction of an interracial relationship was eschewed, and I can’t help but think that it was a cynical choice, so not to alienate viewers who would have found it distasteful.

And, yes, I know that Holden and Naomi Nagata get involved and that the actress who portrays Naomi, Dominique Tipper, is of Dominican descent, so there’s an interracial relationship right there and you might be thinking "No harm, no foul" ... but Ms. Tipper is very many shades lighter than a Nigerian woman typically would be. Ms. Tipper is, to use a current term, "mixed race." I still can’t help but feel that the tone of Ms. Tipper’s complexion and the Anglo influence on her appearance was thought to be more palatable to these same audience members (whom I’m imagining, I realize; it’s all conjecture) who would have been less receptive to a dark-skinned woman with more "obviously" African features.

Now, maybe, if you’ve gotten this far, you’re wondering: "Why is this white guy all up in arms about this?"

There are a number of reasons, too many to list, but to relate it to my own book, I have a vast number of characters who do not have two white parents. While I’m over the moon to even be published (and I would be figuratively catapulted to Andromeda to have Disintegration made into a series), I would be livid if the roles of Carina, or any of her sisters, were given to a white woman. I’d also be upset if Anjali were given to anyone but an actress of Indian descent.

Essentially, I want all characters in all media to remain however they were written by whoever wrote them, because these characters’ ethnicities are an important part of them, as our own traits are important parts of any of us. Sure, these characters are imaginary, but they are real in our minds. They are probably even more real to their creators. And who among us would want to have our children remade by some stranger who’s decided our progeny isn’t white enough or pretty enough for consumption by the general public?

A person’s culture influences their lives, as does the way other people perceive them, and appearance is a big part of perception. And I don’t think anyone should have to change the way they look or the way they speak to try and please someone who takes issue with difference. Yet such people exist--those who wish only to see themselves reflected in their media--which is surely why a white woman was chosen over a Nigerian woman to play Ade, whose surname was "Tokunbo" in the book and "Nygaard" in the show.

Heaven forbid we show anyone what it looks like for a white man and a dark-skinned black woman to have a sexual relationship. In a Science Fiction show set in the far future, even! And what about the converse? Ha! Like the America that voted for the guy taking office today could handle that.

Thank goodness for Loving, at least.

And I am grateful, too, that the role of Naomi in The Expanse didn’t also get whitewashed. Ms. Tipper is absolutely marvelous in the role. I, for one, really enjoy for there to be a variety of humans from all over the world not only depicted in my fiction, but also participating in my daily life.

Hey, all. Happy New Year.

I hope that, despite the glut of bad news with which we were bombarded -- and the losses of more iconic people in one stretch than I can previously recall -- your 2016 was full of good news for you.

On the second to last day of 2016, I decided to draw again for the first time in about 14 years, barring those few things I’ve sketched out over that long stretch of time. It’s a work in progress, but I’m pleased with the result. To draw the four sisters from DisintegrationI derived inspiration from that famous, yearly series of photographs of four sisters that’s been floating around the Internet.

From left to right: Manon, Michele, Agnès, and Karin (Carina). If you click the image, you can see a less red version of it on my Instagram (please follow and like, and all that good social media whoring ;P ).


While I work on the cover for the book and incorporate the edits I’m receiving, I’ll be working, too, on visually realizing the characters through drawings. I’ve always thought Carina’s backstory would make a compelling graphic novel. That’s a back-burner project I’d love to someday bring to life.

The bulk of my time has been devoted to writing Integration and it’s surprising me how different a novel it is, and will be, from Disintegration. It’s so much more subtly science fiction. Not quite blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s much more rooted in (a close extrapolation of) contemporary life without the high-stakes drama of dystopic world war. It’s actually really nice to be able to describe the blue skies overhead. :D

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the lovely ladies of the Derouard / Duvais family. If you would like to join those who are currently reading the book (and, I’m happy to report, really liking it), let me know and I’ll send you the epub of the manuscript that John Robin was kind enough to make for me.

To close, allow me to crib from one person that, thankfully, stuck with us through 2016:


P.S. - Speaking of social media whoring, the facebook page for Disintegration has 69 likes. In the stilted English of my Russian cyborg Rozhenko: "Please to be the 70th" ... and beyond!


Chapter 24 is a pivotal one in which a lot of things go down, one of which is a huge, violent melee incited by Major Gardiner, one of the major (ahem) characters. Gardiner is thin and he goes a little crazy. I describe him as context for the following little bit, which I especially enjoyed reading:

“I need my mitts,” Macaluso said to no one in particular. He lumbered over to a teenaged boy who had climbed down from one of the transports.

“Get me my mitts,” Macaluso demanded.

The boy looked at him, unsure whether to mouth off or not.

“Don’t fuck with me, kid, or I’ll sick that skinny psycho on you. He’ll pull your head out through your asshole and then I’ll fucking punt it back onto your shoulders just for good measure.”

The boy’s eyes widened and and he scrambled back into the truck, procuring Macaluso’s mitts.

“Thanks, kid,” Macaluso said. “Good choice.”

Budapest is proving the ideal place to get some work done. I’ve made a lot of headway the past two days and am a mere handful of chapters away from finishing this revision of the manuscript.

Once done, I’ll deliver it to John Robin and Michael Haase and they’ll provide the last round of feedback. After that, it’s delivery time.

Hey, everyone. It’s a rainy day in Bilbao, which makes it a perfect morning to get some writing done. I leave for Barcelona in a few hours.

I’ve excised 19 pages worth of over-exposition. The manuscript is getting leaner, the pacing is much improved. I’m trusting myself that I’ve imparted the important bits and I’m trusting that you can infer my intentions, rather than explaining every minute detail to death.

Again, it’s a little hard to buckle down and work each day when I’m constantly on the move, but I’m chipping away. I expect this to be either the final or penultimate edit and I’m over 2/3 of the way through.

Hello, everyone. Currently, I am in Morocco. I was able to get some editing done in Sevilla and Granada, and I expect to get a little done in Tangier, too, but I’m going to go walk the Medina right now while it’s daylight and beautiful.

The story is finished and has been for a while. I am now just refining the manuscript, bit by bit. As I mentioned, the feedback from my beta readers was invaluable, but more feedback wouldn’t hurt.

If you’ve got any interest in reading the latest draft, let me know. I still owe Michael Haase a copy. He wrote The Madness of Mr. Butler. You should check it out.

Hello, fine readers and followers. How are all of you on this dreary, gray, New York day? I hope you’re somewhere sunnier than I.

If you also follow Paul Robinson, author of Ghosts of War, you’ll have read that Inkshares has a big backlog and that production of new manuscripts is delayed. I mentioned this, too, a few updates ago. Status quo.

However, I’m close to being done. The beta readers who came through for me really came through, and I’m grateful for the fantastic feedback they provided. I’ll wait for official word from Inkshares about when I should actually deliver the manuscript, but I expect to be done soon.

The one complication is that I’m leaving the States with a view to not coming back. If Trump gets elected, maybe I can petition for political asylum, but I’ll be trying to find an amenable locale even if the blue lady takes the cake. I expect the bulk of my editing to be done on trains, when I’m not looking out the window, because I expect it will be difficult to sit down and write when I’m in one foreign city after the next, most of them for the first time, and I’m wanting to explore.

So, I’m thinking delivery to the Powers that Be by the end of November. If all goes well, you should see the book in the late Spring or early Summer of next year.

In the meantime, please encourage someone you know to buy Disintegration; it not only helps me but it helps Inkshares and  publishing and--if you’d like for there to be continued literature and the creation of art in the world--the best way to ensure that is to support art, artists, and the people who provide the platforms. With real money (or fiat money, more accurately, but you know what I mean. :) ).

If you’ve already bought a copy of Disintegration, all you need to do is ask and I’ll deliver an advanced digital copy to you.

Good day, sir (or madam, or otherwise).

I said: good day!

(except, when you buy Disintegration, you win ;) )

Here’s a little excerpt of what I’m editing, with its nod to Arthur C. Clarke.


 Rene sat himself at another console and ran his hands blindly over the controls with accuracy borne of countless repetition.  “So, I hear you’re an engineer.”

Daedalus shrugged.

“We definitely need someone like you.”

“It seems like you need a lot of things, here.”

Alors.” Rene screwed up his mouth. “I don’t even know what I’m looking for here. And I wouldn’t trust this shit to find it for me, anyway.”

He punched up the surveillance from the corridor where Sargas escaped his cell.

“Look at this,” he called to Daedalus, who brought his attention to the scene of Sargas stepping out of the cell only to be bombarded by weapons fire.

“Wow,” Daedalus remarked as he watched the energy blasts fail to cause any damage. “What do you suppose that is?”

“Looks like he’s got some kind of force field … some kind of disparate energy that negates our weapons. But he’s got no tech on him … I mean, he’s naked. Unless it’s up his ass or something.”

Rene was not far off, although the technology wasn’t located in only one place within Sargas’ body. The Von Neumann nanomachines in his blood self-replicated and could be secreted through his pores, coating his skin, then activated via nervous response to act as fractal camouflage that effectively rendered him invisible.

“Some kind of massive kinetic discharge is all I can guess,” Rene continued. “EM interference. I don’t know. That … or magic.”

“Psh… Magic,” Daedalus scoffed.

“What’s the difference, really?" asked Rene. "Like telepathy is easier to get your head around? It’s all magic; it’s all incomprehensible shit that defies explanation. The word is just the catch-all for ‘I don’t know how the fuck he did it—’ Holy shit! Look!” Rene pointed at the screen as Sargas metamorphosed into the fierce, naked alien creature.

“How do you suppose he did that?” asked Daedalus.

Rene shrugged. “Je ne sais pas. Maybe some kind of camouflage that let’s him project different appearances.” Again, his inference was correct; the nanomachines could also transmit a holographic image of whatever the host desired to project.

“Do you know who that is?” Daedalus asked.

“It’s the same guy as before, just … different.”

“No. That ... whatever it is … looks just like Darek Marseh.”

“The red Emperor …” Rene said, unconvinced. “You think he’s masquerading as a, uh, well-hung human male?”

“All I know is that thing looks like every representation of Marseh I’ve ever seen or heard of. The drawings, the word-of-mouth accounts.”

Rene sighed and got up from the console.

“So, what now?”  Daedalus asked.

"Let’s go find His Royal Highness.”
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