We kept it kind of secret-ish, but with the lovely refresh on the ESTO Universe covers, MCB decided to do an audio for *drumroll****
Ken Teutsch/Bill Hare did a wonderful job on the voice work and we're now just waiting on approval at ACX. I'll certainly let you know when it's up!
Someone left the door open at the publisher and A Message From The Home Office got out! It's out there at the book vendors running around without supervision!
You can grab a net and snag your own copy at the links below :)
Mischief Corner Books
Barnes and Noble
Also - some quick updates on ESTO stories:
Prisoner 374215 has a stunning new cover and will be going into audio production soon. More on that later.
A Matter of Faces also has a fabulous new cover.
Both of these shorter works will be joined by a new ESTO novella in October - By Imperial Decree. Fingers crossed that I don't foul up the deadline.
Don't these covers look wonderful together?
A Message from the Home Office releases 8/25! 12 more days! All the pre-order links are up if you want to snag it beforehand. :D
Next up is an ESTO story and takes place in a part of the universe we haven't visited before: a Galactic Hansa station. I'm about halfway into the writing (I think), and there is a blurb now. :D
By Imperial Decree
Marsh Kensinger's work as the utility mechanic for Bremen Station keeps his life interesting - but never quite as interesting as finding a pilot still hidden inside a hibernation drawer in what should have been a salvage craft. He knows he shouldn't get involved, but the Altairian Imperial crest on the private craft and the semi-conscious pilot's odd questions pique his always-whirling curiosity.
Still unattached at a concerning age for an imperial son, Prince Shiro Shinohara hadn't been running from the endless, mind-numbing rounds of omiai his mother, the Empress, had mandated. Not exactly. He'd just wanted a break from persistent suitors at the family retreat on Ceti Tau. The short respite becomes a panicked flight for his life when one of the suitors stalking him attacks the family compound.
Worried for the soldiers he was forced to leave behind, afraid there's a conspiracy to kidnap him, Shiro confides in the handsome mechanic who found him, and in a moment of panic, concocts the fiction of a serious relationship with Marsh. It's only until Shiro's people can reach him and he can press charges back home. Marsh is willing to play along and Shiro's just going to have to keep himself together and not, under any circumstances, fall for the wonderful, generous man who refuses to stop helping him.
ALL THE THINGS!!!!
1. Sub Zero launched on Tuesday - a science fiction romance with a mystery, culture clashes, a heavy dose of anti-colonialism, and how hard it is to go back to where you died. (An ESTO Universe story - in ebook and paperback)
Mischief Corner Books
2. A Fine Mess: Brimstone 7 has a cover! And a fun cover it is with a certain young demon prince vying for attention. Coming July 28!
3. Mischief Corner decided that Hearts and Flower: A Tale of Hayfever and Bad Decor needed an updated cover - and it's so cuuute! An absurd Valentine's Day short story with an MC who hates Valentine's, the office party from hell and some magical mayhem!
Mischief Corner Books
Barnes and Noble
4. And finally, don't forget that Rainbow Space Magic Con is this weekend! It's FREE, but you do have to register to have the webinar link sent to you. :) Lots of fun panels and readings from queer science fiction and fantasy authors!
I'll be doing a reading during the 12 pm (EST) block on Saturday and a panel on Outlaws and Adversaries at 1 pm (EST) on Sunday!
First, Sub Zero comes out on Tuesday, June 16, don't forget! Come pre-order your anti-colonialism science fiction!
And on to podcasts! I'll be on a couple of shows airing Monday, June 15:
Two Gay Geeks - where I get to talk to Ben and Keith about writing and all sorts of geeky things. :D
Jeff and Will's Big Gay Fiction Podcast - where Scott and I talk to Jeff about the upcoming Rainbow Space Magic Virtual Convention!
Happy Friday, everyone! This week, I get to read something from this Angel Martinez person... Oh wait. That's me. :D A little excerpt from Sub Zero, m/m science fiction romance coming out in just a couple week here on June !
An ESTO Universe Story
by Angel Martinez
Release date, June 16, 2020
Returning to the frozen planet Aren died on was bound to have complications...
Major Aren Dalsgaard's newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the indigenous inhabitants have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Major Dalsgaard should be the ideal Special Investigations Officer for this case, but Drass is where he died, over a hundred and twenty years ago.
Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a man who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. The man could be crazy or he could be lying to manipulate Nyachung, but the sincerity in those spring-green eyes disturbs him more than anything else he's encountered in the foreigners’ city.
Evidence that makes no sense, mysterious boxes, and a suspicion that they can't trust anyone in the city drives the major and Nyachung together and out into the wilderness. No one's telling Major Dalsgaard everything, but every step leads him closer to a feeling of imminent catastrophe if he can't wrap this case up in time.
There are going to be a lot of aliens this release season, and not entirely aliens.
Angel, why? Why do you write them?
If I lived inside a science fiction story, I'd be a xenologist, studying alien cultures. I love this stuff. Where are the pitfalls? Where are the common points? Where does it look like a common point and sheers off unexpectedly?
But I can't. So I write aliens. Sometimes they're very alien, like the saurian Drak'tar in Gravitational Attraction. Sometimes they're enough like us that the cultural differences blindside humans, like with Teer in A Christmas Cactus for the General, who is so much like, and not like, us.
Which brings me to Een, who at least shares four limbs and bilateral symmetry with us, and that's about it. I won't spoil anything for those who haven't read Eating Stars, but for this story I wanted a true first contact event, a meeting with someone entirely alien to us.
And yet, it's still possible to connect and find common ground. Kind of a theme there - and honestly, one anthropologists have always struggled with. Where's the real common ground, the place where I'm not bringing my own biases and we're coming to an actual understanding.
Then there are the dangpo, who are not aliens. They're altered humans - altered not by their consent and marooned on a planet by their creators.
Genetically, they're us. But cut off from human society, their thought processes became alien. They are not us in so many ways which made them easy to misunderstand and then easy to dismiss in a colonial situation.
Yes. Sometimes you have to go there.
It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...
Three things of note:
1. A Fine Mess is with the content editor. Yes. There's a lot of stuff going on there. Content editor can only do so much so fast.
But it's coming!
2. Eating Stars launches May 26!!
Some of you may recall the story under the title "Serge and Een." It's been re-edited and expanded by a little over 10K. While the story remains the same, you get to be there for a lot more of what happened.
Expansion means it will be available in paperback as well, for those of you who like your print. :D
3. The return of Sub Zero!
It's been a bit, so I'm not sure how many of you recall this one. Sub Zero is the missing ESTO universe novel, the one that was originally with Amber Quill. MCB has been kind enough to agree to a reissue and we're working through edits on that now, too. Yaaay!
Sub Zero should remain essentially the same with some small content edits. Also - paperback! I'm excited to be able to offer this story to you again.
Cover and release date coming soon. :)
Happy Friday and time for a reading! This week's excerpt is from another ESTO Universe story - and as I say in the recording, this one is currently out of print. Sorry about that - but we should be taking care of it relatively soon. So, a bit from Sub Zero...
Major Aren Dalsgaard's newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Major Dalsgaard should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what's the problem? Drass is where he died, over a hundred and twenty years ago.
Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a man who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. The man could be crazy or he could be lying. But the sincerity in those spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else he encounters in the foreigners’ city.
Or various sightings of various things. So - what do I have to tell you this week? First a teensy bit of sad news - no Rainbow Con. I'm sorry about not being able to see some of you in July. Hoping to get some different cons organized for next year. I will still be at Yaoi Con in October, though.
Offbeat Crimes News!
Skim Blood and Savage Verse has its general release on Tuesday, April 4! Anyone waiting for Amazon, Kobo, etc. etc. to go live, we're almost there!
Links if you need them!
Also - a free prequel to Skim Blood here on the blog, Hunter Green Pea Coat. You'll understand when you read it.
Working feverishly on Offbeat Crimes 4 now. Feral Dust Bunnies will make it by deadline or very shortly thereafter. Closing in on the end here.
Vassily the Beautiful, I'm very excited to say, will be coming to audio late spring/ early summer. And who picked up the audio contract? The marvelous Greg Tremblay! Very excited about this project. :)
Vassily is a science fiction fairytale retelling of the old Russian story, Vasilisa the Beautiful, available from Mischief Corner Books and all the usual distributors. :)
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.