Book 3 is (Almost) Done

My goal was to wrap up edits on the final book in my
Interdimensionals trilogy by June 1, and I met that arbitrary, self-imposed deadline with time to spare. The only problem? I'm not thrilled with the ending. Too much dialogue, and not enough action.

I know what it's like to be left feeling unsatisfied after devoting weeks to reading a series: the hollow, sinking realization that This is it? So I do everything I can to make each of my series go out with a bang. And from what I can tell, my readers appreciate it.

The Interdimensionals is a sci-fi/horror story, so of course it's not going to end as tidily as I like. Every good creepy tale leaves you with a clawing fear that the nightmare isn't really over. But at the same time, having action occur "on camera" is way better than having characters talk about it in retrospect. So that's what I'll be revising.

Got my notes ready to go, and I know which scenes I want to replace. It'll make for one doozy of a finale, and whether or not it's a crowd-pleaser, I'll know I've done my best. After spending the past six months on edits instead of writing anything new, it's time to shift gears and get creative again.

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Alternate Futures

Recently I was invited to appear on the Alternate Futures podcast, and I had a great time discussing science fiction, writing, and publishing with host Edwin Rydberg. Part of the interview included a Story Cubes challenge; I was given the following random images to turn into a first chapter or short story: bowl, whistle, burglar, pointing & staring. Somehow, they led me to come up with a new character in the sword & sorcery genre, where I've never dabbled before. Here's how it opens:

Long ago, before the days of recorded history, during the Hyperbolean Age of a much younger Earth, AGROTHARN the Interstellar Semi-Barbarian roamed the ancient volcanic lands in search of fame and fortune. Thanks to his magical porridge, which he ate religiously, he had seen the future. One of many alternate futures, to be exact, which seldom came to pass. Much like the flying T-Rexes his forefathers had promised for ages: "Someday, we'll all be flying around on T-Rexes!" they'd claim. "Just you wait!" But no, that never happened. The mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex never did sprout any wings, nor did anyone invent rocket boots for it. And it devoured anyone dumb enough to try mounting it. Thus, AGROTHARN had to content himself with riding a geriatric and often depressed Triceratops named Fred.

Listen to the interview and hear the rest of the story @ Alternate Futures.

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Out of Time
collects two un-timely tales:

"One More Tuesday" - Josef finds himself trapped with only one way out—and a life or death decision once he discovers how to free himself.

"Leap Day" - Joan experiences a time distortion in her own apartment, and she must weave her knowledge of the past and future in order to survive the present.

It's Official: Book 2 is a Go

I've signed my second contract with Montag Press, and Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino is now with my editor. Should be a few months before we finish polishing it up, then a few more months before it's ready to greet the world as an eBook and paperback with original cover art. Fingers crossed for an October release, considering the creepy factor, but we'll see. In the interim, I'll continue revising the third book in my Interdimensionals trilogy; planning to submit it to Montag by June at the latest.

The Wait is Over

Now available from Tantor Audio: the Captain Quasar trilogy in one volume!

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Recent reviews:

"A perfect combination of humor, action, and eccentric characters"

"Definitely humorous. Funny and engaging."

"Crazy, weird, funny, and in all honesty, totally nuts."

"I absolutely love Captain Quasar."

Now for Something Entirely Different...

Road Rage
by Milo James Fowler
Copyright © 2022 Milo James Fowler

Progress takes a variety of forms.

We heard promises for decades about a sci-fi future that never came, and we couldn't help feeling cheated. Some gave up on it. I might've been one of them.

But at long last and with great fanfare, they were finally here: anti-grav cars that rode on the air, bypassing street congestion, able to lift off and travel as the extinct crow used to fly. Convenience by way of modern innovation. Futuristic freedom like we'd never known before.

Until everybody with the means had to have one. Because the haves always get the latest gizmo. The have-nots get to watch them fly by.

Caution: Blurb in Progress

My next novel, Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino (sequel to Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque), is currently with Montag Press, so this is the perfect time to whip the blurb into shape. Blurbing is always a balancing act between not revealing too much and intriguing the potential reader. As the second book in my Interdimensionals trilogy, this one bridges the gap between questions and answers with plenty of action, suspense, and major revelations of its own. 

Here's what I've got so far: 

Anthony Reynolds and Sephora Ashton escaped from Madame Antic's sky city, and now they must navigate a new life in the dangerous ruins of London. Nothing is as it was in the technologically advanced Victorian city with no name. Here tribes of survivors hunt and gather in the dark of night, keeping vigilant watch during daylight hours. Mutant animals with poisonous fangs roam the outskirts, and, according to legend, mole people may live underground. If they exist and have managed to hide from Antic all these years, then they might have the answers Anthony seeks. 

No one can tell him where he came from, or who he was before Madame Antic kidnapped him to play a role in her elaborate stage play. No one even knows what year it is. But when Anthony and Sephora are driven deep underground by thugs wearing decapitated sheep and goat heads, they find themselves in a surreal subterranean refuge complete with its own lavish hotel and casino. There they meet the man responsible for it all, a man who claims to have answers, a man with a penchant for gambling with human lives: the enigmatic Monsieur Moule.

At the Local Library

Like Ray Bradbury, I've always been a big fan of libraries. So, six years ago when my first Captain Quasar novel greeted the world, I tried getting it into the San Diego public library system. I figured if I donated enough copies, it might end up on one of their shelves. But after three attempts and no dice, I gave up on that one. Then a couple years ago, I tried with After the Sky, going so far as to snail-mail a copy to Library Journal. Strike two. Guess the big city was too big for the likes of me.

But now that we're living in a small town in southwest Michigan, I thought I'd try one more time. So I hit up the local library with my latest novel, Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque. They had me fill out a form and told me it would take a month to have a librarian read my book and determine whether it was worthy to grace their shelves. I kept my fingers crossed...

And in less than a month, there it was! My wife took the photos while I was subbing at a school in town, and when she showed them to me, I couldn't stop smiling. My love for libraries and the written word had come full circle; now one of my novels was sharing space with countless books I've enjoyed over the years. It's an honor to see those stickers on the binding.

The first installment in my Interdimensionals trilogy is really helping me check things off the ol' bucket list—seeing my work in a couple bookstores, and now the library. What's next?

Book Series Worth Checking Out

It's probably no surprise that I'm always in the middle of a good book. But something I didn't realize until I started drafting this post is that I'm currently making my way through seven different series. And they're all good! So consider this a recommended reading list for 2022:

Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft - I'm about a hundred pages into the fourth and final installment, and I've been hooked since the first novel, Senlin Ascends: excellent writing, fantastic world-building, and characters worth rooting for. Never read anything quite like it.

Nyquist Mysteries by  Jeff Noon - Enjoyed the first two books, and I have the next two waiting in the wings. Very surreal, dream-like storytelling with interesting characters and weird, unpredictable scenarios. Fantasy noir at its best.

Firefly by James Lovegrove, et al. - I've read the first three, and the writing isn't spectacular, but who cares? Each novel is like a lost episode of the beloved TV series we never got to see. I can picture every actor in costume and hear their voices in my head when I read their dialogue.

The Expanse by James S. A. Corey - A nine-book series, and I've read the first eight. Tried watching the TV show, but the books are so much better. Solid characterization, realistic science and technology, high stakes conflict, and plenty of page-turning adventure. No idea how it'll end.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - Never thought a modern-day wizard's adventures would interest me. On a whim, I tried the first installment (of seventeen) last month, and now I'm pretty sure I'll be reading the rest. Urban fantasy noir with plenty of humor, like the first season of Angel.

The Finder Chronicles by Suzanne Palmer - Ever met a protagonist you'd follow anywhere? Fergus Ferguson is an unlikely hero with a big heart who can seldom catch a break. I've read the first two adventures of this interstellar repo man, and I'm looking forward to the third.

The Nova Vita Protocol by Kristyn Merbeth - This space opera series isn't perfect, but I'm enjoying the dysfunctional family dynamics of the crew, and I'm curious how the final book will wrap things up. Flawed characters, desperate situations, and plenty of intrigue make for a wild ride.
All Content © 2009 - 2022 Milo James Fowler