Primordial sells to Cohesion Press

A little bit of awesome news to share with you all today. Primordial, a giant monster thriller co-authored with my podcast buddy, David Wood, will be published in early 2017 by Cohesion Press as part of their new Natural Selection line. It’s exciting stuff. After Dave and I wrote the horror novella, Dark Rite, together, we knew that we could work well as a team, so we decided to take on a full novel project. Primordial is the result and I’m so happy it’s sold to Cohesion Press.

If that name is familiar, it should be! They’re a small press making great waves lately and they’ve published me a couple of times before, with stories in their anthologies Blurring The Line and SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest. I’ve also got another story with them soon, coming out in their next SNAFU anthology, Future Warfare.

Here’s a little blurb for Primordial about it to whet your appetite:

Sometimes, the legends are true.

When eccentric billionaire, Ellis Holloway, hires marine biologist Sam Aston to investigate the legend of a monster in a remote Finnish lake, Aston envisions an easy paycheck and a chance to clear his gambling debts. But he gets much more. Something terrible lives beneath the dark waters of Lake Kaarme… and it’s hungry. As the death toll mounts, Aston faces superstitious locals, a power-hungry police chief, and a benefactor’s descent into madness as he races to find the legendary beast of the lake in PRIMORDIAL.

So we have nefarious Australian marine biologists, lunatic American billionaires, a mysterious lake in Finland, myths of a giant monster, missing people, blood, suspense, even frickin’ Nazis, dude! It’s a great book with loads of action, so I hope you’ll pick up a copy when it comes out. I’ll be sure to keep you informed of progress as things move along. Now please excuse me while I happy dance.


New Alex Caine Series covers revealed!

This is so very exciting! The entire Alex Caine Series will finally be available in print everywhere in Australia and New Zealand in July. All three books will land in bookstores and you can at last get the whole set in paperback. And they’ve got these amazing new covers. The ebooks are out now, so get on board at your favourite ebook retailer if you can’t wait for the paperbacks. Check them out:

postcards copy

These covers are so much better, really conveying the dark thriller style of the books. What do you think of them? I can’t wait to see them actually for real, all papery and solid and in my greedy little hands! In the meantime, we can enjoy the dark awesomeness of these new covers. Magic, monsters, mayhem and martial arts, coming your way in just a few short months. Tell your friends!

And for the rest of the world, you’ll remember a little while ago I revealed in the international cover for Bound: Alex Caine #1, which will be available in the US, UK, Canada, etc. Well, that should drop in December this year, with Obsidian and Abduction hopefully not too far behind. Sorry you have to wait a bit longer, but it’ll be worth it!


Nominated for a Ditmar Award!

I’m very behind on blogging about stuff, but that’s because Chinese New Year has been kicking my arse. But I’m finally back at my desk and catching up, and I’m very happy to report that my story from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction last year, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”, has been nominated for a Ditmar Award in the Best Short Story category. What a treat! If you’re a member (full or supporting) of this year’s Contact in Brisbane, or you were a member (full or supporting) of Swancon 40 last year, then you’re eligible to vote in the Ditmar Awards. Of course, I’d love your vote if you think my story is worthy. This is my fifth Ditmar nomination, but I’ve yet to land the shiny, so it would be cool to make that final hurdle. To ease your voting, I’ve made the story available to read here:

“The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner” (6,500 words), from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2015 issue. Click here (or Right Click and Save As) for a PDF:

And of course, if you’re eligible to vote, please please please get involved and do so. The more people voting, the better the awards are.

Congratulations to all the nominees! You can find them here:

And as I write this, the Aurealis Award finalists have also just been announced. Congratulations to everyone listed there too! You can find that set of shortlists here:

Isn’t award season an exciting time!


Research: Even if it Might not be Apparent to the Reader, It’s Still Important

Today I’m hosting a guest post from SF and fantasy author, Terry W Ervin II. I think this is great – I hope you enjoy it.

Research: Even if it Might not be Apparent to the Reader, It’s Still Important
When a reader decides to pick up and read one of my novels, he or she is committing both money and time—valuable commodities that could easily be spent elsewhere. Because of that, I strive to tell the best story I can, which includes doing the necessary research. To me necessary means getting the big things right, along with the small, peripheral ones.

For example, in my debut novel, Flank Hawk, one of the factors that led to the post-apocalyptic setting was a handful of nuclear warheads penetrating the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems and detonating. Pulled from two chapter starts:

Nestled in Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD had been on full alert. Coordinated satellites viewing the earth in the infrared part of the spectrum recorded the demise of one ballistic missile while radars, including the Cobra Dane early-warning in the Aleutian chain and the X-band floating on a nearby platform, tracked the two surviving sub launched missiles as they climbed…

…A battery of six interceptor rockets from silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four more from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base raced skyward. An experimental tracking and intercept aircraft from the Vandenberg base was already aloft. While it strained for altitude, airmen activated its advanced tracking and targeting systems, and prepared its powerful laser should any warheads survive the kill vehicles housed in the interceptor rockets.

To get it right required hours of research, learning the basics of the US missile defense systems and equipment, capabilities, and locations along the West Coast. Only a fraction of what I dug up and organized actually made it to the pages of the novel, and only to a few paragraphs on a few pages, but the point of research isn’t to show off all the work I did. It’s to incorporate only the necessary details that enhance the story.
Crax War Chronicles RT and RH
As an author, I strive to get it right for the reader, not only for the story, but because the readers out there have varied knowledge and experience. I’d be embarrassed to get an email from a disappointed reader, telling me I’d gotten it wrong—especially something that I could’ve gotten right.

Another example comes from Relic Tech. It’s a science fiction novel that involves some interstellar space travel. One of the things I incorporated was time dilation, which is a phenomenon that occurs as a ship travels through space. The closer a ship comes to approaching the speed of light, the greater the time variation there is between those aboard the traveling ship as compared to planet side individuals.

In Relic Tech, the time dilation was along the lines of minutes and hours, rather than months and years. Still, Security Specialist Keesay (the main character) uses a 20th century watch not controlled by the ship’s chronometer to track the phenomenon. It’s only a minor point in the plot, as Specialist Keesay attempts to predict when the civil transport Kalavar will actually emerge at its destination, as opposed to what’s been told to the crew.

Not only did it take considerable time and effort to research and calculate the time dilation based on the Kalavar’s rate of travel, but it was also important to remain consistent with the distances between the star systems and exoplanets, (only a few fictional) incorporated into the storyline, and how long the actual travel between them would take based on a ship’s speed.
First Civilization Legacy Series FH BS SF

Speaking of exoplanets, for my most recent release, Relic Hunted (the sequel to Relic Tech), I had to do a fair bit of calculation with respect to the distances between star systems, some with exoplanets. The light years from Earth? That information is readily available. The light years between various star systems? Not so readily available information. So, high school trigonometry to the rescue. Find the distance from Earth to one star. Then find the distance from Earth to the second star. Get out a star map, draw lines from Earth to the two stars, measure the angle formed using a handy protractor, and all the data is there to determine an approximate distance between the two stars. Not an exact science, but far better than a random guess and, within the novel, it keeps the time to travel between specific stars and distant solar systems consistent.
All of the above examples (and more) took time, a lot of time—time that some might argue wasn’t really necessary. Nevertheless I did it, the reading and cross referencing, all the charts, figures and calculations, and had some of it double-checked by my former college roommate, who majored in physics and minored in astronomy, and is now a math professor.

Would the reader know if I made it all up? If I remained orderly and consistent, but sort of played a little fast and loose with the rate of travel and distances, and ignored the relatively minor time dilation? Probably not. Would they have cared? Maybe not. After all, I don’t write what might be termed hard science fiction. Nevertheless, I owe it to the reader, to get as much right as I reasonably can. Even the little things, because I believe they add up, giving my novels, such as Relic Hunted, depth, authenticity, and consistency.

Readers willing to invest time and money on my novels? I owe them at least that much.


Bio Pic Terry W. Ervin II for 2015Terry W. Ervin II is an English and science teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series (fantasy) includes Flank Hawk, Blood Sword, and Soul Forge.

The Crax War Chronicles, his science fiction series, includes Relic Tech and Relic Hunted (his most recent release from Gryphonwood Press).

In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. Genre Shotgun is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at and his blog, Up Around the Corner at



The Balance Omnibus Edition is out now

Balance Omnibus Front FinalSo those fine folk at Gryphonwood Press have put together a pretty sweet deal here. They’ve made an Omnibus Edition of my Balance Duology and thrown in a couple of extra short stories too. So this is a single volume (in ebook and paperback) that contains both novels, RealmShift and MageSign, plus two short stories, “Running Wild With The Hunt” and “Stand-Off”, which both feature Isiah, the protagonist from the novels.

The first of those short stories was originally published in the Seven Realms anthology, The Game, with yarns riffing on that famous short story, “The Most Dangerous Game”. The other short included in the Omnibus was originally published by Wily Writers. Neither of those yarns have been much in circulation for a quite a few years now, so it’s nice to have all the Isiah stuff in one place at last. Especially with such a damned cool cover on it!

And before the message start, I’ve been asked a lot whether there will be a third Isiah novel. Will The Balance duology become a trilogy, or even a longer series? I know there’s a fair few Isiah fans out there and that makes me happier than you could ever imagine. But the answer is a bit vague: Never say never. I don’t currently have plans for a third Balance book, but it is possible. I have a thing on my wall in the BaxCave with a list of projects on it – all kinds of books that I plan to write. On that list is “Balance 3?”

I’d need really good ideas and a strong plot to go ahead with it. I do have some inklings, but I plan to let them percolate for the foreseeable future and we’ll see what happens. So it’s possible, but in the meantime, The Balance Omnibus has all the Isiah goodness in existence right now. The ebook is pretty much everywhere already and the paperback edition will be out any day now. Get it wherever you usually get books – any problems, give me a shout. Meanwhile, here are the links for the major ebook stores:



iBooks US | iBooks UK | iBooks Aus