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The Alien Element, new covers, and my sci-fi summer lineup

Yesterday I turned in The Alien Element, the novel I’ve been writing since March. Yep, that’s the title for the project I’ve been calling Translocator 2 these last few months. It finally has a name!

It also has an incredible cover and now that the book is done (except for editing), I’m stoked to be able to share it with you.

Since book one in the series has been out for a while, I decided to have both of the covers redone. Hat tip to Beaulistic Book Services for the fine work. Here are the new covers for The Auriga Project and the upcoming sequel, The Alien Element:

The Alien Element by M.G. Herron

The new cover for The Auriga Project will be available in July. The Alien Element, if all goes according to plan, should come out in early August.

I will also have a new sci-fi short story for you in July called Not Alone, an incredible ebook giveaway to share next week, and unedited snippets from The Alien Element on the blog soon. A whole bunch of great M.G. Herron fiction comes out this summer!

Writing book three in the Translocator Trilogy once seemed like a distant mirage—something I might never reach. Now that I’m 2/3rds of the way through the Trilogy, it looks more like a shade-covered oasis. I’ve got a few smaller projects to wrap up in July, but I cannot WAIT to get back and break ground on book three, hopefully sometime in August.

Reading: Jumper

Jumper by Steven Gould
Science fiction, 1992

Ignore the movie adaption cover for a minute and focus instead on the opening words of this novel. These words drew me in and hooked me straight away:

The first time was like this.

I was reading when Dad got home. His voice echoed through the house and I cringed.

“Davy!”

The first time for what? For David Rice to teleport to the Stanville Public Library, which happens before the end of the first short scene. It is not a spoiler to tell you this.

Teleportation is a common trope in SF, yet it was refreshing to see it dealt with so directly. David Rice can teleport, and you learn that immediately.

It’s the rest of the emotional depth that keeps you there—his escape from an abusive home, his search for his estranged mother, his first real relationship…and how he resists the damage and danger he faces trying to move through the world. The book is a complex mix of adventure backlit by heavy emotional trauma. The teleportation is central, yet not isolated in its impact.

The story meandered a little in the middle, but then a remarkable change was brought about by tragedy—terrorism, to be specific. From then on the story shifts direction. It lost me for a bit at that point, so I took a break and read one of the 4-5 other novels I’m working on at any given time. But I kept coming back because of David’s voice, and finally finished the book a few nights ago.

I haven’t seen the movie the cover of this edition depicts (in fact I prefer this cover), so I can’t speak to how it is on screen. IMDB gives the film 6.1/10 stars, which usually means it’s forgettable. But I won’t forget the book any time soon.


Note on the new column: I’m always reading, both because I love books and because I make an effort to study the writing, trying to absorb new storytelling skills by osmosis. So I thought I would try out some short articles on the books I read. I’m not going to rate the books or grade them in any way. I just want to give you my reactions and impressions and try to make some interesting connections for you. Maybe you’ll like the book. If you do, cool, the link is up top. If you’ve read the book, I hope you talk to me about it in the comments.

Audiobook Recommendation: The Name of the Wind

51hp1ac+k6L._SL300_.jpgI just finished listening to The Name of the Wind on Audible — what a lyrical, beautiful book that is. Rothfuss’s metaphors and similes are music to my ears.

This was my second read through—I read the paperback last fall, and decided I needed to really take my time and listen this time around.

I was listening with my writer’s ear—but Rothfuss’s work has that magic. Even when I’m trying to study the story, I can’t helped but get sucked into it.

The best bit: Siaru accents, like loud, sarcastic Russians. I didn’t laugh nearly as hard reading these lines. In the audiobook version, however, dialogue from the Siaru merchant in charge of the caravan where Kvothe first meets Denna had me doubled over, clutching my stomach. And when Kilvin, with a burned hand, was talking to Kvothe after the fire in the Fishery, and even Kvothe couldn’t tell if Kilvin was joking … instant classic.

Click here to listen to the clip of the Siaru merchant telling Kvothe the many ways he might “get left behind.”

The Name of the Wind Fan art

I also want to take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite fan art from fans of The Name of the Wind. With the exception of Neil Gaiman, I’ve never known of another author whose fans are so engaged they make TONS of art featuring their characters. I hope one day to write a story that inspires art in this way.

the_waystone_inn_by_bchart-d91iu1s.jpg
By bchart on DeviantArt
cinder_v2_by_myques-d9o4djg.jpg
By myques on DeviantArt
doors_of_stone_mock_cover_by_thatsummersguy-d6gwtlo.jpg
By ThatSummersGuy on DeviantArt

I could have included dozens more, but these three caught my eye first and I’ve got to get back to working on a story. You can find more fan art on Pat Rothfuss’s all time favorites list.

12 Days of Books, Christmas Giveaway

12 Days of Books Giveaway

Holy wow, Christmas is coming up fast! To celebrate the holidays, I’m participating in a 12 Days of Books promotion with some very awesome authors. From now until Christmas, you can enter to win the whole set of 12 signed science fiction and fantasy books, including my own novel, The Auriga Project, E.J. Wenstrom’s Mud: Chronicles of the Third Realm War, Jade Kerrion’s Perfection Unleashed, and a many more!

How do you enter? Simply sign up on this giveaway page between now and midnight December 24th, 2016, Christmas Eve.

I’ll post some more blogs going into the books being included in more detail. In the meantime, you can browse the websites of the other participating authors for more ways to enter and good books to read. Here’s the full list:

Charles Cornell

Danielle DeVor

Louann Carroll

Connor Drexler

Jeff Elkins

M. G. Herron

Sharon Johnston

Jade Kerrion

R. Perez de Pereda

Brian Rella

Antonio Simon, Jr.

E. J. Wenstrom