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Join M.G. Herron’s SFF book club!

If you aren’t already signed up for my emails, you might not know that a few weeks ago I launched M.G. Herron’s SFF Book Club, introducing weekly book recommendations and adding a Facebook group for discussion.

I had been searching for a way to give back to my readers and fans. Since I am only able to publish 3-4 major books per year right now, this is also a way for me to offer you even more entertainment and value between my book launches, while I’m working on new stuff.

So if you sign up for my book club now, you’ll not only know when I have new books out, but you’ll also get:

  • My starter library of science fiction/fantasy stories
  • A personally curated book recommendation every Friday
  • An invite to the Facebook group
  • First dibs on exclusive content I create for my readers

I’m even planning to do host Facebook Live book club discussions, so follow me on Facebook to be notified when those happen.

Hope to see you in there!

Cover reveal: BOYS & THEIR MONSTERS

It’s always an exciting day when I get to share artwork for a new book!

Here’s the cover for Boys & Their Monsters, a collection of post-apocalyptic adventures written over the last year and a half.

The book is publishing now and will be available sometime next week. I’m putting together some giveaways and other treats to accompany the launch, so enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to check back soon!

Boys & Their Monsters: Post-Apocalyptic Stories

One begins to see Herbert’s essential themes…

“…one begins to see Herbert’s essential themes. One of his central ideas is that human consciousness exists on—and by virtue of—a dangerous edge of crisis, and that the most essential human strength is the ability to dance on that edge. The more man confronts the dangers of the unknown, the more conscious he becomes. All of Herbert’s books portray and test the human ability to consciously adapt. He sets his characters in the most stressful situations imaginable: a cramped submarine in Under Pressure, his first novel; the desert wastes of Dune; and in Destination: Void the artificial tension of a spaceship designed to fail so that the crew will be forced to develop new abilities. There is no test so powerfully able to bring out latent adaptability as one in which the stakes are survival.”

– Timothy O’Reilly in Frank Herbert (Recognitions)

Originally published by Frederick Ungar, October 17, 1983. The whole critical biography of Frank Herbert (216 paperback pages) is also available online at oreilly.com.

Illustration by Erik Shoemaker.

Guest book review of Hyperion, the sci-fi epic

I’ve been on a mission.

A mission read a hundred science fiction classics.

Most recently, I read Hyperionan Hugo Award-winning 1989 science fiction novel by Dan Simmons. I enjoyed it so much that I also wrote a book review of Hyperion as a guest appearance on the blog of JR Handley, a military science fiction I recently met through a sci-fi fan group.

Here’s a snippet from the beginning of the review. Visit JR’s blog to read the full piece.

Guest Book Review: Hyperion

I’ll say this about Hyperion: it doesn’t pull any punches.

This epic science fiction fantasy novel follows a priest, a warrior, a poet, a detective, and the rest of their group on a tragic and often violent pilgrimage to the planet of Hyperion.

Their quest leads them not only to the Time Tombs of the Shrike, but down the battered, bloody, and often sexual fringes of their lives and memories.

Each of these characters is complex and nuanced, mysterious and determined. I don’t always like all of them… In fact, scratch that—I actively dislike most of them. They’re selfish, egostistical, vain people. But they turn out to be fascinating people too.

Read on: Guest Book Review: Hyperion.

3 great sci-fi mystery novels to read

After a full weekend enjoying the company of family and friends, taking care of some errands, and writing a chapter of Translocator 3, I’m winding down for the night by checking out some science fiction mystery novels I haven’t read yet, and thinking back on the ones I’ve enjoyed.

I’ve always loved sci-fi and speculative mystery, everything from Ghostbusters to the TV show Fringe to the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to almost everything Isaac Asimov ever wrote. I immediately fell in love with Minority Report when I was a kid, and of course Blade Runner is a classic and Philip K. Dick did SF noir like no one else.

But there are a ton of science fiction mystery books I plain didn’t know about, or that I missed because I was busy doing something else.

You can always count on Goodreads for a good starter list. I’ll be checking out a bunch of these in an effort to get to know the genre better: Science Fiction Detective Novels.

I also want to give a shout out to these three novels from writers I admire. I read two of them recently, and I’m in the middle of the Asimov book, but so confident of its stature as canon in the SF mystery field that I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

This is the classic science fiction detective novel on which most of the fascination with Asimov’s work is based. Set a millennium into the future, Detective Lije Baley is forced to work with a Spacer robot detective…who is practically indistinguishable from a real person. This fascinates and disgusts him, and it gets worse when his orders go beyond work and begin to infringe on his delicate family life.

 

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

The concept of this book hooked me from the start. Here it is from the book page:

“One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone—999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.”

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher. When his friend and colleague goes missing, Tony gets involuntarily pulled into a missing person’s investigation.

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

While Sanderson is known for writing epic fantasy, this incredible short novel shows he’s got SF detective mystery chops, too.

Police have the ability to take a snapshot of a day, and relive it. They use it to solve crimes. “Anthony Davis and his partner Chaz” relive May 1st in an attempt to solve a crime.

If that sounds surprising, just wait until you read what happens next.

As I was putting this blog post together, I saw at the bottom of the Snapshot page that the film rights have been options for this story. Here’s to hoping that means sequels, because I enjoyed the hell out of this book.

Click on the book covers or titles above to check the books out on Amazon. (Those are affiliate links, which means I get a few pennies if you buy the book. That money goes back into this blog, which means more books by me like the ones you see above. Thanks in advance for your support!)