First draft of GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND up on Patreon!

Subscription-only, alas. A little bit of an experiment, this: I want to increase interest in the book ahead of time. Also, it must be admitted that my Patreon subscribers largely paid for GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND’s production already, so the least I can do is slip them an early draft of the final product.


PS: Don’t worry about coming up with feedback or errata. At least, not yet. I already know the book’s going to need a line-by-line workout before I let the alpha and beta readers take a slap at it.

Snippet the LAST, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND :ha-ha, ho-ho, heeeeheeeeheee twitch twitch twitch:

103,496 words. words. Last word written! It’s a goram first draft now!

…Sorry, I’m at that stage of the novel-writing process. I’ll be better in a bit, I promise.


Even the fuzz seemed to recede for a moment. You learn out here very quickly that there are things you must never say aloud. There are topics so taboo, you may not even think about their outlines. At the top of that list — the very, very top — is the dread certainty that somehow, all of this death and destruction, all of the endless ghosts on alien winds and twisted fragments of a wondrous civilization, is our fault. None of us know why it’s our fault, but it is. You can forget about it, for a while, but not forever.

Maybe all of the myriad iterations of The Process isn’t sapient, after all. It must have deduced what we instinctively know; and yet, it does not hate us. I don’t think that I could extend that kind of grace, if I was the one being so wronged.


Now you know inflation is bad: it’s slopping onto Amazon, which can normally absorb stuff like that. The book cost increase is gonna happen a month from now, and I won’t lie: the per-book hit isn’t horrible. It’ll still be kind of painful in the aggregate, though, so if you were planning to buy my books — or someone else’s self-published books — now is the time to do that.

In the Mail: SEASON OF SKULLS (The Laundry Files).

I do legitimately enjoy these, albeit increasingly for completely different reasons than Charlie Stross might have intended. There’s just something relaxing about reading a horror novel whose author has employed both real effort and genuine skill to show something that he’s fundamentally scared of, and you’re not. It’s like “The Horror at Red Hook:” I can appreciate the artistry of SEASON OF SKULLS, without running the risk of it creeping me out.

I don’t know if that would bug him, or not. After all: the sale gets rung up either way, right? And in paperback, too! That’s extra-special.

Check out @kennethhite’s proposed online course on H.P. Lovecraft!

I signed up for this: hopefully it’ll get enough interest to actually run.


The trick is going to be keeping this one under control.


Yeah, obviously, I took the job. I’m telling the story, ain’t I?

Once we shook hands on it, we made it over to the scene of the crime. It was your basic professional hall, the kind where the lawyer shares a meeting room with the accountant and the alchemist moonlights as a notary public. “Annabelle rented a safety deposit box with Senor Lomax,” Father Miguel explained to me. “He’ll be able to tell you the details about what happened.”

“Good.” I didn’t explain to the good father that Lomax was also one of the three prime suspects, since he had a master key and he was a lawyer. Either one might not have been enough, but combine the two? Maybe there was something there. He wouldn’t be the first abogado who figured he knew enough law to wriggle out of trouble.

Lucky for him, he wasn’t the only suspect I had: there were two other people who had keys to the box.

Has anybody vended at the Maryland Pop and Horror Con?

I’m looking for summer venues to sell books, and the Maryland Pop and Horror Con (August 18-20) does seem to have potential. The only problem is, the cheapest table is $225 for three days (to give you an idea, Balticon in 2022 was only $185). If the foot traffic is good, it’s still worth doing – but I’ve never gone to the con, so I don’t know how crowded it’ll get. Anybody know?

Also: if people know of any one-day events in summer that are in Maryland, let me know.


05/15/2023 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

The last bit of “write this scene later” has been written. The draft’s not actually done, but from here on out it’s more formatting and changing details as I go. I might get it done by the end of the week. Huzzah!


…well, we didn’t do anything horrible to anyone. But all of those pieties about respecting personal information that we quoted to Rubicon, back at the beginning? Of the five entities at that meeting: two were dead, one was in medical cold sleep, one was still recovering from the mental equivalent of a heart attack, and then there was me. If I was the functional one, we were nowhere near out of the woods, yet.

I’m not apologizing. We were right to be concerned about hidden cultists, and roughing up personnel records was a lot better than roughing up the personnel. I just wish — I just wish people had made better decisions, or at least not make poor ones where I had to see them.

One of the things that I did, once I was effectively in charge, was to pull Syah off everything else and have him handle the records searches. I worried that I was playing favorites, but Maki signed off on it right away. So did Nur, ironically. The sooner we cleared everybody, the faster we could go back to work. The quarantine was definitely starting to pinch us.

The problem was? We didn’t clear everybody.


Getting back to this!


“I’m afraid so, Mr. Vargas. She died two weeks ago. I received word that she fell overboard, off the ferry to Peñasco, only they didn’t find the body for a week. We buried her last Saturday.” Father Miguel looked unhappy. “There were more people attending the reading of the will than at her funeral.”

“Yeah. That happens. I take it the relic was one of the bequests?”

“Yes. It turns out that she left it to the Church — but when the executor opened the safe where she had stored her valuables, it was empty of that, and the other items listed in the will. That’s when I was brought into the situation.”

I gave him the old Shamus grin. We have several different versions of that, so I went with ‘good-natured.’ Father Miguel seemed like a good guy, even on short notice; besides, he could probably bench-press me. “So you took a look at the mess, decided that you weren’t the right guy for the job, and went looking for one who was?”

“Exactly. I will confess, I went first to the police.”

“Sure,” I agreed amiably. People are always making that mistake. It ain’t like Cin City cops are lazy; they just know what they’re good at. Somebody snatching pouches? They can sort that out. Week-old thefts where nobody’s talking? Not so much, at least as long as the corpses aren’t piling up. I didn’t have the good Father here pegged as somebody who’d want things to get that bad. “Did your parishioner stick around?” He looked confused, so I elaborated. “You know, as a ghost?”

“Oh! Sorry, Mr. Vargas. I have no idea.” Now I was confused. “My time in seminary didn’t include any lessons in necromancy. Just warding and exorcisms. I wouldn’t know where to start in talking to a spirit.”