Novels

Nov 232015
 

Illyana from the New Mutants, the first comic series I loved

Continuing the 15th anniversary giveaway: my free ebook this month is An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil. My original title for this was Hipster Hellspawn — in fact I think the title might have come first. I was convinced by one of my early readers that this was a bad title, that the H-word alienates everyone — one of the most pronounced aspects of hipsterism is that it disavows itself. I have a theory that this discomfort in its own skin is the way that it evades being co-opted — or at least gives its skin a slipperyness that makes it difficult to bottle and sell. Maybe that’s why in the over 10 years since I wrote the book the term hipster hasn’t been totally replaced. (I vote for “coolster”.)

And apparently these hipster-adjacent ideas have followed me into middle-age as in the last month or so I have been toying with the idea of a comedy webseries named Moustache Shoppe. It’d never be entirely clear what happens in the Shoppe — grooming? consultation? trims? — but if you have to ask, you probably don’t belong there. Comics who particularly enjoyed Movember should drop me a line! (And yes, I know: there’s lots of signs Peak Moustache has already occurred. But a small, carefully coiffed fringe of hair above a man’s lip is still very delightful.)

Read on to grab the free ebook!

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Oct 202015
 

sidzine-web

My eight-year-old Sidney tabled her first zine fair on Saturday. Of her three scary stories my favourite was from a weird dream she had called The Woman With Three Boobs, but I also liked Fonster: The Fish Monster and The Ghost Who Sang a Song. The last one was actually what started it all — I’d taken her to another zine fair and she’d gotten a blank notebook with a cartoon of a ghost with a microphone on the cover. One day, fairly uncharacteristically, she holed herself up in her room and wrote a story in the notebook inspired by the cover. I suggested we could make a few stories like these and sell them at the next zine fair, and she liked that idea. So we did the whole thing — rough draft, good draft, colour copy, collation, stapling, folding — as well as discussed the cost of the table and printing etc. We made 25 of each and decided to sell them at $2 each or $5 for 3. We also had a discussion about how catchy titles and covers were important, and I broke out my first novel Flyboy as an example.

And actually, I’ll interrupt my story to continue the 15th anniversary giveaway, as my free ebook this month is Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask…

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Aug 242015
 

marcbelldoesays

Things have changed since I started No Media Kings in the year 2000. Rupert Murdoch, who inspired the name, is less of a threat to media security than the innocuous & pervasive Google and Apple. I’ve gone from writing novels, to writing for games, comics, and movies. I went from being a 20-something bachelor writing about superheroes and rocket ships to a 40-something father making a historical mystery audio drama.

I launched NMK by giving away free ebook versions Angry Young Spaceman. Pre-Kindle and iPhone, people found it baffling. But the gift economy works — it’s come back to me in a lot of ways.

So every month I’m going to be giving one of my six ebooks away!

If you want to find out when the new book’s up follow me on Twitter or even better, subscribe to the blog — so we don’t have to rely on a corporation to keep in touch.

Free in August: Angry Young Spaceman
My book about a guy who goes to another planet to teach English, based loosely on my ESL stint in Korea. Recently the talented Marc Bell drew a few pages adapting the beginning of the story, above is a detail from it.

“It’s a wonderful book. Unquestionably SF, it isn’t written in the usual science fiction voice, and that’s part of its charm. His prose is conversational, his characters and settings of the future Earth and Octavia are fascinating, and the story remains engaging from start to finish.” — Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction

Cover art and back cover copy & more blurbs here.

Download here

Free in September: Everyone In Silico
Free in October: Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask
Free in November: An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil
Free in December: Therefore Repent! (illustrated by Salgood Sam)
Free in January: Sword of My Mouth (illustrated by Shannon Gerard)

Jun 212011
 

How much do you charge for digital products? For a decade my answer to that was “nothing!” It was freeing to be able to give away stuff, unhampered by material costs of production. I’ve been giving away e-books since 2000, and I’ve benefited from this in a number of ways.

However — in case you missed it — things have changed in the last decade. The print book market has been becoming less viable, and the digital becoming more so. Also the e-book reading experience is becoming more and more comparable to the print one. At a personal level, I’m reading as much on my phone as I am on the page.

So: I’ve decided to charge something for them now. But how much?

That’s up to you. Whatever you think is fair and whatever you’re happy to pay. If you’re looking for examples, read on.

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Jul 172010
 

Two recent book trades that I felt I got the better deal of — A Dream on Two Wheels and A Book of Tongues.

Wheels is a smart and whimsical cyclist alternate reality written by Sarah A. Chrisman, who not only handmakes her books but also a selection of hats you can wear while reading them. Lovely!

Tongues is a baroque masterpiece. The worldbuilding is as dense and rich as China Miéville’s, and the cowboy sex smells of Jean Genet’s forbidden machismo. The fact that this outlaw confabulation has come from a debut novelist from Toronto and a Toronto publisher of excellent weird spec-fiction just makes me extra-excited.

Nov 252008
 

I’m 2/3rds (AKA 66.6%) of the way through writing the graphic novel follow-up to Therefore Repent!, so I thought I’d post some of the amazing sample pages by the new artist, Shannon Gerard.

I don’t want to give away too many details, but it’s set in Detroit, involves one of the Four Horsemen, and the first 22 pages should be debuting at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May 2009.
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