Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions – Release Date March 8

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larry1_sm2Last week in my blog I wrote about the release of the novel on Jan. 26 (yesterday), and the mysterious “Top Secret” cover for the novel. And now the truth has come out – not just for you, but for me as well.

Why was I so mysterious about the cover last week? Because I hadn’t seen it, and had no clue what would be on the cover, despite the fact that at that point, the novel was supposed to have already been at the printer, with copies available two days later for the Confusion SF Convention in Michigan. However, all was not as it seemed.

I’d been emailing with the publisher for many weeks, asking about the cover, and couldn’t get an answer. So you can imagine how my frustration grew daily as the release day approached and the publisher simply wouldn’t discuss the cover with me. I finally resigned myself to the idea that I, the writer, wasn’t to be “in the loop” regarding the cover, and that I wouldn’t see the cover of my own novel until after it was published. You can imagine my thoughts on that. I was also frustrated by the lack of any pre-release publicity – not even a press release. I was told that would go out after publication, i.e. there would be no attempt at building up buzz. Again, I was not happy. There was also an “Upcoming Books” listing at the publisher’s page, but my novel wasn’t on it – neither were any others – it was blank.

Then, late on Thursday night, Jan. 21, five days before the scheduled release, I got that email no author wants to hear – the publisher was closing down!!! Finally I learned why there had been no cover or publicity – since the publisher was closing, the novel wasn’t to be published.(I was asked not to go public with this info until the end of the week, so we’re well past that.)

Or was it?

One day later I received an email from one of the assistant editors, who was negotiating to buy the company. And lo and behold, it looks like that’s happening, and so World Weaver Press will continue! And they still want to publish my novel. However, it’ll have to be postponed. The publication date is now March 8, assuming all goes well.

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

The down side is that the novel was long planned to come out in the middle of the presidential election, since it’s a political novel that covers the race for president of Earth in the year 2100. (With a third-party moderate challenge, a father pitted against a daughter, and an alien ambassador observing and often participating.) The plan was to have it out before the Iowa caucuses, which will be held Feb. 1 (next Monday). So we’ll lose some of that. In an ideal world, of course, the plan is that I’ll be interviewed on all the news shows along with all the candidates, and of course Trump will attack it, calling me a “hack writer,” and that’ll make it a best seller.

Or perhaps Trump will sue me, because he’s in the novel – sort of. I wrote the novel long before he entered the race for president, so I wasn’t taking advantage of that. One of the four main characters is a professional table tennis player who drops out of the pro circuit to run the worldwide third-party challenge for the presidency. He is sponsored by Trump Sports, and uses Trump table tennis equipment! Yep, I decided to make the imaginary Trump Sports a big company in the year 2100, where it’s mentioned six times – the pro table tennis player uses a Trump Maestro Prime racket, wears Trump table tennis shoes, and at one point browses over a pack of Trump sports cards, where the best table tennis players in the world are featured. (He’s disgusted because he’s not included. That Trump is such a hack!)

Of course, Trump does play table tennis, right? (Yeah, I put that graphic together. Please, Mr. Trump, sue me!!!)

The upside to all of this is that now we’ll have time to build up buzz, and we’ll still get the novel out during the height of the presidential race. So . . . should I wear makeup when I get interviewed on CNN?

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One Week to the Launch of Campaign 2100!

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C2100-vanilla-cover-smMy novel, “Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions,” will be released by World Weaver Press on Tuesday, Jan. 26, one week from today! (And no, the image to the left is not the actual cover – see the “Final Cover To Come” note, and note below.)

The novel covers the election for president of Earth in the year 2100. It’s “West Wing meets the 22nd Century.” It features a third-party moderate challenge to the reigning conservative and liberal parties – some may read it as a Moderate Manifesto. There’s also an alien ambassador observing, so readers learn our future politics and history as he does.

Here’s the updated back cover text:

The year is 2100, and when it comes to the planet-wide presidential election, the father-daughter team of Toby and Lara Platt are the cutthroat campaign directors who get candidates elected by any means necessary—including the current president of Earth, the Frenchman Corbin Dubois. But when an alien ambassador lands outside the United Nations, Dubois goes to war with her. In protest, Toby resigns.

When Lara takes over the campaign, Toby vows to put his daughter out of a job. He challenges the two major parties—one conservative, one liberal—and runs for president himself with a third-party moderate challenge.

Amid rising tensions and chants of “Alien go home!” the campaign trail crisscrosses continents as father and daughter battle for electoral votes and clash over ideas and issues facing the world of 2100 in this bare-knuckle, fight-to-the-finish political campaign. The world is watching. And so is the alien.

Now you are probably wondering about the cover. You can see the “current” cover over at Goodreads (and above). As you can see, it says, “Final Cover to Come.” And, here’s where things get mysterious. For top-secret reasons – TOP SECRET!!! – I can’t show the cover to you now. Why can’t I show you? Hah, you’ll just have to wait for the unveiling for the explanation! So let the buzz begin – what is on the cover of Campaign 2100??? What is so secret about it that Larry can’t show it to us? Will this truly be the greatest book cover ever, as rumored? Stay tuned as we live out this clandestine drama that, 77 years ago, Winston Churchill (who is quoted in the novel) described as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. (Or was that Russia? Which goes to war with China and Japan during the novel?)

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Reading Recommendations from World Weaver Press, and the Odyssey Writing Workshop

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larry1_sm2Reading Recommendations from World Weaver Press, and the Odyssey Writing Workshop

You are probably counting the days or perhaps the minutes until the next episode or book comes out in the Game of Thrones series. But if you really like the writing of George R.R. Martin, here’s a shocker: he’s written other novels! Over at World Weaver Press, they’ve put up reading recommendations for their writers and staff, and mine is “Tuf Voyaging,” published in 1986 by, you guessed it, George R.R. Martin. Here’s what I wrote of it:

“Anyone not in a coma the last few years has heard of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, but many have not stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, he might have written previous novels. I recently read one of his best, Tuf Voyaging. Originally published in 1986, it’s basically a series of related short stories that cover the adventures of the highly eccentric Haviland Tuf, a giant, overweight, pale, vegetarian food-loving, cat-loving, hyper-honest genius who becomes the owner of the Ark, a 30-kilometer ancient ship with incredible ecological engineering capabilities. Tuf’s do-goodism is constantly misunderstood as he travels the galaxy, alone other than his feline companions, solving planetary problems and righting wrongs, often with controversial solutions and over the objections of those he is helping. It’s both a fascinating character study and an environmental satire, and a hoot to read.”

So why don’t you head over to World Weaver Press and read the recommendations and reviews from the others? They include:

  • “Hand of Fire” by Judith Starkston
  • “Life Without Harry” by Sara Dobie Bauer
  • “Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales told by Virginia Hamilton and illustrated” by Leo & Diane Dillon
  • “Sparrow Hill Road” by Seanan McGuire
  • “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab
  • “Monster” by Naoki Urasawa (manga)
  • “Hawkeye” comic by Matt Fraction
  • “Juliet’s Nurse” by Lois Leveen
  • “Jason Crane” series by Richard Gleaves
  • “Karen Memory” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “Cinnamon and Gunpowder” by Eli Brown
  • “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik
  • “Superposition” by David Walton
  • “The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories”
  • “Hiding from the Reaper and Other Horror Poems” by Michael Potts
  • “Blood Chimera” by Jenn Lyons
  • “Sing Me Your Scars” by Damien Angelica Walters
  • “Far Orbit Apogee” edited by Bascomb James

Note – World Weaver Press will be publishing my novel, “Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions,” on Jan. 26. More on that in the coming weeks!

Odyssey Writing Workshop

If you are an aspiring writer, have you considered applying for the six-week Odyssey Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop? It would be a life-changing experience for you! I went in 2006. It also qualifies you to be a part of “The Never-Ending Odyssey,” where graduates get together once a year for nine days and run our own writing workshop. (I’ll blog more about this later on.)

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More Pings and Pongs

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More Pings and Pongmore-pings-and-pongs-front-cover-sms is out, in both print and kindle formats! This is the second anthology of my short stories, and includes the 25 best stories I’ve sold and published since 2012. The first one, “Pings and Pongs,” came out in 2012. From God getting Earth critiqued in a workshop, to a dragon landing on the U.S. Capitol, from a dead kid on a high school track team battling the Mile Mafia, to the first ten U.S. presidents battling each other and alien vacationers on an alien computer, here are more stories from the feverish mind of Larry Hodges!

Many of these stories were critiqued in writing workshops, such as at the “The Never-Ending Odyssey” (an annual nine-day workshop by graduates of the six-week Odyssey Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing Workshop – I’m class of 2006), and others at Codexwriters.com, an online community for experienced Science Fiction & Fantasy writers.

Ironically, the very first story in the anthology is “Workshop Gods,” a satire on writing workshops. What happens when a very nervous God gets bad critiques for the planet Earth in his workshop for planetary creation, and he decides to cheat in order to qualify for SFWA (Supernatural Formation of Worlds Association)? The opening line is “God fidgeted.”

Here’s the Introduction to More Pings and Pongs, which also explains the title:

In 2012 I published “Pings and Pongs,” an anthology of the 30 best short stories I’d sold at that time. Since then I’ve been typing and selling away – and here are 25 more!

I’ve divided them into three sections: Fantasy (6 stories); Science Fiction (8); and Short Stuff (11). I’m told I tend to write with a light touch, and many of the stories are humorous. However, a few are a bit darker, such as the award-winning stories “Rationalized” and “The Awakening.” Read over the story descriptions in the Table of Contents to see which stories interest you, or just read it straight through from the start!

You may be wondering about the title, “Pings and Pongs.” In the real world, I make my living as a professional table tennis writer and coach. Really! Ping-Pong, or its more proper name table tennis, do make their way into a few of these stories, in particular in “Ping-Pong Ambition.” You can read about my table tennis exploits at www.TableTennisCoaching.com, or see my science fiction & fantasy page at www.larryhodges.org.

Here’s the text from the back cover:

Here are 25 stories from the feverish mind of Larry Hodges. God cheats to save Earth from a bad critique and annihilation in a planetary workshop…An English professor and a supercomputer battles a muse who turns all writing into masterpieces…A dead kid joins the high school track team and battles his killer and the Mile Mafia…A wizard and a warrior battle in the belly of a dragon…William Shakespeare has ten trillion typing chimpanzees in his basement…A city of lost souls lives in the backbone of the Devil…An underground society battles to hide their secret – their emotions weren’t surgically removed at age 13…A man becomes a universe and battles his vengeful tendencies…A 4-D artists messes with a 3-D fly and ends up at war…The first ten U.S. presidents battle each other and alien vacationers in an alien computer…The U.S. president gets sucked into the Galaxy Girding Grid…A huge dragon swoops out of the sky and lands on the U.S. Capitol – what’s the president to do?…and many more!

So let me very crassly ask you to buy your copy today – or I’ll sic Shakespeare’s chimpanzees, the mile mafia, and that fly mentioned above on you. You don’t want to mess with the fly.

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