I love Christmas.
It’s true. I always have. It was just about the only upheld tradition I’ve had since childhood. Because of that, during December I put away all of my spite and cynicism, I take a vacation from politics and culture wars and generally hating the rest of humanity, and I just enjoy the festive season and all the warm feelings it brings me.
So, in the spirit of the holiday season, and because I need the money and it’s a good marketing opportunity (I’m jolly, not full of shit), I’m slashing the price on all ebook versions of my award-nominated, modern dystopian-cyberpunk-noir-thriller-humanist-naturalist masterpiece novel The Failed Cities.
The Failed Cities is now only $4.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store.
If you purchase it directly from me, for your Kindle AND non-Kindle reading devices, it’s only $3.99 via Payhip.
That’s a 50% and 60% savings respectively from now until January 1st.
And if you want to go really big, give yourself or someone else the finest literary holiday present on the market. My good friends and intrepid publishers at The House of Murky Depths still have a few signed and numbered copies of the limited edition hardcore of The Failed Cities which includes gorgeous original illustrations from half-a-dozen premiere British artists.
It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen and one of my proudest achievements as a writer.
It’s also gorgeous on an iPad, iPhone, or ereader screen. Your call.
In conclusion I bid all of you go forth and give the gift of Matt Wallace to yourself or others this holiday season. You’ll thank yourself for it. They’ll thank you for it. I’ll thank you for it.
A few days ago, feeling more than a little frustrated and impotent over the state of American affairs, particularly this utterly insane and devolving government shutdown business, I decided to do something. Just something small. Because I needed to take action in some non-violent form.
I offered to give those on government furlough, or anyone who knew someone on furlough to whom they’d like to give a gift, a bundle of all my electronically-released fiction for free.
Like I said. Just something small.
The response was pretty sick. I fulfilled over twenty requests within the first couple of hours from people in both of those categories. The emails I received had a recurrent theme that really kicked me in the balls.
Everyone on furlough who requested the bundle expressed some form of the following two sentiments:
1) “We want to know how to buy your fiction as soon as we’re financially solvent enough to do so to show our appreciation.”
2) “It’s just nice to know someone actually cares.”
It’s the second point that really gutted me. It reminded me of that scene from Fight Club in which the men of Project Mayhem hogtie that guy in the men’s room and Tyler Durden gives his “we guard you while you sleep” monologue. Only these folks really do, and in reality they’d never lash out or strike back like that. They suffer in silence, every day, even when those who employ and depend upon them the most take a giant shit on their entire lives.
For them, anyone expressing any form of admiration or gratitude is like a drop of water in the middle of the desert.
The response from authors was equally surprising and unbalancing. Immediately, one after another, they all began volunteering to add to the bundle. A Kovacs of Dark Øverlord Media was the first to step up and offer their ENTIRE CATALOGUE OF BOOKS.
I could barely keep up with either the demand or all the good samaritans.
Which brings us to the Furlough eBook Bundle v2. I have now created a Dropbox with, literally, millions of words of free fiction for our federal workers who have time to kill and/or need to know someone actually gives two shits.
The bundle now includes fiction from me, as well as authors Scott Sigler, Mur Lafferty, Chuck Wendig, Jaye Wells, Maria Alexander, Brand Gamblin, Paul Elard Cooley, and J. Daniel Sawyer.
I didn’t solicit any of these folks directly. They all stepped up and volunteered their work.
The deal remains the same. If you fall into the category of either furloughed or someone wishing to show love to the furloughed, simply email me at matt AT matt-wallace.com to request the link.
The offer will remain available to you as long as your checks are being kited.
My thanks to all the authors who kicked in, and my eternal gratitude to all those folks who keep the machine running and who are still showing up to work as they are able.
UPDATED! Author Brand Gamblin has added his novels Tumbler and The Hidden Institute, as well as his short story collection The Danny, to the Furlough eBook Bundle. I enjoy Brand’s work a lot, so I’m hyped to have his catalogue for the bundle. Thanks you, brother.
UPDATED! The Furlough eBook Bundle will soon be adding more free fiction with novels by J. Daniel Sawyer and Paul Elard Cooley, stand-up writers both. Thank you, gentlemen!
UPDATED! The good folks at Dark Øverlord Media have given me permission to add my two Galactic Football League novellas–Title Fight and The Detective–which I co-wrote with New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler to the Furlough eBook Bundle. They have also very generously donated digital copies of Sigler’s novel The Rookie, the first book in the GFL series, to be included in the bundle, as well. That’s over 160,000 words of free fiction added to the mix. I want to thank the luminous A Kovacs and Scott Sigler for their support and contribution to this project.
So here’s the deal. Quick and dirty. If you’re currently on furlough I can’t buy your kids food. I can’t pay for their or your doctor visits. I can’t invite you all over to my house, ram a javelin through a whole pig, douse it in Jack, and light it on fire as I simultaneously unleash a gender variety pack of enthusiastic strippers who also juggle and do magic for your entertainment.
I can’t do any of those things. I have neither the resources nor the access to livestock.
Here’s what I can do. If you are on furlough, or you know someone who is and would like to give them a small gift, e-mail me at matt AT matt-wallace.com with the subject line “Furlough eBook Bundle” and I will send you a bundle of all of the fiction I’ve released digitally over the last year free of charge. That includes my novel The Failed Cities, Deck Gibson: The Complete Scripts, and a grab bag of novellas and short stories. It’s speculative fiction, most of it futuristic, some of it fantasy, all of it at least mildly entertaining.
I have neither the time nor facility to figure out how to vet or verify these requests, so I’m not even going to try. If you really want to lie, abuse my generosity, steal from me, and take advantage of and disrespect the legions of folk being crushed under the weight of our government’s stupidity right now, be my guest. You’re the only one who will have to live with what a worthless piece of shit you are.
I know it’s a little thing. It’s a few free hours of entertainment at most. But it’s all I have to offer, and I am offering all of it.
The offer will stand as long as this whole absurdist tragedy continues to play out. I wish you all the best fortune in the meantime. I purely do.
… and there are lifesigns.
My short story “Knowing” is the newest episode of Escape Pod, the award-winning, long-running science fiction podcast magazine. It’s 100% free, and you can download and listen to it right now by clicking here.
It is read with gusto by veteran Escape Pod narrator Mat Weller. Alasdair Stuart, whose intro and outro are no less than beautiful, poignant, and insightful, hosts the episode. Al has hosted podcasts featuring my stuff before, and there is literally no one else on planet Earth I would rather have presenting my work. He’s a fantastic writer himself, and a thoughtful and engaging personality who genuinely loves all mediums and genres of storytelling.
I originally wrote “Knowing” for an anthology of stories based on Nick Cave songs that never actually came together. I chose the utterly excruciating and ethereally beautiful “Time Jesum Transeuntum Et Non Riverentum” by Nick Cave and the Dirty Three (Warren Ellis’ violin will make you feel things for which there are no names). I eventually rewrote it (for reasons of copyright, obviously) for an appearance in a digital anthology edited by author James Melzer to promote one of his novels.
This is, however, its first appearance in audio form as a podcast.
And it is a damn fine production, if I do say so my damn self.
Escape Pod was, I believe, the first professional podcast fiction market. Since its debut in 2005 they have released over 400 episodes, featured some of the biggest names in sci-fi, won major awards, and been written about favorably in major worldwide publications. They are one of the cornerstones and only bona fide institutions of speculative fiction podcasting.
It’s kind of a big deal.
This one is also somewhat personal for me. You see, between 2006 and 2009 when I was heavy into podcast fiction I went balls-deep in just about every podcast of note that was even slightly speculative fiction related. My stuff appeared on Pseudopod, the sister podcast of Escape Pod focused on horror, four different times. I beat out Escape Pod stories for the Parsec Award for short fiction two years in a row.
But I could never seem to get a story on Escape Pod itself. I tried. They tried. Repeatedly. I still have the two-page rejection e-mail from then-editor Steve Eley explaining why one of my stories wasn’t quite right for the podcast. It’s the only rejection letter of such length and depth I have ever received. Even when one of my best friends in the entire goddamn world, Mur Lafferty, took over as editor… I still couldn’t seem to land a story there.
So finally appearing on Escape Pod holds meaning for me, if only in a purely egotistical way, or at the very least because I appreciate closure.
It’s also a privilege and an honor.
“Knowing” is also available to read as an ebook for your family of Kindle devices, and you can download it here from the Amazon Kindle Store for less than a buck. It would also mean a lot and cost you little to throw a similar tiding into Escape Pod’s donation bucket.
We’re both bringing you entertainment conveniently and totally free of charge. That doesn’t preclude, and in my opinion strongly merits, you supporting us both.
We will appreciate it immensely.
So listen to the story, then go buy and read the story. It’s a good one. I like it a lot. It’s got a lot of fucked up, Garth Ennis-esque qualities and characters I love, but it’s also actually about something, at least to me.
The feedback on the cover was tremendous. I think the title and visual concept shocked and awed a lot of people. Which was kind of the point. I’d been dropping hints on Twitter about this novel for several months, and when the cover was ready I wanted it to raise even more questions for the folks following along at home.
Their guesses about what the novel could possibly entail have both amused and disturbed me.
But I always appreciate the attention and effort.
Here then to end the speculation is the official synopsis of BLOW JOB DUMMY, my first Valley noir novel coming this winter.
Stay tuned to this blog and my Twitter for further details as they develop.
SEX. MURDER. REVENGE. BEDLAM IN THE VALLEY.
Gage Moxley was an ex-Army Ranger readjusting disastrously to civilian life… until he found a new job.
As a blow job dummy.
Gage is the live model at exclusive sex seminars for groups of well-to-do women willing to pay a premium to watch something more than a matronly instructor fit condoms over a banana.
And for an additional fee attendees can request a private lesson, as well.
He’s become a hit at high-end bachelorette parties and game nights across the San Fernando Valley, living a perpetual weekend of sex, cash, and drugs. He’s stopped thinking about the aimlessness of his life, the horrors of his past, and the pulsing question mark hanging over his future. He’s just enjoying the ride.
Until one night the party goes catastrophically wrong.
Gage suddenly finds himself mourning his employer and clinging to life after a vicious blind attack. He’s wanted by the authorities for a murder he didn’t commit, hounded by a notorious LA street gang for reasons unknown, and used as a pawn in a game of feuding families and millionaire industrialists.
He should flee the Valley, the state, and the country. But he won’t. After three years with clean hands and no purpose, Gage is finally a soldier with a mission again.
His new mission is pure, bloody vengeance.
And Gage has never failed on the field of battle.
I’ve written half-a-dozen essays on this site about, or referencing, my years as a professional wrestler. But for a long time whenever I wasn’t making a living as a pro-wrestler or as a writer one of the ways I supplemented my income was as a self-defense and combat instructor. I was fortunate enough to apprentice with a very skilled individual (who was also one of the guys that broke me into the wrestling business) early on in life, and apply those same skills as an instructor of private security, police, and military.
I’ve always thought of it as something I did, not something I was. Despite that, or probably because of it to a certain extent, I still have a lot of complicated feelings about my time and experiences in that line. What I’ve written about it I’ve written for my own edification up ’til now. It’s also a hard thing to get people to understand. It’s an even more esoteric, misunderstood, misrepresented world than professional wrestling in many ways.
The stakes are certainly often much higher.
Before I sat down to write this I took a brief mental inventory.
I think I’ve done somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 podcast interviews? Maybe 60?
I honestly can’t hope to remember all of them, or all of the podcasts. You can still find a lot of them online (unfortunately) if you search. Between 2006 and 2009 if it had anything even remotely to do with genre fiction I was on it like the cheap whore I am. From “big name” shows to every shitty little mom and pop ‘cast never to appear on iTunes, I shilled and pimped and hawked and barked with no shame. I pretended I didn’t find hosts to be the loathsome creatures they very clearly were and remain.
If there’s such a thing as vocal black face I spoke it.
To begin with, I’ve absolutely fucking had it up to the swampy ocular jelly of my eyeballs with Salon.
Salon, in the event you’ve never heard of and/or seen and/or read it, is an on-line magazine. It is basically like New York Magazine without paper or an editor who doesn’t have a dwarf in cleats standing on the decision-making portion of their brain.
They cover many subjects, not always horribly (to be fair), but every single thing they have to say to and about literature and authors reads/sounds like bad English food (or, you know, English food) coming out the wrong end of a cow with walking pneumonia.
In a bizarre and oddly symmetrical turn of events I will be a judge of the 2013 Parsec Awards being presented later this summer. For the past seven years the Parsecs have been given for excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, and they’re pretty much the only such award I know of that even kind of means a damn.
I was contacted by the beating heart of its steering committee, the esteemed Laura Burns, and asked to help judge the categories this year. I can’t imagine any other circumstance in which I’d say yes to such an arduous and most often in my opinion empty pursuit.
But I have no ability to say no to Laura.
I also have a soft spot and history with these particular awards. I won the first Parsec Award for short fiction all the way back in 2006. I also won the second Parsec Award for short fiction in 2007, in addition to being nominated a bunch of other times. I’m not bragging, but I do suppose I’m as qualified as anyone at this point to judge these things.
You can check out a complete rundown of this year’s finalists here. You can also download, listen, and view all of their work absolutely free. I advise you do so. Laura and the Parsec Committee go to a lot of trouble and expend a lot of discerning energy selecting the cream of the crop of speculative fiction podcasts in a variety of categories. If you’re a fan of the genre or new to it, this is the best place to find worthwhile offerings.
When it’s done right podcasting is vastly more than a delivery system for audio fiction, it’s a medium unto itself that combines traditional novels and short stories with audio drama, episodic serial, radio plays, and interactivity. It’s a different experience, and one I recommend.
The 2013 Parsec Awards will be presented, as always, at this year’s Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. I haven’t been to the awards ceremony in many years, but it was always a full-on production and a good time.
I stopped by Campbell Award nominated author and award-winning podcaster Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing for my first podcast interview in a dog’s age. Mur and I talked for almost an hour about everything and nothing. For those of you who were/are fans of the Good Cop, Bad Cop podcast Mur and I used to do, we also discuss its resurrection.
It’s a very interesting, funny, and wildly inappropriate listen, I assure you.
Also during the interview I promote many things that have already happened and thus are moot and irrelevant to you. Because, again, Mur held the interview back for approximately ten million years (I forgive her).
But all of the books and fiction I pimp are still readily available.
And now some out-of-context quotes from the interview!
“That’s when it’s camel time in Minneapolis.”
“In a distant future Vaudeville is the only thing that can save humanity.”
“Peter Dinklage is open for business.”
“Forsook is a Japanese porn star.”
Also, I curse a lot. So does Mur. It’s bleeped, but I think I said “beastfuck” twice.