I’ve had a lot of fun this year working with Scott Sigler on his Galactic Football League series of fiction. The universe is everything I like; it’s pulp, it’s crime, it’s sci-fi, it’s full-contact sports, it’s blood and guts, it’s spaceships and alien cyborg gladiators and tough guys and girls with deep tough guy and tough girl pathos.
The GFL series is also a completely homegrown franchise. I like that most of all. Sigler rakes in mainstream dollars and glory writing best-selling thrillers for Crown, but he also owns and operates his own Dark Øverlord Media imprint. The backbone of that imprint is the GFL. Sigler’s novels THE ROOKIE, THE STARTER, THE ALL-PRO, and the latest volume in the series, THE MVP, have built a mini-empire of fans and readers and filled it with merch, podcasts, audiobooks, ebooks, and ancillary fiction that fill out this crazy as balls, fun as hell setting.
TITLE FIGHT is my latest contribution to all of that. Sigler and I actually began this as a podcast series back in 2010. TITLE FIGHT takes a look at MMA (mixed martial arts, or the stuff they used to do in the UFC before it sucked) in the far-future, alien-populated, bloodsport-obsessed universe of the GFL series.
We also wrote this one like a high-impact sparring match. Each of us created and took the perspective of a fighter in the titular bout (mine is that awesome freak of nature on the brand new cover for TITLE FIGHT created by Scott Pond) and traded chapters back and forth. The plot evolved from the conflict of that exchange, and what it became is a story about two extremely complex and terribly simple warriors of different species dealing with every possible obstacle, personally and professionally, en route to the fight of the millennia.
It’s a great and bloody piece of business, and the best part is you can now read TITLE FIGHT for the first time ever as a quality ebook from Dark Øverlord Media. Get it for four bucks for your Kindle in the Amazon Kindle Store, or for your other preferred digital reading device from Sigler’s store.
Fans have also been digging THE DETECTIVE—the other GFL series ebook I wrote with Sigler that came out this year. Although it’s firmly rooted in the plot of the novels, it also explores the life and times of the first openly gay character in this universe where the Human race is a brutal and borderline-medieval xenophobic, homophobic theocracy. I’m very proud of the character work I did there, and equally proud of all the insane planet-hopping action and intrigue I created in-between.
I’d encourage all of you guys to get into the GFL series. They’re fun, interesting, action-packed books. You can listen to a lot of them for free as podcasts and audiobooks without having to pay a dime. I’d like you to be able to read and enjoy the work I’ve done for the series, and I know that’s tough with it being so in-world and unapproachable without the context of the novels.
So give it a shot.
It’s always a nutty ride playing in someone else’s sandbox this way. I’ve written fiction for a fair number of other author’s worlds, and each one presents its own set of challenges. As do the authors themselves. Sigler may be the worst of them because he’s like a small, fervent machine when it comes to the work and he’s also not afraid of me, which is rare and leaves little room for compromise.
Writing GFL fiction is challenging because, for a series that’s about aliens five-hundred-years in the future playing football, Sigler is compulsive in his meticulous attention to authenticity and detail. History, technology, science, biology… he’s a freak for all of those subjects and he’ll brook nothing less than logistical adherence to those aspects of the story.
I love all of those subjects, as well. But I love lying and making shit up at my convenience more.
On the other hand, writing for this universe is incredibly liberating because all of the heavy, building-the-pyramids-block-by-block lifting has been done for you. I didn’t have to create a dozen alien races and cultures from the dawn of time to date and millennia of Human history before I could start telling the story. My gig was to shade existing worlds with blood and warrior pathos. I was handed a ready-made arsenal and unleashed on the battlefield with very sparse marching orders, free to create wanton mayhem as I saw fit.
You’re basically being paid to come in, destroy worlds and slay legions, and leave without having to clean up after the party.
It’s good work if you can get it.