So I waited until all the pieces were in place before formally announcing this one, though I've been plugging it on Twitter for a lil' while now. Behold The Sky-Riders, a new novelette that's quite a departure for me, available in numerous online places in electronic and audiobook editions.
About five years ago I got a hankering to create a story that would be nothing like the dream-like dark fantasy and horror I tend to produce when left to my own devices. It would be fun! Upbeat! Retro! A Western, even, a steampunk Western! I didn't intend, however, to try this dangerous stunt alone. I turned to my longtime friend and newspaper colleague Paul Dellinger, whose knowledge of both the Western genre and the Old West is jaw-dropping. (And I knew it would be fun to collaborate with Paul, so this was a great excuse.)
Paul and I and Anita began to brainstorm characters and plotlines; my friend Shalon Hurlbert, too, contributed some ideas about how a solar-powered airship built in the 1890s might work. I ended up asking Paul to tackle the first draft, because what I wrote to start us off with had the wrong feel, or so it seemed to me. And I loved what Paul came up with; the final story is altered from his first draft only in subtle ways, so his name goes first as far as I'm concerned.
We think we concocted something fun and, in its own way, refreshingly different, but we didn't connect with an editor, as happens, y'know? Paul and I had already discussed going the self-publishing route when I saw some samples of artwork from Orion Zangara and Derek L. Chase that made me realize they would do a wonderful job of creating a cover to go with our story. That sealed the deal.
I have a number of e-books out, but Sky-Riders is my first ever straightforward direct-to-self-publishing venture. Paul's as well. When he met Anita and I for dinner prior to the book's release, Anita suggested that perhaps Sky-Riders could also be an audiobook, especially given my experience working with Robert G. Davis on The Black Fire Concerto — Davis works at what a great science fiction film labeled "ludicrous speed."
And lo! And behold! Here it is. I hope you'll check it out. This link leads a page that shows all the places you can buy it.
Paul also has a wonderful collection out with a Golden Age of SF feel from start to finish, Mr. Lazarus and Other Stories. I hope you'll check that out too.