Look! The Cover to The Mallet of Loving Correction!

And it is epic:

I love love love this cover. The artist is Nate Taylor, who some of you might recognize due to his work on this. He nailed this cover about as hard as the cartoon version of me is about to nail that troll. So kudos to him. This is awesome.

Also, this is a fine time to remind you that The Mallet of Loving Correction’s signed, limited edition hardcover is available for pre-order on the Subterranean Press Web site. Only 1,500 hardcovers will be published! Avoid the rush!


Shadow War, The Musical: Update

You know, every year I think to myself “there’s no possible way people don’t know this Shadow War stuff is all an April Fool’s running gag,” and every year a non-trivial number of people think it’s serious. So, just in case there’s any confusion: This is all an April Fool’s joke. There is no musical, alas, Paul & Storm and I all get along super-well, yay, and likewise, I have a lovely relationship with Furthermore, I can’t be mad at the guy who wrote the article, because it was me. So there you have it.

Having outed this year’s iteration of the April Fool’s joke, let me now acknowledge some folks. First and most obviously, Paul and Storm, who did all the heavy lifting, writing and performance-wise, for the audio portion of this year’s gag. Thanks for this portion also goes to Mike Phirman, who played me in the audio whenever “I” was singing, and also to Jonathan Coulton, for [SPOILER REDACTED].

On the side, thanks go to Irene Gallo, the site’s editor, who asked if I thought we could get away with this again, to’s production manager Chris Lough, and to artists Greg Manchess and Scott M. Fischer, who made the superwonderfulfantastic poster you see over there on the right.

All of their efforts make me very sad that there is no actual “Shadow War” musical, because with all these folks involved, the musical would, in fact, be awesome.

One thing that is not a joke is that Paul and Storm have made their “Shadow War demos” available for purchase on their Web site (they will also be up at some point on iTunes and (as I understand it) other online retailers). If you pick those up, and you should because they’re funny and excellent, then all the profits from the sales will go to two charities:

Because even an April Fool’s joke can be an opportunity to do a little bit of good in the world.

Thanks again to all the folks who helped to put this together, and thanks to you guys for playing along one more time.


Iain M. Banks

News today is that Iain Banks, who has written some of the best science fiction of the last quarter century, has terminal cancer and likely has less than a year to live. He has a personal statement on the matter here; that site is also where friends and fans may leave personal messages.

I don’t know Iain Banks personally, and I am something of a latecomer to his work — the first thing of his I read was his 2004 novel The Algebraist, which I enjoyed immensely. For all that I am a fan of his work and of the universes he creates, and particularly of The Culture, which I think is one of the great imaginative achievements in science fiction. I have loved visiting it whenever Banks has opened a door to it.

I am sad to hear the news that his remaining time on the planet is short. From his letter, however, I strongly suspect that his remaining time will also be of high quality, doing what he enjoys with the people he loves. And that, at least, is a good thing.

And although I don’t know him, as a fan I want to thank him for being a wonderful writer and storyteller. I will continue to visit and wonder at his universes, and will be glad he left me ways to get to them. He is, and will remain, in my thoughts.

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