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Kickstarter over — and successful!

The eSpec Kickstarter for In Harm’s Way, Footprints in the Stars, and Devil Dancers is now over, and we finally funded the third volume yesterday, with less than a day to spare. We finished up with $3077 in pledges and 109 backers, unlocking all the bonuses and 7 of the possible 14 stretch goals. Not a runaway success, but still a success. I look forward to seeing Footprints in the Stars and my new Troubleshooter story “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” in print!

Thanks to all the donors!

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Treksphere interview on THE CAPTAIN’S OATH

Robert Lyons of Treksphere interviewed me recently about Star Trek: The Original Series — The Captain’s Oath and some of my other upcoming projects. You can read it here (and, wow, the link self-embedded):

The Christopher L. Bennett Interview

It’s on a British site, so it has me saying stuff like “aeroplane.”

Last days for the Kickstarter!

The eSpec Kickstarter for In Harm’s Way, Footprints in the Stars (featuring my next Troubleshooter story), and Devil Dancers has just 3 days to go now, and we’re still a few hundred dollars short of funding the third book, and a few backers short of cracking the 100-backer bonus. Time is running out, folks!

 

“The Melody Lingers” in July!

It was last July that I announced selling my first fantasy story, “The Melody Lingers,” to Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge Magazine. It’s been so long that I was wondering what had happened to it, but Mike just informed me that it’s slated for the next issue, Galaxy’s Edge #39, dated July 2019. I think that means it may be out sometime in June, but I’m not sure.

“The Melody Lingers” is a short story about magic harnessed through music, using the distinct system of magic I developed for the world the story is set in, which I call Thayara. I came up with it back in the ’90s, but readers may note some broad similarities to the magic system from Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence.

Galaxy’s Edge is available in multiple electronic formats and in print from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and select stories from the current issue are available for free on its homepage at http://www.galaxysedge.com/, with ordering and subscription links for the full magazine further down on the page. I don’t yet know whether “The Melody Lingers” will be one of the free stories for the July issue — we’ll see.

FOOTPRINTS IN THE STARS is funded!

Footprints in the StarsYay! As of today, the eSpec Books Kickstarter has surpassed $1900 (indeed, it’s at $2041 as of this writing, a jump of about $250 since last night), meaning that the Footprints in the Stars anthology is now funded!

Once again, Footprints in the Stars is “A traditional science fiction collection with the theme of the discovery of evidence of other life in the universe and how those discoveries impact humanity. With stories by James Chambers, Robert Greenberger, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Christopher L. Bennett, Dayton Ward, Russ Colchamiro, Vincent Collins, Bryan J. Glass, Gordon Linzner, Ian Randall Strock, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.” As previously announced, my story will be “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,” a new Troubleshooter adventure.

But the Kickstarter campaign isn’t over yet! A third book — Devil Dancers, a single-author military-SF collection by Robert E. Waters — will be funded when and if the campaign reaches $2800, and there are other bonuses and goodies available for Kickstarter backers, including an opportunity to obtain bonus copies of past eSpec books such as my collection Among the Wild Cybers. It’s all spelled out at the below link:

There are still 11 days left to go!

STAR TREK: THE CAPTAIN’S OATH has arrived!

When I headed out to do my laundry this morning, I found a package from Simon & Schuster sitting outside my apartment door. Inside were my author copies of Star Trek: The Original Series — The Captain’s Oath, 15 substantial trade paperbacks. Here are a couple of copies on my bookshelf, so you can see how they compare in size to the old mass-market paperbacks:

Star Trek TOS The Captain's Oath

Sorry it’s a bit blurry — it was a choice between that and one that was in focus but with Kirk’s face washed out by the flash.

And hey, there’s a bit of my old stand-up/poster for Ex Machina peeking in at the corner. My first and most recent covers side by side — an appropriate pairing in some ways, given that both books fill in overlooked periods in Kirk’s career, and have a couple of other elements in common as well.

This is my first full Star Trek novel in trade paperback; all my previous Trek TPB appearances have been in multi-author anthologies and collections. But it seems that mass-market paperbacks are a dying breed; their place in the market has been largely supplanted by e-books. But I like the larger size. It makes it feel more prestigious and hefty. The price is higher, but that means I get a bigger royalty for each copy sold, which hopefully improves my chances of earning out my advance on the novel (something that, to date, I’ve only done with Only Superhuman). And really, the odd thing is that MMPB prices managed to stay fixed at $7.99 for about a dozen years, defying inflation. If their price had continued to increase at the same rate it did during the previous dozen years, they’d now cost nearly as much as a currrent trade paperback anyway.

For the rest of you, it’s still a few more weeks before the book goes on sale (May 28 is the official release date), but you can pre-order it at:

Note that there will also be an audiobook adaptation of the novel, read by Robert Petkoff. They consulted me about the pronunciation of alien and foreign-language names/terms in the book a couple of weeks ago, and they let me send them a recording of me pronouncing them aloud as well as a text file.

I’m currently reviewing my annotations for the novel, confirming that the page numbers match and making final tweaks; I should be able to post those not long after the book is released.

(In the meantime, please check out the Kickstarter for eSpec Books’ new anthologies including Footprints in the Stars, containing a new Troubleshooter story by me!)

My week of superhero dreams

I’ve posted parts of this on the TrekBBS and Facebook, but since it adds up to a larger whole, I thought I’d consolidate it here. I’ve had two dreams in the past week of the sort where I’m both a viewer of and a character in a TV show/movie at the same time, and in both of them, I was a member of a superhero team.

First, on Sunday night (or more like Monday morning, since I only remember the dreams that happen just before I wake up), I had a DC’s Legends of Tomorrow dream that was unusually semi-coherent as dreams go, and that I remember more of than usual. There’s a lot I don’t remember, but I was at some kind of meeting or rally (in a library, I believe) where the goddess who was the episode’s villain was controlling people’s minds, including the Legends, using a glowing blue wine. (This is in keeping with the turn toward fantasy and the supernatural that this time travel-centric show has taken over the past two seasons.) Since I don’t drink, I demurred and remained uncontrolled — and I think some half-awake rational part of my brain was puzzled that I was allowed to get away with that. I also wondered what happened to Zari Tomaz, since as a Muslim she’s presumably a non-drinker too. The episode/dream went on in some stream-of-consciousness way in the library stacks, with the Legends being freed somehow, or my dreaming brain just forgetting the mind-control aspect, but the mystery of where Zari was remained.

Then we left the library and went oudoors for the climax, a big confrontation with the deity (now male due to my forgetful unconscious mind) over the font of power which he was about to merge with or draw on or do something cataclysmic with. And when we rushed there to try to stop the god, we found that Zari was there ahead of us, singlehandedly defeating the god because she’d been investigating the legal records and had found that the god had gained his connection to the font of his power through a murder centuries ago, and revealing that fact aloud somehow nullified the god’s power and bound him, either because that was how the font of power worked or because the god was subject to the human legal system within my dream logic. So while the other Legends and I were flailing around trying to fight evil the superheroic way and wondering where the hell Zari was, she’d been methodically doing the research so she could solve the whole thing far more easily. Also, in my dream, Zari was a lawyer. Who knew?

The second dream was the night after I saw Avengers: Endgame, so two nights later, and it was a dream about Thanos (no spoilers, because it’s a dream, not the actual movie). In the dream, as in the movie, it was after he’d won the previous battle, but his goal in this version had apparently been merely to conquer Earth. So he was the ruler of Earth… and he was living in the attic of what, in the dream, was my house. Or at least a house I shared with some dream version of the Avengers. The world, my house — in a dream, the difference doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s where I keep all my stuff.

So anyway, there was a point where Thanos, Ruler of All, came down from the attic to sit on our couch and watch TV. (Right next to where I was sitting. The dude takes up a lot of couch space, folks.) But I and my fellow Avengers/roommates/whoever weren’t just taking this occupation of our living room and/or planet lying down. (Most of them were standing or sitting in armchairs, since there was no room left on the couch. Personal space, Thanos!) No, we were planning to show him some book in the hopes that it would convince him that we didn’t need his rule anymore and he could go home. Because of course, even in this alternate dream narrative, he still thought he was a benevolent tyrant, and we just needed to prove to him, using the book’s contents, that whatever goal he’d conquered us to bring about for our own good had been fulfilled already, so we didn’t need him anymore and he could just fly off back to his home planet in his helicopter. (No, the Thanos copter wasn’t actually in the dream, alas. I’m interpolating. But it would’ve fit right in.)

I don’t recall whether the book in question was fact or fiction. We may have been trying to con him into leaving in much the same way Reed Richards conned the Skrulls in FANTASTIC FOUR #2 by showing them pages from Marvel’s monster comics to convince them that Earth was too dangerous to conquer. But we didn’t get very far before the dream ended. So it didn’t have the satisfaction of being a complete (if barely coherent) story like the Legends dream was — more just a vignette (or a comedy sketch, though in the dream we took it all seriously).Who knows? If the dream had continued, maybe Black Widow would’ve turned up some obscure legal precedent requiring Thanos to cede his claim to the planet. But then, as far as I recall, Black Widow was not in the dream. Alas, indeed.