Tagged: Aaron Rosenberg

Second ReDeus Universe Anthology Announced

beyondboarders_lorraineSchleterOne reviewer at Goodreads commented on ReDeus: Divine Tales, “The tales focus on different gods, many I had never heard of before. What I enjoyed most was how the authors dealt with the culture shock experienced by the characters, not just the mortals, who are now lorded over by these mythological figures, but also the gods who must come to grips with a world that has moved on without them. Hope to see future volumes. ”

That wish is being granted in May when Beyond Borders, the second volume in the ReDeus universe is released by Crazy 8 Press to coincide with Balticon. The new book continues a universe that was conceived by co-editors Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, and Paul Kupperberg. Initially, the trio of established authors intended to be the only ones to write stories about an Earth that has had every pantheon of gods simultaneously return. Instead, they decided to invite their peers to join them in exploring this fertile territory and the eleven stories in the first volume spanned the first twenty years since the gods and goddesses appeared in the skies during the 2012 Olympics.

“Zeus, speaking for the gods, tells everyone they’re back for good and they want every man, woman, and child to return to their native land in order to properly worship them,” Greenberger explained. Some of the gods were horrified at the technological advances, not understanding them and therefore had them banned. Suddenly, some countries were without internet and television while some only allowed radio. Populations shifted and the global economy shuddered, causing untold chaos.

ReDeus Brings Back the Gods and Goddesses of YoreMost of the stories showed what was happening in America. For the second volume, the stories focus on other countries and their people. Several characters introduced in the first book will reappear while most of the stories focus on new characters interacting with ancient deities.

“Many of our Divine Tales authors found themselves growing attached to their characters,” Rosenberg explained, “so we were happy to see what happens to them next. But there are plenty of new characters as well, and the series in general continues to show a wide variety of people in different places and varying circumstances.”

Returning authors for Beyond Borders include  the recently Nebula-nominated Lawrence M. Schoen, Scott Pearson, Steve Wilson, Dave Galanter, Phil Giunta, William Leisner, and Allyn Gibson. Kelly Meding, Janna Silverstein, David McDonald, Steve Lyons, and  Lorraine Anderson will be making their ReDeus debut in this volume. Rosenberg, Greenberger, and Kupperberg will also have stories in the book.

Artist Lorraine Schleter provided the cover.

A third volume, Native Lands, was announced recently and will be out in August, in time for Crazy 8 Press’ second anniversary.


Kaui Hart Hemmings Discusses Her Novel, The Descendants, Tuesday

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Descendants to Blu-ray and DVD March 13, author Kaui Hart Hemmings will be participating in a special Featured Author Group Chat on social media network GoodReads next Tuesday.

GoodReads members can join the group and be notified when it officially starts and begin submitting questions. If not a GoodReads user, it’s easy to sign up and then join in the fun. DVD/book bundles are also being given away on the site to commemorate the release!

ComicMix recommends GoodReads where several of our contributors and friends including Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, and David Mack are regulars.

Aaron Rosenberg has No Small Bills

nosmallbills-cover-300x450-2946918ComicMix contributor Aaron Rosenberg is a prolific writer, editor, and graphic designer who has written role playing games, comic books, fiction, and non-fiction. As a member of Crazy 8 Press, he has the honor of being the second author to launch an original work through the ePublishing site, a seriocomic work called No Small Bills, which goes on sale later this week (UPDATE: Already available now at Barnes & Noble). We sat down with Aaron to get some background on the project.

ComicMix: Aaron, you’re a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Where does No Small Bills fall?

Aaron Rosenberg: Gosh, I really hope it’s fiction! If that story’s real, we could all be in a lot of trouble!

CMix: Seriously, you’ve written fiction and non-fiction in a variety of genres, but you’re not known for comedy. Was this a stretch as a writer?

Rosenberg: It was, yes—and it wasn’t. It’s not what I normally write, but anyone who knows me in person knows that I can get a bit silly at times, so this was a chance to actually write that side of myself. As one friend commented, it was the first book of mine he’d read where he saw my actual voice instead of my “authorial” one. I also went about it much more freeform than usual—I’m normally an obsessive outliner but with No Small Bills I actually started with a basic notion and just let DuckBob lead me along on his merry little journey for a while, so in a way it was very freeing.

CMix: Where did the notion for NSB come from?

Rosenberg: It started as a joke, years back. I honestly don’t remember the circumstances, but I made some comment about a guy with a duck head, and that led to my slapping together a very silly picture of a duck-headed surfer with the label “DuckBob Surfs the Ion Storm!” And then I thought he’d be a fun character to write about, so I copied that line into my “Notions” folder, along with the second line “A fun-filled story of a man-duck’s quest for the perfect galactic wave.” And it sat there for a long, long time, until I decided to try my hand at writing something silly for once. Then it seemed like the perfect time to trot DuckBob back out and let him get some air.

CMix: Many writers are their character’s alter ego; can that be said for you and DuckBob?

Rosenberg: Well, DuckBob certainly bears some similarity to my snarky side. I don’t know about the rest of him, though. I hope I’m not that lazy! Or loud! We do have similar taste in shirts, though. (more…)

“Demon Circle” story by Crazy 8 Press To Benefit CBLDF — Buy It Here Now!

“Demon Circle” story by Crazy 8 Press To Benefit CBLDF — Buy It Here Now!

Athis, an apprentice wizard in the Crimson Keep, isn’t the brightest flame in the candelabra. So when he and another apprentice named Belid summon a demon and then panic, trouble ensues—trouble that threatens to snowball wildly out of control. Will they and their fellow student Klaria be able to deal with the consequences before their master finds out? Will the Crimson Keep still be standing when it’s all over?

ComicMix is proud to offer “Demon Circle”, an original novella from Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Bob Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, and Howard Weinstein, the writers behind the new author-driven publishing venture Crazy 8 Press. Written live at ShoreLeave33, Crazy 8 Press and ComicMix are donating all proceeds to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book writers, artists, retailers, and fans.

You can get it for 99 cents, although you can choose to make a larger donation to the CBLDF by putting a different price below. After your purchase, you’ll receive an email telling you where to download the file.



Peter David’s New Novel Launches Crazy 8 Press

c8-final-logo1-300x247-3643009Crazy 8 Press exists because the founders — Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Bob Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, and Howard Weinstein — have found selling their original works to mainstream publishers increasingly difficult. Illogical barriers have been erected and the website was conceived to directly connect the authors with the readers.

The concept was conceived by Friedman at last summer’s Shore Leave convention and now, a year later, the site is officially open for business this afternoon. Its initial offering is an original novel, The Camelot Papers, which is unrelated to David’s previous Camelot trilogy. The novel is available in all eBook formats in addition to Print on Demand.

At a launch panel Saturday at noon, the founders will outline their plans for the future, addressing issues such as frequency, backlist, and if non-member authors will be published through the site.  “It’s not a business,” Greenberger said. “It’s a consortium with a handshake binding friends together. Our goal is to have all our audiences come to one source to find our older and newer original works.”

To bring attention to the new operation and to raise much-needed funds for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the six authors will collaborate on a short story, written in shifts during the convention, based on an opening line supplied by a fan during Friday night’s Meet the Authors event.

Since most of the authors write for ComicMix, we’re particularly proud of their accomplishment.

Crazy 8 Press Plans CBLDF Benefit Story

c8-final-logo-300x247-3867144Yeah, yeah, it ‘s a bit of shameless self-promotion but it’s for a good cause.

Hunt Valley, Maryland — They may not be wearing super-hero capes, but members of the new web-based writers’ group Crazy 8 Press will swoop in to help the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) at the 33rd annual Shore Leave science fiction media convention the weekend of July 8-10, 2011.

Crazy 8 founders Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg and Howard Weinstein will raise funds for the CBLDF by tag-team writing an original story on the floor of the convention at Baltimore’s Marriott Hunt Valley Inn.

Fans will have a chance to participate by contributing possible opening sentences, one of which will be randomly chosen as the story’s starting point. First-sentence candidates can be submitted in advance through the Crazy 8 Press Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Crazy-8-Press) page, as well as at the convention on Friday evening. The finished work will be sold as a low-cost e-book, on sale through Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and other internet booksellers.

Profits from this story will benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization fighting censorship and defending the First Amendment rights of comic book professionals. All of Crazy 8’s founding writers have worked in the comic book industry and David currently serves on the CBLDF board of directors.

Crazy 8 Press, which announced its formation in February, is a home for its established authors to sell original novels directly to readers through online book retailers. Together, Crazy 8’s founders have written hundreds of books and comics over the past 35 years, with combined sales of more than 15 million copies. The group has set a first-year goal of presenting at least one new novel-length title every other month.

The first new novel will be Peter David’s The Camelot Papers. Aaron Rosenberg’s novel No Small Bills will follow in September. Information on these and all future Crazy 8 Press projects can be found at www.crazy8press.com. All new stories (and some older, out of print works) by the Crazy 8 writers will be available for purchase through online booksellers including Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Friedman described Crazy 8 Press as a natural response to upheavals in book publishing. “With publishers and retailers under pressure,” he said, “distribution channels are shrinking. We’re offering our readers a way to receive our work that’s not dependent on any third party.”

“Until now,” said David, “we’ve been at the mercy of book store buyers, who would tell publishers if what we wrote was suitable for their stores. Now that barrier is down. We’re coming to readers pure and unleashed, with stories they would never have seen in a traditional publishing environment.”

“Science fiction has always been a community where writers and readers enjoy a close relationship and exchange ideas,” Greenberger added. “The Crazy 8 platform allows us to make that relationship even closer and more interactive.”

Review: ‘The Birth of the Dread Remora’

Possibly the very best thing for science fiction fans about the so-called digital publishing revolution is the tremendously lowered bar to entry. Concepts and approaches that traditional publishers might deem too risky to fly in the fickle retail market are finding new life on platforms like Amazon Kindle and [[[Smashwords]]]. Take, for example, [[[The Scattered Earth]]] project: three writers (friends of ComicMix Aaron Rosenberg, Steven Savile, and David Niall Wilson), three novels, three worlds in a shared universe that will only later make the links between stories apparent.

I had the chance to read Rosenberg’s [[[The Birth of the Dread Remora]]], the first book in The Scattered Earth cycle, and I have to say – thank goodness for the rise of the ebook, because otherwise this might never have seen the light of day. It’s a rollicking space opera about the adventures of the Remora, the first-ever space vessel designed by a presumably post-apocalyptic Earth-based race of amphibious humans that resembles the Nautilus more than it does the Enterprise.


ReDeus Brings the Gods — All of Them — Home

ReDeus Brings the Gods — All of Them — Home

Pop culture continues to find new and innovative ways to plant itself on the web and two of our contributors, Aaron Rosenberg and Bob Greenberger, along with fellow novelist Steven Savile, are trying something new. ReDeus is a new fictional world that will come to life on the Internet as a subscription-based site that will offer, for starters, three serialized stories set in a shared world. Not only that, they’re fundraising in an unusual way too, through Kickstarter.  We wanted to know more, so we digitally sat down with the three for a conversation.

Where’d the idea for ReDeus come from?

Steven Savile:
I was actually invited to the party after Aaron and Bob had already come up with the core concept of the gods and monsters returning, so it’s best I let them field this particular question.

Aaron Rosenberg: Me, it was all me! :)

No, seriously, it was Bob, our friend Paul, and I. We’d been talking about the economy, and writing projects, and the changing face of publishing, and we agreed that we needed to find new ways to get stories out to our audience. I had an idea about putting things up on the Internet, and Bob and Paul both liked the notion, so we ran with it. Then we started talking about the kind of world we’d want to build, something cool and unique and interesting with enough room for all of us to tell stories and then some. We all agreed that near-future was the way to go, and then the question was “how is it different from today? What changed?” I don’t remember which of us came up with “the gods were all real—and they’ve returned!” but the minute it was stated all three of us said “YES!!!” And we took it from there. Paul had to bow out, unfortunately, but Bob and I both already knew Steve and were already working with him on some other projects, so we approached him and he was happy to step in.

Bob Greenberger: Basically we had to forgo one Jew with a beard for a Swede with a beard. We think it’s an upgrade.

CMix: Why three writers rather than one of you?

Savile: Personally, I love the collective aspect of it. Writing is by necessity a lonely business but there is something very gratifying about the act of collaboration, the idea that what comes out of all three of us together is greater than what might emerge from my mind alone, or Bob’s or Aaron’s, plus it is an absolute delight to learn from these guys. They’re not only great people, they’re great friends, and how often in this life do we get to work with real friends? Not often enough would be my answer.

Rosenberg: Two reasons, really. First, the world is just so much richer for the three of us. I can come up with a world on my own—I’ve done it enough times—but that means it’s all from my perspective, my style, my tone. With three of us, one of us will come up with something and one of the others will say “Hm, that’s cool, but what if we do this to it?” and it’s something the first person never thought of but it makes everything that much better. We really build off each other’s creativity, crafting a setting that’s more complicated, more engaging, more exciting than any of us would have had alone.

The other reason is the scope of the project. Putting up a new piece of content every single day—if any one of us were to do this, he’d run himself ragged. With three of us, we can split that up. Each of us writes one storyline. Each of us handles one type of additional content. It becomes more manageable. And you get materials from three different viewpoints.

Greenberger:  I love collaboration and brainstorming so have a blank slate and starting to fill it in is very exciting. This is a huge concept worthy of deeper exploration, which three can do better than one. Who knows, maybe it will grow from there and more will be invited to come explore with us?


Why Write Games?

Why Write Games?

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. More than that, though, it’s who I am. I can’t not write—I actually get something similar to withdrawal symptoms if I go too long without writing. Writing is an essential part of my nature.

So what do I write? Almost anything, really. I’ve written over a dozen novels in the past seven years. I’ve written over a dozen educational books as well. I’ve written articles, essays, reviews, and children’s books. But the thing I’ve written the most? The one area I’ve been writing—and publishing—in continuously since 1992?

Roleplaying games.

“Why?” is what most people ask when they hear that. “Why roleplaying games?” Okay, except for other gamers, whose response is usually, “Cool!” But that’s only because they already understand.

So why do I write roleplaying games?

Is it because they pay so incredibly well? Hardly! Sadly, the RPG industry is tiny when compared to almost any other form of entertainment media, and it pays accordingly. Most RPG writers could make more money working entry-level jobs. Most also have other jobs in order to make ends meet. I was lucky enough to support myself for several years with my RPG writing, but that’s because I was writing A LOT and writing all the time.

Okay, so it’s not the vast fortune, then. Perhaps it’s the fame and the glory?


Why Game?

Why Game?

Often when I talk to new people the topic of roleplaying games comes up (particularly after I’m asked “so what do you do?”), at which point I learn whether they’re gamers or not. If they’re not I usually get the classic question, “What’s a roleplaying game?” Then I explain about tabletop gaming—most often I define it as “collaborative interactive storytelling, like a mix between improv theater and a staged reading.” Sometimes they ask a few more questions about how it works, but that definition is enough to satisfy most people. But then I may get the follow-up question: “Why?”

Why do we game? It’s a fair question, actually, and especially now with our preponderance of entertainment options. Why game when I could read a book, watch a movie, play a computer game or video game, surf the Web, play cards, play a board game, etc.? What’s so cool about gaming?

There’s the escapism aspect, of course. Had a rotten day at work? Slaughter some orcs or raid an alien enclave. Feel like you’re not getting enough respect in your life? Play the conquering general or the rescuing hero. But most of our other entertainment provides that as well, at least vicariously—you can sit back and imagine you’re John McLane or King Leonidas or Bruce Wayne, or lose yourself in the adventures of Harry Potter or Sebastian or countless others. And many of those other forms provide more immediate escapism, with far less effort. So there must be something more, something else a roleplaying game offers.