So, among many other things in my busy schedule, I will be making an appearance next Saturday at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival image1-1 along with about a zillion other writers.  I’m moderating a panel in the afternoon and will be available to sign books or whatever.  My new book, TEMPORARY MONSTERS, won’t be quite ready by then, so I made up some keen postcards.  Come on by and see the cool Cortney Skinner painting and get me to sign other stuff that is actually available!

And now, for something completely different, I thought I’d post Cortney’s original concept sketch for the painting.  The actual finished painting can be seen on both my Facebook page, and Cortney’s page as well!



The vast Gardner publishing empire

You didn’t know I have an empire?  Well, maybe I don’t.  But I at least have a small but growing publishing neighborhood.  Twelve of my books have come out as e-books from Crossroad Press, where you’ll find the Ebenezum trilogy, the Wanderings of Wuntvor, the Cineverse Cycle, and the Dragon Circle.  An anthology of my horror fiction, A Cold Wind in July, is available from Necon  Press.  And soon, I’m dropping six more books (both in electronic form and some as actual paperbacks) on an unsuspecting world!

Sometime in the next few months, Crossroad will publish the last of my early funny fantasy trilogies, The Further Arabian Nights, with all new cover art by Walter Velez!  Walter’s the wonderful artist who did all the original covers for my first nine novels. For those of you following along at home,  the actual titles of these newly published books are THE OTHER SINBAD, A BAD DAY FOR ALI BABA and SCHEREZADE’S NIGHT OUT.

But wait, kids!  There’s more!

A couple years ago, Penguin/Putnam started to publish a new bunch of funny books by me, the Temporary Magic series, about the temporary employment agency that secretly controls the world. Two of these books were published as e-book originals, but, for whatever reason (I have my theories) they didn’t sell well. So I bought back the rights, and I’m bringing them out again with all new covers by Cortney Skinner! Cortney’s painting the first of these covers even as I type, so we’re not quite ready to show them publicly.  But soon!

In the meantime, I thought I’d show folks a picture Cortney took as a photo reference for a fantasy project he was painting a couple of decades ago. So here’s a younger (and skinnier) Craig Shaw Gardner, pretending to be a wizard.  Whoohoo!12966029_10150619528099995_1669487553_n

Kirk Polland fades from view

Have you heard?  Readercon is happening this weekend, somewhere down in Quincy.  I know a handful of people who are going  (one of whom wrote the book in the accompanying photo.  It is a good book.  You should buy it.)

I also know an even larger handful who used to go but don’t anymore. I now appear to be one of that second group.

The Readercon con  committee had a big break-up a few years back. and part of the fallout from that animosity was the end of the Kirk Polland Memorial Bad Prose Panel. Not that this is anywhere near the tragedy of a lot of stuff going on in the world today, but old Kirk was fun to do, and thoroughly entertained a large group of con-goers. It was a highlight of my summer. I always feel a bit sad when the Saturday of Readercon goes Kirkless once again.

Eric Van, one of the founders of Readercon and the creator of Kirk, lives in hope that he can bring the event back to the convention, but I become ever more doubtful. The con has scheduled a non-Kirk special event for Saturday night, which at least sounds a bit more interesting than what they tried the past couple of years.

Kirk can certainly live on elsewhere.  Boston’s mid-winter convention Arisia would be happy to be Kirk’s new home, and other people associated with cons up and down the East Coast have wistfully suggested that they would love to see a special edition.  But I’ll still miss the laughter, the outright silliness, and the threats of defenestration that made Readercon so special to me.

What? You mean I can actually blog on this here Machine?


After injuring my back in a fall down my icy front steps, I have completely fallen off the blog wagon. Well, no more! I will actually be getting out of the house to attend the Maynard Book Fair at the Maynard Public Library this Saturday (all of two days from now) I’ll be joining Christopher Golden and James A. Moore in talking about horror, fantasy, writing, cool movies and how all three of us survived being officers in HWA. 12 noon. Be there or be square.

(I was going to insert an appropriate book cover and amusing caption here, but wordpress isn’t letting me load any images. Double drat!)

Still, you can find more information here: Maynard Public Library

Apparently, I won’t be coming to Boskone after all.

This past Tuesday, the Boston area once again featured its usual variety of weather. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and just plain rain, all in a few hours time. I went outside Tuesday morning to help carry some stuff to the car, and put my foot down on one of our cement steps, which appeared to be covered with slush. Ice was hiding under the slush, and I went flying down the stairs, landing on my posterior. It hurt a lot, and kept on hurting.

When I got to a doctor, I found out I had sprained my lower back (along with a couple of other things). The doc said I was actually lucky that the fall didn’t do more damage. And then he said “This is going to hurt for a while.” Yikes. (Normally, when there’s pain involved in some procedure, medical professionals usually say “You may experience some discomfort.”) So I knew this was going to bother me quite a bit.

I’ve been told I can go back to doing things normally in a week or so, but at this particular moment I’m having difficulty doing advanced tasks like walking and getting out of chairs. Therefore, I’m pretty sure I won’t be attending Boskone this year. Which is a shame. The program (and my panels) looked like fun, I had something new to read, I know ma ton of people who are going to be there, etc.etc. And I ALWAYS go to Boskone.

Sigh. Hopefully next year.

(I feel this book cover is appropriate to the topic at hand)

Yes, amazingly enough, the cover for the audio book looks exactly like the one for the e-book!

Yes, amazingly enough, the cover for the audio book looks exactly like the one for the e-book!

Disregard that date!

I have been informed by my friends on Facebook that Boskone is actually NEXT weekend (Feb. 19-21). This means that the “Last minute post” I put up here to let people know I’d be at the convention was actually posted in an actual timely manner! Which never happens, unless I make a mistake. Thank you, Facebook friends!

Boskone and Dragons

Just a quick note to mention that, like many folks hereabouts, I’ll be attending Boskone in downtown Boston this weekend. I’m on panels Saturday afternoon and evening, and on Sunday will be moderating a panel on Action (!) in fantasy as well as reading a new story that has not yet seen print. I hope to see some of you folks there.

Speaking of fantasy, my e-book re-releases go ever onward. The Dragon Circle is now available for the e-reader of your choice. I’ll write more about this trilogy in a later post, but for now, I’ll post the first cover as a Visual Aid.Dragon Sleeping