Friday, August 8

For Pizzone:

I've only published five short stories, so far as I recall.

"Br'er Robert" and "In the Sorrows" are available free online -- a quick Google search should be able to find a Web archive.

"Precursor" is in the DAW anthology LEGENDS: TALES FROM THE ETERNAL ARCHIVE, and is out of print.

"Equipment" is available in the back of the mass market edition of SHATTERPOINT.

And you can find "The Persian, the Coon, and Bullets" in the forthcoming CATOPOLIS anthology, because the editor's a friend and she asked nicely. And paid well.

For the record, the opening story of BLADE ("Zero") was originally sent around as a stand-alone novella, and was soundly rejected by such luminaries as Gardner Dozois (and a couple others I currently disremember). He said it was pretty well done, but not outstanding enough for his magazine. I thought he was wrong, so I put it in BLADE OF TYSHALLE.

It's still my favorite sequence of that novel.

For Snooty English Major --

Thanks. I mean it. But sign your posts.

For all the rest of you folks:

Yeah, Star Wars is good entry level stuff -- and if any of my original work sold that well, I'd be a much, much wealthier man. Which is my point. I'm limping into middle age, and I'd like to get Robyn and myself that little acreage with a nice house and lots of trees. And maybe a swimming pool . . . and, yeah, I wouldn't mind the helicopters and the armored fortress.

A thank you to everyone for the kind words and assorted ego-boostage. Which will likely trigger another mini-essay on The Tyranny of Praise . . . which relates, oddly enough, to the King quote.

Hmm. Something there, I think. Check back later.


Heather said...

I'm snooty English major - sorry for the incognito thing.

Now I'm off to see about shoving some of those interesting-sounding short stories onto my kindle.

steve said...

I remember carrying around Heroes Die in class, people would ask me who the hell Matthew Stover was and why I wasn't reading Tolkien or Dan Brown novels.

I always just shook my head, had them read a few choice pages, and watched the fun unfold.

I try at every given opportunity to 'pimp you out'.

Gio said...

How many books do we need to buy so Matt can settle down in his very own Abbey?

John said...

In response to gio...

Apparently, more than his publisher is willing to print.

Matt, seriously, I dunno what success your other readers are having, but I've got at least a dozen folks who're waiting eagerly for a reprint of Blade so they can have their own and stop mooching off of me.

Joe said...

For readers who know their way around SF but haven't read the other Acts of Caine, how accessible do you figure Black Knife will be? My understanding is it's mostly a prequel, so there's not too much ancient future they need to be versed in.

(Don't worry; regardless of the answer, I plan on buying a few copies for birthday presents. And if my friends find themselves bewildered... well, guess they'll just have to read the other two.)

Pizzope said...

Thanks a million! I'm going to go on the record here and honestly say that it was "In the Sorrows" I was after (although I read and loved "Br'er Robert" as well).

Scott said...


Would you happen to know what's the likelihood of CBK appearing in book stores in Asia? Singapore, to be specific.

I'm having a hard time restocking on your non-SW works, and I'm worried CBK might not make its way here.

Gio said...

What's odd is that offering BoT as an e-book probably should have been done a long time ago.

If HD and BoT have been out-of-print due to a perceived lack of demand, then why not sell them as an e-book? That way, there's very little overhead, and the publisher will make money from those that still want to buy a copy.

I'm a few days away from starting a long cross-country drive. I'd burn the world for HD and BoT audiobooks. Since I know the publishers would never foot the bill, I've entertained the crazy thought of recording my own set.

For personal use, of course.

MWS said...

If I could afford it, I'd produce them myself. I was a stage actor in my misspent youth, and I'm told I read my stuff pretty well.

But the production of quality audiobooks is a moderately pricey endeavor.

MaxGC said...

HD/Blade radio series :D

On a different note, if you are having so much trouble with your publisher can't you just switch? They think they own you but you aren't a slave :P

Either that or create an internet petition for a BLADE reprint or something along those lines. If a reprint will have a minimum 5000 books, over 5000 signatures on a internet petition may grease the wheels a bit don't you think?

MWS said...


The problem isn't the fans, it's the stores.

And I'm not having trouble with Del Rey right now. They treat me very well indeed (they've been putting food on my table for about twelve years now). The problems I have with my career are MY problems -- my balky brain, mostly.

Yes, they could have done things better in their original marketing plan for Caine . . . but NOBODY knew how to market Caine. You have to remember HEROES DIE came out in 1997, when heroic fantasy was ruled by David & Leigh Eddings.

A lot of the fantasy editors just HATED that book . . . and hated BLADE more. And neither one sold for shit. Still don't. The simple fact that CAINE BLACK KNIFE exists at all is due to the heroic efforts of one fine editor who keeps on going to bat for me and my bad-tempered fictive buddy -- and that they want me to keep on doing the occasional Star Wars book.

Though my problems with completing LUKE SKYWALKER & THE SHADOWS OF MINDOR may be changing that part of the equation.

Gio said...

Just to be clear, Del Rey owns the publishing rights, but you own the IP right?

If I wasn't so close to starting law school, I'd give it a shot. I'm still not exactly sure how to pronounce Toa'Phelaton. :)

Chris said...

Only until it comes out, sells like hot cakes, and is received like the second coming by critics and buyers alike.

Edge towards daylight!

Spencer said...

Problems completing Shadows of Mindor? Is there anything else you can tell us about this? No more Stover Star Wars books after this would be a depressing prospect indeed.

Robert said...

Spencer, better to not ask questions that may put Matt in a difficult position were he to answer them publicly.

Sorry to hear the book's been rocky, I wish you luck in its completion Matt.

Eric said...

Dude! I tried buying Blade of Tyshalle at 10 different bookstores and they said it was out of print. I can't find it anywhere! I'd buy it online, but i am leaving for denmark in 2 days ANd i need something for the plane! Help!!

MWS said...


Wish I could help. Sorry.

You can probably find a copy of WAR AND PEACE somewhere.

Gio said...


Your last hope is your local library. Give it a shot.

AzrofD said...


Have you considered raising funds online to create a download-only reading of your books? Any ideas on how much you would need for professional quality stuff?

Also - sorry about the Shadows of Mindor crap. Try some hardcore meditation. Or alcohol. We'll be ready when it gets done.

heathcliff said...

I loved In The Sorrows. Any chance we'll get more peaks at lil' Hari? I'd read an entire book devoted to the tyke.

calandryll said...

I was listening to one of the more recent Dragon Page Cover to Cover and a voice mail caller mentioned how Blade of Tyshalle changed his life. It's a nice read and I heard them mention about getting you on the show. I can't wait till that happens. You can listen to the show here, it's about 20 minutes in.

GabriellaK said...

I am a MASSIVE fan of your work in the Star Wars universe. The books Traitor & Revenge of the Sith were literary & philosophical art for me, they stepped outside the genre of Lucas's fumbling & smashed all other works previous & especially since. (I pretty much believe that Jacen Solo was your character the way you took him & melted then re-forged him. Not the stilted mess made after Traitor.)

If I had the money, me & a pile of other fans would comission you to re-write the SW verse after Traiter as it was utterly fucked up by those paid to do it. Characterizations gone to hell, interactions on Valium & logistics so off they were drunk on one leg with thorns in the ass.

The SW works also introduced me to your writing on a whole & I am nosing through your other work.

I love your style in its eloquence & flow as well as the philosophy that permeates so much of what you write. It is beautiful & so very much apprecited.

(I'm a book worm so appreciation is high on my list of priorities. Writen art is precious.)

Thank you for writing as you do. You inspire the rest of us writers to what we could be.

Robert said...

Heh, nice to see another person was less than pleased with the direction they took Jacen after The Unifying Force.

I keep trying to tell myself the story of Star Wars ended there.

Gabriella K said...

DUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!! It didn't end after Unifying Force, it ended after Traiter. The verse got shat after that.

The Force Heretic trilogy by Sean Williams & Shane Dix was a mess. Their style was stiff & there was no flow, no power to it, no essence to the work. Just "Point A, point B, point C. Ok, hang a right & stop there."

And the Dark Nest trilogy?

*winces of unbelievable pain*

They're bugs. Not Thrawn or Palpatine. BUGS. Chemically reactive freakoid BUGS!

Bite me.

And don't even get me started on the "Legacy of the Force" splatter. If Mr. Stover had writen that it would have frighteningly worked but as he didn't. Dear god the mess. I haven't bought ANY of the books it was so bad.

Yeah, devoted fan here, don't mind me.

Rob Locke said...

"And neither one sold for shit. Still don't. The simple fact that CAINE BLACK KNIFE exists at all is due to the heroic efforts of one fine editor who keeps on going to bat for me and my bad-tempered fictive buddy "

Marketing. No magazine ads, no book store posters. Your fans are your advertisement. I suppose thats the way it goes with books, though.

If they're not selling its because people don't know they exist. We're relying on word of mouth here (which a few of us are doing so zealously we should command a paycheck LOL)

Heather said...

Check this out:


This reminds me of Hari/Caine's inch toward daylight way of dealing with pain and frustration - don't push the evil away, bring it with you... and move forward, somehow move forward..

What do you all think?

Gio said...

That ACT therapy has a healthy bit of Cainism in it.

The part about identifying and living out your values reminded me of Deliann's intro to Cainism by Tommie.

1. What do you want?
2. What will you do to get it?

Maybe Matt should switch to writing self-help books. :P

John said...


As far as I'm concerned, Blade is a self-help book. Only it isn't condescending or insulting and, beyond that, is actually rather fun.

perry said...

Wow. After reading some of these comments, I feel blessed to have copies of both Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle; I have been anxiously awaiting the next installment, and I am glad to find that it is forthcoming. Keep up the good work MWS. Hopefully you will receive the recognition you deserve.

Rob Locke said...

Perry-- Lucky. My copy of heroes die is missing... I might have lent it to another Stover-hopefull. And my Blade is yellowed and falling apart.

Had to order another heroes when I pre-ordered Black Knife (thanks to George for the heads up on that one).

In other news-- I found the most awkward interview on youtube. Its a 6-ish year old kid interviewing matt at barnes and nobles about the starwars 3 book.

Complete with stutters and stammers and the occasional take-the-mic-away-before-he's-finished.

Should kids that young be READING this stuff?

MWS said...

He was more like 12 or 13, I think. And a really bright kid, who wants to be a broadcast journalist when he grows up.

Robert said...

My respect for anyone that young who wants to be a broadcast journalist when they grow up is endless.

I just hope he doesn't abandon his morals along the way.

I'm really surprised that people are having such a hard time getting copies of Blade lately. I REALLY feel honored to have both books now. [Two copies of Heroes Die ;) ]

It's just a shame that we can't figure out a more effective way to spread the word.

It makes me wonder how books really become popular. There's no real system of advertisement to anyone but people already part of a core community. But then there's some book series that just seem to take off out of nowhere.

Nathan said...

"There's no real system of advertisement to anyone but people already part of a core community."

Not so. One guy I got reading the books is not a reader at all, but there was enough arm-breaking action in Heroes Die to hook him. Another was a guy who generally doesn't read lowbrow sff (mostly reads modern classic Lit) of the mass-market variety, but Heroes Die and, to a lesser extent, Blade appealed to his literary sensibility. The biggest hurdle is not selling it within the core audience, but in convincing people whose kneejerk response is the assumption they won't like it to bother giving it an honest try. Discounting internet recommendations, the vast majority of people to whom I've gifted or loaned these books are not part of the core community -- probably mostly because I simply don't actually know that many people who read, let alone sff, but even so, I've had moderate success. The biggest annoyance is that with Blade oop and Heroes Die no longer regularly stocked on shelves, people who would be willing to pay the $8 or whatever to own a copy are instead reading my copies. I have no problem with that, but the fact is that, from my recommendations alone (and I know some of you have been just as much of a pain in the ass in pushing these books on people) there are at least a dozen copies of each book that haven't sold but would have if they'd been on shelves. Which, in the grand scheme of things, may not be much, but every little bit helps.

As far as copies, I used to have multiple gifting and loaner copies of all the non-SW novels -- I snap up Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon whenever I see 'em used -- but I think I'm down to a signed set of first editions for my shelves and maybe one reading/loaner copy of each novel. Which, by the way, it's probably about time to read 'em again to prep for Caine Black Knife. Holy crap I can't wait.

Rob Locke said...

Ok, I respect the kid too... thanks, now I feel like a douche.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just wanted to say that in my High School AP literature class, we were supposed to choose a 'good piece of literature' and do a minor write up on it. I used you're "Revenge of the Sith Novel". When I presented, at first some people openly laughed about the idea of a Star Wars book being good literature. However, after just a few passages read aloud, probably 80% of the class expressed interest in reading the book right away, and my teacher said that it was a great presentation and vowed to read the book himself.

Personally I loved the style, and I hope your future works are a lot like it.

Thanks a lot

MWS said...

You're welcome, and thank you.

Sign your comment, dammit.

Rebecca said...

Scott in Singapore - if you can't find any copies of HD or CBK locally, you could try ordering from Australia. Probably doesn't help much but I thought that might be cheaper than shipping them from the US. I know some stores here will be stocking CBK and you can still find HD around (no one seems to have Blade though unless you're willing to pay $30 for a used copy).

Matt - I did buy an ARC of CBK off ebay. I just couldn't resist. But I certainly will be buying several copies of CBK when it comes out.

On pimping the Caine novels - I've tried giving out copies of HD. I found a pile of them recently for cheap and gave them away. This has been pretty successful - the only thing wrong with this strategy is that *of course* the happy reader then wants to read BoT (and, I'm sorry, I'm not parting with my one copy for anyone). So it's awesome news that this will at least be available as POD. I was hoping for a reprint when CBK was released but POD/ebook is better than nothing.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to hearing your interview on the Dragonpage, if that goes ahead :)

(oh and I have a couple of girl friends who also LOVE the Caine novels. So we are out there).