Friday, December 25


Happy Year-End Holiday of your choosing.

My primary Christmas present from the Fabulous Robyn is the Oxford English Dictionary -- this is the Shorter version, two volumes containing only 600,000 and change words (a vocabulary *cough* marginally larger *cough* than my own), which is also updated quarterly on-line, adding an average of 2000 words per update. So I could look up the derivation of, for example, flummadiddle.

And its variant spellings, including flummerdiddle and fummadiddle. And don't get me started on fustilarian fustilugs, not to mention funambulists.

Among the various gifts bestowed upon the Fabulous Robyn in return, her favorite (and mine!) is a black leather-look complete Batgirl costume, with cape, gauntlets, over-the-knee boot tops, and utility belt. To paraphrase Eartha Kitt: Me-friggin'-YOW.

Tuesday, December 1

Semi-intellectual rumination.

An anchor on CNN this morning was ruminating, in their typically middle-brow fashion, on the fact that December is the "final month of the decade," completely ignoring that the actual final month of the decade is next December (if one is speaking of the First Decade of the 21st Century, as opposed to the Decade of Double-Aughts), but who's counting. Other than me. As Fox Mulder once trenchantly observed, "Nobody likes a math geek, Scully."

It did, however, occasion a comparison with December of 2000. Does anyone remember the burning political question (other than whether the US Supreme Court should have stolen a presidential election) of the day?

It was whether we should use the Federal budget surplus to fully fund Medicare and Social Security, or use it to pay down the national debt.

Option three was apparently (as was actually accomplished, of course) to spray rich people with honey and let them run naked through the US Treasury.

Monday, November 30

I have just received an email from my agent, who informs me that Robert Holdstock has died.

I never met the man, but I have read his books. There are all too many people writing SFF these days who could -- and occasionally do --  leave us with barely a ripple to mark their passing; Robert Holdstock leaves us with a powerful body of work, and a RH-shaped hole in the genre.

Here's hoping to see you in the Wood, Mr. Holdstock.

Sunday, November 8

Great Thought for the Day:

“No artist believes in escapism. And we secretly believe that no audience does. We have proved, at any rate, that they will pay to see the truth, for no other reason than her nakedness.”
--Emeric Pressburger  

Thursday, November 5

Fifteen years ago this month, my agent sold Iron Dawn to Roc Books, an imprint of Penguin/Putnam.

Happy birthday to my career.

Pretty soon it'll be old enough to vote.

Thursday, October 22


SmartPop, the pop culture nonfic imprint of my friends at BenBella Books, has started posting selected essays online, one of which is mine, on BS:G:

The Gods Suck

It's worth nothing that I wrote that somewhere around the end of Season Three, so I literally had no clue how many sharks that show was going to jump before it finally wrapped.

Frankly, I think if they stuck with what I thought they were gonna do, it would have worked out better for everyone concerned. But that's pretty much how I feel about everything. Nobody should be allowed to do TV SF unless they check with me first.

Well, okay, not the folks at Stargate: Universe, which has been damn good so far. But everybody else. Except for Warehouse 13, which is fantasy anyway. And Supernatural . . . still fantasy . . . and Reaper . . .

All right, fine. No one has to check with me. Though Whedon should probably have run Dollhouse past me first.  Nobody bats a thousand, y'know?

By the way, the essay's is only gonna be up for a day or two, so if you miss it, you'll have to pay for the damned thing.

Tuesday, October 20

Here's a question:

What is it with people who feel they have to sign in to just to trash my stuff?

One guy posted a one-star review after reading LS&TSOM -- borrowed from a library.

I mean, seriously: People hate my books so much they feel compelled to register with Amazon just to piss on them. The very first review they've ever posted in their lives . . . just to talk about what a shitty author I am? Really?

Seriously: what the fuck? Did I run over their dog?

In view of the first couple of comments, I think it's worthwhile to post the following clarification:

I'm really not complaining about the shots at my own books so much as I am just wondering about the phenomenon. The whole concept doesn't make sense to me.

I'm hip to critics, and reviewers, and people who just want their opinions heard. I guess what I really don't understand is why somebody would even READ a book that they hate so much . . . unless they're getting paid for it, I guess.

One guy (I don't remember for which book) posted a lengthy review in which he was sorry Amazon wouldn't let him give the book zero stars.

I mean, holy shit . . . and the really freaky thing is, he apparently read the whole book.

I guess I'm just unclear on the concept. I get the whole contrarian thing, where you feel compelled to stand out from what you think is mainstream. But this just doesn't make sense to me.

It's like sticking your hand in a fire so that you can complain about how much it hurts.

Monday, October 12

This is AWESOME.


Those of you who can't get the NYTimes, it's an article about a couple of physicists who have hypothesized that the Higgs boson (one of the last not-yet-discovered elemental particles in the Standard Model) might be so unlikely -- or so dangerous, or whatever (I believe the phrase was "abhorred by reality") that any projects to discover it will be sabotaged by their own success.

Literally. The later success of the Higgs creates a backward ripple in time to prevent itself from happening. Hence the cancellation of the SSC in the US, and the famous "random breakdown" last year at CERN . . . for example.

They have apparently proposed a way to test this hypothesis.

They're sort of kidding, but only sort of.

And one of these guys is regarded as a founder of string theory.

And I can hardly wait.

Sunday, October 4

Hey, Lunatic Fringe. I know you're out there.

I have been overcome with a sudden desire to see Caine/Overworld-related fan art. Anybody who's got a dusty image or two, please post links in the comment section. (I'm looking at YOU, Greg . . .)

Oh, and only post your own shit; if there's an image that you think should be posted but wasn't done by you, encourage the actual artist to drop by and stick it up. Er . . . you know what I mean.

There are a variety of Stover-related things in the offing, including a New and Improved Web Presence.

Watch this space for details.

Thursday, September 10

A proposed slogan for the 2010 mid-terms:

Vote Republican, because we're BATSHIT INSANE.

Tuesday, September 8


Heroes Die is the Book of the Month over at Joseph Mallozzi's very popular blog. He's providing a forum for reader Q&A, as well as providing a darn nice write-up of his reactions to the story. This came about through the good offices of John Scalzi, so any of you rabid Caine fans can blow kisses in his Hugocentric direction for helping to Keep the Dream Alive. But no biting.

And no jumping up and down on the heads of people who didn't like the book. I mean it.


Yeah, I play the casting game too. Though if this were to ever become a film or a TV series, I strongly suspect that it will be cast with people

1.) I've never heard of, or

2) I can't stand, or

3) both.

And I've never come up with strong picks for the three female characters.

Thursday, September 3

Now, this is interesting . . .

Related to the conversation a couple of posts back about the Department of Veteran's Affairs, it appears we have some Actual Numbers, courtesy of the Rand Corporation and the Congressional Budget Office.

Not that I've waded through all these; I'm just sharing the links so that those who are interested in Actual Numbers know where to find some.

Saturday, August 29

Holy Shit, it's working. Do you realize we have attracted an Honest to Jesus Right-Wingnut?

I happened to check the profile this "A Truman North" -- the "crimmigrants" guy . . . his email address, no lie --

It seems a reasonable guess that the other two tongues-in-search-of-rimjobs were either him, or his friends.

(Is "tongues-in-search-of-rimjobs" too harsh? Should I just call them Seekers of the Dirty Sanchez? Is there any truth to the allegation that Dirty Sanchez is a crimmigrant? We report. You decide.)

These people spend their free time Googling things like "public option," and then drop in to spew whatever Limbaugh and Boehner have been spoon-feeding them.

Honestly: I'm flattered. Keep it coming, scumballs.

The more time you spend trolling on blogs like mine, the less time you have to wave Obama-is-Hitler signs at town meetings.

Monday, August 24

And here I am.

There have been some developments in Stoverland, one of which is that my day job and I have finally parted company on a (semi-)permanent basis, which leaves me giving writing my full attention for the first time since 1996. This is a good thing on one front -- having two tie-ins to deliver before the end of the year, and His Father's Fist not long after that -- and I am producing fiction at something like quadruple my usual rate.

On nearly every other front, it's a bad thing -- unless some miracle happens and I sell a movie . . . and Congress really does pass a health care reform bill that includes a robust public option.

And, in a side note to all those people who actually, in the face of all evidence, still believe that "The public option is just a socialist plot to destroy private health care" and "Obama wants to kill my grandmother," I'd just like to say,



There. I feel better.

The public option, in point of fact, exists for people like me. I cannot get private insurance coverage at any price. Believe me: I've tried. My state does have a "high-risk pool," to which I can apply at roughly double the normal private rate, once my already-overpriced COBRA coverage expires.

So . . . anybody know someone looking to hire an artist-in-residence or a freelance writer or editor or other paying job remotely related to my field and is willing to interview a surly undisciplined sub-genius with chronic health problems?

Friday, July 17

[On the comments regarding my previous post -- this is, I think, of sufficient general interest to warrant its own Front Page Treatment]

It's worth remembering my favorite paraphrase of Nietzsche: When you judge a work of art, the art also judges you.

That is to say: what you get out of a book depends more on what you bring to it than on any skill of its author (though I well understand that this is heresy to most of the LitCrit crowd, whose entire worldview -- not to mention income and careers -- is based on the indefensible contention that not only do objective signifiers of literary quality exist, but that these supposed signifiers can be reliably identified by critics. And that identifying and sharing these signifiers in various rhetorical arguments about various works' inherent quality is not only a worthwhile occupation, but one for which they should be paid).

What Really Good Critics do is create and deliver an entertaining and persuasive narrative of their own experience; they understand that the only defensible form of criticism is a report of how the work in question affected (or failed to affect) them. What Really Stupid Critics do is smugly repeat shit like "Show, Don't Tell" and, oh, I don't know, maybe "This is how it feels to read crap," in order to pretend they're smart.

Look: there are some people who are open to the idea that a book like Revenge of the Sith might actually be a Good Novel -- even people who generally despise Star Wars, like (for example) my wife, the Fabulous Robyn. In fact, she still hasn't forgiven me for seducing her into actually giving a damn about Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi (she listened to the Unabridged Version read by the estimable Jonathan Davis, and it made her cry. More than once). But these are people who are already susceptible to the heroic epic; a Henry James fan who considers the mark of Great Literatue to be the delicately filigreed tale of how the Cruel World ultimately Destroys the Beauty of the Sensitive Soul, is just never gonna get it, no matter how hard you push it. There are plenty of James fans who will insist that The Iliad is Real Literature, as is Hamlet or many other narratives based on outside sources -- and in the same breath say that RotS can't be Real Literature because it's based on Star Wars. I could be the Second Coming of Leo Fucking Tolstoy, and still none of these people would be persuaded that a Star Wars book can be anything other than (at best) an entertaining diversion.

Not that I'm claiming to be in the same league as Homer, Shakespeare and Tolstoy, you understand. I'm far from convinced that my SW books will still be read ten years from now, let alone 400. Or 2500. I would, however, just once like to copy out Homer's capsule bios of each of the slain heroes at Troy, then pants one of these Show Don't Tell fucktards and shove that copy up his ass.


Thanks for the great review. Sorry about the gender misapplication -- the -trix suffix is usually applied to female examples of persons engaged in occupations that end in -tor. Hence the mix-up. Sorry.

Thursday, July 16

I have been ruminating lately on how certain genre writers broke out into the mainstream after making the acquaintance/coming to the attention of certain influential critics -- specifically, Bradbury meeting Christopher Isherwood, and Cormac McCarthy becoming the (strictly metaphoric, so far as I know, and generally literary) love interest of Harold Bloom.

So here's the question:

How do I get this person a job at the New York Times Review of Books? And why isn't she already famous?

Now, don't get me wrong: I know I've received a great deal of love from various and sundry Individuals of Stellar Taste who may very well be on their way to Influential Criticosity within (at least) Our Genre . . . but I need somebody who's already big.

Dang it.

Monday, July 13


I have not personally verified the genuine-osity of this organization; as with any online charity site, I suggest you do so before contributing. A less-detective-work alternative would be to simply attend the auction at ComiCon.

I do know that Mr Ostrander has (by his own report) recently had eye surgery, and so I strongly suspect that this is entirely legitimate. I'm just too shy to write to the guy directly and ask.

Those of you who don't know who Jon Ostrander is, well . . . you must not love comic books, several of the best in recent memory being products of his pen (including the current Star Wars: Legacy series, and one of my all-time favorite works of serial graphic fiction, Grimjack).

Those of you who work Real Jobs are hereby officially encouraged to

1.) contribute, if possible, or at least
2.) help get the word out to other interested parties, or
3.) both.

I can speak with some authority to the devastating effect of chronic illness, and being buried in debt only makes it worse.

Full disclosure: Those of you who enjoyed Shatterpoint should be aware that my characterization of Mace Windu owes a considerable debt to Mr Ostrander's depiction of him. I don't know the guy personally, you understand; I'm just a fan.

Sunday, June 21

It's Father's Day in the USA, so felicitations to all USA-ish males with living offspring.

It's also Caine's birthday everywhere (International Date Lines notwithstanding), which means that he's on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about my faith in astrology.

However, those of you who are (of legal drinking age and) so inclined, raise a toast to your favorite Amoral Sociopath Who Hasn't Been Born Yet at some appropriate time of the day.

Hardcore fans will, of course, do so with Caine's spirit of choice, Laphroaig.

The 10 year old, that is. The 15's for weenies and anybody who drinks Scotch over 20 years old should just go ahead and drink cognac.

That's all.

Wednesday, June 10

Okay, this is worth mentioning.

This "Charlesmaverick" who wrote a note in the previous comments section may turn out to be kind of a big deal; he says two of the biggest publishers in mainland China are interested in presenting Star Wars-related books in one or more of the various Chinese languages (I actually forgot to ask if Cm translated the book into Mandarin or Cantonese or whatever -- largely because I don't really know a damn thing about Chinese dialects outside the bare fact that there are several major and a number of minor). I managed to locate the right person at LFL to steer them toward, and now I'm waiting with considerable interest to see what happens next.

It may still fizzle; I'm not privy to any inside information, and cross-cultural intellectual property negotiations can be exceedingly tricky. But the possibility alone is cause for pleasurable contemplation. Umpty-million Chinese sales of Revenge of the Sith wouldn't make me a wealthy man -- but it'd be pretty cool to be part of what could be a major cultural exchange. David Brin would likely disagree, but I think that Star Wars, the Expanded Universe, and SW Fandom in general reflect well upon Western pop culture. It'd also be really damn cool if some Chinese SFF types were to get new contracts to produce their own SW books and such.

I'd read 'em.

Sunday, May 17

Well, fuck me like a virgin goat.

There's a site apparently devoted to ranking SF and fantasy novels, where some insightful soul of impeccable taste stuck Heroes Die on their list of Top 25 Fantasy Novels of All Time.

I don't know who compiled that list, but may the gods shower blessing upon them and their house unto the seventh generation.

Wednesday, May 13

Kweshyins Kweshyins evriboddi gots kweshyins . . .

First: I'm not going to tell you what names those future projects might be published under, because
1) I haven't decided yet, and
2) it would kinda defeat the whole purpose of using a pseud, which is to hoodwink gullible bookstore computer ordering systems -- and presumably equally gullible human genre buyers -- into ordering more copies than they otherwise would, if they knew that I (ass-end charlie in the genre mid-list) wrote them.

The chain bookstores see my name below the title, and then bring up their tally of my most recent sales figures . . . then they order ten percent fewer copies than my last book sold, on the perfectly reasonable (and in fact correct) assumption that if this particular title takes off, they can always order more. The downside is that publishers use pre-orders to judge how much push they want to put behind the book -- and so the chains order less and less, and the publisher is less and less inclined to flush advertising dollars down the toilet of a failing career.

At a certain point, a particular by-line vanishes into a downward spiral of diminishing expectations of success. The rule of thumb is that if you haven't broken out by your fourth novel, you're done. So I'm done. The only reason you keep seeing books with my name on them is that
1) I had a pre-existing contract for two Caine novels, and
2) my estimable editor had a brilliant idea for an on-the-cheap publicity campaign, and
3) the author-of-record for my SW books (for ordering purposes) is "Star Wars," which means that my shitty sales record doesn't affect them at all -- but they also don't help pump the orders for my original stuff.

This is not to say that you won't see more Stover books; I have contracts for two other tie-ins, as well as the last Caine book. If one of my new projects becomes wildly successful, I may be able to return to the genre as a "Thus&Such writing as Matthew Stover" kind of thing.


No, I don't play CoD4. I don't even own a 360.


During the events described in Heroes Die, Berne is 27 or 28, if I recall correctly -- roughly ten years younger than Caine.


For anyone wishing to reach me (and who doesn't already have my email), your best bet is to create an account at or and pm me.


There are currently no plans to re-release Blade in conventional print. I had a nibble from an independent publishing house about putting out a collector's edition, but that seems to have fallen away.


I have no idea about the sales of Lynch and Abercrombie and company, except a strong suspicion that they're considerably higher than mine.

That's all for now. I have to go kill things.

Friday, April 24

For those inquiring minds out there . . .

Caine Black Knife has sold pretty well, considering that it's the third book in a series that last saw an entry eight years ago. It has not, however, sold well enough that I can reasonably entertain even a fantasy of supporting my family by writing about Caine, if you see what I mean.

Other projects proceed in Macbeth-ish fashion: creeping in their petty pace from day to day, tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Sunday, April 19

Hey. Been away. Now I'm back.

This is what brings me to the surface this morning, from Maureen Dowd (coiner of the immortal phrase "Darth Cheney) in the New York Times, about a conversation she had with George Lucas at the Obama Inauguration:

Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” had told me that I had gotten Dick Cheney completely wrong, that Cheney was no Darth Vader. I felt awful. Had I been too hard on Vice?

Lucas explained politely as I listened contritely. Anakin Skywalker is a promising young man who is turned to the dark side by an older politician and becomes Darth Vader. “George Bush is Darth Vader,” he said. “Cheney is the emperor.”

Ba-dm pshhh!

Rack one up for the Man in Flannel.

Thursday, March 5


Costa Rica pics 'n' video, for anyone who wants to see a middle-aged out-of-shape white guy and his smokin' hot wife run around Central American rainforests and beaches and stuff.
Also, a very long (and very spoiler-filled) interview with yrs trly, about Shadows of Mindor and other things Star Wars, at Star Wars Action News. The sound on my end is pretty crummy due to technological difficulties with my cell phone, but for those of you who can stomach a Full Hour of Me, there it is.

And, while I'm thinking about it, there's another interview out there, on Mindor and a variety of Caine-related shit, at Dragon Page.

Just goes to show: no matter where you go, once you get there, there you are.

Thursday, February 26


Sorry I haven't been around. I went through a particularly bad patch of Whatever the Fuck is Wrong With Me from the end of December through the end of January . . . and as I started to recover, my time and attention were consumed by helping the Fabulous Robyn plan and execute arrangements for a mostly-spur-of-the-moment trip to Costa Rica, because the US economic downturn has decimated Costa Rica's tourist trade (which makes travel and lodging there considerably less expensive than, oh, mostly anywhere. Except maybe New Jersey.).

For the record: if you're ever feeling unwell enough to require a regenerating adventure, Costa Rica is your place. Lane-and-a-half mountain roads twisting between sheer rock faces and thousand-foot drops . . . temperate rain forests that can be reached only by 4X4 (I'm not kidding -- the unpredictable winds and narrow defiles means you can't even go by helicopter unless you're making a HALO insertion) . . . dinner at El Avion, which is a three-star restaurant at Manuel Antonio built around (and inside!) the very same CIA C-135 that triggered the Iran-Contra scandals after being shot down by the Sandanistas . . . zipline tours through the rain forest canopies . . . white sand beaches, catamaran tours to watch dolphins and sea-birds chase flying fish . . .

There may be photos (and video!) forthcoming, for anyone who can sufficiently steel themselves to enjoy watching other people have fun.

I think the Fabulous Robyn and I might just retire down there.

Anyway: back in the country and back to work.

Finally: does anybody around here know a reliable way to get in touch with Scott Lynch?