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There’s been some movement on my writing front. I’ve received, and posted here, the cover for The Prodigals. (See  last post.) I also reported, last summer, of the death of Eric Flint and the demise of the Ring of Fire Press. I received my rights back for The Marshals, published January, 2022, in September. Since then I’ve had hints that Baen Books was interested in republishing The Marshals. Those hints came true this week when I received notification from Baen they were interested. After some to and fro, I’ve a contract, my first from a ‘big’ publisher. Baen is not one of the Big 5 but close.

Getting The Marshals back in print would make it my fourth book on the market. When I release The Prodigals, it will be my fifth published book.

I’ve two more works in progress. One is ‘rural’ fantasy, taking place in 1930s Kansas. The other is number three in the ‘Tales of the Tri-Cluster Confederation’ series.

I’m not a fast writer,  but my goal is publishing three… maybe four… books this year.

All my current releases are available from Amazon, and in Kindle Unlimited. Please read and leave me  a review. Every review keeps my books on the marketing front line.

The Prodigals

I’ve finished The Prodogals,  and it’s in the hands of the editors. Target release date is March/April 2023.

I’ll post more later. In the mean time, here’s a peek at the cover.

Well, that didn’t last long. Ring of Fire Press – RIP

Late last year, I was approached by the editor of Ring of Fire Press asking for a braided novel version of my 1632 Marshal stories. After I searched and discovered what a ‘braided novel’ was, I agreed. Basically, it was all my Marshal short stories, novelettes and novellas, merged into a novel with a wrapper story for continuity. I delivered it and the book was published in mid-January, 2022.

It was a hit. In less than six months the book scored 281 four and five star reviews. I believe it had the most positive reviews of any Ring of Fire Press books on Amazon, in only six months.

The owner of Ring of Fire Press, Eric Flint, passed on July 17th, 2022. Eric’s widow decided to close the publishing business and The Marshals was pulled from Amazon. The Ring of Fire Press website was shutdown, tool.

If you haven’t purchased a copy of The Marshals, it’s too late now.

However…hopefully there will be a however…rumor has it that a third-party may intervene and acquire the  some of the rights. I hope so. I never received a penny in royalties from the novel, nor for a short story published in a RoFP anthology a year before. That makes me one of many with a financial claim on the publishing house. I was due an accounting in July for the novel, but events stopped it.

I await the return of my rights for The Marshals per my contract with Ring of Fire Press. Once I have that, we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I’m writing the last chapters of The Prodigals. Then it’s off to my editor and cover artist.


What I’ve been doing.

It’s been a while since I last posted here. I’ve been working on The Prodigals…up to 83,000 words at last check. But! I’ve submitted a different novel to a traditional publisher and they’ve accepted it. I received the first proofed last week and returned it, with corrections, to the publisher.

I have no idea when this last book, number four, will be released. I was able to write and deliver it in a month and a half. Consequently, work on The Prodigals was set aside.

On that note, I’ve entered into the final phase of The Prodigals. All of the individual threads are coming together. I hope you all like it as much as you have Émigré.

IASFA – The Independent Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors

At one time, for several years, I was a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. The dues ran around $100 a year. I thought it would be a valuable membership. I was wrong. You had to be of a particular political and social bent. Else, No soup for you!

I have since joined the IASFA. Here’s a blurb from their website. If you’re an independent writer, come take a look and join us.

For lovers of Science Fiction & Fantasy – a monthly delivery of FREE Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. Share your email address with us and we’ll send you a link each month. Sign up here.


If you’ve already signed up, hang loose because you don’t need to sign up again. You’ll be getting an email shortly from us with the link to this month’s offering.

February’s books are Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and High Fantasy – valiant heroes braving evil villains. Dragons and magic. Enchanted swords and hidden treasures. Read books from an all-star cast of Epic Fantasy scribes who have created intricate worlds, daring characters, and fantastic quests.

Exclusive from February 10th through the 14th, Epic Fantasy. A lot of books. Free to own. You get to pick and choose which books you want so you aren’t spammed with a bundle of stuff you never have any intention of reading. Choose wisely and you may just find your next favorite author.

Next month, Alien SciFi. Want more? Join us and reap the rewards.

The Independent Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on matching readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers 464 authors published within the SFF genres. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free. Help yourself to find your next favorite author.

Just a quick update…

Y’all may have wondered where I’ve been. Well…my wife and I caught the little ‘c’ at Thanksgiving. She was mostly asymptomatic, just fatigue. I wasn’t.

Covid is nasty stuff. My primary symptom was near continuous coughing. We had no fever nor other real symptoms. For me, it was coughing followed by a lack of appetite. I lost fifteen pounds in about ten days. I just couldn’t eat and forcing myself was worse. My wife finally won the argument and we went to the ER a week after we started having symptoms. Tested. Yep, both of us positive.

Because of my coughing, I got a chest x-ray. The ER doc said, “Covid pneumonia.” On the good side, my blood O2 was in the low 90s, 92-94%.

One of the best purchases we made on the way home from the ER, when we stopped at our pharmacy to fill some ‘scripts, was to buy a blood O2 meter. It’s a little thing, pricey at around $50. You clip it to a finger, press the button and wait a few seconds for the reading to appear. The covid nurses, when I was hospitalized, carried an almost identical device. My wife and I used it to monitor our oxygen level several times a day. Best $50 we spent this month. The ER doc said if my O2 level dropped below 90%, to get to the ER immediately.

On the subject of testing. It’s a joke. Kansas is running ads that imply testing will prevent the spread of covid. The test is after-the-fact. If you’re positive, you’ve got it. Will you get sick? Maybe. Maybe not. The test just confirms you have the virus. If it’s negative, so what? That could change next week. What really irks me is the ad implies testing is a preventative. Bull! Get tested if you want. But, don’t expect the test to prevent you from getting the virus if you’re exposed.

Our county, here south of Kansas City, has ‘free’ public testing on Wednesday at a drive-through at a hospital. On Thursday, the same setup at another hospital at the other end of the county. Just drive up and be tested—if you have an appointment. Several friends made appointments (online, the only way,) and on arrival—no appointment. Fortunately for them, the work load was low, almost non-existent.

So, we were positive. A lady from the county health called to tell us (if you’re negative, you aren’t called.) She asked about symptoms, where we thought we got it, chatted and rang off. No invasive personal questions.

The ER visit was on Monday. The call from the county was on Wednesday…ten days after symptoms first appeared. We were out of quarantine by the time we were notified we tested positive!

Come the weekend, Saturday. I was feeling pretty good. That is until late in the afternoon when it all crashed. I felt like my bloodsugar bottomed out. I was very shaky. I’m border-line diabetic. Off to the ER again. My wife drove. I didn’t think I could.

The boss ER doc was on duty when we got there. He took one look at me and sent me off for a catscan of my chest. Ten minutes later he said I had a blood clot in my right lung. He was transferring me to a larger hospital with a empty covid bed.

Just when I was beginning to feel better.

Summary of the weekend. Hauled off by ambulance to one of KC’s larger hospitals for the weekend. Was given a ‘script for a blood thinner. Fortunately, the type of clot I had wasn’t the kind to move.

I was released a week ago today and am feeling much better. My coughing is much less but fatigue remains. I’ve told some friends my energy level is 0.3 on a 10-point scale.

I haven’t written anything since before Thanksgiving. My motivation is zero. I’ve about 32K words completed for The Prodigals. Most of my time in the hospital was spent mentally writing scenes and dialog. Now to save those thoughts before I forget them.

Slowly, day by day, I’m getting better and coughing less. I haven’t put a target date on The Prodigals, yet, just sometime in 2021.

The cover will be different from my previous books of the Tri-Cluster Confederation. It will be of people, the three main characters, instead of space scenes like my published books. That is, if I can find a graphic artist who can create realistic people in a SF motif.

Hope you all have a great holiday season. I’ll be working, making up time lost.

Mike Watson


Wow! What a review and 5-Stars, too!

I love surprises. What I like is that they are unexpected and unanticipated. That just makes everything better.

I received a message this morning notifying me that I’d been awarded a 5-Star award and review from the IHI Book Review Project. Here’s the link to the review.

What is best, in her last paragraphs of the review…

This fast-paced, fascinating tale will enthrall sci-fi enthusiasts from the very first paragraph to the last. “The Beacon at Barrington Light: A Novella of the Trilogy-Cluster Confederation” strongly appeals to Hard Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi Mystery enthusiasts, ages 13 and up. This novella can be read in one sitting, and I highly recommend this read to anyone who loves Hard Sci-fi Action and Adventure Mystery Thrillers.

“Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at AuthorJBRichards.com under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!” — JB Richards

Dundee Orbital in Paperback is here!

In my last post, I mentioned that the paperback version of Dundee Orbital was coming. Well…it’s here!

The ebook version is selling for $2.99 and the paperback for $9.99. Here’s the link to the latter.

Wrap-around cover of the paperback version of Dundee Orbital

Paperback coming next!

As I announced in my last post, Dundee Orbital is now up on Amazon for pre-orders. The ebook will be available for downloading on July 31, 2020.

What’s coming next? The paperback version of Dundee Orbital. I’ve formatted the ms and all I’m waiting is for my cover artist to size the wrap-around cover and add the sales blurb to the back cover. I hope to have the paperback version ready by the end of the month. It’s in my cover artist’s hands.

In the mean time, here’s link to Dundee Orbital‘s Amazon page.

Dundee Orbital
Dundee Orbital is the mercantile hub of the Tri-Cluster Confederation. Millions pass through it and here are some of their stories.

I’ve started the next book in this series with a working title of The Prodigals. The target release date is 2021.

Check the snippet page for a preview, the first scene of the book.

Dundee Orbital ready for Pre-orders

I just pushed the button to release Dundee Orbital on July 31, 2020. It will be ready for pre-orders by tomorrow.

This book is only 64,000 words and contains four independent stories that all take place on Dundee Orbital. With these new stories are some new characters that will also appear in the next book in the Tri-Cluster Confederation series.

I’ve started the next full-length novel in the Tri-Cluster series, tentatively named, The Prodigals. That name may change depending on the plot I’m working on.

For the curious ones, here’s the blurb for Dundee Orbital.

Dundee Orbital is the mercantile hub of the Tri-Cluster Confederation. Millions of entities pass through the station and each has a story.

  • The Face on the Barroom Floor. Donal Harris has a mystery on his hands. He has a murder victim with no fingerprints, no hair, eyebrows, ears and only a smooth oval head with no identifiable features. His DNA is not registered and he has perfect teeth. Who killed him, why, and who is he?

  • Homegoing to Hollowell. Dee-Ell Davies wants just one thing—to go home to Hollowell and he’ll do anything, even defy death, to make that happen.

  • The Fenian. Fen is a naval intelligence agent who has chased his quarry across human space to Dundee Orbital. Is this the end of the chase? What does Fen’s fugitive want in Dundee Orbital? Fen, Donal Harris, and Elspeth Harris are determined to discover why and thwart the spy’s plans.

  • Li’l Annie. Annie Griffin is a bounty hunter who arrives at Dundee Orbital with four fugitive warrants. Senior Patroller Henry Hillman is assigned to observe her pursuit and insure the proper protocols and procedures are followed. However, propinquity leads to a growing relationship. When Henry and Annie are wounded capturing their last fugitive, that relationship deepens.

    If Annie wants to stay on the station, she needs a new job. Her tenure as a bounty hunter is over and it’s time for her life to take a new direction, but what to do? She only has one skill. Is there a demand for it?

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