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Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery. The Enceladus Crisis, the second novel in the Daedalus series, was published on May 6th by Night Shade Books.



Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014




TQ:  Welcome back to the Qwillery. Your new novel, The Enceladus Crisis (Daedalus 2), was published on May 6. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote The Daedalus Incident (Daedalus 1) to The Enceladus Crisis? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Michael:  Well, I think the most notable change was that I had a deadline! When I wrote the first book, it was just me, wondering if I could write a novel. This time, there was an editor waiting to get his hands on it, because there was a schedule. There were copy editors and cover artists and printing presses. No pressure, right?

I think the biggest change, for me, was that I had some built-in knowledge of what makes a novel work, based on my experience writing the first one. This time out, I had fewer revisions. My process remained the same – I still outline extensively in Excel, and then write to each scene I’ve outlined – but thankfully, there were fewer iterations before it became a book I really liked.



TQ:  What do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Daedalus Incident came out than you know now?

Michael:  Given the issues surrounding Night Shade’s sale to Skyhorse Publishing last year, I suppose a lot of folks would be like, “I bet you wish you hadn’t signed with Night Shade. I know other authors who feel exactly that way, and for good reasons. I think my situation was unique in that The Daedalus Incident became the first debut from the new Skyhorse/Night Shade, and got some press because of that. I’m grateful to “old” Night Shade for taking a chance on my wacky story, and I’m grateful to “new” Night Shade for asking for two more books, and for doing such a good job on editing and covers and publicity.

So I guess I wish I knew it would’ve turned out as well as it did. This time last year, there was nothing certain for anybody, and I had no idea if my debut would be swallowed up in bankruptcy court. I’m just glad it worked out.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Enceladus Crisis that is not in the book description.

Michael:  Well, there’s Napoleon. The book description, of course, has a mystery surrounding Napoleon’s forces in Egypt in 1798, the year Napoleon Bonaparte invaded. But yes, Napoleon is in there, as a character, interacting with at least one of my fictional characters. That was something readers of The Daedalus Incident seemed to be looking forward to, given the way the first book ended. So yes, he’s there. Now, he’s not taking center stage, but readers will likely figure out he has more going on than his page-count in the book might imply.



TQ:  What kinds of research did you do for The Enceladus Crisis?

Michael:  Of course, I did a lot of research into Napoleon’s 1798 invasion of Egypt and the resulting campaigns. I especially delved into the team of scholars and savants he brought with him – a lot of their names are in the book. I also looked more into the futurist predictions of technology in the coming decades to better inform the futuristic sections of the book. The Daedalus Incident was set on a backwater, low-priority Mars base, so I didn’t need so much in the way of shiny tech. Here, I wanted more of that, because some of these visions are very cool.


TQ:  Which character in the Daedalus series (so far) has surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Michael:  I really, really like how Dr. Andrew Finch’s arc has gone. In Daedalus, we find him as a brilliant but drug-addled playboy-alchemist, and over the years he’s grown in both sobriety and power. He’s also come to appreciate his friendships, now that he actually has some. He’s looking ahead in life instead of bemoaning his station, and there’s some great conflicts that come with that, when he has to weigh personal ambition (now that he actually has some) against his friendships and what little sense of duty he has. I like Finch. I want to go drinking with him. Maybe slap him upside the head, too.

I think the hardest character is the future-setting protagonist, the British-Indian astronaut Shaila Jain. It’s not that she’s hugely complex, per se, but I feel like I have a responsibility to really get her right. She’s a woman with agency, a military officer and explorer. She’s had major ups and downs in life; she’s used to being angry and bitter but has little reason for it now. As the book gets underway, she’s in a great place, with a newly restored career and a new romantic relationship. I worked really hard to find a good balance with her because I wanted her to be as real as possible, rather than a caricature. Sadly, she doesn’t get to stay in that great place for very long. She has a long road ahead, one that I’m rounding out now in the final book, The Venusian Gambit.


TQ:  The Daedalus series is a genre-bending blend of SF, Adventure, Alternate History and Mystery. Why genre bend?

Michael:  You know, there wasn’t really a point where I said, “I’m going to genre-bend!” I knew the story I wanted to tell, and it just so happened that it bridged several genres. I think the whole series is a synthesis of many things that I’ve geeked out on through the years, and it just happened to end up the way it did.



TQ:  Please give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Enceladus Crisis.

Michael:  I’m not one given to literary flourishes, but there’s a couple of paragraphs that I rather like:
“In all his years in the service of King and country, Thomas Weatherby had been privileged to see some of the most fantastical things the Known Worlds had to offer the enterprising soul. He had plumbed the jungles of Venus to find evidence of lost civilizations, tasted the ice of Europa, explored the mines of Mercury. He had watched Finch save men from the very brink of death, watched others have their lives snuffed out with naught but a moment’s notice.

He had even seen the future, once upon a time – a future, perhaps, one of many, but the future regardless – in which invisible energies paralyzed the unwary, pieces of glass could summon encyclopediae of information at a moment’s notice, and a Hindu woman could be an officer in His Majesty’s Royal Navy.

None of these things, not a single one of them, could prepare Weatherby for the rings of Saturn.”


TQ:  What’s next?

Michael:  At the moment, I’m hard at work on The Venusian Gambit, which will wrap up the Daedalus trilogy. After that, I’m working on an idea for a new, very different, non-Daedalus series of books. It’s still a take on historical fantasy, but very much unrelated to Daedalus. There may come a point when I might return to the Daedalus multiverse, but for now, I’ve just about told the story I wanted to tell there.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michael:  Thank you for having me! The site continues to be awesome. Keep up the good work!





The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books, May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.



The Gravity of the Affair
Daedalus eNovella
December 6, 2013

Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).



The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!


Read Trinitytwo's review of The Daedalus Incident here.





About Michael

Interview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014
Photo by Anna Martinez
Michael J. Martinez is a husband, father and writer living the dream in the Garden State. He’s spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and ABCNEWS.com. After telling other people’s stories for the bulk of his career, he’s now telling a few of his own creation – The Daedalus Incident (Night Shade Books, 2013) and its sequel, The Enceladus Crisis (Night Shade Books, 2014). The third installment, The Venusian Gambit, is due out in March 2015. He’s a proud member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.



Website  ~  Twitter @mikemartinez72.





Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez


Michael J. Martinez has revealed the final cover for The Enceladus Crisis, the second novel in the Daedalus series, which will be out in May. I think it's fantastic!


The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books, May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.


Previously in the Daedalus series:

The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!



The Gravity of the Affair
Daedalus eNovella
December 6, 2013

Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).

Review: The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez


The Daedalus Incident
Series:  Daedalus 1
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)
List Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597804721 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher


Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!




The Daedalus Incident opens earth-shatteringly, or more appropriately, mars-shatteringly. The date is August 1, 2132 and Mars, a planet which has been quiet for a million years, erupts in a quake during routine mining operations making it dangerous for activities to continue. Lt. Shaila Jain is part of a military team stationed at the McAuliffe Base to oversee the miners. Tensions rise as erratic seismic activity continues and operations are forcibly put on hold. Jain’s investigation lead her to question whether the miners are digging too deep or if someone is pursuing another agenda; an agenda which could lead to the total instability of the red planet.

Shift gears to 1779. Second Lt. Thomas Weatherby, of his Majesty’s Navy writes a journal entry to his father. Lt. Weatherby is aboard the HMS Daedalus, but the Daedalus is not a traditional seafaring vessel. Through the use of alchemy this vessel can traverse both the sea and space. At the time of the first journal entry, its course is set for Jupiter. However, mid voyage, the Daedalus is involved in an unexpected battle and the ship docks on the planet Mercury for repairs. An unexpected mission is assigned to the Daedalus and its far-reaching effects could change everything.


Trinitytwo’s point of view:

First and foremost, as I turned the last page, I had a smile on my face. There are so many great things about this book, I don’t know where to begin. The Daedalus Incident is a tale of two separate universes, one full of mystery and peril and the other, high adventure aboard a space-faring vessel. Michael J. Martinez strikes a perfect balance between historical science fiction and standard sci fi. It did take me a few chapters to wrap my brain around and visualize the means of travel that the Daedalus was employing. Once it clicked, I was totally on board. The futuristic mining station on Mars was much easier to immerse myself in. Yes, there are two sets of characters and two story lines but it never becomes confusing. Overall, the characters are fleshed out and interesting. I easily identified with both Lt Thomas Weatherby in 1779 and Lt. Shaila Jain in 2132. I grew immensely fond of both characters; for their flaws as well as their strengths. On Mars, someone was causing the quakes and I was slightly disappointed that I figured out who was responsible in advance of the reveal. But other than that, the story kept me spellbound and excited. When the two sets of characters collide, it’s pure, exciting, nonstop action. I thought this book was unique in many ways and I can honestly say it was my pleasure to read. I am looking forward to reading The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair. Michael J. Martinez has created a sci fi adventure that is just too good to miss, so make sure you don’t!

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery. Michael is the author of the Daedalus series. The Gravity of the Affair, an eNovella set in the Daedalus world, will be published on December 6th.



Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013




Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days

Explaining the premise behind The Daedalus Incident and its sequels and tie-ins requires a certain degree of finesse. It’s steampunk without the steam, historical fantasy without a lot of magic, a hard SF future crossed with a space-opera past. Alchemy-punk has been used once or twice, but there’s little actual “punk” in it.

My latest novella, The Gravity of the Affair, is a touch simpler, I suppose, though historical-fantasy-space-opera is as close as it gets, really. When you have Horatio Nelson sailing the Void between Europa and Ganymede, in the shadow of Great Jupiter, well…labels seem inadequate.

Fans of science fiction and fantasy love the notion of subgenre. It’s a short-hand for what you might be getting into, but as with most short-hand categories, not everything fits. Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series can be described as military fantasy…but so can Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names. They’re both fantastic, but they’re very different books.

I think much of The Daedalus Incident, and most assuredly The Gravity of the Affair, falls into the category of historical fantasy – not that it helps a lot. A recent look through the top 100 Amazon historical fantasy bestsellers puts Daedalus in the company of Diana Gabladon’s Outlander time-travel series, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Cherie Priest’s Fiddlehead, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. It’s certainly fine company, but this ain’t exactly apples-to-apples.

There are always going to be books that are hard to shelve, and the books of the Daedalus series are among them. On the one hand, I do wish there were an easy-to-grasp moniker for the kind of work I’ve done, because it might make it easier for folks to talk about my books and recommend them to others. But with that said, I rather like the fact that I’ve written something that doesn’t fit easily into a category. I straddle a lot of different things in my work, and for me, that’s what makes it fun.

My point in all this is that there are any number of books worth reading that might not fit a reader’s preferred categories at first blush. A fair number of my review on Amazon and Goodreads (and if you wrote one of them, thank you!) start with something like “this isn’t what I first expected,” or “I normally don’t like fantasy but….” That gives me all kinds of writerly warm fuzzies.

One of the reasons I’m putting The Gravity of the Affair out there is to give people a taste of what’s in the Daedalus series. Primarily, it’s a fun story that didn’t really fit in with what happened in The Daedalus Incident. Nor would it have been any good if I shoehorned it into the forthcoming The Enceladus Crisis. Instead, it’s a self-contained novella that can be enjoyed on its own – and give fans of the Daedalus series a little something extra to enjoy.

Plus, I’d like to think it eases folks into my little sub-subgenre of alchemy-infused historical fantasy crossed with space opera and hard SF. Space-alchemy-punk, maybe.

Honestly, I’m still working on it. But in the meantime, forget the labels and try something new, whether it’s mine or anyone else’s. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did, even if you have a tough time describing it to others.






Daedalus

The Gravity of the Affair
Daedalus eNovella
December 6, 2013

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).
Links not yet live: Amazon : Barnes and Noble



The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!



Forthcoming in 2014:

The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books,  April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
May not be final cover!
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.





About Michael

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Photo by Anna Martinez
Michael J. Martinez is a novelist, a title which still takes him by surprise now and then. He’s the author of The Daedalus Incident (one of Library Journal’s best of SF/Fantasy for 2013) and the novella The Gravity of the Affair, now available in ebook and Audible audio. The next novel in the Daedalus series, The Enceladus Crisis, is due this spring, and there’s a third book in the trilogy that he should really finish soon. He lives in the greater New York City area with his incredible wife and amazing daughter. He blogs at http://michaeljmartinez.net and Tweets at @mikemartinez72.







Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Daedalus Incident (Daedalus 1) was published on August 13, 2013 by Night Shade Books. You may read an interview with Michael here.



Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013




Voices of the Past

So what, exactly, does a late 18th century British naval officer sound like?

We don’t really know. It’s not like there were digital recorders on the decks of sailing ships, after all.

That was a real challenge for me in writing The Daedalus Incident, in which sailing ships of the 18th century ply the Void between the planets in our Solar System. Voice is such an ephemeral thing in fiction, and yet it’s very important. Done right, voice can bring both character and setting to life in subtle yet profound ways.

The quick and perhaps obvious answer would be to research the written word of the times. However, there’s pitfalls aplenty in doing that. The fiction of the era was quite flowery and purple, with dialogue that doesn’t really lend itself to realistic voice. Seriously, if people actually talked the way they were written in period fiction, nobody would get anything done – they’d still be talking.

Non-fiction, from memoir to written correspondence, is little better. In reading works written during the late 18th century, from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to the letters sailors sent home from their far-flung voyages, there was a strong tendency for writers to spruce things up, to make their writing as entertaining as possible. (Given the distinct lack of television and the Internet 200-plus years ago, this isn’t surprising.) Again, you’d end up with flowery speech and a distressing tendency toward show-off vocabularies.

So at the end of the day…I fudged it.

Don’t get me wrong – all the research was helpful. But it was a starting point only. Historic accuracy is nearly impossible, so I ended up running with one of my new favorite words: verisimilitude. Also known as close-enough-for-horseshoes. Without really knowing how people spoke on the decks of frigates, I aimed for something that would sound accurate to the modern ear, with just enough loquaciousness, mannerism and oddball dictionary words to give the voice a time and place, but not enough to spoil the meaning or the flow of the story.

The same goes for the structure of those historical fantasy sections within The Daedalus Incident. If you read the novels of Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester, whose 20th century works define the Napoleonic-era naval genre, you see sentence construction and story flow that seems to mimic the time period without going overboard, so to speak.

Voice was important for these sections, because The Daedalus Incident also features a futuristic setting – a 22nd century Martian mining colony. I wanted the voice in those separate settings to be distinct in order to subtly highlight the differences in how people behaved and how stories were told. It provided an interesting contrast between the more genteel, yet also more brutal, past and a more blunt, yet less inherently violent, future.






About The Daedalus Incident

The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!





About Mike

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013
Photo by Anna Martinez
Michael J. Martinez was a professional journalist and communicator for nearly two decades before he decided to try his hand at fiction. So far, it seems to have worked out well. His debut, The Daedalus Incident, is out now, and its follow-up, The Enceladus Crisis, is due out next spring. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, daughter and a very friendly cat.




Website
Twitter @mikemartinez72
Goodreads

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013


It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for August 2013!

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013



Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when I have it.



Vote for your Favorite August 2013 Debut Novel Cover!
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Voting will close on August 31, 2013.

(Please note that when you click "View" above it will take you to the PollCode site. Please click "Back" there to come back to this post. Leave any comments below.)






2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013




Interview with Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - July 14, 2013


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Daedalus Incident will be published in August 2013 by Night Shade Books.



Interview with Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - July 14, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Mike:  Thanks for having me! And thanks for everything you do to help promote the works of debut authors. It’s never easy being the new kid on the block. Your work helps us a lot!



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Mike:  I started as a reporter, actually, and I’ve been a professional journalist and writer for about two decades now. The fiction was always kind of an idea I had in the back of my brain, but for years, I never seriously entertained the notion of writing a novel until I was already a few thousand words in and thought, “Hey, this isn’t that hard.”



TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Mike:  I write in intensive bursts, which seems to surprise most folks. I can sit down and, if I’m not overly distracted, I can pound out 1,500-2,000 words over the course of 2-3 hours. Then I’ll just go and do something else. Maybe I’ll come back to it later in the day if there’s time, maybe it’ll take a few days before I’m able to return to it. But when I’m there, I’m focused on it pretty squarely – so much so that my wife and daughter have to clamor a bit for my attention. I do feel bad about that.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mike:  Plotter, all the way. I kind of admire pantsers, but man, there’s just no way I could do it. I plot using Excel, and I break up the book into those 1,500-2,000-word chunks I mentioned. As a journalist, I’m used to writing that length in a short amount of time. I suppose that’s my trick, really: My novels consist of 50-75 article-length chunks. It’s not like the book is split into short episodes, but I know within each chunk what I need to accomplish in terms of plot, character arc, etc.

I tried “pantsing” once, and found that the lack of structure was driving me batty. I knew I’d just end up organizing and outlining everything afterward, so why do extra work?



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Mike:  You know, I learned a lot writing The Daedalus Incident. I really hadn’t attempted much in the way of fiction before, certainly nothing as involved as a novel. So the learning curve was pretty steep, especially during the revision process. Seeing as I actually got published, I would say it was all pretty successful in the end. Now, it’s more about finding the time to work on the next thing amid all the hoopla of the first one coming out, and the serial story I have going on my blog.



TQ:  Describe The Daedalus Incident in 140 characters or less.

Mike:  Martian mining colony in 2132 threatened by dimensional incursion from alt-hist 1779, where sailing ships ply the Void via alchemy. Adventure ensues.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Daedalus Incident?

Mike:  About 10 years ago, I was unemployed and, while looking for work, I wanted some kind of writing or creative outlet. One day, I walked by a video store window with a poster of Treasure Planet. I was immediately taken with the idea, but when I watched the actual movie…meh, to say the least. And I was inspired to do better. Something with grit, more realism, but still with swashbuckling adventure and a world to build out. It actually started as a pen-and-paper RPG idea. Heck, I might still do that some day.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Daedalus Incident?

Mike:  Well, there was a very realistic 22nd century mining colony I had to contend with, so I did a ton of research on Mars, and the ideas and science behind colonization and exploitation of that planet. I did a lot of reading on what futurists think will be around 100 years or so. Then, of course, there’s the whole sailing-ships-in-space thing, so there was a lot of research on sailing during the late 18th century, particularly in the Royal Navy. I even went to San Diego to walk the decks of HMS Surprise, the frigate used in the Master and Commander movie. That alone helped me correct half a dozen mistakes.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Mike:  The easiest character was one of my two protagonists, Lt. Thomas Weatherby of HMS Daedalus. I very much wanted my main character in the 1779 setting to pay homage to the heroes of Napoleonic Era naval literature – Hornblower, Aubrey, etc. So Weatherby is very much a hero in that vein, one who understands the duty before him all too well, but goes and does it anyway, knowing the risks. He’s a very simple hero, which I really enjoyed writing. I’m kind of over anti-heroes and revenge seekers and such.

The hardest was the other main protagonist, Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command, the deputy commander of the Martian mining colony in 2132. I wanted someone who was an astronaut, someone who dreamed of real exploration, but ended up babysitting a bunch of miners at the ass-end of Mars. The trick with her was in not making her bitterness overwhelming or, worse, stereotypical. I wanted her to have complexity without falling into any number of tropes. Honestly, I’ve no idea I was successful, but I gave it a shot.



TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Daedalus Incident?

Mike:  Since we kind of gave up a big reveal in the marketing copy, I suppose I can mention it here, because it’s a definite favorite. Shaila and her colleagues find an old 18th century journal on Mars, of all places. It’s an extremely improbable event, though at least marginally explicable – “OK, who brought the antique to Mars? Fess up!” After a bit, they kind of forget about it as seismic activity and rioting miners take up more of their time.

Then, finally, at a very key moment, they catch words spontaneously writing themselves within the journal, describing this impossible other dimension. And there’s just no explanation for it, and they all become very quiet, almost reverential, because they’re struggling to just wrap their heads around the fact that these written words are appearing out of nowhere.

Odd things happen in SF/F all the time, and the strange becomes almost commonplace. Too many works have their characters taking crazy stuff in stride. I like this scene because it gives, I think, a very human reaction to something that is completely unprecedented.



TQ:  What's next?

Mike:  Well, right now I’m serializing a story up on my website (http://www.michaeljmartinez.net) that’s set in the Daedalus universe, about a very young Horatio Nelson and his first command…on Ganymede. It was fun to write, and I think gives a nice introduction to the setting folks will see in The Daedalus Incident. I’m also working on something else…that I can’t quite comment on yet. I’m hoping I have something to share soon, though!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mike:  Well, again, thanks for having me on!






About The Daedalus Incident

The Daedalus Incident
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Interview with Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - July 14, 2013
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!






About Mike

Interview with Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - July 14, 2013
Photo by Anna Martinez
I’m a husband, father and writer living the dream in the Garden State. I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and ABCNEWS.com. After telling other people’s stories for the bulk of my career, I’m happy that I can now be telling a few of my own creation. I’m also a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

When not being a husband, parent or writer, I enjoy beer and homebrewing, cooking and eating, the outdoors and travel. If you’re curious about our travels, my wife does a far better job of describing our adventures, so check out her blog at katrinawoznicki.com.




Website  ~  Twitter @mikemartinez72  ~  Goodreads


Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez -  So what now? Leaving the series behind - and Giveaway - May 18, 2015Review: The Venusian Gambit by Michael J. MartinezInterview with Michael J. Martinez - May 20, 2014Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. MartinezReview:  The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. MartinezGuest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 2013Interview with Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - July 14, 2013

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