Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'Shadowrun'

Planning for 2022

In a previous post, I said that I’m going to slow down in 2022. I really need to. I ended up taking an unintentional vacation over Christmas week. The words just would not come and I didn’t have the motivation to force them. The last couple years have taken their toll emotionally, physically, and mentally. I’m feeling better now and getting back on the wagon, so to speak.

Here’s what I have planned for 2022, broken up by type of work. Some dates are subject to change due to the vagaries of the publishing industry.

Writing Projects:

  • FiveFold Universe project (Jan, actually quite excited about this project)
  • 3 contracted short stories (2 in Feb, 1 in ?)
  • Shadowrun YA novella #3: Unrepairable (3rd quarter 2022)
  • Shadowrun YA novella #4: The Kilimanjaro Run (Bonus points if I do it at all in 2022)


Editing (This is where I’m going to be resting):

  • Shadowrun: Elfin Black (final polish/proof, Jan/Feb?)
  • The Reinvented Detective anthology (Jan-Jun)
  • Freelance editing (recurring gig, Mar-Aug?)


PR (Social media bits):


Conventions/Events (*Planned for, not yet official):

  • Rainforest Writing Retreat (Feb)
  • Norwescon (Apr)
  • Origins Game Fair* (Jun)
  • Gen Con (Aug)

From one point of view, this is still a lot and it doesn’t cover any pop-up requests or the classes I will teach. What is important is that after January, I have no long fiction writing projects planned until the third quarter of the year. The recurring freelance editing gig actually is rest. I’m working, yes, and it is detailed work, but it isn’t hard.

I need these months to not be under contract. I need to rest and refresh the creative well. I need to let my mind wander and gambol and drift. I’ve been telling all my mentees for years to remember to rest. Mentor, listen to thyself. Besides, there’s an unwritten story I’ve been flirting with for years that has become more insistent and I want to think about it. It might be fun to just play for a while.

Of course, if my fabulous agent sells one of my books currently in circulation…all bets are off.

2021 Eligibility Post

Despite the fact that 2021 was another emotional kick in the shins for me, I did produce a number of works I believe are worthy of notice.

 Short Fiction
Seven Steps to Immortality” – Daily Science Fiction
Science fiction/Fantasy
(I am particularly pleased with this one.)

 “Unsavory” – Boundaries: All-New Tales of Valdemar anthology, DAW
Fantasy, Tie-in

Novella
Shadowrun: See How She Runs, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, SF, Tie-in

Novel
BattleTech: Crimson Night, Rogue Academy 3, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, Military SF, Tie-in

 Anthology (edited)
99 Tiny Terrors, Pulse Publishing
Flash fiction horror anthology

Audiobook
BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident, Catalyst Game Labs
YA, Military SF, Tie-in

If you are on the jury for anything you believe these works qualify for, contact me and I will send you an electronic version of the work.

Nothing Better Than Typing The End

There is nothing better than typing “The End” on a novel. Once you do that, you finally understand what the whole story is about. You are aware of your beginning, middle, and end. You, the author, have brought forth a new story into the world and it is the best thing ever. There is the moment of completion to revel in. Raise your mug (of whatever; coffee, tea, beer…) high and celebrate.

There is nothing worse than typing “The End” on a new novel. The original act of creation is done. You know the whole story now. You see your early flaws, the holes, and your needed systemic rewrites. You, the author, are aware the pacing is wonky, the prose is substandard, and it is the roughest manuscript ever. There is a moment of revelation of how much more work there is to do. Raise your mug (of whatever; blood, sweat, tears…) high and prepare to dig in. The real work is about to begin.

I’ve finished Draft Zero of Shadowrun: Elfin Black. I’m going to take one or two days to do nothing and rest my brain. Then I’m going to begin again. I already know what I need to add beyond filling out the [Brackets] that past Jennifer left me to figure out. I am aware that a lot more details need to be filled in to help with the foreshadowing. I know of a couple early scenes that need to be added. I’m an adder type of author rather than a subtractor type of writer. This is how I write.

This novel makes me happy. I’ve brought in characters from my short story “Dark Side Matters”, my podcast ShadowBytes, and from my novel(la)s Makeda Red, DocWagon 19, and A Kiss to Die For. If do this writing stuff correctly, every single Shadowrun short story, podcast, novella, and novel I write will be interlinked in some way. This pleases me to no end.

Now...I rest.

Bubble & Squeek for 2 Aug 2021

Deadlines, like lemmings, all rush to the same point. Same thing with updates and book releases. July was a huge month for me.

•    Audiobook Release: BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident audiobook. This is my award-winning YA BattleTech book read by the ever-talented Liisa Lee.


•    Reading: Shadow Bytes for Wily Writers. I read the origin story for By-the-Numbers for Wily Writers, a group that is designed to help all writers succeed. This was one part of Shadow Bytes hosted by The Violent Life podcast. (YouTube video.)

•    Release! Shadowrun: See How She Runs. YA Shadowrun novella set in Barcelona. Ridley Ruiz has plans. Big ones. However it seems that the shadows have plans for her, too.


•    Release! BattleTech: Crimson Night, Book Three of the Rogue Academy trilogy. Just released! Can Jasper and Nadine Roux save their planet from a rogue Draconis Combine warlord? Winner takes all in this explosive conclusion to the Rogue Academy trilogy.
 


•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

All About Shadowrun

Happy Goblinization Day! In the Shadowrun Universe, (from the Shadowrun wiki) “Goblinization began on 30 April 2021. On this day many humans (approximately 10% of the world's population), without any evident reason, transformed into Orks and Trolls. In most cases, those humans started changing en masse before the very eyes of horrified spectators, causing much panic and alarm. This event made the population fearful and discriminatory, much more than UGE, meeting metahumanity with hostility and sometimes force.

Riots as a result of Goblinization escalated, especially after the 14th amendment of the UCAS constitution gave the same rights to metahumans, culminated into the Night of Rage in 2039. It has had a negative influence on Japan's metahuman policy, and goblinization is indirectly responsible for the formation of the Humanis Policlub. This event caused the Coffee Famine of 2022.”

Happily, I get to announce that I have signed a contract for my next Shadowrun novel, Elfin Black, staring the main character, Elfin John, from the short story “Dark Side Matters” that was in the Drawing Destiny anthology. I’m super excited for this novel. It’s set on the outskirts of Seattle in the wilds of Snohomish—a place I am familiar with because of playing Ingress.

Elfin Black will draw in a couple of characters from Shadowrun: Makeda Red and Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For. I think, eventually, all of the characters from all of my Shadowrun novels and novellas will be linked. I have a plan. It is a very cunning plan…

Shadowrun: Makeda Red. It was supposed be a simple extraction from the Brussels2Rome party train. With an eclectic crowd, a willing target, and a lot of nuyen at stake, what could go wrong? Everything—as Makeda Red discovers the hard way. There’s more than one target on the train, and more than one shadowrunner team in play. When someone sabotages the tracks in the middle of the Swiss Alps, she’s forced to extract her client much earlier than planned. (Also available in audiobook format.)

Shadowrun: DocWagon19. DocWagon—saviors of the needy, rescuers of the desperate. Reporter Amelia Hart has embedded herself with a DocWagon team to see what their life is really like. When the past comes to haunt the team, Amelia is in for a wild ride. (Novella, also available in audiobook format.)

Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For. When Sartorial meets Kintsugi at a jabber—an illegal warehouse party—they fall in love as only teenagers can do. But the world conspires to keep them apart…as do the secrets the teenagers hold. (Novella)


Shadowrun: See How She Runs. Ridley Ruiz is an ambitious teenager from a poor family, but she’s got dreams of a bigger, better life. One night at a jabber changes everything. Ridley sees something she wasn’t supposed to see, and is given a package she isn’t supposed to have. After she makes the delivery to a dangerous person and receives a handsome reward, chance conspires against her, and this one-time event becomes a deal with the devil.

Jennifer Brozek’s Virtual Gen Con 2020 Booth

Hello everyone. I wish we were at Gen Con in person but circumstances have dictated that we cannot be. I miss you. Considered yourself hugged, or given a handshake, or a smile and a wave. I will be on twitter to celebrate one of my all-time favorite conventions.

Below are the books I have available. If you already have them all and would like to support me, please buy me a coffee. I really am made of caffeine and I sincerely appreciate your support. You are the reason I write. (That and the fact that I need to feed my cats.)

BATTLETECH

 

BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident. Eight cadets and a general on a PR event gone horribly wrong. This one will break your heart.

BattleTech: Iron Dawn, Rogue Academy One. A pair of war orphans lead their academy to rescue their own when the adults can’t do it.

(New!) BattleTech: Ghost Hour, Rogue Academy Two. After sibling cadets, Jasper and Nadine Roux rescue Emporia’s MechWarriors and ’Mechs, the enemy fights back because they—like the siblings—have nothing left to lose.

SHADOWRUN

(New!) Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For. When Sartorial meets Kintsugi at a jabber—an illegal warehouse party—they fall in love as only teenagers can do. But the world conspires to keep them apart…as do the secrets the teenagers hold. (Novella)

Shadowrun: Makeda Red. It was supposed be a simple extraction from the Brussels2Rome party train. With an eclectic crowd, a willing target, and a lot of nuyen at stake, what could go wrong?

Shadowrun: DocWagon19. DocWagon—saviors of the needy, rescuers of the desperate. Reporter Amelia Hart has embedded herself with a DocWagon team to see what their life is really like. When the past comes to haunt the team, Amelia is in for a wild ride. (Novella)

URBAN FANTASY

The Karen Wilson Chronicles. Omnibus. Karen Wilson is a 911 operator in the city of Kendrick, who receives a very strange phone call and discovers that her city is not at all what it appears to be. Pulled into Kendrick's hidden, supernatural world, she finds herself appointed as the mysterious Master of the City's visible representative to-well, everyone-and then gets adopted by a baby gargoyle. Can things get any stranger? In Kendrick, they probably can.

Join Karen and her allies as they fight to protect not just themselves, but the entire city and its denizens, from dangers within that threaten to consume them whole. This omnibus contains all four of the Karen Wilson Chronicles novels (Caller Unknown, Children of Anu, Keystones, Chimera Incarnate) as well as bonus content including a never before published short story, "The Fool's Path."

A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods. Bram Stoker award finalist anthology edited by Jennifer Brozek. The ongoing battle against the immortal Elder Gods enters the modern age. Magic, mayhem, and murder no longer reign in dusty books discovered in decrepit libraries. Today’s monsters can be called by more than uncanny rituals in candlelit basements. Madness lurks on the internet and lives in the locker room. It breeds in the mall and ambushes its victims outside the club.

But those who fight this vast evil have also moved into the modern age. Teenagers from every walk of life use whatever they can to defend our world. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes…they give into the temptations of eldritch power.

If you didn’t find anything you liked, check out my podcasts: Five Minutes Stories and Shadowrun: ShadowBytes.

Sands Through the Hourglass

We are well past the halfway point in 2020 and part of me doesn’t understand how that could happen. How is time slipping by so fast? What have I been doing with my time. (I mean I know what I’ve been doing, but still, the question lingers.)

I think it’s because we are in the middle of what would’ve been my convention season. Norwescon, Westercon, Origins…and coming up Gen Con and Worldcon. For the last ten years, spring and summer have been broken up with travel—be it local or not. Everything used to hinge on what convention did I just do and what convention do I need to prepare for next? It chopped up the months nicely.

Now, I’ve got “before Rainforest” and “after Rainforest.” I went away for a writing retreat and the world changed. Possibly—probably—forever. The only things marking time right now are “when I said good-bye to dad” and “when dad died.” These are not things I want to mark my time. I’m trying to find other things to focus on.

A Kiss to Die For BattleTech Ghost Hour

I did have two books come out last month. Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For and BattleTech: Ghost Hour. Both are doing all right, but this would’ve been the convention season I would’ve touted them, showing them off, and signing copies for old and new fans alike.

I was recently (in the grand scheme of things) nominated for two awards: the Scribe award for BattleTech: Iron Dawn and the Bram Stoker award for A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods. I lost both of them, but, as they said, it is an honor to be nominated. (Of course, not going to lie, I would have rather have won one or both of them.)

I do miss traveling to conventions or for weekend trips with the Husband. They were much needed vacations from reality. I think both of us have realized how much we miss them, even though conventions were so much work. They filled the creative well for me and allowed the Husband to get away from the computer. I hope we get back to them again someday.

In the meantime, we’re doing a bunch of virtual events for conventions. My next one is Gen Con. My author card will be linked to this blog and I’ll be posting books for sale and such. I don’t have any panels. I just did a series of panels for “JulyCon” on Arvan Eleron’s twitch channel. There’s a recording of the panels on YouTube.

Virtual events are fun, but they are a stop gap measure until we find the new normal for conventions and other writing/fan events. Mostly, they just make me miss going to conventions and seeing my friends and peers all the more. Plus, I miss the business aspect of them where me and my editors/publishers can get some face-to-face talking time about what’s the plan for the next year. That said, we are lucky to have the opportunity to host and participate in virtual events.

In the meantime, I’ve got my last BattleTech novel to write. I’ve got a deadline to meet. It’s good to have something keeping me busy. I hope everyone else out there has stuff to keep them busy and is doing as well as they can be. I miss my friends. Know you are missed and loved.

Happy Book Release Day to Me!

Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For...
A Shadowrun novella.

A Kiss to Die For

LOVE VERSUS DUTY...

When Sartorial meets Kintsugi at a jabber—an illegal warehouse party—he falls hard and fast for the beautiful human girl. She is everything he didn't know he wanted—and everything his family hates. Kintsugi is drawn to the handsome elf boy like no other, but her future has already been planned. A future she intends to thwart. But now there's something worth staying around for, she's torn over what to do.

Unfortunately, they both have secrets that will not be kept, and powerful families that have their own goals. It seems like the entire world is trying to keep them apart. Can Sartorial and Kintsugi overcome all obstacles to be together—even after their secrets are revealed?

Books2Read (ebooks Amazon, B&N, etc...) | Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Bubble & Squeek for 15 June 2020

Today’s Bubble & Squeek is brought to you by galley proofs, workshops, and the letter “C” for cover reveals!

Cover reveal and Release: Pre-Order/Order Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For. Meet Sartorial and Kintsugi. This happens the night they meet. The cover is by the ever fabulous Peter Tikos.

Review: Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories. Five star review. “I’m very glad I picked this book up to review, and I know any science fictions fans will be glad they picked it up to read.” This one has the story, "When a Patch Won't Do" by me and Katie Cord.

Cover reveal for BattleTech: Ghost Hour. Jasper and Nadine are having a very bad time of it. The blonde is Lyric, Nadine’s girlfriend and all around “Death Pixie.” This is by the wonderful BattleTech artist Marco Mazzoni. He does such a good job!

Workshop: Clarion West - The Business of Writing, June 30. NOTE: However, sign-up will take place through a lottery system and you have to register for the Write-a-thon in order to sign up. They are closing the class lottery next Wednesday, June 17, so anyone interested needs to have signed up by then!

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

 

Tell Me - Rusty Zimmerman

Rusty Zimmerman is a friend and peer of mine, working in the word mines of Catalyst Game Labs. Today, he tells me what he’s done to try to change the perceptions of Shadowrun fans (and wanna-be gatekeepers) about what “does” and “does not” belong in the Sixth World.

===
The catalyst for my latest Jimmy Kincaid yarn, Chaser, came from the real-life political climate and how it all-too-often shows itself in geek spaces. I’m a moderator for a sprawling (8,000+ member) Shadowrun Facebook community, the Shadowrunner’s Union. While the vast majority of our users are terrific, and while we do everything we can to keep the place inclusive and welcoming, sometimes a little ugliness seeps through the cracks.

That’s what happened when someone posted some artwork of their character in this magic-rich, cyberpunk/transhumanist setting; a catgirl. Only a few people commented on the artwork itself, or asked our intrepid poster for more about his character. The majority of the memorable conversation was, instead, the dully predictable attacks of angry geeks against someone they thought was a little geekier than them. A pack of nerds descended on someone they thought was having fun wrong, and the joy of an artwork post was taken away as gamer after gamer insisted catgirls and furries have no place in ‘their’ game (and that’s without even mentioning that he was a male-presenting player with a female-presenting character).

First, I swung the banhammer around and took out the garbage. Next, I politely reminded everyone that Changelings—people affected by SURGE, Sudden Recessive Genetic Expression, who mutated due to a spike in magic—had been a part of Shadowrun since 2001, nineteen years ago in real-life and nineteen years ago in-universe, and that the first artwork AND first in-character lore about them both featured a catgirl. After that, I reminded people that furry-style cosmetic modifications had also always been an option in Shadowrun (and even in Cyberpunk 2020), literally for decades, even prior to Year of the Comet introducing SURGE.

But then? Then I decided to really show that catgirls belonged in Shadowrun more than gatekeepers. I messaged the original poster, and asked him to tell me more about his character.

I’d had the idea for a Kincaid story brewing for a while, you see, where our hard-boiled paranormal investigator shows that not all of the classic noir-PI tropes hold true. Like a lot of aging media, some of the original private dicks are, well, kind of dickish. Not every genre ages well, not every trope is the same almost a hundred years later, and maybe it was time to be a little clearer that Jimmy Kincaid—and Shadowrun and I—want readers to feel welcome, regardless of their gender, orientation, skin color, or, yes, even their other fandoms.

It was time for Jimmy to work on some hate crimes, and to tackle head-on the metaracism and bigotry that’s so often sidestepped in Shadowrun work. This submachinegun-firing catgirl from some artwork, then, was the last ingredient I needed. With my new friend’s blessing and a few new notes, I got to work making a bullied player’s favorite character into a canon character, and the final puzzle piece fell into place, completing the story I’d had idly bouncing around in my skull for a while.

I hope everyone will enjoy Chaser, not just because it’s an important reminder that Shadowrun has room for everybody, but because it’s a heck of a story, too. We find Jimmy racing all over his Puyallup neighborhood, staking out, interviewing, roughing up, and being roughed up by all manner of Shadowrun troublemakers—from troubled priests with dark secrets to racist cops, Humanis policlub bigots to the mutated shadowrunners they target.

It adds to the existing Jimmy Kincaid stories, Neat and Shaken (and includes the first chapter of Stirred, my next novel), and it does so in a way that I think readers will have a great time with.


===

Rusty Zimmerman (“Russell” when he’s writing, so he sounds less like a dog) is a Texan who took the long way getting there from California, then Kentucky. He, his wife, and their princess-pupper Bodie can be found in the DFW Metroplex, slinging dice, playing Overwatch, and telling stories with their friends. When he’s not gaming face-to-face, he can be found on Discord and Twitch at all hours of the day and night, hanging out with his geeks and, as he insists on calling it, “researching for work.”

He is a full-time freelance writer in the gaming industry, known for credits ranging from the Warmachine and Spinespur wargames to the award-winning Satellite Reign PC game, but most of all for his work in role-playing games in particular. While he’s always eager for another game world to play in and another notch on his gunbelt, he’s still investing most of his word count into Shadowrun, particularly writing novels, novellas, and anthology fiction in the Sixth World.