Dancing With Eternity – the audiobook has officially been released!

Dancing With Eternity is now an audio book

Dancing With Eternity is now an audio book

Ellen McLain and John Patrick Lowrie (me) read my award-winning scifi novel, Dancing With Eternity. Called “mind blowing … pitch perfect … a stellar debut that shows why science fiction is still the most interesting genre today” and “a complex, cerebral, yet exciting science fiction thriller”, Dancing With Eternity is now realized as an audiobook complete with score and sound effects. Get it here:

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Free stuff!!!

SteelHey, peeps! Everybody likes free stuff. Well, here is some! For all of you out there with an intellectual bent who enjoy having your brain turned musically inside out for four minutes or so, here is the new (mildly promotional) music video of my chamber orchestra piece, Conversations With Piltdown Man. It is accompanied by shots from the beautiful artwork created for the audiobook release of my scifi novel, Dancing With Eternity, so, as I said, it is mildly promotional. But mostly it’s just beautiful.Waterfalls

The title, Conversations With Piltdown Man, refers to a famous hoax that resided in the British Museum for many years. It ostensibly ‘proved’ that modern man had evolved in Great Britain. So, as you can imagine, conversations with him can be quite enlightening. After all, he never even existed!

I hope you enjoy the music.

shuttles & 3 moons copy

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Dancing With Eternity Will Be Released This Spring as an Audio Book!

Dancing With Eternity is now an audio book

Dancing With Eternity is now an audio book

The legendary Ellen McLain (voice of GLaDOS in the Portal games and Gipsy Danger in Guillermo del Toro‘s epic blockbuster, Pacific Rim)DSC_0234 - Version 2 joins her husband, John Patrick Lowrie (voice of the Sniper in Team Fortress 2, Sword Control in Halo Reach, Pudge, Storm Spirit et al in DOTA 2) in bringing to electrifying life John’s award-winning scifi epic, Dancing With Eternity.new_cover Produced by Jim French Productions in crisp detail complete with music and sound effects, the book becomes a cinematic experience that lets you move through the worlds and adventures of Steel, Mohandas and the crew of the starship Lightdancer as you never have before. Feel the tropical breezes of Vesper, the lonely desert winds of Eden, experience the NavNet and interstellar flight.8x10 final The score by the author captures the tension, the mystery and wonder of this story and propels you from chapter to chapter. Every word of the original novel is brought to life.

Ellen McLain stars as the enigmatic Steel, owner of her own starship, driven by forces that will only be discovered in time. Ellen also performs all the other female characters, bringing to each one a vitality and depth that you have come to expect from this award-winning actress. John Patrick Lowrie narrates as the unemployed actor, Mohandas, who is swept up in Steel’s feverish quest. Follow them as they explore the alien yet familiar social tapestry of 40th century humanity, a place where death is almost forgotten and intimacy enhanced by a telepathic internet that connects every single individual human mind.silvermoon

Dancing With Eternity, the award-winning, critically acclaimed science fiction novel, now an epic audio book. Look for it soon on audible.com, amazon.com, and iTunes.

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The 2013 Dota 2 International!!!!

Flags were flying in the lobby of Benaroya!

Flags were flying in the lobby of Benaroya!

Ellen and I had the great honor and privilege to attend the Dota 2 International this year in Seattle. It was PRETTY FREAKIN COOL!!!! Valve had Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony, completely decked out for the games and it never looked better. Ellen also never looked better as we peeked into the main concert hall where the games were being played.
My lovely wife, homicidal A.I. GLaDOS, and the voice of Broodmother and Death Prophet for Dota 2 in the Big Room!

My lovely wife, homicidal A.I. GLaDOS, and the voice of Broodmother and Death Prophet for Dota 2 in the Big Room!

We were met by our pal Marc Laidlaw, who has written many of your favorite lines for the games we’re in, and shown around the facility. We got to meet lots of the Valve folks that work so insanely hard to bring out games like Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal and, of course, Dota 2. Animators, game level designers, writers and programers all became TV producers for the Super Bowl of Esports: The Dota 2 International! Wandering around backstage was wild. The staging area for the symphony was cleared of bassoons, violins, tubas and percussion and filled with computers all showing different camera angles on the games.
Ellen gets to talk to one of the stalwart Valve guys who bring the games to life

Ellen gets to talk to one of the stalwart Valve guys who bring the games to life

The teams, which came from literally all over the world, had their own very nice green room (the traditional name for the room where performers can relax before performing: they’re never green) and us Valve folks had the … other green room. With food! Sloppy Joes were the lunch item. I hadn’t tasted a sloppy joe since I was at band camp in high school. These were not your garden variety sloppy joes, however. Very tasty. And a good thing, because Ellen and I needed to fuel up to meet the fans. We were escorted out through a maze of hallways to the lobby again to man the signing table.
Fans ...

Fans …

... fans ...

… fans …

... fans ...

… fans …

and more fans lined up to meet Ellen.

and more fans lined up to meet Ellen.

... and me.  Although I'm not nearly as pretty as Ellen.

… and me. Although I’m not nearly as pretty as Ellen.

People were waiting in line as long as four hours to get our autographs. The fans were wonderful, and had really great stamina! Some of the thigh muscles on them could have held off an attack from Pudge. In fact, they were in line so long that at least one of them had time to create a major work of art.
Fan art created while standing in line to see us.  Who says standing in line is a waste of time?  Not this guy.

Fan art created while standing in line to see us. Who says standing in line is a waste of time? Not this guy.

We were scheduled to sign autographs from 2:00 to 4:00. We ended up staying an extra hour and still didn’t get to see everyone. But several people caught up to us as we moved around the lobby. Chris, another great Valve writer, took us up to the balcony where the press was watching and reporting to the rest of the world how the games were progressing.
The whole world is watching!

The whole world is watching!

We stood right next to the China press box as mayhem was unleashed on the stage below.
Keeping the gamers of China informed!

Keeping the gamers of China informed!

International geeks and nerds vie for dominance in the most bloodless blood sport of all time!

International geeks and nerds vie for dominance in the most bloodless blood sport of all time!

The action was so hot and heavy it made my camera hand shake. The climax of the whole event was the finals. A five game series between Na’vi from the Ukraine and Alliance from Sweden. I got to announce the teams as they burst into the arena. Valve spared no dramatic touches.
The International Grand Finals begin!

The International Grand Finals begin!

I was standing right next to the door as the teams entered in clouds of fog and pulsing lights, led and followed by cameramen streaming it live to the world. The crowd roared their support for each team. The players made their way down the aisles, up onto the stage and into their respective soundproof booths where they could do battle undistracted. Heroes were banned, others were chosen. Strategies were formed, discussed and solidified. The lights went down … Alliance won the first game handily, making us wonder if they would sweep the series. But Na’vi came back strong and took the next two games, forcing Alliance to win the final two to take the series 3-2 and become the world champions.

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San Japan in San Antonio: The Riverwalk, The Alamo and thousands of cosplayers!

Ellen relaxes on the Riverwalk after a day of panels and signing autographs

Ellen and I had a great time in San Antonio this August at the incredible fancon San Japan. San Antonio is a beautiful city and San Japan was a great time for everyone! The con was held right next to San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk, which is a wonderful oasis away from the heat of a Texas summer. There are clubs and restaurants and shops all along it’s shores and the nightlife was rockin’. We ended everyday with a peaceful stroll along the river, the shops and trees festooned with lights, the sounds of bands wafting over the water. It was very pleasant and we can’t thank the organizers of San Japan enough for choosing such a beautiful place to hold a con.

As always, the fans were incredible and their cosplay work was outstanding.

What is Ellen doing? Something important, no doubt. And why am I wearing my name tag that way? Intrinsic sense of style?

Ellen and I played a concert, did several panels, including a no-holds-barred exposé of the world of animation, video games, voice work and whatever else we could think of to throw into the discussion at the time. It was irreverent, imprudent, implausible and overall hilarious. The fans laughed even more than we did.

I would accept cake, even hypothetical, rhetorical, or blatantly non-existent duplicitous cake, from this GLaDOS anytime!

Our FABulous and very photogenic con liason, Niki!

All in all, we had a wonderful time at San Japan and a wonderful time in San Antonio. A friendly, convivial and beautifully historical Texas landmark. If you get a chance to go next year I would highly recommend it! Don’t forget to see the Alamo (still no basement, sorry, PeeWee Herman fans), old town and the fabulous River Walk!

Remember the Alamo! (Who could forget it?)

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GLaDOS solos MomoCon!

Ellen was a very brave soldier to travel to MomoCon all by herself. Yes, the voice of GLaDOS is a chicken when it comes to travel on her own. Since our meeting 28 years ago I’ve accompanied her on 99% of her trips across Europe and the U.S. That’s the way she likes it!

The Citadel! Er, I mean, The Marriott Marquis

But she survived and had a marvelous time with friends old and new. The very comfortable Marriott Marquis reminded her of the “Citadel” in Half-Life 2, but her beautiful “Chell Bodyguards”, Samantha Skinner and Sarah Tillman, escorted her throughout the Con and took her on necessary bathroom breaks, and were most helpful in organizing the line of friendly folks there at Momo to meet her. I’m glad to say most were interested in my novel, “Dancing With Eternity”, and many bought copies, in fact, all the ones that she had lugged with her in her gargantuan suitcase!

Samantha and Sarah! The wandering Chells

She saw Professors Jeff Chastine and Jon Preston of SPSU (Southern Polytechnic State University) for a bite at Waffle House. She had “Cheese” grits with her waffle.
My Nashville girl knows the correct terminology.
Her friends Amethyst and John took her outside in balmy Atlanta for a beautiful brunch, and she got to meet and eat with artist, Jennifer Sorrell and friends.

GLaDOS is checking out the Waffle Menu, and her pals, Jon, Jeff and Courtney.

Ellen actually met an old friend of mine at Momo, Debby Robic. Ellen thought she was far too beautiful!

Highlights include “The Cake and Cube” by Catherine and Carter, and the “Steam Punk Portal Gun” by Duncan.

Duncan with his steam punk Portal gun!

Thank you to everyone at Momo for being so kind to my Ellen, including Stephen, Chris, Jen, Darius, Seneca, Julia, and too many to list!

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Dancing with Eternity wins the ForeWord Firsts Debut Fiction Award

http://www.forewordreviews.com/Something like this doesn’t happen every day. I had a feeling, when I was working on Dancing with Eternity, that I had a special story to tell. I tried to tell it as honestly and as humorously as I could. I wanted to celebrate life even through all the trials and travails that we humans face. I wanted to laugh at us and cry with us, cheer our victories and grieve for our defeats. It is so wonderful for me to have that work recognized. Check out the review, and then buy Dancing with Eternity! Award-winning fiction!

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Life at MAGFest! A folksy village inside a space age pod.

Ellen and I arrived at MAGFest, Washington D.C.’s music and game festival, prepared for awesomeness and it didn’t disappoint. MAGFest was held at The Gaylord, a hotel wrapped around a theme park on the shores of the Potomac and filled (at least it was this weekend) with somewhere around 5,000 assassins, banshees, warriors and morality cores. COSPLAY was IN THE HOUSE!!! We checked into our comfy room Thursday afternoon and prepared ourselves to meet the fans. I had a Q&A panel at 5:00, but Ellen was called with the rest of the stars later in the weekend. So I showered and dressed and Ellen went to sleep. She would need all the energy she could store up.

My Q & A was a lot of fun. I talked about being a voice actor, working for Valve, Bungie and the other companies I’ve voiced for. The fans wanted to know about my new sci-fi novel, Dancing with Eternity, and how I got into being an author. Someone asked if Ellen and I got into marital fights doing the voices of The Sniper and GLaDOS and I had to tell them no. However, I did say that a night of passion can be ruined when you’re going at it hot and heavy and she says, “This isn’t working for me. Could you do The Heavy?” A fan had me read a letter as The Sniper to Princess Celestia of My Little Pony. For the three people in the world who haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vhNWzK_yGA Evidently people who are into both Team Fortress 2 and My Little Pony are called Team Ponies or Pone Forties or Porties or My Little Team Pony Fortresses 2, or something like that. Anyway, the letter I read to Princess Celestia must have been way overdue because everyone was pretty excited about it.

That night Ellen and I went out to hear a great blues band at The Zoo Bar in D.C.

Friday was the TF2 appreciation panel which was lead by Eric Ruth of Eric Ruth Games and creator of TF2 Arcade. Ellen and I were both there. This was the first opportunity for the fans to meet Ellen and it was a party. Afterwards we headed down to our booth to sign autographs and chat. Here are some of the results:

Chell and GLaDOS by Jessi Pascal

"Let Us Sing a Song of Science" by Michael Plondaya (I hope that's spelled right)

At every personal appearance we make we are given art produced for us by the people who love our work. As always, Ellen and I were blown away by the level of skill and talent exhibited by the fans. These two pieces are indicative of what we saw there. If you want to see more of Jessi’s work you can find it here: Geeks Next Comic

Chris Hardwick (center), me (left) and Ellen (right, doing the Macarena, I think), and the cast of The Nerdist

Friday night we went downtown to the 9:30 Club to make an appearance on Chris Hardwick’s hilarious podcast, The Nerdist. It was PACKED to the rafters. Chris and his two sidekicks did stand-up for a couple of hours before the podcast started, so the crowd was definitely warmed up. He saved us for the end of the program and they cheered when Ellen was introduced. It was wonderful to hear. Chris is a wonderful interviewer and I think everyone had a great time. He gave DWE a nice plug, we played GLaDOS’ Greatest Hits and hit the road. We didn’t get home till 2:00 a.m.

Saturday was a marathon. We had the Voice Acting panel at noon to 2:00, Ellen’s Q&A from 3:00 to 4:00, Voice-a-Palooza from 5:00 to 7:00 and autographs, autographs, autographs in between! We signed autographs until 9:00 that night and even so some patient fans had to come to our booth on Sunday because the line never ended. It was exhausting, but what a great experience for both of us. The fans are so friendly and good-natured (some of them were waiting in line for hours and at least one of them was pregnant). If people are worried about computer games producing sociopathic misanthropes and hermits, I’ve certainly never met any. These people are the most fun-loving, positive, creative people I’ve ever been around.

The crowd finds Ellen (Ellen's Q&A)

Ellen finds a turret (is she CUTE or WHAT????)

Wheatley finds a plaid shirt

The Sniper finds love! (Who else would the Sniper fall in love with?)

And I finally find the kind of girl I can bring home to mother.

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The Tor.com Reader’s Choice Awards

Vote for Dancing with Eternity on the Tor.com Readers Choice Awards!! All votes are write-ins. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and submit a comment to vote! Vote early! Vote often! All votes must be in by midnight on January 20th!!! I’m not saying that a vote for DWE will solve global warming or stop war, but, let’s be honest, it will.


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At MAGFest!

Dates: Jan 5 – 8, 2012 (Thu – Sun)

MAGFest is a music and video gaming festival run by fans, for fans. In more verbose terms, it’s an annual event dedicated to the celebration of video games and video game music. Every year offers 24-hour console, arcade, and PC game rooms, live video game cover bands, a vendors area, and guest speakers from the video game industry and fan scene. It also features a “JamSpace” available to all attendees for impromptu music performances. Numerous other events are scheduled each day.

What makes MAGFest unique is that it’s an event run by fans for fans. There are no corporate sponsors, no over-crowded showfloors, and no top-secret-behind-closed-doors showings. MAGFest is built from the ground up to be a party-like atmosphere with focus on community and fan creations, which creates an environment that no other expo or convention can ever recreate.

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