Jason Cosmo: What comes next?

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

With Noble Cause written, what comes next in the world of Jason Cosmo? I’ve been giving this some thought and I want to share with you my plans.

Jason Cosmo

  • Housekeeping Measures: I have a little Jason Cosmo spring cleaning to do. This includes getting Noble Cause and the Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy Omnibus into the Amazon Kindle Store, some tweaks to this website,  and a few other odds and ends.
  • Solving the Dirty Work Cover Mystery: See my last post. I really want to know who painted the cover for the U.S. edition of Dirty Work. I sent an email to my former publisher, Penguin, to see if they can tell me. If that doesn’t work… Continue reading

Who did Dirty Work?

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

With Noble Cause now written and working its way into the various ebook stores, I have the breathing room to solve one of the great mysteries of the Jason Cosmo series: Who painted the cover of the 1993 Roc edition of Dirty Work?

As longtime Loyal Readers know, Dirty Work was the third volume of the classic Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy. Richard Hescox provided the cover illustrations for my first two books, Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos. The late Josh Kirby did the covers for the UK editions of all three books, published by Pan Ltd. But it remains a mystery to this day who painted the cover for Dirty Work.

Sadly, Roc did not provide a cover credit in the book itself. That was the first place I looked. Some fifteen years or so ago, a prominent fantasy artist I happened to meet whilst holding a copy of Dirty Work took a look at the cover and said, “Oh, that is _____. I’d know his style anywhere.” And I wrote the name down on a scrap of paper, long since lost to time, and also made a more “permanent” note on my computer, long since lost to a hard drive crash. Yeah, I’m not very good with names.

But the time has come to solve this mystery. Someone suggested it may have been the awesome Walter Velez. But I asked Mr. Velez, he checked his records, and it was not him. I emailed the fantasy artist I once bumped into to ask if he might again identify the artist simply from looking at the art. I don’t know if he will have time or inclination to reply. Or if my message even got through his spam filter. So I also sent the below letter to the generic email address of my former publisher Penguin USA/ACE/ROC:

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Jason Cosmo Omnibus ebook now at Smashwords

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I recently released an omnibus ebook edition of the original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy. This ebook includes the original texts of Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work. The Jason Cosmo Omnibus is currently available at Smashwords in multiple formats, for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Sony reader, Kobo  or other preferred device. Soon to be available at other ebook retailers.

Jason Cosmo Omnibus book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granted, if you’ve already read the original series, you may have no need for this Omnibus. But if you don’t already have the ebooks and want to dive right in to the classic version of the series, here you go!

Best Regards,

Dan McGirt

Royal Chaos now in the Amazon Kindle Store!

Greetings, Loyal Readers!

Another quick note to let you know that the Kindle ebook version of Royal Chaos is now available! This ebook incorporates the original text of the 1990 paperback edition of Royal Chaos, with only minor corrective edits. I will, eventually, do a revised (and probably retitled) version of Royal Chaos as part of the rebooted Jason Cosmo series that kicked off with Hero Wanted and will continue with Noble Cause. But, for now, and for fans of the original Non-Trilogy, I give you Royal Chaos for the Kindle.

For new Loyal Readers, a word of explanation. The original Jason Cosmo series consisted of Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work. Then, to put it politely, my publisher dropped the series like a hot potato full of squirmy maggots. I call the original three books the Non-Trilogy. (Because there be three books, but they be not a trilogy.)

If the first Jason Cosmo book you read was Hero Wanted, you might wonder how it fits with these other books? Do they go together? Are they part of the same series? The answer is yes and no. Hero Wanted — as I’ve said before and will no doubt say again — is a revised edition of Jason Cosmo. If you read Hero Wanted, no need to read Jason Cosmo unless you just want to.

Royal Chaos was a sequel to Jason Cosmo. It works as a sequel to Hero Wanted if you want to read it that way. There might be a few inconsistencies because of the revision, but the books still work together.

Now the “official” sequel to Hero Wanted will be Noble Cause (coming soon!) — but no harm in reading Royal Chaos next if you want to. Noble Cause, in fact, is set in between the action of Hero Wanted and Royal Chaos. But nothing in Royal Chaos will ruin or give anything beyond very minor spoilers for Noble Cause. So have at it!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

A kind review of Hero Wanted at Book Weyr blog

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I’ve been hard at work trying to wrap up NOBLE CAUSE so I can get it before your eager eyeballs by summer. In the meantime, I stumbled upon this very kind review of HERO WANTED (though I think more in its earlier incarnation as JASON COSMO)  at the blog Book Weyr, which concludes:

In structural terms, the book is marvellous, meaning the world is governed by magical laws, but is also uncanny, meaning events have their order in nature. McGirt fulfills all the deepest requirements of fantastical narrative with such transparent superficiality in order to induce humour that you know its been painstakingly thought-out. Anyone teaching an introduction to fantastical writing should use this book.

That’s probably giving me way too much credit! But much appreciated. So go read the whole thing!

They also reviewed ROYAL CHAOS (although with spoilers, so if you haven’t read that one yet,  be warned!). I’m always fascinated when readers find things in my books that I didn’t know were there! Anyway, the gang at Book Weyr clearly put much thoughtful effort into their book reviews across multiple genres, so if you’re looking for ideas about books to read, or opinions on books you may have already read, do check them out!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

Happy New Year, Loyal Readers!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I hope that you rang in the New Year in style and have great things ahead in 2011! I simply want to take a moment to thank all the Loyal Readers who bought my books and stories in 2010, who posted kind reviews at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Goodreads, etc; and who took time to tweet, email, or otherwise let me know that you enjoyed my work. I love to tell stories. I love to entertain and amuse people. So it always makes my day when I hear from a Loyal Reader that you liked something I wrote.

Of course, I know what many of you would like is for me to write faster! (And, perhaps, better). Noble Cause is very obviously way behind schedule. My plan to release that book in 2010 were derailed various non-writing time commitments, as well as self-inflicted delays, such as the month or so I spent writing Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter and the month or so I spent on the Caladon Falls role-playing game project. For those who have been patiently waiting for the new book, I apologize for getting sidetracked. I’m back on the case, and will have Noble Cause done and published by spring.

Aside from the aforementioned SPVH and Caladon Falls, 2010 also saw my world audiodrama debut at The Dramapod, which was at least non-awful enough that they invited me back for a dramatic reading of my horror-comedy short story Beginner’s Luck as part of The Dramapod Halloween special. The Dramapod gang produces some really fun material and if you enjoy audiostories, you should definitely check out their catalog.

Also in 2010, I quietly released the original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy as free Smashwords ebooks. This is a limited time Smashwords exclusive, so if you haven’t jumped over to grab Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, or Dirty Work do it soon! I’ve secured rights to re-use the original Richard Hescox cover art for the ebooks. As soon as the new covers are done, the Non-Trilogy ebook titles will go on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple and other ebook retailers, priced at $2.99.  So get ’em while they’re free! (And if you’d care to post a review of the Non-Trilogy at Smashwords, I would greatly appreciate it.)

Speaking of ebooks, through the end of 201o my 9 ebook titles have 16,584 downloads (free + sales) at Smashwords alone, with just shy of 40,000 total downloads/sales when other retailers are included. Those numbers include far more free downloads than sales, since I gave away the Hero Wanted ebook for one full year. Whether you bought or read if for free–thanks for reading!

And if you bought, thanks again!

What’s ahead for 2011? I can only tell you my plans. Chances are, some of these won’t happen and I’ll think of new projects as I go. But here is my working list:

  • Release Noble Cause: this is definite. This will happen.
  • Re-release Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, Dirty Work ebooks with new covers. Also coming soon.
  • Another Jason Cosmo mini-novel (cf. Rainy Daze)
  • Revised version Royal Chaos: Book 3 in the relaunched series, after Noble Cause.
  • Boltblaster: At long last!
  • Sarah Palin Vampire Hunter II: because you demanded it!
  • Maybe a few other non-Jason Cosmo stories, for variety’s sake.

Less definite, but I’d like to do:

  • Hero Wanted podcast/bookcast: I love what authors like Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler are doing, serial podcasting entire books. But as I learned recording Beginner’s Luck, it is hard work and time-consuming. I want to do it, but this won’t be a top priority.

That’s what I have on the drawing board for you in the year ahead, Loyal Readers! Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. I hope your own plans for 2011 are even bigger and better than mine!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy Ebooks

[UPDATE  10/24/10:  All three Non-Trilogy titles are now available at Smashwords:  Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, Dirty Work]

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Several Loyal Readers have expressed interest in reading the original Jason Cosmo novels — aka the Non-Trilogy — as e-books.  Your wish is my command!  I recently had the paperback editions of Jason Cosmo (1989), Royal Chaos (1990) and Dirty Work (1993) scanned by the good folks at Blue Leaf Book Scanning since I lacked electronic versions of the final as-published texts. I’ve begun the process of cleaning up the files and hope to have all three titles available as ebooks in the near future.

This undertaking is separate from my relaunch of the series, which began with Hero Wanted and will continue with Noble Cause. I realize reissuing the original versions while also publishing new versions may confuse some people, but I don’t think that is any reason to not make the original versions available for those Loyal Readers who are interested.

I am only editing Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work for typos, spelling, and formatting errors that showed up in the published versions. I am not otherwise changing the text. So, for instance, the Jason Cosmo ebook will not include the revisions and extra scenes and chapters included in the Hero Wanted.  If you’ve read Hero Wanted, there would be no particular reason to read Jason Cosmo — unless you’re interested in seeing what the first version was like.

Anyway, that is the plan. I’m happy to take questions.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo vs. Hero Wanted

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I had a couple of great comments today from Loyal Readers over at the Dan McGirt page on Facebook. (If you’re on Facebook, please join us there!)

Loyal Reader Luke wants to know when the movie is coming out. No one from Hollywood has called yet. I think the Jason Cosmo books would work better as animated features than as live action, but I am open to all offers!

Longtime Loyal Reader Mark has a deeper question. Having read the original books many times, he finds some of the changes in story details and wording I made in Hero Wanted (versus Jason Cosmo) distracting. He asks why I decided to make so much change? An excellent question!

You can read my answer at the Dan McGirt Facebook page, but I’ll restate it here for the benefit of all Loyal Readers.

As I’ve discussed previously, I did the revision of Jason Cosmo over several years, so the changes came gradually. I originally set out to simply correct a few typos. Then I decided to add some new scenes and drop a few things in to better set up events of the later books. I then let the manuscript sit for a year or two.

When I was getting the book ready for publication earlier this year, I went through line by line, tweaking dialogue and language. In my mind, these were all improvements. I feel I’m a better writer than I was in 1987-88, when I wrote Jason Cosmo. While that may be open to debate, I am certainly a different writer. So given the opportunity to revisit and revise my original prose, I did so.

As I hope I’ve made clear by now, Hero Wanted is not an exact reprint of Jason Cosmo. But neither is it a brand new story. It is a retelling or reimagining, hence the new title.

I think of it this way: there are lots of books about, say, the life of Alexander the Great, each telling the same basic story but in different ways, with different details, and different emphasis. There are also many versions of the Greek myths, the tales of King Arthur, etc.  For the comic book geeks out there, you might think of the Non-Trilogy as the Earth-1 version and the Hero Wanted continuity as Earth-2. They are very similar, but not identical, yet both are valid.

For Loyal Readers who have read the original Non-Trilogy books more than once–and possibly more than I have–and consider them among your favorites, I can imagine any changes to the text are jarring. Just like watching the retouched versions of the original Star Wars trilogy is a bit annoying and distracting to me. I totally get that.

I did ponder for a long time whether to make real changes in the story. In the end I decided to go ahead and deviate from the original Non-Trilogy text where it made sense to me. I decided that doing so was in the true tradition of Jason Cosmo. To ME, the “original” version of Jason Cosmo is in the the handwritten stories I passed around to my friends in middle and high school–those Original Loyal Readers without whose support the book might never have come about.

I also wrote a rebooted version of Jason Cosmo in high school which, come to think of it, was a little less popular than the first run of stories.  My point is, the published Non-Trilogy was actually, for me, the third incarnation of Jason Cosmo, making Hero Wanted the start of the fourth version.

For longtime Loyal Readers, I hope that you will enjoy this new run of Jason Cosmo adventures. I hope it continues for years to come. With your support, it will. I would not have made the commitment to bring Jason Cosmo back to print if it were not for the many encouraging emails and other messages I’ve received from longtime Loyal Readers over the years. I am also hoping to win many new Loyal Readers as the Cosmoverse expands.

If you prefer the original Non-Trilogy version of Jason Cosmo to the retelling in Hero Wanted, I understand and I appreciate your loyalty to the “classic” version. I warn you now there will be similar changes when I get to the revisions of Royal Chaos and Dirty Work — but I hope you’ll come along for the ride and I hope you’ll enjoy the stories to come as much I plan to enjoy writing them for you!

Best regards,
Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo Hero Wanted Cover Artist Richard Hescox

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I’ve already mentioned that the artist (or illustrator — not sure if it makes a difference) is already hard at work on the brand new cover art (or illustration, if you prefer) for the first volume of the new Jason Cosmo Series, Hero Wanted.

But I neglected to tell you who he is! If you read the title of this post, you already know it’s Continue reading