Thursday, December 9, 2021

WorldCon and the End of the Year


We've nearly made it through another year, and it's been a busy one.  Still one big event left for me: WorldCon in DC, and with it, this year's Hugo Awards.

Honestly, it was such an honor for Worldbuilding for Masochists just to be nominated.  I'm thrilled to be going as a nominee, that our work has been recognized by the community.  I have no further expectations, but we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, here's what I'm doing at WorldCon.  If you are also coming, please say hello.  

December 16, 2021

Public Hugo Finalists Reception 5:00 pm EST
The CW’s Contribution to Genre TV 5:30 pm EST
Writing “Gray” Markets 7:00 pm EST  - VIRTUAL PANEL

December 17, 2021

The Wizard’s Butler Did It: Fantasy Whodunits 2:30 pm EST - VIRTUAL PANEL

December 18, 2021

Kaffeeklatsch With Marshall Ryan Maresca 11:30 am EST
Signing – Marshall Ryan Maresca 2:30 pm EST
Hugo Award Ceremonies 8:00 pm EST
Hugo Awards Photo Opportunity 10:30 pm EST

In the meantime, a reminder that I had two books come out in 2021, and I'm incredibly proud of both of them.  If you haven't picked them up yet, now's a fantastic time.  And if you have, they both make excellent gifts for the reader on your holiday gift list.  

VELOCITY: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop 
AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop 

I hope the end of the year is a wonderful time for you and yours, and see you in 2022.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Onward to 2022: The First Two Books of Maradaine Phase Two

 So, last week at ArmadilloCon, I had the pleasure of having a Special Guest interview, conducted by Thomas Wagner of SFF180, which we also recorded and he put on his channel.  I had a great time talking with Thomas about my process, the path of conceiving and writing Maradaine, Velocity of Revolution, and everything beyond that.  

And talking about beyond that, at the end of the interview, as well as immediately afterward on Twitter, I announced what the next two books are for 2022.  So let's talk about what those are going to be.

First off, we have coming in the Spring, The Assassins of Consequence.  While we've seen Veranix Calbert in The Fenmere Job and People of the City, we've not seen anything centered on his part of the city since The Imposters of Aventil.  So, here we return to the University, Dentonhill and Aventil, and the team surrounding Veranix as he continues his war against Willem Fenmere.  

The autumn semester at the University of Maradaine is underway, and Veranix Calbert is doing his best to balance the new responsibilities of being a fourth-year magic student under the militant Altarn Initiatives, while still acting as The Thorn, the street vigilante deep in a personal war against the drug kingpin Willem Fenmere.  With the help of his friends Kaiana, Delmin and Mila, he’s been able to strike real blows against Fenmere’s empire.

But Veranix’s fight has earned him more enemies than just Fenmere, including the mad alchemist Cuse Jensett, the imposters Erno Don and Enzin Hence, and the Deadly Birds Magpie and Jackdaw.  These five killers join forces to escape Quarrygate Prison and offer an alliance to Fenmere, bringing with them the perfect leverage to seal the deal: the Thorn’s identity.

Once Fenmere knows who Veranix is, he doesn’t just want to kill him, but to utterly shatter him.  Calling on everyone in Maradaine holding a grudge against the Thorn, he unleashes a brutal hunt against Veranix.  With old and new enemies all looking to claim the bounty on his head, stripped of the security of his secret identity, Veranix faces the most brutal fight of his all too-short life.

And what's after that?

In this one, Asti & Verci are now legitimate businessmen running the Rynax Gadgeterium, trying to settle into a normal, decent life for themselves and their friends, families and neighbors, while still planning to root out those responsible for the Holver Alley Fire and exact justice upon them.  But their sudden arrest throws all of those plans out the window, and now they must scramble to make a new plan from inside Quarrygate Prison.  Desperate to get her family back, Verci's wife Raych Rynax will have to come up with her own mad ploy to get the leverage she needs to save them.

In essence, equal parts Escape from AlcatrazSuicide Squad and Oceans 8.  

And that's what's coming in 2022!  More news on the future of Maradaine soon.

In the meantime, An Unintended Voyage comes out next week!  Still plenty of time to pre-order.  For those of you who have been waiting since A Parliament of Bodies to learn Corrie's fate, your wait is almost over.

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

ArmadilloCon Schedule

 ArmadilloCon starts tomorrow!  If you are in Austin, or can come there this weekend, I'd love to hear from you.  Here's my schedule of events:

Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, J. Miles*, G. Villarreal
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con's major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Writing Large Series
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom D
K. Baldwin, D. Cohen, M. R. Maresca, K. Redford, M. Wells*
Trilogies, pentologies, dodecologies, heptatriacontologies in three phases… how can anyone hope to keep anything straight in these gigantic epics?  Especially the people trying to write them!  Our panel talks about the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of writing stories of immense scope and scale.

Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
C. Brown, M. R. Maresca, C. Panatier, M. Wells

Worldbuilding for Beginners and Masochists
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Black, E. Cobbe, B. Jensen*, B. Liar, M. R. Maresca
How do you get started with worldbuilding? And how do you know when to stop? Do you ever stop? Do you need to stop? Or do you just keep going until it hurts? Our panelists explore the limits of world building, and how to get the most out of it by challenging presumptions of how fantasy worlds are “supposed” to be.

Marshall Ryan Maresca Interview
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom D
M. R. Maresca, T. Wagner*
An interview with our Special Guest.

Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, S. Felix, T. Wilson
Fans vs Pros game completely unrelated to the Richard Dawson show

Sun Noon-1:00 PM Ballroom D
S. Kern*, M. R. Maresca, S. Leicht, T. Wagner
“Hopepunk is the opposite of grimdark.” Alexandra Rowland coined the term with that sentence, but what is ‘hopepunk’? Is it a subgenre, a style, a mood? Is it just fantasy where good people strive to do good in hopeful worlds? Or is there something deeper which needs exploring, especially in contrast to grimdark fantasy? And what does writing hopepunk fiction mean?

Shiny Seductive Sirens and Tying Yourself to the Mast
Sun 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Fisher, M. R. Maresca*, K. Redford, P. Sarath, J. Reisman
It happens every time. You’re about a third of the way through a story, and you’re definitely out of the “honeymoon” stage of the project, when it hits: A Shiny New Idea.  It’s so fun and exciting, definitely not work like the current one is.  But you also know you NEED TO FINISH that current one.  So how do you tie yourself to the proverbial mast so you can ignore those shiny sirens and sail through the rocky waters of the murky middle and finish your story?

On more thing, I want to share this excellent review of An Unintended Voyage from SF&F Reviews, including saying "This is compulsive reading right here, that you’ll pick up and not put down, and then lament when you’re finished that there isn’t any more." I think this is a fantastic book and I hope you pick it up. And pre-orders are very important now, with the challenges of supply-chains around the world.

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

ArmadilloCon, AN UNINTENDED VOYAGE, and the future of Maradaine

 So, friends, we're already in October, which means that we're just a few days away from ArmadilloCon, my hometown SFF Lit convention, and this year I am one of the special guests.

So I will be there, talking about An Unintended VoyageThe Velocity of RevolutionWorldbuilding for Masochists and the future of Maradaine.  I'll also be teaching in the Writers Workshop.  It'll be good to do a real, live-and-in-person event.  I did poke my head in at the Writers League of Texas conference a few weeks ago, mostly just to test the waters of being at an event again, but ArmadilloCon will be the first real one I'll be attending since 2019.   I'm very excited.

And An Unintended Voyage is just a few weeks away!  You can still pre-order!  The initial buzz has been very strong, which makes me quite happy.  From Publishers Weekly: "Maresca returns to the universe of his Maradaine novels and masterfully expands the world beyond the reaches of the title city."  I'm really thrilled you all will get to join Corrie Welling on this adventure, with:

-working class heroine
-far from home, deep in debt
-found family
-an apocalyptic cult
-the world's biggest library

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Also, I'll be making a bit more announcement about Maradaine Phase Two.  I've been keeping this under my hat for a little while, but the ArmadilloCon attendees will get the first sneak peak of it.

ALSO also, a reminder that I do have a Patreon, which I am terrible about using in interesting ways, BUT I have a germ of an idea of some interesting things to do over there, namely a fun way to share more worldbuilding stuff from Maradaine.

Beyond that, I hope you've been checking out Worldbuilding For Masochists.  We've had some great episodes this year, and some really fun guests lined up.  I will be at WorldCon in DC in December, and I hope I'll see some of you there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


 I have news!  My upcoming novel now has a new title and a cover!  AN UNINTENDED VOYAGE comes out from DAW in November!

So, one of the BIG Unanswered Questions from Phase One of the Maradaine Saga— the one I saw THE MOST in reviews of PEOPLE OF THE CITY— was this:  What happened to Corrie?  This novel is ALL ABOUT Corrie’s journey.  We’ve seen tastes of the wider world beyond Maradaine in a few of the books.  AN IMPORT OF INTRIGUE showed a little of what it looks like, but here we dive fully in.

Moving outside the city of Maradaine, this new novel follows a lone member of the Maradaine Constabulary as she navigates a new but just as dangerous city.

Sergeant Corrie Welling has been abducted and confined on a ship bound for distant shores, where her captors have nefarious plans for her. With fortune and ingenuity, Corrie escapes, but finds herself stuck in a sprawling metropolis on the other side of the world: The Mocassa.

The Mocassa is a test unlike anything Corrie has ever faced. She doesn't speak the language, doesn't know the culture, and is forbidden from leaving the city until she pays off a colossal debt. Even if she's able to find decent work, it will take her years to settle her accounts.

But Corrie Welling will not be cowed. She will work, fight, and hold her chin high. As a fringe faction of an apocalyptic faith spreads throughout the city, threatening the new friends she's sworn to protect, she'll continue to stand up for the values instilled in her.

I LOVED writing this book, finding Corrie’s voice, exploring the larger parts of this world.  PLUS, after finishing Phase One of the Maradaine Saga, it’s time to move to the next phase…

What is Phase Two going to look like?  Right now, I’m still keeping that under wraps, but I am EXTREMELY excited about it and will shout about it when I can.

BUT FOR NOW: You can pre-order AN UNINTENDED VOYAGE!  You will want this in your hands in November!

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Maresca Report, March 2021

 Hello again, friends,

It's been a strange few weeks for us here in the Maresca household.  If you weren't aware, most of Texas suffered a massive catastrophe when we were hit with temperatures below freezing for several days, which was absolutely unprecedented.  I've lived in Austin for 25 years, and this is the lowest I've seen the temperature go, and the longest stretch of below-freezing temperatures as well.  While it was terrible for many, many people, we were all right in Casa Maresca.  We were very fortunate that we never lost heat or power, and while we did lose water for several days, we were prepared enough (especially with the additional generosity of friends) to weather that inconvenience.  We were very lucky.

And since we're OK, what's coming up?


I'll be appearing on a panel of "HOW WE GET THROUGH: WRITING DURING A SECOND PANDEMIC YEAR" with several other brilliant authors, hosted by Karen Osborne. This is actually a two weekend event: On March 7th at 3pm Eastern/Noon Pacific, I'll be appearing with Valerie Valdes (author of Chilling Effect), Ryan Van Loan (author of The Sin In The Steel), Premee Mohamed (author of Beneath The Rising) and A.J. Hackwith (author of The Library of the Unwritten)
And on March 14th, the fantabulous Stina Leicht, Cass Morris, Mike Chen, S.B. Divya and C.L. Clark will do a second panel. It's going to be great.
Register for the panels here:

The Velocity of Revolution came out last month, and I've been absolutely thrilled with the reactions I've heard so far. I'm going to eschew the usual humility and say that I think this is the best book I've written. If you've yet to check it out, consider that it is Queernorm Dieselpunk Fantasy with:
  • motorcycle races
  • empathy magic
  • pansexual polycule found families
  • train heists 
  • mushroom goddesses in the radio
  • so many tacos
Also, the ending prompted my mother to text me, "OMG!", which is something akin to audience reaction at the Ed Sullivan show when the Beatles played. So get your hands on it!

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Now, One more thing to file under "eschewing the usual humility".

The Hugo Nominations are coming up! Are you eligible to nominate for the Hugos? Then I would ask you to consider:

Best Series: The Maradaine Saga
Best Fancast: Worldbuilding for Masochists

I think with both of these, I've been able to contribute something truly excellent and worthy of you consideration for these awards. The Maradaine Saga has been a colossal effort on my part, weaving the four series together to come to a season finale conclusion bringing all the threads together in PEOPLE OF THE CITY. If you've read all the books up through People, I hope you'll agree, and shout about it to everyone else you know. But that's up to you and your honest opinion.

In the meantime, I keep working, and I hope to have some new announcements for you in the near future. Talk to you soon.

Monday, February 8, 2021


 So, on February 9th, we get my thirteenth novel, and my first novel not set in Maradaine: THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION.

I have been, I won't lie, rather nervous about this one.  Because it is such a radical departure from previous novels, and it was a novel I made a point of challenging myself with, so I had to ask myself, am I really pulling this off?  Is this working like I think?  I'm not much of one for impostor syndrome, but friends, this one tested me.

But with the first reactions out there, I'm starting to think I passed that test.

First off, we got starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

Maresca sends the pages flying with a clever plot, well-defined characters, and high-stakes atmosphere. This tense outing will keep readers spellbound from page one. - Publishers Weekly

Furthermore, this review from Every Book A Doorway says:

"This is, without question, one of the best books of the year."

And from Tea Leaf Reads

The Velocity of Revolution is one of those books that fully absorbs you. You pick it up, thinking you’ll only read a bit before bed, and an hour later, you finally pull yourself out of it reluctantly because it’s sucked you in that much.

So I'm very excited about this.

And it comes out on February 9th, which is a Tuesday, and thus a Taco Tuesday, and since The Velocity of Revolution is full of tacos, I put together some promo phots of books and tacos.  Here's a little preview:

I'll share more on release day, and encourage people to share pictures of their own favorite tacos, with the hashtag #TacosForTheRevolution.  The person (in US or Canada) who puts up the best taco pic (as judged by my wife) will win a copy of The Velocity of Revolution.

Or you could just order it now: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Bookshop.