Thursday, November 23, 2023

Where did 2023 go, exactly?

 So, it has been a bit since a proper update, hasn’t it?

About this time last year, I dropped the news about things ending for me at DAW, my plans for the future, especially regarding Phase Two of Maradaine, and that 2023 would be more of a “rebuilding year”.  

That last one was more true than I realized.

This past year has been especially challenging— really the past few years, but 2023 especially.  Some of it I’ve talked about publicly, but in brief: significant legal and financial entanglements with my wife’s family, health and accidental injury challenges with my father, myself and my son, further crises and emergencies that are, frankly, almost comically absurd and melodramatic.  It’s honestly been great fiction fodder, but terrible to live through.  Add in that I’ve been trying to focus on finishing a non-Maradaine book, which has been… challenging to say the least, in no small part due to all the things above.  Needless to say, 2023 has been the least productive writing year I’ve had in well over a decade.   I’ve not finished anywhere near what I had hoped I would have by now.  

But sometimes it’s good for fields to lay fallow and regenerate.  Hopefully that’s what’s been happening.  I’ve been accused of being a writing machine, and that machine probably required some maintenance, and we’ll be in a better place moving forward.  

What this means is, as much as I’d love to give you all some concrete dates for An Unkindness of Uncircled Mages , City of the Truth and those further Phase Two books, I’d love to tell you I’ve finished a non-Maradaine book, I’d love to tell you I have a new agent, welll, I can’t do any of that.  Hopefully 2024 will bring more news that I can share along those lines.  

However, there are some things I can share!

I did write a story for the upcoming Traveling Light anthology set in the world we’ve been building on Worldbuilding for Masochists podcast, which we plan on releasing in August 2024.  

I am releasing the next Maradaine Saga Short, the novelette The Withered Boy.  It’s the story of a young man in an island community, outcast for the belief that he’s to serve a greater destiny out in the world.  It will come out on December 5th.  Also on December 5th, I’m releasing my own updated versions of Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages, as trade paperbacks and e-books, and The Alchemy of Chaos and An Import of Intrigue will follow soon after.  And we’ll continue to release these “Marshall’s version” of Phase One of the Maradaine Saga as I get rights returned to me.  

And since we’re at the end of another year, how about a list of any awards-eligible works I had this year?

Novelette: Hultichia and The Withered Boy

Series:The Maradaine Saga (thanks to the above novelettes)

Podcast/Fancast: Worldbuilding for Masochists

That’s all for now.  After all, I have quite a bit of work to do.

Thursday, August 3, 2023



Hi folks!  I know I am overdue for some State of the Writer communication, but for now, I’ve got just a brief update that I’m at ArmadilloCon this weekend!   I will give a more indepth update in the near future.

In the meantime, here is my schedule for ArmadilloCon:

Friday, August 4


It's An Epic Urban Gaslight Fantasy with Atompunk Aesthetics: The Evergrowing Subgenres of Fan

Ballroom E, 9pm - 9:45pm

R.W.W. Greene (moderator), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Ari Marmell, Marie Brennan, Sara A Mueller

Subgenres make it easier for audiences to find the kind of fantasy they are looking for, but they also can be a headache of forcing things into labeled boxes. Do we need better labels or more boxes? Why are we naming things -punk and -core? How can we help someone who might love a dieselpunk story find it if the word “dieselpunk” already makes them tear their hair out? Is there a better way?

Saturday, August 5


You Call This Archaeology? 40+ Years of Indiana Jones

Ballroom E, 12pm - 12:45pm

Mark Finn (moderator), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Avery Parks, David Afsharirad

This year saw the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth movie in a franchise that launched in 1981— a franchise that also included a television series, spin-off books, comics, video games, and gave a generation wrong ideas about archaeology. We get nostalgic for a series that was, itself, nostalgic of the cliffhanger serials of the 30s and 40s. Is there still more life in this franchise, or does it belong in a museum?


The MCU: What Was Phase IV? What Is Phase V?

Ballroom E, 1pm - 1:45pm

Alan J. Porter (moderator), Aaron de Orive, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Robert Jackson Bennett, Jess Nevins

The MCU Finished Phase III in 2019, and since then, the discourse has gravitated around one core concept: Where is it going now, and why? For better or worse, it has now finished Phase IV, and the question "What was Phase IV about?" is a very valid one to ask. And now with Phase V underway, where is it going? And, do we need to know where it's going? Or does the very nature of knowing what's coming next color our interpretation of what's happening now?


Autographing: Maresca - Ransom - Wells

Marshall Ryan Maresca, Martha Wells, Tonia Ransom



Building and Fostering a SFF Community

Brenda Noiseux (moderator), Holly Lyn Walrath, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Jessica Reisman, Sequoia Nagamatsu, D.L. Young

WIth so much of the publishing industry falling apart, means of promotion and connection collapsing, and three years of pandemic isolation, it's clear that the best thing to help us all strive and succeed in the coming years is each other. How can we find each other, lift each other up, and make the genre and the community a better place?

Sunday, August 6


Reading - Maresca

Conference Center, 10am - 10:30am

Marshall Ryan Maresca


Crafting Court Intrigue & Battle Scenes

Ballroom D, 12pm - 12:45pm

Patrice Sarath (moderator), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Aparna Verma, Eva L. Elasigue, Nia "N.E." Davenport , C.S. Humble

Some of the most memorable moments in a book or a TV show/film is a battle or fight scene (think: the fighting montage in Everything Everywhere All at Once or the epic, Middle Earth-shaking Battle of the Pelennor Fields), as well as the intricate, thorny court politics that led to these battles. So how does one write an effective and memorable battle scene? How do you set the stakes? What makes court intrigue interesting and nefarious, versus contrived and tasteless?


How to Build & Implement A World Bible: Methodologies, Infrastructure, & Tools

Ballroom F, 1pm - 1:45pm

Marie Brennan (moderator), Marshall Ryan Maresca, Sara A Mueller, C.L. Irwin , Eleanor Haglund

A discussion of world bible building "best practices" which would also include a brief overview and comparison of various world bible building systems and software like Scrivener world bible templates, World Anvil, Campfire + worldbuilding add-on pack, Scapple, Plottr, Aeon Timeline, Obsidian.MD, etc.. We could also discuss the pros and cons of each method and/or tool.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Hultichia, February 7th!

 Good morning! My novelette, HULTICHIA, is coming out in ebook and paperback in two weeks! So I will be shouting louder about it in the coming days.

HULTICHIA is a standalone story in the Maradaine setting, and like THE MYSTICAL MURDERS OF YIN MARA, takes us to another part of the world, the neighboring nation of Kellirac.

Several of our main characters in the Maradaine Saga have Kelliracqui heritage-- notably Veranix, Minox and Corrie. And Corrie meets a Kell Death Caller in the Mocassa in AN UNINTENDED VOYAGE. But here's the first time we'll see someone going there.

Our traveller is Aurien Pemmick, who Maradaine readers have met as Reverend Pemmick, the priest of St. Julian's who has been The Thorn's ally in the streets of Aventil.

Here we see him before he comes a Reverend, on his own journey of his faith.

HULTICHIA is a complete standalone, and you do not need to read any of the rest of the Maradaine Saga to enjoy it.

But I would still advise you read the entire Maradaine Saga, because... why wouldn't I? Of course I want you to read it all.

But it can be an excellent gateway to get a taste of the world of Maradaine.

So you can dip your toe in before you dive into all the rest.

And "all the rest" is... quite a bit, after all.