My usual annual end-of-the-year blogging comes late this time around. Partly because I’ve been pretty busy with work stuff, but also because 2016 was the very definition of I Can’t Even
, and nearly a month into 2017 I’m still having trouble parsing it.
Last year was really a rollercoaster for me. Externally, pressures about the world at large, political fears reawakening and a general sense of what-the-hell-is-happening
put a drag on everything else, and that’s before mentioning the sheer number of people I admired who we lost. There were three that stuck out the most for me... Hannes Arch, the Red Bull Air Race pilot. I’d met him a few months earlier and the guy’s determination was infectious; actor Ron Glass, who I got to hang out with at a Serenity
convention some years ago. We talked about vodka and my memory of him is that he was an absolute class act; and Carrie Fisher. I never met her, but I’ve always respected who she was and what she did with her life and career – and somehow losing Princess Leia feels like part of my cherished geek past broke off and vanished while I was looking the other way. It’s bittersweet that the last thing she left us was “Hope
”, but that’s what I’m trying my best to carry into 2017.
The strange thing is, 2016 was actually a really good year for my writing. Overshadowing everything I did was the release of my first original thriller novel Nomad
, which came out in hardcover in June and stayed on the Sunday Times
top ten charts for several weeks afterward. As I write this, the paperback edition has been out for a month or so and that too is replicating the same success, so I guess it is safe to say that Nomad
is a hit! I want to thank everyone who has bought a copy, and especially give a lot of love to all my family, friends and colleagues out there who have been so very supportive in spreading the word. I (heart) you guys
. As Nomad
was hitting bookstores, I was busy writing Exile
, the next book in what we’re calling the Rubicon
series, so the whole experience was oddly dislocated for me – but it’s been very exciting too, and I look forward to seeing where these stories take me in the future.
Elsewhere, I also worked on a couple of Horus Heresy
projects, compiling and adapting all my Nathaniel Garro stories for the Garro: Weapon of Fate
bind-up novel and a new Death Guard short story for Black Library’s Christmas Advent Calendar. I wrote a Dan Dare
audio drama and I fronted a faux documentary about alien invasions as part of a promotion for the new Independence Day
movie. I’ve been a fan of the Halo
videogames since the first title hit the Xbox, so it was great to be asked to write a story for the Halo: Fractures
anthology; and on the subject of games, I had a very full year on that front...
To be honest, things didn’t start well. The games project I was working on at the start of 2016 was a Star Wars
playset for Disney Infinity
, which would have tied into the Rebels
cartoon and Rogue One
movie – but that was cancelled along with the entire Infinity
line when Disney Interactive was shut down and what we worked on will now sadly never see light of day. It stings, but I’ve learned the hard way that this how the games industry can be. You take your hits and you walk it off. I also did some writing for No Man’s Sky
, first for the collector’s edition of the game and then for some of the narrative itself, but my biggest game project for 2016 was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
. It was a while coming, but I’m very proud to have been a part of DXMD
. I also wrote a tie-in novel (Deus Ex: Black Light
) and an eBook novella (Deus Ex: Hard Line
) to go along with the game, the latter of which you can now download for free right Here
. My games work for 2016 ended with work on a new gig – Ghost Recon Wildlands
– and I’ll be talking more about that in the future.
The echoes of events in 2016 – personal, professional and more – are still resonating right now, so I’m just concentrating on the work, putting one word down after another. I’m hoping to build on the success of Nomad
and as always, to keep improving my craft, to keep moving forward.