My Schedule for Phoenix Comicon 2017

In which I provide my busy schedule for Phoenix Comicon, May 24-28, 2017.

I’m very excited to be going to PHXCC. I loved New York Comic Con 2015, and I loved San Diego Comic Con 2016… but some of my writer friends tell me they love Phoenix the best. So I’m eager to check it out for myself!

And I have a lot going on there. Twelve hours of programming — six panels and six signings, plus a meet-the-authors evening, breakfast with my stalwart editor, Mike Braff, and dinners with the terrific Random House/Del Rey crew (editors, publicists, authors). That’s a considerable load to cram into a few days. I am going to be, as the Emperor Commodus says in the Gladiator movie, a “busy little bee.”

If you want to see my panels on the official PHXCC web site,  here’s a link:


But below I list all my panels and signings for you, so you don’t need to poke about.

Wednesday 24th, 7:00-8:00pm: Elevengeddon! Not part of the Comicon proper, meaning you don’t need a PHXCC pass to attend: it’s a joint signing arranged by the Poisoned Pen independent bookstore, at the Hilton Scottsdale at 6333 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 85250. A bajillion other authors will be there with me. Well, okay, 24 in total. But way more than eleven.

Thursday 25th, 10:30-11:30am: Writing Ask Me Anything: “Ever wanted to have a pint with a bona fide best-selling author? Well, you may not be able to share a dram with them, but you are welcome to ask them anything. These authors come from across all genres and have been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt and are ready to answer your questions.” With Quincy J. Allen, Neo Edmund, Alexandra Oliva, Aprilynn Pike, and Alan Smale. North 126AB.

Thursday 25th, 1:30-2:30pm: Rock Up! Getting It Right With Military And Historical Accuracy: “Historical and tactical accuracy are key to making any story come to life and more believable. These authors know firsthand, some from real-life experience, how to rock up and make it wire tight at all times.” With Myke Cole, Jason M. Hough, Kevin Ikenberry, Warren Ochse, and Alan Smale. North 126C.

Thursday 25th, 6:00-7:00pm: Signing. Alan Smale and Jason M. Hough. Del Rey booth, Exhibitor Hall.

Friday 26th: 10:30-11:30am: What’s New at Del Rey?: “Adventure, science fiction, innovation, fantasy: The publishers of some of the genre’s best and brightest stars are here to talk about what they’ve got coming out and what’s next on the horizon for Del Rey Books.” With Terry Brooks, Pierce Brown, Robin Hobb, Jason M. Hough, Rob Reid, Alan Smale. North 125AB.

Friday 26th: 12:00-1:00pm: Get Me Out Of Here! “Time for some cross-genre fun and maybe make one of our authors scream “Get me out of here!” We will be asking our authors questions about something outside their genre and let you decide if their answer holds up. Let’s see what a sci-fi writer knows about magic systems or a fantasy author knows about the Andromeda nebula.” With Ryan Dalton, Christina Henry, Scott Lynch, Brian McClellan, Amy K. Nichols, Alan Smale, and Sam Sykes. North 126C.

Friday 26th: 1:30-2:30pm: Signing. With Beth Cato, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, and Alan Smale. North 124AB.

Friday 26th: 8:00-11:30pm: Drinks with Authors and Creators. Anyone with a guest badge gets free admission and drink tickets (all others at $10). There will be a cash bar and plenty of space to talk, draw, drink, and unwind. North Ballroom.

Saturday 27th: 10:30am-11:30am. Signing. Alan Smale and Robin Hobb. Del Rey booth, Exhibitor Hall.

Saturday 27th: 12:00-1:00pm: Build a Story Workshop. “Ever wanted to help build a story framework and then flesh it out as bona fide fan fiction? Imagine doing it with award-winning authors from different genres. The goal is to build a story framework in an interactive environment and then flesh it out and make it your own. We may even Web publish some!” With Ryan Dalton, Nero Edmund, Christina Henry, Jason M. Hough, Michael MacLean, Amy K. Nichols, and Alan Smale. North 126C.

Saturday 27th: 1:30-2:30pm: All Things Steampunk. “Steampunk in literature can cross boundaries, bend genres, and most certainly has the best costuming! These steampunk authors share their experiences writing in this increasingly popular genre.” With Quincy J. Allen, Kevin J. Anderson, Elizabeth Bear, Jim Butcher, Beth Cato, and Alan Smale. North 126AB.

Sunday 27th: 10:30am-11:30am. Signing. Alan Smale and Robin Hobb. Del Rey booth, Exhibitor Hall.

Sunday 28th: 1:30-2:30pm: Signing. Pierce Brown, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Brian McClellan, Alexandra Oliva, and Alan Smale. Exhibitor Hall.

Looking forward to a great time! Hope to see you there!




Eagle and Empire book release month: May/June 2017 blogs and interviews

In which I provide a compendium of links to the guest blogs and interviews I did to promote the final book in the Clash of Eagles series, Eagle and Empire, released May 16th, 2017, including Scalzi’s “The Big Idea”, Kowal’s “My Favorite Bit”, and a ton of others. Frankly, I’m super-excited about the response to these books, and very happy to have been able to talk about it on so many great webby places. [Been adding links as they’ve appeared, but as of June 24, I think I’m done.]

5/15: On “Unbound Worlds”, I discuss why alternate history matters:


5/15: A very fun interview with the great Paul Semel:


5/16: Mary Robinette Kowal’s “My Favorite Bit”:


5/17: On Signature Reads: Why We Love the Romans, In All Their Complicated, Bloody Glory”:


5/18: John Scalzi’s “The Big Idea” on his blog, “Whatever”:

The Big Idea: Alan Smale

5/23: The Page 69 Test at Marshal Zeringue’s Campaign for the American Reader blog:


5/28: Writers Read, also at CAR, where I describe what I’ve been reading recently:


6/13: Talking with the Functional Nerds:

On Episode 322 of the Functional Nerds podcast, I babble to Patrick Hester and John Anealio about alt.hist, the Wright Bros (and Sis), my book covers, and my singing group, the Chromatics.


And to round things out:

6/20: On “My Life My Books My Escape” I chat at length with DJ about Eagle and Empire, its world, characters, and influences, and the process of writing it.


You can find excerpts of Eagle and Empire in several places, including Paste Magazine, the Barnes & Noble site, and Unbound Worlds 50 Page Friday:




I’ll be adding to this blog as new interviews, guest blogs, and other fun things appear online.  [Last edited and finalized: 6/24]

My Schedule for Worldcon 2016

In which I describe where you can find me at MidAmericon2, the 74th Worldcon, to be held in Kansas City, MO, August 17-21. Four panels (one I’m moderating), a writers’ workshop, a reading, a signing, and a kaffeeklatsch. And some parties.

(1) Kaffeeklatsch. Thursday 10am-11am. (2211 KKs).

(2) Panel: The Year in Astronomy. Thursday 3pm-4pm, with Mark L. Olsen (M), Brother Guy Consolmagno, John DeLaughter, Alan Smale, Henry Spencer. (3501F-A/V)

(3) Panel: Cleaning Up Your Prose. Thursday 6pm-7pm, with Alan Smale (M), Randy Henderson, Rob Chilson, Rebecca Schwarz, C.C. Finlay. (3501B)

(4) Writers Workshop. Friday 10am-noon, with Alan Smale and Rick Wilber (now filled).

(5) Signing. Friday 1pm-2pm, with Jeanette Epps, Alex Jabolokow, Lyda Morehouse, Lawrence M. Schoen, Alan Smale, and Mary A. Turzillo.

(6) Reading. Friday 7:30pm-8:00pm.  (2202)

(7) Panel: Twentieth Anniversary Sidewise Awards. Saturday 1pm-2pm, with Steven M. Silver (M), Alan Smale, Walter Jon Williams, Brendan DuBois, Ken Liu, Rick Wilber. ((3501F-AV)

(8) Panel: Revealing the Past through Alternate Histories. Saturday 4pm-5pm, with Eric Flint (M), Alan Smale, Walt Boyes, Kate Elliot, Esther Friesner (2504B)

Phew. Yep, I’ll be busy. DM me if you want to try to meet up with me outside these times…!


March/April Blogs and Interviews

In which I provide a compendium of links to the guest blogs and interviews I did to promote the release of Eagle in Exile (on-sale date March 22, 2016), including Scalzi’s The Whatever, Mary Robinette’s My Favorite Bit, Tor.com, SF Signal, SFFWorld… Lots. Lots. Even more than this time last year, for Book One, Clash of Eagles. Growth is good.

2/17SF Signal’s Mind Meld: The Secret Sauce of Alternate HistoryA dozen alt-hist authors, including moi, expound on what makes good alternate history, how we research and write, and which books we like.


2/22: I am interviewed by the great Paul Semel  about Eagle in Exile, research, what my coworkers at NASA think of all this, and… Romans in space?

Exclusive Interview: Eagle In Exile Author Alan Smale

3/15: What’s my favorite bit of Eagle in Exile? Mary Robinette Kowal knows…

My Favorite Bit: Alan Smale talks about EAGLE IN EXILE

3/18: My Dear Readers feature for Del Rey, featured on Suvudu.com. It’s all about maps. Because the map is the territory.

Dear Readers: A Letter from Alan Smale

3/17: Podcast: I am interviewed by The Week in Geek on Fox Sports 1280AM, down there at the Market of the Mud. I mean, New Orleans.


3/22: Podcast: I talk to the Functional Nerds about working for NASA, Eagle in Exile, singing high energy vocal music with The Chromatics, and much more:

Episode 267 – With Alan Smale

3/22: “Five Oddball Books about Time Travel by Brits”; my feature for Tor.com about those timey-wimey weirdos across the pond. Oh wait.


3/22: Here, I’m on John Scalzi’s “The Big Idea”, being more thoughtful than usual about the philosophy of What I Wrote. This turned out to be my vision statement for the whole trilogy. (But no real spoilers.)

The Big Idea: Alan Smale

3/31: In which I am interviewed by Sally Janin of The Qwillery about Eagle in Exile, my characters, the publishing biz, and dining with the dead. We had a lot of fun with this one.


4/1: Interviewed by Lauren Samer of Inverse about concepts and characters, inspiration, TV, and my writing-future.


4/1: I talk with Andrea Johnson of SF Signal about short fiction vs. long, maps, The Chromatics, and the engines that will take us to Mars. “History is Cool!”


4/6: On the Campaign for the American Reader, I take the Page 69 Challenge. As with Book One, it’s surprising how pivotal Page 69 is in Eagle in Exile.


4/13: And to round out this baker’s dozen of promo, I am interviewed by Matt Mitrovich of SFFWorld about Eagle in Exile, flying, great historical walls, and whether what-if writers can really enjoy the Superbowl.


Woo-hoo! That was quite a Book Release Month…!

Back Above Water

In which I reappear after a six month absence, and try to figure out where I’ve been.

Okay. Wow. I knew I’d have to take a bit of a break from blogging, but I didn’t know it would be that long.

It has, in fact, been exactly six months since my last post, which I wrote at New York Comic Con. And that feels weird, because it seems like I was at NYCC just yesterday. I had a great time there. I know a lot of people hate the crowds and the lines and the sheer slog of getting from A to B, but I was in heaven. I loved walking the halls and seeing so much enthusiasm for genre: books, movies, comics, games, TV shows. It was my first Comic Con, and I had a most excellent experience.

And on top of that, there was my time at the Del Rey booth. The Del Rey people are efficient, tireless, well organized, really smart, and have a keen sense of humor. Loved working with them, loved getting cramp in my hand from signing so many books. Enjoyed hanging out in the back of the booth — and down at the bar — with them, and with a number of Del Rey’s other authors.

I will resist the urge to name-drop. Yes, I will. For now. Because getting to meet so many of my writing heroes -and- a bunch of awesome debut authors who are going through just the same things as me right now deserves a more thoughtful appraisal, at some point.

Anyway, since getting home from NYCC, it’s pretty much been the salt mines for me. I was on a tight deadline to deliver Book Three, and I took it seriously, while also taking the day job seriously at the same time, so that means I’ve been working 60-70 hour weeks. Constantly. I did NaNoWriMo, to power me through the second half of the book. Zoomed past 50,000 new words on November 26th and kept going. And then I had to edit all those words. Long story short: I’ve now delivered Eagle and Empire to Mike Braff at Del Rey, and I’m eager to see what he has to say about it and get his feedback. At the moment the manuscript clocks in at 167,000 words, so I’m predicting there may be a leetle bit of structural editing required. But it’s done, the story is all there, the way I always wanted to tell it, and I’m very happy with the book.

Oh, and in the meantime… Book Two came out! Eagle in Exile hit the streets on Tuesday, March 22nd. Over February and March I wrote about 20,000 words of guests blogs, interview Q+As, and other associated promo stuff. I’ll be devoting a whole blog post to that soon, including a handy compendium of links.

And now that my head is back above water after all the writing and promo, I’ll try not to be such a stranger to my own blog pages. Hmmph!


New York Comic Con – free books, free coffee, and me.

In which I briefly describe my schedule for my trip to the Big Apple for New York Comic Con, Oct 9-12.

I do solemnly swear that that I will eventually get back to posting something other than my upcoming con schedules. But This Is Not That Post, because I’ve been busy writing Book Three and getting sick and getting better and I leave tomorrow for NY, so I should really throw some information up about it now.

This will be my first ever Comic Con, so I’m pretty excited about it. Although I was a bit startled to learn that NYCC is now larger than San Diego. SDCC’s attendance caps at 130,000. Last year’s attendance at NYCC was like 150,000 people. Whoa. And I used to think Worldcons were, you know, kinda big. I’m breaking a seven-year streak of going to Capclave because NYCC is the same weekend. Capclave attendance is, oh, a few hundred. Oh boy.

Anyway, I’ll be at NYCC all day Saturday and Sunday, and my scheduled signing times are:

Signing: Saturday 10th, 3:00pm-3:45pm, Del Rey booth #2205. Free books.

Signing: Sunday 11th, 12:00-12:45pm, Del Rey booth #2205. Free books.

Yes. Del Rey will be giving out FREE copies of Clash of Eagles for these signings. Seriously. They do that, because Del Rey are that awesome. Come at other times and get free books from Naomi Novik, Terry Brooks and many more. The full schedule for the Del Rey booth is online at


If you want to chat with me at other times, DM me through FB, Twitter, or alansmale@gmail.com and we’ll figure out how to meet up.

If you’re in NY but not going to NYCC, you can still get to hang out with me and lots of cooler people who actually know what they’re doing, because there’s an Author Coffee Klatsch on Monday, 11am-1pm, at Penguin Random House, 1745 Broadway. The event is free to attend but you need to RSVP ahead of time and they aren’t giving free books away at this one. Here are the full details:


From the list of writers who’ll be there, it’s obvious that this is going to be a great event. Come if you can!

Okay, I gotta pack. See ya there.