Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Return to Return to Sender

An essay by your's truly has just gone live on the Sideshow Freaks blog. I was asked to write the "story behind the story," explaining what motivated me to write "Return to Sender." I was going to write "So IGMS would send me another check," but that didn't really get to the heart of it. So, for a slightly meatier bit of literary introspection, click here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Return to Sender

Return to Sender is now live at IGMS! It features absolutely gorgeous art by Julie Dillon, who has completely captured the spirit of the tale.
It's the tale of young Crystal Lance, the world's last Knight Templar. Raised in remote monastary since birth, her first journey out into modern America in an undercover mission to bust up an evil cult has her struggling with a fair amount of culture shock along with hell-spawned monsters. She's been trained since childhood to fight dragons, but can her spiritual faith survive sexual attraction, rock and roll, and coffee?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Greatshadow update, Best of the Year 2009

My new novel, Greatshadow, has reached the final chapters of the second draft. I'd hoped to be done by now, but the death of my father in November and my best friend in December understandably threw me off kilter. On one hand, it feels creepy to be writing a book that has a dead narrator when the two most important men in my life have passed on. My narrator spends a fair amount of time opining on how being dead sucks, and part of me feels like I'm trivializing death by writing a book where the deceased narrator carries on in a state of pseudo-life, making observations about an afterlife that only exists in a fictional universe, while saying nothing actually very profound about death in the real world. On the other hand, I feel the grieving of my main protagonist (who was in love with the narrator) perhaps a bit more personally, and the flow of actual emotion onto the page only improves fiction.

The main protagonist is a woman known as Infidel. This isn't her birth name, of course. She's earned the nickname because from time to time priests in black robes will attack her without warning, shouting "Infidel" before they attempt to stab her. There is, of course, a story behind that, though you'll have to wait until the book hits print to discover how she earned the name.

Unless, of course, you're one of my wise readers. My readers have been plugging away chapter by chapter, and last week wise reader Jenney Callaghan sent me the perfect gift for this moment in my life, a coffee cup with the word "Infidel" in both english and arabic. I had a very good laugh when I opened the box, and I suspect it will come in handy in helping me load up on the dangerous amounts of caffeine required for me to bring this story in over the finish line.

Speaking of finish lines, long ago I mentioned I had a story in Rich Horton's The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2009 Edition. The book was originally slated for late spring, then October, and not long ago Amazon was showing a publication date of February of next year. But, on December 31, at about 4:30, a UPS man approached me and handed me a box and LO! The book! It exists, and is shipping now from Amazon. The fact that it made it into print in time to be in my hands on the last day of 2009 pleases me. And, this book should please you, if you are a lover of big, fat books full of SF and Fantasy short fiction from the best writers in the field today. Available now, by clicking here.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year, dragon fans. I had two giveaways going on for today. Robo-Bobo, my name-picking cyber-monkey was tough to start today. I think he overdid it at the New Year's Eve party last night. It took several bottles of banana oil and three solid hours of cursing before he finally sputtered to life and produced some results.

First, there were three winners in the drawing for John Brown's "Servant of a Dark God" contest that I had announced in my book review column over at IGMS. The three winners are:
Danielle Friedman
Jesse Whitehead

Next, Robo-Bobo returned to the digital hat to produce two winners of the Shimmer Clockwork Jungle Book. The two copies will go to:
Ann Perry
L Chetsko

Congrats to all the winners! I'll be notifying you via email later tonight/early tomorrow.