Apr 11, 2013

Double Scoop of StarCraft

If you're keeping track, today's launch of "Great One" makes two new StarCraft stories in the last two weeks from me (the other one being "Command Performance"). What does the future hold? We'll see...but in the meantime, enjoy these. I love this game and I'm proud to be part of the lore.

Mar 1, 2013

Avengers Alliance Is One Year Old!

Pretty excited to celebrate this birthday. I've actually been working on the game since November of 2010, but it's been live for a year. I'm writing this post at the same table in the same coffee shop (Coffee by Design on Congress Street in Portland, Maine) where I waited for the game to go live a year ago today. Plus ça change, right?

If you want to get me a present (you do, right?), you can read one of my books and tell all of your friends about it. May I suggest Buyout or The Narrows to start...? There's also the novelization of Pacific Rim coming out this summer. Thanks!

I'm Agent Irvine on Alliance if you need allies...I'll send you a piece of cake and maybe a shawarma.

Here's to another year, and more!

Jan 23, 2013

Freelancer's Anxiety Formula

X is the optimal amount of time (expressed as hours per week) committed to pitching new projects.
Y is the amount of time committed to existing contracted projects.
A is time spent with family, friends, and daily household activities.
B is sleep.
Z is the amount of time reserved for projects of no current financial value, or Z is leisure, but it can only be one of those.

(A+B)/(X+Y) defines the Family Happiness Coefficient (FHC).
When FHC < 2, Z = 0.
There is an inverse correlation between Y and Z regardless of the values of A, B, X, and FHC.
X remains constant regardless of variance in values of A, B, Y, Z, and FHC.

Solve for X such that the sum of A, B, X, Y, and Z is equal to or less than 168 and FHC is greater than 2.

Nov 8, 2012

Places I Used to Write, and Sometimes Still Do

Thinking of all kinds of places I used to write, in loose and sometimes overlapping order...

  • Drake's and Brown Jug and Monkey Bar and Amer's and Espresso Royale and Continental Diner and Bill's Coffee Cup (Ann Arbor)
  • Penny Lane and Trident and Aristocrat Diner and Sundown Saloon (Boulder)
  • Dom Bakeries and Mudd House and Ugly Mug (Ypsi)
  • Pat's (Orono)
  • Stella's and Cosmic Crossings and Pete's and Mercury Cafe (Denver)
  • South St. Diner (Boston)
  • Ruski's and JavaNet (Portland)
  • Atlas and Roebling Tea Room (Brooklyn)
  • Broken Cup and Yaffa and Cafe Pick Me Up (Manhattan)

I miss little things about each and every one of those places, the way they used to be when I worked there. Now it's Coffee by Design and Hilltop in Portland. Dipping a toe into Local Sprouts. Also, of course, home.

I know I'm forgetting some place. An internal tour of your past is never really complete. Interesting to remember how I felt as a writer, where my horizons of expectation were, when I was spending time at each of those places.

Nov 5, 2012

Coast City Comic-Con Schedule

The big show is this weekend! If you're going to be there, here's where you'll find me:

Saturday 11am -- The Good (and Bad) Old Days: Jeff Kline, who’s produced shows like Jackie Chan Adventures, and G.I. Joe: Renegades, joins Alex Irvine (Avengers Alliance, Daredevil Noir) and Coast City’s own Tristan Gallagher to talk about the most remarkable and the most forgettable series, characters and franchises from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Saturday 3pm -- Writing in a Multimedia World: Jeff Kline, Alex Irvine and Mort Todd offer insight into writing for various media, TV, film, comics, novels and news publications — what’s required of you, and what the differences between each storytelling format are.  
Sunday 12pm -- Video Games #$@&ing Rule!: Eric Holmes (lead designer, Prototype, Gears of War 3), Daniel Way (writer, Deadpool video game), Alé Garza (lead character artist, DC Universe Online), and Alex Irvine (writer, Avengers Alliance) join up to talk about their respective video game projects. What does it take to get into their given jobs? What’s in store for the future? What are their favorite games? 

In addition to the abovementioned parties, you'll be able to catch up a rogues' gallery of cool comics/pop culture types (Becky Cloonan, Fred Van Lente, JK Woodward, Bob Camp, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Mort Todd, Sean Murphy, et al.). The whole schedule is here. Also, I'll be hanging around my table. See you there!

Apr 5, 2012

Now You Can Read Mare Ultima

Mare Ultima, my most recent novella from PS Publishing, is out! If you're a reader of epic fantasy or a reader of books that poke under the tropes of epic fantasy to see what's there, this is both. So you won't want to miss it.

If you've read "Wizard's Six" or "Dragon's Teeth" in F&SF, you've gotten part of the story. But only part of it.

(And speaking of F&SF, I've got a new story coming there sometime fairly soon...)

Apr 3, 2012

Roundhouse at SPACE

An Experiment In Idea Exchange
Saturday, April 14th | Doors 7:00pm | Event 7:30pm | FREE

SPACE Gallery | 538 Congress St. | Portland, ME 04101 | 

Three writers from across the bridge talk about blood feuds, games, personality, plasticity, and play. Not your usual author talk. Three writers share their topics, look  for common threads, then open it to audience participation.
Alex Irvine has written maybe twenty books, as well as a couple of games, a number of comics and a whole bunch of articles. In previous lives he was a professor at the University of Maine and a staff writer for the Phoenix.
Science writer Hannah Holmesmost recent book is QUIRK, a study of personality in mouse and man. She contributes to National Geographic and other magazines, and blogs at www.hannahholmes.net
Writer Michael Erard's most recent book is Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners. He is a contributing writer for The Morning News and also blogs at Psychology Today.
Longfellow Books will have works by each of our writers available for purchase at the event.

Mar 22, 2012

A Little Gift from History

If you've ever tried to write historical fiction, you know how frustrating it can be when history stubbornly refuses to conform to the desired shape of your narrative. Faced with this problem, you can either bend history or bend your story. Usually you do a little bit of both, but I try to keep my historical pieces firmly grounded in existing history unless I've set out to do an alternate history from the beginning.

Thinking about this today because one of the things I'm working on is a novel among whose elements are HG Wells and the Partition of India. So imagine my glee when I discovered that Wells was cremated on the same day as the first large-scale (pre-)Partition riot: August 16, 1946.

I love it when a story comes together.