Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
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It is done. I finished writing on Thursday. This is the point that I've come to think of "the end of principal photography." Quite a lot of editing and post-production remains. But I no longer have to suffer the terror of coming in every morning to face the blank page. (Yeah - it never goes away.) And I no longer have to rent my entire head out as a full-time story engine/narrative designer/idea generator/character developer/plot problem fixer/dialogue polisher. I can actually just take a run and enjoy it - thinking about whatever I damn well please. The freedom is delicious....   (read more)

Our lovely audiobook dudes at Podium Publishing report that they've successfully worked with Amazon to get WhisperSync set up for Arisen : Genesis - which means if you've already purchased the Kindle edition, you can pick up the audiobook for just a measly few bucks!...   (read more)

Okay - the paperback editions of the Arisen are here! Glynn just did an amazing job of book design on these, and they came out really beautiful (and just like we want them). And the prices are not terrible....   (read more)

Arisen : Genesis audiobook edition launches today. $0.00 with Audible 30-day free trial! (And, erm, no, I haven't listened to this myself - too scary!)...   (read more)

This, to my mind, is really well beyond a revolution - little short of a miracle, really. Here I have in hand beautiful paperback editions of the first half and a bit (about 500,000 words) of the epic story that Glynn and I have spent the last two years of our lives imagining - and there's no publisher or other middleman involved....   (read more)

The ability to operate effectively under conditions of adversity might actually be the secret to life. And where I personally got (belatedly) instructed in this was from the military world's special operators - for whom RESOLVE and RESILIENCE are everything....   (read more)

This is the best - and by far the most useful - book I've read in a long time. It's roughly based on the Stoic philosophers. It is a pleasingly quick, light, and breezy read - particularly for something which may contain the secret of life! My father told me that "attitude is everything". As I go on, I realise he was much righter than I (or perhaps even he) ever knew....   (read more)

So it turns out that immortal, affecting stories tend to work for surprisingly universal and archetypal reasons. Understanding these archetypes and principles, and how to employ them, gives the storyteller seemingly magical powers. I feel like I have just gotten my first glimpse or two behind that veil; and am now at the very beginning of being able to do these things myself - just, and fumblingly....   (read more)

We have just released the first three ARISEN books as an omnibus edition, sold at a significant discount to the cost of buying all three books separately. Yay. And it's got an awesome 3D box-set cover....   (read more)

With over 100,000 copies sold, the ARISEN series returns. This is the Zulu Alpha at its most psychologically complex, dramatically tense, and intimately perilous - but with all of the pulse-pounding, page-ripping, combat chaos that has made it the favorite of fanatical ZA readers the world over....   (read more)

Last week Glynn and I met with some very nice folks at a small-to-maybe-midsized publisher who wanted to buy the print rights to our Arisen series. I just sent them a very gently worded rejection letter....   (read more)

It's time. The epic conclusion to the first half of the ARISEN story - and the most terrifying and thrilling adventure yet - starts today....   (read more)

Set in a completely entrancing and fully realized early-forties New York, just before America's entry into WWII, it tells the story of Joltin' Joe Dimaggio's historic hitting streak for the Yankees - as a background to two love stories, a family drama, and (most of all) a coming-of-age tale. It encompasses pacifism, spectacle, duty, hero worship, ways of seeing, death - particularly the early death of parents and the abiding ache their absence leaves behind, sex (and its enchantments and terrors) before 1963, and the power of mystical thinking - and maybe even of real magic....   (read more)

Glynn and I are ridiculously excited to announce the launch of the next book in our ARISEN series. Both sales and reader response to the books have been super-fantastic, and we are so happy and grateful for it all - so we figured the best way to live up to that was to fill the next book with even more of the things readers have been cheering about. That means CRAZY-ASS OVER-THE-TOP NON-STOP ACTION, in spades, and poured on with a dumptruck....   (read more)

Simply, Castle Howard is Brideshead. And Brideshead is, in my considered view, such an inseparable part of the soul of the English character that to visit it is to make a pilgrimage to, perhaps, the very heart of post-war England....   (read more)

Readers are calling the ARISEN series 'a non stop thrill ride' ... 'unputdownable' ... 'the most original and well-written zombie novels I have ever read' ... 'riveting as hell - I cannot recommend this series enough' ... 'the action starts hot and heavy and does NOT let up' ... 'astonishingly well-researched and highly plausible' ... 'non-stop speed rush! All action, all the time - got my heart racing' ... 'A Must Read, this book was a hell of a ride' ... and 'may be the best in its genre.'...   (read more)

I dug this book and its author's voice. It's a blast to read - witty, funny, and breezy, as well as grabby and well-organised with lots of mini-case studies and tips broken out - and profoundly insightful and most especially inspiring....   (read more)

In part because I'm struggling to keep my mind wrapped around the Edge books, and in part just to preserve the sense of wonder these engender (and perhaps also as antidote to the logic of human self-destruction in my latest book), I've decided to publish some excerpts. Because it's Christmas, I'm starting with a nice happy one....   (read more)

Since two days ago I meme-slapped a first-time novelist who (scandal!) doesn't run a blog, I'm pleased to post her responses here. You should check out her new book. Compulsion Reads describe it as a "highly passionate and cerebral character study of a woman on a mission to make the world a better place" which paints characters in "vivid colors and spins truly sharp and erudite dialogue."...   (read more)

I've just been meme-slapped by novelist/psychologist Ian Hocking with a Ten-Questions-About-Your-Book thingy that's going around. So come with me now for a candid, behind-the-scenes, insider tour of the making of ARISEN : GENESIS....   (read more)

I'm enormously excited to announce publication of the new prequel to ARISEN - our bestselling series of spec-ops zombie-apocalypse dark action thrillers. It rather rocks, if I do say so myself: loads of heartstopping action, moments of genuine terror, lovable heroes, and oceans of existential dread. Just in time for Christmas! And of course nothing says Christmas Time like the end of the world......   (read more)

This holiday season, in the U.S. alone, 1,161 people will die in motor vehicle crashes, and 124,100 will be injured, many cripplingly and permanently. Please don't be amongst them. Please drive very carefully. For this years's harangue, I'm publishing excerpts from a totally fascinating book I read last year, called Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)....   (read more)

Delighted and amazed to announce that our new ARISEN books have both pleasingly popped up on Amazon's bestseller lists - and have proceeded to climb them....   (read more)

COUNTER-ASSAULT is the second book in my D-BOYS series of high-concept, high-tech special operations military adventure novels. It is also the biggest, smartest, most ambitious, and most thrilling work I've ever produced. It assaults off the page, and does not relent....   (read more)

So I've just finished Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Here are the top four wrenching things I learned from this engrossing and heartbreaking book....   (read more)

My writing partner Glynn James and I are enormously excited to announce publication of the second book in our ARISEN series of spec-ops zombie-apocalypse dark action thrillers. And to celebrate, we're giving away up to 6.97 billion copies of Book One (Fortress Britain) absolutely free, for the next five days....   (read more)

A world fallen - under a plague of seven billion walking dead. A tiny island nation - the last refuge of the living. One team - of the world's most elite special operators. The dead, these heroes, humanity's last hope, all have... ARISEN....   (read more)

I'm incredibly excited to announce the publication of the first book in my new D-Boys series of high-concept, high-tech special operations military adventure novels....   (read more)

A major aspect of my putting-life-aside-until-I-get-the-freaking-novel done austerity was: I didn't read The Pale King. A lot of really totally fascinating DFWabilia has appeared on the web in this time - dead, the man just goes from strength to strength - and here it all is now!...   (read more)

Well, it's done. After eight months of bashing full-time... and two years of doing story and structure work... and coming out of probably six years of reading and research... I've finished the new novel. It's by like a factor of four the most ambitious thing I've ever attempted. But I think I may have just pulled it off....   (read more)

As you will have read, on Saturday America's community of special operations forces (SOF) suffered its worst single-day loss ever. These people are, in a word, the very best of our best, and their loss is a grievous one....   (read more)

I'm modestly happy to announce the publication of a special sneak preview of my forthcoming (keep touching wood there) novel, D-BOYS. This one's free as the clouds....   (read more)

Renaissance marketing guru Tim Ferriss' new book is about hacking the human body. Amidst the wackier bits, I think there are some real gems in here for health, nutrition, and fitness. So, in about four minutes, here's what I got out of this book that I'm actually using ("Fuches Take-Aways")....   (read more)

I'm tickled to announce the stand-alone publication of my short-ish novella (or long-ish short story), THE CONTRACTOR....   (read more)

I couldn't conceivably be any happier to announce the publication of my new, my favourite, and I'm pretty sure my very most entertaining book: DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES....   (read more)

Well, since I realised yesterday's post was nothing more than • 34.5% blatant vegetarian agit-prop; and • 65.5% unbridled and horrifying vanity... it's occurred to me to try and atone by posting a couple of personal favourite health and fitness tidbits (which might actually be of use to some of you out there)....   (read more)

More evidence for my solidifying theory that anything you see being read on public transport, more than about once, is rubbish....   (read more)

Well, I've gotten another nice little early xmas present this morning - The Manuscript seems to be available for the Kindle now, completing the matched set....   (read more)

Reviewed: The Singularity Is Near, by Ray Kurzweil; Wired For War, by Peter Singer; CyberWar, by Richard A. Clarke; The War After Armageddon, by Ralph Peters; and How to Survive in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu...   (read more)

Sometimes it takes a friend to remind you of who you really are....   (read more)

In a couple of months, Ms Havrilesky has her first book coming out - a memoir. This event provides a critical re-balancing of a universe in which I had book deals, but members of the original Suck cadre had not. ...   (read more)

So my agent sent me this article in The Nation:...   (read more)

Unless he belonged somewhere, unless his life had some meaning and direction, he would feel like a particle of dust and be overcome by his individual insignificance....   (read more)

This is the conclusion that turns up again and again... Everything must be its own reward....   (read more)

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." - David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008)...   (read more)

Following our theme of reasons for optimism, here's the estimable Robert Wright with 19 outstanding minutes on "non-zero-sumness" - a concept that may explain all of our human accomplishments to date; and which gives us very good reasons to hope that things will continue to get better....   (read more)

Regular readers will recall from the review of Ed Macy's book Apache in this space that Captain Madison, then known to us only as Charlotte, set a probably unbeatable record for most ordnance fired (nearly half a million pounds worth) in the least amount of time (about six minutes)....   (read more)

"I happen to like Iraqis. They're different from us, but in their own way they're very special. They're worth everything we can do for them."...   (read more)

Ian McEwan's now-no-longer-quite-new book, On Chesil Beach, is, it turns out, is an entire short novel, in the classic English pastoral literary mode, about a wedding night premature ejaculation....   (read more)

So I recently had occasion to re-read Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works. It is, I genuinely believe, the most important book of the 20th century....   (read more)

This, right here, just a few minutes ago, was - not only the only household in the world - but almost certainly the only household in history in which Democracy in America (unabridged) was being read aloud while Sir Mix-A-Lot played in the background....   (read more)

Regular readers won't soon have forgotten my fawning tribute to military memoirs - and, not at all incidentally, to the service members whose stunning stories inspired the stories....   (read more)

In 1997 or 1998, I forget which, two very important women in my life (only one of them a sister) independently, and within about a month of each other, decided it was very important that I read Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity....   (read more)

"I'm not about to pretend that I'm the leading expert in this field, so I tell him a fable that I remember my dad passing on to me, about the Cherokee Indian teaching his grandchildren....   (read more)

In 1993, thirty-three-year old Tibor Fischer crashed the London literary scene with his debut novel Under the Frog. The title co-opted the traditional Hungarian lament about being "under a frog's arse in the bottom of a coal mine"...   (read more)

I've read kind of an enormous volume of military memoirs. Ditto military history and nonfiction and tech. Many of these books are nothing short of stunning....   (read more)

So I just read the new Denis Johnson, which follows up his National Book Award-winning Tree of Smoke. I'm sure a lot of people will remember me going on about Johnson - his novel Already Dead, A California Gothic has long been my second favourite novel of all time....   (read more)

Well, it's official: Kensington is now the 21e Arrondissement....   (read more)

"On the current course, nuclear terrorism is inevitable. Indeed, if the United States and other governments keep doing what they are doing today, a nuclear terrorist attack on America is more likely than not in the decade ahead. With a ten-kiloton nuclear weapon stolen from the former Soviet arsenal and delivered to an American city in a cargo container, Al Qaeda can make 9/11 a footnote."...   (read more)

It's occurred to me maybe I should be doing more mini-book reviews. So this is the first instalment of Book Clubbing: either as in my clubbing you over the head with books (ones I've read recently and find really worthy), or as in boogying all night to the swinging sounds of really good books. Take your pick....   (read more)

D.T. Max has a totally stunning piece in The New Yorker: The Unfinished - David Foster Wallace's struggle to surpass Infinite Jest....   (read more)

Little Brother is science fiction author, digital rights activist, and all-around caped-blogging-crusader Cory Doctorow's entry into the literary space of "young adult" (or YA) fiction....   (read more)

And so Cory Doctorow is doing a signing for the UK launch of his new book Little Brother at Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Ave tomorrow, Sat 29 Nov, at 1pm....   (read more)

"He makes the rest of us feel hollow for being so unoriginal in our writing and in our lives."...   (read more)

Morning took us by the street Anna always stayed on as a girl. And then, naturellement, for coffee, on the Boulevard Saint Germain....   (read more)

Today, May 14th, is Israeli Independence Day. On this day, 60 years ago, the founders of Israel proclaimed a national homeland for Jews, a sanctuary from the slaughter in Europe, and an end to two millennia of wandering. So happy birthday, Israel - and here's to you...   (read more)

I'm a Martin Amis fan. There, I said it. Ordinarily, when people ask me who my favourite contemporary novelists are, I usually slip Amis in - but almost always add that "he's a guilty pleasure" or some such similar wiggly qualification....   (read more)

Michael Yon has spent more time embedded in Iraq than pretty much anyone. He's got a new book coming out detailing what he saw: Moment of Truth in Iraq....   (read more)

Since the periodicity of my long-running quotations series has been getting asymptotic with infinity, here are the quotes that have been piling up since the last edition...   (read more)

I've just gotten around to reading Overclocked, Cory Doctorow's latest collection of short fiction. Doctorow, you will recall, is digital rights activist, fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, bane of DRM implementers everywhere, and co-proprietor of the world's most popular blog....   (read more)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Somali-born feminist, writer, and politician who has been living under 24-hour guard since a promise to kill her was found pinned to the body of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gough...   (read more)

So, in the wake of the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for Islamic Law in Britain, I've been making an ass of myself by debating the issue with a friend, and for some reason not really giving a damn about politeness or civility or humility....   (read more)

The following excerpted piece appears in full in Shots, The Crime and Thriller E-Zine. - When I wrote my first novel, I knew I wanted to include an awful lot of gunplay...   (read more)

An amateur novelist doesn't think he's done until his book is under a cover and piled on display tables across the land. Why do these people think this is likely to happen? Moreover, why do they imagine that it will be a rapturous, fulfilling, life-changing event if it does?...   (read more)

On Memorial Day/Remembrance Day 2007 (okay, slightly after), I'd like to take the liberty of introducing you to a couple of guys I think you should probably know at least a little about....   (read more)

No, I don't mean the Saturday that's Ian McEwan's novel, though it's really rather good and you should probably read that, though not at the expense of reading Atonement, which is just amazingly good....   (read more)

"Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt, put in a firefight.'" - Kirkus Reviews...   (read more)

One knew, of course, that the whole racket of American evangelism was just that: a heartless con run by the second-string characters from Chaucer's "Pardoner's Tale." (You saps keep the faith. We'll just keep the money.)...   (read more)

Shortly after posting my recent piece on the spectacularly and amusingly unsuccessful attacks in London and Glasgow, I realised I'd mislabelled the perpetrators in calling them "losers". Much more apt would have been the lovely, amusing, and oh-so-useful British epithet of "muppets". These guys truly are muppets of the first rank, and they're running a Muppet Jihad....   (read more)

"As I write these words, and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all the hardwon human attainments that I have touched upon. Religion poisons everything." - Christopher Hitchens...   (read more)

I was up early again (camping!), right on time for a truly fab cooked breakfast - and cooked by a really lovely old whiskered gentleman. I felt like calling him "Cookie" and asking if I could carry the tin mugs over from the wagon for him...   (read more)

"'Just the place to bury a crock of gold,' said Sebastian. 'I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I was old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.'"...   (read more)

Did I mention my resolution to read only English novelists while I'm here? Luckily, England's produced one or two decent ones. ;^) I actually broke down once, which event I memorialized in this poem:...   (read more)

Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail: how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair...   (read more)

Ah! and when the hour-glass has run out, the hour-glass of temporality, when the worldly tumult is silenced and the restless or unavailing urgency comes to an end...   (read more)

How many times do you really face a choice in life? How many times will you get the benefit of arriving at a crossroads, where you don't have to fight the tug of rolling inertia, and your choice isn't going to hurt someone you love?...   (read more)

I am slouching shallowly at the edge of a neighborhood (read: "subdivision") pool, out in suburban Atlanta. Two female seven-year-old persons, who are taking turns jumping into the pool from the top of the lifeguard's chair, are charged with taking care of me for the afternoon....   (read more)

Today, of my own free will - and, in fact, at not inconsiderable personal expense - I went out and had myself injected with Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhus. How's that for a dreamy Wednesday morning?...   (read more)

I just finished reading an entirely decent book on architecture. Frankly, I had begun to feel a little ridiculous travelling all the way around the world to see these great buildings, and then standing there pointing and muttering, "Look - I think it's Revival something or other . . ."...   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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