'Revenge of the Star Survivors' will enter the paperback universe





In an earlier post, I promised a bit of news. Upon further review, I am not sure it counts as "news" – because the information has been public since April, if you knew where to look. So let's call this "an announcement." 

There's gonna be a paperback. 

On Oct, 16, readers who find hardcover books to be too inflexible and ebooks to be too electrical will be able to purchase Revenge of the Star Survivors in an entirely new format. 

The words on the inside remain the same. Except for one comma. And a turtle. 

The publisher also remains the same, and for that I am glad, because Holiday House has been a wonderful starbase for this writer. However, I am pleased to point out, for my friends in the bookselling business, that Holiday House is now distributed by Penguin Random House. I am pretty sure that Penguin Random House is sort of like the Force in that it flows in and around all things, at least in the bookselling world, which I hope means that if you ask for a copy at your favorite bookseller, you'll be able to find it with even less hassle than ever.

There may be a couple of speaking events appearing on the calendar soon.  Stay tuned. (Or book me for one -- I work cheap.) 

And thank you to everyone in the galaxy who got us to this point. Excelsior! 




Michael Merschel
Spidercon, Spidercon – does whatever a ... wait, what am I doing here?


(Photo credit: Leah Jones. See more of her work on Instagram: @leahjonesin.)


The Spiderweb Salon, a local writer/artist collective, invited Revenge of the Star Survivors  to take part in their "Spidercon" event in June. I was not really prepared for what I found when I beamed up to the city of Denton, though. 

The event was billed as "D&D meets comic-con meets star wars meets meets your strange cousin's weird alien abduction stories." Which, in an alternate universe, could actually be a terrific blurb for Revenge of the Star Survivors

Spidercon was much, much more than that, though. The not-necessarily-for-the-kids event had, not necessarily in this order: 

--  A host dressed as a giant spider.

-- A Spider-man reading space poetry.

-- Creepy arts and crafts.

-- A man dressed as a priest giving instructions for what I think was cake-and-computer communion.

-- A burlesque dancer. (Like I said, not for the kids.) 

-- A really well done re-enactment of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. 

-- Ethereal singing and snapping. 

-- Nationally respected science-fiction writers reading from their work.

-- One of whom was dressed as Wonder Woman.

You can see a bunch of great photos over on the Spiderweb Salon Facebook page.  You can also a sense of it from this report on KERA.  

(Blurry iPhone photos should not be confused with the work of the professional photographer mentioned below.) 

Where did I fit in to this Mos Eisely-like gathering? 

Well, aside from having what surely was the oldest con-themed lapel button in the room (see below), as I told the crowd – it was incredibly meaningful to me. This was the first Revenge event squarely aimed at people who would understand a theme at the heart of the book: that being a sci-fi loving book nerd might mark you as an outcast, a weirdo, a freak. But it also can give you a welcoming cohort of kindred souls who are willing to embrace you with open arms. Or even tentacles. 

That's a trade I will make any day. Thanks for having me, Spider-people. 


(Photos used with the kind permission of Leah Jones. See more of her work on Instagram: @leahjonesin.)

By the way, the event took place in the city of Denton. Actual readers of Revenge of the Star Survivors might ask – any relation? To which I would say  – yes. And to the city of Denton – it's nothing personal. 

And one final note: If you have been reading this blog awaiting some kind of actual book news, please stay tuned. I promise to post some. 

Lost in a galaxy of writing stars at the North Texas Teen Book Festival

Continuing our catch-up on the astounding adventures of "Revenge of the Star Survivors": 

The North Texas Teen Book Festival is, quite simply, one of the coolest book events in Texas, and I said this before they asked "Revenge of the Star Survivors" to be a part of it. 

Can you spot the "Star Survivors"? If so, thank cover designer Mark Cabuena. 

Can you spot the "Star Survivors"? If so, thank cover designer Mark Cabuena. 

I will acknowledge that it was just a little intimidating, being lumped in there with all those other really great writers. 

But the truth is, I think I fit right in. 

The best part of all is the crowds. I love meeting people. And I try not to let the lines at my table intimidate the younger people around me. Fortunately, this is never a problem when your last name begins with "M" and you are at an event with the likes of Julie Murphy and Sarah Mlynowski. I will say that the volunteers running their signing lines had a LOT of work to do. Whereas the volunteer in charge of mine had to stand around and engage me in conversation. So I post this selfie with her as a salute to all book festival volunteers everywhere. Thank you for taking on the really tough jobs. 


But just to be clear – the event is a spectacular one. If you love books and love the idea of being around 10,000 teenagers who feel the same way, it's a little bit of heaven in Irving, full of truly inspirational moments. 



Wait. Let's pretend that didn't happen. Here – thousands of people who love books. Join them next time.