All posts by Michael Jan Friedman

Love, Murder & Mayhem – A Short and Sweet Ballad

My pal Russ Colchamiro – one of my colleagues in Crazy 8 Press – is editing our summer anthology this year. It’s called Love, Murder & Mayhem, and his only requirement for us at the outset was that every story has all three components: love, murder, and mayhem.

He also mentioned that he could use a superhero story. And since I’m leaning in that direction anyway these days, I came up with one. About a whole team of superheroes, actually–a close-knit team that does all kinds of good in the world. What in real life could I bring to such a story? Well, lately I’ve been thinking about the Beatles, an early influence on me. I remember how cool I felt back in the sixties listening to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” or “I Saw Her Standing There” or – God help me – “Norwegian Wood.” If the Fab Four had stayed together, who knows what kind of music they could have made. But of course, they didn’t stay together–according to some sources because of John Lennon’s soulmate, Yoko Ono, who pulled him away from the other Beatles and ultimately broke up the group. Hmm…what if someone like Yoko had been brought into the inner circle of a superhero team? What if… Yeah. The story is called “The Responders”. It’s short and sweet, like a Paul McCartney ballad, and I hope you like it. Love, Murder & Mayhem from Crazy 8 Press will be on sale both in print and digital formats in July. Stay tuned for updates! Michael Jan Friedman is the author of more than 70 books of fiction and non-fiction, about half of them set in the Star Trek universe. Eleven of his titles, including the autobiography Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Ghost Hunting (written with SyFy’s Ghost Hunters), have appeared on The New York Times’ primary bestseller list. Mike has also worked in network and cable television, radio, magazine publishing, and comic books. He co-wrote the story for the acclaimed second-season Star Trek: Voyager episode “Resistance,” which guest-starred Joel Grey. Mike is a founder of Crazy 8 Press. Currently, he’s working on a sequel to the young adult fantasy I Am The Salamander, which he released in 2014,= and an original short story collection. His website is As always, Mike advises readers that no matter how many Friedmans they know, he is probably not related to any of them. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @friedmanMJ.

Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse

Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse is my first book of short fiction. It’s got all the kinds of stories I’ve become known for in books, in comics, and on TV–fantasy, science fiction, and super-hero tales.

It’s funny…until recently, I never felt compelled to write short stories. My natural inclination has always been to write full-length novels. If somebody was editing an anthology and they invited me to contribute, sure, I did that, and I invariably enjoyed it. But left to my own devices, I instinctively turned everything into an epic.

Then, about a year ago, I was kicking around a story called Cabal. We’ve all seen comic book heroes fighting teams of villains bent on taking them down for nefarious purposes, right? Well, in Cabal, I wanted to turn that notion on its ear. I wanted the team trying to take down the super-powered character to have only the best intentions. Then, as the story unfolded, we would find out if they were right or wrong to have those intentions. Continue reading

Kickstarting The Fortress and the Fire

Screen shot 2015-11-12 at 11.41.26 PMThirty years ago, Warner Books’s Questar imprint published The Fortress and The Fire, the last book in my Vidar Saga trilogy, about a son of Odin who returns to the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology to face an enemy that threatens to tear his universe apart. I’ve re-released The Hammer and The Horn and The Seekers and The Sword, the first two books in the set, on my own. But to fund the re-release of The Fortress and The Fire, I need some help–and I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to that end. To support the effort, I’ve opened the vault to offer backers almost everything I’ve ever written. We’ve only just gotten started, so check it out–you just might find something you like.

Free Fiction: The Wall

We have been working our way through the forest for most of the day, speaking as little as possible, thinking our separate thoughts. We have been wiping our foreheads with the backs of our hands and drinking sparingly from our canteens, knowing with each step that it is not too late to turn back.

And yet we know also that we will not turn back. We have set our feet on a path that will lead us to one of two places. One is Hell. The other is, if not Heaven, at least something better than what we have.
It is not an easy decision to leave one’s country behind. Not easy at all. And I am not a brave man, not nearly as brave as Carlos.
But I have had enough. One only gets one life to live. To accept what life has become–what allour lives have become–it is giving up esperanza, giving up hope. And there must always be hope.

My grandfather told me that a long time ago. We had gone fishing, and he came out with it unexpectedly. I remember nodding, thinking I would recall his words forever, for I loved the old man. Continue reading

Pangaea II is Fully Funded and Coming This Fall

Pangaea 2 CoverWith six minutes to go, our Kickstarter campaign for Pangaea II hit its mark. By October, backers will have the book in their hands (or, you know, in their reading devices).

Why is this important? Because science fiction needs to survive, and it needs to do so in written form. Sci fi movies are great. TV shows too. Believe me, I love ’em as much as the next guy. But they’re telling a story on a clock. And they’re subject to the tyranny of budget restrictions. And they’re produced by studios who usually err on the side of caution in all things. pen and paperWhich is why some things are better said in print. The problem, as we’ve seen in recent years, is that booksellers are under pressure. I hope we agree that there’s nothing like browsing in a bookstore. And if you’re a writer, there’s nothing like seeing your latest title on the shelf. But if bookstores–or at least many of them–go away, I don’t want books to go away too. I want them to be around forever because I like reading them and I like writing them. That’s why the Kickstarter success of Pangaea II is important. Because it allows 15 science fiction writers to reach out to readers with their stories, without any reliance on traditional publishers or bookstores (and, by the way, to share equally in the revenues after expenses). It blazes a trail for others to follow. It gives courage to the next science fiction writer or anthologist, who might otherwise have looked around at the traditional publishing landscape and despaired. Pangaea II is hardly the only worthwhile anthology that’s ever sprung from crowd funding. There are others looking to hit their mark right now. Take a moment and check them out. Give them some love. teamworkWe’re in this together, readers and writers. As I’ve said before, that’s where the magic happens. That’s the relationship we need to preserve at all costs. I’m proud of Pangaea II. I’m proud of the stories my colleagues are even now starting to write. But most of all, I think, I’m proud of you for making it happen.

Read the First Story from Pangaea for Free

517dBviDsyLWe’ve been telling you how great Pangaea is since we released the all-new anthology last summer.

We’ve been telling you how great the sequel, Pangaea II: The Rise of Dominjaron, will be when we complete our Kickstarter campaign this month and release the book in September.

What we haven’t done is show you what we mean. So, let’s fix that. We’re offering you the first story from the anthology for you to read for free. That’s right, no obligation to buy more or order before midnight tonight (not that we’d mind). We are so confident you will like what you read and want to see more, that we’re presenting to you “The Breaking”.

If you like it, please consider buying Pangaea and supporting Pangaea II: The Rise of Dominjaron.