All posts by Michael Jan Friedman

Read a Preview of Aztlan: The Last Sun

Aztlan: The Last Sun, the first in a series of novellas about a world eerily similar and yet frighteningly different than our own, is finally available for Nook users.

But if that doesn’t convince you to rush out and download this for your reading pleasure, we’ve got a free PDF Aztlan1teaser for you!

It’s 2012. Maxtla Colhua is an Investigator for the Empire–an Aztec Empire that, having successfully repelled Hernan Cortes in 1603, stretches from one end of what we know as the Americas to the other. Now the Last Sun is upon Maxtla’s people, and someone has decided to punctuate it with a series of grisly murders reminiscent of the Aztecs’ pagan sacrifices in ancient times. Can Maxtla find the killer before his city is ripped apart and the Last Sun becomes the death knell for the Empire?

First Look at Aztlan: The Last Sun

Now you know I wasn’t kidding.

Here’s the cover for Aztlan: The Last Sun, which kicks off my brand-new series of 21st-century Aztec murder mysteries–probably the only series of 21st-century Aztec murder mysteries you’ll ever see. That is, until other authors see how it takes off and start to rip me — I mean, come up with Aztlan homages.

Nice cover, eh? So’s the price that goes along with that cover–only $2.99. Because here at Crazy 8 Press, we’re nothing if not sensitive to the havoc being wrought on people by the economy. (Also because a novella is shorter than a novel–but why split hairs?) Underneath this cover, you’ll find it’s still 2012–but in an alternate reality in which the Aztec Empire not only survived Cortes but went on to encompass what we know as the Americas. It’s in this world that Maxtla Colhua, Investigator for the Empire, has to solve a series of grisly murders as his calendar’s Last Sun drops toward the horizon. Can Maxtla find the killer before his city is ripped apart and the Last Sun becomes a death knell for the Empire? Continue reading

Coming Later this Month: Azltan, Aztec City of the 21st Century

The Aztecs. Ya gotta love them.

I mean how can you not love a civilization that tore the hearts out of more innocent, trusting human beings than the Season 11 auditions for American Idol? Of course, the Aztecs first got their victims drunk and gave them a nice panoramic view of the kingdom from the top of an architectural marvel, so who–I ask you–are the real barbarians?

Anyway, I got to thinking…there’s been a lot of hoopla about the year 2012 because it marks the end of the Aztec/Mayan calendar. But what would the Aztecs have made of the year 2012 if their empire had survived that long? In fact, what would a 21st-century Aztec empire even look like?

And because I’m on a murder mystery kick (I and the rest of America, apparently), I further got to thinking…what if a series of murders took place just as the 21st-century Aztecs were about to close the books on their calendar and start a new one?

Which is where I got the idea for a series of mystery stories to be presented under the heading Aztlan–the name of the Aztec city where these stories take place. Not in the form of novels, because that would be almost normal, but instead in the form of e-novellas. Continue reading

Fight the Gods

I love playing handball.

Not the kind you play indoors with four walls, though I’ve played that kind too. I’m talking about the kind you play against a concrete monolith, using a blue rubber ball the size of what we used to call a spaldeen on the streets of New York.

The opponent is almost always a teenager, almost always faster than I am, almost always stronger, and almost always in better shape. But I almost always win, because as physical as handball can get, there’s also strategy involved, and I’m good at the strategy part.

So my opponent walks on the court talking all kinds of trash and making remarks about the gray in what’s left of my hair, and walks off in an entirely different frame of mind. A decidedly beaten frame of mind. And I draw immense satisfaction from the encounter.

Yeah, it’s kind of evil. But then, I don’t have a whole lot of vices.

Handball is a city game, and some courts are in neighborhoods I probably shouldn’t be visiting. The kids I play are too often hanging gang colors. Some of them are sporting prison tats. On the court, it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s a gentleman, everybody’s a sportsman. Continue reading

The Camelot Papers Draws Praise From Peter David Fans

Here’s what loyal readers of Peter David’s work are saying about his new book, The Camelot Papers, on Amazon

The Camelot Papers is an intriguing look at the potential reality behind the legends of Camelot.”

“It’s a lot of fun reading the book and getting those “Ahhhh, that’s where X came from” moments. PAD has some very clever ideas behind the truth of The Sword in the Stone, Excalibur’s origin, Merlin’s “wizardry” and the like.”

“The book has PAD’s trademark humor, solid characterization, fun nods to the traditional Arthur stories, a good mystery, and I stayed up two hours after I should have been in bed to finish the last two chapters.”

“I liked seeing how David handled all of the pieces of the King Arthur legend to create his own story. If this becomes a series, I would certainly pick up more books.”

Over at Good Reads, one reviewer wrote, “I liked seeing how David handled all of the pieces of the King Arthur legend to create his own story. You could see how some of it was factual, according to Viviana, and how some of it would be warped into legend. He created some interesting characters (with the exception of Viviana) and if this becomes a series, I would certainly pick up more books. Personally, I really want to see more from the trouser-wearing Guinevere and the not-really-a-wizard Merlin.” Continue reading