Peephole In My Skull

Control Point Launch Day!

Tomorrow, January 31, 2012, marks the official launch date for Shadow Ops Book 1: Control Point, by Myke Cole.

You should totally buy it.

It’s no secret that Myke and I have been friends a long time. Heck. I remember back in 1991, when he spelled his name M-i-k-e like a normal person.

Yeah, yeah. Like I should talk…

Anyway, Myke and I have a long history of kicking each other’s asses editorially (and with weapons). I met Myke briefly while we were in High School. It was the early 90′s, and we both had crazy heavy metal hair. We didn’t really become friends until college, where we played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons (For those who speak fluent geek, we played Edition 2.0 which evolved into 2.5, Forgotten Realms setting) together.

I’ve spoken before about how Dungeons & Dragons has made me a better storyteller. I used to run friggin’ EPIC games, where I would take the map of Faerun in the Forgotten Realms, pick a spot that hadn’t been explored in any of the novels or boxed sets, and write up a huge, complex story set in that obscure place. I would create plots, sub-plots, characters, backstories, twists, turns, and emotional motivations.

Then my players, Myke included, would just go in and kill everything. And I would have to toss aside my careful plans and dance like a motherfucker to keep up with them, and more importantly, keep them going in the direction I intended. They would deliberately seek out loopholes in my storytelling and try to game the system, or just ignore the boring “talky” parts and get down to dicing and dividing treasure.

Because there are two parts to storytelling: What you want to say, and what your audience is going to hear. Sadly, the two are almost never the same, and the purpose, after all, is to entertain an audience, yourself included.

A year or so later, Myke ran a game, and I gleefully fucked with his the same damn way.

We were also preparing for the pain of rejection letters by ritualistically hitting each other with bamboo swords:

Fast forward to 1998. I have moved to Brooklyn and he to DC. We don’t talk much anymore. Myke tell me he’s been working on a fantasy novel. I say, “Huh. Me too.” I sent him whatever shit project I was working on at the time, and he sends me the first draft of a book called “Latent”.

It would later be renamed, “Control Point.”

In the ensuing 15 years we have relentlessly broken each other’s books, finding tiny weak spots and driving knives into them, forcing each other to improve our craft and pass the other’s gauntlet. We would cover each other’s work in red ink, and call each other saying, “Nice try. Here are the parts that suck, here’s WHY they suck, and here’s my suggestions on how to fix them.”

So there are a lot of Myke’s ideas in my work. The Krasian Watchers, for instance, are laddermen on his suggestion. There are also a lot of my ideas in Myke’s work. For instance, he wanted to call the water sorcerers in Control Point “aquamancers”. I told him tying them forever to the lamest of all superheroes was a bad idea, and suggested he go with “hydromancers”. True story.

Sometimes, we would argue:

So believe me when I say, I couldn’t be more excited about this launch if it was my own book. Because in some small way, it is.

This is not to say that Myke doesn’t deserve all the credit for how awesome Control Point is. The man works obsessively and ruthlessly to make ever second of his books riveting.

Seriously. Stop reading this and go read his reviews. There’s like a million of them already, and they’re all glowing.

Control Point is a military fantasy story set in an alternate version of our modern world where magic ebbs and wanes over the course of every thousand years, much like the waxing and waning of the moon. When it waxes, people with latent magic ability suddenly manifest incredible powers.

They are then drafted, broken down, and trained to fight America’s enemies in the Supernatural Operations Corps. They’re the lucky ones. Those who manifest prohibited powers like necromancy (zombies) are shot in the head.

Lt. Oscar Britton starts as a ‘normal’ human, serving the army in hunting down magical fugitives. That is, until he manifests a prohibited magic himself, and overnight becomes Public Enemy #1.

The fun starts there, and doesn’t stop till the end.

Oh, and I’ve read the sequel, Fortress Frontier. It is even better.

If you want to hear us discuss writing and our history of alpha reading, you can check out our recent podcast interview with The Functional Nerds.

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm by PeatB
Filed under Craft, Events, Interviews, Life, Musings, My Reviews, Myke, Pimpage, Sales, Uncategorized, Writing
17 Comments »

17 responses to “Control Point Launch Day!”

  1. Seriously, though, that hair? Wow. Just, wow.

    Posted by John Scalzi, on January 30th, 2012 at 6:15 pm
  2. Done deal. I’ll pick it up on my Kindle tomorrow! :)

    Posted by Adam Roberts, on January 30th, 2012 at 7:16 pm
  3. Aww, you took me back to the early 90s when my husband and his best friend did Kendo and we all played D&D every week.

    Very much looking forward to getting my copies of Control Point (including ones for the two former Kendo enthusiasts in my life) but now I’ve got to check out YOUR stuff, too!

    Posted by Sue London, on January 30th, 2012 at 8:26 pm
  4. It sounds like you guys have had a great relationship over the years.

    And now, starting tomorrow, both of you will be published authors. How cool is THAT?

    Posted by Paul (@princejvstin), on January 30th, 2012 at 8:34 pm
  5. I used to do that too! The 2e Faerun Atlas is the best D&D resource ever published, I think. A lot of the Undermountain boxed set was also undetailed and my players always managed to find the shortest way to those areas.

    I had planned on downloading the Control Point sample to my nook tomorrow, but I went ahead and pre-ordered it instead. You’re on the hook now, Brett!

    Posted by Joseph L. Selby, on January 30th, 2012 at 8:48 pm
  6. I am one of the “There’s like a million of them already, and they’re all glowing.” that reviewed this book. I would like to say I was one of the first to publish and it was actually my first “professional” book review and I had the review of this book set up to publish for 3 months and rewrote it a few times.

    I have had a pleasure getting to know Myke and hope to meet him in person one of these days, maybe at a convention or something like that. He has seemed like a fairly grounded fellow and it is always fun to chat with him.

    Normally this is where someone says I hope he does well with his book, but having read it, and all the reviews, and talked with Myke, I know he is going to do well.

    Posted by Larry B. Killian, on January 30th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
  7. If I’d seen that picture before agreeing to represent either of you… Yikes!

    Posted by Joshua Bilmes, on January 30th, 2012 at 9:37 pm
  8. THE HAIR WAS TOTALLY IN FASHION AT THE TIME!

    Posted by Myke, on January 30th, 2012 at 10:21 pm
  9. Reviewed it. Loved it. You need to buy it.

    That is all there is to say ;) Heart-warming post too Peat – you guys together and apart are inspirational :)

    Posted by Fantasy-Faction, on January 31st, 2012 at 3:04 am
  10. Sounds like the sort of thing my husband is into, and he’s reading over my shoulder, so we will look it up :)
    Thanks Peat
    Nari X

    Posted by Nari, on January 31st, 2012 at 5:51 am
  11. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one (the book, not your “wooden sword,” Peat.) ;)

    Posted by Jon Sprunk, on January 31st, 2012 at 9:17 am
  12. It is an exciting days, as I am also a friend of Myke (and Pete of course) and finally getting here–to publication date–is very exciting. Bravo Myke. It’s a great book and I think many people are going to enjoy it…

    Posted by jayf, on January 31st, 2012 at 9:50 am
  13. Was pleasantly surprised when my copy appeared on my Kindle at 9pm yesterday. Yay for Amazon releasing books East Coast time! :D I shall start reading this after I finish The Technician by Neal Asher! :)

    Posted by Adam Roberts, on January 31st, 2012 at 12:34 pm
  14. Everybody should absolutely go and buy the book. Action-packed and thought-provoking. You won’t be able to put it down — just like you can’t stop looking at that hair picture.

    Posted by Mia, on January 31st, 2012 at 8:05 pm
  15. Haha Pete, as I buying my new copy of Myke’s novel I had this crazy and yet brilliant idea!

    Instead of having a “sit down/ have coffee” sesson with the fans, lets just play some good ol’ D&D (version of your choosing) at this years BosKone 49, February 17-19, 2012 Boston, MA

    I will make sure to bring atleast two of my friends who would gladly join us in an hour or two of complete nerd’dom.

    Think it over! Ill bring the dice!

    Posted by LordNazgul, on February 1st, 2012 at 10:33 am
  16. It has some truly enjoyable evil characters. I am looking forward to the next book.

    Posted by Trickster, on February 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am
  17. [...] Control Point Launch Day! [...]

    Posted by Peter V Brett :: Peephole In My Skull, on February 1st, 2012 at 3:35 pm

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