I’ve got a short story coming from an anthology edited by Ross Lockhart, TALES FROM A TALKING BOARD (WordHorde 2017)

Mine is a fictional twist on a true story, from back when I was marching drum and bugle corps. I was a contrabass bugle player for the Blue Knights out of Denver, CO, in 1997, 1998, and section leader in 1999.

I don’t play anymore, these days, but once upon a time, I did. I never really wrote about it. It’s definitely a niche interest.

Here’s a link to the whole anthology, if you’re interested:



My next novel has just been announced over at Tor.com!

Announcing A New Novel from J. M. McDermott

Lee Harris
Mon Apr 4, 2016 1:30pm Post a comment Favorite This

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of a great new science fiction novel from Joe McDermott—The Fortress at the End of Time.

J.M. McDermott is best known for the novels Last Dragon, Never Knew Another, and Maze. His work has appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. He holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program. He lives in Texas.

In The Fortress at the End of Time, humanity has expanded across the galaxy by use of ansible and clone technology, but an enemy stands in their way—an enemy alien in concept as much as physiology. Ronaldo Aldo is a clone stationed in the back-end of nowhere—a watch station with a glorious military past, but no future. He’s desperate to prove himself worthy of ascension—of having his consciousness broadcast to a newer clone, far away from his current post at the Citadel.

Joe had this to say:

I was surprised that Justin and Tor.com, saw great potential in this little novel, a novel not about adventure, but about the way stories of adventure intersect with a soul-crushing bureaucracy in space. I am surprised and delighted to be working with such an amazing team, and see my little book in such fine company as Nnedi Okorafor, Fran Wilde, K.J. Parker, and Mary Robinette-Kowal!

Joe’s editor, Justin Landon, said:

I could have almost been convinced to buy Joe McDermott’s novel based on the title alone. Thankfully, with its high concept ideas and authentic portrayal of life in the military, the book lives up to its title and then some. McDermott’s work has always been beautiful and insightful, but with Fortress he’s written something that makes you sit up and take notice. I sure did and I think Tor.com’s readers will too.

The Fortress at the End of Time was acquired by senior editor Lee Harris from Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and will be published in January 2017.


Be sure to pick up a copy of my latest novel, STRAGGLETAGGLE, at your preferred retailer this Christmas!


Lots of great news to report: Ross Lockhart’s Word Horde will be publishing the third and final Dogsland Book in December/January! Expect more on that later.

Also, MAZE is finally coming out from Apex Books early next year! I’ve seen cover sketches! I’ve seen interior art! It looks like a go, at last!

Asimov’s picked up a story excerpted from a novel I’m working on. Expect to see it in April/May 2014!


I am so thankful this holiday season! I have such wonderful readers, editors, friends, and family!

As a token of my gratitude, and along with my desire to spread the thanks, I would like to spread some thanks out into the world, in exchange for an eBook!

Make a donation to your favorite charity, and when you do come here and reward yourself with a free PDF of NEVER KNEW ANOTHER!
McDermott – Never Knew Another – Corrected – v06 (1) [ETA: Aw, there’s no more time in the giveaway… Too bad!]

If you would prefer a different file format, send me a note via e-mail and I can make that happen. Again, honor system donation to charity, of even a dollar or a quarter or anything at all. I personally really like Heifer International, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, your local humane society, and the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.

So, spread thanks, and receive my thanks, in eBook format!

Happy Holidays, everyone!


The Fathomless Abyss has opened, and another message has climbed up from the endless depths. Nirvana Gates by J. M. McDermott is the second novella and third eBook set in a fantasy world shared with Phil Athans, Mel Odom, Mike Resnick, Cat Rambo, Brad Torgerson, Jay Lake, and Mats Minhagan. Check it out!

Nirvana Gates by J. M. McDermott

Nirvana Gates by J. M. McDermott

  • File Size: 202 KB
  • Print Length: 71 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Athans & Associates Creative Consulting;
  • Language: English
  • Available at Nook, and Kindle

She was born there, in the Smog, every day breathing more smoke than air. She was strange, even in a bottomless hell full of creatures from a million worlds. She was doomed to a life of servitude. She was lonely. She was worried about her dying father. She was suspicious of her lying mother. She was scared. She was getting angry.
And she wanted answers.

The Fathomless Abyss can open any time and anywhere, and things fall in, or crawl in, from a million worlds across a million years. Deep in the bottomless expanse of this impossible world lies a doorway to truth, or an entrance to an even worse hell.

Join ground-breaking fantasist J.M. McDermott, author of Last Dragon and the Dogsland Trilogy for a trip deep into the nightmare of self, and the burning desire for redemption.


When We Were Executioners is out and for sale wherever fine books are sold! Reviews are good. For instance…

I have to admit – I haven’t read anything quite like J.M. McDermott’s Dogsland Trilogy (Never Knew Another, the recently released When We Were Executioners, and the forthcoming We Leave Together). A seemingly straightforward fantasy narrated by the unnamed female of a husband/wife team of wolfskin-clad Walkers – shape-shifting members of a religious order whose mission it is to remove the taint of the half-breed spawn of demons from the face of the earth – the storyline follows the duo as they set out on a seemingly impossible mission.

Walkers have the ability to understand the memories of the deceased and after stumbling across the demonic corpse of a king’s man named Corporal Jona Lord Joni, the nameless narrator and her spouse begin the monumental task of tracking down and erasing the evil stain on every person and place the demon spawn has touched. Joni’s memories are deeply disturbing but perhaps the most unsettling revelation is the fact that he knew of others like him…


Head over to your favorite book shop. (For instance, IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781597803380) and pick up a copy today!

Forthcoming next month is the short story collection, Disintegraton Visions from Apex Books. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover:


Lots of news coming over the transom at the end of the year.

Publisher’s Weekly reviewed my forthcoming Dogsland Novel, When We Were Executioners:

The second Dogsland novel picks up where Never Knew Another left off, with a wolfskin-wearing priest and priestess of Erin reconstructing the last days of Jona, Lord Joni, a half-demon corporal of the King’s Men, from residual dreams that imbue his found skull. Hoping to track down and terminate two similarly demon-tainted Dogslanders of Jona’s acquaintance—Rachel Nolander, his lover, and Salvatore Fidelio, his detested enemy—the priestly pair follow Jona’s memories through adventures that include his clashes with drug smugglers and his assassination of suitors to the daughter of a powerful lord, whereby Jona hopes to manipulate the succession. McDermott make Jona a compelling antihero, by turns ruthless and compassionate. The author’s real achievement, though, is his vivid evocation of Dogsland, a quasi-medieval realm whose squalor, depravity, and brutality give credible context for the best and worst behaviors, as well as the novel’s subtly fantastic goings-on. Agent: Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Feb.)

Source: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59780-338-0

In other good news, Jess VanderMeer has posted this about Women and Monsters:

Another great story collection, somewhat themed, among the best of the year. The stories revolve around the women and monsters of Greek mythology but in new contexts. For example, Eurydice wanders an abandoned amusement park and Korey thinks of leaving her mother, her small town, her mundane, simple life. Monsters making an appearance include Charybdis, Scylla, and Gorgon.


2011 Overlooked Books? Unique Fantasy, SF, and Horror You Might Have Missed

More good news than this, to be sure, but I think this is enough for this particular spot. Check the blog for more regular updates.