Hello! I’m Mike – a speculative fiction writer, podcaster, and the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
I’ve circumnavigated the globe, danced the tango with legends, and I know why Tybalt cancels out Capo Ferro. I also roll a mean d20.
My writing has been a finalist for the r/Fantasy Stabby Award and I was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Fancast with the Skiffy & Fanty Show.
Before I became a writer, I spent six years in academia, earning a B.A. in Creative Mythology (through the Individualized Major Program) and East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon. What that means is that I’m professionally qualified to geek out about mythology, Chinese and Japanese History, and Folklore (anything from mythology to internet memes).
In 2007, I attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop (I highly recommend it). I’ve worked odd jobs from game store cashwrap monkey to web design instructor, publishers’ representative, reviewer and essayist for PopMatters.com.
My first novel is an urban fantasy called Geekomancy (published July 2012 by Pocket Star, an imprint of Simon & Schuster). Geekomancy was inspired by stories like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clerks, the Dresden Files, and The Middleman, as well as my experiences growing up geek. The series continues with Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and Hexomancy.
My other books are:
Genrenauts: A science fiction series in novellas. Each season is comprised of 6 episodes. The first two novellas, The Shootout Solution and The Absconded Ambassador, are published by Tor.com. Genrenauts: The Complete Season One Collection is now available.
Shield and Crocus: An action-packed mash-up of weird fantasy and superheroes
The Younger Gods: A supernatural thriller starring the one moral son in a family of sociopathic apocalypse cultists.
You can reach me at munderwood(at)gmail(dot)com.
I am represented by Sara Megibow of KT Literary Agency. Film/tv rights to Geekomancy are managed by Jon Cassir of Creative Artists Agency. Film/tv rights to Genrenauts are managed by Brendan Deenan of Macmillan Entertainment.
Micro bio (50 words)
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over ten books. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife. He is a co-host on the Hugo Award Finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.
Short bio (100 words):
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over ten books: The Ree Reyes Geekomancy books, Shield and Crocus, The Younger Gods, and the Genrenauts series of novellas, which was a finalist for a r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife and an ever-growing library. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he studies historical martial arts and makes pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the Hugo Award Finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.
Medium bio (200 words):
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including the Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and Genrenauts, a series of novellas, which was a finalist for a r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.
In years past, he danced Argentine Tango and was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and studying historical martial arts. Mike has been a hobby game store cashwrap monkey, a student archivist, a webmaster, a web design teacher, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and more.
Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife and their ever-growing library. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he geeks out on comics and video games and makes pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the Hugo Award-Finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.
Long bio (450 words):
Michael R. Underwood is the author of over twelve books, including the Ree Reyes urban fantasy series (Geekomancy, Celebromancy , Attack the Geek, Hexomancy), as well as Shield and Crocus,The Younger Gods, and the Genrenauts novella series, which was a finalist for a r/Fantasy “Stabby” Award.
Mike was born in Bloomington, IN, to parents who met through musical theater. He was, from birth, doomed to be a performer. He saw Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi in theaters before the age of one, instilling a love of mythic storytelling and speculative fiction from a very young age. He has lived in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Oregon, New York again, and now Maryland. He hates moving. A lot.
Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. Always books. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and in East Asian Studies from Indiana University and a M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon.
As a teen, Mike was raised by gamers at the Game Preserve in Bloomington, IN, playing nearly every CCG known to humanity, as well as miniatures games, lots of RPGs, and other whacky geek ephemera. His experience at the Game Preserve was a primary inspiration for the Ree Reyes series of novels.
In the proud tradition of writers everywhere, Mike has held a variety of jobs, ranging from retail mascot to web design instructor. He has also worked as a hobby game store cashwrap monkey, a student archivist, submissions reader for Fantasy magazine, a webmaster, essayist and reviewer for PopMatters, a bear-builder, a bookseller, an independent publishers’ representative, and is currently the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
In 2003, he participated in the Semester At Sea program, circumnavigating the world in a ship of someone else’s making. On the journey, he visited Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Tanzania, South Africa, Brazi, and Cuba, and went on a bit of a Brazil bender, learning the martial art/dance style of Capoeira, performing in a Bossa Nova ensemble, and learning the joys of Samba Pagode, which can accurately be described as backyard BBQ party music.
Mike lives in Baltimore with his wife, an ever-growing library, and a super-team of dinosaur figurines & stuffed animals. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he studies historical martial arts and makes pizzas from scratch. He is also a co-host on the Hugo Award Finalist The Skiffy and Fanty Show and Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans.
In years past, when his life was not scheduled around novel deadlines, he danced Argentine Tango, performed in an alternative tango band, and was an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
“There Will Always Be a Max” (a Genrenauts story) — Tor.com, April 2016
“Can You Tell Me How To Get To Paprika Place?” — Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling
“The Unlikely Turncoat” (a Genrenauts story) — Hath No Fury (forthcoming)
“Last Tango in Gamma Sector” — Crossed Genres #19
“Kachikachi Yama” — Escape Pod 266 and Soundproof Escape Pod #2. (audio and epub versions, respectively).
Everything is Miscellaneous: Why Publishing Needs Tagging at Boing Boing
Prisoners, Deserters, and an Age of Heroes at A Dribble of Ink
“The Friends That Game Together: A Folkloric Expansion of Textual Poaching to Genre Farming for Socialization in Tabletop Role-Playing Games” at the Journal of Transformative Works
“The Middleman Season One” review at the Internet Review of Science Fiction
Keep an eye on this page to see me out and about in the world. Since my day job is also in publishing, sometimes I’ll be at a con in my guise as an author, and sometimes I’ll be on the clock as the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
Planned Appearances in 2017:
- ConFusion (January 19-12), Novi, MI
- Emerald City Comic-Con (Mar 2-5), Seattle, WA
- NorWesCon (Apr 13-16), Seattle, WA (Angry Robot – Spotlight Publisher)
- Pike’s Peak Writers Conference (Apr 26-28), Colorado Springs, CO (Faculty)
- SFWA Nebula Conference (May 18-21), Pittsburgh, PA
- BaltiCon (May 26-29), Baltimore, MD
- CONvergence (Jul 6-9), Bloomington, MN
- WorldCon 75 (Aug 9-13), Helsinki, Finland
- GenCon (Aug 17-20), Indianapolis, IN
Appearances in 2016:
- ConFusion (January 21-24), Novi, MI
- Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (March 18-20), Chicago, IL
- Emerald City Comic-Con (April 7-10), Seattle, WA
- SFWA Nebula Conference (May 12-15), Chicago, IL
- BaltiCon 50 (May 27-30), Baltimore, MD
- CONvergence (June 30-July 3), Bloomington, MN
- GenCon (August 4-7), Indianapolis, IN
- MidAmeriCon (August 17-21), Kansas City, MO
- NerdCon: Stories (October 14-15), Minneapolis, MN (Featured Guest)
Past Appearances in 2015:
- ConFusion (January 16-18), Dearborn, MI
- BaltiCon (May 22-25th) Baltimore, MD
- BEA/BookCon (May 27th-31st) New York, NY
- CONvergence (July 2-5th) Bloomington, MN
- GenCon (July 30-Aug 2) Indianapolis, IN
- Sasquan (Aug 19-23) Spokane, WA
- Baltimore Book Festival (Sep 26-27) Baltimore, MD
- Baltimore Comic-Con (Sep 25-27) Baltimore, MD
- New York Comic-Con (Oct 8-11) New York, NY
- World Fantasy Con (Nov. 5-8) Saratoga Springs, NY
Past Appearances 2014:
- Legendary ConFusion (Detroit, MI)
- FOGcon (Mar 7-9, San Francisco, CA)
- BaltiCon (May 23-26, Baltimore, MD)
- Book Expo America (May 29-31, New York, NY)
- Phoenix Comic-Con (June 5-8, Phoenix, AZ)
- Shield and Crocus launch party (June 20, Baltimore, MD)
- CONvergence (July 3-6, Bloomington, MN)
- ReaderCon (July 10-13, Burlington, MA)
- LonCon (August 14-18, London, UK)
- Baltimore Book Festival (September 26-28, Baltimore, MD)
- New York Comic-Con (October 9-12, New York, NY)
- World Fantasy Convention (November 6-9, Washington, DC)
- ConFusion (Jan 18-20, Dearborn, MI)
- Bergen Country SF Association (May 11th, 2013)
- WisCon (May 24-27, Madison, WI)
- Book Expo America (May 30-Jun 1, New York, NY) supporting Angry Robot, Strange Chemistry, and Exhibit A
- American Library Association (Jun 27-Jul 2, Chicago, IL) supporting Strange Chemistry
- Convergence (Jul 4th-7th, Boomington, MN) supporting Angry Robot
- ReaderCon (Jul 11-14, Burlington, MA)
- WorldCon (Aug 29-Sep 2, San Antonio, TX)
- BoucherCon (Sep 19-22, Albany, NY) supporting Exhibit A
- Baltimore Book Festival (Sept 27-29, Baltimore, MD)
- New York Comic Con (Oct 10-13, New York, NY)
- World Fantasy Con 2013 (Oct 31-Nov 3, Brighton, UK)
Interview/Podcast/Places Mike has been on the internet archive:
I figured it was about time to do a FAQ. If you have additional questions to add, go ahead and post them in comments.
Q) Will there be a sequel to Attack the Geek?
A) Hexomancy, the forth Ree Reyes story, will be published on September14th, 2015. Expect fate witches, astral cowboys, romantic tension, and the same level of geekiness you’ve come to expect from the Ree Rees books.
Q) How do I get a paper copy of Geekomancy/Celebromancy?
A) Currently, there is no scheduled print edition of Geekomancy. However, my publisher (Pocket Books) is interested in doing a paper edition if the eBook sells well enough. That threshold is intentionally vague, but I believe it is attainable. If you prefer not to read books on a screen but still want to support Geekomancy and/or me, consider getting a copy for a friend you think might enjoy it and does like reading on screens and/or ereaders.
Geekomancy and Celebromancy are both available as audiobooks.
Q) Can I read Geekomancy if I don’t have an ereader, tablet or smartphone?
For a more complete breakdown, this post is very thorough: http://www.laurendane.com/blog/2013/06/24/how-to-read-ebooks-without-an-ebook-reader/
Q) Do you have any fiction I can read for free to sample your writing?
Q) I want a signed copy of Geekomancy/Celebromancy/etc. Can you make that happen?
The cool folks at Authorgraph have set up a system where readers can get ebooks signed. All you have to do is sign up with Authorgraph (which is free), then find my book and request a signature (also free). Then Authorgraph contacts me, and I can go to your request and respond with a personalized message and a signature. Hurray for the future!
Q) What’s Shield and Crocus? Is that a new Ree Reyes book?
Shield and Crocus is a separate series in a totally different universe. The first book stands alone, but I have two more stories in that universe in mind, if sales and response are strong enough to justify continuing the series. But if you’re afraid of incomplete series, don’t be! Shield and Crocus tells a whole story, and should be satisfactory without any further stories.
Q) Okay, but what about The Younger Gods?
The Younger Gods is a separate urban fantasy story, and like Geekomancy, it’s designed as the first book in a series. And like bothGeekomancy and Shield and Crocus, it tells a complete story by itself, while starting a series narrative.