Fans Included in My Upcoming BattleTech Fiction

FF Cover
There’s a reason I am posting this particular image.   More to follow…

I have had a lot of requests for this lately – so here we go.

How did all of this start?  I began including fans in my fiction with Forever Faithful, which ironically hasn’t been released yet. More on that later. The public version of this is that my thinking was, “Wouldn’t it be cool for some fans to appear as canon in the BattleTech universe?” In reality, I used to have to flip through a phone book for cool names and this is a hell of a lot easier and more fun for all parties involved.  So, the short version, laziness proved to be a powerful motivator.

For Forever Faithful I chose those names randomly from the BattleTech Facebook pages. People seemed to like the concept. When I wrote The Anvil and the upcoming Dragoons novella, I did the same – though I did casually ask for volunteers.

For the upcoming novel, XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX. I put up a big post on BattleTech International on Facebook for “volunteers.”  The results…almost a thousand names that were submitted. I couldn’t use them all.  I wanted to give some fans a treat; a chance to be part of BattleTech canon. Some are very likely to go on as major recurring characters. In fact, there are some characters from other novellas that get appearances in XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX too.  It is all part of being in a shared universe.

I am now using Facebook exclusively for obtaining names. I had people complain they don’t use Facebook and wanted to email me and I declined. Some whined in general.  Others told me what to do, “You should have posted it on Reddit.”  I am not known for following orders, especially when I’m just trying to be generous.  It is hard enough to manage an operation on this scale without having a half dozen sources for names. If you don’t like Facebook or don’t use it, you don’t get to take part. It really is that simple. I’m not promoting Facebook (It is run by the Word of Zuckerburg, a precursor to The Word of Blake, after all), it simply is a medium that I find most comfortable for gathering names. I never claimed this process was fair.

I cannot promise your name appears in the form of a glorious and honored warrior. Some are cannon-fodder (or in this case canon-fodder…get it?). Others are cities, streets, mountains, forests, any place I needed a proper noun. I know everyone wants to be that cool MechWarrior – but it doesn’t work that way.

How do I pick who gets in and who doesn’t?  Well, the name has to click with me. It is totally subjective.  Many names sound futuristic as is. Some get used for terrain features or cities. I have “reaved” the list to compile some obvious winners – names that pop to me immediately. It is hard to picture a Clan warrior named “Bob” or “Doug.” (Sorry guys, but no one wants to die hearing, “My name – Warrior Bob – will be written into the Remembrance for this glorious victory.”)  It is easy to pick a name like “Hasara” because it has a cool sound to it.  (Note:  This is just an example – don’t read anything into it Andrew). Bottom line: I tend to pick names that would sound cool for whatever the need is (be it a mountain range, a city, or a character.)  You would be surprised at how many proper nouns find their way into a book. Some thought goes into it on my part.

Some names get used more than once – implying they are more common in the 32nd century. Others are cameo appearances from other books.

Were there some special exceptions to the subjective selection process?  Yes. What is life without whimsy?  I did automatically put in the guys who waxed my ass at Masters and Minions at GenCon 2018. Did I use this opportunity for revenge?  Am I that petty? Yes, absolutely! This should inspire others to take me on this year at GenCon. You play me, you run a pretty good chance at getting used in fiction.

Brent Evans and I also came up with a few special fans we both knew and added them into the pool as well because we are benevolent gods. I also included some names of folks that are just cool people or who are Catalyst Demo agents that I like. I was going to include all of the Demo agents but it proved impossible to get that list through official channels. It would be easier to get a list of nuclear launch codes than the names of the demo agents apparently.  Sidebar:  This level of secrecy makes me wonder what they are up to.  Hmm…

For the record, I am bribable. I don’t want money though. One fan asked that I include a BattleTech convention organizer in a book and I did in exchange for a t-shirt from the con. See how shallow I am?

A lot of people gave me names of other people, but generally I don’t use those. I hadn’t planned on using callsigns but there were some neat ones provided that are going to be included. I don’t use character names for pilots – “I asked for your name, not your character’s name.”

I don’t use people who suggest/insist they be part of specific units, pilot certain ‘Mechs, demand custom paint schemes; along with their name. That is a quick way to get on a list and NEVER get used. I have some rules in the casting call post, please just follow them.  I am not crowdsourcing the writing of a novel. I write for my own sense of creativity – not yours.

Please bear in mind I am a raging thin-skinned egomaniac with delusions of grandeur in my choices. I read some douchebag’s comment that I was doing this only to get people to buy my books. My response to that was simple, “Asshat!”  Seriously, these are fans that would buy the book no matter what anyway. They don’t need encouragement to purchase BattleTech product. What a moron. You try and do something nice and some dillweed internet troll tries to ruin it.

Please do not ask me about the formats, release dates, or crap like that. I do not know if the book will be translated into Italian, when/if it will be made into an audio book, what day it will release in the UK, how to download it to your Nook (you bought a Nook, that’s hilarious!  Can I interest you in a Zune?), why isn’t it out there as a PDF, is it on RPG Fiction’s site, why Barnes and Noble doesn’t have it up on their site, why it isn’t a hardcover, when the boxed set of the game will come out, I’d like to do the voice work for the audio book, or how to be a Catalyst Demo Agent?  By the way, these are actual things people have asked or told me. I am prone, when I get these questions, to make shit up. Consider yourself warned.

I am toying with us having a special book signing/beer drinking at GenCon 2019 when the book XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX is released just for the guys and gals that are in the books/novellas I have written. Not sure if that is logistically sound or feasible yet, but heads-up, I’m getting creative.

So what is next?  Right now I have to weather the editing of the new book and the Dragoons novella before I start something new.

So, onto the honored fans!

The Anvil (Published)

Moses Obadiah

Nicholas Tockert

David DiFranco

Eric Belcher

Clifford McKinney

Jeff Sockwell

Daryl Noonan

Jonathon Scott Schofield

Cord Awtry

Ryan James Broadhead

Ben Myers

Troy Lee Cowell

Krzysztof Krecislaw

Chad Parish

Jack Lafreniere

Joshua Bressel

Marcus Odekirk

Robert Ostrowski

Mark Havener

George Tholburn

Erik Helgeson

Winter Guite

Jukka-Emil Vanaja

Christopher Turco

Juan Ochoa Jr.

Steven Molen

Broccán Mac Rónáin

Kenyon Burguess

Dave Alsager

 

Forever Faithful (Coming VERY soon.  John won’t let me say when, but I heard an actual date recently – so it is on the horizon.)

Benjamin Starkey

Av Paredes

Adam Mckern

Brian Blaney

Trixter Phillips

Alexander JW De Santis

Jamie Rife

Brandon Fisher

Andrew Gardenhire

Todd Farnholtz

Clint Woodall

Clifford McKinney

Adam Thompson

Ray Arrista

James McHenry

Patrick Finnegan

Oliver Kraft

Camille Klein

Shane Jaskowiak

Shawn Bruno

Colin Duffy

James Eyers Mclean Miller

Nathan Pelchat

Josh Ellis

Craig Gulledge

Peter Farland

Eric Eny

James Bixby

Thomas Lagemann

Craig Reed

Mike Lubowitzki

Devin Ramsey

Dustin Ballard

‎Jose Alvarez‎

Aaron Gregory

Bradley Proffitt

Dean Manning

Brian Chiasson

David Shell

Keegan Reid

Sam Snell

Alex Clarke

 

The Dragoons Novella (Coming Near GenCon) I can’t tell you the title because it gives away some stuff.

Wes Frenz

Timothy Byrne

Wayne Ledbetter

Scott Whyte

Kristopher Tyson Koniczek

Corey Riordan

Matthew Hinks

Brianne Elizabeth Lyons

Jason Tuttle

Andrew Sternglass

Cal Hornstien

Felipe Cintron

Alex Kaempen

Tony Deegan

Joseph McEachern

Richard Skelton

Sebastian Schröder

Jason Weiser

Patrick J Saul

Andrew Roy

John “Doc” Crouch

Jürgen Frey

Matt

Garry Jackson

Robert BJ Horncastle

Michael Barber

Eric Kraaier

Roderick van Noorloos

Rob Cheesman

Kevin Seibert

Hannes Hinterberger

Lon Porter

John Gaisano III

Ed Hachtel

Jared Donner

Derek Weese

William C. Pelcham

Nicholas Roche

Joshua McHugh

 

The BIG Universe Altering Novel XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX  (GenCon 2019 release!)  Again, I can’t tell you the title!  (Note:  I am not responsible if the editors cut you from the book.)

Rowland Seckinger III

Michael Widler

Michael “Brent-Killer” Ciaravella

Josh Waltz

Keith Richmond

James Kirtley

Adolfo Fernandez

Oliver Haake

Mark Erikson

Ka’u Johnston-Kitazawa

Adam “Reaper” Grimm.

Edwyn Tiew

David Dryburgh

Markus Lindlahr

Chris Herbachuk

Paco Cubillo

Chris Friede

Arthur Santos

Rantinan Winters

Joshua Bressel

Linas Kasparaitis

Rob Watkins

Andrew Metcalf

Tackett McClenny

Josh Koziura

Florian “Floppy” Nau

Evan Christiano

Stephan “Warbear” Peter

Michael Hofacker

Stephen Parac

Elmer Lee Bechdoldt

Jason Gambrel

Xander Cosgrave

Larry Leslie II

Artem Kostyukov

Claire Harpham

Agustin Sierio Barj

Joe Mooney

Shane Overstreet

Olaf Dittmar

Marco Mazzoni

Jeremy Spurlock

Andreas Macht

Jerry Hornick

Sven Mansberg

Daniel Hippensteel

Josh Koziura

Karl Elmar Coert

Hannes Hinterberger

Jean-Jacques Labbé

David Baker

Shawn ‘Gorilla’ Willett.

Josh Ellis

Joe Mooney

Brian “Northman” Norris

Dean Manning

Amy Delaney

Cory Vigdal

Joshua Adam Lonbom

Rolf Peter

Iain MacLeod

Chong Hin

Kim Chapman

Kostas Latsis

Chew Hwee leong

Ted Burger

Kevin Stanners

Cole Gilman

John “Fratricide” Craig

David Hawkins

David DuJordan

John McNary

William Fife

Ludvig Yabar

David Abzug

Andrew Quay

Krzysztof Strato Raczyński

Powers Wartman

Sharizal Zarie

Brian Hammack

Beth Galatis

Sam Phoenix

Jac Cook

Ben Weingart

Volkmar Seifert

Eli “Viper” Drechsel

Ryan Altstatt

Linas Augustus Kasparaitis

Dirk “Derek” Kobler

Thomas Heath

Jared Micks

Benno deJong

Noran Ghall

Stephen Dukes

Lonnie Tapscott

Billy J. Caldwell

Jeff “Wearyknight” “Weary” Lamm

Sebastian Schröder (a cameo)

Andrew Roy (a cameo)

Andrew Krull

Max Prohaska

Brian Hammack

Paul Tomaszewski

Jae So

Lawrence DeLucas

Daniel Gladstone

Richard Francis Gagner

Andreas Borgscheiper

Daniel Gladstone

Christopher Chong Wei Jin

James “Tanker” Herring

Marcus Sedwick

David “Dunny” Dunlap

Thomas Owen

14 thoughts on “Fans Included in My Upcoming BattleTech Fiction

  1. Richard Graham

    Despite you passing on my bribe to include you in one of my own SciFi novels, congrats to everyone else chosen 😉

    Thanks for being willing to include so many of the community in your projects.

  2. Nathan Pelchat

    Can’t wait Blaine! As usual, thank for your continued contributions to our beloved universe. I’m excited for all of these!

  3. John “chops “ Morris

    😀 for those of us not in the books, it means technically that we’re not being killed off or written out? 😏

  4. Sean Connelly

    I know you’re looking at comments on facebook rather than here but I am glad to see this as an idea. I am currently reading David Webers 14th Honor Harrington book and I was wondering about just this topic. With a couple dozen novels in a series it has to get hard to come up with names after a few books. This is a great solution and I wish you the best of luck.

  5. Thomas S. Wolf

    Totally elated to be able to read new stuff from you soon-ish, Blaine! 🙂
    And as far as the fan cameos go: DARN! I totally missed out on whatever call to arms you issued there. 😉 And now go and guess what made me get into BattleTech. 😉

    1. Andrew Hasara

      Someone just posted this so I just reread this: Hasara is a cool name. I am told that the Hasara tribe in Afghanistan believes they were left by Ghengis Khan to hold the area (I guess they are still holding out for relief) and that the name means the 1000 (yep, my name means legion!) I don’t know if it is true, but it makes for a cool name.

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