HORIZON is out TODAY!

My new book, Horizon, is out today, March 28!

What’s It About?
A group of Brooklyn kids on a robotics team are flying to a competition in Japan. But on the way their plane is seized by a mysterious force and crashes. When they step from the wreckage, they find themselves stranded, at odds, and in a jungle full of strange and terrible creatures!

Basically, it’s like Hatchet, but geekier. And like Lord of the Flies, but way less depressing. And like Lost, except the characters are lost but the writers aren’t.

Explosions! Survival! Who will lead them home?

Is There a Trailer?
No. I mean, yes:

Is This Book Standalone?
“Standalone”? I barely even know what that word means.

Horizon is the first in a seven-book series, one of Scholastic’s multi-author, multi-platform deals, like 39 Clues and Spirit Animals. I wrote the first novel myself and outlined all seven of the books, but six other authors will write the rest. They have to catch all the balls I’ve thrown in the air. (Suckers.)

The second installment is by Jennifer A. Nielsen, and the other authors are secret for now. But trust me, there are some cool people involved!

What Does Multi-Platform Mean?
Computer stuff!

There’s a Horizon game for computers, phones, and tablets. Download through your phone/tablet store or play through your browser right here. Also at that link is a big community of other fans exchanging clues and secrets and game hints.

I’m a gamer from way back (me in the 1970s, basically) so the game has been a blast to work on. My robotics team characters are based on the smart, nerdy kids I hung out with around the gaming table.

Here’s a discussion between me, my editor, and the game’s designer on the Scholastic podcast.

Wasn’t This Book Supposed to Come Out a While Ago?
Yes, January 17. But the super high-tech, fancy cover broke the printing factory, so it was delayed. That’s life on the cutting edge, my friends.

Our scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could make this cover, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Are You Touring for this Book?
Yep, I’m headed all over the country for both this book and Spill Zone, my graphic novel. All tour details can be found right here.

Cities include: Holmdel NJ, Canton CT, Collegeville PA, Raleigh NC, St. Louis MO, Pasadena CA, Menlo Park CA, Washington DC, Athens GA, Buford GA, Dallas TX, Parma OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, Rhinebeck NY, and New York NY.

What’s the Age Level?
Fairly high middle grade. In other words, it’s closer in age and feel to my Uglies books than, say, Zeroes.

Read and excerpt or buy the book online by clicking here.

Horizon! (new series announcement)

I have a new series of books coming! (Also, some new appearances to announce, including SDCC. See below for details, but first:)

This seven-book series is called Horizon. It’s about a group of kids who are in a mysterious plane crash and “step from the wreckage to find themselves stranded, at odds, and under threat from curious and terrible creatures.” (Scholastic Newsroom)

Basically, it’s a mix of Lost, Hatchet, and Lord of the Flies. Explosions! Survival! Who will lead us home?

HORIZON-small
(The weird-colored parent of the cover is actually a separate, transparent jacket that you can take off to see the photograph in its normal state. It’s pretty cool in real life.)

This is one of Scholastic’s multi-author, multi-platform series, like 39 Clues and Spirit Animals, which means two things:

1) The book will have a big digital element, with games for computers, phones, and tablets and lots of community chat space.

2) I developed the series, have written the first novel, and have outlined all seven of the books, but six other authors will write the rest. (The second installment is by Jennifer A. Nielsen, with the other authors secret or TBD for now.)

It was really cool, coming up with seven books’ worth of stuff, whole also knowing I didn’t have to write them all. It’s kind of like juggling, except after I throw the balls up, someone else has to catch them. (Heh. Suckers.)

I’m a gamer from way back, in that I used to play D&D in the 1970s, so the game part of it has been a blast to work on. My characters are mostly members of a robotics club, a lot of whom are based on the smart, nerdy kids I first met around the gaming table.

Note that this book is middle grade, so it’s closer in age and feel to my Uglies books than, say, Zeroes.

Here’s some more about the series from Publishers Weekly.

The first book comes out Jan 17, 2017. Hope you take a look!

And now two upcoming appearances:

I will be at San Diego Comic Con next week, appearing with Ransom Riggs, Melissa de la Cruz, and James Dasher on this panel:

I READ IT BEFORE IT WAS A MOVIE
Saturday July 23, 2016 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 7AB

Each day, our newsfeeds blow up with items of more amazing sci-fi/fantasy books being optioned for film or TV, and bookstore shelves are filled with cinematic tie-in novels to geeky summer blockbusters. But what does it take to make the jump from page to screen, and back again? Authors explore the journey of stories from page (both prose and comics) to screen (multi-media) and even stage, and vice versa. Maybe this illustrious group will be able to answer the question of whether it really is better to read the book before seeing the movie! Ransom Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar), James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Prequel), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Zeroes), Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines), and Comic-Con special guest Peter David engage in conversation with moderator Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly

We will all be signing after the panel, 11:30am-12:30pm, in signing area AA09.

I’ll also have my own private signing here:
Mysterious Galaxy Booth
Booth #1119
Sunday July 24, 2016 11:00am – 12:00pm

And later this year, I’ll be at YALLfest in Charleston, SC!
November 11-12
Specific schedule TBD.

Hope to see you there!