Joseph Malik is an author, adventurer, swordsman, and retired gunslinger for the Illuminati. His debut novel, Dragon’s Trail, sold over 10,000 copies in eighteen months while receiving mainstream critical acclaim, qualifying him for the 2017 and 2018 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

He has been a longtime panelist and demonstrator at science fiction and fantasy conventions, sought-after for his expertise in swordsmanship, hand combat, and warfighting, as well as his personal history of doing all his characters’ stunts–from BASE jumping to blacksmithing. This level of experience and hands-on knowledge have allowed him to create a series of military fantasy novels that do for knights in armor what The Hunt for Red October did for the nuclear submarine.

Medically retired from the U.S. Army for combat-related injuries in 2022, his assignments and attachments included USSOCOM, USASOC, Joint Special Operations Task Forces, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. He attended the French Foreign Legion Desert Commando School in the Horn of Africa, and has helped train and advise militaries and intelligence organizations around the world.

His debut novel, Dragon’s Trail, became a Kindle #1 bestseller in Epic Fantasy in the U.S., Australia, and Canada, and reached #1 in Kindle Sword and Sorcery in the UK. as well as becoming a Barnes & Noble Nook bestseller. The followup, The New Magic, launched into the Kindle Epic Fantasy Top 50 New Releases and reached #23 on Goodreads’ recommendation list for the 2019 Hugo award.

He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Washington with a linguistics minor, and studied counterintelligence and domestic terrorism at American Military University. He is a full member of SFWA, represented by Sarah Hershman at Hershman Rights Management, NY.

Joseph Malik and his wife homestead on Puget Sound with a rescued Mastiff mix and an Olde English Bulldogge.

A January 2019 interview is up at the Speculative Fiction Showcase. A 2017 Veterans Day interview is also available on the blog.

4Upcoming Events:


Holiday Inn, Missoula, MT  May 24-27, 2024 

Panelist and moderator, including weapons and hand combat demonstrations.

Full schedule coming. Watch the Blog for details.




Check back soon for news about further 2023 appearances.