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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Guest Blog by Anton Strout - Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World


Please welcome Anton Strout to The Qwillery. Anton is the author of the Simon Canderous series, the Spellmason Chronicles, and many short stories. Speaking of short stories, Claw & Order, a collection of stories from the Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA), is on Kickstarter now! 

I love the DEA! I may even have a DEA baseball cap and more. My recommendation - check out this wonderful collection on Kickstarter!







Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World 
-Anton Strout

The first ever book that featured Manhattan’s underfunded and (mostly) secret paranormal protection agency, The Department of Extraordinary Affairs, hit shelves way back in February of 2008. That would have been my first published novel Dead To Me, which means I had probably conceived of the DEA around 2005. That original original series covered about four books and nearly a dozen anthologies, but it was the years 2008 to 2012 that really defined who the Dept was, what it stood for, and most importantly, did the good guys have the budget for a wide range of monster repelling holy symbols.

The Kickstarter for my latest collection, Claw & Order, brings together all the stories related to those paranormal events in the Manhattan of my Simon Canderous and Spellmason Chronicles series. And hopefully with enough funding, we’ll be seeing brand new stories set in their shared world, too.

People ask what it’s like returning to the world of the DEA, but in my mind, I never left. It’s how I built the Department within the world of the books in the first place. Deep below the Lower East Side Lovecraft Café front, the secret agency has a sprawling haunted archive called The Gauntlet which collects and records paranormal events in the greater metropolitan area, so even if I wasn’t writing something in the main series, there were always stories popping up that built upon that deep paranormal history. Even now, my mind imagines Simon & his detective partner Connor working the Graveyard shift, filing another case file they somehow managed to live through without succumbing to a new silver allergy or aversion to garlic knots at their favorite Little Italy eatery. 

Evil never rests, and the forces of good at the Dept don’t either. They couldn’t possibly, what with barely being able to keep up with the backload of paperwork. 

Claw & Order allowed me the opportunity to descend the ancient staircase to those archives once more, and Kickstarter gives me the chance to see who wants to come along and revisit that creeptacular world with me. It will dictate the future of the Simon Canderous series, specifically, and ultimately the fate of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs itself. Can you see them, dear reader, getting ready to hit the streets of haunted Manhattan? Gathering potions, and arming themselves with spells, retractable steel bats, and snacks! The wicked never rest, so neither has the Department. Won’t you come along? 

Come explore USA Today bestselling author, me, and my world of magic and mayhem with tales featuring: 

- A young NYU student trapped in a modern-day fairy tale with only a red hoodie to help save the day 
- The secret history of Ben Franklin, Necromancer
- The Department’s underground archival library known as The Gauntlet, and the bookwyrm that resides within 
- The origin of the Belarus family gargoyle who is the basis of The Spellmason Chronicles 
- A celebration of Lupercalia in NYC, complete with demonic cherub drowning! 
- A fae enchantress bent on revenge against an ancient foe—in a way only she can 
- The impromptu paranormal pet detective adventures of alchemist Caleb Kennedy 
- A glimpse into Simon Canderous’s previous life as a psychometric art thief and his first encounter with psychotic redheaded menace Mina Saria 
- A romantic birthday date night with Spellmason sidekicks Rory Torres and Marshall Blackmoore, including polearms, liches, and real housewives 
- Simon Canderous takes on an early case with the Department as he desperately tries to impress his ghosthunting partner high atop a skyscraper with a haunted castle penthouse 
- A Lovecraftian tale of horror that begs the question: who chooses the chosen ones?

Come. We’re dying to have you!

Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/clawandorder/claw-and-order-an-urban-fantasy-anthology-set-in-nyc










About Anton

Guest Blog by Anton Strout - Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World
Fantasy and science fiction author Anton Strout has given readers equal shares of chills and laughter since the first book of his Simon Canderous paranormal detective series, Dead To Me, came out from Penguin/Ace Books in 2008. He continues his tales of mayhem in Manhattan with his second series, the Spellmason Chronicles, as he treats readers to the story of a girl and her gargoyle, and explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and love with his trademark snarky twist. He's also the host of The Once and Future Podcast, where he talks about writing, games, and other nerdy stuff with some of today's most popular speculative fiction authors. His latest project is CLAW AND ORDER, a collection of his short fiction and more, now on Kickstarter!

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @antonstrout  ~ The Once & Future Podcast

MASTERWORKS SPAWN Kickstarter


Todd McFarlane Launches First-Ever
MASTERWORKS
SPAWN Kickstarter

MASTERWORKS SPAWN Kickstarter

Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Remastered (2020)
Campaign is Now Live!
Tempe, Ariz., --April 8, 2020 --  In 1992, the very first Spawn comic book hit the shelves setting a sales record for an independent comic book. A few years later, in 1995, the first Spawn action figure was released to critical acclaim and helped usher in a whole new way of giving you detail and 'art' to your action figures.

Now, twenty-five years later, Todd McFarlane is joining forces with Kickstarter to deliver an updated version of that original 1995 Spawn Action Figure and Comic release. The new Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Remastered (2020) figure will be 7-inches tall and come with a huge folding cape and weapon. The articulation in this version will be more than double what the original action figure had, and the included comic cover will be remastered by the international award-winning artist and creator of the Spawn character, Todd McFarlane.

The Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Remastered (2020) Kickstarter campaign is now live at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spawnmasterworks/original-spawn-comic-and-toy-remastered-2020

"We're thrilled that Todd McFarlane Productions is bringing Spawn to Kickstarter. When McFarlane launched his first line of toys in 1995, he showed that creative independence is a key ingredient in doing something innovative and new within an established and sometimes stagnant industry," said Nick Yulman, Kickstarter's Head of Design & Technology. "We're creating this new section for Toys on Kickstarter to celebrate the launch of this project and to inspire more independent toy designers to follow their visions."

“As an artist and a creator, I have worked to evolve my creations to the highest artistic level achievable.  I’m going back to the beginning of the first Spawn Action Figure and Comic I ever created.  It will be remastered and modernized with all the skill sets, details, and technology that I have learned over the past 26 years to bring you the best version of that iconic Spawn Action Figure and Comic from 1995,” said Todd McFarlane, Spawn creator and legendary artist. “It’s an honor that Kickstarter is creating a new toy section on its platform and debuting it in conjunction with the first-ever Spawn Kickstarter.”

This newly remastered Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic (2020) version will come in a collector box with a slipcover to help preserve the condition of the figure, comic, and packaging. And speaking of the actual blister packaging, it will mimic the original design from the classic action figure of 1995, though upgrades will be all across the final product.

A new resealable shell will be used so that you may take out your Spawn Action Figure and Comic for display, but also be able to return them both into their packaging as you have never opened it in the first place!

Finally, if you choose, you can get an autograph by Todd McFarlane himself. Todd will be personally signing a nameplate that can be used for display with your Spawn Action Figure and Comic. And each autographed item will also come with a bonus weapon: A reimagining, hyper-detailed updated version of the wooden plank weapon from that original Spawn Action Figure from 1995.

To simplify this offering, there will be only four levels: A CLASSIC costume version. A MODERN costume version (with new head), an ARTIST PROOF (what we're calling the 'black & white), and lastly, the 3-PACK bundle which will include a Classic, Modern and Black & White figure. The latter two figures are getting new head sculpt! The first three levels will be offered with or without an autograph while the 3-Pack will only be offered with an autograph. And each of the single figures will have a NEW never-seen-before cover remastered by Todd McFarlane himself. The backing levels range from $40 to $160 based on the offerings.

This is your chance to get in on history as it repeats itself in this remastered version of the action figure and Comic that helped changed the industry of action figures itself.  For additional, information visit the FAQ on the Spawn Kickstarter page. To stay updated on the Spawn Kickstarter Campaign Follow Instagram: @ToddMcFarlane, Twitter @Todd_McFarlane and FB @LikeToddMcFarlane
MASTERWORKS SPAWN Kickstarter

MASTERWORKS SPAWN Kickstarter



About Spawn and Legendary Artist and Spawn Creator Todd McFarlane
Todd McFarlane's Spawn is one of the world's best-selling and longest-running monthly independent comic books, with hundreds of millions sold worldwide in more than 120 countries. 2019 marked the year that legendary artist Todd McFarlane made history with the release of the historic Spawn #300 and record-breaking Spawn #301. These milestones have earned McFarlane the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the longest-running creator-owned superhero comic book series in the world

Todd McFarlane's Spawn was one of the best-selling comic titles for all of 2019!  Spawn was the only title to have 2 issues in the Top 11! Spawn #300 claimed the #2 spot, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world's largest distributor of comics and graphic novels. The World Record Breaking Spawn #301 placed #11 on the list of more than 8000 books published in 2019.  Also, the comic became an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO and a live-action feature film that grossed more than $100 million.

McFarlane established himself as a force in the entertainment world. McFarlane has won 2 Grammy nominations, 2 Emmys Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, 1 Canadian MuchMusic Award, and more than 150 International awards in the fields of action figures, comic books, and publishing

About Kickstarter 
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects — everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life.

The Jötunn War: First Peek! by Ian Stuart Sharpe


Please welcome Ian Stuart Sharpe to The Qwillery discussing The Jötunn War which is being funded on Kickstarter right now!



The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe




The Jötunn War: First Peek!
by Ian Stuart Sharpe

How would you describe the Jötunn War?

The Jötunn War is our latest addition to the Vikingverse, the first of a four-issue graphic novel series and a companion piece to the All Father Paradox.

If you’ve read the novel, it adds some more depth and detail to the worlds-spanning war that concludes the novel. And if you haven’t, it makes a perfectly good jumping off point to explore.
The premise is simple: what if the Vikings never lost? What would the modern world be like if Norse laws, appetites and mythology had shaped it instead of Christianity?

Fast forward through 1000 years of alternate timeline and you come to the Jötunn War - a point in time analogous to the Great War, or World War 2. There are all kinds of social pressures that irk Great Powers, like the Emancipation of the Serfs or the Russian Revolution, the Scramble for Africa and the Rise of Nationalism. The Viking Empire is no different: while the pace of progress has been accelerated (Vikings didn’t burn their scientists as witches…), when the thralls rebel, turning to the artifice of Norns to help them escape their bondage, the Natural order is thrown into chaos, causing a war that rages across the Nine Homeworlds for decades. The comic shows the last gasp battle for Utgard, the last stronghold of the Jötnar.



The Jötunn War is your first comic, coming just months after the All Father Paradox novel. Do some of our favourite characters make an appearance?

Over the course of four issues, you’ll see all kinds of familiar faces, some drawn from the novel, some from real life. Of course, this is Gest’s story and told from his POV. There is something of the Eternal Champion about him, because of his immense longevity - down to a Norn’s curse in the cradle – he has seen the whole swept of history and now stepped up for the decisive battle. Along the way, he is joined by Alviss Presterleah and Njall Armstinnr – two great 1960s icons in our world, whose names easily translate back into Old Norse. In the Vikingverse blurb, we often talk about the storied heroes of mankind being drawn into the Vikingverse in new and brutal guises - those two are an especially long way from the All-American idols we know and love.

Of course, in later episodes, you get to see other major characters as the Battle for Utgard continues but we won’t reveal all of those just yet…



Did you find writing a comic easier than the novel?

History is full of titanic battles, from David vs. Goliath to the Axis vs. Allies, but The Jötunn War is literally as big as it gets. There is a kind of visceral urgency to the comic form, you can have fun that you can’t easily manage in a novel.

I used to storyboard documentaries and TV spots in my days as broadcast Producer. It was surprising how similar the two things are, and once I got started, it all came to life quite quickly. In actual fact, because the whole script – descriptions, directions and captions – is only 3000 words per issue, it is the artists who bear the real burden! The real challenge became helping Dev design a Drakkar that looked like it could fly, or an infantry helmet that makes aesthetic sense for a future Varangian. I’m excited that he has captured the vision so clearly.

Norse mythology is a fascinating lens through which to take a view of the world – and I have heard at readings and conventions what a compelling idea it is. But not everyone has the time to read 90,000 words, and so a comic is a better start to their journey.

What the two forms do have in common is the resonance of the Old Norse quotes. Whether drawing from the wisdom of the Hávamál or reciting a skaldic poem about battle, the words have a real impact.



The Jötnar themselves, why did you choose to portray them that way?

In a word where Christianity has been put to the Viking sword, there are no angels or devils, but combatants will always strive to demonize the enemy. It’s how you motivate the populace to back a war – feed them fear and loathing. I liked the idea of turning that on its head, of having the nightmares of Norse mythology come back to haunt the Empire.

One interesting thing about the word Jötunn is that it doesn’t really mean giant – in the Old Norse orthography, it is much closer to words like consume, gluttony and voracious. I wanted to make the rebellion an existential, primeval, devouring threat – not just Vikings in white helmets. The sagas are clear that the Jötnar take many forms, some as beautiful as the dawn, some as hideous as - well, Týr’s nine-hundred headed grandmother is a good example (She is mentioned in Hymiskviða if you want to read more about her).



And the Kickstarter has already funded? Congrats!

Everyone involved is hugely grateful for the support and attention we’ve attracted. The Kickstarter funded after the first week, which means we can print the first issue. Our stretch goals include the ability to fund the printing and distribution of the second part, which is raring to go. So, if you like the cliffhanger built into the first episode, and you’ve got a taste for the Vikingverse, you’ll want to make sure to help us get further into the story!





The Jötunn War

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
A war as old as time, where fate itself hangs in the balance. In the Vikingverse, the Norse rule the stars with restless fleets and an iron will. But when the thralls rebel, turning to the artifice of Norns to help them escape their bondage, the Natural order is thrown into chaos. The Jötunn War has been fought across the Nine Homeworlds to contain the threat, a battle against the stuff of ancient nightmares, red in tooth and claw, Jötunheim is the rebellion's last redoubt, an indignity the Empire plans to cleanse with flame and fury. The Jötunn War. Go big or go home in a body bag.

Kickstarter Link





About Ian

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
Ian Stuart Sharpe was born in London, UK, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada. Having worked for the BBC, IMG, Atari and Electronic Arts, he is now CEO of a tech start up. As a child he discovered his love of books, sci-fi and sagas: devouring the works of Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and George MacDonald Fraser alongside Snorri Sturluson and Sigvat the Skald. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. The All Father Paradox is his first novel.



Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @vikingverse

Twitter @IanStuartSharpe






About Outland Entertainment

Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com.





The Novel

The All Father Paradox
Vikingverse 1
Outland Entertainment, October 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 414 pages

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves?

Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the thousand-year-old Viking memorial there. But when things start changing and outright disappearing, Michaels realizes there is more to this old man than meets the eye. Now, Michaels finds himself swept up in an ancient god’s quest to escape his destiny by reworking reality, putting history—and to Michaels’s dismay, Christianity itself—to the Viking sword. In this new Vikingverse, storied heroes of mankind emerge in new and brutal guises drawn from the sagas:

A young Norse prince plots to shatter empires and claim the heavens…
A scholar exiled to the frontier braves the dangers of the New World, only to find those “new worlds” are greater than he imagined…
A captured Jötunn plants the dreams of freedom during a worlds-spanning war…
A bold empress discovers there is a price for immortality, one her ancestors have come to collect…

With the timelines stretched to breaking point, it’s up to Churchwarden Michaels to save reality as we know it…

Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons


EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: THE ART OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
DOCUMENTARY HEADS INTO POST-PRODUCTION, 
LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER

28 Feb, 2018: Washington, DC: Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons, an exciting new feature-length documentary, has now entered post-production, and is scheduled to premier at the Gen Con 2018 Film Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana this August. The documentary explores the history, influence, and stories behind the artwork that helps create the worlds in which we all play, and profiles D&D artists (both past and present), former TSR insiders, game designers, authors, and fans. Eye of the Beholder is a celebration of the art we all love so much.

The filmmaking team of Kelley Slagle, Brian Stillman, and Seth Polansky have spent the last three years traveling the country and conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in D&D art, including Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell, Jennell Jaquays, Darlene, Tony DiTerlizzi, Brom, Erol Otus, Todd Lockwood, Jeff Dee, Diesel LaForce, Donato Giancola, Steve Prescott, Chris Seaman, and many, many more. These are the men and women who, over the last 40-plus years, helped shape the look and feel of Dungeons & Dragons, from the earliest days at TSR in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to its current home with Wizards of the Coast.

With shooting and production behind it, Eye of the Beholder is launching a Kickstarter campaign on Valentine's Day to raise finishing funds. Rewards include copies of the film either digitally or on DVD; hand-signed prints by Larry Elmore, Brom, Jennell Jaquays, Erol Otus, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Todd Lockwood; and two different T-shirts featuring new, exclusive art by Jeff Easley!

Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons is co-produced by Cavegirl Productions and X-Ray Films.

About Cavegirl Productions: Headed by founders Kelley Slagle and Seth Polansky, began producing independent films in 2004, including 13 short films and the award-winning fantasy web series The Broken Continent, which successfully raised over $50,000 on Kickstarter. In 2014, Cavegirl released the award-winning dramedy feature film Of Dice and Men - "a geek movie without the self-loathing" - now available on Amazon Prime.

About X-Ray Films: Brian Stillman, the founder of X-Ray Films, has more than 20 years experience as a professional journalist and filmmaker, working in both the print and documentary worlds. He’s a producer on the hit Netflix documentary series The Toys That Made Us (The Nacelle Co.), and in 2014, he released the documentary Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys. He is co-editor, with ArtOrder’s John Schindehette, of the upcoming The Owlbear Almanac: The Handbook of the Owlbear Appreciation Society.


Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2HfD1vM


EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons and Dragons - Documentary - Teaser
from Kelley Slagle on Vimeo.


EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons - Trailer 2
from Kelley Slagle on Vimeo.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey


Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey

Space Media Ventures announced a ground-breaking game that may change the way people experience the universe. “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey™,” a downloadable game of planetary exploration, kicked off its presale campaign on June 13, in conjunction with the E3 gaming industry convention.


The campaign is designed to bring in a community of space enthusiasts, gamers and world-builders of all ages to help Tyson create the ultimate gaming adventure.

“Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey” will take players into space to explore the surface of planets. First stop is Proxima b, the closest known exoplanet to the solar system, about 4.2 light years from Earth. Proxima b was just discovered in 2016 and intrepid gamers will now be able to explore it.
“I’m delighted to bring the wonders of space to everyone, and one of the most potent ways to accomplish this is through the visual and immersive power of gaming,” said Tyson. “I’m excited to be part of the creative team bringing this educational game to life that is based on real science and driven by real physics. “Space Odyssey” embodies a shared vision of creators, storytellers and science lovers who want to get people of all ages into space and exploration in ways that encourage curiosity and imagination.”

Space enthusiasts interested in participating in the limited-time presale event can select from several different packages, ranging from $29 USD to $10,000 USD, with a variety of perks and rewards. Those who participate in certain Kickstarter levels can gain early entry to the invite-only beta, exclusive access to the development team, in-game currency bonuses and limited edition and one-of-a-kind goodies. Some of those items will be autographed and personalized by Tyson.

“Space Odyssey” will allow players to travel through the cosmos to scientifically accurate planets, moons and exoplanets based in real science. The game will encourage players to engage in physics-based challenges and missions, or create their own, either as a single player and collaboratively. “Space Odyssey” will provide a dynamic world-building environment where they can “mod” cooperatively. The gameplay will all come under Tyson’s playful direction.

“Space Odyssey” will take players to planetary surfaces, allowing them to experience these worlds and add to them as real science and their collective imagination allows. Beyond Proxima b, the odyssey will continue as the game expands with the ongoing addition of new planets and moons to explore.

Tyson will be with you virtually. Players will enjoy a voice-activated digital assistant to help them in their journey: Neil’s real voice married with a powerful, cloud-based knowledge engine, which will be present throughout the player’s journey and ready to answer any astronomical question it can.

The game will also include involvement from other space authorities, including the “StarTalk All-Stars” (StarTalk is Dr. Tyson’s television show on National Geographic Channel and radio show and podcast), the National Space Society, Sky & Telescope.

Tyson’s vision is to build a large and engaged community of space and science enthusiasts, and encourage the community to participate in the game’s creation. “We want Space Odyssey to be a shared creation. Our vision is to inspire people to explore the wonders of space and science by allowing a community to be a part of the game’s development,” said Space Media Ventures Creative Director Mark Murphy.

Tyson will announce the launch of the Kickstarter campaign during a panel called “World Builders” that he is participating in at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles on June 13. The other panelists slated are David Benioff (co-creator, executive producer, Game of Thrones on HBO), James Gunn (writer/director, Guardians of the Galaxy movies), Kiki Wolfkill (executive producer, Halo), Randy Pitchford (creator, Borderlands) and television personality Chris Hardwick, who will moderate the panel.

The anticipated ESRB rating for “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey,” is E for everyone.

Watch the “Space Odyssey” Trailer on Kickstarter

View the Full List of Perks on Kickstarter


About Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a world-renowned astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, part of the American Museum of Natural History, where he founded its Department of Astrophysics in 1997. Tyson served on two White House commissions, one in 2001 on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry, and another in 2004 on the future of America’s Space Exploration Policy. He was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal same year.

From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS. Since 2009, he’s hosted the weekly radio show Star Talk, which has since also become a television series on the National Geographic Channel. In 2014, he hosted the television series Cosmos:A Spacetime Odyssey, a 21st century version of Carl Sagan's 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

Tyson is a graduate of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, after which he earned his BA in Physics from Harvard, and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia. He has also been awarded twenty Honorary Doctorates, and is the author or co-author of 13 books, most recently Astrophysics for People in a Hurry


About Space Media Ventures
Space Media Ventures is a media company dedicated to developing games and immersive experiences that delight, inspire and deliver a sense of wonder about the universe and beyond. The Space Media Ventures team is comprised of world-renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, seasoned entertainment industry professionals and storytellers who are pushing the boundaries of edutainment.

For more information on “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey” visit: www.spaceodysseygame.com and follow on Facebook.

Sweet Dreams Cthulhu


Sweet Dreams Cthulhu

Sweet Dreams Cthulhu is a delightful bedtime board book for children and adults and fans of the Cthulhu Mythos. It's presently being Kickstarted (http://kck.st/2orznJk) through May 26th.  (Please note: I am a backer of this Kickstarter.)

Sweet Dreams Cthulhu is brought to you by the fabulous team that created C is for Cthulhu: The Lovecraft Alphabet Book. (You should get that too.)

The illustrations by Greg Murphy are gorgeous. The story by Jason Ciaramella is lovely. Even Cthulhu has bad dreams and fears the monsters under his bed! This sweet and adorable Cthulhu is helped by his friend Howard to see that things aren't as scary as they seem. Sweet Dreams Cthulhu is a beautiful board book that children, teens and adults will love. 


Sweet Dreams Cthulhu


Sweet Dreams Cthulhu


Sweet Dreams Cthulhu



Links

Sweet Dreams Cthulhu Kickstarter - http://kck.st/2orznJk

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cisforcthulhu/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/CisforCthulhu

Shop - https://shop.cisforcthulhu.com/


Strange California, Edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt


I'm a backer of Strange California: A Speculative Fiction Anthology on Kickstarter and am delighted to host Jaym Gates, one of the co-editors. I used to live in Los Angeles and would love to read this anthology, but that can only happen if the Kickstarter campaign is funded. Please take a look. You only have 4 days left to back Strange California!



Strange California, Edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt



California is one of those places that takes a larger-than-life form in stories and memories. So many authors have drawn their inspiration from the state, creating a rich heritage of science fiction and fantasy in the Golden State.

When Jason Batt and I started talking about our shared experiences with the weird side of California, we immediately knew we wanted to work on an anthology inspired by our experiences.

A little less than a year later, Strange California went live on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology). We’re now just a few days from the end of the campaign, and pushing hard for our full funding. This anthology developed out of our love for the complexity and diversity of the state–features reflected in both the landscape and the people that inhabit them. California sprawls across a multitude of landscapes and has amassed a history full of the strange and unusual. There are secrets in the desert. Secrets in the cities. Strange and unusual happenings in the odd, dark places of the coastal state.

We have an absolutely beautiful selection of stories put together for the readers with this project. I’ll let them speak about their own stories.


Tim Pratt: Lake Merritt -- "the jewel of Oakland," the nation's first official wildlife refuge, the largest body of salt water within city limits in the country, a misshapen Valentine heart three and a half miles around with a jogging path lit by fairy lights and acres of park all around -- has its own legendary lake cryptid (which almost nobody believes in), the "Oak-ness Monster." It's hard to imagine how an eight-foot-long sea serpent could go even a little bit unnoticed in a tidal lagoon that's only 10 feet deep... but in my story, I do the imagining for you.


Chaz Brenchley: Ever since I moved to Silicon Valley, coming on five years ago, I’ve wanted to write about it. I thought that would be a non-fiction book, which would certainly be called “Uncanny Valley”, in reference to that detectable revulsion people feel in contact with a robot that is almost but not quite human: the gulf between truth and artifice is never greater than when it is most narrow.

But I have a fine history of never writing my non-fictions (there is a whole other book called “State of Grace”, an intimate history of the Vatican, which I have never written nor ever will though I really really want to), and the title with the subject are too good to let run to waste, and short stories are a thing that I am known to do; and there is nowhere in California more weird than Silicon Valley. So I was thinking about that, and about how it used to be the Valley of Heart’s Delight when it was all fruit-orchards and nothing tech at all; and I thought how interesting it would be if a start-up built an app for people’s phones that would show them not the view they’re actually looking at but the way it used to be. (Two weeks later Pokemon Go launched, and suddenly everyone was using their phones to see things that aren’t actually there: but that’s blessedly irrelevant here.)

And once you’ve had the idea, there are really only two ways to go, hereabouts. Either you build the app (which is what everyone else in Silicon Valley would do), or else you write the story. Which is what I did, obviously.


Natania Barron: Being half Canadian and a Yankee, I can never say that the west is in my blood. But my father's side of the family has lived in California since the 70s, so from the youngest of ages I've been able to visit the Golden State. And from its arid deserts to the high reaching redwoods, it's always been tremendously inspiring.

The seeds for my story "Camellias" were planted during my time visiting my beloved late great aunt in Northern California and traveling together to the coast. We'd leave her house in Los Altos Hills and drive through the mountains and arrive at the sea, salt spray in our faces as we walked to the cliffs. Then we'd take a short drive to Pescadero, the little village nestled into the hills, and eat artichoke soup and crab sandwiches at Duarte's tavern.

For me, this part of California has always felt like the end of the world, in the best possible way, with ocean cliffs and farmlands, and green grass after the rainy season. When my great aunt was still healthy, we'd talk during the drive of our mutual love of Japanese and Native American art, and she'd tell me about her trips all around the world. I once asked her which country was her favorite and she said, without hesitation, "China."

So for Strange California I wanted to marry the sublime and wildly diverse landscapes of San Mateo County with a twist on the weird western. Not from the view of a cowboy or a brothel owner, but from the eyes of two young Chinese girls who unleash a powerful magic while working at a textile mill in San Francisco. When they fall in with three sisters escaping a dark past, it's not clear who's saving whom... from what.


Spencer German Ellsworth: The Mojave Desert is not meant for water. It's a landscape of rocks and sudden sand dunes and tons of twisted, weird Joshua trees, of flash floods and windstorms and dust devils.

So when you crest a barren hill, and see this giant artificial river rushing along concrete banks, it's the most otherworldly thing in an already otherworldly landscape. There was not much for a crop of teenagers to do in Lancaster, given that we were a bedroom community for Angelenos and the Air Force. We hiked around the aqueduct a lot, risking a swim in the artificial currents, trying to kill rattlesnakes, and crawling through drainage tunnels.

I originally wrote this story for an anthology of urban legends, and it was rejected because it was not so much an urban legend as just weird. Luckily, it found a home in Charles Coleman Finlay's first issue of F&SF. It's one of my few stories that is a kind of riff, a repeated study on that image of blue Sierra Nevada water transported thousands of miles along a concrete river in a blasted desert.


Nick Mamatas: My inspiration was a brief one: as someone who grew up Greek Orthodox, I am always interested in bits of Orthodoxy in North America, especially when they're not obvious. Few people outside of California give much thought to Russia's presence in the American West, which brought along with it traces of Orthodoxy. It's very strange, and so I thought I'd write about it.


Jim Van Pelt: I attended the U.C. Davis Creative Writing program from 1988-1990. In the summer of '89, after I'd spent the day painting a house, I drove north on U.S. 5 to relax. At sunset, I pulled into a rest stop to eat a peach. Across the fields and the day's dust stood a huge carnival tent and a half dozen rides. By that time the sun sat like a red ball on the horizon, casting an evocative light on the canvas and motionless banners. No one was at the carnival. None of the rides were moving. It was like a ghost carnival. I've never been able to shake the image, and that's what inspired "Roller Coaster."


Christie Yant: A few years ago, while researching the history of my home town, I came across a book by a local writer and historian John McReynolds, about the more than one hundred Japanese families who lived here until the internment of WW2, of which only two families ever returned. An entire community, completely erased. In my story I hope to explore and bring attention to that lost community through the lens of speculative fiction and historical fantasy.


Marion Deeds: Clearly Christina Rossetti’s poem “The Goblin Market” was a big influence on this story, but I have been fascinated since childhood with the influence of the Russian exploration of this stretch of coastline. Although it didn’t go well for the sea otters, it’s difficult to think of the Russian settlement and not include them. One day in late summer a friend and I went on a photo safari through the fields and valleys between the coast and the town of what is now Tomales. The old buildings in the town itself, the stretch of the golden valley, the humming of the wind and in particular an old barn on a hillside got into my head and would not leave, so I came up with a tale of two sisters, a magical mother and a trickster.


For more information on Strange California, and the Kickstarter, please visit us at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology, http://strangecalifornia.com/, or our recent Reddit AMA https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/58gzna/hi_rfantasy_were_the_editors_and_authors_of/.



Strange California, Edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt



About Jaym

Jaym Gates got her start in editing by making a joke on Twitter six years ago. At the time of writing this bio, she's working on her 15th anthology. The titles include RIGOR AMORTIS, BROKEN TIME BLUES, WAR STORIES, GEEK LOVE, GENIUS LOCI, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, UPSIDE DOWN, ECLIPSE PHASE: AFTER THE FALL, EXALTED: TALES FROM THE AGE OF SORROWS, and VAMPIRE: ENDLESS AGES. She is also a developmental editor for Falstaff Books, and lead editor for the BROKEN CITIES shared-world setting.

Along the way, she's managed to publish fiction, RPGs, comics, nonfiction, and academic nonfiction. Her fiction has appeared in AETHER AGE, KAIJU RISING, HEROES!, Shadowrun: DRAWING DESTINY, Goldfish Grimm, and Grendelsong, and her nonfiction appears in various academic and online outlets. She has a collection of short fiction coming out from Falstaff Books, titled SHATTERED QUEEN. She has written for FIREFLY: SMUGGLER'S GUIDE TO THE RIM, BLUE ROSE 2nd Ed., TIANXIA: Blood, Silk, and Jade, and other RPGs.
In her spare time, Jaym trains and rides horses, collects tea, practices a martial art called Systema, and works in a comic shop in Everett, WA.

Interview with Michael R. Underwood


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery. Michael is the author of the Rey Reyes series, Shield and Crocus, The Younger Gods, and the Genrenauts series.

I'm a huge fan of Michael's writing and there is a Kickstarter running right now for Genrenauts Complete Season One: http://kck.st/1WVHXc1.  If you are so inclined take a look. Note: I'm a backer of course!




The QwilleryWelcome back to The Qwillery! Your new series, Genrenauts, kicked off with The Shootout Solution (Episode 1), followed by The Absconded Ambassador (Episode 2). Most recently "There Will Always Be a Max" (a Genrenauts short story) was published. Who are Genrenauts and what do they do?

Michael R. Underwood:  The Genrenauts are a group of veteran storytellers that travel the multiverse. Each other world beyond our own is the home to a narrative universe (Fantasy, Western, Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, etc.), which is constantly playing out stories with familiar plots and archetypal characters. But when a story breaks on those worlds, the Genrenauts cross dimensions to find and fix the problem before it can ripple over to cause chaos on Earth.



TQBoth the Genrenauts series as well as your Ree Reyes series pay homage to various genres and/or geekdoms. Why is this important to you?

MU:  I’ve been fascinated by genres and storytelling basically my whole life, so it was inevitable that I’d end up telling stories about stories. The Ree Reyes series was mostly about being a fan, being a geek, and comes directly out of my time working in a game store in college and my scholarly study of RPGing and geek culture. Genrenauts is more about stories and storytellers, and about the broader cultural use of stories. And for both, I’ve spent a huge part of my life participating in geek communities, in game stores, LARP troupes, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and my day job is in SF/F publishing. So in some ways, this is a version of ‘write what you know,’ or maybe more accurately, ‘write what fascinates you,’ People and the stories they tell, the reasons they tell them, continue to fascinate me, and so I’m trying to figure it out and process it through my own storytelling efforts.



TQThe Genrenauts stories are labelled as Episodes. Why Episodes?

MU:  When the Tor.com Publishing imprint was announced, the notion of writing more novellas jumped into the rock tumbler of ideas in my mind, which had already been looking at novella series (especially those by author-publishers such as Matt Wallace or J.C. Hutchins). And some of them were already using TV format terminology of episodes and seasons.

One major influence on Genrenauts is the TV series Leverage, which has its episodic heist of the week structure that informs the case of the week structure in Genrenauts. The episode and season structure also helps break the series up into readable chunks – six novellas equals one season, five seasons for the whole series. That’s much easier to keep track of than thirty individual novellas.



TQWhich genres can we expect to run into in the Genrenauts Episodes? Are there any Easter Eggs?

MU:  In Season One, the Genrenauts visit the worlds of Western, Science Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Mystery, and Fantasy genres. On my wish list for later in the series are Horror, Historical Romance, Superheroes, and Cyberpunk, as well as others. The pop culture references and Easter Eggs are less frequent and less load-bearing than those in the Ree Reyes series. Leah Tang, the lead in Genrenauts, is a geek, but her story isn’t *about* being a geek like Ree’s is.



TQWhat do you have planned for Genrenauts?

MU:  The series is planned to run a total of five seasons for the main story, but I already have ideas for several different side series, and I have the first inklings of an idea for a board/card game. I’m really excited to work in this universe for a long time to come.

The big think for me right now is that from May 9th to June 9th, I’m Kickstarting a Genrenauts Season One collected edition, comprising all six novellas. Once it goes live, you can head to to michaelrunderwood.com/Kickstarter to back the campaign and help shape the future of Genrenauts. And a note for any writers reading this, the rewards include some levels that offer extensive fiction critiques and consultations, using my years of experience as an author and publishing professional, if you’re looking to take your manuscript and/or your submission materials up to the next level.



TQThank you for joining us again at The Qwillery!

MU:  Thanks so much for having me!





About Genrenauts

Introducing Genrenauts, a New Series from Michael R. Underwood!






The Shootout Solution
Genrenauts Episode 1
Tor.com, November 17, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 164 pages

Leverage meets Jasper Fforde in this new series from the fan-favorite author of Geekomancy.

When a story goes-off track, you send in the Genrenauts. This team of narrative specialists travels across dimensions to find, evaluate, and fix broken stories, lest the ripples manifest as violence and upheaval in our own world.

Genrenauts Episode 1: The Shootout Solution - Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet.

Leah's stand-up career isn't going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she's offered employment with the mysterious Genrenauts Foundation, she soon discovers that literally dying on stage is a hazard of the job!

Her first assignment takes her to a Western world. When a cowboy tale slips off its rails, and the outlaws start to win, it's up to Leah - and the Genrenauts team - to nudge the story back on track and prevent a catastrophe on Earth.

But the story's hero isn't interested in winning, and the safety of Earth hangs in the balance...




The Absconded Ambassador
Genrenauts Episode 2
Tor.com, February 23, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 176 pages

Fiction is more important than you think. When stories go wrong, the Genrenauts step in to prevent the consequences from rippling into our so-called real world.

When a breach is discovered in Science Fiction World, rookie genrenaut Leah Tang gets her first taste of space flight.

A peace treaty is about to be signed on space station Ahura-3, guaranteeing the end of hostilities between some of the galaxy's most ferocious races, but when the head architect of the treaty is unexpectedly kidnapped, it's up to Leah and her new colleagues to save the day.

At any cost.




There Will Always Be a Max
A Genrenauts Story
Tor Books, April 6, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

A hero is missing. The post-apocalyptic wasteland is awash with violence and injustice, and the genrenaut's own King must step in and show precisely why There Will Always be a Max.




Mike just revealed the cover for Episode Three - The Cupid Reconciliation (read more about the cover at Mike's site here).







About Michael

Copyright Tall + Small Photography
Michael R. Underwood is the author of the Ree Reyes series (Geekomancy, Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and Hexomancy), as well as Shield and CrocusThe Younger Gods, and Genrenauts, a series in novellas. 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. 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.

In years past, when his life was not scheduled around novel deadlines, he danced Argentine Tango and was an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, 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 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.

Website  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+

Guest Blog: A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology by Joshua Palmatier


Please welcome Joshua Palmatier to The Qwillery. Joshua is both an author and an editor. He is also the owner of Zombies Needs Brains (ZNB), a small press that presently focuses on science fiction and fantasy themed anthologies, and is here today to tell us how he puts together an anthology.  ZNB presently has a Kickstarter in progress to fund Alien Artifacts and Were-, two SF&F themed anthologies. Note: I am a backer. The anthologies have been funded but there are 21 days to go so you still have time to back the project if you'd like (http://tiny.cc/bfah1x).



Guest Blog: A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology by Joshua Palmatier


A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology

Sally/Qwill kindly asked me by today to talk about the process of putting together an anthology project, from the genesis of the idea all the way through production. See, I’ve done this a few times before, first as an editor with DAW (with co-editor Patricia Bray) for the anthologies AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR and THE MODERN FAE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY, and then afterwards with my own company, Zombies Need Brains LLC, with the anthologies CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS and TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER (set for release August 25th). I’m currently attempting to commit anthology again, for two anthology projects called ALIEN ARTIFACTS and another called WERE-. We’re running a Kickstarter to fund the project right now. It got off to a rousing start, with 50% of it funded within the first 10 hours. Exciting! But the Kickstarter is far from over. If you’re interested, swing by the webpage (http://tiny.cc/bfah1x) and check it out, maybe even pledge something!


So, how to create an anthology. First, you need an idea—a concept or theme for the anthology. Most of our themes for ZNB come from just random, ordinary interactions with the world. For CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE, it was a reaction to the movie “Cowboys & Aliens” (hence steampunk vs aliens). For TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER, I saw a sign taped to a pay phone that said “temporally out of order.” An obvious misspelling of temporarily, but with an SF&F twist, it meant something totally different. What if the phone WERE temporally out of order? Could you call someone in your past? Your future self? I have a list of potential anthology ideas that Patricia and I have cooked up and all of them stem from some weird little quirk of life that made us ask a question, such as what other were-creatures could there be and what are their stories? Or what kinds of left-behind alien tech would we run into in space, perhaps even before we run into aliens? So ideas for themes for anthologies aren’t hard to come by. You just have to be on the lookout for them.


Now, after the idea, how you get to an actual anthology in hand will vary, so this is what Zombies Need Brains does. Other small presses (or large presses) will be different. But what I do then is start asking myself who I’d like to see write a story for the anthology. These are usually published authors, or up-and-coming authors, who write something similar to the theme, typically. These are what I call “anchor” authors. I usually try to fill up half of the anthology with anchor authors, and the rest I leave for an open call for submissions from anyone—published or not. Patricia and I have found that often the best stories don’t come from the familiar names, but from writers who haven’t been noticed yet, so we like to keep the open call as an option. I then contact these potential anchor authors and get some lined up for the anthology.


And then it’s Kickstarter time! I usually design the Kickstarter and set it in motion, with the hopes that we’ll get enough funding to produce the anthology. I like this model, because if the theme of the anthology isn’t of interest, the backers of the Kickstarter will let us know … by simply not backing us. Then the Kickstarter fails and nothing happens. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened with any of ZNB’s Kickstarters so far. All of them have been successful and we’ve managed to produce stunning anthologies with some great stories. I lay our success firmly at the anchor authors’ and the backer fanbase’s doorstep. It couldn’t be done without groups involved.


But now we step beyond what the public usually sees in the production process. Once the Kickstarter ends, Patricia and I start gathering up the stories from the open call and begin reading. Usually we can narrow it down to a good 20 stories we both like. It becomes harder to cull it down to the 7 or 8 that we can usually accept (beyond the anchor author stories, of course). Once we’ve argued extensively over that, we begin editing the stories, working back and forth with the author to produce the best stories possible. We then organize the stories into a Table of Contents, which is a wrestling match in and of itself.


Everything after this falls into my hands, in terms of organization. I send the gathered files off to our ebook designer, who gets the ebooks ready. There’s another editing pass here, in an attempt to catch all of the typos (we invariably miss a few). Once the ebooks are done, the files get handed off to the interior designer for the paperback versions. At this point, the interior is generally fixed and we don’t make any changes unless there’s something major wrong. But we can’t proceed with the cover design until we know how long the book is—how many pages—because this affects the spine width of the paperback. The same person who designs the interior files also designs our covers, which is nice.


After that, all of the files—ebook versions, interior paperbacks, and covers—get gathered up by me and I end up sending them off to the printers for the Kickstarter versions, or off to the various distribution sites for the general public release. And then the books go up for sale (after the Kickstarter backers get their copies, of course.)


That’s ZNB’s process for production. Lots of “send it off and wait for a reply.” *grin* We’re getting better at the process with each new anthology. And we’re getting better at producing quality books as an end result. Check out our current Kickstarter and see if there’s something of interest there for you! There’s even a few options to “catch up” on our past Kickstarters, by getting the Kickstarter version of the paperbacks (each with a limited printing, so not many copies left). Thanks for reading!





Here is preliminary cover art by Justin Adams of Varia Studios. The title of the artwork is "Alien Artifacts". NOTE: This cover is a work in progress and is not yet the final cover!

Guest Blog: A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology by Joshua Palmatier
Click to really embiggen!





About Joshua

Guest Blog: A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology by Joshua Palmatier
A professor of mathematics at SUNY College at Oneonta, Joshua Palmatier has published six books—the “Throne of Amenkor” series (The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, The Vacant Throne) with DAW and the “Well of Sorrows” series (Well of Sorrows, Leaves of Flame) with Baen. His most recent novel is SHATTERING THE LEY, the start of a new series. He has also published numerous short stories—“Mastihooba” in Close Encounters of the Urban Kind and “Tears of Blood” in Beauty Has Her Way (both edited by Jennifer Brozek), “The River” in River (edited by Alma Alexander), and "Daughter of the Sands" in Apollo's Daughters (edited by Brian Young). Find out more at www.joshuapalmatier.com and www.benjamintate.com.

Website (Joshua Palmatier)  ~  Website (Benjamin Tate)  ~  Facebook

Twitter @bentateauthor  ~ LiveJournal

Zombies Need Brains LLC  ~  Zombies Need Brains Twitter @ZNBLLC

Spotlight - Asphodel: A Mythic Space Opera


Spotlight - Asphodel: A Mythic Space Opera
Click to enlarge



Press Release

COMIC LOVERS AND SPACE OPERA FANS, MAKE ROOM ON YOUR SHELVES

The Kickstarter For Asphodel, A Mythic Space Opera, Enters Its Final Days

August 6th, 2015—Galesburg, IL—Kickstarter campaigns can attract a lot of attention, and often it can be hard to tell which ones are truly something special. But when one is featured on the Onion’s AV Club, is publicly backed and tweeted about by Neil Gaiman, and becomes a Kickstarter staff pick, it becomes pretty clear that something spectacular is going on. Alex Kane’s new comic Asphodel, with artwork by Gale Galligan, is proving to be just that.

Asphodel is a mythical space opera comic that takes place in the year 4419. The artwork is hand-painted, and the story itself is full of adventure, emotion, and a pair of sympathetic main characters readers will be rooting for from the start. A myth about strength in its varied forms, and what happens to humanity when the specter of physical death is little else than a memory, Asphodel is a new kind of space opera for an age when our idea of the capital-f Future is not at all simple, much less guaranteed.

Because Asphodel is an independent comic, Kane has opted to crowd fund it via Kickstarter. This, he feels, gives it the best shot at reaching as many readers as possible. The first issue of Asphodel, “Newborn,” will be exclusive to the Kickstarter backers until 2016, when the comic will be for sale to the general public.

You can learn more about Asphodel on its Kickstarter page, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexkanefiction/asphodel-a-mythic-space-opera?ref=newest

The Creators:

Alex Kane is the managing editor of The Critical Press, a publisher of books on film and culture, as well as an executive producer of the Star Wars documentary The Prequels Strike Back. He also serves as a first reader for Uncanny Magazine and works full-time as a freelance copyeditor. A graduate of the 2013 Clarion West Writers Workshop, his fiction has appeared in more than a dozen venues, including the Exigencies anthology from Curbside Splendor’s Dark House imprint, edited by Richard Thomas. His reviews and criticism have been published in Foundation, The New York Review of Science Fiction, SF Signal, and Omni, among other places. He lives in west-central Illinois.

alexkanefiction.com • Twitter: @alexjkane

Gale Galligan is a story artist–slash–cartoony person with a BFA in animation from NYU. Her comics have been published in the Game Boss and Transitions anthologies, and she is excited to be contributing to the forthcoming Horizon 2. Gale has also been credited as a production assistant for the excellent graphic novels Teen Boat!, Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry, and Drama. Gale is currently in the second year of her MFA in Sequential Art at the Savannah College of Art and Design; when she isn’t making comics (such as her mostly-autobiographical webcomic of nearly five years, Patbird & Galesaur), Gale enjoys knitting, reading, and spending time with her cuddly roomie, Garrus the hedgehog.

galesaur.com • Twitter: @robochai



Spotlight - Asphodel: A Mythic Space Opera

Guest Blog by Anton Strout - Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World MASTERWORKS SPAWN KickstarterThe Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & DragonsSweet Dreams CthulhuStrange California, Edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel BattInterview with Michael R. UnderwoodGuest Blog: A How-To Guide to Creating an Anthology by Joshua PalmatierSpotlight - Asphodel: A Mythic Space Opera

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