One Week and One Day Till Illustrated Stark!

Cirsova

The trade paperback of Queen of the Martian Catacombs, along with the deluxe hardcover omnibus, drops a week from Tuesday!

How well these two titles do will have direct bearing on how much money we will have in our budget to acquire new stories in the fall.

If you want more Cirsova in 2020, be sure to order today! (The first sales revenues for Stark will begin paying out in August).

To keep us afloat until then, consider taking out an ad in our Summer Special!

Cover Only JPG

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Session 14 of “Liberation of the Demon Slayer”

Still seats at the virtual table.

The Mixed GM

Here is the full party:

Niblog the Untrustworthy = Assassin PC
Exardell = Mystic PC
Duffles the Unfortunate = Mage PC
Joan = Fighter NPC
Glevina = Elven Ranger NPC
Sherry = NPC Cleric
Broon the Smart Hobgoblin = Hobgoblin NPC who carries a torch / manages finances

Hans = Fighter PC (player is unable to join for a while, so he is sitting at the tavern and visiting the horribly wounded former adventurers)

Session Report

Please excuse any use of the word “murder” I have used in relation to the party’s antics. I have been reliably informed that what the party has done is NOT murder. It is preemptive self-defense, even when done against friendly targets.

The party returned to level 5 of the dungeon and almost unleashed a hellish Armageddon on the world.

They found some cocoons containing demons, guarded by some cultists. A quick wardrobe change later…

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Where Are Cirsova Hardcovers?

Cirsova

The short answer? On Lulu!

Several people have noticed that only Paperback and Ebook copies are available on Amazon. Well, the sad fact of the matter is that Amazon won’t carry certain formats  printed by Lulu.

IngramSpark has been nice in some regards, but their cost for hardcovers of remotely similar quality to that which we offer through Lulu is astronomical.

So, if you have been collecting Cirsova in Hardcover, you can still do so, now and in the future, via Lulu.

In fact, we really hope you do, because we get the best margins of any product from what we sell via Lulu. It’s just that since Lulu is not considered a major go-to market-place, not a lot of people see us there.

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Coming Soon: “The Wand that Rocks the Cradle” — Building Worlds

Another great project from the press that brought us Ye Olde Magic Shoppe!

Sorry for the radio silence recently! You’ll be happy to know that it’s because: I’ve been mailing out the paperback books to Kickstarter backers of The Odds Are Against Us, and, of more general interest, We’re getting ready to launch another Kickstarter for the next anthology! This one is the “Family” fantasy anthology which we announced […]

via Coming Soon: “The Wand that Rocks the Cradle” — Building Worlds

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“Worth The Candle”

Okay, so I started in on the story that I promised to write in my last post.

This is the book I want you to review. So make with the clicky already.

There is still plenty of time to get your name into it–all you have to do is leave a review of Duel Visions on Amazon, and you can be part of the action!

The world of the City of Dracoheim is a bit hard to explain–it’s best to show it.

I’ve already published two stories set in this world, “An Interrupted Scandal” in Cirsova #10, and “Grand Theft Nightmare” in Ye Olde Magic Shoppe.

I’ve got two more Dracoheim stories in the pipeline to publication, and another one out for submission.

I’m going to give you the opening of my current one here. If you like what you see and want to have a character in it named after you, then you know what to do.

“Worth The Candle”

It was Saturday night and I was home alone, my feet up, with a cold cider, the latest issue of Tales Of The Savage Frontier, and the Leo Breckenridge Trio live from the Thomist Arena on the radio. I was just telling myself that it was time to call it a night—after I finished this next story—when the phone rang.

Since the only calls I get in the evenings are from work, I turned the radio down and grabbed my notebook before I answered.

Rugar.”

Erik, this Tony on the night desk. I need you to run a squeal in the city. You know the Machinist’s Building on Founder’s Way?”

Sure,” I said. “Swanky neighborhood.”

You don’t know the half of it,” he went on. “Ever hear of a club called The Fortune’s Favored?”

Fortune’s Favored?” I repeated. “Private gaming club, right? Rich and famous only need apply?”

That’s the one,” Tony agreed. “City Police got a call and they’re asking for our help.”

What’s the call?”

Murder by means of magic,” Tony said, “Leastwise, that’s what City Police thinks. You want to head down and check it out?”

On my way,” I said.

Oh, and Erik,” Tony added. “Supervisor Higgins is already on site.”

Really?” I asked surprised. Supervisors don’t ordinarily get out into the field, and almost never on after hours calls. “He’s running the call himself?”

He was there when it happened.”

Ten minutes later I was pulling up to a roadblock outside one of the most exclusive and expensive addresses in the city. Two constables in crisp uniforms stood beside a sawhorse set in the middle of the street while a third stepped out to block my way, one white-gloved hand raised. They could have been parking valets at a theater premier, except that behind the sawhorse instead of limousines there were a pair of ambulances parked at the curb, their blue lights spinning lazily.

I showed him my badge and he waved me past the roadblock and towards a spot at the curb. Ordinarily there was no street parking on Founder’s Way, but there were already a dozen city police cars, marked and unmarked, so I just added my old sedan to the line.

The lobby had recently been remodeled in a painfully modern style. The walls were alternating panels of white pine and polished mirrors, the carpet pale gray with an intricate geometric design in black. All of the furniture was brushed chrome, blue glass, and white vinyl. It looked like a laboratory, with the crowd of cops standing around looking like unwitting subjects of some experiment.

I located the most expensive suit and introduced myself.

Erik Rugar, CPS.” I didn’t offer my badge. I would have been gauche to pull it out here.

The white-haired man didn’t give me his name, just curtly nodded to a nearby uniform. “Take Agent Rugar into see the scene. I want confirmation that this is a CPS case soonest.”

That was disturbing. Usually City Police is loathe to relinquish jurisdiction and insist on running cases involving magic as a joint investigation. If they wanted to hand this over quickly then somebody had the idea it was going to blow up into a big mess and they wanted their hands to stay clean.

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Red Shirts & Reviews

Haven’t you always wanted to be part of the shadowy underworld of outlaw spellcasters? To live the life of a magical gangster, full of danger, intrigue, unlawful conjurations, and bucketfuls of cold hard cash?

This is the book I want you to review. So make with the clicky already.

Well, here’s your chance!

I will be offering a chance to be a minor character in an upcoming story–no, wait, let’s be honest here. What I am really offering is to use your name (or the name of someone you designate) as a minor character in an upcoming story.

All you have to do is be one of the first ten people to leave a review of Duel Visions and then contact me with the link.

I will definately use the name you want in a story. It will be a piece set in the Dracoheim universe, starring Erik Rugar, Agent of the Committee for Public Safety. I will be writing about an operation to bring down a gang of outlaw magi and I need names for the criminal wizards and their various goons, henchmen, molls, and thugs.

If you specify something in particular you want–to be a particular sort of character, to die a particularly gruesome death, to be the one that gets away, to be one of the cops rather than a gangster–I will try my best to accommodate you, but the story comes first and I may not be able to do what you want.

Once I have the story completed I will send a copy to all of the people who gave their names to a character. That’s right, you get to read it before I send it out for submission.

Such a deal, huh?

All I am asking for is an honest review. If you think Duel Visions sucks, go ahead and say that in the review. I’ll still use your name in my story. You don’t even have to worry about me taking my revenge for a negative review on your namesake because, let’s face it, this is me we’re talking about here and your namesake is likely to come to a bitter end no matter what you say in your review.

I ordered some happy endings but they’ve been on backorder since 2007.

I don’t ordinarily come out and ask for reviews, but this book means a lot to me, and also to my coauthor and my publisher. But I want to give something back so I thought this would be a fun way to say thank you to everyone who has supported my work through the years.

I mean, for “falling down an elevator shaft during a gun battle with the law” values of fun.

 

 

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Going Native & Other Stories

DimensionBucket Media is one of the new crop of indie publishers.  A quick glance at their catalog shows a preponderance of horror titles, but their submission guidelines state they are open to all flavors of speculative fiction–science fiction, fantasy, adventure, thrillers, bizzaro, humor–anything that will engage the reader.

Their latest release, J. Manfred Weichsel’s Going Native & Other Stories, gives the truth to that claim, because this collection features a smorgasbord of flavors.  These six stories represent a selection of Weichsel’s previously published work. I won’t call it a The Best Of… collection because I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Weichsel’s work yet–he’s clearly an author who is willing to stretch himself, and I’ll be interested in seeing what direction he goes in next–but rather a snapshot of a career to date.

The stories, which have appeared in Cirsova, Millhaven, Superversive, and Weird Mask, could be loosely grouped as Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.  They show a common tendency to blur at the edges, though. The first story, from which the collection gets its name, is a good example, combining old school Galactic Empire style SF with a Clive Barker-like body horror.

Weichsel is unapologetically Pulp Revival, and his work shows that refusal to be bound to the conventions of any one genre–he’ll use whatever tools he needs to get the job done.

 

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