Category Archives: Kickstarter

Skelos Kickstarter is Launching

FB_IMG_1461612969109-2The Skelos Kickstarter is going to launch on Tuesday (May 10).  Skelos is a new journal that will publish fiction, articles, and reviews related to Weird Fiction.  It’s edited by (in alphabetical order) Mark Finn, Chris Gruber, and Jeff Shanks.  They’ve lined up an impressive first issue.  I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the contributors.  *blushes modestly*

I’ll have more to say when the Kickstarter launches next week, but for now here’s the press release Jeff sent out earlier this evening.



May 5, 2016 – Skelos Press is proud to announce the launch of its new flagship journal with a Kickstarter campaign that will begin on Tuesday May 10th. The first issue of SKELOS: THE JOURNAL OF WEIRD FICTION AND DARK FANTASY will feature a never-before-published fantasy piece by Robert E. Howard (Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane) illustrated by the legendary Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales, Coming of Conan, Prince Valiant). Also featured is a new sword and sorcery novelette by Keith Taylor (Bard series, Cormac Mac Art), a long-awaited sequel to his classic tale “Men from the Plain of Lir” originally published in WEIRD TALES. This story will be illustrated by the fantastic Tomás Giorello (Dark Horse King Conan). Another highlight of the issue will be a tale of dark fantasy from World Fantasy Award nominee and John W. Campbell Award nominee Scott A. Cupp.

SKELOS is edited by Mark Finn, author of the World Fantasy Award-nominated BLOOD AND THUNDER; Chris Gruber, editor of Robert E. Howard’s BOXING STORIES from the University of Nebraska Press; and Jeffrey Shanks, co-editor of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated UNIQUE LEGACY OF WEIRD TALES.

Editor Mark Finn stated, “I’m excited to be part of the editorial staff for this journal. We are finding and publishing material that we love to read, and read about. There’s a long-standing tradition to weird fiction, and we think we can contribute something new and exciting to it.”

The first issue will contain short fiction from such talented writers as Charles Gramlich, Dave Hardy, Jason Ray Carney, Ethan Nahte, Scott Hannan, and Matt Sullivan; a fully illustrated adaptation of Grettir and the Draugr from the Icelandic sagas by Samuel Dillon; weird verse by Frank Coffman, Pat Calhoun, Kenneth Bykerk, and Jason Hardy; Insightful essays by Nicole Emmelhainz, Karen Kohoutek, and Jeffrey Shanks; reviews by Charles Hoffman, Bobby Derie, Keith West, Todd Vick, Paul McNamee, Deuce Richardson, and Josh Adkins; and with illustrations by Mark Schultz, Tomás Giorello, Samuel Dillon, and David Cullen.

The Kickstarter campaign will run until June 10 and the issue will begin shipping in late June with an ebook version available at the same time. More information can found at the Skelos Press Facebook page – – or you can follow the project on Twitter @SkelosPress.

Kickstarter for New Sword & Planet/Heroic Fantasy Magazine

CirsovaI just backed a Kickstarter for a new sword &planet/heroic fantasy semi-pro publication called Cirsova.  The issue is already put together and according to the Kickstarter page, the authors and artist have been paid.

I really like the idea of a publication that has an emphasis on sword and planet.  I’ve had an itch to read more S&P for about a month.  As soon as I clear a couple of titles I’ve committed to review, I’m going to be reading a lot more of it.  I’m hoping this one takes off.

A Kickstarter for Courtney Schafer’s Latest Novel

30b7b2ebb3f41a8a5e73dc9fc5d502bc_originalI really liked Courtney Schafer’s first novel, The Whitefire Crossing.  I’ve not read her second, The Tainted City, yet although I have it in the TBR pile (need to do something about that).  Those first two volumes of the Shattered Sigil Trilogy were published by Night Shade.  Now Ms. Schafer is preparing to conclude the trilogy with the final volume, The Labyrinth of Flame.  To publish the book, she’s running a Kickstarter.  Courtney Schafer writes adventure fantasy that’s fun and fast-paced with characters you care about.  I’ve pledged this one.  I think it’s the kind of fantasy most of the regular readers of this blog would enjoy.

New Weird West Anthology Announced

Weird Wild WestI received an email over the weekend about a new Kickstarter for a Weird West anthology called Tales of the Weird Wild West.    I think the theme is pretty self-explanatory.  Some of you who are regular followers of this blog enjoy weird westerns.  (I’m looking at you, David J. West.)

The anthology will be edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin, and Margaret McGraw.  The initial lineup will contain stories by stories by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Martin, Misty Massey, and James Tuck.  There are also four spots for open submissions, so if any of you are inclined to write in this vein (I’m looking at you again, David), you might want to give them a shot.

Two New Kickstarters of Interest

My post for Amazing Stories last week covered three Kickstarters that were active at the time.  Just after the post went live, I learned of two more.  Since the next few posts for Amazing are already planned, I’m going to mention them here as they might be of interest to some of you.

temporally out of order

Temporally Out of Order by Justin Adams

First, Temporarlly Out of Order.  This is an anthology built around the theme of devices being temporally out of order.  What that means is up to the authors and how they choose to interpret it.  Authors currently involved in the project include David B. Coe, Laura Anne Gilman, Faith Hunter, Stephen Leigh, Gini Koch, Seanan McGuire, and Laura Resnick.  If stretch goals are met, then Jack Campbell, Jean Marie Ward, and Juliet E. McKenna will contribute stories.  And finally, there will be a period of open submissions, provided the project is successful.

The second project is another anthology, this one called The Bard’s Tale.  It’s a collection of, what else, stories about bards.  The thing that makes this anthology stand out is that each story also has a recipe associated with it.  The recipes come from a variety of sources, including authentic medieval cookbooks. The authors involved are Donald J. Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Tracy Chowdhury, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Stephanie Drummonds, Ed Greenwood, Sarah Hans, Gabrielle Harbowy, Rosemary Jones, C.S. Marks, Muffy Morrigan, Daniel Myers, Brian Pettera, Aaron Rosenberg, and Kelly Swails.  There are a number of cool rewards, stretch goals, and add-ons with this one.

So these are two of the latest Kickstarters that have caught my eye.  Check them out.  If these anthologies turn out to be as good as they look, then I may have stop reading books published by New York and limited myself to indie titles, including titles funded by Kickstarter.  But that’s a rant for another evening.

Blackguards Kickstarter Launches

BlackguardsRagnarok Books is establishing itself as one of the fresher and more innovative small publishers around.  Their previous Kickstarter project, Kaiju Rising, is sitting over there making its way to the top of the TBR stack.

But their latest, Blackguards, has just launched.  It’s a massive anthology full of some of the hottest names in fantasy.  Subtitled Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues, it is edited by J. M. Martin and looks like a lot of fun.

Here are the contributors:  Carol Berg, Richard Lee Byers, David Galglish, James Enge, John Gwynne, Lian Hearn, Snorri Kristjansson, Joseph Lallo, Mark Lawrence, Tim Marquitz, Peter Orullian, Cat Rambo, Laura Resnick, Mark Smylie, Kenny Soward, Shawn Speakman, Jon Sprunk, Anton Strout, Michael J. Sullivan, Django Wexler.

That’s an impressive list.  I, for one, can’t wait to get a copy of this book in my hands.

To pledge, or just learn more about the project, go to the Blackguards Kickstarter page.

The Next Few Days, Plus a Kickstarter of Interest

Classes start today; I’ve got one from11:00 – 1:50.  On top of that, my wife is having shoulder surgery tomorrow morning.  Nothing big, i.e., not a rotator cuff, but I’ll be tied up with that and won’t be at work.  Depending on how long her parents stay and if her painkillers are working, I may or may not be at work on Friday.  (It hey are here and the drugs aren’t working, I’m coming in to work.)  Anyway, I might not be very active online until next week.

Farewell-200x300In the meantime, there’s a new Kickstarter readers of this blog might be interested in.  It’s called, Farewell, Something Lovely.  The title is a play on Raymond Chandler’s novel, Farewell, My Lovely.  It’s a collection of hardboiled sword and sorcery tales by Fraser Ronald.  Since S&S and hardboiled/noir are two of my three favorite subgenres, I’m looking forward to this one.

And if you haven’t been following the discussion at Howard Andrew Jones’ blog on the relationship between hardboiled and sword and sorcery, start here.

Not Wanting to Leave Megalopolis


Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore

Leaving Megalopolis
Gail Simone & Jim Calafiore
Painfully Normal Productions
hardcover $19.99

This is a graphic novel that was funded through Kickstarter, and my copy arrived in the mail today. It was a weird day, and I ended up with some time on my hands at odd moments. So I read the thing cover to cover. (Well, all right, not the whole thing. I’m still looking for my name in the three pages of really fine print listing the supporters.)

This is a superhero story for grownups, where the heroes aren’t heroes anymore. Something has happened to turn all the superheroes in Megalopolis (“The Safest City Anywhere”) into crazed killers.

The story concerns a group of survivors, led by a woman named Mina. They are trying to survive long enough to escape from the city, not realizing that escape is pretty near impossible. Not only are the former heroes hunting them, the other denizens of the city are as well. Some groups have taken to sacrificing people to keep the heroes from killing them. It’s all for one, that one being oneself. I was disappointed when I got to the end. Not that there was anything wrong with the end.  It’s just that it was the end.

Gail Simone’s writing and Jim Calafiore’s art are top notch. I’ve not kept up with comics the way I did when I was younger, so I’ve not encountered their work before. I’ll be looking for more of it. For one thing, I’m pretty sure there will be more installments concerning Megalopolis. Not all questions are answered. The ending is something of a cliff-hanger. And there’s that numeral “1” printed on the spine. That was my first clue.


Your intrepid blogger proudly displaying his copy.

When I pledged the Kickstarter, I was under the impression this was a self-contained graphic novel. I can live with the discovery that it’s not. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long to read the next installment.  The backup story written and drawn by Jim Calafiore was a nice addition.

This is not a comic for children. There’s a bit of sex, more than a bit of adult language, and quite a bit of violence. Not to mention blood.   The themes and Nina’s backstory deal with serious issues, such as spousal abuse and sacrificing someone else, even someone you love, to save your own skin.  Rather than being heavy handed, these themes are naturally worked into the story.  The young Mina’s love of a raccoon in the flashbacks show us the wounded child learning that the world isn’t a fair place   The panel with her sobbing and saying she doesn’t “want to be anymore” is heart wrenching.

This was money well spent. I’m glad I supported the Kickstarter and will support more from this team.  There will be a trade edition, but I don’t know the details about that.  I do know the Simone and Calafiore were going to hold off on the electronic edition until after they had shipped all the print editions.  Look for it when it becomes available.

Bradley P. Beaulieu Short Story Collection Kickstarter

Just a quick note.  I don’t ordinarily promote a lot of projects from Kickstarter here on the blog, although I do review some (such as here, here, and here).  However, to every rule there are usually exceptions.  This is going to be one of them.  Bradley P. Beaulieu is one of my favorite writers to have appeared in recent years.  Look here, here, and here for details about why I think that.  But for this post, let me just say the man can write character and plot and sense of wonder and make it look easy. 

I got an email from him a few hours ago announcing a Kickstarter campaign to collect all of his short fiction, with stretch goals to include new stories set in the world of The Winds of Khalakovo.  If it were a manly thing, I would swoon or squee or something.  Instead, consider a loud roar of triumph to have been roared.

If you’ve read Beaulieu’s stuff, you’ll want this collection.  The nice thing about this one is that the rewards listed have reasonable pledge amounts, unlike some projects.  So if you think you might be interested, head over here and check it out.  I’d really like to read those Khalakovo stories.

Tales of the Emerald Serpent Launced on Kickstarter

I came across something a few minutes ago I wanted to pass along.  Scott Taylor has launched a new project on Kickstarter.  It’s called Tales of the Emerald Serpent.  It’s a shared world anthology with a couple of my favorite writers signed on, as well as some I’ve heard good things about and have been intending to try.  The authors are Lynn Flewelling, Harry Connolly, Juliet McKenna, Martha Wells, Robert Mancebo, Julie Czerneda, Todd Lockwood, and Michael Tousignant. This will be an illustrated anthology, with Todd Lockwood, Jeff Laubenstein, and Janet Aulisio providing the art.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then please click on the link above, read the description, and watch the introductory video.

Even if you don’t support this project, you might want to consider supporting other projects on Kickstarter.  Several fantasy authors and game producers have recently posted projects on the site.  This seems like a good way for niche audiences to find things they like that major publishers would never do.