The Skull is Pleased

Tales 2Wow, well that’s pretty cool. The magazine Kickstarter made it’s initial funding goal in less than half a day, which is fabulous. Thanks to all who joined in.

Now I hope you’ll help me spread the word. I’m certain that there are more than the 200 something people who’ve currently pledged who like sword-and-sorcery and who would be thrilled to get a magazine like this into their hands. I honestly believe there are thousands of people who would dig what we’re doing here, and I’d like to find them and sign them up so that this magazine will be a viable and ongoing concern.

If you’re aware of message boards where like-minded sword-and-sorcery fans hang out, can you drop them a line and point them towards the Kickstarter? If there’s a Cimmerian mead hall nearby, can you swing in and tell them about our mad dreams?




Make Your Pledge!

Tales 1The skull has risen with the full moon! At long last the Kickstarter for the new sword-and-sorcery magazine has launched!

Visit here to pledge your shekels, and ready yourself for adventure!




Monday Morning Madness

Tales 1 smallerLots of stuff is happening behind the scenes even if the site itself seems a little abandoned. The Kickstarter for Tales From the Magician’s Skull is nearly ready to launch — there will be an announcement in the next several days. Just this morning I was looking over a proposed membership card for the Legion of Skulls, the fan club for the mag.

Work continues on the novel revision. I’m getting closer all the time. I also saw the near final cover and I love it — I hope to share it with you soon.

And I’ve been reading something a little outside my wheelhouse and enjoying the heck out of it. That’s Mary Robinette Kowal’s Ghost Talkers, which posits a reality where mediums were real, and in World War I were used to communicate with dead soldiers to gather intelligence. That, at least, is where the story starts, and it quickly develops into a compelling mystery that’s well-plotted and surprising. I’m about two thirds through and I’m still not sure who’s behind it all. Additionally, as always with Mary Robinette Kowal’s work, there’s intelligence and kindness threaded through her prose, with none of the self-indulgences I see in too much modern fantasy. As any of my frequent visitors know, I’m tired of unrelieved darkness and naval gazing and destined greatness. It’s a pleasure to read of believable characters determined to do the right thing. 




Return of the Sword-and-Sorcery Kickstarter

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m mentioning it again because there are only 26 hours left as I type this, and the Guilds & Glaives Kickstarter is about 2 grand short of its goal. The anthology is going to feature a whole slew of sword-and-sorcery fiction, including a new tale from yours truly, so I have all kinds of reasons for wanting to see it hit its goal.

Add in that if the Kickstarter funds, it will have a few slots open for submission as well, and that might be even more incentive. If you’ve been on the fence, or been meaning to join in but forgot about it, I hope you’ll take a look and think seriously about pledging.





Monday Heroic Fiction

Tales 1 smallerWork continues behind-the-scenes with Tales From the Magician’s Skull as Joseph finalizes the Kickstarter preparations. I can hardly wait to point the way, but you’ll have to wait just a couple more weeks. There are many things about working with Joseph that I like, and one of them is his careful preparation.

I haven’t been reading nearly as much the last month, as my wife and I discovered Parks & Rec, and have been watching it in the evenings. We don’t usually binge watch television like this, but it’s nice to have a positive show about people you like. It kind of feels like the 2nd-5th seasons were the best, but we’re watching to the end. In the shortened 7th season I’m finding myself laughing out loud several times an episode again, even if some of the main plot lines feel a little forced and sometimes indulgent.

But that’s not heroic fiction. I wanted to share something that was, and that’s the Blades books by Kelly McCullough. I’m most of the way through one of them, Bared Blade, and it reads something like Zelazny and Chandler co-writing a fantasy detective story in ancient China. Except that by “detective” I mean that there’s a problem to be solved and a sort of professional trouble-shooter who’s a former assassin for the goddess of justice. That means that, unlike so many other blokes in cloaks, he was only offing the bad guys. Aral is a force for good, or at least strives to be, the fantasy equivalent of Chandler’s knight in the battered trench coat working his weary way through a corrupt but beautiful city.

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