Tales From The Magician’s Skull

Tales 1 smallerA gong shivers…

The mists part to reveal a grisly object lying upon a mound of rubble, a browned and ancient head with one glowing, malefic eye…

It speaks, in a voice of cold command: “Silence, mortal dogs! It is time now for


In just a few weeks, Goodman Games will launch the Kickstarter for the exciting new sword-and-sorcery magazine inspired by Appendix N. I am mightily pleased to be the magazine’s editor, and I’ve had a blast assembling it with Joseph Goodman. We’ve been working together for almost a year, and I’ve got to tell you that the result is GLORIOUS.  Just check out that Jim Pavalec cover.

I’ll provide details soon about the contents but if the cover excites you, believe me, the contents will as well. Issue 1 is full up and I have nearly everyone invited for issue 2.

GenCon was a blast. I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll go into detail, but I will share that one favorite moment took place Saturday night when I left with the oversized magazine cover from the Goodman Games/Dungeon Crawl Classics GenCon meeting and walked with it from two blocks south of the convention center to several blocks north, where the GenCon Writer’s Symposium farewell dinner was being hosted. I carried it boldly and proudly, and there were many walking the downtown streets, both GenCon goers and Indianapolis natives, who gawked, grinned, or did double-takes. I need to write Jim Pavalec and tell him about that.

Another great moment was when Joseph and I met over a ridiculously terrible breakfast to brainstorm about the future of the magazine and its upcoming Kickstarter.

I’ll provide more details soon, including a sneak peek at the cover to issue 2, and a glimpse at the table of contents. I think you’ll love the layout work of Lester B. Portly, responsible for the look of the magazine title.

43 Comments on “Tales From The Magician’s Skull

  1. Love that cover art and title design! It looks just like an old pulp magazine from back in the day, as I’m sure you all intended. Very interested to see more details as they become available; dimensions, page count,contributors, future submission guidelines, etc. So very cool to see a publication devoted to Sword and Sorcery exclusively. Keep us in the loop Howard!

    • It will be my pleasure! Rather than TELLING you about the contents, I will soon reveal an image of the ACTUAL table of contents, which will do most of the work.

      It is likely to be a few issues before I open to slush. If I tried to do that now the rest of my hair would likely turn gray… We’re getting all sorts of other systems in place first.

  2. Awesome! Congratulations on being the editor. I’ll be pledging the Kickstarter and promoting it on my blog.

    Will it stay invitation only, or will you open to unsolicited submissions at some point in the future?

    • Thanks, Keith!

      For the first several issues we’ll be keeping it invitation only. I posted my answer to The Dark Man while you posted your question, so we crossed paths. We’ve got a lot to do behind the scenes first.

    • Eventually. We’re going to see on how big a draw it is, and get a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff in place before we take that on… also, I have to finish writing a couple of novels, so it’s a bad time to try to take on slush.

    • Excellent! I’m pretty sure you’ll grok the vibe we’re going for.

  3. Goodman games and the Dark Master are no joke. I love their products. Can’t wait for these. Awesome stuff!

    • Thanks! Yeah, Goodman Games does good work. I was a fan for years before I became friends with Joseph.

  4. Gorgeous cover, highly inspiring.
    I’ll keep an eye out for the kickstarter.
    And I’ll wait for the slush to open 😉

    • Thanks, Dave! I loved carrying the oversized cover through downtown Indianapolis!

  5. That looks AWESOME. Very Tales from the Crypt!
    Any idea how often it will come out? I imagine there will be a ramp-up period…
    I’ll be sure to review/plug it on my (barely active) blog so my 2 readers know about it.

    • Hey Mick — thanks for help spreading the word. Currently we’re looking at twice a year, but who knows!

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  7. I look forward to this. There was an attempt at a S&S magazine a while back called Skelos (done via Kickstarter). It appears to already be defunct, judging by their website. I tried ordering a copy of Issue 1 several weeks ago and never heard anything from them. Now I guess I have to open a dispute with Paypal. I hope beyond hope that your venture goes better than that one.

    • As far as I know Skelos magazine is still on the go. I have issue 1 and 2; good stuff inside. Issue 3 may be delayed due to a few bugs that needed work, revealed in issue 2.

    • It’s still alive. I hear that they’re gearing up for issue 3 soon.

      • Hmm. I ordered Issue 1 from their website over a month ago and have not heard anything from them – not even an acknowledgement of the order other than the Paypal receipt. I even contacted them directly using the email provided by Paypal and got no answer.

  8. Wow, this project looks and sounds amazing! I can’t wait to be part of the Kickstarter. With you as editor Howard, I have high hopes for the success of this magazine endeavor.

  9. Also, keeping fingers crossed a new Dabir & Asim story appears within its pages!
    You’re the editor, you can do what you want, right?

    • Well… The whole thing started when Joseph asked if I had a story he could use in a GenCon Goodman Games supplement. As more and more stories from other writers got added to mine a decision was made to release a collection separately, and then I came on as editor. But I don’t intend to keep putting in my fiction in the future because it sort of seems like cheating. Maybe if we get an avalanche of fan mail or something, but otherwise, no.

  10. Whooaaa!!! I check the site pretty much daily- how the heck did I I miss this!?!?! Makes me wish I woulda been there at GenCon to see the reveal and that awesome cover in person. Fantastic news here, Howard. I’ll be in on the kickstarter for sure!

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  13. Hey Howard, is it possible for those of us late to the party to buy a pdf copy of this?

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