A new book that, I guess, doesn’t embarrass me

Untitled-41212I’ve been going through gyrations over this one. At first, it was just a joke, I didn’t think we’d do much with it. Then I accepted it as just another book, but not one I was going to push. Then I was a bit embarrassed. But today, the copies arrived from the printer, and I went through it, and now I’m thinking I’m pretty proud of this one. It looks good, and does what it says it’s going to.

So instead of shunning the book (as perhaps the original tale should have been): I’m excited to trumpet from the balconies that Fantastic Books is publishing The Eye of Argon and the Further Adventures of Grignr the Barbarian! Official publication date is November 18, during Philcon, at which we will be performing the original story as a stage play.

And who is we? We’re the troupe that has been reading and performing the story at conventions throughout the northeast for several years. Ringmaster Michael A. Ventrella and wrangled seven other authors (plus the foreword, and wonderful new art by Monica Marier) into producing sequels, prequels, and oy-vey-quels to Jim Theis’ original “The Eye of Argon.”

Make sure to get your copy quickly, before we come to our sense and try to suppress the book!

Table of contents:

Foreword: The Eye of Argon and Associated Earnest Musings by Jody Lynn Nye

Introduction: We Can All Be Grignr; or: How to Appreciate Very Bad Writing by Michael A. Ventrella

Publisher’s Apology by Ian Randal Strock

The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis

Annotation by Ian Randal Strock

The Further Adventures of Grignr the Barbarian:
The Return of the Eye of Argon by Hildy Silverman
The Rat’s Tail by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Grignr and the Drignr by Peter Prellwitz
Grignr in the Land of Er-Urz by Ian Randal Strock
God Quest by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
Grignr’s Swift Sword of Vengeance by Daniel M. Kimmel
Ouanna’s Rock by Jean Marie Ward
Grignr and the Tomb of Really Bad Evil by Michael A. Ventrella

About the Authors

Not one book, but two!

Basic RGBI’m back from Europe: it was fascinating and tiring and productive and long in a short period of time. Still haven’t had time to go through the 1,517 photos I took in Montenegro and Vienna, but I’ll get to it soon.

jfc1aInstead, since I’ve been home, I’ve been hard at work catching up on missed deadlines. But one thing I didn’t miss was the Fantastic Books Kickstarter campaign for the anthology Jewish Futures. Somehow, without me ever expecting it, the campaign has surpassed its ultimate stretch goal, meaning that, instead of just one book, we’ll be producing two. We haven’t discussed what the title of the second volume will be, whether it will just be number 2, or if we’ll pick a completely different title. But whatever we call it, everyone who has backed the campaign (at the $5 level or more) will also be receiving a copy of that second book when it’s available (sometime after the first, which is still on schedule for July 2023 publication). And with 46 hours left to go in the campaign, there’s still time to tell people that, at whatever pledge level, you’re now getting two books for the price of one!

I’m just amazed at the number of people who have backed the campaign, who thought as highly of the project as we do. Thank you, all!

Jewish Futures guidelines

jfc1a Jewish Futures — the anthology Fantastic Books is currently Kickstarting — reached its funding goal in a scant four days. The campaign runs until October 20, but has already unlocked several stretch goals, and as I write this, it’s only $30 from another bit of awesomeness for all backers. $500 beyond that adds two new stories to the book, and opens up another submission slot for all those wonderful authors we didn’t know should be writing for us.

And that’s the point of this post: the writers’ guidelines for Jewish Futures are now available at http://fantasticbooks.biz/fantasticbooks/sf/jewishfutures.html . If you’ve always wanted to appear in a Fantastic Books anthology, now is your chance! Read the guidelines, start writing, and remember to pay attention to the “don’t send before” and “don’t send after” dates.

The cover concept art is by Eli Portman, who’ll be creating the cover for the anthology.

Communal Support

Boy am I bad at this stretch-goals thing. We set them to encourage people to keep contributing to Kickstarter campaigns, even after the initial funding goal has been met. Well, we managed to blow right by the first stretch goal for Jewish Futures before I even said anything about it. That means everyone who is backing the campaign at the $5 level or more will be getting a free story from SM Rosenberg. And now we’re closing in on the second stretch goal: at $7,000, we add more stories to the book, which means more awesome reading for all you readers, and more submission slots for all you authors who we didn’t realize ahead of time we desperately need to have in the book (as I’m writing this, we’re a scant $253 shy of that goal). Remember, even though we reached the initial $6,000 goal to guarantee existence of the book, the campaign continues for the full 30 days, ending October 20.

And while I’m talking about Kickstarter and you awesome people who helped us spread the word, I should also talk about two other campaigns. We joined forces with eSpec Books and IAMTW to cross-promote each other’s campaigns (eSpec is publishing three novels, and has already reached its funding goal; IAMTW is publishing a fascinating-looking anthology that should appeal to those of you who loved our recent Three Time Travelers anthology, but it hasn’t yet reached its funding goal). Assuming all three fund, anyone who supports all three, and adds on the $1 Communal Support add-on, gets a special package of electronic reading. Check out all three, and help our fellow publishers publish too!

communalsupport

Jewish Futures Kickstarter is Live

Basic RGBFantastic Books is Kickstartering a brand-new anthology! Jewish Futures: Science Fiction from the World’s Oldest Diaspora, is now live on the crowd-funding platform for pre-orders. The book will be edited by multiple-award-nominee Michael A. Burstein, and we have a very impressive line-up of authors promised to write stories (though there will be spots for your submissions, too!). For now, please check out the campaign, pledge your support if you will, and by all means, tell your friends!

Time Traveling Publication Day

Today is publication day for Fantastic Books‘s newest anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… You can grab a hardcover, trade paperback, or ebook copy at your favorite retailer. And thanks to our wonderful Kickstarter backers, without whom this book wouldn’t exist. Special thanks, also, to cover artist Lynne Hansen, editor Michael A. Ventrella, and all our incredible authors who wrote the kick-ass stories that make this a great anthology.

ThreeTimeTravelers_Front

Convention Weekend

Once again, convention weekend is upon us! This time, it’s Balticon, in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. For more information on the convention, see http://www.balticon.org/wp56/

As usual, I’ll be spending most of the weekend at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (come see me, even though the dealers’ room is frequently hidden behind something they call Artist Alley, which looks suspiciously like a dealers’ room, in the atrium). UPS-willing, I may have a few advance copies of our new anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… with me (and at least three authors in the book are scheduled to be at the convention: David Gerrold, Gail Z. Martin, and Hildy Silverman). The dealers’ room is scheduled to be open Friday, from 2 to 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 7pm; and Monday, from 10am to 2pm.

I’ll also be on four panels during the convention:

Saturday at 2:30pm, room 7029: “Writing Characters with Agency (In-person)” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Gail Z. Martin, and Mark L. Van Name.

Saturday at 4:00pm in the Homeland Room: “What Do Editors Want?” with Rigel Ailur, Scott H. Andrews, Joshua Bilmes, and Nancy Springer.

Sunday at 1:00pm in Room 7029: “Don’t Show Me the Money: Cashless Societies” with Elektra Hammond, Shahid Mahmud, and Christie Meierz.

Sunday at 4:00pm in Room 7029: “Fix that Episode!” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Andy Love, Ryan O’Nan, and Hildy Silverman.

I hope to see a lot of you there!

And if you can’t make it to Balticon, the next appearance on my schedule is Freaky Mutant Weirdo 2022: The Steampunk Variant, on June 4, outdoors in Vasa Park in Hackettstown, New Jersey. For more information, see https://www.freakymutantweirdo.com/.

Fantastic Books Cover Reveal: Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

Fantastic Books is thrilled to reveal the cover of our forthcoming anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… edited by Michael A. Ventrella. Cover art/design is by Lynne Hansen.

The book is the result of our latest successful Kickstarter campaign, in which we asked the authors to take three people from history, put them together, and tell us of the adventure that ensues. The authors came through brilliantly.

The back cover text, in case you can’t make it out in the image:

* How many people could you kill to guarantee your happiness?
* Would you follow a stranger into a broom closet at a Grateful Dead concert?
* How many times could you watch your own suicide?
* What would cause you to give away a wish-granting genie?

Those are just a few of the questions eighteen incredible authors answered in response to the call to take three historical figures, throw them together in some situation, and tell us the story that ensues. You’ll be fascinated by those stories featuring Julia Child, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson, and Vlad the Impaler (well… not all in one story), plus dozens of others.

These marvelous tales of time-traveling adventure flow from the imaginations of Eric Avedissian, Adam-Troy Castro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gregory Frost, David Gerrold, Henry Herz, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin, Heather McKinney, James A. Moore, Jody Lynn Nye, L. Penelope, Louise Piper, Hildy Silverman, S.W. Sondheimer, Allen Steele, and Lawrence Watt-Evans.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Apparently, there are still book buyers

Guess what? There are fiction readers out there with money they’re willing to spend on books.

Yeah, okay, that’s not terribly surprising. What’s surprising (to me) is how many of them can wind up wanting the same books.

I’ve been pointed to Brandon Sanderson’s current Kickstarter campaign, and I’m stunned, amazed, at the speed with which it was funded (an initial goal of $1 million was apparently met within minutes of launching the campaign), and the speed with which it continues to attract new backers. He doesn’t need my support, doesn’t need me to further share the link. I’m doing it because it’s awesome to just open the screen and watch the numbers scrolling (up, Up, UP!) for a few minutes. As I’m writing this, he’s got 69,882 backers pledging $17,767,653 for his four new novels and assorted other goodies. Just take a look, and then remember that his “overnight success” has been building for a couple of decades.

Meanwhile, down here among the mortals, I mentioned that I’ve got a story in the upcoming anthology The Fans Are Buried Tales, edited by Peter David. That campaign ended yesterday, garnering 283 backers pledging $8,564 of the initial $7,000 goal. So I’m thrilled that the book will be along sometime soon. Anyway, just being amazed that writers can find incredible success if they can build sufficient audiences.