Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Out Now

For a nice pulp-like dose of SFF fiction, you could do a lot worse than to try out Cirsova Magazine. Issue #9 is out now! You can grab the ebook for only $2.99 (or for free with Amazon Prime), and the real life, hold it in your hands paperback for only $8.50.

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And here’s the contents of Cirsova #9. (Click here to see it on Amazon now!)

Novelettes

  • All That Glitters, by Paul Lucas
  • The Orb of Xarkax, by Xavier Lastra

Short Stories

  • The Faerie Pool, by Edward McDermott
  • Our Lords, the Swine, by N.A. Roberts
  • The Bejeweled Chest, by S.K. Inkslinger
  • Jack’s Basement, by Michael Tierney
  • Antares, by PC Bushi
  • Cirque des Etoiles, by Bo Balder
  • Hot Water in Wormtown, by Robert Lang
  • Littermates (Part 2 of 2), by J.D. Brink
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Fantasy eBook Sale: End of Summer Quest

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Being the end of summer and beginning of another school year for youngsters, young adults, and even many grown-ups, I thought I’d try throwing up my first novel for a 50% off sale. Tarnish: The Thunderstrike Saga is now only $2.99, vice the usual $5.99 for the ebook. That price change should have kicked in everywhere by now, but if it hasn’t, just check your second-favorite retailer.

I slightly reworked the book description blurb for this event. See what you think:

Armed with a mythic sword and burdened by his father’s legacy, Wil Thunderstrike embarks on his first quest in this epic fantasy adventure.

Everyone knows the stories of the Colors Three. That trio of adventurers who traveled the breadth of these realms in the post-war years, stalking the traitorous Crescent Moons and bringing justice to those downtrodden left in the Dread Duke’s wake. 

Tavern masters have been spinning those tales for ten years. Ian the Black and Trevor the Red are ten years older.  More so, for the warrior’s life is a hard one.  And Gregor the Golden?  Most likely dead along a mountain pass, in search of more glory than any mortal man needs.

Who, then, will defend Redfield when evil rises from the Blood Marsh? 

Billy Cole is the sixteen-springs-old son of Ian the Black.  Maybe older.  Being the heir of a legend is a heavy burden to bear.  And though “Billy Strong Back” is used to hard labor, it takes more than strength to be a man.  And more than a sword to make a hero. But he’ll be one. Even if he must become a villain first…

Witness the birth of William Thunderstrike in this heroic fantasy epic that breaks the mold for gritty coming of age tales. Praised for its unique storytelling, engaging detail, and heart-felt characters, Tarnish stands alone in the annals of fantasy fiction.

Want more Thunderstrike Saga? Pick up The Prince of Luster and Decay, a Tarnish prequel!

It’s kind of long, I know But I’m not sure how to prune it back. I mean, I could prune it down, but I think this captures a lot of the good stuff. We’ll see, I guess. (Any suggestions are welcome!)

Here are some direct links in case you would like to take advantage of this very temporary reduction in price: Tarnish on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo

I’m also experimenting with Bookbub Ads to see what happens there. I’m not expecting any miracles, but it’ll be interesting to finally give it a shot and see how it works out. (For you writer-types out there, I’ll try to remember to let you know via another post in a few weeks.)

While you’re at it, you might also want to pick up The Prince of Luster and Decay, which is somewhat of a prequel novella to Tarnish (features some of the same characters back in the war days.). Click here to find that book wherever you buy books.

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Last Kickstarter Days for Pulp Fiction Mag Cirsova

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I’ve been meaning to get back to a few different blog posts that have been swimming in my brain, but just haven’t found the time. TIME, as I always say, is THE most precious resource. It disappears second by second, constantly, never stops leaving and never comes back. SUCKS, don’t it?

But you know what doesn’t suck?

CIRSOVA Magainze! It’s one of the big pulp rev titles that are bringing back sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery that is written to be FUN. All the big literary SFF mags want stories that are  politically correct and have the big thrust as something that your English teacher would like.

But most of us aren’t English teachers. We what about the rest of us?!

Cirsova is for the rest of us.

And to ensure there’s a Volume Two to this magazine, we need a few more people to care. And, frankly, to show they care by contributing a couple bucks. And/or telling some other folks they know who aren’t English teachers (or are—they like this stuff too, they just can’t admit to it!) about it too.

GO HERE to Kickstarter and see what you can buy for your couple bucks. And help keep this indie mag going and keep giving indie authors somewhere to publish!

 

LAST DAY on Smashwords Summer Sale

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Today being July 31st, it’s the LAST DAY to get ebooks supercheap over on Smashwords. You can score some of mine for free and the rest for only a buck and some change!

I have twenty-one individual titles over there just waiting to be picked up.

So far I’ve had quite a few free ones go–like, every one of them in waves, all bought simultaneously–but not too many of the deeply discounted ones. Are readers really so cheap these days they wont pay a dollar for reading material???

C’mon folks, tomorrow they go back up to regular price!

Just click here to my profile and scroll down to see what’s there. The coupon codes are built in so they automatically kick in at check out.

Nothing is more than $1.50 right now!

Why are you still reading this? Go now!

Kickstarter: Hugo Award Nominated Cirsova Magazine

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Hey, everybody. If you enjoy short fiction of the sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure variety, you might want to stop by Kickstarter right now and throw in a little support. Cirsova Magazine has been churning out fantastic fiction for years now, and will continue to do so with issues 9 & 10, due to come out this fall.

But as an indie publication trying to make it in the big bad world of giant publishers and Youtube millionaires, they can only keep pumping if they have the support of us, the little guys!

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If you’re feeling generous and/or just want to support the underdog and give us indie writers and editors a little push, they visit Kickstarter by clicking here.

THANK YOU!

July: All Books for a Buck

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It’s that familiar time again. Not only is it the birthday of our country, but it’s also time for the annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The ebook pioneer is now 10 years old (!) and celebrating as they do every year: by discounting a whole bunch of ebooks!

Right now, you’ll find all my books on Smashwords for right around one dollar. The automatic coupon mechanic cuts everything by quarters, so not everything broke evenly. Therefore, some books are a nice, neat $0.99 or $1.00 even, others are $1.25 or $1.50. But everything is right around that $1 mark.

If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about and maybe even admiring a cover and thinking you’d like to give one of my stories or novels a try, now’s a darn good time! Just go to my Smashwords page (by clicking here, for example) and scroll down to see all the books on their site. (Some of the newest stories aren’t up over there yet, but those are all a buck too, somewhere.) The coupons reducing them are automatic, so there’s no extra work for you.

Thank you for your support and I hope you take the chance to enjoy them for less!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The Great Distractor!

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If you’re a Warhammer nerd like me, you probably know that the reboot of Warhammer Fantasy—Age of Sigmar—has been rebooted again. AOS 2nd edition is out now and is all the buzz among the swarming flies of Nurgle. I never played AOS 1st edition and don’t see any major changes into 2nd, but I have been assured by others that the changes are worthwhile.

Having never gotten into the game, though, now I am tempted. And my friend Josh is pushing the issue. He’s always happy to aid in any corruption, and trying to loop me into a new game and new models is not going to help get my list of novels-yet-to-be written!

Quit trying to shove that monkey on my back, Josh!

Although, I must say… It is a pleasant monkey…

I do like AOS’s approach, versus the latest edition of Warhammer 40K. This is the 8th and most dramatic change for 40K, which is my greater love of nerdly tabletop warfare. (While I’ve always been big in both fantasy and science fiction in general, sci-fi holds a slightly higher spot for me.) I must admit, though—and I think anyone who knows would agree—that 40K and Fantasy get more and more alike with each new edition. 8th-ed 40K took on a very AOS aspect from its former versions. I have now played exactly one game of 8th edition and it was still pretty clunky, since it was my first game. There are things I like and things I don’t.

And from what I can tell, Age of Sigmar does this new approach far better.

I like that nearly every unit in the game has some special rule that it can bring into play. This is especially important given that the stat lines of most units are pretty damn nearly the same. Almost all weapons are some variety of 3+ or 4+ rolls of the dice. If it weren’t for these other flavorful rules for each unit, they’d all be the same damn thing!

40K hasn’t done this quite as well. Maybe because there is already so much variety in the game? Each army has an awful lot of unit types. Maybe, too, because there’s a much bigger variety of shooty weapons in 40K? I suppose there isn’t as great a need for individual special rules with so many weapons and vehicles to choose from.

I also like the new command points rules in AOS, giving players more special stunts to pull per turn. Plus the blending of factions, special formation traits that aren’t overwhelming and are available depending on how “pure” your force is. As well as the free magic weapon and artefacts you can get.

I’m not delving into specifics here because if you’ve read this far, you probably already know more about it than I do. Let’s just say, I like the way this is going. And damn it, I don’t have time for another game and another army!

But if I did…

I bought the huge Chaos grand alliance book the other day. I can envision a Chaos force built from many factions…

  • The core warband would be composed of Slaves to Darkness and/or Hosts of Slaanesh forces. The general would have to be a cool centerpiece model. A Slaaneshi lord on a daemonic mount, for example, or a sorcerer on a manticore. (That model kicks ass!) The Lord of Chaos on foot has the potential to become both a daemon prince and a spawn! Bonus either way. He’d likely not be my commander, but I like the idea of driving him forward, knowing he’s got reincarnation in his pocket whether he succeeds or not. Then I’d have some chaos warriors on foot and some marauders on horseback throwing javelins. (I like to have some ranged weapons in my forces—a variety of tools in the toolbox makes it strategically more versatile.) A badass chariot would just look cool. And I have a box of Empire flagellants still waiting to be put together. I could paint them all chaotic and call them “chaos fanatics” and count them as marauders on foot with flails. J
  • Most of the minions of the warband—the bulk of throw-away bodies sent in to kill or die, or both—would be beastmen. I want a Bray Shaman to lead them. He gives me magic plus the potential for more monsters with his summoning powers. Then two units of beastman infantry with blue war paint striped on them would just look cool as hell.
  • Of course, the overlords of Chaos, the puppeteers pulling strings behind the veil of reality, are daemons! I tend toward Slaanesh these days, so I’d want either units on the table or some on the side for summoning—or both! A Keeper of Secrets or daemon prince, daemonettes, seekers, some mortal hellstriders with big hooked whips. That’s fun shit. Plus, I like the Tzeenchy stuff too. Their characters have the potential to make spawns of the enemy, which is awesome. And having a nice big unit of pink horrors gives me more ranged firepower, and an extra spell to boot!
  • The final aspect of my motley crew: Monsters! Chaos ogres, trolls, chimera, cockatrice, dragons, spawn, warhounds, whatever! The bigger and uglier the better!

Of course, I probably won’t be able to squeeze all that in one army, but you get the idea.

But, like I try to tell Josh, I can’t be starting over with a new game and new models! But it is fun to keep in mind. And maybe slowly, overtime, I might get to doing that. (Even though I already have more 40K shit than I know what to do with…)

Aaaand, everytime time I tell myself I can’t get into it, I come up with more ways that I can… Maybe I’ll just inventory what models I have and see where it goes from there…