Slow AND Hectic?!

Things seem slow at the Cirsova blog because SO MUCH IS GOING ON!

I hope to be able to share more details about them soon, but I have so much on my plate right now. I hope you guys are as excited about this stuff as I am:

  • Retail release of Cirsova Classics – We’re slow rolling these, but the first is out on February 2! The Kickstarter is completely out the door, so all that’s left is to get the Amazon print versions setup. We’ll also have a page with full links to the Lulu versions, too.
  • Cirsova Spring 2022 – I’m ALMOST done getting the final touches done on this. I feel like I’m running late because of how much time I spent on Martha Klemm that kept me from getting ahead, but really, I think we’re right on time. A truly epic issue scheduled to release 3/15. With this, we launch Wild Stars VI: Orphan of the Shadowy Moons! Update soon.
  • Cirsova Summer 2022 – The cover art is done. We need another couple pieces of interior art, but the text has been handed off to the first of our copy editors. With this, we launch D.M. Ritzlin’s Vran, the Chaos-Warped.
  • Cirsova Fall/Winter 2022 – I’m halfway through my own second pass of fall, where I’m highlighting the scenes for art and illustration.
  • Wild Stars V – The collected edition of Wild Stars V is underway, and while people who read it when we serialized it in 2021 will know the story, I think we’ll have enough surprises to make it worth checking out and buying this version in either paperback or hardcover.
  • Mongoose and Meerkat 2 – This is gonna be our other really big project for the year. Probably late summer to early fall. We’ve got DarkFilly incredibly busy this year, but there will be even more original artwork for Cirsova flagship series!

Hipsters Turning D&D into Coffee Talk

A new free D&DBeyond 5e adventure is turning D&D into Coffee Talk, because I guess nerds can’t get enough of pretending to serve coffee to quirky gay monsters.

Coffee Talk review | Rock Paper Shotgun
(yeah, that’s actually a thing)

I don’t really know what this is, but it doesn’t really strike me as Dungeons & Dragons. It doesn’t strike me as something that would appeal to people who have actually worked service, either. But, uh… given how popular Coffee Talk is, I guess it’s not surprising that it’s showing up in the D&D-as-a-lifestyle scene. Is this the tabletop equivalent of hauling crates as a virtual dockworker in Shenmue?

Anyway, our readers might get more out of Gron and Krim’s Blood & Guts Tavern.

Gummi Bears…

Just for the hell of it, I decided to rewatch Gummi Bears to see if the series was as dark as I remembered it.

“Ah, I’ve finally found Gummi Glen, one of the great warrens! Hundreds of Gummies could live here! I can’t wait for the welcoming party! Why are there only 6 of you?”

So, you have a bright and colorful show set in a magical fantasy world, featuring cute and cuddly bears…

…who are the sole surviving/last remaining members of their particular tribe/warren.

“Gummi Glen was once home to hundreds of Gummi Bears, but after their exodus, the Gummies that stayed behind dwindled until only six were left: ZummiGrammiGruffiTummiSunni, and Cubbi Gummi.”

As far as the Gummi Bears themselves are concerned, they are living in the post-apocalyptic ruins of their people’s fallen empire. Attempts to contact and meet other large tribes of Gummi Bears are usually met with failure or disappointment. Great cities lay almost entirely abandoned, though many of the traps and mechanisms still work, often maintained by one or two handibears, like Gruffi.

Gruffi and Cubbi in the ruins of the abandoned Gummi capital of Ursalia.

As a little kid, I always assumed the main characters were a family. Rewatching it now, it seems pretty obvious that they’re just the only ones who are left and therefore Grammi has assumed a maternal role out of necessity. Their actual familial relations are never addressed by the show [or if they are, I’ve missed it].

A friend of ours claimed that “Gummi Bears is a better high fantasy than ASOIAF [A Song of Fire and Ice].”

What makes the show and its premise interesting also makes it antithetical to modernist fantasy. It is not “crapsack” nor “crapsaccharine”, as TVTropes would put it. Gummi Bears is purely heroic and hopeful in the face of all of the despair that surrounds the characters who are in the twilight of their race’s fortunes. Rather than wallow in contemplating vanitas, they live their lives. They have adventures, they have fun, they make friends, they do their chores. They are not ignorant of the dire circumstances they find themselves in; they do fight to preserve their home and their traditions at the end of their era. But they are not miserable or fatalist, either.

Happy New Year! WSFA Small Press Awards Nomination Begins Tomorrow!

It’s a new year, and a bunch of things are on tap for Cirsova, and I’m already trying to decide if I’m up to my eyeballs in work or if I have time to veg out and play Skyrim or something…

But first up is the WSFA Small Press Awards!

http://wsfasmallpressaward.org/The_Rules.php

Our contributors are able to submit their own stories for nomination, provided they meet the length requirement. As editor, I’m only allowed to pick three stories, so I can’t choose everyone’s. Sorry! Be sure you follow all of the rules in the linked post if you’re going to submit your story.

There are two other points that must be addressed in your submission.

How Many Books We Published This Year: Cirsova published 9 titles

Subscriptions: Cirsova sells its flagship magazine in both Print and eBook, however Cirsova does not sell its magazine by subscription. Combined Print and Digital sales of each issue is >200 within the year of its release.

January 2, 2022
For more information contact: admin@wsfasmallpressaward.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Washington (DC) Science Fiction Association (WSFA) is pleased to announce that the submission period for the 2022 WSFA Small Press Award is now open and will close on March 31, 2022.
The WSFA Small Press Award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2021). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.
The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association and presented at their annual convention, Capclave (www.capclave.org), held on September 30 – October 2, 2022 in Rockville, MD.
Submissions should be sent to admin@wsfasmallpressaward.org
See our webpage  http://wsfasmallpressaward.org/The_Rules.php for details.

Cathy GreenFor the WSFA Small Press Award CommitteeAward Sponsored by Washington Science Fiction Association andCapclave — Where Reading is not Extinct
http://www.capclave.org
http://www.wsfasmallpressaward.org
http://www.wsfa.org
https://twitter.com/capclave

Cirsova Ends 2021 in the Black!

There have been a lot of things about this year that have been just terrible. And I can’t imagine that they’ll be great going forward, as we’ve got myriad hurdles and challenges that we will have to overcome to get just back to where were were at the start of this year. But we DID finally manage to end the fiscal year in the black, and we could not have done that without the support of our readers!

Though the profits for the year are a)relatively small and b) due in part to some expenses we were looking at that have been pushed back a couple months, it’s important for tax purposes that we can claim to be a profitable real business and not just a hobby, because there are pretty big five-figure numbers on both sides of the ledger.

Anyway, things are going to be VERY hard for us in 2022 as going forward we lack real wholesale distribution–we only have direct sales from KDP/Amazon and Lulu for the time being, so we will have less reliable revenue. We’ll ONLY make money when someone actually buys something [imagine that].

I’ll also note that the break-even on an issue of Cirsova is roughly 300 copies physical or 600 electronic and with no wholesale orders, that’s a bit harder to reach on the front end [generally were were moving around 100-150 physical copies in the first three month of any issue’s release; yes, the magazine has ALWAYS been a loss-leader] meaning revenue will come in a continuous trickle rather than in waves.

Anyway, if you want to help keep us around, be sure to pick up a copy of the latest issue and leave reviews!

Cosmic Courtship Second Printing

The project to release The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm and the Fires Rekindled omnibus yielded an updated and corrected text of The Cosmic Courtship [thanks, Mark!]

The updated eBook is now available on Amazon.

A KDP version of the Trade Paperback has been uploaded to Amazon and denotes on the copyright page that it is a second corrected printing, but there’s not really a way to guarantee that they will not send you one of the first printing.

About Paul Lucas’s “For We Are Many”

“For We Are Many” by Paul Lucas is one of the novelettes featured in our Winter issue of Cirsova, out now.

A zealot hops from dimension to dimension, seeking to purify his soul and avoid damnation by assassinating “evil” instances of himself throughout the multiverse. While bearing all of the hallmarks of Cirsova’s trademark thrilling action, this one chews some tough philosophical and theological bones as well.

In this excellent post, Paul Lucas discusses the origins of this exciting tale and questions that gave rise to it.