Lulu Burned Its Website to the Ground – Hold Off on Buying Cirsova Hardcovers

In an astoundingly bad decision, Lulu decided to migrate from their efficient, reliable workhorse site to an absolute dumpster fire over the weekend without warning anyone.

Thousands of authors and publishers were locked out of their accounts, myself included.

I’m able to get back in, but the back-end of the site is a disaster.

The migration seems to be piecemeal, and titles/projects don’t seem to have their files correctly associated at the moment, still, so I have no idea what would happen if you tried to order a book from them.

For all we know, you’ll end up with a blank book, and you’ll have had to pay full SRP because we don’t currently have a way to put the discounts back in place.

So please, until further notice, refrain from purchasing Cirsova Titles from Lulu.

If this means that Cirsova can no longer offer hardcovers, that’s sadly the breaks. We have the source files of all of our books, if things don’t work out with Lulu, getting them uploaded somewhere else is probably low priority–I don’t even know if Ingram will do dustjacketed hardcovers the way Lulu did, and they’re overpriced and trash anyway that we will only be using for print because we absolutely have to.

To those who don’t have Cirsova hardcovers, sorry, we don’t actually have any either. To those who do, you may have collectors items now.

Right now, Michael Tierney DOES have some copies of the Wild Stars omnibus; you might want to get those while you can.

 

Mongoose & Meerkat Art Arrives Safe & Sound + Comic Retailer Round-table w/Michael Tierney

The original illustrations by DarkFilly for Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat arrived Saturday.

On one hand, sorry for the lousy focus–my tablet is a potato. On the other hand, for those of you who haven’t read the stories, this gives you an idea of the art style without too many spoilers.

We have three days to go for this Kickstarter, and you can still get your hands on one of these original pieces of artwork.

Also last week, Cirsova author, Wild Stars creator, and LCS owner Michael Tierney appeared on a round-table discussion with, among others, notable online comic shop personality Comic Perch and renowned comic-creator Mike Baron.

They discuss the impact of the comic industry shutdown plus DC’s efforts to do an end-run around Diamond to ensure that the comic shops are getting SOME product.

Michael’s central Arkansas stores have been weathering the storm as well as could be expected; he’s managed to stay open for an entire month with no new product, but as you might imagine, it has been lean times in Little Rock.

Now would be a fantastic time to pick up a Wild Stars from him, particularly since you can get the Wild Stars 35th Anniversary Omnibus cheaper from him than from us, due to some issues with Lulu’s platform migration.

As usual, Michael has a dozen irons in the fire, including his Beyond the Farthest Star web strip and several others we can’t talk about, but we hope to have some new Wild Stars news in the near future. In the meantime, it sounds like Troll Lord Games is gearing up to start printing the Wild Stars RPG–no release date yet, but we’re guessing “soon”.

Short Reviews – The Boy Who Cried Wolf359, by Kendall Foster Crossen

The Boy Who Cried Wolf359, by Kendall Foster Crossen, appeared in the February 1951 issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org.

I feel like there’s a popular conception of what Amazing Stories is based largely on the showcase television series, and it aligns with some of the more light-hearted Twilight Zones, and I’ve seen it in some of the stories in Thrilling Wonder, as well. A young person is confronted with the alien or supernatural, and with typical childhood bravery, the youth stands against it when even the adults will not or cannot. [See also the classic Invaders From Mars.]

The Boy Who Cried Wolf359 is a typic, and entertaining, example of this genre of science fiction. A young boy is able to pick up the telepathic communications of an alien race of fire beings who plan on settling on earth after planetforming it by setting it on fire. Of course, no one believes the lad, so after failing to convince any of the adults around him of the peril, he matter-of-factly explains his plans and goes off to the forest to face down the aliens himself.

The adults think he is going to play make-believe; his fellow youth complained they played ‘battle the Martians’ last week; the boy sets forth armed with a capgun and a water-pistol and single-handedly drives off the fire aliens landing in the woods.

No classic of science fiction, this, but it wasn’t bad. While not as funny as Joe Carson’s Weapon, I thought it read a bit better [and was certainly less PoMo].

Don’t forget, we’ve got roughly a week left on the Mongoose and Meerkat kickstarter. Be sure to back today!

 

One Week Left on Mongoose and Meerkat!

We’ve got one week left on the Mongoose and Meerkat Kickstarter.

We hit our stretch goal to create OSR content, which will be included in the appendix of the Hardcover along with some early concept artwork from DarkFilly. Jim has reviewed and approved the bonus materials, so we’ll be doing the layout for the dust-jacket very soon.

Kat Inked Sketch

Test drawing of Kat scaling a wall

Also, I want to point out we still have 6 originals of the interior artwork available. We’d really like to be able to move these for a few reasons:

-DarkFilly did an amazing job; we agreed to a split on the art we sell, so the more of this we sell, the fatter a check we can send her for the work she’s done.

-If we sell all of the artwork, we’ll be in an excellent financial position to be able to start making offers on 2021 content.

-The artwork is really cool, and you can brag to your friends about owning a one-of-a-kind piece of Mongoose and Meerkat artwork.

MM-PG-19-20 v2

Brandy & Dye

…and Almost Finished with Game Content!

I spent a pretty good chunk of the evening working on bonus content for Mongoose & Meerkat!

The result is roughly 3,000 words of gaming content, including:

  • How to drop the Battlefield of Keres into your hexcrawl map
  • Suggestions on how to run a short adventure based on Brandy & Dye
  • Scenario for Sword of the Mongoose
  • Encounters in Terzol
  • Statblocks for monsters and encounters, ranging from the Hands of the Bursa and the Terzoli Remnants to Isak Yan and his undead to ¬†Keres’s magical anomalies
  • Much much more!

I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it soon then will be running it by Jim Breyfogle for approval.

Once he gives it the OK, it will be added to the Appendix of the hardcover.

In fact, we’ll be adding all of the bonus material to the hardcover [except for the list of backer names, of course] this week, at which point the hardcover will be officially Almost DoneTM.

Once we have a page-count, we can do the layout for the hardcover’s dust-jacket.

No promises, but this could begin fulfilling by as early as June!

6 x 9 cover

Starting Work on Mongoose & Meerkat Game Content

Since we hit our stretch goal, I’ve begun some work on the RPG content for Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat Volume one.

I’d done some highlighting and circling in my early galley, but over the weekend, I actually went back and made a list.

Most of the gameable content comes from Battlefield of Keres, so there will be a focus on how to drop it as a very large location on a hex-map, including some suggestions on how to handle encounters and magical anomalies. We’ll also include some suggestions on how to run Brandy & Dye as a scenario, and will have some content for Sword of the Mongoose and Valley of Terzol, mostly in the form of some stats and suggested adventure hooks. As much as we love The Burning Fish, it’s a fairly cozy story and there’s not much we can do in the way of “statting” it; it’s got a decent adventure hook, for sure, but if you’d like to run it, we think you could do it without our help.

On a different matter, DarkFilly is done with all of her artwork and is sending us the physical copies this week! We’re crossing our fingers that nothing happens to them in transit, but like we mention in the Risks & Challenges, we’re having the package insured, and it’s doubled-packed, so unless the USPS just loses an insured packed, we’re set to have the originals in the next little bit.

Short Reviews – That a World Might Live, by Burt B. Liston

That a World Might Live by Burt B. Liston appeared in the February 1951 Issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org.

A mining operation to dig up super radioactives at the cost of the lives of its miners crosses tunnels with an advanced scout from the Atlantis of the Inner Earth.

You’ve got Manfred Drake, the scumbag mine owner who will throw the lives of his workers away to save pennies, Luke Hayward, who Drake roped into being the foreman of his operation before knowing he was stepping into a bloodbath, and Jim Murchison, Hayward’s chief machine operator. Together, this trio get dragged to the inner earth, which is in the midst of civil and religious war, which could spill over top-side with an atomic invasion.

They get the whole rundown from Marna, the legitimate queen of Atlantis who, along with her handmaidens, are going to be used as camp women when the topside invasion occurs, if something doesn’t happen soon.

What ensues is a pretty fun Flash Gordon-meets-Pellucidar adventure. It’s worth a read.