21st Century Wonder Stories: Call For Submissions

mishaburnett

We are looking for 21st Century Pulp Revival stories. 

Who’s we?  Well, there’s me, Rawle Nyanzi,  Kevyn Winkless, and Sky Hernstrom. There is also a good chance that, once complete, the anthology will be published by Superversive Press.

Right now payment details haven’t been worked out, but I’ll be honest, this collection is not likely to be a money maker.  The goal of the anthology is to promote the Pulp ideals and the authors involved.  I’ll post more details when I have them.

What is meant by 21st Century Pulp Revival? Rawle came up with this list, which I have expanded on somewhat:

1) The setting must be contemporary Earth. No “Twenty minutes into the future,” no 1950s/60s period pieces, and no alternate history. Stories should be set in the world that you see outside your window.  No time travel, space travel, or dimension hopping. 

Exotic…

View original post 362 more words

Kickstarter Backers: Grab Your eBook Copies Today!

Smashwords wasn’t properly converting .doc files to output ebooks with tables of contents/bookmarks.  While I was able to fix this for .epub formats, I don’t think I was able to for .mobi.  Seriously, if you’re going to sell .pdf and .mobi files, maybe you should let publishers upload files in the formats that you offer instead of using your sad garbage-can full of wet coffee grounds and room temperature American cheese slices file converter!

So, uh… I just converted the files myself and put them on a Google-drive instead. Links to download them can be found here on this backer only update post.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-2017-s-5-and-6-lovecraft-swords-and-space/posts/1842865

File the Serial Numbers Off

I’ve said in the past and on numerous occasions that I don’t want to see stories about elves or stories where Cthulhu shows up. Even in a good story, when these sorts of elements are used and borrowed, they end up detracting from the story in my eyes.

If you’re not filing off the serial numbers of these things, it’s either because you’re lacking creativity and hoping to rely on established tropes or you’re hoping that by connecting your piece to those related tropes that you can elevate your writing on the merits of the reference. Or somewhere in between. There are shout-outs, yes, and these can be great – Shub Niggurath as the final boss of Quake or the hipster cultist shouting “Ia, Cthulhu!” before the fat Italian editor gets murdered in Foucault’s Pendulum were AWESOME. But if Quake had been a parade of named monsters from Lovecraft as opposed to horrors that FEEL Lovecraftian, or if Umberto Eco had peppered his book with lots of “LOL, Cthulhu, amirite?” it would’ve drastically reduced the effectiveness of the references.

But more than that, have some faith in your creativity! If you’re damnably insistent on writing elves, fine, but if you want to go the “our elves are different route”, which face it, everyone does these days, take a pinch of that creativity that makes your elves different and call them something besides elves. If nothing else, calling your elves something else, even calling them Morves or Velse will be an improvement, because people won’t look at it and say “oh, look, another elf story!”

And eldritch horror monsters? Why Cthulhu or one of the other big-name badguy’s from the Mythos canon, unless you’re trying to coast on the popularity of Cthulhu (and there are folks who will read anything Cthulhu, but that’s not the point)? Name your own big bad evil scary monster god. Sure, he can be Cthulhu, but if you call him something like Uhlthuc you can fool folks into thinking you’re some kinda original writer guy, or something!

Don’t use elves or Cthulhu as a crutch! Yeah, I know that Cthulhu is a cottage industry, but I can tell you right now that your stories will improve by at least %15 or your money back if your evil monster beyond the gates is Uhlthuc and your similar-but-different elves are ‘the Velse’.

(Note: If you submit a story using the names Uhlthuc and ‘the Velse’ and I accept them on merits of story, I reserve the right to withhold the per-word bonus on the first 2500 words; file those serial numbers off harder!)

Issue 5 Going Out to Backers – Submissions Pre-Announcement

Issue 5 has been sent to all backers who’ve backed for physical copies (minus those still getting their surveys in).

Plan is still for the ebook version to go live on the 31st. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still pre-order here:

If you want to get in on next year’s Cirsova, get writing and get editing. We WILL have a very brief open submissions period from June to July. Space will be very limited, so I recommend writing shorter pieces (5000-7500 words). I’ll post more specific guidelines closer to when we’re ready to open, but for now the following should suffice:

Do Send:

  • action driven stories
  • stuff with space ships
  • stuff with swords
  • stuff with rayguns
  • stuff with dashing heroes
  • stuff with daring dames

Don’t Send:

  • thinky stories where nothing happens
  • math problems or engineering troubleshooting disguised as fiction*
  • stuff with elves

We pay semi-pro rates of 1 cent per word with a bonus of an additional 1 cent per word on the first 2500 words. Payment is on acceptance for exclusive rights for one calendar year from the date of the publication.

*:we do accept “Hard” Science Fiction, just make sure that it’s something like Karl Gallagher’s Torchship or Paul Ernst’s Raid on the Termites (.

Flipping Switches

Sadly not a gaming post! I spent a lot of time flipping switches on stuff to make sure that Issue 5 goes out more or less on schedule.

Stuff is set up on Amazon for the eBook version, which you can pre-order here.

Stuff is set up on Smashwords for the other eBook versions, which you can pre-order here. (If you backed the Kickstarter and I sent you a promo code, this is where you have to go)

Stuff is set up on Lulu for Hardcovers and stuff is set up on Createspace for softcovers, and we’ll be getting those in the mail very soon!

Guest Post – J. Comer: Review of Transit to Scorpio and The Suns of Scorpio by Kenneth Bulmer

The late Kenneth Bulmer (1921-2005) was a very prolific author, with more than 160 novels under his various names.  As ‘Alan Burt Akers’, he wrote fifty-two sword-and-planet novels in the Dray Prescot series between 1974 and 1997.  Later volumes (after #37!) were issued solely in German.  All are now available in omnibus volumes and as e-books. These include novels grouped into ‘cycles’ of three to five novels as well as stand-alone works. Reading the first two books reveals a competent grasp of adventure fiction.

After the Mariner and Viking spacecraft had made it clear that Mars was not Earthlike, writers of sword-and-planet fiction faced hard choices.  Michael Moorcock abandoned the field for straight-up fantasy; Mike Resnick decamped for science fiction and refused to reprint his Ganymede novels; Leigh Brackett took Eric John Stark to other stars.  Bulmer compromised: he created his own world, but made his stories old-school adventures.

The hero, Dray Prescot, is a sailor of the Napoleonic era transported to Kregen, a world of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) by the Savanti, a faction warring to rule that world.  He then has various adventures as he pursues Delia, a native princess.  Bulmer references Barsoom by having his hero trek to Antares (‘anti-Mars’).  Instead of arriving at random, as did John Carter, he is brought to Kregen and sent back to Earth.  His transits to Kregen at the behest of the Savanti and their rivals, the Star Lords, open and close many tales. Like John Carter, he is a swordsman and is also a sailor, with a modern grasp of race and gender issues.  He returns to Kregen, masters a nomadic horde, spurns a horny villainess, charms an elderly noblewoman, and seeks to find his beloved.  All this unfolds amidst a world of multiple societies and many intelligent species.  There are even sly digs at John Lange’s “Gor” novels.  Bulmer loses track of his hero sometimes and points to gaps in the ‘original’ tapes which Prescot is supposed to have used to record his adventures.  Birds serve as messengers of the warring factions, and scorpions crawl across the series, since Antares lies in the constellation Scorpio in the sky of Earth.

The second book brings Prescot to the Eye of the World, an inland sea full of rival nations.  Egyptian-ish Magdag seek to build colossi with armies of maltreated slaves, while the Sanurkazz command ships of war.  Prescot rows, battles, loses a dear friend, (and comforts his widow in a well-done scene) and commands ships in sea fights.  Will he find his beloved princess? Tune in next book!

These were pure fun, and, despite the fine craft of worldbuilding, not intended to be taken seriously.  If we can’t have adventures on Mars, with thoats and canals, then we can have them somewhere, and Kregen looks like fun!  I anticipate with pleasure the remaining volumes in this series. Recommended for all sword-and-planet fans.