“How can the hard cover omnibus contain half the number of pages (188) that the softcover (400) does, with more material?”

This is a very good question posed by Tim Stroup.

The hardcover is formatted similar to Cirsova Magazine, as shown below:

Preview of Hardcover

We used a slightly smaller font than usual (12 instead of 14), in part to keep the cost from going over $50 while still being able to print in full color.

It has ~600 words per page, while the 6″ x 9″ paperback only has only ~225 words per page.

Soft Cover example

The Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition Hardcover Omnibus (Available 4/30/2019)

This 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover presents the stories magazine-style in two-columns with full-page illustrations. Additionally, this edition contains an appendix of character art and unused sketches. This print-only edition contains over 100 illustrations!

Hardcover Template for Omnibus-Case Final front cover only

Queen of the Martian Catacombs (Available 4/30/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains Queen of the Martian Catacombs, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Nathan Housley.

Cover Only JPG

The Enchantress of Venus (Available 5/31/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains The Enchantress of Venus, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Jeffro Johnson.

Enchantress Cover for ebook

Black Amazon of Mars (Available 6/28/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains Black Amazon of Mars, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Liana Kerzner.

Black Amazon of Mars Front Only

The Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition Softcover Omnibus (Available 7/31/2019)

This collects all three fully illustrated stories in a single 6″ x 9″ volume. Note that it does NOT include the bonus content from the Hardcover Omnibus.

It’s out of the bag! The Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary! — StarlitDen

Hello everyone! From the title of this post it’s safe for you to assume that we’re absolutely thrilled and celebrations have commenced here at our studio. It was back in 2017 that we were approached by P. Alexander, editor of Cirsova: a Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction publication. What was in store for us was […]

via It’s out of the bag! The Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary! — StarlitDen

Illustrated Stark Featured on Black Gate

John O’Neill of Black Gate did a great little write-up on the new Illustrated Stark project, which can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Aerbook store or the links below to pre-order!

Queen of the Martian Catacombs (Available 4/30/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains Queen of the Martian Catacombs, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Nathan Housley.

Cover Only JPG

The Enchantress of Venus (Available 5/31/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains The Enchantress of Venus, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Jeffro Johnson.

Enchantress Cover for ebook

Black Amazon of Mars (Available 6/28/2019)

This 6″ x 9″ volume contains Black Amazon of Mars, fully illustrated, with an introduction by Liana Kerzner.

Black Amazon of Mars Front Only

The Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition Softcover Omnibus (Available 7/31/2019)

This collects all three fully illustrated stories in a single 6″ x 9″ volume. Note that it does NOT include the bonus content from the Hardcover Omnibus.

Cirsova Publishing Announces Fully Illustrated 70th Anniversary Edition of Leigh Brackett’s Stark Trilogy

Little Rock, AR, 4/1/2019— Cirsova Publishing has teamed up with StarTwo to create an all-new, fully illustrated 70th Anniversary Edition of Leigh Brackett’s original Eric John Stark Trilogy. Cirsova Publishing aims to bring the action, adventure and romance of Leigh Brackett to a new generation of readers.

First published in the Summer of 1949, Queen of the Martian Catacombs introduced the world to Eric John Stark, the black mercenary swordsman. Stark’s adventures continued on Venus in 1949’s The Enchantress of Venus, and the swordsman returned to the Red Planet in 1951’s Black Amazon of Mars. While Brackett would revisit the character in 1970s with the Skaith trilogy, the original novellas are significant as one of the last iconic Sword & Planet cycles of the pulp era.

These stories will be presented like never before, featuring all new original artwork, including new covers paying homage to Allen Anderson’s originals for Planet Stories and 33 interior illustrations. Each has been checked and corrected against the original texts as they appeared in Planet Stories magazine and will feature introductions by Nathan Housley, aka the Pulp Archivist, Jeffro Johnson, the author of the critically acclaimed Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons, and culture commentator, critic, and pulp enthusiast Liana Kerzner.

The 70th Anniversary Illustrated Stark will be released as individual volumes, in a softcover omnibus, and in a coffee-table hardcover art edition.

  • Queen of the Martian Catacombs + Illustrated Stark (Hardcover) – 4/30/2019
  • The Enchantress of Venus – 5/31/2019
  • Black Amazon of Mars – 6/28/2019
  • The Complete Illustrated Stark (Paperback) – 7/31/2019

Our end-goal is to put these classic works of science fiction back in the hands of readers, young and old.

Little Rock, Arkansas based Cirsova Publishing was founded in 2015. Its flagship publication Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine was a 2017 Hugo Award finalist for Best Semi-Pro Zine.

For More Information, visit https://cirsova.wordpress.com/Illustrated-Stark

StarTwo: http://www.startwo.net/

Competing With “Dead Guys”

Earlier this month, SFF author Fonda Lee took to twitter to point out what she and many other contemporary SFF authors were “up against” at brick and mortars like Barnes & Noble.

This is what modern fantasy writers are up against. In my local B&N, most authors are lucky to find a copy of their book, super lucky if it’s face out. There are 3.5 shelves for Tolkien. 1.5 for Jordan. Here’s who we compete against for shelf space: not each other, but dead guys.

Before you @ me about the importance of classics, I love LOTR too, okay? But 3.5 shelves?? So much great modern SFF work out there. I found one copy of my WFA-winning book. One of most of the other Nebula and Hugo nominees. One copy of The Fifth Season. 18 copies of LOTR.

If you think a bookstore should be a place of discovery, who goes into B&N and “discovers” Tolkien? Do they figure people want another 5 copies of LOTR and aren’t interested in all the other work out there? I dunno guys. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to go into bookstores, tbh.

(And reminder that this is another reason why I love my local indie bookstores and why we must, must, MUST for the love of God keep supporting them.)

This got picked up by Bounding Into Comics, so needless to say, it kind of blew up and people, myself included, decided to share their takes on the matter.

My own take ignores the specter of “SJWs in science fiction” and “Look at them wanting to erase dead white guys”, because even if those are the case, there’s a lot more going on here that maybe I’m more aware of than some of my twitter mutuals because I’m in publishing.

The fact of the matter is, old works have a much wider audience than the current SFF niche. Even award winning and award nominated works sell far fewer copies than a handful of big-named older works. But remember: these chain book stores are where people go to pick up quick gifts for birthdays and holidays. Nearly everyone will buy new copy of LotR for whatever kids they have whenever that birthday rolls around that they think the kid is old enough to read it themself.  Anyone looking for B&N shelfspace is competing against a market that’s principally driven by easy access to nice editions of classic works to be given as gifts, not one that’s able to sustain itself on new content. 30+ years on, they might get that spot.

A bunch of the “New Authors just need to git gud” takes I saw kind of missed the real point that new authors can’t actually look at B&N the way that many of them, Fonda Lee, too apparently, are looking at it.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of books, the quality of writing, or the quality of the authors. It has EVERYTHING to do with who or what is moving whale numbers, and the rest is being propped up by those sales.

Around 15k sales per year (two copies per month per location–B&N has 633 stores) is pretty good by most publishing standards today, and really only justifies one or two copies of a book kept on the shelf.

Even for successful new SFF titles, it’s still apples to oranges. Fifth Season may be great–it’s sure popular and a big seller for a new SFF book, and Jemisen has a lot to be proud of. But it’s not a book that every parent buys a copy for their children going on 4 generations

B&N’s bread & butter are gift editions of extremely popular and timeless works and novelties.

Being on the shelves of these stores should not be the end goal. Growing your audience is more important than sitting unsold on a shelf next to Tolkien.

Bookstores are no longer “places of discover” and have not really been so for a long time. This is unfortunate, but the realities of the market have changed. It’s why B&N is turning into a toy-store for millennials and carrying less media.

There are some authors out there that genuinely believe that people use B&N as something besides a place to pick up a nice edition of a classic or currently boom-popular work to give as a gift for Xmas or Birthday, and the more authors dissuaded from this the better.

I’d also note that if Barnes & Noble decided to carry Cirsova titles in their stores, we’d probably be bankrupt (I’d be bankrupt–Cirsova’s non-incorporated) within a year when they ship backed the returnable copies. Now, that said, you CAN purchase Cirsova products through Barnes & Noble’s online store! In fact, you should do that now. (Plus Duel Visions, which shows up separate from the search term “Cirsova”.)

Note: this post was originally comprised as a disparate series of tweets across a couple threads. It’s been edited [cobbled together] for cogency and saved for posterity.]

Note 2: Cirsova Magazine of Heroic Fantasy & Science Fiction was a Hugo-Nominated publication with literally 88 nominating votes.