Cirsova Summer 2022 Paperback Available on Amazon Today!

We’re two days late because the price drop didn’t process within the 72 hour window, but you can now buy the Summer 2022 issue of Cirsova on Amazon for $14.99. You can still get it from Lulu (on nice paper) for $14.99, or $34.99 in linen-wrapped hardcover. But I know a lot of people just like to buy stuff from Amazon [I’m kind of one of them], so rock on with it!

Cirsova Summer 2022 Issue Out Today!

Or, well, it’s supposed to be…

The eBook is available from Amazon.

Amazon STILL hasn’t dropped the price down to where we told them to, so hold off on buying it from them.

Instead, if you want a softcover, or even a hardcover, you can get it from Lulu [on nicer paper] right now and save 15% with promo code WELCOME15.

Vran, the Chaos-Warped (Book 1)

By D.M. RITZLIN

Vran the Chaos-Warped has sworn that the wizard Foad Misjak must die for his debaucheries! Vran’s strange nature due to a sorcerous accident, however, twists with unpredictable results all magic around him… and strands both on another world!

Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 2)

By MICHAEL TIERNEY

The Black Assassins have slaughtered all the children of the Worldlord except Strazis, the strange golden child he adopted as his heir! Strazis’s escape strands him on a mysterious isle as the Worldlord goes to war to secure the fragile empire!

Death and Renewal

By JIM BREYFOGLE

The Prince of Alomar has won a slave from the Bursa… Kat and Mangos must ensure the slave’s silence at all cost, but on one condition: they cannot kill him!

What Price the Stars

By JEFF STONER

Jørgen Pangloss offers the promise of the unthinkable: faster-than-light travel! To what lengths will potential investors go to win Jørgen monopoly… and its fetters!?

Dead Planet Drifter

By J.D. COWAN

Galactic Enforcer Ronan Renfield finds himself prisoner of a death-worshiping cult! Can the whispers from his past aid him in his battle against the cannibals?!

The Last Khazar

By REV. JOE KELLY

Two men, one a Polish Jew, the other a Prussian Nazi, are bound by dreams and bound by destiny to confront one another, both in the present and in the past!

Melkart and the Crocodile God

By MARK MELLON

An evil and sorcerous monster plagues the land of Kush! Can Melkart stop the crocodile-headed man-beast Sosostris from enslaving the people of Meroë!?

My Name is John Carter (Part 12)

By JAMES HUTCHINGS

Reviews

By J. COMER

RIP Stephanie Souders

Stephanie Souders, better knows as The Right Geek, passed away recently.

She was a regular supporter of Cirsova and many of our friends, and like many independent creators, we were familiar with her name from several of our backer lists.

We did not know her personally, having only interacted with her infrequently online, but from what we know about her, we regret not having the opportunity to know her better.

She will be missed.

Meerkat Appreciation Post

With the Mongoose and Meerkat Kickstarter about halfway through, we thought it would be fun to have a Kat appreciation post.

These were some concept designs from Dark Filly that you may have seen if you got the version of the hardcover with the bonus content. Her outfit and overall design was pretty close to fully-formed by this point.

In the valley of Terzol, Kat hangs precariously above a river full of crocodiles and flesh-eating fish after an ancient bridge gives way.
This tavern scene is one of my favorites. I love all of the Mongoose and Meerkat art Dark Filly has done for us, but this is the only one that I “bought” from the company [paying Jim his portion of the art sale]
This was a promotional piece Dark Filly did for the first Kickstarter. I really like this one, too.
In one of the recent adventures, Too Many Mangos, a doppelganger of Mangos tries to trick the duo, and, well, it ends about like you would expect it to.
This was a special cover we ran featuring 3 of the heroines of our serials. Though Mangos appeared on the cover of the Spring 2020 issues, this piece by Raven Monroe was the first time Kat graced the cover of Cirsova Magazine.
This was an alternative cover for the same issue above by Genzoman
I even tried my hand at a chibi Kat, tho it wasn’t one of my better efforts…

Jim Breyfogle’s Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 2: The Heat of the Chase will be out later this year! Get your pre-order in today!

Secret 16th Street

I have recently become fixated on something I am calling “Secret 16th Street.” You know how sometimes there are streets that can’t be found on a map? Well, this is the opposite.

There is a tiny strip of 16th Street that only exists on maps. I never would’ve known it was there if I hadn’t been borrowing my dad’s car with sat nav. There’s evidence of something there, but it’s inconclusive as to whether it was ever a real street or not.

A few feet north of it, there’s a weird large circle in a grassy field. The circle is about 15 feet or so in diameter, and it’s defined by a foot-wide ring where the grass is sickly and doesn’t grow well.

A ways past this circle, Secret 16th Street intersects with a tiny portion of South McKinley street which doesn’t really exist either. If you have a good eye, there’s an opening in really thick woods and brush. It’s little more than a trail through a tunnel of trees and thorns.

Midway between this intersection and a real honest-to-god street, there’s an empty overgrown lot in the middle of the woods with a large metal gate between it and the path with a stylized sun on it, a no trespassing sign, and a camera trained on a nearby graveyard of mattresses.

There’s some evidence that there might have been something there at some point, but it was never finished because the property on that weird strip of South McKinley never sold or was finished being developed. [McKinley is one of the most broken-up, discontinuous streets in our town, but I think this strip may be the only part that exists south of 630.]

The above is great creepypasta [inb4 “cartographers put fake roads on their map as a proof against copying”], but the truth is more mundane*. What was “so horrible it warranted wiping the entire street off the face of the earth?”** It turns out, Obama.

I did some digging [mostly via the Google time machine] and wracked my brain to the ancient days of yor before I moved to that part of town.

Really what happened is that The Great Recession killed off development of an apartment complex that was going to be built there and the forest completely reclaimed everything but a barely walkable trail.

A view from “Secret South McKinley” in 2007

This gate is still there and the only discernible trace of the project, and you’ve got to walk through some pretty thick undergrowth to get to it.

2007 view of the Sun Gate

“Secret 16th Street” would’ve been here.

2007 view of intersection of Secret South McKinley and Secret 16th Street
2007 view of where Secret 16th Street should be from South Cleveland.
2019 view of the same pole

I’m glad the development project failed and I hope no one tries to renew it. Let these images be a great illustration of how fast wilderness can reclaim fully-cleared land.

2007 view of S.McKinley Property
2011 view of South McKinley property not long before all development stopped
2016 view of South McKinley property; S. McKinley still a discernible, though mysterious, drive.
June 2022 [present day] view of S. McKinley Property, entrance is all that remains of the road; beyond what is shown, the path is completely overgrown and difficult to walk down, but the Sun Gate is still accessible if you’re wearing jeans and long sleeves [there are a LOT of brambles and thorns covering the path at chest-height. And face height. And legs and ankles. Really, it’s on the annoying end of doable].

I hope this little story has got you salivating a bit for our upcoming Misha Burnett anthology, An Atlas of Bad Roads. We’ll be posting more about that soon, but in the meantime, don’t forget to back our second volume of Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat from Jim Breyfogle!

*Except for the fairy ring; I have no idea what’s up with that.

**Hat-tip to The Wandering Creative for this line.

Monday Morning Updates!

Mongoose and Meerkat

Mongoose and Meerkat did great the first couple of days, but like most crowdfunds, it’s hit the doldrums a few days in. Just a handful more backers would get us to our first stretch goal, though!

Why is the Audiobook a separate stretch goal? Really, we want to gauge the demand for an audiobook. Audiobooks cost a good chunk of change to produce as well as a lot of time, and can be kind of tedious to edit. But if we see that the demand is there, we’ll produce an audiobook for the second volume. It’s not just a question of money but of future interest. If we raise a bunch of money selling physical copies but no one really wants the audiobook, it won’t make sense for us to use that money to put out another audiobook: it would be better served for something else. So, 100 pledges for the audiobook will show that there’s sufficient demand AND will pay off the expenses on the first one with some profit to show for it.

Wild Stars

We’ve had a chance to go over the proofs of Wild Stars V with Michael, and we’ve made a few changes. He’s doing a last review and should have final feedback by Wednesday. At that point, we may put in another proof order, as well as an order for mailing supplies.

Things are finally coming to a head on this. I’m glad we delayed things a little bit because it meant that we were able to squeeze in two additional illustrations that we otherwise would not have been able to, so that promise is met!

Other Stuff

I don’t really want to go too deep into what I’m working on right now, since it deserves a post of its own, but we’re getting another book into layout right now for a fall release.

Also, I owe Cirsova contributor Michael Gallagher a review of his novel he sent us, Body and Blood, which I have not forgotten about!

If you’re considering submitting to Cirsova this summer, don’t forget that our submission dates are August 1st through August 7th. So, get writing now, if you don’t already have a trunk story for us!

The Heat of the Chase Kickstarter is Live!

Back now to pre-order the adventures of Mongoose and Meerkat!

The Mongoose and Meerkat are back in six more exciting Sword & Sorcery adventures in this fully-illustrated collection.

Mangos, the brash and somewhat impetuous swordsman, and Kat, the mysterious Alnessi rogue, have been adventuring together for a year now and are finally building a reputation as competent adventurers who can get the job done when the price is right.

The duo sets up shop in the city of Alomar, a place where anything can be bought and sold. While seeking patrons for future plans, the Mongoose and Meerkat turn old enemies into new allies, but there’s always cost! While Mangos seeks flashy wealth and fame, Kat has her eyes on bigger prizes… and making some new and powerful foes among the elites comes with the territory when the Crown of Alness is on the line!

The Heat of the Chase collects the second year of Kat and Mangos’s adventures together, including:

  • The Golden Pearl
  • Hunt of the Mine Worm
  • The Grain Merchant of Alomar
  • The King’s Game
  • Too Many Mangos
  • The Wreck of the Cassada

Plus, as a bonus, we’re including the previously unpublished standalone novella, Thunderhead!

The Books

We’re offering The Heat of the Chase in eBook and three physical formats:

  • $3 – eBook
  • $18 – Pocket Paperback
  • $20 – Trade Paperback
  • $30 – Linen-wrapped Hardcover

As a bonus, we’re giving ALL backers a digital copy of Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 1: Pursuit Without Asking so you can get all caught up!

Add-Ons

Signed Bookplate

  • $25

Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 1

  • $10 – Audiobook
  • $15 – Pocket Paperback
  • $15 – Trade Paperback
  • $30 – Linen-wrapped Hardcover

Original Art

  •  $300 – The Gate Demon 
  • $250 – The King’s Game
  • $350 – Kat Killing Mangos
  • $300 – Mangos and the Submarine

Stretch Goals

$3000 –  RPG Bonus Content

Like with Volume 1, we will be adapting elements of these stories into gaming content! The hardcover’s appendix will contain additional stats, items, and more! Plus, updated character sheets for Kat and Mangos.

100 Audiobooks – M&M Volume 2 Audiobook

Show us that there’s demand for an Audiobook of Mongoose and Meerkat Volume 2! We think that Erin Mitchell did a fantastic job reading for volume 1 [she absolutely nails Kat], and we’d love to do another! If 100 backers get the Audiobook add-on, we’ll do what we can to get her on board and record Volume 2 for us!

About the Author

Jim Breyfogle is one of Cirsova Publishing’s break-out stars. His swashbuckling duo Mongoose and Meerkat have become one of Cirsova Magazine’s most popular features.  Cirsova Publishing released the smash hit collection Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat, Vol 1: Pursuit Without Asking in 2020, and his fairytale romance, The Paths of Cormanor in 2021.

Jim began inventing stories to keep himself occupied during the school day, and later, as all good writers, created stories for the entertainment and delight of his children. He is a regular attendee of the World Fantasy Convention and in 2010 was accepted to attend the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop. Since that time, Jim has been published in numerous magazines.

About the Publisher

Cirsova Publishing began in 2016, launching its flagship fantasy magazine, which is now on its 20-somethingth issue. Cirsova has been serializing Mongoose and Meerkat’s adventures for a number of years now. They are also known for publishing Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars science fantasy saga and the strange fiction of Misha Burnett.