Some Cirsova Contributors in Other Publications

DMR Books has a couple of new fantasy anthologies coming out.

Death Dealers & Diabolists has a new story by Kenneth R. Gower, featuring the further adventures of Kral Mazan, the anti-hero of The Idol in the Sewers [featured in our spring issue.]

Also, Spencer E. Hart, who’s becoming something of a Cirsova regular, has a story in Warlords, Warlocks & Witches. Spencer’s next Cirsova story will be appearing in our fall issue, out on the 16th of this month.

DMR Books is a really solid Sword & Sorcery and Fantasy publisher, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have published a story by Dave Ritzlin in our spring issue.

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Realities of Short Fiction Economics

The economic reality of short fiction publishing that authors and editors are both afraid to admit is that supply outstrips demand on an astronomical level.  Even token markets get more subs than they can publish. Only editors who insist on fiction having value try to pay reasonable rates, even if in many cases it’s not economical for them. Even Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld has expressed some frustration with the financial realities of running a pro-paying magazine.

Authors want to be paid, of course, but authors also want to be published. Some (many) authors REALLY want to be published–they care more about having their story out there than making money. And the ratio of authors/stories to editors/publications? It makes it so that stories lack value in an economic sense.

There’s no scarcity.

At all.

Even when there is quality, there is not scarcity, so there’s not a lot of economic incentive to pay “pro” rates [especially given the often decent-to-high quality of fiction/authors willing to accept less].

The scarcity of short fiction comes in name recognition, not the fiction itself. There are a gorillion amazing stories, but for instance, there is only one Sky Hernstrom–with only one Sky Hernstrom creating a limited supply of Sky Hernstrom stories, the value on those stories becomes a premium. If I can pay Sky more for a story than another guy because I want to be the pub carrying Sky Hernstrom stories, then that’s where the value comes into fiction, not through the slush pile of great undiscovered and unpublished fiction we see every year.

The addendum to this is that if we’ve published you once, there’s a much higher chance we will publish you in the future, because a) we like your stories, b) your stories become part of our “brand” so to speak and c) if our readers like your stories, they will buy us to read them.

Some have suggested that the only viable option for authors is a sort of donation/patronage system for their writing. And that, I gather, is what Clarke and other SFF pubs are doing to keep themselves afloat–small donors, subscribers, and whales subsidize the many non-paying readers like the ones Clarke is struggling to monetize. For an unknown author, building that level of patronage may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be the only option.

Truly devoted fictioneers have the tools available so that they can really scrounge for every publication out there they could possibly submit to–Ralan, Duotrope, and Submission Grinder are a few examples of such tools.

Publishing across many outlets is a great way of increasing visibility to the point where releasing periodic anthologies is feasible.

As much as I’d like to publish everything a few of our authors put out, it would be bad for them because it would restrict the visibility of their works to our audience.

If they published 4 stories with us, they would have 4 stories that were seen by the same set of eyes more or less, but if they published 4 stories in 4 magazines, they’d have reached as many as 4 times as many readers, including those who would be interested in catching up on what they missed in a collected anthology.

If you’re interested in submitting to Cirsova Magazine, we pay semi-pro rates at approximately .0125 per word for short fiction up to 10,000 words. We will be opening in Mid-October for submissions. More details are here.

Our latest issue, the Cirsova Summer Special is available now, and our upcoming Fall issue will be out September 16th. If you’re interested in submitting fiction to us, it will be helpful to read at least one issue to get an idea of the kinds of stories that we are looking for!

New Reviews:Jon Mollison and John DeNardo

We have a couple new reviews go live recently!

The first is from John DeNardo in his round-up of scifi short fiction on Kirkus:

Cirsova bills itself as a “magazine of thrilling adventure and daring suspense,” a sentiment that is embodied in its lead story, “Halcyon” by Caroline Furlong. The backdrop of the story is an interstellar war between humans and the alien race known as the Gorgons, ape-like creatures that appear to be ruled by a scientific ruling class. The setting is the planet Halcyon, where a group of humans have been laboring in the mud pits of an open-air prison. The point-of-view characters are the humans Marin and Siobhan, respectively a soldier and a scientist, who make a daring escape in the opening scene. True to the magazine’s promise, the story whisks along from one adventure to the next as the heroes encounter strange beasts and unlikely allies in a fun, serviceable story reminiscent of the science fantasy planetary adventures of yesteryear.

We’ll take “fun” and “serviceable”!

Next is from Jon Mollison, who received an ARC of Wild Star Rising:

With “Wild Star Rising”, the reader gets drawn into the action one small step at a time.  The seamless merger of sci-fi and fantasy results in an epic conflict that kicks off around the time of the final destruction of Atlantis.  The points where spacefaring nations interact with the denizens confined to the bottom of earth’s gravity-well make sense in a way that most efforts to marry the two genres don’t.  The writing crackles, and the adventure leaps from ship to prison to outer space to back in time with a relentless pace that’s a joy to follow along.  New characters step on scene fully formed, and fully described for newcomers to the series, and Tierney doesn’t shy away from jerking the rug out from the reader’s expectations in a way that is both fun and inspiring.

There’s more, but you should read the review for yourself.

One thing that Jon notes is that Wild Star Rising is where Wild Stars really finally clicked for him–it’s interesting he brings that up, because what I told Michael after first reading his manuscript was that “this one makes the older books better”. Wild Stars is a pretty dense universe, and Book of Circles has a LOT going on for a comic. The novels are solid, but the media res and sequel aspects can be a bit tricky. But I really think that someone coming into Wild Stars cold has a good entry point with Wild Star Rising. Better if you have all of the books, because you can read the first half of Wild Star Rising, go back and read the first three books that take place in between, then finish Wild Star Rising.

You’ll be pretty blown away by it all.

The 35th Anniversary Editions of Wild Stars will be shipping out to backers around the end of September to early October and will be available on Amazon in late October.

So, the Wild Stars Proofs are In…! What Now?

We’re very excited that we got the proofs in so that we had physical product to show people, but the work doesn’t end here!

The proofs are practical, in that they’ve let us see a few adjustments that we have to make before going to print.

There are a few minor adjustments here and there in some of the books, a couple of tweaks and corrections; we’ll be making those in the next few days prior to putting in the order for a run to fulfill to backers.

The good news is, we are on-track for meeting our delivery goal–maybe even ahead of schedule!

Thank you for your support for Wild Stars, and we’re looking forward to getting these magnificent books in your hands!

There are only 4 days left on the Wild Stars kickstarter, so if you can, tell your friends and spread the word! The Kickstarter is about 2/3 of the way towards its goal, but will surely make it with one big push here at the end! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wild-stars-iv/cirsova-presents-wild-stars-iv-wild-star-rising

proofs 4

One Week Left to Back Wild Stars!

There’s only one week left to back the Kickstarter for the 35th Anniversary Editions of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars!

The proofs arrived last week, and they look fantastic!

Here’s a sneak peek at the interiors for the new edition of Book of Circles!
The artwork is ~20% larger than originally published in individual comic form and substantially larger than when it was resized to fit the trade format of the previous collected editions. There are a lot of little details in the artwork that could’ve been missed in the smaller formats that are now more apparent, including several easter eggs and Chekov’s Guns hiding in the backgrounds.

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This project is very important to the future of Cirsova Publishing. While any retail sales we get of our magazines won’t pay out for 90 days following the close of period, the money we make off Wild Stars WILL be available in time for our October acquisition period. So, the better Wild Stars does for us, the more money Cirsova Publishing will have to acquire fiction for 2020 and pay our art and editorial teams!

The New Woke Weird Tales

I’ll admit, I was incredibly apprehensive when I first saw that the most fabled name in pulps was yet again being resurrected for another zombie run cash-in on pulp nostalgia.

You guys know how I feel about that sort of stuff.

But to add insult to injury, Weird Tales is being relaunched with the editor explicitly condemning the original title as sexist, racist and homophobic.

New Weird Tales

If you think Weird Tales was such a bunch of regressive reprobate garbage, why did you buy it? Why are you selling it with an homage to a cover by the woman who made the magazine famous with tawdry paintings of lesbians flogging one another?

It’s because nostalgia sells.

It seems like a common modus operandi today to get ahold of a property just to crap it up.

I hate this sort of thing, because this is the sort of denigration of the pulps that actively discourages new readers from actually digging into them and seeing what they were really like. “Oh, don’t buy that old Weird Tales with its bad wrongthink stories; buy the new one, we promise we won’t offend your modern sensibilities!”

If you’re an author who would otherwise have considered submitting to Weird Tales, give us a look instead. We pay semi-pro rates for fiction [0.0125 per word] and will be opening in the October. Details are available in our submissions guidelines linked at the top of the page.

Or if you’re a reader who enjoys weird fiction and the pulps, give us a look. Our new issue will be out next month and features some great science fiction, fantasy, and classic weird horror.

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Lastly, don’t forget Wild Stars! If you want us to be able to continue doing what we’re doing, and especially want to support us in a way that will give us more funds to acquire stories in the Fall, be sure to back Wild Stars back Wild Stars!  Money we make from this project WILL be available in time for us to figure it into our acquisitions budget.

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