Initial Goal Met! First Stretch Goal: TTRPG Write-ups

Thanks to everyone who backed the project yesterday! We hit our initial goal.

Next goal will be adding some bonus TTRPG content. We were sort of inspired to do this because of Troll Lord Games’ 5e Adventures supplement for Wild Stars that came out a couple years back. While that product tried to create an entire and encyclopedic setting for Wild Stars based on the Multiversal Guide in Wild Stars volume 4, what we’re looking to do with this is something simpler, akin to the old D&D magazines where you’d see various pulp heroes like Stark or Cugel the Clever statted up to drop in your AD&D or B/X game.

While we plan on a systemless approach to the write-ups, we hope they will be written in such a way that you could easily drop them into your game as wild card factor or a faction patron, outlining some of their motivations, skills and abilities, and an approximation of level/strengths.

Just a reminder, too, if you want to get caught up on the earlier volumes of Wild Stars [linked in the Kickstarter description], you can use either of the following promo codes for 15% off your order: EMPOWERMENT15 or WELCOME15

Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm is Live!

The Kickstarter for Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm is now live!

75,000 years ago, an immortal being from another universe known only as the Ancient Warrior led mankind on an exodus to the stars in the face of a massive alien invasion. While the branch of humanity remaining behind survived the Marzanti attempt to terraform earth into a paradise for aquatic alien nightmares, their cousins settled in the distant reaches of space known as the Wild Stars. 

The Artomique Paradigm takes place at the first formal reunion of Earth and their Wild Stars cousins. Erlik, the son of the Ancient Warrior,  and former President Bully Bravo hope that a summit between the myriad factions now populating space will bridge gaps and build trust throughout the galaxy. However, the Artomique Corporation aims to become one of the dominant players in Earth and interstellar politics using the stolen Wild Star technology they acquired in the late 20th Century. For them, this meeting is an opportunity to solidify Artomique Earth’s dominance over the stars and implement the Artomique Paradigm.

A secret alliance between the Artomique Corporation and space pirates led by the notorious Red Queen threatens to turn the balance of power in the galaxy upside down!

The Artomique Paradigm is the 5th installment in Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars series. The previous four volumes, The Book of CirclesForce MajeureTime Warmageddon, and Wild Star Rising are available now from Cirsova Publishing, or you can pick up the 35th Anniversary Omnibus that collects all four in a single hardcover.

[use promo code: EMPOWERMENT15 for 15% off all Lulu orders].

The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm: Sara Was Judith is Out Now!

Kinda… The eBook is out tomorrow; we weren’t able to time things exactly right with the print edition, which we expected to be a little late, actually.

But be sure to check out this incredible weird tale by Julian Hawthorne, son of famed American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne!

What’s Cirsova Reading?

I’ve been trying to do a lot more reading lately, to get through my giant stack of unread books. A big part of why is that I inherited my dad’s gigantic library of history books, and I have nowhere to put all of them, so I’ve been trying to read them as quickly as possible and then give them away to friends and followers to make room for more boxes of books. If you want a chance to get your hands on the books I’m giving away, be sure to follow us on twitter [twitter.com/cirsova], where I regularly raffle off the books I finish.

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

This has been a fantastic read. I’m about half-way through. I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer narrative by a soldier and commanding officer of his campaigns. Even if it were only the first 100 pages covering the Mexican War, this would be a priceless account.

While extremely detailed, it serves to give the reader vivid and precise accounts of the action rather than bog the reader down.

Grant’s deference in his prose to the various commanders under him and over him is delightful–the frank portrait of Zachary Taylor as a commander in the Mexican War, his friendship with and deep admiration for Sherman, his frustration with Halleck as his superior and McClernard as his subordinate, are all laid out from a Grant who is focused principally on the facts of events, generous with praise for men who did their duty’s well and reluctant to disparage those deserving beyond stating what occurred in the course of things.

Lorena – Frank G. Slaughter

I’ve taken a quick break from Grant at roughly the half-way point [Chickamauga & the relief of Burnside in Knoxville] to read a period romance from Frank G. Slaughter. I really enjoyed his Phoenician romantic adventure, The Purple Quest, and have been meaning to read more of his books. I grabbed this and read the first four chapters while my GF was shopping at the Goodwill, and so far, it has not disappointed.

A brilliant young woman from the East coast has married a southern officer who is the heir to a massive plantation. The officer turns out to be a total wastrel and scoundrel; his father, the old county judge, realizes this and, before his death, teaches Lorena the ins and outs of the business of running a plantation.

Fast forward to mid-to-late in the Civil War: Lorena has managed to keep things running and profitable after the Judge’s death and while her husband is fighting in the war, though her methods are rather unorthodox for a Southern Lady [among other things, she has made a black her bookkeeper!] Her husband thinks himself a Rebel Hero and looks down on his wife; if he ever gets back and in charge, he’ll run the place into the ground. On the other hand, when the North inevitably wins the war, will Lorena be able to hold things together? She is well-loved and respected by the blacks on her plantation, including some who would be willing to stay on with her after the liberation–but if her rotten no-good husband has anything to say about it, he’ll drive them all to ruination.

Redfox

Okay, this is just a for funsies thing on the side [and no, I’m not raffling these off]. Redfox is a British indie sword & sorcery comic from the 80s. It’s been amusing and pretty fun so far. Redfox is looking for treasure in dungeon, but it turns out that the treasure is bogus and the rumors existed so that at some point someone would come and revive a wizard from a healing torpor he placed himself in.

The wizard DOES reward Redfox, offering to teach her magic; while she’s an apt student, however, magic ultimately disagrees with her barbarian nature.

While the art isn’t amazing, the story has been pretty engaging. It’s a little shlocky and gaggy the way a lot of indie comics tend to be, but it’s not so much so that it detracts from the enjoyment.

So far, I think my favorite character is Whitefox… After Redfox leaves the wizard, the wizard becomes despondent and fixated. He ultimately creates a clone of Redfox who he makes his new apprentice. She is powerful and brilliant but like the other living magical creations of the wizard, she struggles with her identity [it has very strong Dying Earth vibes.] You just want to give her a hug.

Anyway…

We’re going to be taking pre-orders soon for Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars V: The Artomique Paradigm on Kickstarter! Please sign up for notification!

We’ll also begin serializing Wild Stars VI: Orphan of the Shadowy Moon in our Spring issue that will be out March 15th!

Also, I was sick with the flu, so I didn’t get to properly advertise that the retail edition of Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston is now available on Amazon!

Pointman Comics Review

Okay, so, quick review of Pointman Comics. I wish I hadn’t been sleeping on these for so long, because I’ve been mutuals with Kassidy for a couple of years now.

Right now, Gorilla Galaxy is in the spotlight, because the new issue is a full length Gorilla Galaxy story.

Really, though, I’d like to mention the horror stories of the first and second issues. These are both really solid, and the one in the second issue is VERY much in the tradition of the classic horror books.

Leatherfist in issue 2, I wasn’t as hot on, but if Kassidy were to spin off a weird horror short series in vein of a Grimm’s Ghost Stories, that would be fantastic.

Gorilla Galaxy has a lot of potential as an IP, and I loved the one-off short in the first issue. Kinda reminded me of the classic Aniverse raygun romance stuff. After reading it, I was looking forward to a full-length adventure.

Honestly, though, I don’t care for the new art as much in issue 3. One selling point of GG, naturally, is cute girls. But the new art doesn’t really show them being cute. It’s a matter of taste, obviously, and while the new art is VERY expressive, it borders on grotesque–it would be nice to be able to let the characters have a few panels where they aren’t mugging and making twisted, contorted faces.

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Redd in Issue #1
Redd in Issue #3

That said, I still plan on supporting Pointman Comics and will stick with Gorilla Galaxy for another issue [though I really liked the first artist better].

Anyway, you can pick up all 3 issues of Pointman Comics here at IndyPlanet.

Cirsova Publishing Terminating Relationship with Ingram Spark

Cirsova Publishing is terminating its relationship with Ingram Spark effective December 9, 2021.

This comes after years of high damages, poor service, high fees, and other myriad issues.

We are adjusting our business model to accommodate this shift away from Ingram Spark.

This principally means that existing titles will be moved to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service. We will rely more on Lulu for a wide range of products and services that KDP is incapable of delivering.

Most of our titles will remain available on Amazon. [note that none of our eBooks are currently affected by this change].

The following print titles will be going out of print and may no longer be available after December 9th, 2021:

“Going out of Print” does not necessarily mean “not available.” The remaining stock in the hands of retailers will remain available until it has been fully liquidated, however, retailers will no longer be able to place re-orders for these titles when they are out of stock.

*: Due to disambiguation issues with these titles as public domain works, these are constantly buried under other mercenary editions. Additionally, certain printing/trim issues that KDP has with these books that Ingram overlooked are treated as “blocking” issues. These may not be gone forever, but they will take some work to get reformatted, and it’s honestly not a top priority at the moment.

**: The paperback is probably going away forever, but there’s a chance we may release a new deluxe edition of the hardcover. I was honestly never very happy with the quality of the Ingram Spark version, so we may see what an improved Lulu version looks like.

***: Yeah, I know it’s not even out yet, but you’ll have all of November and then some of December to grab this! We may end up getting a Lulu pocketbook edition of it up at some point, but Lulu’s pocketbook trim size is marginally different from Ingram Spark’s so it will take some work. And honestly, pocketbooks are NOT economical for us and we will most likely not be offering them going forward.

****: We will make a Lulu version of this available before it goes out of print, but the hardcover with dust jacket as was received by backers of the Kickstarter will no longer be available after December 9th. The hardcover version available on Amazon will be replaced by a case-wrapped hardcover.

+: In all likelihood, gone and not coming back to Amazon. Ironically enough, according to Ingram, this should not have been allowed to be distributed in the first place. Their insistence that they would not distribute multiple formats of The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm is a major reason for our break with them. This will be available in the future through Lulu, however.

++: The pocket book edition is going away on Amazon. It may end up on Lulu, but again, pocketbooks are not economical for us, so we’re not putting any energy into them going forward.

+++: This version of The Cosmic Courtship is being discontinued and, like The Paths of Cormanor, is being replaced by a casewrap edition. A dust-jacketed edition may come to Lulu in the future, but not to Amazon.

++++: The version on Amazon may be replaced by a case-wrapped edition. A dust-jacketed edition may come to Lulu in the future, but not to Amazon.

#: Duel Visions was falling out of the Cirsova catalog at the end of the year. Rather than create a stop-gap KDP version, we are simply allowing the print edition to lapse on December 9th when Ingram Spark closes our account. The eBook version will remain available through the end of the year.

Band on the Run! – A Review of “Our Lady of the Open Road” and A Song For A New Day by Sarah Pinsker (Guest Post by J. Comer)

    When SF fans (such as myself) speak to people who don’t read SF, or who know the field through media, there are two reactions which come when we explain the difference between hard SF (Hal Clement’s or Robert Forward’s work) and media ‘soft’ SF (Star Wars).  One reaction is that hard SF is ‘prediction’; the other is that hard SF must be boring. In this reviewer’s experience neither is true.

    Many SF writers, such as Anne McCaffrey, Pat Cadigan, and Spider Robinson, love to write about music. While this work can date itself quickly (The Rainbow Cadenza), some has aged well (Dragonsong).  With her SF novel of rock music, musician and writer Sarah Pinsker[1] tells a convincing story of a repressive era and the need for performance in the human soul.

     The novelette “Our Lady of the Open Road” introduces the Joan Jett-like rocker Luce Cannon, her band, and their van Daisy the Diesel.  The band performs rock music in an era when congregating for any reason is illegal because of terrorist bombs and disease- a world in permanent lockdown. The performers in this dystopia are people who cannot perform without the feedback of an audience.  Luce must find illegal, often literally underground venues to which fans come by word of mouth, and do a show, escaping before police bust the club. She and her band sleep in the van and live on next to nothing. Her biodiesel van, Daisy, is transport and home for them, virtually a member of the band herself.  The band face crime as well as friendly squatters, and despite agonizing hardship, vows to rock on, any way possible. (They mention touring on bicycles, which the Ditty Bops actually did at one point.)

     In the novel A Song For A New Day, Luce’s world is expanded with peeks at her Chasidic family, her last concert, and her interaction with Rosemary, a young fan trying to recruit Luce for StageHoloLive, a megacorporation which brings performers into living rooms via holographic technology.  Farm-girl Rosemary, who grew up in the lockdown, is unused to in-person interaction, and there is same-sex love brewing. Is StageHolo out to wreck the underground scene?  Can Luce and Rosemary cut a deal that will respect Luce’s authenticity as well as corporate needs? The ending hints at a changed world.

     And here we come to unprecedented times. “Our Lady” won a Nebula for Best Novelette in 2016, and A Song won Best Novel in 2019…before Covid-19 reshaped American life.  Like William Jenks’ Memoir of the Northern Kingdom (which predicted the Civil War in 1808) or Cleve Cartmill’s “Deadline” (which foresaw the atomic bomb in 1944), Pinsker’s novel is guilty of unwilling prediction via the golden road of SF.  I would argue that in all three cases, the author, rather than seeking to predict events, merely saw the facts of their own era and worked with them. Recommended to music fans as well as lovers of well-crafted hard SF.


[1] Music of one band, Stalking Horses, is here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4Os0k7w-jk&list=PLDPpAYpRllKs–rzemQB3LvDHrvUH3E_V

[Be sure to check out our kickstarter to restore Julian Hawthorne’s near-lost All-Story Weekly fiction, The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm!

Also, check out J. Comer’s latest story in the Summer issue of Cirsova!]

A “Goth” from Boston?

Something interesting worth noting is that Martha Klemm is NOT the “Goth from Boston.” Yes, she’s mildly clairvoyant, yes, and she was the protagonist of a “gothic” horror [what the editors of All-Story Weekly refer to as a “different” story]. But…

The title is actually an artifact of this line:

“It was wonderful to hear the chaste lips of Cabot Selwyn reproduce the speech of the old Yorkshire mariner—as if from the portals of a Greek temple were to issue a Gothic gargoyle.”

Cabot Selwyn, the stodgy university biology professor, is quoting the uncle of his cute tomboy maid (Polly King) describing how she would “wallop” the boys, “but the first one as licks [her, she’ll] marry him.”

So, the “Goth” from Boston is Polly King.

Who’s that on the cover?

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Maybe Martha Klemm, or more likely just a generic portrait that seemed like it would fit the title.

It’s hard to see from the original cover that A Goth From Boston is neither a gothic nor a horror nor even really a supernatural story! Rather it is a romantic comedy that features a South Seas adventure.

Martha tries to convince Selwin he should settle down with the lovely but rough girl, stop being stodgy, and take up farming and raise a family. When that doesn’t work, Martha and Polly go on an adventure together but keep running into Selwin.

Whether by rail or by ship, every time Martha thinks they’re finally off on their own just-girls adventure:

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Be sure to check out our Kickstarter to restore A Goth From Boston and the other Julian Hawthorne All-Story Weekly fiction!

Martha Klemm herself is actually more prototypical of a Phryne Fisher-type character.

Miss Fisher and her fans: how a heroine on Australia's small screen became  a global phenomenon

Cirsova 2022 Lineup!

We have finalized the Cirsova lineup for 2022! This is going to be an incredibly exciting year.

Major features include not only the serialization of Michael Tierney’s Orphan of the Shadowy Moons, a sword & sandal sci-fi epic from the 70s seeing publication for first time, but the serialization of an original sword & sorcery novel from Dave Ritzlin, Vran the Chaos-Warped.

After numerous picaresque adventures, Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat moves into its climactic final arc.

Next year also sees some returning favorites, including Adrian Cole’s New Dream Lords Saga with Serpent God of Mars, Louise Sorensen’s Darla of Deodanth in her third Cirsova adventure Firewood, more of Mark Mellon’s Melkart, Harold R. Thompson’s bookish explorer Anchor Brown, and quite a few other familiar names and rising stars of Cirsova Magazine’s roster. [We’re dubbing Mark Pellegrini “the King of Gen Y Horror” and crossing our fingers our Spring issue does 1/10th of the numbers that his comic books are doing.]

We’re also looking to expand the number of illustrations per issue, but we’ll get more on that soon!

Spring (March 2022)

  • Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 1) – Michael Tierney
  • The Flying Mongoose – Jim Breyfogle
  • Channel 121, After Midnight – Mark Pellegrini
  • The Recorporator Finds a Live One! – Andrew Majors
  • Serpent God of Mars – Adrian Cole
  • The City of the Crocodile God – Owen G. Tabard
  • Firewood – Louise Sorensen
  • An Ayre By Landor – Jeffery Scott Sims
  • Just Another Crappy Story that Kills Everybody In It – Jim Breyfogle
  • Dreaming of Mart Senson – Liviu Surugiu
  • Touch of Night – Erik Johnson
  • The Sound of Silence – Rodica Bretin

Summer (June 2022)

  • Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 2) – Michael Tierney
  • Death and Renewal – Jim Breyfogle
  • Vran the Chaos-Warped (Book 1) – D.M. Ritzlin
  • What Price the Stars – Jeff Stoner
  • Dead Planet Drifter – J.D. Cowan
  • People of the Stone God – Harold R. Thompson
  • The Last Khazar – Rev. Joe Kelly
  • Melkart and the Crocodile God – Mark Mellon

Fall (September 2022)

  • Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 3) – Michael Tierney
  • Fight of the Sandfishers – Jim Breyfogle
  • Vran the Chaos Warped (Book 2) – D.M. Ritzlin
  • The Impossible Footprint – David Skinner
  • The Wisdom of Man – Adam S. Furman
  • New Troops for Old: A Review of Jerry Pournelle’s Janissaries Series – J. Comer
  • A Long Way to Fall – David Eyk
  • Fall of a Stormking – Misha Burnett
  • Tripping to Aldous – J. Manfred Weichsel
  • Cerulean – J. Thomas Howard
  • The Strickland Line – Alec Cizak

Winter (December 2022)

  • Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 4) – Michael Tierney
  • Thunder in the North – Jim Breyfogle
  • Vran the Chaos-Warped (Book 3) – D.M. Ritzlin
  • Sister Winter – John Daker
  • Pick Trick – Troy Riser
  • Wishing Well – Michael Wiesenberg
  • The Nighthawk – Michael Gallagher
  • House Odds – Ken Lizzi
  • Moon Magic and the Art of Fencing Doubtful Jewels – Tais Teng
  • The Gold of Palladias – John Gradoville
  • Take the Sword – Michael Ray
  • Lights – Lou Normann

Don’t forget to pick up the Fall 2021 issue out now, both with the Raven Monroe cover and the Genzoman Variant! Also, check out Julian Hawthorne’s Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm for pre-order now on Kickstarter!

Julian Hawthorne’s The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm

Be sure to check out the Kickstarter!

Cirsova Publishing’s effort to rescue Julian Hawthorne’s planetary romance The Cosmic Courtship from its ‘near-lost’ status was met with a tremendous response. We established a new and ongoing Cirsova Classics imprint devoted to finding ‘near-lost’ pulp fiction in the public domain and publishing them in modern format as part of a Stretch Goal that was met.

We only thought it fitting that, before moving on to other works by other authors, we should complete a set of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly-era fiction in a standard set.

What is ‘near-lost’ fiction?

When we talk about ‘near-lost’ fiction, we refer to works that extant but virtually unobtainable for most modern readers. These particular stories are Public Domain and part of the world’s common literary heritage, however, in many cases, there’s virtually no way for anyone to read them! Many works from this era have only ever been printed in now very expensive and hard to find pulp magazines. Even if cost were not an object, availability often is.

As with The Cosmic Courtship, the aim of this project is to collect and reproduce these works in a standard modern format for readers today to be able to enjoy without having to spend a fortune collecting the rare and antique magazines in which they were originally published.

Who is Julian Hawthorne?

For those who are new and didn’t follow our project to restore The Cosmic Courtship, hello!  Julian Hawthorne was the son of iconic American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and an incredibly prolific writer in his own right. Julian wrote on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from literary analysis of his father’s works to poetry to period romances and adventures. Late in his career, Julian even dabbled in the emerging genre of Science Fiction. He was especially fascinated by the metaphysical, and many of his stories foreshadow “Weird Fiction.”

Who is Martha Klemm?

“JULIAN HAWTHORNE and Marth Klemm! Here is a combination to provoke the most jaded fiction appetite. Hawthorne, who is in the tradition of his illustrious father, transcends the commendation accorded lesser lights.” Thus did the editor for the December 20, 1919 issue of All-Story Weekly introduce the second appearance of Hawthorne’s heroine.

Martha Klemm describes herself as “a handsome spinster, of the Beacon Street, Boston, brand.” Claiming descent from the “Salem witches,” Martha is bold and forward modern woman with a touch of clairvoyance and a penchant for finding herself in strange circumstance and odd adventure in her globetrotting lifestyle. 

Following The Cosmic Courtship, Hawthorne featured Martha as protagonist narrator of the horror novelette, Absolute Evil. The character must have been well received, at least by the editorial staff of All-Story Weekly. All-Story would go on to publish the novella A Goth From Boston and the novel Sara Was Judith, both of which featured Martha as narrator and a central figure in the midst of wild and tumultuous events, while vociferously lauding and touting Hawthorne’s charming heroine in the editor-written lead-ins.

The Formats

Like The Cosmic Courtship, all three books in this project will be offered in the following formats:

  •  Pocket Paperback  – Cirsova has been bringing back the Pocket Paperback format! These are no-frills and have a small type face to reduce page count and costs. A good, cheap way to get the stories, but maybe not the best for older readers and the visually impaired.
  •  Magazine Format – Cirsova recreates the look and feel of the pulps with these large-sized double-columned magazine-style paperbacks.
  •  Trade Paperback – Standard trade paperback format. Good balance of cost and convenience.
  •  Hardcover – Cirsova is offering each book as a handsome hardcover volume with wrap-around dust-jacket.

We are also offering an incredible limited edition coffee table Omnibus that collects ALL of Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly fiction in a single oversized volume. 

All in all, that’s 13 different books!

The Tiers

There are a LOT of books being offered as part of this project, so we want to try to make things as clear as possible!

Individual books – Whether it’s the pocketbook, trade, magazine, or hardcover, you can back for a single one of the books we’re offering. You can back for one book and choose other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge. THIS INCLUDES THE LIMITED OVERSIZED HARDCOVER OMNIBUS.

Sets of a title – You can back for a set of a single title and receive all formats for that title. For instance, if you backed for a set of Sara was Judith, you would receive the pocketbook, the trade, the magazine, and the hardcover formats of Sara was Judith, and you could add other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge.

Sets of a format – You can back for a set of all titles in a single format. For instance, if you backed for a hardcover set, you would receive Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston, Sara Was Judith, and Doris Dances & Fires Rekindled in the hardcover format, and you could add other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge.

The Add-Ons

All of the titles and all of the formats we’re offering through this project are available as add-ons which may be added individually to any tier. THIS INCLUDES THE LIMITED OVERSIZED HARDCOVER OMNIBUS! We’ve set aside an additional 100 which may be included as add-ons to orders for individuals who want the other sets or individual volumes.

The Goals

This project has taken an immense amount of time, money, and energy from the team. Copies of the issues containing pieces of the stories that were NOT extant had to be tracked down, purchased, and scanned.

The text then had to be retyped from the scans of the pulps by Robert. 

The retyped text has had to undergo numerous reviews for accuracy and then placed into format. We’ve brought in additional help, Cirsova Magazine copy editor Mark Thompson, so that P. Alexander isn’t doing all of those reviews himself. Hopefully, this third set of eyes will reduce embarrassing errors and typos managing to get through.

The artwork has had to be digitally restored by Michael using multiple copies of old, faded and sometimes damaged pulp covers.

We’re getting these fantastic stories back into the world come hell or high water, but being able to compensate the team for their time, effort, and investment is absolutely critical to allowing us to continue this project of restoring near-lost pulp works.

$10,000 – Pulp Trading Cards

We will be including free pulp trading cards for the Cirsova Classics releases. Each card will be fronted with the cover of the Cirsova Classics pulp title, and the reverse will contain vital facts, such as author, publication dates, originally printed, etc. and a short summary. Backers will be sent cards corresponding to the titles they pre-order. A card for The Cosmic Courtship will be sent to backers who pre-order the Hawthorne Omnibus. These cards will be exclusively made available through our pre-orders for Cirsova Classics titles!

$15,000 – Digital copies to all backers and donating the text to Project Gutenberg

The ultimate goal of a project like this is to make these available to the world because they are part of our literary heritage and everyone should be able to discover and analyze these works to better understand the patchwork history of this fascinating era of fiction.

If we manage to hit this goal, we will give EPUB ebooks to all backers AND we will donate the digital texts of these stories to Project Gutenberg!

The Books:

Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston

This volume collects the novelette Absolute Evil and the novella A Goth From Boston.

Unlike many of Hawthorne’s All-Story works, Absolute Evil has been collected and reprinted many times and is considered an absolute classic of horror. A Goth From Boston is a bit more obscure. Serialized across two issues, this story CAN be found online in scans with some digging, but has never been collected and presented as a whole.

Absolute Evil – (1918)

“Thomas Aquinas says that angels, white and black, can change men into beasts permanently; enchanters could do it, too, but not for long. Seventeenth century witchcraft affirmed that certain natural objects and rites could produce strange effects without aid of God or devil. But the operator must renounce God and Christ, be re-baptised, trample on the cross, and be marked in a certain way—a symbolic transaction. The person could then do only evil—good was forbidden to him, or her!”

Absolute Evil is, in many ways, Julian Hawthorne’s coda on his father’s works pertaining to the theme of Calvinist “doom.” Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s villains and tragic figures hearken back to  Marlowe’s Faustus, with the worldview that destiny and damnation are unalterable though it was the choices they made through free-will that set them on the road to hell.

Unlike his father’s work on the subject, however, Absolute Evil is an action-packed thriller in which a Presbyterian minister turns himself into a werewolf and haunts the New England beaches.

A Goth From Boston – (1919)

“Her father assured me with pride that she could—as he expressed it—lick any boy of her age on the Beach. And he said to her once, in my hearing, when she had come in rather late to cook dinner, with that grin of hers, in spite of a black eye and a bloody nose, and with a tale how she had ‘walloped’ her latest antagonist—‘Right-o, Polly, my lass,’ he said; ‘as long as ye lick ’em, ye’re excused; but the first one as licks you ye’ll marry him—mind that!—so be he’s not married already; and that’ll be a lesson to ye never to mix it up with married men, anyway!’ A plain reversion to the Stone Age, you see.”

While on an errand to gently turn down a proposal from Cabot Selwyn, a Professor of Biology, Martha Klemm meets a most intriguing and alluring beauty–working in the service of the good doctor as mere maid!

Fate and the forces of nature conspire to throw the trio together time and again: can the Doctor escape his ivory tower understanding of biology and embrace the human? 

Hawthorne explores the dichotomy between the “Prospero” and the “Caliban” within the human spirit, in this adventure on the high seas featuring a delightful Tomboy, a hapless professor, a chad sailor, and of course, Martha Klemm!

Sara Was Judith

This volume collects a true near-lost Hawthorne story. Originally serialized across five issues, Sara Was Judith was Hawthorne’s final novel for All-Story Weekly. It has never been collected or reprinted until now.

Sara Was Judith – (1920)

“She is not there, she is something else; she is an angel—or a devil come back to peep at us, to be worshiped, to mock us, to kill us, to smile on us as we die, and to go on to another, again to ravish and destroy him! What is she—who is she? No one knows! But she was, before the Pyramids, and when our great Londons and Parises are a jungle and a swamp, she was what men desire and can never possess, the glimmer in the dark, the mirage in the desert, the thing that is, and is not!”

The editor for All-Story Weekly called “Sara Was Judith” “one of the most remarkable stories ever written. It is entirely unlike any story that you have ever read.” Indeed, Hawthorne weaves a strange tale that straddles gothic, romantic adventure, and even body horror in a work that is truly prototypic of what would eventually become known as “Weird Fiction.” 

Martha Klemm’s school chum, Sara, is an impossibly bland and uninspired woman living a rather dull and ordinary life–quite the contrast with Martha’s, filled with globetrotting adventure. Sara’s daughter Judith is her exact opposite: filled with life and vibrancy, mystery and mischief.

When a deadly storm drowns the girl saving the young lad who fancies her, Sara, in her one act of passion, hangs herself in her boudoir. Pronounced dead, Sara shocks the mourning household, friends, and doctor when she emerges later that evening, more vivacious than she has ever been… and protesting that she is Judith!

Julian Hawthorne’s final novel for All-Story Weekly is a haunting and beautiful tale of love and betrayal and the struggle between good and evil that Miss Martha Klemm finds herself caught, an active and partial observer, within!

Doris Dances & Fires Rekindled

Before All-Story would revisit Martha Klemm in 1919 with A Goth From Boston, the magazine ran two more of Julian Hawthorne’s novellas, which are collected in this volume. As neither of these stories had accompanying cover art, we’ve commissioned this original cover with pencils & inks by Dark Filly [Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat, Wild Stars] and colors by Michael Tierney [Wild Stars, Beyond the Farthest Star]. 

Doris Dances – (1918)

“But for two kittens, Bob might have grown up a Calvinist divine, and been celebrated in ecclesiastical annals. As it was, he can boast of no memorial more pretentious than this plain record of his career.”

Robert “Bob” McIvor Melrose, an eccentric banjo-playing millionaire, was always a child at heart and wanted nothing more than a child of his own. When his gold-digging wife, forces him to choose between her and an orphan infant girl he adopted, Bob takes little Doris with him on the road. 

Leaving all but a pittance for himself and Doris to live on to his wife, the father and daughter live a simple and carefree life as tramps. Gerda Kent, an artist on the verge of fame, hones her skills and creates her masterpiece capturing the loving father and daughter, Bob picking on his banjo while Doris dances.  

Hawthorne delivers a cozy and clever comic romance to warm the heart.

Fires Rekindled  (1919)

“Yes, it may be that thunders of Armageddon portend that after so many blindfolded ages, the veil of Isis is being lifted at last! Some of us at last may consciously be admitted to intercourse with souls disincarnate, and hear nightingale notes of paradise. How can I doubt it!”

Against the backdrop of the Great War, an American visitor in London is struck by a peculiar deja vu–much stronger than the mere sense he has been to the house where he is staying, he finds he knows of details that he could not possibly, even had he once visited in his youth. The strange sense sends him on a quest for knowledge to uncover a past-life love and solve a century-old possible murder!

Fires Rekindled: The Complete All-Story Weekly Fiction of Julian Hawthorne

This hardcover coffee-table volume will collect ALL of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly Fiction in one oversized omnibus. This is limited to the Kickstarter and will NOT be made available through retail! 

  • The Cosmic Courtship (1917)
  • Absolute Evil (1918)
  • Doris Dances (1918)
  • Fires Rekindled (1919)
  • A Goth From Boston (1919)
  • Sara Was Judith (1920)

About The Team

Michael Tierney is a pulp historian and archivist who has written extensively on Edgar Rice Burroughs, having created the massive four volume Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology, and is currently working on another Art Chronology about Robert E. Howard. He has been involved in the comic book industry for 40 years, owning two of the oldest comic book stores in Central Arkansas until switching to mail-order only in 2020. He is also an accomplished science fiction writer and artist, having worked on his Wild Stars saga since the 1970s. Michael not only made his pulp library available for this project, he provided the photographic images of these rare magazines so that a manuscript could be produced. He has also lent his years of experience digitally restoring damaged pulp art to restore the original covers of A Goth From Boston and Sara Was Judith. He also did colors for the Fires Rekindled/Omnibus cover.

Robert Allen Lupton is a prolific author, pulp historian, and commercial hot air balloon pilot. He has published nearly 200 short stories across numerous anthologies, including the New York Times Best Selling Chicken Soup For the Soul series, and has published several anthologies and novels. His most recent novel, “Dejanna of the Double Star” was published in December 2020. Robert has been an active Edgar Rice Burroughs historian, researcher, and writer since the 1970s, including at ERBzine, where several of his articles and stories are published. Robert has painstakingly recreated the texts as they were originally published from the digital images provided from Michael’s and his collections.

Cirsova Publishing has been publishing thrilling adventure science fiction and fantasy since 2016. They have published nearly 20 issues of their flagship publication, Cirsova Magazine. Additionally, they have published a number of anthologies, a fully illustrated edition of Leigh Brackett’s Planet Stories-era Stark adventures, Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat, and the 35th Anniversary Editions of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars.