Thanks to everyone’s support, we’ve hit our $10k goal and will be starting a Cirsova Classics imprint focused on bringing previously unscanned and uncollected Public Domain pulp works back into print in modern formats. I know that Michael and Robert are already chomping at the bit to get started on the next project. We may even be able to begin as early as this fall [roughly as soon as we get The Cosmic Courtship out the door]. Most likely the next work we get out will be the uncollected Hawthorne novel, Sara Was Judith, and with the novella A Goth From Boston as a companion volume. We’ll try to get both of those by mid-2022.
Hawthorne was fascinated by the concepts of astral travel, out of body and out of time experiences, hypnotism, and clairvoyance. These play a central role in several of the short stories of his that I have read and is the means by which the heroes travel to Saturn in The Cosmic Courtship. While I have not yet had a chance to read Sara Was Judith, it’s not hard to guess from the pitch that it will be about some form of clairvoyant astral discorporation.
We’ve got an idea or two for the third project/fourth book, but haven’t quite settled on it just yet. We’ll let you know when we do.
A few people have asked about illustrations–unfortunately, The Cosmic Courtship, like many stories published in All-Story, did not have accompanying illustrations [many of the well-known later pulps that were fully illustrated tended to be monthly or quarterly]
We are, however, including a facsimile reprint of Scenes of Hawthorne’s Romances in all formats but the pocketbook [it’s just too small, sorry!], which IS lavishly illustrated.
Below is just a small sample of the work, and you’ll understand why we went with a facsimile approach–also why, even though the text is extant, we felt it worth including in its original presentation, as it is available nowhere else.
Mary Faust, a brilliant scientist, has developed a machine that can allow the conscious human soul to explore the cosmos! Her promising young assistant Miriam Mayne has accidentally transferred her consciousness to Saturn, where she falls under the enchantment of an evil sorcerer! Jack Paladin, her love, sets out after her on a thrilling celestial journey to the ringed planet! Swashbuckling adventure and high romance await in Julian Hawthorne’s The Cosmic Courtship!
While most are at least somewhat familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne as one of the great American authors, less well known is that his son Julian was 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.
The Cosmic Courtship was serialized in Frank A. Munsey’s All-Story Weekly across four issues, beginning with the November 24, 1917 issue and running through the December 15, 1917 issue. While this story has been in the public domain for some time, it has never been collected or published elsewhere until now.
Cirsova Publishing has taken on this exciting project with the aim of preserving this story for posterity and ensuring that it is not lost to future generations.
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 cover by Fred W. Small to create a unique cover for this edition.
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 text as it was originally published from the digital images provided from Michael’s collection.
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.
We’ve also been spending the last couple of months working with Erin Michele Gabbard to bring these exciting adventures to life in an all-new audiobook edition of Pursuit Without Asking. She has done an excellent job on these stories and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Don’t forget, the next installment of the adventures of Mongoose and Meerkat, The Grain Merchant of Alomar, is appearing in the Spring issue out in three weeks!
We have some enormous stuff just on the horizon that we can’t wait to share with you, but until then, let me vamp by reminding everyone that MANY Cirsova back issues are available from our Aerio store for under $7. If you need to fill gaps in your collection, the best way is to visit our Aerio store!
In The Grain Merchant of Alomar, our pair of swords for hire are beginning to settle in. They’ve reached the city of Alomar, a cosmopolitan metropolis where anything (and anyone) can be bought and sold, and coin is king.
They’ve finally managed to save up some money (or Kat has, anyway–Mangos has squandered a lot of his on good food and drink and a replacement for the sword he lost back in Sword of the Mongoose) and are hoping that they’ve established a bit of a reputation as mercenary adventurers. Unfortunately, Alomar is a big city, and the Mongoose and Meerkat are still small time.
While they’re trying to get gigs lined up, they’re squatting in an unused wing of a manor owned by a wealthy merchant… who hires them without even knowing they’re living under his roof!
This will be the first time a Mongoose and Meerkat story will appear in Cirsova magazine with illustration [by the talented DarkFilly, who illustrated Volume 1].
Also, it’s still in production, but we’ve commissioned an audiobook edition of Pursuit Without Asking, which should be available by mid-spring. It’s read by Erin Michele Gabbard, who is not only a fantastic reader, she sounds just like we imagined Kat to sound like! More news on that soon, but in the meantime, please back the pre-order for our 5th Anniversary Issue!
As you ought to know by now, we’re taking pre-orders for our Spring 2021 issue. One of the features of 2021 is we’ll be reprinting Paul O’Connor’s epic Sword and Sorcery Comic, Badaxe, which has been digitally restored by Michael Tierney. Below is a sneak peek.
There’s always a bit of a discussion on just how gonzo D&D should be and those “weird” modules that had rayguns in them.
How can you have rayguns in D&D? It doesn’t make sense! Why would there be swords and magic and ALSO rayguns!? It’s just not supported!
Except it totally is.
I’ve been reading an Andrew. J. Offutt novel, Chieftain of Andor [hat tip to Schuyler Hernstrom], which features stone age atomic death rays.
The setting is a Sword & Planet world where there are explicitly no firearms [lack of saltpeter is cited], primitive swords are the weapon of choice for most civilized peoples, and sorcery is real [‘A does not necessarily equal A’]. Yet the hero ends up with an atomic death ray. How?
Two races of mermen live in the caverns underneath a mountain composed in part of a radioactive mineral. The blind albino mermen in the upper part of the mountain have devised a weapon: a small obsidian mirror-box that contains a tiny chunk of highly radioactive material. There’s a door flap that is opened by pulling on a simple trigger. Whatever is in front of the box gets Lou Slotined.
Of course construction of the device is always fatal to whomever harvests the rock and assembles it, so there are necessarily very few and they are only made when absolutely necessary.
The hero observes that in the hands of anyone else on the world other than the blind albino mermen who never leave their mountain, the device could lead to a devastating holocaust, and he’s reluctant to accept the one that is gifted to him for saving the beautiful blind albino mermaids from the chief of the not-blind albino mermen.
So, uh… yeah. If you need some sort of justification for why or how you might have death rays in your AD&D game where swords and wizardry are the words of the day, you need look no further than Appendix N.
We received a number of great presents and well-wishes from everyone this season, including this lovely gift art from StarTwo.
For those who don’t know, StarTwo illustrated our 70th Anniversary Leigh Brackett’s Stark. They’re currently working on a comic project for friend-of-the-magazine, James Streissand, and we can’t wait to see it come to fruition!
We also got a wonderful Christmas gift from Team Shanghai Alice, getting permission to include some original Touhou art on our upcoming 5th Anniversary Issue.