Quick Update on Some News & Things

Lot of stuff going on, and we’ve had so little time to talk about it!

First up, I was recently on a podcast with Mr. E and a couple other folks talking about comics & stuff. Lots of fun. You can listen to it here; mid-way through, though, I was dealing some stuff that came up in meatspace, so I only managed to get in two “controversial opinions”.

This Friday, we’ve got two huge things going on:

Black Amazon of Mars drops, and we’ll be launching our IndieGoGo for Wild Stars.

This saturday, if everything goes according to plan, we’ll be on with Daddy Warpig & Dorrinal for the newest episode of Geek Gab.

Then, on the 6th, we’ll be live on location with Michael Tierney and Shane Stacks for the Shane Plays radio show on 101.1 FM The Answer.

We’ll have more news on that as we’re able to push it live.

On the side, been playing a lot of Ogre with my dad; I got him the Designer Edition for his birthday, and we’ve been getting a lot of use out of it [my dad’s already having us use more boards than scenarios call for and doubling the piece counts and such].

Also, I’ve been playing Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius on the recommendation of a friend. And good lord, that game is brutal for a mech pilot waifus in space tactical VN hybrid. In some ways, it reminds me of Power DOLLS. PD is a better wargame despite all of its issues and clunkiness, and frankly I like its overall aesthetic better, but the cheesy space opera story of Sunrider’s VN is fun [even if the waifus are trash] and does a good enough job of breaking up the incredibly difficult battles. [I’ll note that the difficulty curve between Captain [default 4/6] and Ensign [3/6] is astronomical–what took me days to get to on Captain only took a few hours to replay on Ensign when I restarted; but once I got back to where I’d stalled out on Captain, it’s been slower going even on the lower difficulty].

If I get time, I’ll do a more thorough review of it, with a ranking list of best girls and best mechs.

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Various Updates, RE: Cirsova’s plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

It’s been an insanely busy last couple of weeks, and I’m just now starting to catch up on my pulp reading. Later this friday, Short Reviews will resume with the June 1932 issue of Astounding Stories to break up the Planet Stories run a bit, but don’t worry, I plan on going back to PS to read the issue featuring Queen of the Martian Catacombs.

At some point, if I need to buy myself a week, I’ll post the rejected clickbait-ish article I’d written last month on 5 tips for Short Fiction writers (at least two will shock you!)

It’s a bit of a blessing that I won’t be on the hook for war game articles for a couple weeks, as I don’t know when I’d have time to write them. I don’t know how I have time to be writing this filler fluff, frankly!

I may need to push back our open submission period for 2017 back a couple months; I’ve had a lot of personal expenses lately and will have to let Cirsova stand on its own revenues for a bit. We have enough on-hand cash to pay for most of our planned spring 2017 issue, but we hate reading stories that we don’t have money or space to make offers on and pay right away (we don’t believe in keeping writers on the hook for months after they’ve sold their story to us), so we want to have at least enough money for two issue before opening things up. So, after we take orders for issues 3 & 4, we should have enough on-hand cash to begin filling our roster for next year. How many issues we buy content for will depend on how well those do and how well Cirsova sells on the digital newsstands.

So far, we’ve sold nearly 200 physical copies and had tons of digital sales and promotional downloads; as new issues come out, monthly residual revenues will increase and give us more flexibility in the future. This is not me saying “Oh, Cirsova is broke an needs money!” This is just me explaining why we aren’t going to be taking submissions in September as we’d originally planned.

We took an audacious risk in shooting for a quarterly schedule in 2016 to make our publication award eligible next year. We may go full steam ahead in 2017 or we may ease up a bit while we make plans for the future. I’ve got some big projects I’d like to undertake in the next 18 months, and while I may not yet get around to an Albert de Pina collection, I really do want to put together a fully illustrated Early Stark and have already received a quote from the artistic team I’d like to have take it on. That’s going to require additional capital which I don’t have my hands on quite yet, but with the help of our friends, fans and followers we may yet be able to put at our disposal. Of course a pet project like that will come second to maintaining the Cirsova brand and giving our authors an outlet for new and exciting science fiction.

So, all that said, if you haven’t already checked us out, both issues 1 and 2 are available now in print and ebook format on Amazon; your support will allow us to grow and offer a platform for top notch storytelling from some truly impressive authors.

Once we have shipment confirmation on all of issue 2 and have had some time for feedback, we’ll open up the gates for folks who want to pre-order issues 3 & 4.

Life has gotten so busy! (Updates & more Updates)

I feel like I hardly have time to blog anymore, because I’m working on so many cool things, but I’m sure that it’s just all in my head; I’ve got plenty of time and plenty of things to blog about!

This week, I need to take a look at Magic in DCC. There are two prevalent opinions on the subject: either it is awesome or it is a headache.  I’m beginning to think it’s a little of both.

On Friday, I got a pre-proof copy in of Cirsova Issue 1.  It looks phenomenal.  If I weren’t such a Luddite that I didn’t have a smart phone or a digital camera, I’d post all sorts of selfies with it.  Well, that’s a lie.  Even if I had a camera, I would not be posting selfies.  And a photo isn’t going to really capture how awesome thing looks any better than the decent res image I already posted.  In short, it is dangerously close to go time.

I’m going to be trying to create a surplus queue of Short Reviews.  That way, if I’m feeling lazy or just want to read novels for a bit instead of short fiction, I won’t be all “Oh, no, no time to read Dying Earth, I’m on a deadline!”  My first since the series has moved to Castalia House can be found here.

Jeffro has a review of Torchship up.  The interview I’m doing with Torchship author Karl Gallagher should be up in about a week and a half.

Next Saturday, new Medicide album Supernova Black is officially released.

Fortress Europa Wrap-up & Minor Updates

The final nail in the coffin was hammered on the September IV turn.  I managed to make one last heroic strike and was even able to take out SHAEF, but without enough troops to form a line, my few strong piles would get surrounded by Allied troops and would so be unable to escape (units retreating through enemy ZOC are immediately eliminated).

Anti-climactic, I know.  But we will be starting Avalon Hill’s Bull Run this week, which we are both pretty stoked about.  After bagging Fortress Europa, we set up the Order of Battle Cards, were both impressed and perplexed by the granularity of the forces, attempted to extrapolate the system based on the pieces and were delighted as we figured out that some of our guesses were correct.  On the surface, it looks like a far more complicated game than it probably actually is.  I’ll go into that in the first post of our run on that game.

So, time for a few updates.  First, the zine:

I may have found an artist for the first issue of Cirsova.  Once contracts are signed and everything is official, I can make the official announcement.  I’m pretty excited about it.  This week, I’ll be doing a bit more work on adspace; I’ve figured out how much adspace I have, now I just need to get some exact print dimensions so I can provide those specs to potential advertisers.

Now that I may have an artist, I have figured up my costs for this first issue, crunched numbers and have something in the way of rewards tiers planned out.  All rewards will be some combination of “investing” for one copy or many and buying an ad or not buying an ad.  I’m going to try not to harp on this too much, so I don’t burn people out before I get a chance to actually launch the kickstarter, so my next updates prior to launch will simply be to announce the artist, show off the art once it’s done, and to promote the kickstarter.  I’ll include details on those things here, naturally.

Second, Drasmyr Week:

It’s not quite going to be a full-blown Drasmyr week like I did when The Children of Lubrochius came out, but I will have the author Matthew D. Ryan here on Wednesday talking about Tolkien.  Hardback for Sceptre of Morgulan comes out on Lulu tomorrow and you can bet I’ll be ordering it!

Now, the AlisonScam:

I wanted to try to say something about the whole Alison Prime/Steve Polk massive troll, but I can’t really put together anything that doesn’t sound like I’m saying ‘this person is being pilloried and that’s probably a good thing’.  For those who don’t know, Alison Prime was a self-described boob obsessed lesbian gamer girl who was also a cancer survivor and survivor of domestic abuse who was loudly pro-gamergate (though from what I’ve heard, she would mostly derail conversations by bringing up boobs); this person turned out to be a sock-puppet account of some dude named Steve who used pics from a (supposedly dead) friend and other various similar looking women to create a composite fake gamer girl.  Steve’s house burned down and got outed when people were raising money for “Alison Prime” whose house burned down.

I was only vaguely aware of Alison Prime, because I mostly only paid attention to a small handful of streamers whom I had time for (Sargon, Vee, Queeny before she left, Sox and the Honey Badgers.)  Most GG drama is pretty bad for GG, but I don’t know if it will be bad in the long run that everyone in all corners of GG can be united in being pissed off that someone lied about being a cancer and abuse survivor for attention. It also shines a bit of an uncomfortable light on how the internet affects our empathy: many people seemed to love and genuinely care about this weird and kooky person who turned out to never actually exist.  To find out that someone you cared about was not only lying to you but didn’t actually exist must be pretty gutwrenching, and I feel pretty bad for the folks who’ve been affected by it.

Vox Day Xanatos Gambit Update

Before, Vox Day’s opponents were spending a lot of effort to convince me that Vox Day was evil genius mastermind.  Today, Vox Day confirms they were right.

Pictured: Vox & Space Bunny Day celebrate things coming together as planned.

Pictured: Vox & Space Bunny Day celebrate things coming together as planned.

Later this week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Fan Writers Category (expect some shilling), posting a partial review of the BFRPG module Zombraire’s Estate (Shadow Over Alfheim), and more Short Reviews.

I don’t know if I’ll really review Red Dragon Inn, but I will go ahead and say “I love this game, I want it and I want all of the decks and I wish it wouldn’t cost me close to $200 to get all of the decks.”

It’ll be a little while longer before I can continue my Bar-Lev series; I got my dad Ogre as an early birthday present, and we played it 4 times, leaving no time to set up another round of Bar-Lev.  He said it was the coolest new board game he’d played in years.  Considering his tastes in board games, that’s saying something.  The only thing that’s a surprise to me was that he’d somehow missed it in the first place.