Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse: A Kickstarter project by Michael Jan Friedman.

You know this has to be serious when the post title takes up nearly two whole lines, amirite?

Friend and veteran word pusher Michael Jan Friedman has been busy. Long known for his numerous novels that span original science fiction and fantasy to licensed properties like Star Trek, Mike is also one of the plank owners of Crazy 8 Press, a small yet lovable indie publishing house dealing in all sorts of stylized wordplay and other chicanery.

Meanwhile, Mike’s been pursuing efforts on his own, here and there. In recent years past, he’s launched and successfully completed a handful of nifty Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns, including the Pangaea anthology in which Kevin and I have a story, and his own novels I Am the Salamander and Lost Days. Now, he’s compiled a collection of short fiction, and he’s once again looking for some help to procure the funds needed to see it published.


Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse
A veteran sci-fi author
hopes to publish
the first-ever collection of his original short fiction

Rather than have me yammer on about this, I should let Mike do the talking:

Short is Good

Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse is my first book of short fiction. It’s got all the kinds of stories I’ve become known for in books, in comics, and on TV–fantasy, science fiction, and super hero tales.

It’s funny…until recently, I never felt compelled to write short stories. My natural inclination has always been to write full-length novels. If somebody was editing an anthology and they invited me to contribute, sure, I did that, and I invariably enjoyed it. But left to my own devices, I instinctively turned everything into an epic.

Then, about a year ago, I was kicking around a story called Cabal. We’ve all seen comic book heroes fighting teams of villains bent on taking them down for nefarious purposes, right? Well, in Cabal, I wanted to turn that notion on its ear. I wanted the team trying to take down the super-powered character to have only the best intentions. Then, as the story unfolded, we would find out if they were right or wrong to have those intentions.

And it would be a novel, of course. Because that’s what I’d always written. But Cabal didn’t want to be a novel. It wanted to be something shorter than that. I was flummoxed–flummoxed, I tell ya. But like any experienced writer, I knew better than to argue with my story. And that was how Cabal became a novella.

So great, I had a novella on my hands. Unfortunately, the market for novellas is a tricky one. I could have just made an e-book out of Cabal but, you know, I like the idea of holding a book in my hands. And it just so happened that I had other story ideas that I’d been kicking around, and the more I thought about them the more I realized they didn’t want to be novels either.

Eventually, I gave in. Short stories they yearned to be and short stories they would become. Which, in the end, turned out just fine…because I really like the work I’m doing in these stories. I’m proud of it. From top to bottom, these tales are as good as any novel I’ve ever written. (Better, maybe.)

But don’t take it from me. You be the judge. After all, you’re the one I’m writing for.

So, besides Cabal…what’s in this book?

* In The Speaker of Verse, a prequel to my Aztlan series of 21st-century Aztec Empire murder mysteries, a young Maxtla Colhua investigates the murder of a highly regarded educator.

* In The Scales of Justice, an untested advocate tries to right an old wrong in The City of A Thousand Gods.

* In Headless, a crewman aboard a starship does his best to persevere without a critical portion of his anatomy.

* In Behind Every Great Enhanced Being, the mothers of teenaged interplanetary heroes clash as only mothers can.

* In Connections, a woman with remarkable intellectual powers finally appears to  have met her match.

* In The Wall…yeah, that Wall…we scale a possible future in a reality you just might recognize.

As is the norm with campaigns of this type, there are a number of “reward levels” from which to choose, all of which include things such as signed copies of the book, prints of the cover art, copies of other books from his secret stash, receiving writing critiques from Mike, and so on. Head on over to the project’s Kickstarter page, and check out the full deets from the man himself:

Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse

The goals Mike has set for this campaign are modest and – to me, anyway – very doable. If you’re a fan of Mr. Friedman and his writing, here’s a way to be among the very first to check out his latest work. Here’s hoping he makes it across the finish line.

Good luck, Mike!


Lay it on me.

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