Pangaea III: A new SF anthology that needs you!

My friend Michael Jan Friedman is causing mischief. You know…again.

pangaea-logo

Among the various successful crowdfunding efforts he’s shepherded in recent years is a pair of anthologies focusing on a shared-world he created, Pangaea.

The first anthology debuted back in 2015, featuring stories by Michael Burstein, Adam-Troy Castro, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Geoffrey Thorne. Kevin and I also teamed up for a story, “The Ardent,” which introduced Ames and Grinnoj, an unlikely pairing of cops who find themselves caught up in all sorts of shenanigans.

Pangaea II: The Rise of Dominjaron came along in 2016, pulling together a new collection of stories by Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, and Marie Vibbert. This time, Kevin flew solo while penning a second tale with Ames and Grinnoj.

And here we are, three years later, and Mike’s decided the time’s right for a third (and final?) visit to Pangaea. Kevin and I have signed off to give our boys A&G one more at-bat, joining a stellar line-up of word pushers…most of whom wrote for either or both of the previous anthologies. That said, Mike still found a few new voices to spice up things.

What’s it all about? Well, in the words of Mr. Friedman himself:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together. Over millions of years, separate and distinct landmasses have crawled across the planet’s surface on immense tectonic plates to form a single mass–a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we twenty-first century types were living in one of the super-continental periods–those characterized by “lid tectonics” rather than “plate tectonics?” What would it be like if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass…and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

That’s the ever-so-tantalizing axis on which our Pangaea anthologies turn.

It’s an exciting and original idea, one that deserves the best shared world-building talent available. So to explore this world on your behalf, we’ve harnessed the word-smithing abilities of some of science fiction’s most inventive writers.



As with his previous projects in this vein, M
ike is once again turning to Kickstarter in a quest to secure some modest funding for this newest effort. There naturally are a number of rewards and add-on incentives to be had…far too many to describe here without resorting to copying and pasting everything Mike took the time to write. However, I will call out one backer reward in particular:

Pledge US$ 100 or more

Tuckerization by Dilmore and Ward!

At this level Kevin and Dayton will include you or someone you love (presented phonetically, of course, since this is not our world) as a character in their story. You will be thanked by name on the anthology’s acknowledgements page. Additionally, you will receive a trade paperback copy of Pangaea III, signed by at least three of its featured writers, as well as a DRM-free e-pub version of the book suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. Finally, you will receive an e-mail from one of our authors thanking you for your generosity.

 

For everything else? Let’s just point you to Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page:

Pangaea III, by Museworthy, Inc.

So, who’s writing stories this time around? Kevin and I are happy to say we’re joining this pretty nifty line-up:

Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Ron Marz, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, Tiffany Trent, and Marie Vibbert.

I’m proud to call most of the people on this list friends so of course this is gonna be hella fun, and hey! You can help! Check out Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page, and if it sounds like something you want to support, please pledge as you see fit.

Thanks to Mike for inviting us to play one more time, and here’s hoping we can all get to work spinning some more crazy tales.

PangaeaIII

Footprints In the Stars and other awesome eSpec Books…FUNDED!

Huzzah!

InHarmsWay-coverRemember back a few weeks, when I posted about friends Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail of eSpec Books and the epic crowdfunding campaign they launched to fund not one and not two but three – count ’em…THREE – brand new books? Well, I’m happy to say that thanks to the generosity of 109 awesome humans, $3,077 dollars was raised. That’s more than enough to back the publishing of all three books as well as unlock seven stretch goals Danielle and Mike laid down for the taking. Go check out what they did!

eSpec Books: In Harm’s Way (and two more books!) on Kickstarter

This means that in addition to the anthology In Harm’s Way edited by Mike, the campaign also will provide for backers Footprints In the Stars as edited by Danielle, and Devil Dancers, a collection of short fiction from author Robert E. Waters.

FootprintsInTheStarsWhile I’m happy for the entire campaign and the other two books, I’m particularly tickled with the backing of Footprints, as that’s the one to which Danielle invited me to submit a story. As I’ve mentioned before, the story idea I had way back when she first approached me ended up getting set aside as I was struck by another notion I wanted to pursue. The resulting story prompted me to jot down a bunch of notes for where I might next take things, to include going to town with an original science fiction novel concept. We shall see.

One thing at a time, though, right? For now, we celebrate the campaign’s success, and those of us with stories in any of the three books now turn to doing whatever Mike and Danielle need to help them get these titles put to bed and ready to publish. With luck, Footprints will make its debut at the Shore Leave convention in July.

Congrats, Danielle and Mike, and thanks for having me along for the ride!

Support these upcoming titles from eSpec Books!

Okay, I know. I’m a bit behind on my bloggery.

Work, the holiday weekend, work, and…let’s see….yeah, work, have seen to it that I’ve neglected this place for a while. I’ve never been one of those people who sees the need to blog every day, and only do so when something’s got me jazzed enough to tap out some words and add some cute pics and whatnot. However, then something like this comes along and I’m like, “Hey! Cool stuff to talk about!”

Hey! We’ve got cool stuff to talk about.

FootprintsInTheStarsFriends Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail are the brain trust behind eSpec Books, an independent publisher that’s behind a whole bunch of cool novels and short story collections. It seems like most of the writers I know have worked with them at some point, and Danielle was kind enough to invite me to submit a story for a collection she’s putting together called Footprints In the Stars.

But wait! Before we talk about whatever it is I’m laboring to create for her, we need to talk about the crowdsourcing effort to fund this anthology along with one Mike himself is shepherding, In Harm’s Way, the eighth edition of eSpec’s anthology series Defending the Future, as well as a single-author short story collection, Devil Dancers by Robert E. Waters.

A three-book crowdfunding campaign? If that sounds pretty ambitious to you, you’re not wrong. The basic idea is to fund In Harm’s Way first, and any monies pledged beyond that needed to realize the first book will go toward Footprints In the Stars and Devil Dancers. As of today, the fundraising effort is more than halfway to the initial goal, and the campaign is active until May 19th on Kickstarter. Check it out:

eSpec Books: Defending the Future – In Harm’s Way

InHarmsWay

As for how I’m mixed up in this, as I said Danielle invited me to write a story for the second of the three books, Footprints In the Stars. Here’s the funny thing: the story I’m working to finish is not at all the one I started when I first took up the challenge of submitting to this anthology. Somewhere along the line, I got an idea for a new story that I ended up liking way, waaaaaaaaaaay better than the one I was writing. So, I tabled the first story and turned toward the new, shiny thing. If I do it right, this has the potential to serve as a springboard for something bigger I’ve got in mind. You know…for down the road during another gap of my supposed free time.

(I’ll wait here until everyone stops laughing.)

Anyway, that’s the plan…assuming I don’t screw it up, of course. We’ll see how it goes.

For now? Run and check out the newest eSpec Books Kickstarter and if anything there tickles your fancy, I hope you’ll consider becoming a backer. A lot of my friends and fellow word pushers are contributing to these projects, but none of them can happen without the support of people like you!

Headless and Other Improbable Excitations of The Muse, a Kickstarter project by Michael Jan Friedman.

My pal Mike Friedman is up to something, again.

For those who don’t know, Mike is a salty author. He’s got a list of publishing credits about a mile long, including novels, short stories, comics, and TV, so yeah…he’s been around the block a few times.

About once a year or so, he gets a wild hair…uh…someplace, and decides it’s time to undertake the challenge of bringing to life some kind of writing project without the benefit of a traditional path to publication. In recent years, he’s turned to crowdfunding to help him acquire the money necessary to bring these plans to fruition. His typical mode of operation is to set modest fundraising goals in order to cover the expense of bringing the project to life, and in every case (five, so far), he’s hit his mark and delivered on everything promised.

He’s also one of the genuinely good, decent guys in this whole writing business thing. He’s been a friend and supporter from the first time I met him 15-odd years ago at my first Shore Leave convention appearance, and he’s on a very, very short list of people to whom I can never say “No,” such as when he asks a favor like promoting his latest project.

What’s he got brewing this time? Another collection of short stories and a followup to his earlier collection of short fiction, Cabal and Other Unlikely Invocations of The Muse. Having apparently not learned his lesson when it came to considering the virtue of a shorter title (the other book did fine, regardless), Mike’s new anthology of more of his own short tales is to be called Headless and Other Improbable Excitations of The Muse.

(I can already hear that book’s spine bending under the weight).

What’s it all about? Well, I’ve learned it’s best to just let Mike tell you:


Headless has all the kinds of stories I’ve become known for in books, in comics, and on TV–fantasy, science fiction, and superhero yarns. And as I said of Cabal, my first short-fiction collection, I really like the work I’m doing in these stories. I’m PROUD of it.

SO WHAT’S IN THIS BOOK ANYWAY?

* In Headless, the title story, a crewman aboard a starship does his best to carry out his duties without a critical portion of his anatomy.

* In Cold Case, a private investigator tries to find the killer of a most unusual victim–the son of a winter deity–as we revisit The City of A Thousand Gods.

* In The Company of Failed Beings, a teen-aged superhero searches for a cure to a bizarre malady that keeps him from using his powers.

* In Anteater, Doughnut, Casino, we travel to a diner beyond time to see the forces of good and evil compete for the ultimate prize. 

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

* In The Garvin Street Ghost, a man returns to his old neighborhood to resurrect the best part of his past.

* In Geocachers, a sister and brother find themselves taking the long–very long–way home.

* In The Spirit of Lost Women, a businessman in provincial Mexico must bargain with a devil to get his wife back.


Sounds cool, amirite?

For the complete rundown on Headless and Other Improbable Excitations of The Muse and all the delicious rewards and stuff waiting for those  who boldly choose to opt in, run on over to Kickstarter and check out the project’s page:

Headless and Other Improbable Excitations of The Muse
by Michael Jan Friedman

Headless-Cover-Cropped

Good luck, Mike!

Empty Space: A Kickstarter project by Michael Jan Friedman.

Well, lookie what we have here.

My buddy Mike Friedman is at it again. First off, the dude has a list of publishing credits about a mile long, encompassing novels, short stories, comics, and TV. He’s been around the block a few times. About once every year or so, he undertakes a somewhat bold quest of bringing to life some writing project without the benefit of a publisher. In recent years, he’s turned to crowdfunding to help him amass the money necessary to bring these plans to fruition. He tends to set modest fundraising goals with these things, and in every case (four, so far), he’s hit his mark and delivered on everything promised.

He’s also one of the genuinely good, decent guys in this whole writing business thing, and I really am helpless to resist him when he pulls something like this.

This time, though, Mike’s stepping up his game. Instead of prose novels or short story collections, he’s swinging for the fences and trying to bring to life a new graphic novel: Empty Space.

What’s it all about? Well, I should probably let Mike tell you:


I’ve described Empty Space as a cross between Star Trek and Lost, but it’s really more than that. It’s a twisty, turny, sometimes unsettling narrative set against the limitless backdrop of the stars, with the sort of bizarre alien species and against-all-odds derring-do that’s always characterized the best space adventure–along with a heaping dollop of the macabre.

This is the kind of tale I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. In fact, it’s a dream project for a guy who fell in love with comics and science fiction at the age of six and never stopped loving them.

It’s also a chance for me to give back to you–the readers who’ve been following me for decades–the best, most intriguing, and most entertaining work I can possibly come up with. If at any time in your immersion in Empty Space you think you know where the story is going…I humbly invite you to think again.


Okay. I’m in.

Empty Space is intended to be a 128-page graphic novel, filled to overflowing with juicy art and page-turning story shenanigans. There’s also a boatload of cool perks for those choosing to back the project. As I write this, I’ve already become a backer, because hey! It’s Mike.

For the complete rundown on Empty Space and all the delicious stuff waiting for those who opt in, run on over to Kickstarter and check out the project’s page:

Empty Space by Museworthy, Inc.

emptyspace

Good luck, Mike! I hope you make it, and not just because I want my own copy of this to hold in my grubby little paws.

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-Cover

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:

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

Pangaea II: An anthology by a bunch of my friends that needs YOUR HELP!

pangaea-logoSome of you may recall that last year, I signed on with friend and editor Michael Jan Friedman and several other writers for Pangaea, a shared-world anthology featuring all new stories about an alternate Earth where the continents have come together to form a single, immense super-continent, Pangaea.

There, the denizens of Earth have evolved and developed in ways both similar and alien to what we know. It was a fun project, giving me a chance to do something different with my hetero life mate and frequent co-writer, Kevin Dilmore, and pitch in with a bunch of my friends on something I thought was just cool to do.

Well, the book which sprang from that effort apparently did well enough that it convinced Editor Mike to do it again. He’s amassed another group of talented scribes, including several from the first book while also bringing some new names into the fold, to hopefully bring us an all-knew  collection of stories:

Pangaea II, by Museworthy, Inc.

What’s it all about? Well, as Mike sez:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together. Over millions of years, separate and distinct landmasses have crawled  across the planet’s surface on immense tectonic plates to form a single mass–a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we twenty-first century types were living in one of the super-continental periods–those characterized by “lid tectonics” rather than “plate tectonics?” What would it be like if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass…and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

That’s the ever-so-tantalizing axis on which our Pangaea anthology turns.

Like last time, Pangaea II is being funded via a Kickstarter campaign, which means there will be a number of incentives and rewards for those who choose to opt in to pledging their support. Should the project get the needed funding and the green light, readers will be treated to all-new stories penned by a pretty talented gang of word pushers:

Kirsten Beyer
Ilsa J. Bick
Michael Burstein
Peter David
Kevin Dilmore
Michael Jan Friedman
Robert Greenberger
Glenn Hauman
Paul Kupperberg
Ron Marz
Kelly Meding
Aaron Rosenberg
Lawrence M. Schoen
Geoffrey Thorne
Marie Lillian Vibbert

So, hey! Please give the project’s Kickstarter page a look-see, and if you think it’s something you’d like to get on board with, I’m sure Mike and the gang would welcome your support.

Here’s hoping we all get another trip back to Pangaea!

Pangaea, edited by Michael Jan Friedman: Now Available!

pangaea-coverAfter a rather accelerated gestation cycle following its successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign, Pangaea is now available!

Edited by veteran author and friend Michael Jan Friedman, Pangaea posits an alternate reality where Earth’s landmasses did not drift apart following their most recent joining, and humanity’s evolution differed in numerous ways. Some things are familiar, others are kind of familiar if you squint, and still others are colored in varying shades of “WTF?”

Today, editor Mike finally decreed that the book is officially “in the wild,” making said announcement over on his own website:

MichaelJanFriedman.Net: Pangaea Awaits!

Here’s the book’s back cover copy:


At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together to form a single mass—a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, different portions of mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we were living on one of the super-continents? What if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass . . . and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

To explore this different world, we’ve harnessed the imaginations of some of science fiction’s most inventive writers—Michael A. Burstein, Adam-Troy Castro, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, and Dayton Ward.

So come with us . . . and discover a world like none you’ve seen before.

Discover Pangaea.


Pretty cool, right?

Take a look at that author line-up. That’s a pretty nifty roster, if you ask me. How I ended up there, I have no idea. Plus, get this: the story Kevin and I wrote, “The Ardent,” is actually the middle of a three-part arc that’s spread through the book, beginning with Mike’s lead-off story, “The Breaking,” and capped off by the tale that closes out the volume, Peter David’s “The Lying and the Dead.” Mike asked us to write that middle piece, so I for one was pretty damned flattered.

Sweetening the deal were a pair of Kickstarter backers, Lynda Martinez Foley and another fan who goes by the moniker “Revek.” They both pledged $100 each to be “Tuckerized,” or have their names used as characters in our story. That’s some serious commitment, right there.

The process was fast and furious, but also fun. It was the first time I got to work with Mike on anything, and he’s as benevolent an editor as rumors would have us believe. No, seriously. The whip marks on my back are healing rather nicely.

Anyway, for those of you who’d like to see how well we hold our own when straying from the familiar confines of the Star Trek sandbox, go give Pangaea a look-see:

Order Pangaea from Mike’s website

PANGAEA: We made it, thanks to YOU!

Yes!

Yesterday, with more than 30 hours left to go until the clock runs out, my friend Michael Jan Friedman’s crowd-funding effort for his new anthology project, Pangaea, hit and surpassed its target of raising $8,000.

pangaea-logo1

That means that Mike and the cast of rogue word pushers he’s assembled will be able to write all-new stories set in the world he’s created. One world, one continent, 14 stories.

286 backers (as I write this), and over $8,300.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re a backer? THANK YOU. This project would not be possible without your pledge and your support. Even if you weren’t able to contribute but still spread the word and boosted the signal, we thank you for that, as well. It all helped to make this happen.

If you read these updates and you thought it better to hold off and see if this thing had any legs, well HEY! There’s still time t get on the bandwagon. The more, the merrier, and all that! We’ve still got one full day to go to secure additional funding, all of which will be funneled toward the project, which includes (hopefully) unlocking a few stretch goals.

As this is the first time I’ve been involved as a contributor to a project that’s receiving Kickstarter funding, I’m rather excited about the whole thing. I guess Kevin and I should probably get together at some point to figure out what we’re gonna write about.

“So, you’re just gonna write about Pangaea? That’s the plan?”

“That’s the plan!”

“What are you gonna write about?”

“I have no idea!”

cruise-noidea

And whoa! Don’t forget that if you took advantage of one of the add-on package deals Mike offered a few days ago, you could be among the first to get a nice shiny copy of “Texas Pride,” a companion piece to my two Last World War novels. I’ll likely make it available for sale on various eBook formats later this year, but Pangaea backers will get it first. You can read all about that by clicking right here.

Thanks again to everyone who helped to make this possible. It’s going to be fun. See you on Pangaea!

PANGAEA is in the home stretch! You can still help!

So, here we are, with less than 96 hours to go as I write this, for my friend Michael Jan Friedman’s crowd-funding effort to support his new project, Pangaea.

pangaea-logo1

What are we talking about? Well, to hear Mike describe it:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together. Over millions of years, separate and distinct landmasses have crawled  across the planet’s surface on immense tectonic plates to form a single mass–a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we twenty-first century types were living in one of the super-continental periods–those characterized by “lid tectonics” rather than “plate tectonics?” What would it be like if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass…and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

These and other questions will be explored in the anthology Mike hopes to bring together, which will feature all-new stories by this gang of word pushers:

Michael Burstein
Adam-Troy Castro
Russ Colchamiro
Peter David
Michael Jan Friedman
Robert Greenberger
Glenn Hauman
Paul Kupperberg
Kelly Meding
Aaron Rosenberg
Lawrence M. Schoen
Geoffrey Thorne

Oh, and Kevin and me as the Beaver.

Now, as I said, we’re just over three days away from the finish line, and so far the project has managed to attract just over $6,300 toward a goal of $8,000. If you’re unfamiliar with how Kickstarter works, it’s an “all or nothing” deal, so if the campaign fails to hit the $8k mark then that’s Game Over.

As the campaign has progressed, Mike has thrown in a few extra enticements along the way which he hopes will appeal to new backers as well as those who’ve already pledged their support. The latest addition to this pile of sweetness is a new bundle of e-Book titles, which are being offered as “add-on” packages to an existing reward/backer level. For an extra $18, a backer will receive their choice from two different bundles. Learn all about both new incentive packages here, in Mike’s latest update!

tlww-texaspride-coverThe reason I’m bringing this up is because I’ve thrown something into Package #1: “Texas Pride,” a companion piece to my two Last World War novels. I originally wrote the story back in 2007 as a way to test the then-new “Amazon Shorts” Program, which involved selling original short fiction for direct digital download. At the time, I was also looking to see if there was any interest in more fiction set during The Last World War. This turned out to be true, as I ended up writing Counterstrike a couple of years later. Anyway, the Amazon Shorts is now defunct, so “Texas Pride” is unavailable for sale anywhere else. I was planning to make it available in various formats later this year, but interested Pangaea backers can now look forward to receiving it as an exclusive–at least until sometime in late summer or early fall.

So, you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

Okay, then! Three days and a wakeup to go! Please give Pangaea a look-see and if you find it interesting and worthy of your support, I hope you’ll consider making a pledge.

We now return you to your lives, already in progress.