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.

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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.

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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.

Pangaea Update!

It’s Day #4 of friend Michael Jan Friedman‘s Kickstarter campaign for his new science fiction anthology project Pangaea, and we’re already more than 25% to the goal!

pangaea-logo1

As I write this, the project has attracted 98 supporters. Who will be #100? Maybe that’s you, if you’re of a mind to get in on the backing action after seeing and reading what Mike has to say about this new “world” he’s created, and the types of stories he’s planning to tell within it, with the help of some of his friends:

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

Oh, and me and Kevin.

Speaking to that point, I was gobsmacked to learn yesterday that two backers each pledged $100 to the project, in exchange for having Kevin and me “Tuckerize” them into the story we will write for the anthology. For those who don’t know, “Tuckerization” is basically the practice of using a real person’s name in a story as something of a salute to that person. The term has its origins in the writing of science fiction author and editor Wilson Tucker, who made a habit of naming minor characters after his friends.

Though I do this on a fairly frequent basis, this is the first time someone has pledged money on my behalf for the “privilege.” So, Kevin and I are honored and humbled that someone out there thinks enough of us to step up to the plate in such a wonderful manner. We look forward to Tuckerizing those folks in the very near future.

Anyway, back to the project! If you’re reading this and you’ve already signed on as a backer, then I offer my sincere thanks to you for your support. If you haven’t yet gone to see what’s up with Pangaea, I encourage you to do so. Run to this link and check out all the details for yourself:

Pangaea, by Museworthy, Inc.

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

 

Announcing PANGAEA: A new SF anthology that needs YOU!

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

pangaea-logoAfter successful crowdfunding efforts to support two of his previous projects (those being I Am the Salamander and Lost Days), Mike’s decided to try something a bit different. In addition to developing a new SF concept in which he can play, he’s also enlisted the help of other writers to help him breathe a bit of life into his latest creative endeavor: Pangaea.

What’s it all about? Well, from 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 anthology turns.

Sounds pretty cool, amirite?

As with I Am the Salamander and Lost Days, Mike 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. So, let’s just point you to Pangaea‘s Kickstarter page:

Pangaea, by Museworthy, Inc.

Of possible interest to readers of this space: Pangaea marks the first time I’ll be participating in a project that’s seeking crowdfunding. Mike approached Kevin and me about contributing a story to the anthology, and because he’s on a very short list of people for whom I’d throw in on something like this, I of course said, “Heck yeah!” We’re very excited to be included with the roster of writers he’s assembled for this effort. Check out this line-up, y’all:

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

And then me and Kevin, because you know…somebody has to park the cars, and stuff.

I’m proud to call several of the folks on this list friends, so you know I’m already thinking this is gonna be fun, and hey! You can help! Check out Pangaea‘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, and here’s hoping we can spin you all some crazy new tales.

Pangaea-Cover