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Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse

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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.

Okay, rewards!

In the world of Kickstarter, good deeds are returned in kind, and this campaign is no different in that regard. I’ve put together a garden of earthly delights for you to choose from. And why not? Who deserves it more than you, amirite?

Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse is, of course, one of those rewards. You can get it in e-book form or as a signed trade paperback. And if you’d like to get yourself into the book, you can do that too–by earning a place on the acknowledgments page, which lets the world know you’re a bonafide patron of the literary art, or by snagging a one-time mention, or even by getting yourself Tuckerized as a fully realized character in one of my stories.

A la carte!

Because you asked for it, I’m including an a la carte menu. This allows you to customize your reward package–to receive all the things you want and none of the things you don’t. Just take any existing package from $25 up and add to it the dollar amount associated with any item or items on the following list, most of which are other books I’ve written. Then send me a message letting me know what additional reward or rewards you’ve qualified for. (International backers, there will be some additional postage; if you’re interested in an add-on, shoot me a message and we’ll figure it out.)

As always, I’ll autograph every item at no additional expense. That’s been my policy since I signed my first autograph more than thirty years ago.

See the Kickstarter page for the a la carte menu.

This is my sixth Kickstarter campaign. Those who’ve backed my previous campaigns will tell you I take these things very seriously. In this case, the book is already half-written. The cover art, as you can see, has already been delivered. Barring a worldwide apocalypse, Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse will be sent out to the four quarters of the Earth right on time–or at least pretty close.

Empty SpaceYour name is Robinson Dark. The last thing you remember is fighting an alien invader that threatened to destroy your ship and crew.
But you’re not on your ship anymore. You’ve woken up on another vessel, in a uniform you don’t recognize, and the only other human being anywhere around is howling gibberish at the top of his lungs.
You should be scared. Your heart should be pounding in your chest like an animal in a cage. But all you feel is…
Empty.
The cover of Empty Space #1 painted by Brazilian phenom Caio Cacau. Look for it at Comixology in early January.