Friday, May 31, 2013

Previews of Coming Attractions

Oh, what a month it's been. One kid just graduated from college; another is finishing high school today. One daughter and her husband are all moved into their new house; another and her husband just barely made it into their new apartment in time. Three weeks ago my new grandson made his big debut on the stage of life: I'm a grandfather. I'm still having trouble integrating that word into my self-image. In my mind's eye I'm still in my mid-thirties.

In my low back, though...

On the STUPEFYING STORIES front, what was planned as a two-month hiatus in January and February has stretched out into five, but we're back in production mode now. We still have what were planned to be a March/Late Winter issue and a May "Mother's Day" issue half-done and in the pipeline to be released sometime in the coming month, but the April "Death & Taxes" issue has pretty much missed its window, so we're going to work those stories back into our regular stream. What I want to talk about today, though, are these developments.

The as-yet-unnamed webzine: If you've been following the discussion on our Facebook page, you know we're teetering on the brink of launching a webzine. This is in addition to our regular books and anthologies, author participation is strictly on an opt-in basis (so if you've sold a story to us, don't be afraid that it's suddenly going to appear on the web without your foreknowledge), and basically, this gives us another way to attract reader's eyeballs, and a way to publish some of the stories we've been sitting on for a long time, because, while we still love them, we weren't able to work them into books during that period when we were possessed by "theme anthology" madness.

The webzine is moving forward with surprising alacrity. Watch this space for further news.

PUTREFYING STORIES: Our repeatedly delayed zombie special had become a problem child. Despite our efforts to close it and get it released, we kept reopening it, because some new story would come in and we'd find ourselves saying, "We just have to find a way to sneak this one in." The book, frankly, became too big, bloated, and unwieldy to manage.

And then one day Ash whispered the solution in our ear: "It's a trick. Get an axe." Which is what we did: we chopped it in half. PUTREFYING STORIES (Volume 1) is now in production and moving toward a June 17 release date, with Volume 2 on track for a September release date. Will there be a Volume 3? Will PUTREFYING STORIES become it's own quarterly series? That's the problem with the undead. You can never be certain when they're really finished off.

TALES FROM THE WILD WEIRD WEST: This theme special, which has been a loosely kept secret until recently, is go for launch, and we're looking at a mid-July release date. Please don't carpet-bomb us with your vampire cowboy, werewolf cowboy, or zombie cowboy stories now. It's too late. With only a very few exceptions, the table of contents for this book is already settled.

MYSTERIES!: Our repeatedly delayed, rescheduled, and re-envisioned mystery theme special is back on the menu, and scheduled for an August 1 release date. Nicolai, Thomas, Jeff, Kent, and David: my God, yes, it's really going to happen, at last! We've even commissioned a cover! You know we're serious when we've commissioned a cover!

The print edition: It seems we jumped the gun when we announced that we were adding a print edition. We put a lot of effort into it, to correct the things we saw as major flaws in our last attempt at a print edition (which, by the way, we still have several boxes of in the warehouse, and you can buy a copy of at this Amazon link, if you're so inclined). We did correct those flaws and make some major improvements in the design, and we thought we'd reduced the unit cost significantly in the bargain, but when we started getting quotes for the printing and binding, we discovered we were very badly mistaken. For a few weeks we were scrambling, trying to come up with a workable alternative that we could still get out by July 1, but then last week we stopped, took a deep breath, and said: "Wait. What are our first principles? 'Always spend more money on the people who create the content than on the package it's delivered in.'"

We still want to add a print edition to the lineup, but not one we'll have to sell at nine bucks a copy and sell through the entire print run just to break even on, not one we'd have to shortchange authors to put out, and absolutely not one we'd have to bet the whole company on. If I wanted to gamble on long shots, I'd go out to the horse track.

We'll continue to study options for a print edition, but at this time, we're not going to rush into anything. Stay tuned for more news as it develops.

Okay, I think that about wraps it up for this progress report. Is there anything else?

Oh wait, yes, there is. COMING JULY 1, 2013....



mark said...

This looks strangely familiar :)


Jim Rye said...

TALES FROM THE WILD WEIRD WEST? ARGH! I must have missed this. It would have the perfect excuse to finish that vampire cowboy story I started on for the "Chapter 5" Friday Challenge. Oh well, it's been swimming around in my head for fifteen years. It can live in there a while longer.


mark said...

Kudos on the artwork, by the way!

Who is the artiste?

~brb said...

That would be Aaron Bradford Starr, who also did the covers for September 2012 (, Mid-October 2012 (, Throwbacks!, and Five Stars. (I knew I was forgetting to mention something.)

~brb said...

Hmm. Can't post links in comments, I guess.

Chris Large said...

Any date on Throwbacks?

Anonymous said...

But I have a werewolf railroad security guy...

Of course, that story is over 15,000 words long, so. I'll have mercy on you. ;)