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$109 pledged of $6,000 goal
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By Jacen Aster
$109 pledged of $6,000 goal
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About

There are a few things to cover here. The Patchwork Magic novel, the kickstarter goals, my other works that are being offered as rewards, and a little bit about myself.

Patchwork Magic

In its most basic form, Patchwork Magic is a story about two talented mages from vastly different backgrounds. Alya Sulwyn is a supposed child of prophecy (which she secretly doesn't believe in) who finds herself waking up in the city's main Spell Dump with no knowledge of how she got there. Sae Neona is a talented Patchwork Mage who spends her days combing the spell dump for useful magic. Their accidental meeting will eventually rock the city and might just fulfil the prophecy...but certainly not in a way anyone expected. 

Get a PDF of Chapter 1 (Draft) Here!

The Setting

"In a city of magic it seems only obvious, to anyone who stops to think about it, which really is almost no one at all, that there would be such a thing as a Spell Dump. A junkyard of magic and a wasteland of toxic byproducts.  

If you asked any of the 'proper' people of New Istara City where one might find such a place, they almost certainly couldn't tell you. At best, the most thoughtful, informed, or well-connected might say you could probably find them in the undercity. Deep in the undercity. And so you could. But if you braved the depths of that undercity you might, just might, get someone to tell you about the dumps, and more the point, about the truly fascinating people called “Patchwork Mages.” Mages who, lacking the resources and means of the upper or middle classes but being possessed of an undeniable talent, have combed those spell dumps for useful magic. Sometimes the magic they've managed to scavenge is recognizable, sometimes odd, and almost inevitably much of it is incomplete or useless. The very best of them, mages with more raw power or talent in their little fingers than the mage that tossed away a failed experiment had in his or her whole body, sometimes even manage to make powerful abandoned magics and ideas work.

Of course, as one might imagine, the less lucky or gifted of these souls might only find poor and useless magics, blow themselves up experimenting, or simply die from the poisonous concoctions they stumble into in the dumps. Still, it's truly amazing what these people can accomplish. The difficulty comes in getting them to tell you about it."  

-Alexander Bramehin, on the subject of Exotic Magiks

As a writer, I specialize in unusual stories and perspectives. Unsurprisingly, Patchwork Magic is no different. Rather than a run-of-the-mill fantasy setting, Patchwork Magic takes place in a world that has developed into a rough equivalent of modern day via magitek instead of technology. Comm crystals take the place of telephones, families have scrying screens instead of TVs, and aircars powered by wind and gravity magics are a fairly common form of transportation.

Inside this magitek world, the novel is set in the city of New Istara. New Istara is a vertical city built into a massive canyon and expanded upon over the course of hundreds of years. Originally built only into the sides, the city builders started crisscrossing the gap when they ran out of room. Now there is so much structure between the sides that the city has effectively been split into dozens of levels. The wealthy live near the 'surface,' the poor live on the ground where the heavy industry and manufacturing takes place, and the middle class fills everything in between. The story opens in the city's largest spell dump, located on surface, but will canvass all levels of the city throughout the plot.

Characters:

While there are many major and minor characters throughout the book, the two primary protagonists are Alya Sulwyn and Sae Neona. No, it's not a story about their fated love, get your head (and mine while you're there) out of the gutter.

Alya - Is a university trained mage, on the verge of becoming the youngest archmage in centuries. Her father and many of his fellow nobles believe her to be a child prophesied to bring a golden age to New Istara. Alya herself works hard with all the advantages they quietly arrange for her, but personally thinks they are completely crazy. 

Sae - Is a "Patchwork Mage," a magic user from the undercity that has never had a formal education. Patchwork mages or "Patchers" are called such due to the erratic mismatch of magic they manage to collect from diving into the city's spell dumps to scavenge, or by trading with other patchers. The more talented of these mages often mix the magics they find into new spells as well, creating magics all their own. Sae is one such mage, with a natural talent on par with Alya's own.

Plot:

Obviously, I can't tell you everything! Beyond the short blurb I gave under the header for this section, I will only say a little. The story starts with Alya unsure if her arrival in the spell dump was an accident or an attack. With the help of Sae she must uncover the truth of the matter. In the process, Alya might just discover what it is that she's supposed to do to save the city of New Istara from the decline it has been suffering for the past century... 

As with all my works you can expect some fresh perspectives, oddly fun characters, plenty of twisty twists, and possibly a tap dancing animal. I make no promises about the tap dancing animal, though.   

The Kickstarter  

This kickstarter is for the completion of Patchwork Magic, which will be my second novel-length work. The funds I'm asking for have two primary purposes. The first is to fund the professional editing of the novel when it is completed, as well as a few miscellaneous bits like getting a custom cover made for the novel (The one pictured above is purely a temporary cover created for this kickstarter only). 

Getting a good professional editing service to look over a novel length work (planned to be a minimum of 100k words) runs right around $2000-$2500 depending on final word count. Likewise, quality cover art that is completely custom (which this book will require due to rare setting elements) will run between $300-500. 

The second purpose to the funds is to allow me to cut down on my work schedule (I'm a freelance editor and writer as well as a novelist) in order to complete the novel quickly. I already have roughly 20,000 words of the novel completed, but that took me the better part of 4 months. My previous novel "The Chronicles of Henry Harper" took around 18 months from start to final edit. By using the remaining $2000(see next paragraph for where the remainder vanishes off to) to cut my hours in half for two months, I can finish the entire first draft of the work in those two months. There will still be beta, rewriting and editing cycles after that, but none of those are time consuming to the same degree. With the success of this kickstarter, I believe I can reach a publish-ready version in six months. Roughly a third the time my first novel required.

That accounts for $5,000. The remaining $1,000 is absorbed by kickstarter(5% of total) payment processing(3-5% of total) and the cost of a limited run of paperback books to fulfil rewards (roughly $600). 

Rewards!

I've taken some time over the last couple of months to work on one of the rewards. I didn't want to be one of those who only rewarded $1 donations with invisible hugs and a thank you email. Particularly, as I'm not a very huggy person. Even invisible hugs are known to carry cooties. As such, I've created a roughly 50,000 word Science Fiction & Fantasy anthology full of my specialty. Which, if you haven't caught on by now, is writing unusual or offbeat perspectives.

The Anthology Reward:

(Value $1.99 when it goes on sale)

The anthology, whose temporary cover is featured in the main image for the kickstarter, contains fourteen short stories on the theme of "Unusual Perspectives." Six of these shorts have been featured on my blog, The Discordant Dreams of Electric Sheep, and can still be viewed there by using the Short Stories tag. It is important to note, however, that these stories make up only 15k (30%) of the anthology's 50k total word count. The other eight short stories are completely new, unpublished stories and average considerably greater lengths than those featured on my blog. 

The draft of this anthology is ALREADY COMPLETE and will be undergoing its editing cycle during the kickstarter. This means that it will be provided within just a week or two of the kickstarter succeeding and might actually be ready in time to go out the day after I receive funding.

See Descriptions of all 14 Short Stories here.

(Seriously, go check those descriptions out. The stories feature things like cosmetic surgeons for the undead, dwarves in power armor, an herbivore T-rex and an elven queen at a goblin tea party.)

The Chronicles of Henry Harper

(Regular ebook value $5.99)

This was/is my debut novel. It was released December of last year, on my birthday (as a present to myself), and has thus far received an entirely positive response. There is a sticky post on my blog that contains excerpts, tie-in short stories, and a link to the wiki I created for the novel. You can also read independent reviews of the novel from the book blogs: Renaissance Writer’s Review & By Rite of Word. As this book is already complete, ebook copies will go out as soon as I receive the kickstarter funds from a successful campaign.

Here is a brief description of the book:

The Chronicles of Henry Harper is a novel detailing the entire career of a veteran starship engineer, Henry Harper. Henry is a gifted engineer lucky enough to be making a living right as humanity is finally exploring outside its home solar system. He begins his career as the lowest man in the totem pole aboard humanity’s very first experiment in superluminal travel and goes on to be present for first contact, the birth of A.I., and a number of other major galactic events.

See the galaxy through Henry's eyes as he weaves for you the story of his decades long career. Watch how he averted tragedy, solved crises, and learned the very best swear words in a dozen languages.

Patchwork Magic Ebook & Paperback

Obviously, this is what you are funding, so you just might want a copy! If I self-publish again, as I did with my first novel, the ebook will likely retail for the same value as The Chronicles of Henry Harper. Thus, it is valued the same in the various reward setups. Estimated delivery time is December of this year, but there is some possibility of slippage if writer's block or the happenstances of life interfere.

The signed paperback copies of the book are being offered only in limited numbers and high cost (sorry!) on account of both how expensive the process of small-batch printing is, and how much work it will end up being for me at the end of the line.

Stretch Goals! 

Yep! You read that right! A kickstarter for a book that has stretch goals! I am really wanting to turn full time with my writing and these goals would go a long way in helping me achieve that. There's also some rather nice bonuses in it for all of you!

At $7500

If I reach $7500 in this kickstarter, I will begin work on a second short story anthology. Like the first, it will focus on odd and unusual perspectives. (Trust me, I still have plenty of ideas!) Moreover, as a thank you for everyone that supports this, the second anthology will be provided to everyone who committed even $1 to the Patchwork Magic novel kickstarter. Delivery time is unknown but likely to be in either the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2018.

At $10,000

I would love to 'share the love' a little (No, not charity since kickstarter doesn't allow that). If this goal is reached, 33% of the money past $7500 (So $825 if it reaches $10,000 exactly) will go in a pot for purchasing the "unusual perspective" short stories of other SF&F writers. These will be collected with one or two of my own and published (using the other 66% of the extra money!) in a magazine or anthology form. In this way I can give back to my fellow authors a little by providing a home for the awesome, offbeat stories we all love. If commercially successful, the initial magazine/anthology might even be followed up with a series. 

Obviously, as I will need to put out a call for stories, collect them, edit everything, and publish...I have no idea what the delivery time would be like. I simply can't know how long it would take to reach the number of stories. I would aim to deliver it sometime in 2018, at latest. 

----

Well! I think that's everything! Please help me make this project successful both by contributing(if you can!), and by spreading the word about it!  Spreading the word is just as important as contributing! As you might have caught at the end of the video...I'm kinda an awkward, anti-social, geeky, misanthrope. I can use all the help I can get and then some in making sure people actually see this campaign! 

Risks and challenges

Good news! Aside from the possibility of me falling over dead or being hit by a bus, there is very little risk in this project. The short story anthology featured in most rewards is already drafted and undergoing editing, my debut novel "The Chronicles of Henry Harper" is complete and will be an immediate post-successful-campaign reward. As for "Patchwork Magic" itself, the book is already outlined and rouughtly 20% complete. While there is some measure of risk that I will not hit my original delivery timeline if writer's block or life get in the way, the book WILL be completed eventually.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Unusual Perspectives (SF&F) - Anthology

    In addition to a simple "Thank You Email," backers who give even just $1 will receive an ebook copy of my upcoming short story anthology. The anthology features 14 stories from unusual perspectives in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

    Includes:
    • An ebook copy of the "Unusual Perspectives (SF&F)" anthology.
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    Anthology+The Chronicles of Henry Harper

    Receive ebook copies of my upcoming short story anthology and my debut novel, "The Chronicles of Henry Harper." (Combined value $7)

    Includes:
    • An ebook copy of "The Chronicles of Henry Harper."
    • An ebook copy of the "Unusual Perspectives (SF&F)" anthology.
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    Anthology + Patchwork Magic

    Receive an ebook copy of my upcoming short story anthology, plus an ebook copy of "Patchwork Magic" when it is finished.

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    • An ebook copy of "The Chronicles of Henry Harper."
    • An ebook copy of "Patchwork Magic."
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    Paperback Copy of Patchwork Magic

    Up to 50 people can guarantee themselves a signed physical copy of "Patchwork Magic." The high cost is due to this being a small, limited run batch of books. Each book will cost me between 5-10 dollars to print, depending on final length and the service I use.

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    • Paperback Copy of "Patchwork Magic."
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the Above

    Get a guaranteed signed, paperback copy of Patchwork Magic, as well as ebook copies of Patchwork Magic, The Chronicles of Henry Harper, and the Unusual Perspectives short story anthology.

    Includes:
    • An ebook copy of "Patchwork Magic."
    • An ebook copy of "The Chronicles of Henry Harper."
    • An ebook copy of the "Unusual Perspectives (SF&F)" anthology.
    • Paperback Copy of "Patchwork Magic."
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Literary Hero

    The "All of the Above" reward package plus I will name a minor character, location, spell or object after you. I may need to tweak spellings to make it fit the setting better. Also note, that I don't promise you won't be a villain!

    Includes:
    • An ebook copy of "Patchwork Magic."
    • An ebook copy of the "Unusual Perspectives (SF&F)" anthology.
    • An ebook copy of "The Chronicles of Henry Harper."
    • Paperback Copy of "Patchwork Magic."
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    Literary Epic Hero

    The "Literary Hero" reward package, plus I will send you ebook copies of every new book I write until one of us dies.

    Includes:
    • An ebook copy of "Patchwork Magic."
    • An ebook copy of the "Unusual Perspectives (SF&F)" anthology.
    • An ebook copy of "The Chronicles of Henry Harper."
    • Paperback Copy of "Patchwork Magic."
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Funding period

- (30 days)