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A veteran sci-fi author hopes to publish the first-ever collection of his original short fiction.
A veteran sci-fi author hopes to publish the first-ever collection of his original short fiction.
117 backers pledged $4,619 to help bring this project to life.

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$4,619

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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.

An 8" x 10" autographed print of the book's cover           10.

Be listed as a patron on the acknowledgments page        10. 

Fight The Gods trade paperback                                      20. each

Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Mysteries trade paperback 20. each

I Am The Salamander trade paperback                           20. each

Lost Days trade paperback                                               20. each

The Hammer and The Horn trade paperback                 20. each

The Seekers and The Sword trade paperback                20. each

The Fortress and The Fire trade paperback                    20. each

Star Trek paperback novels (my choice, but if you have a request please let me know)                                                                       10. each

The Valiant hardcover Star Trek novel                               28. each

Death In Winter hardcover Star Trek novel                       28. each

Shadows of the Past hardcover X-Men novel                  28. each

(Some of these are in limited supply, so if you want one please act quickly!)

Stretch Goals

When we hit $5,000, every backer from $1 up will receive an e-edition of Tales of The Crimson Keep, a guffaw-a-minute guided tour through a unique fantasy world, conducted by me and the other madmen in Crazy 8 Press.

At $5,500, I'll add yet another short story to the anthology's roster.

At $6,000, my brilliant Brazilian cover artist Caio Cacau will supply a sketch that will appear at the beginning of each story in the book. (These sketches will then be made available to backers only as autographed 8x11 prints for an additional $10 on top of any physical reward package.)

When we hit $7,000, every backer receiving a physical reward will also receive a pair of bookmarks featuring the cover art of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse, rendered by our very talented friend Caio.

Further stretch goals--why spoil the mystery?--will be detailed here and in backer updates.

 

Risks and challenges

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Cabalista

    You will receive an e-copy of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse in a DRM-free format suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. Also, you will get an e-mail from me personally thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Cabal Fever

    At this level, you will receive DRM-free e-book editions of any three of my Crazy 8 books. Choose from among Fight The Gods, Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Stories, I Am The Salamander, Lost Days, The Hammer and The Horn, The Seekers and The Sword, The Fortress and The Fire, and Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Cabalinator

    You will receive an autographed trade-paperback version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse as well as a DRM-free e-pub version of the book suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Cabalriolet

    At this level you will receive DRM-free e-book editions of five of my Crazy 8 books. Choose from among Fight The Gods, Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Stories, I Am The Salamander, Lost Days, The Hammer and The Horn, The Seekers and The Sword, The Fortress and The Fire, and Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Cabalooie

    You will be listed as a patron of this book on the acknowledgments page. You will also receive an autographed trade-paperback version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse 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 me thanking you for your generosity.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Cabalstone

    At this level you will receive DRM-free e-book editions of all eight of my Crazy 8 books: Fight The Gods, Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Stories, I Am The Salamander, Lost Days, The Hammer and The Horn, The Seekers and The Sword, The Fortress and The Fire, and Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Cabal Cabal

    At this level, you will receive a one-time mention as a character, street, company, etc. in one of my stories, as well as a patron listing on the acknowledgments page. You will also receive an autographed trade-paperback version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse 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 me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Cabalat Emptor

    At this level, you will receive a hardcover edition of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse, in addition to a DRM-free e-edition of the book. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Cabal Hill

    From 2002 to 2004, I wrote a series of six Star Trek The Next Generation: Stargazer books that fleshed out Captain Jean-Luc Picard's epic first command with the characters I originally established in Star Trek The Next Generation: Reunion. Fans still come up to me at conventions today asking about Commander Ben Zoma, the Asmund twins, the irascible Simenon or some other member of the Stargazer crew. At this level, you will receive all six Stargazer mass market paperback novels, as well as both a trade paperback version and a DRM-free e-book version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse. Unfortunately, I cannot offer you e-versions of the Stargazer books. However, I can assure you that the e-version of Cabal and Other Questionable Invocations of the Muse will be suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. Naturally I will be happy to sign all six Stargazer books plus the paperback anthology. Finally you will receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Peach Cabaler

    At this level, you will be Tuckerized as a fully realized character in one of my stories and receive a patron listing on the acknowledgments page. You will also receive an autographed trade-paperback version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse 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 me thanking you for your generosity.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Cabaldygook

    In addition to both a trade paperback and a DRM-free e-edition of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse, you will receive four of my other Crazy 8 books. Choose from among Fight The Gods, Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Stories, I Am The Salamander, Lost Days, The Hammer and The Horn, The Seekers and The Sword, and The Fortress and The Fire. Naturally, I'll be happy to autograph every book I send you. Finally, you will receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Cabal-Ready

    Want to write an original story of your own? Maybe you've already got one in the drawer? At this level I will write a three-page critique of your work (100 pages or less, please). You'll also receive both a DRM-free e-edition and an autographed trade paperback edition of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse, as well as an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Caballero

    You will receive both an autographed trade-paperback and a DRM-free e-book edition of all eight of my Crazy 8 books: Fight The Gods, Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Stories, I Am The Salamander, Lost Days, The Hammer and The Horn, The Seekers and The Sword, The Fortress and The Fire, and Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse. You will also receive an e-mail from me thanking you for your generosity.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Cabal Guy

    Ever had a book dedicated to you or someone you love? Well, now's your chance. In addition to being named in the book's dedication, you will receive an autographed trade-paperback version of Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of the Muse 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 me thanking you for your generosity.

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Funding period

- (32 days)