Hardboiled Magic: The Memes From Hell
Blending contemporary fantasy, horror and hardboiled detectives. Think The Night Stalker by way of Raymond Chandler and Art Buchwald.
Mister Lewis has a business card that reads "Physics Consultant," but what he really consults on are problems that defy the laws of physics. Problems like a cursed dating app or industrial espionage conducted by ghosts. As often is the case with consultants, he does unpleasant work for unpleasant people.
Hardboiled Magic is a genre bender, blending contemporary fantasy, horror and hardboiled detective fiction. Think The Night Stalker by way of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Art Buchwald.
The first sequence of these stories was Kickstarted 6 months ago under the title “Legal Termination of a Warlock… and Other Tales.” (You can get a print compilation of the first 8 stories in the series as a reward.) It’s time for a new round and it’s slightly different this time.
In order to open up Hardboiled Magic to a wider audience, I’d like to start making the stories available at MagicDetective.com two months AFTER crowdfunding backers get the stories. Go over there and read a few stories.
The idea here is to produce a monthly short form contemporary fantasy/horror series. Long short stories or short novelettes, depending on your definition and the individual piece. It’s like getting your issue of Batman or Amazing Spider-Man each month, except it's prose and a complete story (as opposed to being a chapter in a larger serial).
The theme for the next cycle of stories is “Memes From Hell.” Each story will be inspired by or satire of a well-known Internet meme. Here’s the story lineup. (Subject to change if a better idea pops up)
Red Hair Instead of a Soul
It seemed like the only people in Miller’s Glen not dying were the redheads. Why was hair color part of a killing profile and who had blood on their hands? Mister Lewis must crack a riddle of demographic proportions if he wants to get out of town alive.
The Ghost of Joseph Ducreux
This time, the painting captured the subject’s spirit – literally. Now that he’s finally free of captivity, the Ghost of Joseph Ducreux is offering unsolicited advice to all comers. Can Mister Lewis help Ducreux move on to eternal rest… or at least get him to shut up?
2 Succubi 1 Cup
The CEO of a pharmaceutical company is having vivid dreams of strange women competing for his affections, requiring building of a very special cup. Mister Lewis must stop the dreams from becoming a living nightmare as a demonic feud threatens to create an unholy Grail
Shit Necromancers Say
The Slang Slinger website has a problem. Their user generated scheme to get free content worked too well and they unwittingly published the trade jargon of a particular dark sect of magicians. Can Mister Lewis soothe ruffled feather if the feathers have been reanimated and thirst for living flesh?
Delete Your Karma
What if you could clear out your Karma like deleting a social media account? An executive tried and it didn’t go well. Mister Lewis has been contracted to balance the wheel before too many things are crushed underneath as karma, like nature, abhors a vacuum.
Transmigrate And Chill
When a curse is placed on a dating app, love connections are still being made, but matches trigger a body swap. Mister Lewis must fix the bug in the system before the divorce courts need to sort out who was inhabiting the groom at the time of the marriage and legal liability is assigned.
Stuff Dead People Like
The museum’s new exhibit was getting a lot of new visitors. Unfortunately, they were paying visitors. The new exhibit was attracting ghosts. Mister Lewis must figure out what dead people like or the museum will be stuck with a secondary instillation of a mass haunting.
Leave Cthulhu Alone
A video has gone viral of deranged man begging the world to leave Cthulhu alone. Could the social media spotlight wake a sleeping god? Mister Lewis must stop Internet trolls from bringing about the apocalypse.
How would I be receiving these stories?
With a download code for a .PDF or .ePub file. You’ll get them 2 months ahead of them going on the website and a month ahead of major eBook sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
What's the timing on this?
The stories should start shortly after Kickstarter gives me the all-clear in late November. I'd like to have the book shipped in December, but sometimes the holiday printing queue gets backed up, so it's possible that will be January.
What are the Rewards?
$16 – I Prefer Print A copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki, the trade paperback book collecting the first 8 Hardboiled Magic Stories, including the initial 2 stories that weren't part of the first Kickstarter package. No digital here, just good old fashioned paper.
$24 – Pure Digital: 8 Months of Stories
Each month, you get a download code for a new story.
$40 – The Combo: Print _and_ Digital
8 months of new stories in digital and a print copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki
$50 – The Combo, Signed
8 months of new stories in digital and a signed print copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki
$75 – Dignitary Signatory
You're a person of distinction and a patron of the arts. Don't you deserve to have your name listed as an official sponsor of these stories?
I think you do!
8 months of new stories in digital and a signed print copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki, and each month your name will appear on each story’s dedication/patron page
$125 – Die a Horrible Death
In one of the stories, a character will be named after you… and that character will die a most horrible death. Plus 8 months of new stories in digital and a signed print copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki
$2000 - Make It So
No mess, no fuss, I'll get back to writing and you'll get 8 months of new stories in digital and a signed print copy of Hardboiled Magic: The Children of Loki, and each month your name will appear on each story’s dedication/patron page
Have I done this writing thing before?
I haven’t missed a deadline on the first Kickstarter. I'm also a member of Mystery Writers of America, best known on the fiction side of things for writing a webcomic for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. Over on the journalism side, I was a contributing editor to one TIME's Top 25 Blogs of 2012 and written for Chicago Tribune, New York Resident, Publishers Weekly, Startup Grind, The Next Web, The Beat and Comic Book Resources. I get around a little.
How did you arrive at that number for the goal?
I need to redirect time from other projects to adhere to a monthly schedule. It's not that big a deal to reallocate my time, but those student loan people want their money! So I'm essentially calculating that minimum as a percentage of my grad school loans. (Education being the gift that keeps on giving... you a bill each month.)
Risks and challenges
You've seen the topics. You've seen the covers. You've seen the samples.
I just need to sit down and do some writing.
The general risks are me being hit by a bus or similarly incapacitated. OK, I’m in Iowa with a cornfield at the end of a block, so a bus isn’t a real risk. Being run over by a combine or the local children sacrificing me to He Who Walks Behind the Rows would be more in line with my risk profile.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)