From the creators of Tomorrow's Cthulhu and Ride the Star Wind, there's a brand new anthology on the way. Broken Eye Books is at it again with original short stories from a modern-day Miskatonic University.
Welcome to Miskatonic University brings you modern tales of good ol' MU. Each story shows a slice of college life at this storied and magical institution, steeped in the occult and part of the strange town of Arkham. Come visit this fascinating New England university—where science and magic, tradition and experimentation go hand in hand—and the quiet, secretive town on which it relies.
You can read one of the stories, "Some Muses Are Not Gentle" by Brandon O'Brien, right now!
So first and foremost, your pledge funds the creation of the Welcome to Miskatonic University anthology.
- Once funded, there's then the second anthology, It Came from Miskatonic University.
- And after that, there're bonus stories and expanding the My Miskatonic guidebook (for which backers can submit photos and details of themselves to be adapted into Arkham residents) and stickers, buttons, posters, and more.
- And after that, well then there's an exciting new open call.
There are 5 tiers to the right that are EU-Friendly and AUS-Friendly (shipping from within the EU and Austalia respectively. These tiers are for books only (and digital stuff too of course!). All books can be shipped this way, but any extras, such as stickers or personalizations must be shipped from the US.
Did I mention the stickers and buttons and other fun things being created? (Below is the 10x3" MU bumper sticker and three of our buttons. And a giant cup of coffee, which will feature heavily in my own narrative and play a pivotal role in the anthology's day-to-day creation. More stickers are planned if we hit stretch goals, and we'll be revealing possible sticker designs throughout the campaign.)
The Star Elder Sign design and the Yellow Sign design are copyright © 2018 by Chaosium, Inc. Used with permission.
We love making books, especially anthologies! But we're a small, independent press, and it costs a lot to make this happen—from being able to pay professional rates to our authors and artists to paying for the print run. We're Kickstarting so that we can create the best product we can and get it to as many people as possible.
With your support, we expect to deliver one—or more!—anthologies (print and digital) and some irresistible extras. We've already got the stories in hand thanks to our open submissions last year, and the authors are fabulous—both familiar faces and new voices. Join us and explore the edges of reality at the oddest of universities.
We want to turn you into an Arkham resident. All backers can submit their photo (and up to three key details), and we will select from that pool for designing characters to populate our Arkham (each with a bio and a portrait—maybe yours!), incorporating the character into My Miskatonic, a guidebook to Arkham and the university, with an illustrated portrait by artist Yves Tourigny and a biography written by us. (You can guarantee that Yves does a portrait of you at the backer tier called Commission.)
My Miskatonic will appear as a stand-alone ebook/PDF and be included in the Kickstarter-funded print editions of the anthology. As a stretch goal, we will expand My Miskatonic with the help of author Matthew M. Bartlett, adding more biographies and other additional content, and it will have its own Kickstarter-exclusive print run with additional artwork by Yves and other artists.
(Yves Tourigny is a wonderfully talented game designer and artist from Ottawa, Canada. Below is a sample of an illustrated self-portrait. It could be your likeness he next transforms with ink. And Matthew M. Bartlett is terrific author with a direct link to all things creepy.)
Where would a fiction anthology be without the authors? Below are the talented writers whose stories you'll be reading.
Welcome to Miskatonic University:
Marcus Chan, "Like Candles in a Passing Breeze"
Elliot Cooper, "The Needle’s Eye of Nothingness"
Kristi DeMeester, "The Long Hour"
Scott R. Jones, "The Steeplechase"
Brenda Kezar, "Wyrd Science"
Gwendolyn Kiste, "A Lost Student’s Handbook for Surviving the Abyss"
K.G. McAbee, "The Official Inquiry into the Waite-Gilman-Carter Antarctic Expedition Sponsored by Miskatonic University and the Unfortunate Conclusion Thereof"
Bennett North, "Glory Night"
Brandon O'Brien, "Some Muses Are Not Gentle"
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., "Beyond the Surface"
Liz Schriftsteller, "Through Cryptic Caverns, the Shoggoths Come at Night"
Nate Southard, "Something Beautiful"
It Came from Miskatonic University:
Dani Atkinson, "Between the Holes"
Mary Berman, "Ordinary People"
Jennifer Brozek, "The Librarian's Handbook"
Jacqueline Bryk, "Gills"
Richard Lee Byers, "Student Body"
S.L. Edwards, "Office Hours and After"
Lynne Hardy, "Identity Crisis"
David Kammerzelt, "Intermediate Yithian"
Tonya Liburd, "Fear of a Black Planet"
Matt Maxwell, "The Kingdom of Is"
Chuck Regan, "The Secret Trials of Jared Bloom"
Angela Slatter, "Reading Off the Curriculum"
Oliver Smith, "Mowbray’s Museum"
Dawn Vogel, "Hashtag TPE"
(Authors are listed alphabetically. The final TOC is still to be determined.)
The short stories will be previewed on our Eyedolon Magazine Patreon—before publication in the anthologies. Backers at tiers with access to Previews will receive these stories along with the magazine issues (normally available monthly via Patreon and quarterly via ebook), so there'll be both previews of the anthology and other brand-new fiction.
The hardcover print editions funded by the Kickstarter will be a limited print run. There will be some available directly through us (online and at conventions), but once it sells out, it's done, so the only way to guarantee a hardcover edition is through this Kickstarter.
There are also the very limited deluxe editions (both anthologies compiled with a hand-bound, embossed leatherette hardcover, fancy end papers, and bookmarks) by Near Mint Books that are exclusive to this Kickstarter. If the second anthology is unlocked, this Limited Edition will be a special "flip book" format, in which we'll flow one anthology in one direction and the other in the opposite direction. (So there's a beginning at both ends!)
We've partnered with some amazing local artists to make this project even more exciting, and we'll feature each artist in their own Update post. Meanwhile, here's a little about each of them.
Frank Casey of Monkey House Studio will create the cover illustration for the second anthology, It Came from Miskatonic University, if that gets funded. You can also purchase poster prints of his luscious previous works as add-ons.
(Below is his "The Star Map," one of three pieces available as an add-on.)
Near Mint Books is building the handcrafted limited edition hardcovers, complete with embossed leatherette cover, styled end sheets, and bookmarks.
(Below is a deluxe edition of Tomorrow's Cthulhu that we made as a test. The back cover has an identical but debossed design. We're attempting to create an Elder Sign embossed/debossed design for the new anthology. The curvier and more detailed elements of the Elder Sign make it more challenging, but we think it's doable with laser etching.)
Merle Rice of Playful Deviants makes amazing fleece hats. (Like the one I'm wearing in the video!) For the Kickstarter, we're offering 5 squid hats with your choice of interior and exterior fabric color. (We'll even name your hat and give you both a second life in MY MISKATONIC.)
(Below is a sample of the hat with black exterior and pink interior, which you'll noticed is textured. Both of these colors are customizable. I'm planning on a plaid exterior and lime-green interior one for myself!)
So how do you get what you want? To the right are "tiers" with a list of what's included in each, and you can choose at what level you'd like to back this project. (Additional items will also be available as "add-ons" through BackerKit after the campaign is over.) The basic description of each tier is included below.
$7—Anthology (ebook): Dive into Miskatonic University! Get the Welcome to Miskatonic University anthology in digital form. At least 12 stories included.
$15—Both Anthologies (ebook): Stick around for another semester! Get both anthologies in digital form. At least 26 stories included plus the My Miskatonic guidebook.
$20—Paperback: Physical books just in time for the start of class. At least 12 stories included in Welcome to Miskatonic University plus the My Miskatonic guidebook.
$20—Other Paperback: Of course, you have more than one class to take. At least 14 stories included in It Came from Miskatonic University plus the My Miskatonic guidebook.
$30—All Digital + Previews: In addition to the ebooks, you also get stories in advance of the full release through our digital magazine Eyedolon alongside other great fiction and anything digital unlocked. And we'll take you behind the curtain to see the process of how the anthology is made (including into the next open call if that's unlocked).
$35—Hardcover: Not gonna lie, the matte-finish hardcovers feel incredible with an velvety touch.
$40—Both Paperbacks: You have a full course load, so you'll need both books.
$50—Both Paperbacks + Sticker + Previews: You'll also get the Miskatonic University bumper sticker, featuring the crest of the university.
$60—Retailer: Retailers only. Make a pledge, and we'll contact you closer to launch to set up your pre-release package. US ONLY.
$70—Both Hardcovers: Who doesn't love hardcovers? (That's rhetorical as I couldn't bear to know.) There is no limit to the hardcovers, but they are only available through the Kickstarter (and we'll likely have just a few leftovers for conventions).
$85—Both Hardcovers + Sticker + Previews: Both hardcovers. And the bumper sticker. And the previews!
$100—Personalized Hardcovers + More Stickers: We're making even more stickers with artist Jeremy Zerfoss! And we'll personalize the books just for you.
$140—Both Hardcovers + Posters: You can choose from our available posters, featuring the full cover art for many of our titles (unsullied by cover text).
$150—Doodles: We'll doodle in your books! The editors will hand draw marginalia randomly in your books. No two the same. (Also signed and personalized.)
$200—Critique (AC Wise): Author AC Wise will give you feedback on your short story! (And books with doodles.)
$200—Critique (Erica Satifka): Author Erica Satifka will give you feedback on your short story! (And books with doodles.)
$300—Limited Edition Hardcovers: This is a beautiful HANDCRAFTED embossed leatherette cover with ribbon bookmarks and fancy end paper. If the second anthology is unlocked, this will collect both anthologies in one book as a very special flip format: one anthology flowing one direction, the other flowing the opposite direction. Signed, numbered, and personalized.
$450—Squid Squad: These hats are just amazing. Handmade customizable fleece creations to keep your noggin toasty. (Plus we'll name your hat and give you both a second life in My Miskatonic.) US ONLY.
$500—Commission: Give us your detailed concept, and we'll make it into the perfect biography (complete with portrait illustration) or other piece for My Miskatonic if the expanded version is unlocked.
$750—Archival-Quality Framed Canvas Print: Printed on archival-quality canvas (15"x20") and stretched and stapled on 5/8″ wooden frame. Available for many of the cover illustrations from our books. US ONLY.
We've got an exciting laundry list of things we'd love to do if this Kickstarter takes off, so the more people that back the project, then the more likely we are to reach the various goals, which would expand the options for the rewards of the backer tiers.
$15,000—A second anthology, It Came from Miskatonic University.
$20,000—Marginalia designed by Jeremy Zerfoss in the digital files that will be printed in all editions of the books.
$25,000—Bonus stickers now available.
$45,000—My Miskatonic expands with more biographies, including a "Where are they now?" looking at notable past personages and their legacies (like Tillinghast, Armitage, Carter, and the like) and new content, possibilities include maps, academic syllabi, guides to Arkham, personal ads, and more. Matthew M. Bartlett will contribute new content, and Yves Tourigny will illustrate. (A full digital version will be available to all backers already receiving My Miskatonic and a print edition will be included at no additional cost to any backers at the $100 tier and above). Plus, we'll tease the next anthology in our Cthulhu Mythos series in anticipation of the next stretch goal. In addition, we'll commission illustrations for the anthologies from Michael Bukowski, Nick Gucker, and other artists.
$55,000—My Miskatonic gets a hardcover.
$70,000—We begin the open call for our next anthology.
Various items, such as previously published books, posters, stickers, and more will be available for purchase as "add-ons" through BackerKit before we ship everything out.
Miskatonic University stands strong in the Arkham Valley (and in various satellite campuses and research stations around the world). Resilient and forward thinking, few institutions weather the times and adapt like good ol' MU. It's a strange brew of conservatively reaching into the past while progressively marching forward. And it's a hotbed for the weird and the wonderful!
So what might a modern MU look like? What might student life be like today? These tales combine college life and the strange, the thrill of the unknown and the titillation of the occult. Of course, there's beer, sex, and parties; study groups and all-night cramming; campus activism and impassioned discourse; vital research and faculty struggling for tenure. But also, you know, magic and monsters and psychedelic oddities.
What avenues of study has the university sanctioned either publicly or privately? Where are they getting so much funding? The university's been around the block and are at the bleeding edge of certain realms of research. Occult studies have seeped, seemingly innocuously, into various branches of nearly all academic departments and inform everything from quantum physics to computer science, sociology to modern American literature. Library studies is hands down the best, most advanced in the world, likely one of the most well funded of sectors at the institution with ever-evolving safeguards and best practices.
But there's bound to be lingering effects from all the occult activity, like "sensitive" people and locations with breaches to the "other side" and even sorcerers brimming with spells. People disappear all the time; sometimes they even come back. Entire wings are off limits to humans indefinitely. As a whole, this anthology is about the angst and drama of college life, the promise of big occult ideas, and the dread (and hopeful, headfirst exploration) of the unknown, of the forbidden. And some dark humor is not misplaced.
These are diverse stories with modern sensibilities and from many different voices. We're presenting a living, breathing setting for MU. Sure, people die, just as new faculty is hired and new students fill empty seats. Buildings crumble or disappear into wormholes, but there is always new construction. Monsters come and go, sometimes with fanfare and sometimes not; some even stick around as lab specimens, secret pets, lazing in the sewers, or disguised as faculty. But above all, the university persists. In this anthology, Miskatonic University is a fully modern, multicultural hotbed of cutting edge occult and technological research. In this modern incarnation, we're assuming that it has fully embraced modern technology and norms and has both a faculty and student body thriving with personalities from all walks of life.
Risks and challenges
The stories for the base goal are already submitted and accepted, and the cover illustration is complete. WELCOME TO MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY just needs to go through the process of editing and layout. The second anthology still needs the cover illustration (which Frank Casey will do if it's unlocked) but all the stories are already accepted. As we unlock stretch goals, some extra time will be needed as new stories will need to be written. And for the handmade items, like the limited edition hardcover and the squid hats, extra time is needed for each one as they're made one by one. If we reach the expanded MY MISKATONIC, that will take a bit longer still as that has yet to be written.
The core two anthologies should easily be done this summer. We've built some cushion into the above time estimates to accommodate some of the stretch goals for physical items, attempting to ship items in as few shipments as possible. Digital items will be delivered as they finish and should be several months before the above listed estimates. Of course, if we reach the new open call, that would not be finished until 2019 and anything linked to that would be shipped separately.
This Kickstarter and a previous one, The Faerie Ring, each share my own personal time and effort in their fulfillment but are otherwise unique and independent with separate timelines.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)