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The first book in a wild, irreverent fantasy/horror series following the exploits of a zombie detective and his homunculus frenemy.
– AVAILABLE NOW – The first book in a wild, irreverent fantasy / horror series following the exploits of a zombie detective and his homunculus frenemy. http://amzn.to/2geZThU
– AVAILABLE NOW – The first book in a wild, irreverent fantasy / horror series following the exploits of a zombie detective and his homunculus frenemy. http://amzn.to/2geZThU
235 backers pledged $5,356 to help bring this project to life.

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Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device

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The LOT OF JACK reward level just got a whole lot better! Now everyone who backs (or already backed) the LOT OF JACK reward also gets these 3 ebooks — FOR FREE! 

You get...

This is in addition to all the rewards already in the LOT OF JACK level.

(This is also to make up for a little goof I made. The LOT OF JACK reward includes 3 of my short story ebooks, but if we reach the next stretch goal, which is an ebook of all my short stories, you would get those stories twice. I think I more than made up for it with this addition! If we don't make the stretch goal, there's no issue. And whether we make the goal or not, you can still have my 3 short story ebooks, as well as these 3 ebooks.)

* THIRD STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED! *  

Every backer — even at the $1 level — gets an ebook containing about 20 of my short stories.

* SECOND STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED! *

Two illustrations by Ed Watson will be added to the book.

* FIRST STRETCH GOAL UNLOCKED! *

Free 6-by-9-inch postcard of the Map of Pandemonium. Everyone who orders the print book in any of the reward levels gets the map.

Cover by Ed Watson. Animation by Steven Gladin.
Cover by Ed Watson. Animation by Steven Gladin.

  

Dead Jack isn't the best detective in Pandemonium. He's just the cheapest. In fact he'll work for fairy dust. But don't judge. Jack needs it to curb his hunger for sweet, succulent flesh. In DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE, the first book in the series, things go bad for the brain-licker after he tries to score from his old dealer. Jack and his homunculus sidekick Oswald find themselves on the run from angry leprechauns. But they have bigger krakens to fry, because Pandemonium is in danger of going bye-bye — and our duo is its only hope. Lucifer help them!

DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE is the first in a series of short novels by James Aquilone. (The second book, tentatively titled DEAD JACK AND THE SOUL THIEVES, is due out in March.)  

The stories are a mix of "Hellboy," "Ash vs. Evil Dead," "Big Trouble in Little China," "Shaun of the Dead," and "The Maltese Falcon." 

Read the first chapter of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE here.

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device cover by Ed Watson
Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device cover by Ed Watson

DEAD JACK AND PANDEMONIUM DEVICE will also include the first Dead Jack short story (originally published in Weird Tales Magazine) and some other goodies. All told, the book will be about 200 pages and if we hit the stretch goal will contain illustrations.

DEAD JACK is smart for a zombie. For a detective, well, not too much. He's addicted to fairy dust (which lessens his cravings for flesh), Devil Boy brand formaldehyde (which keeps him from rotting too much) and Lucky Dragon cigarettes (for his nerves). He spent five years underwater after a sailing mishap on the Broken Sea.

OSWALD is Jack's partner — though Jack considers him more of a pest. Oswald is a shape-shifting homunculus who always tries to please Jack but never does. Oswald is the real brains of the organization (maybe because he occasionally sleeps in Jack's skull) but don't let Jack hear that. (Zombies have great hearing, by the way).

 

PANDEMONIUM is an alternate New York City where all the supernatural beings of Earth are trapped — actually it's not too much different from the real Big Apple. 

There are five cities: 

  • ShadowShade (Manhattan) - a fast-paced metropolis teeming with all manner of supernaturals. Jack has an office in Midtown.
  • The Broken Lands (Brooklyn) - a hellish landscape that's home to demons, ogres, vampires and goblins. 
  • Monster Island (The Bronx) - a mountainous and wild region that's home to misfit and loner creatures such as Yetis and Sphinxes. 
  • Witch End (Queens) - a suburban city that most closely resembles old Earth, home to the human witches, warlocks and sorcerers. 
  • The Red Garden (Staten Island) - a mostly swampy, forested place that is a never-ending battlefield for the werewolves and fairies that live there.
Map of Pandemonium (click map for larger version)
Map of Pandemonium (click map for larger version)

 

     
  • A 12-by-18-inch print of the Ed Watson cover (pictured below).
  • A bookmark (pictured below) — because dog-earing a book is pure evil. Don't do it!
  • Print copies of Weird Tales Magazine #362, which contains the first Dead Jack story. This is a hard-to-get magazine, so don't pass up this opportunity. 
  • My amazing cover artist, Ed Watson, is also offering to illustrate something amazing for you. Check out his workat http://www.edwatsonart.com/.
  • You can also be a ghost pirate in DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE — and who doesn't want to be a ghost pirate? I'll use your name or a name we both agree on, as well as personal details in creating the character. I don't know what character you can be in the second book yet, but I'll be sure it's just as cool as a ghost pirate.
Dead Jack Print (left), Dead Jack Bookmark (center), Weird Tales Magazine 362 (right)
Dead Jack Print (left), Dead Jack Bookmark (center), Weird Tales Magazine 362 (right)

 

This is where the power of Kickstarter comes in. The more money I raise, the better the book will be and the more stuff backers get.

GOAL #1 UNLOCKED!

$1500 - If I raise $1500, everyone who ordered the print book will get a 6-by-9-inch postcard of the Map of Pandemonium for free. If you ordered the print of the cover, you will also get the map. This also goes for anyone who pledges $25 or more. 

GOAL #2 UNLOCKED!

$2000 - I'll add at least two illustrations to the print book and PDF of the book (which everyone who orders an ebook gets).

GOAL #3 UNLOCKED!

$3000 - Every backer, even at the $1 level, gets an ebook containing my previously published short stories, plus at least one original, never-before-published story.

GOAL #4

$4500 - I will make an audiobook of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE and everyone who pledged at least $25 gets it.

I am the non-New York Times bestselling, non-award-winning author of more than 20 stories in such fine publications as Nature’s Futures, The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014, Unidentified Funny Objects 4 (alongside Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin), and Weird Tales Magazine. You Kickstarter folk may remember me for the Crowdfunding Roundup I wrote for SF Signal — so I should know what I'm doing with this campaign, right?

Here are some of my stories you can read (or listen to) online for free:

So why did I choose to do a Kickstarter? for my first novel. One, Kickstarter gives me full control over the project, something I wouldn't have if I went with a publisher. I think I've done a good job so far — look at that cover and that map! Besides, it's a lot more fun this way, isn't it? Kickstarter also allows me to make the book more awesome, like add illustrations, hire a kick-ass editor, and maybe — if we get there — create an audiobook. It's in your hands now!

 

Credits:

  • The cover of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE was created by Ed Watson. He also did all the illustrations of Jack and Oswald on the Kickstarter page and video as well as the map.
  • The animated gif cover was done by the incredible Steven Gladin. Check him out at http://stevengladin.com/.
  • Video made with Pro Show Gold. Music in the video is courtesy of Grand Slam Music.

Risks and challenges

The book has been written. It only needs some polishing and editing.

While there will always be challenges to finishing a book, I will guarantee I'll do my best to make it awesome and get it to you on time.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THE DONUT & THANKS LEVEL

    For the price of a donut you get a thank-you in the book and on my website. I will also buy a donut with your $1 and eat it. I will post a photo of the donut before it is consumed.

    Perfect for people who don't like to read but do like donuts.

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    DIGITAL JACK

    Get a DRM-free ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF) of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE. + your name in the book and on my website (if you so choose).

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PRINT JACK

    Get a signed print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE. + a Dead Jack bookmark. Dog-ear the book and I will find you! (I'll also throw in the ebook, because I'm a nice guy, and put your name in the book.)

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    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    PRINT + ART JACK

    Get a signed print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE + the print of the cover + the Dead Jack bookmark + the ebook of the novel + your name in the book.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    WEIRD JACK

    Get a signed print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE + a print copy of WEIRD TALES MAGAZINE #362, which contains the first Dead Jack short story + the bookmark + the ebook of the novel + your name in the book.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    CTHULHU JACK

    Get a signed print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE + a print copy of WEIRD TALES MAGAZINE #362, which contains the first Dead Jack short story + a print copy of WEIRD TALES MAGAZINE #360, the CTHULHU RETURNS ISSUE + the ebook of the novel + your name in the book.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    LOT OF JACK

    Get an ebook and a signed print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE

    + the print of the cover

    + the Dead Jack bookmark

    + all of my short story ebooks -- THE ZOMBIE WHO HAD A NAME, NO PLACE FOR A HERO & DO STAND-UP BOTS DREAM OF ELECTRIC HECKLERS?

    + your name in DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    COMMISSIONS BY ED WATSON

    Cover artist Ed Watson will illustrate whatever you want. The artwork will be 11-by-14 inches, black and white, with no more than 2 characters and minimal backgrounds. You'll get a print as well as a high-res digital image of the illustration.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    TUCKERIZATION

    Be a character — a ghost pirate captain, to be precise — in DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE. In fact the whole story hinges on you. You can't pass this up!

    You'll also get a print copy of the book and the print of the cover.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    TUCKERIZATION II

    Be a character in the second Dead Jack novel. You will get a print copy of DEAD JACK AND THE PANDEMONIUM DEVICE (and the print of the cover) as well as a print copy of the second novel (and a print of that cover).

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Funding period

- (30 days)