About this project
The goal of this campaign is to raise enough funding to publish an anthology of new short stories by some of the best writers in speculative fiction. The anthology will be released as an ebook, a trade paperback, and a limited edition hardcover, available only to contributors to this campaign.
Cars, Cards & Carbines grew from a desire to see more of the kind of stories that set my little writer brain on fire as a kid, merged with adult sensibilities, complex themes, and sheer literary awesomeness. We think you'll agree that the roster below is capable of pulling that off.
This anthology was originally conceived as Mad Max meets Maverick and The Wild, Wild West, by way of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, but the concepts now go much farther than that. Each story will do something unique to incorporate those three themes, without restrictions on genre. The list of award-winning/bestselling authors below have very different writing styles and work in numerous genres.
One cool thing about putting together this kind of anthology (aside from the sheer talent we've already assembled) is the way the three elements of the theme can be stretched. "Cars" can mean a lot of things: hot rods, getaway cars, train cars, mine cars, horse-drawn carriages. While originating from a Poker theme, "Cards" can be expanded into things like credit cards, tarot cards, programming cards, green cards, and more. And of course "Carbine" literally means a short-barreled rifle used generally by cavalry, but could easily reach into all sorts of firearms across almost any milieu.
Put these three together, throw in these authors, simmer, and the possibility for action and adventure is limitless. Stories will be all over the genre map, from noir to weird western, steampunk to cyberpunk, science fiction to straight-up horror.
And let's not forget the cover artist, World Fantasy Award winner Alan M. Clark, who's set to paint a full wrap-around cover.
If this campaign goes well, stretch goals will be used to increase the pay for the authors and add length to the anthology, which will open up space for more stories from more fantastic authors. We call these the Wild Cards slots, and several other professional authors are ready to write stories for these slots.
The more money we make, the more stories we can publish and the more we can pay our authors. Every dime beyond the initial goal goes into more stories and higher pay for the authors.
We have a long list of rewards and crunchy goodies: signed books by our authors and editors, Tuckerizations (writing your name into a story), story and novel critiques for writers, and even launch parties with your favorite author/editor as the host. There's definitely more to come, with some surprises along the way.
So buckle up, throttle up, and get ready for a thrill ride.
Mario Acevedo is the author of the bestselling Felix Gomez detective-vampire series from HarperCollins. He is also the co-author for the financial thriller, Good Money Gone. His short fiction is included in the anthologies, You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery from Arte Publico Press. Mario is a past-president of the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. He lives and writes in Denver, CO.
E. C. Ambrose wrote Elisha Barber (DAW, 2013) the first of "The Dark Apostle" historical fantasy series about medieval surgery. Other published works include "The Romance of Ruins" in Clarkesworld, and "Custom of the Sea," winner of the Tenebris Press Flash Fiction Contest 2012. She is also the author of The Singer's Crown and its sequels, The Eunuch's Heir, and The Bastard Queen, published as by Elaine Isaak. Elaine quite enjoys her alternate identity, aside from a strong desire to start arguments with herself on social media.
Kevin J. Anderson has published 120 books, more than fifty of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as a unique steampunk fantasy novel, Clockwork Angels, which is based on the new concept album by legendary rock group Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, including the Five by Five series. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press. Wordfirepress.com.
Jay Bonansinga is a New York Times bestselling author of eighteen books, including the Bram Stoker finalist The Black Mariah (1994), the International Thriller Writers Award finalist Shattered (2007), and the wildly popular WALKING DEAD novels. Jay’s work has been translated into nine languages, and he has been called “one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers” by the Chicago Tribune. Jay has won major film festival awards, including a Gold Remi at the Houston International WorldFest and a Best Comedy Feature at the Queens International Film Festival, and his 2005 novel, Frozen, is in development as a major motion picture starring Dennis Haysbert (THE UNIT). Jay is currently hard at work co-writing the finale of an original trilogy based on the universe of Robert Kirkman’s brilliant graphic novel, The Walking Dead. Jay is also a Visiting Professor at both Northwestern and DePaul universities where he teaches screenwriting. You can find Jay on-line at WWW.JAYBONANSINGA.COM… FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JayBonansingaFanPage?ref=ts&fref=ts; TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JayBonansinga; PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/jaybona/
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder has written approximately 80 novels and over 200 short stories, essays, and articles. She writes and edits comic books, graphic novels, and pulp fiction for Moonstone Books. She has received five Bram Stoker Awards and has been nominated for two more; and has also won a Scribe award and a young adult genre pioneer award. Her work has appeared numerous times on the NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age and the American Library and American Reading Association lists. Recent publications are the MTV Teen Wolf novel On Fire and Buffy: The Making of a Slayer. She has written tie-in novels, novellas, short fiction, comic books, and episode guidebooks for “universes” such as MTV's Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hulk, Hellboy, Angel, Smallville, Sabrina the Teen Age Witch, Highlander, Saving Grace, Zorro, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Kolchak the Night Stalker, and pulp characters such as the Spider, the Avenger, Honey West, and the Domino Lady. BtVS: The Watcher’s Guide Volume I made the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal lists. She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine, and was Writer-in-Residence at Odyssey. She will be the Writer Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention 2014, and is currently working on short fiction projects for IDW. Her social media: www.nancyholder.com, Twitter: @nancyholder, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyholderfans
David B. Coe (http://www.DavidBCoe.com) is the Crawford award-winning author of the Lon Tobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and a number of short stories. Writing as D.B. Jackson (http://www.dbjackson-author.com), he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a blend of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. David is also part of the Magical Words group blog (http://magicalwords.net), and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. In 2010 he wrote the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Mur Lafferty is an author and a pioneering podcaster. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer in 2013. Her book, The Shambling Guide to New York City, is currently on sale from Orbit Books.
Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on numerous writing and editing projects. His books for 2013 and 2014 include Kalimpura and Last Plane to Heaven from Tor and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards.
Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including the recent Love is the Law and The Last Weekend. His short fiction has appeared in slicks such as the men's magazine Razor and the music magazine Spex, in leading SF publications including Asimov's Science Fiction and Tor.com, and in the 2013 volume of Best American Mystery Stories.
Seanan McGuire writes things. Constantly. She cannot be stopped. She will destroy us all. Where is the hero who will save us? Oh. The hero is reading the things she wrote. We are all doomed. To stave off the agony, we recommend reading some of the things Seanan has written, either under her own name, or under the name "Mira Grant." People seem to like the things she writes, which is nice. Follow her online at www.seananmcguire.com, or on Twitter at @seananmcguire.
Norman Partridge’s fiction includes horror, suspense, and the fantastic—“sometimes all in one story” says his friend, writer Joe Lansdale. Author of six short story collections, Partridge’s novels include the Jack Baddalach mysteries Saguaro Riptide and The Ten-Ounce Siesta, plus The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which was adapted for film. His novel, Dark Harvest, was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Books of 2006. Partridge’s compact, thrill-a-minute style has been praised by Stephen King and Peter Straub, and his collections and stories have received both the Bram Stoker and IHG awards. News about upcoming projects can be found at Partridge’s blog, americanfrankenstein.blogspot.com.
Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction and information about her popular online writing classes, see http://www.kittywumpus.net.
Worldwide bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won two Hugos, one for her writing, and one for her editorship at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her editing has also won a World Fantasy Award. She sells in multiple genres under multiple names.
Ken Scholes is the award-winning author of four novels and over forty short stories. His series, The Psalms of Isaak, is being critically acclaimed as "a towering storytelling tour de force" by Publishers Weekly. Ken's eclectic background includes time spent as a label gun repairman, a sailor who never sailed, a soldier who commanded a desk, a preacher (he got better), a nonprofit executive, a musician and a government procurement analyst. He has a degree in History from Western Washington University and is a winner of France's Prix Imaginales for best foreign novel and of the Writers of the Future contest. Ken is a native of the Pacific Northwest and makes his home in Saint Helens, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and twin daughters. You can learn more about Ken by following him on Facebook or visiting www.kenscholes.com.
USA Today bestselling writer, Dean Wesley Smith published over a hundred novels in thirty years and hundreds and hundreds of short stories across many genres, among them a couple dozen Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, Spider-Man and X-Men novels, plus novels set in gaming and television worlds. Writing with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch under the name Kathryn Wesley, they wrote the novel for the NBC miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and other books for Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. He wrote novels under dozens of pen names, including novelizations of a dozen films, from The Final Fantasy to Steel to Rundown. He now writes his own original fiction under just the one name, Dean Wesley Smith. His new thriller Dead Money comes out in November, 2013, plus two new science fiction novels in early 2014. His new monthly magazine called Smith’s Monthly premiered October 1st, 2013, filled entirely with his original novels and stories. For information go to www.deanwesleysmith.com or www.smithsmonthly.com.
THE COVER ARTIST
Alan M. Clark grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. His illustrations have appeared in books of fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, young adult fiction and children’s books. Awards for his illustration work include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. His short fiction has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and three collections. Six of his novels have been published. Lazy Fascist Press released his latest novel, A Parliament of Crows, in the Fall of 2012. Mr. Clark's publishing company, IFD Publishing, has released six traditional books and seventeen e-books. He and his wife, Melody, live in Oregon. His website is: www.alanmclark.com.
Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of the Ronin Trilogy, The Wild Boys, and Rogues of the Black Fury, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Fiction River: How to Save the World, Weird Tales, Historical Lovecraft, and Shivers VII. As a freelance writer, he has produced a metric ton of role-playing game work both in print and online, including Legend of Five Rings, d20 System, and the MMORPG, EVE Online. He teaches science fiction literature at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
John Helfers is an author and editor currently living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During his sixteen years working at Tekno Books (the largest commercial book packager in the nation), he co-edited more than twenty short story anthologies, as well as overseeing many others for publishers in all genres. He has worked with many well-known authors and co-editors, including Lawrence Block, Larry Bond, Elizabeth George, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts, Nelson DeMille, Charlaine Harris, John Jakes, Anne Perry, Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, Walter J. Boyne, Harold W. Coyle, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis, Kevin J. Anderson, Ice-T, Richard Belzer, and Max Allan Collins. He has also edited more than forty novels and published more than forty short stories in anthologies, game books, and novels for the Dragonlance®, Transformers®, BattleTech® and Shadowrun® universes. He has written both fiction and nonfiction, including the third novel in the first authorized trilogy based on The Twilight Zone™ television series, the YA novel Tom Clancy’s Net Force Explorers: Cloak and Dagger, and a history of the United States Navy.
Wild Card Slots
A hand-picked list of other professional authors has been assembled by the editors to write extra stories in the event the campaign goes long. The further the campaign goes, the more stories we'll add. We’re calling these Wild Card Slots.
There will be no open submissions. Wild Card slots are invitation only.
What Will Be Produced?
The money from this campaign will be used to produce:
- Limited Edition Signed and Numbered Hardcovers
- Limited Edition Signed and Numbered Prints of the Cover Art
- Trade Paperbacks
- E-books (DRM-free mobi, epub, and pdf)
- Thank-you Postcards
- Paying the authors
- Editing and copyediting
- Cover painting and prints
- Cover design
- Interior book design
- Printing costs of the physical books and postcards
- Registering Copyright
- Securing ISBN numbers
- Setup fees at printer and e-book distributors
- Postage and shipping supplies
- December 15, 2013 – Campaign completes.
- July 1, 2014 – Lead and Wild Card authors submit their completed stories.
- August 1, 2014 - Wild Card story selection is complete.
- September 1, 2014 - Story editing and cover art are complete.
- October 1, 2014 – Final copyediting, book design, and cover design are complete.
- November 1, 2014 – Proofreading and final quality checks complete. Files submitted to printer.
- November 15, 2014 - Ebooks sent to contributors.
- December 1, 2014 – Ship out rewards to contributors.
Risks and challenges
Possible complications include delays at any number of stages: story submission delays, art and design delays, problems with the printer, etc.
The editors have been involved in publishing for several years at nearly every level, from editing to quality control to printer liaison. With this experience, we are confident we can overcome whatever inevitable snags appear, and overcome them in a timely fashion.