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We would like to underwrite The Dark for two years, while allowing time and energy to grow subscriptions, increase pay rates, and more.
390 backers pledged $15,227 to help bring this project to life.

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$15,227

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The Dark Magazine has been around for five years and in that short period of time we have published award-winning stories by new and established authors; showcased great artwork from all corners of the world; and done it all on the backs of a small team of simply wonderful people. But now it is past time to take it to the next level, and help finance the magazine for two more years to allow us to increase the subscription base, increase the pay rate from three cents to five cents a word, and increase the amount of fiction we bring to you, with double Christmas issues. Because we don’t just like dark fantasy, horror, or weird fiction . . . we love it. And it means so much to us to introduce you to unsettling and thoughtful stories every month that we want to keep on doing it, with your help.

Who we are:

Co-Editor and Publisher Sean Wallace is the founder, publisher, and managing editor of Prime Books. He has edited or co-edited a number of projects, including three magazines, Clarkesworld Magazine, The Dark, and Fantasy Magazine, and a number of anthologies, including Best New Fantasy, Japanese Dreams, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, People of the Book, Robots: Recent A.I., and War & Space: Recent Combat. He lives in Germantown, MD, with his wife, Jennifer, and their twin daughters, Cordelia and Natalie.  

Co-Editor Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music, magic and Mexico City, was listed as one of the best novels of the year at io9, Buzzfeed and many other places and nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Sunburst and Aurora awards. She was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work on the anthology She Walks in Shadows and is the guest-editor for Nightmare Magazine’s POC Destroy Horror. She edits The Jewish Mexican Literary Review together with award-winning author Lavie Tidhar. Her website can be found at www.silviamoreno-garcia.com

Kate Baker is the podcast director and non-fiction editor for Clarkesworld Magazine. She has been very privileged to narrate over 250 short stories/poems by some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy. Kate has also read for various other audio venues such as StarShipSofa, Escape Pod, Nightmare Magazine, Mash Stories, The Drabblecast, and Cast of Wonders. Kate is currently situated in Northern Connecticut with her first fans; her three wonderful children. She is currently working as the executive director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Examples of our award-nominated or critically-acclaimed stories:

Postcards from Natalie” by Carrie Laben

The Whalebone Parrot” by Darcie Little Badger

Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango” by Ian Muneshwar

Twilight Travels with the Grape-Paper Man” by Sara Saab

The Devil Under the Maison Blue” by Michael Wehunt

Goals (and Stretch Goals)

  • $12,500 — increase in pay rate from 3 cents to 5 cents a word; double-Christmas issues, and financial stability for two years!
  • $13,500 — the bimonthly podcast becomes monthly, along with a pay raise for Kate Baker, and we do a one-time Spanish edition in time for World Fantasy!
  • $15,000 — increase in pay rate from 5 cents to 6 cents a word, making the magazine SFWA qualified.

Risks and challenges

As an ongoing venture, we are not too worried about keeping the magazine moving forward, as we have for the past five years, but should the kickstarter be funded we imagine that an increased pay rate may result in higher slush volume. Right now we can handle several hundred a month, but if it gets beyond our control we may have to bring in additional slushreaders to tackle submissions. We’ve all extensive experience in this, so you can rest assured that it won’t be an issue.

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Support

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    Our Undying Gratitude

    Thank you from the bottom of our dark wicked hearts, along with a listing of your name on our website.

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    An ebook novella by Michael Wehunt!

    A copy of The Tired Sounds: A Wake by Michael Wehunt, a story only released as a limited-edition, now sold out, and only available as a pdf.

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    Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise (a novella)

    “The Royce family has been a plague on the small, Southern town of Lewis for generations. Caleb has heard rumors about the family his whole life, just like he's heard the rumors about a monstrous creature known as Catfish John living in the swamp. . . ” Signed.

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    Signed City of Islands, Kali Wallace

    Paperback. Advance Readers Copy.

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    An ebook novella by Michael Wehunt!

    A copy of The Tired Sounds, A Wake by Michael Wehunt, a story ONLY released as a limited-edition, now sold out, and only available as a pdf, epub, and mobi. Not available anywhere else!

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    A Small Grab-Bag of Books!

    You get a random bundle of three books from Prime Books, which may or may not include a limited edition hardcover, from our warehouse.

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    Signed Debut SS Coll Kristi DeMeester

    Everything That’s Underneath, Kristi DeMeester’s debut powerful horror collection, is full of weird, unsettling tales that recall the styles of such accomplished storytellers as Laird Barron and Tom Piccirilli.

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    Signed Novel by Kristi DeMeester

    Kristi DeMeester's debut novel Beneath is a tale of long-buried memories, forgotten horrors, and pure terror, with a snake-handling cult in rural Appalachia.

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    The Eyes: A Novella & Stories

    Michael Harris Cohen’s debut collection, The Eyes: A Novella & Stories, is heartbreaking, horrifying, and utterly original. No one else writes noir quite like Cohen, with his genius turns of phrase and, as Stephen Graham Jones says, “incisions into language that [are] both intimidating and casual.”

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    Machine of Death by Matthew Bennardo

    This Amazon bestselling anthology contains stories by Randall “xkcd” Munroe, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, and many more, along with illustrations by web comic gurus including Kate Beaton, Aaron Diaz, John Allison, and Kris Straub.

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    Subscription: The Dark Magazine

    A twelve-month subscription, including the double-winter specials, in epub and mobi, every month delivered directly to your inbox.

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    Digital Subscription: The Dark

    Twelve issues including the double-thick Christmas specials, in epub / mobi, delivered every month, directly to your inbox.

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    Signed Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

    Hardcover.

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    Signed The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace

    Hardcover.

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    Subscription: The Dark Magazine

    A twelve-month subscription, including the double-winter specials, in epub and mobi, every month delivered directly to your inbox.

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    Handwritten Postcard

    Done entirely in character, from her famous story “Postcards from Natalie,” by Carrie Laben, an award-winning author.

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    Limited and signed hardcover collection

    Impossibilia, by Douglas Smith, a multiple winner of the Prix Aurora Awards.

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    The Exchange, Jeff VanderMeer

    A chapbook by VanderMeer, Jeff, writing as “Nicholas Sporlender.” and illustrated by Eric Schaller. Hoegbotton and Sons, 2001. Small octavo, illustrations by Eric Schaller (as "Louis Verden), pictorial wrappers. First edition. Limited to 300 copies.

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    Signed Art Print by Lora Gray

    You can see this artist’s wonderful work here at their art site: https://arrowchild.deviantart.com/prints/

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    A Bigger Grab-Bag of Books!

    You get a random bundle of five books from Prime Books, which may or may not include a limited edition hardcover, from our warehouse.

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    Personalized Greener Pastures by Wehunt

    A paperback edition of the award-nominated short story collection, with a custom inscription to you.

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    Two Year Subscription: The Dark

    A twenty-four-month subscription, including the double-winter specials, in epub and mobi, every month delivered directly to your inbox.

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    Story Critique / Sensitivity Read

    By Ian Muneshwar, whose short fiction has appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, Gamut, Liminal Stories, and The Dark. Maximum word limit: 17,500.

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    Custom Essay, Pop Culture

    By Carlie St. George, author of “If We Survive the Night,” for her website, mygeekblasphemy.com.

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    Damien Angelia Walters Book Set

    A signed set of the following books: Sing Me Your Scars; Paper Tigers; and Cry Your Way Home.

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    Story Critique by Erin Roberts

    From Erin Roberts, winner of the 2017 Diverse Worlds and Diverse Writers grants from the Speculative Literature Foundation, author of stories in or forthcoming in Clarkesworld, Asimov's, PodCastle, and The Dark, and Associate Editor at Escape Pod and Pseudopod.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    The Biggest Grab-Bag of Books!

    You get a random bundle of ten books from Prime Books, which will also include a limited edition hardcover, from our warehouse.

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    12-Issue Set of Gamut Magazine

    $120 retail value. Twelve issues of contemporary dark fiction, with original stories, reprints, non-fiction, columns, poetry, and original artwork. 2017. Includes work from award-winning authors such as Stephen King, Damien Angelica Walters, Usman T. Malik, Steve Rasnic Tem, Mort Castle, Kate Jonez, Mercedes M. Yardley, Helen Marshall, Brian Evenson, Benjamin Percy, Angela Slatter, and Stephen Graham Jones, to name just a few.

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    A Complete Dark House set (8)

    The complete set of Dark House Press books. $120 retail value. Eight books including: The New Black, Richard Thomas editor; After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones (Bram Stoker nominee); Echo Lake by Letitia Trent; Exigencies, edited by Richard Thomas (Shirley Jackson nominee); The Doors You Mark Are Your Own by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement; Vile Men by Rebecca Jones-Howe; Paper Tigers by Damien Angelica Walters; and Scratch by Steve Himmer. (USA only)

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    The Exchange, Jeff VanderMeer

    A chapbook by VanderMeer, Jeff, writing as “Nicholas Sporlender.” and illustrated by Eric Schaller. Hoegbotton and Sons, 2001. Small octavo, illustrations by Eric Schaller (as "Louis Verden), pictorial wrappers. First edition. Limited to 300 copies. Signed by Jeff VanderMeer to Sean Wallace, dated 2001.

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    Two Clarkesworld Chapbooks, Signed

    This includes the first issue and third issue, with signatures from all four authors, including Sarah Monette, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, and Jenny Davidson. Limited to 100 copies. PC copy, both.

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    Gnome Press Calendar (7)

    Someone has undone the original calendar, and removed the string. This is only February, March, April, August, September, October, and December. In great shape except for December, which has a fold. 1950. Artwork by Cartier, Paul, and Bok. Incredibly hard to find. You can see what they look like at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29144970@N00/albums/72157666449031398

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    The Dark Digital Backlist Package

    This bundle includes the first thirty-three issues of The Dark Magazine, for the completist, collector, and reader, in epub / mobi formats.

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    Tokyo Calling Bundle

    A physical copy of the Japanese edition of Fungi edited by Orrin Grey and Silvia Moreno-Garcia; a digital copy of The Mammoth Book of Kaiju; and a twelve-issue subscription to The Dark.

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    Ltd Hardcover Coll by Angela Slatter

    Winter Children [signed hardcover] by Angela Slatter, limited to 200 copies, collecting some of Angela Slatter’s finest horror stories.

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    The Dark Backlist / Subscription Deal

    You get all thirty-three backlist issues, along with a new twelve-issue subscription going forward.

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    The Dark Backlist / 2 Year Subscription

    You get thirty-thirty issues and a new forty-eight subscription to future issues.

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    Personalized MSS by Rachel Swirsky

    Published.

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    Personalized MSS by Michael Wehunt

    Published.

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    Story Critique by M. Bennardo

    M. Bennardo is the writer of short stories in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and others. He is also co-editor of the Machine of Death series of anthologies. He lives in Kent, Ohio, but people everywhere can find him online at www.mbennardo.com

    Up to 10,000 words.

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    Story Critique by Emily B. Cataneo

    Emily B. Cataneo is a writer and journalist who lives in Boston. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from magazines such as Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts; SmokeLong Quarterly; and Lackington’s. This is also her second appearance in The Dark. She is a 2016 graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop in San Diego. Follow her on Twitter @emilycataneo or visit her website at www.emilycataneo.com.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    The Crying Child by Bruce McAllister

    A Shirley Jackson finalist novelette, signed and limited. Rare.

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    Cross-Stich by Kali Wallace

    This will feature a quote from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. The finished craft will be 8x10, four-color and stitched on a black background, and based on the design and colors of the original 1959 cover (this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunting_of_Hill_House#/media/File:HauntingOfHillHouse.JPG).

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    The 100+ Title (Digital) Mega-Pack

    You get it all, everything in print, digitally, from 2009 onwards, over one hundred titles, between novels, anthologies, and collections.

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    City of Saints & Madmen, Jeff VanderMeer

    Signed to Sean Wallace, “For Sean, It’s been a long, wild ride to get to this point.Thanks for taking the book in the first place and putting up with the author. I owe you big time. With affection, Jeff VanderMeer.” Tor UK First Edition.

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    Story Critique by Ray Cluley

    Extensive experience with teaching English and Creative Writing at College level for ten years, along with running a few workshops.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    Story Critique by Kristi DeMeester

    Kristi DeMeester is the author of Beneath, a novel published by Word Horde Publications, and Everything That’s Underneath, a short fiction collection from Apex Books. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of places, including Ellen Datlow’s The Year’s Best Horror Volume 9, Stephen Jones’ Best New Horror, Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volumes 1 and 3 in addition to publications such as Black Static, Pseudopod, and several others. In her spare time, she alternates between telling people how to pronounce her last name and how to spell her first. Find her online at www.kristidemeester.com.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    Steampunk Animal Sculptures!

    Lindiwe Rooney, author of “In Her Bones,” offers unique and startling artwork made just for your wall. You can see examples here: https://www.instagram.com/commandervibes/

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    Story Critique by Priya Sharma

    Priya Sharma’s fiction has appeared in Albedo One, Interzone, Black Static and on Tor.com. She’s been anthologised in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series, Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014, Steve Haynes’ Best British Fantasy 2014 and Johnny Main’s Best British Horror 2015. She was been shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and won a British Fantasy Award for her short story “Fabulous Beasts.” More information can be found as www.priyasharmafiction.wordpress.com

    Up to 10,000 words

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    Story Critique by Erica Satifka

    Erica L. Satifka is a writer and/or friendly artificial construct, forged in a heady mix of iced coffee and sarcasm. She enjoys rainy days, questioning reality, ignoring her to-do list, and adding to her collection of tattoos. Her British Fantasy Award-nominated debut novel Stay Crazy was released in August 2016 by Apex Publications, and her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Lightspeed, and Intergalactic Medicine Show. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her spouse Rob and an indeterminate number of cats.

    Up to 10,000 words.

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    Everything (and the Kitchen Sink)

    You get it all, everything currently in print, digitally, from 2009 onwards, over one hundred titles, between novels, anthologies, collections, and the entire backlist of the magazine, and a twelve-issue subscription.

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    Story Critique by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

    Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music, magic and Mexico City, was listed as one of the best novels of the year at io9, Buzzfeed and many other places and nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Sunburst and Aurora awards. She was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work on the anthology She Walks in Shadows and is the guest-editor for Nightmare Magazine’s POC Destroy Horror. She edits The Jewish Mexican Literary Review together with award-winning author Lavie Tidhar. Her website can be found at www.silviamoreno-garcia.com. Up to 6,000 words.

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    Story Critique by Nin Harris

    Nin Harris is an author, poet, and tenured postcolonial Gothic scholar who exists in a perpetual state of unheimlich. Nin writes Gothic fiction, cyberpunk, nerdcore post-apocalyptic fiction, planetary romances and various other forms of hyphenated weird fiction. Nin’s publishing credits include: Clarkesworld, Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Lightspeed. Nin is currently querying Watermyth, the first novel of the Cantata of the Fourfold Realms mythic clockpunk fantasy sequence while working on Rosemirror, the second novel of the sequence.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    Story Critique by Michael Wehunt

    Michael Wehunt’s short fiction has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Electric Literature, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, among others. His debut fiction collection, Greener Pastures, was published in 2016. He lives in Atlanta with his partner and their pup.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    Tuckerization by Kaaron Warren

    A Primer to Kaaron Warren or Ominium Gatherium.

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    Story Critique by E. Catherine Tobler

    E. Catherine Tobler has never frolicked with ghosts in strange orchards, but there’s probably still time. Among others, her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and on the Sturgeon Award ballot. Follow her on Twitter @ECthetwit or her website, www.ecatherine.com.

    Up to 6,000 words.

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    Story Critique by A.C. Wise

    A.C. Wise’s fiction has appeared in Tor.com, The Dark, Clarkesworld, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2017 among other places. She has two collections published by Lethe Press, and her debut novella, Catfish Lullaby, will be published by Broken Eye Books in Spring 2018. She has been a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and winner of the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction. In addition to her fiction, she contributes a monthly review column to Apex Magazine, and a monthly Women to Read column to The Book Smugglers. Find her online at www.acwise.net and on twitter as @ac_wise.

    Up to 8,000 words.

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    Story Adaptation Podcast by Kate Baker

    Kate Baker is the Podcast Director and Non-fiction Editor for Clarkesworld Magazine. She has been very privileged to narrate over three hundred short stories/poems by some of the biggest names in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

    Kate lives in Northern Connecticut with her first fans; her three wonderful children. She is currently employed as the Director of Operations for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

    Up to 6,000 words. Allow one to three months for completion.

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    Postscripts 10, Signed Hardcover

    Signed by all nineteen authors, including six artists. That means Ramsey Campbell, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Lucius Shepard, Connie Willis, and many more. Limited edition of 200.

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    Ray Cluley Tuckerization

    The name of your choice, within reason, in an upcoming short story or perhaps something longer.

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    Original Digital Illustration

    Tomislav Tikulin lives in Zagreb, Croatia, and has worked for various magazine and book publishers all over the world, including Analog, Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Fantasy & Science Fiction, PS Publishing, Solaris Books, Subterranean Press, and many others. More of his art can be found at tomtikulin-art.com. This custom job may take up to six months to complete.

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Funding period

- (30 days)