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A source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas.
A source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas.
223 backers pledged $16,827 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Vastarien. The forbidden tome. The impossible otherworld. A textual entryway into

"...a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal. . . . Each passage he entered in the book both enchanted and appalled him with images and incidents so freakish and chaotic that his usual sense of these terms disintegrated along with everything else. Rampant oddity seemed to be the rule of the realm; imperfection became the source of the miraculous — wonders of deformity and marvels of miscreation. There was horror, undoubtedly. But it was a horror uncompromised by any feeling of lost joy or thwarted redemption; rather, it was a deliverance by damnation. And if Vastarien was a nightmare, it was a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal."

Our name is drawn from Thomas Ligotti’s classic story of the same title (quoted above). Vastarien is a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas. The inaugural issue is going to be something unusually special, filled with in-depth essays, interviews, weird fiction, terrific poetry, and fascinating hybrid pieces by some of the best authors out there.  An interview with Thomas Ligotti and an introduction by him, neither of which have ever been presented in English, are included. 

And we are open for submissions for issues 2 and 3 right now.

All galley proofs for Issue 1 have been approved. Final cover art is by the incomparable Dave Felton for the inaugural issue of Vastarien. We're only waiting to make it available upon the successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign, which will cover our costs for issues 1-3 and set the foundation for its continuing publication in 2019 and beyond. 

 

 

Art by Dave Felton
Art by Dave Felton

As a journal, our interests include but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • Supernatural horror (both fiction and film)
  • Philosophical pessimism
  • Gnosticism
  • Buddhism
  • Nihilism
  • Surrealism
  • Decadent and fin de siècle literature
  • Pessimistic and morbid poetry (Trakl, Thomson, Brennan, Leopardi, Larkin, Wiloch, Barnitz, etc.)
  • Aberrant psychology (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, anhedonia, depressive realism, etc.)
  • Euthanasia/Right to Die Horror in the visual arts
  • Antinatalism
  • L’école belge de l’étrange
  • Corporate degradation
  • The architecture and topography of Detroit and its suburbs
  • Horror and pessimism as it relates to most any field (geography, psychology, astronomy, music, film, etc.—kind of a catchall category)

Art by Dave Felton
Art by Dave Felton

Budget

We plan on creating and implementing issue 1-3 of Vastarien as modestly as possible, avoiding unrealistically huge and unsustainable expenses.  That stated, as the journal continues through 2018 and beyond, we hope to create an environment that pays the authors and artists more than a token amount.

Issues 1 - 3 (Spring, Summer, and Fall 2018 Issues):

  • Author and Artist Payments -- $3,635
  • ISBN Purchase -- $375
  • Postage -- $600
  • Promotion -- $300
  • Taxes and Fees -- $530

(subtract $527 raised in pre-Kickstarter fundraising)

Total: $4,913

GOAL ACHIEVED!

STRETCH GOAL BUDGET

Issues 1 - 3 (Spring, Summer, and Fall 2018 Issues):

Author and Artist Payments (5 cents a word) -- $10,888
ISBN Purchase -- $375
Postage -- $600
Promotion -- $300
Taxes and Fees -- $4,257

(subtract $527 raised in pre-Kickstarter fundraising)

Total: $15,893

STRETCH-GOAL ACHIEVED!

You backers have made this dream of many years come true.  Thank you!

Art by Dave Felton
Art by Dave Felton

 

Risks and challenges

Issue 1 is ready for publication now -- it is formatted and ready to be published as soon as production costs and fees are met. The Kickstarter campaign will cover our costs and, hopefully, help pay for future issues (and a payment upgrade for our wonderful authors and artists).

Any new literary endeavor risks failing due to lack of interest or editorial life changes, but we feel that a journal like VASTARIEN has a tremendously solid foundation. Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett, the Co-Editors-in-Chief, have been producing and editing content about and/or inspired by Thomas Ligotti for over twenty years now, and it is doubtful that either will cease any time soon. Notably, VASTARIEN is the first project of the fledgling Grimscribe Press, which plans to produce Ligottian content -- fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, and hybrid pieces -- for many years to come.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Bright Puppet

    You'll receive a personal email of thanks from VASTARIEN's Editors-in-Chief, Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett, and your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor.

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    Acolyte

    You will receive a copy of the Kindle edition of VASTARIEN Issue 1, and your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor. We'll email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold. You'll receive a personal email of thanks from VASTARIEN's Editors-in-Chief, Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett.

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    Mystic

    You'll receive one copy of the print edition of VASTARIEN issue 1, and your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor. We'll email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold. You'll also receive a personal email of thanks from VASTARIEN's Editors-in-Chief, Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett.

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    Clown Puppet

    You'll receive one copy of the print and Kindle editions of VASTARIEN issue 1, and your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor. We'll email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold. You'll also receive a personal email of thanks from VASTARIEN's Editors-in-Chief, Matt Cardin and Jon Padgett.

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    Chymist

    You'll receive an original VASTARIEN artwork print by artist, Aeron Alfrey, and will be offered a 20 minute Skype conversation with Matt Cardin or Jon Padgett as well as a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, We'll also email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold, and you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Dr. Locrian

    You'll receive an original VASTARIEN artwork print by artist, Aeron Alfrey, as well as a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, We'll also email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold, and you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Vastarien 1 Year Kindle Subscription

    You'll receive a one year Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN (issues 1-3), your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name will be listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1. Finally, you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Simple Vastarien 1 Year Subscription

    You'll receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN (issues 1-3), your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name will be listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1. Finally, you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Master Rignolo

    You'll receive two, gorgeous Dave Felton Vastarien prints (original to the journal). You'll also receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN. We'll email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold. Finally, your name will be listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, and you will receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Grimscribe

    You'll receive an hour long Skype consult with Jon Padgett or Matt Cardin on a topic of your choice and two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey. You'll also receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, as well as a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    The Voice in the Bones

    You'll receive a copy of the Cadabra Records release of 20 SIMPLE STEPS TO VENTRILOQUISM, written, read and signed by Jon Padgett with front cover art by Yves Tourigny and back cover art by Dave Felton, with liner notes by Thomas Ligotti, You'll also receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, as well as a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    The Bells Will Sound Forever

    You'll receive a copy of the Cadabra Records release of 20 SIMPLE STEPS TO VENTRILOQUISM, signed by Jon Padgett with front cover art by Yves Tourigny and back cover art by Dave Felton, with liner notes by Thomas Ligotti, an hour long Skype consult with Jon Padgett or Matt Cardin on a topic of your choice and two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey. You'll also receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, as well as a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Dalha D. Fine Arts

    You'll receive a test press copy of the Cadabra Records release, THE BUNGALOW HOUSE, by Thomas Ligotti, read by Jon Padgett (comes in fold over sleeve), an hour long Skype consult with Jon Padgett or Matt Cardin on a topic of your choice and two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey. You'll also receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1, as well as a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Nobody is Anybody

    You'll receive a copy of BORN TO FEAR, signed by Matt Cardin, an hour long Skype consult with Jon Padgett or Matt Cardin on a topic of your choice and two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey. You'll receive a one year print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, and your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of Issue 1. We'll also email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best pieces in VASTARIEN Issue 1 before it is sold, and you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Town Manager

    You'll receive an unlimited print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, plus one fully produced audio production by Jon Padgett of a public domain or copyright-owned story of your choice (limited to 5,000 words in length). You'll receive three editor-signed copies of Issue #1, two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey, your name listed on our website under benefactors, your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of all 2018 issues, and a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Cynothoglys

    You'll receive an unlimited print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, plus one fully produced audio production by Jon Padgett of a public domain or copyright-owned story of your choice (limited to 5,000 words in length). Also, you'll receive one signed, limited HC copy of Jon Padgett's short story collection, THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM (illustrated by Dave Felton) and one signed copy of Matt Cardin's DARK AWAKENINGS. You'll receive three editor-signed copies of Issue #1, two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey, your name listed on our website under benefactors, your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of all 2018 issues, and a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Nethescurial

    You'll receive an unlimited print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN, plus one of the original, ink drawings by Dave Felton used inside issue 1 of VASTARIEN. Also, you'll receive one signed, limited HC copy of Jon Padgett's short story collection, THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM (illustrated by Dave Felton) and one signed copy of Matt Cardin's DARK AWAKENINGS. You'll receive three editor-signed copies of Issue 1, two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of all 2018 issues, and a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Anima Mundi

    You'll receive a unique, 12" x 12" painting of the VASTARIEN issue 1 cover by Dave Felton. You'll also receive an unlimited print and Kindle subscription to VASTARIEN and one signed, limited HC copy of Jon Padgett's short story collection, THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM (illustrated by Dave Felton) and one signed copy of Matt Cardin's DARK AWAKENINGS. You'll receive three editor-signed copies of Issue 1, two prints of original art, also by artist, Dave Felton, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of all 2018 issues, and a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    The Tsalal

    If you back Vastarien for $3,000 or more, you'll receive the following books by Vastarien contributor, Thomas Ligotti (some of which are exceedingly rare and all of which are signed and come from Ligotti's private library and are in mint condition unless otherwise specified): a limited, deluxe, signed, unread hardcover copy of The Spectral Link; a signed, rare, unread copy of the Greek, bilingual edition of I Have a Special Plan for This World; a signed, limited, unread hardcover edition of In Einer Fremden Stadt, In Einem Fremden Land, the German translation of In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land, cover and internal page designs by H.R. Giger, and signed by Ligotti and Giger; Chants Du Cauchemar Et De Le Nuit, an unread, signed, trade paper, French edition of Songs of a Dead Dreamer; a fine, signed, trade paper copy of Das Alptraum Netzwerk, the German edition of The Nightmare Network; a signed, unread hardcover edition of Grimscribe, Sein Leben und Werk, the German translation of Grimscribe; a very good, signed, illustrated edition of Skuggan på världens botten och andra berättelser, the Swedish translation of The Shadow at the botton of the World; a signed, mint, hardcover copy of I canti di un sognatore morto, the Italian translation of Songs of a Dead Dreamer; a signed, very good paperback copy of I canti di un sognatore morto, the Italian translation of Songs of a Dead Dreamer; an unread, signed, illustrated hardcover, Polish translation of Teatro Grottesco; and Lo Scriba Macabra, a signed, unread trade paper Italian translation of GRIMSCRIBE. You'll also receive an unlimited print and Kindle subscription to Vastarien and one signed, limited HC copy of Jon Padgett's short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism (illustrated by Dave Felton). You'll also receive three editor-signed copies of Issue 1, two prints of original art by artist, Aeron Alfrey, your name listed on our website as a benefactor, your name listed in the Acknowledgments page of all 2018 issues, and a personal email of thanks from Matt and Jon.

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Funding period

- (30 days)