About this project
The Weird Wild West is an anthology of fantastic stories of the Wild West as it never was—and in all the weirdest ways that can be imagined, featuring some of the best writers in the speculative fiction world. All the strangeness history left out of the books...it's here, waiting for you, pilgrim.
With an initial line-up of stories by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Martin, Misty Massey, and James Tuck, and four slots for open submissions.
As we hit the appropriate stretch goals we will add stories by Robert E. Waters and David Sherman and more slots for open submissions.
The concept of a weird west anthology isn't new, but it is very cool and the possibilities are as boundless as our fertile imaginations. We at eSpec Books are fortunate to know many talented authors. When the editors approached us with this "crazy idea", we jumped on board and started discussing what eSpec could do to help.
Not only is this great fun, but we really support the editors' plan for this book. They built the core of the book by inviting some truly high-quality writers. Beyond that, one third of the book will be filled by open submissions, because both the editors and we at eSpec Books believe everyone deserves the chance to achieve their dreams and new talent needs to be let loose upon the world.
We think the talent and the concept involved in this project have a lot to offer to our supporters and the reading world at large. We want to see this project happen. Will you help us achieve that goal?
1. For each $500 sub-goal we reach ($3500, $4000, $4500, $5000), all backers will immediately receive a bonus bundle of digital fiction with prizes from Gail Z. Martin, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Cynthia Ward, Beth Cato and Ragnarok Publishing, among others.
$3500 - Unlocked!
- The Final Death – an 80-page Deadly Curiosities novella by Gail Z. Martin – Vampires, vengeful ghosts and Voodoo are all in a day’s work for Cassidy Kincaide, owner of Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio store in historic, haunted Charleston, SC whose real mission is to get dangerous magical objects off the market and out of the wrong hands.
- On the Wings of an Angel – steampunk western story by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- Maps – a short story by Beth Cato – A child loses herself while mapping destiny.
$4000 - Unlocked!
- Collector – a Deadly Curiosities story by Gail Z. Martin. A Collector’s passion brings death and despair to Battery Row in modern-day Charleston, SC. Cassidy, Teag and Sorren fight for their lives against an ancient spirit, a children’s bogeyman who has brought her minions with her to help discipline all in her path.
- To Reach for Distant Shores – a short story by Danielle Ackley-McPhail – a merwoman gets a glimpse of hell while longing after heaven.
- #Rising – Cynthia Ward - Welcome to the zombie apocalypse, have a nice day – Tangent Online 2014 Recommended Read
$4500 - Unlocked
- The Dead West Omnibus One – Over 400 pages of steampunk zombies! The Dead West Omnibus takes Nina Weaver, her father Lincoln, and a motley crew of survivors through a gauntlet of magically animated undead and demonic forces from 'deaduns' to giant flying creatures, to hellish steam engines, to actual murders of crows. donated by Ragnarok Publishing
- A Spectacular Display – a short story by Beth Cato – an inconvenient miss turns the tables on her prospective suitor.
- Excerpt from Iron and Blood – by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin(launch date July 7, 2015) A Steampunk novel set in the fictional city of New Pittsburgh, from Solaris Books. New Pittsburgh in 1898, a crucible of invention and intrigue, the hub of American industry at the height of its steam-driven power. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, New Pittsburgh is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy. In the abandoned mine tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging to feed in the smoky city known as 'hell with the lid off.' Enjoy a sneak preview chapter!
$5000 - Unlocked!
- The Cask of Amarillo – a short story by Misty Massey
- Fire on the Mountain – a Bubba The Monster Hunter story - the first Great-Grandpappy Beauregard story, telling how Bubba’s family got into the monster-hunting business lo these many years ago.
- The Ghost in the Doctor – a short story by Brenda Cooper
Unlocked! - 2. When we hit our goal of $5500, one backer at the $20 or higher level will receive a package of promotional goodies, plus the following mega-western pack of movies and classic TV:
- Cowboys vs Aliens (New addition!)
- High Plains Drifter
- Joe Kidd
- Two Mules for Sister Sara
- The Outlaw Josey Wales
- Pale Rider
- Lone Ranger (12 classic episodes)
- Shotgun Slade (eight episodes)
- Zorro (24 episodes)
- The Cisco Kid (six episodes)
So, flag down the Pony Express, hop on that telegram, break out those smoke signals…or head over to the social media site of your choice and spread the word! The more people we get on board, the quicker we unlock those prizes!
Want to help us make this happen? Here are some social media posts you can use.
Twitter: Help the Weird Wild West hit goal and unlock prizes along the way! Back a winner here: http://kck.st/1udizgM @eSpecBooks
TheWeirdWildWest Funded! Aiming 4 stretch goal awesomeness! http://kck.st/1udizgM Tons of free fiction unlocked!
Facebook: Back the Weird Wild West anthology here http://kck.st/1udizgM and you could strike gold! Sub-goal rewards include stories by Gail Martin, Danielle Ackley-McPhail and collections from Ragnarok Publishing, among others.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: In regards to the open submission slots in the below stretch goals, no one will be given preferential consideration in regard to those slots. Backing this project will potentially ensure there are more slots available, thus increasing everyone's chances at acceptance, but stories themselves will be considered solely upon the merit of the quality of the writing, adherence to the theme, and the story itself. The editors will have no knowledge of who backed the project and who did not.
FIRST 50 – ACHIEVED! These backers will receive a bonus DRM-Free ebook of The Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson anthology.
FIRST 100 – ACHIEVED! These backers will receive a bonus DRM-Free ebook of James Tuck's Special Features (A Deacon Chalk short fiction collection).
$5700 – ACHIEVED! We will add a story by Robert E. Waters to the book.
$5900 – ACHIEVED! All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of James Tuck's That Way Lies Madness.
$6100 – ACHIEVED! We will add an open submission slot to the book.
$6300 – ACHIEVED! We will add two Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$6500 – ACHIEVED! All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of Misty Massey’s Kestrel's Voyages.
$6700 – ACHIEVED! We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$6900– ACHIEVED! All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of an original, never before published story by Tee Morris, co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.
$7100 – ACHIEVED! We will add an open submission slot to the book.
$7300 – ACHIEVED! We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$7500 – ACHIEVED! All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of Tonia Brown's Railroad! omnibus.
$7700 – ACHIEVED! We will add a story by David Sherman to the book.
$7900 – All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of James Tuck's Love and Vengeance.
$8100 – We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$8300 – We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$8500 – We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$8700 – All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of Robert E. Water's short story The Scarlet Tide.
$8900 – We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$9300 – We will add two more Weird Wild West illustrations by Bryan Prindiville to the book.
$9500 – All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-Free digital copy of James Tuck's Hired Gun.
$10,000– We will produce a second volume entitled The Weird West Frontier including stories by Faith Hunter, Barb Hendee, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Laura Anne Gilman, Beth Cato, Devon Monk, and 4 open submission slots.
$10,500 – Volume Two will be illustrated by Bryan Prindiville.
Quick Explanation: Kickstarter doesn't really have an intuitive way to do add-ons, and the process can be confusing, so here's a quick explanation. To add one of the below onto your current pledge, just click on the "Manage Your Pledge" button at the top right of the page, click in the "Pledge Amount" box, and change the pledge amount to reflect the addition of the amount of the add-on you want.
Example: if your current pledge amount is $10, and you want to add a $5 add-on, you would click into the "Pledge Amount" box and change the pledge amount to $15. At the end of the Kickstarter, we'll send out a questionnaire to find out what add-ons you contributed for.
Please note, we can autograph a book to whomever you want and you can order more than one copy of the same book when doing an add-on.
$5 – Add a magnet featuring the cover art of The Weird Wild West or the Alien Wanted poster promo art. (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $5 for shipping.)
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy ofThe Weird Wild West to your order.
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy ofThe Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer to your order.
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy of Eternal Wanderings by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to your order.
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy of Athena's Daughters Volume 1 edited by Jean Rabe to your order (contains stories by Gail Z. Martin and Danielle Ackley-McPhail).
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy of Dance Like a Monkey edited by Jean Rabe to your order (contains stories by Gail Z. Martin and Danielle Ackley-McPhail).
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy of Eternal Wanderings by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to your order.
$5 – Add a DRM-Free digital copy of Eternal Wanderings by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to your order.
$15 – Upgrade your digital copy of The Weird Wild West to a print copy.
$20 – Add an autographed print copy of The Weird Wild West to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$20 – eSpec Books Special - Add an autographed print copy of Eternal Wanderings by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$20 – eSpec Books Special - Add an autographed print copy of The Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$20 – Add an autographed print copy of Dragon's Lure (with a story by Misty Massey) edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$20 – Add an autographed print copy of With Great Power superhero anthology (with a story by Gail Z. Martin) edited by John L. French and Greg Schauer to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$20 – Add an autographed copy of Silence in the Library's Heroes! superhero anthology (with a story by Gail Z. Martin) to your order. It makes a great gift! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$35 – Add an autographed copy of Silence in the Library's Dance Like a Monkey edited by Jean Rabe to your order. With stories by Gail Z. Martin and Danielle Ackley-McPhail (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S., please add $15 for shipping even if you have already backed at a level that includes shipping as this is a very thick book that will require additional shipping charges than those estimated.)
$30 – Add an autographed copy of Silence in the Library's Athena's Daughters Volume 1 edited by Jean Rabe to your order. With stories by Gail Z. Martin and Danielle Ackley-McPhail (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S., please add $15 for shipping even if you have already backed at a level that includes shipping as this is a very thick book that will require additional shipping charges than those estimated.)
Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel (Tor), a rollicking fantasy adventure of magic on the high seas, and Kestrel’s Voyages (Kindle DP), a set of stories following Captain Kestrel and her daring crew. Her short fiction has appeared in Rum and Runestones, Dragon's Lure and The Big Bad II. Misty is one of the featured writers on Magical Words (magicalwords.net). When she’s not writing, she studies Middle Eastern dance and performs with Mythos Tribal and Chimera. You can see more of what Misty’s up to at her website, mistymassey.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Emily Lavin Leverett is a fantasy, sci-fi, and (occasional) horror writer from North Carolina. Her works have appeared in Flash Fiction Online and Drafthorse: A Journal of Work and No Work, and will appear in Summer 2015 in Athena’s Daughters II from Silence in the Library Press. She also edits, with short story collections including The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil and Big Bad II with John Hartness, from Dark Oak Press. She freelance edits as well. When not writing or editing, she also is a Professor of Medieval English Literature at a small college in Fayetteville. She teaches English literature including Chaucer and Shakespeare, as well as teaching composition and grammar. Medieval studies, especially medieval romance, heavily influence her work. When neither writing nor teaching, she’s reading novels, short stories, and comic books or watching television and movies with her spouse and their cats.
Margaret S. McGraw’s writing includes the daily prompt-writing blog WritersSpark.com, several short stories currently in circulation for publication, and two novels in progress: Mira’s Children is a YA science fiction adventure, and OceanSong is a fantasy begun in the 2012 NaNoWriMo challenge. Her imagination draws on her lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, and anthropology. Her education and experience range from anthropology and communication through web design and IT management. Margaret lives in North Carolina with her daughter and an array of cats, dogs, Macs and PCs, and too many unfinished craft projects. For more details on her writing, follow Margaret on Twitter @margaretsmcgraw or visit her daily blog at WritersSpark.com.
R.S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter. Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He's done Masters work in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly. The Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest, Rod's short story “Orphans” was published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9 published by Simon and Schuster in 2006. Rod’s first novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was published by Tor Books in 2013. The sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, was published in October 2014. His next two novels— Nightwise, will be released in August, 2015, and The Brotherhood of the Wheel is published in 2016, both by Tor. He lives in Roanoke Virginia with his children, Jonathan and Emily.
Tonia Brown is a Southern author with a penchant for Victorian dead things. Her work ranges from steampunk to romance to humor to horror, and a healthy mix of these genres. She is the author of Badass Zombie Roadtrip and Lucky Stiff from Books of the Dead Press, Sundowners and Skin Trade from Permuted Press, Hauling Ash from Post Hill Press, and the Clockworks and Corsets series from Kinsington Press, as well as the weird western web serial, Railroad! She lives in the backwoods of North Carolina with her genius husband and an ever fluctuating number of cats.
Diana Pharaoh Francis has published The Horngate Witches series, The Crosspointe Chronicle and The Path trilogy, as well as a variety of short stories and essays. Her novels have been translated into German and French. Bitter Night was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Urban Fantasy of 2009, Crimson Wind best urban fantasy heroine for 2011, and Blood Winter was nominated for the Mary Roberts Reinhart Award. Her latest book, Trace of Magic, was published in August of 2014, and she is currently working on sequels in the Crosspointe and Horngate worlds. She hold a P.D. in Victorian literature and literary theory, and an MA in fiction writing. She’s been teaching for more than 15 years, and now writes full time as well as teaching for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing program at Western Colorado State Universitry. She’s a member of SFWA. For more about her writing, visit www.dianapfrancis.com. She can also be found on twitter as @dianapfrancis.
John G. Hartness is a teller of tales, a righter of wrongs, defender of ladies’ virtues, and some people call him Maurice, for he speaks of the pompatus of love. He is the author of The Black Knight Chronicles (Bell Bridge), and creator of the comic horror Bubba the Monster Hunter series and the Big Bad series (Dark Oak Press). John enjoys long walks on the beach, rescuing kittens from trees and recording episodes of his podcast Literate Liquors, where he pairs book reviews and alcoholic drinks in new and ludicrous ways. An avid Magic: the Gathering player, John is strong in his nerd-fu.
Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, four-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes horror, thrillers, mystery, fantasy, science fiction and suspense for adults and teens. His novels include Predator One, Code Zero, Rot & Ruin, Fall of Night, Ghost Road Blues, Patient Zero, and many others. Several of Jonathan’s novels are in development for movies or TV including V-Wars, Extinction Machine, Rot & Ruin, and Dead of Night. He’s the editor/co-author of V‐Wars, a vampire‐themed anthology; and is editor for a series of all-original X-FILES anthologies, the YA anthology Scary Out There, and the dark fantasy anthology Out of Tune. His V-Wars books have been developed as a board game. He is a popular featured expert on History Channel shows like Zombies: A Living History and Monsters, Myth and Legend. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include V-Wars, Rot & Ruin, Captain America: Hail Hydra, Bad Blood, Marvel Zombies Return and Marvel Universe VS The Avenger. He lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Sara Jo and their dog, Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com
Gail Z. Martin is the prolific author of the epic fantasy Reign of Ash (Orbit Books 2014), urban fantasy Deadly Curiosities, (July 2014 Solaris Books), set in Charleston, SC and Iron and Blood, a steampunk novel (2015, Solaris Books) co-authored with her husband, Larry N. Martin. Find her at www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com. She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad http://wattpad.com/GailZMartin.
James R. Tuck is the author of the Deacon Chalk series and numerous short stories. He writes the things that keep you up at night. Find out more at: www.jamesrtuck.com
Author and graphic artist Mike McPhail is best known as the editor and illustrator of the award-winning Defending The Future (DTF) series of military science fiction anthologies. As a Freelance Administrator for DTF Publications @ Dark Quest Books, he is charged with not only the DTF series but also David Sherman’s 18th Race Trilogy, Phoebe Wray’s Jemma Saga, and the Science Fiction works of the late CJ Henderson. www.defendingthefuture.com.
As a member of the Military Writers Society of America, he is dedicated to helping his fellow service members (and deserving civilians) in their efforts to become authors, as well as supporting related organization in their efforts to help those "who have given their all for us." www.milscifi.com.
Bryan Prindiville spends his days as a Sr. Art Director for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) where he has been employed since late 2000. In his free time he has had a hand in the creation of a number of comics including Bassetville, Bedlam Court and Hello with Cheese. Traditionally published work can be found in Rum and Runestones, Spells and Swashbucklers, and others. Less traditionally he can be found as a member of the live art entertainment show Super Art Fight. Current sites: bryanprindiville.com & bedlamcourt.com.
(Following are previous weird western artwork Bryan has completed for other projects.)
medieval wood sign board isolated © Andrey Kuzmin - Fotolia.com
monsters © Albert Ziganshin - Fotolia.com
Mini Hollywood Western Town Almeria Andalusia Spain © Fotomicar - Fotolia.com
Old western sign. © elnavegante - Fotolia.com
All submissions should be in Times New Roman, 12 point, in .doc or .docx format. Stories should be between 3,000 and 9,000 words. No multiple submissions. No simultaneous submissions.
We seek stories of the Wild West in all its glory but with that delicious left turn into weirdness. The stories must be related to, inspired by, or set in a Western setting, whether on Earth, in a fantasy world, or on another planet. Let your imagination run free figuring out what dangers the frontier folk might face from magic or science (or both!).
Authors receive a 1% royalty share of the profits from both the kickstarter and on-going sales, plus 2 comp copies and a 50% discount on purchased copies. Stories can be submitted at any time, but the editors will not begin reading until the project funds. Submissions close March 31, 2015.
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the contributors to the first Athena's Daughters.
The Athena's Daughters anthology series was envisioned as a platform by which creative women could showcase their incredible talents in a historically male-dominated genre. The result is a series of anthologies where women are involved in all aspects of the creative process, from the artists to the authors, the editors to the project managers. Women of all ages and races, abilities and physical attributes, unified by a love for art and literature.
For the second installment of the series, Silence in the Library Publishing issued an open submissions call, intent on populating the anthology with the best speculative fiction from up and coming women authors, including Emily Lavin Leverett, one of the editors of The Weird Wild West. After reading hundreds of submissions, the editors, Janine K. Spendlove and Maggie Allen, have put together a group of stories that we know their readers are going to love. To support their campaign and get even more great fiction visit: http://tiny.cc/athenas2.
An independent publishing house drawing on decades of experience in the publishing industry. Specializing in speculative fiction produced both electronically and in print. Our goal is to focus on original works and artistically produced titles. www.especbooks.com.
Risks and challenges
With over twenty years experience in publishing and connections to a wide network of skilled individuals to cover those skills we don’t have, production for this project has a solid grounding in professional ability.
While the collection is not yet complete, story selection has begun and all the preliminaries are in place. In addition, the editors and the publishers have the combined experience of having produced sixteen previous anthologies. We have allowed a good amount of time for production schedule and have already secured many of the stories or firm commitments for stories. This makes the project relatively low-risk, with only time being a factor.
Still, that having been said, life does at times intrude. With that in mind, this project has the potential for interruption depending on life events, but will be completed with minimal delay.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Support this project
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