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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 16 2019 5:59 AM UTC +00:00.

E-Serials That'll Rock Your World

G. Michael Rapp is writing Web serials for speculative fiction fans. These include Primordial Debts and This Is the Way the World Ends.

E-Serials That'll Rock Your World

G. Michael Rapp is writing Web serials for speculative fiction fans. These include Primordial Debts and This Is the Way the World Ends.

$26
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
3
backers
23days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 16 2019 5:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

There is a beauty to randomness, to the chaos that rules over our lives. —G. Michael Rapp, "Nothing Remains of Eden" 

Who Am I?
My pen name is G. Michael Rapp, a riff on my legal name, Gregory M. Rapp. I was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, one of the original nuclear weapons capitals of the world—at that time. However, I was later raised in and around the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, where I learned about the stars and how to pan for gold.

I began writing, cliché as it may sound, when I was in the first-grade. (Actually, it was after I was forced to come up with my own illustrated story for class that I got the idea that I liked (really loved) writing.) During my early writing years, I wrote about military helicopters and monsters with lasers and three-eyed aliens. Much of my early writing was done on paper with crayons, an old (deep orange) typewriter my grandfather gave me, or with ballpoint pen and paper.

As an adult, I love to write fiction and non-fiction alike, focusing on technology, politics, and cultural change, among other things. My goal as an adult writer seems simple enough: Change the world by making it a better place than when I entered it. That is what the optimist in me hopes, really yearns, for. However, the pessimist in me thinks we’re all rats in a cage, given too much free will and reason for our own good. You’ll probably notice this battle between optimist and pessimist in my stories, my blog postings, and in my tastes in music, books, video games, etc. (I write on my MacBook Air these days, but I still use pen and paper and the old AlphaSmart Neo2 for those days when inspiration has left me.)

I write to entertain, to explore, and to help others (temporarily) escape into another life, another universe, another time. I create characters who will haunt your dreams, stay with you for days or weeks at a time, and I believe in writing characters who are real. I write about social, cultural, and technological change, along with very human issues like love, loss, deception, intelligence, sentience, isolation, and alienation. The optimist in me wants to make the world a better place through my writing. The pessimist in me knows that this may be harder than the optimist would like to admit.

Sand-blasted and sunbaked carcasses of Machina Autonoma litter the Wasteland, holding selfie-sticks and high-resolution cameras above their shriveled corpses for the perfect camera shot.—G. Michael Rapp, "Machina Autonoma

 My Credentials. 

 I have been featured in Space Opera: Writers contest anthologies, Question of the Day: The Andre Polk Memorial Anthology, and the mythology anthology, Tome of Fables. I have also won several awards for my short stories featured in Eastern New Mexico University’s official literary journal, El Portal. I have recently finished (and published) my first book, Café at the End of the Internet. I am currently at work on my first novel, A Protracted Game, which happens to be a grimdark space opera, and I am the editor and Website manager for Palabras (Clovis Community College’s literary journal).

Cover for Cafe at the End of the Internet

Why Kickstarter? 

I am using Kickstarter to get the word out about my projects, Primordial Debts and This Is the Way the World Ends. Both are new Web serials that will begin releasing in November 2019 on my author Website, gregorymrapp.com, and my other distribution channels like Wattpad.  With that said, I want to use the funds from Kickstarter to hire an editor, pay for Web hosting, and purchase research materials, especially for This Is the Way the World Ends

We were gods once. Now we are merely ants, scurrying on the ground. —G. Michael Rapp, "The Day the Bit Died" 

Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities. 

With every project, there are risks. The risks include the Web serials in question not getting off the ground. The risks also include the projects petering out before they are finished. However, I don't believe in giving up on projects, especially when I've put so much work into them. I am developing detailed outlines for both serials, and, more importantly, I am developing a backlog for each series. These backlogs will be around ten to fifteen chapters or installments. 

When it comes to challenges, I believe the Web serials I am writing pose some serious challenges for me as a writer. These challenges include consistency, accuracy (esp., This Is the Way the World Ends), and quality. However, I believe that my work as a writer and publisher have shown that I can produce consistently, accurately, and with an eye toward quality. I won't release chapters or installments unless I know they are ready for public consumption. Moreover, I am relying on a system of editors and beta-readers to help me ensure that each installment is up to snuff. 

Opportunities are going to keep me interested in this project. I believe Web serials provide a unique storytelling opportunity that few publishing venues offer these days. In other words, I believe that Web serials, particularly Primordial Debts and This Is the Way the World Ends, will allow me to focus on my writing, my character development, and audience engagement in ways that I haven't seen in the more traditional mediums I've written for over the years. I also believe that Web serials offer writers like myself the opportunity to develop their brand, their voice, and their readership. 

Your fate will be a bit more painful than death, 0984. If these charges are true, and we are assuming they have not been falsified, your fate will be far more damning than mere death. Death is an easy escape for men like you. Do you know how many of your kind, the scum of the earth, I have seen scraped off of blacktop or cut down from the rope they hanged themselves with? Death is the great equalizer, they say. Death is the last true judge on this earth. It is not arbitrary, it cannot be bribed, it cannot be argued with. I disagree. I would like to think that I have been a fair judge. I must admit I was skeptical at first about your guilt. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I tried to be as neutral as one can be in these trying times, but your obstinacy has made me think otherwise. Your speech is full of half-truths, stinking lies, and circular logic that makes me believe we’ve got our man, the man who gave the Old Guard what they needed to try to decapitate the people’s party, the Vanguard, and orchestrate some of the most heinous crimes that humanity has ever seen. Too bad the Vanguard found out before your people could do anything. We won the war, so to speak, 0984. We will have our tomorrow, no thanks to you.—G. Michael Rapp, "A Prisoner of Tomorrow" 

The Web Serials. 

I am writing two Web serials. These serials are Primordial Debts and This Is the Way the World Ends. (More on each serial below.) Each serial will be released on a rather rigid schedule. I plan on releasing a new chapter or installment every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, starting 06 November 2019. Installments will be released via a private Google Drive/Dropbox link for Kickstarter backers and privately on Patreon and Ko-Fi for backers on those platforms five days prior to the public release of each installment. Installments will range from 1,200 to 3,000 words in length. As the serials progress, it is possible that installments will grow in size. Mini installments or extras will be released at different points during the life of each serial. 

A red and white tower of steel juts up from the desert prairie. It reaches for the heavens, preaching its digital gospel, the good news of interdependency and globalization.—G. Michael Rapp, "Sketches of the Desert" 

Primordial Debts. 

Primordial Debts is the byproduct of decades-long fascination with medieval worlds. Yes, I said that correctly. The medieval worlds that we hear about in the history books are so much stranger, richer, and more complicated than what we often see in medieval fantasy (Think: J.R.R. Tolkien's LoTR or George R. R. Martin's ASOIF). It is the mission of this new Web serial, and its world-building, to share some of that weirdness, that richness, that complicated mess that existed in the medieval worlds. It is also my hope that we can get over the white-washed renditions of medieval fantasy. Medieval worlds were complex, diverse, and, if I'm totally honest, quite alien compared to our own modern societies. The medieval mind would not understand our propensity for mass violence due to nationalist whims. The medieval mind would not understand our push for a capitalist world order. To say something is positively medieval would be taken as an insult in some ways, as it should be. The medieval worlds that inspired Primordial Debts were just as civilized, just as worth knowing, just as important to the slow grind of history, as anything that came before or after them.

The world of Primordial Debts assumes that humans, or at least human-analogs, are the dominant species on the planet. The name of Primordial Debts' world goes by many names, names that will be uncovered throughout the course of the novel's progress. (It is important to note that these names are contingent upon the cultures, the languages, and the mythologies they emerge from within the novel.) Further, the world of Primordial Debts is envisioned to be a sort of Earth-analog, but it deviates in interesting ways that I hope all of you will enjoy.

Overall, Primordial Debts is indebted to those giants whose shoulders I stand on. This novel is, at its heart, a story of political intrigue, of everyday life in a medieval-analog universe, and, more importantly, it is meant to be a real exploration of the human condition.

I hope you all enjoy what comes forth. If you have any questions or would like to know more about a given character, a royal dynasty, a religion, a culture, or a language, consider reviewing my WorldAnvil wiki for details (coming soon) or sending me an e-mail message. I also welcome any commentary, questions, or even banter concerning Primordial Debts, its characters, and its world(s).

Cover for Primordial Debts (Web Serial)

This Is the Way the World Ends.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.
—T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"

The year is 1985....

It has been two years since the Cold War went hot, beginning with a worldwide shooting war under NATO's Autumn Forge '83 and ending in a deadly nuclear exchange between the world's superpowers.

This is a story about those left after the collapse of human civilization and the nuclear holocaust that brought about this collapse. This is not a happy story. This is not a light-hearted tale. This is a story about survival and the human condition. 

This Is the Way the World Ends was inspired by a set of recurring dreams of mine. Each dream fleshing out the storyline as I slept. I envisioned This Is the Way the World Ends as being a test of what it means to join a cause that is hopeless, only to be left behind and forgotten. The story envisions what it would be like to be a soldier fighting in the Cold War turned hot. It envisions what humanity would look like after a mass extinction event. It also envisions what it means to go home, after home has been obliterated by a nuclear fire.

I hope you all enjoy what comes out each week, starting in November. If you have any questions about characters, historical details, or even geography, consider reaching out to me in the comments for each installment of This Is the Way the World Ends. I welcome any commentary, suggestions, or questions, as this is how web serials are supposed to work. 

Cover for This Is the Way the World Ends (Web Serial)

Risks and challenges

Risks include lack of support, projects petering out before they are complete, real-life events getting in the way of writing, and major issues with distribution.

As far as challenges are concerned, I think the greatest challenge is that I will be writing Web serials for the first time. However, with every risk and every challenge, I see a number of unique storytelling opportunities that will help me grow as a writer and storyteller.

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    Pilgrims from an Unholy Land

    Every little bit helps. Your name will be added to my supporters page for the two Web serials I am writing over at my author Website, gregorymrapp.com. Those who choose this option will also be notified ahead of time when new chapters or installments are released on my author Website and other platforms. On top of what is offered above, you will also have a chance to access content (i.e., installments) five days prior to their release on my Website and other distribution platforms. Installments will begin releasing in November 2019. You will also be given the opportunity to participate in readership polls, which will be used to determine the directions of character arcs, some of the finer points of world-building, and so on. Lastly, you will be offered a .PDF/eBook copy of the installments for the first five months of each series.

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