About the Book
Summer is a perfectly ordinary 11 year old girl with a perfectly ordinary, needy, over-protective single mother. She always does what she is told and has become very good at listening and consoling her mother’s fears, but finds the experience increasingly exhausting. Summer loves her mother and would never dream of running away, but wonders deep down if it wouldn’t be nice to escape for just a little while and do something adventurous… maybe?
Along comes the crone Baba Yaga in her magical walking house, who spies Summer through the alley gate and offers to provide her heart’s desire. Summer has no idea what this might be, but with the lighting of a frog-shaped beeswax candle she finds herself transported to the strange world of Orcus with nothing but a weasel in her pocket.
Like any girl of her age, she's read lots of fantasy books about people thrust into strange lands; but they usually seemed to have had some idea what they were supposed to do there.
Summer in Orcus is a young adult portal fantasy novel by author T. Kingfisher. Originally released as a free web serial sponsored by her Patreon supporters, it is being published for the first time in print via this Kickstarter campaign. Featuring enchanting cover and interior illustrations done by Lauren “Luve” Henderson, it will be available in three editions:
The Kickstarter eBook Edition will be in a DRM-free ePub format, and will include the cover and interior illustrations. (Not available in the already published eBook editions.)
The Softbound Edition will be perfect bound and printed B&W on 60# white offset paper with a 10pt matte laminated color cover.
The Hardbound Edition will be perfect bound and fully cased in with library-quality durable bindings. Printing will be B&W on 60# white offset paper with paper-wrapped boards, a foil stamped title on the spine, and a matte laminated color dust jacket.
Join Summer as she attempts to follow glimpses of turquoise across Orcus with the help of a weasel, a wolf with a house problem, and an aristocratic hoopoe with a penchant for trouble. Along the way she just might figure out what she is looking for, save a wondrous thing, and realize that some of the talents which she takes for granted are mighty useful indeed.
Praise for Summer in Orcus
- “It’s Wes Craven meets L. Frank Baum, or Narnia for those of us who thought Narnia smiled without showing enough of its teeth.” --KB Spangler, author of Digital Divide
- "Summer’s mother is way too protective, and kind of damaged, and achingly human in a way that ends up doing a lot of harm while trying to do the exact opposite." --Kathryn Adams on Pixelated Geek (March 28, 2017)
- “It's a story about being scared and tired and lost, and about making friends, and doing the things one can do rather than learning how to be a completely different person.” --Russ Allbery on eyrie.org (January 26, 2017)
- “This is for everyone who hasn't forgiven Aslan, or Glinda, but understands now what was really happening." --Sigrid Ellis on Goodreads (September 22, 2016)
About the Author
T. Kingfisher shares a remarkable resemblance (and frequently identical spatial coordinates) with Nebula and Hugo Award winning author and illustrator Ursula Vernon.
Ms. Kingfisher is best known for her often innovative fairy tale re-tellings, including: The Seventh Bride (based on Bluebeard), Bryony and Roses (based on Beauty and the Beast), and The Raven and the Reindeer (based on The Snow Queen).
What Ms. Vernon is best known for depends on your point of view. Children may know her best for her acclaimed book series Dragonbreath or Hamster Princess. Speculative fiction readers should know her for her many published short stories, including the hauntingly beautiful Jackalope Wives and Pocosin. People from all walks of life will almost certainly know her from the web comic turned Hugo Award winning graphic novel Digger. People with ears may have been lucky enough to hear her podcasts Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap or The Hidden Almanac. Finally, gardeners will probably have learned not to ask her opinion on potatoes.
Ms. Kingfisher lives in North Carolina with her husband, her garden, and their many disobedient pets. She is fond of both wombats and sushi, but not in the same way, and has an unhealthy obsession with mulch.
Stretch Goal #1: Imperial Goose Upgrade = $9,500 [ACHIEVED!!]
- Hardcover books will be upgraded from paper-wrapped boards to cloth-wrapped boards, in a fetching turquoise green color. In addition the front interior covers will be foil-stamped with this lovely guy in silver foil.
- Softcover books will get an upgrade as well. We have not yet determined if that will be the addition of French Flaps or whether we will do some debossing of the cover to bring out the cover image. (We'll discuss with our printer and figure out what will make them the most awesome.)
Stretch Goal #2: Zultan's Library = $11,500 [ACHIEVED]
- Custom-printed archival quality adhesive bookplates signed by T. Kingfisher and included with all copies of print editions. (We'll leave them unaffixed and just include them with the books so you can print your name on them easier and stick them yourself.)
Here is a rough working design we've been playing with (final design will likely change from this).
Stretch Goal #3: Pimp Your Snail = $14,000 [ACHIEVED]
- TWO all-weather 4" vinyl stickers similar to the working design below, included with all orders with physical rewards. Suitable for sticking on your chicken house or your snail cart. (May not stick to snails.)
Stretch Goal #4: Decorate Your Were-House = $22,000 [ACHIEVED]
Many of you asked for the ability to get a print of the lovely artwork from the book, and we've worked out a deal with Lauren Henderson to make that happen.
Everyone at the physical reward levels will get to choose one design to receive as an 8 x 10" print. You'll be able to make your selection when you fill out the backer survey at the end of the campaign.
You will also be able to purchase additional prints at that time for $6 each. (You can either pay then or increase your pledge by the appropriate amount now. Totally up to you!)
Stretch Goal #5: A Book about Dogs = $28,000
We'll include eBook copies of both volumes of Ursula's first novel Black Dogs with all pledge levels from $8 (Baba Yaga) and above.
If you are not familiar with the story, we want to stress that Black Dogs is not like Summer in Orcus in many ways. While it too centers around a young girl it is an altogether harsher world which she inhabits; and she both comes from and passes through some dark places to get where she is going.
We recommend you read Black Dogs before deciding whether or not it might be suitable for young adults.
Risks and challenges
This is our fourth Kickstarter campaign and the most straightforward one to date. The text and art are done and layout of the two books is already progressing. We are working with the same printer we have been working with for over 15 years and has printed nearly a hundred titles for us, in all manner of formats and bindings. We've got a lot of experience with shipping large quantities of things and a warehouse to do it from, and we'll be using Backerkit again for the survey and fulfillment process.
Unless there is a global catastrophe or a complete breakdown of social order, we should be well prepared to handle whatever challenges come our way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)