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The first book in a Steampunk/Fantasy trilogy, focusing on Fairy Tales and stories that we know, but can’t quite recall in detail.
The first book in a Steampunk/Fantasy trilogy, focusing on Fairy Tales and stories that we know, but can’t quite recall in detail.
74 backers pledged $8,989 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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(Click the Sword in the Stone for a excerpt from the book!)
(Click the Sword in the Stone for a excerpt from the book!)

The Unshorn Thread

Book 1 of the Tales Misforgotten Trilogy, The Unshorn Thread is the tale of Merlin and his young charge Arthur, the boy who would be king. Though their names and story may seem familiar, The Unshorn Thread twists quickly down unmarked paths and into new surroundings.

It is a world in which gods and mortals meet. It is a place in which Faerie Stories and Tall Tales are true. It is a place where every god ever prayed to spoke back, and every demon ever feared stalked through the darkness, creeping ever closer to their unwitting victims. Even Arthur, as he drifts off to sleep, can feel the swirling, black eyes of something sinister looking back at him from the darkness of his bedchamber.

Through the lens of Merlin and Arthur, we are told stories which span millennia — from Ancient Greece to the Steampunk future of American Reconstruction in the 1870s. We will meet Greek goddesses, gods and heroes, historical figures like Cassius Marcellus Clay (abolitionist namesake of Muhammad Ali), and characters from Tall Tales, like Davy Crockett.

Though separated by vast amounts of time, these tales are strangely connected, as if they are trying to speak to one another across the years.

Merlin and Arthur begin to listen to these hints and whispers, even going so far as to act upon the knowledge they have gleaned — how will this discovered knowledge change their fate? Might it even bring the legend of King Arthur crashing down?

Illustrations by Mel Chadwick
Illustrations by Mel Chadwick

In creating The Unshorn Thread, I have tried my very hardest to ensure that it has the feel and atmosphere of the original Legend of King Arthur. Part of that process was ensuring my illustrations fit into the world of ancient stories. I guess my first choice of illustrators would have been Aubrey Beardsley: http://beardsley.artpassions.net/

Unfortunately — he's dead. Since like... 1898. So, I missed the boat on that one. Thankfully, I have found a man quite up to the task of creating Beardsley-style art: Mel Chadwick. The images here, as well as the cover design, are his, and I hope to be able to share more of his wonderful work with you in The Unshorn Thread, as well as the entire Tales Misforgotten Trilogy

Funding Breakdown:

Reward costs - 25%

Kickstarter/Amazon - 10%

Illustrations/cover art - 20%

Copyediting - 20%

Publicity - 20%

ISBNs, Barcodes, Formatting, etc. - 5%

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Will-O-The-Wisp: You wink in and out of existence at a whim, blessing all those who see your fleeting form with a *pop* and a giggle. Your rewards are an emailed thank-you note and a bookmark featuring the geared sword from the cover art.

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    Sprite: One-Thousandth of our goal! You are the hand that guides a river or grows a tree. To your small corner of the world, you are everything! You get everything from the $5 reward level as well as a pre-release copy of the book in PDF format!

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    Animal Familiar: You are the closest, most dependable confidant of a powerful wizard, and you're cuddly to boot! You get everything from the $13 reward level as well as your very own paperback copy of the book! (international backers - please pledge an extra $10 for shipping)

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    Tall Tales Hero: Your footsteps make lakes, and you can jump to the moon and back! You get all the rewards of the $25 level as well as a personalized note and author's signature in your copy of the book. This level and above will also be thanked by name in the book's acknowledgements. (international backers - please pledge an extra $10 for shipping)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Person of Legend: Your adventures have been told over cook-fires and announced in public squares for centuries. Your tale will never die. You get everything from the $25 level, but your wimpy paperback is exchanged for a numbered, limited edition, Kickstarter-only, hardcover book. As in the $50 level, you will also be thanked by name in the book's acknowledgements. (international backers - please pledge an extra $10 for shipping)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Demi-God: Your father ruled over his kingdom and your mother was queen of the sky and stars! Now you are welcome among both man and god alike! You are rewarded with everything from the $75 level; your limited-edition, numbered hardcover book is signed by the author along with a personal thank-you note. You will also receive a higher-tiered thank-you in the book AND your very own print of one of the book's illustrations! (international backers - please pledge an extra $10 for shipping)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Titan: Your breath is the wind and your footsteps earthquakes. You were here before Olympus and before the race of man. You receive everything in the $100 reward level, your illustration print will be signed by the illustrator, Mel Chadwick AND you are privy to the spoils of Arthur's Table: a personalized, monogrammed porcelain mug of your very own, plucked from the very pages of the book! (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Formorii: Before the titans there was only you. Through the millennia, you have watched as others have fallen and been forgotten, all the while waiting for the right time to return! You get everything from the $150 dollar level and your very own large-sized, signed illustration print, AND the highest possible level of thank-you in the book's acknowledgements! (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    The once and future royalty: You have conquered and reigned well. You have died and will live again, for yours is an eternal tale. Your rewards are everything from the $175 level AND, in honor of your immortal status, a character bearing your name (or one that you choose) will meet its mortal end in the sequel, now in progress! But don't despair. You are, after all, immortal. (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    You are a god: You rule over your innumerable followers as you choose. Your powers are beyond comprehension and you wield them with all the grandeur imaginable. To honor your greatness, you are rewarded with everything from the $175 level AND I will write for you a 5000+ word story centering upon you or a character whom you name. This will not be a throwaway story, but a tale in which your character meets and directly influences one of the main characters of the book. You and I will collaborate on story ideas and you will get to choose which character you meet. This story will later be released for free over the interwebs as supplemental material for the book, but you will get it first. (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    You are a goddess: Your glory is sung daily from endless mouths. Your followers would die for you, but they needn't fear, for your power eclipses even the strength of their belief. This world is but a child and you are its mother. In reverence to your unparalleled guidance, you are rewarded with everything from the $175 level AND your own likeness, drawn in the style of the illustrations within the book. You will choose how you are depicted, collaborate with the illustrator, Mel Chadwick, and ultimately receive this signed, one-and-only copy of your art. Unless you say so, this image will not be shown to the public. It is your personal prize! (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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    The child of destiny: gods and monsters may stand in your way, but yours shall be the glory in the end. Your story was told even before you were born, and now your arrival makes even the gods cower. Your destined rewards are everything from the $500 level BUT your named character may not even die! It will have a larger role in the sequel and will walk amongst gods and legends. You will also get THE ONE BOOK! If your friends thought your numbered, limited-edition hardback was cool, they will gasp as you show them this: the single rarest edition of this book ever made. Like the highlander, there is only one! It is an ancient tome and is weathered but still perfectly legible. In it are hidden extra pages of content, including the stories from the $1000 god level. I will bind and age this by hand for you, will sign it and hand write you a thank-you note within the book. (international backers - please pledge an extra $20 for shipping)

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Funding period

- (30 days)