Friday, July 28, 2023

The Death & Rebirth of the Short Story

There is nothing quite as powerful as a story. It is one of humanity's oldest surviving art forms for a very good reason, and one that predates modern technology and will survive long into the future after we have moved on to our eternal reward. They aren't going anywhere, in other words. We connect much too well to tales of wonder and adventure to ever have them fully detach from our imagination.

Even now, one of the most popular forms of entertainment online is streaming, but one of the things most commonly clipped out from said streamers' streams would be stories they tell about things that happened to them. It remains alluring even to people outside the space. The allure of the story stays strong despite advancement in technology and the form said entertainment is delivered in. People still love a good anecdote.

So what is it about stories that manages to stick to us? Why is it that we are always interested in these tales that have little to do with our own lives? Is it really just because we can gain something from them for ourselves, or is there more to it? How do they always remain so relevant despite the state of society or the people in it?

Sure there are favorite stories that come and go, but people always cling to the form anyway. Every popular movie is remember for its story, long after its effects become quaint with the passage of time. Old films are still watched today for their storytelling prowess, for instance. The biggest criticism with new movies is the writing above all, which is why they fade from relevance so quick and would even if the effects weren't lame.

As I said, stories are king. They are what the audience is always looking for.

But then how can one explain the failure of the mega pubs? How can one explain low book sales from OldPub at the same time NewPub exploded in relevance and quality? All of this is a consequence of the industry's failures to give the audience what they wanted. Surely if people wanted to read then they would be buying books from the biggest billion dollar industry industry that sells them, right? But we know that isn't the case.

An industry consisting of middle aged cat lady urbanites and their industry of writing workshop belt lines to teach authors how to write books people don't want have chased audiences away long ago. That seems to be fine, though. The industry appears completely oblivious to their cratering and is under the delusion that it's still the 20th century, that they are some kind of respectable elite class who are above the common man and know what they are doing, and that they still matter to anyone outside of their tiny, shrinking clique.

If they weren't allowed to force their stuff on kids in school thanks to government interference, they would have deservedly folded long ago. OldPub is a 20th century industry that has no relevance in the 21st.

This explains a lot about their relevance.

That small clique is what tried and failed to control publishing since at least the last days of the 20th century. They are even at the point where they are mimicking one of the things that killed the comic book industry: unending variant covers.

Except their version is much, much worse. That's right, they're making people go to different book stores to buy a complete story. It's probably the worst thing they could do, and a good sign they have learned all the wrong lessons.

It is clear now that they are tail-spinning into the ground and unable to pull up. There is no way such an oblivious industry is sustainable, and in no way can it continue to call itself a true "traditional" or professional as an industry. It is merely old and dying, it's time over.

The days when these people had control is gone. Even though less people read than ever before, more people also read independent and small pub books than any time since before OldPub existed. This shift started happening years ago as something noted with the Pulp Revolution that the perception of reading was changing. 

Normal people had already started to have enough of the dying mutation of OldPub and wanted stories again. It's hard to image how different things have become since the first PulpRev hashtag was typed out on Twitter, but it is not the same as it was then anymore. The new era has already begun.

So what is all this meant to say? Well, it goes to show you how powerful at artform storytelling is that is managed such a wide swerve over the centuries to the point that there is still a class of individuals who wish to control it with an iron fist. Even when the billion dollar mutation of an industry can't sell anything, and their stores are either filling with Japanese manga or closing at a rapid rate, they still want that control.

And all OldPub can try to do is squeeze money out of their dwindling audience. There is no growth here, only death. Readers deserve better than this kind of scummy behavior.

Buy from the right retailer to get the full story! Surely not a practice to worry about...

But where exactly did the obsession with storytelling as an artform come start from? Why are stories so powerful?

Starting from the very beginning: anecdotes, campfire and bedtime stories, myths and legends, and speculation about the world and the universe itself, all formed into being the ultimate art-- a pure expression of humanity. Covering everything from faith to love to adventure to romance to history, everything was fair game. Genres never existed before we forced them onto storytelling. In the beginning, everything was a romance toward God, creation, and existence itself: the joy and gratitude for being alive at all.

And the purest form of the tale itself, is the short story. This is where it started from.

It is hard to believe now because of how devalued it has been, but the short story is actually the original form of the story. The "short" was only added to differentiate it from the longer forms that came into fashion later. You see, stories were originally meant to be told in a sitting and were later expanded and built on for those who wanted something longer and more involving. Somewhere along the way we not only forgot that, but lost the art of the short story altogether. They are not quite as abandoned as poetry, but close enough to them that we should see it as a warning.

But what was it that eventually killed the form as a viable mainstream form of entertainment? If they were around so long, why did they fall off in the late 20th century? After all, people still read books for a longer period after pulp magazines vanished and magazines fell completely out of relevance. So what happened? There has to be more to it.

The main reason for the devaluing of the form is that short stories became hinged on gimmicks to be sold. Much like variant covers or selling bonus chapters to books separately, OldPub stepped all over them in an attempt to wring more money out of them. Instead of giving the audience what they wanted, they sold to smaller and smaller audiences and decided to milk said dwindling base for more and more money, once again. Just look at how many times Weird Tales was revived. It's never sold on the stories inside, because if it was it could live off a new title: it is meant to survive off the carcass of someone else's invention.

At the same time, short stories were turned by jaded editors and cynical publishers into a joke. Instead of being about anything, they were about nothing but self-mockery, sold to the terminally irony-poisoned crowd.

No longer were short stories being sold as tales of adventure, romance, or wonder, but whatever cute novelty that the publisher wanted to sell at the time.

Eventually, the audience caught on and got the idea that short stories were meaningless, because that is the lesson of the stories they were being sold. Nothing mattered, laugh at everything, take not one thing serious. This is the opposite of what the form was meant for.

And this is how they are still seen as in OldPub to this day.

Exactly what purpose does something like this serve?

At the same time as this was happening in publishing, the only short stories ever taught in schools were ones based on "lessons" usually gathered from some cheap "twist" in the storytelling. A single boring idea like "The Lottery" was what short stories were presented as to children, something that teaches a "lesson" but falls apart under any further scrutiny that schools carefully ever avoid going into. Kids are taught to lump short stories in with schoolwork they already hate. Not exactly a solid way to introduce a new audience to reading, is it?

Where else could one even find a short story in the modern world? Given that even shorter books have been deemed unsuitable for publication (the last time I checked, 100K words was the minimum one could submit to OldPub), there are few places a hopeful reader could even begin to find them. For awhile, it even seemed like they might be going extinct.

To be honest, they were.

Of course, there is the elephant in the room: what about magazines? Well, what about them? Magazines truthfully ended their relevance in the storytelling world when pulp went away by the middle of the 1950s, and some would say even before that by the start of the 1940s. At the same time short stories were at their modern peak, a group of anti-social Fanatics swarmed the industry and chased the audience out.

Readers fled towards comic books and b-movies, where they remained for decades afterwards until those industries had the same invasion of self-serious professional geeks. What remained on the magazine rack dwindled as the decades went on to the point that the only ones eventually reading them were those reading for the brand of the magazine: not the stories themselves. It became about the brand over the art.

And so it went with the remainder of the 20th century when it came to the arts. Audiences continuously fled to other mediums as the medium was swarmed by people who hated what they loved. At the same time, the visual arts in technology became more striking to the eye and allowed adventure and wonder far beyond what publishers would allow in their industry. Super Mario Bros. 3 could be the highest selling game of all time, but "Science Fiction & Fantasy" would scoff at a story about a plumber exploring a foreign world filled with danger to rescue a princess. That disconnect should be extremely obvious to everyone today.

By the end of the 20th century, little remained of the Golden Age of the short story. It had to be found elsewhere.

But what about today?

Due to the rise of independent publishing during the 2010s being made viable thanks to the internet, new markets began to finally explode. The "traditional" industry ever since the internet became ubiquitous in everyday life had done little with it. Instead of growing and reaching new avenues, they continued to do what Fandom always desired for their clubhouse and closed up ranks to instead fellate their own egos. People were reading more than ever before, since that is the nature of the internet, but still OldPub only shrank and books were still becoming more and more irrelevant. If it were up to OldPub, reading would be a cult, not a hobby.

This lead to things like the Pulp Revolution coming into existence by the middle of the decade. Readers and writers had reached their limit of patience with the old industry and began looking for something else. They also began reading things the industry had buried for decades and learning truths certain cliques had deliberately hidden from them. A movement like this never would have seemed possible even in the first half of the 2010s, but it was really inevitable. Things had simply broken down far too much by then.

It wasn't just PulpRev, though. There were all kinds of new readers and writers, people that had deliberately ignored the old industry for years and were seeking alternate means of creation and storytelling. OldPub's relevance has only shrunk over the years. There has been no new trend emerging from it for years, and there never will be again. They are too deep in their gimmicks and tired outdated "genres" to care about the stories themselves anymore.

OldPub is done; now it is NewPub's time to shine.

One thing that has definitely changed is that the new market and writers that have sprung up in the age of the internet is their relationship to the old industry. That is, they have none. It is as if new writers and readers have completely bypassed the dying OldPub industry to find what they wanted online instead.

There have even been entire new magazines springing into existence to reach brand new audiences that OldPub long ago abandoned and refused to cater to. Their books only got thicker and more bloated as new readers demanded shorter and leaner tales instead. The novella, the novelette, the smaller novel, and, yes, the short story, forms that were once abandoned by OldPub, are now viable again. NewPub is dead set on essentially returning to the roots of the form.

A fascinating aspect of the 20th century is in how much was destroyed during that time that has managed to find new life in the 21st. Almost as if it is being set right again to the way it is supposed to be. I don't know how things will turn out in the next couple of years as the '20s roar on, but it is good to see so many realizing a problem and working to fix it.

That is what makes the history of art and entertainment so fascinating, after all. There's always a way to right the ship.

For the first time in ages, short stories are finally approaching their former glory again. It might take some time to reach another Golden Age, but we are on the way towards one right now. Should we reach it that will be due to NewPub discarding the rotting corpse of the dying old age and remembering it is the audience that comes first. This is the way forward.

It is the only way forward.

We've got wide open spaces, gates blown out as the gatekeepers die off, and plenty of options ahead of us--avenues that were never possible to travel before. Stories have returned to where they belong, and short stories themselves are now finally a viable form of creation again. Hopefully they only get more ubiquitous as the new age rolls on.

Even as the world changes around us, there are some things that never really change, no matter how much some might want it to. There is some comfort to be had in that.

As long as people are around, so will stories survive. And we're going to be around for a long time to come. That means there will be plenty more stories to tell.

We just need to keep telling them!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Anvil Issue #2!

Back it Here!

I'm happy to announce that the next crowdfund for Anvil Magazine is now live! This one is for the second issue. Not only that, but I am a part of this one!

My story, Ghost of a Distant Star, will be included in the pages of the second issue. You might be pleased to know that it is a new Galactic Enforcer Ronan Renfield story, but there is also much more to discuss. However, there is much more to talk about.

Let's dive into it!

Published and organized by IronAge.Media, a site focused on connecting Iron Age creators with new fans, edited by Daniel P. Riley, of Whimsyland and supported by Jacob Calta of 365 Infantry as Designer. Issue #2 is upping the ante with more fiction and more comics than before, over one hundred pages of short fiction and comics will give you a taste of the best the indie sphere has to offer.

ANVIL: Iron Age Magazine Issue #2 will have three comics, four short stories with illustrations along seven pieces of short fiction. This is a major increase on content from the incredible success of Issue#1. The decision was also made to remove ads from the second issue to make domestic shipping cheaper by using media mail. And now digital only is now an option, specifically because of the requests of our overseas fans! If you missed Issue #1 there are still some overrun available, although they will be clearly marked as such. Digital versions will also be available.

So that's the general gist of the campaign, but what about the contents? Well, as mentioned above, there is a lot to go through!

Soulless City

Nathan takes it upon himself to find and destroy the remnants of a tech-driven cult he once belonged to. His search leaves him trapped in a derelict building with cybernetic zombies and a woman he didn’t plan to save. Left with nowhere to run, his only way out is to fight.

Baphomet's Child: Immortal Rising Tales #1

Dracula and his Undead Lords ruled the planet of Terra for over a millennium, until the brave warrior Andrulykis destroyed Dracula's Curse.

Now Otan Grimm, first warrior disciple of Andrulykis, is on a quest to save a child from a remaining Cult of Dracula. Little did Otan realize, this cult's leader was a creature from Hell itself.

Corpse Fishers: TheBONSAI

In this short dark science fantasy story, two deep divers sink into the flooded depths of a ruined mechanized world for a chance to save their kin. Will they re-emerge with their saving treasure, or will they draw the ruinous attention of the abyss?

Prowler of Blagh Square by Micah Murray

The town of Hotterdam is hidden, forgotten; its people preyed upon by an unhuman creature, or so they tell Dr. Sebastian Apostol. Calling upon his services to relieve them of their torment, Sebastian must learn what he can of the beast, lest its horrors go unchallenged and consume them all. Yet the doctor remains a slave to the instincts of his profession and questions whether the folk of Hotterdam is what they appear.

Mourning Light by R.J. Shaw

The story follows a warrior who is the sole survivor of a doomed expedition. Seeking to honor his comrades, the soldier begins to mourn those who have fallen. But his solemn vigil is soon interrupted by the chilling realization that the enemy he so recently fought was only one evil among many and that he must face this new menace alone.

Ghost of a Distant Star by JD Cowan

Galactic Enforcer Ronan Renfield finds himself riding the midnight train on a far-off planet alone and armed. As he rides into the night he meets an alien ghost with a vengeance against man. But is it really a spirit, or something more sinister? Perhaps it is time for his gun to do the talking . . .

Afflicted: Nourritures les Ver by Jaime Faye Torkelson

Amélia Mitre is Afflicted. Cursed by a pact of her own making, she is made to follow the Weird Way of Scealfe, God of Death of Decay. Summoned to the industrializing city of Beauanne, the Cursed Doctor finds herself investigating a disturbing disease that defies the laws of nature and therefore, the laws of her dark patron. She must discover the origins of the plague and punish anyone foolish enough to pretend rivalry with the God of Death.

Flight of the Caged Bird by Andrew Campbell

Sarah and her boyfriend are looking for some privacy in the woods, but their romantic night turns into a nightmare when they encounter a savage creature that stalks them through the shadows. Sarah must run for her life, dodging the beast’s relentless attacks and hoping to find a way out of the forest. There are secrets hidden in the woods, secrets that could cost her everything. Can Sarah survive the night, or will she succumb to the creature’s wrath?

Cruel Creation by TJ Marquis

A hi-tech clone comes awake in a vat of bio-gel with only vague memories and dreams of what has come before. The white-clad strangers outside the vat speak of oblivion. Will the clone be able to make an escape before dark unconsciousness falls again?

Blades Against Fear by Erik Waag

What fear lurks in the night?

The King's Highway in the verdant hills near the city of Tonsaare is as safe as one could hope for, but wherever darkness descends, fear may follow. Two mercenaries in search of easy coin face a deadly challenge far greater than their pay warrants.

In this sword & sorcery adventure, a camp-side ghost tale presages a supernatural threat. When the night kills, a sword isn't enough; you need guts.

The Shadowed Canal by Nate Chen

The people of Citadel Fionni are menaced by strange shadows lurking in one of their famous canals. Famed bravos Aelfred and Gwendolyn sometimes called the Herakleians, are hired to find the source of the shadows and get rid of them. However, the problem calling itself the Dark Lord Saffron is not easily solved with sinew and ax. The Herakleians will have to take a step back, discover the root cause, and do their best to ensure that it never troubles Fionni again.

But first, they'll have to get free from the Dark Lord's shadow...

King Birdie by J. Manfred Weichsel

In this slice-of-life horror tale, an ordinary afternoon of kids hanging out turns into tragedy when one hears voices drifting to him from a faraway land.

Throne by A.M. Harrison

In this fantasy short story, the horror of the battlefield isn't enough to fully repel the pious pyromancer Faren from her duty to the dead, but her encounter with a darkly mysterious necromancer will open her eyes to a more terrible evil than she ever thought possible. Their meeting here will ultimately determine whether their journey will include cooperation, or put their fantastic powers at odds as the world around them threatens to fall further into doom.

The Chroniclers and The Frozen Fountain by Daniel P. Riley

Once more, Eliden, Pasho, and Grokthnar step in it as they travel to a wondrous city frozen in time. Can The Chroniclers unravel the mystery of the Frozen Fountain and save not just a city, but the entire world from absolute enervation?

I know there are some familiar names here for readers of Wasteland & Sky, as well as some new ones, so be sure to check out the campaign here to learn more! It's going to be a blast.

On top of this, I should mention that Ghost of a Distant Star is one of the stories with illustrations. So if you want to see some visuals of the Galactic Enforcer himself, you can only really find it in Issue #2 of Anvil. I'll talk about the story itself later on, but for now you should know that it is as weird as you would expect a Ronan Renfield story to be.

That's all I really have for you today. I'm still working on several projects behind the scenes, including the extras for the Gemini Man Kickstarter that I will be giving an update on soon, so I will get back to you when I have more to share. Until then, thank you for reading. It is because of you that projects like this are brought into existence at all and are allowed to flourish in a time where art and entertainment is in flux.

Once more, thank you for your support, and I will see you again soon!

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Weekend Lounge ~ The New Internet is Dead

In contrast to last week's post, let us now take a look as to where the internet is today. It should not surprise anyone to see that it is a far different place. Not only that, but it is slowly on the way out as a valuable ecosystem, being strangled to death faster than any we've ever dealt with before in all of human history.

The Golden Age of the Internet, is over.

In a mere quarter century, the internet went from an outlandish wild west to being a ghost town of corporate bots and automatic processes repeating itself into a void. Yes, we've talked about Dead Internet Theory before, but that's only because it's self-evidently real to anyone who has been here since the internet became ubiquitous in the late 90s--kids and teenagers who grew up where people could be found everywhere, subcultures all had their own spaces where you could find and discover new things. Independent works were as discoverable as corporate ones, and everyone was willing to show it off to everyone else. It was one of the few things that didn't collapse when the 20th century hit, but actually grew larger.

This was what made the internet a bright spot at a time in Cultural Ground Zero when everything else was dying. Perhaps this explains why so few folk over the years have seemed to take notice of the West as it has faded. They could instead distract themselves with the internet as it grew. But now that it is also dying, all of that nonsense once overlooked is harder to ignore than ever before.

For those unware of Dead Internet Theory, here is a short description from Wikipedia:

"The dead Internet theory is an online conspiracy theory that asserts that the Internet now consists almost entirely of bot activity and automatically generated content that is manipulated by algorithmic curation, marginalizing organic human activity. These intelligent bots are assumed to have been made, in part, to help manipulate algorithms and boost search results in order to ultimately manipulate consumers."

I couldn't tell you why so many are still trying to frame this as conspiracy theory, but like many such conspiracy theories recently, it has turned out very true. Perhaps not in the way it was originally described, but the Dead Internet is a very obvious reality to anyone who has used the internet for any extended period of time. It is dead and very much over.

Take a look at how it once was contrasted with how it began:

Those days are gone.

There is no conspiracy here. The above is exactly what has happened to the internet. You can also tell its real because journos (who are fast being replaced by said AI and will be in the coming years) have attacked it as false, even as they screech about AI threatening their employment opportunities. So much of the internet is artificial, and it is only becoming more so as the years pass and eggheads attempt to patch over what they already irreparably broke in their bid for control. But once you deliberately and deeply fracture the base it will not take too much time for the whole house to cave-in on itself.

It is the same everywhere online. Surely you have noticed this, too. This is an unavoidable reality.

Being a writer, I have had to try and understand some of these algorithms myself and can tell you that it is impossible to do so--because they are broken. They are broken because those in charge have spent so much time tweaking them for their own gain that they busted them and have no idea how to repair it again. It's completely borked.

Not only that, but the recent explosion of AI in arts and in chat bots has shown how fast this technology has come along. So much of it is fake, and almost all of it is 100% artificial.

What is incorrect about the original Dead Internet Theory is the idea that anyone actually controls any of this. No, it's very much the opposite. The original push was an attempt to do such a thing, but their attempt was absolutely fumbled until those in control lost the plot not unlike so many post-apocalyptic plots from cyberpunk currently authors salivating over government control. No, it is another human failure that led to problems for everyone else.

As is usually the case. Self-proclaimed experts pining for control always end up eaten by their own monsters.

So what you end up having here is a former wild west as open and free as the real one being taken over by its own iron fisted government to pave the land over. Except in this case, they had no idea what they were doing in the slightest and instead broke it completely. The Dead Internet is a result of a failed takeover of wannabe kings which led to a flood of broken bots and artificial pages and sites that will soon overwhelm everything else.

Essentially, this happened from turning the internet into what it was never meant to be in the first place. It was never meant to be controlled by anyone--it was meant to be a communication gateway. And this result is what happened when Silicon Valley egghead types tried to do just that and crown themselves Lord Emperor of the digital world.

They essentially destroyed their own wonderland in an attempt to make themselves kings. Certainly not a story humanity has not played out before, nor will it be the last, but it definitely is the best example of one we've had in a long time. Sin really does make you stupid.

The internet is dead, and it has no future ahead of it.

But you can still remember the good times, and remember what it was all meant for. Once again, humanity's own hubris will be its undoing in something else that could have been far greater than it ended up being.

And who knows exactly what will come up next? Perhaps it will be better than what came before. We might not even screw this one up this time! There is always a chance, no matter how hard that might seem at times.

Who can tell what we might have to look forward to? No one could have predicted just what the internet was, after all.

Nonetheless, like last time, it is the weekend! Have a good rest and keep looking ahead. Perhaps the internet will hold together enough for communication like this to survive for longer than the destroyed and converged parts of it will. You never really know what the future might hold. Only time will tell on that one.

I know I have a lot I'm still looking forward to sharing with you, so I hope you have the same. We are what made the internet what is was, not corpos, eggheads, or politicians, and we will continue on despite their continued interference to destroy what has been made.

Let us show them what it means what they forgot. Let us remind them just what it means to be human, to be alive!

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Weekend Lounge ~ The Old Internet Lives

Not much to really say this week, real life has been oddly busy. Nonetheless, I set up a small little Neocities page for anyone to look up if they want. I saw a chance to create a webpage like it was back in the day and jumped on it. Who wouldn't?

For those unaware, back in the day places like Geocities existed to allow anyone to make their own sites however they wanted. At least, until Yahoo! closed in down 8 years ago in 2015 (Yes, it's really been 8 years). Millions of pages were erased overnight.

And so is the inevitable future of the old internet. Much like the malls and local community centers in our neighborhoods, it is all destined to be paved over for Progress. Eventually all that will remain will be memories.

Since nostalgia for the old internet is the only thing really keeping the modern internet afloat (social media imploding as a whole, news sites and comment sections now ghost towns filled with bots, and video hosting services weighing down on the users and chasing away viewers) is memories of the wild west it used to be. When anything could happen.

You can still reclaim a little of that in what few days the internet might have left. It definitely won't be around in this state for much longer. Thankfully there are still those working to help preserve things that were lost. Otherwise we would be left with no examples of the way it once was or how to build off of it to make new things.

Want to make a Neocities page yourself? There are plenty of tutorials out there. It's not that complex or out there, but it will bring you back to the way things once were pretty fast. It's almost eerily accurate to the way it used to be back in the day.

Here is a tutorial:

There was a palpable feeling back in the late '90s and early '00s that the internet was this unknown frontier of endless possibilities. It was the Great Unknown! Our entertainment reflected it in perhaps the only real unique usage of 3D CG animation there has ever been, with series like Reboot or Code Lyoko where anything could happen and the world was a mystery waiting to be explored. We are so far away from that world today that it almost, ironically, feels quaint now. The magic is gone and nothing will ever replicate that feeling again.

Where it was once wide open fields sprawling outwards forever and twisting catacombs into deep, hidden chambers, is now a hallway of locked doors and a few limited rooms with tight space and little else inside. It's just not the same as it used to be.

I'm sure back in the day we thought that world would always expand, grow, and show us things we never thought could happen before. But, as always, that isn't how it went. Every year, the internet is swarmed with more bots, hammered with more restrictions, and becomes a little more artificially bloated. Eventually it will be nothing but a small list of preapproved sites you will be able to click on and access with your personal account that can be shut off at any time if those in charge deem it necessary. Far from being the infinite growth paradise that the old cyberpunk stories depicted, it is eventually going to turn into the virtual equivalent of the dead malls so popular on YouTube. You can even see it now with plenty of old, abandoned popular sites that are somehow still online. It's all a giant ghost town.

While that might be an extreme example, it's hard to not see it as it is. Mostly because the old internet feels like the last bit of shared pop culture experience remaining among the general populace. TV is dead, the music industry is over, movies are irrelevant, comics killed themselves, and everything else is little more than a shrunken niche now. Once the internet goes, what shared experience will remain? Where will all of that history go?

And how much longer will the current order hold on before it finally slips and lets it all fall away? I can't even imagine how one will explain what the internet even was in the future. There is really nothing like it and there won't be again.

Nonetheless, it's the weekend! Rest up and have a good one. Something will come next, no matter how long that takes. There's always something to look forward to.

We have a lot to look forward to, so lets make sure there's plenty to build now for the future. It's all going to be worth it in the end.

Monday, July 3, 2023

New Release ~ Gemini Warrior is Out!

Find it Here!

This might not technically count as a new release, though it is for many of you. Formerly with Silver Empire Publishing before they went defunct, the first book in my Gemini Man series is finally available to general readers again. That's right, Gemini Warrior is out today! The next two books will come at a monthly pace.

For those unaware, I ran a Kickstarter campaign a little while ago (currently still in fulfillment!) that was focused on re-releasing the series back to general readers. The backers have already received the eBook of the first two books, and now it is time to start releasing them on Amazon for general audiences! For this month, July, the first book, Gemini Warrior, has finally been put out again for the first time in years! If you haven't had the chance to jump in, now is the time.

The description:

Matthew and Jason are just two nobodies in a city of heroes and villains. But when they are given bracelets that endow them with powers, and then get thrown into a whole new world beyond all reason, they are soon in over their heads!

Now they must team up with aliens, battle magical creatures, and get back home before the bombs inside them go off! All that, and they still have to defeat the magical being who sent them there in the first place!

Two heads are better than one, but will they be enough to save two whole worlds? Find out in the first book of the Gemini Man trilogy, Gemini Warrior!

As for those wondering about a physical copy, this was stated in the Kickstarter, but if you missed it then I will have reiterate here. Because of the scope of the project of re-releasing three books (and working on new stories for it) there simply wasn't any time to deal with formatting. The quickest way to get a physical copy was to back the crowdfund which was the omnibus release. Individual physical version will not be released for a while. I apologize, but something had to go on the backburner for this project, and that was it for this one.

The current plan is to give backers the books first and then later put out a version for the general public. Being that there are three books, you can expect to see the second book, Gemini Drifter, to release in August. Backers can expect an update on the first bonus story soon. It's been quite a journey putting out all these stories.

For those who missed it, I had an entire post detailing the history behind this book and the following ones in the series. You can find it here. It's been quite a journey these last few years! Hard to believe we've come this far.

I'm thankful for all the readers who helped me get to this point, and also those who allowed me the chance to do this in the first place. It is thanks to your support that this stories were able to be re-released in the first place. Now they will soon be made available to all.

Nonetheless, we are not done yet. I have some surprises on the way, in addition to the rest of the Gemini Man series being completed and a cool omnibus edition for physical backers of the campaign. This is definitely my biggest year yet, but can we make the next one bigger still? 

You'll just have to see!