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Subscriber Fiction Poll: Aliens, Steampunk, Or Both?
As my most devoted fans, you get to pick my subscriber-exclusive story. Also direct sales of signed books and the last chance for discounted THING IN THE WOODS Kindle books.
Back in April, I posted that I was pondering writing exclusive fiction for my paying subscribers, either here on Substack (only $8/month or $80/year) or on my Patreon (now reduced to $7/month to roughly equal Substack’s discounted full-year subscription). I’ve given the matter some thought and come up with the following ideas. Vote in the poll (you’ll have a week to do it) and I’ll write the winner:
Because I can only have five options in the poll, here’s another…
War on the Whale-Road-This is set in my Wastelands fictional universe in the years prior to the rise of the tyrant Grendel that I’m tenatively calling “the Wolf Age.” The expanding Norse-like Sejer are raiding the whaling fleet of Everett, a maritime republic in the vein of ancient Venice or Genoa, and so the Everetti send a secret agent to stir up trouble for the Sejer settlers on land. Trouble that isn’t human, at least in the way most people would think. More on that part below.
Troll Hunt or Man Is Wolf To Man-This takes place in the same general milieu as War on the Whale-Road and might actually be a prequel. The titular “trolls” are creatures that appear in Serpent Sword as soldiers of the grotesque Blood Alchemy Host — they’re predatory hominids that provide one of the more imaginative explanations for the “Uncanny Valley” phenomenon. The simpler explanation that UV exists because it’s evolutionary useful to shun corpses or people with rabies doesn’t make for exciting stories, but something that looks human and isn’t — and is dangerous — does. Throw in a meaner version of the “Neanderthal-Troll Hypothesis” and there you go. This short story set during the Ice Age (in the distant past of the sci-fi novel Blindsight) depicts a prehistoric “vampire” that would be a similar bane to our ancestors.
In this case, it’d be a more straightforward cowboys-vs-Indians type thing, only it’s Vikings with rifles versus man-like predators either attacking them or defending their territory from invasion. It will probably be shorter than War on the Whale-Road.
Gun Run-This is set in my Wastelands universe and features the societies of Everett, Tejada, and the Lemov Islands discussed in this link here. The Everetti recruit a Lemov man to smuggle weapons into the territory of their longtime foe the Tejadan Union, to aid the Tejadans’ internal enemies. Spy action and monsters ahoy! Since Everett is only briefly discussed in Battle and Serpent Sword and the other two haven’t been introduced yet, this might interest Wastelands fans wondering what’s going on to the west of Grendel’s realm.
Air Crash-A Tejadan dirigible crashes in the wild country between their mountaintop cities. The surviving crew have to battle their way through treacherous terrain, tropical diseases, monsters, and wild men to safety — and even then, safety might not be so safe. This is also set in my Wastelands universe and could be read as a tie-in with Gun Run, given what that story’s protagonist is sneaking into Tejadan territory to do, even if they don’t have the same cast.
Annunaki-This is set in the world of The Thing in the Woods during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It follows a couple MJ-12 agents tagging along with an advance force of U.S. Marines targeting a secret complex where Saddam Hussein has set up a stargate in alliance with the alien Grays. Think the TV series Generation Kill, but with aliens. Yes, there actually is a conspiracy theory that the U.S. invaded Iraq to capture a gateway to an alien world.
The Squatter from Another Planet-Another story set in the same world as Thing; in terms of chronology, it’s right before The Atlanta Incursion and depicts a skirmish with aliens in Atlanta that a TAI character describes as having just happened. The building the Grays are hiding in was abandoned at the time the story takes place (it’s an active apartment complex now), so I could imagine some people breaking in to steal metal or take pictures of themselves, only to find a very nasty surprise.
The Battle of Dulce Base-This is set in the early 1990s and provides a lot of back-story for MJ-12 agent Thomas Bolton, who first appears briefly in Thing and is a major character in The Atlanta Incursion. It’s heavily tied in with the UFO crowd’s mythology about Dulce Base in New Mexico and joint human-alien experiments on prisoners.
The first two chapters will be free to read on Substack, Patreon, and some free fiction site like Royal Road. The remainder will be subscriber-only. So vote for the story you’d seriously consider getting a paid subscription to read.
The Thing in the Woods E-Book Discount Ends Tomorrow (in U.S.)
For those of you who enjoy horror fiction, Kindle e-books, or both, my Lovecraft-style horror novel The Thing In The Woods will be $0.99 until 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday 8/20.
So get it while you can. Those of you in the United Kingdom (I’ve got a couple subscribers there) have a bit more time — the promotion started 8/15 rather than 8/13 and will run until 8/22. Even if you’ve already got it, could you share the discount around?
Buy From Me Direct
Now JoeLanta is done (33 books sold!), I have 233 books left. Here’s my Amazon author page so you can check them all out. My next events will be book signings at Virginia Highlands Books on the afternoon of Sunday 9/17 and Tall Tale Book Shop lunchtime on Monday 10/9 (more on those later), but if you can’t attend or want to order now, I can sell you physical books directly.
This may be of particular interest to those who have purchased Thing or Battle, the first books in their respective series, but never got the later ones. Here’s the chance to get them, and signed by me to boot. :)
The Thing in the Woods (The Long War #1): $15, 44 copies left
The Atlanta Incursion (The Long War #2): $15, 44 copies left
Battle for the Wastelands: $16, 40 copies left
Serpent Sword: Battle for the Wastelands #2: $18, 23 copies left
Son of Grendel: Battle for the Wastelands #0: $10, 24 copies left
Little People, Big Guns: $12, 43 copies left
Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire: $12, 15 copies left
These prices include U.S. Post Office Media Mail shipping. I ship anywhere in the United States; since Media Mail does not apply outside of the U.S. (not even Canada, right next door), we’ll need to work something out for those who want to buy from outside the U.S. I can be paid via Venmo or PayPal.
If you want to order a signed book, reply to this email or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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