Hey y’all! I’m delighted to be a guest today on the Enchanted Alley!
My name is Misty Massey, and until last summer, I was a writer of fantastic fiction and author of Mad Kestrel (pirates and magic and adventure…oh my!) I say ‘until last summer’ because that was when things became slightly more crazy and exciting in my world and I agreed to be an editor.
I was a guest at Congregate, and I had just finished a rousing session of Live Action Slush. I was in the hallway chatting with my co-conspirators Emily Leverett and Margaret McGraw when the subject of publishing an anthology of weird western stories came up. We all thought it sounded like great fun, so we started approaching authors we believed would add to the thrill of such a project. Nearly all of them said “Yes!” (okay, a couple were squealing with excitement, but I’m not going to try to spell that sound for you!) so we started querying publishers.
Danielle Ackley-McPhail of eSpec Books snapped us up, and before we knew it, we were running a Kickstarter to fund the project.
What is weird west?
It’s fantasy or science fiction set in the world (or the aesthetic) of the American western frontier. Movies like High Plains Drifter and Cowboys and Aliens for example, and television shows like the Star Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun”, and Firefly and The Wild Wild West. Print examples include R S Belcher’s The Six Gun Tarot, Steven King’s Dark Tower saga and Melissa Marr’s The Arrivals. It’s the idea of people living on the edge of civilization, where the magic hasn’t died out yet, where the inventors are free to indulge their imaginations in bizarre directions.
The reason I’m here today is to talk about our Kickstarter.
The book will be called The Weird Wild West, and it will feature stories by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Martin, James Tuck and me! If we manage to reach our stretch goals, we’ll add stories by Robert Waters and David Sherman. But that’s not all – we want to open four spaces for you to submit your own stories! That’s right, we’d like to see people we’ve never met before sharing our little town of the weird!
But the only way that can happen is with your help. We’re working toward our funding goal, and we’d love for you to be a part of that. As all frontier towns did, our project needs settlers – you!
Take a look at the project page and explore the pledge levels. For as little as $5, you can get your very own copy of this great book, although there are higher pledge levels which offer really cool things – have a character named for you, have a character named for your pet, get a professional critique of your manuscript or even a signed advance copy of Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust”.
We’re running a contest right now, too. We want to reach 200 settlers (backers) by the New Year. If you back the project at the $5 level or higher between now and New Year’s Day, you’ll receive not only everything your pledge reward grants you, but also a bonus DRM-free Deadly Curiosities novella by Gail Martin, AND a digital deed to your very own weird western homestead! All that for $5!
So wander through our dusty streets, and if you like what you see, stay awhile.
We’d be glad to pour you a shot of entertaining stories!