Beyond the Cradle of mankind, the universe is vast, unknown,
dangerous to the unwary…or those caught in the path of intrepid explorers proceeding without forethought.
Thirteen authors explore what it is to pioneer the future with tales fraught with danger and remorse, tempered with hope, luck, and serendipity. We face the monsters. We face the truth. We face ourselves.
Whether the frontier is that of science or space, there is no doubt that at some point one must ask …If we had known, would we have followed this course?
The Necessary Enemy by Ian Randal Strock
The Steady Drone of Silence by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Edited by Mike McPhail, with stories by Jody Lynn Nye, Nancy Jane Moore, James Chambers, Jeff Young, Peter Prellwitz, Patrick Thomas, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher M. Hiles, and Robert E. Waters.
Due to recent life events I haven’t posted much about this here, but we are in the final hours of a Kickstarter campaign that was initially for the anthology Man and Machine, book 7 in the award-winning Defending the Future series, with stories by Brenda Cooper, Bud Sparhawk, Nancy Jane Moore, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, James Chambers, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Eric Hardenbrook, Robert Waters, Anton Kukal, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and a special Afterword by CJ Henderson (posthumous).
Not only did the campaign fund quickly, but it has unlocked sixteen stretch goals, including funding a tee shirt, a mission patch, and two additional books: If We Had Known (book one in the Beyond the Cradle anthology series) and The Best of Defending the Future.
Here is a list of all the bonus rewards all backers at the $5 or higher level will now receive in DRM-Free format:
Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s short story “By Any Means” a prequel to her story in Man and Machine.
Jennifer Brozek’s short story “Found on the Body of a Solider”.
Robert E. Waters’ short story “Old Soldiers Never Die”.
Soothe the Savage Beast (anthology),
“A Second Away” by John L. French (short story), and
“Mercenary” by Bud Sparhawk (short story)
David Sherman’s story “Going After Yeechiphooie” ACHIEVED!
Time Traveled Tales 2 (anthology),
“Grilg Friendly” by James Chambers (short story), and
“Sign of Iron” by Peter Prellwitz, writing as HK Devonshire (short story).
Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s short story “Last Man Standing” a prequel to her story in Man and Machine.
Nancy Jane Moore’s short story “Borders”.
Brenda Cooper’s short story “A Hand and Honor”.
Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s solo science fiction collection A Legacy of Stars,
“Written in Light” by Jeff Young (story),
“12:70” by Peter Prellwitz, writing as HK Devonshire (story)
We have also unlocked the following production goals which are available via the add-on section of the campaign or select pledge rewards that have been added:
If We Had Known (Book 1 in the Beyond the Cradle series)
Dogs of War custom Tee Shirt
Defending the Future Mission Patch
Best of Defending the Future anthology
And, I made an executive decision. I’d really LOVE to see From the Archives funded so I have reshuffled the rewards so all our lovely backers have a chance at even more great fiction than they are already getting. That means we are just $170 away from unlocking a FOURTH book! With five hours to go, that should be no problem! I have also added From the Archives to the pledge rewards and add-on section. Now, there are just FIVE hours left…What mischief can we get up to? Here are the remaining stretch goals:
220 Backer Bonus – DRM-Free copies of all five Radiation Angels: The Mission Files stories by James Daniel Ross.
$5000 – At this stretch goal we will fund a fourth book: From the Archives, a short story collection edited by Greg Schauer and including stories by Mike McPhail and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
$5300 – A Man and Machine Mission Patch will be produced and added to the Pledge rewards and Add-on section.
$5600 – A DTF Man and Machine Challenge Coin will be produced and added to the Pledge rewards and Add-on section.
$6000 – DOUBLE UP BONUS #4
Can you help us spread the word, or maybe even chip in a dollar or ten? Everyone wins in this campaign! http://tiny.cc/DTF7
Whew! Can you say exhausted? I took yesterday off to recover and I’m still beat!
Balticon was a series of new experiences this year. After almost 15 years of attending, the last ten or so at the same location, the convention moved back down to Baltimore’s inner harbor for it’s celebrated 50th con.
This was a big one, folks. Loads and loads of guests, new venue, bonus Guests of Honors from years past. Needless to say all of these changes elevated the level of chaos this year as everyone scrambled to figure out what they were doing, when and where. There was a lot of walks down long corridors and wandering the maze to figure out where such programming rooms were, but all in all–other than my feet–the experience was less painful than I feared it might be.
On Friday night my first panel was Starting Your Own Small Press. This was very well attended for 5pm on a Friday night. The discussion was informative and well received and the audience had loads of great questions. If only it hadn’t been such a hike to find the room.
The only other thing I had on Friday was Meet the Guests. I showed up at the right room a little early to find a sign saying it had moved to the con suite, but never did see any of those who were supposed to participate and so wandered off to the bar with Jennifer Povey and The Weird Wild West contributor Ken Schrader, after waiting about fifteen minutes for something to happen.
Oh…and a fire scare. The whole building was evacuated around 7:30pm. I’m told someone one thought a smoke machine would really add some atmosphere to a concert going on…they were right. But no one was there to enjoy it once the alarm went off.
No programming for me on Saturday…or so I thought. Discovered that was when my reading was, and fortunately I discovered in time to actually attend because the room was pretty packed for the four authors reading. My Meet eSpec Books panel, however, had been moved to Saturday night without my knowledge and so I hung out for a little while in my room, then went to the game room where my good friends Alf and Cynthia regretted teaching me to play Ascension, then wandered off for a little while to Gail Z. Martin’s impromptu pre-release party for Modern Magic…instead of being where I was supposed to be.
Now Sunday…we’ll have to talk about Sunday. The crazy descended. Con: I had to wake up uber early for a Book Design and Layout panel I was slated to give. That went REAL well, but was nowhere near long enough. Then right off to the dealer’s room where I got to meet Jody Lynn Nye and hug Larry Niven.
I participated in the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, organized by Randee Dawn, then I rushed off to organized everything for the Gaslight and Grimm launch party. Discovered a bunch of supplies weren’t showing up, then arrived at the party room to discover everything was half tables…only about one foot wide! We pushed two together for all the food tables and left the congregating tables as is. We had loads of people and load of authors showing up to oggle our books and covet the impressive array of raffle prizes we gave away at the end of the night. Everyone was wonderful helping out, especially the Chrises Hiles (squared) Alf and Cynthia, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Jean Marie Ward, Wrenn Simms, Vickie DiSantos and loads of other people I can’t remember now because my brain was on overload.
The party was a huge success and surprisingly we were able to donate food to the Game of Thrones party following ours. Many, many books were sold and happy authors and attendees abounded.
I don’t have any photos of the party, other than this one of the editors, authors and artists, but hope to share some once they are sent to me.
All in all a great time, though the added expense of parking and eating was a blow, as was the inaccessibility of places to pick up last-minute party supplies.
eSpec Books and editor Mike McPhail are proud to announce the reissue of Dogs of War, volume 6 in the award-winning Defending the Future Anthology series. While this is the only existing book in the series that will be reissued, there will be a Best Of collection highlighting stories from the previous five volumes, and future volumes are in the works, including DTF 7: Man and Machine, which will be launching via Kickstarter later this month.
BACK COVER COPY
Animals have fought for us for centuries, not because of the ideals of service to King and Country, but out of unwavering loyalty and devotion to their human Masters.
The future, it would seem, is no better than the past, as some animals become expendable weapons or augmented semi-machines, while others receive the honor and dignity of being treated as fellow soldiers.
In tribute, we bring you seventeen stories of our animal comrades-in-arms.
Includes stories by Brenda Cooper, David Sherman, Bud Sparhawk, Eric V. Hardenbrook, James Chambers, Peter Prellwitz, Janine K. Spendlove, Judi Fleming, Tony Ruggiero, Edward J. McFadden III, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, CJ Henderson, Robert E. Waters, Christopher M. Hiles, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
The Kindle edition is currently available on Amazon, with the print book soon to follow.