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May 24, 2018

Fantastic Books Newsletter #2

Thank you for signing up for the Fantastic Books mailing list. This is only our second newsletter (the first came out last summer), but there are several new projects afoot that I thought you'd be interested in, and I wanted to spread the word!

Foremost in my mind at the moment is our new Kickstarter campaign. Release the Virgins is an anthology project being edited by Michael A. Ventrella. Based on an offhand comment at last year's Balticon, we're not precisely sure what will come of it. We only know that we're in for a fantastic reading experience! We already have story commitments from Keith R.A. DeCandido, David Gerrold, Daniel M. Kimmel, Sharon Lee, Shariann Lewitt, Steve Miller, Jody Lynn Nye, Alex Shvartsman, Hildy Silverman, Allen Steele, Cecilia Tan, Patrick Thomas, and Lawrence Watt-Evans, and we'll be adding more in time. We launched the Kickstarter on May 18th, and as of this writing, it's already 45% funded. We hope you'll check it out, get involved in the fun, and tell your friends.

The direct link is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667435382/release-the-virgins.

We've also set up a web page for the anthology, at ReleaseTheVirgins.com.

In February, we published the late Susan Casper's previously unpublished dark fantasy novel, The Red Carnival. The Jim Dandy Traveling Amusement Fair is suffering from demonic possession, but with a guardian dragon spirit on their side, their latest encampment may be haunted… or it may just be dirty local politics. Library Journal said of the book, "At times dark and unsettling, Casper's novel holds the same wonderful prose and love of the uncanny as her published short fiction." (http://www.fantasticbooks.biz/fantasticbooks/fantasy/1515410331.html)

Our two newest titles:

When White Wing—by Shariann Lewitt and Susan Casper—was originally published in 1985 under the pseudonym "Gordon Kendall," Gordon R. Dickson called it "a powerful story by a strong new talent." Written at the height of the Cold War, the story has a powerful message for the readers of today. In White Wing, Earth is gone, blown to bits in battle with the alien Sejiedi. Now the remnants of humanity fight on, in uneasy alliance with the Galactic League—their only purpose to avenge their world, their only pride the Honor of the Wing. Fantastic Books is thrilled to finally publish White Wing under the authors' true names. (http://www.fantasticbooks.biz/fantasticbooks/sf/1515410366.html)

The Bend at the End of the Road is Barry N. Malzberg's third collection of essays discussing the fields of speculative fiction, with introductions by Mike Resnick and Paul Di Filippo. Grand Master Robert Silverberg calls it "Incisive, wise, mordant, informed by a deep understanding of science fiction in all its aspects—a book of indispensable essays." Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Dirda calls Malzberg "sf's institutional memory," and the book "a full house of wise, provocative, and plangent essays." While Swedish author, critic, publisher, and translator John-Henri Holmberg says simply this is "the most important book about science fiction published in the last decade." (http://www.fantasticbooks.biz/fantasticbooks/other/1515410382.html)

This weekend, I'll be at the 52nd annual Balticon science fiction convention in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Last year's Balticon was the genesis of Release the Virgins. Will you join me to see what comes of this year's convention?

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share this newsletter far and wide.

—Ian Randal Strock, Publisher