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February 26, 2019

Fantastic Books Newsletter #5

It's newsletter time again, because we're working on a brand new project!

After the success of our previous Kickstarter campaign (for Release the Virgins), we're trying it again. The new project launches today: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: tales of Beatles that might—or never could have—been. For instance, what if the Beatles had never met? Would we enjoy Dave Clark Five-mania (as Spider Robinson suggests)? What if Brian Epstein hadn't managed the band? What if Ringo had been the true star of the band all along? What if the Beatles had been aliens? Or magic users? Or {gasp} American?

As a publisher, I frequently have authors approaching me with ideas for books. Some interest me, some don't. In a swimming pool last summer, Randee Dawn said "what about an anthology of alternate Beatles stories?" I said it might be a good idea, but she’d need to flesh out the idea before I could say yes, do it. And besides, I was in the midst of another big project (Release the Virgins). At a convention soon after, Michael Ventrella approached me with an idea: "once we're done with Release the Virgins, how about an alternative Beatles anthology?" I couldn't respond. I just grabbed his arm, dragged him over to Randee, and said "repeat that."

So I put the two of them together, and they put this plan together. The responses they got from the authors they asked—even those who didn't have the time to participate—were almost unanimously "what a great idea!" We already have commitments of stories from Spider Robinson, David Gerrold, Jonathan Maberry, Alan Goldsher, Cat Rambo, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jody Lynn Nye, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and Gail Z. Martin, with notes by Janis Ian and Nancy Holder. Now all we have to do is put together the funding for the project.

So we're presenting it to you. We hope you agree that it is a great idea, that these are stories you just need to read (as soon as they're written). So please, click on over to the Kickstarter site. We hope you'll want to be a part of the project, and support it today! Even if you're just considering it, please tell your friends.

Across the Universe on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667435382/across-the-universe-tales-of-alternative-beatles

And in other news, our two newest books, which are now available, are Daniel M. Kimmel's newest novel, Father of the Bride of Frankenstein (the title tells you just about everything you need to know: comic science fictional extrapolation), and the aforementioned Release the Virgins (if you didn't get involved in the Kickstarter campaign, you can now pick up your copy at your favorite bookstore).

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

—Ian Randal Strock, Publisher