Now through Nov 19th, 2021, you can amplify the success of the Tales from the Magician’s Skull (TftMS) magazine by participating in the Kickstarter campaign brought to you by Goodman Games. The campaign is on fire in its early days and rapidly earned a “Projects We Love” badge from Kickstarter.
The initial 2017 Kickstarter (Black Gate release link) kicked off the first two issues, and a follow-up campaign in 2019 carried us to issue #6. Throughout this journey, Black Gate has chronicled reviews for most issues: TftMS#3, TftMS#4, TftMS#5, TftMS#6. A key post is John O’Neill’s epic interview with Joseph Goodman (publisher) and Howard Andrew Jones (chief editor). This interview captures the origins of the Skull from its two primary champions (who appear possessed by the undead celebrity).
Current readers already know that the magazine magically blends (a) homages to pulp magazines with superior paper quality & inked illustrations with (b) contemporary masters in storytelling. The result? We get officially licensed pastiche of Leiber’s Fafrhd and the Gray Mouser/Lankhmar (Nathan Long’s contribution to #6) and Elak of Atlantis tales from Adrian Cole (issues #4 and #5); and we get fresh perspectives on Sword & Sorcery from John C. Hocking, Clint Werner, Violette Malan, James Enge, and others. And there is more! RPG players rejoice since each issue provides stats for playing with the characters, items, and spells featured in each story.
Read On! The Secrets to Pledging Are Revealed
Stretch, Mortal Dogs!
This campaign enables existing subscribers to extend subscriptions in addition to luring in new readers. With their first open-call for submissions (held Spring 2021) bringing in a huge inventory of new material, expect another nine issues! Here’s a bigger hook to join in now: every 200 subscribers yields another story into a 2022 Special Issue, starting with five issues but expanding to satiate the hunger of backers. Within the first 48 hours, there are >300 backers, so the current tally is six stories.
Check out the cover art for the next three issues from Sanjulián (Manuel Pérez Clemente) for issue #7, Ken Kelly for issue #8, and Didier Normand for the Special Issue. The Special Issue will only be printed for the KS backers (but its electronic form will persist forever).
This ~30min Tour Guide Reveals All
Under the possession of the Skull, editor Howard Andrew Jones and publisher Joseph Goodman of Goodman-Games walk potential backers through this crowdfunding experience. If you want a glimpse of the future of Sword & Sorcery, listen in!
Ooh, T-Shirts For The Legion!
Lastly, diehards need to dress too. Who can resist swag like this? Wearing these is probably the easiest way to obtain intern status (and delay being immolated by the Skull).
New SKULL t-shirts
S.E. Lindberg is a Managing Editor at Black Gate, regularly reviewing books and interviewing authors on the topic of “Beauty & Art in Weird-Fantasy Fiction.” He is also the lead moderator of the Goodreads Sword & Sorcery Group and an intern for Tales from the Magician’s Skull magazine. As for crafting stories, he has contributed five entries across Perseid Press’s Heroes in Hell and Heroika series and has an entry in Weirdbook Annual #3: Zombies. He independently publishes novels under the banner Dyscrasia Fiction; short stories of Dyscrasia Fiction have appeared in Whetstone and Swords & Sorcery online magazines.